About the Book
Yoga is not just a physical exercise, nor is it a religion. Yoga is a philosophy of life and a systematic science that enables us to realize our true nature and experience our union with the Divine. A wellspring of wisdom and spiritual knowledge for many thousands of years, yoga provides answers to the burning questions of life--answers that satisfy the mind and soothe the soul. Inner Quest weaves together hundreds of answers to the questions that well up from within our heart as we travel the spiritual path. Topics include:
Spirituality Reincarnation• Relationships Karma Death and Dying Understanding the Mind• Overcoming Obstacles Ayurveda Herbs Health and Healing Meditation The Sacred in Everyday Life• Choosing a Path Teachers and Students Higher Consciousness• Enlightenment• Mantra
To help us on our quest for self-realization, Pandit Tigunait draws on the knowledge he has gathered from the scriptures, from accomplished teachers, and from his own spiritual findings as well as his experiences with other seekers and students on the path.
Inner Quest grew out of Pandit Tigunait's bi-monthly column by the same name in Yoga International magazine. This second edition is more than twice as long as the first incorporating new questions and answers.
About the Author
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD, is the spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute. Family tradition gave him access to a vast range of spiritual wisdom preserved in both the written and oral traditions. As a young man, he lived and studied with renowned adepts before meeting his spiritual master, Sri Swami Rama of the Himalayas. Pandit Tigunait is fluent in both Vedic and Classical Sanskrit and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the scriptures. He holds a doctorate in Sanskrit from the University of Allahabad, and another in Oriental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. He has written more than a dozen books, running the gamut from scholarly analysis and scripture translation to spiritual biographies and practical advice on applying yogic concepts to the problems of daily life. In addition to lecturing and teaching world -wide for more than thirty years, Pandit Tigunait is the inspiration for the Institute's rural empowerment projects and the motive force behind the Himalayan Institute Community Centers taking root in Asia and Africa.
There comes a time when the rewards and pleasures of the world around us lose their charm. It can happen in a flash at a moment of achievement when a long-sought prize turns to dust in our hands, or when catastrophe strikes. But for most of us it begins with a wisp of unease, an indefinable sense of something missing that grows more insistent with time. Try as we might to stifle it, our disquiet grows-and grows again. Can it be that life has no meaning and more urgent still, what is the meaning of my life? This is where the inner quest begins.
There are many routes to take once we start looking beneath the surface. Religious organizations, bookstores, websites, and workshop offer a maze of directions: astrology, pancha karma, yoga classes, church membership, flower remedies, psychotherapy, rituals, Reiki chanting the list goes on. Many of these routes seem to take us out of ourselves, at least for a time, but then the trail peters out and we wander on, finding a quick fix here, the glimmer of a real answer there. But the hollowness abides.
This isn't surprising when you think about it. It's as if we are trying to reach the Grand Canyon by flying from New York to Vancouver,_ then drifting off to Paris, embarking from Orly for a trip up the Nile, and flitting from there to the Yucatan before wandering up to Pittsburgh. At the end of all this exploring we're a few hundred miles closer to the Grand Canyon than we were when we set out, but the bulk of the journey still lies ahead. Similarly, taking a few yoga classes, dropping them to join a self-esteem therapy group, then spending a month in a Zen monastery before going off to a retreat to free the inner child might give us some insight into the vast potential locked within us, but it will not bring us much closer to unlocking it. The meaning and purpose of our lives is still out of reach.
The spiritual quest is often likened to a journey. And any journey, whether across the globe or into the depths of the spirit, unfolds in stages. If you live in Colorado, for instance, you cannot trek to a hid- den valley in the Himalayas until you have found your way to an air- port, flown to Asia, and hired a vehicle to convey you into the mountains. If you are smart you will have talked to people who have made similar treks, located your route on a map, purchased a reliable guidebook, and spent some time hiking in the Rockies, acclimating your body and breath to high-altitude exertion. The spiritual journey is no different: to reach your goal you need some idea of the terrain that lies between you and your destination and a plan for crossing it. Like any traveler, you will want an accurate map, the best information you can get from those who have made the trip before you, and a reliable guidebook.
This volume offers all three. Written by an experienced traveler in the spiritual realm, Inner Quest maps out the journey and provides systematic guidelines for recognizing and overcoming the obstacles that lie ahead. In a quarter of a century of working with students around the world, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait has found that those who embark on the spiritual quest have the same basic questions, regardless of age, culture, or ethnicity. So he has collected our inquiries and arranged them to address the issues that arise as seeker journeys inward. They run the gamut from straightforward questions about diet and exercise to meta- physical queries about the nature of reality and how we shape our des- tiny. The first edition of Inner Quest, published in 1995, was drawn from columns by the same name that appeared in Yoga International; this second edition is more than twice as long and incorporates the columns that appeared in the magazine in the next six years.
If you start at the beginning and read this volume straight through to the end, you will come away with a clear picture of what the spiritual journey entails and how to find your way to the heart of the inner realm. On the other hand, you may prefer to consult the Table of Contents and go directly to the questions that address your most pressing concerns. Or you may choose to browse, leafing through the chapters and reading the answers to the questions that catch your eye. However you first approach it, you will reach for this book again and again. And as your inward journey deepens and you begin to master your body, breath, and mind, you will find yourself rereading it, finding answers to questions you didn't know you had.
Like any first-rate guidebook, Inner Quest can be used in whatever way suits you as a comprehensive guide, a quick reference, or an inexhaustible treasury. Spiritual travelers will find it invaluable.
|What is spirituality?||5|
|Yoga and religion||12|
|Yoga and God||24|
|Establishing a personal practice||33|
|Teacher and student||33|
|Choosing a path||40|
|Preparing for the journey||47|
|Creating a spiritual environment||57|
|Roadblocks Along the Way||75|
|Taming the mind and senses||75|
|Purifying the ego||81|
|The Science of Life||101|
|Working with Body and Breath||119|
|Asana and prnayama||130|
|The practice of meditation||141|
|The sacred sound||159|
|Our True Nature||177|
|Freedom from misery||177|
|Karma: The maker of destiny||186|
|Staying on the Path||213|
|Pilgrimage and ritual||231|
|The dawning of enlightenment||239|
|The Journey's End||243|
|About the Author||257|