Swami Hariharananda Aranya

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Swami Hariharananda Aranya
Religion Hinduism
Founder of Kapil Math
Philosophy Samkhya-yoga[1]
Nationality Indian
Born (1869-12-04)4 December 1869
Bengal, India
Died 19 April 1947(1947-04-19) (aged 77)
Madhupur, India
Guru Swami Triloki Aranya
Disciple(s) Swami Dharmamegha Aranya and Swami Samadhi Prakash Aranya
Literary works Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali with Bhasvati

Swami Hariharananda Aranya (1869–1947) was a yogi,[2] author, and founder of Kapil Math in Madhupur, India, which is the only monastery in the world that actively teaches and practices Samkhya philosophy.[3] His book, Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali with Bhasvati, is considered to be one of the most authentic and authoritative classical Sanskrit commentaries on the Yoga Sutras.[4][5][6] Hariharananda is also considered by some as one of the most important thinkers of early twentieth-century Bengal.[7]

Hariharananda came from a wealthy Bengali family and after his scholastic education renounced wealth, position, and comfort in search of truth in his early life. The first part of his monastic life was spent in the Barabar Caves in Bihar, hollowed out of single granite boulders bearing the inscriptions of Emperor Ashoka and very far removed from human habitation. He then spent some years at Tribeni, in Bengal, at a small hermitage on the bank of the Ganges and several years at Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Kurseong.

His last years were spent at Madhupur in Bihar, where according to tradition, Hariharananda entered an artificial cave at Kapil Math on 14 May 1926 and remained there in study and meditation for last twenty-one years of his life. The only means of contact between him and his disciples was through a window opening. While living as a hermit, Hariharananda wrote numerous philosophical treatises.

According to Hariharananda, yoga is mental concentration, samadhi, and is one of the schools of Samkhya philosophy.[8]


  1. A Unique Travelogue
  2. Divine Hymns with Supreme Devotional Aphorisms
  3. Progressive and Practical Samkhya-Yoga
  4. Samkhya Across The Millenniums
  5. The Doctrine of Karma
  6. The Samkhya Catechism
  7. Yogakarika
  8. Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali with Bhasvati


  1. ^ Feuerstein, Georg (2001). The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice. Arizona, USA: Hohm Press. p. Kindle Locations 7934–7935. ISBN 978-1890772185. 
  2. ^ Bryant, Edwin (2009). The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali: A New Edition, Translation, and Commentary. North Point Press. p. xliii. ISBN 978-0865477360. 
  3. ^ Larson, Gerald (2011). Classical Samkhya: An interpretation of its History and Meaning. Motilal Banarsidass. p. Appendix C. ISBN 978-8120805033. 
  4. ^ White, David Gordon, ed. (2011). Yoga in Practice. Princeton University Press. p. 327. ISBN 978-0691140865. 
  5. ^ Rosen, Richard (2003). "Surveying the Sutras" (January/February 2003). Yoga Journal: 156. 
  6. ^ Maehle, Gregor (2007). Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy. New World Library. p. 141. ISBN 978-1577316060. 
  7. ^ White, David Gordon, ed. (2011). Yoga in Practice. Princeton University Press. p. 326. ISBN 978-0691140865. 
  8. ^ White, David Gordon, ed. (2011). Yoga in Practice. Princeton University Press. p. 327. ISBN 978-0691140865. 

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