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Spiritual Compass

In our modern, materialistic world it is easy to separate spirituality from everyday life. But spirituality is not just for saints, neither is it confined to the Sunday Service, Friday prayers or holy books. It must be a part of our ordinary, everyday existence: it needs to be implicitly present in business, in politics, in farming, in cooking, and in our relationships. To illustrate this, Satish Kumar draws on the Indian Ayurvedic tradition which characterises the mind as having three gunas, or primary qualities: sattva (characterised by calmness, clarity and purity), rajas (energy and passion), and tamas (dullness and ignorance). These qualities can be applied to our work and the environment: for example, there are sattvic foods, rajasic foods and tamasic foods. The Ayurvedic aim is to live a life which is simple and close to nature (sattvic), to reduce rajasic tendencies, and to avoid tamasic. When we see ourselves in the light of the three gunas, they can orient us towards the direction in which we wish to go. They can help us to recover the art of living, and lead us towards a peaceful and contented existence. Extending the meaning of spirtuality further, Satish explains that there is no dualism between spirit and matter all matter is imbued with spirit, and spirit manifests through matter. This integrated world-view forms the core of his book.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. A Spiritual Compass. Preface by Deepak Chopra. Foreword by Peter Russell. An Invitation. The Three Qualities of Life according to the Bhagavad Gita. The Three Qualities of Life. Sattvic Spirit: Spirit and Matter. The Sattvic Way of Life. Sattvic Ecology. Three Kinds of Development. Sattvic Principles in Jain Tradition. Afterword.

About the Author

Satish Kumar is an internationally renowned speaker on ecological and spiritual issues. A recent guest on Desert Island Discs, he is editor of Resurgence and author of No Destination, You Are Therefore I Am and The Buddha and the Terrorist. He lives in north Devon.


'Satish Kumar's own life is an admirable example of simplicity, compassion and care. And this shines through on every page of this delightful, yet profound, little book' Peter Russell, author of From Science to God. 'In Spiritual Compass, Satish Kumar articulates the timeless values and world views which support right living. His book will help us move from the mechanistic worldview, which has pushed us to the brink of survival, to an ecological worldview' Vandana Shiva, author of Earth Democracy. 'Spiritual Compass offers clear and joyful evidence of the bridge that can and must be built between the great spiritual teachings of the East and the onrushing, bedevilled life of our contemporary world. May there come many others who join Satish Kumar in this essential work!' Jacob Needleman, author of Why Can't We Be Good? 'In this book Satish Kumar offers a holistic approach to humanity's problems by showing how a sattvic lifestyle can allow us to heal ourselves and contribute to the healing of humanity and the world. Those who wish to restore the broken balance in their lives will greatly benefit from the wisdom expounded in this book' Deepak Chopra, author of Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment.

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