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Date Posted: 11:21
Author: ketch - 6 Jan 02
Subject: Book Review – Twins of Heaven

Twins of Heaven
By Sri Nerode.

Sri Nerode will be best known to most people here for his association with Swami Yogananda in the early days of Yogananda’s mission in the west. As such perhaps it is best to start by pointing out what this book is not. It contains no mention of Sri Nerode’s time with Yogananda, except for a brief reference to his teaching “in conjunction with a large Yoga organization” in the introduction. There is no mention of Kriya Yoga or any Raja Yoga techniques, and it throws no light on his eventual split with Yogananda in 1939.

What the book does consist of is a selection of Sri Nerode’s poetry. In all thirty-five poems arranged in two sections – Love and Wisdom (the Twins of Heaven). Poetry which is designed as instruction for the mastery of the self in daily life, much of which is quite beautiful.

The introduction contains a very brief biography of Sri Nerode and gives what appear to be his quite impeccable credentials as a teacher of Yoga. Born in 1887 to a family of Yogi’s, he was given the name Nirad Ranjan Chowdhury, this was changed to Nerode in the 1930’s at Yogananda’s request to make it easier for his American students.

“Sri Nerode’s father died before he was weaned. His mother, a true yogini, moved into the woods with her son for a wholly solitary life of devotion and meditation for a number of years. His only company was a bubbering brook and a singing wild bird. When they returned to the extended family, his instruction in Yoga was from his grandfather, whose home was a center for travelling yogis. Later Sri Nerode learned the ancient wisdom of the East with such illustrious masters as Angarika Dharmapala and Naryan Swami.” (Taken from the introduction)

Sri Nerode’s grandfather, Govindra Chandra Roy was a well known yogi who ran an Ashram for wandering Yogis from all over India. Sri Nerode later wrote “Our village was a Mecca for wandering yogis. Their rendezvous was near our school. I have seen yogis at meditation for hours at a time in the hot sun. I used to think when I was very young how crazy they were to sit that long in the hot sun. Now I know from personal experience what joy and contentment flow from such silent meditation, not a waste of time. It is the brooding period of the creative soul, according to each person’s talents and efforts.”

The poetry in this book is described as being for “children and the child in each one of us” in the flyer below, but that is not entirely accurate. The words have clearly been well chosen to make it both simple and profound. Most people here would probably enjoy this book. It is the type of collection of short spiritual poems that it is nice to dip into now and then, in quiet moments. Or perhaps after a daytime meditation, when the peace is still with you.

Unfortunately, like many books with a small print run, the price at US$20-95 may seem a little high to some.

“Twins of Heaven” is published by Sri Nerode’s son, a Professor of Mathematics at Cornell University, and can be obtained through:

Sri Anil Nerode
P.O. Box 4474
New York 14852-4474

Click here to see the Amrita poster advertising this book

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