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Categories of Indian Thought
Categories of Indian Thought


Publishers & Founding Editors And the Hidden History of Yoga
JOCELYNE STERN Conducted by Rick Archer of
Editors Buddha at The Gas Pump
Design & Production The extraordinary life and death of
ROBERT MOSES Agehananda Bharati
Assistance from
MELANIE PARKER & BENJAMIN PHELAN The story of the mathematical genius
Website by Srinivasan Ramanujan
A main component of akaracaryas
NMARPA is funded by sales view of Reality
& donations. Contributors have JAIDEV DASGUPTA 70 IN SEARCH OF IMMORTALITY
kindly offered their work free An Introduction into Indic Worldviews
of remuneration. Editorial and About the book by the author
production assistance is voluntary.
Back page photograph Photo essay of the annual Chariot Festival
Hanumanji near Lord Jagannath Temple, of Lord Jagannath in Puri, Odisha, July 2104
Puri, Odisha by Robert Moses.
Surya Bhagavan
NMARPA Categories of Indian
Thought, established in 2003, honors
the many systems of knowledge, prac-
tical and theoretical, that have origi- a i u
nated in India. Passed down through
the ages, these systems have left tracks, e ai o au
paths already traveled that can guide
us back to the Self the source of all
names NMA and forms RPA. The
a a
publishers have created this journal
out of a love for the knowledge that it ka kha ga gha a
reflects, and desire that its content be

clear and inspirational, without any NMARPA uses
particular agenda or sectarian bias. diacritical marks, ca cha ja jha a
NMARPA is published in both as per the chart, for
print-on-demand and digital versions. the transliteration of a ha a ha a
NMARPA YATRA guides annual all Saskta words.
pilgrimages to sacred places in India. Many of the articles ta tha da dha na
NMARPA BANDHVA has re- do contain these

cently been established to adopt a vil- marks, but it is not a
lage in the Uttarkashi region of the universal occurrence pa pha ba bha ma
Himalayas devastated by recent floods. in the magazine. In those cases where ya ra la va
NMARPA Inc, is the publishing authors have elected

wing of The Broome Street Temple, not to use diacritics,
a 501c3 non-profit organization. Saskta words a a sa ha Lord Jagannath prasad being delivered. remain in their Puri July 2014 Robert Moses
romanized form. ka tra a



Kamcrya performing the

three locks in Padmsana.


Agayoga class in the tradition of
Pattabhi Jois are probably familiar with
The name Yogatrval can be
understood as: A String of Stars on Yoga.
Each verse of this short text is likened to a
no mental activity, no breathing and
no positional consciousness. That is to
say, Rjayoga is something beyond the
at least one verse of the Yogatrval, shining star, which illuminates the topic common experience of I and mine.
whether they know the name of the of yoga. Its first verse acknowledges the The Yogatrval puts it this way:
text or not. Pattabhi Jois would chant importance of the teacher, who transmits
the first verse of the Yogatrval at to the student the liberating knowledge ahamamatvdi vihya sarva
the beginning of a morning class, and that extinguishes the suering of worldly rrjayoge sthiramnasnm | Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois and Sri R. Sharath Jois chanting the first verse of the Yogatrval
many of his students continue to do this life. na drat nsti ca dyabhva before class at the Puck Building, New York Jesse Gordon
before their yoga practice: In the Yogatrval, the means to s jmbhate kevalasavid eva ||16||
liberation is the practice of Haha yoga practices such as concentration a system of yoga called Rjayoga, which
vande gur cararavinde and Rjayoga. Its Hahayoga consists "Having left behind everything and meditation become redundant. it says is the king (rja) of all yogas.
