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A comprehensive manual for living a spiritual life, based on a verse-by-verse commentary on India's timeless scripture - from the author of its best-selling translation. (The ebook The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living 9781586381455 includes all three volumes in this series.) The Bhagavad Gita is set on the battlefield of an apocalyptic war between good and evil. Faced with a dire moral dilemma, the warrior prince Arjuna turns in anguish to his spiritual guide, Sri Krishna, for answers to the fundamental questions of life. Easwaran points out that Arjuna's crisis is acutely modern. The Gita's battlefield is the struggle for self-mastery that every human being must wage. Arjuna represents each of us, and Sri Krishna is the Lord, instructing us in eighteen chapters of lofty wisdom as we face the social, environmental, and global challenges that threaten our world today. Easwaran is a spiritual teacher and author of deep insight and warmth. His verse-by-verse commentary interprets the Gita's teachings for modern readers, explaining the Sanskrit concepts and philosophy and applying them with practicality, wisdom, and humor to every aspect of our work, our relationships, and our lives. With everyday anecdotes, stories, and examples, he shows that the changes we long to see in the world start with the transformation of our own consciousness. The practical exercises recommended by Easwaran to achieve transformation are part of a spiritual program he developed for his own life. They are accessible to people from all backgrounds and cultures. Urging us to adopt a higher image of the human being, he assures us that peace and unity are within reach. Each volume of this series covers six chapters of the Gita. Each may be read on its own, but all three volumes together form an in-depth, verse-by-verse explanation of this ancient scripture and its relevance today. Each volume includes instructions in Easwaran's eight-point program of passage meditation. Volume 1: The first six chapters of the Gita explore the concept of the innermost Self and source of wisdom in each of us. Easwaran explains how we can begin to transform ourselves, even as householders engaged in busy lives. Volume 2: The chapters in this volume go beyond the individual Self and investigate the Supreme Reality that underlies all creation. Here, Easwaran delves into the unity of life, and builds a bridge across the seeming divide between scientific knowledge and spiritual wisdom. Volume 3: The final six chapters put forth an urgent appeal for us to begin to see that all of us are one - to make the connection between the Self within and the Reality underlying all creation. Global in scope, the emphasis is on what we can do to make a difference to heal our environment and establish peace in the world. Easwaran's commentary is for all students of the Gita, whatever their background, and for anyone who is trying to find a path to wisdom, love, and kindness in themselves and our troubled world. Written as an authoritative, accessible guide to a much-loved scripture, it is a handbook for finding peace and clarity within. This second edition incorporates revisions made across all three volumes following the author's final instructions.
'I have heard the supreme mystery, yoga, from Krishna, from the lord of yoga himself.' Thus ends the Bhagavad Gita, the most famous episode from the great Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata. In its eighteen short chapters Krishna's teaching leads the warrior Arjuna from perplexity to understanding and correct action, in the process raising and developing many key themes from the history of Indian religions. The Bhagavad Gita is the best known and most widely read Hindu religious text in the Western world. It considers social and religious duty, the nature of sacrifice, the nature of action, the means to liberation, and the relationship of human beings to God. It culminates in an awe-inspiring vision of Krishna as God omnipotent, disposer and destroyer of the universe. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Hinduism is practised by nearly eighty per cent of India's population, and by some seventy million people outside India. In this Very Short Introduction, Kim Knott offers a succinct and authoritative overview of this major religion, and analyses the challenges facing it in the twenty-first century. She discusses key preoccupations of Hinduism such as the centrality of the Veda as religious texts, the role of Brahmins, gurus, and storytellers in the transmission of divine truths, and the cultural and moral importance of epics such as the Ramayana. In this second edition Knott considers the impact of changes in technology and the flourishing of social media on Hinduism, and looks at the presence of Hinduism in popular culture, considering pieces such as Sita Sings the Blues. She also analyses recent developments in India, and the impact issues such as Hindu nationalism and the politicization of Hinduism have on Hindus worldwide. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The Kamasutra is the oldest extant textbook of erotic love. But it
is more than a book about sex. It is about the art of living--about
finding a partner, maintaining power in a marriage, committing
adultery, living as or with a courtesan, using drugs--and also, of
course, about the many and varied positions available to lovers in
sexual intercourse and the pleasures to be derived from each.
Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets provides an ethnographic study of varmakkalai, or "the art of the vital spots," a South Indian esoteric tradition that combines medical practice and martial arts. Although siddha medicine is officially part of the Indian Government's medically pluralistic health-care system, very little of a reliable nature has been written about it. Drawing on a diverse array of materials, including Tamil manuscripts, interviews with practitioners, and his own personal experience as an apprentice, Sieler traces the practices of varmakkalai both in different religious traditions-such as Yoga and Ayurveda-and within various combat practices. His argument is based on in-depth ethnographic research in the southernmost region of India, where hereditary medico-martial practitioners learn their occupation from relatives or skilled gurus through an esoteric, spiritual education system. Rituals of secrecy and apprenticeship in varmakkalai are among the important focal points of Sieler's study. Practitioners protect their esoteric knowledge, but they also engage in a kind of "lure and withdrawal"--a performance of secrecy--because secrecy functions as what might be called "symbolic capital." Sieler argues that varmakkalai is, above all, a matter of texts in practice; knowledge transmission between teacher and student conveys tacit, non-verbal knowledge, and constitutes a "moral economy." It is not merely plain facts that are communicated, but also moral obligations, ethical conduct and tacit, bodily knowledge. Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets will be of interest to students of religion, medical anthropologists, historians of medicine, indologists, and martial arts and performance studies.
