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Books > Tantra > हिन्दी > Streams of Yogic and Mystic Experience
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Streams of Yogic and Mystic Experience
Streams of Yogic and Mystic Experience
Description
About the Book

The volumes of the PROJECT ON THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE, PHILOSOSPHY AND CULTURE IN INDIAN CIVILIZATION aim at discovering the main aspects of India's heritage and present them in an interrelated way. In spite of their unitary look, these volumes recognize the difference between the areas of material civilization and those of ideational culture. The project is not being executed by a single group of thinkers and writers who are methodologically uniform or ideologically identical in their com moments. The Project is marked by what may be called 'methodological pluralism'. Inspite of its primarily historical character, this project, both in its conceptualization and execution, has been shaped by scholars drawn from different disciplines. It is for the first time that an endeavour of such a unique and comprehensive character has been undertaken to study critically a major world civilization.

Yoga goes back to the dawn of human conscious- ness, to the first awakening of humanity's earliest aspiration for God, Light, Freedom, Bliss and Immortality. Despite vicissitudes of time this quest of man had resurfaced again and again - and this 'earliest formula of Wisdom promises to be its last,' says Sri Aurobindo.

Great disciplines of Yoga such as jiving, Karma and Bhakti apart, numerous schools bearing the name developed in India over the centuries, each one based on the experiences of one or more ardent seekers, followed thereafter by many. While the term Yoga literally means Union - union with the ultimate Reality or the source from which everything had emanated - by knowing which alone one could know everything - that which is also present in each being as its very kernel - the paths leading there have been many. 'As many views, so many paths', pronounced one of the most profound mystics of all times, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

Theories and principles governing different schools of Yoga are available through several works written by practitioners, academic researchers as well as historians of this lore. This volume, addressed to the educated laity and not just to students and specialists, is an effort at presenting the experiences of the travellers along different paths of Yoga, as studied by scholars. But necessarily theories precede experiences and hence the reader can gain a comprehensive outlook on all the major systems of Yoga, from Patafijali's Raja Yoga to Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga, as well as on some of the minor systems, from such a collective study presented for the first time.

 

About the Author

D.P. CHAITOPADHYAYA, M.A., LL.B., Ph.D. (Calcutta and London School of Economics), D. Litt. (Honoris Causa), studied, researched on Law, philosophy and history and taught at various Universities in India, Asia, Europe and USA from 1954 to 1994. Founder-Chairman of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (1981-1990) and President-cum- Chairman of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla (1984-1991), Chattopadhyaya is currently the Project Director of the multidisciplinary 96-volume PHISPC and Chairman of the CSC. Among his 37 publications, authored 19 and edited or co-edited 18, are Individuals and Societies (1967); Individuals and Worlds (1976); Sri Aurobindo and Karl Marx (1988);

Anthropology and Historiography of Science (1990); Induction, Probability and Skepticism (1991); Sociology, Ideology and Utopia (1997); Societies, Cultures and Ideologies (2000); Interdisciplinary Studies in Science, Society, Value and Civilizational Dialogue (2002); Philosophy of Science; Phenomenology and Other Essays (2003); Philosophical Consciousness and Scientific Knowledge: Conceptual Linkages and Civilizational Background (2004); Religion, Philosophy and Science (2006); Aesthetic Theories and Forms in Indian Tradition (2008) and Love, Life and Death (2010). He has also held high public offices, namely, of Union cabinet minister and state governor. He is a Life Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a Member of the International Institute of Philosophy, Paris. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1998 and Padmavibhushan in 2009 by the Government of India.

MANOJ DAS, a creative writer and Sahitya Akademi Fellow, has been an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry, since 1963 where he teaches English literature and Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo in Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. A bi-lingual writer in Oriya and English, he has been translated into several other major Indian and foreign languages. Some of his latest publications are A Tiger at Twilight and Cyclones, two novels brought out by Penguin in one volume; My Little India (NBT); Chasing the Rainbow: Growing up in an Indian Village (Oxford); The Lady VVho Died One and all Times and Other Fantasies (Rupa) and Myths, Legends, Concepts and Literary Antiquities of India (Sahitya Akademi). In Oriya, four of his projected ten volumes of Collected Works have come out so far. He is recipient of Sri Aurobindo Puraskar (Kolkata), Sahitya Akademi Award, Orissa Sahitya Akademi Award (twice), Sarala Award, Sahitya Bharati Award, Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad (Kolkata) Award, BAPASI (Book-sellers and Publishers Association of South India) Award as the best writer in English in the South for the year 1998, Rotary's 'For the Sake of Honour', Padmashree from the President of India, Saraswati Samman as well as Utkal Ratna from the Utkal Sahitya Samaj, While Berhampur University honoured him with the status of honorary Professor Emeritus, he received the D.Litt. (Honoris Causa) from Utkal University of Culture (2004), Utkal University (2006) and Fakir Mohan University (2007). At different times he contributed regular personal columns to English newspapers like The Thought, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times and The Hindu and Oriya dailies like The Samaj and The Dharitri. He edited a monthly, The Heritage for five years (1985-1989). During 1981-1985 he was an author-consultant to Government of Singapore, visiting the island nation twice a year for taking classes of a hundred teachers. He was the leader of the Indian delegation of Writers to China (1999).

 

Editors

D.P. CHATTOPADHYAYA, M.A., LL.B., Ph.D. (Calcutta and London School of Economics), D. Litt. (Honoris Causa), studied, researched on Law, philosophy and history and taught at various Universities in India, Asia, Europe and USA from 1954 to 1994. Founder-Chairman of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (1981-1990) and President-cum-Chairman of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla (1984-1991), Chattopadhyaya is currently the Project Director of the multidisciplinary 96-volume PHISPC and Chairman of the CSC. Among his 37 publications, authored 19 and edited or co-edited 18, are Individuals and Societies (1967); Individuals and Worlds (1976); Sri A urobindo and Karl Marx (1988); Anthropology and Historiography of Science (1990); Induction, Probability and Skepticism (1991); Sociology, Ideology and Utopia (1997); Societies, Cultures and Ideologies (2000); Interdisciplinary Studies in Science, Society, Value and Civilizational Dialogue (2002); Philosophy of Science; Phenomenology and Other Essays (2003); Philosophical Consciousness and Scientific Knowledge: Conceptual Linkages and CiviLizational Background (2004); Religion, Philosophy and Science (2006); Aesthetic Theories and Forms in Indian Tradition (2008) and Love, Life and Death (2010). He has also held high public offices, namely, of Union cabinet minister and state governor. He is a Life Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a Member of the International Institute of Philosophy, Paris. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1998 and Padmavibhushan in 2009 by the Government of India.

