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viernes, 20 de mayo de 2011

Shiva Shakti Aaraadhanaa (Worship of Shiva and Shakti): With Roman Transliteration




exoticindia.es

Brighter Than a Thousand Suns



Availability: Sólo Uno en la acción




Brighter Than a Thousand Suns


Código del Artículo: WL50


Water Color Painting On Cotton Fabric



16.0 inches X 26.0 inches


Precio:Euro 80.00


Descripción


A long war had been waged between the gods, led by Indra, and the anti-gods, whose king Mahisha won the war and established himself in heaven. Then, guided by Shiva and Vishnu, they concentrated their powers which came forth in the form of fire. The flames united into a blazing sphere which took the shape of goddess Durga.


With her golden body blazing with the splendour of a thousand suns, seated on her lion vehicle, Durga is one of the most spectacular of all personifications of Cosmic energy. Devi, in her 'saumya' or benevolent form, looks serene and powerful. In her numerous hands she holds a mace, a sword, lotus, bow and an arrow, a trident and a conch shell. Her many weapons underscore the idea that the goddess incorporates the power of all the deities. Dressed in a green blouse and a red saree, she looks a perfect picture of kindness. Adorned in jewellery and an elaborate crown, she is beautiful. The crown and jewellery studded with precious stones points to her supreme status in the Hindu Pantheon.


The background is mountainous, which is well thought of since the word ‘Durga’, itself means insurmountable, and this is why too most of the Devi’s temples are built atop hills.


Gods and Goddess of India: Durga



Gods and Goddess of India: Durga


Código del Artículo: NAB080




Hardcover (Edición: 1996)


Books for All


ISBN 81-7386-144-7


Tamaño: 4.5" x 5.5"


Páginas: 115


Precio: Euro 9.91


Descripción


Goddess Durga, the most popular Goddess in the Hindu belief, is described to be also the most ferocious female deity. She is the slayer of the most deadly demons and the protector of the weakest. What made her character acquire such ferocity? Why does she have the special worship at the time of the Navaratra? Why do the devout especially invoke her blessings at the change of season? Not only answer to these questions are given in a most logical way in this book but it also contains the Hindi/Sanskrit texts and their Hindi ? English translations of all the popular hymns, prayers etc; devoted to this grand Goddess.


About the Author:


Dr. B.K. Chaturvedi was born in a village, Holipura (Agra, U.P.) on 3rd August 1945 in a reputed family, he had his education in Allahabad (M.Sc.) and Bangalore. Having served for a couple of year in HMT, he is now a freelance author, journalist and poet in New Delhi for about two decades. He has many articles/ poems / books published in both Hindi and English to his credit. Prominent among them is mattered verse translation in English the famous epic of modern Hindi: Kamayani. He has also rendered ' Srimadbhagawat Gita' and ' Sriramcharitamanas' into English. A prolific writer, he often writes for TV and Radio.


Of Related Interest:






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Durga Pooja (Miniature Painting)


Durga as Jaya (Miniature Painting)










Ista Devi Durga (Madhubani Painting on Hand Made Paper treated with Cow Dung)


Abhinavagupta’s Hermeneutics of the Absolute Anuttaraprakriya An Interpretation of his Paratrisika Vivarana



Abhinavagupta’s Hermeneutics of the Absolute Anuttaraprakriya An Interpretation of his Paratrisika Vivarana


Código del Artículo: NAC074




Hardcover (Edición: 2011)


D.K. Printworld, Pvt. Ltd


ISBN 8124605726


Tamaño: 9.6 inch X 7.6 inch


Páginas: 346


Weight of the Book: 860 gms


Precio: Euro 41.93


Descripción


From the Jacket


The Paratrisika Vivarana by the great Kashmiri philosopher and mystic Abhinavagupta is an extensive commentary on the Paratrisika Tantra, and it is one of the most profound texts, not only of non-dualist Kashmir Saivism, but of Indian philosophy and mysticism in general. The present work attempts to make this difficult text accessible, by culling out the important themes and offering an interpretation. The main focus is on the understanding of the Absolute (Anuttara) and the ways to realize it. The central theme of mantra also leads to a mysticism of language with its philosophical implications. All these reflections and practices are inscribed in the theory that “everything is related to the totality”, “every part contains the whole of reality” (sarvam sarvatmakam). It is this holistic vision of Abhinavagupta, based on the Tantras, which makes this work so relevant in our times of fragmented aspects of life and knowledge in search of integration. No doubt, in the view of the Tantra and of Abhinavagupta, language and mantra provide the key.


This fascinating book is an important contribution to studies and interpretations on Kashmir Saivism, its spirituality and philosophy, and on Abhinavagupta in particular.


