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Journal Title: Wiener Zeitschrift fUr die Kunde Sud- und Ostasiens und Archiv fUr indische Philosophie.
Article Author: Bedekar, VM
Article Title: Yoga in the Moksadharmaparvan of the Mahabharata
Journal Vol: 12-13 Journal Issue:
Journal Month: Journal Year: 1968
Article Pages: 43-
This request has been forwarded from ILL by robyn.
ILLiad Transaction Number: 193642
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and Subrahma:Q.ya in
these were originally
of time. A close study
deviyo, reveals that a
with the Sinhalese.
of Ceylon from ancient
them.
was a similar group of
Mii.yoy. and Murugan
this group of tutelary
these ancient religious
YOGA IN THE MOKSADHARMAPARVAN OF THE
MAHABHARATA
By V. M. Bedekar, Poona
It is almost a quarter of a century since E. FR.A.UWALLNER dealt with
the Yoga in the Epic in his "Geschichte der indischen Philosophic" (Vol. I,
1953). As befitting, and in consonance with, the scope of his work, his treat-
ment of the topic has been brief. His sketch of the essential features of Yoga
in the Mahabharata and his conclusions, regarding its place in the history of
Indian philosophical thought which he presented as a mature fruit of his
studies extending over three decades, are so objective, and full of clarity and
significance that they are bound to serve as guide-lines to any student of the
Epic Yoga.
The writer of the present article gratefully acknowledges the help which
he has received from the work of E. FR.A.uw .A.LLNER. The excuse for this
present study is that it tries to be more detailed and is based on the critical
edition of the Mahii.bhii.rata published during the interval since the publication
of E. FR.A.UW.A.LLNER's work. Following the trail blazed by the great
savant the present article has tried to organize the material under important
heads after a fresh study of the (Mdh).
The Aim of Yoga
The aim of Yoga, according to the Mdh Texts, is to have a direct view of
the Atman. As the fire becomes visible in the fuel, so also the Atman in the
body becomes visible through Yoga (203.39
1
). It is the distinguishing mark
of Yoga that the Yogins see the 'seer' himself, the highest Atman (294.25).
One who has performed Yoga sees the Brahman irradiating the great darkness
like the fire (304.25). To one who controls his mind Yoga, the Self
shines forth like a lamp blazing forth from a pot (187.44); like a smokeless
flame, like the effulgent sun or like the fire of lightning in the sky (232.17;
242.7; 294.20). When one attains to a stage of objectless meditation, one
comes to know Brahman which is like a streak of gold on a touchstone (198.4),
and which unifies experience like a thread running through jewel-beads (199.1).
A Yogin sitting alone in solitude attains to the nature of the immutable
1
The figures refer to the critical edition of the Santiparvan published by the
Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona.
44 v. M. BEDEKAR
Brahman (232.20). One who is unperturbed, with his senses controlled, sees
that which is unborn, ancient, unaging and which is smaller than the smallest
and larger than the largest (232.33). Because Yoga leads to the mystic vision
of the Atman, it is called the lore (siistram) of self-experience (238.13).
This mystic vision of the Atman which is described as the aim ofYoga
in the Mdh is, as pointed out by E. Fru.uwALLNER (op. cit. p. 135), almost
the same as the mystic experience of Sii.J)<;lilya described in the Chandogya
Upanit;;ad (III.l4).
Yoga Praxis
The aim is realized through Yoga i. e. the concentration of one's mind.
The Mdh Texts appear to derive the word Yoga from the root yuj, which means
'to apply one's mind or to concentrate one's mind'. (228.37; 290.100; 304.24)
Though the concentration of mind was probably the last step which led to
the realization of the Atman, it, however, presupposed a long, rigorous syste-
matic training of the mind and the body for attaining inward composure.
The mind can be brought to stillness, only when along with the senses it is
withdrawn from the objects of senses and from the impressions of the outer
world. The stilling of the mind would be possible only when the mind gets
free of passionate desires (tiirtJa!;,, thirsty passion) and other passions such as
anger, greed, envy etc. This freedom from passionate desire is possible only
to that individual who has disciplined his mind through continuous culti-
vation of positive moral virtues such as truthfulness, humanity, forgiveness,
kindness and love, and who has trained his body through specific controlled
diet, bodily postures and by living in congenial, quiet surroundings. The Yoga
Praxis, therefore, included manifold practices which consisted of the following:
(1) General Preparation through moral conduct, (2) Diet, postures and quiet
surroundings, (3) Breath-control, (4) Withdrawal of the senses and mind
from the objects of sense (pratyiihiira!;,), Concentration or meditation (dhyiinam,
samiidhi!;,).
