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Blissful Experience, Bhakti

Quintessence in Indian Philosophy

Bhakti-yoga is seen as the direct path to perfection that leads to the very heart of religious consciousness. Ramanuja's concept of bhakti (devotion) emphasised the practice of self-surrender through which a person r....read below

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About This Book

Bhakti-yoga is seen as the direct path to perfection that leads to the very heart of religious consciousness. Ramanuja's concept of bhakti (devotion) emphasised the practice of self-surrender through which a person realises his personality, strengths and weaknesses, and hidden powers. Bhakti, for him, acts as a link between mortals and the Ultimate Reality.

This book examines the views of Vishishtadvaita of Ramanuja on bhakti and prapatti (self-surrender). It studies in-depth the meaning of God, the soul and the Supreme Soul, and the world; the concept of bhakti; the different stages of bhakti referring to numerous sources that include the Vedas, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Upanishads and the Puranas. It focuses on Ramanuja's teaching of bhakti, examining his philosophy in general and his sevenfold practice, Sadhana Saptaka to generate bhakti that expounds the qualities and significance of discrimination for viveka, freedom from sensual attachment or anger for securing vimoka, repeated reflection of God, performance of religious duty for inner mental strength, development of ethical virtues, freedom from despair and freedom from excessive joy. It understands the relevance of symbols in devotion and examines nature and use of symbols in Buddhism and Hinduism. The scholarly study discusses the importance and cultivation of peaceful emotions, and need for prayer and dietary regulations in devotion.

The volume will prove an indispensable work for scholars of Indian philosophy and religious studies.

  • Foreword By :
  • Binding: : Paperback
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124606148
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124606145
  • Edition : 1st edition
  • Year : 2012
  • Pages : xxiv, 336 p.
  • Bibliographic Details : 10 b/w photographs; Glossary; Bibliography; Index
  • Size : 23 cm
  • Weight (approx.) : 550 gm

Life Sketch of Our Father Sri T. Krishnamacharya 
Genealogy 
Benediction by B.K.S.Iyengar 
Preface 
Presentation 
List of Illustrations 
1. Introduction 

Lord Rama's Disappointment 
The Soul 
God and the World 
Concept of Soul and Supreme Soul, Atma and Paramatma
God and the Soul 
The Aim of Devotion 
What Does Man Achieve in Devotion? 
The Supremacy of Devotion 

2. Concept of Bhakti 
3. Stages of Bhakti 

Different Stages of Bhakti 
Four Stages of Approach 

Salokya --   Samipya -- Sarupya -- Sayujya 

Stages of Bhakti in Narayaniyam 

4. Ramanuja's Teaching of Bhakti 

Ramanuja's Views in a Nutshell 
Ramanuja's Teaching Through His Life and Works 
Two Types of Human Pursuit 
Surrender to God 
The Theology of Ramanuja 
Universality of God 
Fruits of Self-surrender 

5. The Sevenfold Discipline of Ramanuja (Sadhana Saptaka)

Introduction 
Ramanuja's Philosophy 
Importance of Means and Practical Examples 
Sevenfold Practice, Sadhana Saptaka 
Discrimination (Viveka) 
Means to Purify the Mind, the Intellect, the Ego and the Cit
Freedom from Desires (Vimoka) 
Constant and Uninterrupted Spiritual Practice (Abhyasa) 
Good Action (Kriya) 
Virtuous Qualities and Conduct (Kalyana Guna) 
Truthfulness (Satya) 
Straightforwardness or Sincerity (Arjava) 
Compassion to Living Beings, Deep Sympathy (Daya)
Harmlessness, Non-violence (Ahimsa) 
Gift of Duly Earned Belongings (Dana) 
Satvika Dana 
Rajasika Dana 
Tamasika Dana 
Non-covetousness (Anabhidaya) 
Cheerfulness (Anavasada) 
Non-exultation (Anuddharsha) 

6. Value of Uttering God's Name

Importance of God's Name 
Relation Between Name and Form or Image 
The Inherent Power of the Name (Nama-shakti) 
The Means 

7. Symbolism in Devotion, Pratika Upasana

Importance of Symbols 
The Relevance of Symbols in Devotion 
Symbols 
Symbols in Buddhism 
Symbols in Hinduism 

Pranava (OM) -- Shri Cakra -- Tantra -- Mandala -- Svastika --  Shiva-Linga -- Shalagrama or Shaligrama 

Symbolic form of Worship (Pratika)
Worship Through Meditation 

8. Peaceful Emotion Shanta Rasa 

Birth of Human Emotions 
Peaceful Emotion (Shanta Rasa) 
Shanta Rasa and Bhakti 

9. Image in Devotion 

Need for Images in Devotion 
How Images Develop Bhakti 
Greatness of Images in Spiritual Evolution 

10. Adoration of God (Prayer) 

Adoration of God 
Prayer 
Japa 

Sound is in Fact the Breath of Brahman -- Pranava and Pranava Japa --  Rama Nama Japa 

Mahatma Gandhi's view on Rama Nama 
Gayatri 

11. Dietary Regulations in Devotion: Ahara Niyama

Praise of Food (Annastuti) 
Efficacy of a Proper Diet 
Mind is Made of Food 
The Quality of Mind Depends upon the Quality of Food
The Twofold Classification of Creatures 
The Concept of Anna in the Upanishads 
Chandogya Upanishad on Food 
Prasada, the Divine Food 
The Six Tastes of Food in Ayurveda 

Sweet (Madhura) -- Sour (Amla) -- Salty (Lavana) -- Bitter (Katuka) -- Pungent or Spicy (Tikta) -- Astringent (Kashaya) 

The Concept of Ojas 
The Concept of Personality in Hindu Philosophy 
Factors that Influence Man's Personality 
Birth and Development of Different Emotions 
Vegetarianism and Non-vegetarianism in Hinduism 
Scriptural Awareness of Animals 
The Three Types of Food According to Bhagavad-Gita
Food Regulations in Yoga 
Disciplines in Food Habits 
Ramanuja on Food Regulations 
Vedanta Deshika on Food Regulations 
Forbidden Foods 
Foods to be Avoided 
Eating Regulations (Bhojana Niyama) 
Indications for Daily Life 
A Note of Caution 

Glossary 
Bibliography 
Index

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