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The Mahabharata: Stories of the Great Epic with Spiritual Commentaries in the Light of Kriya Pranayam
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The Mahabharata: Stories of the Great Epic with Spiritual Commentaries in the Light of Kriya Pranayam

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Specifications:

  • Dimensions:8.6' X 5.8'
  • Edition:2006
  • Author:Swami Satyeswaranada
  • Publisher:The Sanskrit Classics
  • ISBN:1877854433
  • Cover Type:Hardcover
  • Number of Pages:830 (Illustrated Throughout In B/W)
  • From the jacket

    Lord Krisna adises his disciple, Prince Arjuna
    ''You have right to work only, but never to expect result.''
    In other words, practice Kriya or make sadhana (meditation) abandoning the expectation of the results (niskam karma) to free yourself from the bondages (attachment) of the accrued results, good or bad, thereby, as a freed man of all results, you can achieve absolute freedom, eternal peace and tranquility (Sthirattva). This is the only way one can attain eternal liberation, Brahma-Niravan. Making yourself free from the accrued results by abandoning the expectation in the first place is the key to attain eternal liberation. There is no other way: Nanya pantha bidyate ayanaya. Remember, expectations constitute bondage, while abandoning desires delivers absolute freedom.

    Krisna is showing the universal form (Biswarup) to Arjuna.
    The lord said: ''Behold the thousands of forms and various kinds of things; I am in the atoms of various colors.'' ''You cannot see with the gross eyes. I am giving you an eye like the sky (ethereal divine eye). By that divine eye (Divya Chaksu) you can see the manifestation of the Lord (supreme self, in between the eyebrows through the practice of Yonimudra in the Kutastha) through the oneness of Yoga.'' The Bhabavad Gita 11:5, 8

    Salient points in the life of Vidyaratna Babaji

    Vidyaratna Babaji (Swami Satyeswarananda Maharaj) was educated as a resident student for eight years in the hermitage school.
    He learned Kirya from Swami Satyananda with whom he was closely associated for long twenty years.
    Graduated from the University of Calcutta with a B. A. Philosophy honors, received an M.A. in philosophy specializing in Vedanta philosophy, concurrently received a LL.B.(Law) degree, and also worked for Ph.D. program.
    He was a professor of law and an advocate (attorney).
    He entered into the order of Swami with the blessings of Jagatguru Sankaracharya Swami Krishna Tirtha Bharati of Puri Gobardhan Math and Bidyananda Presided over the ceremony.
    He lived in a small hut for twelve (12) years in Dunagiri Hill, Himalayas; sometimes with Mahamuni Babaji who frequently visited him.
    Suddenly, without taking a vow, he observed Continuous Silence...(akhanda mouna) for three long years and was known as silent sage, Mouni Baba, Mouni Swami.
    In 1974, he received ''Kriya Sutra'' the message of Mahamuni Babaji at Dunagiri Hill Himalayas.
    In 1975, at the instruction of Babaji, he toured the world and lectured in European countries.
    In 1976, Mahamuni Babaji initiated him into Purna Kriya in the Himalayas and commissioned him to re-establish the Original Kriya.
    In 1982, Mahamuni Babaji sent Vidyaratna Babaji to America. He was lived in America ever since.
    He has authored more than forty-five (45) books. Some of them are as follows:
    1. Babaji and His Legacy,
    2. The Divine incarnation
    3. Biography of a Yogi, volume 1
    4. Kriya: Finding the true path,
    5. The six systems (Sara Darsan), and
    6. The Holy Bible: In the light of Kriya.

    As a sannyasi, he lives and stays alone; and eats meals prepared by himself (swapak). Like Mahamuni Babaji and Lahiri Mahasay, he is free of asrams, centers and organizations. As a servant of all (sakaler das) he serves only the qualified, since and serious seekers of truth form San Diego, California (U.S.A)

    The Author's note

    The great epics of India are the Ramayana and the Mahabharata
    Recently, in the west, an interest has developed in the Mahabharata. The author has already presented the Mahabharata in the light of Kriya in a separate title with the commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita By Lahiri Mahasay, the Polestar of Kriya.

