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Contemplative Studies Index


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Māyā is “illusion,” a core concept in Vedic thought.
“Prāṇa is the vibratory nature of Being…When prāṇa manifests, Being vibrates and in vibrating assumes the role of a particular pattern of breathing to produce a specific pattern of individual life.” ~ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi One thing I noticed about my Sanskrit teacher (and almost all brahmins I’ve encountered) was his inexhaustible energy. It was once […]
“One should offer oblation to her own body and nurture it well.” Ṛg Veda 127: 12 October 8, 1995, Ved Vignan Mahavidyapeeth Ashram, Bangalore, India. It’s Navarātri  (“Nine Nights of the Goddess”) and I’ve been getting up early every day at 4:00 a.m. (the holy hour of brahma muhūrta when all the benevolent laws of […]
“Look at the miracle of God (Ram),” the Dunagiri village girls sang, “how he can be within you and also within me! See how he has penetrated every atom of existence,” they continued as they celebrated the recent re-telling of Ram’s story (Tulsidas’ Ramcaritmanas) here in the northeastern Himalayan hills. The belief in the omnipresence […]
I can think. I can wait. I can fast. Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha Pārvatī had a singular desire—to win Śiva, the greatest of gods, as her husband. At first, she attempted to beguile him with her beauty and charm, which he ignored entirely with his eyes firmly shut in samādhi. She then sent Kāmadeva, the Cupid […]
The oral transmission of the Vedas in Sanskrit reveals experientially what quantum physics describes as the unified field.
“From delusion, lead me to truth; From darkness, lead me to light; And from death, lead me to immortality.” ~ Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.3.28 ~ Far from the garish electric lights, the finely coifed Delhiites gorging on mithai, and plump merchants smug after accomplishing the year’s great financial win, a very different goddess Lakṣmī makes her […]
“We don’t study the Veda; we feel the presence of the ṛṣi (seer).” ~ Sri Aurobindo ~  “Repeat the Sanskrit alphabet while seated in lotus posture,” my Vedic Sanskrit teacher once requested. “It will purify your entire nervous system.” As I pronounced the 50 sounds with awareness, I noticed a pattern of energy associated with […]

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