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An Introduction to the Highest Levels of Spiritual Reality

This is to present an abundance of information for the promotion of personal and social spiritual development, especially by using the Vedic path. This site has something for everyone interested in Spiritual Enlightenment, Eastern Philosophy, the Vedas, Vedic Culture, Yoga, Hinduism, reincarnation, or life after death. It also deals with traveling to the holy places of India, the science of the soul, understanding God, vegetarianism, as well as global peace.

   Here you can find numerous articles and information on the books by the writer, author, philosopher, spiritual practitioner, traveler, photographer, and lecturer Stephen Knapp. He has continuously worked to help spread the profound and genuine spiritual knowledge in the Vedic philosophy in a way so that anyone from anywhere can understand and take advantage of it. There is a large amount of free information on this site, including numerous articles that will easily and quickly help provide a look into the deeper levels of wisdom and understanding that are available, especially through the ancient spiritual science of the Vedic tradition of India, called Sanatana-dharma. You can also get the insights and knowledge for you to better understand who you are, your spiritual identity, and the real purpose of life from a spiritual point of view. There are also small E-books on Vedic spirituality that can be read online or downloaded onto your computer and freely distributed to others. The deeper aspects of this knowledge is supplied in his bigger books and published at a cost, but many of these are also sold less expensively as E-books. Many additional resources for your spiritual knowledge and development are also supplied on this site. This is an attempt to allow this knowledge to flow as freely as possible for the well-being of people everywhere. Scroll down to find out more. 

    The main purpose of Stephen’s work is to offer simple yet accurate ways and explanations to comprehend the lofty insights found within the spiritual philosophy and Vedic culture of India, which has much to offer humanity. So far his intention seems to be working. One of his readers wrote, “You have a rare gift in explaining the complexities of the Infinite and Incomprehensible in attractive words.” C. K., from Australia, May 5, 2001. 

    Many other letters are received on a regular basis that relate similar sentiments, such as the following: “Dear Sir, Some days back I chanced on your website whilst browsing the internet. May I tell you that you are doing a lot more for Hinduism than a born Brahmin Hindu like myself is doing. Thank you. I am a Tamil Brahmin Iyengar from Chennai. Your website is a real reminder/eye opener. Thanks and best regards, K. G.”  6/5/2003


    Or this one which relates a blessing: “I have become a great fan of yours. I consider you as a rebirth of Swami Vivekananda who has come to save the Vedic way of life. May Vishnu shower His abundant blessings on you!! Thank You! Yours faithfully, Balaji.” 9/9/2008


   This website contains a huge amount of information that is now easily available at your fingertips, and it is always expanding. But Stephen’s books contain much more and go deeper into the topics found on this site for explaining this spiritual knowledge and the process for spiritual development, and the importance of Vedic culture for the progress of humanity. Be sure to check them out.


11 Responses

  1. i chanced upon your website the day after mahashivratri. To me it is a gift/boon of knowledge and i thank you very much for sharing all this you have with us. I will always remember you.

  2. From: http://www.hindu.com/2000/10/11/stories/05111305.htm

    a few years ago a Russian orientalist by name Prof. Ribakov from Moscow went to Kanchi to have the darshan and receive the blessings of the late Kanchi Paramacharya. The Paramacharya asked the Russian professor: “Does not the northernmost part of Russia have more Sanskrit content in the language?” The professor was stunned. This scholar, who came to ask questions, shed tears of joy at the very sight of the Paramacharya and was dumbfounded at the depth of his scholarship. The Paramacharya further explained to the Russian that Russia was called `Rishi Varsha’ in ancient Indian geography, because it was the land where our Rishis like sage Yagnavalkya had their conference on the Vedas. This could further be corroborated by the fact that some women in the northernmost point of Russia have names like Lopamudrova, which is stunningly close to Lopamudra, wife of sage Agastya.

