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The President and Fellows of Harvard College Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

An Archaeology of Yoga Author(s): Thomas McEvilley Source: RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, No. 1 (Spring, 1981), pp. 44-77 Published by: The President and Fellows of Harvard College acting through the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20166655 Accessed: 11/01/2010 14:44
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An archaeology
THOMASMcEVILLEY

of yoga

I models have been offered for the early this of yoga: paper will deal with two. The history that yogic practices derived primitivist model proposes somehow from shamanism and agricultural magic. This has the Indus Valley to its enlisted hypothesis naturally in certain seal cause, finding impressions and sculptures evidences of proto-yoga. The chief problems of this it has approach have been the vagueness with which been presented, and the definition of the changes it entered the which this Ur-yoga underwent when its Aryan community, particularly ideological to this model iswhat Filliozat reinterpretation. Opposed has called the "scientific" which rejects hypothesis, that yoga was worked out pre-Aryan input and proposes and as itwere "scientifically" deliberately by members of the Aryan community who were consciously Those who adopt searching for mystical techniques.1 this position are forced to reject the alleged evidences in the Indus Valley remains.2 of yoga, or proto-yoga, in some This paper will reexamine these questions on the primitivist hypothesis, detail, concentrating by which the other also stands or falls, and introducing new both into the arguments and new evidence that will emerge The model is composite, discussion. affirming both pre-Aryan input and "scientific" and the Aryan community, investigation within to make the boundary between them clear. I attempting hope to give a more definitive and reliable answer than was previously to the question, Was there possible in the Indus Valley? My answer yoga, or proto-yoga, will be affirmative, but with many qualifications, which new I content to semi-intuitive the will, hope, give weakness of past authors. Believing that the great has been its lack of the primitivist hypothesis I will attempt to formulate its argument of specificity, more precisely. In areas where evidence is insufficient I shall try to show at least for detailed connections, are. what the possible types of relationships
1. Jean Filliozat, "Les origines Revue Philosophique indienne," d'une 136 technique mystique pp. 208-220:

Various

Though my emphasis will be on the primitivist its discussion should also help to clarify model, the Aryan developments. For concerning questions instance: Why did the Indo-Aryans borrow yogic from the non-Aryan communities? Which techniques ones did they borrow? What did they reinterpretations on How and has the motives? from what them, place in survived the later Aryan/non-Aryan dichotomy history of yoga? The controlling ?mage of this investigation will be the famous Indus Valley seal impression shown in figure 1. On and the question of yoga in the Indus Valley, in fact, as we will see when we let this expressive ?con speak, it has a good deal to say about the other
also.

it hinges

questions

It will be useful at first to specify our use of some common terms in the history of Indian religions. The word "yoga" will be applied to anything that has traditionally
been rnudra The no most in the called that in India, without prejudice, from asvinl to nirvikalpa sam?dhi. is more term "shamanism" that are shamanic known and

guarantee of them nineteenth

There problematic. are Ur-phenomena; complexes as they were and thus recorded have centuries

is

to us only twentieth

longer history than the yogic texts with which they will be compared. It is possible that both yoga and shamanism as
known presently I attribute When from a common substrate. developed content "shamanic" of redefined vestiges to refer to this to a yogic it must be understood practice, and not to involve the substrate, preshamanic) (possibly we as know them that shamanic assumption complexes have remained unchanged for thousands of years.

affirmations

The locutions "fertility magic," "fertility rite," and the likewill be used to refer to the whole complex of religious
practice in archaic agricultural societies, where more of

course was at issue than the fertility of the soil alone. They will signify a circular (rather than linear-causal)
interweaving connection and abundance In Indian of of aims, above of including and below, in general, these three unusual renewal cohesion including categories On of world-lease, of social the crops. are the one hand, units,

life

(1946),

".

. . une

interpenetrated

religions to an

degree.

bien plut?t chamanique" (220). origine scientifique 2. Various ist models diffusion that propose that yoga was into India from elsewhere will be excluded from this paper; imported in particular I bracket the question influence for full of Mesopotamian treatment elsewhere.

India is known to have participated peripherally, by way of Tibetan and other influences, in the Central and North
Asian many shamanic vestiges of zone. this The classical and influence, religions in some of cases India the show

modern

tribal religions have exhibited

the shamanic

McEvilley: An archaeology

of yoga

45

complex

more

or

less complete.3 to Siberia, Even

Tibet

of course

once

belonged
extends

to the arc of nomadic,


from Africa

herding cultures that


and its religion and Lamaist in the pre

Bon period "belonged


type of shamanism."4 the shamanic preserved somewhat

to the North and Central Asiatic


the Bon religions complex complete, though Tibetan shamanic have practices in modern times have

begins with the Indus Valley and continues through the Yatis of the Rg Veda and the Vratyas of Atharva Veda XV to historical yogic movements. He recognized, in a variety of the Indus Valley, elements that foreshadow later religious movements, including Jainism. His unfocused perspective was perhaps the best relatively one. In 1931, however, Sir John Marshall reduced this a more to closed approach open-ended proto-Saiva
model. "There appears at Mohenjo-daro," he wrote, "a

redefined.5

entered
and

India for untold centuries by way of Nepal, Sikkim,


where still magicians

Assam,

fulfilled the specifically shamanic role of psychopomp.6 Similarly, the Indus Valley culture, lying under the Khyber
Pass, culture has always peripherally zone and been exposed touched to the Central its influence. Asian

is recognizable male god who the historical Siva."8

at once

as a prototype

of

But India, unlike Tibet, was dominated


from a very early from

by agriculture

and there the shamanic period, practices that entered the North (and were, presumably, on top of an already stratified present layer of Proto or primitive to Australoid tended shamanism, magic)

commingle with agricultural magic and to be redefined within its horizon. It would appear that it is from this rich stratum of mingled shamanism and fertility magic that the
proto-yoga arose.

II

The connection between yoga and the Indus Valley first broached Indian the scholar Ramaprasad by who that the Chanda, proposed sculpted figure that as a Marshall would identify priest had its eyes "neither wide open nor totally shut," as the Jaina ?dipur?na was its gaze fixed for meditation, with (XXI.62) recommends on the tip of its nose, as recommended in the Bhagavad Cita (6.13) and commonly in yogic elsewhere literature.7 Chanda proposed a lineage for yoga that
in alten Indien," Acta 3. See, e.g., Walter Ruben, "Schamanismus Verrier Elwin, The Orientalia (Leiden) 17 (1939), pp. 164-205; of an Indian Tribe (London, 1955); Edward B. Harper, Religion "Shamanism 13 (1957), Phenomena in South pp. 267-87; in Northen Journal of Anthropology India," Southwestern and Related "Shamanistic Rudolf Rahmann, 54 (1959), and Middle India," Anthropos Figure (National 1. Impression Museum, of New seal 420, Mohenjo-daro, 1.4" x 1.4"

Delhi).

in Ethno Studies Tibet's Terrifying Deities, Museum 1966), p. 63. Series, vol. 1 (The Hague, Aesthetics, zur Geschichte 5. Helmut Hoffman, Bon der tibetische Quellen und der der Akademie der Wissenschaften Abhandlungen Religion, Literatur in Mainz, 1950), (Wiesbaden, and Demons Oracles Tibetan Protective 6. Matthias Klasse 4 sozialwissenschaftlichen geistes-und Ren? de Nebesky-Wojkowitz, pp. 197-210; of the of Tibet: The Cult and Iconography Erl?ser Civilization of India, no. and the of

pp. 681-760. 4. F. Sierksma,

based this identification of the person represented on the seal in figure 1 primarily on the following points: (1) the figure on the seal is a god, it is horned, and inMesopotamian because the horned headdress indicates deity; (2) iconography the god on the seal is three-faced (though he may have a fourth face behind), and in historical times Siva was sometimes portrayed that way (e.g., the famous Trim?rti of Elephanta); (3) the figure on the seals is in a "typical attitude of yoga," and Siva was known in historical times as the Mah?yogin, the god of yoga; (4) there are four animals grouped around the figure on the seal, and as Pasupati, the Lord of Siva was later worshiped
8. Ibid., I:52.

Marshall

Deities (The Hague, 1956), p. 129. Schamanen?Pseudoschamanen, Hermanns, 3 vols. (Wiesbaden, l:54. und Heilbringer, 1970), 7. Ramaprasad "Survival of the Prehistoric Chanda, the 41 Indus Valley," Memoirs of the Archeological Survey

1929), p. 25; Sir John Marshall, (Calcutta, Mohenjo-daro 3 vols. (London, Indus Civilization, 1931), 1:54, llhpl. XCVIII.

46

RES 1 SPRING 81

Beasts; (5) the tripartite headdress of the figure is similar to the later tris?la or trident of Siva: (6) deer or ibexes appear beneath the "throne" and are also sometimes found on Siva's throne in medieval Indian art; (7) the god on the seal may be ?thyphallic, and Siva is in later times the god of the erect phallus.
For widely, two and generations somewhat Marshall's analysis has been for on

on

Harapp?n

burial

urns.14

The

pi pal

tree,

of

course,

is

sacred in virtually all Indian cults,


Jainism, Saivism, and Vaisnavism.

including Buddhism,
(2) The deer throne also

is associated
Mackay has

as much with
pointed out that

the Buddha as with Siva. (3)


"the peculiar half shut eyes"

of the bust that Marshall called the priest have "been noticed in very early clay figures from Kish and Ur," Sumerian cities with which the Indus people were
definitely meditation in contact.15 associations meditation This from fact the either removes eyes the or as forces to the us half-shut

example, places the grounds that

uncritically, the origin of yoga the person in figure

Eliade, accepted. in the Indus Valley

1 is "represented in the specifically Marshall's third yogic posture," echoing But it is not only or yogic the practice of ?sanas, point.9 postures, Marshall Indus Valley. in the is portrayed figure act of meditating and concentration"), ("mental discipline and this view also has passed into the literature. widely assumed that is commonly traced that the "Siva" back to the

at his nose is cross-eyed, "priest" one to the of few the proto-Saiva question tip, Sullivan, from both the shell-inlay that "since has noted hypothesis, to be sure where the gaze is missing" it is impossible eyes out correctly was that it is directed.16 (4) Sullivan pointed far from certain that the figure is either threeor four-faced:

to hypothesize claim that the

in Sumer.

In addition, or gazing

Bhagat, for example, claims that the seal and the bust "certainly indicate the practice of meditation [in] those times,"10 and Campbell speaks blithely of "the meditating
divine yogi."11

"What are supposed to be three faces together look more or perhaps even the like the head of a Br?hmani bull ...
head that of the even a tiger."17 Furthermore, or is threefour-faced, figure at if itwere this would established not point are at its being Siva. Many other figures Brahma three- or four-faced, including Siva's of Ellura, Kail?san?th enemy Temple Jaina occurs the also contains iconography in sculptures of tfrthankaras

As we will see, there is little justification for such statements. While the evidence does indeed indicate "yogic practices" of a certain kind in the Indus Valley
milieu, material There it does has are, not been indicate thrown with, meditation. into the wrong In fact, yogic the camp. in Indus

unambiguously times presented and, on the

R?vana.18 four-faced

Furthermore, motif, which

to begin

many

uncertainties

and signifies "the same tTrthankara preaching


directions.19 (5) Beasts arranged of the four around a yogic

in all four
figure occur are a

Marshall's analysis of the "Siva" figure, which may be reviewed briefly. (1) The tripartite headdress: Siva himself is not presented horned in Indian iconography. He is connected with the bull, but so are many other figures, for example, the Buddha, who is often called the "bull of the S?kyas." In fact, the tripartite headdress is paralleled by the Buddhist tr?s?las at Sanchi much earlier than by any Saiva
examples. Even in Hinduism, the tr?s?la is not exclusively a

standard element
tTrthankara;20 as

in the iconography of the Jaina


signs directions they in

the Buddhist pillars of the As?kan period. (6)Marshall that the person in figure 1 may not be acknowledged ithyphallic, as the upright member in question may be the
tassel Siva evidence of a waistband. connected indicates, Sullivan with till the is not agreed, the phallus, last century and as b.c., out pointed far as present and that

symbol of Siva; the Dev? is characteristically


using it against the Buffalo Demon.12 Indeed,

portrayed
Sastri, one of

that many

the Harapp?n excavators, proposed an entirely different identification of the headdress: "The fan-shaped crest rising from the centre of the buffalo's horns on the god's head is itself a symbolic representation of the fan-shaped foliage of the conventionalized pipai tree emerging from a seed
vessel numerous resting on an altar."13 of pipal The claim rising is supported between by horns examples leaves

that Marshall interpreted as lingas have been interpreted differently by others.21 Sullivan, in his most radical thought, argues that the evidence of other Indus objects indicates that the person in figure 1 ismore likely Indus objects
Ibid., 2:13. Ernest Mackay, 1948), (London, Early Indus Civilizations of see Seton Lloyd, The Archeology p. 53. For examples, 45 top. 1979), figures 15, 16, and especially (London, Mesopotamia of the of the Religion "A Re-examination P. Sullivan, 16. Herbert 4 (1964-65), of Religions Indus Civilization," pp. 115-25. History 14. 15. The shell inlay of the left eye is present (see Marshall, op. cit., 1:357 and pi. XCVIII), the right one missing. 17. Ibid., p. 120. The Art of Indian Asia, Bollingen 18. See, e.g., Heinrich Zimmer, Series vol. 39 (New York, 1955), pi. 211. Fischer, 12. Jain Iconograpy, pt. 1:

9. Mircea 1958), p. 355. 10. M. G. 11. man

Eliade,

Yoga, Ancient

Bollingen

Series

vol.

56

(New York, 1976), p. 99.

Bhagat, p.

Indian Asceticism of God:

(Delhi,

Joseph Campbell, 1962), perhaps

The Masks 170. And

(New York, . . . 12. See,

cf. Eliade

Mythology (Yoga, 356): "the holy

Oriental

Religion 13. (Delhi,

History of Sakta e.g., 1974), p. 82. (Delhi, 2 vols. K. N. Sastri, New Light on the Indus Civilization, 1965), 2:57, and see also 1:19.

practising ekagrata." Nath Bhattacarya, Narendra

19. Jyotindra Jain and Eberhard The TTrthankara 1978), p. (Leiden, 20. 21. Ibid. Sullivan, op. cit., pp. 120-21.

McEvilley: An archaeology

of yoga

47

to be

female

than male,

and

proposes

an alternative

model

for Indus religion inwhich


appears "proto-Siva" on symbols.22 Siva of into these but the another seals

the figure in question


form of the great goddess tree and with "there

is not a
who tiger little

is the the horns or serpents or beasts?that this?not essence of the icon, the one feature without which an not fit into the group. example would
Several persistent but of yoga. of yogic misconceptions in their scholars (posture) and about this posture the whole to neglect have the

"Certainly," the points. Indus

in conjunction he concludes,

is really return

basis for reading back the laterVedic and post-Vedic god


civilization."23 We will to many

have plagued not merely


religion, history question indeed, Many ?sana

the literature on the Indus Valley


ramifications, have chosen

altogether, others that who

and

described
itmanifestly regarded

the figure simply as "sitting cross-legged,"


is not.25 Marshall the position have of as an ?sana, is, as one

which
the

special positions of yoga, have neglected the question of which ?sana itmight be. A third group has specifically
demurred from this view. Sullivan, for example, wrote, "As

for the yoga aspect of the figure, the sitting posture which
Marshall enough question Figure (National 2. Stamped Museum, amulet New from Mohenjo-daro, Delhi). 1.3" x 0.6" as an ?sana seems to us a natural interpreted one not be a yogic and need at all."26 posture is an important it rests the for on one, The

hypothesized connection of yoga with the Indus Valley. Filliozat rejected the Indus Valley origin of yoga with
precisely fait banale Yoga . the claim dans . . [une] ". that l'Inde position en these seals des show a "posture du Staal tout ? dehors famili?re exercises

et commode."27

Ill
in my opinion, is the The key piece of evidence, of which posture on the "Siva" seals, the significance has not yet been fully appreciated. There are in fact six and two from of these icons, four from Mohenjo-daro Harapp?, although Marshall chose to construct his case primarily on the basis of figure 1,24 Each of the six differs from the others in some particular: the horns are missing in figure 2, the platform in figure 4; the are present flanking worshipers/serpents heraldically only in figure 2, the attendant beasts only in figure 1. The examples from Harapp? involve other motifs of the "fertility" religion: in one case the "yogic" figure is flanked by the tree-with-deity-and-tiger icon on its on a its left by ceremonial goat in an right, and in is the other, the posture enclosure; conjoined with the motif of the contest with a bull. The only element that is present
22. but male! 23. 24. But Sastri Op.

also rejects the ?sana view and with


origin people of yoga: . . all over when South talking, sit cross-legged

it the Indus Valley


and Southeast shaving, is Asia eating,

and singing. in reading, teaching, Sitting cross-legged, other words, But of course the figure proves nothing."28 not "cross-legged." And the feeling that the posture is

"natural enough" would


down on the floor and

probably be rectified by getting


trying it.

are clear on the following points: (1) All examples are the heels pressed together; (2) there is no space between the joined heels and the trunk of the body, which is resting itsweight on the heels, though itmay be partially supported with a bolster from behind; (3) the knees appear to be thrust outward at right angles to the eyes' forward line of vision (though this may be the
25. ed. Dan V. Gordon Childe, New East, 4th Light on the Most Ancient Heinz Mode, (New York, n.d.), p. 184: "sitting cross-legged;" Fr?he Indien (Stuttgart, 1959), p. 68: "mit untergeschlagenen

identically

in all six is the posture.


figures are not

It is
female

cit., vol.

in turn has argued that these III. 2, chap. are

Kees Beinen;" Sullivan, op. cit., p. 118, n. 17: "seated cross-legged;" W. Bolle, The Persistence of Religion: An Essay on Tantrism and Sri in the History of Religion, Aurobindo's VIII Studies Philosophy, 1965), p. 23: "seated with crossed (Leiden, legs," Haripada Asceticism Chakraborti, "seated cross-legged;" 1975), seal is printed in Ancient Fritz Staal, India (Calcutta, 1973), p. 4: Exploring Mysticism (Berkeley, (It should also be noted that the figure 10a.) Instances could be

Sullivan, op. cit., p. 125. The four from Mohenjo-daro

reproduced

See Marshall, op. cit., I:pl. XII, 17, and 11 ; Ernest Mackay, Further Excavations 1938), (Delhi, been published

llbpls. CXVI, at Mohen'jo-daro,

in figures 1 to 4. 29, and CXVIII, 2 vols.

p. 76: "sitting cross-legged." in Staal's backwards 120.

have not ll:pl. LXXXVII, 222, 235. Those from Harapp? seen in in good Madho be may They reproductions. at Harapp?, 2 vols. (Benares, 1974), Sarup Vats, Excavations and ll:pl. XCII, 303, 310. 1:129-30,

multiplied. 26. Sullivan, 27. 28. Filliozat, Staal, op.

op. op. cit.,

cit., cit.,

p.

p. 212. p. 76.