Dr. Bettina Baumer, indologist from Austria and Professor of Religious Studies (Visiting Professor at several universities), living and working in Varanasi since 1967, is the author and editor of a number of books and over 50 research articles. Her main fields of research are non-dualistic Kashmir Saivism, Indian aesthetics, temple architecture and religious traditions of Orissa, and comparative mysticism. She has been Coordinator of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Varanasi, and Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. She has translated important Sanskrit texts into German and English.


Dr. Andre Padoux, Paris, is one of the foremost scholars on Tantra, Kashmir Saivism, and mantrasastra.


Foreword


This study by Bettina Bäumer is important and welcome because it deals with what may well be considered as the very core — metaphysically and mystically — of Abhinavagupta’s teaching, and of what he still can tell and teach us. Its importance is, of course and foremost, due to the fact that it deals with a work by Abhinavagupta who — as Bettina Baumer forcefully says in her introduction — is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable, “extraordinary,” thinkers of India — perhaps the most exceptional one by the breadth of his interests and talents, his acumen and profoundness. He was also a master of Sanskrit — a Sanskrit sometimes difficult to decipher, because both of an idiosyncratic style and of the subtlety of the thought it expresses — and Sanskrit has the pride of place in the Paratrisikavivarana (PTV) several of whose main conceptions bearing on linguistic- phonetic elements: phonemes, syllables (varna, aksara), or mantras. Typically Indian, indeed, in this respect, was Abhinavagupta. For no other culture than the Indian one has given the same importance to speech or language — here in the form of Sanskrit — speculating endlessly during centuries on its constitutive elements, its organisation, uses and powers. Not by chance did the first ever systematic — one could say scientific — description of a language, Panini’s grammar, appear in India.


Such metaphysical-linguistic speculations (linked to ritual) are essential in the PTV, more than half of the thirty-six stanzas of the Paratrisika (PT) concerning the subject. For the PT, the path to the Supreme, anuttara, to liberation, is the spiritual-mental, cum bodily and ritual, experience and mastery of a mantra, the hrdayabija SAUH. Very typically Tantric (we may note) are the PT and the vivarana in this global approach; for if the condition aimed at by the adept is spiritual, transcendental, it is experienced, ‘lived,’ mentally and corporally by an incarnate person, living in this world, an adept or devotee performing rites. These are not mere accessory concrete elements to a purely spiritual quest. The quest, surely, is spiritual — and this is the fundamental aspect which is the theme of this hermeneutical study. But it is the quest of a human being, not of a purely spiritual entity. Hence the importance of concrete elements, linguistic or ritual, uttered, visualised, or both intellectually and bodily acted out — the linguistic elements, when they are mantras, being themselves ritually “extracted,” then animated and put into action by rites which, being Tantric, consist as much in mental visualisations as in actions. What takes place is the transformative total experience of a living being.


One might, in this connection, note that what the Goddess asks for in the first stanza of the PT is how khecarisamatã is to attain: how to penetrate, that is, in kha, in the central mystical void within the heart. This is a spiritual, mystical, process. But, in early Tantras such as the Brahmayamala/Picumata, one meets Khecaris, which are a class of Yoginis moving in the space who can bestow supernatural powers. Later, the Krama tradition saw the creation of the world as being due to four forms of divine power imagined as swirling wheels of energy (sakticakra) whose movements create and animate not only the cosmos but also the senses and the mind of human beings, the highest of these being khecari, a conception taken over by Abhinavagupta as appears in the gloss on khecarisamatam of the PTV (pp. 39 ff. of the Kashmir Series edition). If khecari can be in a state of equilibrium (samatta), she is nevertheless made up of the senses and their objects. She is characterised by “the fluctuations of passion, anger, and so forth” (saiva khecari kamakrodhadirupataya vaiamye1ia laksyate). Her equilibrium therefore is charged with power. It is not a peaceful calm, but the intensity of dominated power. This is what a Tantric adept is looking for. The Tantric liberated person is a siddha: transcending this world but also dominating it. Abhinavagupta, when he is described as a living person (apocryphally, of course, but not without plausibility), is not shown as an ascetic world-renouncing sadhu, but on the contrary as enjoying many worldly pleasures. He was an aesthetician; an aesthete too, we may presume. The world of Tantra is a world of passion. Passions dominated, of course, but passions made use of to reach what is beyond them, but includes them. The Tantric case as a way of life is a case of particular, extreme, intensity. In this respect it differs from other traditions which are also ways of life. We may also note here in passing that all philosophies are ways of life, as was underlined by Pierre Hadot (who I was happy to see quoted in the introduction).


