Feb 22, 2017

Catalogue of the blog articles

Feb 21, 2017

Sutra 1.39. Yoga Sutra and Tantra

The subject of Tantra has definitely captured the attention, so I’ve created some intrigue. In order not to keep the reader in suspense I shall just say that: 

1. NO, Patanjali did not use the word “tantra” in Yoga Sutras. 

2. YES, he highlighted a group of techniques that were later made a groundwork of Tantric yoga. And they shall be the subject matter of this article. 

But let us traditionally start with a sutra of Patanjali. The line 1.39 rounds up the cycle of sutras that expose the methods of mind “gathering” and making chitta stable and steady. It is not difficult for translation and, just like the previous one, it has been ignored by commentators. I think we shall soon understand the reason why. So now:

Feb 13, 2017

On genuine desires and living by genuine inwardness

I’d like to add a few words to my penultimate post on own one’s Way and personal Dharma. I guess the reader has already got the key thesis about correlation between person’s dharma and Genuine desires: Genuine Desires in fact lead one along the road of his own Dharma. In the article that I suggest you read once again I explained the genuine desires to be a far cry from commonplace needs and to differ from neurotic and imposed desire, to be of global and creational nature; yet the practical question – how one can distinguish them “from within” – still remains relevant. 

Feb 6, 2017

Krakow 4. Yoga Sutra Authorship Debate

The next case of Krakow conference that I would like to share is the unusual double report made in form of a discussion between two classics of modern Indology – Philipp Maas and Michel Angot. The subject of the discussion in itself was very interesting – it dealt with Yoga Sutras authorship. But even if it were not for such a provocative and challenging topic the debate between these two persons is still worth listening to. With both being the world leading experts in the field they represent, the contrast between the speakers is nevertheless so striking that one would hardly imagine it. And it is not only their personalities but the method of scientific thinking that this difference involves. While listening to them debating I had a feeling that they were the two mentalities - a French and a German one, both profound and solid yet so unlike – that the discussion was held by… While the speakers were as if playing the roles of their archetypical representatives.

Jan 30, 2017

Krakow 3. What Does “Svarūpa” Actually Mean?

The next report that I would like to refer to was made by Keith Edward Cantú from the University of California, Santa Barbara and explored the category of Svarūpa and its understanding in live Yoga Traditions of India, mostly of Bengal. The reader may remember that the term svarūpa (own form) was introduced by Patanjali to denote the genuine state of Drashtar (the Inner Observer) at the moment of attaining the state of yoga (chitta-vritti-nirodha). Patanjali did introduce the term yet left it without comments having just confined himself to asserting the state opposite to the said to be vritti-sarupiam i.e. being of the same form as that of vritti. It is interesting to note that earlier texts almost never refer to this term as well. Nevertheless the issue of svarūpa notional core is highly important due to its significant association with ontological aims of yoga.

Jan 23, 2017

Krakow 2. The History of Standing Asanas. James Mallinson’s Report

The next report that I would like to give my special consideration to was made by a person who is believed to be a living legend of yoga insider studies - James Mallinson. A British aristocrat addicted to Oriental studies since his early youth; a man who’s been practicing in one of authentic Traditions for more than twenty years and the only European with a highest degree of this Tradition consecration. They say that in order to decide whether a European can be assigned with such a status a special convention of the School Masters was held. He took his doctor’s degree at the University of Oxford and he is a lecturer in SOAS, University of London.

Oct 30, 2016

Sutra 1.38. Yoga and Interpretation of Dreams

In his developing the subject of chitta stabilization techniques Patanjali offers another group of methods, namely – the mechanisms of dreams interpretation. The corresponding sutra is very short and almost completely ignored by modern commentators, whereas classical scholiasts did not pay much attention to it as well. However puzzling it out is possible. 

Now, the sutra 1.38 reads as follows:

स्वप्ननिद्राज्ञानालम्बनं वा ॥ ३८॥
1.38 svapna-nidrā-jñāna-ālambanaṃ vā