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Books > Hindu > Spiritual Yoga (The Path of Highest Pleasure)
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Spiritual Yoga (The Path of Highest Pleasure)
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Spiritual Yoga (The Path of Highest Pleasure)
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About the Book

lf you think that you have to escape to a cave in the Himalayas to find the enlightenment that yoga promises, think again. In Spiritual Yoga, Srila Prabhupada, one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century, stretches the meaning of yoga beyond its familiar poses and breathing techniques and teach us how to attain a state of ever-increasing transcendental pleasure through bhakti-yoga (devotion to God) or Krsna consciousness by elaborating on the instructions a divine king named Rsabhadeva imparted to His sons long, long ago le India.

About the Author

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada appeared in this world in 1896 in Calcutta, India. He first met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, in Calcutta in 1922. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, a prominent religious scholar and the founder of sixty-four Gaudiya Mathas (Vedic institutes) in India, liked this educated young man and convinced him to dedicate his life to teaching Vedic knowledge. Srila Prabhupada became his student and, in 1933, his formally initiated disciple.

At their first meeting, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati requested Srila Prabhupada to broadcast Vedic knowledge in English. In the years that followed, Srila Prabhupada wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad-gita, assisted the Gaudiya Matha in its work, and, in 1944, started Back to Godhead, an English fortnightly magazine. Single-handedly, Srila Prabhupada edited it, typed the manuscripts, checked the galley proofs, and even distributed the individual copies. The magazine is now being continued by his disciples all over the world.

In 1950 Srila Prabhupada retired from married life. adopting the vanaprastha (retired) order to devote more time to his studies and writing. He traveled to the holy city of Vrndavana, where he lived in humble circumstances in the historic temple of Radha- Damodara. There he engaged for several years in deep study and writing. He accepted the renounced order of life (sannyasa) in 1959. At Radha-Damodara, Srila Prabhupada began work on his life’s masterpiece: a multivolume commentated translation of the eighteen- thousand-verse Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana). He also wrote Easy Journey to Other Planets.

After publishing three volumes of the Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada came to the United States, in September 1965, to fulfill the mission of his spiritual master. Subsequently, His Divine Grace wrote more than fifty volumes of authoritative commentated translations and summary studies of the philosophical and religious classics of India.

When he first arrived by freighter in New York City, Srila Prabhupada was practically penniless. It was after almost a year of great difficulty that he established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in July of 1966. Before he passed away on November 14, 1977, he had guided the Society and seen it grow to a worldwide confederation of more than one hundred ashrams, schools, temples, institutes, and farm communities.

In 1972 His Divine Grace introduced the Vedic system of primary and secondary education in the West by founding the gurukula school in Dallas, Texas. Since then his disciples have established similar schools throughout the United States and the rest of the world.

Srila Prabhupada also inspired the construction of several large international cultural centers in India. The center at Sridhama Mayapur is the site for a planned Spiritual city, an ambitious project for which construction will extend over many years to come. In Vrndavana are the magnificent Krsna-Balarama Temple and International Guesthouse, gurukula school, and Srila Prabhupada Memorial and Museum. There is also a major cultural and educational center in Mumbai. There are beautiful temples in Delhi, Bangalore, Anmedabad and Vadodara besides many other centers throughout India.

Srila Prabhupada’s most significant contribution. however, is his books. Highly respected by scholars for their authority, depth, and clarity, they are used as textbooks in numerous college courses. His writings have been translated into over fifty languages. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, established in 1972 exclusively to publish the works of His Divine Grace, has thus become the world’s largest publisher of books in the field of Indian religion and philosophy.

In just twelve years, despite his advanced age, Srila Prabhupada circled the globe fourteen times on lecture tours that took him to six continents. In spite of such a vigorous schedule, Srila Prabhupada continued to write prolifically. His writings constitute a veritable library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature, and culture.

INTRODUCTION

There’s one kind of yoga for the body, and there’s another kind of yoga for the soul. This book is about the yoga for the soul. It’s called bhakti-yoga, the yoga of pure love and devotion, the yoga of the highest pleasure.

The yoga of the body is the kind most people know about, the kind that is on the covers of the magazines. Everybody knows about that. But the yoga of the soul is something new for most people. You can only find it deep inside of you.