We shall briefly see what the Mdh Texts have to say on each of these above
points:
1. General Preparation through moral conduct
This involved twofold practice. The aspirant is (a) firstly required to
cultivate positive moral virtues and (b) secondly, to eliminate the passions
which are impediments to Yoga.
(a) The moral virtues which he is required to cultivate are study of scrip-
tures, truthfulness, nonpossessiveness, humility, charitableness, forgiveness,
nonviolence, kindness and love (182.12-13; 208.6; 232.10).
Yoga
(b) The passions or emo
Desire (kiima!;,), anger (krodJ.
sleepiness (svapna!;, or nidr
confusion (pramoha!;,), vagr
1
(avarta!;,) (232.21; 266. 7); dis,
(289.48). These passions are t
It is mentioned in anot
overcome by contentment (sa·
(upekt}ii), and indignation at
compassion (anukrosa!;, or kii
in the Yogastitra (1.33) to th1
serene ( cittaprasiidanam) by t
compassion, gladness and indi
Among the impediments t<
which a Yogin gets such as h
1
miraculous things, intuitive :p
objects. These are considered a
and divert him from his goal.
which also says that the mil
It is enjoined in the Mdh that
upon these miraculous experim
virtues which an aspirant to Y
emotions which impair Yoga
1
first two steps of the af?tanga 1
2. Restrictions
An aspirant to Yoga shou
238.12; 266.17). He should lh
cake) and yiivakii!;, (barley),
Baktu!;, (coarsely ground meal]
should exclude fatty articles fr
(289.45). Fast for one whole ll
be able to overcome sickness a
1
moderate food (266.8).
The Yogin is advised to pr
preferably twice, during the first
294.13; 313.44-45). Yoga prac1
(evacuating bowels or bladder)<
The places to be selected for
a sacred tree with a built platforiJ
deserted houses (232.23, 26).
of one's mind.
which means
100; 304.24)
composure.
the senses it is
of the outer
the mind gets
such as
is possible only
loDltinUOllS culti-
forgiveness,
controlled
The Yoga
of the following:
and quiet
and mind
(dhyanam,
, forgiveness,
Yoga in the 45
(b) "The passions or emotions which impede Yoga are given as follows:
Desire anger (krodhaM, greed (lobhaM, fear (bhayam) and dream or
sleepiness or nidra) (232.4; 266.13-14; 289.11); infatuation or
confusion vagrancy of the mind (bhramaM, whirling doubt
(avartaM (232.21; 266.7); discontent and inordinate hankering (tr§tui)
(289.48). These passions are to be eliminated by practising constant vigilance.
It is mentioned in another passage (266.8-10) that greed should be
overcome by contentment (santo§aM, envy of another's dharma by indifference
(upek¢), and indignation at another's vices or one's own egotism by pity or
compassion or karu?Jyam). This passage reminds us of a passage
in the Yogasfttra (1.33) to the effect that the mind should be made calm and
serene (cittaprasiidanam) by the contemplation of the feelings of friendliness,
compassion, gladness and indifference.
Among the impediments to Yoga are also listed the miraculous experiences
which a Yogin gets such as hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and touching of
miraculous things, intuitive perceptions (pratibha), and contacts with divine
objects. These are considered as impediments because they mislead the aspirant
and divert him from his goal. Here we are reminded of the Yogasfttra (3-37)
which also says that the miraculous experiences are obstacles to
It is enjoined in the Mdh that the aspirant to Yoga should look with disdain
upon these miraculous experiences and ignore them (232.22; 266.7). The moral
virtues which an aspirant to Yoga is required to cultivate by abstaining from
emotions which impair Yoga remind us of the yama and the niyama - the
first two steps of the af?tanga Yoga of the Yogasfttra.
