Within the covers of Mysticism: The Spiritual Path, ardent seekers of Truth have the opportunity to investigate the concept of the mystic universe. Were mystic truths a galaxy of stars, it might be said that Lekh Raj Puri, the author of this book, has identified for us its major constellations. An extensive work, Mysticism offers the reader much to consider, discern and digest. L. R. Puri, who was professor of philosophy at Punjab University, Lahore, discusses the philosophy of mystical experience and supports his discussion with a wealth of inspiring quotes from mystics of different traditions. The result is a book which offers a torch to all who wish to banish darkness.
A scholarly treatise on the way of mysticism, Mysticism: The Spiritual Path reflects the author's long and devoted association with his Master, Maharaj Sawan Singh, known also as the Great Master. Lekh Raj Puri draws on the teachings of his Master and the wealth of quotations from the Persian and Indian spiritual traditions that the Great Master used to cite in his discourses. He also shares his own detailed research into the mystic schools and practices of India and draws his personal conclusions as to the value and relevance of these practices. The result is a logical framework through which the seeker may consider mysticism as a spiritual path.
First published in two volumes in 1938 and 1940, Mysticism: The Spiritual Path in its present edition has been consolidated into one volume. In this revision, quotations have been sourced and referenced where possible, and formatting and changes in the words have been made to clarify meaning. Because the author has created his own English translations from Persian, Punjabi and Hindi texts, the references given are to the original-language books.
The original was written in an outline form, as it was taken from a series of lectures. This format has been retained, as well as the division of the material into four parts. Since the book is based on lectures given at different times and places, the reader may note a considerable degree of repetition. This has been retained, with the understanding that repetition of subtle and unfamiliar spiritual perspectives can be helpful. Part One explores the fundamental problems of life, posing such questions as: What are we? Does God really exist? What is beyond death? What is the ultimate Truth? Through an examination of philosophy, religion and mysticism, the author assists us in seeking answers to these as well as other questions occurring in our thoughts.
Part Two dwells on mysticism, including an introduction to practices that lead to transcendent realms and experience. Within this discussion, the author speaks at length on the role of the mystic adept. He writes: "Mystics transport our souls from this lowest and grossest creation into subtle transcendent realms of pure spirituality; they take us out of this delusion and darkness of phenomena into the light of absolute reality. They do good to our very being, to our essence, to our soul, and their good is everlasting and eternal."
Part Three explains mystic realms of consciousness and key practices and forms of Indian mystic philosophy. Delving more deeply into the terms and schools of mysticism, the author presents and discusses the various approaches and practices in relation to Shabd Yoga, the path to spiritual union through the Sound or Word, the Shabd. He explains the two great realms of creation: the eternal oneness of Dayal, where all is mercy and love and where the soul has its source, and the realm of Kal, the sphere of time, impermanence and duality, where life as we know it is enacted. Part Four explores the nature, characteristics and results of the practice of Shabd Yoga, which the author describes as "the proper practice for modern times". He translates the knowledge he gained through many hours of attendance in the satsangs or spiritual discourses of his Master, Maharaj Sawan Singh, into a compelling analysis of Shabd Yoga, framing the practice within the context of the mystic path
Much like a road map for the inner quest, Mysticism: The Spiritual Path provides the would-be aspirant on the mystic journey with information about the mystic world and the practical means for gaining access to it. The physical world may change, yet mystic Truth does not; it is steady and constant. And it is in light of this constancy that Mysticism: The Spiritual Path is offered to the spiritual seeker of today, as valid and relevant now as it was when first published seventy years ago.
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