    It may be recalled that during the Sankalpa (a solemn vow to perform an observance) at the time of Pooja, we frequently use the term Jambu Dweepa. This term actually means the entire region covering Asia and Europe, as is evidenced from descriptions in Puranic geography. Even today I understand that in the USSR while writing the postal address, the name of the country is written first and then followed by such specifications as the city, town, area, street number, etc., in that sequence. This is an ancient Hindu tradition which we follow even today during our daily Sankalpa in Pujas

  3. From: http://www.sssbpt.info/ssspeaks/volume14/sss14-47.pdf

    Atharva Vedha embodies many secrets
    When you really analyse it, you will discover confusion, uncertainty and indecision in every
    section of the educational system. The remedy for this unhappy situation lies in the revival of
    ancient ideals and practices with slight adaptations to suit the changed times and circumstances.
    For these ideals and practices enshrine values that are eternal and essential.
    For example, though the Russians and Americans boast that they have advanced far ahead in the
    fields of science and technology, one has to admit that this country had made vast progress in
    them even in the Vedhic age. The Atharva vedha embodies many technological secrets and
    scientific laws which were directly utilised by Westerners. Western scholars are investigating the
    possibilities of the exploratory laws mentioned in this Vedhic text. Mention is made of aerial
    vehicles, of gravitation and of various other scientific principles and appliances. They have
    inspired many inventors and technicians in other lands through the ages.
    Indians have developed a fascination for foreign lands. They admire the achievements of other
    people but ignore those of their own. The faculty of initiation is subdued by this faculty of
    imitation. As the proverb says, “they prefer the stale, insipid dish available at the neighbour’s
    home to the well-cooked, tasty dish available at their own.” As a result they are unable to
    identify and promote the knowledge and skill that they have mastered in their own country.

  4. From: http://www.sssbpt.info/ssspeaks/volume14/sss14-47.pdf

    The Wright Brothers are declared to be the pioneers, the very first to fly a heavier-than-air plane
    in the sky. Their powered flight took place on December 17, 1903. But a German had actually
    forestalled them by his flight on September 13, 1896. We must note that even earlier than this
    German, on August 14, 1895, an Indian belonging to Bombay, Shivaraam Baapuji Kadalekar,
    had succeeded in a similar feat. His name failed to draw public admiration and his feat was not
    acclaimed because of the envy, selfishness and the quarrelsome nature of our people.

  5. Rejection of AIT:

    Bull worship existed even in IE societies and else where

    Below given article from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_%28mythology%29

    Paleolithic findings

    Aurochs are depicted in many Paleolithic European cave paintings such as those found at Lascaux and Livernon in France. Their life force may have been thought to have magical qualities, for early carvings of the aurochs have also been found. The impressive and dangerous aurochs survived into the Iron Age in Anatolia and the Near East and was worshiped throughout that area as a sacred animal; the earliest survivals of a bull cult are at neolithic Çatalhöyük.
    [edit] Mesopotamia

    The Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh depicts the killing by Gilgamesh and Enkidu of the Bull of Heaven, Gugalana, husband of Ereshkigal, as an act of defiance of the gods. From the earliest times, the bull was lunar in Mesopotamia (its horns representing the crescent moon).[1]
    [edit] Eastern Anatolia

    We cannot recreate a specific context for the bull skulls with horns (bucrania) preserved in an 8th millennium BCE sanctuary at Çatalhöyük in eastern Anatolia. The sacred bull of the Hattians, whose elaborate standards were found at Alaca Höyük alongside those of the sacred stag, survived in the Hurrian and Hittite mythologies as Seri and Hurri (‘Day’ and ‘Night’) — the bulls who carried the weather god Teshub on their backs or in his chariot, and grazed on the ruins of cities.[2]
    [edit] Minoan civilization
    The Bull-Leaping Fresco: Knossos

    The Bull was a central theme in the Minoan Civilization, with bull heads and bull horns used as symbols in the Knossos palace. Minoan frescos and ceramics depict the bull-leaping ritual in which participants of both sexes vaulted over bulls by grasping their horns. See also “Minotaur and The Bull of Crete” (below) for a later incarnation to the Minoan Bull.
    [edit] Indus Valley Civilization

