Author: Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati
Publisher: Yoga Publications Trust
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8186336370
How do we reach the Atman, or innermost self, which is beyond the senses, the mind or any other means at our disposal? Do we have any idea what this Self is like? The Upanishads declare, Naiva vacha na manasa praptum: The Self cannot be reached by speech or mind. Fortunately the saints and sages who have established themselves in the state of fullness and realization have given us some indications. They described the sate of ananda, or bliss, which leads to an outpouring of that experience in the form of a stotra or hymn.
The word stotra literally means a collection of mantras which glorifies the supreme reality, as in Purusha Suktam, a vedic hymn which describes one specific power of the supreme reality, or Vishnu Sahasranam, where the focus is on omnipresence. In this way, regular chanting of the stotras allows one to remember the divine and actually get the feeling of that experience.
This collection of stotras is a very special offering to the many forms of the divine, and has the blessings of the siddhas and saints of all eras. These hymns give the sadhaka a gentle push by softening and opening up the heart and elevating the mind and consciousness, so that the presence of God can be explained as a palpable reality in one’s own spiritual life.
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