    Western readers found it difficult of follow the commentaries, not know-ing the stories of the Mahabharata. The author felt an obligation to present the stories of the Mahabharata in a summarized edition for Western readers.

    While doing so, it struck the mind of the author that it would be prudent and practical to present the other epic, the Ramayana, in the same straightforward way in a separate book.

    The Ramayana's stories took place in tretayuga, while the Mahabharata's stories took place in subsepuent dwaparayuga. It then became imperative to present the Kriya commentaries on the Ramayana also, at the end of the Ramayana.

    During the off harvesting seasons in the countryside in India the stories of these two great epics are dramatized by private and government opera institutions. As a result, the illiterate farmers (men, women and children) in India have the opportunity to listen to the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata and regulate their spiritual lives, drawing lessons from the stories.

    Thus, these two epics, in fact, have shaped and are still an instrument of shaping the country's moral and spiritual character, from the illiterate farmers to the learned scholars.

    The Veda: The ultimate scripture of the Vedic culture

    The Vedic is the oldest and ultimate book of the scriptures regarded as Apauruseya (written not by man, but by the Lord Himself).

    Yogi Krisnadwaipayan Vedavyasa (popularly known as Vyasa), the son of Yogi Parasara, divided it into four parts (Rik Veda, Sama Veda, Yayur Veda and Atharva Veda).

    Society in Vedic culture is divided into four classes:

    1. Brahmana- priest class,
    2. Khatriya- military class or ruling class,
    3. Vaisya- merchant and agricultural class,
    4. Sutra- servant class.

    The need for the Mahabharata

    Among them, only the first three classes had the right to read and learn the Vedas, while the Sudra class had no access to it.

    Being kind, Sage Vyasa wrote a great epic by the name of the Mahabharata, regarded as the fifth Veda, to which all the four classes had access, to read and learn.

    The longest epic in the world

    This great epic contains twenty-four thousand, one hundred and fifty (24,150) couplets. The Mahabharata is the longest epic ever known to mankind. It is a complete epic because, besides being a literary classic, it is a supreme treatise on Yoga, philosophy, and the science of human behavior. It is an exhaustive manual of morals and manners.

    Thus the Mahabharata finds its universal place in Vedic society.

    The Mahabhara the Mahabharata is shrouded in mystery. Countless scholars have tried to trace to personality of its author. Vedavyasa has been mentioned by many as its compiler. But doubts still persist on all these counts.

    Was it possible for one man to compose over a hundred thousand verses? Handed down by oral tradition, was the Mahabharata finally written down in 800 B.C., or 2000 B.C? There is no conclusive answer.

    The stories of the Mahabharata

    The core of the epic consists of a quarrel between the princely cousins, known as the Pandavas and the Kauravas, leading to an eighteen days' bloody war. This must have had its roots in some real happening.

    However, its uniqueness is the universality of its message in the light of Kriya, and how it relates to everybody's daily life irrespective of religious beliefs.

    Thus, it continues to maintain its prestige as Siddha Kavya, ''the epic superior to the great epics'' and also as the scripture of an eternal message.

    Historical aspect

    The text with its available recensions points to three oral versions:

    1. the first as recited by Vedavyasa himself.
    2. the next as recited by his disciple Vaisampayana to Janmenjaya, and
    3. the third as narrated again by Sage Sauti, who had heard Vaisam-payana's recital.

    Additions and interpolation must have crept in at various times, until the advent of the printing press and the standard editions. There are variations in some places in the different version.

    The ultimate book for the art of guiding one's life

    The great epic, the Mahabharata, can be understood as stories with important lessons useful in guiding one's life.

    It imparts the knowledge of military warfare between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. It also gives a picture of Lord Krisna as a King, ruler, statesman, peace-maker and a righteous person.

    The Mahabharata contains lofty intellectual thought which are recited and expounded on various occasions.

    The Bhagavad Gita

    Needless to say, the Bhagavad Gita, which is a part (having 700 couplets) of the great epic Mahabharata, assumed universal importance in the world of the seekers of truth.

