Rudi (Swami Rudrananda)

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name = Rudi (Swami Rudrananda)

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birth_name = Albert Rudolph
birth_date = January 24, 1928
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death_date = February 21, 1973
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nationality = Jewish American
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Rudi (Swami Rudrananda) (January 24, 1928February 21, 1973) was born Albert Rudolph in Brooklyn, New York. He was a disciple of Bhagawan Nityananda, whom he met in Ganeshpuri, India, in 1960.Swami Rudrananda. "Spiritual Cannibalism". Links Books, New York, 1973, First Edition.]


Early years

Albert Rudolph (Rudi) was born into a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York at the beginning of the Great Depression, along with his two brothers. His mother worked in burlesque after their father abandoned the family.cite book|author=John Mann|title=Rudi: 14 Years With My Teacher]

Albert’s first spiritual experience occurred when he was 6 years old, playing in the park. Two Tibetan lamas appeared in the air before him. They told him they represented the heads of the Red and Yellow Hat Tibetan Buddhist sects, and they were going to place within him all of the energy and spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism. Several clay jars appeared next to them, which they said they would put inside his solar plexus. The lamas said these jars would stay in him and begin to open at age 31, at which time the process of assimilating their contents would continue for the rest of his life.cite book|author=Swami Rudrananda|title=Behind The Cosmic Curtain]

When Albert was 12 years old, he worked at his first job in a pocketbook factory due to the labor shortage caused by World War II. His next job was at a textile company, where he worked until age 18 when he joined the Army. For 1½ years, Albert was an instructor for the government, teaching ROTC at the University of Washington in Seattle. After being discharged, Albert returned to his job at the textile company in New York City.

Middle years

At age 20, Albert - now called Rudi - "experienced a deep spiritual awakening" in his being. He also developed a serious interest in Asian art and began collecting sculptures.Due to downsizing at the textile company, Rudi’s employer helped him to enter North Carolina State college, where he studied textile engineering. After college, Rudi returned to New York City where he became an engineering trainee at a textile company for a short while. During this time, Rudi began to attend meetings based on the teachings of Gurdjieff, which he continued to attend for 5 years.

Rudi was walking down Seventh Avenue one day, and passed a little store in Greenwich Village with a "FOR RENT" sign in the window. It was extremely small and in terrible condition; however, he heard a voice whispering, "This is your store, this is your store, this is your store." Rudi opened his business, Rudi Oriental Arts, with just a few hundred dollars and some of the sculptures he had collected. In the early days, Rudi supplemented his income by working evenings at the Village Vanguard nearby. Over the next few years, Rudi established an international network of Eastern art suppliers, collectors, and distributors in several countries.

In his late 20's, Rudi joined the Subud organization. The founder, Pak Subuh, was his teacher, and Rudi helped to establish the group in New York. In 1958, Rudi met Shankaracharya of Puri during his first visit to the United States, and Rudi lived with him in New York for 4 months.

In early 1959, Rudi became a spiritual teacher and worked with students individually in his store. Rudi’s method of teaching was to sit opposite a student and gaze intently into their eyes for perhaps five to ten minutes, while transmitting shaktipat energy.

In the autumn of 1959, Rudi's teacher, Pak Subuh, strongly recommended that he move to New Zealand and buy a farm. After receiving this advice, Rudi went back to his store and asked hour by hour what he should do. A voice said, 'Leave', and Rudi began to make plans to move to New Zealand with several of his students. Over the next nine months, Rudi liquidated his business and closed his store. In the summer of 1960, Rudi traveled to several countries, including Japan and India, to disband the network of suppliers and distributors he had established.

Rudi arrived in India, and traveled with a friend to meet Bhagawan Nityananda, a saint located in Ganeshpuri. When Rudi met the saint, he was asked if he had a question. Rudi stated that he was planning to move to New Zealand shortly, and asked if it was the right thing to do. The saint replied that he should go home instead. At the same time, Rudi experienced a power that poured out of the saint and completely paralyzed his psychic system, which took almost a year to digest. Rudi later wrote, "My first meeting with the renowned Indian saint, Bhagawan Nityananda, was of such a depth that it changed the course of my life."

Rudi traveled back to New York and reestablished his business. He moved into a new store that was five times larger than the prior location. In late 1960, Rudi began to hold classes in his apartment, which consisted of an open-eye meditation, where he transmitted shaktipat energy in a group setting. Spiritual teacher and friend, Hilda Charlton, was in attendance on occasion.Rudi traveled back to India in 1961 on business and had hoped to meet Bhagawan Nityananda again; however, upon arriving in Ganeshpuri, Rudi discovered that the saint had taken mahasamadhi earlier in the year. Rudi later wrote, "My initiation by Swami Nityananda took place two years after his death.

