The Record

Conversations with H.H. Shantanand Saraswati

The Study Society

Record of audiences with the Shankaracharya, HH Shantanand Saraswati.

The Record

Before he died in 1947, the philosopher P. D. Ouspensky appointed Dr. Francis Roles to succeed him and instructed him to find the source of both the system of knowledge he taught, and the source within yourself.

In 1961 Dr Roles was introduced to His Holiness, Shantanand Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Northern India. In the Advaita Acharya tradition there are four Shankaracharya – one each for North, East, West and South India.

The Record consists of interviews held over some 18 years between Dr Roles and the Shankaracharya. It also includes some memorable descriptions of the settings in which these meetings took place. It was clear from the start that the non-dual Acharya Advaita Tradition relates to all valid spiritual teachings and is not aligned to any specific religion. It is “the body of Eternal Religion” and its purpose is to reanimate and re-balance existing teachings. Thus the Record has much to offer anyone seeking to deepen their belief and practice.

In his first meetings Francis Roles hoped to gain fresh insight into Ouspensky’s system of knowledge, but he received much more than he expected. He said this was the first time he had met a fully-realised man, and felt sure he was now directly in touch with the source of a tradition he had hitherto known only in fragmentary form. Through the dialogues with His Holiness Dr Roles came to realize that any effort needed was not to acquire new abilities but to nurture those natural talents and gifts already within us.

“ If you begin to be what you are you will realize everything; but to be what you are, you must come out of what you are not. You are not those thoughts which are turning, turning in your mind: you are not the different decisions you make and you not the different wills you have; you are not that separate ego: well, then, what are you? You will find when you have come out of what you are not, that the ripple on the water is whispering to you ‘I am That’, the birds in the mango trees are singing to you ‘I am That’, the moon and stars are shining beacons to you ‘I am That’. You will find that you are in everything in the world and everything in the world is within you since for you it only exists because it is mirrored in you; and at the same time you are that - everything.” H.H. Shantanand Saraswati, The Record.

The Shankaracharya’s dialogues in response to questions asked by Dr Roles range far and wide. He uses simple language but the content is subtle. The depth of meaning becomes clearer to anyone putting it into practice through meditation and in active life.

“ Then we will see that the Absolute which appears to be outside and seemingly separated, becomes united with us. Then there is no beginning, there is no end, there is no inner and there is no outer – it is the same Absolute available everywhere”

The Advaita (non-dual) philosophy underlies all the Shankaracharya says, and he wished to make this teaching understood and available as widely as possible.

H H Shantanand Saraswati

This is the code of use of The Record:

“I understand that the Record is provided for private study in the context of an oral tradition. Copying or duplicating the material is permitted for that purpose and no other. As with other material on the Study Society website I recognise that it is intended for sharing with my weekly discussion group, though private study is also recognised. I agree to these conditions.”

The Record has been posted as a set of PDF documents, (mostly) one for each year. In order to search the record you must open the INDEX pdf first and search within that for the relevant entry.

The Record

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