Layayoga - an Advanced Method of Concentration
Shyam Sundar Goswami
Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980, 342 pp.
(out of print)
this book has been reprinted as
This is - with Avalon's The Serpent Power - my favourite book on the chakras and Kundalini yoga. It is however almost impossible to read straight. The author has presented an incredibly detailed reference work of the chakras as they appear in authentic Hindu texts (tantras, puranas, and the later upanishads). Also included is a detailed coverage of various forms of yoga and meditation, a description of Kundalini, etc. The style is generally arid and dense, but it is excellent if you are looking original source material, rather than the usual westernised New Age watered-down stuff, of which latter there is so much quantity and so little quality. The colour paintings of the chakras are the best I have ever seen anywhere, they seem to jump right out of the page! I would have liked the book to include a readable historical introduction/overview, but still, one shouldn't complain. There is enough wealth of information as it is. An interesting thing about this book is that in addition to the seven standard chakras the author mentions six minor ones as well, making thirteen chakras altogether. Each is given a table listing the colours, deities and mantras and other symbolic attributes of each chakra, the number and colour of petals, the sanskrit letters associated with each each petal, and so on. I have copied the information in these tables onto this website, also some of the paintings. But if you want all the paintings you will have to buy the book ;-).
last modified 19 May 2001