Review of Book "Swami Hari - I am A Simple Forest Monk"

Swami Hariharananda Bharati was one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Seeming so simple yet wise, and so very big-hearted and funny.  When I’d see him, my heart would smile and laugh as he did so often.  When I was very sad one time, his love covered me like a blanket.  Other times, he challenged me and got me to think.  I remember once, when at Tarkeshwar with him, how he so lovingly encouraged me to keep meditating, to go deeper, “go go go” he said.  His support was so strengthening.  

In later years, I had the honor of spending time with Swami Hariharananda when he visited California. That was special. When he first came, his eyes were big as he looked at everything and kept saying “America is very great, it is a very rich county!” He seemed to enjoy it immensely.  

One time when he came to California, I took him to the Canadian Consulate in L.A. so he could get a visa to travel to Canada. While there,  I told him about how my mother was sick and my father was taking care of her although he was 84 years old, and, suddenly, he looked at me so fiercely and said with great strength:  “Now you have to move to Los Angeles and take care of them!”  When Swami Hariharananda first said that to me, I was shocked. It was so foreign to my way of thinking.  But over the next few days I thought about it, and decided he was right.  

I moved to L.A. from Santa Cruz, where I had been living, found a place near my folk’s house, and began visiting them. Because of being in L.A., I was able to take care of both of my parents when Dad had a stroke, took over running Dad’s business because he could not run it anymore, and was present when Mom suddenly died.  

Being able to be with my parents and serve them has been one of the best experiences of my life.  
I am immensely grateful to Swami Hariharananda for the push that started the process.

What an honor to know and be blessed by him.

I met Daniel Hertz, author of Swami Hari -- I Am A Simple Forest Monk, through Swami Hariharananda, who often talked about Daniel and obviously loved him very much.  So when I heard that Daniel had written a book about Swami Hari, I wanted to read it.  

Daniel’s lovely book captures the Swami Hariharananda I and so many others knew and loved. Swami Hariharanda’s laugh can be heard from the pages, as can his wonderful way of speaking.  More than this, the book shares wisdom gleaned from Daniel’s own practice of yoga and from time spent with this mountain Sage.  

The touching chapter titled “There Is Always Room” tells about having an expansive heart, like Swami Hariharananda had, and how he could always make room for others in it.  

Other chapters tell about saying “yes”, having a positive attitude, the process of meditating, and sleep and death.  The insights on yoga nidra Daniel presents in the chapter on sleep and death are are invaluable.

Reading this book, I miss the laughing swami so much, and also celebrate him and the wisdom and knowledge he so freely shared, and I am grateful to Daniel for transmitting so much of Swami Hariharanda’s presence, love, and wisdom in this lovely book.  

For information about this book, or to purchase it, click Here


19 Dec 2021;
07:00PM - 08:00PM
Full Moon Meditation 2020