Some general notes and dates on Yoga

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Orthodox Schools (recognize authority of Vedas): Nayaya (logic), Vaisheshika (atomist), Samkhya (enumeration), Yoga, Purva Mimamsa (Vedic exeggetic traditon, emphasis on ritual), Vedanta (also Utara Mimamsa).

Heterodox Schools: Jainism, Buddhism, and Carvaka.

Yogic Schools:

  • Hatha - founded 15th century, Yogi Swatmarama, emphasis on physical training in prep. for samadhi, ha-tha (sun-moon, referring to channels of
  • Karma - "discipline of action," rooted in Bhagavad Gita, emphasis on duty and action. References Mahabarata.
  • Jnana - jnana = "knowledge", understands knowledge as a condition of devotion
  • Bhakti - "devotion"
  • Raja - "royal" yoga, associated with Patanjali's yoga, emphasis on meditation.

Important Yogic People

Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902 ad)
disciplines of Ramdrishna - prominent role in 1893 World Parliment of Religions.
Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950)
started Integral Yoga as a synthesis of historic yoga schools. Seeks to correct the anti-body and illusionist tendencies of Vedantic traditon.
Paramahamsa Yogananda (1893-1952 ad)
revived Krya yoga in the West, "Autobiography of a Yogi" - influential. Lahiri Mahasaya taught Yogananda's teacher.
Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888–1989 ad)
founder of many modern schools of Hatha Yoga. Disciples include: B.K.S. Iyengar, Indra Devi, TKV Desikachar (son)
Yogi Swatmarama
important 15th - 16th century ad yogi. compiles the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, which introduces Hatha Yoga.
Adi Shamkara (788-820 ce)
consolidated Advaita Vedanta interpretation of Vedic scripture
Isvarakrsna (350-450 ce)
wrote Samkhya Karika

Major Dates and Texts

2000 bc. Vedic sacrificial period. Ancient texts from 1500-500 bc, Indian subcontinent. Considered "revealed" texts.
Hindu scriptures containing core teachings of the Vedantic period. Early upanishads date from 1000 bc.
Mahabarata (recorded in 5th century bc)
enormous epic poem (74,000 verses, almost 2 million words), tells stories from Vedic period. The core story of the work is the Bhagavad Gita, which tells the story of a dynastic struggle for the throne of Hastinapura, the kingdom ruled by the Kuru clan. The two collateral branches of the family that participate in the struggle are the Kaurava and the Pandava. Krishna advises Arjuna, the leader of the Pandavas, of his duty to act as a warriors. The Mahabharata itself ends with the death of Krishna, and the subsequent end of his dynasty, and ascent of the Pandava brothers to heaven. (fr. wiki)

Patanjali's 8 limbs

1. Yama (self-restraint) - Ahima (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (no theft), Brahmacharya (sexual restraint), Kshama - patience, present mindedness, Driti (steadfastness), Daya (compassion), Arjava (Honesty), Mitahara (moderation of appetite), Shaucha (purity in mind body and speech)

2. Niyama (observances) - (see above - many different versions of this list seem to be around and it gets divided differently between these first two stages)

3. Asana (poses)

4. Parayama (breathing exercises)

5. Pratyahara (sense withdrawl)

6. Dharama (concentration)

7. Dhyana (meditation)

8. Samadhi (enlightenment)

Compare to Eightfold Path in Buddhism.