This volume addresses and analyses the different aspects of yoga and consciousness using scientific and pedagogical tools to fit well into an academic framework. The essence of yoga is the search to know our true selves to discover the real nature of consciousness. It starts with the body, goes to the mind and aims to realize the inner nature. Yoga is a way of life; it provides excellence in action; it removes our own evils and weaknesses, leading us to a higher level of consciousness paving the way for peace, bliss and harmony.
This book has been structured as a textbook on yoga. It conforms to the course content of yogic science of India universities and should serve as an authentic reference book on the subject. Efforts have been made here to navigate the readers with different aspects and planes of yoga and consciousness smoothly.
While dealing with topics such as the concept, science, psychology, and problems and challenges of consciousness, this volume delves deep into topics like human consciousness in philosophical thought; yoga and expansion of consciousness; and the current issues in the science of consciousness and yoga. It also familiarizes one with the different methods of evolution of consciousness in Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism and Sikkhism.
This book is specifically targeted at university teachers and students of yogic science. It should also raise keen interest among practising psychologists, psychoanalysts and general readers.
Dr. Kamakhya Kumar, a PhD in Yogic Science, is an established investigator and a well-known author in his field. He is a founder faculty member of Dev Sanskriti University, Haridwar, India and at present is an Associate Professor in the Department of Yoga and Health. He has the additional charge of the Centre of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, as Chief Coordinator. He has authored ten books including A Handbook of Yoga Nidra and Yoga Psychology: A Handbook of Yogic Psychotherapy, and has published over sixty research articles in the national and international journals. He is the Chief Editor of International Journal of Yoga and Allied Sciences.
Dr Ajay Bhardwaj got his Bachelors in English Honours from Magadh University, Bodha Gaya and did his Post-graduation in English from S.K. University, Dumka, Jharkhand and subsequently took two more postgraduate degrees in Human Consciousness and Yogic Science, and Journalism and Mass Communication from Dev Sanskriti University. He got his PhD on “A study of Yoga Related Coverage in Print Media” Presently, Dr Bhardwaj is working as a Senior Assistant Professor and as a Coordinator Media Studies at Dev Sanskriti University, papers in national and international seminars.
Who doesn’t want peace and happiness in the world? Can we find out even a single person in the whole, who doesn’t want peace and happiness? The answer is, of course, a big “no”. Everyone wants a peaceful, and prosperous life, but how many people really make an honest effort to achieve this goal? Man makes various sorts of efforts to get happiness from objects and in return gets himself entangled in lots of trouble, as these objects are perishable; he fails to get the desired happiness from the objects.
There is a mental uneasiness, dissatisfaction and restlessness even in multi-millionaires. Some kind of sorrow, misery or pain is always present even when you are in the height of enjoyment of worldly pleasures.
You can find eternal, infinite, supreme peace and bliss, only within you, in your soul. As if an embodiment of bliss.
Today because of mechanical and materialistic lifestyle people are prone to many physical and mental diseases. Psychosomatic diseases are rife. Obesity, diabetes, heart diseases have become very common. There is the only gateway to get rid of all these problems, i.e. give up the mechanical and materialistic lifestyle based on the principle of “eats, drink and be merry”. Rather what is needed is to adopt a unique, pious and natural lifestyle that is yogic or spiritual in letter and spirit. This is what the author have tried to highlight in the present book.
The yoga clubs, yoga institutes have mushroomed in India and abroad; but what yoga really is? Is it an exercise? Is it some asanas and pranayamas? Certainly not! Yoga is neither an exercise nor some asanas and pranayamas.
Yoga is in fact a way of life. It is a way leading to peace, bliss and harmony. This is what Lord Krsna teaches us in the Gita as: yogah karmasu kausalam. Yoha is excellence in action. Yoga teaches us perfection in life. It makes us a real warrior to fight against our own evils, weaknesses and above all, the problems of life. Different aspects of yoga and consciousness have very beautifully been explained and analysed with scientific approach by the author. I hope this book will be useful for practitioners, yoga students and academicians alike. I wish a very success both for the readers and the authors.
This book has grown out of our numerous visits to many universities in India as visiting fellows. Our interactions with students and teachers gave us insight into the requirements of the students and teachers of human consciousness and yogic science. This helped us a lot in writing the book in a way so as to be useful to the students and teachers of yogic science.
When we authored our first textbook Super Science of Yoga we received an overwhelming response from the students and teachers of different yoga institutes and universities. A well-known academician remarked: “This is one of the best book, as it covers almost all the aspects on yoga.” Thus the positive response that we got from a wide readership across the country has encouraged us to write several textbooks on yoga. The present book is one of them.
This book has been written so as to conform to the course contents of yogic science of Indian universities and is designed to fill a gap due to the lack of an appropriate textbook on the subject.
Efforts have been made to acquaint the readers with different aspects of yoga and consciousness. Written in a clear, simple language, this book, we hope, would be useful to those who want to take up yoga as spiritual guide and as a career as well. University teachers, we hope, would benefit a lot from this book.
The book has been divided into seven chapters. Chapter 1 includes meaning, definition of consciousness, field and flow of consciousness, types and different aspects of consciousness.
