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Encyclopaedia of Indian Mysticism
ISBN : 8170209307
Volumes : Set in 12 Volumes
Author : S. Santideva
Pages : 4000 pp
Year of Publishing : 1999
Binding : Hardbound
Publisher : Cosmo Publications
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INDIAN MYSTICISM is an approach to truth and reality, which can be negatively indicated as non-logical. It is opposed to thinking by categories and, in this sense, differs from philosophy. Philosophy arises from a demand of consistent thinking; Mysticism arises from the demand of life and spirit. Philosophy is an approach to truth through thinking. Mysticism is an approach to truth through life and experience. Mysticism is, in truth, a temper rather than a doctrine, an atmosphere rather than a system of philosophy. It is a form of direct apprehension that can be called mystic intuition. Mysticism is the type of religion that puts the emphasis on the immediate awareness of relation with God, on direct and intimate consciousness of the divine presence. It is a religion in its most acute, intense and living stage. It can be defined as an attempt to realise the presence of the living God in the soul and in nature. Mysticism trains to free the mind from the set forms of thinking and it goes direct into the inmost recesses of the human being. It is simple because it can immediately apprehend the essence of being if the mind can forgo its makeshift notions. Mysticism is a supersensitive being which make it a fit vehicle for supernatural expression. In Hinduism, in nearly all its manifestations, in its most philosophical flights as well as when it approaches purely shamanism and magic, there are to be found indications of the mystical temper of mind. The reason for these lies in the intense preoccupation of the Indian people from the earliest, or atleast from the post-Vedic times with the desire to escape from self (Ahankàra) as the only way to ultimate peace. The passion of this pursuit was intensified by accompanying belief in the power of karma and in the long travail of transmigration. There are no peoples who have been more powerfully and continuously affected by the thought of a spiritual world than have been the peoples of India and it is accordingly to be expected that among them the mystical temper of mind should be found. The Encyclopaedia of Indian Mysticism presents a comprehensive collection of material from the vast pool of spiritual and philosophical literature in Hinduism. It is the result of cooperative efforts of many writers who have contributed the results of their study in this unique and exciting area of mystical doctrines, practices and literature. That no such vastly comprehensive and complete Encyclopaedia has ever appeared is the justification for this project. This work represents the product of long investigation and study on the part of most of the writers, and is the immediate outcome of several years of special efforts on the part of the Editor.
The splendidly planned volumes, arranged thematically, include discussion on almost all topics of importance and interest and will give such information concerning all major areas of mystical thought and practice as is essential to a book of reference. Completeness of treatment is not designed. Completeness of scope is attempted in this Encyclopaedia.
The Encyclopaedia covers all major areas like –
Mysticism in Jainism and Buddhism,
Mysticism in Upanishads and other works including Bhagwad Gita, Vedas and Puranas,
Sufi and Mystic Saints in Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam,
Philosophy of Mysticism,
Mysticism in Tantra and Yoga,
Traditions of Mysticism in Bengal,
Development of Mysticism in Kashmir,
History of Mysticism and Tibetan Mysticism.
The entire work is organised not simply as a book of reference, but also as a comprehensive treatise on this fascinating subject of Indian Mysticism.