Swami Vidtatmanandaji taught Kaivalya Upanisad to 30 of us in a 3-day retreat during the summer of 2005 in a serene surrounding in Ben Lomond, about 50 miles south of San Francisco. Listening to him so clearly reveal the nature of Atma, the self, I could not but wish more people had the fortune of seeing the incredible truth about themselves, directly from Swamiji. How clear he is about the subject, how skilled in handling words to convey the vision, how diligently he works to convey the subtle through years of teaching experience.
So I thought that if more people cannot listen to him directly, surely we can capture the unfolding of this beautiful Upanisad in the form of a book. Not just any book, but one that tries to convey the live teaching of a Vedantic master. All the more, since there are so few English language books by him. It has taken some time, but I am happy that the tree of this sankalpa is finally bearing fruit.
This has been a wonderful team effort. First, half the audience signed-up to transcribe the audio tapes of the different classes. Then, my job was to meld it all together. In this, I am particularly grateful to Lisa Curren, Kumud Singhal and Phid Simons for the painstaking job of transcription, of obtaining accuracy of Sanskrit words and to ensure that the syntax is good and sentences flow well. Despite best efforts, some flaws may have been left in, for which I ask for the reader's forgiveness and feedback.
My salutations to the entire teacher-student lineage that has enabled this book, and prayers that many will find it worthwhile in the quest for Self knowledge.
- Kaivalya Upanishad