sandaritasvtmasukhvabodhe | of physical techniques; in particular, beginning with the states of I It omits the first seven auxiliaries
nireyase jgalikyamne the three locks (mla, uyana3 and and mine, those whose minds na dilakyi na cittabandho of agayoga. In fact, the author
sasrahlhalamohantyai ||1|| jlandhara). These locks are applied are steady in the sacred [state of ] na deaklau na ca vyurodha | considers these auxiliaries and the
during breath retentions (kumbhaka) Rjayoga are neither observers nor na dhradhynapariramo v techniques of Hahayoga to be not just
"I pay homage to the gurus lotus and, as a result of this practice, objects of observation. Only an samedhamne sati rjayoge ||14|| ineectual practices, but hindrances on
feet, which have revealed the the Hahayogin is able to immerse isolated awareness prevails." the path to attaining samdhi.
knowledge of the bliss of ones own the mind in an internal resonance "There are no gazing points, no fixing In eect, the Amanaska says that
self. Unsurpassed, [these lotus-feet] (ndnusandhna). The main dierence between Haha of the mind [on a meditation object], there is little point in trying to master
act like toxicologists2 for curing the In contrast to this, Rjayoga is simply and Rjayoga is that the latter is beyond no time or place, no [deliberate] dicult postures, breathing exercises
delusion that is the poison [known the practice of samdhi, a profound all techniques. In other words, once the stopping of the breath, nor the eort and meditation techniques when the
as] transmigration." state of meditation in which there is Rjayogin has achieved samdhi, other of concentration (dhra) and goal of these techniques, samdhi,
meditation (dhyna), when Rjayoga otherwise known as the no-mind state
I would like to thank Eddie Stern for encouraging me to write this article and for his valuable comments on it. Thanks also is flourishing." (amanaska), can be achieved easily by
to Jacqueline Hargreaves, James Mallinson, Mark Singleton and Elizabeth De Michelis for their many helpful comments on mbhav Mudr.
early drafts of this article. The illustration of mbhav Mudr and figures 1 and 2 are by Jacqueline Hargreaves. Figures 1 and It is likely that Haha and Rjayoga The yogin who is practising this
2 contain images by Febrian Anugrah. began as separate traditions. Much of Mudr is described as gazing outwards name and other technical vocabulary
The term jgalika is usually spelt jgulika in Sanskrit texts and it is often translated as snake doctor. For example, in Sures the Yogatrvals teachings on Rjayoga (bahirdi) with eyes half open, half common to both texts suggest that the
Chandra Banerjis A Companion to Sanskrit Literature (1989, p. 427), jgulika is defined as a snake doctor; dealer in anti- appear to derive from those of the closed, while directing the mind inwards Amanaska influenced the author of
dotes of poison. Also, Monier-Williams dictionary defines jgulika as a snake charmer. However, in the Yogatrvals first earliest extant Rjayoga text called the to an internal focal point (antarlakya). the Yogatrval.4 For this reason, the
verse, jgalika is being used metaphorically to describe gurus who can cure a poison called Hlhala. Rather than a snake Amanaska, which can be dated to the The Yogatrval teaches this technique Yogatrval was probably composed
poison, Hlhala probably refers to either the mythological poison produced at the churning of the ocean and swallowed by twelfth century. The Amanaska teaches and calls it Amanaskamudr. This sometime after the twelfth century.
iva (thereby causing the blueness of his neck) or some plant-based poison. Therefore, it appears that the guru is being likened
to a doctor who specializes in the general treatment of poisons (i.e., a toxicologist) rather than a snake doctor or charmer. This 4
Other similarities between the Yogatrval's and the Amanaskas Rjayoga include descriptions of samdhi as devoid of wak-
is somewhat supported by a Sanskrit commentary on the Yogatrval called the Yogabhvaprakik, which glosses jgalika ing, sleep, life and death; the mention of the eyes becoming still, the breath stopping and the mind being free from both inten-
as a viavaidya (i.e., a poison specialist or toxicologist), and so does the Amarakoa (1.8.510). tional (sakalpa) and discursive (vikalpa) thought in the no-mind state; the use of the simile of a 'lamp in a windless place' in
There are two dierent spellings of this bandha in the Yogatrval: uyana and uya. The dierence is due to the metre of regard to the yogin in the no-mind state; the reference to detachment (udsnat); and the use of the compounds sahajmanaska
the verses. In manuscripts of the Hahapradpik and Datttreyayogastra, this bandha is usually spelt uyna or uiyna. and yoganidr as synonyms for samdhi.
practising Mantra or Layayoga. the samdhi that is brought about by
Furthermore, it appears that neither immersing [the mind] in the internal
Mantra, Laya nor Hahayoga were of resonance (nda) is the principal and
any use to those gifted students who most venerable of [all the techniques
could readily achieve samdhi. This of] meditative absorption.
fourfold system is depicted in figure 1.