48

RES 1 SPRING 81

result of the artist's avoiding a difficult foreshortening (4) the knees are very low, almost touching problem); the platform (magnification of figure 1 suggests the presence of a support beneath the one extant knee). These details do not appear to be casual; all examples as with a certain ritual show them meticulously, correctness. Even the arms have exactly the same in all examples. Ordinary position sitting postures are not so perfectly identical.

is evidently an impossible physical feat, but, considering that he was a divine yogi, the priest-artist probably deemed
it necessary miracle."31 to represent him as though As we will see, the posture a performing is not a miracle,

though it is not comfortable and natural, either. It is shown in conjunction with the most highly charged symbols of the Indus iconography, and in one case is actually being
it has a special worshiped. Clearly ritual posture or, as Marshall said, identification of the ?sana, and either significance, an ?sana, or both. to as a

Yet remarkably little attention has been paid to the


none whatever its yogic

context. Chanda pointed


("blessed said way posture"), no more.32 The "meditating" Dhyana-yoga posture.33 a posture a dozen II.46.34 but vague seemed

the way by calling


no one idea noticed, that the and figure

itbhadr?sana
he was himself in some it a

sufficient.

"typical meditation mentions along Yoga which Figure 1.05" 3. Impression of seal 222, Mohenjo-daro, Delhi). 1.05" x

with S?tras

that posture," it is true that V?caspati Misra in some similar to this one, respects in commenting on Pata?jali, others, this is not one of the Nevertheless, Now, recommended the Indus seals.35 for meditation, Siva, never Buddha, in the none of

calls Bhagat is, a typical

postures

commonly on appears

Mah?vTra, and other figures in Indian iconography who are


commonly posture on depicted meditating, the seals. are portrayed

(National

Museum,

New

It is important to make clear that this is not the


everyday squatting-on-the-heels not position and that is comfortable

to many
ground,

Indians. In that position the heels are flat on the


raised, precisely joined, pressed forcefully

into the crotch by the body's weight.29 Other relatively simple positions found commonly in Indian sculpture, which must be carefully distinguished from the posture on
the seals, are: (1) the posture of kneeling adoration, found

at Sanchi, Bh?rhut, Amar?vati, and elsewhere, inwhich the heels are against the buttocks, the trunk is leaning forward with the knees forward on the ground supporting much of
the weight, and the hands are raised to about eye level,

and (2) the posture exemplified by Visnu on Sesa at Badami, inwhich one knee is flat on the ground, the other raised slightly, and the two heels, although close together,
are not joined.30 All these are, to Indians raised without Figure 4. Impression of seal 235, Mohenjo-daro, 1.2" x ?

chairs, relatively easy positions


"natural But Sastri, enough," the posture unlike Western "famili?re on the seals

that could rightly be called


and matter of so forth. is another is aware altogether.

(National Museum,

New Delhi).

et commode,"

scholars,

its difficulty:

"He is shown seated on a dais hardly touching it with his upturned toes, while the rest of the body is balanced in the air above the seat. Add to this the contorted form of the feet and the toes. The former are vertically pressed down under the haunches with heels pointing upwards and the latter bent at right angles to the feet. This seating [sic] pose
29. 30. For an example, See ibid., pi. see Zimmer, 11a, 36a,c, 94, Art of 95, Indian Asia, pi. 60. 127.

31. 32. Modern 33.

Sastri, op.

cit.,

1:10. Years Ago,"

"Sind Five Thousand Ramaprasad Chanda, Review (Calcutta) (August 1932), p. 158. Bhagat, op. cit., p. 97.

34. References will be to the edition of James Haughton Woods, The Yoga-System of Pata?jali with the Yoga-Bhasya of Veda-Vyasa and the Tattva-Vaicradi of Vachaspati Harvard Oriental Miera, Series, vol. 17 (Delhi, 1977, repr. of 1914 ed.). 35. Kundalini The traditional list is given, Yoga (Sivanandanagar, 1971), for example, p. 106. by Swami Sivananda,

McEvilley: An archaeology

of yoga

49

So

uncritically on a low

accepted stool

is the

"meditation"

interpretation that one author described


"seated in a half-lotus a well-known meditation posture), being is not, anymore it is cross-legged.36 than and Eliade's

the figure as
(the latter it of course common,

position" which More

beyond doubt. Figures 1 and 2 imply lyengar's position with support from behind; figure 3 implies in foreshortening Brahmachari's, with some problems in several variations with different appears titles, representing different traditions in the yogic literature. The Hatha Yoga Pradfpik? (1.53-54), a classic (as text of hatha yoga, uses the name bhadr?sana that Chanda was aware), and adds the comment ("posture yogis call this Goraks?sana" gives the by Goraksa").41 Swami Brahmachan "Sit on the instructions for Goraks?sana: ground and bring the soles of the feet into contact. While holding the feet together with the hands, move forward and squat on the feet so that the knees touch the ground on either side. Then the hands should be are kept placed on the knees. The spine and the neck is the erect."42 The description posture on precisely of the seals, even to the detail of the lowered knees, and should remove all doubt that this is in fact a specific traditional yogic ?sana. Swami Vishnudevananda, another exponent of the kundalim hatha yoga tradition, in uses the term shakti-chalini ("energy-awakener") "siddha employed following addition The to bhadr?sana and Goraks?sana.43 names will various of these emerge significance as we the feet. This ?sana

but along the same lines, is the simple designation of


"yoga posture" (Rowland), posture."37 insistent "the too but of the vague. it does nature of yogic specifically is an ?sana There not and appear purpose and on of this is much Again called "yoga posture," The are question that we

simply the Indus the ?sana

seals.38

considering, these scholars

and

the world of implications that it brings with


complex, recognized. more important, than

it, ismore
have

proceed.

Figure Yoga,

5. M?labandh?sana Schocken Books,

(from 1979).

B.K.S.

lyengar,

Light

on

what Figure 5 shows B. K. S. lyengar demonstrating If his buttocks were he calls m?labandh?sana.39 in such a way that he could rest his crotch supported the ?sana be precisely upon his joined heels, this would Brahmachari on the seals. Figure 6 shows Dhirendra shows which what he calls Goraks?sana, demonstrating the That the heels turned back under the crotch.40 I posture on the seals is a variant of these is, believe,
36. p. 46. 37. Troy Wilson Organ, Hinduism (Woodbury, New York, 1974),

is that A related ?sana that must be considered Samhit? (11.27) which the hatha yoga text Gheranda calls utkat?sana: "Let the toes touch the ground, and the heels be raised in the air; place the anus on the heels: this is known as the Utkat?sana." Figure 7 shows in utkat?sana. This posture is Swami Brahmachari like the but is more related to m?labandh?sana in that the posture, squatting-on-the-heels everyday knees are not spread fully to the sides but take a natural position about a foot apart. Still itmust be stressed that inwhich the this is not the everyday squatting position, in utkat?sana the heels are heels are flat on the ground; to be raised from the ground and pressed against the anus, an extremely significant point, as we will see.
trans. Swami Digambarji of Svatmarama, 41. The Hathapradipika 1970), p. 27. Citations will and Pt. Raghunathashastri Kikaje (Poona, two: The Hatha or one of the following be either from this translation Sinh (Delhi, trans. Pancham 1980, repr. of 1914 ed.); Yoga Pradipika, The Hathayogapradipika 1972). The numeration differences. 42. 43. Brahmachari, Swami (New York, cit., pis. of Svatmarama, varies slightly, but ed. Radha Burnier (Adyar, there are no major

of India The Art and Architecture Rowland, Benjamin 1967), p. 38; Eliade, Yoga, p. 355. (Baltimore, II.44?45 for "yoga posture"; Samhit? 38. See, e.g., Gheranda are to the edition of Sris Chanda Vasu, The Gheranda references 39. 1976, repr. of 1895 ed.). (London, see B. K. S. lyengar, For this and several variants, and 101-3. (New York, 1966), figures 459-62 Dhirendra Brahmachari, Yogasana Vijnana Light on 1970),

Samhita

op. 1960),

cit.,

Yoga 40. pi. 29.

Vishnudevananda,

p. 61 and pi. 29. The Complete p. 191.

Illustrated terms

Book see

of

(Bombay,

Yoga op.

pis. 116-19. 101-3; Woods, op. cit.,

For still other

lyengar,

50

RES 1 SPRING 81

Figure 6. Goraks?sana

(from Swami Brahmachari, Yogasana Vijnana, Asia Publishing House, We may

1970).

is significant to us, as the Indus artists may (This posture have avoided a difficult foreshortening problem by when they intended drawing m?labandh?sana is not crucial utkat?sana. However, such a possibility for our interpretation, as utkat?sana and have much the same yogic context m?labandh?sana and purpose.)

conclude that the posture on the seals a is definitely yogic ?sana, or a forerunner of one, and that it can be clearly and specifically identified in the historical yogic tradition, albeit under several names. We will find, furthermore, that the specific yogic context of this ?sana is very revealing for the history of Indian religions.

McEvilley: An archaeology

of yoga

51

But literature argued

first a must that

last class

be mentioned. posture

of misapprehensions Heinz Mode on the of too seals is not

in the and

scholarly others have

the

is one but culture-specific, in other members cultures course, as the mysterious God

a type

and unique has recognizable He cites, of (a Bildtypus).44 that sometimes taken figure, the Gundestrup Cauldron. the Indus one seals. should

composite on

the Celtic

Cernunnos,

is "in a squatting The key phrase for us, of course, in one of the forms with position joined heels," namely, of m?labandh?sana. The phrase is repeated in the passage of the ?k?r?nga S?tra, which corresponding also provides us with a description of the platform on which the Venerable One was carried about: [This palankin] was adorned with pictures of wolves,
horses, antelopes, men, dolphins, sarabhas, birds, yaks, monkeys, lions, elephants, creeping plants, and tigers,

That figure is horned, surrounded by beasts, and has his


legs in a position the not the Although note that heels posture Sumerian are on like vaguely the overall composition posture joined, seals. is not and Mode that on is similar,

bulls,

because the figure's equivalent, this is an unvarying feature of the an alleged cites in addition lacks the key element of the

a train of couples of Vidyaharas.

(AS 21)

parallel,

which

also

seal figures. Others


statuary, American Egyptian, world's especially art, offer Mesopotamian, traditions

have felt that postures


the "scribes," Yet or postures parallels.

in Egyptian
in Central

Mexican, parallels

in Celtic, nothing or indeed any the posture on

of

the the

we choose, as Marshall did, to think of figure 1 in If terms of later Indian religion, we might better regard it as the prototype of this Jain scene than as a prototype of Siva Pasupati. The Jain parallel offers not only what seems to be the same ?sana?and one inwhich Siva is never portrayed?but also the platform with surrounding animal images.
of founder is not

precisely

seals. Itsessential feature?the joining of the heels in contact with the crotch?is (as far as Ican tell) actually
unique appears in all six repeatedly no way to account tradition. There for is, in short, yogic this posture outside the yogic and an accurate account, account has never yet been yogic given. times the world?unique in the Indus to seals India, and that is, where in the it

The implication of a great antiquity to Jainism is


supported represented by other in the evidence. Jain canon Mah?v?ra, as the course, of a tradition,

like the Buddha, but as the reformer of one that had existed for a very long time before him. Hiuen Tsang felt that Jainism was an offshoot of Buddhism, but Jacobi has
shown that itwas more the other way round.46 Schubring sorcery."47 to a system ways Jainism the seals He to Jainism's "primitive "coming of and animism," near to primitive is closer and other points stresses The its Jain

IV

conceptions in the taboo seems

ahims? doctrine, with I will call group (which for convenience to have be existed m?labandh?sana) may presumed in India from the Indus Valley period to continuously This ?sana in the publicized day. Though of yoga, it has surfaced in a series of related foreground instances. Chronologically, the first appearances after in two of the oldest Jain the Indus Valley seals occur S?tra and the Kalpa S?tra. Both the ?k?r?hga works, contain traditional lives of the last tTrthankara, center around the iconic moment of Mah?v?ra, which his enlightenment. The Kalpa S?tra says (my italics): the present During the thirteenth year, in the second month of the
summer ... on the northern bank of the river Rigupalik?, in a assessing than more of ethics.48 primitive

its disregard of the actor's intention


debt, of In these than

karmic

Buddhism.

Clearly

not

suggest some degree of continuity between the Indus Valley religion and the Jainism of Mah?v?ra?though
greater possibly we proceed. elements of discontinuity will emerge as

in the field of a householder


direction from an old temple,

Samagra,
not

in a northeastern
a Sal tree,

from other gains credibility hypothesis possible examples of the theme in the Indus Valley is P?r'sva, the tTrthankara before Mah?v?ra, iconography. said to have been protected on both sides by upright into kevala.49 serpents at the moment when he passed The seal in figure 2 may represent the prototype of this scene. Siva of course may be depicted with serpents on his person, Visnu reclining on a serpent, Buddha

This proto-Jain

far from

squatting position with joined heels, exposing himself to the heat of the sun, after fasting two and a half days
without drinking which water, being engaged in deep meditation,

he reached the highest knowledge


kevala, is infinite, supreme,

and intuition, called


unobstructed,

A History of 46. Ibid., intro.; and see Surendranath Dasgupta, Indian Philosophy, 5 vols. (Delhi, 1975, repr. of 1922 ed.), 1:7, 169; 2 vols. (London, Indian Philosophy, 1929), Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli 1:287. 47. The Doctrine Jacobi, op. cit., p. xxxiii; Walter Schubring, the Jainas (Delhi, 1962), p. 15. II.4 (SBE xlv, pp. 398ff.), and cf. Majhima 48. See S?trakrtanga 56, etc. Nikaya 49. See, e.g., Zimmer, Art of Indian Asia, 1:59. of

unimpeded,
44. 45. 1884).

complete

and full. (KS 120)45

op. cit., pp. 66-69. Mode, Hermann Jacobi, trans. Gaina

Sutras,

pt.

1, SBE 22

(Oxford,

52

RES 1 SPRING 81

by one, but only P?rsva is traditionally as flanked by upright serpents. Furthermore, described are there several Indus Valley seal impressions that may represent the Jain posture called k?y?tsarga, "dismissing inwhich Rishabha, the body posture/' the first of the is said to have passed into tlrthankaras, twenty-four is an upright posture with arms kevala.50 The k?y?tsarga sheltered hanging somewhat stiffly and held slightly away from in sculpture the arms the sides of the body; sometimes are shown unusually long, hands reaching about to the
knees.51

the ground."54 The crucial raising of the heels again indicates that this is not the everyday squatting-on-the heels position, inwhich the heels are flat on the ground, but that it is the yogic posture of utkat?sana, of which the Gheranda Samhit? (11.27) says: "Let the heels be raised in the air; place the anus on the heels." The raising of the heels so that they join under the anus is and the importance of this seemingly clear as we proceed. insignificant detail will become The practice of ukkutikappadhan a, then, or "exerting in the squatting posture," oneself is the same activity on Indus the portrayed seals, except that the figure on the seals was portrayed with its knees fully to the sides. essential,
One identifies of the J?taka to utkat?sana references (/.1.493) its practitioners as Aj?vikas. The Majhima Nik?ya

These identifications may be strengthened by the fact that Rishabha, P?rsva, and Mah?v?ra are the only tirthankaras whom scholars widely regard as
historical?those, that is, whose stories would contain

of actual facts; the postures them. Mah?v?ra's Jainism seems to among out of (and away from) a stream developed that flowed from the Indus Valley, practice next example will permit us to define more

some memories

may be have of religious and that our closely.

(1.515) agrees by implication, saying that utkat?sana


practiced by one who is naked and shaven, and who

is

"plucks out the hairs of his head and beard." Both Jains and ?j?vikas went naked and shaved or plucked their head and beards, but these practices were adopted by the Jains from the ?j?vikas, and it is probably the latter to whom all
the Pali passages refer.

V ismentioned in a formula used Utkat?sana in the Pali canon to describe, and denounce, repeatedly the "false aust?rit?s" of certain ascetics of whom the Buddha disapproved.52 Three "false austerities" are or hanging upside mentioned: the "bat-penance," down, the penance of standing upright for long periods or "exerting oneself of time, and ukkutikappadhana, in the squatting posture." The penance of standing up is found in Jainism; the bat-penance also k?y?tsarga, in will be discussed (and Jainism53 appears later). The third of these "false penances" seems to relate to the posture on the seals. The Pali Text Society dictionary defines ukkutika as "a special manner of squatting. The soles of the feet are firmly on the ground, the man sinks down, the heels slightly raising as he does so, until the thighs rest on the calves, and the hams are about six inches or more from
50. The best 51. See Chanda, "Sind Five Thousand in this respect, are Marshall, seals, This Years Ago," op. cit., pp. 159-69. 19.

The ?jfvikas were an ascetic group headed in the Buddha's time by one Makkhali Gos?la. They were very closely connected with Jainism, and due to the loss of all ?j?vika scriptures, we are dependent on the highly sectarian Jain account of the relationship (mostly in the
BhagavatTS?tra). for six years, Barua and According broke Jacobi, over to the Jain view, Gos?la was

an "unruly disciple"

of Mah?v?ra, who,
away regard

after following him


Both fiction of

however,

a point of doctrine.55 this as a pious

the Jains: the evidence suggests that itwas Gos?la who was the master and Mah?v?ra the disciple who broke
away.56 The Jain tradition conversion P?rsva, the itself seems to preserve sect, some and his memory later in

of Mah?v?ra's defection.

to Gos?la's tTrthankara prior went meeting

to Mah?v?ra,

whose
two however,

religion Mah?v?ra was born, allowed


of clothing. and Mah?v?ra, Gos?la after completely him,

his followers
naked, the adopted There

articles

rule of nakedness also. The implication


joined Gos?la's group, adopting

is that Mah?v?ra
are in

its customs.

addition many points that suggest the greater antiquity of ?j?vikism over Mah?v?ra's Jainism, including "goblin

in connection point was mentioned in inaccurate albeit terms, by Adris Banerjee, sealings, "Origins of I (1952), p. 314. The type is shown by Jaina Practices." )OI (Baroda) Jain and Fischer, op. cit., pi. XXVIII. 52. D.I. 167; M. 1.78; A. 1.296, II.206; /. I.493, III.235, IV.299: Dh. 141. 53. For the bat-penance see Richard Morris, "Notes (vagguli-vata) and Queries," Journal of the P?lit Text Society, 1884, p. 95. For its occurrence in Jainism, see Schubring, op. cit., p. 318.

pi. XII, 14, with the Indus

54.

T.W.

Rhys-Davids

and William

Stede,

Pali-English

Dictionary 1915),

1955). (Delhi, 55. Mrs. Sinclair p. 60. 56.

Stevenson,

The Heart

of Jainism

(Oxford, Indian Journal Jacobi,

Benimadhab

(Delhi, 1921), p. 300, Phillosophy Dept. of Letters (Univ. of Calcutta), cit., llrXXIX.

of Pre-Buddhistic Barua, A History and "The ?j?vikas," II (1920), pp. 18-20;

of

the op.

