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Tirthankarasana - A Work on Jaina Yoga
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Tirthankarasana - A Work on Jaina Yoga
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PREFACE

Tirthankarasana pays homage to the 24 Jaina Tirthankaras' of I the present era. It is the fruit of many years of meditation and sadhana. Piercing the veil of darkness and ignorance that obscures Reality is most difficult. True guidance often feels perpetually out of reach. But as I sat in meditation during that time of my life, the images of the Tirthankaras began to come alive, one-by-one, and revealed their deeper esoteric meanings. I could see clearly the lanchons or symbols of each Tirthankara, and as I practiced certain asanas of Hatha Yoga, these asanas became connected to each Tirthankara. What was in those symbols of the Tirthankaras? Were they only for the prescribed canonical purpose of differentiating each Tirthankara? Or was there some deeper, coded meaning? There must have been a very special reason why the Jaina ganadharas, acharyas, and upadhyayas created special symbols for all of the 24 Tirthankaras of the current avasarpint. These symbols assumed great importance to me because they shone a bright light on aspects of Hatha and Raja Yoga and connected Yoga to Jainism in a concrete way. After spending a long time in deep meditation and pondering the meanings of the lanhans, their deeper meaning and the linkages to Hatha yoga poses unmistakably began to emerge.

It is impious to even think of changing the perfect knowledge contained within Hatha Yoga or to modify the omniscience of Jaina principles. Fortunately, there is no need. Jaina principles exist in Hatha Yoga and yogic principles exist in Jainism. Indeed, there have been a number of notable treatises on yoga written by Jaina acaryas, including those by Acarya Bhadrabahu and Acarya Hemacandra. This humble work is only the latest attempt to connect these two great traditions and demonstrate their essential unity, with a particular focus on asana and mantra.

Anything that you may find of value in this book is due to the blessings of elders and Divine beings; any deficiencies are mine alone for which I humbly ask your forgiveness. Please do not hesitate to contact me to share your experiences.

May this book help unite the followers of all Jaina traditions and the followers of other religious traditions. May right faith, right vision and right conduct lead to universal peace and harmony, without and with in. This is my humble prayer.

INTRODUCTION

Yoga is a means of returning to the Divine and understanding the purpose of existence. India's great fortune has been to have had an unbroken tradition of yogic practice and transmission for thousands of years. Yet India has not one, but multiple yogic and tantric traditions. Scholars debate the exact meaning of the word "yoga" in these different traditions and contexts. But putting aside arcane rajasic academic debates, all traditions can be said to be broadly and fundamentally the same in terms of the end goal: understanding the fundamental nature of Reality. One should not be confused or discouraged by the glorious diversity of the nama and rapa of these yogic traditions, beholden as they are on the earthly plane to kalo-desa-patro - the variances and vagaries of the time period, place and vessel of physical birth. When one observes with a sattvic glance, one sees what is held in common by all traditions.

It has become rather trite to characterize the Indian religious traditions as 'one destination, many paths.' But the cliche is based on the reality that the flows of subtle energy that underpin the yogic/spiritual/mystical path cannot be exclusive to India or to any particular tradition. The exhortation of the Rg Veda, statements in the traditions of every religion, is borne out by human experience, and is understood on a level beyond words by the spiritual adept. It is the awakening, cultivation & direction of that primordial energy called prana and the final settling of that energy into Blissful Silence, leading to the transcendence of the small 'self' into the larger 'Self and union with the Cosmos that is the polestar of the sadhaka.

It is not possible to fully understand or effectively practice Jainism or any other religion without beginning to understand the yogic and mystical underpinnings of all religion. Merely knowing is eventually revealed to be an exercise in the most fundamental futility and will lead to the most disheartening dead-ends. As opposed to merely knowing, understanding is direct perception by the soul. In fact, agama (as in the Jaina agamas) in Sanskrit can be defined as "intuitional knowledge born of direct soul perception." It can be posited that the Jaina agamas are actual descriptions of yogic experiences; not dreamed-up theory, but a faithful recording of actual perception of Reality.

There is a place for theory. But theory can only start the ignition; practice propels the vehicle - literally embodied as the sadhaka - forward. This book is written to inspire and edify the sincere practitioner.

