lf you think that you have to escape to
a cave in the Himalayas to find the
enlightenment that yoga promises,
think again. In Spiritual Yoga, Srila
Prabhupada, one of the greatest
philosophers of the twentieth century,
stretches the meaning of yoga beyond
its familiar poses and breathing
techniques and teach us how to
attain a state of ever-increasing
transcendental pleasure through
bhakti-yoga (devotion to God) or Krsna
consciousness by elaborating on the
instructions a divine king named
Rsabhadeva imparted to His sons
long, long ago le India.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada appeared in this world in 1896 in Calcutta,
India. He first met his spiritual master, Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, in Calcutta in 1922.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, a prominent religious
scholar and the founder of sixty-four Gaudiya Mathas
(Vedic institutes) in India, liked this educated young man
and convinced him to dedicate his life to teaching Vedic
knowledge. Srila Prabhupada became his student and, in
1933, his formally initiated disciple.
At their first meeting, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
requested Srila Prabhupada to broadcast Vedic
knowledge in English. In the years that followed, Srila
Prabhupada wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad-gita,
assisted the Gaudiya Matha in its work, and, in 1944,
started Back to Godhead, an English fortnightly
magazine. Single-handedly, Srila Prabhupada edited it,
typed the manuscripts, checked the galley proofs, and
even distributed the individual copies. The magazine is
now being continued by his disciples all over the world.
In 1950 Srila Prabhupada retired from married life.
adopting the vanaprastha (retired) order to devote more
time to his studies and writing. He traveled to the holy
city of Vrndavana, where he lived in humble
circumstances in the historic temple of Radha-
Damodara. There he engaged for several years in deep
study and writing. He accepted the renounced order of
life (sannyasa) in 1959. At Radha-Damodara, Srila
Prabhupada began work on his life’s masterpiece: a
multivolume commentated translation of the eighteen-
thousand-verse Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata
Purana). He also wrote Easy Journey to Other Planets.
After publishing three volumes of the Bhagavatam,
Srila Prabhupada came to the United States, in
September 1965, to fulfill the mission of his spiritual
master. Subsequently, His Divine Grace wrote more than
fifty volumes of authoritative commentated translations
and summary studies of the philosophical and religious
classics of India.
When he first arrived by freighter in New York City,
Srila Prabhupada was practically penniless. It was
after almost a year of great difficulty that he established
the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
in July of 1966. Before he passed away on November
14, 1977, he had guided the Society and seen it grow
to a worldwide confederation of more than one
hundred ashrams, schools, temples, institutes, and
In 1972 His Divine Grace introduced the Vedic system
of primary and secondary education in the West by
founding the gurukula school in Dallas, Texas. Since then
his disciples have established similar schools throughout
the United States and the rest of the world.
Srila Prabhupada also inspired the construction of
several large international cultural centers in India. The
center at Sridhama Mayapur is the site for a planned
Spiritual city, an ambitious project for which construction
will extend over many years to come. In Vrndavana are
the magnificent Krsna-Balarama Temple and International
Guesthouse, gurukula school, and Srila Prabhupada
Memorial and Museum. There is also a major cultural and
educational center in Mumbai. There are beautiful temples
in Delhi, Bangalore, Anmedabad and Vadodara besides
many other centers throughout India.
Srila Prabhupada’s most significant contribution.
however, is his books. Highly respected by scholars for
their authority, depth, and clarity, they are used as
textbooks in numerous college courses. His writings have
been translated into over fifty languages. The
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, established in 1972
exclusively to publish the works of His Divine Grace, has
thus become the world’s largest publisher of books in the
field of Indian religion and philosophy.
In just twelve years, despite his advanced age, Srila
Prabhupada circled the globe fourteen times on lecture
tours that took him to six continents. In spite of such a
vigorous schedule, Srila Prabhupada continued to write
prolifically. His writings constitute a veritable library of
Vedic philosophy, religion, literature, and culture.
There’s one kind of yoga for the body, and there’s
another kind of yoga for the soul. This book is about the
yoga for the soul. It’s called bhakti-yoga, the yoga of pure
love and devotion, the yoga of the highest pleasure.
The yoga of the body is the kind most people know
about, the kind that is on the covers of the magazines.
Everybody knows about that. But the yoga of the soul is
something new for most people. You can only find it deep
inside of you.
In the yoga of the body, you can stretch your body
muscles, and feel good for some time. With the yoga of
the soul, you stretch your soul muscles, and feel good
forever. That’s the difference. And that is what this book
is all about.
Now there’s nothing wrong with the yoga of the body,
but when you are ready for the ultimate yoga, the spiritual
yoga of the soul is waiting for you. And it’s been waiting
for a long time. Way before the first teacher
of body yoga came to the yoga studios of the West,
the teachers of spiritual yoga were sitting in mountains
and forests of ancient India teaching their favored
students their secrets for attaining the highest pleasure.
For those who really know, that is the highest goal.
But to get to it, you have to know the path. And you can
find that out only from the knower of the path, the teacher
of spiritual yoga.
One of these teachers was Sri Rsabhadeva. Deva
means "God." Although He appeared like an ordinary
human, He was a form of God and so had divine powers.
He lived long ago—millions of years ago, in fact.
Externally, He appeared like a great king, which means
He had every chance to enjoy to the hilt every kind of
material pleasure. But just to set the perfect example of
self-control, He did not. He taught the techniques of
spiritual yoga to His sons, and then this secret
knowledge, the path to the highest pleasure, was passed
down through the generations from one spiritual master
For many ages, this secret knowledge was never
written down. It was kept hidden in memory, and revealed
only to the proper candidates. As time passed, people’s
power of memory began to decline. Therefore, about five
thousand years ago, a great spiritual personality named
Vyasadeva put the teachings of Rsabha in writing, as part
of a Sanskrit book called Srimad- Bhagavatam. Still, for
a long time afterwards only a chosen few in India learned
about these teachings.
Then in the late twentieth century, His Divine Grace '
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the greatest
spiritual master of the modern age, following the orders
of his own spiritual master, translated Rsabha’s
teachings on spiritual yoga into English and brought
them to the Western world, giving you the chance to
enter onto the path to the highest pleasure.
This book is a combination of Srila Prabhupada’s
published translation and commentary on the original
Sanskrit teachings of Rsabha (Srimad-Bhagavatam
5.5.1-14) and the transcripts of a series of lectures he
gave on these teachings in various cities (including
London, Stockholm, and Vrndavana, India) during the
years 1969 to 1976.
We hope you enjoy the teachings of Rsabhadeva on
spiritual yoga, the path to the highest pleasure.
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