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Yoga in Buddhism

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Item Code: HAP898
Author: Indra Narayan Singh
Publisher: Prashant Publishing House, Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2024
ISBN: 9789391520304
Pages: 279
Other Details 9.5x6.5 inch
Weight 624 gm
Book Description
About The Book

Buddhist meditation, meditation used in the practice of Buddhism, "includes any method of meditation that has Enlightenment as its ultimate aim". The closest word for meditation in the classical languages of Buddhism is bhavana or "mental development". Yoga is a vast system of spiritual practices for inner growth. To this end, the classical yoga system incorporates eight limbs, each with its own place and function. Of these, pratyahara is probably the least known. How many people, even yoga teachers, can define pratyahara? Have you ever taken a class in pratyahara? Have you ever seen a book on pratyahara? Can you think of several important pratyahara techniques? Do you perform pratyahara as part of your yogic practices? Yet unless we understand pratyahara, we are missing an integral aspect of yoga without which the system cannot work. The initial endeavour in Buddhist meditation is to calm and quiet the mind so that it is fully alert but has temporarily diminished the quantity of daydreaming, planning, reminiscing, and all other forms of verbal and visual thinking. This goal can only be approached gradually, and therefore the beginner should start his practice by focusing his attention on some quiet, readily available, rhythmic process. Respiratory movements are ideal for this purpose. This book contains the fundamental and basic information of subject and the selection of contents makes it an appropriate textbook for the students.

About the Author

Dr. Indra Narayan Singh, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Buddhist Studies Delhi University Since 1996, obtained his Doctorate on A Study of Universal Flux in Theravada Buddhism. Dr. Singh has published a number of articles and is a regular contributor to various journals and magazines of national and international repute. He has also edited the journals of Buddhist Studies. Vol. XX, December 2000


There are many types and forms of meditation used in the various schools of Buddhism. Buddhaghosa enumerated 40 methods of meditation in the Theravadin Visuddhimagga; nowadays there are many more in the various schools. The various methods of meditation can be divided into samatha meditation (tranquility meditation) and vipassana meditation (insight meditation). Well-known samatha type of meditations include anapanasati (mindfulness of breathing), mindfulness of bodily movement, mindfulness on bodily posture (sitting, walking, standing and lying down), and metta bhavana (development of loving kindness). The vipassana meditations include contemplation on impermanence, the six element practice, and contemplation on conditionality. Samatha meditations usually precede and prepare for vipassana meditations.

In yogic thought there are three levels of ahara, or food. The first is physical food that brings in the five elements necessary to nourish the body. The second is impressions, which bring in the subtle substances necessary to nourish the mind the sensations of sound, touch, sight, taste, and smell. The third level of ahara is our associations, the people we hold at heart level who serve to nourish the soul and affect us with the gunas of sattva, rajas, and tamas. Pratyahara is twofold. It involves withdrawal from wrong food, wrong impressions and wrong associations, while simultaneously opening up to right food, right impressions and right associations. We cannot control our mental impressions without right diet and right relationship, but pratyahara's primary importance lies in control of sensory impressions which frees the mind to move within.

Karma-yoga teaches one to act selflessly, without worrying about our own personal gain or loss. The karma-yogi seeks to serve other people, and act according to high ideals. The karma-yogi must work hard to eliminate selfishness, laziness, and pride while achieving self-realisation.

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