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Describing one of the most important practices of hathayoga (khecarimudra), the Khecarividya of Adinatha is presented here to an English-speaking readership for the first time. The author, James Mallinson, draws on thirty Sanskrit works, as well as original fieldwork amongst yogins in India who use the practice, to demonstrate how earlier tantric yogic techniques developed and mutated into the practices of hathayoga. Accompanied by an introduction and an extensively annotated translation, the work sheds light on the development of hathayoga and its practices.
An in-depth photographic study of the ascetic holy men of India - Includes more than 100 striking color photographs of Sadhus, their extreme austerities, and their holy festivals, including the Kumbha Mela - Examines the practices and beliefs of Sadhus from several different sects - Traces the historical and mythological roots of the Sadhus and shows how they have fundamentally shaped Hinduism since remote antiquity Spiritual adventurers, philosophical monks, naked ascetics, or religious transvestites, the Sadhus of India form a vital and unbroken link between the birth of yoga millennia ago and its present-day expression. Numbering in the millions, these mystic holy men are worshipped by the Hindus as representatives of the gods, yet they remain largely unknown in the West because they often live in far-off places, hidden from everyday life. In this full-color study of Sadhus more than 20 years in the making, photographer Dolf Hartsuiker illustrates the Sadhus' world of ancient magical rituals, religious symbols, and ascetic practices. In his photographic quest across India, the author visited many holy places, attended religious festivals including the Kumbha Mela, and encountered and photographed thousands of Sadhus, befriending several as he was drawn into their inner circle. Sharing more than 100 striking color photographs from his travels, he reveals the Sadhus' utmost devotion to their spiritual path through meditation practices, yoga exercises, penance, and austerities--sometimes taken to the extreme of prolonged self-imposed silence, bodily mortification, such as holding an arm above the head for years, or even ritual suicide--as well as their profound involvement with the mundane world as healers and teachers or magicians and sorcerers. It is a path of knowledge and devotion, renunciation and realization, sexual energy and spiritual power, divine intoxication and mystical union. The author examines the different beliefs and behaviors of each Sadhu sect, including the "sky-clad" Naga Babas, and traces their historical and mythological roots to show how they have fundamentally shaped Hinduism since antiquity. Revealing the powerful "otherworldliness" of the Sadhus, the author also exposes the mystical beauty that emanates from those who have chosen the path of asceticism in pursuit of knowledge of the Absolute and liberation from all earthly bonds.
'Manu was seated, when the great seers came up to him: "Please, Lord, tell us the Laws of all the social classes, as well as of those born in between..."' The Law Code of Manu is the most authoritative and the best-known legal text of ancient India. Famous for two thousand years it still generates controversy, with Manu's verses being cited in support of the oppression of women and members of the lower castes. A seminal Hindu text, the Law Code is important for its classic description of so many social institutions that have come to be identified with Indian society. It deals with the relationships between social and ethnic groups, between men and women, the organization of the state and the judicial system, reincarnation, the workings of karma, and all aspects of the law. Patrick Olivelle's lucid translation is the first to be based on his critically edited text, and it incorporates the most recent scholarship on ancient Indian history, law, society, and religion. 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.
The Bhagavad Gita tells the story of how Arjuna, the great warrior, is seated in his chariot about to engage in battle, when he sees his own kinsmen and his revered teacher arrayed in battle against him, and feels that he cannot fight. It is then that Krishna, the Cosmic Lord, comes to counsel him. Arjuna represents the human soul seated in the chariot of the body and Krishna is the inner Spirit, the God within, who is there to consel him. Today we see humanity divided against itself and threatened with nuclear war and mutual destruction. No political means are adequate to deal with this problem, and many are driven to despair. It is then that the message of the Gita comes to teach us that it is only when we rise above human schemes and calculations and awake to the presence of the indwelling Spirit that we can hope to find the answer to our need.
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.