McEvilley: An archaeology

of yoga

53

Figure 7. Utkat?sana
worship," (as Basham "secret calls magical them), a "heated

(from Swami Brahmachari, Yogasana Vijnana, Asia Publishing House,


a repulsive tantric type" rites, and a shamanic-style

1970).

rites of blood

piece of the rib of a half-leaf."58 As Barua said, ?j?vikism


context 58. Chakraborti, of op. cit., p. 454. For the primitive initiations the grasping of hot coals, etc., see Eliade, involving Bol linge n Series vol. 76 (Princeton, 1964), pp. 315, 476, Shamanism, 100. of Initiation etc.; Rites and Symbols (New York, 1958), pp. 85-6, For primitive initiations etc. Geza pp. Roheim, 111-18, fire and rebirth symbolism involving The Eternal Ones of the Dream (New York, see also 1969),

initiation involving a symbolic


the grasping of

rebirth from adult males and


In the initiation, "the

lump."57

boy was placed in a pit on which planks were set and the ?j?vikas, seated on the planks, pulled out his hair with a
57. 1951), A. pp. L. Basham, 104-6, History and Doctrines 164. of the ?j?vikas (London,

112-13,

54

RES 1 SPRING 81

"represents religious Mah?v?ra

... discipline and

an earlier .

stage of thought-evolution . . than the covered period

and by the

and continuity of the doctrines of the ?j?vikas."63 Although the point cannot be established with certainty, there is
much in its favor. Basham and others have demonstrated

early history of Jainism and Buddhism as expounded


Buddha."59

by

The Buddha and Mah?v?ra both seem to represent


reforms magic, of an earlier ascetic that emphasized tradition and physical rather than karma, sexuality, austerity, on the other and meditation. Gos?la, hand, was who Barua Mah?v?ra, espoused are right, had encountered the ancient in Gos?la's But the Buddha also had group. in this older tradition, prior to his the ancient way. if

that in the medieval period, until about 1400, the ?j?vikas gradually merged with various sects including both
Digambara a Jains and the more radical Saiva sects, of which

celibacy, conservative Jacobi ways once

the N?th Siddhas are often counted one.64 Both ?j?vikism and N?thism (and no other Indian sect known) believed
that the soul must reincarnate and 8,400,000 unattainable. foregrounded Furthermore, worked into births, a series of through or moksa, that early release, of moksa, both the motive of superpowers. Gos?la N?th gurus, has at been least in that Makkhali was

and while

Rejecting magical it seems the

participated ascetics "Standers k?y?tsarga

insights

attainment

beneath
describes and were practiced

the Bodhi tree. The DTgha Nik?ya


who

(111.37-56)

out their hair and beards plucked on heels," that is, they up or squatters or utkat?sana. and m?labandh?sana

list of eighty-four

the Tibetan version, which has (66) Makhala and (67) Mankhala. Such parallels indicate either ?j?vika input into
the N?th cult or that the N?ths of the into documentary history another represent same primitive surfacing religious

The Majhima Nik?ya (1.78-79) adds that the Buddha himself once practiced this s?dhana, that is, he was himself either an ?j?vika or something closely related to it.
?j?vikism, in short, was part of the more ancient yogic clear

stream to which

the ?j?vikas belonged.

stream from which


breaking away with

the Buddha and Mah?v?ra were


their reforms, and which may go

back to the Indus Valley.

isGoraksa The chief figure in the N?th mythology a doublet for Barua considers ("Cowherd"), whom In any case, the mythologem Gos?la ("Cowpen"). is said to have behind the names is the same: Goraksa in a cowpen.65 Many been born of a cow, Gos?la this guru place him in the concerning category of the fertility god or hero; he is mythological with credited with producing magical pregnancies, his the of the land, withdrawal, fertility laying waste, by as Tammuz did by his death, and (again like Tammuz) legends the being a cattle or herd god. In a myth echoing into and he descends God the earth opens type, Dying in Euripides' it.66 Where he walked (like Dionysus became green, and the lakes Bacchae) "everything were filled with water."67 A stick that he stuck into the ground grew into a tree. He had control of serpents. with But commingled with this stratum of "fertility" motifs, Goraksa and the N?th tradition exhibit a wide range of Central Asian shamanic traits, including initiation by tigers, shape-changing, journeys out of the to the underworld on body, the ability to descend and reascend, and the gift of lifesaving missions restoring the dead from their bones.68 In terms of cult,

VI the sexo-yogic aspects of yoga?specifically of the kundalinT tradition?reached their practices in florescence of the N?th the Siddhas, greatest religion a melange that "enjoyed of yogic and magical practices Certain It is here is still enjoying immense popularity/'60 in a fourth cultic context the posture that we encounter on the Indus seals. Many Sanskrit yogic texts are either attributed directly to the N?th gurus, especially or associated with them (including the Goraksa-n?th, and Hatha Dasgupta Samhit?). Yoga Pradfpik? and the Gheranda traces the sect back "to a period prior to Pata?jali," and feels that it had great influence on in Nepal and Tibet as well as on the tantric Buddhism Saiva tantrism of India.61
This sect seems, furthermore, to be connected with both

Jainism and ?j?vikism, the other cultic contexts where has been found. A N?th legend records m?labandh?sana that the two sons of the first N?th-guru, Matsyendran?th, were the founders of the two surviving branches of Jainism,
the "in 59. 60. Svet?mbara . . . N?thism and Digambara.62 . . . one may Barua trace argues the that recrudescence

63. 64. 65. p. 36. 66.

Ibid., p. 200. Basham, Dasgupta, George op. cit., chaps. IX and X. Cults, p. 389; and Basham, op. cit., Obscure

Religious

"The ?jivikas," p. 21. Shashibusan Dasqupta,

Weston

Briggs, Gorakhn?th

the K?npha?

YogTs

Obscure

Religious

Cults,

3rd ed.

1969), p. 191. (Calcutta, 61. Ibid., pp. 191-200. 62. Ibid., p. 385.

(Calcutta, 1938), p. 39. 67. Ibid., p. 187. 68. Ibid., pp. 187-90, pp. 160-65.

195;

Eliade,

yoga,

p. 312,

Shamanism,

McEvilley: An archaeology

of yoga

55

clearly represents a religious substrate that he was historical sectarian boundaries: preceded in identified Jains worshiped by Saivas as by Bombay, in countless village cults a deity in his Siva, considered own right, the Lord of Cattle. His followers claim that Brahma, Visnu, and Siva were his first disciples.69 His Goraksa in cult absorbed K?p?lika and P?supata sects which turn had connections In short, if not a with ?j?vikism. he represents the same primitive doublet for Gos?la, stream to which that "unruly" teacher belonged. It is hardly insignificant that he was connected with the of the ?j?vikas and above all with "bat-penance" in the N?th tradition was which m?labandh?sana, "after the great yogi Gorakhn?th, called Goraks?sana, who used to sit in this ?sana."70 In this sect, as among the ?j?vikas, yoga occurred in a distinctly archaic setting, quite unlike the context of Br?hmanical yoga. These yogins were often low caste. were so much seekers after moksa as not They They made (and still make) their living by charms (as did the ?jFvikas), working selling magical spells, handling snakes, and tattooing. They performed black magic for money. So far were they from the ahirns? orientation of the polished Br?hmanical yogins in all manner of blood rites that they participated including
the early P?'supatas, not only

Tibetan

culture.74

In North

Asia,

Yukaghir

shamans

divined

from the skulls of dead shamans.75 The worship of skulls relates to the skeleton meditation of Tibetan Buddhism,
which The in turn skeleton has close of costume in Eskimo shamanism.76 parallels is worn the Siberian shaman in

Tibetan Buddhist
continuum through related of Siberian to the

legend by Padmasambhava.77 This


motifs to Indian from cultures Eskimo seems and practice, of this of and Tibetan

skull-bone-skeleton

shamanic which also

initiation at times,

resuscitation,

by like K?p?lika seem of to be "primitive

dismemberment

involved cannibalism.
phenomena tradition, which this that we or of the will

The ?j?vika
review substrate

initiation and other


vestiges magic"

same also

tradition

is a vestige.78

sorcerers.

Our last example of m?labandh?sana is from a It is a funerary stele related milieu, at a later period. Pradesh, dated to c. 1800 A.D., (fig. 8) from Madhya which clearly expresses the milieu of village tantrism.79 A man and woman are protrayed seated in variants of on a platform or bed. Her vulva is m?labandh?sana His phallus seems not to be, though delineated. clearly is impossible given the condition of the stone certainty and reproduction. Beside each of them is a vessel. a Above her is lunar crescent, above and beside him a solar disk. Between is a horned the sun and moon like the person in figure 1, head, probably a deity, who, has a third element the horns. His left rising between hand is raised over the couple. This is of course an icon of left-hand tantrism, and probably portrays the for a sexual ritual involving use of alcohol. preparation It will become clear as we proceed why m?labandh?sana
74. W. W. Ceremonies," (1888),

human

sacrifice.71 the N?th tradition belongs


tantrics and the but the Saiva Aghor?s, sacrifice last three also

Historically,
Buddhist and human

in the sphere of
sects of K?palikas, practiced The

of which

cannibalism.

K?palikas,
century religions shamanic

in fact, are recorded in inscriptions of the tenth


This entire the that was group of Indian conspicuously fertility magic of interp?n?tration to above. referred

should
"On of

as headhunters.72 exhibits and

be practiced
the Use of Skulls of Human (Chicago),

in such a setting.
in Lamaist 40 Society Skulls and Bones Anthropological

Rockhill,

The K?p?lika cult of skulls, like Goraksa's


dead from their over and bones, the whole echoes recorded Siberia "In Skulls to be

restoration of the

that have been practices shamanic India to from range,

Proceedings Berthold xxiv-xxxi;

the American

Oriental

beyond. says Sierksma, in Lamaist pure ". . . bone ceremonies shamanic = essence."73 that appear phase of

Tibet, Field Museum Publications 10 (Chicago, 1923). 75. Waldemar I. Jochelson, The Tungus, 13.2-3 76. Eskimos,

Laufer, Use of Natural History

in

all Asia," were vestiges

prominent of

Yukaghir and the Yukaghirized 2 vols., American Museum of Natural History, Memoirs (New York, 1924-26), 1:165.

the earlier

69. 228^29. 70. cit., p. 71. 72. Lorenzen, Australian

See Briggs, Brahmachari, 197. Briggs, op.

op.

cit., op.

pp. 63,

71-72,

79,

138-39,

151,

179,

cit., p. 61, and 57-59,

see HYP 140-41.

1.54; Briggs,

op.

Robert Bleichsteiner, L'Eglise ?aune (Paris, 1937), p. 67. See U. N. O. Harva, Die religi?sen (Holmberg) Vorstellungen der altaischen V?lker (Helsinki, 1938), p. 494; Hans Findeisen, 78. am Beispiel der Besessentheitspriester Schamanentum, dargestellt noreur asi atischer V?lker (Stuttgart, 1957), pp. 51 ff.; M. A. Czaplicka, Siberia: A Study in Social Anthropology Aboriginal (Oxford, 1914), Adolph 79. aus Sibirien, trans, from Russian 171ff.; Schamanengeschichten Friedrich and Georg Buddruss 1955), pp. 31-43. (M?nchen, See Ajit Mookerjee, Indian Primitive Art (Calcutta, 1959), pi. XXVI. pp. by

1929), 77.

Knud Rasmussen, The Intellectual Culture of the Iglulik vol. 7 (Copenhagen, Report of the Fifth Thule Expedition, p. 114.

cit.,

pp.

125-29,

Ibid., pp. 224-26; The K?palikas National

Eliade, yoga, pp. 205, 296, 300; David and Kal?mukhas, Two Lost Saivite Sects, Centre of Oriental Studies Oriental University 1972), pp. 24, 80, 85-86.

Series vol. 12 (Delhi, Monograph 73. Sirksma, op. cit., p. 72.

56

RES 1 SPRING 81

is a to In be from them. likely discouraged begetting matrilineal system inwhich a child grows up in the care of its mother's is family, this safeguard a seems to in have Such unnecessary. system prevailed the of from India, judging pre-Aryan prominence Indian primitive groups. among modern "mother-right" India in the nineteenth Among the Garos of eastern was only through the for inheritance century, example, to and were cared and all children mother, belonged for by the mother's clan.80 The Kh?s? of Assam (which is the tantric country par excellence) have a pure matrilineal system, inwhich from mother to daughter.
The Indo-Aryans into the gradually

father to provide him with an inheritance can be a burden to society. Since a monk or ascetic is usually not a man who will support and endow children, he

inheritance

passes

strictly

enforced

a patrilineal

system

on those aboriginal groups that they conquered


absorbed extreme connected monastic ramification Figure 8. Tantric Funerary Stele, Barsur, Madhya Pradesh, c. A.D. Hindu

and

or "non-Aryan," caste. The s?dra, on marital is probably emphasis chastity to anxiety about and paternity-and-inheritance, seem to be a secondary would celibacy of the same anxiety. Indeed, this overlay of

1800

patrilineality on matrilineality may be the source of the


whole Indian range attitude that makes of qualities Koestler say that "the to sex more is perhaps and ambivalent we than any other and of which nation's,"81 examples as we proceed.

VII
It is time to return to my earlier statement that the Indus Valley material has been thrown into the wrong inMarshall's yogic camp. The most serious weakness its that is yoga is a hypothesis implicit assumption can That coherent tradition. only be position single maintained by those who argue that yoga developed view that the within the Aryan community?a entirely on ?sana identification of the the seals renders precise in in if my opinion. Very likely, untenable, yoga existed some form in pre-Aryan it extensive underwent India, changes when there resulted, one completely
less-Aryanized.

paradoxical see some will

But this attempt by the Aryan ruling class to enforce


patrilineality on the very throughout populous tradition" its realm, ascetic groups and of to enforce India, was celibacy not

highly successful outside


"alternative of

the Aryan community


India, comprising and those

itself. In the
non

Aryan village cultures where


abundant traces of mother-right sexual

Ehrenfels found such


the s?dra sub-castes, and

which
Rajak?,

still are known by feminine names (Qomb?, Candal?,


etc.), the yoga remained in force, yogin

it entered the Aryan community, and in effect, at least two brands of yoga, or and one non-Aryanized Aryanized the two difference between a is celibate yoga primarily involved with yoga is deeply is

yogin? working not apart but together: the K?p?lika yogin had his Bhairavi, the Tantrika his Sakti, the N?tha his Mahamudr?, the Vaisnava his Manjar?, the Sahaji? his
Uttaras?dhika.82 denounced The non-Aryan to reform the Aryan commentator worshipers S?yana rightly as unchaste, and for

centuries the central


struggled to conceal

(indeed, millennia)
its practices through

the celibate establishment


or, tradition, or official pious

has

Aryan tradition, non-Aryan and yogic sexuality. The institution of monastic enormous its and celibacy, spread during the period of to buddha and Mah?v?ra, may have been concomitant the displacement of non-Aryan matrilineality by Aryan a In a patrilineal system, a child without patrilineality.

Perhaps that although

sexo-yogic

that, failing fictions.

80. 81. p. 136. 82. (Delhi, (London,

A. Playfair, The Caros 1909), pp. 80ff. (London, Arthur Koestler, The Lotus and the Robot (New York, Narendra 1975), 1941). pp. Nath 3-5, Bhattacarya, 13, etc.; O. of Indian Erotic History R. Ehrenfels, Mother-right

1966), Literature in India

McEvilley: An archaeology

of yoga

57

"Tantrism and criminal This between founded

practised literally," in India."83 has official resulted

says

Bharati,

"is

anathema

opposition fact and by Goraksa, Farther may and not hand, converted

in many The are

record.

discrepancies twelve "orders" clans with full-scale

for example, back in the contributed Gos?la was

family life, though for official purposes they claim to be


celibate.84 opposition Mah?v?ra who seems tradition, to the a the stress of this have Gos?la. schism between

to have was

the other and had

non-Aryan on Mah?vira, celibacy. a twice-born almost Aryan, certainly from the religious power goal of sexual observed His reform the of the religion of law of where celibacy overall the most of his time.

low-caste

invulnerability (k?ya-siddhi) or immortality (deva-deha), a and a range of sexual powers: one will become or him and all all will love k?ma-deva, yoginis sex-god, beautiful women will be irresistibly attracted to him.86 karmic responsibility The Aryanized yoga emphasizes and preaches ethical rules (the yamas and niyamas) as for yogic progress. The non-Aryan yoga prerequisites stresses magical overleaping of the consequences of
one's actions and makes no moral preachment

whatever.87 R?ja yoga claims to be derived from the Vedas and thus to belong to the Hindu establishment;
halha yoga is anti-Vedic.88 The one teaches a male

to that of ethical P?rsva earlier anti-sexual was

celibacy.

to enforce precisely it had not been in effect. of the great religious

He was teachers

Under his rules, a Jainmonk was


woman, "behind to sit where a screen a woman [to] was listen or wall

forbidden to speak to a
sitting, to the or even screeching from or

the other oriented Weltanschauung (purusa-pradh?na), a female one (prakrti-pradh?na). The one is for twice born (higher caste) Hindus; the other (as Sv?tm?r?ma notes in the Hatha Yoga Prad?pik? [IV.64] for those that is, for lower-caste non lacking Vedic education,
Aryans.

screaming or singing or laughing or giggling or crying of


women."85

The texts of both traditions have undergone


editing balance different. to give of them an appearance of universality, remain only arguments the and the emphases devotes

syncretic
but entirely about six the

This general distinction between Aryanized and non Aryan ized forms of yoga seems to be referred to in the
Bh?gavata to be of Pur?na three kinds: the word (XI.27.7), Vedic, "tantra" that Saiva where tantric, practice religious and composite. loosely called cults, S?kta been "the is said In this to a tantric

Pata?jali, and about two

r?ja yogin,

s?tras (of two hundred and fifteen) to the physical side of


yoga, certain hundred to a close on inspection the other of hand, mental processes; Sv?tm?r?ma,

terminology wide range circle,"

is used has and

to refer

of phenomena various including

traditional

the traditional "author" of the Hatha Yoga PradTpik?,


devotes only about five sutras to explicitly exhibit is the similar awakening not even mental topics

hatha (including kundalinT) yoga, the N?ths, the proto tantrism of the ?j?vikas, and much village magical practice
that does not fit any formal sectarian category. Some

and about three hundred to physical. The Gheranda


Samhit? and Goraksa central Sataka topic ratios. of kundalinT, Sv?tm?r?ma's

authors wpuld
and other Lok?yata hand,

include the S?rfikhya (or proto-S?mkhya)


schools in the "tantric the most orthodox circle." form Veda, on the of Hinduism,

which
Pata?jali,

he repeatedly
on the other

insists is the whole


hand, does

of yoga;89
mention it. For

includes

which

is not yogic at all but ritualistic, the heavily Aryanized r?ja yoga tradition (which claims to be based on the Vedas), and indeed all yogic traditions that have come under the influence of idealist philosophy, including the
right-hand or revised tantras by and the kundalinT renaissance. tradition as censored the Hindu

Pata?jali the whole


in the mind

of yoga

is the cessation of fluctuations


Sv?tm?r?ma and the

(citta-vrtti-nirodha);90

other hatha yogins mention


certain purposes. processes physical For Sv?tm?r?ma, the physical

that only as a byproduct of


that have other meditation primary is not very pr?na ("breath,"

important;

process

of

forcing

The series of differences that separate the r?ja yoga of Pata?jali's Yoga S?tras from the hatha yoga of the Goraksa Sataka, Gheranda Samhit?, and Hatha Yoga is most r?ja PradJpik? revealing. For the Aryanized is the moksa, or release from reincarnation; yogin goal for the non-Aryan hatha yogin it is siddhi, or the obtaining of magical powers including bodily

"vital spirit") into susumn? n?dT (the central channel in the spine) for the awakening of kundalinT is the only important
yogic futile practice: for "all other Yet practices," Pata?jali even such he does says, not "are even the yogi."91 or simply mention

this subject. The hatha yogins seem deadly serious about


siddhis, 86. 87. 88. superpowers, unlikely ones as bodily

Hatha

111.49, etc. 11.54-55, Yoga Pradipik? 111.43-44. Samhit? E.g., Gheranda IV.35, 40; Gheranda E.g., Hatha Yoga PradTpik? 111.1, 100, etc. 111.116, IV.20, etc.

Samhit?

83. Pretext 84. 85.

Bharati, Agehananda of Modern Mysticism

Briggs, op. cit., pp. Uttara S?tra XVI; cited

Light at the Center: Context (Santa Barbara, 1976), p. 42. 10, 55-59. The by Chakraborti, op. cit., p. 373.

and

111.65, etc. 89. Hatha 90. 91.