MANO] DAS, a creative writer on whom the Sahitya Akademi (the ational Academy of Letters) has bestowed its highest honour, the Fellowship, was a youth leader with radical views in his college days, playing an active role in the Afro-Asian Students' Conference at Banding, Indonesia, in 1956. His deeper quest, however, led him to mysticism and he has been an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry, since 1963 where he teaches English Literature and the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. A bilingual writer with almost an equal number of books in Oriya and English, he has been translated into several major languages of India as well as of the world. Some of his latest publications are A Tiger at Twilight and Cyclones, two novels brought out by Penguin Books in one volume, My Liule India (The National Book Trust, India), Chasing the Rainbow: Growing up in an Indian Village (Oxford), The Lady who died one and halftimes (Rupa) and Myths, Legends, Concepts and Literary Antiquities of India (Sahitya Akademi). In Oriya, four of his projected ten volumes of Collected Works have come out so far. In 1971, his research in the archives of London and Edinburgh brought to light some of the little-known facts ofIndia's freedom struggle in the first decade of the Twentieth century led by Sri Aurobindo for which he received the Its Sri Aurobindo Puraskar (Kolkata). Other awards he has received for his creative writing include the Sahitya Akademi Award (1972), the Orissa Sahitya Akademi Award (twice), the Sarala Award, the Sahitya Bharati Award, the Bharatiya Bhasha Parish ad (Kolkata) Award, the BAPASI (The Book-sellers and Publishers Association of South India) Award as the best writer in English in South India for year 1998, Rotary's 'For the Sake of Honour', the President's Padma Award (2001) ~ India's premier award for literature, the Saraswati Samman as well as 'Utkal Rat from Orissa's oldest literary institution the Utkal Sahitya Samaj. While the Berham: University honoured him with the status of honorary Professor Emeritus, he received D.Litt. (Honoris Causa) from three universities: the Utkal University of Culture (20C the Utkal University (2006) and the Fakir Mohan University (2007). At different tin he contributed regular personal columns to India's leading English newspapers, Thought, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times and The Hindu and major Oriya dail The Samaj and The Dharitri. He edited a prestigious monthly, The Heritage, for five ye (1985-1989). During 1981-1985 he was an author-consultant to the Ministry of Educati Government of the Republic of Singapore, visiting the island nation twice a year taking classes of a hundred teachers. He was the leader of the Indian delegation writers to China (1999).

 

General Introduction

It is understandable that man, shaped by Nature, would like to know Nature. The human ways of knowing Nature are evidently diverse, theoretical and practical, scientific and technological, artistic and spiritual. This diversity has, on scrutiny, been found to be neither exhaustive nor exclusive. The complexity of physical nature, life-world and, particularly, human mind is so enormous that it is futile to follow a single method for comprehending all the aspects of the world in which we are situated.

One need not feel bewildered by the variety and complexity of the worldly phenomena. After all, both from traditional wisdom and our daily experience, we know that our own nature is not quite alien to the structure of the world. Positively speaking, the elements and forces that are out there in the world are also present in our body-mind complex, enabling us to adjust ourselves to our environment. Not only the natural conditions but also the social conditions of life have instructive similarities between them. This is not to underrate in any way the difference between the human ways of life all over the world. It is partly due to the variation in climatic conditions and partly due to the distinctness of production-related tradition, history and culture.

Three broad approaches are discernible in the works on historiography of civilization, comprising science and technology, art and architecture, social sciences and institutions. Firstly, some writers are primarily interested in discovering the general laws which govern all civilizations spread over different continents. They tend to underplay what they call the noisy local events of the external world and peculiarities of different languages, literatures and histories. Their accent is on the unity of Nature, the unity of science and the unity of mankind. The second group of writers, unlike the generalist or transcendentalist ones, attach primary importance to the distinctiveness of every culture. To these writers’ human freedom and creativity are extremely important and basic in character. Social institutions and the cultural articulations of human consciousness, they argue, are bound to be expressive of the concerned people's consciousness. By implication they tend to reject concepts like archetypal consciousness, universal mind and providential history. There is a third group of writers who offer a composite picture of civilizations, drawing elements both from their local and common characteristics. Every culture has its local roots and peculiarities. At the same time, it is pointed out that due to demographic migration and immigration over the centuries an element of compositeness emerges almost in every culture. When, due to a natural calamity or political exigencies people move from one part of the world to another, they carry with them, among other things, their language, cultural inheritance and their ways of living.

In the light of the above facts, it is not at all surprising that comparative anthropologists and philologists are intrigued by the striking similarity between different language families and the rites, rituals and myths of different peoples. Speculative philosophers of history, heavily relying on the findings of epigraphy, ethnography, ar~haeology and theology, try to show in very general terms that the particulars and umversa~s of culture are 'essentially' or 'secretly' interrelated. The spiritual aspects of ultUl' hk~ dane~ and me I , belly is training to life, death and duties, on analysis, are found to be mediated by the material forms of life like weather forecasting, food production, urbanization and invention of script. The transition from the oral culture to the written one was made possible because of the mastery of symbols and rules of measurement. Speech precedes grammar, poetry and prosody. All these show how the 'matters' and 'forms' of life are so subtly interwoven.

The PHISPC publications on History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization, in spite of their unitary look, do recognize the differences between the areas of material civilization and those of ideational culture. It is not a work of a single author.

or is it being executed by a group of thinkers and writers who are methodologically uniform or ideologically identica1 in their commitments. In conceivmg the "Project we have interacted with, and been influenced by, the writings and views of many Indian and non-Indian thinkers.

The attempted unity of this Project lies in its aim and inspiration. We have in India many scholarly works written by Indians on different aspects of our civilization and culture. Right from the pre-Christian era to our own time, India has drawn the attention of various countries of Asia, Europe and Africa, Some of these writings are objective and informative and many others are based on insufficient information and hearsay, and therefore not quite reliable, but they have their own value. Quality and view-points keep on changing not only because of the adequacy and inadequacy of evidence but also, and perhaps more so, because of the bias and prejudice, religious and political conviction, of the writers.

Besides, it is to be remembered that history, like Nature, is not an open book to be read alike by all. The past is mainly enclosed and only partially disclosed. History is, therefore, partly objective or 'real' and largely a matter of construction. This is one of the reasons why some historians themselves think that it is a form of literature or art. However, it does not mean that historical construction is 'anarchic' and arbitrary. Certainly, imagination plays an important role in it.

But its character is basically dependent upon the questions which the historian raises and wants to understand or answer in terms of the ideas and actions of human beings in the past ages. In a way, history, somewhat like the natural sciences, is engaged in answering questions and in exploring relationships of cause and effect between events and developments across time. While in the natural sciences, the scientist poses questions about nature in the form of hypotheses, expecting to elicit authoritative answers to such questions, the historian studies the past, partly for the sake of understanding it for its own sake and partly also for the light which the past throws upon the present, and the possibilities which it opens up for mounding the future. But the difference between the two approaches must not be lost sight of. The scientist is primarily interested in discovering laws and framing theories, in terms of which different events and processes can be connected and anticipated. His interest in the conditions or circumstances attending the concerned events is secondary. Therefore, scientific laws turn out to be basically abstract and easily expressible in terms of mathematical language. In contrast, the historian's main interest centers round the specific events, human ideas and actions, not general laws. So, the historian, unlike the scientist, is obliged to pay primary attention to the circumstances of the events he wants to study. Consequently, history, like most other humanistic disciplines, is concrete and particularistic. This is not to deny the obvious truth that historical event and processes consisting of human ideas and actions show some trend or other and weave some pattern or another. If these trends and patterns were not there at all in history, the study of history as a branch of knowledge would not have been profitable or instructive. But one must recognize that historical trends and patterns, unlike scientific laws and theories, are not general or purported to be universal in their scope.

