A Student's Guide to the History and Philosophy of Yoga, by Peter Connolly

By Peter Connolly

The observe 'yoga' inspires within the minds of many Westerners pictures of individuals appearing routines and adopting strange, occasionally contortive postures. Such routines and postures do have a spot in the perform of yoga, however it is far greater than that. certainly, the early literature on yoga describes and defines it as a sort of psychological instead of actual self-discipline. Yoga is additionally linked to the Indian subcontinent and the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism. This revised variation of a vintage textbook concentrates at the evolution of yoga within the context of Indian tradition, notwithstanding the ultimate chapters additionally discover a few of its hyperlinks with non-Indian mystical traditions and a few of its advancements outdoors of India in the course of the sleek interval. The booklet is aimed toward either college scholars taking classes in Comparative faith and Philosophy and practitioners of yoga who search to move past the job and discover its religious dimensions. accordingly, it offers yoga within the context of its ancient evolution in India and seeks to provide an explanation for the character of its institutions with a number of metaphysical doctrines. The paintings additionally attracts upon a few conceptual schemes designed to facilitate comparative examine. a few of these are hired in the course of the booklet as a way to hyperlink the fabric from each one bankruptcy jointly inside a standard framework. This version accommodates revisions and expansions to such a lot chapters and includes one new bankruptcy at the way forward for glossy yoga within the West

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In Vedic times this space was called a ëvihåraí, a term later employed to refer to a temple. Within this, the three fires necessary for all public sacrifices were set up. Also within the vihåra was the vedi or altar, which could be a mound or a pit. When animal sacrifices were being performed, a stake, called a yupa, was set up next to the vedi. These public (‹rauta) sacrifices were of two kinds: regular and occasional. The former were required by changes in the month and seasonsóenabling an ongoing participation in the maintenance of order; the latter were for specific purposes, often the benefit of some patron (yajamåna) who was paying for it.

Much depends on the dating of the Ka¢ha Upanisad. If the Ka¢ha pre-dates the Buddha then it is possible that he borrowed ideas about yoga from it. If, on the other hand, the Ka¢ha is contemporary with or even later than the Buddha he cannot be thought to have borrowed from it, particularly since his teachings on yogic meditation are far more detailed than those found in the Ka¢ha, and also because, in the period before his enlightenment, he was taught meditation by two forest-dwelling teachers: Ÿåra Kå¸åma and Uddaka Råmaputta.

12 There is, however, the possibility of a less benign destiny. 104, mention a deep pit, gloomy and bottomless, into which evildoers fall. 5 tells us, they create for themselves. Likewise, entry into Yamaís realm is dependent on a person doing good. 154) but more efficacious still is generosity. 117). In terms of the soteriology model offered in the Introduction, Vedic spirituality can be understood as gaining its knowledge primarily from revelation, framing the problem of the human situation in terms of death, solving the problem mainly by means of effort (Yama has an important role to play by marking out the way) and moving towards a pluralistic (though there are hints of monism) solution where the blessed deceased dwell with gods and other ancestors in a heavenly realm.

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