Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Ashtanga Vinyasa is how old?

Vamana Rishi

'Vinyasa is very old. You don’t see this is any other style of Yoga. This is based on, what I heard, based on Yoga Korunta, which Vamana Rishi wrote. Vamana Rishi is a very big saint, who wrote this system of Asana Practice. So this has come from generations, I don’t know, maybe 3,000-4,000 years up to Rama Mohan Bramachari, it’s gone beyond that'. 


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“Finally he (Krishnamacharya) conceived the idea of what is called Vinyāsa. In fact, in the beginning of his teaching, around 1932, he evolved a list of postures leading towards a particular posture, and coming away from it.
This is different Āsana linked to one another in a scheme as though one posture leads to the following one. And this scheme was very important, especially for children, who find it very interesting.
He continues to have the same faith in this, although you cannot always follow these schemes for adults or people who are sick.
Still the idea of Vinyāsa, begin from where you are, go to a point, and come back to where you have to be, remains valid.”

– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’, given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.


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“Let us look at his (Krishnamacharya's) usual day. Whether you believe it or not, this old man gets up at one o’clock in the morning. Anybody is welcome to wait on the verandah and see that he gets up at one o’clock in the morning. And one o’clock in the morning is something for us, I mean it is like a terror to get up at one o’clock, and he is 93. He prepares his own tea and then he practices.

I did not believe that, until I saw, because he is staying with me, that he practices Yoga Āsana and Prāṇāyāma every day. In fact more than once every day, including headstand and Padmāsana, I am mentioning Padmāsana you see, because we are all sitting on chairs.

Headstand, Padmāsana, everything he does, and at 5 o’clock the bell rings and we know that he has started his Pūja. And the bell is not one of those small bells like they have on dining room tables. I am sure that bell must weigh 1½-2 kilos, because it is made of bronze. It must meet certain specifications, and the bell must produce the tone of OM, so it is quite heavy.

I often wonder whether I could ever do this for five minutes, like he does. He goes on waking God-come on, get up, get up, get up- also with some recitation, and all the family at that time curses him because he is waking all of us. At 6.30, when he has done all the chantings, it is very interesting to watch him doing these, he makes his own breakfast.

Then I go to see him at 7 o’clock in the morning and we chant for one hour. And then sometimes he has somebody at eight o’clock for chanting; somebody else at nine. So he will be teaching this Vedic chanting for 3 hours, after one hour of Pūja. You must try to chant for fifteen minutes, it is so tiring, but he manages. He has a great will.”


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Some Wikipedia quotes, convenient  but more importantly tend to cite sources.

The Yoga Korunta is a purported ancient text on yoga written in sanskrit by Vamana Rishi and allegedly discovered by Tirumalai Krishnamacharya in the National Archives of India in the early 20th century.Krishnamacharya later related an oral translation of the text to his students, such as K. Pattabhi Jois and B. K. S. Iyengar. Jois used it as the basis to create the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system.The original text reportedly was not preserved, and its historicity and existence has been questioned.

The text is said to have described several lists of many different asana groupings, as well as highly original teachings on vinyasa, drishti, bandhas, mudras and general teachings.[

The name Yoga Korunta is the Tamilized pronunciation of the Sanskrit words Yoga grantha, meaning "book about yoga".

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The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali are 196 Indian sūtras (aphorisms) that constitute the foundational text of Ashtanga Yoga, also called Raja Yoga.

The Yoga Sutras were compiled around 400 CE by Patañjali, taking materials about yoga from older traditions. Together with his commentary they form the Pātañjalayogaśāstra.

The most recent assessment of Patañjali's date, developed in the context of the first critical edition ever made of the Yoga Sūtras and bhāṣya based on a study of the surviving original Sanskrit manuscripts of the work, is that of Philipp A. Maas. Maas's detailed evaluation of the historical evidence and past scholarship on the subject, including the opinions of the majority of Sanskrit authors who wrote in the first millennium CE, is that Patañjali's work was composed in 400 CE plus or minus 25 years.
Wikipedia

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The Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā (Sanskrit: haṭhayōgapradīpikā, हठयोगप्रदीपिका) is a classic Sanskrit manual on hatha yoga, written by Svāmi Svātmārāma, a disciple of Swami Gorakhnath. It is among the most influential surviving texts on the hatha yoga, and is one of the three classic texts of hatha yoga, the other two being the Gheranda Samhita and the Shiva Samhita. A fourth major text, written at a later date by Srinivasabhatta Mahayogaindra, is the Hatharatnavali.

New research on the history of yoga in medieval India is throwing much new light on the origins and meaning of Haṭha Yoga.

In compiling the Hathapradīpikā it is clear that Svātmārāma drew material from many different sources on various systems of Yoga such as Yajñavalkya's and Vasistha's Aṣṭāngayoga, the Amanaskayoga's Rājayoga, the Vivekamārtaṇḍa's Ṣaḍdaṅgayoga, Ādināth's Khecarīvidyā, the Virūpākṣanātha's Amṛtasiddhi, and so on. He assembled it under the name of Haṭhayoga and, judging from the vast number of manuscripts of the Haṭhapradīpikā, its numerous commentaries, and the many references to it in late medieval Yoga texts, his Haṭhayoga grew in prominence and eclipsed many of the former Yogas. As a label for the diverse Yoga of the Haṭhapradīpikā, Haṭhayoga became a generic term. However, a more specific meaning of the term is seen in the tenth- to eleventh-century Buddhist tantric commentaries, and this meaning is confirmed by an examination of the adverbial uses of the word haṭha in the medieval Yoga texts predating the Haṭhapradīpikā. Rather than the metaphysical explanation of uniting the sun (ha) and moon (ṭha), it is more likely that the name Haṭhayoga was inspired by the meaning 'force'. The descriptions of force fully moving kundalinī, apāna, or bindu upwards through the central channel suggest that the "force" of Haṭhayoga qualifies the effects of its techniques, rather than the effort required to perform them.
Wikipedia