Am I here contradicting the main theme of this excellent book? Of course, not! I merely take the opportunity of this preface to evoke some aspects of the Tantric domain I happened to study. My approach differs from Bettina Bäumer’s more on details or orientation than on essentials. Ours is an old friendship. I have known Bettina Bäumer when she was still a young scholar. We worked together for some time in a research unit of the CNRS. We have remained friends and colleagues ever since, exploring, each in his/her own way, the same domain, treading in some respects the same not always easy path. We have both worked with Swami Lakshman Joo, I however much more briefly than Bettina, never being as near to him as she was and still is. My somewhat different approach to some problems does not prevent me from fully appreciating the present work. We differ but sometimes converge: this is the case here. Her hermeneutical approach of the PTV is, I feel, very fruitful both in setting out and clarifying Abhinavagupta’s meaning, and in bringing out what it can still say to us. In this respect, her approach will prove very useful. I confess to being all the more ready to commend this approach, and the fact that it concerns Abhinavagupta’s thought, because Indian Philosophers of today seem to be either fascinated by Sankara’s advaita as if it were the acme of Indian philosophical thought, which, whatever its merits, I believe it is not, or, when they develop a philosophical stance of their own, to be mere epigones of the analytical thought the British have inherited from Vienna — a less ‘philosophical’ form of thought being hard to imagine.


To come back to the PTV, Abhinavagupta’s emphasis on gnosis, on the intensity of immersion, on the absorption in the Supreme, is not to be doubted. The ultimate teaching of the PTV is clearly the transcending of ritual (to use the title of the last chapter of this book). One may perhaps ask oneself whether Abhinavagupta wasn’t, in this respect, overemphasising this aspect of the PT’s teaching. This is possible, but all the less certain since already such earlier Tantras as the Jayarathayamala, to which Abhinavagupta often refers, notably in the Tanträloka, prescribe the adept to respect, in the social field, the rules of the varnasramadharma. He had all the more reasons to do so since in his time Tantra had ceased being the practice of small transgressive ascetic groups (were they ever those of larger groups? in spite of its pervasion of the Hindu world, Tantra was always a matter of active minorities), but were the secret private practice of well-established, socially conservative grhasthas. (Tantra was never socially transgressive — quite the contrary). As such it has survived during centuries, marked innumerable aspects of Indian culture, however, in the particular case of the Trika, remaining only as a metaphysical system (mystical, too), its ritual aspect having disappeared. Tantric rites and practices went on surviving and survive, sometimes very actively, but in other traditions, for other cults, among other groups, in other centres (or countries). We go on reading the Tantraloka, but nobody would dream (or be able, and still less qualified for) performing the rites described in the thirty odd chapters of this text which follow the first five where Abhinavagupta (as we are reminded here) proclaimed the equal usefulness and uselessness of ritual practice. But, ritual being transcended, what remains, on the metaphysical and the mystical plane, expounded in several passages of the PTV, is precisely that which can say something to us, be of some — essential! — use in this present world. By translating and interpreting this text over 1000 years of history into a completely different context is surely hazardous. It is a difficult work, where subtlety, ‘acribie,’ empathy are needed — and are found here. Bäumer’s “double adhikara,” as she calls it: to have worked with Swami Lakshman Joo in “a unique personal union” and to be well trained in European Indology, made her specially apt for this work.


In her introduction, Bettina Bäumer hopes that her “intercultural work in hermeneutic” on the PTV will not only make this text accessible but also have its relevance for our present world: she has, I believe, perfectly succeeded in doing so.