Retells the "Ramayana," the ancient Indian tale of love, duty, and
sacrifice, for a modern audience
The seventh and final book of the monumental R?m?ya?a of V?lm?ki, the Uttarak???a, brings the epic saga to a close with an account of the dramatic events of King R?ma's millennia-long reign. It opens with a colorful history of the demonic race of the r?k?asas and the violent career of R?ma's villainous foe R?va?a, and later recounts R?ma's grateful discharge of his allies in the great war at Lank? as well as his romantic reunion with his wife S?t?. But dark clouds gather as R?ma, confronted by scandal over S?t?'s time in captivity under the lustful R?va?a, makes the agonizing decision to banish his beloved wife, now pregnant. As R?ma continues as king, marvelous tales and events unfurl, illustrating the benefits of righteous rule and the perils that await monarchs who fail to address the needs of their subjects. The Uttarak???a has long served as a point of social and religious controversy largely for its accounts of the banishment of S?t?, as well as of R?ma's killing of a low-caste ascetic. The translators' introduction provides a full discussion of these issues and the complex reception history of the Uttarak???a. This translation of the critical edition also includes exhaustive notes and a comprehensive bibliography.
Forming the final part of the Sanskrit Mahabharata, the Harivamsha's main business is to supply narrative details about the great god Vishnu's avatar Krishna Vasudeva, who has been a comparatively minor character in the previous parts of the Mahabharata, despite having taken centre stage in the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna is born in Mathura (some 85 miles south of present-day Delhi). As an infant he is smuggled out of Mathura for his own safety. He and his brother Baladeva grow up among cowherds in the forest, where between them they perform many miraculous deeds and kill many dangerous demons, before returning to Mathura where they kill the evil King Kamsa and his cronies. Thereafter, Krishna is the hero and unofficial leader of his people the Yadava-Vrishnis. When Mathura is besieged by enemies, Krishna leads his people to abandon the town and migrate west, founding the dazzling new city of Dvaraka by the sea. Krishna then repeatedly travels away from that base repeatedly to perform heroic deeds benefitting those in need - including his own people, his more immediate family, and the gods. After narrating the stories of Krishna, the Harivamsha ends by finishing the story of Janamejaya with which the Mahabharata began. The Harivamsha is a powerhouse of Hindu mythology and a classic of world literature. It begins by contextualising Vishnu's appearance as Krishna in several ways, in the process presenting a variety of cosmogonical, cosmological, genealogical, mythological, theological, and karmalogical materials. It then narrates Krishna's birth and adventures in detail. Presenting a wide variety of exciting stories in a poetic register that makes extensive use of natural imagery, the Harivamsha is a neglected literary gem and an ideal starting-point for readers new to Indian literature.
The remarkable benefits of yoga, which include improved flexibility, balance, muscle tone, endurance, and vitality, only hint at the extraordinary power of this deeply spiritual practice. When adhered to and practiced mindfully, yoga can unlock readers' full creative potential, their capacity for love and compassion, and ability to find success in all areas of their lives. "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga" brings spirituality back to yoga. It shows how the Seven Spiritual Laws play a crucial role in yoga's path to enlightenment while providing readers with a wealth of meditation techniques, mantras, breathing exercises, and yoga poses. Whether a newcomer to yoga or an experienced practitioner, "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga" is a portal to yoga's deeper spiritual dimension and a beautiful step to a happier, more harmonious, and more abundant life.
"Kundalini yoga presented Jung with a model of something that was almost completely lacking in Western psychology--an account of the development phases of higher consciousness.... Jung's insistence on the psychogenic and symbolic significance of such states is even more timely now than then. As R. D. Laing stated... 'It was Jung who broke the ground here, but few followed him.'"--From the introduction by Sonu Shamdasani
Jung's seminar on Kundalini yoga, presented to the Psychological Club in Zurich in 1932, has been widely regarded as a milestone in the psychological understanding of Eastern thought and of the symbolic transformations of inner experience. Kundalini yoga presented Jung with a model for the developmental phases of higher consciousness, and he interpreted its symbols in terms of the process of individuation. With sensitivity toward a new generation's interest in alternative religions and psychological exploration, Sonu Shamdasani has brought together the lectures and discussions from this seminar. In this volume, he re-creates for today's reader the fascination with which many intellectuals of prewar Europe regarded Eastern spirituality as they discovered more and more of its resources, from yoga to tantric texts. Reconstructing this seminar through new documentation, Shamdasani explains, in his introduction, why Jung thought that the comprehension of Eastern thought was essential if Western psychology was to develop. He goes on to orient today's audience toward an appreciation of some of the questions that stirred the minds of Jung and his seminar group: What is the relation between Eastern schools of liberation and Western psychotherapy? What connection is there between esoteric religious traditions and spontaneous individual experience? What light do the symbols of Kundalini yoga shed on conditions diagnosed as psychotic? Not only were these questions important to analysts in the 1930s but, as Shamdasani stresses, they continue to have psychological relevance for readers on the threshold of the twenty-first century. This volume also offers newly translated material from Jung's German language seminars, a seminar by the indologist Wilhelm Hauer presented in conjunction with that of Jung, illustrations of the cakras, and Sir John Woodroffe's classic translation of the tantric text, the "Sat-cakra Nirupana."
