Life is beautiful, divine and a constant celebration. Yoga, for our life, has been a potent power for the spiritual regeneration of people right from the days of yore. As a complete scientific guide, Yoga is designed for all who seek a full, happy and purposeful life. The discipline and training of Yoga embraces the body, the mind and the spirit. The perfection of body helps in the perfection of mind, mental efficiency is used to attain higher spiritual perfection, and collectively the three planes of perfection connote Happiness or Bliss.
Indian sages first discovered Yoga in the Rigveda over 5000 years ago. The system of Yoga was developed and passed down primarily through oral teachings from Guru to disciple in an unbroken tradition. The practice of Tantra, Mantra and Yoga bestows one the bounties of life on earth fulfilling their wishes and attunes to the spiritual dynamic energy unfolding one's hidden potential. It enables people to begin from their immediate, present state of consciousness and move forward into a state of wholeness, wellbeing and enlightenment.
The author has produced this masterful work with his unique blend of experience, intelligence and skill. It reflects on the aspects of Ashtangayoga & Hathayoga including Pranas, Nadis, Bodies, Postures & Pranayama, Mudras & Bandhas, Yoganidra, Bhutashuddhi, Chakra Meditation, Awakening of Kundalini Shakti, Mantra-Japa, Om, So'ham and Gayatri mantras and the science of breathing. The book is embellished with plenty of coloured and black-n-white illustrations.
While technology has made path-breaking progress, the human race is at the crossroads of existential angst. As Martin Luther King said, 'Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power we have guided missiles and misguided men.' Engaged in the enjoyment of a variety of pleasant experiences of the temporal world, discontentment persists until sense organs are fatigued and man is unable to work further. He remains engrossed with stress and strain. Alexander the Great wept because he had no more worlds to conquer. The physical world out there has its limits, as Alexander discovered to his cost. Each one of us nurtures the wish for a greater life perfect in body and beauty, pelf and prosperity, but deprived of the knowledge of Yoga, we achieve just a little bit of it. Science tells that we use, at best, only 10% of our potential, and the balance 90% remains unknown.
That's why Indian sages stressed on living a quality life. The life should be lived in such a way that success and satisfaction become our wings and we may be able to achieve a meaningful goal. This can be possible by winning both inner and outer world because the inner winner gives one satisfaction and the outer one gives success. It is sad that most of us fail in this world due to lack of vision caused by ignorance.
Thousands of years ago Yoga was spread throughout the world, but with the ravages of time, this knowledge was lost and man forgot the purpose of birth on this planet and the huge potential he possessed. In India, experiments with Yoga have continued from centuries; the seers visualized man not merely a bundle of flesh and bones, but as an integrated personality consisting body, mind, psyche and spirit. They proclaimed that all the pains of man, and there are hundreds and thousands, can be overcome by ten minutes of meditation. The Master-minds had every reason to assure that all the wealth of man cannot equal ten minutes of Dhyana Yoga. The science of Yoga gave people the hope to recognize the latent cosmic energy inside each and every individual.
Sadhana or spiritual practice does accumulation of energy by preventing its leakage. The need is to be a sincere Yogi with no selfishness. Swami Ramdeo, who has brought about revolution in Yoga across the world, says that 'Intense work is rest'. Let's arise and awaken to the need of the hour. Awakening is to connect with the Higher by preventing energies from seeping out. Yoga scriptures aver that one of the biggest source of energy leaks in negative emotions like anger, jealousy, possible by the practice of Yoga. The prevention is possible by the practice of Yoga. There is love, unselfishness, feeling of oneness, and friendship. That is why Krishna asked Arjuna to be a Yogi.
'The Yogi is superior to the ascetics, he is deemed superior even to those versed in sacred lore. The Yogi is superior even to those who perform action with some interested motive. Therefore, Arjuna, do you become a Yogi.' (Bh. Gita, vi. 46)
Sage Cheranda addresses his disciple Chandakapali telling him the importance of Yoga in Gheranda Samhita (1-4-5):
'There is no greater snare than illusion, no greater friend than knowledge, no greater enemy than pride Similarly there is no greater power than that of Yoga.'
'Just as by learning the alphabets (a, b, c, d, etc.) one is able to comprehend difficult treatises, so is the Supreme Knowledge gained by first mastering Yoga.'
Yoga takes you on the path of a beautiful journey of self-discover acquainting with your true nature, the body, the mind and finally the spirit for a complete integrated personality. It is by harmonizing them that one can tap the infinite potential within. Here the focus is, in fact, on integrating the body, mind and soul for a harmonious blend of life, and this author has every reason to assure that Yoga, Tantra and Mantra can bring tremendous change in life. This state can be achieved by constant practice of certain Yogic postures, breathing techniques, Bhuta-Shuddhi, Chakra meditation, intense inward contemplation, etc.
The necessity for such practices arises because the human body remains embroiled in Malas (impurities) gross and subtle, and needs purification. When the body is in impure state one can't breathe properly and is bound to remain in chaos. Talking of spirituality is a faraway affair when even the body is laden with toxic matter. Maybe sometimes one has to go for medication to live comfortably or seek other modes of recreation to appease the helpless state. The practice of Yoga has proved very effective these days especially for those who are fed up with medications and other ailments in life. It can be said with great command that Yoga can transform life. It may fetch miraculous results for the practitioner. By its constant practice and Grace of God circumstances become propitious, company of great persons is facilitated, the mind becomes quiet, inner peace prevails and a person is able to enjoy a meaningful life. One can come true at the anvil of what Lord Krishna defines the vision of oneness as the culmination of Yoga.
