Book of Wisdom is Swami Rama's commentary on one of the most celebrated of the Upanishads, the sacred scriptures that form the basis of spiritual thought in India. Serving both as an introduction to yoga philosophy and as a careful guide for scholars, this excellent study be- gins with a history of the Upanishads, which are the world's oldest written source of knowledge. This scripture explains the essential ques- tions of the nature of God, the origin of ignorance and illusion, and the levels of mind and consciousness.
SWAMI RAMA is the founder and spiritual head of the Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy. Raised in the cave monasteries of the Himalayas, he has also been formally educated in some of the most prestigious universities of both the East and West and has served as consultant to a research project at the Menninger Foundation. He is the author of Living with the Hi- malayan Masters. A Practical Guide to Holistic Health. Lectures on Yoga. and numerous other books.
The Vedanta philosophy, through the Upanishads, emits rays of light that have shown bright and clear for thousands of years. In the West we are coming late to realize that this ancient source of light can not only bring enlightenment to the Truth seeker, but also it can shed light upon our own scriptures which talk of "the same light which lighteth every man coming into the world." How rich with meaning is the Ishopanishad as interpreted in his Book of Wisdom by Swami Rama of the Himalayas! We of the West pride ourselves in being "doers," and our lives are often frittered away in a senseless pro- gression of projects. We are builders and innovators without equal; but we are also ridden with an unparalleled degree of anxiety and tension. As one of our poets says, "Why build these cities glorious if man unbuilded goes." Unless we learn how to relax, to let go, to free the mind from its continuous concentration on things at the circum- ference of life, there is little hope for true enlightenment. I have seen Swami Rama transform the lives of throngs of people through his articulation and demonstration of the techniques so clearly outlined in his Book of Wisdom.
To the Eastern seeker (Sndbaka) may I congratulate you for being a part of a culture that has produced such sublime works as the Upanishads-and such enlightened teachers as Swami Rama to interpret them. And ... to the Western Truth seeker, may I commend to you this inspiring book, the Book of Wisdom. It contains words of great knowledge made relevant for modern times in the East and West by a master teacher.
It is obvious that no lecture or series of lectures, and no single book or library of books can carry one along the path of enlightenment (Sadbana). All these may show him the path, but growth along the path depends upon personal commitment and discipline. As Shakespeare says, "Therein the patient must minister to himself." But there are guideposts to be seen, if we have eyes to see; and there are encouraging voices to be heard, if we have ears to hear. If you are looking for directions in your quest, Swami Rama and his Book of Wisdom may be a helpful beacon-light on your way.
The Ishopanishad. one of the shortest of the U pani- shads, is also one of the most profound. Like other great texts of the Vedic tradition, the Ishopanishad is an inte- grated and comprehensive treatment of spirituality, psy- chology, epistemology and practical guidance for personal and social improvement. It contains not only an explana- tion of cosmic and personal consciousness, illusion and reality, ignorance and knowledge, but it also concerns itself with the practical application of spirituality and the prep- aration for one's final journey. In this discussion of the Ishopanishad by Swami Rama, we come to understand that there is a necessary compatibility between the spiritual and the practical in life.
Written in the philosophical and poetic imagery of the ancient tradition, the Isbopanisbad is often quite difficult for Westerners to understand, but in this commen- tary, Swami Rama has brilliantly illuminated the profound insights it contains. A master yogi in a long line of eminent teachers and rishis, Swami Rama is also a spiritual successor to the great Shankaracharya, India's greatest philosopher and yogi. Selected to continue in this spiritual leadership carefully handed down through the ages, Swami Rama holds the position of spiritual leader. Since 1969 Swami Rama has been teaching in the United States. He is the founder and spiritual leader of the Himalayan Institute, which is located in Honesdale, Pennsylvania and has many branches throughout the United States and other parts of the world. Under his guidance, the Institute has developed a holistic therapy program, a graduate school offering a Master's degree and a Ph.D. in Yoga Psychology and Phil- osophy, and research and training programs in Yoga science. The Institute also publishes its own books and supports yearly international conferences on Yoga science and meditation. Eschewing any personal following, Swami Rama works quietly to bring the spiritual wisdom of the East to full understanding and harmony in the West. For this spiritual leader, who is also a scientist and a philoso- pher, there is no separation between the universal truths of religion and science.
Swami Rama's approach to the Isbopanisbad is clear, universal and practical. In the first chapters he points out that despite our material wealth and technology, we have still not achieved peace within ourselves or within our societies. He shows that the solution to our problems lies in the recognition and experience of the inner self, and in establishing harmony with this inner self, nature and society. Then follows a translation of and commentary on the Tsbopanishad which provides an unequivocal and concrete illustration of the value of the Upanishads to modern man. Needless to say, such commentaries as these are both rare and essential, especially for Westerners. The Western mind, unfamiliar as it is with Eastern philosophies and world views, needs assistance in understanding the writings of a more ancient and distant milieu. This assist- ance is ably provided by Swami Rama as he demonstrates the everyday practicality of the profound truths found in this ancient text.
For example, mantras twelve through fourteen of the Ishopanishad are concerned with the highly abstract subject of the differences between the manifest and un- manifest universe. Swami Rama clearly describes the relationship between these two universal principles by comparing them with the relationship between the individual and the cosmos. He also shows that true knowl- edge is beyond mere academics or logic.
Swami Rama explains several practical methods to start one on the path to the final goal of life-conscious union of the personal with the universal. He demonstrates the practical relationship between the abstract cosmology and everyday life and describes the spiritual practices of yoga, which are the means by which this union can occur. Whether he is discussing man's relationship with death, the nature of human suffering, or the development of wisdom, Swami Rama constantly clarifies the relation- ship between the theoretical and the practical, and constantly holds up for our examination the insights gained through deep spiritual practice by the ancient sages. We can ourselves begin to see how one of the shortest Upanishads is a wellspring of ageless wisdom, providing both the spiritual metaphysical scheme for understanding the human condition and at the same time providing the practical methods for solving our personal and social problems. As Swami Rama points out, our suffering is a direct result of our ignorance of this inner self, and until we achieve conscious awareness of this self, until we recognize God within, we will continue to create suffering for ourselves. Becoming and remaining conscious of the divine spirit within and becoming non-attached to the world, leads to the realization of universal truth and the resolution of the "partial horror" of the human condition. In his first letter, St. John reminds his fellow Christians that they can overcome adversity and false knowledge because "you are from God and you have in you One who is greater than anyone in this world." In all great religious truths, there appears the one universal truth of God within as the source of all power and wisdom. In his remarkable vision and understanding, Swami Rama leads the readers to see that "we have only to become human; we already are God."
|Book of Life||1|
|Search for Life||9|
|Triangle of Life||17|
|Mind and Sadhana||24|
|Upanishads and Vedanta||36|
|Introduction to the Ishopanishad||41|
|Ishavasyopanishad, Invocation of Peace||49|
Item Code: IDC998 Author: Swami Rama Cover: Paperback Edition: 1972 Publisher: The Himalayan International Institute ISBN: 0893890030 Size: 8.5" x 5.5" Pages: 137 Other Details: weight of the book is 210 gm