Rudi wished to learn more of Bhagawan Nityananda’s teachings; therefore, in 1962, he began studying with a fellow disciple, Swami Muktananda, who had assumed responsibility for the ashram at Ganeshpuri. Rudi described this experience as “a struggle between two spiritual heavyweights.” Continuing a relationship with Muktananda was necessary, however, so that Rudi could continue to gain access to the shrine at Ganeshpuri. In 1966, Muktananda formally acknowledged Rudi’s connection with Bhagawan Nityananda and the lineage by giving him the title, Swami Rudrananda.

In 1968, Rudi moved his store to another location that was five times larger, and his business expanded considerably. That autumn, Rudi began to spend his weekends searching in the country for a location to establish an ashram. In a few months time, he discovered a small Catskill resort in the town of Big Indian, and officially acquired the property a few weeks later. Rudi named the ashram Big Indian, and traveled there on weekends, giving classes and supervising the restoration of the property that was being undertaken by many of his students. It was a time of growth and expansion, and several other ashrams across the country were being established as well.

In 1970, Rudi arranged for Muktananda to visit the United States for the first time. Muktananda arrived with his entourage on Labor Day weekend in New York, and traveled to Big Indian to stay for two months. At the end of October, Rudi escorted Muktananda to Texas and California. Rudi commented about the trip, “Though I was the traveling host, I was treated as if I was not even a member of Muktananda’s party. No place was saved for me at the table, and I was ignored in conversation.”

In 1971, Rudi was invited by Muktananda to attend a special ceremony at Ganeshpuri in the spring. Rudi had commissioned a statue of Bhagawan Nityananda, and Muktananda assured him that he would be notified when the dedication of the statue took place. As Rudi remarked later about the event, “One day I went into town for an hour. When I returned, I discovered the ceremony had just occurred. Something inside me gave way.” Rudi asked his friend, Swami Venkatesananda, for guidance on the matter. Swami Venkatesananda replied, “Rudi, I cannot tell you one thing or another thing. I can only ask you, are you above it?” With that, Rudi packed bags and told someone who was nearby to say goodbye to Swami Muktananda. Rudi later remarked, “I was ready for a higher, more merciful approach.”

Later years

During the last few years, Rudi spoke often about sweetness, gratitude, and discovering the joy in life.cite book|author=Faith (Laxmi) Stone|title=Rudi And The Green Apple] In February 1972, Rudi remarked to a student, “I am happier than I have ever been in my life. Ever since my 44th birthday, spiritual gifts have been raining on me. I wake up in the middle of the night and feel my heart chakra opened way beyond my body. I am so grateful.”

In September 1972, Rudi traveled to India with four of his students. They visited Ganeshpuri and met with Rudi’s close friend, Chakrapani Ullal, a noted Vedic astrologer.

By end of 1972, Rudi had taught thousands of students worldwide. Fourteen ashrams had been established across the US, and three ashrams had been established in Europe. Rudi’s business, Rudi Oriental Antiques, had expanded tremendously, and his Manhattan store housed one of the largest Eastern art collections in the world.

In early 1973, Rudi published "Spiritual Cannibalism", his only book.

On February 21, 1973, Rudi died in a small plane crash in the Catskills. The three other occupants walked away with only minor injuries. He was dictating a journal entry, and his last words were, "...a deeper sense of surrender".


Kundalini yoga

Rudi taught Kundalini Yoga, "a yoga which is used to collect energy within yourself and bring through your own chemistry the energy that is in the universe. A human being is only able to do that by internalizing energy and bringing it through their system. A person has all the mysteries of the universe inside." [ cite book|author=Swami Rudrananda|title=Rudi Lectures on CD] ]

"Energy is the sacred connection we have with God. The chakras must be developed so that the energy can be drawn in and consciously brought from chakra to chakra. The higher creative energy comes to the top of the head, then nourishes a person. You have to surrender, then the energy can rise.

"As you grow and this nourishment expands in you, your reaction to outside situations can change. You are no longer limited by the low level of energy you previously had, or by the tensions that formerly affected your capacity to relate to a situation. The spiritual force becomes a nourishment that frees you."To grow with another human being means to grow in a conscious way and feel the flow of creative energy. This love is mature energy that ripens and allows us to feel the flow between ourselves and other people. It is the thing that simplifies, the thing that allows us to feel the humanity we share with another human being. The simplest expression of spirituality is “God is Love.”

