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Inhaltsangabe: These lectures Delivered at the 32nd Anniversary of the Theosophical Society held at Benares, on Dec. 27th, 28th, 29th, and 30th, 1907 are intended to give an outline of Yoga, in order to prepare the student to take up, for practical purposes, the Yoga sutras of Patanjali, the chief treatise on Yoga. I have on hand, with my friend Bhagavan Das as collaborateur, a translation of these Sutras, with Vyasa's commentary, and a further commentary and elucidation written in the light of Theosophy. These have never been finished or printed. To prepare the student for the mastering of that more difficult task, these lectures were designed; hence the many references to Patanjali. They may, however, also serve to give to the ordinary lay reader some idea of the Science of sciences, and perhaps to allure a few towards its study. Annie Besant Table of Contents Lecture I. The Nature of Yoga 1. The Meaning of the Universe 2. The Unfolding of Consciousness 3. The Oneness of the Self 4. The Quickening of the Process of Self-Unfoldment 5. Yoga is a Science 6. Man a Duality 7. States of Mind 8. Samadhi 9. The Literature of Yoga 10. Some Definitions 11. God Without and God Within 12. Changes of Consciousness and Vibrations of Matter 13. Mind 14. Stages of Mind 15. Inward and Outward-turned Consciousness 16. The Cloud Lecture II. Schools of Thought 1. Its Relation to Indian Philosophies 2. Mind 3. The Mental Body 4. Mind and Self Lecture III. Yoga as Science 1. Methods of Yoga 2. To the Self by the Self 3. To the Self through the Not-Self 4. Yoga and Morality 5. Composition of States of the Mind 6. Pleasure and Pain Lecture IV. Yoga as Practice 1. Inhibition of States of Mind 2. Meditation with and without Seed 3. The Use of Mantras 4. Attention 5. Obstacles to Yoga 6. Capacities for Yoga 7. Forthgoing and Returning 8. Purification of Bodies 9. Dwellers on the Threshold 10. Preparation for Yoga 11. The End Besant was an integral force in introducing Hindu thought to the Western world...long before there were yoga classes in every exercise studio, Besant brought the true meaning of what it means to practice the way of the yogi. This is an excellent overview of a most mystical way of life - not just breath work and asanas During four lectures delivered in Varansi (India) at the thirty-second annual Convention of the Theosophical Society, Dr Besant explores the nature of yoga as a science including the obstacles and impediments to practice. This small manual provides the basis for a deeper study of the teaching of Patanjali and of Yoga in general, containing the essentials to be considered throughout the different stages of living and practice. Next she explains the relationship of Prakriti, that enables the transformation of ourselves and all creation: "Prakriti also has three characteristics, the well-known gunas---attributes or qualities. These are rhythm, mobility, and inertia. Rhythm enables awareness to become cognition. Mobility enables life to become activity. Inertia enables immutability to become will." Subsequently she touches on the fundamental nature of the Trinity, or three-in-one that permeates all creation---thus demanding Yoga or unity as the ever-present truth behind the apparent separateness of ourselves and all else of creation: "We have the power to know, the power to will, and the power to act. These are the three great powers of the Self that show themselves in the separated Self in every diversity of forms, from the minutest organism to the loftiest Logos." From this basis she tackles the fundamental characteristics of concentration, meditation, mantras, and other practice principles---with a stream of consciousness style evoking a lecture, rather than a structured curriculum. Her ending challenges the sincere interest of existing humanity to awaken to a life devoid of judgment and repulsion, since all are immutably equal.
Über den Autor: Annie Besant (1 October 1847 ? 20 September 1933) was a prominent British socialist, theosophist, women's rights activist, writer and orator and supporter of Irish and Indian self-rule. She was married at 20 to Frank Besant but separated from him over religious differences. She then became a prominent speaker for the National Secular Society (NSS) and writer and a close friend of Charles Bradlaugh. In 1877 they were prosecuted for publishing a book by birth control campaigner Charles Knowlton. The scandal made them famous, and Bradlaugh was elected M.P. for Northampton in 1880. She became involved with union actions including the Bloody Sunday demonstration and the London matchgirls strike of 1888. She was a leading speaker for the Fabian Society and the Marxist Social Democratic Federation (SDF). She was elected to the London School Board for Tower Hamlets, topping the poll even though few women were qualified to vote at that time. In 1890 Besant met Helena Blavatsky and over the next few years her interest in theosophy grew while her interest in secular matters waned. She became a member of the Theosophical Society and a prominent lecturer on the subject. As part of her theosophy-related work, she travelled to India. In 1898 she helped establish the Central Hindu College. In 1902, she established the first overseas Lodge of the International Order of Co-Freemasonry, Le Droit Humain. Over the next few years she established lodges in many parts of the British Empire. In 1907 she became president of the Theosophical Society, whose international headquarters were in Adyar, Madras, (Chennai). She also became involved in politics in India, joining the Indian National Congress. When World War I broke out in 1914, she helped launch the Home Rule League to campaign for democracy in India and dominion status within the Empire. This led to her election as president of the India National Congress in late 1917. After the war, she continued to campaign for Indian independence and for the causes of theosophy, until her death in 1933. (Wikipedia)
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