The aim of this Project is to discover the main aspects of Indian culture and present them in an interrelated way. Since our culture has influenced, and has been influenced by, the neighboring cultures of West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia, attempts have been made here to trace and study these influences in their mutuality. It is well-known that during the last three centuries, European presence in India, both political and cultural, has been very widespread. In many volumes of the Project considerable attention has been paid to Europe and through Europe to other parts of the world. For the purpose of a comprehensive cultural study of India, the existing political boundaries of the South Asia of today are more of a hindrance than help. Cultures, like languages, often transcend the bounds of changing political territories.

If the inconstant political geography is not a reliable help to the understanding of the layered structure and spread of culture, a somewhat comparable problem is encountered in the area of historical per iodization. Per iodization or segmenting time is a very tricky affair. When exactly one period ends and another begins is not precisely ascertainable. The periods of history designated as ancient, medieval and modern are purely conventional and merely heuristic in character. The varying scopes of history, local, national and continental or universal, somewhat like the periods of history, are unavoidably fuzzy and shifting. Amidst all these difficulties, the volume-wise details have been planned and worked out by the editors in consultation with the Project Director and the General Editor. I believe that the editors of different volumes have also profited from the reactions and suggestions of the contributors of individual chapters in planning the volumes.

Another aspect of Indian history which the volume-editors and contributors of the Project have carefully dealt with is the distinction and relation between civilization and culture. The material conditions which substantially shaped Indian civilization have been discussed in detail. From agriculture and industry to metallurgy and technology, from physics and chemical practices to the life sciences and different systems of medicines ah the stanches o{ bow\ed'?,e and s"-i\\ ""which dialects\ affect human \if- £on the heart of this Project. Since the periods covered by the PHISPC are ex.lensl.\'e-pl:ehistory, proto-history, early history, medieval history and modem history of India-we do not claim to have gone into all the relevant material conditions of human life. We had to be selective. Therefore, one should not be surprised if one finds that only some material aspects of Indian civilization have received our pointed attention, while the rest have been dealt with in principle or only alluded to.

One of the main aims of the Project has been to spell out the first principles of the philosophy of different schools, both pro-Vedic and anti-Vedic. The basic ideas of Buddhism, Jainism and Islam have been given their due importance. The special position accorded to philosophy is to be understood partly in terms of its proclaimed unifying character and partly to be explained in terms of the fact that different philosophical systems represent alternative world-views, cultural perspectives, their conflict and mutual assimilation.

Most of the volume-editors and at their instance the concerned contributors have followed a middle path between the extremes of narrativism and theoreticism. The underlying idea has been this: if in the process of working out a comprehensive Project like this every contrioutor attempts to narrate an those interesting things that he has in the back of his mind, the enterprise is likely to prove unmanageable. If, on the other hand, particular details are consciously forced into a fixed mould or pre-supposed theoretical structure, the details lose their particularity and interesting character. Therefore, depending on the nature of the problem of discourse, most of the writers have tried to reconcile in their presentation, the specificity of narratives and the generality of theoretical orientation. This is a conscious editorial decision. Because, in the absence of a theory, however inarticulate it may be, the factual details tend to fall apart. Spiritual network or theoretical orientation makes historical details not only meaningful but also interesting and enjoyable.

~ ~~ on ~ in 1'C'n '6.e eves pigmy out is the necessity or avoid ability of duplication of the same theme in different volumes or even in the same volume. Certainly, this Project is not an assortment of several volumes. Nor is any volume intended to be a miscellany. This Project has been designed with a definite end in view and has a structure of its own. The character of the structure has admittedly been influenced by the variety of the themes accommodated within it. Again it must be understood that the complexity of structure is rooted in the aimed integrality of the Project itself.

Long and in-depth editorial discussion has led us to several unanimous conclusions. Firstly, our Project is going to be unique, unrivalled and discursive in its attempt to integrate different forms of science, technology, philosophy and culture. Its comprehensive scope, continuous character and accent on culture distinguish it from the works of such Indian authors as P.C. Ray, B.N. Seal, Boney Kumar Sarkar and S.N. Sen and also from such Euro-American writers as Lynn Thorndike, George Sarton and Joseph Needham. Indeed, it would be no exaggeration to suggest that it is for the first time that an endeavour of so comprehensive a character, in its exploration of the social, philosophical and cultural characteristics of a distinctive world civilization-that of India-has been attempted in the domain of scholarship.

Secondly, we try to show the linkages between different branches of learning as different modes of experience in an organic manner and without resorting to a kind of reductionism, materialistic or spiritualistic. The internal dialectics of organics without reductionism allows fuzziness, discontinuity and discreteness within limits.

Thirdly, positively speaking, different modes of human experience-scientific, artistic, etc.-have their own individuality, not necessarily autonomy. Since all these modes are modification and articulation of human experience, these are bound to have between them some finely graded commonness. At the same time, it has been recognized that reflection on different areas of experience and investigation brings to light new insights and findings. Growth of knowledge requires humans, in general, and scholars, in particular, to identify the distinctness of different branches of learning.

Fourthly, to follow simultaneously the twin principles of: (a) individuality of human experience as a whole, and (b) individuality of diverse disciplines, is not at all an easy task. Overlap of themes and duplication of the terms of discourse become unavoidable at times. For example, in the context of Dharmasiistra; the writer is bound to discuss the concept of value. The same concept also figures in economic discourse and also occurs in a discussion on fine arts. The conscious editorial decision has been that, while duplication should be kept to its minimum, for the sake of intended clarity of the themes under discussion, their reiteration must not be avoided at high intellectual cost.

Fifthly, the scholars working on the Project are drawn from widely different disciplines. They have brought to our notice an important fact that has clear relevance to our work. Many of our contemporary disciplines like economics and sociology did not exist, at least not in their present form, just two centuries ago or so. For example, before the middle of the nineteenth century, sociology as a distinct branch of knowledge was unknown. The term is said to have been coined first by the French philosopher Augusta Comte in 1838. Obviously, this does not mean that the issues discussed in sociology were not there. Similarly, Adam Smith's (1723-90) famous work The Wealth of Nations is often referred to as the first authoritative statement of the principles of (what we now call) economics. Interestingly enough, the author was equally interested in ethics and jurisprudence. It is clear from history that the nature and scope of different disciplines undergo change, at times very radically, over time. For example, in ancients India arthasiistra did not mean the science of economics as understood today. Besides the principles of economics, the Arthasiistra of Kautilya discusses at length those of governance, diplomacy and military science.