Yoga PradTpik? I.2. yoga Sutras Hatha Yoga PradTpik?

58

RES 1 SPRING 81

invulnerability; the concern of Pata?jali and his


commentators grounds.92 is to rationalize these on philosophical

has To sum up: the Hindu renaissance fiction millennia ago by pious (originated that these two yogas are successive stages that hatha yoga is a process?specifically

the sponsored r?ja yogins) of a single

not), but because they were the ingredients of pre rites.95 tribal The first four ingredients were Aryan to be aphrodisiacs, to prepare the participant believed for the last and crucial ingredient.96 Very likely this a or Bronze Age in is survival of Neolithic part practice But as rites intercourse.97 sexual involving fertility sects fell under celibate and tantric or proto-tantric idealist influence, the custom arose of using substitutes for the physical ingredients. Those sects that used the came to be called Five Ms physically left-hand (v?m?c?ra or kaula); those that used substitutes, right hand (daksin?c?ra, samaya). The most Aryanized tantrics only visualized the substitutes mentally. The left-hand tantra, or kaula, is practiced by low caste sects and overlaps with kundalinT, S?kta, and It has historical connections Saiva practice. with the P?supatas, K?palikas, Aghor?s, Lok?yatas, and N?ths.98 These were the sects most shunned by respectable are Aryan society. The K?palikas, for example, in the Brhaspati S?tra (11.6) as purveyors of or sexual yoga. They practiced the left k?ma-s?dhana, hand way, and taught, in most dramatic contrast to described that "final salvation Hinduism, Aryanized . . . (mukti) [is] perpetual orgasm, not merely extinction of the cycle of rebirth."99 The Sahaji? agrees that "the supreme process of Samputik?,
yoga . . . originates from our sex-passions."100

for r?ja yoga. R?ja yoga meanwhile, with a strong element of Ved?ntized has come superstructure, increasingly under Ved?ntic is seen as a influence so that the entire yogic process the Ved?nta: the the of mentalism for pure preparation a cause is is of world sensory illusory, pleasure to illusion, and the mind is the means to bondage
escape. Hatha yoga, on the other hand, is physicalist,

preparation having started out S?mkya in its

centers on body practice, or materialistic, and does

is philosophically not reject sensory

undefined experience it often sees

and pleasure, the intensification of which as its goal.93 Beneath the superficial syncretic editing of their texts, the two traditions exhibit inherently different and irreconcilable axiologies, methodologies, and intentionalities.94

VIM
A dichotomy parallel to that between Veda and tantra exists within the category of tantra itself, between the right-hand and the left-hand practitioners. The tantras in general teach the ritual practice or s?dhana of or Five Ms, that is, the use of five the panca-mak?ra in Sanskrit, with the letter M, ingredients that begin, namely, wine, meat, fish, parched beans or grain, and sexual intercourse. These five seem to be prescribed not because is they are taboo to ordinary Hindus (grain

text,
This

at attitude and practice had received religious definition least as early as the age of the Buddhist Nik?yas, as the in the nik?ya refers to people who believe Majhima and the attainment of nirvana through sense-pleasure, as Dharma. (XXI11.1-2) speaks of maithuna The Cullavagga (V.10.2) refers to the skull bowl that was the K?p?likas's trademark. Katth?vattu R?m?nuja describes a group of K?palikas who became partially Aryanized, abandoned the kaula practice and the skull bowl for which the sect is named, and became

92.

See,

"knowledge creeping 93. 94. excised overlay

of

for example, the cries birds

things,

treatment of the siddhi of Misra's V?caspati of all living beings, tame and wild animals, and the rest" (on yoga S?tras 111.17). IV.30. of these of space. texts has been Usually the analysis from considerations

E.g., Hatha Yoga PradTpik? A much longer philological this paper of a Hindu horizon from

95. 96. York, 97. belief

See,

e.g.,

Bolle,

op.

Agehananda 1970), p. 252.

Bharati,

cit., pp. 36, 74-76. The Tantric Tradition

(Garden

City,

New

on the underlying non-Aryan as basic is very obvious, in the inconsistencies remain intentionality of texts, such as Sv?tm?r?ma's (1.17) advocacy celibacy alongside certain of sexual intercourse (lll.84ff.), and his occasional techniques of fealty to r?ja yoga alongside his acknowledgment that expressions the K?palikas (1.4, 8). In the late hatha yoga text, Siva Samhit?, the editoral overlay of r?ja is actually to Pata?jali, there are allusions and the yoga dominant; is encouraged to fulfill his caste duty (V.157-58, 185). This yogin should hardly be regarded as a genuine hatha yoga text. of gurus and he is in the tradition the N?th

source in the "Tantrism had its ultimate Cf. Chattopadhyaya: that the the early agricultural magic, namely, underlying of nature is induced or enhanced by the imitation or the productivity or aspects thereof." of the human process contagion reproductive Indian Lok?yata, A Study in Ancient p. 230.) India 98. V. S. Pathak, History of Saiva Cults in Northern (Benares, 1960), pp. 26-28, 49, 68. 99. Lorenzen, 90-91. 54-55, 80, 88-89, op. cit., pp. 18, 47-48, Chattopadhyaya, [Delhi, 1959], 100. Dasgupta, Obscure Religious Cults, p. 52.

(Debiprasad Materialism

McEvilley: An archaeology

of yoga

59

of Veda and varna supporters now to meditate on instructed in the vagina, probably sex.102 For as Bharati put is, opposed yogins likely are to the official disgusted by to be the substrate

The K?p?lika in bhagasana, as a substitute for physical (caste).101 himself method Respectable yoga their own

was that

Indeed, celibacy
between the left- and

is not the only point of contention


right-hand ways, the Br?hmanical

it, "Tantric

climate."103 the low-caste

is radically Hindu that seems yoga

swamis disapprove of the fact that kaula tantra (like hatha yoga) has resisted Ved?ntic monism and illusionism and continued to emphasize the individual physical existence
as the locus There of dharma. is little Swami Ajaya between the says: tantra as practiced that abound. not at all

from which

developed under the influence of idealist philosophy, recoil from its physicalism and hide itbeneath a
so that the Siva allegorical readings, a symbol for example, becomes of spiritual a pratitioner transcendence.104 Swami of an Ajaya, superstructure of Aryanized group

they
I'mga,

in the

samaya

similarity and school

of tantra conceptualizations This higher in fact, does form of tantra, contradict the principles of Ved?nta.107 This attitude has become standard

popular and kundalin?

and "higher" form of tantra, says, "This kaula is considered to be the most inferior."105 The kaula

in the modern

tantra, like the yoga of Goraksa and the k?mas?dhana of the K?palikas, may be said with some certainty to have
the pre-Aryan of India, to have population remained the religion of the non-Aryanized primarily and, in contact when with to have been Hinduism, high-caste subjected 101. to celibatizing II.2.35-38; censorship.106 D. arisen from

celibatized and syncretized yoga; even the siddha tradition has been taken over by Ved?ntic idealism. Swami
Praj?ananda, complements the two are for example, says Ved?nta: perfect united."108 K?p?lika "In fact, Siddha realization tradition Yoga is attained when awareness

shows

of this tantric-Ved?ntic hostility


between R?m?nuja a K?p?lika magician referred and to the rightly to the Vedas."110

in its legend of a combat


the Advaitin sexo-yogic Samkara.109 tradition as

R. Shastri, "Lok?yatas and of IHQ 7 (1931), p. 131; Pranabananda Jash, History K?palikas," Saivism (Calcutta, 1974), p. 63. 102. Even this is too raw for a Tibetan text that says, right-hand on a union of the organs in Yoga Tantras even meditating "Since [i.e., Srl-bh?sya even "in bhag?sana"] is inappropriate, oneself visualizing joy that based on another hands or embracing?is type of touch?holding used in the path." of Secret (Tantra in Tibet: The Great Exposition is

"opposed

IX

ed. Jeffrey Hopkins Mantra, [London, 1977], p. 162.) by Tsong-ka-pa, 103. Bharati, Tantric Tradition, p. 290. Bharati seems to feel that in the last five centuries this official opposition occurred (after only Muslim but there are signs of it as early as the Atharva influence), Veda. jash. op. cit., p. 16. The whole passage says: The word kaula comes from the Sanskrit 105. 104.

of the two yogic Having drawn the boundaries to it is to time consider which of them camps, Its historical occurrences, m?labandh?sana belongs. both iconographie and documentary, suggest strongly that it pertains to the non-Aryan stream of sexo-yoga. Its occurrence in the Indus valley is of course a warrant of that. The ?j?vika connection is another, as is the intimate link of the ?sana with the N?th siddha in the left-hand tantric tradition, and its occurrence environment that produced the stele of figure 8. Its occurrence in the context of Mahav?ran Jainism might seem to put it in the celibate camp, but can be taken as a survival of Mah?v?ra's earlier ?j?vika-related practice; at the time of his enlightenment he had not yet laid the rule of celibacy. Sv?tm?r?ma, whose is as great as Patafijali's hatha among authority yogins that m?labandh?sana should among r?ja yogins, says in be called Goraks?sana, it the strongest placing possible way in the tradition of low-caste kundalin? seem to point the that would yoga. The one occurrence is its mention other way by V?caspati Mi'sra, the down
107. In White, pp. 451-52. 108. In Swami op. cit., p. 104; and cf. Sri Chinmoy, ibid., (San

ku

(earth). This

refers

to

at the muladhara the practitioner's of kundalini chakra at worship is related to the earth tattva (element). the base of the spine, which In this group, kundalini, itmay be awakened and release though considerable consciousness. sexual spiritual is not raised above this lowest center of energy, The kaula group uses external rituals. Sometimes rites are used to awaken is not kundalini. Their practice but focuses on worldly Black magic kaula concerns and the satisfaction of

to gratify one's may be practiced is considered to be the most group inferior. (Swami Ajaya, in "Kundalini and the Tantric Tradition," and Enlightenment Evolution John White, ed., Kundalini, [Garden in City, New York, 1979], p. 101.) (When curved brackets appear sensory pleasures. . . . This selfish desires. a quotation, the inserted words are never mine, but the author's or translator's.) 106. The Mah?nirv?na this revisionist

exhibits

Tantra, one of the chief kaula texts, clearly editing. On a basal stratum of pure kaula a right-handed tantra (e.g., IV.20, 42, 48, etc.) is overlaid stratum of celibatized visualized substitutes for the allegorization, recommending (See The Tantra of the Great ingredients (e.g.,VIII.1 70-74). trans. Arthur Avalon [Sir John Woodroffe] Liberation, [New York, 1972, repub. of 1913 ed.].)

Muktananda,

Play of Consciousness 35-38.

physical

Francisco, 1978), p. xxi, 109. Lorenzen, op. cit., pp. 110. SrT-bh?sya, II.2.35.

60

RES 1 SPRING 81

on Pata?jali.111 Was this ?sana prominent in the r?ja schools, or did it drrift intrusively into from the hatha tradition? The commentary V?caspati's can be question only clearly and finally decided?and a study of the it a number of other questions?by with commentator yogic
extensive.

which

iswarm by nature, the fire (warmth) of the body extremely intensified. (111.66)

is

function

of the ?sana, which

is complex

and

seems related to the Ajfvika This activity, which initiation rite of grasping a "heated lump," also echoes shamanic noted that the techniques. Shirokogoroff "much hotter during the Tungus shamans became (before their swift moving dance)," and performance a general that "this feeling of heat is seemingly As Eliade says, "Magically phenomenon." increasing the heat of the body and 'mastering' fire to the point of not feeling the heat of burning coals, are two marvels attested among medicine men, shamans, universally and fakirs. . . . The continuity between the oldest known magical technique and tantric yoga is, in this
particular, undeniable."112

At the simplest is, as the level, m?labandh?sana name implies, one of the traditional ?sanas for the of m?labandha, the "root-seal" of hatha performance Sv?tm?r?ma says, "Pressing the perineum with yoga. the heel and raising the Ap?na, the anus is to be contracted. This is known as . . . Pressing the anus with the heel, one m?labandha. should repeatedly contract the perineum with
force . . ." (111.60, 62).

of the muscles of the anus and is asvinl mudr? called (e.g., Gher. Sam. perineum in in to is and it m?labandha be performed 111.82), one or at heels of with both the pressure conjunction in Sv?tm?r?ma that the anus and/or perineum. specifies The contraction m?labandh?sana the heels should be forcefully pressed the against perineum, right heel on the right side, left it heel on the left side, so as to press or squeeze them (1.53-54). Gheranda between similarly specifies that the heels should be raised against the anus. The other ?sanas that are recommended for m?labandha as inm?labandh?sana, share this feature. In simh?sana, but right the heels press on the sides of the perineum, heel on the left side and left heel on the right (HYP as Gheranda 1.52). In siddh?sana, says, "having placed . . . one heel at the anal aperture keep the other heel on the root of the generative organ" (11.7). The combination of contraction of the perineum/anus muscles and pressure of the heels against them creates a flow of nerve sensation upward from the base of the as the upward flow of is conceptualized spine, which or lower toward union with the ap?na, body energy, pr?na, or upper body energy. The name Shakti-chalini applied to m?labandh?sana points to its function of nerve sensation. With the increase of nerve activating sensation magical
says:

so far is that the figures on limited conclusion or the Indus seals are less likely to be meditating seeking union with god than they are to be seeking of inner heat. magical power through the generation They are less the forerunners of Pata?jali than of Goraksa and Sv?tm?r?ma. Our

X and accumulation of inner heat not is m?labandha the whole function of through A modern m?labandh?sana. handbook of yoga says, inwhich "Those postures the perineum (khanda) is the feet have connections with the arousal and against In the sexo-yogic control of the sexual energies."113 in conjunction tradition, m?labandha may be practiced or yogically guided sexual intercourse, with maithuna, as a stimulant to sexual energy. The connection of the activity of pressing the heels on the perineum with sexual stimulation is a fact recognized
by modern sexologists. anus Dr. Alex Comfort, when discussing "Most that

But the stimulation

what he calls "postillionage"


your firm partner's finger pressure

("putting a finger in or on
prefer is, on

says, just before orgasm") just in front of the anus," cakra, serpent where, slumbers. for us,

the perineum, Sv?tm?r?ma, Comfort goes

or m?l?dh?ra the kundalin? on very

to according "In men," Dr. "this can

the "inner practices

so important in archaic is said to increase also. Sv?tm?r?ma heat"

significantly

112.

S. M.

When the Ap?na rises up and reaches the sphere of the fire (the navel region), the flames of the fire blaze forth, fanned by the V?yu (Ap?na). (111.65).
Then, 111. as the fire op. (heat) cit., p. and 191. the Ap?na reach the Pr?na,

(London, 1935), of the Capuchin Fahrenheit. White,

of the Tungus Psychomental Complex Eliade, Yoga, p. 106. The body temperature at 125? Padre Pio broke thermometers stigmatic See Geoffrey and Kundalini," in Nicoletti, "Stigmata Shirokogoroff, p. 364; inner heat (YS

See Woods,

the op. cit., p. 378. Even Pata?jali mentions on it. 111.41), though he lays no emphasis 113. James Hewitt, The Complete Book of Yoga 1978), p. 292.

(New York,

McEvilley: An archaeology

of yoga

61

alone." erection used produce a heel the scrotum with behind works as well in some

And

finally: or between

"Firm anus

pressure and vulva

postures."114

At this point we will return our attention briefly to in figure 8. Living in the semi the tantric couple area of Madhya Pradesh, they are primitive village tantra. The raised kaula of the probably practitioners identifies them as left-hand hand above them explicitly itmay also indicate that we see them practitioners; in the ceremony of the Five Ms. She is either engaging or in for just reaching just putting down a vessel which unreformed kaula tantra could only contain wine; another is beside him. He is performing a mudr? (a ritual hand position) near his heart, possibly holding an elements of the stick. These are recognizable as which described Bharati,115 involves, practice by and mudr? with Five the ?sana, Ms, mantra-japa, along of hand gesture. Bharati says the tantrikas at this stage sit in either lotus posture (padm?sana) of the ceremony or heroic posture (vTr?sana). But the stele of figure 8 seems to show a couple performing the shakti-chalini, or "sexual-energy-stimulating" m?labandh?sana incense for the ritual of sexual union.116 instead, in preparation In the man's case, the preparatory practice of m?labandh?sana will be important at a later stage of the ritual also. For m?labandh?sana-w\th-m?labandha increase sexual energy, it specifically does not merely increases the ability of seminal retention. And as Bharati says, "The central rule behind the left-handed is the retention of rites, both Hindu and Buddhist, semen during the sexual act. . . . The man who . . . and a retains it during maithuna is divya, 'divine' not is it is This not 'hero'."117 avoidance vira, celibacy; of sexual intercourse, but of seminal emission, that is a certain the goal. A Buddhist tantra advocates use of sexual intercourse when it says, deliberate "Inserting the lihga (penis) in the bhaga (vulva), let him not discharge bodhicitta."us (The mentalist overlay on seen the primitive sexo-yoga is in the allegorical
114. Dr. Alex The Joy of Sex

or "enlightenment renaming of semen as bodhicitta Mah?v?ra's fourth mind-stuff.") Similarly in fact prohibits "the that of celibacy, commandment, trace of the delivery of sperm," retaining a memory was not it of sexual when avoidance period puritanical semen in but retention of the power-generating pleasure the act that was the point.119 This goal probably went in very far back in Indian history. It is not mentioned in the Atharva Veda, which is the Rg Veda, but appears as an an non of expression regarded "early widely is that the Aryan stratum of belief."120 The implication
practice entered the Aryan community from the non

rests in Ayran.121 The great importance of m?labandha of the anal and part on the fact that the contraction literally chokes off the urethra and perineal muscles In fact, the exercise of semen. prevents the ejaculation is recommended for the same by modern sexologists
purpose.

to turn our attention back to it is advisable as we have seen, suggested 1 Marshall, briefly. figure that the figure is ithyphallic, though he acknowledged that the phallus might be "in reality the end of the Here waistband."122 Sullivan increased pointing figure's ithyphallicism, on some Indus figurines, and arraying waistbands that the figure may even be female.123 What evidence in the literature is the has not yet been mentioned fact that two testicles seem to be clearly and obvious separately waistbands represented beneath shows a comparable be the phallus. None of the design. The possibility ithyphallic cannot be doubt about the to the ornamental

that the figure may

disregarded. that the idea that the figure is Staal believes it from the sphere of yoga.124 But ithyphallic removes tradition this is to disregard the left-hand or sexo-yogic altogether. The idea that religion must be practiced an erection has no validity in terms of the without
119. Schubring, "All these op. cit., p. 30. And cf. Dasgupta: are associated in the N?th cult with the process of retaining processes ... In a grosser sense Mah?-rasa means the seed, and the Mah?-rasa. in saving the same from any kind of discharge." the s?dhana consists Cults, p. 244.) Religious 120. Margaret Indian Magic and Folklore 1980), (Boulder, Stutley, p. 6. is a pervasive 121. Cf. Bharati: "Loss of semen and ancient fear in the core of the most powerful Indian lore, and it is probably anxiety (Obscure in Indian culture." (Tantric Tradition, syndrome 122. Marshall, op. cit., 1:52. 123. Sullivan, op. cit., p. 119. 124. engaged Staal, op. in yoga." cit., p. 77: "This is hardly p. 294.)

Comfort,

(New York,

1972),

p. 209.

