Fr. Henri Le Saux, who took the name of Abhishiktananda (the Bliss of Christ)

Henri Le Saux was born on the 30th August, 1910 at St. Briac in Brittany.

He entered the Benedictine monastery at the age of 19 and took his final vows on Ascension Day 30th May 1935.

Ordained priest on the Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle of India 21 December 1935.

Fr Henri Le Saux sailed to India on 26 July, 1948 and arrived in India on 15th August.

March 21, 1950, on the feast of St. Benedict he and Fr Jules Monchanin settled at Shantivanam (Forest of Peace), and soon built a chapel in the style of a South Indian Hindu temple.This was the birth of Saccidananda Ashram – Saccidananda (Being, Consciousness, Bliss) The Ashram of the Holy Trinity. He took the name Swami Abhishiktananda.

He finally left Shantivanam on 21 March 1968, to live in his hermitage in Uttarkashi in the north of India, giving Shantivanam over to Dom Bede Griffiths.

An Ecumenical monastic initiation (Sannyasa Diksha)  took place in the Ganges on the 30th June, 1973 when his disciple Marc took sannyasa diksha and received the name  of  Swami Ajatananda ("The Bliss of the Unborn"). Swami Abhishiktananda (Henri Le Saux) was assisted by Swami Chidananda Saraswati (President of the Divine Life Society, Sivananda Ashram)  in this Ecumenical Sannyasa Diksha.

After a heart attack Swami Abhishiktananda was transported to the clinic in Indore run by Franciscan nuns. He remained there until his death on 7 December 1973


"The Spirit blows where he wills. He calls from within, he calls from without. May his chosen ones never fail to attend to his call! In the desert or the jungle, just as much as in the world, the danger is always to fix one’s attention upon oneself. For the wise man, who has discovered his true Self, there is no longer either forest or town, clothes or nakedness, doing or not-doing. He has the freedom of the Spirit, and through him the Spirit works as he wills in this world, using equally his silence and his speech, his solitude and his presence in society. Having passed beyond his ‘own’ self, his ‘own’ life, his ‘own’ being and doing, he finds bliss and peace in the Self alone, the only real Self, the parama-atman. This is the true ideal of the sannyasi.”

Taken from: The Further Shore, Delhi (ISPCK), 1975; reprinted with addition of The Upanishads and the Advaitic Experience and poems, 1984; reprinted in 1997, p.16.


 "...Dialogue about doctrines will be all the more fruitful when it is rooted in a real spiritual experience at depth and when each one understands that diversity does not mean disunity, once the Centre of all has been reached"...

Taken from: Saccidananda: A Christian Approach to Advaitic Experience, Delhi (ISPCK), 1974 (revised version of: Sagesse hindoue, mystique chrétienne, Paris, 1965); new edition, 1984; reprinted in 1997, p. xiii.


"...As long as man attempts to seize and hold God in his words and concepts, he is embracing a mere idol."... 

Taken from: Saccidananda, op. cit., p. 5. 


"... God is only known and possessed when the self has been finally left behind. The only way to this abandonment of self is the way of love, and for that very reason love is the supreme commandment and the summing up of the whole Gospel."

Taken from: Saccidananda, op. cit., p. 7. 


"...The Bible speaks of God as a 'consuming fire' and equally the contemplative tradition of India describes the knowledge of God in a similar fashion. When a man has once even glimpsed it, it is all up with him. He can no longer rest content with the world of signs; he has to plunge himself into the Flame."

Taken from: Saccidananda, op. cit., p. 8.

The above mentioned quotations from the books of Swami Abhishiktananda are reproduced here with the kind permission of the Abhishiktananda Centre for Interreligious Dialogue (Delhi Brotherhood Society) who holds the copyright. Official website:






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