The Heart of Hinduism:

The Eastern Path to Freedom, Empowerment and Illumination

By Stephen Knapp

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            This is a definitive and easy to understand guide to the essential as well as devotional heart of the Vedic/Hindu philosophy. You will see the depths of wisdom and insights that are contained within this profound spiritual knowledge. This presentation contains numerous references from a variety of the ancient Vedic texts to provide a direct view of the spiritual knowledge that they hold. Thus, it is especially good for anyone who lacks the time to research the many topics that are contained within the numerous Vedic manuscripts and to see the advantages of knowing them. This also provides you with a complete process for progressing on the spiritual path, making way for individual empowerment, freedom, and spiritual illumination. All the information is now at your fingertips.

            Some of the topics you will find include:

$                  A complete review of all the Vedic texts and the wide range of topics they contain. This also presents the traditional origins of the Vedic philosophy and how it was developed, and their philosophical conclusion.

$                  The uniqueness and freedom of the Vedic system.

$                  A description of the main yoga processes and their effectiveness.

$                  A review of the Vedic Gods, such as Krishna, Shiva, Durga, Ganesh, and others. You will learn the identity and purpose of each.

$                  You will have the essential teachings of Lord Krishna who has given some of the most direct and insightful of all spiritual messages known to humanity, and the key to direct spiritual perception.

$                  The real purpose of yoga and the religious systems.

$                  What is the most effective spiritual path for this modern age and what it can do for you, with practical instructions for deep realizations.

$                  The universal path of devotion, the one world religion.

$                  How Vedic culture is the last bastion of deep spiritual truth.

$                  Plus many more topics and information for your enlightenment.

            So to dive deep into what is Hinduism and the Vedic path to freedom and spiritual perception, this book will give you a jump start.  Knowledge is the process of personal empowerment, and no knowledge will give you more power than deep spiritual understanding. And those realizations described in the Vedic culture are the oldest and some of the most profound that humanity has ever known.

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Contents

 

PREFACE                                                                                                               

The “Essential” Heart of Hinduism * The “Devotional” Heart of Hinduism

 

INTRODUCTION                                                                                                   

About the Name “Hinduism” * What is Vedic * The Purpose of the Vedic System * The Uniqueness of the Vedic System

 

PART ONE:                                                                                                            

UNDERSTANDING THE MANY LEVELS OF SPIRITUAL TRUTH IN THE VEDIC TEXTS

 

CHAPTER ONE:                                                                                                    

A REVIEW OF VEDIC LITERATURE AND THE KNOWLEDGE WITHIN

If You are New to the Study of Vedic Culture * The Four Primary Vedas * Thirty-Three Million Gods? * Brahmanas and Aranyakas * The Upanishads * The Upa-Vedas and Vedangas * The Sutras and Supplements * The Smritis * Vedanta and Vedanta-Sutras * The Itihasas * The Puranas * A Review of the Puranas * The Srimad-Bhagavatam * The Preeminent Nature of the Srimad-Bhagavatam * Different Paths in the Vedas * The Ultimate Path to the Absolute * Conclusion * Vaishnavism

 

CHAPTER TWO:                                                                                                  

THE YOGA PROCESSES

Purpose of Religion * Hatha-Yoga * Karma-Yoga * Jnana-Yoga * Yoga * Raja-Yoga * Instructions on Raja-yoga From Bhagavad-gita * Mystic Powers * Kundalini-Yoga * The Chakras and Koshas * Laya-Yoga * Kriya-Yoga * Mantra-Yoga * The Grace of God * Bhakti-Yoga

 

PART TWO:                                                                                                         

UNDERSTANDING THE CHARACTERISTICS AND POSITIONS OF THE VEDIC GODS--THE DEVAS AND DEVIS

 

CHAPTER THREE:                                                                                              

THE IDENTITY OF LORD SHIVA AND GODDESS DURGA

Krishna Devotees are Dear to Shiva and Shiva is Dear to Them * Lord Shiva’s Position * Shaivism * The Shivaratri Festival * The Shiva-Lingam * The Goddess Durga * The Identity of Durga and Difference Between Mahamaya and Yogamaya * The Shaktas and Tantrism * The Tantras * How Shiva and Durga are Considered the Mother and Father of the Universe * How Lord Shiva Appeared in this World * How Lord Shiva Assists in the Universal Destruction * Lord Shiva’s Ultimate Spiritual Advice

 

CHAPTER FOUR:                                                                                              

