The principles of Vedanta are scientific because they are verifiable and repeatable, democratic because they foster individual freedom, universal because they apply to all people of all time, pragmatic because they focus on human problem and development, and psychological because they relate to human experience.
Guarded for centuries by saints and ascetics in the forests and mountains of india, the universal principles of Vedanta were deemed too precious to be understood by the masses until Swami Vivekananda first introduced them in the West at the end of the nineteenth century.
Today Vedanta’s principles of self awareness, self knowledge, and self control are available for anyone who wants to enrich their life by following this ancient tradition. Fusing science, philosophy, meditation and contemplation, these timeless teachings encourage spiritual growth by inviting critical inquiry, encouraging honest doubt, and providing realistic explanations of the mysteries of spiritual quest.
This comprehensive guide examines in detail the tenet of Vedanta, its relationship to other spiritual paths, as well as its applications for your own spiritual journey, such as :
--- Reestablishing Contact with the Ultimate Reality
--Mastering the restless Mind
-- Grasping the Essentials
--Acting in the Living Present
--Liberating the soul
-- Awakening Spiritual Consciousness
-- And much more
Swami Adiswarananda, a senior monk of the Ramakrishna Order of India, is the Minister and Spiritual Leader of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Centre of New York, one of several centers of the order in the United States. He is also author of Meditation and its Practices : A Definitive Guide to Techniques and Traditions of Meditation in Yoga and Vedanta.
Vedanta is the wisdom of the Vedic sages. For thousands of years it has inspired people to find solutions to the problems of life and thus reach the highest fulfillment. As a philosophy of living, Vedanta has been tested and verified in the lives of countless seekers, saints, and prophets of india. The Vedanta way is decisive, and its practices are based upon science and reason.
For centuries the Vedanta philosophy was kept carefully guarded by saints and ascetics living in forests and mountains, and never made public. They thought that the teachings would be diluted and misunderstood by the masses, who were probe to believe not in truth but in myths and miracles. In matters of spirituality and religion, truth is often sacrificed to fiction and make believe. A rational and realistic approach is rare. Religious texts are filled with eulogy, exaggeration, doubtful myths and loving legends. The average person regards scriptures as infallible, forgetting that the scriptures are in fact remembered words and experiences written down by human being.
Swami Vivekananda was the first to bring the teachings of Vedanta from the forest to the general public. He thought that because of the developments of science, the time had come to deliver the message of Vedanta to all. Accordingly to the swami, the teachings of Vedanta are worth nothing if they are not problem solving. They are useless unless they enrich our lives and lead us to peace and happiness.
Vedanta reminds us that the course of life is mysterious. It is plagued by ceaseless changes and uncertainties. Pain, suffering, illness, old age, and death are harsh realities that cannot be ignored or avoided. Vedanta maintains that problems and solutions go together: one cannot exist without the other. If nature presents a problem, it also points toward a solutions. In suggesting solutions, Vedanta does not deal with the occult or the miraculous and does not cater to fads, whims, or pious imaginations. According to Vedanta, our happiness depends upon peace of mind, peace of mind on self-control, and self-control on awareness of our true Self.
This book does not compromise the orthodox views of Vedanta. It deals with such subjects as life and its meaning, mastering the restless mind, the spiritual quest, the practice of meditation, the controversy between faith and reason, and facing the problem of life. Vedanta assures us that we are not living in the final days of our destiny, that every problem has a solutions , and that the human soul is not a prisoner of karma or sin. The merciless and inexorable laws of life can be countered and overcome. The book presents both the facts and the fictions of human life and assures us that regardless of background, culture, training, or religious belief, all can follow the Vedanta way to resolve the problems of life and reach the supreme goal.
Competent editors have gone through this book, and I am grateful to them for their valuable contributions. It is my fervent hope that this book will be of help to the readers in their quest for peace, happiness, and spiritual fulfillment.
|1.||The Relevance of Vedanta to the World Today||1|
|2.||Life and its Meaning : The Vedanta View||9|
|3.||The Human Condition||25|
|(i).||Sufferings of Life||25|
|(ii).||Fear of Old Age||48|
|(iii).||Fear of Death||56|
|4.||Awakening of Spiritual Consciousness||66|
|5.||Faith of Reason ?||77|
|6.||Mastering the Restless Mind||117|
|7.||Self-Expression or Self – Control?||126|
|8.||Grasping the Essentials||137|
|9.||Four Steps toward the Goel||151|
|10.||The mood for meditation||167|
|11.||The quest for peace and happiness||182|
|12.||Liberation of the Soul||187|