Sixthly, this brings us to the next editorial policy followed in the Project. We have tried to remain very conscious of what may be called indeterminacy or inexactness of translation. When a word or expression of one language is translated into another, some loss of meaning or exactitude seems to be unavoidable. This is true not only in the bilingual relations like Sanskrit-English and Sanskrit-Arabic, but also in those of Hindi-Tamil and Hindi-Bengali. In recognition of the importance of language-bound and context-relative character of meaning we have solicited from many learned scholars, contributions written In vernacular languages. In order to minimize the disaffect of semantic inexactitude we have solicited translational help of that type of bilingual scholars who know both English and the concerned vernacular language, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali or Marathi.

Seventhly and finally, perhaps the place of technology as a branch of knowLedge in the composite universe of science and art merits some elucidation. Technology has been conceived in very many ways, e.g., as autonomous, as 'standing reserve', as liberating or enlargemental, and alienative or estrangemental force. The studies undertaken by the Project show that, in spite of its much emphasized mechanical and alienative characteristics, technology embodies a very useful mode of knowledge that is peculiar to man. The Greek root words of technology are techne (art) and logos (science). This is the basic justification of recognizing technoLogy as closely related to both epistemology, the discipline of valid knowledge, and axiology, the discipline of freedom and values. It is in this context that we are reminded of the definition of man as homo technikos. In Sanskrit, the word closest to techne is kala :vhich means any practical art, any mechanical or fine art. In the Indian tradition, in Saivatantra, for example, among the arts (kala) are counted dance, drama, music, architecture, metallurgy, knowledge of dictionary, encyclopaedia and prosody. The closeness of the relation between arts and ci n e I te hnology and oth r forms of knowledge are evident from th se examples and was known to the ancient people. The human quest for knowledge involves the use of both head and hand. Without mind, the body is a corpse and the disembodied mind is a bare abstraction. Even for our appreciation of what is beautiful and the creation of what is valuable, we are required to exercise both our intellectual competence and physical capacity. In a manner of speaking, one might rightly affirm that our psychosomatic Structure is a functional connector between what we are and what we could be, between the physical and the beyond. To suppose that there is a clear-cut distinction between the physical world and the psychosomatic one amount to denial of the possible emergence of higher logics-mathematical, musical and other capacities. The very availability of aesthetic experience and creation proves that the supposed distinction is somehow overcome by what may be called the bodily self or embodied mind.

 

Contents

 

  Table of Transliteration  
  International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) Xlll
  Editors Xiv
  Contributors XV
  General Introduction XVII
  D.P. Chattopadhyaya XXV
  Section I  
1 Introduction 3
  Wisdom: The Earliest and the Last  
  Manoj Das  
2 The Goal for the Globe  
  Human Unity: From Alternative Standpoints 49
  D.P. Chattopadhyaya  
3 Varieties of Yogic Experience 61
  Kireet Joshi  
  Section II  
4 Yogic Experiences of Vedic Rsis 147
  Satya Prakash Singh  
5 Yoga and Fulfilment: Experiences of the Upanisadic Seers 163
  N. Jayashanmugam  
6 Way to the Supreme Secret: Yogic Experience in the Gita 171
  Usha Choudhuri  
7 Approaching Siva through Sakti: Yogic Experience in Tantra 181
  Kamalakar Mishra  
  Section III  
8 The Way to Enlightenment: The Buddhist Experience of Cittauisuddhi 197
  Karunesh Shukla  
9 Reconciling Finite and the Infinite: Yogic Experiences in jainism 229
  Mukul Raj Mehta  
10 Spiritual Realization and Guru Nanak 255
  Jodh Singh  
11 The Spiritual Experiences of the Muslim Saints 265
  Tassadduq Hussain  
  section IV  
12 Yogic Experiences in Patafijali's Yoga-Surra 291
  RamaJain  
13 Yogic Experience in Yoga-Vasistha 301
  K.N. Subramanian  
14 Yogic Experience in the Sankhya System 327
  Satya Prakash Singh  
15 Yoga and Yogic Experience in Vaisesika Philosophy 341
  Shashiprabha Kumar  
16 Yogic Experience in Saiva Siddhanta 357
  P. Krishnan  
17 Yogic Experiences in Visistadvaita 363
  M. Narasimhachary  
  Section V  
18 .Exploring the Enigmatic Lores: Yogic Experiences of the Tamil Siddhas 385
  T. . Conopoth)•  
19 .Yogic Experience of Nyars 411
  M.A. Venkatakrishnan  
20. Yogic Experience of the Nayanmars 415
  R. Gopalakrishnan  
21 Strains of Transcendence: Experiences of the Bauls of Bengal 425
  Supriyo Bhattacharya  
22 Embracing the Ineffable: Experiences of the Sufis 453
  Md. Sirajul Islam  
23 Pursuit of Truth and Glory: Experiences through Satya Mahima Dharma 471
  Chandrasekhar Rath  
  Section VI  
24 Vision of Divine Joy and Dance: An Experience of Divine 495
  Love and Knowledge  
  Vaisnavite Experience of Narasinh Mehta  
  Bharati ]haveri  
25 Waves of Devotion: Experiences of Sari.karadeva and his Tradition 517
  S. Shyamkishore Singh  
26 Yogic Experiences of Sri Caitanya 525
  S.P. Das Gupta  
  Section VII  
27 .Yogic Experience of Sri Ramana Maharshi 545
  S. Ram Mohan  
28 Divine as the Mother: Experiences of Sri Ramakrishna-Vivekananda 567
  Swami Jitatmananda  
29 Psychology of Yogic Experiences in Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo 613
  Kireet Joshi  
30 Supramental Manifestation upon Earth: Yogic Experience 631
  of Sri Aurobindo  
  A. K. Sen Gupta  
  Section VIII  
31 The Triumph of Divine Love in Savitri's Yoga 687
  Mangesh Nadkami  
32 Mystic Experiences in the Poetry of Valmiki, Vyasa and Kalidasa 725
  Prema Nandakumar  
33 'Thou Hast Made Me Endless': Mysticism in Tagore 755
  Krishna Roy  
  Section IX  
34 Exploring the Legend of Siddhasrama jfianaganj 769
  A. K. Sen Gupta  
  Index 825

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Streams of Yogic and Mystic Experience

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The volumes of the PROJECT ON THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE, PHILOSOSPHY AND CULTURE IN INDIAN CIVILIZATION aim at discovering the main aspects of India's heritage and present them in an interrelated way. In spite of their unitary look, these volumes recognize the difference between the areas of material civilization and those of ideational culture. The project is not being executed by a single group of thinkers and writers who are methodologically uniform or ideologically identical in their com moments. The Project is marked by what may be called 'methodological pluralism'. Inspite of its primarily historical character, this project, both in its conceptualization and execution, has been shaped by scholars drawn from different disciplines. It is for the first time that an endeavour of such a unique and comprehensive character has been undertaken to study critically a major world civilization.

Yoga goes back to the dawn of human conscious- ness, to the first awakening of humanity's earliest aspiration for God, Light, Freedom, Bliss and Immortality. Despite vicissitudes of time this quest of man had resurfaced again and again - and this 'earliest formula of Wisdom promises to be its last,' says Sri Aurobindo.

