Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga is no mean assignment to identify with! It took the author over twenty years to unbolt (she hopes) what the sutras were trying to converse with her. In this book she gives personalities inherent in each of the seven chakras in the spinal cord. She weaves a story around individuals at different levels of human evolution while on a spiritual journey.
The book is a masterpiece. Dr. Chakraburtty has worked with her spiritual teacher, Swami Chinmayananda for over 25 years. The Story of meditation is both her personal experience of spiritual development and an in-depth text of Eastern philosophy, specifically.
Sneh (Ahuja) Chakraburtty was born in Punjab, educated in Zanzibar and in Ireland. She grew up with a deep interest in spirituality. She was taught the Vedanta by Swami Chinmayananda himself for over twenty years. Thirty three years later, she continues to make medicine and philosophy a symbiotic relationship.
The Story of Meditation is based on the writings and researchof Sage Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras. Written more than twothousand years ago, the sources of the 196 sentences thatmake up the Yoga Sutras are believed to be the Mahabharata,and the Bhagavad-Gita. A study of the Yoga Sutras compels astudy of Vedic philosophy and a comprehensive spiritualjourney into meditation. Patanjali’s seven disciples, as youwill discover during the course of this book, are spiritualhopefuls who change their own particular tendencies andtraits to reach the Goal in defeating the individualistic self[ego] and discovering the true Self [Soul]. A spiritualjourney should enable us, the seekers, to recognise thestatements and observations made in the Yoga Sutras, toexperience them, and reproduce them in meditation. Themost essential contribution to a successful spiritual journeyis the seeker’s inherent self-discipline to fast, to study, toconceptualise.
The paths to spiritual success, of course, vary. Patanjaliexamined the many paths to reaching the Goal and foundthat some seekers are naturally inclined to search and arriveat tranquility and contentment. Some find inspiration inreflection, chanting and devotion. Some respond to.a formof integral discipline — which can vary from self-deprivationto altruistic acts of devotion. Some can achieve growththrough samadhi. Though there are many paths, seekers ofspirituality find success when all eight elements of ashtangayoga cooperate.
In-built Programming Governs Us…Thousands of years ago, Indian sages outlined scientifictheories about the body, the mind and the intellect. Thesemen of learning set down the inner sciences in sacredscriptures. They deduced that these truths formed the basisof human health and spirituality, like codes form the base ofany software. These ‘truths’, embedded in Vedanta, outlinehow every human is governed by rules called samskaras andhow every human behaves only — and exactly — according tothis in-built programming. So, unlessa seeker learns to decodethese messages, he cannot decipher or hope to understandthe larger Truth.
Many sages, including Patanjali, Shankaracharya, Vyasaand Chinmayananda, created scientific ‘programming’designed to heighten and hasten the process of spirituallearning. By mapping the paths of inward processing, theylearned how to train the inner operations of their bodies andminds. After that, they devised ways to apply these ideasto the traditional scriptures, or the old way of achievingenlightenment. The purpose was to speed up spiritualevolution, stabilize the intellect and achieve an undisturbedenduring state of spiritual awareness. The descriptions theyhave left behind, of their individual journeys, have survivedtime and age ... even rapid and consistent change.
These ideas are the steps to a spiritual life. A seeker hasto understand, assimilate and practise these concepts. And,if one wants to embark on the path of spiritual awakening,one can. Throughout these pages, essential truths from SagePatanjali’s journey have been deciphered, and the Sanskritterms explained in a glossary at the end of the book [so theflow of reading is uninterrupted]. ‘Man’, as used in the text,refers to ‘humankind’, and to no particular sex.
**Contents and Sample Pages**