Recommended Books and DVDs
The Bhagavad Gita (Nikhilananda Translation)
The Bhagavad Gita, an important Hindu scripture, is one of the outstanding religious classics in the world, and this translation by Swami Nikhilananda has been called “the first really readable, authoritative translation.”
The Bhagavad Gita is unique among religious texts in its emphasis on the discharge of everyday duties, irrespective of their nature, as an effective discipline for the realization of God. The Gita teaches that if a man performs his duties, surrendering the fruit to God and discarding all selfish motives, he gains purity of heart and achieves ultimate liberation. It is knowledge of God that gives man the strength to face calmly and cheerfully the duties of life. The Gita shows the way to spiritualize life and illumine even its drab and gray phases with the radiance of the Spirit. It lays down practical spiritual disciplines which can be followed by all, irrespective of faith and creed.
The Yoga Sutras
Hatha Yoga Pradipika (Light on Hatha Yoga) includes the original Sanskrit text compiled by Maharshi Swatmarama with a translation and thorough commentary in english by Swami Satyananda and Swami Muktibodhananda. This text elucidates the entire science of hatha yoga(asana,pranayama,shatkarma,mudra and bandha) as it was conceived and practised not only for healthand fitness but for awakening the vital energies:pranas,chakras and kundalini shakti.It points out that hatha yoga is not just a physical practice but a process of cellular transmutation from gross to subtle to divine.Thus hatha yoga was considered to be the foundation of all higher yogas. Line drawings and diagrams illustrate the text.
Yoga and Long Life
Yoga and Long Life by Yogi Gupta The first Guru to bring Hatha Yoga to the West, sheds light on the Yoga Postures and focuses on Hatha Yoga including its benefits of good health and longevity.
This is a book on Hatha Yoga in the classical sense, emphasizing breathing and meditation. Here is a Master who has studied, practiced and analyzed the subject so thoroughly that he can fill page after page with information from scriptures as well as his own experience. For those who are looking for authentic knowledge of asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation (dhyana), all that they may need is here, taught by an adept.
The book is divided into five parts. Part 1 is general, giving the reader comprehensive knowledge of Yoga the Science, Forms of Yoga, Effects of Yoga on the Body, Ayurveda (the ancient science of Indian Medicine), and Yoga and Longevity. Part Two is `to-the- point’ description of yoga postures, their purpose, technique and benefits. There is photo of each pose done scientifically correct by Yogi Gupta himself. Twenty eight major asanas are portrayed. Part 3 is Breathing and Meditation, not to be missed by any serious student of Yoga. Part 4 is about the need for Yoga, with a valuable section on Relaxation. Part 5 is a Schedule of Courses for Men and Women, with six Tables of postures for different levels.
Yoga and Yogic Powers
Yoga and Yogic Powers by Yogi Gupta Gives insight into the powers that Yoga and Psychic Development bring.
By Swami Vivekananda, Raja-Yoga, the path of meditation and control of the mind, gives a scientific treatment of Yoga philosophy describing methods of concentration, psychic development and the liberation of the soul from bondage of the body. Rja-Yoga also includes Swami Vivekananda’s translation and commentary of the “Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali.” Raja-Yoga, along with Swami Vivekananda’s Karma-Yoga, Bhakti-Yoga, and Jnna-Yoga, are considered classics and outstanding treatises on Hindu philosophy. The Swami’s deep spiritual insight, fervid eloquence, and broad human sympathy shine forth in these works and offer inspiration to all spiritual seekers.
Bhakti Yoga is a real genuine search after the Lord, a search beginning, continuing, and ending in Love. One single moment of the madness of extreme love to God brings us eternal freedom. When a man gets it, he loves all, hates none; he becomes satisfied forever.
Jnana-Yoga, the Path of Knowledge, describes the essence of Vedanta philosophy – the wisdom of the Vedas, Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita in a modern scientific manner.
Karma Yoga This a set of lectures by Swami Vivekananda on the subject of Karma Yoga, one of the several yogic paths to enlightenment. Karma Yoga is a mental discipline which allows one to carry out one’s duties as a service to the entire world, as a path to enlightenment. By working in the real world, but giving up attachment to work, we can obtain spiritual liberation. Vivekananda discusses the concept of Karma in the Bhagavada-Gita, and singles out the Buddha as a primary example of this form of yoga.
The Divine Life Its Practice and Realisation Swami Yatiswarananda: (1939)
Self-Knowledge (1905) Self-Knowledge is a translation by Swami Nikhilananda of the sacred text, Atmabodha, composed by the 8th century philosopher and mystic of India, Sankara. Self-Knowledge sets forth the principles of Non-dualistic Vedanta: the divinity of the soul, the unity of existence, the oneness of the Godhead, and the harmony of religions.
As Swami Nikhilananda writes in the preface, “The very name of the book – Self-Knowledge – suggests its perennial interest and universal value. Self-Knowledge is vital. All other forms of knowledge are of secondary importance; for a man’s action, feeling, reasoning, and thinking are dependent upon his idea of the Self. His view of life will be either materialistic or spiritual according to his conception of himself. Therefore it behooves everyone to cultivate Self-Knowledge at all times. Self-Knowledge serves the practical purpose of destroying pain and suffering (which are always caused by ignorance of the Self) and also the positive end of helping everyone enjoy supreme peace and blessedness here and always.”
Other noted works:
Asanas: 608 Yoga Poses by Sri Dharma Mittra
In 1974, the legendary “teacher of teachers” yogi Dharma Mittra photographed himself in 908 yoga postures. He printed each photo as an 8 x 10 and pasted them together to form a poster, creating the Ultimate Yoga Chart as a gift for his teacher, Swami Kailashananda (Yogi Gupta). Asanas collects 708 of those black-and-white photographs, each accompanied by the English name of the pose and the Sanskrit characters, brief commentary, and specific combinations for vinyasa, ashtanga, and Iyengar practice. Because it builds on basic postures, Asanas will appeal to students of any of the 100 yoga styles. In addition, specific sequences for each of the major styles of yoga; for beginning, intermediate, and advanced yoga students; as well as for particular health problems are also featured.
Dharma Mittra – Maha Sadhana Level 1
Maha Sadhana: The Great Practice presents the jewels of wisdom from Sri Dharma Mittra’s more than 50 years of yoga practice an extraordinary life dedicated to self-realization. Maha Sadhana Level I is designed for all able-bodied yoga students, even beginners, and covers asana, pranayama and meditation to create a strong foundation for success on the path of yoga.
Highlights from the DVD include:
- 4 hours of rich, in-depth material covering all limbs of yoga practice
- Practices suitable for both beginning and experienced students
- Beginner Asana Practice adjustable from 53 to 64 minutes
- Intermediate Asana Practice adjustable from 46 to 82 minutes
- Guided pranayama and meditation practices
- Spiritual Discourse advice for aspiring yogis
- Dharma’s Asana Workshop tips and tricks for poses
Dharma Mittra – Maha Sadhana Level II DVD
This DVD contains material for stronger and more experienced students, two full asansa practices adjustable from 48 to 83 minutes, fully guided pranayama and meditation practices, spiritual philosophy discussion, asana workshop of Dharma’s tips and tricks, the story of the famous poster, 22 minutes of kirtan with Dharma, and special music by Dharma and Ismrittee Devi Om.
Yogi Gupta – Yoga Food Concepts CD
Yoga Food Concepts – A rejuvenating talk and rare recording from Sri Dhamra Mittra’s guru By Yogi Gupta