His attraction to India and her spiritual riches started as early as 1934. He came in contact with Fr. Jules Monchanin, who was then working as a village priest in Tamil Nadu, and who was longing for a contemplative life in the way of Indian asceticism or sannyasa. Fr. Le Saux was finally given permission by his abbot to go to India in 1948.
A profoundly decisive event in his life was his meeting with Sri Ramana Maharshi. Swami Abhishiktananda spent several weeks and months in the caves of Arunachala between 1950 and 1955 in deep meditation. He then made several pilgrimages to the Himalayas, to which he was strongly attracted. In 1971 a French seminarian, Marc Chaduc, came to meet him after a long correspondence, and Abhishiktananda found in him a disciple.
In 1973 Abhishiktananda suffered a heart attack on the road in Rishikesh, which he survived for only six months. He described this experience as a great “spiritual adventure,” a “state beyond life and death,” an “awakening.” Fr. Le Saux had come to experience Christ within the context of Advaita, the Vedanta of non-duality, and, after overcoming the tensions brought about in him by the differences between the two traditions, he found an inner integration.
Henri Le Saux (Swami Abhishiktananda) was the author of many books including Saccidananda: A Christian Experience of Advaita, The Secret of Arunachala, and The Further Shore. A collection of several of his essays appeared posthumously as The Eyes of Light.
A unique biography of his life, A Christian Pilgrim in India: The Spiritual Journey of Swami Abhishiktananda (Henri Le Saux) was written by Harry Oldmeadow . Other World Wisdom books containing contributions from Swami Abhishiktananda are:
World Wisdom books about Henri Le Saux (Swami Abhishiktananda):
Contributions in World Wisdom books by Henri Le Saux (Swami Abhishiktananda)