Great disciplines of Yoga such as jiving, Karma and Bhakti apart, numerous schools bearing the name developed in India over the centuries, each one based on the experiences of one or more ardent seekers, followed thereafter by many. While the term Yoga literally means Union - union with the ultimate Reality or the source from which everything had emanated - by knowing which alone one could know everything - that which is also present in each being as its very kernel - the paths leading there have been many. 'As many views, so many paths', pronounced one of the most profound mystics of all times, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

Theories and principles governing different schools of Yoga are available through several works written by practitioners, academic researchers as well as historians of this lore. This volume, addressed to the educated laity and not just to students and specialists, is an effort at presenting the experiences of the travellers along different paths of Yoga, as studied by scholars. But necessarily theories precede experiences and hence the reader can gain a comprehensive outlook on all the major systems of Yoga, from Patafijali's Raja Yoga to Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga, as well as on some of the minor systems, from such a collective study presented for the first time.

 

About the Author

D.P. CHAITOPADHYAYA, M.A., LL.B., Ph.D. (Calcutta and London School of Economics), D. Litt. (Honoris Causa), studied, researched on Law, philosophy and history and taught at various Universities in India, Asia, Europe and USA from 1954 to 1994. Founder-Chairman of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (1981-1990) and President-cum- Chairman of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla (1984-1991), Chattopadhyaya is currently the Project Director of the multidisciplinary 96-volume PHISPC and Chairman of the CSC. Among his 37 publications, authored 19 and edited or co-edited 18, are Individuals and Societies (1967); Individuals and Worlds (1976); Sri Aurobindo and Karl Marx (1988);

Anthropology and Historiography of Science (1990); Induction, Probability and Skepticism (1991); Sociology, Ideology and Utopia (1997); Societies, Cultures and Ideologies (2000); Interdisciplinary Studies in Science, Society, Value and Civilizational Dialogue (2002); Philosophy of Science; Phenomenology and Other Essays (2003); Philosophical Consciousness and Scientific Knowledge: Conceptual Linkages and Civilizational Background (2004); Religion, Philosophy and Science (2006); Aesthetic Theories and Forms in Indian Tradition (2008) and Love, Life and Death (2010). He has also held high public offices, namely, of Union cabinet minister and state governor. He is a Life Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a Member of the International Institute of Philosophy, Paris. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1998 and Padmavibhushan in 2009 by the Government of India.

MANOJ DAS, a creative writer and Sahitya Akademi Fellow, has been an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry, since 1963 where he teaches English literature and Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo in Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. A bi-lingual writer in Oriya and English, he has been translated into several other major Indian and foreign languages. Some of his latest publications are A Tiger at Twilight and Cyclones, two novels brought out by Penguin in one volume; My Little India (NBT); Chasing the Rainbow: Growing up in an Indian Village (Oxford); The Lady VVho Died One and all Times and Other Fantasies (Rupa) and Myths, Legends, Concepts and Literary Antiquities of India (Sahitya Akademi). In Oriya, four of his projected ten volumes of Collected Works have come out so far. He is recipient of Sri Aurobindo Puraskar (Kolkata), Sahitya Akademi Award, Orissa Sahitya Akademi Award (twice), Sarala Award, Sahitya Bharati Award, Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad (Kolkata) Award, BAPASI (Book-sellers and Publishers Association of South India) Award as the best writer in English in the South for the year 1998, Rotary's 'For the Sake of Honour', Padmashree from the President of India, Saraswati Samman as well as Utkal Ratna from the Utkal Sahitya Samaj, While Berhampur University honoured him with the status of honorary Professor Emeritus, he received the D.Litt. (Honoris Causa) from Utkal University of Culture (2004), Utkal University (2006) and Fakir Mohan University (2007). At different times he contributed regular personal columns to English newspapers like The Thought, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times and The Hindu and Oriya dailies like The Samaj and The Dharitri. He edited a monthly, The Heritage for five years (1985-1989). During 1981-1985 he was an author-consultant to Government of Singapore, visiting the island nation twice a year for taking classes of a hundred teachers. He was the leader of the Indian delegation of Writers to China (1999).

 

Editors

D.P. CHATTOPADHYAYA, M.A., LL.B., Ph.D. (Calcutta and London School of Economics), D. Litt. (Honoris Causa), studied, researched on Law, philosophy and history and taught at various Universities in India, Asia, Europe and USA from 1954 to 1994. Founder-Chairman of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (1981-1990) and President-cum-Chairman of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla (1984-1991), Chattopadhyaya is currently the Project Director of the multidisciplinary 96-volume PHISPC and Chairman of the CSC. Among his 37 publications, authored 19 and edited or co-edited 18, are Individuals and Societies (1967); Individuals and Worlds (1976); Sri A urobindo and Karl Marx (1988); Anthropology and Historiography of Science (1990); Induction, Probability and Skepticism (1991); Sociology, Ideology and Utopia (1997); Societies, Cultures and Ideologies (2000); Interdisciplinary Studies in Science, Society, Value and Civilizational Dialogue (2002); Philosophy of Science; Phenomenology and Other Essays (2003); Philosophical Consciousness and Scientific Knowledge: Conceptual Linkages and CiviLizational Background (2004); Religion, Philosophy and Science (2006); Aesthetic Theories and Forms in Indian Tradition (2008) and Love, Life and Death (2010). He has also held high public offices, namely, of Union cabinet minister and state governor. He is a Life Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a Member of the International Institute of Philosophy, Paris. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1998 and Padmavibhushan in 2009 by the Government of India.

MANO] DAS, a creative writer on whom the Sahitya Akademi (the ational Academy of Letters) has bestowed its highest honour, the Fellowship, was a youth leader with radical views in his college days, playing an active role in the Afro-Asian Students' Conference at Banding, Indonesia, in 1956. His deeper quest, however, led him to mysticism and he has been an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry, since 1963 where he teaches English Literature and the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. A bilingual writer with almost an equal number of books in Oriya and English, he has been translated into several major languages of India as well as of the world. Some of his latest publications are A Tiger at Twilight and Cyclones, two novels brought out by Penguin Books in one volume, My Liule India (The National Book Trust, India), Chasing the Rainbow: Growing up in an Indian Village (Oxford), The Lady who died one and halftimes (Rupa) and Myths, Legends, Concepts and Literary Antiquities of India (Sahitya Akademi). In Oriya, four of his projected ten volumes of Collected Works have come out so far. In 1971, his research in the archives of London and Edinburgh brought to light some of the little-known facts ofIndia's freedom struggle in the first decade of the Twentieth century led by Sri Aurobindo for which he received the Its Sri Aurobindo Puraskar (Kolkata). Other awards he has received for his creative writing include the Sahitya Akademi Award (1972), the Orissa Sahitya Akademi Award (twice), the Sarala Award, the Sahitya Bharati Award, the Bharatiya Bhasha Parish ad (Kolkata) Award, the BAPASI (The Book-sellers and Publishers Association of South India) Award as the best writer in English in South India for year 1998, Rotary's 'For the Sake of Honour', the President's Padma Award (2001) ~ India's premier award for literature, the Saraswati Samman as well as 'Utkal Rat from Orissa's oldest literary institution the Utkal Sahitya Samaj. While the Berham: University honoured him with the status of honorary Professor Emeritus, he received D.Litt. (Honoris Causa) from three universities: the Utkal University of Culture (20C the Utkal University (2006) and the Fakir Mohan University (2007). At different tin he contributed regular personal columns to India's leading English newspapers, Thought, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times and The Hindu and major Oriya dail The Samaj and The Dharitri. He edited a prestigious monthly, The Heritage, for five ye (1985-1989). During 1981-1985 he was an author-consultant to the Ministry of Educati Government of the Republic of Singapore, visiting the island nation twice a year taking classes of a hundred teachers. He was the leader of the Indian delegation writers to China (1999).