Italics added. pp. 250-65. Bharati, Tantric Tradition, to portray the man in the 116. It is possible that the artist meant one heel presses inwhich the perineum while the related siddh?sana, 115. other are the genital. The woman's feet, however, presses above in the position in figure 1. Either she is of the protoyogin's in profile from behind by a pillow, or the artist has shown supported of our figure 6. feet that are in the difficult position 117. 118. Bharati, Ibid. Tantric Tradition, p. 179.

precisely

appopriate

for a person

62

RES 1 SPRING 81

fertility religions, the practices and of shamans (e.g., the "Sorcerer" of Trois representations Fr?res), and the realm of proto-tantric yoga. In recorded cases of kundalinT are there instances of awakening and persistent erection occurring during spontaneous Swami Muktananda's career is practice of the bandhas. a prime example of this, and he calls the "a experience part of the process of Siddha Maha Yoga," indicating that it is not only known but expected.125 Gopi Krishna also records "a feverish movement in the sexual region," an "agitated condition of the hitherto quiescent area," which persisted throughout the period of rousing the kundalini.^26 In Taoist sexual yoga, which may be derived from Indian, the accumulation of inner heat through retention is said to be much increased It isworth remembering the sexologist's during erection. statement that pressure on the perineum can by itself If the testicles of the person in figure produce erection. 1 are in fact portrayed, then his heels are placed in the hatha yoga manuals, precisely as directed between the scrotum and the anus, and the weight of his body (even if partly supported by a bolster from behind) will forcefully press the heels against the perineum. There is some reason to believe that, about in time Swami between Muktananda and the midway on the of Indian ascetics figure seals, groups practiced the penis in tumescent condition without "keeping and The Indus seals feeling showing any excitement."127 an earlier stage of this tradition. us show may

ancient

in all texts of yoga that he who has been able declared to give an upward flow to the fluid is a god and not a
man."128

hatha yoga techniques exist for the sake of this Sv?tm?r?ma says, "Through contractions the normally downward of the m?l?dh?ra flowing current of ap?na is guided upward" (HYP III. 64). means m?labandha of m?l?dh?ra Contraction (with asvinl mudr?), of which, therefore, the Dhy?nabindu Most ulta-s?dhana. says, "One becomes young even when old Upanisad m?labandha through performing always."129 Speaking of utkat?sana, Swami Brahmachari says, "This ?sana
. . . induces the semen to course upwards."130 Of

he says, "This ?sana unifies pr?n? and m?labandh?sana to flow in ap?na, that is, the Pr?na is directed sushumna ?ad?."131 On the third level of upwardization, the Yogatattva Upanisad that of mind-stuff, says, "When one's chitta enters Sushumna along with pr?na, it reaches the high seat (of the head . . . )"132 is But this three-leveled doctrine of upwardization a an to be accumulation of stratification, likely layers from different ages of psychology. The "official" are occultly is that the three substances linked doctrine so closely as to behave as one: when any one of them is "raised" or "regressed" the other two are to it. But the motive drawn upward with automatically seems to be the backgrounding of the this syncretism of the level of yoga and the foregrounding physical to mental level that has consistently attempted replace it by a combination and allegorization. of censorship of The famous "intentional language" (sandhy?-bh?s?) on one level at least, as the tantric texts has functioned, a method whereby educated spiritual seekers could "tame" or "civilize" the raw physicality of primitive In tantric "intentional Ur-yoga. language," for example, is read as a the primitive "regression of semen" regression of thought processes; (body k?ya-s?dhana citta-s?dhana practice) becomes (mind-practice).133 in a rudimentary form is already The ult?-s?dhana in certain Upanisadic (of which more present passages
Cults, p. 246. Relligious Aiyar, trans., Thirty Minor Reno, Oklahoma, 1980, repr. of 1914 ed.), p. 207. 130. Brahmachari, op. cit., p. 63. 128. 129. Obscure Dasgupta, K. Narayanasvami 131. Ibid., p. 61. 132.

XI in a threefold then, is employed M?labandh?sana, and retention. But process of stimulation, accumulation, there is a fourth stage to the process also. Three citta (mind-stuff), pr?na ("breath," nerve substances, energy) and bindu (semen) are to be arrested by the or channeled retention process and then "regressed," upward through the spinal n?df (channel) to the lotus in the skull. This is the "regression practice," or ult? is the center of the hatha/kundalim s?dhana, which the deva-deha, process. Through this "upwardization" or god-body, its is believed to be obtained, with impressive
125. 126. (Boulder, 127.

Upanishads

(El

array of powers.
op. cit.,

"It has been

emphatically

Muktananda, Gopi Krishna, 1971), pp. See Bhagat,

p. 99. The Kundalini,

Evolutionary

Energy

in Man

151-52. n. 3; also Chakraborti, op. Indian of Ancient Aspects cit.,

op. cit., p. 119, Some 7-9, and D. R. Bhandarkar, Culture (Madras, 1940), pp. 39-44. pp.

Aiyar, op. cit., p. 197. 133. One might compare, for example, Philo's allegorical overlaid with elements readings of Greek myths, which primitive middle Platonist idealist abstractions, interpretations featuring thereby to new purposes that their earlier expounders the myths converting would probably not have understood.

McEvilley: An archaeology

of yoga

63

is that later), but the earliest full version that we possess of the Goraksa Sataka, which again shows stratification, overlaid by a with a sexual version of ult?-s?dhana
celibate version.134

(dasamadv?ra), which is directly over the opening of the spinal channel, the bindu drips down that channel, part of
it being burned up at the ca/cra-fires as it descends, the rest

as the To begin with, bindu, or semen, is conceived absolute essence or foundation of the body (Gor. Sat. or 68). M bindu is lost, either through ejaculation through burning away in the fires of the lower cakras, the body ages and dies. But bindu does not only mean semen virile; in this context, it signifies the sexual fluids of both the male and the female, the latter being blood. As Goraksa says: equated with menstrual The bindu is of two kinds, pale-white and blood-red. The pale-white they call semen virile, the blood-red menstrual fluid. (72) to the ult?-s?dhana, of yoga, according their of these two substances, is the accumulation and their the spinal channel, through upwardization union in the lotus of the skull; this being accomplished, is deva-deha, the yoga has reached its goal, which on so Sat. and 73-75). The female (Gor. immortality, bindu is also known as rajas, and, as Briggs said, "the The essence union of bindu and rajas is the aim of the yoga."135 of the bindu and the rajas (or and the blood-red bindu) that the the pale-white stratification appears. Three levels can be perceived: (1) an archaic into his the male took level inwhich literally own body the menstrual blood of his sex-partner; (2) an level occult or subtle or (as Bharati calls it) "imaginary" as a female substance on which the rajas is conceived produced within the subtle body of the male himself (in the navel cakra), and the union of the two bindus within the yogin's body does not involve a female the two bindus are partner; (3) a level inwhich as Siva and as purely mental essences, Sakti, absolute and relative, and so on. understood The physiology of the process according to Goraksa is as follows. As the top of the n?dT system, in the "hollow
above secreted. the throat," This a "nectar of or is the bindu, immortality" semen virile. (amrita) Secreted is

being stored in the testicles until ejaculation; consequently the body ages. For the attainment of immortality, this fluid must either be prevented from descending to the lower
if it has already or, cakras, descended, from ejaculation and returned upward and related methods. Various techniques or into the are intended it must through to prevent be restrained m?labandha

its descent,

including j?landhara bandha, a position


throat from most is "sealed" dripping venerated locked spinal so as

inwhich

the

to prevent the bindu or n?dTs. But the channels, one of the central

technique,

and

techniques of hatha yoga, is khecarT mudr?: the tongue is progressively cut loose at the base and stretched till it can reach back and up into the hollow above the throat and
close off the tenth door. Then, as Goraksa says:

By whom the hollow in the top of the throat is sealed by khecarT, his bindu even (though he be)
embraced by a women, does not fall.

While
of death.

the bindu remains in the body, there is no fear


As long as the khecar?mudra is continued, so

long the bindu does not go down.

(69-70)

It is in the definition

The "descent" of the bindu, in other words, does not mean ejaculation; itmeans the descent through the n?dfs, which is prevented by the backward-turned tongue blocking the drip-space. The bindu or nectar is then said to be drunk by the yogin and, as the Yogatattva Upanisad
says, "He who day drinks of the nectar thus is rendered immortal by day."136

But this is only half of the ult?-s?dhana, for the goal in this basal level of the technique is not merely the sublimation of semen virile, but the uniting of it, behind the tenth door, with the rajas, or blood-red bindu of the female. This part of the practice requires maithuna during
menstruation, and the technique known as vajroli mudr?,

another centerpiece of hatha yoga: by lengthy training at controlling the usually involuntary muscles of the bladder and urinary tract, the yogin develops the ability to draw fluids into the urethra by exerting suction from the
bladder.137 sexual The technique during has two uses: first, while menstruation, intercourse the woman's having the

through a mysterious duct called the "tenth door"


134. Heruka, Goraksa doctrine It is also known, in the Hevajra, but not fully expounded, and Guhya-sam?ja For the Tantras, and in the S?dhanam?la. Sataka see Briggs, op. cit., chap. 14; for traces of the same in the Buddhist An tantras, Shashi Bhusan Dasgupta, to Tantric Buddhism 107, and Alex Wayman, 1970), pp. 264-65. Briggs, op. cit., p. 318. yoga 1974, repub. of (Berkeley, of the Guhyasam?jatantra 1958

yogin draws into the body, through vajroli mudr?,some of the "blood-red bindu" of the female, forces it up susumn? (the central n?d?) by m?labandha and unites it,with the help of khecarT mudr?, with the "pale-white bindu" at the

Introduction ed.), p.

136. 137. Woodroffe), p. 201;

Aiyar, op. See Hatha

cit.,

p. 200. Arthur 1974, Avalon repr. of (Sir John 1919 ed.),

(Delhi, 135.

lll.82ff.; Yoga PradTpik? The Serpent Power (New York, Yoga, pp. 232-33.

Eliade,

64

RES 1 SPRING 81

tenth

door;

second,

if his own

"pale-white

bindu"

has

been ejaculated, he can draw it back into himself through vajroli mudr?, along with the blood-red bindu of his
partner.

the person of the subincised male.140 The belief that immortality is to be gained by this method may be a later
overlay pertaining to a cosmogony in which an unsexed or

will

In the view of Western physiologists, these practices force the semen into the bladder. But to the hatha yogins, who believe that the urethra is connected to susumn? n?df, it seems to be forced through that channel
to the brain. I will here venture no guess as to where the

bisexed first being initiates time by dividing itself into male and female halves: the merging of these halves into a unity reconstitutes the condition before the beginning of time.

XII
At some point in the process of celibatization, this practice of maithuna with vajroli underwent deep the yogini was edited out. The revision; specifically, menstrual fluid, rajas was redefined not as the woman's but as a subtle substance produced within the yogin's own body (in the area of the navel cakra), which he must then raise through susumn? and unite with bindu at the tenth door. Goraksa already has this overlay: Rajas (menstrual fluid) secreted in the place of the sun, resembling vermilion, and the bindu secreted in the place of the moon?the mingling of these two is very difficult to
accomplish. (Gor. Sat. 73)

doctrines of the spinal channel and the upwardization of semen came from. Indian physiologists did not dissect
corpses, and so were free to fantasize about the inner

workings of the body. The basic theme of upwardization


suggests Jungian Freud's doctrine of of sublimation the "higher that recent "constellation"

of sexual fluids
and male even and more female the

archetypes."

It is interesting

archaeological

evidence suggests that the Indus Valley culture was at the point of communal psychological development which the Jungians associate with this event: the emergence of the male god as a figure of importance beside the mother goddess indicates in Jungian terms the emergence of the ego from the Uroboros; the "constellation" of the higher male and female archetypes, with its attendant shift of life center from genitals to head, is the next event in
sequence.138

Elements of the ult?-s?dhana


primitive horizons. KhecarT mudr?

seem to belong within


suggests the various

body alterations and symbolic wounds (elongated ears, enlarged lips, subincised penises, filed teeth, and so on) practiced among modern primitives in India and elsewhere. The stretching of the tongue till it reaches the spot between the eyebrows, for example, which is preparatory for khecarT mudr?, may have originated in S?kta cults in ritual imitation of the lolling tongue that expresses the goddess's thirst for blood. The S?kta worshiper attempted to "become" the goddess through
female imitation Siva. Tibetan who was at practices, This again as Saiva has yoga shamanic "became" "through" "becomes" and also is a matter not or of "becoming" faraway: goddess Siberian imitating parallels the god The ancestor, totem

is at the top of the hollow The "place of the moon" the throat (that is, the "tenth door"), and the identified as the navel "place of the sun" is usually cakra. If this reading is correct, then sexual intercourse is no longer necessary for the union of the lunar and above this celibate model, they flow through the lunar and the solar n?dfs, respectively, which join of with susumn? at the cakras, and the manipulation them is a matter of pr?n?y?mas (special breathings) and bandhas that operate within the contractions) (muscular own is version This the "official" yogin's physiology.141 of the process, and it can be found in the Buddhist solar fluids. On version tantras and the later hatha yoga texts, with here and there discernible beneath the older the surface.

oracle-shamans speaking times

them.139 the

shaman its voice,

Along with the censoring of sexual intercourse and the female partner, the identity of the lunar "nectar" with semen also drops off the page. Goraksa is very explicit on
this point. Sv?tm?r?ma, some centuries later, is somewhat

movements,

expressions.

The vajroli practice of capturing within the male's body some of the female fluids may be related to the Australian practice of subincision whereby an imitation vulva is created on the penis, "uniting" male and female powers in

confused about it, though he does imply it here and there (e.g., III.51). The still later Siva Samhit?, finally, has
forgotten it altogether, and most modern scholars seem

either unaware of itor disinclined


140.

to bring it up.

"The Jean-Fran?ois Jarrige and Richard H. Meadow, in the Indus Valley," of Civilization Antecedents Scientific American, 243:2 and Erich Neumann, (August 1980), pp. 122-37. Origins of Consciousness, History 42 (Princeton, 1972). 139. Nebesky-Wojkowitz, trans. R. F. C Hull, Bollingen Series, vol.

138.

Proto-Australoid

See Roheim, etc. There is of course a op. cit., pp. 164-66, stratum in the non-Aryan of India. population indentical with Australian have been found "Petroglyphs petroglyphs in has survived The use of the boomerang India, and in Gujarat" (Eliade, yoga, p. 430). Obscure See, e.g., Dasgupta, Cults, p. 237: Religious to Tantric Buddhism, Introduction p. 107. in the vicinity of Benares. in Southeastern

Celebes, 141.

op.

cit.,

pp. 409-54.

McEvilley: An archaeology

of yoga

65

This in turn leads to other modifications


such as the revised function of khecarl mudr?.

of the system,
Goraksa as

practitioners yogins. novice's This of or hatha

who

have

made

up

the great

In the N?th

tradition,

for example, susumn?

of majority one technique

interpreted above used khecari mudr? in an explicitly mechanical way to block the drip-space between the tenth
door and the upper opening is revised longer has of susumn?. But with the loss

involved the guru inserting a lead wire deep


urethra, Ved?ntic yoga as seeking known to open

into the

n??//~145

of the doctrine of the identity of amrta and bindu, the


descent khecarT with of the bindu no to mean any mudr? and ejaculation, mechanical connection of the sphincter around

features the central revisionism, whereby were out to Goraksa either edited of the ordinary. have buried

is not at all out reinterpreted, radically subversion"146 "Five centuries of puritanical ethics. Twice-born even

it, a'svinT mudr?

(the clenching

virtually the whole


celibate

sexual practice beneath a veil of


yogins, those who declare

the urethra) being called for instead. At this point the revisionist doctrine developed: khecarT mudr? closes off the windpipe, thus immobilizing the
breath; mind, stoppage breath support may since and of the semen syncretic are, as doctrine itwere, the holds wired semen that breath, in parallel, also, the

their fealty to the siddha tradition, seem to have forgotten this level of practice altogether. Both Muktananda and
Gopi Krishna, while erection describing during their ?sana, spontaneous purvey of experiences a totally

the breath

stops

preventing at this in

ejaculation. Very likely the doctrine of the linkage of


and of semen was the celibate been no more strengthened version. The than greatly original the observed ejaculation, point, connection that one in tends

celibate version of ult?-s?dhana from which the blood-red bindu and the yogini herself have long disappeared.147
After s?dhana mudr?. from maithuna that Several their has of the ancient k?ma itself, that element come under the heaviest fire is vajroli Hindu of hatha translators yoga texts omit actually on the grounds it "sexual it

have

fact

modern

practicing

a'svinT mudr?

to prevent

renderings A modern in the

to hold the breath. (This may be the meaning of BU


VI.4.10, though the passage is unclear.)

that "it is an obscene


Tantrists."148 perversion

practice
scholar of

indulged in by low caste


has called

The Siva Samhit? shows a later stage of this revision, in


which the emphasis among; the three substances has

service

'salvation'."149

shifted from breath to mind: it is neither bindu at the tenth door nor breath at the windpipe that khecarT mudr? stops, but the fluctuations of thought (V.114). The physicalist hatha
yoga of Goraksa, with its emphasis on sexual fluids, has

Of course the hatha yoga texts leave no doubt that vajroli mudr? is to be practiced in conjunction with
physical woman makes sexual who will intercourse. behave Sv?tm?r?ma as desired" specifies is necessary, that and "a

been brought into the camp of the mentalist Pata?jali, for whom the goal of yoga is the stoppage not of seminal
emission but of thought-fluctuation arose found as a device useful by of (citta-vrtti). In other

mention intercourse of sexual repeated are Yet modern Hindu the process.150 authors to rationalize this pains practice puritanically.

in describing at especially The official

line is that vajroli mudr?


not or, involve any says, sexual "This example, up perfect

is a celibate practice that does

words,
at any

the doctrine of the triple linkage?mind,


rate, was spirtualizing them.

breath,
editors,

semen?either

Swami for Sivananda, activity. use for keeping is of immense Kriya (celibacy)?a thought that, it

Brahmacharya"

As a part of the general mentalizing


Ved?nta, and Ved?ntized-Sarhkhya,

tendency that
the are supposed to arise Briggs, op. cit., p. 334. "Great powers this practice," Obscure says Briggs. And compare Dasgupta, on the literalness of the yogi's belief that Cults, pp. 192-93, Relligious his body could be rendered transformed immortal, or progressively through into an 146. immortal Bharati, (s?ksma sarTra). type of body p. 29. See Light at the Center, op. cit., p. 105; Gopi n. 103 supra. op. cit., pp. Vasu 145.

encouraged, or at most

physiology
regarded

taught in the Goraksa Sataka has come to be


as merely symbolic as a "subtle

body." Eliade, who is thoroughly r?ja yogin in his attitudes (and who does not mention the amrta-bindu indentity in his treatment of hatha yoga physiology),142 insists
repeatedly a 'subtle that "the body'."143 of an yogins performed Even Bharati, who their on experiments is alert for disguises, and so

147. Muktananda, 150-51.

Krishna,

insists that the k?ya-siddhi process


visualization "imaginary body"

ismerely a mental
with n?dis,

on, and the "imaginary" perfecting ofthat


method Yet of creative imagination."144 indications there are many

body through "a

148. The Siva Samhit?, trans. Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra (Delhi, 1979, repr. of 1914 ed.), p. 51n. 149. J. W. Hauer, Der Yoga (Stuttart, 1958), p. 271. 150. There is no hint of the celibate morality, nor would to this passage, which appropriate intercourse and practice of sexual produced At in a state of sexual the time of practise that (the emission slowly is about heat

it be

that Goraksa's

is frankly devoted both to the to the magical use of the fluids and woman involved: fluid during) sexual (it) up. (III.85)

physiology was
142. Religious 143. Goraksa 144. Very few do:

literally believed among the low-caste


Briggs, above all, and Dasgupta, his Obscure not on the

by the man of the seminal to draw

intercourse, The

and well to fall

Cults, p. 237. Eliade, Yoga, p. 233. He Sataka but on the heavily Bharati,

semen

bases

Ved?ntized pp.

interpretation Siva Samhit?.

woman If already woman's

should

Light at the Center,

164-66.

organ of the (of the vajroli mudr?). up by this practice (and the fallen, he should draw up his own semen it. (III.87) seminal fluid) and (thus) preserve be drawn

into the genital

66

RES 1 SPRING 81

seems, could not have been farther from the mind of the author(s) of the Hatha Yoga PradTpik?. He goes on: "Even a drop of semen cannot come out of the Yogi who
practises Mudr?". necessity this mudr?. . . ." And finally he gets to the point: "there is no

was changed
..." (Salya

into ambrosia and sprang forth from his eyes


Parvan 36). But the dynamism ambrosia of physical the

fertility still clings to the substance


continues, "Some drops of lunar

in this passage, which


fell upon

"Even if it is discharged,
"For

he can draw
for any

it back through this


sexual

earth and became


lives." that The is, one as term who is the

the useful plants on which


?rdhvaretas performed image-complex the equation ("one whose the ult?-s?dhana)

the world
goes up," is already

this," practicing or at all for a woman

concludes,

semen

intercourse,"151 though the Hatha Yoga PradTpik?


specifically says that a cooperative woman is a necessity.

present,

moon-soma-bindu-amrta,

which
shorthand.

implies the ult?-s?dhana of Goraksa


In fact, of soma with

in a kind of
the moon

has by pious syncretizing engendered icons from of the Indus Valley clouded perception which we began. They show us not the yoga of the Hindu renaissance or of Pata?jali, but the yoga of an earlier and more primitive age. The yoga of Pata?jali has no more to do with the activity on the seals than of the Orphies and celibate Dionysus the spiritualized The confusion had to do with maenadic ecstasies.

appears in the late hymns of the Rg Veda and in the Atharva Veda, but not in the earlier hymns of the Rg. The implication is that this complex entered the Aryan community at the beginning of the middle Vedic period. At
least, itwas present already by the epic period.