Contents



Foreword by Andre Padoux vii
Acknowledgements xi
Abbreviations xvii
Introduction 1
The Text and the Commentary 2
The Tantra 5
Abhinavagupta 7
Vivarana 10
Anuttaraprakriya 12
Abhinavagupta’s Method 15
Addressees of the Vivarana : Prayojana and Adhikara 17
The Context: The Place of the Text in the Tradition 20
Hermeneutics and Tantric Exegesis 26
The Problem of Translation 28
The State of Scholarship on the Paratrisika Vivarana 31
The Authorship of the Laghuvrtti 33
The Spread of Anuttara Trika/Parakrama 35
My Approach 38
Text Editions and Translations Used 40
1 The Tntrance Gates: Mangalaslokas (Benedictory Verses) 43
2 The Supreme Dialogue 57
Guru-sisya Sambandha 63
3 Anuttara: The Unsurpassable and its Meanings 67
Anuttara as Bestowing the Perfection of Totality: Kaulikasiddhidam 79
Immediacy: Explanation of Sadyah 83
Anuttara and the Interconnectedness of all Things 84
The Sutra: uttarasyapi-anuttaram
4 Khecarisamata: Harmony with the Power of Consciousness Moving-in-the-Void 91
5 The Three Grammatical Persons and Trika 101
6 The Heart – the Resting Place of I-Consciousness 113
7 From the Absolute to Manifestation: Anuttara to Kaulikasrsti 125
The Two Sections 125
Pratibha: Illuminating Insight 132
Pratibha, Grace and Spiritual Practice 135
Nirvikalpa Samvid – The Basis of Thought and Language 137
8 Levels of Manifestation: Emanation of Phonemes and Tattvas 141
Emanation of Phonemes and Tattvas in Verses 5-9 144
A Commentary on ‘a’ 146
A Note on Method 149
The Kancukas or Limiting Powers and their Seed-Syllables 151
The Five Brahmas 156
The Universality of Sound: Nada and Svara 157
The Questions of the Plurality of Languages 161
The Four Levels of the Word (Vak) 165
The Universe of Language: The Language of the Universe Bindu 178
Visarga 179
The Goddess Alphabet: Matrka and Malini 183
The Specular Nature of Reality: Bimba-Pratibimba 189
Concluding Verses 197
9 The Core Mantra: Hrdayabija, The Seed of the Heart 201
Decoding the Mantra 206
The Means of Entry into Brahman: Pravesopaya 213
Commentary on Verses 11-18 217
The Relation of Time to Spiritual Powers 220
Erotic Symbolism 226
10 Transcending Ritual 229
Knowledge Substitutes Ritual 234
The Fruit of the Practice 255
The Heart, the Resting Place of All 259
Conclusion 263
Abhinavagupta’s Personal Conclusion 263
General Conclusion 267
Appendices 277
1. Verses of the Paratrisika 277
2. List of Quotations in the Paratrisika Vivarana281
3. Stotra Fragments of Abhinavagupta quoted in the Vivarana289
4. Comparison between the PT Versions of Vivarana and Laghuvrtti291
5. Abhinavagupta: Anuttarastika – Text and Translation 296
6. Bibliography301
7. Index/Glossary317



Shiva Shakti Aaraadhanaa (Worship of Shiva and Shakti): With Roman Transliteration



Shiva Shakti Aaraadhanaa (Worship of Shiva and Shakti): With Roman Transliteration


Código del Artículo: NAC015


por Madhu Varshney

Paperback


Richa Prakashan


ISBN 8187062509


Tamaño: 8.5 Inch X 5.5 Inch


Páginas: 287 (Illustrated Throughout In B/W)


Weight of the Book: 315 gms


Precio: Euro 11.43


Back of the Book


Madhu Varshney has post graduate degrees in Hindi Literature and in Economics. In her undergraduate studies, she specialized in Literature - Hindi, English and Sanskrit. She is a very active member of the Indian community in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. She was born on August 8, 1945, in Sarai Tarin (U.P.) Dist. Moradabad, India. She has three children, Praveen, Peeyush and Vandana, six grandchildren and lives in Vancouver with her husband, Hari Varshney.


She has been a president of Vishva Hindu Parishad of B.C. ("VHP") from 200l to 2003. VHP runs the largest Hindu Temple and community center in Vancouver. Prior to that, she was secretary and served as a board member of VHP for several years. She is also a former director, treasurer and secretary of India Club in B.C. Her interest lies in teaching languages, folk songs and dances. She is a Katthak classical dancer. In 1986, she established her folk dance group known as "Indo-Canadian Folk Dance Group" which performs folk dances at various multi-cultural events and Celebrations in greater Vancouver.


Madhu is also a poet and has published a collection of poems, "Bhav-Tarang" by Vishwavidyalaya Prakashan, Varanasi, India. She has another collection of poems being published entitled "Uthatee Hiloren". She has compiled five other religious, spiritual and folk song books namely, "Vedika Havan Paddhati", "Shiva-Shaktee Aaraadhanaa", "Shree Raam Kee Mahaa Mahimaa", "Mahaa Shakti Durgaa Aaraadhanaa" and "Lok Geet Sangrah." Two of these books, "Lok Geet "Sangrah" a collection of folk songs from Northern India and "Vedika Havan Paddhati" containing matters relating to Havan were published in 2005 while the other two books, "Shree Raam Kee Mahaa Mahimaa" and "Mahaa Shakti Durgaa Aaraadhanaa" are being published in 2006.


