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The Bhagavad Gita
Item Code: NAN703
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Bihar School of Yoga (The Vision of a Sage)
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Yoga Publications Trust
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The Complete Book of Yoga
by Swami Vivekanand
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Yoga Bookstore
One of the earliest references to yogic meditation is in the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad, which states that, having become calm and concentrated, one perceives the self (atman) within oneself. The actual term yoga first occurs in the Katha Upanisad where it is defined as the steady control of the senses, which, along with the cessation of mental activity, leads to the supreme state.

The Svetasvatara Upanisad similarly says that a yogi should hold the body erect, repress the breathing and restrain the mind as he would ‘a chariot yoked with vicious horses’. This yoking of the mind leads to inner visions and, more importantly, ‘a body made in the fire of yoga’ which ensures that the wise man is healthy, freed from sorrow, his purpose completed.

Parts of the famous epic poem the Mahabharata contain passages describing the practice of yoga, such as postures, breath control, inner vision, the yoga of inner sound (nada, sabda), and descriptions of esoteric or subtle anatomy.

The most famous of the Yoga Upanisads, the Yogatattva, mentions four kinds of yoga: mantra-yoga, which involves the repetition of mantras; laya-yoga, the symbolic dissolution of the cosmos within the body and the raising of a corporeal energy known as Kundalini; hatha yoga, the yoga of ‘force’ focusing on various asanas, pranayama, visions of light, and inner sound; and raja-yoga (‘royal’, or simply ‘the best’, yoga), which is the classical system of Patanjali Yoga, which also mentions the magical powers (siddhi) gained by the yogi. Hatha-yoga itself develops an extensive literature, particularly Svatmarama’s Hathayoga-pradipika, which has links with Indian alchemy, Tantra and the Siddha tradition.

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"...symbolic sign based finger patterns taking the place, but retaining the efficacy of the spoken word, and are used to evoke in the mind ideas symbolizing divine powers or the deities..."
Mudras of the Great Buddha: Symbolic Gestures and Postures
"Human nature is like a chariot yoked to a team of powerful horses. One of them is prana (breath), the other is vasana (desire)...the yogi masters the science of breath and by the regulation and control of breath, he controls the mind and stills its constant movement...Yoga is one of the most ancient spiritual concepts of East, and despite a philosophical look it has an equally significant physical basis...Yoga is a collection of simple practices...consisting of action, method and technique...the method by which the restless mind is calmed and the energy directed into constructive channels"
The Philosophy of Yoga - An Aesthetic Appraisal
"Since its beginnings in India, Buddhism has spread over an area... wherever you travel throughout this vast area, there is one type of architectural monument which is everywhere... This ubiquitous Buddhist monument is the stupa... it was the Buddha himself who outlined the basic design of the stupa... The Buddha's physical form... finds an echo in the stupa... The stupa by virtue of being the monument of Buddha's choice is deemed especially sacred... The spiritual merit of this monument is enhanced... by it being a reflection of the Cosmic Man, visualized in the ideals of Yoga, who resides in each of us..."
The Stupa - Yoga's Sacred Architecture
"...the sacred sound 'namaste' is believed to have a quasi-magical value, corresponding to a creative energy change. This transformation is that of aligning oneself in harmony with the vibration of the cosmos itself...."
Namaste - The Yogic Greeting - Exotic India Art
"The word karma is derived from the Sanskrit root 'kri,' meaning 'to do,' implying that all action is karma. Technically, the term incorporates both an action and its consequence... we...confront a dilemma...namely, the relative impurity and purity of an action... What determines the nature of the karma is the will or intention behind an act... We read in the Bhagavad Gita again and again that we must all work incessantly. There it is also mentioned that all work by nature is composed of good and evil... Good and evil are not constant - they change according to time and circumstance... every act is sacred since we are not the doer but a higher reality is acting through us... Karma yoga is a means for seeking divinity in action and life itself..."
Exploring Karma - Tales of a Universal Principle
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