LORD BRAHMA

Brahma’s Main Function * How Brahma is Manifested From Lord Vishnu * Brahma and The Dawn of Creation

 

CHAPTER FIVE:                                                                                                 

LORD VISHNU

Lord Vishnu is an Expansion of Lord Krishna * The Functions of Lord Vishnu

 

CHAPTER SIX:                                                                                                   

        THE GODDESSES

Lakshmi * Sarasvati * The Meaning of Navaratri * Gayatri * Srimati Radharani

 

CHAPTER SEVEN:                                                                                            

        GANESH AND MURUGAN

        Ganesh * Murugan * Ayyappan

 

CHAPTER EIGHT:                                                                                             

THE MINOR DEMIGODS

Adityas * Agni * Asvins * Indra * Kubera * Maruts * Soma * Varuna * Vasus * Vayu * Visvadevas * Yama * The Navagrahas * Surya

 

CHAPTER NINE:                                                                                                

SRI KRISHNA

Differences in Realization and Perception of the Supreme * Who is Sri Krishna? * What Sri Krishna Says About Himself * The Mistake of Accepting Krishna as a Representation of Something Higher * Krishna is the Source of All Creation * Krishna is the Source of All Incarnations of God * Why Lord Krishna Descends into this World * How Lord Krishna Took Birth in the Material World * Janmastami--Krishna’s Birth Festival * Misunderstanding the Activities of  Lord Krishna * The Beauty of Krishna * How to Understand God * Result of Failing to Know Krishna * Krishna’s Eternal Spiritual Abode

 

PART THREE:                                                                                                

THE ESSENTIAL TEACHINGS OF LORD KRISHNA--THE HEART OF THE HINDU PATH SANATANA DHARMA

 

INTRODUCTION                                                                                                

 

CHAPTER TEN:                                                                                                

        WHAT IS KNOWLEDGE

What Lord Krishna Says to be the Most Important Knowledge * How This Vedic Knowledge is Descending Down Through Time

 

CHAPTER ELEVEN:                                                                                         

        THE RARITY OF HUMAN BIRTH

 

CHAPTER TWELVE:                                                                                        

THE TEMPORARY NATURE AND PURPOSE OF MATERIAL EXISTENCE * The Affects of Maya * Real Fulfillment

 

CHAPTER THIRTEEN:                                                                                      

        OUR REAL IDENTITY AS SPIRITUAL BEINGS

The Living Being in Material Existence * Seeing the Spiritual Unity Between Us

 

CHAPTER FOURTEEN:                                                                                  

        REINCARNATION AND THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL

 

CHAPTER FIFTEEN:                                                                                        

THE WAYS OF SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT AND REAL FREEDOM

        Jnana-yoga * How to Perform Karma-yoga

 

CHAPTER SIXTEEN:                                                                                        

HOW TO PRACTICE MYSTIC YOGA

Worshiping the Brahman: Lord Krishna’s Impersonal Aspect * Lord Krishna’s Instructions on Yoga * It Is Not Easy for One to Reach Spiritual Perfection in this Form of Yoga * The Essential Points in this Yoga System * Devotional Meditation Frees One From the Illusion * The Highest Levels of Spiritual Enlightenment * The Mystic Perfections Attained Through Yoga * The Way to Meditate * Leaving the Body Through Yoga: The Ultimate Perfection

 

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN:                                                                  

        RECOGNIZING THE ENERGY OF GOD EVERYWHERE

 

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN:                                                                                   

        LORD KRISHNA AS THE SUPERSOUL

 

CHAPTER NINETEEN:                                                                                   

        LORD KRISHNA AS BHAGAVAN, THE SUPREME BEING

The Process of Devotional Service--Bhakti-yoga * The Foundational Principles * The Essential Ways for Developing Love for Krishna * The Way to Worship the Deity Form of the Lord * In the End You go Back to Krishna * Why Lord Krishna Advises us to Engage in the Process of Bhakti-yoga * Those Who Render Devotional Service to Lord Krishna * Those Who Do Not Take up Devotional Service * Bhakti-yoga Gives the Same Results as Mystic Yoga and More * How to Meditate or Think of Lord Krishna * Chanting Lord Krishna’s Holy Names * The Bhakti Process Erases Past Karma * Even the Worst Sinners Can be Delivered and Reach Peace * The Conclusive Decision is Up to Us * The Need to Spread This Knowledge

 

CHAPTER TWENTY:                                                                                        

        THOSE WHO WILL REMAIN IN MATERIAL BONDAGE

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE:                                                                              