Contents


Hindee Varnamaalaa xiv
Mantra 6
Mantra Power9
Mangalaacharanam 10
Ganesha Stuti 15
Sarasvatee Vandanaa 16
Lord Shiva 23
Manifestations of Shiva 27
Shiva-Nataraja 28
Manifestations of Shiva-Nataraja 31
Shiva and Shakti 32
Shiva and Parvati 35
Shiva Mantras and Stotras 41
Mahaa-Mrityunjaya Mantra 42
Mantra Pushpaanjalih 45
Shiva Panchaakshara Stotram 46
Lingaashtakam 49
Rudraashtaka Stuti 53
Rudraashtaka Stotram (meaning) 57
Dvaadasha Jyotirlinga Stuti 62
Shree Dvaadasha Jyotirlinga Chaaleesaa 65
Bilvaashtakam 73
Chidaanandaroopah Shivoaham Shivoaham 75
Daaridraya-dukkha-dahana Shivastotram 77
Atha Shanti-Saarokta Paarthiva-Poojanam 81
Shree Shiva Praatah Smarana Stotram 85
Shree Shiva Chaaleesaa 87
Shree Shivaashtaka 97
Shree Shiva Chaaleesaa (meaning) 100
Atha Shiva Stuti (meaning) 112
Shree Shiva-Ashottara-shata Naamaavalee 118
Shree Durgaa-Ashtottara-shata Naamaavalee 122
Chandee Paatha-Atha Tantroktam Devee-sooktam 127
Om Shree Mahaalakshmyai Namah 132
Mahaa-lakshmyaashtakam 133
Atha Durgaa-Dvaatrimshannaama-Maalaa 136
Prayer to Durgaa 138
Prayer to Mahaa Kaalee 139
Prayer to Mother Bhagawatee140
Shiva Simarana 143
Shivaratri 146
Maha Shivaratri 154
Importance of Rudraaksh 157
Shiva Kaa Shodashopachaara Poojana Tatah 159
Shiva Stuti 161
Shiva Bhajan
Damaroopaanee Shoolapaanee 165
Om Namah Shivaaya 167
Shiva Stuti 169
Karoon Vandanaa Main Umaanaatha Teree 171
Shiva Shankara Ko Jisane Pooja 173
Shiva Praarthanaa 175
Manavaa Nita Japa Shiva-Shiva Naama 177
Shubhakara Shiva Kaa Naama, Sukhakara Shiva Kaa Naama 179
Nataraaja Raaja Namo Namah 181
Om Namah Shivaaya Ko Japa Le 183
Anaathon Ke Naatha, Darshana Do Naatha 185
Hara Hara Hara Hara Mahaadeva 187
Shambhoo Teree Jaya-Jayakaara 189
Mana Shiva Men Aise Ramaa Hai 191
Om Namo Shivaaya, Too Japa Le Mana 195
Mujhe Moha Aura Maayaa Se Shiva Jee Ubaara Lo 199
Om Namah Shivaaya 201
Trikaala-darshee, Triloka-svaamee 203
Dharma Na Jaanoon, Karma Na Jaanoon 205
Maataa Ke Bhajana 207
Ambaa Parameshvaree Akhilaanandeshvaree 207
Aisaa Pyaara Bahaa De Maiyaa 209
Maiyaa Jee Teree Maayaa Aparampaara 213
He Shaarade Maan 215
Maiyaa Ree Teraa Koee Paara Na Paayaa 217
Maan Saba Hai Tumhaare Haathon Men219
Sheron Vaalee Too Maiyaa 223
Ambe Raanee Maan Aadi Bhavaanee 225
Shaaradaa Chaaleesaa 227
Roma-Roma Teraa Naama Pukaare 237
Jaya Lakshmee Kalayaanee 239
Gauravashaalee, Vaibhavashaales, Tujhako Karoon Pranaama 241
Aaratee
Shiva Stuti 243
Aaratee Bhagavaana Brahmaa-Vishnu-Mahesha Kee 245
Aaratee Shankara Kee 247
Aaratee Saraswatee jee ke 251
Aaratee Maa Durgaa Kee 253
Aaratee Saraswatee jee ke 257
Aaratee Shree Lakshmee jee kee 260
Aaratee Jagadeeshwara jee Kee 263
Praarhanaa 264
Sukhee Base Sansaara 267
Praarthanaa Sabake Bhale Kee 269
Shaanti Praarthana-Prayer for Peace 270 


Spiritual Experiences



Spiritual Experiences


Código del Artículo: NAC017




Paperback (Edición: 2007)


Divine Life Society


ISBN 8170520509


Tamaño: 8.5 Inch X 5.5 Inch


Páginas: 231


Weight of the Book: 260 gms


Precio: Euro 11.43


Descripción


Spiritual Experiences is a publication that tries to portray the aspirant’s perception of the working of his psyche as well as well as the forces of the astral wont Self-realization is the consummation of all experiences and transcends the realm of the mind, and is, therefore, indescribable Yet, adumbrations have been attempted herein, through the medium of words, to describe the super sublime state of cosmic consciousness, and of the other preceding phases of occult perception.


The work has been divided into twelve chapter& The first and second relate to the nature and states of consciousness, and cosmic consciousness, respectively. The third, chapter deals with the various experiences that the aspirant has to pass through in the path of Meditation, and in the fourth are continued the different phases of experience found in Samadhi in its various forms and attained through the various path of Sadhana Chapters five, six and seven discuss the numerous psychic powers attained by the Yogi, while in chapter eight are given the characteristics of spiritual progress Chapters nine and ten deal with the experiences of the Jnana Yogi and the state of liberation, respectively In the last two chapters are ‘ .given the experiences of some of the South Indian and Christian mystics.


