Author: David Frawley
Foreword/Introduction: Swami Veda Bharti
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788120839779
The Vedic Yoga is the ancient system of integral Yoga shaped by the Vedic Rishis. These Rishis devoted to a life of the Spirit discovered a certain line of development beyond the range of sensory perception by means of their strength of self-discipline, and achieved a many-sided inner progress. Whatever they achieved by their tapasya (meditative concentration) they then cast into a veiled language that they called Mantra. It is through these Rishis that the secret words of the Vedas were revealed. The Rishis had the inner vision to see the light of truth (rsyah mantradrastarah) and the inner audition to hear the voice of the truth (satyasrutah).
They possessed both great spiritual and occult knowledge, the complete inner wisdom. Each Rishi represented the ideal of a spiritual man who had realized in himself the integral spiritual consciousness that knows not only the highest truth of the Spirit but also the deepest truth of Life. He can view everything from above and from within. Since the Rishi has an integral vision of the past, present, and future he can create and recreate new teachings, new ideals, and new forms to make the humanity free from its limitations and elevate it to a higher state of being. The Rishis were considered to be the powerful authorities to guide the humanity towards its perfection.
To fulfill their vision, the Rishis of the Vedic age pursued the path of self-giving and surrender. They never shunned the world; never rejected any of the activities, powers, and enjoyments of the body, life, and mind in an ascetic withdrawal. Every aspect of life was offered to the Divine so that it could be illumined, purified, and transformed for the good of all. A complete spiritual transformation of the individual and collective life of humanity from the lowest material, vital, and mental, to the highest spiritual was the vision of the Rishis, reflected in the comprehensive Vedic system of Yoga.
BY THE AUTHOR PREFACE:
The Rigveda is the oldest and probably most important of the ancient texts of India, the spiritual motherland of humanity, and its great traditions of Yoga, mantra, and meditation. The Rigveda is the longest and most diverse of the ancient scriptures of the world that have survived to the present day. This makes the Rigveda a central part of our ancient global spiritual heritage filled with many secrets about our past and perhaps keys to our future. Yet the Rigveda remains probably the least understood of all the world’s great scriptures, and the most in need of a new examination.
This situation of neglect is not surprising, as the Rigveda is composed in an ancient secret mantric code that is very difficult to decipher, the language of another yuga or world age, whose mentality and world view we no longer share, or even suspect. This means that a new examination of the Rigveda — particularly from a yogic standpoint — is essential for understanding our origins, as well as the place of religion, mysticism, and Yoga in human culture. A new study of the Rigveda is crucial today as we seek to understand our nature as a species and for developing a higher consciousness.
Looking into the Rigveda can provide us with a great adventure in historical studies, spiritual research, and meditation practice, widening our view of life and expanding our awareness on all levels. The Rigveda offers us the transformative vision of numerous ancient sages and Rishis in a special language of cosmic sound and symbol that is perhaps unparalleled and uniquely preserved in the world. It can help us create a global spiritual culture that honors the eternal truth in all of its forms and manifestations throughout nature and society.
In this book we will examine the core knowledge of the older Vedic Yoga that occurs in the Rigveda, and endeavor to make it accessible for our modern mind and its language. This Vedic Yoga is not only the possible origin of classical Yoga but of all the dharmic traditions of India’s great civilization. Understanding the Vedic Yoga will help us to approach the Rigveda in its true depth and cosmic power.
In this book I approach the ancient Vedic knowledge from several angles, traditional and modem, both in terms of Indian thought and the new global culture arising today. Naturally a single book on such a vast topic as the Vedas cannot deal with everything and will raise many questions. Additional research will be necessary to bring out the Vedic vision in its full scope.
It is difficult to find accessible books in the English language on the Vedie Yoga, though many people may recognize the Vedas as the source of the Yoga tradition. Often the term “Veda” is used in a generic way to refer to later texts like the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads. There is little available in print on the Rigveda itself, the main Vedic text, apart from academic translations that are largely oblivious to the yogic meaning of the mantras, literalistic in their approach, and generally quite uninspiring. The current volume is meant to help fill that gap and to encourage a new yogic study throughout the Vedic field.
The purpose of this book is to teach the principles and practices of the Vedic Yoga, so that individuals today can take up its profound teachings as part of their own practice. The book does not look at the Vedas in isolation, but indicates how later Yoga, Tantra, Vedanta, and the Vedic Sciences can be found in seed form in the Vedas, and how these teachings represent different aspects of the older Vedic knowledge.