        THOSE WHO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR LIBERATION

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO:                                                                             

REAL LIBERATION MEANS RETURNING TO LORD KRISHNA

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE:                                                                         

        KRISHNA THE EVER-LOVING GOD

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR:                                                                           

        ABOUT OTHER FORMS OF RELIGION AND ACTIVITIES

A Closer Look at the Effects of the Modes of Material Nature * Different Qualities in the Modes of Nature * Observing the Interactions of the Modes of Material Nature * Types of Knowledge in the Modes * Types of Foods in the Modes * Types of Actions in the Modes * Types of Residences in the Modes of Nature * Determination in the Modes * Happiness in the Modes * The Conclusion and Ultimate Purpose of the Vedic System--How to Become Free From the Modes of Material Nature

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE:                                                                             

HOW TO BE A SPIRITUAL PERSON IN THIS MATERIAL WORLD

Helpful Duties for Women * On Serving Parents * Criticizing Others * Duties of a Ruler

 

PART FOUR:                                                                                                     

THE DEVOTIONAL HEART OF HINDUISM--AWAKENING THE LOVING CONNECTION

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX:                                                                                 

        THE REAL PURPOSE OF YOGA AND RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS

Purifying the Mind * Spiritualizing Our Existence * The Supreme Yoga

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN:                                                                         

        THE SPIRITUAL PATH FOR THE PRESENT AGE

Bhakti-yoga * How Bhakti-yoga Works * Devotion to Vishnu is Best Way to Salvation * Different Types of Service * Bhakti-yoga is the Most Practical Method of Spiritual Advancement * Rare Association With Devotees * The Devotee’s Direct Experience and Reciprocation With God * The Ecstasy of Devotional Service

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT:                                                                          

        MANTRA-YOGA: A NECESSITY FOR THIS AGE

The Om Mantra * Om Meditation Technique * Chanting the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra * Lord Vishnu’s Names are More Powerful than the Greatest Holy Places * The Power of the Maha-Mantra: How It Works * Attaining Liberation Through Chanting * God Inaugurates Chanting the Holy Names * How to Chant the Maha-Mantra * Conclusion

       

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE:                                                                            

        QUALIFICATIONS OF A SPIRITUAL LEADER

What Is a Spiritual Master * Parampara--The System of Disciplic Succession * Is It Necessary to Have a Spiritual Master? * The Effects of a Proper Spiritual Master * How the Spiritual Master Teaches * Duty of a Disciple

 

CHAPTER THIRTY:                                                                                          

        THE ONE WORLD RELIGION

 

APPENDIX ONE:                                                                                              

        THE 108 UPANISHADS

 

APPENDIX TWO:                                                                                             

        SRI CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU

 

APPENDIX THREE:                                                                                         

        THE FOUR AGES

 

APPENDIX FOUR:                                                                                           

        THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DEITIES AND DEITY WORSHIP

 

APPENDIX FIVE:                                                                                              

        THE MEANING OF THE PHRASE “GOD IS LOVE”

 

APPENDIX SIX:                                                                                                

SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT: A CURE FOR SOCIAL ILLS

 

APPENDIX SEVEN:                                                                                         

        THE INCARNATIONS OF LORD KRISHNA

The Lord Incarnates in Each Universe * The Main Incarnations of the Supreme Being * The Manu Incarnations * The Yuga-Avataras * The Shaktyavesha-Avataras

 

APPENDIX EIGHT:                                                                                          

THE DETAILED ACCOUNT OF THE FORMATION OF THE VEDIC LITERATURE AND ITS BRANCHES

        Rig-Veda * Yajur-Veda * Sama-Veda * Atharva-Veda * The Puranas

 

APPENDIX NINE:                                                                                             

        MORE ABOUT THE NAME “HINDU”

 

APPENDIX TEN:                                                                                               

VEGETARIANISM: STRONGLY RECOMMENDED IN VEDIC SCRIPTURE

Vedic References Against Meat-Eating and Animal Slaughter * The Principle of Being Merciful * The Benefit From Cows

 

APPENDIX ELEVEN:                                                                                       

VEDIC CULTURE: THE LAST BASTION OF DEEP SPIRITUAL TRUTH

 

DEITY PHOTOGRAPHS                                                                                  

 

CHAPTER NOTES                                                                                             

 

REFERENCES                                                                                                  

 

GLOSSARY                                                                                                        

 

INDEX                                                                                                               

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR         

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