"Wise Characteristics Through Outer Restraints"
Ahimsa | Non-harming
Satya | Truth
Asteya | Non-stealing
Brahmacharya | Control of Energy
Aparigraha | Non-grasping
"Living Soulfully With Inner Observances"
Shaucha | Cleanliness
Santosha | Contentment
Tapas | Enthusiasm
Swadhyaya | Self-study
Ishwarapranidhana | Surrender
Karma Yoga | The Yoga of Purified Action and Work [Selfish to Selfless]
Bhakti Yoga | The Yoga of Unconditional and Spiritual Love [Emotion to Devotion]
Jnana Yoga | The Yoga of Knowledge and Wisdom [Intellect to Intuition]
Raja Yoga | The Yoga of Physical and Mental Attunement [Mind to Meditation]
BOOKS & SCRIPTURES
YOGA | MEDITATION | HEALTH
SRIMAD BHAGAVAD GITA: THE CELESTIAL SONG OF YOGA
The Bhagavad Gita is the backbone scripture of Yoga, wherein Krishna expounds Yoga to Arjuna in a conversational discourse within oneself, between the forces of darkness (ignorance), and light (knowledge). If one were to take up just one single text over one's life--for a Yogi--it is the Gita. The Gita is the entirety of Yoga & Vedanta in 700 verses and 18 discourses. "Mahatma" M. K. Gandhi's translation of the Bhagavad Gita is called "The Gospel of Selfless Action or The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi." Gandhiji translated and published the Gita with the illiterate masses in mind - it is meant to be fully-grasped by all. His humble, simple and direct translation makes the message of the Gita clearer and more easily understood for the modern spiritual aspirant. Within the original published text by Gandhiji, we suggest reading Mahadev Desai's "My Submission" only found in this particular translation, before beginning to read the actual Gita discourses, as it is useful in understanding the terms, definitions and context of Yoga. The Gita can be your bedtime story or it can be your manual for enlightenment.
"Henceforth! Arise! My dearest devotee!" Both the means and end of Yoga are one and the same, and they are expounded in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita!
Beginner Recommendation: "The Gospel of Selfless Action"
Advanced Recommendation: "Srimad Bhagavad Gita"
UPANISHADS: THE SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE
The Upanishads are the philosophical nectar of the Veda and contain the philosophical wisdom of Yoga. The Upanishads are also records of intensive question-and-answer sessions given by the Rishis, or illuminated Sages, to their students. The Upanishads are beautiful, sophisticated and deeply spiritual scriptural meditations of the highest order. They compose the central concepts of Indian spirituality and the Vedas. The Upanishads are the scientific, mystical and spiritual foundation from which all of Yoga comes. The Upanishads lead you to the original experience of Yoga; and this short, eloquent translation of the twelve principal Upanishads by Swami Prabhavananda yields the nectar beautifully, and makes the text most enjoyable and approachable for the modern practitioner.
Beginner Recommendation: "Upanishads: Breath from the Eternal"
Advanced Recommendation: "Wisdom of the Upanishads"
THE SCIENCE OF THE YUGAS
The Yugas is a term for the procession of the physical universe, eras of spiritual evolution or the cyclical progression of human consciousness. The Yugas are not a philosophy, but a known scientific and astro-physical fact. The movements of the Earth, Sun & stars have been well-understood by the ancients. Human beings are organisms which evolve in a cyclical fashion. Plotting the preserved archaeological findings pertaining to human civilization with the recorded historical and geological events on Earth, we get a broader and clearer understanding of our present nature, our past and our future through the timeless cycle of the Yugas.
Sri Yukteswar brings back these ancient teachings and presents them to his foremost disciple Paramahansa Yogananda, who now directly passes them onto us through his teachings. This version, based on Sri Yukteswar's book, "The Holy Science," provides an understanding not found in any other teaching.
Beginner Recommendation: "The Yugas"
Advanced Recommendation: "The Holy Science"
YOGA, VEDANTA & MEDITATION
We recommend books on Yoga Vedanta written by the completely enlightened and Self-realized Master of Yoga, Pujyatman H. H. Sri Swami Jyotirmayananda,
who teaches at the Yoga Research Foundation in Miami, FL. His timeless teachings and practical wisdom shines forth with the culmination of the purpose of life. Specifically, these books, recorded lectures and mystical insights into the ancient teachings of Yoga are an invaluable asset for any spiritual aspirant.
The absolute best, clearest and most profound Yoga Vedanta (Yoga & Meditation Philosophy) books can be found here!
Beginner Recommendation: "Integral Yoga - The Secret To Enlightenment"
Advanced Recommendation: "Death & Reincarnation"
"What is Non-Being is never known to have been, and what is Being is never known not to have been.
Of both these the secret has been seen by the seers of the Truth."
Bhagavad Gita 2.16
"Death is the mirror in which the entire meaning of life is reflected."
"Knowledge lights the path to wisdom."
"I have seen men dwelling on the earth but not of the earth. I saw them well defended without fortifications.
I saw they owned nothing, yet possessed all things."