The contemporary, thoughtful reader in search of self-fulfillment and
a means to attain it will find The Path of Perfection a welcome relief.
Herein one will find a clear, intriguing explanation of the philosophy
and practice of mankind’s oldest system of spiritual development
yoga. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(1896-1 977) elucidates the philosophy of yoga as explained in the
The Gita describes the scene, when perplexed and confused about
his identity and purpose; Arjuna turns to Krishna, who then reveals
"the path of perfection" to His able student. The essence of Lord
Krishna’s teachings is that one must center their life on the practice of
bhakti-yoga that is, the union between the individual consciousness
and the Supreme Consciousness.
Through this historical series of talks, Srila Prabhupada offers
a brilliant exposition of the methods of bhakti-yoga, revealing the I
universal applicability of this simple but all-inclusive form of yoga.
He shows how even those who are entangled in the complexity and
chaos of modern-day materialistic life can employ this straightforward
practice to purify their mind and elevate their consciousness to a
state of ultimate happiness.
When we see a book with a title like The Path of Perfection,
we may react with a bit of common scepticism: "Oh, another
book claiming to give all the answers. One more do-it-yourself
enlightenment scheme." And certainly it seems that such
scepticism is justified nowadays. Our natural desire for ultimate
meaning, happiness, enlightenment, liberation, and salvation has
become the most exploited commodity of the twentieth century,
creating what one contemporary theologian termed a disastrous
"seduction of the spirit." This seduction is, indeed, the most tragic
kind of exploitation. And the unfortunate consequence of this
exploitation is a kind of deadening cynicism that discourages our
search for self-fulfilment and a means to attain it.
The contemporary, thoughtful reader, weary of the many
speculative, simplistic books cluttering the bookstore shelves,
offering instant formulas for psychological or spiritual salvation,
will find The Path of Perfection a welcome relief. Herein one will
find a clear, intriguing explanation of the philosophy and practice
of mankind's oldest system of spiritual development—yoga.
Now, the word yoga may conjure up an image of some skinny
fakir contorted like a human pretzel, or perhaps a room full
of corpulent matrons in black leotards struggling to stand on
their heads in hope of improving their health, losing weight, or
increasing their sexual powers. This is not what we mean by yoga.
Here we are referring to an ancient philosophy and meditational
system that has been practiced by millions throughout the ages.
What has, in modern times, been reduced to a commercially
exploited technique of bodily agility and pseudomeditation was
once a comprehensive and easily applied form of self-realization.
The Path of Perfection consists of a historic series of talks
elaborations on a previously published commentary—by His
Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977)
on India’s greatest spiritual classic, the Bhagavad-gila. In these
absorbing talks, Srila Prabhupada explores deeply the philosophy
of yoga as explained in the Sixth and Eighth Chapters of the Gita,
showing clearly how these timeless teachings apply to twentieth
century mankind. Srila Prabhupada’s talks probe questions
concerning the nature of consciousness, techniques of meditation,
karma, death, reincarnation, and even spiritual ecstasy.
The Bhagavad-gita, described by one contemporary
psychologist as "a remarkable psychotherapeutic session,"
appears to us in the form of an extraordinary dialogue between
Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His
warrior disciple Arjuna. Perplexed and confused about his
identity and purpose, Arjuna turns to Krsna, who reveals "the
path of perfection" to His able student. The essence of Lord
Krsna’s teachings is that one must become a yog), that is, one
whose life is centered on the practice of yoga. And what is yoga?
The Sanskrit word yoga literally means "union," and refers to the
union, in love, between the individual consciousness and the
Supreme Consciousness, the self and the Superself, the soul
and God. Yoga is, indeed, "the path of perfection," because it
aims toward this most exalted human attainment.
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