2. Restrictions in diet; selection of quiet places
An aspirant to Yoga should take only light food 180.20;
238.12; 266.17). He should live on (broken grain) and pi?Jyakam (oil
cake) and (barley), (rough grain), (vegetables),
(coarsely ground meal), roots and fruits (208.21; 289.43-44). He
should exclude fatty articles from his diet and drink water mixed with milk
(289.45). Fast for one whole month is also recommended (289.46). He will
be able to overcome sickness and disease by taking wholesome, well-digested
moderate food (266.8).
The Yogin is advised to practise Yoga three times a day (232.23), but
preferably twice, during the first and last watches of the night (180.28; 232.13;
294.13; 313.44-45). Yoga practices are forbidden, while one is easing nature
(evacuating bowels or bladder) or is taking food (294.9).
The places to be selected for the practice of Yoga are as follows: a hill-top,
a sacred tree with a built platform around it (caityaM, mountain caves, temples,
deserted houses (232.23, 26).
46 v. M. BEDEKAR
As regards bodily postures (asanam), necessary for Yoga, there is no
specific mention in the Mdh, except that the term asanam occurs twice. The
context means in a general way that the aspirant must sit in a secluded place
and must have mastered the postures (178.16; 193.18; 238.20). In another
passage, (193.17: upasthitakrtau) there is a veiled reference, according to the
commentator Nilakai;J.tha, to padmiisanam or a lotus posture.
3. Control or regulation of breath
Yoga is primarily 'action' or 'practice' (krtya) and consists of exercises
viz 'concentration of mind' (manasaQ, ekiigratii) and pra1}iiyamaQ, (control or
regulation of breath). Thus pra1J)iyamaQ, constitutes one of the essentials of
Yogic Praxis (294.7-8; 304.8-9).
Wind or breath (prtitmlt} operates in the body and is named by five different
names according to its five different functions in the body (178.3-9). From
the mouth to the rectum there stretches the main stream (srotas) or channel
of metabolic process from which go forth all other minor sub-channels in the
living body (178.11). All the severally functioning breaths (pra1J)iQ,) centre
around the centre of the navel. From the heart, there circulate the ten tubular
organs (n&J,yalt) which under the impulse of pratmlt carry nutrition to the
parts of the body (178.14-15). pratmlt in its five functions thus regulates
the constructive and destructive metabolism of the human body. It is these
pra1J)iQ, which constitute the path by which the Yogins reach their destination.
Through the regulation of pratmlt the Yogins overcome fatigue and are able
to concentrate their self in the head (178.16). In one text (193.16), the two
aspirants are said to have regulated all the five breaths. This description of
the vital place of pratmlt in the human body helps to explain the importance
of pra1J)iyamaQ, as a means of Yogic concentration and final beatitude.
The pra1J)iyamaQ, is, like meditation (dhyanam), divided into two kinds,
with mind directed (1) towards an object (sagutm-) and (2) without any object
(nirgutm-) (294.8; 304.9). Thus the pra1}iiyamaQ, is helpful to the aspirant in
holding his mind at one place or in concentration. This reminds us of the
aphorism in the Yogasfttra (II.53) that pra1}iiyamaQ, helps to train the mind
for concentration.
Regarding pra1}iiyamaQ,, a warning is given to the effect that if one exhales
(or inhales) the breath and practises pra1}iiyamaQ, in a wrong way, there will
be, to his great detriment, a great excess of 'wind' in his system and that
therefore he should give up the practice of pra1J)iyamaQ, (304.10).
Because pra1J)iyamaQ, occupies a vital place in the Yoga praxis, Yoga
appears, for that reason, to have been regarded in some texts as synonymous
with pra1J)iyamaQ,. It is said that one who wants to achieve his well-being
should abstain from practising too much or too little of Yoga (276.23). It
Yoga in 1
means that an aspirant to Yoga
of pra1J)lyamaQ, but in a moderau
and mental health.
