In his extraordinary book Guru and Disciple, Swami Abhishiktananda gives a vivid and magnificent account of his meeting with Sri Gnanananda Giri, an Advaitic sage whom he met at his ashram in Tamil Nadu. He regarded this encounter as one of the high points of his life in India, for it was at that time that he recognized Sri Gnanananda as his guru. He spoke of the retreat with him as days of grace, "days of peace and fulfilment... when one was conscious of living at a spiritual depth in which the whole world of outward appearance has been left behind and one has come close to what is Real." Indeed, he received from his guru the purest teaching of a jnani-which was none other than the timeless message of the Upanishads: Behind the appearance of the phenomenal ego is the Ultimate Reality, the eternal Self of All, which can be directly realized.
Guru and Disciple has been praised by many as a classic and as being one of the most remarkable introductions in recent times to the importance of meditation-dhyana and the essential nature of the spiritual master-the guru tattva-of which Sri Gnanananda Giri was the perfect embodiment.
"The country at large, the world abroad, came to know of Sri Gnanananda only when a Frenchman, a Benedictine monk, Swami Abhishiktananda, wrote his classic book Guru and Disciple, in which he presented a beautiful and moving picture of the Saint and the depth of his teaching. I personally consider this book, Guru and Disciple, to be one of the major spiritual documents of the present century, far superior to many books from the West that have appeared of late." - Sri M.P. Pandit, author and philosopher.