The way people encounter ideas of Hinduism online is often shaped by global discourses of religion, pervasive Orientalism and (post)colonial scholarship. This book addresses a gap in the scholarly debate around defining Hinduism by demonstrating the role of online discourses in generating and projecting images of Hindu religion and culture. This study surveys a wide range of propaganda, websites and social media in which definitions of Hinduism are debated. In particular, it focuses on the role of Hindu nationalism in the presentation and management of Hinduism in the electronic public sphere. Hindu nationalist parties and individuals are highly invested in discussions and presentations of Hinduism online, and actively shape discourses through a variety of strategies. Analysing Hindu nationalist propaganda, cyber activist movements and social media presence, as well as exploring methodological strategies that are useful to the field of religion and media in general, the book concludes by showing how these discourses function in the wider Hindu diaspora. Building on religion and media research by highlighting mechanical and hermeneutic issues of the Internet and how it affects how we encounter Hinduism online, this book will be of significant interest to scholars of religious studies, Hindu studies and digital media.
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.
A vivid journey back to the time of Krishna, his holy city, and the Mahabharata War Transporting us back five thousand years to the time of Krishnavatara, the age in which Krishna lived, Vanamali leads us on a journey alongside Lord Krishna as he reigns over the ancient port city of Dwaraka and helps the Pandavas through the Mahabharata War. Recounting ecstatic celebrations, Krishna's love for his wives and sons, and events surrounding the epic war, the author stresses Krishna's ability to contain all opposites and stand above duality like a lotus leaf floating on a running stream. Offering potent spiritual lessons throughout her story, she shows how the truly spiritual individual is able to unreservedly accept all dimensions of life and rise above all dualities of existence, war and peace, love and hate, sex and abstinence, action and meditation. She also provides a historical timeline for the Mahabharata War and the sinking of Krishna's city beneath the sea--3126 BCE and 3090 BCE, respectively--and shows how the Mahabharata War occurred under circumstances quite similar to those of the present day, both politically and astrologically. Through her vivid tale and her personal connection with Krishna across many lifetimes, Vanamali shows how the magic and mystery of Krishna's ancient holy city live on through his spiritual teachings.
This is an authoritative, uncompromising, altogether real guide to spiritual practice. Rohini Ralby spent eight years as head of security, appointments secretary, and personal assistant to the great Swami Muktananda, and in their many hours alone together, this world-renowned guru taught her, one on one, the essence of spiritual practice. In Walking Home with Baba, an expert guide to spiritual practice, Rohini draws on that experience and her subsequent study and work as a spiritual director to convey, in clear and concise terms, what spiritual practice truly is: walking home, and retracing our way back to God -- to Absolute Truth, Absolute Consciousness, and Absolute Bliss. Walking Home with Baba combines intimate stories about Ms Ralby's own experiences with Muktananda and others with chapters explaining the actual work of spiritual practice. She provides tools that she has developed for freeing ourselves from misery. One chapter is perhaps the most masterfully clear and concise companion to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali available today. Readers will learn not only about Ms Ralby's experience of travelling the path and being the close disciple of a great Guru; they will gain practical guidance in walking that path themselves.
Keshab Chandra Sen (1838-84) was one of the most powerful and controversial figures in nineteenth-century Bengal. A religious leader and social reformer, his universalist interpretation of Hinduism found mass appeal in India, and generated considerable interest in Britain. His ideas on British imperial rule, religion and spirituality, global history, universalism and modernity were all influential, and his visit to England made him a celebrity. Many Britons regarded him as a prophet of world-historical significance. Keshab was the subject of extreme adulation and vehement criticism. Accounts tell of large crowds prostrating themselves before him, believing him to be an avatar. Yet he died with relatively few followers, his reputation in both India and Britain largely ruined. As a representative of India, Keshab became emblematic of broad concerns regarding Hinduism and Christianity, science and faith, India and the British Empire. This innovative study explores the transnational historical forces that shaped Keshab's life and work. It offers an alternative religious history of empire, characterised by intercultural dialogue and religious syncretism. A fascinating and often tragic portrait of Keshab's experience of the imperial world, and the ways in which he carried meaning for his contemporaries.