What can a member of a Mumbai ashram offer the modern world? Gaur Gopal Das shows that a monk still has much to teach about living a happy and balanced life. In contemporary culture, the popular conception of a "monk" is often of a dour ascetic who lives apart from society and never engages with the day-to-day problems of humanity. Gaur Gopal Das, a monk from an ashram in Mumbai, shows that this image couldn't be further from the truth. In The Way of the Monk, Gopal Das presents a guide to navigating some of the contemporary world's most fundamental questions. How can we achieve peace when the world is so full of noise and conflict? How do we learn to let go of attachment when consumer culture constantly tells us that we are unfulfilled? How can we embody love when our interactions with others are so fraught with old wounds and misunderstanding? According to Gopal Das, the keys to unraveling these dilemmas have existed for thousands of years throughout the world's great wisdom traditions. Structured around the four "wheels" of behavior that support a healthy, balanced life, The Way of the Monk teaches fundamental skills of mindfulness, self-inquiry, positive communication, and more. Gopal Das writes from the perspective of a trusted friend, weaving tales he's encountered over the years into a single, overarching teaching story. Already a bestseller in India, The Way of the Monk is an ideal entry point for those who are just stepping onto the spiritual path. Here you will find a humorous and profound journey into truths that exist beyond the boundaries of geography, tradition, and nationality.
An Introduction to Indian Philosophy offers a profound yet accessible survey of the development of India 's philosophical tradition. Beginning with the formation of Brahmanical, Jaina, Materialist, and Buddhist traditions, Bina Gupta guides the reader through the classical schools of Indian thought, culminating in a look at how these traditions inform Indian philosophy and society in modern times. Offering translations from source texts and clear explanations of philosophical terms, this text provides a rigorous overview of Indian philosophical contributions to epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, and ethics. This is a must-read for anyone seeking a reliable and illuminating introduction to Indian philosophy.
India has a long, rich, and diverse tradition of philosophical thought, spanning some two and a half millennia and encompassing several major religious traditions. This Very Short Introduction is structured around six schools which have achieved classic status. Sue Hamilton explores how the traditions have attempted to understand the nature of reality in terms of an inner or spiritual quest, and introduces distinctively Indian concepts such as karma and rebirth.
In this book Paramahansa Yogananda offers prayers and affirmations that beginners and experienced meditators alike can use to awaken the boundless joy, peace, and inner freedom of the soul.
Includes introductory instructions on how to meditate. An encouraging guide that teaches us through our own experience how to spiritually enrich our everyday life.
The East-West dialogue increasingly seeks to compare and clarify contrasting views on the nature of consciousness. For the Eastern liberatory models, where a nondual view of consciousness is primary, the challenge lies in articulating how consciousness and the manifold contents of consciousness are singular. Western empirical science, on the other hand, must provide a convincing account of how consciousness arises from matter. By placing the theories of Jung and Patanjali in dialogue with one another, Consciousness in Jung and Patanjali illuminates significant differences between dual and nondual psychological theory and teases apart the essential discernments that theoreticians must make between epistemic states and ontic beliefs. Patanjali's Classical Yoga, one of the six orthodox Hindu philosophies, is a classic of Eastern and world thought. Patanjali teaches that notions of a separate egoic "I" are little more than forms of mistaken identity that we experience in our attempts to take ownership of consciousness. Carl Jung's depth psychology, which remains deeply influential to psychologists, religious scholars, and artists alike, argues that ego-consciousness developed out of the unconscious over the course of evolution. By exploring the work of key theoreticians from both schools of thought, particularly those whose ideas are derived from an integration of theory and practice, Whitney explores the extent to which the seemingly irremediable split between Jung and Patanjali's ontological beliefs can in fact be reconciled. This thorough and insightful work will be essential reading for academics, theoreticians, and postgraduate students in the fields of psychology, philosophy of science, and consciousness studies. It will also appeal to those interested in the East-West psychological and philosophical dialogue.
"A god transforms into a nymph and enchants another god.A king becomes pregnant.A prince discovers on his wedding night that he is not a man."Another king has children who call him both father and mother. A hero turns into a eunuch and wears female apparel. A princess has to turn into a man before she can avenge her humiliation. Widows of a king make love to conceive his child. Friends of the same sex end up marrying each other after one of them metamorphoses into a woman. These are some of the tales from Hindu lore that this unique book examines. The Man Who Was a Woman and Other Queer Tales from Hindu Lore is a compilation of traditional Hindu stories with a common thread: sexual transformation and gender metamorphosis. In addition to the thought-provoking stories in The Man Who Was a Woman and Other Queer Tales from Hindu Lore, you'll also find: an examination of the universality of queer narratives with examples from Greek lore and Irish folklore a comparison of the Hindu paradigm to the biblical paradigm a look at how Hindu society and Hindu scripture responds to queer sexuality a discussion of the Hijras, popularly believed to be the "third gender" in India--their probable origin, and how they fit into Hindu societyWith the telling of each of these tales, you will also learn how the author came upon each of them and how they relate to the context of dominant Hindu attitudes toward sex, gender, pleasure, fertility, and celibacy.