The Yogatrval changed this fourfold Seeing that the author of the Haha-
hierarchical relationship in a subtle pradpik compiled his work from earlier
yet very significant way. It omitted yoga texts, it is likely that he borrowed
Mantrayoga and integrated Layayoga and slightly modified the above verse
with Haha, thereby creating a system in from the Yogatrval. If this is the
which Hahayoga was the sole means to case, the Yogatrval must have been
Rjayoga for all practitioners, regardless written before the fifteenth century.
of their capabilities. In doing so, the The Hahapradpiks borrowing from
physical practices of Hahayoga became the Yogatrval is further suggested
indispensable for achieving samdhi in by the similar teachings of these two
this system. This new relationship is texts on Kevala Kumbhaka, immersing
seen in figure 2. the mind in the internal resonance
(ndnusandhna) and mbhav Mudr.
The fifteenth-century Hahapradpik Reading the Yogatrval in
adopted a scheme similar to the twofold conjunction with yoga texts of the
system.5 The author of this text stated same era sheds much light on its
explicitly the mutual dependence of terminology and content. Apart
Haha and Rjayoga as follows: from what I have mentioned above,
another striking example is the usage
haha vin rjayogo of various words for samdhi in the
rjayoga vin haha | Yogatrval. The terms manonman,
na sidhyati tato yugmam unman, sahajmanaska, turya and
nipatte samabhyaset ||2.76|| yoganidr appear to have the same
meaning as rjayoga and samdhi.
"Without Hahayoga, Rja This is also the case in the Amanaska
is not accomplished, and and the Hahapradpik, the latter of
without Rjayoga, nor is Haha. which explicitly states that these terms
Therefore, the yogin should practice are to be understood as synonyms
both until the final stage [of yoga is (ekavcaka):
rjayoga samdhi ca
The Yogatrval describes a process unman ca manonman |
Figure 1: The fourfold system of yoga in the Datttreyayogastra whereby the three locks (bandha) are Figure 2: The twofold system of yoga in the Yogatrval amaratva layas tattva
and the Amaraughaprabodha. practised during deliberate breath nynya para padam ||
retentions (kumbhaka) to bring about Haha and Rjayoga. This explains sadivoktni sapdalaka- amanaska tathdvaita
Haha and Rjayoga were combined this fourfold scheme was that the dullest a special type of breath retention called why nearly one fifth of its verses are layvadhnni vasanti loke | nirlamba nirajanam |
in other medieval yoga texts that students were taught Mantrayoga, the Kevala Kumbhaka. Unlike deliberate devoted to describing this special type ndnusandhnasamdhim eka jvanmukti ca sahaj
were probably written only one or most gifted, Rjayoga, and those in breath retentions that are performed of breath retention. manymahe mnyatama laynm tury cety ekavcak ||4.3-4||
two centuries after the Amanaska. between, Laya and Hahayoga. In this by holding the breath according to The similarities between the ||2||6
Examples of such texts include the system, Mantra, Laya and Hahayoga ones capacity (yathakti), Kevala Yogatrval and the Hahapradpik Rjayoga, samdhi, unman,
Datttreyayogastra (12-13th c.) and were auxiliary practices aimed solely Kumbhaka is a spontaneous cessation seem extensive enough to suggest One hundred and twenty- manonman, amaratva, laya, tattva,
the Amaraughaprabodha (14th c.). These at the achievement of samdhi (i.e., of the flow of the breath, along with that one influenced the other. In fact, five thousand concentration nyunya, para-pada, amanaska,
texts combined Haha and Rjayoga in Rjayoga). However, presumably, all sensory and mental activity. In both texts share a verse on immersing [techniques7] of meditative absorp- advaita, nirlamba, nirajana,
a hierarchical relationship, along with one could dispense with Hahayoga the Yogatrval, Kevala Kumbhaka is the mind in the internal resonance tion (laya), which were taught by iva jvanmukti, sahaj and tury [all]
Mantra and Layayoga. The idea behind altogether and achieve samdhi by the central mechanism that connects (ndnusandhna): [still] remain in the world. We think say the same thing.

