Conversations on the Science of yoga is an encyclopaedic series presenting the vast, timeless culture of yoga topic by topic through the voice of three generations of master – Swami Sivananda Saraswati, Swami Satyananda Saraswati and Swami Niranjananda Saraswati. jThe teachings are given in questions and answer format with the inclusion of verses from the scriptures, connecting the modern experience with the classical tradition.
Hatha Yoga Book I: an overview introduces the vast field of hatha yoga, laying a foundation for understanding the more specific aspects addressed in subsequent books. It clearly presents hatha Yoga as a profound and holistic science for purification of the physical and energy bodies with the purpose of managing the mind and experiencing higher states of consciousness. Included are: the origins and history of Hatha yoga, Hatha yoga in other cultures; an understanding of the pranic or energy body; the role of hatha yoga in other branches of yoga; and guidelines for hatha yoga practice and lifestyle.
Throughout the wisdom of these master, complete understanding of hatha yoga and a vision for its application in the modern era is interpreted for yoga aspirants around the world.
CONVERSATIONS ON THE SCIENCE OF YOGA
Conversations on the Science of Yoga is an encyclopaedic series which brings together the collected teachings of two generations of masters - Swami Sivananda Saraswati of Rishikesh, Swami Satyananda Saraswati of Munger. Satsangs given by Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati on his numerous national and international tours also provide the answers to many questions on this vast subject. These luminaries represent a living tradition in which the eternal knowledge and wisdom of yoga has been passed from guru to disciple in a dynamic continuum from the early twentieth century to the first decades of the twenty-first century.
The series consists of sets of books which present the vast, timeless culture of yoga topic by topic, in question and answer format. In this way, complex and profound subjects such as karma yoga, hatha yoga and bhakti yoga, are presented in clear, simple language. These conversations on yoga reflect an ancient and enduring approach to the transmission of wisdom, in which spiritual aspirants seek answers to their questions at the feet of the guru.
Many of the answers also include verses from the various relevant scriptures, connecting the modern experience with the classical tradition. It is through the lives and teachings of the masters that the scriptures are correctly and intuitively interpreted for each generation, ensuring that the light these revelations continues to illumine and inspire the he, and minds of all who aspire for spiritual upliftment.
Conversations on the Science of Yoga has been compiled from the rich archive of satsangs and writings, both publish and unpublished, which is held at the Bihar School Yoga, Munger. The organization of this material into the major branches of yoga and related topics creates a unique interpretation of the classical yogic sciences for the benefit of humanity in the modern era. Deeply founded in tradition the teachings are both systematic and practical, address] the needs of individuals and society at a time when adjustment to constant change is placing unprecedented pressure on people all over the world.
The Bihar Yoga tradition
Bihar School of Yoga is ideally placed to produce this major contribution to yogic literature. Founded in 1963 by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, the system known in India as Bihar Yoga and internationally as Satyananda Yoga, seamlessly integrates all facets of the yogic tradition, including the various branches of yoga, the philosophies which are fundamental to the yogic culture and the dynamism of self- realized preceptors which ensures that the teachings remain fresh and relevant in any age. This all-inclusive approach means that yogic practices are available as tools for holistic life management, while other vidyas, spiritual sciences, such as Tantra, Vedanta and Samkhya provide a broad philosophical base. Emerging from this living tradition, Conversations on the Science of Yoga is a unique and precious offering to humanity.
Swami Sivananda Saraswati (1887-1963)
Swami Sivananda was a towering spiritual force in the yogic renaissance which developed in India in the first half of the twentieth century. After serving as a doctor in Malaya, he returned to India to pursue his spiritual aspirations, and in 1924 was initiated into Dashnami sannyasa in Rishikesh. He founded the Divine Life Society, toured India extensively, wrote hundreds of books and inspired thousands around the world to practise yoga and lead a divine life. Swami Sivananda's eightfold path of yoga - serve, love, give, purify, do good, be good, meditate, realize - expresses his philosophy of service to humanity and continues to guide the work of the Bihar School of Yoga.
God and nature created this human body with all of its possibilities and hopes. There are various systems and practices of yoga to help man fulfil his human potential, but of these, the most important is hatha yoga.
-Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Hatha yoga is both the most widely practised and the most widely misunderstood branch of yoga in today's world. Its impact has been so great but also so flawed, that many people's perception of yoga is totally limited to a small selection of practices from the hatha yoga tradition, for it is this branch of yoga which includes the asanas, or yoga postures. In the popular mind, yoga and asana have become synonymous. This view not only devalues hatha yoga, which is a system of great variety and depth, but also yoga itself, which is a spiritual concept and culture for the expansion of consciousness beyond the conditioned self.
The majority of people who claim to practise hatha yoga are attending classes in which asanas are taught as physical techniques purely for the flexibility and fitness of the body. They are unlikely to have any knowledge or understanding of prana or the nadis, which are the basis of the science of hatha yoga, let alone the wealth of practices other than as ana which are integral to hatha yoga. Needless to say, such practitioners have no idea of the actual purpose of this important branch of yoga.
Due to the appeal of this over-simplified approach, it has become common for teachers to develop and market their own 'brands' of yoga in which they adapt and modify the practices for their own purposes, even though they have no direct experience of the pranic body or the effects of the practices on the pranic body. Such effects are fundamental to the techniques of hatha yoga - hence a careful, systematic approach is always advocated by the classical tradition.
The popularity of hatha yoga, however, shows that people around the world are receptive and responsive to the idea of yoga, which until the twentieth century was little known outside India. The uptake and influence of hatha yoga also confirms the advice of great yogis past and present, that it should be the starting point of the yogic journey, laying the foundation for other branches of yoga as the practitioner evolves towards transcendence of the mundane mind. For these reasons alone there is a great need for the dissemination of correct information about this valuable Yogic science.
In contrast to the modern trend, in the past the practices were maintained and developed by self-realized masters whose understanding of the hatha yoga system came from profound and transcendental experience of the practices, and who only passed on the training to trusted and dedicated disciples. The practices and sadhanas were regarded as 'secret' due to their power and specific purpose. In the words of Swami Satyananda, "the real purpose of hatha yoga is not to build the body or improve health, but to energize and awaken the higher centres responsible for the evolution of human consciousness. If hatha yoga is not used for this purpose, its true objective is lost.
Fortunately true yogic masters and gurus of authentic traditions do still walk this earth. Due to their efforts and inspiration the integrity of yoga is not only being maintained but also evolved for application to the diverse needs of modern society and for the benefit of those who are drawn to all that yoga has to offer. Hatha l1iga Book 1: An Overview, is the first in a collection that present the comprehensive hatha yoga teachings of three generations from a lineage of such masters - Swami Sivananda Saraswati, Swami Satyananda Saraswati and Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati. Through the medium of these masters, a complete understanding of hatha yoga and a vision for its application in the modern era has been interpreted for yoga aspirants around the world.
These modern masters are also able to correctly interpret the scriptural teachings written by the great hatha yogis of the past who first selected and systematized the practices from the vastness of India's yogic culture. Key amongst these are: Shiva Samhita, Hatha 10ga Pradipika of Yogi Swatmarama, Gheranda Samhita of Sage Gheranda and Hatharatnavali of Srinivasa Bhatta Mahayogindra. Slokas from these works are used by Swami Sivananda, Swami Satyananda and Swami Niranjanananda as they answer questions on all possible angles of hatha yoga in this series.
These teachings clearly show that far from being merely a collection of physical postures that enhance health and wellbeing, hatha yoga is a deeply significant vidya, or body of spiritual knowledge. As such it is precious beyond mundane comprehension and therefore the task of maintaining and protecting its authenticity and integrity lies properly with realized souls. In the hands of the masters, the system of hatha yoga can evolve and develop in tune with the times without compromising its intrinsic nature and qualities. This is exactly the accomplishment of Bihar School of Yoga.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Item Code: NAQ667 Author: Swami Sivananda Saraswati Cover: PAPERBACK Edition: 2013 ISBN: 9789381620274 Language: English Size: 8.50 X 5.50 inch Pages: 2496 (10 Color & Throughout B/W Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 3.1 Kg
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