Chapter 2 throws enough light on philosophical aspects and the philosophy of consciousness as we have in different yogic texts and several scriptures such as Vedas, Upanisads, Puranas, Buddhist philosophy, Nyaya, Vaisesika, Samkhya, Yoga Darsana, Mimamsa and Vedanta.
Chapter 3 deals with what is mind and what is consciousness? And how mind and consciousness are related?
Chapter 4 deals with the science of consciousness such as quantum physics and consciousness and several other scientific aspects of consciousness.
Chapter 5 includes yoga and expansion of consciousness, the spiritual aspects of consciousness, etc.
Chapter 6 deals with the current issues in the science of consciousness and yoga.
Chapter 7 discusses the different ways leading to the evolution of consciousness such as Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and different paths of yoga like jnana-yoga, karma-yoga, bhakti-yoga and hatha-yoga.
We hope that book would be as step forward in the better understanding of the subject. Suggestions for improvement of the book are always welcome and shall be incorporated in the next edition.
Consciousness remains a mystery to science, although many experts are attempting to study, define and explain it. One thing is certain: consciousness is much more than simple awareness, self-awareness or intelligence. Most of the “artificial intelligence” experts now agree that computers will never be capable of true consciousness, let alone possessing the influences and potential abilities contained in the subconscious and unconscious mind of human beings.
The scientific community, physics, parapsychology and psychology have always kept this elusive secondary and gave priority to the matter and its property. An iceberg is an apt symbol of the conscious and the unconscious. Less than 10 per cent of most icebergs is above the surface of the water (representing the conscious mind-the ego and personality together with sensory impressions, “hunches”, thoughts, feelings, attitudes, etc.). The immense, blue ice hidden beneath the surface represents what is unconscious-what we do not know about ourselves and our inner motivations, feelings, reactions, unresolved issues and potential abilities. For many people, this unknown “underground” part of themselves is a great mystery and they avoid (or even fear) looking inward.
However, rather than being dark and threatening, the subconscious is actually more like an artwork which has become very popular in recent years depicting the “underwater world” with its myriads of colourful fish, coral, dolphins, whales, etc.-symbolizing beautifully the world of dreams and fantasy, the subconscious. What we do not know about our “inner space” is just as vast and unexplored, containing as many mysteries and marvels, as is “outer space” in the other direction. Therefore, we should explore both worlds (outer and inner). Here is another good introduction on consciousness (but watch out for the typographical errors). The roots of the word consciousness themselves provide an important clue to what it really means: if you look up this word in any dictionary, you will find that its original meaning is “to know with”.
The essence of yoga is the search to know our true selves, to discover the real nature of consciousness. This quest has been the foundation of all the great yogic teachings and the goal of all the great mystics. Throughout the history of humanity it has been said that self we know-the individual ego-is a very limited form of identity. Ignorant of our true selves, we derive a false of identity from what we have, what we do, or who we are connected with-our possessions, our social roles, how others see us, etc. Because the world on which it is based is continually changing, this derived sense of identity is always under threat and our attempts to maintain it are responsible for much of our “self-centred” behaviour. Behind this identity is a deeper identity, what is often called the “true self”. This can be thought of as the essence of consciousness. Most yogic teachings maintain that when one comes to know the true nature of consciousness, one also comes to know the “true self” If true self”. If “true self” is the essence of the whole of creation, then He is the essence of every creature, and every person. This is why the search to discover the nature of one’s qwn innermost essence is the search for “true self”.
In order to create a system, a progressive practice, and to immerse oneself in yogic disciplines, there is a very beauty sequence. Yoga begins with the body, goes to the mind and aims to realize the inner nature. The question can arise: If yoga deals with the mind, does it begin with the body? Yoga.
Looks at the well-being of the total personality, of the body, mind and spirit. Body, mind and spirit have to come together so that we can become a complete human being and experience the wholeness of life.
Indian yogis and mystics classify the seven states of consciousness differently. They point out that human beings normally experience only three states: sleeping, dreaming and waking. In meditation, fleetingly, one can experience turiya, literally the fourth state or transcendental consciousness, commonly known as Samadhi. When this state coexists and stabilizes with the other three, which is the fifth state, where I-consciousness expands to become cosmic consciousness. The sixth state is God consciousness whereby individual individual sees God everywhere, in everything. The last is unity consciousness: what is within is also outside pure consciousness and nothing else is.
The science of consciousness and yoga is a never-ending subject to be discussed and to be studied. Consciousness is a non-physical entity, which is essentially different from the four basic entities of space, time, energy and matter of the conventional science. Consciousness does not have any physical attribute or property or action, but is endowed with autonomous will-power of creation, retention and annihilation of the knowledge of an individual or that of the universe.
The present volume, Human Consciousness and Yogic Science, is an attempt to understand the mystery of consciousness in perspective to yoga. The book specially focuses over what the real sources of knowledge (i.e. Indian scriptures and philosophy) reflect about consciousness. At the same time we also learn how to develop the degree of consciousness through yogic practices mentioned in different religions.
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