The Brhad?ranyaka Upanisad


retention to reclaim of semen semen for "vigor after sexual and

has the doctrines of the


lustre" and the attempt (BU VI.4.4-5).

intercourse

Though the method

is not specified,

the only one known


author The says

is
that

XIII
then, to a group of sexo belongs, must have arisen before (or anyway that yogic practices and that have the custom of monastic outside) celibacy, custom. to that due distortion considerable undergone khecarT mudr?, vajroli mudr?, and M?labandh?sana, the rest, are interrelated elements of a yogic grammar, M?labandh?sana and they make much more sense together than apart. Since one element of the grammar, m?labandh?sana, it is possible was present already in the Indus Valley, course cannot were. be assumed. that But that all of as our to must next be work Our way backward, step some as we far can, through Indian literature, seeking t?rminos
k?ma-s?dhana. The Mah?bh?rata, its partly ascetic, three celibatized that, thousand after he already form, had aware tells, of the ult?-s?dhana a certain penance drawn for upward, in

vajroli mudr?. this activity

Interestingly, is not known

the Upanisadic to many Br?hmans.

as well as the N?ths are known to and Tantrics, K?palikas, semen.152 have the of Like seminal practiced reclaiming seem to be a non-Aryan itwould which custom, retention,

entered the Aryan community


periods.

in the middle or late Vedic (BU VI.4.3)


the sexo-yogic

Another passage of the Brhad?ranyaka


shows the somewhat vampirical aspect of

tradition (present also in Taoist sexual yoga). The man is advised on a method (unclear) to "turn the good deeds of
the woman intercourse him. Similarly, at her to himself" and is warned if the man while against "draws engaging her in sexual to the same doing women's the rajas up" too does as

with vajroli mudr?,


lustre" expense

he has increased his own "vigor and


(unless she so,

ante quos

for the elements

of ult?-s?dhana

and

Sv?tm?r?ma says). This sexual black magic has a distinctly primitive air to it and again is paralleled among Australian tribal groups studied by Roheim.
In addition to the practices of retention and reclamation

concerning severe practiced "His semen,

celestial

years,

(He should) whom he has After

preserve intercourse.

his own (111.91)

semen

and

that of

the woman

with

of semen, the early Upanisads show knowledge of the n?dT system which is necessary for the ult?-s?dhana. At the moment of death, says the Ch?ndogya Upanisad (VIII.8.5-6), the breath or soul (pr?na) ascends through a
channel to the on the sun-door solar rays. in the skull, whence Upanisad, it proceeds in a upward The MaitrT

intercourse

should being ended, the excellent besmear ashes and water). If a woman,

in the Vajroli, while sitting

the man

and woman,

their activity

in a happy frame of mind, the of parts body (with burnt cow dung

(III.93)

herself expert through sufficient practice, making her own through draws up the semen of the man, and preserves a YoginT. (III.99) she also becomes of) Vajroli, (the practice That bindu body by and the practice that rajas, becoming confer of Vajroli, united and remaining (111.101) in the all siddhis. cit.)

passage (VI.21) which, though not in the earliest stratum, is pre-Pata?jalian, describes (1) the ascent of pr?na through susumn? n?df, (2) a "turning back of the tongue," which may be khecarT mudr?, (3) union with the limitless in the crown of the head. A tantalizing question, which we cannot answer, iswhether the conception of the limitless
was a part of the pre-Aryan doctrine, or whether itwas

part of the ideological overlav


152. Lorenzen, op. cit., p. 91.

that these methods

received

from the Adyar op. translation, (Quoted 151. Sivananda, op. cit., p. 142.

McEvilley: An archaeology

of yoga

67

in the Aryan

community.

The

ascent

of

the pr?na

through

Kesi [of the Rg Veda] alludes to Rishabha."157 Indeed, the


leader to have been of the been P?rsvaite named community "Kesi," in Mah?v?ra's day may the pre seems have like Muni, which, of for a Jain ascetic

susumn? is brought about, in historical hatha yoga, by m?labandha. The means is not specified in the MaitrT
passage, doctrines but may very well have been the same.

a typical

designation

The rshis of the early Upanisadic


of retention and reclamation

period, then, knew the


of semen, of the

Mah?vTran also

(precelibate) connects him with

The Muni's nakedness period.158 as much the ?jFvika-Jain tradition

n?dTs, and of the ascent of pr?na through the n?dTs. The ascent of bindu through the n?dTs is not specifically mentioned, but is implied by the "grammatical" cohesion
of these We earlier elements may than as a group. a period of Ur-yoga several centuries glimpse the Upanisadic in the famous Muni passages

as (more than?) the Saiva. The ?jfvikas were


naked, completely for Jains also. Digambara, to one sect of Jains and same religious value to go till Mah?vira "sky-clad," sometimes

the only order


nakedness

to Siva,

as v?tarasana,

applied the expresses In short, "wind-girt." Jain ones, which

prescribed an adjective

the Muni hymn, although


connections, has as many

it does
?jivika

indeed have Saiva


and

hymn of the Rg Veda (X.136). Itdescribes what


regarded haired" "maddened mauneya), many This ecstatic he siddhis. impressive powers are seems figure not connected of assimilation, to be with non-Aryan, the as "a pre-Aryan (ke'sin), "wind-girt" or ecstatic with smeared with magician,"153 or naked silence or who (v?tarasana)

iswidely
and

is long

should remind us of the nonsectarian character of yogic techniques, which can be fitted as well to one ideology as
another. The Muni is also widely or regarded as a shamanic figure,

yellow

(unmadita austerity" and possessed of dust,154 as

and he may provide a link between


his Yet in tradition of siddhis, superpowers, sacrifice. is associated,

shamanism and the


which is so prominent

is in the process a poison or

for he

in the hatha yoga texts. The yogins' claim of bodily invulnerability is implied in the Muni's ability to digest
quality for example, that his died, to, perfect. shamanic The poison, curious handle fire, of and so on. since yogins, and This it must when tradition have one represents been of were found for example, obvious their gurus less in than a belief, the hatha

the last line, with Rudra, with whom


either suggests

he is said to drink

a drug.155 The connection with Rudra were that pre-Aryan ascetic assimilated practices

into the Vedic community by way of the cult of Rudra, previously a very minor god (three hymns in the Rg Veda),
who may have had no prior cult to hinder such innovation.

invulnerability same phenomenon The Ostyak

immortality is commonly shamans,

contexts.

In any case, the long hair, smearing of the body with dust
or ashes, Saiva and vow of silence are all characteristic of later of yogins, and Marshall's proto-Saiva interpretation

claimed bodily
among "field even shamans ethnographers shamans

invulnerability, and the claim


around seem know the world.159 quite that Kroeber generally

is common
notes that that

convinced

the Indusmaterial was


hymn. There connections are, however, in the hymn

in part implicitly based on this


numerous also, and Jain ?jivika not to continue which ought

they add fraud nevertheless in their powers." also believe he explains, The attitude, or seems to be there has been "whether not, repression toward a pious fraud."160 The tendency in the tradition

who

as of

to be overlooked by eyes that see only Saivism in Ur-yoga. The ?jFvika as much as the Saiva smeared himself with ashes and vowed silence and in fact is known to have
done pointed AV so from out, an "The earlier date. Further, is also as Mrs. called Stevenson the Muni,"156 Jaina monk

Pata?jali to rationalize the belief

in siddhis may represent

and the name Kesi (which is sometimes applied to Rudra


[e.g., Xl.2.18]) is also very prominent in Jain tradition.

157. Kailash Chand and His Times Jain, Lord MahavTra (Delhi, 1974), p. 6. 158. For the "magico-religious value" of long hair, see Eliade, to Yogi Bhajan, "the hair was Shamanism, p. 152 and n. According to raise the kundalini the first technique the hair is at energy. When its natural full or the posterior spine." length and coiled over fontenelle for women the anterior it draws fontenelle energy for men into the

Rishabha, the first tTrthankara,who became enlightened in the k?y?tsarga position, which may be present on the Indus seals, was called Kesi; Jain scholars claim that "this

pranic

the (Cited by M. S. S. Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, "Exploring in of Kundalini," White, op. cit., p. 145.) Myths and Misconceptions Yet the ?j?vikas, who were within the "tantric circle," their plucked and this seems to revert to some ecstatic The practice. of the distinction is not clear. The TaittTriya Samhit? of significance the Yajur Veda (IV.5.5d) affirms both modes, to the saying, "Homage wearer of braids and to him of shaven hair." (Trans. Arthur Berriedale heads, Keith, 1914].) Harvard Oriental Series, vols. 18 and 19 [Cambridge, Mass.,

153. 154.

Bhagat, op. cit., p. 72. For this translation of the second

sloka,

see, e.g.,

Raimundo

Pannikar, The Vedic "Forerunners Miller, Feurerstein, George (New York, 1972), 1 55. The word itwas

1977), Experience (Berkeley, of Yoga: The Kesin Hymn," yoga

and Beyond: Essays p. 95; Hauer, Der Yoga, p. 29. in the text later means "poison."

p. 436; Jeanine in J.Miller and in Indian Philosophy For the view that

a drug, see, e.g., Hauer, op. cit., p. 29. 156. Quoted by Bhagat, op. cit., p. 11.

in Siberia, 2 vols., English Erman, Travels See, e.g., Adolph ll:45. 1848), (Oxford, 160. A. L. Kroeber, The Nature of Culture 1952), (Chicago, p. 311. trans.

159.

68

RES 1 SPRING 81

the

reform

of

an

age

of

consciousness "repression"

that in the

could service

no of

longer "pious

possible,

as

for example

Hauer

and

Hermanns

both

practice fraud."161

this primitive

believe,168 that he represents the lineage of the Indus Valley priest-magicians; but it is also possible that he
represents a fresh incursion of shamanic activity into India,

The Muni's ability to fly, and his familiarity with


spirits of the various parallels.162 visits the Ostyak shamanic to complete levels The of the universe, shaman also have shamanic Altaic announces

the
many his

perhaps related to the diffusion of Central Asian shamanism into Europe that is hypothesized for about 1000
B.c. by Kirchner.169

progress through the various regions of the sky and, like


the Muni, Among the deities and indigenous to each Yurak-Samoyed task of guiding, the continuum region.163 as with shamans,

Another work of the middle Vedic period, the TaittirTya


of some speaks ?ranyaka, as the Muni, same group ke'sin, (II.7), or and long-haired are further (V.6) said ascetics since and to eat they who also are are probably described or wind-girt (V.5), that is, their of the as

the Muni,
specifically Similarly,

the flight is narrated without

any mention

of the

a soul.164 or finding, North Asia-Tibet

v?tarasana, only air

India, the lamas, like the Buddha and virtually every


important with the is found Buddhist are credited in Indian figure legend, religious to fly; in Lamaism, of course, this attribute ability in in a context that reduplicates, while redefining the entire shamanic terms, complex.165

bodies have become "immortal" like that of the Muni, who can drink poison without being harmed. In later yogic tradition this deva-deha or immortal body is developed by
the ult?-s?dhana, case for these and earlier not surprisingly "siddhas" also, that since seems they that mean that to be are the

The Muni's nakedness, furthermore, like that of the ?jfvikas and Jains of a later stage of the tradition, is paralleled by the Lapp shamans and others who perform
their "seances" entirely naked.166

described as ?rdhvamanthin
S?yana occurs whose is a synonym in the same semen goes text up," (X.12). and

(II.7),which
Both they words indicate

according
also

to

of ?rdhvaretas,

a term

"one these

The siddhi of "supervision," which


Muni, is also characteristic of the whole

is attributed to the
shamanic milieu

from India north to Alaska. Rasmussen


shaman's experiences an of "a mysterious a

reported an Eskimo
light which luminous the

ascetics of the middle Vedic period were engaged in the ult?-s?dhana and that they, like the figure on the Indus seals, probably spent time "exerting themselves in the
squatting Staal up," semen and posture." marshals suggests the that term ?rdhvalinga, who the yogins or of that "whose are penis goes ?rdhvaretas

shaman suddenly feels in his body,


the brain, inexplicable searchlight, for he and can

inside his head within


fire,

which

enables

him to see in the dark, both literally and


now, even things ... could similar with and closed coming perceive of others. his eyes

have erections. He ridicules the idea that they "keep their


or penis But 'above' 'up'" is, that of "they live in chastity."170 seems to have up" of have does neglect caused confusion yogically, the details here. that they the yogic process semen "Whose goes are "above" sex; it

metaphorically speaking, see through darkness eyes,

events which
the future and through of ends

are hidden from others; thus they look into


into the secrets he reach sees to the . . . and

not mean,

mountains the earth."167

means
n?dTS71 celibate maithuna. The

that through the practice of the ult?-s?dhana


forced and their this, or chaste semen to "go as Sv?tm?r?ma practice, ?rdhvaretas but susumn? up" through is not makes clear, a tantric practice

they
a

Extraordinarily

descriptions

this experience are found in yogic texts. To sum up: the Muni is credited with most of the
characteristic shamanic powers: ecstasy, flight, the ability

involving be

to see the forms of all things, friendship with the gods of the various levels of the cosmos, the knowledge of the inner thoughts of others, and bodily invulnerability. It is
belief on a shaman's may be a necessary part, Invulnerability to the dangers to which he is exposed?both from spirits and from rival shamans. The belief that one had the ability, for example, one was engaged to digest poisons must have been reassuring when 161. in a "shamanic ahims?, 162. duel." With was op. the this belief rendered increasing yogic less necessary. orientation toward

idea

that

means

"chaste"

may

another sign of the overlay of a celibate interpretation on the sexo-yogic tradition. Monier Williams gives it in the Sanskrit-English Dictionary: ?rdhvaretas, "keeping the
semen membrum above, above living (i.e., in chastity"; chaste)."172 ?rdhvalinga, The definition "having is the

due

accurate enough for the time inwhich


168.

was written; it

it is

Czaplicka, 163. Wilhelm eines

Tagebuche 11:20-50. 164. 165. 166.

Radioff, reisenden

op. cit., p. 69. cit., p. 224; Findeisen, Aus Sibirien: lose Blatter aus dem Linguisten, pp. 225-26. des Schamanismus 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1884),

Hauer, op. cit., p. 31; Hermanns, op. cit., 1:58-59. "Ein arch?eologicsher Horst Kirchner, Beitrag zur 47 (1952), pp. 245-48, des Schamanismus," Urgeschicht Anthropos etc. 169. 170. 171. asserts Staal, op. cit., p. 77. For the term ?rdhvaretas that it is precisely

Eliade,

Shamanism,

see lyengar, m?labandha through p. 104; Gopi

op. cit., p. 244, who that one becomes Krishna, op. cit.,

Bleichsteiner, Ake Ohlmarks,

op. cit., p. 189. zum Problem Studien 112ff.

?rdhvaretas; pp.