 

General Introduction

It is understandable that man, shaped by Nature, would like to know Nature. The human ways of knowing Nature are evidently diverse, theoretical and practical, scientific and technological, artistic and spiritual. This diversity has, on scrutiny, been found to be neither exhaustive nor exclusive. The complexity of physical nature, life-world and, particularly, human mind is so enormous that it is futile to follow a single method for comprehending all the aspects of the world in which we are situated.

One need not feel bewildered by the variety and complexity of the worldly phenomena. After all, both from traditional wisdom and our daily experience, we know that our own nature is not quite alien to the structure of the world. Positively speaking, the elements and forces that are out there in the world are also present in our body-mind complex, enabling us to adjust ourselves to our environment. Not only the natural conditions but also the social conditions of life have instructive similarities between them. This is not to underrate in any way the difference between the human ways of life all over the world. It is partly due to the variation in climatic conditions and partly due to the distinctness of production-related tradition, history and culture.

Three broad approaches are discernible in the works on historiography of civilization, comprising science and technology, art and architecture, social sciences and institutions. Firstly, some writers are primarily interested in discovering the general laws which govern all civilizations spread over different continents. They tend to underplay what they call the noisy local events of the external world and peculiarities of different languages, literatures and histories. Their accent is on the unity of Nature, the unity of science and the unity of mankind. The second group of writers, unlike the generalist or transcendentalist ones, attach primary importance to the distinctiveness of every culture. To these writers’ human freedom and creativity are extremely important and basic in character. Social institutions and the cultural articulations of human consciousness, they argue, are bound to be expressive of the concerned people's consciousness. By implication they tend to reject concepts like archetypal consciousness, universal mind and providential history. There is a third group of writers who offer a composite picture of civilizations, drawing elements both from their local and common characteristics. Every culture has its local roots and peculiarities. At the same time, it is pointed out that due to demographic migration and immigration over the centuries an element of compositeness emerges almost in every culture. When, due to a natural calamity or political exigencies people move from one part of the world to another, they carry with them, among other things, their language, cultural inheritance and their ways of living.

In the light of the above facts, it is not at all surprising that comparative anthropologists and philologists are intrigued by the striking similarity between different language families and the rites, rituals and myths of different peoples. Speculative philosophers of history, heavily relying on the findings of epigraphy, ethnography, ar~haeology and theology, try to show in very general terms that the particulars and umversa~s of culture are 'essentially' or 'secretly' interrelated. The spiritual aspects of ultUl' hk~ dane~ and me I , belly is training to life, death and duties, on analysis, are found to be mediated by the material forms of life like weather forecasting, food production, urbanization and invention of script. The transition from the oral culture to the written one was made possible because of the mastery of symbols and rules of measurement. Speech precedes grammar, poetry and prosody. All these show how the 'matters' and 'forms' of life are so subtly interwoven.

The PHISPC publications on History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization, in spite of their unitary look, do recognize the differences between the areas of material civilization and those of ideational culture. It is not a work of a single author.

or is it being executed by a group of thinkers and writers who are methodologically uniform or ideologically identica1 in their commitments. In conceivmg the "Project we have interacted with, and been influenced by, the writings and views of many Indian and non-Indian thinkers.

The attempted unity of this Project lies in its aim and inspiration. We have in India many scholarly works written by Indians on different aspects of our civilization and culture. Right from the pre-Christian era to our own time, India has drawn the attention of various countries of Asia, Europe and Africa, Some of these writings are objective and informative and many others are based on insufficient information and hearsay, and therefore not quite reliable, but they have their own value. Quality and view-points keep on changing not only because of the adequacy and inadequacy of evidence but also, and perhaps more so, because of the bias and prejudice, religious and political conviction, of the writers.

Besides, it is to be remembered that history, like Nature, is not an open book to be read alike by all. The past is mainly enclosed and only partially disclosed. History is, therefore, partly objective or 'real' and largely a matter of construction. This is one of the reasons why some historians themselves think that it is a form of literature or art. However, it does not mean that historical construction is 'anarchic' and arbitrary. Certainly, imagination plays an important role in it.

But its character is basically dependent upon the questions which the historian raises and wants to understand or answer in terms of the ideas and actions of human beings in the past ages. In a way, history, somewhat like the natural sciences, is engaged in answering questions and in exploring relationships of cause and effect between events and developments across time. While in the natural sciences, the scientist poses questions about nature in the form of hypotheses, expecting to elicit authoritative answers to such questions, the historian studies the past, partly for the sake of understanding it for its own sake and partly also for the light which the past throws upon the present, and the possibilities which it opens up for mounding the future. But the difference between the two approaches must not be lost sight of. The scientist is primarily interested in discovering laws and framing theories, in terms of which different events and processes can be connected and anticipated. His interest in the conditions or circumstances attending the concerned events is secondary. Therefore, scientific laws turn out to be basically abstract and easily expressible in terms of mathematical language. In contrast, the historian's main interest centers round the specific events, human ideas and actions, not general laws. So, the historian, unlike the scientist, is obliged to pay primary attention to the circumstances of the events he wants to study. Consequently, history, like most other humanistic disciplines, is concrete and particularistic. This is not to deny the obvious truth that historical event and processes consisting of human ideas and actions show some trend or other and weave some pattern or another. If these trends and patterns were not there at all in history, the study of history as a branch of knowledge would not have been profitable or instructive. But one must recognize that historical trends and patterns, unlike scientific laws and theories, are not general or purported to be universal in their scope.

The aim of this Project is to discover the main aspects of Indian culture and present them in an interrelated way. Since our culture has influenced, and has been influenced by, the neighboring cultures of West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia, attempts have been made here to trace and study these influences in their mutuality. It is well-known that during the last three centuries, European presence in India, both political and cultural, has been very widespread. In many volumes of the Project considerable attention has been paid to Europe and through Europe to other parts of the world. For the purpose of a comprehensive cultural study of India, the existing political boundaries of the South Asia of today are more of a hindrance than help. Cultures, like languages, often transcend the bounds of changing political territories.

