Author: Swami Adiswarananda
Publisher: Advaita Ashram
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8175052597
Discover the wisdom of two great teachings of Hindu mediation-in one comprehensive volume.
Meditation is a subject of universal interest, practiced by spiritual explorers of all traditions on the quest for serenity, peace, and wholeness. Among the many traditions of meditation in Hinduism, Yoga and Vedanta have passed the test of time, proving as vital today as they were throughout the ages in helping us overcome the maladies of life and attain the greatest spiritual fulfillment.
In this inspiring guidebook, Swami Adiswarananda, a senior monk of the Ramakrishna order and spiritual leader, outlines the subject of meditation and its practices following the methods and teachings of these two traditions, Defining key concepts in clear terms, Swami Adiswarananda covers every aspect so this ancient spiritual practice, including:
Goals and Benefits of Meditation
Objects of Meditation
Methods of Concentration
Posture, Physical Condition, Eating Habits, and Spiritual Exercises
Mystical Experiences and Realization
Obstacles in Meditation and Ways of Overcoming Them
Meditation is a necessity for the soul, a technique for withdrawing the mind so that the spirit can rest and rejuvenate. By practising meditation, we set in motion a process that leads to the restoration of our well-being-physical, mental, and spiritual.
This comprehensive sourcebook examines the scientific, psychological, and spiritual properties of Yoga and Vedanta, Hinduism’s two mainstream meditation practices, and explains how we can pt these teachings into practice to enrich our daily lives. Drawing on the sacred texts of Yoga and Vedanta-including the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, and the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, among many others-this guidebook illuminates the principles of each of these traditions, the meaning of meditation, and the methods by which we can develop our concentration and self-control.
By exploring the transformative powers of this ancient spiritual practice, this inspiring volume shows us time-tested ways to refresh our souls and empower our physical and spiritual selves with innovative ways of meeting the challenges of modern life.
Yoga and Vedanta ask us to face the problems of life through Knowledge of Reality. The ills of life are not created by God, or by the stars, or by luck, but by our own inability to live in the light of reality. Good and evil move together; one cannot be separated from the other. There is no absolute definition of good or evil. What is good for one person may be bad for another. The world we live in is in our own mind.
-From the Introduction
There is no end to such profound insights that the book offers in regard to meditation. Elaborate guidance is provided for meditating on divine forms, on Divine Incarnations, on the Antaryami within us, on vibrant symbols, on the sacred world Aum, on the Gayatri mantra, on the Mahavakyas and mystic syllables. Extremely useful also are the instructions about the three main centres of meditation and the dualism or nondualism connected with these centres. A veritable treasure trove is presented by way of discussing postures, time and place, eating habits, exercises, Japa and Pranayama. We are also warned about the obstacles in the path of meditation and advised how to overcome them.
In the present times, when there is a plethora of literature on yoga and meditation whose authenticity and sources are questionable, this book serves as an excellent reference and guide for genuine spiritual aspirants.
The methods of meditation in Yoga and Vedanta do not cater to emotionalism or any form of sentimentalism. They are precise, scientific, and psychological. They do not measure success in mediation by the seeker’s dreams or visions, which are personal and private, but by transformation of his or her character. Following these methods of meditation, many have attained direct perception of truth and the fulfillment of life.
-From the Preface
Fills a long-standing gap in the contemporary literature on mediation. It is a most helpful exposition of the Vedantic perspective on the inward-turning consciousness, which covers all the important and theoretical aspects of the meditative path.
-Georg Feuerstein, PhD, president, Yoga Research and Education Centre
This book is one of the finest works on meditation I’ve ever encountered. Deeply embedded in the Hindu tradition, it is through, eminently practical, inspiring, and effective. I highly recommend it.
-Brother Wayne Teasdale, author, Bede Griffiths: An Introduction to His Interspiritual thought and A Monk in the World
PUBLISHER’S NOTE TO THE INDIAN EDITION
PART ONE: THE PROCESS OF MEDITATION
The Meaning of Meditation
The Meditative State
The Goal of Meditation
The Benefits of Meditation
Meditation in the System of Yoga
Meditation in Vedanta
The Sacred, Texts on Meditation
The Three Key Factors in All Meditation
PART TWO: OBJECTS OF MEDITATION
Objects of Meditation in Yoga and Vedanta
Meditation on a Divine Form
Meditation on a Divine Incarnation
Meditation on the Lord as Inmost Self and Supreme Teacher
Meditation on Virata Purusha, the cosmic Person
Meditation on the Sacred World Om
Meditation on the Gayatri Mantra
Meditation on the Great Vedic Sayings
Meditation on a Sacred Text, World, or Mystic Syllable
PART THREE: CENTERS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
The Centers for Meditation
Dualism, Nondualism, and the Centers
PART FOUR: METHODS OF CONCENTRATION
Withdrawal and Concentration of Mind
Time and Place, Spiritual Vibrations, and Geographical Directions
Physical Condition, Eating Habits, and Exercise
Japa, or Repetition of a Sacred Word
Pranayama, or Control of Breath
PART FIVE: PROGRESS IN MEDITATION
Milestones of Progress
Mystical Experiences and Realizations
The Transformation of Character
The Sacred Texts on Progress in Meditation
PART SIX: OBSTACLES IN MEDITATION
Obstacles in Meditation and Ways of Overcoming Them