In this Book, based on the study of chapters 10, 11 and 12 of the Bhagavad Gila, Pravrajika Vivekaprana makes us aware of what is perhaps the most vital connection that we, as individuals, have with the Universal Form or concept of Divinity, or with the idea of God as we understand it, in trying to traverse the Path of Devotion. Without this intrinsic link and understanding of the Impersonal and Personal we can never perceive the real significance of the Universal Power and our relationship with It.
Pravrajika Vivekaprana, of the Ramakrishna Sarada Mission Order, is in-charge of the Ramakrishna Sarada Mission Retreat Centre in Pangot, District Nainital, in the foothills of the Himalaya.
After discovering Swamiji through the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, at the age of 19, she has traversed a long journey of in-depth study of Vedanta phylosophy and Hindu Psychology, as given by the ancient rishis of India, and as explained in contemporary terminology by the modern-day rishi, Swami Vivekananda. Pravrajika Vivekaprana has a unique understanding of Vedanta, as she brings in contemporary thought, the mindset of this Age, the discoveries of physical science, and the impact of all this on the human psyche.
She travelled widely, to several countries, including the UK, Germany, Holland, South America, and the United States of America during several trips made between 1989 and 2005, sharing her thoughts and understanding of the ancient scriptures and concepts with very appreciative audiences. In 2013, she travelled again to the US, and for the first time to Australia, and conducted study retreats during the world-wide commemoration of Swami Vivekananda's 150th birth anniversary. Since 2006, through her lectures as published in the Understanding Vedanta Lecture Series, which are based on the study of various scriptures during regular study retreats, she shares her thoughts on Vedanta with a much wider audience.
Before we begin to study the "Path of Devotion" or "Way of Devotion" as given in chapter 12 of the Bhagavad Gita, we need to search our minds and see what we feel about it, as such, and what we know about the background. How do we relate with this religion or philosophy, and what is our concept of the word "God"?
We know that our religion is called Hinduism but the basis and background of this system of thought is the analysis of universal human nature. We also know that the Bhagavad Gita is a very popular book, and it has been worshipped and studied over centuries. But what does it mean to us today? In many Hindu homes the shlokas (verses) are chanted as a part of daily worship. But how many of us try to study this book, in-depth, and grasp its greater significance in our daily lives? The Gita is a very important book as it clarifies doubts and answers most of the questions that rise in our minds when we face crises in our daily lives.
Today, these concepts need to be studied in the light of Sri Ramakrishna's sadhana (his experiments with the ancient truths) and Swami Vivekananda's explanations. Sri Ramakrishna's quest for the realization of God, of the Divine Mother, was a 12-year period of intense sadhana - of anguish, perseverance, practice, and relentless search. For him the single-pointed goal was for the Divine Mother, in the form of Goddess Kali, to reveal Herself as the living God. And thereafter, he practiced all disciplines to demonstrate that all paths lead to the same goal, God Realization. Furthermore, as he said, "seeing Brahman or God in all beings is the last word of Sadhana."
' Sri Ramakrishna The Great Master, 1978, Vol. 1, p. 98. Trs. Swami Jagadananda, Ramakrishna Math, Madras.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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