The dierence between the twofold system of the Yogatrval and the Hahapradpik is that the latter integrated Layayoga 6
Cf. Hahapradpik 4.66 (rdinthena sapdakoilayaprakr kathit jayanti | ndnusandhnakam ekam eva manymahe
with both Haha and Rjayoga. For example, the Layayoga technique of lying on the ground like a corpse until the mind mukhyatama laynm).
dissolves (cittalaya) becomes a Hahayogic posture called avsana in the Hahapradpiks first chapter, whereas the Layayoga 7
The meaning of avadhnni as literally concentrations can be found in Abhinavaguptas Tantrloka (2.12). Jayarathas com-
practice of Ndnusandhna is described in the Hahapradpiks fourth chapter, which is on Rjayoga. mentary glosses avadhna as, one-pointedness on a particular object of attention (pratiniyatvadheyaviayaniham ekgryam).

Medieval discourse on Rjayoga could have prompted someone to they also fashioned new systems of yoga
does not mention dierent levels of compose colophons that attributed out of simpler methods of meditation
samdhi as seen in Buddhism and the text to akarcrya. Terminology and more physical techniques than are
Patajalis Yogastra. Rjayoga texts such as tma, turya, etc., which is found in older traditions of Tantra.
consistently described samdhi as the reasonably common in Tantras and Generally speaking, tantric yoga is
stone-like state of complete inactivity; medieval yoga texts of this time but usually characterised by complex
mental, respiratory and physical. Like also prominent in Advaitavedntin meditative practices that integrate
meditating ascetics in the Mahbhrata, texts, could have been used to justify elaborate metaphysics and doctrine
the Rjayogin in samdhi is sometimes the attribution. It is also possible with visualisation.9 The complexity of
said to be lifeless like a piece of wood or, that the author was a yogin by the tantric yoga contrasts sharply with the
according to the Yogatrval, as still as a name of akara and, at some more simple meditation techniques of early
lamps flame in a windless place: recent time, a scribe embellished Haha and Rjayoga texts, such as
his name in the colophon with the mbhav Mudr and ndnusandhna.
cittendriy ciranigrahea honorific titles reserved for the The shift towards physical practice,
vsapracre amite yamndr | famous akarcrya. In my opinion, doctrinal simplicity and stone-
nivtadp iva nicalg the Yogatrval was not composed like samdhi (as opposed to gnostic
manonmanmagnadhiyo bhavanti before the twelfth century because its meditation techniques10) suggest that
||18|| technical terminology, such as Rja Haha and Rjayoga were influenced
and Hahayoga, is absent in Sanskrit by older ascetic traditions. Indeed,
"When the movement of the breath works written before this time, the emphasis on retaining semen
has stopped because of the prolonged including the famous commentaries (bindudhraa) and the physical
restraint of the mind and senses, the and works widely attributed to the techniques peculiar to Hahayoga,
bodies of the best yogins become great Advaitavedntin philosopher. such as the three locks (bandha) and
unmoving, like the flames [of lamps] inversions (vipartakara), is absent in
in a windless place, and their minds
immersed in the no-mind [state] of
century was a remarkable time
in the history of yoga. It saw the
earlier Tantras.
