Read e-book online A Series of Lessons in Raja Yoga PDF

By William Walker Atkinson

ISBN-10: 1456569988

ISBN-13: 9781456569983

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The analytic medical research of the early modern period investigated the tissues of the body with the eye and then the microscope, revealing the structure of the body not just in terms of major organs and systems, but as networks of tissues. Tissues were analyzed in terms of differentiated cellular bodies, and these in turn were probed at the atomic level, and understood in terms of molecular interactions. In the early twentieth century, there emerged psychosomatic medicine, which advocated the unity of mind and body, and made use of biochemistry to account for particular disorders originating in a zone between the material body and the ‘volitional body’ or psyche.

6]. 3]. 11]. Vedic texts, particularly the Br¯ahmaÓnas, classify the human being as a pa´su, an animal, as the preeminent animal, the ruler of all the other animals, and the only animal able to perform ritual and sacrifice. The human being is sukÓ rta, ‘well-made,’ and, according to the Atharvaveda, is distinguished by having ritual powers, access to sacred texts, and power to influence the universe. These powers come from the human being’s unique association with Brahman, the supreme principle [AV 10:2].

According to the S¯am Ó khya-k¯arik¯a, which provides much of Yoga’s metaphysical foundation, all things (and thus human bodies) are instantiations of the whole of creation, and may function as vehicles for attainment of the highest spiritual goal: From Brahman down to the blade of grass, the creation (sÓ rÓ sti) is for the benefit of the soul, until supreme knowledge is attained. 47 The Yoga-s¯utras explain why the true Self, puruÓ sa, is associated with the human body: The purpose of the conjunction (saÓmyoga) of the master [the Seer or experiencer: puruÓ sa] and the experienceable world [prakÓ rti], is the experiencer’s recognition of the Self-natures of the two powers.

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A Series of Lessons in Raja Yoga by William Walker Atkinson


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