The Yoga Tradition - Its history, Literature, Philosophy and Practice

The Yoga Tradition - Its history, Literature, Philosophy and Practice

Product ID: 18285

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Author: Georg Feuerstein
Publisher: Bhavana Books & Prints
Year: 2002
Language: English
Pages: 686
ISBN/UPC (if available): 81886505571


The word Yoga is much overused and misunderstood in the present era. Since our present age is faddism, Yoga is often reduced to the status of a fad. It has been subjected to commercial exploitation, and one small aspect of Yoga – the physical postures –is often taken to the whole of the yoga. Many people particularly in the West think it to be a mere health and beauty cult while other believe it to be a religion. All of this has obscured the real meaning of Yoga. This work is an authoritative treatment of the subject. The author has dedicated his life for the understanding and practice of Yoga and successfully established that Yoga is a systematic science, its teachings are an integral part of most religions, but Yoga itself is not a religion. Most religions teach what to do, but Yoga teaches how to be. Yet Yoga practices described in symbolic language may be found in the sacred scripture of most religions. In the Christian tradition, Saint Francis of Assisi was one of the greatest Yogis that the West has produced. Mystics of all religions have practiced Yoga in one form or another. The author has been able to make the reader believe that Yoga is not an esoteric Eastern philosophy, it I a practical systematic and scientific quest for perfection, as relevant today as it was in ancient times, as relevant in the East as it is in the Est. No doubt, the origins of Yoga are obscure; they go back many thousands of years and are considered o be divine rather than human. India is a stronghold of this science because the original purity of the teachings has been maintained here. Yoga teachings as per the author study have, have been handed down through a living tradition, the tradition, the tradition of master and disciple. Yoga teachings were systematized by a sage named Patanjali who codified the teachings into 196 sutras, or short aphorisms, around 200 BC. The author has produced full and partial translations of numerous key scriptures and over 200 illustrations to prove his point. The sum total of author’s treatment of the subject brings to the fore that central teaching of Yoga is that man’s true nature is divine, perfect and infinite. He is unaware of this divinity because he falsely identified himself with his body, mind and the objects of the external world. This false identification, in turn makes him think he is imperfect and subject to sorrows, decay and death his mind and body are subject to the limitation of time, space and cause. Through the meditative methods of Yoga, however, one can cast off this ignorance and become aware of his own true self, which is pure and free from all imperfections. A complete overview of the great Yogic traditions of: Raja-Yoga, Hatha-Yoga, Jnana-Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma-Yoga, Tantra-Yoga, Kundalini-Yoga, Mantra-Yoga and many other lesser known forms. Includes translations of over twenty famous Yoga treatises, like the Yoga sutra of Patanjali, and a first-time translation of the Goraksha Paddhanti, an ancient Hath Yoga text. This will certainly prove to be an authoritative reference encyclopedia for all those who are keen to understand the history, concept, faith, philosophy and practical aspects of this science, which have its roots deep into Indian soil.


Blessings Foreword by Ken Wilber Preface Acknowledgements Transliteration and Pronunciation of Sanskrit Words Introduction: The Impulse Towards Transcendence. PART ONE: FOUNDATIONS Chapter 1: Building Blocks Chapter 2: The Wheel of Yoga Chapter 3: The Yoga and other Hindu Traditions PART TWO: PRE-CLASSICAL YOGA Chapter 4 Yoga in Ancient times Chapter 5 The whispered Wisdom of the Early Upanishads Chapter 6 Jaina Yoga: The Teachings of the Victorious Ford-makers Chapter 7 Yoga in Buddhism Chapter 8 The Flowering of Yoga PART THREE: CLASSICAL YOGA Chapter 9 The history and Literature of Patanjala-Yoga Chapter 10 The Philosophy and Practice of Patanala-Yoga PART FOUR: POST-CLASSICAL YOGA Chapter 11 The Nondualist Approach to God amdong the Shiva Worshippers Chapter 12 The Vedantic Approach to God among the Vishnu worshipers Chapter 13: Yoga and Yogins in the Puranas Chapter 14 The Yogic Idealism of the Yoga Vasishtha Chapter 15 God, Visions, and Power: The Yoga-Upanishads Chapter 16, Yoga in Sikhism PART FIVE: Power and Transcendence in Tantrism Chapter 17 The Esotericism of Medieval Tantra-Yoga Chapter 18: Yoga as Spiritual Alchemy: The Philosophy and Practice of Hatha-Yoga Epulogue Notes Chronolgy Gloassary of key Terms Select Bibiliograophy Index About the Author *