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The Vedic Way of Knowing God

The Vedic Way of Knowing God

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Published by dharmacentral
The Vedic method for perceiving God through Yoga, bhakti, mantra, shastra, and other Hindu practices is described.
The Vedic method for perceiving God through Yoga, bhakti, mantra, shastra, and other Hindu practices is described.

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Published by: dharmacentral on Dec 01, 2010
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The Vedic Way of Knowing God
By Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya
We are happy to announce the long-anticipated release of SriDharma Pravartaka Acharya's ground-breaking new book "The Vedic Way of Knowing God". Give the gift of Dharmathis holiday season. 5% Discount if you purchase now!Author: Sri Dharma Pravartaka AcharyaForeword: Dr. David FrawleyPreface: Professor Klaus K. Klostermaier Publisher: Dharma Sun MediaPublished: November 7, 2010Language: EnglishPages: 408Price: US$23.99Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback Available for purchase here:http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-vedic-way-of-knowing-god/13555030Revealing the profound philosophical insights of the world's most ancient spiritual philosophy,this book not only boldly answers the question "How do I know God?" from the distinctly Vedic(Hindu) perspective, but also explores the further issues of what it even means to be able to knowGod. With greater detail than any other book ever written to date, it reveals the precise mysticalmechanisms employed for knowing the Divine; the psychological conditions necessary for sucha spiritual endeavor; the transformative cognitive experiences that occur within the spiritual practitioner upon achieving God-realization; the integral relationship between transcendentWord, spiritually revealed literature, and the important role of living teachers; and the vastimplications of the Vedic world-view on contemporary global philosophy and religion. If youhave ever asked the question "How do I know God?", this is the book that will give you the precise road-map!
ForewordBy Dr. David Frawley
(Sri Vamadeva Shastri)
The Vedic tradition is primarily one of knowledge, going back to the four 
as books of knowledge, the term
deriving from the root ‘
, meaning to see, to know, to directlyexperience, or to realize within one’s own awareness. The Vedic tradition is further defined asSanatana Dharma or a universal and eternal (Sanatana) tradition of truth and natural law(Dharma). What
is seeking to know is the nature of things, ultimately the nature of our own being that is connected to the Divine presence or higher consciousness which pervades allexistence.As such, the Vedic tradition is not content merely with belief in God or even communion withthe deity as its ultimate aim. Its goal is to know the deity within our own minds and hearts in thesense of this higher knowledge born of direct perception, not as a mere mental or emotionalconnection, but one that engages our entire being to its immortal core.Such inner knowing is not a speculative venture or a matter of salvation through faith. VedicDharma teaches specific philosophies or ways of knowledge about the deity. For these to reallywork, specific
or spiritual practices, largely yogic in nature are required. VedicDharma does not rest upon faith at a mass level, but spiritual practices at an individual level for achieving the ultimate goal of life described as
, or liberation from the cycle of birth anddeath.Other religious, spiritual and philosophical systems in the world also have their concerns withand their means of gaining such inner knowledge of the deity, often put under the banner of the‘religious experience’ or the ‘mystical experience’. Such experiences are also commonly referredto as ‘unity consciousness’, though they have considerable varieties.The pursuit of mystical experiences has been a sidelight or rarity in western religious traditions,and has sometimes been suppressed by them, particularly when it challenges the authority of existing institutions. Yet it has been widely encouraged in India since the most ancient times.Each follower of a particular spiritual path in India is usually encouraged to take up such a
to contact the deity within. At the same time, since there are clearly defined paths tohigher realization in the Vedic tradition, there is less danger of the practitioner falling into theconfusion that mystical experiences can sometimes create for those who stumble upon them,rather than are trained to receive them.Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya (Dr. Frank Morales) is a rare western teacher who knows boththe philosophies and the practices of the Vedic tradition and has firsthand experience of howthey really work. He is a highly qualified teacher, or Acharya, of Vedic Dharma, the first westernAcharya of a western Hindu temple, not merely an academic looking at Vedic thought with little practical experience of how it is applied. He has also studied in depth other religious, spiritualand philosophical traditions. This provides him a much deeper level of insight into the Vedic
tradition than normally found in the vast majority of teachers today. He takes the discussion outof the mere speculative realm to the domain of spiritual practice, making his discussion relevantto those involved in meditation and devotional disciplines as well.Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya focuses on the issue of 
or proofs, the complex yetcentral issue of epistemology. If we want to know something, the first question that arises is:“What are our available means of legitimate knowledge?” The issue is particularly importantrelative to spiritual studies. If something Divine, infinite and eternal does exist, through whatspecial means can it be known? Obviously, our ordinary mind and senses are designed to knowlimited, finished and transient objects, though they can speculate about something beyond. Isthere some other more direct means that we can develop in order to do this?In western philosophy the means of knowledge are largely limited to reason and the senses, andwhat can be extrapolated from them, though theologies regularly bring in faith and scripture aswell. The Vedic tradition has also accepted
or yogic perception born of the meditativemind, as a legitimate means of knowledge. This not only includes the mystical experience, butallows a practical and scientific approach to it through yogic disciplines.The Vedic tradition includes the idea of scripture, or 
, not as books to merely believe in, but as indicators and guidelines to a higher realization that should be employed in the context of 
or spiritual practice. The Vedic
is linked to the idea of 
or sacred sound,and
, reflecting the Divine Word and cosmic creative vibration. Sri Dharma PravartakaAcharya examines the issue of scripture and sacred sound quite clearly from a Vedic perspective.Most modern Vedantic studies have focused on the Advaita Vedanta of Shankaracharya and hismodern proponents since the time Swami Vivekananda over a century ago. Recently, the Dvaiticand Vishishtadvaitic forms of Vedanta have also received attention, which adds another dimension to these studies. Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya has taken a view that can embraceand honor all these systems, without losing their specific value and different approaches.For this examination, he has focused on one primary thinker, the work of Jiva Goswami, animportant figure in the Vaishnava tradition about whom much has been written in recent yearswith the development of the Bhakti Yoga movement throughout the world. Yet he grounds hisstudy of Goswami in a greater analysis of all six Vedic philosophies as well as their connectionswith other philosophical and theological traditions East and West. This affords the book arelevance beyond India to the global issues of spiritual knowledge.Goswami’s work, like that of many Vaishnava Hindus, in turn is based on the
 Bhagavata Purana
, which is regarded by many Hindu scholars as the greatest of the
, as well as animportant extension of the thought and insight of the
.Western scholarship has often ignored such texts, focusing on the prime
and texts of thesix systems of Vedic philosophy, as if there was nothing more to be considered. This has limited

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