The Bhagavad-Gita is probably the most popular - and certainly the most frequently quoted and widely studied - work of the Hindu scriptures. This book investigates the relationship between the various interpretations of the Bhagavad-Gita and the Hindu tradition. Taking into account a range of influential Indian and western thinkers to illustrate trends in writing about the Bhagavad-Gita including Western academic; Indian activist; Christian theological; Hindu universalist; perennialist mystical and contemporary experiental accounts. Examining the ideas of such influential figures as F Max Muller, M K Ghandi, Bede Griffiths, Swami Vivekananda, Aldous Huxley and Swami Bhakivedanta, this book demonstrates the inextricable link between different interpretations of the Bhagavad-Gita and images of the Hindu tradition. This accessible book aptly demonstrates the relevance of the Bhagavad-Gita for an understanding of Hinduism as a modern phenomenon.
Hinduism is currently followed by one-fifth of humankind. Far from a monolithic theistic tradition, the religion comprises thousands of gods, a complex caste system, and hundreds of languages and dialects. Such internal plurality inspires vastly ranging rites and practices amongst Hinduism's hundreds of millions of adherents. It is therefore not surprising that scholars have been hesitant to define universal Hindu beliefs and practices. In this book, Axel Michaels breaks this trend. He examines the traditions, beliefs, and rituals Hindus hold in common through the lens of what he deems its "identificatory habitus," a cohesive force that binds Hindu religions together and fortifies them against foreign influences. Thus, in his analysis, Michaels not only locates Hinduism's profoundly differentiating qualities, but also provides the framework for an analysis of its social and religious coherence.
Michaels blends his insightful arguments and probing questions with introductions to major historical epochs, ample textual sources as well as detailed analyses of major life-cycle rituals, the caste system, forms of spiritualism, devotionalism, ritualism, and heroism. Along the way he points out that Hinduism has endured and repeatedly resisted the missionary zeal and universalist claims of Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists. He also contrasts traditional Hinduism with the religions of the West, "where the self is preferred to the not-self, and where freedom in the world is more important than liberation from the world."
Engaging and accessible, this book will appeal to laypersons and scholars alike as the most comprehensive introduction to Hinduism yet published. Not only is Hinduism refreshingly new in its methodological approach, but it also presents a broad range of meticulous scholarship in a clear, readable style, integrating Indology, religious studies, philosophy, anthropological theory and fieldwork, and sweeping analyses of Hindu texts.
From the early years of the Common Era to 1700, Indian intellectuals explored with unparalleled subtlety the place of emotion in art. Their investigations led to the deconstruction of art's formal structures and broader inquiries into the pleasure of tragic tales. Rasa, or taste, was the word they chose to describe art's aesthetics, and their passionate effort to pin down these phenomena became its own remarkable act of creation. This book is the first in any language to follow the evolution of rasa from its origins in dramaturgical thought-a concept for the stage-to its flourishing in literary thought-a concept for the page. A Rasa Reader incorporates primary texts by every significant thinker on classical Indian aesthetics, many never translated before. The arrangement of the selections captures the intellectual dynamism that has powered this debate for centuries. Headnotes explain the meaning and significance of each text, a comprehensive introduction summarizes major threads in intellectual-historical terms, and critical endnotes and an extensive bibliography add further depth to the selections. The Sanskrit theory of emotion in art is one of the most sophisticated in the ancient world, a precursor of the work being done today by critics and philosophers of aesthetics. A Rasa Reader's conceptual detail, historical precision, and clarity will appeal to any scholar interested in a full portrait of global intellectual development. A Rasa Reader is the inaugural book in the Historical Sourcebooks in Classical Indian Thought series, edited by Sheldon Pollock. These text-based books guide readers through the most important forms of classical Indian thought, from epistemology, rhetoric, and hermeneutics to astral science, yoga, and medicine. Each volume provides fresh translations of key works, headnotes to contextualize selections, a comprehensive analysis of major lines of development within the discipline, and exegetical and text-critical endnotes, as well as a bibliography. Designed for comparativists and interested general readers, Historical Sourcebooks is also a great resource for advanced scholars seeking authoritative commentary on challenging works.
The Upanisads are the central scriptures of Hinduism. They represent some of the most important literary products in the history of Indian culture and religion, both because they played a critical role in the development of religious ideas in India and because they are our greatest source for the religious, social, and intellectual history of ancient India. Composed at a time of great social, economic, and religious change, the Upanisads document the transition from the archaic ritualism of the Veda into new religious ideas and institutions. The first major English translation of the ancient Upanisads for over half a century, Olivelle's work incorporates the most recent historical and philological scholarship. The introduction and detailed notes make this edition ideal for the non-specialist as well as for students of Indian religions. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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