4. Withdrawal of h e ~
Withdrawal of the senses (pra
meditation (dhyanam), calm coU
form the proper and essential con
has pointed out (op. cit. p. 437
Patafijali, two distinct ways of )
of the senses, bringing the mm
(cittavrtti-nirodhaQ,) all of which I
of the Atman and final realizatio
1
at the heightening of conscious1
consciousness (jiiiina-diptiQ,, see ~
to the final realization. The Mdh
Yoga:
(a) The 'Nirodha-Yoga' forms.
cit. P· 438), the bulk of the cont
It is described as follows :
It is possible to know Brahma
When the reins of the senses are
1
the self shines forth like a lamp illu
The mind afflicted by greed or tll
five senses is infected with five de
there is no end to greed. The gree.
reports of the senses come to an e
water when the water is clear and
there is no vision of the Atman, as
One can 'see' the 'knowable' (jne
calm and placid (197.2-8). Even
'wisdom' or 'knowledge' is drained
place, when one has merged in the
and the five objects of sense, whm
objects of thought and when one .
6-7). When the senses withdrawn
sense-objects, remain penned up j
revealed like a smokeless fire in all
mind is still and serene (citta-pras
1
of realization which is beyond good
(238.1:; 180.29). When the intellect
Yoga, there is no
occurs twice. The
in a secluded place
238.20). In another
according to the
consists of exercises
(control or
of the essentials of
by five different
(178.3-9). From
(srotas) or channel
sub-channels in the
(pra'!ULM centre
the ten tubular
nutrition to the
thus regulates
body. It is these
their destination.
fatigue and are able
(193.16), the two
This description of
· the importance
beatitude.
into two kinds,
(2) without any object
to the aspirant in
reminds us of the
to train the mind
wrong way, there will
his system and that
(304.10).
Yoga praxis, Yoga.
texts as synonymous
achieve his well-being
of Yoga (276.23). It
Yoga in the 47
means that an aspirant to Yoga should practise neither too much or too little
of prii'!Uiyiima]J, but in a moderate measure which would conduce to his physical
and mental health.
4. Withdrawal of the senses, meditation and concentration
Withdrawal of the senses (pratyiihiira]J,), bringing the mind to rest (dhiira'!'d),
meditation (dhyiinam), calm collectedness or composure (samiidhi]J,) - these
form the proper and essential content of the Yoga praxis. As. E. FR.Auw ALLNER
has pointed out (op. cit. p. 437), there are discernible in the Yogasiitra of
Pataiijali, two distinct ways of Yoga leading to deliverance: One, withdrawal
of the senses, bringing the mind to rest, suppression of mental processes
(cittavrtti-nirodha]J,) all of which processes pave the way for the flashing forth
of the Atman and final realization. Two, the Yoga of eight parts which aimed
at the heightening of consciousness and at concentrating that heightened
consciousness (jnana-diptifi,, see Yogasiitra 2.28) on the final step which led
to the final realization. The Mdh texts on Yoga embody both these types of
Yoga:
(a) The 'Nirodha-Yoga' forms, as E. FR.AUWALLNER has pointed out (op.
cit. p. 438), the bulk of the contents of the Mdh Texts dealing with Yoga.
It is described as follows :
It is possible to know Brahman by the withdrawal of the senses (209.20).
When the reins of the senses are efficiently controlled by means of the mind,
the self shines forth like a lamp illumining the vessel in which it is kept (187 .44).
The mind afflicted by greed or thirsty desire (tar§alt} and the reports of the
five senses is infected with five defilements. On account of these defilements,
there is no end to greed. The greed ends when the defilements caused by the
reports of the senses come to an end (197.4-6). One can see one's image in
water when the water is clear and undisturbed by ripples. In the same way,
there is no vision of the Atman, as long as the senses and the mind are turbid.
One can 'see' the 'knowable' (jneyarp,) only when his mind and senses are
calm and placid (197.2-8). Even if one of the senses is 'leaky', the whole
'wisdom' or 'knowledge' is drained off (232.14). One attains to an immortal
place, when one has merged in the internal soul the five senses with the mind
and the five objects of sense, when one has withdrawn the thought from all
objects of thought and when one has stopped all activity of the mind (238.
