The Art of Joyful Living

The Art of Joyful Living

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Item Code: NAG094
Author: Swami Rama
Publisher: Himalayan Institute
Language: English
Edition: 2012
ISBN: 9780893892364
Pages: 196
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 260 gm

About the Book

 

Whether you are on a spiritual quest or are simply looking for a way to improve your life, The Art of Joyful Living offers a simple philosophy of living and practical suggestions for being happy. Swami Rama shows how to maintain a joyful view of life even in difficult times. He gives methods for transforming habit patterns, developing intuition, cultivating strength and willpower, maintaining loving relationships, and more. His insight into the human mind and heart makes this book a source of inspiration for anyone looking to live a healthier, happier life. This revised edition contains a new foreword by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD

 

About the Author

 

One of the greatest adepts, teachers writers, and humanitarians of the 2 Othcentury, Swami Rama is the founder of the Himalayan Institute. Born in northern India, he was raised from early childhood by a Himalayan sage, Bengali Baba. Under the guidance of his master he traveled from monastery to monastery and studied with a variety of Himalayan saints and sages, including his grandmaster, who was living in a remote region of Tibet. In addition to this intense spiritual training, Swami Rama received higher education in both India and Europe. From 1949 to 1952, he held the prestigious position of Shankaracharya of Karvirpitham in South India. Thereafter, he returned to his master to receive further training at his cave monastery, and finally, in 1969, came to the United States, where he founded the Himalayan Institute. His best-known work, Living with the Himalayan Masters, reveals the many facets of this singular adept and demonstrates his embodiment of the living tradition of the East.

 

Foreword

 

The Art of Joyful Living is the testimony of someone who lived life in all its fullness. Its author, Swami Rama, assumed and renounced many large roles, both worldly and spiritual, marked by extremes and contrasts, in the course of his long lifetime. A brief glimpse of these events will help you understand how he mastered the art of joyful living and why he was uniquely qualified to teach this art to others.

 

Swami Rama was born to an aging Brahmin couple. Soon afterward, his father died, his mother lost her sight, and he was adopted by a Bengali saint. The boy grew up in the cave monasteries of the Himalayas but received a Western-style education, first at Woodstock (a secondary school in Mussourie), then at the University of Allahabad. After that, in an attempt to understand the mystery of life and the world in which he lived, he journeyed throughout the Indian subcontinent, living with accomplished masters and studying with great teachers such as Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. At the age of twenty-four, he became Shankaracharya, the highest position in Hinduism. Three years later, he renounced this exalted post, got married, and had two children. Then he became a monk.

 

After twelve years of living in solitude, Swami Rama came to the West, where he founded the Himalayan Institute, a multi-national organization dedicated to teaching yoga, ayurveda, holistic health, and spirituality. As president of the Himalayan Institute, he worked both as a teacher and as an administrator. And even though he had a strong personal preference for solitude and was deeply committed to spiritual practice, he involved himself in the affairs of the world- traveling, lecturing, writing books, guiding students from all walks of life, managing the Institute's business. In other words, he was fully engaged with the complexities of modern life.

 

Even without knowing the details, you can see from this brief sketch that Swami Rama was extraordinary. But what cannot be so easily seen is that his life was also full of difficulties: the losses in early childhood, the transition from the cave monasteries to modern Western-style schools, the burden of Hinduism's most powerful office, and the end of his marriage. I came to know many of the details during the twenty years that I lived and studied with him, yet I found him unaffected. by these difficulties. He was vibrant, energetic, and joyful. Even in his seventies, his eyes twinkled with the mischief of a child. He lived in the present and engaged in trivial, mundane activities with the same exuberant energy that he brought to profound spiritual matters.

 

When I expressed my puzzlement about how he had mastered the art of living so joyfully in both worlds-the profane and the sacred-he replied, "People are caught in their self-created misery. First they build a high, thick wall separating daily life from what they consider spiritual, then they exhaust themselves trying to demolish it. You are a creation of God, but happiness is your own creation once you know the meaning and purpose of life, you will no longer waste your time grieving over the past and brooding about the future. You will see that life is a beautiful song and you will begin to enjoy its rhythm and melody. The creativity of the creator residing in you will begin to flow through you, spontaneously and effortlessly. Then you will no longer seek freedom from the world; you will experience freedom in the world."

 

Swami Rama's teachings can be summarized in one simple sentence: You can live a healthy and happy life, provided you understand that happiness is of your own creation. The Art of Joyful Living is a manual for learning how to be happy here and now. In the pages that follow, Swamiji discusses how to cultivate a calm and tranquil mind, how to turn it inward, and how to employ it to reflect on the meaning and higher purpose of life. Here you will learn that expectations are the source of misery, but that if you perform your duties selflessly and lovingly, you will remain free from all disappointment. The art of joyful living requires you to become the master of yourself-first, to master your own body and mind, and then, to masterfully transform the world around you. This book tells you how.

 

Contents

 

Foreword by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Ph.D.

vii

Chapter 1

1

Knowing your own true self

 

Chapter 2

15

Positive living and the transformation of habit patterns

 

Chapter 3

29

Perfecting the personality

 

Chapter 4

45

The nature of positive and negative emotions

 

Chapter 5

67

Memory and the nature of mind

 

Chapter 6

83

Developing strength and willpower

 

Chapter 7

103

Developing intuition and the wisdom of buddhi

 

Chapter 8

121

Transcending desires and purifying the samskaras

 

Chapter 9

135

Spirituality in loving relationships

 

Chapter 10

157

The process of meditation

 

Glossary

173

About the Author

179

 

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