Yoga teaches that living is an art, a skill, a technique, which has to be learnt by each one of us to live a meaningful and perfect life. This book that throws light on the eternal principles of life and living enshrines here the very secrets of life. Tantra, Mantra and Yoga, when put together and understood in proper perspective, can bring miracles in the life of a person. This demanding practice requires considerable effort and taps into and circulates a vital energy throughout the body, strengthening and purifying the nervous system. The mind then becomes lucid, clear and precise. Wherever you look you will see God. However it is disheartening that this precious knowledge is found missing in our life today, and we have become victims of stress and strain.
The book is a humble attempt by a seeker who has deeply immersed himself in contemplation of the Supreme Soul. Since the Paramatman upholds all the acts of the universe, and, it is He Who constantly stood by me guiding in this earnest attempt, there is no word to utter in respect of His Gratitude. It is His Grace that the book has emerged in this form.
As a Sadhaka, practicing Yoga, say my Puja, the spiritual awakening was ingrained in my blood right from my school days. At the outset, I should record my gratefulness to all those great souls who virtually deserve the credit for this piece of writing. First, I should be loyal to my first school preceptor, Rev'd Shri Krishna Kumar Mishraji, who had kindly sowed the first seed in mind at the very fifth standard. I will remain indebted to him till the last breath of my life.
My parents have naturally played a major part in building my life instilling in me love for the people and imparting the very first lesson that Divinity dwells in everyone's heart My father Shri R.S. Gupta's contribution in shaping me with inclination towards virtues and moral ethos needs to be gratefully acknowledged here. His constant inspiration for education paved my path for the present state. Tears roll down my eyes when I set to recall the dedicated upbringing rendered to me by my chaste-hearted loving mother, unfortunately no more to see the day, who despite of all the odds and miserable situations, never let me feel any dearth and borne them on her own.
As a child, born in a remote village of the Uttar Pradesh, when I used to see those saffron-clad alms-begging ascetics visiting door-to-door playing on Sitar with holy bhajans, I could hardly form a good impression of a Yogi. 'They are Yogis and theirs is the best life', my father used to remark. Truly speaking that did not at all appeal me, and, since I had no inkling of a real Yogi, I had almost abandoned the idea of becoming one of the likes.
Years rolled by, and, so was the passage of life replete with days of vicissitudes. The Lady Luck favoured me and I had the first blissful experience of Yoga postures in a Yoga class run by Bharatiya Yoga Sansthan, Delhi. Since then I made it a habit and the practice of Postures and Pranayama had great healing effect on my body and mind. Attending to saints and spiritual masters' discourses, studying Scriptures and listening to the discourses of enlightened masters had become my routine. I am sad to record here that I had studied most of the works of Sir John Woodroffe and Gopinath Kaviraja but to little benefit. Even the study of Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana was merely to satisfy the curiosity of my holy urge and the love for the Scriptures as ordained for a Hindu.
However I was able to discover their esoteric sense only after I got initiated by my Guru Rev'd Shri Ramasurat Shuklaji to the practice of Chakra meditation, the energy centres along the spine. His association for more than a decade was instrumental in unfolding several knots of my wavering mind. That brought a total transformation in my life. His very first lesson in the lush green garden of Roshanara Baug did enlighten me inserting superb vibrations of effulgence. This was like unlocking the doors of my subtle as well as causal bodies, and, I recall it was as if the Supreme Yogi Lord Shiva did it all in the scheme of things He does. It was since then that I was able to comprehend the real purport of these Yoga treatises. The Great Master often remarked that it is important to awaken the Chaitanya, the principle of consciousness inside us, in order to make out some sense of divine scriptures. 'The Atman is the best teacher' he often remarked. Unfortunately he is not alive with his corporeal body to see the day, I shall ever feel his divine presence in my heart and shall remain grateful to him. With all humility I dedicate this book to his lotus feet.
I am also indebted to all great Yogis and scholars from India and abroad, whose works have been a big source of inspiration in writing this book. I bow to the lotus feet of all saints and great masters whose valuable discourses I availed of, as of Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj, Sw. Anubhavananda, Acharya Narasimha, Smt. Jaya Row, Sw. Sukhabodhananda, Sw. Ramdeo and some others.
Last, but not least, I extend my whose-hearted affection for my beloved daughter Svasti Shri for supporting me in the preparation of the typescript, and my spouse Rita for handling the daily chores of household activities all alone liberating me to dwell on this sacred lore.
(May all be well with mankind! May the leaders of the earth protect in every way by keeping the right path! May there be goodness for those who know the earth to be sacred! May all the worlds be happy!)
Mr. Chaitanya was drawn to spirituality from the childhood itself and studied most of the Hindu scriptures from enlightened masters. He devoted his entire life to the study and contemplation of god and the human existence on the earth. He took to the discipline of Yogic Sadhana in early ninety's Pleased with his dedication and steadfastness in Sadhana, his Guru conferred on him the title of Acharya. He was anointed preceptor in succession to his Guru and now provides guidance in Dhyana Yoga.
He is a prolific writer on various aspects of Indian culture and Yoga and has authored, edited and translated more than 20 books. His works on Tantra, Mantra, Yoga and Sanatana Dharma have got published from Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sanstha, Delhi and Indo-US Books, New York. He is also Founder of Penman Publishers, Delhi.
J. L. Gupta 'Chaitanya' was born at Sultanpur (U. P.), in 1958 into a family of farmers. His cousin grand-father was a freedom fighter who had served the army of Azad Hind Fauz. With brilliant academic career, Mr. Chaitanya obtained P. G. Dip. In Book Publishing (Editing) from the College of Vocational Studies, Univ. of Delhi, securing First Div. Earlier, he taught in private colleges, later worked with publishers as a Sr. Editor, Translator & Writer for more than two decades.
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