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Understanding Pratika (Symbols in the Indian Tradition)

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About the Book 'The images, crosses, and crescents are', says Swami Vivekananda.' Simply so many symbols–so many pags to hang the spiritual ideas on.' Indeed out lives are full of symbols. National flag is a symbol, and so also the zebra crossing. Be it political parties or business houses or symbols in the periodic table, we live amidst a host of symbols. The greatest role of symbols, however, is in spiritual and cultural lives of our lives. Man needs symbols, and n...
About the Book

'The images, crosses, and crescents are', says Swami Vivekananda.' Simply so many symbols–so many pags to hang the spiritual ideas on.' Indeed out lives are full of symbols. National flag is a symbol, and so also the zebra crossing. Be it political parties or business houses or symbols in the periodic table, we live amidst a host of symbols. The greatest role of symbols, however, is in spiritual and cultural lives of our lives. Man needs symbols, and needs to understand them too. This book attempts to unrevel the meaning of some such symbols from an Indian perspective.

Publisher's Note

'The images, crosses, and crescents are', says Swami Vivekananda, 'simply so many symbols-so many pegs to hang the spiritual ideas on.' Indeed our lives are pervaded by symbols. National flag is a symbol, and so also the zebra crossing. Be it political parties or business houses or symbols in the periodic table, we live amidst a host of symbols. The greatest role of symbols, however, is in spiritual and cultural aspects of our lives. Man needs symbols, and needs to understand them too. The following pages are an attempt in this direction.

Sometimes in 1998, at the request of some readers, The Vedanta Kesari, the spiritual and cultural monthly published from this Math, began to serialise short monographs on some of the well-known symbols in Indian tradition. For six years, from 1998 to 2003, this column continued and was well received by one and all.

These monographs were prepared by Sri CS Ramakrishnan, Swami Brahmeshananda and Swami Baneshananda-all editors of The Vedanta Kesari. We are happy to present these writings in book form. We have included a few quotations from Swami Vivekananda on symbols, compiled by Swami Atmashraddhananda, the present editor of The Vedanta Kesari, who has also edited the present book. To appendices at the end are from the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda.

Our thanks to Sri P.S. Sundaram of Mumbai and Sri Mukundan, Sri Raghu and Sri Srikanth of Vedanta Kesari Office at Chennai Math for their help in preparing the book.

Contents

  Publisher's Note iii
  Section A  
1 Who Do We Worship? 1
2 Swami Vivekananda on the Role and Significance of Symbols 6
  Section B  
3 Agni 19
4 Ashoka 21
5 Bhasma (Vibhuti) 24
6 Bow 26
7 Bull 28
8 Cauldron of Fire 30
9 Chariot 32
10 Conch 34
11 Cow 36
12 Crescent 38
13 Cross 40
14 Dakshina 42
15 Deer 44
16 Dharma Chakra 47
17 Ear 49
18 Earth 51
19 Elephant 53
20 Emblem of Synthesis 55
21 Eye 58
22 Feet (Pada) 60
23 Flag (dhvaja, ketu, pataka) 62
24 Forest 64
25 Garuda 66
26 Goat (Aja) 70
27 Hand 73
28 Heart 75
29 Horse 77
30 Jain Symbol 79
31 Khanda 81
32 Kumbha 83
33 Lamp 87
34 Linga 90
35 Lion 92
36 Lotus 97
37 Menorah 102
38 Moon 104
39 Mountain 106
40 Nataraja 108
41 Ocean 111
42 Peacock 115
43 Pranava 118
44 River 120
45 Serpent 122
46 Sun 126
47 Swan 128
48 Swastika 130
49 Torii 132
50 Tree 134
51 Varaha 138
52 Vayu 141
53 Water 143
54 Wheel 145
55 Yin and Yang 147
  Appendices  
56 The Need of Symbols 150
57 The Chief Symbols 163

 

Sample Pages








Item Code: NAN924 Cover: Paperback Edition: 2016 Publisher: Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai ISBN: 9788178837031 Language: English Size: 7.0 inch x 5.0 inch Pages: 188 (Throughout B/W Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 155 gms
Price: $16.00
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