In the yoga of the body, you can stretch your body muscles, and feel good for some time. With the yoga of the soul, you stretch your soul muscles, and feel good forever. That’s the difference. And that is what this book is all about.

Now there’s nothing wrong with the yoga of the body, but when you are ready for the ultimate yoga, the spiritual yoga of the soul is waiting for you. And it’s been waiting for a long time. Way before the first teacher of body yoga came to the yoga studios of the West, the teachers of spiritual yoga were sitting in mountains and forests of ancient India teaching their favored students their secrets for attaining the highest pleasure. For those who really know, that is the highest goal. But to get to it, you have to know the path. And you can find that out only from the knower of the path, the teacher of spiritual yoga.

One of these teachers was Sri Rsabhadeva. Deva means "God." Although He appeared like an ordinary human, He was a form of God and so had divine powers. He lived long ago—millions of years ago, in fact. Externally, He appeared like a great king, which means He had every chance to enjoy to the hilt every kind of material pleasure. But just to set the perfect example of self-control, He did not. He taught the techniques of spiritual yoga to His sons, and then this secret knowledge, the path to the highest pleasure, was passed down through the generations from one spiritual master to another.

For many ages, this secret knowledge was never written down. It was kept hidden in memory, and revealed only to the proper candidates. As time passed, people’s power of memory began to decline. Therefore, about five thousand years ago, a great spiritual personality named Vyasadeva put the teachings of Rsabha in writing, as part of a Sanskrit book called Srimad- Bhagavatam. Still, for a long time afterwards only a chosen few in India learned about these teachings.

Then in the late twentieth century, His Divine Grace ' A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the greatest spiritual master of the modern age, following the orders of his own spiritual master, translated Rsabha’s teachings on spiritual yoga into English and brought them to the Western world, giving you the chance to enter onto the path to the highest pleasure.

This book is a combination of Srila Prabhupada’s published translation and commentary on the original Sanskrit teachings of Rsabha (Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.1-14) and the transcripts of a series of lectures he gave on these teachings in various cities (including London, Stockholm, and Vrndavana, India) during the years 1969 to 1976.

We hope you enjoy the teachings of Rsabhadeva on spiritual yoga, the path to the highest pleasure.

**Contents and Sample Pages**






Spiritual Yoga (The Path of Highest Pleasure)

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78
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About the Book

lf you think that you have to escape to a cave in the Himalayas to find the enlightenment that yoga promises, think again. In Spiritual Yoga, Srila Prabhupada, one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century, stretches the meaning of yoga beyond its familiar poses and breathing techniques and teach us how to attain a state of ever-increasing transcendental pleasure through bhakti-yoga (devotion to God) or Krsna consciousness by elaborating on the instructions a divine king named Rsabhadeva imparted to His sons long, long ago le India.

About the Author

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada appeared in this world in 1896 in Calcutta, India. He first met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, in Calcutta in 1922. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, a prominent religious scholar and the founder of sixty-four Gaudiya Mathas (Vedic institutes) in India, liked this educated young man and convinced him to dedicate his life to teaching Vedic knowledge. Srila Prabhupada became his student and, in 1933, his formally initiated disciple.

At their first meeting, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati requested Srila Prabhupada to broadcast Vedic knowledge in English. In the years that followed, Srila Prabhupada wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad-gita, assisted the Gaudiya Matha in its work, and, in 1944, started Back to Godhead, an English fortnightly magazine. Single-handedly, Srila Prabhupada edited it, typed the manuscripts, checked the galley proofs, and even distributed the individual copies. The magazine is now being continued by his disciples all over the world.

In 1950 Srila Prabhupada retired from married life. adopting the vanaprastha (retired) order to devote more time to his studies and writing. He traveled to the holy city of Vrndavana, where he lived in humble circumstances in the historic temple of Radha- Damodara. There he engaged for several years in deep study and writing. He accepted the renounced order of life (sannyasa) in 1959. At Radha-Damodara, Srila Prabhupada began work on his life’s masterpiece: a multivolume commentated translation of the eighteen- thousand-verse Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana). He also wrote Easy Journey to Other Planets.

After publishing three volumes of the Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada came to the United States, in September 1965, to fulfill the mission of his spiritual master. Subsequently, His Divine Grace wrote more than fifty volumes of authoritative commentated translations and summary studies of the philosophical and religious classics of India.