Nonetheless, the label ascetic does
not capture the ingenuity of early Haha
emergence and advance of physical and Rjayoga systems, which omitted
As I have mentioned above, the yoga techniques and the supremacy of extreme ascetic practices such as sitting
connections between the Yogatrval, the practice of samdhi as the means amid five fires, standing on one leg for
the Amanaska and the Hahapradpik to liberation in yoga traditions. Early twelve years, lying on a bed of nails or
indicate that the Yogatrval was Haha and Rjayoga traditions created holding the arms up until they wither
probably written between the twelfth simple soteriological systems, which away. Some of their texts denounce
and fifteen centuries. However, the were based solely on the practice of yoga aicting the body (kyaklea), and those
colophon8 of at least one manuscript (rather than ritual, gnosis or devotion). who would practise headstand are advised
and several printed editions attribute In doing so, they omitted the doctrinal against fasting, which is a moderate form
the Yogatrvals authorship to the and ritualistic complexity of earlier of asceticism that has been acceptable to
great Advaitavedntin philosopher, tantric and philosophical traditions. most orthodox Hindus.
akarcrya, who is generally These yoga traditions incorporated Hahayoga, the yoga of force (haha),
believed to have lived in the eighth some of the techniques and terminology was a yoga that could force certain
century. Colophons are not a certain found in earlier Tantras. However, it is changes to occur. For example, it could
indication of authorship, for they misleading to refer to medieval Haha force downward moving vitality (i.e.,
may be composed and modified after and Rjayoga as types of tantric yoga apnavyu) to rise.11 Nonetheless, An Ascetic in Bound Lotus Sitting in a Circle of Smouldering Fires.
the text was written. In this case, a because, not only did their early texts the diculty of its techniques was
sectarian claim to the Yogatrval omit tantric ritual and doctrine, but probably a matter of ones perspective.

A colophon is a brief statement about the texts author, name and, sometimes, its date. Colophons are usually placed at the end Some physically demanding postures probably derive from ancient ascetic traditions.
of each chapter and the end of the text itself. For example, Bound Lotus pose (baddhapadmsana) is described in some of the ear-
I am aware of two earlier tantric works which are exceptions to this. They are known as the Vijnabhairavatantra and the liest Haha texts (e.g., Vivekamrtaa 8, Gorakaataka 59-60, Hahapradpik
Svabodhodayamajar. They teach simple contemplative practices without much doctrine and metaphysics. Their emphasis on 1.46) as well as more recent ones. However, extreme acts of asceticism such as sitting
dissolving the mind (cittalaya) suggests they may have inspired later Layayoga traditions. amid smouldering cow dung fires are not included among the practices of medieval
On the dierences between ascetic and gnostic meditative practices, see Johannes Bronkhorst, Two Traditions of Meditation in Haha texts. Photo: James Mallinson, Haridvar, 2010
Ancient India. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1993.
See Datttreyayogastra 144, rgadharapaddhati 4416 and Yogabj 116: Having pressed the anus with the heel, the [yo-
gin] should forcibly contract apnavyu, so that [this] vyu goes upwards repeatedly. (guda pry tu sampya vyum
kucayed balt | vra vra yath cordhva samyti samraa).

On the one hand, Jain ascetics and teachings are for women, as well as have excluded people of dierent
many wandering renunciants must those people who are completely creeds. They oered a minimalist system
have seen Hahayoga as childs play or, attached to sense objects, those fallen of yoga for attaining liberation. The
perhaps, they thought it was asceticism from caste and those who do extremely only essential requirement was that one
watered down for the masses. On the reckless actions.13 The explicit inclusion practised the methods of these yogas,
other hand, the physical practices of women here has much to do with having learnt them from a guru. The
of Hahayoga would have seemed the fact that they were excluded from Yogatrvals emphasis on practice and
strenuous and dicult for gnostics certain religious activities in orthodox its omission of complex metaphysics,
who believed that liberation could Hinduism. For example, women were doctrine, ritual and extreme asceticism
be attained through listening to the generally prohibited from learning the is in keeping with this.