6-7). When the senses withdrawn from their pastures (gocarii'!l-i) of external
sense-objects, remain penned up in their fold, then the great self stands
revealed like a smokeless fire in all its splendour (242.6-7). Only when the
mind is still and serene (citta-prasiidalt), does the ascetic attain to the state
of realization which is beyond good and evil and attains unending happiness
(238.1:; 180.29). When the intellect (buddhilt) with its attributes of discursive
48 V. M. BEDEKAR
knowledge mel"ges into mind (manas), then the mind dissolves and one becomes
Brahman. The mind, not touching, hearing, tasting, seeing, smelling nor
thinking, enters the highest sattvam (197.17-18). When the initial meditation
in its progress onwards finally attains to the attributeless, object-less state,
then is known Brahman as in a flash, like a streak of gold on a touchstone
(198.4). When the five senses with the mind are freed from the objects of
senses, then is Brahman realized as a golden thread woven into a pearl or a
gem. (199.1).
In the first stage of meditation (pilrvo dhyanapathalj,), one should collect
together all the senses and hold the mind at one point and sit like a log of
wood. It is difficult to concentrate the mind which is unsteady like the light-
ning, like a water-drop on a leaf, like a wind-tost thing, why, like the wind
itself (188.5-12). As the aspirant get& advanced on the path of concentration,
he gets to the further stages of meditation, viz., thinking (vitarkalj,), reflection
(viciiralj,) and discrimination (vivekafi,) (ibid. 15). As masses of earth, ashes
and cowdung-powder get collected into a ball, not with an offhand sprinkling
of water, but only with slow, repeated sprinklings of liquid, so also the senses
would get collected gradually and slowly and be finally withdrawn under the
impact of concentration, until one gets completely quiet (ibid. 17 -19).
The individual soul is to be taken to the final realization of the highest
self beyond the twentyfour principles through ten or twelve successive stages
of withdrawal. These stages are called the codaniifi, (i. e. which impel one to
meditate) (294.10-ll; 304.11-12), and are probably directed to the with-
drawal respectively from the 10 objects of senses corresponding to the 5 senses
of action and 5 senses of knowledge and of the mind and intellect. One, who
has mastered the codaniifi,, comes to possess a still mind and remains motionless
like a stone, like a pillar. He does not cognise anything and is as insensible
as a log of wood. He appears in that state, like a lamp burning in a windless
place, unwavering and unperturbed. In that state, he realises the experience
of the vision of the innermost soul. The vision is as effulgent as that of a
smokeless fire or of the resplendent sun, or of the dazzling lightning. That
self-standing bright and cloudless beyond the great darkness, can be realized
only by the light of the mind (manodipalj,) fed by the fuel of intellect (buddhi-
dravyam). It is without any attribute. The characteristic of Yoga consists
in the fact that the Yogins see the highest 'seer' himself who is unaging (294.
14-25; 304.16-17). A man satisfied, falling into a happy, sound sleep is the
symbol of one who has had a yogic vision (304.18). He is like a lamp in a
windless place burning unfl.ickering with a steady flame, like a stone un-
affected by drops of rain, insensible to the sounds of a conch or to the rumbling
of a drum or to music, vocal or instrumental (304.19-21). The steadiness
of mind of such a man is unruffled like that of a man climbing up a ladder,
y,
with a pot brimful of
0
undisturbed and fearless
in hand (304.22-24).
(b) ,Jiianadipti-Yoga'
In this kind of Yoga
chosen in a rising grada
ether (sky), ahamkiirah a:
'holding the mind at ~ e I
by means of such dhiiran
he gains in power by ~ ~
elements (228.13-16).
It will be clear from t
are the evolutes evolved
volutionally here for the ·
to meditate respectively b
such as the navel, the thr
(289.30-40).
Concentration in Yoga
compared to a stainless j
sun and emits forth dazzfu
In another passage, the
parts of the body such as .
the eyebrows (adho bhruva:
B?qumnii. The aspirant is
His meditation or concentr
of a man who is ascending .
of a pilot who steers his boa
his master to his destinati<
his target or like the arrow
The concentrative practices
as arduous as standing on .
perform the dhiiraniifi, is waJ
to a disastrous end, like a pi
It is claimed that the y
01
centrating his heightened cm
earth and makes it quake e·
over ether (iikiUalj,) gives bin
akamkiirafi, enables him to c
buddhifi,, faultless perfect in
soul's subtle body consisting
mind and intellect) _stands
4 Festschrift Frauwallner
ah'"""t·.-•""" state,
a touchstone
the objects of
a pearl or a
should collect
sit like a log of
like the light-
like the wind
successive stages
impel one to
to the with-
the experience
as that of a
lightning. That
can be realized
intellect (buddhi-
of Yoga consists
is unaging (294.
sound sleep is the
like a lamp in a
like a stone un-
or to the rumbling
). The steadiness
up a ladder,
Yoga in the 49
with a )ot brimful of oil without spilling even a single drop, completely
undisturbed and fearless even though he is threatened by men with swords
in hand (304.22-24).
