Bhagavad Gita – Celestial Song
The teachings of the Gita are broad, universal and sublime. They are meant for the people of the world at large. The teachings are based on the Upanishads, the ancient wisdom of the seers (rishis) and sages. It is a method which is within the reach of all.
Comprised of 18 chapters. On the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna, during the course of his most interesting and instructive talk with Arjuna, revealed the profound, sublime, and soul stirring spiritual truths, and expounded to him the rare secrets of Yoga, Vedanta, Bhakti, and Karma.
The central teaching of the Gita is the attainment of perfection or freedom (moksha) by doing the duties of one’s svadharma.
The Lord says to Arjuna: “Therefore, without attachment, constantly perform action which is duty, for by performing action without attachment, man can verily reach the Supreme.
The Yoga Sutras, widely regarded as the authoritative text on yoga, is a collection of aphorisms, outlining the eight limbs of yoga. These “threads” (as sutra translates from Sanskrit) of wisdom offer guidelines for living a meaningful and purposeful life. The book is a set of 195 aphorisms (sutras).
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali form the basis for one of the six Hindu schools of philosophy (or ‘shad-darshana,’ literally six philosophies). The exact age of the Yoga Sutras is not known, although they were compiled prior to 400 CE. They have been passed on through the ages orally, in the true teacher-student tradition, from generation to generation.
Learn more about the sutras and Patanjali, the sage who wrote them.
Hatha Yoga Pradipika
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika is a classical text describing Hatha Yoga. It is said to be the oldest surviving text on Hatha Yoga. It was composed by Swami Swatmarama, a disciple of Swami Goraknath, wrote the text in the 15th century CE, drawing upon previous texts and his own experiences.
While the text describes asanas (postures), purifying practices (shatkarma), mudras (finger and hand positions), bandhas (locks), and pranayama (breath exercises), it also explains that the purpose of Hatha Yoga is the awakening of kundalini (subtle energy), advancement to Raja Yoga, and the experience of deep meditative absorption known as samadhi.
Learn more about the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and its practices.