Back of the Book
The book is so simple, lucid and clear that it ought to decorate the nook-shelves of all homes, schools, colleges, universities and educational Institutes.
Human beings are, by and large, immensely ignorant about their physical body with its complexity and immense potentiality. The physical, the mental, the emotional and the spiritual man hides within its frame. And yet we do not have even a slight idea of the greatness, grandeur and glory that the human organism is capable of.
It would seem that we are all in reality kings and yet go about like beggars seeking and accumulating pebbles rather than pearls from the shores of life.
This small book opens its doors to other literature on the subject of Yoga, which alone can restore sanity and sense, in the world gone crazy over insignificant values.
About the Book
For the world of the future, the official publications of The Yoga Institute including this work, have been microfilmed and sealed in the archives of the Crypt of Civilization "the greatest historical project in the world today" which is to remain inviolate until the year 8113A.D.
These works have been "selected by a committee of experts as the world's most authentic sources of knowledge contained in books", and so preserved for 6000 years hence by Oglethorpe University of America through their remarkable scientific project of the Crypt.
The Yoga Institute not only pioneered the scientific Yoga renaissance over eight decades ago, but also serves as the guiding international link between the ancient scientific Yoga Culture and the generations of the future.
"It is largely the result of the efforts of The Yoga Institute that Yoga has come to be gradually recognized as a positive science and that modern medical sciences are beginning to acknowledge the merits of certain aspects of Yoga hygiene. The book under review presents in a scientific and yet popular style the Yoga way to right living upon a physiological basis. The subject has been stripped of superfluous technicalities and has been harmonized with modern conceptions of personal hygiene. Besides their hygienic import in the daily life of a layman the therapeutic merits of Yoga processes in the treatment of chronic and functional diseases have also been evaluated with scientific and clinical corroborations."
Literary activities of the Founder in search of Truth, started soon after he began his Yoga study under Paramahamsa Madhavadasji in 1916. His works in Gujarati were published in 1917 onwards and copies of these are preserved in the Shri Yogendra Library.
In 1919, inspired by his Yoga experience, he started writing on Yoga in English. Various manuscripts like Outlines of Yoga, Science of Yoga, translations of Hathayogapradipika, Gerhanda Samhita and Sivasamhita, in the original mss., are still maintained in the archives of The Yoga Institute. Hesitation to have them published was due to his desire to make such writing on Yoga more authentic, experience-based rational and comprehensive. After over twelve years of personal practical experience of Yoga applied also to thousands of his students and patients, he decided to put this in writing. This work which was started in 1929 was ready in 1930 and published in early 1931.
Yoga Hygiene Simplified attracted the attention of scholars and scientists alike all over the world and was hailed as the most authentic presentation on physiological Yoga. It has been translated in many foreign languages, including Italian, Arabic and Japanese. It has passed through twenty two reprints without any change. Although some progress in the field of research is available, the author prefers to keep this presentation as it originally appeared in 1831.
During discussion with the author in 1977, at the Institute, Dr. Jonas Salk correctly declared. "Medicine is the science of disease and Yoga is the science of health".
I have had the pleasure of going over the entire volume with the author and I can truthfully say that it has been a source of keen interest for me. We of the West pride ourselves upon the advances we have made but the men of the East may pride themselves upon the heritage of knowledge which they possess. Only a few hundred years ago we discovered the circulation of blood, while Yoga recorded it thousands of years ago.
It is, as I understand, the purpose of the author to give a comprehensive presentation of this ancient system of hygiene and physical prophylaxis, to give it in a scholarly, scientific, and also popular way, and to incorporate beside it the modern conceptions of personal hygiene. He has left no source untouched as far as it was humanly possible to explore. He is versed in Sanskrit and other ancient languages and is well able to do the task to which he has assigned himself.
Inasmuch as the work is a research into the past about 3000 years-and also a resume of the modern thought on the subject, it commends itself to those who are interested in this branch of knowledge. Although I am a Western man and trained in the sciences of the West, I have found this volume quite instructive and I look forward with anticipation to the coming of the succeeding volumes.
Among the points which especially held my interest are the following; (1) the emphasis on cleanliness within and without, (2) the urge towards poise and control of the body and mind, (3) the nonviolent, non-fatiguing type of physical exercises and technique advocated, (4) the theories concerning the benefits of alternate breathing, (5) the use of the diaphragm, and (6) the exceptional care taken by the author to give complete reference both to the ancient and modern literature for all points upon which authority might be desired, and also (7) a consistent effort to avoid being dogmatic.
It is this careful method of presentation of this subject by the author, and the historical aspect of the material presented that has commended itself to me. As a surgeon and physician I cannot subscribe to some of the practices of these ancient investigators but my academic interest in their theories, beliefs, and methods is not lessened thereby. It is upon this basis that I feel that this work fills a unique place in the literature on the history of personal hygiene.
Since I am personally acquainted with this author, and am convinced that he is the man preeminently fitted to do this kind of research work (non only because of his extensive intimate association with the ancient writings but also because of his study in England and the Continent and his four years' work in America in 1919 when he was associated with many of the members of the medical profession). I do not hesitate to commend this work to those who are interested in this type of research.
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