(b) ,Jiianadipti-Yoga' or Yoga of heightened consicousness:
In this kind of Yoga, the aspirant is advised to concentrate on objects
chosen in a rising gradation of subtlety, e. g. on earth, water, fire, wind,
ether (sky), ahamkiira"fi, and buddhi"fi,. Such meditations are called dhiira'T,Iii"fi,,
'holding the mind at one place'. By concentrating his heightened consciousness
by means of such dhiira'T,Iiis on the qualities of these elements and entities,
he gains in power by assimilating in himself the cosmic qualities of these
elements (228.13-16).
It will be clear from the sequence of the objects of meditation that they
are the evolutes evolved according to the Sarp.khya; they are arranged in-
volutionally here for the Yogin's contemplation. The aspirant is also asked
to meditate respectively by means of the dhiira'T,Iii"fi, on the parts of the body
such as the navel, the throat, the head, the heart and finally on the Atman
(289.30-40).
Concentration in Yoga is collecting of faculties. In this sense Yoga is
compared to a stainless jewel or sunglass which collects the lustre of the
sun and emits forth dazzling splendour (287.12).
In another passage, the aspirant is also advised to fix his attention on the
parts of the body such as the tip of the nose (ruisikiigram), the centre below
the eyebrows (adho bhruvau), and the kunkun'i by which is probably meant
B'U§Umna. The aspirant is asked to beware of pitfalls during meditation.
His meditation or concentration should be absolutely single-aimed, like that
of a man who is ascending a stair-case with a jar brimful of ghee or like that
of a pilot who steers his boat to a haven or like that of a charioteer who takes
his me.ster to his destination or like that of an archer who unfailingly hits
his target or like the arrow itself which goes straight to its target (289.31.37).
The concentrative practices (dhiira'T,Iii"fi,) of Yoga are regarded as very difficult,
as arduous as standing on the edge of a razor. The aspirant who wishes to
perform the dhiirana"fi, is warned that the meditations wrongly practised lead
to a disastrous end, like a pilotless boat on the sea 289.54-56).
It is claimed that the Yogin attains supernatural powers as a result of con-
centrating his heightened consciousness on the Elements: He gains power over
earth and makes it quake even with the shaking of his finger or toe; power
over ether (akiiSab-) gives him the ability to disappear into space; control over
alw:mktira"fi, enables him to control all the five elements; on the conquest of
buddhi"fi,, faultless perfect intuition flashes forth in him (228.21-25). The
soul's subtle body consisting of seven ingredients - (the five elements, and
mind and intellect) -stands at the beck and call of a Yogin who can leave his
4 Festsebrift Frauwallner
50 v. M. BEDEKAR
mortal body and travel with the subtle body (sattviitmii) wherever and when-
ever he wants (245.6-7). It is said in another passage (304.5-7) that the
Yogin lives and moves with his subtle body of 8 ingredients =the
five elements + mana}J, + buddhi}J, + ahamkiiraQ,) through the worlds. He
can also enter the rivers, oceans, mountains and the clouds and the living
creatures (289.60-61). These Yogins, according to this passage, claim to
inherit a hoary tradition which stems from God Rudra himself (304.5).
The idea that Yoga thus confers supernatural powers occurs frequently
in the texts of the Mdh: or in the form of the Boar having resort
to yogic powers is called Yogatma, Yogasarathi (202.20), Mahayogi (ibid 26,
29, 31). Indra regains his power against V:rtra through Yoga (272.35-37).
