Hinduism

Vow of Silence

Vow of Silence A vow of silence is usually a religious vow, usually taken in a monastic context, to maintain silence. Known as Mauna in Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism, the practice is integral to many Christian traditions as well. Apart from that it is also followed as a spiritual practice....

Spiritual Practice

Spiritual Practice A spiritual practice or spiritual discipline (often including spiritual exercises) is the regular or full-time performance of actions and activities undertaken for the purpose of inducing spiritual experiences and cultivating spiritual development. A common metaphor used in the spiritual traditions of the world’s great religions is that of walking a path.[1] Therefore, a spiritual practice moves...

Vijñāna

What Is Vijñāna? Vijñāna (Sanskrit) or viññāṇa (Pāli)[1] is translated as “consciousness,” “life force,” “mind,”[2] or “discernment.”[3] In the Pāli Canon’s Sutta Pitaka‘s first four nikāyas, viññāṇa is one of three overlapping Pali terms used to refer to the mind, the others being manas and citta.[4][5][6] Each is used in the generic and non-technical sense of “mind” in general, but the three...

Tantra

What Is Tantra? Tantra (तन्त्र, literally “loom, weave, system”) denotes the esoteric traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism that co-developed most likely about the middle of the 1st millennium AD. The term tantra, in the Indian traditions, also means any systematic broadly applicable “text, theory, system, method, instrument, technique or practice”.[1][2] Starting in...

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Hindu Music

What Is Hindu Music? Hindu music is music created for or influenced by Hinduism. It includes Indian classical music, Kirtan, Bhajan and other musical genres. Raagas are a common form of Hindu music in classical India. The most common Hindu bhajan in North India is “Om Jai Jagdish Hare.” The...

Lessons in Gnani Yoga (The Yoga of Wisdom)

Lessons in Gnani Yoga (The Yoga of Wisdom) BY YOGI RAMACHARAKA. THIS BOOK GIVES THE HIGHEST YOGI TEACHINGS REGARDING THE ABSOLUTE AND ITS MANIFESTATIONS. INDEX. LESSON PAGE I. The One 1 II. Omnipresent Life 27 III. The Creative Will 51 IV. The Unity of Life 75 V. The One and...

Kundalini Yoga

What Is Kundalini Yoga? Kundalini yoga is a school of yoga that is influenced by Shaktism and Tantra schools of Hinduism.[1] It derives its name through a focus on awakening kundalini energy through regular practice of mantra, tantra, yantra, yoga or meditation.[2][3] Kundalini yoga is often identified as the most dangerous form of yoga because of the involvement of subtle energies.[4] History Name What...

Bhakti Yoga

What Is Bhakti Yoga? Bhakti yoga, also called Bhakti marga, is a spiritual path or spiritual practice within Hinduism focused on loving devotion towards a personal god.[1][2] It is one of the paths in the spiritual practices of Hindus, others being Jnana yoga and Karma yoga. The tradition has ancient roots. Bhakti is mentioned in the Shvetashvatara Upanishad where it simply means participation,...

Hatha Yoga

What Is Hatha Yoga? Haṭha yoga is a branch of Yoga. The Sanskrit word हठ haṭha literally means “force” and thus alludes to a system of physical techniques. In India, haṭha yoga is associated in popular tradition with the ‘Yogis’ of the Natha Sampradaya through its mythical founder Matsyendranath. Matsyendranath, also known as Minanath or Minapa in Tibet, is...

Modern Yoga

What Is Modern Yoga? Modern yoga consists of a range of techniques including asanas (postures) and meditation derived from some of the philosophies, teachings and practices of Hinduism, and organised into a wide variety of schools and denominations. It has been described by Elizabeth de Michelis as having four types,...

Yoga For Women

Yoga For Women Modern yoga has often been taught by women to classes consisting mainly of women. This continued a tradition of gendered physical activity dating back to the early 20th century, with the Harmonic Gymnastics of Genevieve Stebbins in America and Mary Bagot Stack in Britain. One of the pioneers of modern yoga, Indra Devi,...

What is Meditation?

What is Meditation? Meditation is a reading and understanding of the Book of Life. We have many daily problems (activities) in this world. Meditation allows all this activity to settle down, and often results in the mind becoming more peaceful, calm and focused. In essence, meditation allows the awareness to...

Dhyana in Hinduism

Dhyana in Hinduism Dhyana in Hinduism means contemplation and meditation.[1] Dhyana is taken up in Yoga exercises, and is a means to samadhi and self-knowledge.[2] The various concepts of dhyana and its practice originated in the Vedic era of Hinduism, and the practice has been influential within the diverse traditions of Hinduism.[3][4] It is, in Hinduism, a part of a self-directed...

Mantra

What Is Mantra? A mantra ( मन्त्र)[2] is a sacred utterance, a numinous sound, a syllable, word or phonemes, or group of words in Sanskrit believed by practitioners to have psychological and spiritual powers.[3][4] Mantra meditation helps to induce an altered state of consciousness.[5] A mantra may or may not have a syntactic structure or literal...

Upanishads – The Secret Wisdom

Upanishads – The Secret Wisdom A history of pantheism and scientific pantheism by Paul Harrison. Thou art the dark-blue bird and the green parrot with red eyes, Thou hast the lightning as thy child. Thou art the seasons and the seas. [Svetasvatara 4.2.4] The Upanishads are a collection of Indian...

Upanishads and Yoga

Upanishads and Yoga The wise soul is not born nor does it die. This one has not come from anywhere nor has it become anyone. Unborn, eternal, constant, primal, this one is not killed when the body is killed. If the killer thinks to kill, if the killed thinks oneself...

Bhagavad Gita Passages

Bhagavad Gita Passages The undisciplined person eats too much, or doesn’t eat enough. The undisciplined person sleeps too much, or doesn’t sleep enough… The spiritual discipline that destroys suffering goes to the person who eats the proper amount of food, does the proper amount of exercise, performs the proper amount...

Sutra

What Is Sutra? Sutra (sūtra सूत्र “string” or “thread”.[1] sutta) in Indian literary traditions refers to an aphorism or a collection of aphorisms in the form of a manual or, more broadly, a condensed manual or text. Sutras are a genre of ancient and medieval Indian texts found in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.[2][1]...

Vedanga

What Is Vedanga? The Vedanga (वेदाङ्ग, vedāṅga, “limbs of the Veda”) are six auxiliary disciplines in Vedic culture that developed in ancient times, and have been connected with the study of the Vedas.[1][2]These are:[1] Shiksha (śikṣā): phonetics, phonology, pronunciation.[1] This auxiliary discipline has focussed on the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, accent, quantity, stress, melody and rules of...

Itihasa

What Is Itihasa? Itihasa, meaning history in Sanskrit, consists of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana (sometimes the Puranas too, are included). The Mahabharata includes the story of the Kurukshetra War and also preserves the traditions of the Lunar dynasty in the form of embedded tales. The Puranas narrate the universal history as...

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