I was browsing a book entitled "Meditations and Mantras" by a Swami Vishnu-Devananda - 3rd edition 1995. Published by Om Lotus Publishing. It is connected to the Swami Sivananda centre. There is a section at the end on sounds experienced during meditation.That section is one page long. I recognized the final paragraph. It is a word for word repeat of a section from The Voice of the Silence - "the first sound is like the nightingale's sweet voice chanting a song...etc". 

In the Swami's book that passage is uncredited. That is I can find no reference to the Voice. The entire paragraph is near 100% plagiarism.

The entire end section of the book is said to be drawn from Sivananda's own book "Concentration and Meditation". I've not followed up the reference.

Plagiarism isnt an interesting topic to me. 

What is interesting to me, is that a section of the Voice of the Silence has entered the Sivananda yoga tradition and,as it is uncredited in Devananda's book, i presume most Sivananda devotees may not know the true origin of this passage. It may be credited in Sivananda's book, but even if it were, it is still uncredited in Devananda's book from what I can see.

Has anyone located an original Hindu/Buddhist presentation of this section of HPB's Voice? With the same sounds being detailed at each stage.

It is presumably possible that HPB and Sivananda/Devananda drew on an original sanskrit source, though the word for word similarity suggests otherwise.

Does anyone know of any studies on Theosophical influences on Sivananda?

On one hand I am bemused. On the other, it is slightly worrying.


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to answer one of my own questions, i see Daniel Caldwell noted a possible source:


though, to voice my real concern. which does not concern HPB specifically. If Devananda drew in uncritically, or unknowingly, a non-Traditional Hindu source into his work, it seems to point to a certain literary and constructed quality and an inauthenticity. But, once one goes down this path, where will it end?


I am not too worried about this. After all, Buddhism is (another) Hindu heterodoxy. Also, HPB drew on many religions to create her version of Theosophy. I expect I may be the only one to believe this. :-)


I asked a friend, who happens to be a Sadhguru, about some Buddhist text being absorbed somewhere into Hinduism, corrupting it/Hinduism. The answer I got was

"In Hinduism one has to remember that the Historical Buddha was (1) viewed as an incarnation of Vishnu and (2) was a "reformer". The Buddha was against the so called "Caste System" which was good because the Caste System is not really based in Vedic Scriptures. So I would not think that including teachings of The Buddha would be corrupting "Hinduism".

just fyi.  It is brief but to the point.

Peace - John

(edit to correct 'SatGuru' to Sadhguru)


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