Siva who had swallowed Sukracarya and subsequently discharged him out
of his body is called Mahayogi (278.26). One can conquer even death through
Yoga (305.20). Sulabha, the woman ascetic, assumed by means of Yoga the
form of a lovely woman and entered with her spirit into the spirit of Janaka,
mingling the rays of her eyes with his, and binding him with bonds of Yoga
(308.10-17). Suka is described as a Mahayogi coming to his father Vyasa,
flying like an arrow, uninterrupted by trees or mountains (314.27). Further
again, he is described to have attained the highest state through Yoga. By
means of Yoga, he dissolved himself into thin air and entered the sun which is
the repository of effulgence, inexhaustible and imperishable (318.52-53).
While we read of these supernatural powers attributed to Yogins in the
Mdh, we are reminded of the supernatural powers which the Yogins are des-
cribed as attaining in the third Pada of the Yogasiitra (3.16-49).
Yoga open to all classes of people
It is said in one text that any one belonging even to the lowliest class of
society or a woman desirous of following dharmaQ, can practise Yoga and
reach therethrough the highest state (232.32).
The relation between Sa:rp.khya and Yoga
It has been repeatedly mentioned in the Mdh texts that both Sa:rp.khya
and Yoga are identical in their beliefs and aim (295.42; 298.8; 304.4; 306.12).
Both believe in the twentyfive principles (228.28). The aim of both is to
attain emancipation by realizing the Atman as apart from every thing else.
The difference between the two is only with regard to their methods of realiza-
tion. While the Sa:rp.khyas try to see the Atman through 'the eye of knowledge',
i. e. by the way of cogent, rational argument, the Yogins try to do it by the
actual technique of the withdrawal of the senses and mind from the objects
of the world (209.20; 293.30). The Sa:rp.khyas take their stand on the Sastram,
Yog.
while the Y ogins take their
compassion to all creatures
to both, but their way of rt
The Sa:rp.khyas know e,
like the Y ogins also consider
the aspirant (290.53-54). 1
evolute of prakrti is called
also by other names in Sam
posit on the one hand, avyakl
( i8vara-), and characterized
25th principle which is quali
ta) (293.43-44).
It is said (238.13-15) t
of Atman (iitmapratyiiyika-)
like butter from curds, or fi
Yoga forms the essence as Cl
(295.44). Sa:rp.khya is the
strength (304.2). In Narayan
it is said that Kapila is
Yoga. The Sa:rp.khya and Yc
(338.2). Vyasa is said to have
(338.3; 338.24; 339.5-6).
The above description wi
are connected with each othe
E. FR.AUW.ALLNER has rig]
the Sa:rp.khya system (op. cit.
out by the texts of the Mdh.
(
While sketching the featu
attention, in brief, to the sir
relevant doctrines in the class
picture of the Yoga as it is pre
siitra, we shall find that Epic
loped, not systematic, yet, i1
characterising the classical y c
"Aber was das BezeichnendstE
Es ist kein Punkt, in dem wir ,
maBgebende Ausgestaltung, di
kiindigt sich erst in Spru
Zeit dasselbe charakteristische
wherever and when-
(304.5-7) that the
(a{JiaguttiilJ, = the
the worlds. He
and the living
occurs frequently
Boar having resort
Mahayogi (ibid 26,
Yoga (272.35-37).
discharged him out
even death through
means of Yoga the
the spirit of J anaka,
with bonds of Yoga
to his father Vyasa,
(314.27). Further
through Yoga. By
the sun which is
(318.52-53).
to the lowliest class of
practise Yoga and
that both Sa:rp.khya
; 298.8; 304.4; 306.12).
aim of both is to
from every thing else.
methods of realiza-
'the eye of knowledge',
try to do it by the
mind from the objects
stand on the Sastram,
Yoga in the 51
while the Yogins take their stand on actual practice (289.7). Purity of conduct,
compassion to all creatures, observance of moral vows - these are common
to both, but their way of realizing the Atman is different (289.9).
The Sa:rp.khyas know even the masters of Yoga (290.9). The Sa:rp.khyas
like the Yogins also consider that there are five desires or passions which pollute
the aspirant (290.53-54). Hira1,1yagarbha, the equivalent of Buddhi, the first
evolute of prakrti is called mahan in Yoga, while it is called virincaQ, and
also by other names in Sa:rp.khya (291.17-18). Both the Sa:rp.khya and Yoga
posit on the one hand, avyaktam which is unenlightened (apralJuddha- ), powerful
(i8vara- ), and characterized by gu'l}iiQ, and on the other hand, they posit the
25th principle which is qualityless, powerful and is always presiding
ta) (293.43-44).