When he first arrived by freighter in New York City, Srila Prabhupada was practically penniless. It was after almost a year of great difficulty that he established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in July of 1966. Before he passed away on November 14, 1977, he had guided the Society and seen it grow to a worldwide confederation of more than one hundred ashrams, schools, temples, institutes, and farm communities.

In 1972 His Divine Grace introduced the Vedic system of primary and secondary education in the West by founding the gurukula school in Dallas, Texas. Since then his disciples have established similar schools throughout the United States and the rest of the world.

Srila Prabhupada also inspired the construction of several large international cultural centers in India. The center at Sridhama Mayapur is the site for a planned Spiritual city, an ambitious project for which construction will extend over many years to come. In Vrndavana are the magnificent Krsna-Balarama Temple and International Guesthouse, gurukula school, and Srila Prabhupada Memorial and Museum. There is also a major cultural and educational center in Mumbai. There are beautiful temples in Delhi, Bangalore, Anmedabad and Vadodara besides many other centers throughout India.

Srila Prabhupada’s most significant contribution. however, is his books. Highly respected by scholars for their authority, depth, and clarity, they are used as textbooks in numerous college courses. His writings have been translated into over fifty languages. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, established in 1972 exclusively to publish the works of His Divine Grace, has thus become the world’s largest publisher of books in the field of Indian religion and philosophy.

In just twelve years, despite his advanced age, Srila Prabhupada circled the globe fourteen times on lecture tours that took him to six continents. In spite of such a vigorous schedule, Srila Prabhupada continued to write prolifically. His writings constitute a veritable library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature, and culture.

INTRODUCTION

There’s one kind of yoga for the body, and there’s another kind of yoga for the soul. This book is about the yoga for the soul. It’s called bhakti-yoga, the yoga of pure love and devotion, the yoga of the highest pleasure.

The yoga of the body is the kind most people know about, the kind that is on the covers of the magazines. Everybody knows about that. But the yoga of the soul is something new for most people. You can only find it deep inside of you.

In the yoga of the body, you can stretch your body muscles, and feel good for some time. With the yoga of the soul, you stretch your soul muscles, and feel good forever. That’s the difference. And that is what this book is all about.

Now there’s nothing wrong with the yoga of the body, but when you are ready for the ultimate yoga, the spiritual yoga of the soul is waiting for you. And it’s been waiting for a long time. Way before the first teacher of body yoga came to the yoga studios of the West, the teachers of spiritual yoga were sitting in mountains and forests of ancient India teaching their favored students their secrets for attaining the highest pleasure. For those who really know, that is the highest goal. But to get to it, you have to know the path. And you can find that out only from the knower of the path, the teacher of spiritual yoga.

One of these teachers was Sri Rsabhadeva. Deva means "God." Although He appeared like an ordinary human, He was a form of God and so had divine powers. He lived long ago—millions of years ago, in fact. Externally, He appeared like a great king, which means He had every chance to enjoy to the hilt every kind of material pleasure. But just to set the perfect example of self-control, He did not. He taught the techniques of spiritual yoga to His sons, and then this secret knowledge, the path to the highest pleasure, was passed down through the generations from one spiritual master to another.

For many ages, this secret knowledge was never written down. It was kept hidden in memory, and revealed only to the proper candidates. As time passed, people’s power of memory began to decline. Therefore, about five thousand years ago, a great spiritual personality named Vyasadeva put the teachings of Rsabha in writing, as part of a Sanskrit book called Srimad- Bhagavatam. Still, for a long time afterwards only a chosen few in India learned about these teachings.

Then in the late twentieth century, His Divine Grace ' A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the greatest spiritual master of the modern age, following the orders of his own spiritual master, translated Rsabha’s teachings on spiritual yoga into English and brought them to the Western world, giving you the chance to enter onto the path to the highest pleasure.

This book is a combination of Srila Prabhupada’s published translation and commentary on the original Sanskrit teachings of Rsabha (Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.1-14) and the transcripts of a series of lectures he gave on these teachings in various cities (including London, Stockholm, and Vrndavana, India) during the years 1969 to 1976.

We hope you enjoy the teachings of Rsabhadeva on spiritual yoga, the path to the highest pleasure.

**Contents and Sample Pages**






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