The Spiritual Roots of Yoga by Ravindra

Ravi Ravindra. The Spiritual Roots of Yoga: Royal Path to Freedom. Sandpoint, Id.: Morning Light Press, 2006. Paperback, 179 pp.

Beautifully produced, this anthology comprises fifteen essays of which seven were previously published. The author, a professor emeritus at Dalhousie University, is well known for his publications and lectures on religion and spirituality. This latest book from his pen covers a wide range of topics, with yogic wisdom as the unifying element. True to his Hindu heritage, Ravindra states his conviction that “Yoga originates from above, that is to say, from the vision of the highest possible state of consciousness.” He adds: “It is a suprahuman revelation.”

If the roots of Yoga lie in the transpersonal dimension of the mind, they also can be found in the rich humus of down-to-earth experimentation and day-to-day experience. The latter approach, in fact, is primarily responsible for the great practical and also theoretical diversity within the Yoga tradition. In Ravindra’s words, “Different yogas arise because of the varying emphases on methods and procedures adopted by different teachers and schools.”

Throughout the book, it is clear that its author is not merely an armchair researcher but an engaged sadhaka, or practitioner, who can look back upon many years of personal spiritual struggle. His own yogic journey was significantly influenced by the teachings of Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita, the method of Jiddu Krishnumurti (with whom he was befriended), and the Gurdjieff Work. His essays on Krishnamurti and the Gurdjieff Work are among the most compelling in the book.

The thoughtful reader will find much in this work that is not only informative and practically instructive but also inspiring. The publishers are to be commended for using recycled paper, which is still a rarity among U.S. publishers.

Copyright ©2006 by Georg Feuerstein. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in any form requires prior permission from Traditional Yoga Studies.

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