Each card in this deck highlights a particular deity in the Hindu pantheon and provides corresponding mantras, meditations, prayers and blessings. These cards reveal a who's who in the spiritual world, and identify which roles particular gods and goddesses play in the universe. For greater intelligence, petition Saraswati or for the removal of obstacles, invoke the presence of Ganesh by chanting his mantra.
Wendy Doniger and Martha Nussbaum bring together leading scholars
from a wide array of disciplines to address a crucial question: How
does the world's most populous democracy survive repeated assaults
on its pluralistic values? India's stunning linguistic, cultural,
and religious diversity has been supported since Independence by a
political structure that emphasizes equal rights for all, and
protects liberties of religion and speech. But a decent
Constitution does not implement itself, and challenges to these
core values repeatedly arise---not least in the first decade of the
twenty-first century, when the rise of Hindu Right movements
threatened to destabilize the nation and upend its core values, in
the wake of a notorious pogrom in the state of Gujarat in which
approximately 2000 Muslim civilians were killed.
Danielou's masterpiece on the erotic nature of the sacred symbolism of the Hindu temple.
- Includes stunning photographs from the major temple complexes of India.
- By Alain Danielou, one of the greatest authorities on Hinduism.
Ancient Indian architectural treatises state that a temple lacking erotic imagery would be ineffective and maleficent. The erotic statues and representations that cover the outer and inner walls of the Hindu temple serve both a magical and an instructional purpose. Through the power of the "yantras"--the magical diagrams created by the placement of the erotic imagery--the architect made the temple a faithful reflection of the divine. At the same time this imagery educated the faithful about the fundamental aspects of the Hindu religion, wherein the union of opposites in the sexual act is the perfect image of the creative principle, and erotic enjoyment is a reflection of divine bliss.
Alain Danielou's masterpiece on the Hindu temple, now translated for the first time into English, provides a stunningly illustrated tour of the major temple complexes of India. The erotic sculptures that cover the walls of these temples are not merely symbolic portrayals of voluptuous acts but serve as profound reminders that man is closest to the divine during the instant of sexual transcendence.
An Introduction to Swaminarayan Hinduism, third edition, offers a comprehensive study of a contemporary form of Hinduism. Begun as a revival and reform movement in India 200 years ago, it has now become one of the fastest growing and most prominent forms of Hinduism. The Swaminarayan Hindu transnational network of temples and institutions is expanding in India, East Africa, the UK, USA, Australasia, and in other African and Asian cities. The devotion, rituals, and discipline taught by its founder, Sahajanand Swami (1781-1830) and elaborated by current leaders in major festivals, diverse media, and over the Internet, help preserve ethnic and religious identity in many modern cultural and political contexts. Swaminarayan Hinduism, here described through its history, divisions, leaders, theology and practices, provides valuable case studies of contemporary Hinduism, religion, migrants, and transnationalism. This new edition includes up-to-date information about growth, geographic expansion, leadership transitions, and impact of Swaminarayan institutions in India and abroad.
The third edition of this well-regarded introduction to Hinduism adds new material on the religion's origins, on its relations with rival traditions, and on Hindu science.
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.
Endorsed by WJEC/Eduqas, the Student Book offers high quality support you can trust. / Written by an experienced teacher and author with an in-depth understanding of teaching, learning and assessment at A Level and AS. / A skills-based approach to learning, covering content of the specification with examination preparation from the start. / Developing skills feature focuses on what to do with the content and the issues that are raised with a progressive range of AO1 examples and AO2 exam-focused activities. / Questions and Answers section provides practice questions with student answers and examiner commentaries. / It provides a range of specific activities that target each of the Assessment Objectives to build skills of knowledge, understanding and evaluation. / Includes a range of features to encourage you to consolidate and reinforce your learning.
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