Double breathing exercise

Rudi developed a meditation technique called the Double Breathing Exercise.

The breathing exercise for drawing in cosmic energy is as follows: One draws in the breath high up through the nose and into the heart energy center or chakra. As one starts the breath into the heart, one swallows in the throat and tries to feel the swallow travel down to the heart chakra. The swallow is to release tension in the throat chakra and allow energy to expand there. After swallowing, one continues to inhale breath into the heart center until the lungs are filled to their maximum capacity. The breath is held in the heart chakra for about the count of ten. This time count may become longer as strength is gained in the breathing.

During the time when the breath is held, one brings their mental concentration to the heart chakra and asks to surrender and tries to feel very deeply inside the heart center. One must ask into the very core of one's being, or deeply into the subconscious, to surrender to and receive the cosmic energy.

After the breath has been held for the count of ten, one exhales one-fifth of the breath and inhales again, bringing the energy and the concentration to the energy center just below the navel. The breath is retained in the navel chakra for about the count of ten and then exhaled very slowly.

This double breathing to heart and navel chakras may be repeated from eight to ten times in a half-hour period or about every three minutes. One should think of the breath as energy and develop the sensitivity to feel deep expansion of energy and to let the breathing be governed by that sensitivity as one's strength and capacity increase.

When one is not doing the double breathing exercise, one should breathe into the navel chakra slowly, hold the breath for a few moments, and then exhale very slowly. If one feels an energy sensation in the navel or sex chakra, one should bring their attention to the tip of the spine and rock slowly from side to side on the base of the spine. This breaks up tension and allows the energy to rise up the spine to the top of the head.

When one begins to do this exercise, one's sensitivity may not be on the deeper energy levels. At first, one may not be able to feel definite energy sensations. This does not mean that the energy is not flowing through those channels, but that one has not yet developed the sensitivity to feel it.

When energy (kundalini) begins to rise from its dormant state, various spontaneous body movements sometimes occur. These may be uncontrolled body spasms and vibrations or heat. Also, as the kundalini force passes the throat energy center, the head may move back and forth rapidly. All these movements and indeed any experience must be surrendered to totally. There is no harm or danger in these movements as they are deep, healthful tension releases.

The kundalini energy gradually rising to the head over a period of time, becomes stronger and stronger, and eventually brings enlightenment.

At first, you can only work a half-hour to an hour each day. This refined energy can only be absorbed slowly; trying to do so faster only builds tension.


Current teachers of Rudi's work include:

Beau Buchanan,
Dean Gitter, John Mann, Steven Ott (Swami Khecaranatha), Stuart Perrin, Jim Putorti (Sri Shambhavananda), Bruce Rubin, J.Michael Shoemaker (Swami Chetananda) ,Bob Sink,Lar Short,Faith Stone (Laxmi)



*"Spiritual Cannibalism", by Swami Rudrananda (ISBN 0-915801-07-8)
*"Behind the Cosmic Curtain", by Swami Rudrananda (ISBN 0-961347-70-8)
*"Rudi: In His Own Words", by Swami Rudrananda (ISBN 0-915801-20-5)
*"Rudi: Entering Infinity", by Swami Rudrananda (ISBN 0-915801-89-2)


*"Rudi: 14 Years With My Teacher", by John Mann (ISBN 0-915801-04-3)
*"Rudi And The Green Apple", by Faith (Laxmi) Stone (ISBN 1-888386-01-0)

Publication notes

"Spiritual Cannibalism" was written by Rudi in 1973, and published by Links Books in New York.

Since that time, two newer editions of "Spiritual Cannibalism" have been published. The second edition was published by Overlook Press in Woodstock, New York in 1978, by the Nityananda Institute, and the third edition was published by Rudra Press, Cambridge, MA, 1990. Rudra Press is the publishing arm of the Nityananda Institute, which is headed by J.Michael Shoemaker (Swami Chetanananda). The original text was completely rearranged, and a total of 135 sentences were omitted from the newer versions.Swami Rudrananda. "Spiritual Cannibalism". Overlook Press, Woodstock, New York, 1978, Second Edition.] Swami Rudrananda. "Spiritual Cannibalism". Rudra Press, Cambridge, MA 1990, Third Edition.]

ee also

*Franklin Jones (Adi Da) - former student from 1964 to 1968.


External links

* [ Rudi Movie videos on YouTube]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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