Archive for the ‘History/Traditions’ Category

CLASSICAL YOGA

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Indian Vedic wisdom originated in remote antiquity and covers a wide range of knowledge including astronomy, mathematics, grammar, philosophy and physical health matters.
Yoga is one of the six classical schools of philosophy and was established as a system by the early Rishis and saints with Patanjali and Shankara being amongst those best known and followed ever since their written work dating several centuries before the time of Christ.
The science has since been developed further by the experiences and discoveries of generations of successive teachers or Gurus and by exponents who continue to apply simple natural laws relating to health and to human consciousness. This valuable science that has endured for so long, offers benefit on all levels of man’s being. It is an integral system with the purpose of combining knowledge of the body, personality, mind and spirit.
The aim of yogic philosophy is to assist an individual to spiritual realization of truths for himself or herself. It comprises several margas or pathways which have been designed to satisfy people with different approaches. For instance, an emotional person who seeks to realise God as Love will be attracted to incorporate the Bhakti marga of devotion. An intellectually inclined aspirant will no doubt be satisfied to develop the mind through Raja marga and someone wishing to know all about physical health matters will choose the path of Hatha Yoga. However, essentially all knowledge is to become integrated and all disciplines incorporated in the spiritual practice of the student which is known as his Sadhana.
Meditation is common to all yogic disciplines, not only for relief of stress but to stretch and expand the mind, enabling us to experience deep relaxation and peace as well as heightened states of consciousness.
The natural simplicity of yoga teachings attracts the attention of many people today who are searching for guidelines as to how to help themselves towards a healthier, happier, more meaningful and nobler way of living.

ANCIENT INDIAN ORIGINS – THE VEDAS

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

 The word ‘Veda’ means true knowledge. The Vedas are also known as the Ancient Wisdom or Sacred Doctrine and life teachings of the ancient Aryans. They were perceived to be of Divine origin, given to mankind at the very beginnings of the human race in order to establish rules for human society.

There is no real evidence of their date of origin and common references vary considerably between 5000 – 1200 B.C.  Scholars are still debating the issue.  However, tradition places The Vedas further back in antiquity than we care to consider, and certainly are known to be very much older than the Bible.

Their vast knowledge encompasses a wide range of subjects including astronomy, astrology, phonetics, poetry, grammar, ceremonial, history, medicine, scriptures, archery, art, music, architecture and philosophy.  Their language was pre-classical Sanskrit and the teachings were divided into 4 collections called the Veda Samhitas– these being the Rig-Veda, the Yajur-Veda,  the Sama-Veda and last, the Atharva-Veda.

 Ayurveda is referred to as the Science of life – the aspect of the Vedic teachings relating to health and healing. It is a system of medicine which is becoming well known in the western world and is being revived in India. Many of its methods correspond with the naturopathic disciplines and principles with the use of herbs, medicines and minerals and even gemstones in  non-invasive healing techniques to arrive at cure. Surgery is resorted to only at the last.

Vedanta means ‘the end of the Vedas’ and holds that all Truth is One and that all religions follow the same goal. It is a highly popular part of the teachings, incorporating the Upanishads or philosophical insights so frequently quoted. The word‘ Upanishads’ comes from ‘to sit’ and exchange wisdom at the feet of the Master Guru and to receive teachings of exoteric and also esoteric nature.

The principles of Yoga were incorporated in the Vedic culture and later formalized as one of the six classical schools of Indian philosophy, one that indicates the disciplines and principles whereby an individual can become conscious of his immortal being and the great Universal Intelligence of the Creator.

The followers of the Vedas over time became known as Hindus and it was the duty of the Brahmin priests and teachers to maintain and execute the principles on behalf of the race.

Their sacred language of Sanskrit is retained by scholars although adapted to Hindi as the national language now of India with Devanagari being its written form.

Throughout our recorded history, many have dipped into various aspects of this profound and ancient wisdom preserved in India. It can be seen to permeate throughout many cultures of the world and has inspired many philosophers of the western classical world, including Plato.

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Aum – The Sacred Sound

Friday, October 7th, 2011

One of the most important realizations in understanding a little more about the mysteries of life – lies in the value and importance of sound.

The sacred texts of all cultures include this factor, even to the point of suggesting that all natural creation is the result of Divine Sound as is given us in the Bible, the Vedic wisdom, and in fact is inherent in all of our present religions.

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Yogic Traditions in Practice

Friday, November 5th, 2010

There are many ancient traditions, many of which are retained in the classical teachings even today.  However, in western application most are modified and adapted to suit the current lifestyle but the principles are adhered to nevertheless.

In India it is seen as natural to seek a spiritual Guru at some stage following maturity, usually after a period as a householder and adherence to the general cultural practices and values required for daily living. It is not a foreign concept for the spiritual aspirant to look forward to commencement of a new stage of life as a renunciate or to devote time to philosophic studies and cultural refinement. In the classical eras the spiritual stage of life was perceived as a fine reward after practical effort.

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Teachings of the Great Gurus

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

The Great Gurus or Mahatmas are the wise ones who have lived through unknown numbers of human existences to have experienced all that life on earth dictates and learned all that has been necessary to achieve human excellence. They are the earth graduates, who have become more than human, or greater human beings.  They are the wise ones who have found the answers to our common questions about ourselves, about life, the universe and about the Supreme Consciousness we call God.

Some of these wise ones remain with us as leaders, guides or teachers. Many have developed great insight into human nature in their particular line of teaching. Others reveal the potential for development and application of human talents. Some offer us a simple philosophy as a guiding light through our difficulties and pain. Others make us aware of the power of our spiritual self beyond our personality limitations. Each possesses an understanding of human nature, including our own.

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Classical Yoga

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Indian Vedic wisdom originated in remote antiquity and covers a wide range of knowledge including astronomy, mathematics, grammar, philosophy and physical health matters.

Yoga is one of the six classical schools of philosophy and was established as a system by the early Rishis and saints with Patanjali and Shankara being amongst those best known and followed ever since their written work dating several centuries before the time of Christ.

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History and Traditions of Yoga

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Yoga is one of the 6 major Indian classical schools of philosophy within the ancient system of the Vedas. Although something is known of the development of some aspects of the yogic methodology and several great yogis are known to us from that early period, in the west we are humbled by the immensity of the coverage of subject matter in Vedic teachings. We would be overwhelmed by the studies necessary to understand in depth its wisdom. Nor are we in a position to fully evaluate the accumulated contributions made to the science over the thousands of years of its existence by the wise. Even Indian scholars find it difficult to penetrate the extent of its teaching and rely upon traditional legend to provide them with a basis for their insight and understanding.

The Vedas would seem to be the blanket wisdom teachings from antiquity which inherently possessed or perhaps gave birth to the methods for developing spiritual consciousness by which we identify the branch of the teaching known to us as Yoga.

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Traditional Yoga Customs

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

ANCIENT INDIAN CUSTOMS

Various traditional practices of Yoga are maintained but most are modified or adapted to suit western culture. However, one should be aware of the Indian customs as they are generally regarded as the basis of Yoga teaching courtesies everywhere.

In India, generally after a period as householder and applying the general health practices and ethical discipline, it is accepted as natural for a mature person who wishes to advance his spiritual life and follow a life of renunciation and philosophic studies, to leave family life and seek a spiritual Guru.

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