If the inconstant political geography is not a reliable help to the understanding of the layered structure and spread of culture, a somewhat comparable problem is encountered in the area of historical per iodization. Per iodization or segmenting time is a very tricky affair. When exactly one period ends and another begins is not precisely ascertainable. The periods of history designated as ancient, medieval and modern are purely conventional and merely heuristic in character. The varying scopes of history, local, national and continental or universal, somewhat like the periods of history, are unavoidably fuzzy and shifting. Amidst all these difficulties, the volume-wise details have been planned and worked out by the editors in consultation with the Project Director and the General Editor. I believe that the editors of different volumes have also profited from the reactions and suggestions of the contributors of individual chapters in planning the volumes.

Another aspect of Indian history which the volume-editors and contributors of the Project have carefully dealt with is the distinction and relation between civilization and culture. The material conditions which substantially shaped Indian civilization have been discussed in detail. From agriculture and industry to metallurgy and technology, from physics and chemical practices to the life sciences and different systems of medicines ah the stanches o{ bow\ed'?,e and s"-i\\ ""which dialects\ affect human \if- £on the heart of this Project. Since the periods covered by the PHISPC are ex.lensl.\'e-pl:ehistory, proto-history, early history, medieval history and modem history of India-we do not claim to have gone into all the relevant material conditions of human life. We had to be selective. Therefore, one should not be surprised if one finds that only some material aspects of Indian civilization have received our pointed attention, while the rest have been dealt with in principle or only alluded to.

One of the main aims of the Project has been to spell out the first principles of the philosophy of different schools, both pro-Vedic and anti-Vedic. The basic ideas of Buddhism, Jainism and Islam have been given their due importance. The special position accorded to philosophy is to be understood partly in terms of its proclaimed unifying character and partly to be explained in terms of the fact that different philosophical systems represent alternative world-views, cultural perspectives, their conflict and mutual assimilation.

Most of the volume-editors and at their instance the concerned contributors have followed a middle path between the extremes of narrativism and theoreticism. The underlying idea has been this: if in the process of working out a comprehensive Project like this every contrioutor attempts to narrate an those interesting things that he has in the back of his mind, the enterprise is likely to prove unmanageable. If, on the other hand, particular details are consciously forced into a fixed mould or pre-supposed theoretical structure, the details lose their particularity and interesting character. Therefore, depending on the nature of the problem of discourse, most of the writers have tried to reconcile in their presentation, the specificity of narratives and the generality of theoretical orientation. This is a conscious editorial decision. Because, in the absence of a theory, however inarticulate it may be, the factual details tend to fall apart. Spiritual network or theoretical orientation makes historical details not only meaningful but also interesting and enjoyable.

~ ~~ on ~ in 1'C'n '6.e eves pigmy out is the necessity or avoid ability of duplication of the same theme in different volumes or even in the same volume. Certainly, this Project is not an assortment of several volumes. Nor is any volume intended to be a miscellany. This Project has been designed with a definite end in view and has a structure of its own. The character of the structure has admittedly been influenced by the variety of the themes accommodated within it. Again it must be understood that the complexity of structure is rooted in the aimed integrality of the Project itself.

Long and in-depth editorial discussion has led us to several unanimous conclusions. Firstly, our Project is going to be unique, unrivalled and discursive in its attempt to integrate different forms of science, technology, philosophy and culture. Its comprehensive scope, continuous character and accent on culture distinguish it from the works of such Indian authors as P.C. Ray, B.N. Seal, Boney Kumar Sarkar and S.N. Sen and also from such Euro-American writers as Lynn Thorndike, George Sarton and Joseph Needham. Indeed, it would be no exaggeration to suggest that it is for the first time that an endeavour of so comprehensive a character, in its exploration of the social, philosophical and cultural characteristics of a distinctive world civilization-that of India-has been attempted in the domain of scholarship.

Secondly, we try to show the linkages between different branches of learning as different modes of experience in an organic manner and without resorting to a kind of reductionism, materialistic or spiritualistic. The internal dialectics of organics without reductionism allows fuzziness, discontinuity and discreteness within limits.

Thirdly, positively speaking, different modes of human experience-scientific, artistic, etc.-have their own individuality, not necessarily autonomy. Since all these modes are modification and articulation of human experience, these are bound to have between them some finely graded commonness. At the same time, it has been recognized that reflection on different areas of experience and investigation brings to light new insights and findings. Growth of knowledge requires humans, in general, and scholars, in particular, to identify the distinctness of different branches of learning.

Fourthly, to follow simultaneously the twin principles of: (a) individuality of human experience as a whole, and (b) individuality of diverse disciplines, is not at all an easy task. Overlap of themes and duplication of the terms of discourse become unavoidable at times. For example, in the context of Dharmasiistra; the writer is bound to discuss the concept of value. The same concept also figures in economic discourse and also occurs in a discussion on fine arts. The conscious editorial decision has been that, while duplication should be kept to its minimum, for the sake of intended clarity of the themes under discussion, their reiteration must not be avoided at high intellectual cost.

Fifthly, the scholars working on the Project are drawn from widely different disciplines. They have brought to our notice an important fact that has clear relevance to our work. Many of our contemporary disciplines like economics and sociology did not exist, at least not in their present form, just two centuries ago or so. For example, before the middle of the nineteenth century, sociology as a distinct branch of knowledge was unknown. The term is said to have been coined first by the French philosopher Augusta Comte in 1838. Obviously, this does not mean that the issues discussed in sociology were not there. Similarly, Adam Smith's (1723-90) famous work The Wealth of Nations is often referred to as the first authoritative statement of the principles of (what we now call) economics. Interestingly enough, the author was equally interested in ethics and jurisprudence. It is clear from history that the nature and scope of different disciplines undergo change, at times very radically, over time. For example, in ancients India arthasiistra did not mean the science of economics as understood today. Besides the principles of economics, the Arthasiistra of Kautilya discusses at length those of governance, diplomacy and military science.

Sixthly, this brings us to the next editorial policy followed in the Project. We have tried to remain very conscious of what may be called indeterminacy or inexactness of translation. When a word or expression of one language is translated into another, some loss of meaning or exactitude seems to be unavoidable. This is true not only in the bilingual relations like Sanskrit-English and Sanskrit-Arabic, but also in those of Hindi-Tamil and Hindi-Bengali. In recognition of the importance of language-bound and context-relative character of meaning we have solicited from many learned scholars, contributions written In vernacular languages. In order to minimize the disaffect of semantic inexactitude we have solicited translational help of that type of bilingual scholars who know both English and the concerned vernacular language, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali or Marathi.