    Nandi the bull can be traced back to Indus Valley Civilization[citation needed], where dairy farming was the most important occupation[citation needed]. The bull Nandi is Shiva’s primary vehicle and is the principal gana (follower) of Shiva.
    [edit] Cyprus

    In Cyprus, bull masks made from real skulls were worn in rites. Bull-masked terracotta figurines[3] and Neolithic bull-horned stone altars have been found in Cyprus.
    [edit] Egypt

    In Egypt, the bull was worshiped as Apis, the embodiment of Ptah and later of Osiris. A long series of ritually perfect bulls were identified by the god’s priests, housed in the temple for their lifetime, then embalmed and encased in a giant sarcophagus. A long sequence of monolithic stone sarcophagi were housed in the Serapeum, and were rediscovered by Auguste Mariette at Saqqara in 1851. The bull was also worshipped as Mnewer, the embodiment of Atum-Ra, in Heliopolis. Ka in Egyptian is both a religious concept of life-force/power and the word for bull.
    Bull used as an heraldic crest, here for the Fane family, Earls of Westmorland. (Great Britain, this example C18th/C19th, but inherited early C17th from a much earlier use of the idiom by the Neville family).
    [edit] Levant

    The Canaanite (and later Carthaginian) deity Moloch was often depicted as a bull, and became a bull demon in Abrahamic traditions.
    [edit] Judeo-Christian traditions
    [edit] Old Testament

    The Bull is familiar in Judeo-Christian cultures from the Biblical episode wherein an idol of the Golden Calf is made by Aaron and worshipped by the Hebrews in the wilderness of Sinai (Exodus). Young bulls were set as frontier markers at Tel Dan and at Bethel the frontiers of the Kingdom of Israel.
    [edit] Christianity

    In some Christian traditions, Nativity scenes are assembled at Christmas time. Many show a bull or an ox near the baby Jesus, lying in a manger. Traditional songs of Christmas often tell of the bull and the donkey warming the infant with their breath.
    [edit] Greek world

    When the heroes of the new Indo-European culture arrived in the Aegean basin, they faced off with the ancient Sacred Bull on many occasions, and always overcame it, in the form of the myths that have survived.
    [edit] Minotaur and The Bull of Crete

    For the Greeks, the bull was strongly linked to the Bull of Crete: Theseus of Athens had to capture the ancient sacred bull of Marathon (the “Marathonian bull”) before he faced the Bull-man, the Minotaur (Greek for “Bull of Minos”), whom the Greeks imagined as a man with the head of a bull at the center of the labyrinth. Earlier Minoan frescos and ceramics depict bull-leaping rituals in which participants of both sexes vaulted over bulls by grasping their horns. Yet Walter Burkert’s constant warning is, “It is hazardous to project Greek tradition directly into the Bronze age”;[4] only one Minoan image of a bull-headed man has been found, a tiny seal currently held in the Archaeological Museum of Chania.
    [edit] Twelve Olympians

    In the Olympian cult, Hera’s epithet Bo-opis is usually translated “ox-eyed” Hera, but the term could just as well apply if the goddess had the head of a cow, and thus the epithet reveals the presence of an earlier, though not necessarily more primitive, iconic view[citation needed]. Classical Greeks never otherwise referred to Hera simply as the cow, though her priestess Io was so literally a heifer that she was stung by a gadfly, and it was in the form of a heifer that Zeus coupled with her. Zeus took over the earlier roles, and, in the form of a bull that came forth from the sea, abducted the high-born Phoenician Europa and brought her, significantly, to Crete.