Upaniads, contemplative techniques Vedas, using vedic mantras, renouncing The emphasis on practice (abhysa)
and the like. society to become ascetics and so on. is at the heart of Haha and Rjayoga
In order to appeal to a wide audience, Some other yoga texts such as the texts, which frequently reiterate the
early Haha and Rjayoga traditions ivasahit and Yogayjavalkya importance of practice for attaining the
combined tantric and ascetic techniques reveal that householders, women and goals of yoga. For example,
within a radically simplified doctrinal members of the lowest orthodox caste
framework. As an early Haha text made (dra) were among their audience. avismtya guror vkyam
clear: Though most texts do not identify the abhyaset tad aharniam ||
people for which their teachings were eva bhaved ghavasth
brhmaa ramao vpi intended, explicit prohibitions against satatbhysayogata |
bauddho vpy rhato thav | teaching a particular group of people anabhysena yogasya vth
kpliko v crvka are absent. gohy na sidhyati ||
raddhay sahita sudh || The inclusivity of these yoga tasmt sarvaprayatnena
yogbhysarato nitya traditions is further indicated by the yogam eva samabhyaset |14
sarvasiddhim avpnuyt |12 marginal role of theism in their texts.
Though the teachings are presented Having remembered the teachings
"Whether a Brahmin, ascetic, within either a aiva or Vaiava of the guru, one should practise
Buddhist, Jain, skull-bearer (kplika) framework, the theistic elements are [yoga] night and day. In this way, the First Folio of a Manuscript of the Yogatrval at the Prja Phal Maal, Wai.
or materialist; one who is wise, has very much in the background, so [second] stage [of yoga called] the
confidence [in the teachings of Haha much so that a texts orientation may pot arises through constant practice. and unintentional thought have been Gheraasahit are failing to advance describe hundreds of sana. When this
and Rjayoga] and is devoted to the not always be clear to the reader. The Without the practice of yoga, all is cut away and whose network of karma our knowledge in any significant way. textual evidence is edited, translated
practice of yoga, will always obtain Yogatrval is a good example of such in vain. It is not accomplished by has been completely uprooted. The omission of texts such as the and published, only then will more
success in all things. minimal theism. In one verse, iva is socialising. Therefore, with every Yogatrval in secondary sources is proof complete histories of yoga be written.
mentioned as the first teacher of the eort, one should practise only yoga. SCHOLARSHIP ON HAHA AND of the premature attempts at writing the The other part of the answer consists
The strategy of attracting a wide many methods of absorption (laya) and, RJAYOGA IS IN ITS INFANCY history of Hahayoga. Various other of the influence of European physical
audience was stated explicitly by a in two other verses, samdhi is referred And in the Yogatrval: yoga texts remain in Indian libraries, culture and Indian traditions such
more recent Haha text called the
Hahbhysapaddhati, which
probably composed in the eighteenth
to as the state of Viu (viupada).
Nothing further is said of these deities,
nor their pantheons, myths, mantras
nieanirmlitakarmajle |
remains undiscovered. In
particular, a detailed and comprehensive
unedited, unstudied and unknown to
scholars and practitioners.