    The Bhagavad Gita sections preached through Lord Krisna and the advice of Bhisma in the Bhisma Parva, the Santi Parva and the Anusasan Parva constitute the intellectual and spiritual level of this great work. They contain an eternal message regarding the nature of Self, righteous duties of the seekers toward each order (Brahmana, Khatriya, Vaisya and Sudra), the duties of a king, the nature of Truth, and the path of liberation in one's life.

    The word Bhagavad is the adjective of the word Bhagavan, which means ''Lord,'' and Gita refers to ''songs,'' or ''divine music.''

    The Bhagavad Gita applies to all religious faiths, as it contains the eternal message regarding the nature of self, Truth and life's everyday battles.

    Many readers may have read one or several interpretations of the Bhagavad Gita, regarded as the Hindu Bible, and may not be familiar with the main book, the Mahabharata.

    It is felt the reader needs to know the stories of the Mahabharata to better understand the Bhagavad Gita.

    For this reason the author presents the stories of the Mahabharata in this book in a summarized version for western readers.

    In the beginning, the author tells how the Mahabharata was written.

    It is the author's sincere hope that this book will help seekers to have a solid background to understand the world's greatest epic and consequently help the Kriyanwit/Kriyanwita seekers to better understand the Mahabharata proper perspective in their practice of Kriya and meditations.

    Contents

    Dedication v
    Books by the author vii
    Illustrations xi
    The author's note xiii
    The Mahabharata
    Part 1
    The stories of the great Epic
    Invocation (Mangala Charan) 1
    How the Mahabharata was written 2
    Prologue 7
    ''Parbas''
    1. Adi Parba (The beginning) 12
    2. Sabha Parba (Assembly Parba) 65
    3. Bana Parba (Pandava's Exile into the forest) 101
    4. Virat Parba (Pandava's year incognito at the palace of kine Virat) 172
    5. Udhyog Parba (Preparation of war) 203
    6. Bhisma Parba (Kaurava's commander-in Chief Bhisma, at war) 248
    7. Drona Parba (Kaurava's commander-in Chief Drona, at war) 284
    8. Karna Parba (Kaurava's commander-in Chief Karna, at war) 353
    9. Salya Parba (Kaurava's commander-in Chief Salya, at war) 386
    10. Souptik Parba (Aswathama's Sudden attack on Pandavas at night) 412
    11. Stree Parba (Mourning and performance of funeral rites) 419
    12. Santi Parba (Peace at the end of the war) 429
    13. Anusasan Parba (Bhisma's advice to king Yudhisthira) 439
    14. Aswamedha Parba(Pandava's performance of Jagya with horse) 455
    15. Asrambasik Parba (King Dhritarastra, Gandhari & Kunti retire to the forest recluse lifestyle- Vanaprastha) 468
    16. Musala Parba (Balarama and Krisna leave Body) 473
    17. Mahaprasthan Parba (Pandavas retire to the Himalayas) 482
    18. Swargarohan Parba (Pandava's retirement to heaven) 486
    The Mahabharata
    Part 2
    Spiritual Commentaries
    In the light of Kriya Pranayam
    19. The spiritual characters: In the light of Kriya Pranayam 493
    20. The Bhagavad Gita: 575
    Substance of the Bhagavad Gita 576
    Synopsis of the Bhagavad Gita 578
    Cream of the Bhagavad Gita 583
    Invocation 589
    Inner war 590
    The Bhagavad Gita 591
    21. The Kurukshetra War: In the spiritual light 653
    The background 655
    The code of conduct in the war 657
    Insight into the Kurukshetra war in the light of Kriya 659
    The eighteen-day's Kurukshetra war 661
    22. Just after the war: Bhisma advises king Yudhisthira 734
    23. Events after the war: King Yudhisthira rules Thirty-six year 760
    Pandavas' Ascent to the region of heaven 771
    24. The conclusion 779
    The vedic lifestyle 780
    Fundamental features of Vedic culture 783
    Kriya kundalini: Pranayam 799
    25. About the author 805
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