An Introduction to Yoga

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1st World Publishing, Sep 1, 2004 - Health & Fitness - 120 pages
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Purchase one of 1st World Library's Classic Books and help support our free internet library of downloadable eBooks. 1st World Library-Literary Society is a non-profit educational organization. Visit us online at www.1stWorldLibrary.ORG - - These lectures [FN#1: Delivered at the 32nd Anniversary of the Theosophical Society held at Benares, on Dec. 27th, 28th, 29th, and 30th, 1907.] are intended to give an outline of Yoga, in order to prepare the student to take up, for practical purposes, the Yoga sutras of Patanjali, the chief treatise on Yoga. I have on hand, with my friend Bhagavan Das as collaborateur, a translation of these Sutras, with Vyasa's commentary, and a further commentary and elucidation written in the light of Theosophy. [FN#2: These have never been finished or printed.] To prepare the student for the mastering of that more difficult task, these lectures were designed; hence the many references to Patanjali. They may, however, also serve to give to the ordinary lay reader some idea of the Science of sciences, and perhaps to allure a few towards its study.
 

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Contents

1 The Meaning of the Universe
11
2 The Unfolding of Consciousness
13
3 The Oneness of the Self
15
4 The Quickening of the Process of SelfUnfoldment
16
5 Yoga is a Science
18
6 Man a Duality
20
7 States of Mind
23
8 Samadhi
25
4 Mind and Self
62
1 Methods of Yoga
66
2 To the Self by the Self
68
3 To the Self through the NotSelf
71
4 Yoga and Morality
73
5 Composition of States of the Mind
77
6 Pleasure and Pain
80
1 Inhibition of States of Mind
88

9 The Literature of Yoga
27
10 Some Definitions
30
11 God Without and God Within
32
12 Changes of Consciousness and Vibrations of Matter
33
13 Mind
36
14 Stages of Mind
37
15 Inward and Outwardturned Consciousness
39
16 The Cloud
40
1 Its Relation to Indian Philosophies
45
2 Mind
58
3 The Mental Body
60
2 Meditation with and without Seed
92
3 The Use of Mantras
96
3 Attention
97
5 Obstacles to Yoga
99
6 Capacities for Yoga
100
7 Forthgoing and Returning
104
8 Purification of Bodies
109
9 Dwellers on the Threshold
111
10 Preparation for Yoga
116
11 The End
117
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About the author (2004)

In the 1870s Annie Besant had already gained notoriety as an estranged Anglican priest's wife who had rejected Christianity and embraced atheism. She was a famous orator who spoke on behalf of the Freethought movement, social reform, the right to publish information on contraception, improved education, and Fabian socialism. Besant perplexed her critics and admirers when, in 1889, she abandoned her atheistic stance and embraced Theosophy. The Theosophical Society had been founded in 1875 by Madame Helena Blavatsky and Colonel Henry S. Olcott and had its international headquarters in India. Theosophy's outlook affirmed the mystical components of each of the world's religions, but it was influenced especially by Hindu and Buddhist thought. By the mid-1890s, Annie Besant had made India her home, and she was elected the second president of the Theosophical Society subsequent to the death of Olcott in 1907. In India, Besant made it her special mission to uplift Hindu self-esteem, which had been severely battered by British imperialism and Christian missionaries. She founded the Central Hindu College, which later was incorporated into the new Benares Hindu University. She spoke out for social reform, and from 1913 onward she undertook political agitation for Indian home rule. She was elected president of the Indian National Congress in 1918, and she was the first person to make that position an active, year-round job. Immediately thereafter, she lost her popularity because of the rise to prominence in Indian politics of Mohandas K. Gandhi. Until the end of her life, Besant increasingly turned her attention to the promotion of a young Indian boy, Jiddu Krishnamurti, as the coming World-Teacher, a messiah who would bring about a collective human transformation resulting in unity and peace among all peoples. Despite the apparently contradictory stages of Besant's life, continuity can be detected in her consistent attempts to discover the means by which human suffering could be eliminated. Besant's books and lectures were an important factor in the popularization of Eastern, particularly Hindu, religious and philosophical thought in the West. Her books continue to have an international impact, and several of them are kept in print by the Theosophical Publishing House known in the United States as Quest Books. Bescant died in 1933.

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