A good example of the rudimentary
wrestling (mallavidy) and martial
arts, as well as the innovative genius of
twentieth-century yoga gurus such as
century. The opening line of this and the devotional practices associated nirantarbhysanitntabhadr history of Rja and Hahayoga has not state of scholarship on yoga is the Kamcrya and Pattabhi Jois. Though
text claims that its teachings are for with them. s jmbhate yogini yoganidr ||25|| been written. Indeed, such a history fact that scholars are still wondering some late medieval Hahayoga traditions
anyone who is aicted by the pain of On the whole, the texts of early cannot be written until more evidence why there are so few postures (sana) practised numerous sana, their texts
transmigration (sasra), much like the Haha and Rjayoga traditions reveal The yogic sleep [of Samdhi,15] in has been made available. If one looks in medieval yoga sources compared do not mention special sequences of
Yogatrval's first verse. varying degrees of universalism. In which extraordinary happiness arises at the textual sources in most historical with the large number known at the sana, the movements called vinysa,
However, the Hahbhysapaddhati other words, they reduced the religious from ceaseless practice, blossoms in accounts of yoga that have been beginning of the twentieth century. nor the sun salutations known as
also mentions specifically that its and philosophical elements that may the yogin whose roots of intentional published in the last thirty years, very The Hahapradpik has fifteen sana sryanamaskra. In fact, the two types
few new sources have been brought to and the Gheraasahit, thirty-two, of sryanamaskra taught by Pattabhi
Datttreyayogastra 4142ab. This text can be dated to the 12-13th c. and is one of the earliest extant texts to teach Haha- light.16 Certainly, new observations but Kamcrya taught more than Jois are based on Kamcryas vinysa
yoga (see the article on Hahayoga by James Mallinson at and theories have been advanced in two hundred. Part of the answer to format.17 Nonetheless, it is likely that
The opening lines of the Hahbhysapaddhati state: For those aicted by the pain of Sasra; those completely attached to regard to yogas history, but attempts to this quandary can be found in some sryanamaskra in one form or another
sense objects; women; those fallen from their caste and those who do extremely reckless actions; for their sake, this construct the history of Hahayoga with Hahayoga texts written between the is an ancient practice. Brahmnanda,
Hahbhysapaddhati, composed by Kaplakuraaka, was written [...]. (sasratpataptn || atyantaviayasaktn || only a few widely known texts such as sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. the nineteenth-century commentator
strain jtibhranm || atishasakarmakartm || tatkte || iya kaplakuraakaktahahbhysapaddhatir [...] likhyate). the Hahapradpik, ivasahit and In the aggregate, these texts list and on the Hahapradpik, knew of a rather
Datttreyayogastra 105cd107ab. Also see Datttreyayogastra 4142ab. (footnote 12).
For more information on the use of the term yoganidr as a synonym for samdhi, see: 16
The main exceptions to this are the publications of the Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute and the Lonavla Yoga Institute. 17
I wish to thank Eddie Stern for pointing this out to me (p.c. 28.10.2014).

strenuous practice of sun salutations, I pay homage to the gurus lotus feet THE IMPORTANCE OF THE of research is the medieval
which he believed to be inappropriate [...] which act like toxicologists for HISTORY OF YOGA yoga traditions of India.
for Hahayoga.18 His comments were people in order to cure their delusion, He has been practising
prompted by the Hahapradpiks caveat
against aicting the body (kyaklea).19
which is the poison [known as]
of tradition behind the word
yoga, there is much to learn from its
yoga for nearly twenty
years and teaches workshops
and trainings in Sydney,
THE NEED FOR CRITICAL EDITIONS The first line is the same, but history. When modern yoga is criticized Singapore, Japan, Los Angeles
the second begins with janasya ye for teaching a physical practice without and London. His work is


impeding progress in scholarship
on yoga. Of the dozens of medieval
instead of nireyase, which is found
in a manuscript of the Yogatrval
at a library in Wai. Which reading
a sophisticated intellectual philosophy,
one might cite the early Haha and
Rjayoga traditions as a precedent
available on:
and he can be contacted at:
Haha and Rjayoga texts that are still did the author intend? Though an for the eectiveness of this approach.
extant, only a few have been critically editor might speculate that the word Indeed, I suspect the author of the
edited according to modern academic nireyase (unsurpassed) has greater Yogatrval would have agreed with
standards. It is very dicult to study poetic value than janasya ye (which Pattabhi Jois statement that yoga
carefully a yoga text if the text itself for people) and is more comparable is ninety-nine percent practice and
has scribal errors and omissions. with the Yogatrvals register of one percent theory. Medieval yoga
Unfortunately, medieval yoga texts Sanskrit, such an editor could not traditions were a great inspiration to
have not been well preserved. Their make an informed decision on this Kamcrya and his students, and
manuscripts tend to be roughly copied. without examining the available theres no reason why it will not be so
Therefore, rarely can one rely on a single manuscripts and their relationship to for future yoga practitioners.