Seventhly and finally, perhaps the place of technology as a branch of knowLedge in the composite universe of science and art merits some elucidation. Technology has been conceived in very many ways, e.g., as autonomous, as 'standing reserve', as liberating or enlargemental, and alienative or estrangemental force. The studies undertaken by the Project show that, in spite of its much emphasized mechanical and alienative characteristics, technology embodies a very useful mode of knowledge that is peculiar to man. The Greek root words of technology are techne (art) and logos (science). This is the basic justification of recognizing technoLogy as closely related to both epistemology, the discipline of valid knowledge, and axiology, the discipline of freedom and values. It is in this context that we are reminded of the definition of man as homo technikos. In Sanskrit, the word closest to techne is kala :vhich means any practical art, any mechanical or fine art. In the Indian tradition, in Saivatantra, for example, among the arts (kala) are counted dance, drama, music, architecture, metallurgy, knowledge of dictionary, encyclopaedia and prosody. The closeness of the relation between arts and ci n e I te hnology and oth r forms of knowledge are evident from th se examples and was known to the ancient people. The human quest for knowledge involves the use of both head and hand. Without mind, the body is a corpse and the disembodied mind is a bare abstraction. Even for our appreciation of what is beautiful and the creation of what is valuable, we are required to exercise both our intellectual competence and physical capacity. In a manner of speaking, one might rightly affirm that our psychosomatic Structure is a functional connector between what we are and what we could be, between the physical and the beyond. To suppose that there is a clear-cut distinction between the physical world and the psychosomatic one amount to denial of the possible emergence of higher logics-mathematical, musical and other capacities. The very availability of aesthetic experience and creation proves that the supposed distinction is somehow overcome by what may be called the bodily self or embodied mind.

 

Contents

 

  Table of Transliteration  
  International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) Xlll
  Editors Xiv
  Contributors XV
  General Introduction XVII
  D.P. Chattopadhyaya XXV
  Section I  
1 Introduction 3
  Wisdom: The Earliest and the Last  
  Manoj Das  
2 The Goal for the Globe  
  Human Unity: From Alternative Standpoints 49
  D.P. Chattopadhyaya  
3 Varieties of Yogic Experience 61
  Kireet Joshi  
  Section II  
4 Yogic Experiences of Vedic Rsis 147
  Satya Prakash Singh  
5 Yoga and Fulfilment: Experiences of the Upanisadic Seers 163
  N. Jayashanmugam  
6 Way to the Supreme Secret: Yogic Experience in the Gita 171
  Usha Choudhuri  
7 Approaching Siva through Sakti: Yogic Experience in Tantra 181
  Kamalakar Mishra  
  Section III  
8 The Way to Enlightenment: The Buddhist Experience of Cittauisuddhi 197
  Karunesh Shukla  
9 Reconciling Finite and the Infinite: Yogic Experiences in jainism 229
  Mukul Raj Mehta  
10 Spiritual Realization and Guru Nanak 255
  Jodh Singh  
11 The Spiritual Experiences of the Muslim Saints 265
  Tassadduq Hussain  
  section IV  
12 Yogic Experiences in Patafijali's Yoga-Surra 291
  RamaJain  
13 Yogic Experience in Yoga-Vasistha 301
  K.N. Subramanian  
14 Yogic Experience in the Sankhya System 327
  Satya Prakash Singh  
15 Yoga and Yogic Experience in Vaisesika Philosophy 341
  Shashiprabha Kumar  
16 Yogic Experience in Saiva Siddhanta 357
  P. Krishnan  
17 Yogic Experiences in Visistadvaita 363
  M. Narasimhachary  
  Section V  
18 .Exploring the Enigmatic Lores: Yogic Experiences of the Tamil Siddhas 385
  T. . Conopoth)•  
19 .Yogic Experience of Nyars 411
  M.A. Venkatakrishnan  
20. Yogic Experience of the Nayanmars 415
  R. Gopalakrishnan  
21 Strains of Transcendence: Experiences of the Bauls of Bengal 425
  Supriyo Bhattacharya  
22 Embracing the Ineffable: Experiences of the Sufis 453
  Md. Sirajul Islam  
23 Pursuit of Truth and Glory: Experiences through Satya Mahima Dharma 471
  Chandrasekhar Rath  
  Section VI  
24 Vision of Divine Joy and Dance: An Experience of Divine 495
  Love and Knowledge  
  Vaisnavite Experience of Narasinh Mehta  
  Bharati ]haveri  
25 Waves of Devotion: Experiences of Sari.karadeva and his Tradition 517
  S. Shyamkishore Singh  
26 Yogic Experiences of Sri Caitanya 525
  S.P. Das Gupta  
  Section VII  
27 .Yogic Experience of Sri Ramana Maharshi 545
  S. Ram Mohan  
28 Divine as the Mother: Experiences of Sri Ramakrishna-Vivekananda 567
  Swami Jitatmananda  
29 Psychology of Yogic Experiences in Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo 613
  Kireet Joshi  
30 Supramental Manifestation upon Earth: Yogic Experience 631
  of Sri Aurobindo  
  A. K. Sen Gupta  
  Section VIII  
31 The Triumph of Divine Love in Savitri's Yoga 687
  Mangesh Nadkami  
32 Mystic Experiences in the Poetry of Valmiki, Vyasa and Kalidasa 725
  Prema Nandakumar  
33 'Thou Hast Made Me Endless': Mysticism in Tagore 755
  Krishna Roy  
  Section IX  
34 Exploring the Legend of Siddhasrama jfianaganj 769
  A. K. Sen Gupta  
  Index 825

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I received my Manjushri statue today and I can't put in words how delighted I am with it! Thank you very much. It didn't take very long to get here (the UK) - I wasn't expecting it for a few more weeks. Your support team is very good at providing customer service, too. I must conclude that you have an excellent company.
Mark, UK.
A very comprehensive site for a company with a good reputation.
Robert, UK
I am extremely happy to receive such a beautiful and unique brass idol of Bhagavan Shri Hanumanji. It has been very securely packed and delivered without delay. Thank you very much.
Dheeranand Swamiji
I love this website . Always high quality unique products full of spiritual energy!!! Very fast shipping as well.
Kileigh
Thanks again Exotic India! Always perfect! Great books, India's wisdom golden peak of knowledge!!!
Fotis, Greece
I received the statue today, and it is beautiful! Worth the wait! Thank you so much, blessings, Kimberly.
Kimberly, USA
I received the Green Tara Thangka described below right on schedule. Thank you a million times for that. My teacher loved it and was extremely moved by it. Although I have seen a lot of Green Tara thangkas, and have looked at other Green Tara Thangkas you offer and found them all to be wonderful, the one I purchased is by far the most beautiful I have ever seen -- or at least it is the one that most speaks to me.
John, USA
Your website store is a really great place to find the most wonderful books and artifacts from beautiful India. I have been traveling to India over the last 4 years and spend 3 months there each time staying with two Bengali families that I have adopted and they have taken me in with love and generosity. I love India. Thanks for doing the business that you do. I am an artist and, well, I got through I think the first 6 pages of the book store on your site and ordered almost 500 dollars in books... I'm in trouble so I don't go there too often.. haha.. Hari Om and Hare Krishna and Jai.. Thanks a lot for doing what you do.. Great !
Steven, USA
Great Website! fast, easy and interesting!
Elaine, Australia
I have purchased from you before. Excellent service. Fast shipping. Great communication.
Pauline, Australia
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