Historical Context of Yoga
Approx. 7000 BC - 4500 BC
6500 BCE - 4500 BCE
- goddess centered shamanistic culture(think witch doctor, someone who can tap into nature)
- pashupati seal (not shiva) - lord of the beasts
5300 BC - 1100 BC
4500 BCE - 2500 BCE
- aryans came into indus valley? or were they already there? newer evidence suggestions latter
- sruti heard by rishis - first proto yogis. lots of concentration. visionary.
- 4 vedas - rig, atharva, yajur, sama
veda } knowledge
- ritual based sacred sound poetry
- the universe explaining itself in streaming flow of code. some symbolic. some according to astronomy.
- putting more order onto nature. purity. fire rituals. householder and public sacrifices. ayurveda begins to develop.
- rig - creation and fire ritual hymns
>> read doniger creation hymn
-Tapas , heat, creative potential/passion, to burn, to glow, disciplines/austerities, liked with asceticism - tapas associated with siddhis or powers / magic
- swaha is vedic way of saying amen
- atharva - magical spells for love, health, peace, prosperity. deities themselves acquired their immortality through chastity and austerities. prana/vayu talked about here
- trimurti: brahma/creator, vishnu/preservation, shiva/destruction (indra/air, rudra/fire more in earlier vedas, and trimurti in latter 2)
- vratyas? - young warrior men brotherhood, proto tantra men, on fringe of orderly society as protectors, counterculture (think dready ascetics) outside social rules. pranayama. associated with magic lore.
>> tell story of enlightened man with children in burning house lying to them to get them out
- munis - ecstatic shamans who lived on outside of society - referred to in rig veda
3100 BC - 1 BC
2500 BC - 1500 BC
- dualism/dvaita vedanta & non-dualism/advaita vedanta
- conservative priesthood elite class - outer social spiritual agreements. priests tried to obscure vratya lore
- caste system - priest class, warrior/ruler class, creative/goods class, servant class
- rituals became more important than the higher spiritual realizations for brahmins.
- brahmanas - shruti works to explain rituals
- arankyas - forest texts and leads the way to upanishads. not many survived b/c priests werent into it.
- dharma} law, karma/samsara - remember the belief in reincarnation
Ancient to Modern Chinese Dynasties
2100 BC - Approx. 1900 AD
2000 BC - 1700 AD
Epic Mahabharata War
1500 BC - 1000 BC
- vedanta - means the end of the veda. nondualism/theistic. expands upon vedic teachings
internalized vedic ritual - most scholars agree 13 upanishads are apart of vedas
- to sit near - to a teacher/sage/
- priest wisdom got more exclusive and lay people could take part in this kind of ritual (almost heretical btw). still not public knowledge, must be a disciple of a sage
- Main teachings around:
- atman/self is brahman/Self
- realization of brahman gets you out of cycle of birth and death
- thoughts/actions create karma
- renunciate and jnana are keys out
- emphasis feminine aspect of the divine (shiva and shakti)
- katha upanishad deals explicitly with yoga (associated with vedic school for yajur veda) - teachings of involution to the Self/purusa
- manifest work/shakti inward through senses/manas, monkey mind/manas, buddhi/intellect
- this is where we get a definition of yoga - steady attention
- 6 fold path of maitrayaniya upanishad (later upanishad) - precursor to patanjalis last 6 limbs
- repetition is like waves. recursive
>> READ - upanishad about yajnavalkya - personification of veda. 80yr old man leaving 2 wives to transition to forrest
Greece & Rome
1100 BC - 300 AD
Pre-Classical or Epic Age
1000 BC - 100 BC
- jainism - strict practice of ahimsa. and purity.
- siddhis all along - stories ascetic forrest men with magical miracle working powers.
- hindus think - jesus is an incarnation of krishna.
- 4 noble truths - basically life is suffering lets get off this wheel
- life is suffering - dukha
- desire is cause of suffering
- eliminate craving eliminate suffering
- use 8 fold path to do this ( right vision, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, etc)
- one branch of buddhism along with ideas happening in hinduism simultaneously led the way to tantra. along came a spider!!!!
- aka tantra - to weave/to loom
- basically you don’t have to leave this body to discover the truth/transcendental. body positive and anti-puritanical. can include taboo things. otherwise why would we even be here?
- emphasis on mantra and mudra
Bhagavad Gita Wriiten
- bhaj } bhati = devotion or love or blessing/blessed one. Gita means song. lords song
- climax of epic battle - krishna talks to arjuna
- when you do your worldly duty, or what you are meant to do, you hold up the world
- like the hindu bible - predates the bible
- song about god and yoga - first full fledge yoga literature
- you are the point the universe is trying to make
>> READ - favorite passage of chapter 2
- 4 yogas - karma/selfless work, jnana/wisdom, bhakti/devotion, and raja/meditation
- moksa-dharma - a different section of the mahabharata is pre-cursor to patanjali
as is dharma shastra - legal iterature on morality (300 BCE to 200 CE)
100 BC - 500 CE
- 6 classical schools of hinduism solidify - darshana - drs} to see. 6 perspectives
1 - Purva-Mimamsa - art/science school, dualist, evolves from 2 earlier portions of the veda
2 -uttara-mimamsa or vedanta - non-dualist, evolves around later parts of veda (and gita)
3 - samkhya - science of being, renunciate, intellectualism, gunas. dualist. purusa and prakriti are separate. method is scriptural. classical samkhya is atheist (influenced by rational philosophy of buddhism)
4 - yoga - cousin of samkhya. dualist. main text is yoga sutra. method is perception. curious theism (influenced by rational philosophy of buddhism).
5 - vaisheshika
6 - nyaya
- sutras are compiled - kinda both schools. some scholars believe patanjali was on cusp of tantric revolution too though so can be interpreted in a way that is inclusive.
- kama sutra
- hiranyagarbha - originator of yoga - primal cosmic force rather than a person, something yogis tap into. he wrote nirodha and karma yoga works not sutras that predate the yoga sutras. sutras are most compressive.
5 AD - 1500 AD
- patanjali compiler, climax of yoga teachings up to this point on the cusp on tantric revolution
>> review 8 limbs together
- Purunas created - great encyclopedic compilations of philosophy, mythology, ritual knowledge based on traditions/lore that date back to vedas. they were to the public what the vedas and - brahamanas were to the priesthood.
- lots of different types of yogas (when to practice, who to worship). lots of vishnu and shiva worshiping. also 8 fold path.
- culmination of non-dualist/dualist thinking. yes and…
- matsyendranath - matsya fish and indra lord. lord of the fish. fisherman.
--- associated with shiva worshipping siddhis, kula (family group) movement, kundalini (shiva and shakti, purusa/pwrakriti, masc/femine union)
--- student Goraknath lived in 10/11th century was the miracle worker of his time
--- samhita books - lots of purification practices
1300 - 1700
Hatha Yoga Pradipika
- manual of hatha yoga - raja yoga (first two limbs of yamas and niyamas) is not emphasized first. more the practice and purification stuff comes first to support you in your path.
- where we get a lot of the asanas and how to do them
1400 AD - 1700 AD