It is said (238.13-15) that the Yoga lore which aims at the realization
of Atman (iitmapratyiiyika-) is the quintessence churned out of the Vedas,
like butter from curds, or fire from wood. Of the vast Sa:rp.khya knowledge,
Yoga forms the essence as curds or whey form& the essential product of milk
(295.44). Sa:rp.khya is the highest knowledge, while Yoga is the highest
strength (304.2). In Naraya1,1iya, a later text in the Mdh (326.64-65; 337.60),
it is said that Kapila is the exponent of Sa:rp.khya while Hira1,1yagarbha of
Yoga. The Sa:rp.khya and Yoga posited many and not one
(338.2). Vyasa is said to have posited only one and not many
(338.3; 338.24; 339.5-6).
The above description will show how intimately the Sa:rp.khya and Yoga
are connected with each other.
E. FRA.uw.ALLNER has rightly said that the Yoga is only an old school of
the Sa:rp.khya system (op. cit. p. 409), and his conclusion is eloquently borne
out by the texts of the Mdh.
General Remarks
While sketching the features of Yoga in the Mdh above, we have drawn
attention, in brief, to the similarities, of which we are reminded, with the
relevant doctrines in the classical Yogasiitra of Patafi.jali. If we compare the
picture of the Yoga as it is presented by the Mdh texts with that in the Yoga-
siitra, we shall find that Epic Yoga is simple, elementary, groping, undeve-
loped, not systematic, yet, it is the fore-runner of many of the features
characterising the classical Yoga system. In the words of E. FRAUW.ALLNER
"Aber was das Bezeichnendste ist, es sind durchwegs Ansatze und Anfange.
Es ist kein Punkt, in dem wir von einem AbschluB sprechen konnten, und die
maBgebende Ausgestaltung, die der Yoga in den spateren Systemen erhalten
sollte, kiindigt sich erst in Spuren an. Damit zeigt aber der Yoga der epischen
Zeit dasselbe charakteristische Geprage, das auch die philosophischen Lehren
52
V. M. BEDEKAR: Yoga in the
dieser Zeit kennzeichnet." (op. cit. p. 143): "What is most characteristic
is that there are throughout only starts and beginnings. At no point could
we speak of a close or a conclusion and the authoritative formulation which
the Yoga has attained in the later system reveals itself only in a few traces.
Thus the Yoga of the Epic period shows the same characteristic stamp which
characterizes the doctrines of this period.''
ZUR INTERPRETATIO!i
VonF
Die Texte, die von der d
nach tiefer Meditation zum ]
Abhangigkeit erkannte, stimm
hochste Erkenntnis ansehen, d
,Wenn dieses ist, wird jen
jenes, und zwar: abhangig von
I. Nichtwissen [avidya] en
2. Gestaltungen [sa7!1-8kara
3. Erkennen [vijnana], abl
4. Name und Form [nama
1
5. sechs Bereiche
6. Beriihrung [sparsa], abb
7. Empfindung [vedana], ai
8. Durst abhiingig
9. Ergreifen [ upiidana ], abl
10. Werden [bhava], abhiing
II. Geburt [jati], abhiingig
1
12. Alter und Tod [jatimarj
Verzweiflung [ sokaparidevaduhk
So kommt die Entstehung
Obwohl oder gerade weil die
tief scheinend, schwer zu durchs
keiner Reflexion zuganglicl
ISt, wurde sie zum Gegenstand
tation, denn der Monch wurde !
1
Cf.: Vinaya-Pitaka ( = Vin )
P.·.I sq. :-_Udana (= Ud.), ed. p_'
Jhima·Nikaya (= MN), Vol. I, ed.
248-249: - Jataka (= J.), ed.
( = CPS) ed E
101 439 ' . '
sqq, sqq. - Lalitavistara
P· 344 sqq.- Mahavastu (= Mv)
u.a. ·'
: Cf. etwa: CPS § 7.3.
Cf.: CPS § 8.2, p. 440.