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Vedic philosophy and religion
Vedic philosophy and religion

Vedic philosophy and religion

by Viswam

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Product ID:34021




Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan


8172762232 - Year: 2001 - Pages: 370



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Author: Viswam
Publisher: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Year: 2001
Language: English
Pages: 370
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8172762232



The essence of the Vedic philosophy and religion lies hidden in several scriptures. Moreover, Vedas, the source were never written down, but were learnt orally from a Guru by the student. Due to the wearing out of the oral tradition by efflux of time, only some portions of Vedas have come down to us, and these have since been written down. It is a difficult task to assemble the texts of the Vedas and the scriptures; the task is even more difficult when it comes to the question of understanding them as they are written in Sanskrit. A spiritual seeker cannot be expected to undertake such stupendous tasks as a preliminary to the spiritual quest. Moreover, he may not have a sound knowledge of Sanskrit.

The common man who wants to familiarize himself with them may, therefore, feel neglected or ignored. Hence, there is need for a concise work in intelligible form, covering all the known aspects of our philosophy and religion, prepared from authentic texts and translations thereof. The present work is an attempt in that direction. The main object of this work is to explain the fundamentals in a single volume.

All aspects of our religion have been covered in order to make it a reference manual too. The book has been made as concise as possible. However, those interested in deep study of any part of it, can go to the original. Every effort has been made to exclude the superfluous and unwanted aspects like mysticism, mythology, tradition, superstition and the like (except for briefly explaining them) and present only the correct picture of the myriad aspects of the religion. There is confusion in the mind of many in regard to religion as a part of life. The necessity for religion itself is in doubt. Their life style leaves the youth very little time to devote to religion or even to think about it. They think of religion or God only when faced with difficulties, failures and misery.

A proper understanding of religion in the early stage of life will enable one to begin the spiritual journey at any time and in any manner one wants. The variety in religion offers choice to the individual to chose his form of religious life according to his mental makeup. One cannot adopt several forms simultaneously. If the choice is made in favour of idol worship for instance, the idol to be worshipped should be the Ishta Devata (personal God). By directing the attention to a single personal God, it will be possible to reach the goal set for a religious life. From time immemorial, divine personalities have left behind for our benefit a cogent explanation of "Divinity" in its diverse names and forms, so that everyone will have a wide choice, a choice to be exercised with discrimination, according to one's mental disposition.

The ancient sages and gurus did not single out a particular name or form for this purpose; it has been left to the sweet will of the individual. This is the ideal of tolerance preached and practiced by the wise in this land. The exercise of the choice is a matter between the individual and his conscience, although some guidance is necessary for those not familiar with the subject. The author hopes that such guidance will be available in this book. The book has been divided into three sections. The first and second sections cover philosophy and the third religion, which is applied philosophy. The Saiva and the Vaishnava doctrines have been explained in detail. They are not separate religions nor can our religion be so segregated. We may now begin with the groundwork of religion.

The book provides an overview of the different aspects of Sanatan dharma including synoptic presentations of the different Upanisads, the Gita, the Brahma Sutras,the Puranas, the Darsanas as also the Tantras and the saiva traditions. It is very difficult to give in a single volume,a representative presentation of the cast body of knowledge and practices that comprise Sanatana Dharma or the Vedic Religion and philosophy. This book should prove helpful to all interested in getting an overview of this subject. The effort is really laudable.




Divine Life - Dharma - Mind - Name and form - Spiritual freedom - Religion and spirituality -Common features of Religions - Immortality

Section I: Vedic Philosophy:
Chap. 1: Vedas:
Historical Development - Vedas - Rishi Vision - Classification of Vedas - Sastras

Chap. 2: Parana (Mythology) and Ithihasa (Epics):
Puranas - Epics - Bhagavata Purana or Paramahamsa Samhita

Chap. 3: Six Systems of Vedic Philosophy:
Introduction - Saankhya - Ashtanga Yoga -Purua Mimamsa - Vaisesika - Nyaya - Vedanta - Review of the Six Systems

Chap. 4: Brahmasutras and Upanishads:
Brahmasutras - Upanishads - Message of the Upanishads

Chap. 5: Bhagavad Geeta:
Introduction - Chapter (i) Preamble - Chapter (ii) Saankhya yoga - Chapter (iii) Karmayoga (yoga of action) - Chapter (iv) Gnana yoga and Karma yoga (yoga of Knowledge and action) - Chapter (v) Sanyasayoga (asceticism) - Chapter (vi) Dyanayoga (yoga of meditation) - Chapter (vii) Gnana -Vignana yoga (yoga of knowledge and wisdom) - Chapter (viii) Akshara Brahman (Boundless Universal Being) - Chapter (ix) Rajayoga - Chapter (x) Viputhi yoga (powers and attributes of the Lord) - Chapter (xi) Viswarupa (cosmic form) - Chapter (xii) Bhakti yoga (yoga of devotion) - Chapter (xiii) Gnana yoga (yoga of knowledge) - Chapter (xiv) Overcoming gunas Satua, Rojo and Tamasic - Chapter (xv) Purushothama yoga - Chapter (xvi) Divine and wicked qualities - Chapter (xvii) Divine and not divine - Chapter (xviii) Conclusion

Chap. 6: Review of Vedic Philosophy:
Elements - Akasa - Vayu - Agni - Systems Analysis - Doctrine of Maya or Illusion - Doctrine of Karma and Transmigration of Soul - The Supernatural State

Chap. 7: Commentaries on the Scriptures:
Sankaracharya Sankara's Theory of Advaita Ramanujacharya Srikantacharya Madhvacharya - Nimbarka - Vidyaranya - Vallabhacharya

Chap. 8: Sanatoria Dharma:
Saivism and Vaishnauism - Revelation - Yoga of Self-realisation

Chap. 9: Bhokti-Yoga
Chap. 10: Gnana-Yoga:
What is knowing? - What is Mind? Kinds of Gnana - Knowledge and Action - Knowledge and Power - Thought Management - The Philosophy of Ramana Maharishi - Spiritual Development - Samadhi


Major Upanishads:
Chap. 1: Isavasyopanishad
Chap. 2: Kenopanishad
Chap. 3: Kathopanishad
Chap. 4: Aitreyopanishad
Chap. 5: Taittiriyopanishad
Chap. 6: Chandogyopanishad
Chap. 7: Brihadaranyakpanishad
Chap. 8: Mundakopanishad
Chap. 9: Prasnopanishad
Chap. 10: Mandukyopanishad
Chap. 11: Svetasvataropanishad
Chap. 12: Mahanarayanopanishad
Chap. 13: Other Upanishads:
Saiva and Saktha Upanishads - Sannyasa Upanishads - Paramahamsa and Aruneyi Upanishads - Atmopanishad - Bindu Upanishads - Amritabindu and Tejabindu Upanishads -Sarvopanishad - Brahmopanishad - Kaivalyo-panishad - Kausitaki Brahmanopanishad -Paingala-upanishad - Mairrayayani Upanishad - Jabala Upanishad - Muktikopanishad


Chap. 1: Siva and Shakti Doctrines:
Evolution of Gods and Goddesses in the Shakta philosophy - Shakti Tattva or the Doctrine of the Dynamic

Chap. 2: Saiuism
Chap. 3: Mother-worship
Chap. 4: Mantra Yoga:
Sabda Brahman - Pranavam - Gayatri -Mantra yoga - Pranayama

Chap. 5: Kundalini Yoga
Chap. 6: Sriuidya Ritual Worship

Selected Bibliography

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