The book represents several decades of research and meditation, and reflects extensive previous work. I began studying the hymns of the Rigveda in 1970 and translating them in 1978, producing several volumes of Vedic translations up to 1984. After that time my focus was more on specialized studies of Yoga, Vedic sciences, and Vedic history. Now I wish to update that earlier work with a specific book on the Vedic Yoga, particularly the Yoga of the Rigveda, the primary Vedic text. While the other Vedas — Yajur, Sama, and Atharva Veda — have a yogic relevance, the current volume will emphasize the Rigveda in order to show how yogic teachings are integral to the oldest of the Vedas, not something new that developed over time.
This profound and intricate book from a great Vedic master can serve as a guide to total well-being and complete enlightenment.
== Deepak Chopra, M.D.
Vedic Yoga is not a mere academic exercise since it is informed by Frawley's own personal spiritual journey which is described charmingly in the autobiographical sections of the book.
== Subhash Kak, Regents Professor at Oklahoma State University and author of Mind and Self.
Vamadeva provides a profound understanding of the play of Agni and Soma… and how we can bring about the inner state of enlightenment. This book is an important guide for all those who seek Self-realization.
== Vasant Lad, author of Ayurveda: Science of Self-Healing, Textbook of Ayurveda and Director of the Ayurvedic Institute.
Vedic Yoga is a treasure for every serious practitioner of Yoga. With profound insight, Acharya Vamadeva (Dr. Frawley) reveals the practical yogic secrets hidden within the symbolism of the Vedas, and brings forth the power of the Vedic mantras for developing the cosmic forces of higher awareness within each person.
== Gyandev McCord, author of Spiritual Yoga: Awakening to Higher Awareness Co-founder of Yoga Alliance.
Frawley conclusively draws a connection between classical Yoga and early Vedic teachings, and issue that has been of some controversy in recent years. His book is a necessary reference for all those who are interested in yoga in the deeper sense-to see the Vedic roots of Yoga Philosophy.
== Stephen Knapp, author of numerous books on Vedic culture.
By interpreting the most ancient of sacred texts in the light of modern knowledge and contemporary needs, Vedic Yoga connects today's yogis to the legendary rishis whose Himalayan insights formed the foundation of India's glorious spiritual heritage. Thought-provoking, revelatory, and pregnant with practical implications, Frawley's brave book should be cherished by spiritual aspirants of all traditions and paths
== Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West.
Foreword by Swami Veda Bharati
Introductory Note by Sampadananda Mishra
Introductory Note Relative to Diacritical Marks and Sanskrit
PART I: MY JOURNEY INTO THE VEDIC WORLD
My Experience of the Vedic Yoga 1: From Midwest America to the Ancient Vedas
My Experience of the Vedic Yoga 2: Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni and My Vedic Work
PART II: BACKGROUND OF THE VEDIC YOGA
Yoga and the Vedas: Sanatana Dharma, the Eternal and Universal Tradition
The Vedas and the Search for a New Evolutionary Transformation
Yoga as the Inner Sacrifice
Vedic Yoga and Classical Yoga
Shvetashvatara Upanishad: The Vedic Link
Hiranyagarbha, Patanjali, and the Vedic Basis of Classical Yoga
Asana and Exercise in Classical Yoga
PART III: FOUNDATIONS OF THE VEDIC YOGA
Secret Knowledge: Traditional Levels of Vedic Interpretation
Vedic Deities and Ayurveda: Gunas, Elements and Doshas
Vedic Mantra Yoga: the Way of the Chant
Dhi Yoga: The Vedic Yoga of Meditation
Vedic BhaktiYoga, Namas and the Name
The Vedic Yoga of Self-realization: Return to the Spiritual Heart
PART IV: VEDIC YOGA AND THE VEDIC DEITIES
The Play of Agni and Soma: The Great Vedic Cosmic Duality
The Secret of the Cosmic Waters
Agni Yoga: Vedic Fire Yoga
Soma Yoga: Vedic Bliss Yoga
The Ancient Solar Yoga
The Secret of Vayu: The Cosmic Spirit
Indra Yoga: The Yoga of the Supreme Self
PART V: THE WAY OF THE RISHI
Pictures of Great Modem Rishis
Keys to the Rishi Yoga
Ancient Rishis and Yogis
The Esoteric Teachings of the Rishis by Swami Veda Bharati
Sanskrit Diacritical Marks Pronunciation Guide