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An introductory anthology to the wide range of knowledge and wisdom of the Yoga tradition edited, with many new translations, by the leading writer on Yoga today. Millions of Americans have taken up the practice of yoga as a way of reducing stress, increasing flexibility, and improving overall health. But Yoga is more than a physical discipline it is a four-thousand-year-old tradition with a rich philosophical and spiritual heritage. The readings in this book offer an inspirational introduction to this vast treasury of literature. Presented here is a wide range of the most accessible writings, including: Teachings on the path of liberation from the ancient Hindu Upanishads Tevotional love songs in praise of Krishna by the celebrated poet Mirabai (1498–1550) Insights on the attainment of joy from the great Sanskrit epic Mahabharata Inspiring sayings and teachings from contemporary masters like Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda, and Gopi Krishna Notes for each selection are provided, as well as an annotated reading list to guide readers in their further study of the Yoga tradition.

"Georg Feuerstein has done us a great service in sifting through the yoga classics and putting together a volume of short pieces that are inspiring and clear even to readers just beginning their forays into yogic philosophy. Here are teachings from the Upanishads, Mirabi's love songs to Krishna, insights on attaining joy from the Mahabharata, and words of wisdom from masters like Ramana Maharshi, Gopi Krishna, Swami Vivekananda, and Gandhi. It is a wonderful introduction to a vastly rich tradition."— Yoga Journal

About the Author
Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., is the leading writer on yoga in America today. In addition to being director of the Yoga Research Center and editor of Yoga World newsletter, he is a contributing editor of Yoga Journal, Inner Traditions, and Intuition. He is the author of more than twenty books. He holds degrees in Indology and the history of religion and is the author of more than twenty books on yoga and related topics.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

ONE THE WAY TO THE DIVINE The ascent to the divine Life is the human journey, the Work of works, the acceptable Sacrifice. This alone is man's real business in the world and the justification of his existence, without which he would be only an insect crawling among other ephemeral insects on a speck of surface mud and water which has managed to form itself amid the appalling immensities of the physical universe. - Sri Aurobindo


There is no fetter like illusion; there is no power greater than Yoga; there is no friend better than wisdom and no enemy worse than the ego.

Just as one learns the sciences by first practicing the alphabet, so one attains the knowledge of Truth by cultivating Yoga.

The body of creatures arises from their good or bad deeds. In turn, the body causes karma, and thus the waterwheel of existence revolves.

Just as the waterwheel revolves by the strength of bullocks, so the individual revolves through life and death by the force of karma.

The body always wears away like an unbaked clay pot placed in water. Therefore one should cultivate bodily fitness by tempering it with the fire of Yoga. - Gheranda-Samhita

BLISS BEYOND PAIN My experience is that everything is bliss. But the desire for bliss creates pain. Thus bliss becomes the seed of pain. The entire universe of pain is born of desire. Give up the desire for pleasure and you will not even know what pain is. - Nisargadatta Maharaj

Teachings of Yoga | Georg Feuerstein

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