**Contents and Sample Pages**











Tirthankarasana - A Work on Jaina Yoga

Item Code:
NAW611
Cover:
HARDCOVER
Edition:
2019
ISBN:
9788194243823
Language:
English
Size:
8.50 X 5.50 inch
Pages:
179
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 0.31 Kg
Price:
$35.00   Shipping Free
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PREFACE

Tirthankarasana pays homage to the 24 Jaina Tirthankaras' of I the present era. It is the fruit of many years of meditation and sadhana. Piercing the veil of darkness and ignorance that obscures Reality is most difficult. True guidance often feels perpetually out of reach. But as I sat in meditation during that time of my life, the images of the Tirthankaras began to come alive, one-by-one, and revealed their deeper esoteric meanings. I could see clearly the lanchons or symbols of each Tirthankara, and as I practiced certain asanas of Hatha Yoga, these asanas became connected to each Tirthankara. What was in those symbols of the Tirthankaras? Were they only for the prescribed canonical purpose of differentiating each Tirthankara? Or was there some deeper, coded meaning? There must have been a very special reason why the Jaina ganadharas, acharyas, and upadhyayas created special symbols for all of the 24 Tirthankaras of the current avasarpint. These symbols assumed great importance to me because they shone a bright light on aspects of Hatha and Raja Yoga and connected Yoga to Jainism in a concrete way. After spending a long time in deep meditation and pondering the meanings of the lanhans, their deeper meaning and the linkages to Hatha yoga poses unmistakably began to emerge.

It is impious to even think of changing the perfect knowledge contained within Hatha Yoga or to modify the omniscience of Jaina principles. Fortunately, there is no need. Jaina principles exist in Hatha Yoga and yogic principles exist in Jainism. Indeed, there have been a number of notable treatises on yoga written by Jaina acaryas, including those by Acarya Bhadrabahu and Acarya Hemacandra. This humble work is only the latest attempt to connect these two great traditions and demonstrate their essential unity, with a particular focus on asana and mantra.

Anything that you may find of value in this book is due to the blessings of elders and Divine beings; any deficiencies are mine alone for which I humbly ask your forgiveness. Please do not hesitate to contact me to share your experiences.

May this book help unite the followers of all Jaina traditions and the followers of other religious traditions. May right faith, right vision and right conduct lead to universal peace and harmony, without and with in. This is my humble prayer.

INTRODUCTION

Yoga is a means of returning to the Divine and understanding the purpose of existence. India's great fortune has been to have had an unbroken tradition of yogic practice and transmission for thousands of years. Yet India has not one, but multiple yogic and tantric traditions. Scholars debate the exact meaning of the word "yoga" in these different traditions and contexts. But putting aside arcane rajasic academic debates, all traditions can be said to be broadly and fundamentally the same in terms of the end goal: understanding the fundamental nature of Reality. One should not be confused or discouraged by the glorious diversity of the nama and rapa of these yogic traditions, beholden as they are on the earthly plane to kalo-desa-patro - the variances and vagaries of the time period, place and vessel of physical birth. When one observes with a sattvic glance, one sees what is held in common by all traditions.

It has become rather trite to characterize the Indian religious traditions as 'one destination, many paths.' But the cliche is based on the reality that the flows of subtle energy that underpin the yogic/spiritual/mystical path cannot be exclusive to India or to any particular tradition. The exhortation of the Rg Veda, statements in the traditions of every religion, is borne out by human experience, and is understood on a level beyond words by the spiritual adept. It is the awakening, cultivation & direction of that primordial energy called prana and the final settling of that energy into Blissful Silence, leading to the transcendence of the small 'self' into the larger 'Self and union with the Cosmos that is the polestar of the sadhaka.

It is not possible to fully understand or effectively practice Jainism or any other religion without beginning to understand the yogic and mystical underpinnings of all religion. Merely knowing is eventually revealed to be an exercise in the most fundamental futility and will lead to the most disheartening dead-ends. As opposed to merely knowing, understanding is direct perception by the soul. In fact, agama (as in the Jaina agamas) in Sanskrit can be defined as "intuitional knowledge born of direct soul perception." It can be posited that the Jaina agamas are actual descriptions of yogic experiences; not dreamed-up theory, but a faithful recording of actual perception of Reality.

There is a place for theory. But theory can only start the ignition; practice propels the vehicle - literally embodied as the sadhaka - forward. This book is written to inspire and edify the sincere practitioner.

**Contents and Sample Pages**











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