Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are among the most important writings of the Yoga school, and have remained relevant for 2,300 years because of their wisdom and inspiration. In this webinar course, Ravi Ravindra will explore the heart and purpose of yoga as expressed in the Yoga Sutras, with special emphasis on section 2.2 which states that the true purpose of yoga is the cultivation of Samadhi, meaning freedom from the ego-self, and the diminishing of the kleshas, that are the impediments standing in the way of achieving this goal.
The course will be based on Ravi Ravindra’s book The Wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
Ravi Ravindra is a professor emeritus at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he served as professor in comparative religion, philosophy and physics. A lifetime member of the Theosophical Society, Ravi has taught many courses in The School of the Wisdom in Adyar and at the Krotona Institute in Ojai, Calif. He was a member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, a fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Shimla, and the founding director of the Threshold Award for Integrative Knowledge. His last book was The Pilgrim Soul: A Path to the Sacred Transcending World Religions and his new book on the Bhagavad Gita will be published by Shambhala Publications in the spring of 2017. For more information visit www.ravindra.ca .
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(1864-1933). A Sri Lankan Buddhist who founded the Maha Bodhi Society, and who was also an active member of the Theosophical Society (TS). Born David Hewavitharana, Dharmapala studied in a missionary school and grew up noting the decline of the his country’s religion and culture while it was under foreign power.
In 1884, Dharmapala met Helena P. BLAVATSKY and Henry S. OLCOTT, the two co-founders of the Theosophical Society, in Colombo, and this proved to be the turning point of his life. He later wrote that Blavatsky told him that due to his purity, it is possible for him to contact the Himalayan adepts. He thereafter made a pledge to study the Arhat doctrine. Upon reading about the Masters from Alfred P. SINNETT’s book, The Occult World, he wrote that “I surrendered my life to them and silently pledged to lead the chela life. HPB helped me much in my effort. . . . She wrote to me to follow the light that is within me. I have strictly followed her advice, and am glad to testify to her wonderful powers of mystic illumination.” Dharmapala had wanted to devote himself to theosophy, but it was Blavatsky who instead suggested to him to study Pali and the Dhamma and to work for humanity. He subsequently became a Buddhist monk and assumed the name Anagarika Dharmapala.
In 1884 he went with Blavatsky to ADYAR at the international headquarters of the Theosophical Society, and upon his return to Sri Lanka, he stayed at the theosophical headquarters in Colombo. With Olcott and Charles W. LEADBEATER, he joined the campaign for the establishment of Buddhist schools.
On May 31,1891, he founded the Maha Bodhi Society in India to help revive Buddhism there. The Society grew and became an influence in the spread of Buddhism. In 1893, he was chosen as the representative of Theravada Buddhism to the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, during which he spoke about the Eightfold Path of the Buddha. He was subsequently invited to give lectures in other parts of the United States. In 1926, he established the London Buddhist Vihara, the first Buddhist monastery outside of Asia, which exists today.
Dharmapala is remembered today in the Buddhist world as one of the great advocates of the religion in the 20th century.