The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice

By Georg Feuerstein

From the key residing authority on Yoga comes the main entire and trustworthy remedy of the topic to be had this present day. this can be a paintings of impeccable scholarship via an individual who has committed his lifestyles to the certainty and perform of yoga. The ebook bargains a whole review of each Yogic culture, from the standard to the lesser-known types. It additionally covers all features of Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina Yoga, together with historical past, philosophy, literature, psychology and perform. moreover, incorporated are translations of twenty Yoga treatises and the 1st translation of the Goraksha Paddhati.

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GUIDING LIGHT—THE instructor As Mircea Eliade mentioned in his recognized research on Yoga, “What characterizes Yoga is not just its functional aspect, but in addition its initiatory constitution. ”9 Yoga, like every types of esotericism, presupposes the counsel of an start up, a grasp who has firsthand adventure of the phenomena and realizations of the yogic direction. preferably, she or he must have reached the final word religious vacation spot of all yogic endeavor—enlightenment (bodha, bodhi), or liberation (moksha). hence, opposite to the “pop” Yoga espoused by means of quite a few Westerners, real Yoga isn't a homemade firm. “One doesn't research Yoga through oneself,” saw Eliade. 10 fairly, Yoga comprises, as do all different conventional Indian platforms, an exact pupilage within which a grasp imparts his or her secrets and techniques to the worthwhile disciple or devotee. and people secrets and techniques are usually not exhausted through the type of wisdom that may be expressed in phrases or published in books. a lot of what the instructor (guru) imparts to the disciple falls below the class of religious transmission (sancâra). Such transmission, within which the guru actually empowers the scholar via a transference of “energy” or “consciousness” (corresponding to the “Holy Spirit” of Christian baptism), is the fulcrum of the initiatory means of Yoga. through it, the practitioner is blessed in his or her fight for transcendental attention. hence, the initiated yogin or yoginî reports the required conversion or “turn-about” (parâvritti) that's an important to the non secular approach: she or he starts to discover the true, or the Self past the ego, extra beautiful than the various chances of worldly event. the foundation for that allure is a tacit instinct of the Self, which grows more suitable during perform. The initiatory nature of Yoga is expressed in numerous symbols, the main notable being that of delivery. within the Atharva-Veda (“Atharvan’s Knowledge”), one of many 4 Vedic Samhitâs, we discover this verse: Initiation occurs in that the trainer contains the scholar in himself because it have been, because the mom [bears] the embryo in her physique. After the 3 days of the [initiation] rite, the disciple is bom. (11. five. three) the same archaic “gynecological” metaphor is used, greater than 4 millennia later, within the Buddhist Hevajrâ-Tantra (2. four. 61-62): the varsity is related to be the physique. The monastery is named the womb. via freedom from attachment, one is within the womb. The yellow gown is the membrane [around the embryo]. And the preceptor is one’s mom. The salutation is the head-first place (mas- taka-anjali). Discipleship is one’s worldly adventure. And recitation of mantras is the [notion of] “I. ” in the course of the teacher’s grace (prasâda or kripâ), the deserving disciple is initiated into the nice “alternative” of existence—the truth of the Spirit, or transcendental Being-Consciousness-Bliss. hence, it will be significant that the trainer could be a completely discovered grasp, or adept (siddha).

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