manuscript to read and understand one another. Indeed, someone may The history of yoga might also
a text. It is more a matter of using have changed janasya ye to nireyase inform us of the fate of minimalist yoga
several manuscripts of the same text in at a relatively recent time because traditions. After the sixteenth century,
order to piece together a complete and that person believed the text could Haha and Rjayoga were absorbed
reasonably coherent version. be improved this way. Moreover, by more orthodox Brahmanical
I would like to have included a regardless of whether an editor decides traditions, which integrated the
translation of the Yogatrval in this to read janasya ye or nireyase, a good teachings of earlier Haha and
edition of Nmarpa, but I am unable to critical edition will provide readers Rjayoga texts with more sophisticated
do so because there are many unresolved with the available textual evidence so philosophical and metaphysical
dierences between its printed editions. that they can judge for themselves. doctrines. This gave rise to many of
As far as I am aware, no one has Owing to problems such as janasya the so-called Yoga Upaniads and BIBLIOGRAPHY
looked at all the available manuscripts ye in the first verse, all my above other large yoga compilations such as
of the Yogatrval in order to resolve translations of the Yogatrvals the Yogacintmai. As yoga becomes Printed Editions of the
these dierences. Some editions and verses in this article are provisional. a contemporary mainstream practice, Yogatrval
manuscripts have twenty-eight verses, Academic funding for five years has history is repeating itself. Those who Yogatrval: with
others twenty-nine or thirty. And been oered to James Mallinson believe they are advancing Haha Hindi Translation and Notes
there are many textual variations. (the principal investigator), Mark yoga by combining it with some and a Preface. Bhattacharya,
The Yogatrvals first verse is a good Singleton and myself to critically edit other therapy, science, philosophy or Ram Shankar.
example of this, for a manuscript at and translate ten Hahayoga texts, religion are travelling down a well- Varanasi: Bharatiya Vidya
a library in Pune and three printed including the Yogatrval. We intend worn path. Praksan, 1987.
editions have the following reading: to consult all of the Yogatrval's
available manuscripts, of which there Jason Birch received his doctorate in rmacchakarbhagavatpdaviracit
vande gur cararavinde are at least twenty. If all goes according Oriental Studies (Sanskrit) from the Yogatrval, ed. str, Swm
sandaritasvtmasukhvabodhe | to plan, the new edition should be University of Oxford and is currently rdaynanda. Varanasi: Vraseya
janasya ye jgalikyamne completed by 2018. a visiting research fellow at the Oxford Saskta Sasthna, 1982.
sasrahlhalamohantyai || Centre for Hindu Studies. His area
The Works of Sankaracharya, vol. 16,
A translation of Brahmnandas comment on sryanamaskra can be found in my published article on the Meaning of haha pp. 114-23. Srirangam: Sri Vani
in Early Hahayoga, Journal of the American Oriental Society, issue 131.4 (2011), page 536, footnote 35. This article can be Vilas Press, 1910.
downloaded at:
Caveats against aicting the body (kyaklea), occur in various Haha texts. See Amaraughaprabodha 15, Hahapradpik Manuscripts
1.64, Haharatnval 1.73 and Gheraasahit 5.31. In an auto-commentary on his Yogastra, the twelfth-century Jain schol- Yogatrval. Ms. No. 6-4 399. Siva, Lord
ar Hemacandra gave the following examples of ways of aicting the body: There are many methods for aicting the body. For Prja Phal Maal, Wai. of Yoga.
example, standing [for a long time], Vrsana, Utkauksana, lying down outstretched like a stick on one side, ascetic heating Yogatrval. Ms. No. 240-3748. Illustration by
[practices], remaining uncovered and so on. Thus it is taught in the commentary on the Tattvrthastra (kyakleo nekavidha nandrama, Pune. Satya Moses
| tadyath - sthnavrsanotkauksanaikaprvadayataayantpanprvtdni || iti tattvrthabhye).