We hope that the book will be found useful to all those who treat the spiritual path.

Sri Swami Sivananda

Born on the 8th September, 1887, in the illustrious family of Sage Appayya Dikshitar and several other owned saints and savants, Sri Swami Sivananda had a natural flair for a life devoted to the study and practice of Vedanta. Added to this was an inborn eagerness to serve all 2nd an innate feeling of unity with all mankind.



His passion for service drew him to the medical career; and soon he gravitated to where he thought that his service as most needed. Malaya claimed him. He had earlier been editing a health journal and wrote extensively on health problems. He discovered that people needed right knowledge most of all; dissemination of that knowledge he espoused as his own mission.


It was divine dispensation and the blessing of God upon mankind that the doctor of body and mind renounced his career and took to a life of renunciation to qualify for ministering to the soul of man. He settled down at Rishikesh in 1924, practised intense austerities and shone as a great Yogi, saint, sage and Jivanmukta.


In 1932 Swami Sivananda started the Sivanandashram. In 1936 was born The Divine Life Society. In 1948 the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy was organised. Dissemination of spiritual knowledge and training of people in Yoga and Vedanta were their aim and object. In 1950 Swamiji undertook a lightning tour of India and Ceylon. In 1953 Swamiji convened a ‘World Parliament of Religions’. Swamiji is the author of over 300 volumes and has disciples all over the world, belonging to all nationalities, religions and creeds. To read Swamiji’s works is to drink at the Fountain of Wisdom Supreme. On 14th July, 1963 Swamiji entered Mahasamadhi.


What Life Has Taught Me


It was, I should say, by a flash that I came to the conclusion early in my life that human life is not complete with its observable activities and that there is something above human perception controlling and directing all that is visible. I may boldly say that I began to perceive the realities behind what we call life on earth. The unrest and feverish anxiety that characterise man’s ordinary existence here bespeak a higher goal that he has to reach one day or the other.


V/hen man gets entangled in selfishness, greed, lust and hatred; he naturally forgets what is beneath his own skin. Materialism and scepticism reign supreme. He gets irritated by small things and begins to fight. In short, man is miserable. The doctor’s profession gave me ample evidence of the sufferings of this world. I found concrete proofs of the great saying: “Sarvam duhkham vivekinah. “ I was blessed with a new vision and perspective. I was deeply convinced that there must be a place—a sweet home of pristine glory and purity and divine splendour—where absolute security, perfect peace and happiness can be enjoyed eternally. In conformity with the dictum of the Sruti, I renounced the world, and felt that I belonged to the whole world.


A course of severe self-discipline and penance endowed me with enough strength to move unscathed amidst the vicissitudes of the world-phenomena. And I began to feel the great good it would be to humanity if I could share this new vision with one and all. I called my instrument of work The Divine Life Society.


Side by side, the stirring events since the advent of the twentieth century had their effect upon all keen-minded people. The honors of past and possible wars and the consequent suffering touched the minds of people. It was not difficult to see that the pains of mankind were mostly brought on by its own deeds. To awaken man to his errors and follies and to make him mend his ways, so that he may utilise his life for attaining worthier ends, was felt to be the urgent need of the time. As if in answer to this need, I saw the birth of the Divine Life Mission, with its task of rescuing man from the forces of the lower nature and raising him to the consciousness of his true relation to the cosmos. This is the work of rousing the religious consciousness, an awareness of the essential Divinity of man.


Not by mere argument or discussion can religion be taught or understood. Not by precepts or canons of teaching alone can you make one religious. It requires a peculiar atonement with one’s vast environment, an ability to feel the deepest as well as the vastest, a genuine sympathy with creation. Religion is living, not speaking or showing. I hold that whatever be one’s religion, whoever be the prophet adored, whichever be the language or the country, whatever be one’s age or sex, one can be religious provided the true implication of that hallowed term TAPAS, which essentially means any form of self-control, is made capable of being practised in daily life to the extent possible for one in the environment and under the circumstances in which one is placed.


I hold that real religion is the religion of the heart. The heart must he purified first, Truth, love and purity are the basis of real religion. Control over the baser nature, conquest of the mind, cultivation of virtues, service of humanity, goodwill, fellowship and amity constitute the fundamentals of true religion. These ideals are included in the principles of The Divine Life Society. And I try to teach them mostly by example which I consider to be weightier than all precepts.