(Lund, 1939), pp. 34, 50-51. 167. Rasmussen, op. cit.,

pp.

op. cit., Muktananda, etc. 150-51; 1 72. Sir Monier Monier-Williams, 1976), p. 222. (Oxford,

A Sanskrit-English

Dictionary

McEvilley: An archaeology

of yoga

69

the voice of the Hindu Renaissance assimilating hatha to r?ja yoga. But Hauer ismore faithful to earlier ages of yoga when he glosses it as "dessen Samen oben bleibt oder
nach ascends would oben steigt," above."173 "whose A fully semen semen either remains above or definition yogic unpacked is prevented, by khecarT

I will not reproduce, are impressive. arguments, which It seems to be a fact that the Aryan community for "conversions" among the tribal groups. proselytized insists that the Vedic rites which The Mah?bh?rata, were laid down "for the whole world" (Santi Parvan 65), says that the original rshis begat children here and there, providing fictitious lineages for any group to be assimilated (Santi Parvan 296). But even if they had once been Aryan, the Vr?tyas had become non-Aryan, as their need for readmission shows, and they represent introduction of non^Aryan religious practices the official That they were people of into the Aryan community. in the non-Aryan milieu, who religious importance with them practices or teachings of value to brought their Br?hmanical allies, is clearly shown by their into the Brahman, rather than the s?dra, absorption
caste.

read: whose

mudr?,

from descending
descended, m?labandha,

through the n?dTs, or, if it has already


by

is relaimed, and forced, by vajroli mudr?, to reascend.174 It is likely that ?rdhvaretas

already brought with

it the full yogic meaning

in the age of
to always then the proto

seem since the celibate the Aranyakas, meanings is correct, if this inference be later overlays; and ult?-s?dhana; yogins. was known already to pre-Upanisadic

XIV
ecstatics back to the naked traced the ult?-s?dhana of the middle Vedic period and have seen also that they were both in the Central Asian shamanic stream and in the yogic stream from which ?j?vikism and Jainism, as well as Saivism, arose. At the same period we find in the Atharva Veda "the curious and figure of the Vr?tya,"175 whom both Hauer enigmatical and Hermanns regard as related to the wind-girt Muni We have and hence
?ranyaka

to the ?rdhvamanthin
also.176

sages of the Taittirlya

ritual style The Vr?tyas introduced a proto-tantric into the Aryan community, including the Ur possibly yoga of the ult?-s?dhana. They made their living as in sex, song, and clans specializing traveling magician (not to say historical dance, and there is some cogency basis) for the claim of the Bauls of Bengal to be their Various scholars believe that the Five descendants.178 Ms of tantric practice are basd on the Vr?tya rituals, which seem to have included sexual intercourse, alcohol, animal sacrifice, and meat eating.179 Their in the Rg Veda, may unknown snake and tree worship, a link Indus with the Valley, and it has been provide statues of dancing girls may that Indus the suggested show the prototypes of their ritual hetairai.180 "the Vr?tya" as a The Atharva Veda describes cosmicized universe

in Chanda's original The Vr?tyas figured prominently derivation of yoga from the Indus Valley. They are in the Atharva Veda (XV) as Aryans who have defined or more among non been living for three generations the Vedic religion, and who to Aryan society, whereupon in the sacrifice. Br?hmans and participate they become Yet Bhandarkar was not alone in concluding: "that this was a non-Aryan cult can scarcely be doubted/'177 His Aryans without practicing ritual readmission require
173. 174. Hauer, Even op. cit., p. 31. had a technical hatha

like the Muni, with the figure, conversant, as a whole, and implies ecstatic practices. of the Vr?tyas, as later of Again, the specific association the ?jivikas, with singing and dancing should perhaps be seen in the light of shamanic performances, to where singing and dancing are the primary means state attain ecstatic the inner and heat develop for the out-of-the-body necessary journey.181 The connection of alcohol use, singing, dancing, and ecstatic flight is common among North Asian shamans in times often use alcohol before and in who modern
178. p. 68. 179. 180. p. 43. 181. Kshitimohan Sen, Medieval of India 1974),

yoga definition gives "chaste"; in discussing the full-scale But Woodroffe Staal prefers "ithyphallic." is called all which of says, "The apertures bodily yonimudr?, closing the region of the anus and the left against right heel is pressed against the genital contracted seen." He it is the aperture of the penis, center, and in order to close into the pubic arch so that it is no longer and withdrawn adds in a note, "Some yogis can make both the penis and and of n.) the

the phrase ?rdhvalinga may have that has been lost. Monier-Williams

in the pubic arch so that the body has the testes disappear of a woman." p. 203 (Woodroffe, appearance Serpent Power, 175. Arthur Berriedale and Philosophy Keith, The Religion Veda 32 2 and Upanishads, (Delhi, 1976, repr. of 176. Hauer, op. cit., 177. Bhandarkar, op. this view. vols., Harvard Oriental 1925 ed.), p. 402. op. p. 28; Hermanns, cit., p. 40. Harmanns Series, vols.

Mysticism

(Delhi,

31 and

E.g., Hauer, Keith,

op.

Religion

op. cit., 1:60-62. cit., p. 28; Hermanns, and Philosophy, op. cit., p. 18; Bhandarkar, Hermes 70 (1935), pp. 121-76;

cit.,

1:58.

(op. cit.) and others

See Karl Meuli, op. cit.,

share

Shirokogoroff,

"Scythica," pp. 326-27.

70

RES 1 SPRING 81

conjunction movements

with

the drumming and rhythmic that will induce their ecstatic condition.182

processes

also.

The

roots

of

this practice

may

be

A whole book of the Atharva Veda is devoted to this movement, which seems to to have influenced the Aryan community deeply. Scholars have attributed to them both the magic of the Atharva Veda (and with itmany echoes in
the At tantras) the same and time the musical the Vr?tyas settings of the Sama were Veda.183 being of procedure abstractions. which of the themselves

speculatively sought in shamanism. The Jain Uttara S?tra (XXX.6) says, "If a monk remains motionless when lying down, sitting, or standing upright, this is called abandoning
the body."185 The phrase suggests "leaving the body" as

the shaman is believed to do on his magical journeys, when his body often remains motionless as ifdead or
abandoned. That such activity was a part of the Ur-yoga is

Aryanized

(or re-Aryanized) sexual sublimating practices is as old as The technique interprets a rotation the Vr?tya's of the hetaira

by the familiar into allegorized the Atharva (pumscalT; the who lost

definite, for the Muni of Rg Veda X.136 says:


Exulting ascended. Of us, you in our seerhood, upon our the winds we have

Veda, ancestress

mortals, the Munis's

only

bodies when

do their

you

behold.

Bhairavi, the Sakti, and so on) as his "faith" (sraddh?): by


semantic those field, Vr?tyas anti-Vedic were is made admitted their shamanic Vedic. among Presumably the high-caste to practice

Presumably in shamanic like the

Aryans

in time

bodies, "beheld" flight, were shaman's trance. cataleptic "awakens"

by "mortals" Radloff says

spirits were in a state that the

and sexo-yogic
continued Aryan world.

orientation;

those who

remained outside
non

Altaic shaman during his flight remains motionless


silent long and upon the return absence.186 Similarly, according

and
a

it in the vast

undocumented

of his spirit as after to Shirokogoroff,

when

in terms of the Quite as important as proto-tantrism, information that history of yoga, is the Atharva Veda's "the Vr?tya" stood upright for a year. The Vedic gods are presented as perplexed by this activity:
For a whole year he stood erect. The gods said unto

the Tungus shaman departs for the other world his body falls to the ground and lies insensible till his return.187 The Yukaghir shaman does the same,188 and indeed the
phenomenon The shamanic practice is known worldwide. seems to be a vestige of the and flight. In Jain act of flight: the yogin "bat-penance"

of performance itwas "equivalent" to another

transformation to an

him, "Why standest thou, Vr?tya?" (AV XV.3) Yet this is typical of the non-Aryan stream of yoga, from which the Vr?tyas seem to have been among the first to into documentary emerge history. Remnants of the practice survive in Jainism, where one of the ?vasyakas, or essential duties of a monk, is "the stabilization of the the least motion" in "different postures body without . . .which benefit the soul and which are difficult to is of these positions perform."184 The most common for long periods of standing motionless is probably what the Vr?tya was doing. It is also what the tTrthankaras Rishabha and P?rsva were was a It doing when they became enlightened. common austerity of the ?jFvikas. And it has tentatively k?y?tsarga, time, which been identified literature provides a link beween the ?jlvika-Jain tradition. in the Indus seals. Again the Vedic the Indus Valley and

hung upside down and motionless,


flew like a bat realm.189

then left his body and


In shamanism in

general the bird (or "flying creature") is the most common and ?mporant form intowhich the shaman changes for his flight to the sky. Feather costumes (which seem to be present on Indus Valley funereal urns) are considered
necessary farther equipment afield, among among the Carib the Tungus shamans, shamans.190 there And is a precise

parallel: the young shaman is taught in his initiation how


to turn swinging into a bat, (as and the education in the "bat-penance") involves and hanging as preparation for flying

to the sky.191 The connection suttas, with m?labandh?sana


again the primitiveness of

of this activity, in the Pali and k?y?tsarga, indicates


practices, which were

those

common among the ?jfvikas the modernizing Buddha.

and Jains, and denounced

by

Eliade derived meditation strictly from the interiorization of the soma sacrifice among the Vedic priesthood. But this
does not account for the nirguna types of meditation,

It is possible that some forms of meditation arose in part from the deliberate practice of immobility, which in sufficient time will progressively immobilize mental
182. p. 306. 183. E.g., Findeisen, op. cit., p. 121; Shirokogoroff, op. cit.,

which may derive at some remove from shamanically


185. 186. 187. 188. 189. 190. 191. Cited Radloff, by Chakraborti, loc. cit. op. cit., cit., ibid., p. 371. cit., p. 306. pp. 196-99. p. 318. p. 296. Himmelsreise 70 der caraibischen (1938), pp. 331?42.

Shirokogoroff, Jochelson, Schubring, op. op.

Bhandarkar, op. cit., p. 43, and Chintaharan of Tantricism," IHQ VI (1930), p. 122. "Antiquity 184. Chakraborti, op. cit., pp. 368, 437.

Chakravarti,

op. cit., Shirokogoroff, Friedrich Andres, "Die Zeitschrift

Medizinm?nner,"

f?r Ethnologie

McEvilley: An archaeology

of yoga

71

induced between

cataleptic shamanic

states. ecstasis

Eliade's and

valuable

distinction

waistbands

the development preclude the standard techniques inducing elementary Other Yakut out-of-the-body meditation shamanic

not enstasis does yogic In fact, from the other. of one (as known experiences today, are anyway) very like for

practices. are methods a horsehide his seated

shaman while of

sits on holding the yogin,

proto-meditative south facing We a tiger

also. and

The

"dreams" the

breath.192 on

figure in some facing "restrain visualization. paralleled sitting and and

may compare or deer skin, to

and girdles are found only on the female the males always shown nude. Furthermore, figurines, the arm bangles and necklaces worn by the figure are the jewelry which lavishly adorns the female figure in art. Harapp?n Finally, the pigtail worn by one of the other two 'proto-Siva' figures [fig. 4] is the same as that seen on the tree goddess, and the coif framing the face on the other figure [fig. 3] is like that on some of the female

direction, doing pr?n?y?ma prescribed and meditating fix" his breath, by visualizations of deliberate The practice shamanic to see the contexts spirits," by which the have initiate's

is

in various "trying

previously been described to him by the "father shaman," or initiator. It seems that the activity of meditating for realization of the brahman, once stripped of its ideological superstructure, is not radically different from the activity of fasting and holding vigil in solitude for the obtaining of
power visions.

figurines. All in all, there seems to be no for the figure's being male, but positive evidence considerable for its being female."194 suggestion the waistband Although similarity is not visually very I will nevertheless agree with parts of impressive, as stated in the last quoted Sullivan's conclusion
sentence.

Several possibilities follow. First of all, it is possible that the figure is indeed a woman. Marshall declared it to be "a highly reasonable that the Indus supposition" Valley culture was matriarchal,195 and itmust not be forgotten that in historical tantrism "female shamanesses called bhairavis and yoginls still occupy an important place."196 Furthermore, the myth of the dismemberment of the goddess locates three of her four in and around the Indus Valley area. burial places But the great weakness in Sullivan's argument is the the waistband tassel of the analogy between female figures and the possible phallus of the person in figure 1. The seal, as mentioned above, shows not only an upright member which is ambiguous by itself, but the clear delineation it of two round objects beneath that reduce the range of the ambiguity considerably, since there is nothing on the waistband tassels of other claimed Indus Valley pieces to correspond to them. It seems that we are presented with a figure whose is physiology but as whose we is female. shall male, apparel And, presently see, there is nothing surprising in that. Briffault has demonstrated with a huge collection of instances that "the adoption of female dress by male shamans and priests is a worldwide phenomenon."197 Some Chukchee shamans wear women's clothing and even marry other men.198 Similar phenomena are found among the Koryaks and other North Asian shamanic cultures.199 Certain Tibetan visulization practices that
194. Sullivan, op. cit., pp. 119-20. 195. Marshall, op. cit., 1:51. 196. Chattopadhyaya, p. 278; and see 232ff. Lok?yata, 197. Robert Briffault, The Mothers, abr. ed. (London, 1959), p. 276; and see unabr. 2nd ed. (London, 1952), vol. 2, pp. 532ff. 198. Waldemar G. Bogoras, The Chukchee, American Museum Natural History Memoirs 11 (New York, 1904), p. 448. 199. Findeisen, op. cit., chapter XIII, etc.

XV

We middle merges

have

times to the from modern traced backward Vedic period a stream of yogic practice that at countless points with fertility ritual and
Our documents can take us no farther.193

shamanism.

the middle Vedic period and the Indus Valley Between chain of nearly a culture there is a gap in the evidential some degree of continuity thousand years. Nevertheless, may be presumed throughout the period, as the the shows. Whether of m?labandh?sana persistence in the Indus Valley we still entire ult?-s?dhana existed cannot say. But we have located it in the non-Aryan the realm as early as c. 1000 B.c., clearly opening Passing over the gap, we will return to the possibility. its implications more fully. Indus material, and explore that the Sullivan's valuable (if ignored) suggestion a woman can now 1 in be be may person figure more He that "the head-dress argued fully. appreciated in her tree itself is like that worn by the Great Goddess The waistband epiphanies." a not and phallus) he feels female
326-30. 193. whom known "Rules Iomit of them. for Yatis" extended included I will discussion in the of the Yatis of the Rg Veda, so little of yoga, because is

tassel (if indeed it is that is like the ones found on "Also,


1896),

figurines

and seal representations.


Sieroszewski, Yakuty

192. Wenceslas pp.

(St. Petersburg,

Chanda

lineage

however, mention, in the Kalpa S?tra were have been

that Jacobi thinks that the derived from ?jfvika rules? (Jacobi, op. cit.,

of

i.e., that the Yatis may 1:300, Ihxxxi.)

proto-AjTvikas.

72

RES 1 SPRING 81

involve the appear to be vestiges of Bon shamanism the female personality of a yogin assuming, mentally, DakinT. Most relevant perhaps, due to the many connections (which will not be reviewed here) between is the fact Indus Valley and Mesopotamian religions, that Akkadian priests of Ishtar wore female attire. has noted that the tantric term Chattopadhyaya v?m?c?ra, literally usually translated "left-hand way," means "the woman practice" and quotes the Tantra saying, "The ultimate female force ?c?rabheda a woman."200 In the is to be propitiated by becoming drew closer to the rituals of Durg?, the male worshiper And the goddess by thinking of himself as a woman. a Durg? practice was not purely mental: Ramakrishna,
worshiper, wore women's clothing for several years as a

a seal "on which a found at Mohenjo-daro female figure is depicted legs upside down with apart and with a plant issuing from her womb."204 The like the posture of this female is in several ways on the seals. Her hands are on her m?labandh?sana all the way to the knees, and her knees are extended as a sides, inwhat may have been conventionalized a It is variation of the posture. birth-giving "displayed Marshall nude at ?atal Huyuk in female" motif that is first encounered some three thousand years earlier, and that is Anatolia common in Indian tribal art.205 It is possible, in other that some elements of the Indus Valley proto words, yogin's posture as well as of his garb may have derived the female principle. from the program of incorporating show the male and The later Ardhan?n icons, which female in one body, and which belong to the tantric circle, may derive at some remove from this practice. Marshall found a bearded figure with breasts at Taxila, and another at Vaisali was ithyphallic too.206 a somewhat Weare approaching speculative of the various sexo-ritual activities that are in it that implied figure 1. There are tensions within in agricultural arise from the dual role of sexuality Either an abundant outer expression of sex, or magic. an intense inner accumulation of its unspent energy, synthesis Inmodern India both approaches in tribal contexts: on the one hand, in the newly plowed fields in the couples copulating that will the earth's be increased hope fertility by on the other hand, couples analogy or contagion; refraining from sex at planting time, in the belief that if sexual energy they accumulate inwardly, the excess will or can be overflow, ritually transferred, to the "power." have been found It is possible that the practice of sexual intercourse with seminal retention (or reclaiming) arose from a combination of these two purposes. The figure on the Indus Valley seals may represent a complex environment.207 like activity of this type. That is, he may be: (1) dressing a woman to establish (through analogy) direct contact with, or power over, the earth's fertility; (2) maintaining to generate heat his penis erect, through m?labandha, in order to to and (3) refusing power; ejaculate creates

in the Age religion, that the activity that serpents on the seals is an attempt magic to stimulate the sexuality of her yield. It is not to be wondered figure or shaman should wear the

part of his s?dhana.2 It is altogether plausible,

context of Bronze is being worshiped by by sympathetic the earth and hence at, then, that a male

hairstyle, jewelry, and "girdle" of the goddess herself. In fact, it is to be in such rituals The female ismore powerful expected. than the male.

a woman" The v?m?c?ra practice of "becoming is, some to tantric the texts, only true form of according in general, it is a tantrism. In terms of primitive practice means of acquiring the power for the male magician that the female expresses by giving birth, and that he events. A will express by magically manipulating Sahaji? song of the middle ages is explicit, saying, a "Discard the male (purusa) in thee and become woman We that the recall again might (pra/crt/)."202 ?jTvika initiation rite exhibits the structure of "rebirth from the fathers," that is, of transferring to the males, through
200. 201.

initiation,

the fertitity power

of the females.203

Lok?yata, p. 278. Chattopadhyaya, that among circumpolar Nioradze peoples speculates transferred the occupation first shamans were women, being subsequently (Georg [Stuttgart, similarly alone. 202. to males Der Nioradze, through an Schamanismus intermediate bei den

the

stage of transvestitism. V?lkern sibirischen

1925], pp. 51 ff.) Chattopadhaya that tantric practice was originally

(op. cit., p. 285) speculates the sphere of women 204. 205. East (New 206. 207. (Delhi, Marshall, See, e.g., York, Jash, op. Sudhakar 1978), op. cit., 1:52. James Mellaart, 1965), cit., Earliest Civilizations op. cit., of the Near

p. 284. Chattopadhyaya, Lok?yata, inwomen's dressed 203. The priests of Cy be le gelded themselves, were Great The "females" and called (Grant Showerman, style, Mother the male yonimudr?, of the Gods genitals The retraction 1969], pp. 16-18). [Chicago, testified to was a part of which Woodroffe of

ill. 83; Mookerjee, pp. 154-55.

pis. XXXIV and

XXXVII.

"vagina-position."

Chattopadhyaya, p. 20.

Reflections

On

the Tantras

McEvilley: An archaeology

of yoga

73

accumulate
magic.208

and

retain that power

for use

in ritual

world are known to employ beast


Tungus performances. In the Altaic wolf.214 horse "becomes" the and horse, so forth. The shaman sacrifice, and

imitations in their
acts the and speaks shaman the like a

whinnies Later

rears when

latter of it,

is

XVI
"Tantrika usages," as A. S. Geden wrote,209" . . .

captured, the animal moving Czaplicka shaman animal bulls,

belong to a type of thought that is primitive, and among primitive peoples varies little in the course of centuries." in my opinion, similar could, be Something said of yogic practices in general, though not without So persistently does the yogic tradition retain (or vestiges) of its primitive past that in addition to shamanic and agricultural magic, totemic it. An obvious case is the magic may be seen behind exception. elements custom of the "beast-vow," practiced by a number of the sects within the tantric circle. The P?supata, for example, spent a part of each day like a bull and in general trying to transform bellowing himself into a bull. These practices are presumed to antedate not only connection of the clearcut function of animal fertility, the Saiva philosophy, but even the bull with Siva.210 They have a in sympathetic magic for the increase as is indicated by the JaiminTya

spirits answers like a bird and uttering bird cries, notes that the shaman's animal

as each in his performance, his summons, he "becomes" and so on.215 is "of

protector

one blood and flesh" with the shaman himself. "The


may in a state ancestor."216 and In fact, names, imitation that "There may Yakut of ecstasy himself this embody as most Shamans appear frequently shamans may fight as bulls.217 ?sanas, originated (Consider most of which have animal beast claim are in shamanic-totemic the Goraksa [?sanas] Sataka's as there

the yogic have

practices. are as many to some

postures extent

species of living begins"


?sanas worked

[8].) Orgininally,
by sympathetic the

it seems, the
magic. The

Gheranda
you

Samhit? (II.42-3), for example,


that serpent is, adopting power.

says that by
serpent pose, of very

like a serpent, acting will awaken the magic imitation

Resonances

ancient beast

round the statement. cling is closely associated with the "frog motion" was

In particular, utkat?sana, performed. since Ancient

in that position

practitioners would
time, whole moving, practice when may

stay in this position for long periods of


necessary, have been a beast like a frog, by hopping. imitation. Swami The

says that "the enactor of the bull-vow Br?hmana, which in defiance of all human should have sexual congress that with forbidden members laws, is, indiscriminately of his family as well as with others."211 Such a suspension of mating taboos is a common part of fertility magic. Buddhist texts mention bovine ascetics who wore tails and horns and brayed like bulls.212 The Indus males with horns and Valley figures of thehanthropic tails may have represented persons who had taken such a vow. Indeed, the horned person in figure 1 may have a horse, done so. Vows to live like a dog, an elephant, a cow, a snake, and others, are also known from Buddhist
The substrate

Muktananda
siddha yoga unexpectedly, I would zigzag hop

indicates that the frog motion


practice, as may and at times comes animal a shaman's the ground

is still a part of
upon ally: the yogin "Sometimes sometimes

along like a frog."218 of

like a snake,

Shamanic beast imitation of course


the wearing animal Samoyed the horns, but and also speak Yakut so on, the use and of motions, shamans

involved not only


of

the adoption animal voices. performances

during shaman of bird Swami

their

in a

variety of bird and animal voices, as do the Yukaghir and


Koryak.219 seances.220 The by "possessed" his a variety Similarly, and is uncontrollably animal voices relates during that

literature.213
practice of would seem magic," to connect as shamans to the very all over ancient the

Muktananda

during his kundalinT practice he was at one time possessed by the voice of a lion. "I began to roar like a lion. My
214. op. Shirokogoroff, loc. cit. op. op. cit., cit., cit., p. 309. 140. 30ff.; Friedrich and Buddruss, op. cit.,

"primitive

208. exempli evidence

as a dogmatic is not presented but interpretation, if fuller that might emerge gratia, to show the kind of account were and if, in light of that evidence, the available, This still held up. 5:130. P?'supatas," 261.