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The Yoga Yajnavalkya (Sanskrit: योगयाज्ञवल्क्य, yoga-yājñavalkya) is a classical treatise on yoga traditionally attributed to sage Yajnavalkya. It takes the form of a dialogue between Yajnavalkya and the renowned female philosopher Gargi. The extant Sanskrit text consists of 12 chapters and contains 504 verses. Most later yoga texts like the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the Yoga Kundalini and Yoga Tattva Upanishads have borrowed verses almost verbatim from or make frequent references to the Yoga Yajnavalkya. In the Yoga Yajnavalkya, yoga is defined as the union between the living self (jivatma) and the supreme self (paramatma). The yogi, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, considered Yoga Yajnavalkya to be one of the most important yoga texts and refers to this text in the introduction to his book, Yoga Makaranda (1934).
Wikipedia ( mostly based on the introduction from AG Mohan's own edition of the text)

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The corpus of Haṭhayoga texts consulted for this essay is as follows
1. These dates are merely an approximate guide, designed to facilitate the reading of this essay.

Early texts: Amṛtasiddhi of Virūpākṣa (11/12th century), Amaraughaprabodha (14/15th century), Dattātreyayogaśāstra (12/13th century), Khecarīvidyā (13/14th century), the original Gorakṣaśataka (14/15th century), Śārṅgadharapaddhati (1363 ce), Vasiṣṭhasaṃhitā (12/13th century), Vivekamārtaṇḍa (13/14th century) (including the Gorakṣapaddhati, the Gorakṣaśataka, Yogamārtaṇḍa, and one edition of the Gorakṣasaṃhitā), Yogayājñavalkya (13/14th century), Yogabīja (14/15th century).
Haṭhapradīpikā (15th century)
Late texts: 13 Gheraṇḍasaṃhitā (17/18th century ), Haṭharatnāvalī (17th century), Haṭhatattvakaumudī (18th century), Śivasaṃhitā (15th century), Yogacintāmaṇi (16/17th century), Yogatārāvalī (15/16th century).
Dr Jason Birch 'The Meaning of Hatha Yoga'  from Journal of the American Oriental Society 131.4 (2011) 527

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500 -1000 years between Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and the Hatha Yoga texts.


Early 'yogic practices' of the Buddha (sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE)
Gautama initially went to Rajagaha and began his ascetic life by begging for alms in the street. After King Bimbisara's men recognised Siddhartha and the king learned of his quest, Bimbisara offered Siddhartha the throne. Siddhartha rejected the offer, but promised to visit his kingdom of Magadha first, upon attaining enlightenment.

He left Rajagaha and practised under two hermit teachers of yogic meditation. After mastering the teachings of Alara Kalama (Skr. Ārāḍa Kālāma), he was asked by Kalama to succeed him. However, Gautama felt unsatisfied by the practice, and moved on to become a student of yoga with Udaka Ramaputta (Skr. Udraka Rāmaputra). With him he achieved high levels of meditative consciousness, and was again asked to succeed his teacher. But, once more, he was not satisfied, and again moved on.

Siddhartha and a group of five companions led by Kaundinya are then said to have set out to take their austerities even further. They tried to find enlightenment through deprivation of worldly goods, including food, practising self-mortification. After nearly starving himself to death by restricting his food intake to around a leaf or nut per day, he collapsed in a river while bathing and almost drowned. Siddhartha began to reconsider his path. Then, he remembered a moment in childhood in which he had been watching his father start the season's ploughing. He attained a concentrated and focused state that was blissful and refreshing, the jhāna.

Biographical sources. The sources for the life of Siddhārtha Gautama are a variety of different, and sometimes conflicting, traditional biographies. These include the Buddhacarita, Lalitavistara Sūtra, Mahāvastu, and the Nidānakathā.Of these, the Buddhacarita is the earliest full biography, an epic poem written by the poet Aśvaghoṣa, and dating around the beginning of the 2nd century CE. The Lalitavistara Sūtra is the next oldest biography, a Mahāyāna/Sarvāstivāda biography dating to the 3rd century CE. The Mahāvastu from the Mahāsāṃghika Lokottaravāda tradition is another major biography, composed incrementally until perhaps the 4th century CE. The Dharmaguptaka biography of the Buddha is the most exhaustive, and is entitled the Abhiniṣkramaṇa Sūtra, and various Chinese translations of this date between the 3rd and 6th century CE. Lastly, the Nidānakathā is from the Theravāda tradition in Sri Lanka and was composed in the 5th century CE by Buddhaghoṣa.

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and my page

1 comment:

  1. Thank you once again for your assembling of all the different threads and putting the question out there. History is maybe not everybody's favourite topic, but then it's no wonder people get confused with the sutras and HYP when they're eons apart.

    Just a tip - the link to your Ashtanga History page is broken, the first 'g' got cut off.

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A Reminder

from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi This blog included.

"So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta
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