The modem thinker has neither the requisite time nor the patience to perform rigorous Tapas and austere religious practices; and many of these are even being relegated to the level of superstition. In order to give the present generation the benefit of real Tapas in the true religious sense, to reveal to them its real significance and to convince them of its meaning and efficacy, I held up my torch of Divine Life, which is a system of religious life suited to one and all, which can be practised by the recluse and the office-goer alike, which can become intelligible to the scholar and the rustic in its different stages and phases. This is a religion which is not other than what is essential to give meaning to the daily duties of the human being. The beauty in ‘Divine Life’ is its simplicity and applicability to the everyday affairs of the ordinary man. It is immaterial whether one goes to the church or the mosque or the Mandir for offering his prayers, for all prayers are heard by the One.


The average seeker after Truth is often deceived by the caprices of his mind. A person who takes to the spiritual path is bewildered before he reaches the end of his journey, and is naturally tempted to relax his efforts halfway. Many are the pitfalls, but those who plod on steadily are sure to reach the goal of life which is universality of being, knowledge and joy. I have laid great emphasis in all my writings upon the discipline of the turbulent senses, conquest of the mind, purification of the heart, and attainment of inner peace and strength, suited to the different stages in evolution.


I have learnt that it is the foremost duty of man to learn to give, give in charity, give in plenty, give with love, give without any expectation of consequence, because one does not lose anything by giving—on the other hand the giver is given back a thousand fold. Charity is not merely an act of offering certain material goods, for charity is incomplete without charity of disposition, charity of feeling, charity of understanding, knowledge and attitude to others. Charity is self-sacrifice in c4fferent levels of one’s being. Charity in the highest sense I understand to be equivalent to Jnana-Yajna.


Similarly I consider that goodness of being and doing constitutes the rock-bottom of one’s life. By goodness I mean the capacity to feel with others and live and feel as others do, and be in a position to act so that no one is hurt by the act. Goodness is the face of Godliness. I think that to be good in reality, in the innermost recesses of one’s heart, is not easy, though it may appear to be simple as a teaching. It is one of the hardest of things on earth, if only one would be honest to oneself.


There is no physical world for me. What I see I see as the glorious manifestation of the Almighty. I rejoice when I behold the Purusha with thousands of heads and thousands of eyes and feet, that Sahasrasirsha Purusha! When I serve persons I see not the persons but Him of whom they are the limbs. I learn to be humble before the Mighty Being whose breath we breathe and whose joy we enjoy. I do not think there is anything more to teach or to learn. Here is the cream of religion, the quintessence of philosophy that which anyone really needs.


The philosophy I hold is neither a dreamy, subjective, world-negating doctrine of illusion, nor a crude world-affirming theory of sense-ridden humanism. It is the fact of the divinity of the universe, the immortality of the soul of man, the unity of creation with the Absolute that I feel as the only doctrine worth considering. As the one Brahman appears as the diverse universe in all the planes of its manifestation, the aspirant has to pay his homage to the lower manifestations before he steps into the higher. Sound health, clear understanding, deep knowledge, a powerful will and moral integrity are all necessary parts of the process of the realisation of the Ideal of humanity as a whole. To adjust, adapt and accommodate, to see good in everything and bring to effective use all the principles of Nature in the process of evolution towards Self-realisation along the path of an integrated adjustment of the human powers and faculties are some of the main factors that go to build up a true philosophy of life. For me philosophy-is not merely a love of wisdom but actual possession of it. In all my writings I have prescribed methods for overcoming and mastering the physical, vital, mental and the intellectual layers of consciousness in order to be able to proceed with the Sadhana for self-perfection. The self-perfected ones are the sarvabhuta-hite ratah.


To behold the Atman in every being or form, to feel Brahman everywhere, at all times, and in all conditions of life, to see, hear, taste and feel everything as the Atman is my creed. To live in Brahman, to melt in Brahman and to dissolve in Brahman is my creed. By dwelling in such union, to utilise the hands, mind, senses and the body for the service of humanity, for singing the Names of the Lord, for elevating the devotees, for giving instructions to sincere aspirants and disseminating knowledge throughout the world, is my creed, if you call it one. To be a cosmic friend and cosmic benefactor, a friend of the poor, the forlorn, the helpless and the fallen is my creed. It is my sacred creed to serve sick persons, to nurse them with care, sympathy and love, to cheer the depressed, to infuse power and joy in all, to feel oneness with each and everyone, and to treat all with equal vision. In my highest creed there are neither peasants nor kings, neither beggars nor emperors, neither males nor females, neither teachers nor students. I love to live, move and have my being in this realm indescribable.


