|About the Book
The Katha Upanishad says that man in the ordinary course looks outward but some seeking a greater life turn their gaze inward (avrttachakshu), and there they find the immortal life of their true Self. Yoga consists in developing this inward and upward look. Taking the celebrated Yogasutras of Patanjali as his framework, Sri Anirvan explains the eight limbs of Patanjala Yoga in the life of India's spiritual traditions. The Vedas, the Upanishads and the Gita; the systems of Samkhya and Tantra; Buddhism, Vaishnavism and the Bauls - all form part of Sri Anirvan's vision. In this book, Sri Anirvan takes his readers onto unfamiliar grounds; there is no doubt that they will find in him a sure guide on this unusual journey. In his Introduction, Sri Ram Swarup adds a new dimension. He discusses different chitta-bhumis, a neglected Yogic idea; he mentions non-Yogic samadhis, fertile sources of many Revelations, Prophecies, Scriptures and Gods. This idea provides a new framework, a Yogic critique for evaluating different scriptures and different religious ideologies. The idea offers a radical, Eastern contribution to Studies in Comparative Religions. Sri Anirvan was born in 1896 in Mymensingh in eastern Bengal (now Bangladesh). After his schooling (largely the study of Sanskrit and India's scriptures), he lived for twelve years in Assam at the Ashram of his Tantric Guru, Swami Nigamananda. Then in 1930, at the age of thirty-four, he left the Ashram to become a free wanderer. Living sometimes in quiet Himalayan retreats, sometimes in the teeming towns and cities, Anirvan spent his time meditating, studying and writing. He passed away in Calcutta in 1978 at the age of eighty-two. Anirvan is the author of twenty books, most of them commentaries on the scriptures and philosophical systems of India. His first book was a Bengali translation of Sri Aurobindo's The Life Divine which was published in 2 volumes during 1948-51. But the centre of his studies was the Vedas on which subject he acquired a rare mastery over the years. His great work, Veda Mimamsa was published in 3 volumes in 1961, 1965 and 1970. Meanwhile, several other works on the Upanishads, the Gita, Vedanta and Yoga had also been published.