The matter in this book comprises given in very simple language avoiding technical terms as far as possible. They are easy to understand as they were originally addressed to a group of persons who were strangers to Indian philosophical thoughts and the subject of Yoga-Darshana. It was a new subject and the field was unfamiliar to their thought-forms. As such, these talks were necessarily made simple for them to grasp. An orderly sequence was attempted makes at the time of their delivery. Therefore this arrangement makes the present volume something in the nature of a primary textbook on Patanjali Yoga. Hence it is felt that it may be of some value to beginners and would help them to get a preliminary knowledge of Ashtanga Yoga.
Preface be unto all beings!
Adorations unto the Almighty Lord! Homage unto the great sage Patanjali, the ancient expounder of the science of Raja Yoga! Salutations to Worshipful master Gurudev Sivananda at whose Feet this book is offered in reverence and devotion!
I am happy to give this brief Preface to this little book on the subject of Raja Yoga edited by Sri Swami Vimalananda, who has been a devoted helper to me in innumerable ways over the past more than two decades. The matter in this book comprises a series of class lectures given in Beirut (Lebanon) at the Yoga Shanti Niketan where I had been invited by the Founder-Director, Mrs. Louisa Raaff, known to her student circles as mother Shanta and mother Swami Lalitanandaji, who generously helped towards this trip. I went to Beirut and stayed for six weeks in the spring of 1973 fulfilling a programme of a series of class lectures, Satsangas, meditation sessions and public engagements. Two other friends who took great interest in my visit and were very helpful to me Sri Omar Mansaurand Jean Pierre Sara, both spiritual seekers taking keen interest in Yoga practice and meditation. To these wonderful persons I owe a debt of gratitude and take this opportunity of recording it here.
I must also mention the young student, Panos Tsakalian of the American University at Beirut who arranged lectures at the University.
Whatever is helpful and of any value in this volume belongs to Maharshi Patanjali, to whom I pay homage. Any discrepancies and shortcomings the reader may find belong to me. The entire project was undertaken in the spirit of Guru-Seva to Worshipful Master Swami Sivanandaji.
My many grateful thanks to each and everyone who had made this volume possible.
Revered Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji worthy spiritual successor had been refereed to as follows, "if one wants to see boldness of spirit behind a slender a benign face, unwavering peace of mind behind dynamism of action, impersonal detachment behind personal love and care-all at once in a single person, one cannot do better than meet Swami Chidananda".
Born on 24th September 1916, into a wealthy Brahmin family in south India rituals. At Loyola collage, Madras (now Chennai) Swamiji had a brilliant scholastic career. The ideals and teachings of Jesus made a deep impression in his heart, and he was able to synthesize them with all that is best and noble in Hindu Culture. the Two profound influences in Swamiji's life were the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna and the example of his Gurudev, Sri Swami Sivananda. He joined Gurudev in 1943 and from then on the Ashram and the lofty ideals of the Divine Life Society become home and field of service for him.
Swami Chidananda was born with and insatiable zeal to serve the sick and the suffering. Even in childhood he built huts for lepers on the lawns of his home and looked after them as though they were deities.
Swami Chidananda said about his spiritual son and beloved disciple:
"Chidananda is a Jivanmukta a great saint an ideal yogi, a Para-Bhakta and a great sage. Swami Chidananda is all this and much. He was a great Yogi and saint in his previous birth itself. His lectures are the outpouring of his saintly heart the revelations of intuitive wisdom. And he is a practical Vedantin, his words have tremendous power. He is born to fulfil a great mission.
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