215. 216. 217. p. 212. 218.

Radloff,

Czaplicka, Findeisen,

p. pp.

primitivist hypothesis ERE xii.192. 209. 210.

See Dasgupta, History of Indian Philosophy, H. H. Ingalls, "Cynics 211. Cited by Daniel and HThR LV(1962), p. 295. 212. 213. Majhima Nik?ya The Mah?nidessa 145. Chattopadhyaya, 1.387ff; Dhammasangani and Cullaniddesa, cited Lok?yata, ch.

Muktananda, op. cit., pp. 101, 104. The frog motion may be a posture very close to amulets very old indeed: Sumerian showing occur in both frog and human utkat?sana forms. See Beatrice Laura of Prehistoric Goff, Symbols (New Haven, 1963), Mesopotamia figures 436, 440. 219. of Natural 220. Jochelson, History, op. cit., Memoirs p. 197; The Koryak, American 10 (New York, 1905-8). Museum

cit., p. on the subject.

by Bhagat, op. 2, adds much of interest

Sieroszewski,

loc. cit.

74

RES 1 SPRING 81

tongue forty-five roared

came

right out that

minutes, so much

of my mouth. more and getting the cows nearly even of speech

went I more broke

on

roaring

for "I and

frightened." their ropes

three children by a Hindu mystic"; "a shaggy haired [cf. kesin] Yogi who lived in a cemetery" "slit the throats of his victims and offered their blood to a Hindu goddess
during the full moon The belief in order that powers."225 siddhis to acquire supernatural can be attained through

ran helter-skelter, dogs barked madly, and people


to my hut."221 Swami among "when Tirtha the . . reckons an this phenomenon kundalini": "signs . your awakened begins

rushed

to utter

sounds

such methods was present already in the K?p?lika tradition, which taught that an offering of human flesh
obtains Such as reward rites, was the ability in the context to fly.226 of aricultural magic, are of

like those of animals, birds and frogs or of a lion or like


tigers, fear-inspiring jackals, dogs, to hear, that the great goddess understand 222 come into action." The the the fact that such experiences of hatha in which his are most yoga the may novice be those of and not KundalinT pleasing has

course related to the fertility of the fields. "The meriah of


the Khonds buried that were strangled, in the fields the males then cut into pieces, fertility."227 which It is very to promote who

common a vestige was first allies.

"initiatory" shamanic

phase initiation and

during of taught

revealing

volunteered

for sacrifice

claimed
spouses, characters woman

that the goddess


and were and was at could their in the

had called them to be her


interim "treated they The as privileged desired. sacrificial Every victim, as

to summon, Indeed, initiation

"become," as Hermanns has in hatha and

various

animal

the tradition suggested, revert kundalinT yoga may

of guru to the

do whatever command."228

initiation of the would-be


shaman."223

shaman by the "father

in Frazer's Dying Cod, was becoming


accordingly sects that is not "every as was treated as if he had

the god himself and


the god's powers.

That such practices are found among specifically

yogic
fact the

XVII
tanric circle that feature of the historical may with some certainty be traced to an age at least as of early as the Indus culture is the connection human sacrifice, and siddhis. Here there are goddesses, ages. The Indus signs of continuity over enormous Valley seal that shows on one side a goddess with a plant growing from her vagina seems to show on the Another side a human sacrifice. The two sides may be to have a (roughly "causal") relationship. presumed in historical times in the non This activity persisted known as the Aryan traditions. The historical goddesses were with Seven Mothers M?trk?) worshiped (Sapta that are all cults the human sacrifice.224 Virtually regular other them involved in the non-Aryan "substrate" worshiped atone time or another, including P?supatas, K?palikas in Aghoris, ?jTvikas, and even Jains. The tradition was the K?lik? Pur?na, which fact resolutely non-Aryan: human sacrifice to the goddess instructions for gives with the lolling tongue, permits the practice only to
s?dras.

accident, woman was

an

but at

a sign their

of continuity. echoes

The

command"

siddhi promised by Svatmarama of having all women


available sex partners. It is no more nor less than the

power of the phallic god that the siddha yogin, like the sacrificial volunteer, aspires to; the eight siddhis of the yogic tradition, which arise with the obtaining of "god body," again echo the powers attributed to the designated
"god"-victim.

Closely
magical agricultural, shamanism

related is the practice of self-mutilation


which is attested in shamanic, In Asian and non-Aryan contexts. yogic it is related to the dismemberment

for

benefits,

initiation, as do

as

well as to the claim of invulnerability. The Tungus


shamans Samoyeds.229 pretending cut themselves The to cut Koryak himself.230 while shows in ecstatic a later states, stage, the by "were

Tibetan

shamans

considered

capable of cutting open

their own bellies and


though

taking out the entrails."231 The practice in agricultural survives magic, not dismemberment redefined for its new horizon:

initiation but fertility sacrifice


Cybele not only emasculated

is intimated. The priests of


themselves (as an element of

"female

imitation") but also,

in the midst of frenzied

This tradition has proved remarkedly persistent. A news item from Reuters in 1980 reported "the ritual murder of
103-4. Muktananda, op. cit., pp. 95-96, In White, op. cit., p. 96. For a complementary the totemic background of tantrism see Alex Wayman, in the Buddhist Tantras," History of Religions Beliefs 222. pp. 81-94. 223. Hermanns, 224. headed Chanda op. cit., 1:53. connects them, tenuously, figures on the famous Tree Goddess 221.

225. 226. 227.

Los Angeles 10 December Times, Jash, op. cit., p. 63. Eliade, Briggs, Yoga, op. p. 306. p. 168.

1980,

section

1-A, p. 9.

approach "Totemic 1 (1961),

to

228.

cit.,

229. Shirokogoroff, in Siberia "Shamanism Shamanstro," p. 66. journal

op. cit., p. 364; V. M. Michaelowski, and European Russia, Being the Second of the Royal Anthropological Institute 24 p. 51.

Part of (1894),

with seal.

the seven

sprout

230. 231.

Jochelson, Sierksma,

The Koryak, op. cit., p. 73.

McEvilley: An archaeology

of yoga

75

dancing (like shamans), would cut themselves and offer the blood to their goddess. The S?kta devotee in India did the same, being informed by the K?lik? Pur?na that his
"becomes satisfied goddess own of one's blood offering six months' one time when close to his heart."232 in these but for one and offers thousand . . . fulfills her are a small forbidden years by all desires piece to of the in flesh

But his (or anyone's) denial that the been Dravidian).237 Indus Valley material shows signs of yoga must be in figures 1 through 4 based on a denial that the person in a yogic ?sana. I hope I have shown that is portrayed is unreasonable. this denial Not only is the posture an ?sana, but it is an ?sana that brings with it a clearly into the identifiable yogic context that fits harmoniously Bronze Age milieu of the seals. The origins of yoga cannot possibly be separated from the Indus Valley material, and unless a radical redating of the Vedic literature should occur,238 the Indo-Aryans cannot have its physical aspect, though they had much to do with might have contributed much of the spiritualist the superstructure with which become known to the world. Eliade also tries to mitigate asserting that "the theory and in the Rg clearly documented physical technology has

Br?hmans rites

participate establishment,

by

not only also, by the Br?hmanical the texts of the tantric circle.

affiliation of the Jains with these sects is shown by the fact that, despite semiprimitive their famous obsession with ahimsa, they also engaged in these rites, cutting off pieces of their own flesh and of throwing them into a fire233 (echoing the "cooking" the dismembered body of the shaman). Self-mutilation in the incredible and human sacrifice were combined act of offering one's own head; Frazer reports a special two-handled knife for the purpose.234 Within the of Neolithic religion such practice appear to have been associated with the motif of "king" sacrifice, as the Kum?ri Tantra remembers when it offers kingship to one who gives blood from his own body.235 horizon

The ancient

this dichotomy, by practice of tapas is Veda."239 But when citing instances he does not distinguish between books 1 on one 9 Veda hand and book 10 the the of Rg through on the other. The word tapas is never used in books 1 of ascetic or creative heat, through 9 with the meaning in it is in book 10, which used both those ways yet a stratum later of composition" "represents definitely than books 1 through 9.240 Book 10 belongs, in fact, to the same period as the Atharva Veda, when pre-Aryan practices were being adopted and rationalized by the It would seem, then, that ascetic Aryan community. was to not the Aryan population but tapas indigenous it from outside at a time after the composition entered of Rg Veda 1 through 9.241We have seen abundant that in the middle Vedic period aboriginal evidence ascetics began to influence the Aryan community and to be admitted more and more freely to it. In fact, a specific series of events seems to have taken place that would have been very likely to have the effect of opening Aryan culture to the aboriginal ecstatic practices at that time.
237. 238. 239. 240. p. 45. 241. Asrama Staal, op. cit., p. 76. As suggested, for example, Eliade, yoga, pp. 105-6. A. A. MacDonell, Cf. J. Van History by Sastri, op. of Sanskrit cit., 11:147.

XVIII
repeatedly on the traditional scholars' dichotomy between the Aryran and non-Aryan it up aspects of Indian religion. Rahurkar has summed in his distinction between the Vedic Aryan rshis who have touched the Indra-cult, recited prayers and "sponsored performed homa," and the pre-Aryran ascetic munis who "practised yoga austerities, and orgiastic rites . . . isolation and [and] glorified [the] life of renunciation, In terms of yoga, this wandering mendicancy."236 to the pre-Aryan attributes the k?ya-s?dhana dichotomy in its various mentalist stratum, and the citta-s?dhana forms to the Aryan. scholars have questioned this dichotomy. for ridicules the that Yoga is Staal, example, "prejudice of Dravidian origin" (though he then begs the question by noting that the Indus Valley culture may not have
232. India (Benares, Kumar, Sakti Cult in Ancient Pushpendra 1974), p. 206; and see Lorenzen, op. cit., pp. 17, 76. in Jaina Literature," 233. Kalipada Mitra, "Magic and Miracle IHQ XV (1930), p. 108. 234. Dying Sir James George (New York, Frazer, 1935), The Golden Bough, part III: The God p. 54. the Rigveda

We

Various

Literature

(Delhi,

1958),

of Asceticism and of the Troy, "The Origin Bharati VIII, pt. 1, pp. 6-10: "Tapas was a non "The word practice." tapas came to be used for a practice Rigvedic its with itwas assumed all basic characteristics before already existing in Rigvedic in ERE II.88. David M. Knipe (In And see Geden society." Dharma,"

235. 236. p. xv.

Kumar, op. cit., V. G. Rahurkar,

pp. 206-7. The Seers of

(Poona,

1964),

the Image of Fire [Delhi, the Eliade's position with 1975]) defends Dumezilian that the documents of the priestly class would argument not show attitudes and customs from the producing class that was and breeding. involved with agriculture The Atharva Veda he regards

76

RES 1 SPRING 81

Wasson

and others

have demonstrated

rather

emptiness

flowed

the ecstatic

that the Vedic priesthood used the convincingly as a stimulant to visionary amanita muscaria mushroom feeling and religious re-identification.242 If he is correct, then it seems very unlikely that true shaman craft still survived among the Indo-Aryans. At least in Eliade's judgment, when a shamanic tradition on drug use, it is in a decadence becomes dependent and has already lost the ecstasy-generating craft which, for example, the Muni still had.243 And the hymns of Rg on soma for Veda 1 to 9 are clearly dependent visionary feeling and theological certainty:
We have drunk Soma and become immortal; we have

surrounding Aryan ecstatics, with and fertility magic, became technique increasingly impressive to the Aryans; segments of the priesthood made specific alliances with them and began to introduce them into the Aryan community, forming time a new religious establishment whose expression the middle
This the end of book

tribal communities.

practices of the At this stage the non their mingled lore of shamanic

in is

Vedic
view of 10, the

literature.
Wasson's muscaria. conjectural Hymns 85 of dating to 191

is in line with use of amanita

speculation according original

attained the light, the gods discoverd. Wasson

(RVVlll.48.3)244

that show the emergence a turning a yogic toward to Wasson, to have been written those and had already as fallen

of pantheistic sensibility, "when when seem, the only

Soma

into disuse,

has speculated that the use of this uncultivable mushroom began during a northerly from the Indo-European homeland into the migration zone of which the circumpolar shamanism, preceded to India. When distance southerly migration leading from the original mushroom fields, and the difficulty of new became sources, finding overwhelming, substitutes, or placebos, were nonpsychotropic into the ritual. The hypothesis has received confirmation.245 impressive linguistic was When, finally, the ecstatic mushroom experience was the Vedic shaken. lost, completely religion deeply An emptiness had arisen at its core?and into this introduced

priests still remembered what


were next currently accepted stratum of Vedic literature,

itwas, and when


article."246 the Br?hmanas,

substitutes
The talks a

the genuine

great deal about substitutes for original soma and also, of


course, Upanisads emphasize elements Wasson must contains in turn substitute the seeds of the yogic of such tradition. The soma, and and know nothing the original as meditation

practices that

of k?ya-s?dhana. speculates have been "questions of became supply, which

when

awkward, always impossible out over the Indo-Aryans all of India."247 The spread over the Gangetic and the Deccan, spread plain usually

dated to the midle Vedic period, would


sufficient to remove many Aryan

have been
from access

communities

to the high places (over 8,000 feet) where alone the mushroom can be found. It is finally possible that the
involving input from the non is of course possible, model Aryan to have and it iswell it articulated. But some problems in it are: (1) does Rg Veda 10 not show the priestly purity of 1-9? It is easy Why a reason why to propose the Brahmans in Rg Veda 10, non admitted, s?dras Aryan less easy to show why admit contents, they would suddenly should ascetic in producer heat appear (2)Why vai'sya contents. documents rather than priestly documents? (3) The tantras that closely are later associated echo Atharvan magic not with the vai'sya but the non-Aryan non-Aryan mixing practices s?dra is almost caste. on (4) This model influence any significant tacitly excludes the middle Vedic cultural literature, although to have gone on in this period of extensive as a document of the vai'sya caste, not (pp. 102ff.). This alternate to and the large-scale defections movement, can that Jainism and Buddhism non-Aryanism represented, as consequences to some extent of the loss of the be seen at mushroom that was the warrant of legitimacy experience Upanisadic

the heart of the Vedic


246. 247. 248. Wasson's Wasson, 5oma, Ibid., p. 69. A more radical p.

religion.248
14.

certain

for the early development (5) To account of ascetic intermarriage. that obviously their appearance in the Vedic predate is forced to "keep in mind" the possibility of a fourth literature, Knipe

practice an attempt is merely of yoga to recapture the vision granted by the Soma plant" takes insufficient (Soma, p. 95). Her statement, however, notice of the likelihood that "the more mechanical of yoga" methods in India than their adoption existed much earlier a by the Aryans; revision adoption mentioned Atharva with middle on this count would be acceptable read "The the Aryans of mystical Itmight be etc." practice, that the apparent of Akkadian words In the presence a wave Veda suggests of Near Eastern influence that, along that would by force on the input, may have been a shaping Various Near Eastern hymns of the period the macranthropy of the Purusas?kta, for example. The whole religion. Indian religion elsewhere. to the ancient Near East is a subject I am

version of this position is suggested by that "the whole of Indian mystical collaborator, O'Flaherty, from the Upanishads methods through the more mechanical

Dumezilian in ecstasy" (i.e., outside tripartition) group of "specialists should this fourth group not have been non-Aryan? (p.10); but why 242. R. Gordon Wasson, of Immortality Soma, Divine Mushroom pp. (New York, 100-5. 243. n.d.); "Soma Brought Up-to-Date." JAOS 99 (1970),

Indian "tribal" Vedic of with

Eliade, Yoga, pp. 338-39. 244. Trans, by Ralph T. H. Griffith, 2 vols. (Benares, 1896). 245. See Wasson, "Soma Brought

The Hymns Up-to-Date."

of

the Rigveda,

parallel relation dealing

McEvilley: An archaeology

of yoga

77

XIX
and the on the question hypotheses long pivoted I hope the Indus seals really show yoga, which whether to have settled. If this paper had done no more than clearly and solidly identify the posture on the seals as a itwould already have closed the door on yogic ?sana, version of the scientific model. exclusivist any the that the ?sana on the seals necessitates Believing more than has been primitivist hypothesis clearly to work it out in some I have attempted realized before, an detail (albeit somewhat exempli gratia), constructing The decision between the primitivist scientific has of inner heat, Ur-yoga complex consisting of generation in the service of a female imitation, sexual magic variety of goals, shamanic journey, totemic ritual, and other elements. that I have offered for The "stratigraphie analysis" a is of different of the stratification reflection yoga in Indian layers religions in cultural-psychological a stratum of shamanic composite primitive general:249 totemic magic, and agricultural magic; possible magic, fresh shamanic input from Central Asia at about the end b.c. (not to mention other of the second millennium
249. Die On the stratification Indiens, Hermanns, vol. op. of Indian religion see, e.g., j. Gonda, and altern Hinduismus (Stuttgart,

influences); an overlay of Vedic possible outside ritualism in the middle Vedic period; and a general redefinition under the influence of idealist philosophy in the following periods. Itmust be emphasized that this mixing of elements cannot be limited by a purely the characteristic of "uneven scheme; more in be which may pronounced development," this India than anywhere else in the world, has allowed various of elements of from stages religious interplay to renew itself down to modern history to continue chronological
times. At the same time, it is clear that the primitivist

get us all the way to the yoga of hypothesis His of the stages of sam?dhi no doubt map Pata?jali. in the area of "scientific" work results from deliberate, For Pata?jali, we need a composite model, meditation. cannot the primitive root, the influence of idealist and a long period of experimental philosophies, into meditation. investigation that I have presented may seem to The model including But I reductionist. devotees of yoga to be offensively have not questioned the efficacy of yogic practices to and psychological induce unusual physiological states, is It the whatever for purpose. superstructure axiological in the sense that it has been that has been reduced, no to shown have original, and hence no essential, relationship to the practices that it describes.

Religionen p. 342;

1 :Veda cit.,

1960),

1:51-52.