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Blissful Experience, Bhakti

Quintessence in Indian Philosophy by: T.K. Sribhashyam , Alamelu Sheshadri

The study discusses importance of bhakti (devotion), pràpatti (self-surrender) and cultivation of peaceful emotions drawn from the great àcàrya’s intense and contemplative study of the Vedas, Upaniùads, the Bhagavad-Gãtà and the Puràõas.

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ISBN: 9788124606131
Year Of Publication: 2012
Edition: 1st
Pages : xxiv, 336 p.
Bibliographic Details : Glossary; Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23 cm.
Weight: 650

Overview

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.

Contents

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, Pratäka 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 (Pratãka)
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

Meet the Author
avatar-author
1940
Mr. T.K. Sribhashyam obtained his Master’s degree in accountancy as well as in Hindu philosophy. He also received intensive lessons on yoga philosophy, and Indian psychology. Ayurveda, the Indian medical science, was another subject of study under his father, Sri T. Krishnamacharya. Since 1971, he has been transmitting his father’s teachings in Europe, in French as well as in English. In 1999, the Mysore Sanskrit College conferred on him the title of Acharya for his faithful and devoted teachings of Hindu philosophy. He is the Head of all Yogakshemam schools in Europe. His book Emergence du Yoga (in French) has been recently published from France and its English translation is under preparation. Two of his books in English viz. Blissful Experience-Bhakti — Quintessence of Indian Philosophy and From Devotion to Total Surrender-Shanagati Yoga — In the Light of Indian Philosophy are appearing from India in 2012. He has published many articles in different yoga journals in Europe. He is an honorary life member of the International Yoga Federation and the World Yoga Council.
Books of T.K. Sribhashyam
avatar-author
Mrs. Alamelu Sheshadri, second daughter of Shri T. Krishnamacharya, is graduated from Mysore University. Shri T. Krishnamacharya initiated her to Yajurveda, taught her all major Upanishads, Brahmasutras and the Bhagavad-Gita in the traditional way. He also trained her in yoga, both practically and philosophically. From 1985 until 1989 she continued studying many philosophical subjects, especially Vishishtadvaita.
Books of Alamelu Sheshadri