    Dionysus was another god of resurrection who was strongly linked to the bull. In a cult hymn from Olympia, at a festival for Hera, Dionysus is also invited to come as a bull, “with bull-foot raging.” “Quite frequently he is portrayed with bull horns, and in Kyzikos he has a tauromorphic image,” Walter Burkert relates, and refers also to an archaic myth in which Dionysus is slaughtered as a bull calf and impiously eaten by the Titans.[5]

    In the Classical period of Greece, the bull and other animals identified with deities were separated as their agalma, a kind of heraldic show-piece that concretely signified their numinous presence.
    [edit] Late Hellenistic and Roman Era
    Tauroctony of Mithras at the British Museum London

    The bull is one of the animals associated with the late Hellenistic and Roman syncretic cult of Mithras, in which the killing of the astral bull, the tauroctony, was as central in the cult as the Crucifixion was to contemporary Christians. The tauroctony was represented in every Mithraeum (compare the very similar Enkidu tauroctony seal). An often-disputed suggestion connects remnants of Mithraic ritual to the survival or rise of bullfighting in Iberia and southern France, where the legend of Saint Saturninus (or Sernin) of Toulouse and his protegé in Pamplona, Saint Fermin, at least, are inseparably linked to bull-sacrifices by the vivid manner of their martryrdoms, set by Christian hagiography in the 3rd century CE, which was also the century in which Mithraism was most widely practiced.
    [edit] Celtic Polytheism

    A prominent zoomorphic deity type is the divine bull. Tarvos Trigaranus (“bull with three cranes”) is pictured on reliefs from the cathedral at Trier, Germany, and at Notre-Dame de Paris. In Irish literature, the Donn Cuailnge (“Brown Bull of Cooley”) plays a central role in the epic Táin Bó Cuailnge (“The Cattle-Raid of Cooley”).

    Pliny the Elder, writing in the first century AD, describes a religious ceremony in Gaul in which white-clad druids climbed a sacred oak, cut down the mistletoe growing on it, sacrificed two white bulls and used the mistletoe to cure infertility:[6]
    “ The druids — that is what they call their magicians — hold nothing more sacred than the mistletoe and a tree on which it is growing, provided it is Valonia Oak…. Mistletoe is rare and when found it is gathered with great ceremony, and particularly on the sixth day of the moon….Hailing the moon in a native word that means ‘healing all things,’ they prepare a ritual sacrifice and banquet beneath a tree and bring up two white bulls, whose horns are bound for the first time on this occasion. A priest arrayed in white vestments climbs the tree and, with a golden sickle, cuts down the mistletoe, which is caught in a white cloak. Then finally they kill the victims, praying to a god to render his gift propitious to those on whom he has bestowed it. They believe that mistletoe given in drink will impart fertility to any animal that is barren and that it is an antidote to all poisons[7] ”

    Irish mythology features the tales of the epic hero Cuchulainn, which were collected in the 7th century CE “Book of the Dun Cow.”

  6. Hi Stephen,

    Just wanted to thank you for creating this blog and I just saw some of your videos on youtube. Today being Diwali, wish you a happy Diwali. Your videos are a great inspiration for me. Am in not so good a phase in life, and your words often bring in much-needed hope. Please keep doing what you are doing. Hare Krishna.

  7. subscribing and looking forward to reading 🙂

  8. Dear stephen

    thanks for the information provided regarding Prophet
    muhammed that he no where mention in the vedas

    one question
    is Jesus Christs birth and moses is mention in vedas if yes then please send me the details about this


  9. Dear Stephen:
    Thank you for the work you have been doing to disseminate information about Sanatan Dharm that is well researched and accurate as best as possible. You are doing more than any “name brand” Hindu teacher is doing today. You are absolutely correct in saying Hindus are the most apathetic and lack a sense of pride in their birth faith.

    I have often wondered whether the democratic nature of the faith, lends itself to this kind of behavior.

    Thank you and may you be blessed.

    Aum Namah Shivaya

  10. Dear Stephen
    thanks a lot on my be half.
    I am a regular reader of your website. During my colledge days i accidently stumbled upon you site. After which i had realised my inner faith in vedic culture which i had suppressed long back and didnt had a sourse to channelise it. Please keep it doing what u had already started.
    May God Bless You.
    Rashmina Ojha

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