Karma Yoga book 1: Karma introduces the vast field of karma yoga, laying a foundation for understanding the more specific aspects addressed in subsequent volumes. Karma is clearly presented in its many manifestations and mysteries.
Conversations on the Science of toga is an encyclpaedic series presenting the vast, timeless culture of yoga topic by topic through the voice of three generations of masters – Swami Sivananda Saraswati, Swami Satyananda Saraswati and Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati.
The teachings are given in question and answer format with the inclusion of verses from the scriptures, connecting the modern experience with the classical tradition.
How to accept and live in harmony with karma is simply and practically explained, enabling a conscious relationship with karma to unfold. Included are: meaning and origins of karma; laws and classifications of karma; understanding samskaras; and, karma in the Bhagavad Gita.
Through the wisdom of these masters, a complete understanding of karma yoga and a vision for its application in the modern era is interpreted for yoga aspirants around the world.
SWAMI SIVANANDA SARASWATI
Swami Shivananda was born at Pattamadai, Tamil Nadu, in 1887.
After serving as a medical doctor in Malasya, he stopped practising, went to Rishikesh and was initiated into Dashnami Sannyasa in 1924 by Swami Vishwananda Saraswati.
He toured extensively throughout India, inspiring people to practise yoga and lead a spiritually devoted life.
He founded the Divine Life Society at Rishikesh in 1936, the Shivananda Ayurvedic Pharmacy in 1945, the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy in 1948 and the Shivananda Eye Hospital in 1957.
During his lifetime he guided thousands of disciples and aspirants all over the world and authored over 200 books.
SWAMI SATYANANDA SARASWATI
Swami Satyananda Saraswati was born in a small town near Almora, Uttar Pradesh in the foothills of the Himalayas in 1923.
As a child he showed extraordinary qualities and had his first spiritual experience at the age of six. He was blessed by many sages and sadhus (holy people) who passed by his home on their way to higher Himalayan regions.
At the age of nineteen, he left his family and home to search for his spiritual master, Swami Sivananda Saraswati who he met in 1943.
During the twelve years he spent with his guru, Swami Satyananda plunged himself into karma yoga to such an extent that Swami Sivananda said he did the work of four people. Like an ideal disciple he worked from dawn until late at night, involving himself in every kind of work from cleaning to management of the ashram. Service to guru was his passion and his joy.
Although he had a very keen intellect and was described as a ‘versatile genius’, Swami Satyananda’s learning did not come from instruction or study in the ashram.
He followed with faith his guru’s one command, ‘Work hard and purify yourself. You do not have to bring the light from the outside. The light will unfold from within.’ This is exactly what happened. At an early age, he gained an enlightened understanding of the secrets of the spiritual life.
After spending twelve years with his guru, Swami Satyananda took to parivrajaka (wandering mendicant) life in 1955. He journeyed extensively for nine years traveling throughout India, Afghanistan, Burma, Nepal and Sri Lanka. During this period he met many great saints and yogis, and spent time in seclusion formulating and perfecting yogic techniques to alleviate the sufferings of humanity.
In 1963, his mission became apparent and he instituted the International Yoga Fellowship Movement (IYFM) and, in 1964, the Bihar School of Yoga (BSY) in Munger. Before long, students were coming from all over India and abroad to stay at BSY.
From 1968 to 1988 he authored over 80 books and toured internationally spreading the teachings of yoga. He became well known worldwide as a leading exponent of yoga and tantra. He guided and inspired thousands of spiritual seekers and centres throughout the world with his holistic and scientific approach to yoga and the spiritual life.
In 1983, he appointed Swami Niranjanananda as his successor and president of the Bihar School of Yoga and associated centres.
In 1984, he founded both Sivananda Math, a charitable institution for rural development, and the Yoga Research Foundation.
In 1988, Swami Satyananda renounced his mission and adopted kshetra sannyasa (renunciation of active participation in one’s own field). He began a pilgrimage through the siddhateerthas (holy places) in India as a wandering sadhu, without any assistance from any of the ashrams and institutions he had founded.
In 1990 he established the Sri Panchdashnam Paramahamsa Alakh Bara and commenced the lifestyle of a paramahamsa sannyasin. Here he has performed the panchagni sadhana (a practice where one is exposed to five fires) and other vedic sadhanas to pave the way for the future paramahamsas to uphold their tradition.
The activities of Sivananda Math are also directed from here and, in recent years, he has opened the ashram to those who wish to experience ashram life.
Swami Satyananda is a man of spiritual authority whose words and actions overflow with gentleness, compassion and wisdom towards all. Through his life, we have a living example on whom we can model ourselves and can gain courage to become wiser individuals and more caring human beings.
YOGA PUBLICATION TRUST
The Yoga Publication Trust was founded by Paramahansa Niranjanananda in 2000.
It is an organization dedicated to the dissemination and development of yogic knowledge and related disciplines such as psychology (ancient and modern), ecology, medicine, knowledge of the Vedas, tantra and Upanishads, philosophy (eastern and western), mysticism and spirituality. national and international level through the distribution of books, magazines, audio and video cassettes and multimedia supports.
The main purpose of the YPT is to publish textbooks in the field of yoga philosophy, psychology and applied yoga science; the practical texts and inspiring expositions of eminent personalities and spiritual authors, aim to elevate humanity through a yogic lifestyle, the practice and knowledge of yoga.