The Mahabharata is one of the greatest epic poems ever written, and its teachings have been a source of delight and spiritual illumination for aspirants since ancient times. This voluminous work, composed by Sage Vyasa many centuries before the birth of Christ, consists of eighteen books or parvas. Within these books, a myriad of stories, parables and episodes present before the reader the different problems that one encounters in life on both the collective as well as individual level. They show, in a most colorful fashion, how men who are inspired by the sense of dharma (righteousness) conduct themselves in order to attain liberation.
The fascinating stories that weave the plot of the Mahabharata have been well-known to Eastern readers for centuries and are now becoming known in the West. How ever, very few readers are aware of the profound mystic subtleties behind these stories. Through the unique insights of His Holiness, Sri Swami Jyotirmayananda, this subtle wisdom is revealed in a way that will spur the sensitive aspirant to ascend the heights of spiritual transformation. Never before has any writer probed the inspiring philosophical depths of the Mahabharata with such skill, clarity and profound mystic sensitivity.
In this small volume we have tried to capture the major elements of the plot of the Mahabharata along with their most thought-provoking philosophical implications. it is our sincere hope that its readers will be led in a most captivating way to dig deep into the treasure of this ancient scripture and to savor its awe-inspiring truths. And may this book, mysticism of the Mahabharata, allow these truths to lead them forward to the victory of Self-realization!
Back of the Book
The Mahabharata is one of the greatest epic poems ever written, and its teachings have been a source of delight and spiritual illumination for aspirants since ancient times. The fascinating stories that weave the plot of the Mahabharata have been well-known to Eastern readers for centuries and are now becoming known in the West. However, very few readers are aware of the profound mystic subtleties behind these stories.
Through the unique insights of His Holiness, Sri Swami Jyotirmayananda, this subtle wisdom is revealed in a way that will spur the sensitive aspirant to ascend the heights of spiritual transformation. Emboldened by Swamiji's penetrating vision, the aspirant will surely emerge as a hero in the battlefield of life and attain the victory of Self-realization!
About Swami Jyotirmayananda and His Ashram
Swami Jyotirmayananda was born on February 3, 1931, in a pious family in Dumari Buzurg, District Saran, Bihar, India-a northern province sanctified by the great Lord Buddha. From his early childhood he showed various marks of future saintliness. He was calm and reflective, compassionate to all, and a constant source of inspiration to all who came in contact with him. Side by side with his studies and practical duties, he reflected upon life's deeper purpose.
An overwhelming feeling to serve humanity through a spiritual life led him to embrace the ancient order of Sanyasa on February 3, 1953, at the age of 22. Living in the Himalayan retreats by the sacred River Ganges, he practiced intense austerities. In tireless service of his Guru, Sri Swami Sivananda Maharaj, Swamiji taught at the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy as a professor of religion. In addition to giving lectures on the Upanishads, Raja Yoga and all the important scriptures of India, he was the editor of the Yoga Vedanta Journal. Ever able to assist foreign students in their understanding of Yoga and Vedanta, his intuitive perception of their problems endeared him to all.
Swamiji's exemplary life, love towards all beings, great command of spiritual knowledge, and dynamic exposition on Yoga and Vedanta philosophy attracted enormous interest all over India. He frequently lectured by invitation at the All India Vedanta Conferences in Delhi, Amritsar, Ludhiana, and in other parts of India.
In 1962, after many requests, Swami Jyotirmayananda came to the West to spread the knowledge of India. As founder of Sanatan Dharma Mandir in Puerto Rico (1962-1969), Swamiji rendered unique service to humanity through his regular classes, weekly radio lectures in English and in Spanish, and numerous TV appearances.
In March, 1969, Swamiji moved to Miami, Florida, and established the ashram that has become the center for the international activities of the Yoga Research Foundation. Branches of this organization now exist throughout the world and spread the teachings of yoga to aspirants everywhere. In 1985, the Indian ashram near New Delhi opened its doors and is now serving the community by offering yoga classes, by publishing the Hindi Journal, Yoganjali, and by assisting the needy through a medical clinic.
Today Swami Jyotirmayananda occupies a place of the highest order among the international men of wisdom. He is well-recognized as the foremost proponent of Integral Yoga, a way of life and thought that synthesizes the various aspects of the ancient yoga tradition into a comprehensive plan of personality integration.
Through insightful lectures that bring inspiration to thousands who attend the conferences, camps and philosophical gatherings, Swamiji shares the range and richness of his knowledge of the great scriptures of the world.
His monthly magazine-International Yoga Guide-is enjoyed by spiritual seekers throughout the world. His numerous books and cassette tapes are enriching the lives of countless aspirants who have longed for spiritual guidance that makes the most profound secrets of yoga available to them in a manner that is joyous and practical.
Despite the international scope of his activities, Swamiji still maintains an intimate setting at his main ashram in Miami that allows fortunate aspirants to have the privilege of actually studying and working under his direct guidance. In the lecture hall of the Foundation, Swami Jyotirmayananda personally conducts an intense weekly schedule of classes in Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Vasistha, Mahabharata, Upanishads, Panchadashi, the Bible, Raja Yoga, Hatha Yoga and meditation.
With a work/study scholarship, qualified students are able to attend all classes conducted by Swamiji tuition-free. In return, students devote their energy and talents to the Foundation's noble mission by serving in the bookshop, offices, press, and computer and publication facilities.
Both the Yoga Research Foundation and the main ashram lie in the southwest section of Miami, two minutes from the University of Miami and 15 minutes from the Miami International Airport. The main ashram is on a two and a half acre plot surrounded by threes and exotic plants, reminiscent of the forest hermitages of the ancient sages. Adjoining are subsidiary ashrams that house student residents and Foundation guests. The grounds are picturesque, abounding with tall eucalyptus and oak trees, a fragrant mango orchard giving shelter to numerous birds and squirrels, and a lake of lotus blooms reflecting the expansion of the sky. In this serene yet dynamic environment, the holy presence of Swami Jyotirmayananda fills the atmosphere with the silent, powerful message of Truth, and the soul is nurtured and nourished, allowing for a total education and evolution of one's inner Self.
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