From the Gita to the Grail: Exploring Yoga Stories and Western Myths answers many question. What is the meaning of Shiva dancing on a dwarf named Avidya? Why does Vishnu sleep upon an endless snake? To what did the Buddha awaken? What do we mean by soul? Is the emotion of love different in the East from that experienced in the West? Did the West’s prototypical lovers, Tristan and Isolde, feel the same kind of rapture that Radha and Krishna reveled in? And, what are the proper roles for women today, according to the stories found East and West?
Despite the popularity of Yoga, the stories from its land of birth are very strange to Western ears. What do these ancient symbols mean, what are they trying to teach us, and how should we incorporate this knowledge into our Western lifestyle? Every myth is a map to some deep cultural and personal landscape. By looking at the myths of the East along with the stories that people in the West grew up with, we are given opportunities to select the best maps available, or to create new ones to help guide us through the uncertainties of modern living. By exploring myths East and West, this book shines a light on the landscapes within, and allows us to choose the appropriate map we want to follow.
“Bernie Clark weaves together stories from the far ends of the Earth with clarity, ease, and humor. A text that treads closely in the footsteps of such predecessors as Carl Jung, Roland Barthes, and Joseph Campbell, Clark’s nuanced reading of these myths provide a perspective that helps make them relatable in today’s global society. A must read…” – Michelle Trantina – co-founder of MyYogaOnline.com”
“Thoughtful readers who love to curl up with a good book; anyone who wants to understand their dreams, desires, and behaviors; all who want to stop sleepwalking along an unconsciously chosen path and make real choice possible in their lives; and all who have found their own cultural myths lacking will find their minds and hearts expanded here, …an encyclopedic work that invites us to examine our own stories with wonder, interest, and a renewed belief in the possibility of change.”~ Kristine Morris, ForeWord Reviews, January 2014
“Author Bernie Clark’s tome-like work is an excellent introduction to mythology, religion, and teachings. This book will appeal to yoga practitioners, budding anthropologists, travelers, history buffs, and storytellers. For me, it’s become a bookshelf staple.”~ Marina Chetner, LA Yoga magazine, March 2014
“By contrasting the metaphorical maps of different cultures we become aware of our own, unquestioned assumptions. Bernie’s book does this in a wonderfully entertaining way. It reflects his years of practice and teaching.” ~ Paul Grilley, author of Yin Yoga
Errors were found in the first four thousand copies printed. These errors have been fixed in the eBook version of the book and future printings. The errors can be found on pages 8, 30, 115, and 136. For a full errata sheet please contact us. This book contains footnotes and an index and a variety of illustrations.
Bernie Clark has had a passion for science, spirituality and stories of mythology since childhood. He has a degree in science from the University of Waterloo, and spent over twenty-five years as a senior executive in the high tech/space industry. He has been investigating the path of meditation for three decades and began teaching yoga and meditation in 1998. He is the author of two books on yoga and the creator of the www.YinYoga.com website.
The polyptych on the cover is based on the Ghent Altarpiece created in 1432 by Jan and Hubert van Eyck. The images represent stories discussed in this book: clockwise from the top right are: Eve, the mother of humanity; Aum, the sound of the universe; Radha and Krishna, the lovers; Shiva dancing; Prometheus bound; Parzival fighting the Red Knight; Chief Seattle; Adam, the first human; A galaxy of stars (the Andromeda Galaxy); Mother Mary; Christ on his Crucifix; Kali on her dead husband Shiva; and Earthrise over the moon.
Blue River Press books are distributed by Cardinal Publishers Group.