A Textbook of Yoga

by Swami Krishnananda

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Book Code: EK60
263 pages
Book Dimensions: 8.50 x 5.50 x 0.55 inches
Shipping Weight: 300 grams

Table of Contents

Publisher’s Note 5
Chapter 1: The True Nature of Our Existence 11
Chapter 2: The Individual and Creation 27
Chapter 3: Yoga Psychology 42
Chapter 4: The Transcendent and the Immanent 60
Chapter 5: The First Principle in Yoga 75
Chapter 6: The Three Root Desires 92
Chapter 7: The Stability of Body and Mind 107
Chapter 8: The Yoga of the Bhagavadgita 125
Chapter 9: Preparing for Meditation 142
Chapter 10: Recipes for Meditation Practice 157
Chapter 11: The Rising of the Soul in Total Action 172
Chapter 12: The First Step in Samadhi 189
Chapter 13: Standing Inseparable from the Universal 204
Chapter 14: Consciousness Alone Is 218
Chapter 15: Questions and Answers: Session 1 234
Chapter 16: Questions and Answers: Session 2 252
Back Cover

Publisher’s Note

With great joy, we are bringing out our new publication ‘A Textbook of Yoga’ by Worshipful Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj. The book comprises Sri Swamiji Maharaj’s illuminating discourses addressed to the students of the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy course held from March to May in 1991.

As these lectures were meant for the students who had come to the Ashram for the first time, Sri Swamiji Maharaj, out of great compassion, lucidly explained what yoga is and why it is necessary, what the Ultimate Reality is, and how to practise meditation in order to realise It.

Thus, this book becomes a valuable guide for all those with no prior exposure to yoga philosophy and practice, to be introduced to yoga from a philosophical and practical point of view, and then to carry on the practice in their day-to-day lives.


Chapter 1


Philosophy is said to be the investigation into the causes of phenomena which are around us, and in which we are also involved. We see things happening, events taking place, but mostly we do not know why they occur at all. We can observe winds blowing, rain falling, the sun getting hot, etc., as a routine affair in our daily lives, but many of us will not be able to explain why the winds should blow. Why should it rain at a particular time? Why is the sun hot or cold, as the case may be? Why are things what they are? Questions of this kind have often evoked no proper answer. Many a time we find ourselves helpless in knowing what is happening at all in this world, and why we are what we are.

The only thing that seems to be impinging upon us and has a direct effect upon our lives is a series of troubles, responsibilities, difficulties, problems and the like, which we confront every day. Even if we are daily confronting problems, responsibilities and troubles, many of us, educated though we may be, may not know what our problems are. People many a time complain of difficulties in life, but if we ask them to make a list of all their difficulties, they will not be able to make a list. There is a chaos even in thinking about one’s daily confrontations. “What are your problems, sir, about which you are daily complaining? Tell me all your problems. How many are they?” It will be very difficult to enumerate these problems. Even those problems which we are facing daily with open eyes do not seem to be very clear to our minds.

Our ancient seers and masters have boiled down all these problems, or confrontations, in life into three categories: troubles that arise from within our own selves, troubles that arise from people and living beings outside, and troubles that arise from sources which are usually called celestial in their nature, such as cataclysms, drought, earthquakes and thunderstorms. By ‘celestial’, we do not mean actually coming from the gods in heaven, but coming from that which is above our normal ken of operations.

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Swami Krishnananda

Worshipful Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj took birth on the 25th of April, 1922, in Puttur, Karnataka, as the eldest child in a highly religious and orthodox Brahmin family well versed in Sanskrit, and was named Subbaraya. Reading from the Srimad Bhagavata that Lord Narayana lives in sacred Badrinath Dham, the young boy believed it literally and entertained a secret pious wish to go to the Himalayas, where Badrinath is located, and see the Lord there.

Swamiji arrived in Rishikesh in the summer of 1944. When he met Swami Sivananda and fell prostrate before him, the saint said: “Stay here till death. I will make kings and ministers fall at your feet.” Swami Sivananda initiated young Subbaraya into the holy order of Sannyasa on the sacred day of Makar Sankranti, the 14th of January, 1946, and he was named Swami Krishnananda.

In 1957 Swamiji became the Secretary especially concerned with the management of finance, which continued until 1961 when Sri Gurudev nominated him as General Secretary of the Divine Life Society, which position he held until 2001.

Swami Krishnananda was a master of practically every system of Indian thought and Western philosophy. “Many Sankaras are rolled into one Krishnananda,” said Sri Gurudev. Swami Krishnananda, the embodiment of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, lived in the state of God-consciousness and guided countless seekers along the path of Self-realisation. Swamiji attained Mahasamadhi on the 23rd of November, 2001.

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