The first step is often the most difficult one. But once it is taken the rest becomes easy. There is a need for more of courage and patience on the part of people. They usually shirk, hesitate and are frightened. All this is due to ignorance of one’s true duty. A certain amount of education and culture is necessary to have a sufficiently clear grasp of one’s position in this world. Our educational system needs an overhauling, for it is now floating on the surface without touching the depths of man. To achieve this, cooperation should come not only from society but also from the Government. Success is difficult without mutual help. The head and heart should go hand in hand, and the ideal and the real should have a close relation. To work with this knowledge is Karma-Yoga. The Lord has declared this truth in the Bhagavad-Gita Gita. I pray that this supreme ideal be actualized in the daily life of every individual, and there be a veritable heaven on earth. This is not merely a wish, - this is a possibility and a fact that cannot be gainsaid. This is to be realised if life is to mean what is ought really to mean.


Contents


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What Life Has Taught Me 6
Chapter One Nature and States of Consciousness
Nature of Consciousness 19
Four Kinds of Consciousness 21
Aspects of Consciousness 25
The Turiya State 27
Chapter Two Cosmic Consciousness
An Analytical Study of Cosmic Consciousness 31
Super Sublime State 32
Western Concept of Cosmic Consciousness 34
Celestial Vision 34
Supreme Awareness 36
Characteristics of Experience 36
Commonsense Approach 37
Appearances Are Questionable 38
Ramacharaka’s Views on Cosmic Consciousness 39
Bucke’s Views 44
A Definite Way to Contact God 45
Physiological Changes 46
The Everlasting Aims 47
Non-dual Consciousness 49
Chapter Three Experiences in Meditation
Common Experiences in Meditation 55
Various Kinds of Vision in Meditation 60
Experience of Jerks 64
Lights in Meditation 64
Anahata Sounds 67
Feeling of Separation from Body and Other Experiences 68
Astral Journey 70
Materialisation 70
Mind Moves 70
Bhuta Ganas 71
Rising from the Seat 71
Divine Light 71
Some Doubts Clarified 72
Guidance on the Path 74
Discomfort During Meditation Explained 77
Chapter Four Samadhi or the State of Super Consciousness
What Is Samadhi? 79
Jada Samadhi and Chaitanya Samadhi 81
Light on the Path of Samadhi 82
The State of Blissful Divine Experience 90
Bhakti Yoga Samadhi 93
Raja Yoga Samadhi 95
How the Yogi Comes Down from Samadhi 101
Jnana Yoga Samadhi 102
Six Kinds of Jnana Yoga Samadhis 107
Samadhi According to the Upanishads 109
Samadhi in Six Months 112
Samadhi in Six Months as Enjoined in the Mahabharata114
Some Experiences in Samadhi 114
Obstacles to Samadhi 117
Pseudo Samadhi 119
Prasnottari on Samadhi 122
Chapter Five Some Yogic Experiences
Experiences of a Yogi 127
Four Classes of Yogins 127
Somapana (Amrita Srava) 128
Yogi Drinks Nectar 130
Experices of a Bhakta 130
Inner Voice 131
State of Spiritual Illumination 132
Chapter Six Kundalini Sakti
Prayer to Mother Kundalini 135
The Gradational Ascent of the Mind 136
Chapter Seven Psychic Powers
Siddhis or Occult Powers 139
Eight Major Psychic Powers 139
Other Psychic Powers 141
Levitation or Vayu Siddhi 142
Kaya Sampat 145
Comments on Some Occult Phenomena 145
Samyama Leads to Occult Powers 148
Chapter Eight Signs of Spiritual Progress
Song of Spiritual Progress 152
Main Characteristics of Progress in Sadhana 152
Other Important Characteristics 154
Signs of Progress in the Path of Meditation 155
An Anecdote on Spiritual Experience 158
Chapter Nine Experiences of the Jnana Yogi
Phases of Experience in Jnana Yoga 162
Four Types of Jnanins 163
Seven Stages of Jnana 163
Double-consciousness of a Jivanmukta 167
Samadhi Jnani and Vyavahara Jnani 168
The Sage’s Experience 170
Marks of a Realised Sage – An Anecdote 174
Chapter Ten State of Liberation
A Detailed Analysis of the state of Moksha 176
Four Kinds of Mukti 189
Difference Between Jivanmukti and Videhamukti 189
Chapter Eleven Experiences of Some South Indian Mystics
Mystic Experiences of Nayanars and Siddhas 190
Saint Tirumular 198
Saint Tirunavukkarasar 201
Saint Manickavachagar 205
Chapter Twelve Experiences of Some Christian and Muslim Mystics
Experiences of Some Christian Mystics 209
Experiences of Jesus Christ 219
Christ-Consciousness 219
Experiences of Muslim Mystics 221
Appendix
Why God Created Man 222
Seeds and Fruits of Yoga 223
Path of Karma Yoga 223
Path of Bhakti Yoga 223
Path of Hatha Yoga 224
Path of Raja Yoga 224
Path of Jnana Yoga 224
Philosophical Truths 224
A Renowned Army Officer’s Experiences 225
Spiritual Experiences 227
Song of Sadhana 227 




















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