About Swami Abhayananda
I was born Stanley Ross Trout on August 14, 1938, in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1966, at the age of twenty-eight, I was graced by God, and experienced the unitive vision. A few years later, I met a holy man called Swami Muktananda, and I journeyed to India to live with him and to learn from him. After some time, he invited me to join the spiritual Order of sannyasa, and gave me the name "Swami Abhayananda", which means 'the bliss of fearlessness.' I have kept that spiritual name ever since, though I eventually parted with Swami Muktananda and his organization.
I do not belong to any church or to any religion, but I do belong to that select group of people who have experienced God directly, and I stand as an unyielding bulwark against the current cultural trend toward an atheistic worldview. God is very certainly real. God is, in fact, the only reality. My focus has always been on God and His revelation, and my writings are simply a means of sharing that revelation. I am not hindered by organizational ties or religious affiliation, as my vision and my philosophy is based on my own personal mystical experience, and is not restricted to any of the mystical traditions of either the East or the West. Today, I live a simple, solitary life, devoted to meditation on God and the sharing of His revelation.
November 18, 2016 marked fifty years since I was graced by God's revelation. I am not the first to be so graced and I will not be the last. What He revealed to me I have passed on to you. Whether you accept this revelation and make this knowledge your own is totally up to you. Nevertheless, it is my earnest hope that this revelation will inspire you to seek to know Him in yourself and for yourself. I can tell you that He helps and guides those who trust in His presence, and He rewards those who make the effort to reach Him. May He bless you every one.
Los Gatos, California, 1965
Ganeshpuri, India, 1972
Oakland, California, 1977
New York, New York, 1978
If you have read even a small portion of the writings featured on this website, you are well aware that it represents a viewpoint that is not only revolutionary but highly unpopular—unpopular in the sense that it goes against the view of the majority. In the books and articles featured here, the occurrence of my own revelatory experience of the Divine reality is described, and forms the basis for the assumption that any other devout human being is also capable of experiencing such a transcendent revelation—that, in fact, those who have experienced such a revelation in the past were also ordinary beings and not divinely begotten children or incarnations of the supreme deity—at least no more so than anyone else.
This understanding flies in the face of the customary religious suppositions of a large number of people, I know; but old customs must eventually give way to proven experiential knowledge. The acceptance of mystical experience, and the recognition of its misinterpretation through the ages will certainly not come overnight; but eventually human evolution requires the expansion of human understanding through the acceptance of accumulated experiential evidence.
There is no shortage of evidence to show that many people throughout the world and throughout history have experienced the interior revelation of their own divine being; and if you are unaware of this evidence, please see my History of Mysticism, a factual account of that evidence (available as a free download from my website). Though, from the perspective of history, so many have testified to the occurrence of that revelation in their lives, it is, for us, a sad fact that so relatively few seem privileged to experience that revelation each day, month, and year during the limited time of our lives. In that regard, it is an experience that seems to be both common and yet rare. But it must be accepted as indisputably true that we are, each one, the manifestation of God’s bounty, and are capable, each one, of knowing Him as our immortal Self through prayerful contemplation and a focused and mindful intent. His will is paramount; but if, by acting in accord with His will, you can affect, or in any way influence the course of His will, you must do so. Beg for His favor, implore His merciful gift of light, give your heart unreservedly to Him, surrender your life in His service; see all creation as His manifestation, and know your oneness with Him.
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I am occasionally asked if I continue to have ‘mystical’ experiences similar to my initial experience in the mountain forests of Santa Cruz which I documented in my book, The Supreme Self. The answer is ‘No, I do not continue to have similar experiences.’ But the truth is that there is a kind of ‘accustomization’ that has followed that experience, and which increases or diminishes in clarity at various times. It’s like any other kind of knowledge—say the knowledge of one’s proximate environment; there are times when it becomes more pronounced in your awareness, and times when it is less so. I find it impossible to retain the same level of awareness of God’s presence in a continuous manner, without interruption; but I nonetheless make every effort to retain that awareness as best I can at all times.
My initial mystical experience was truly transformational; I was never the same again. I had been given an enlightening knowledge that affected my vision of the world forever thereafter and instilled in me a lasting certainty that has never been more than the flutter of an eyelid away. For the most part, I hold onto the knowledge that He alone is—in my surroundings, in myself, and in the guidance and movement of all that exists. The intensely clarified awareness of His intimate presence, however, comes only rarely, though I long for it constantly. It’s quite possible that age has some deleterious effect on the refinement and clarity of my intellect and my spiritual perception; I can’t say for certain. But so long as He grants me the capability of remembering Him, I am filled repeatedly with an upsurging of loving gratitude and freedom from care that is invincible. Today, my knowledge remains as strong and certain as ever, and I live consciously, confidently, in His merciful grace.
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You will have noticed that I do not speak of temporal conditions in the world; I do not propose solutions for the worldly ills that are so apparent to all of us. These things will be remedied on their own if only we, the people, become transformed in heart and mind to focus on God’s loving presence in our own hearts. Surely, then, He will bless you and many others with the interior revelation of His ever-presence, and free you forevermore from all worry, distress, and sorrow. Reach out to Him with all the power of your mind and heart and soul, and He will surely grant your heart’s desire.
Also, please explore the many books and articles available to you here on my website. They were written solely for your benefit.
And please take every precaution to remain safe from the current Corona Virus pandemic. I pray that God will inspire and protect you and keep you well.
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