Dec 13, 2019

Samadhi Metamorphoses. Inception. Early Upanishads and Epic Texts.

The term “samadhi” is considered to be inextricably linked to yoga system. Sometimes it is even represented as the ultimate goal of yoga. But if we try to understand the exact meaning attributed to this term in the modern pseudo-yogic domain we’ll find dozens of different definitions that are mostly ridiculous. The first pages of Google tell samadhi to be “trance”, “ecstasy”, “merging with Absolute” or a certain posthumous state. Vivekananda rather prosaically defined samadhi as “concentration”, while Mircea Eliade introduced a special term - “instasy”. Some tend to confuse it with nirvana of Buddhism. But where does the truth lie?

I used to briefly touch upon this topic on the blog. But given that the next lines to be interpreted are directly associated with this theme I chose to undertake a large-scale retrospective study of it. It took me three years to complete the issue, and I am now satisfied with the result.

The results of the study were briefly presented at the round table that was recently held at the Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. However, even an hour allowed to me as a token of respect has happened to be too short a time to fully cover the topic. So I thought I could be posting here the materials written in the process of the report elaboration.

Since I have over a hundred pages, I’ve arranged them in 5 articles:
-       Samadhi as first mentioned in the early Upanishads and epic texts;
-       Samadhi in the text of Patanjali and works of his commentators;
-       Samadhi in Medieval teachings;
-       Samadhi in early hatha-yoga;
-       Samadhi in late texts on yoga.
Hopefully when done this way it won’t be too wearisome. However, I also think about releasing a video-lecture.

Mar 14, 2019

On Different Fragments Incorporated in Yoga Sutras

It’s been a long time since the previous article dedicated to the issue of Yoga Sutras’ inconsistency was published. An interested reader might have become tired of waiting, and an incautious one could have forgotten the point. So I recommend that before getting down to the text below you read the previous post. For those who won’t I shall remind the basic conclusion. Yoga Sutras does not prove to be an integral and consequent text written by one person at one time; it consists of several completed fragments that come from different Traditions with large time gaps between them. 
These fragments can be singled out distinctly pursuant to the following methodological grounds. 
1. Consistency of each fragment style. 
2. Consistency of used notions thesaurus. 
3. Uniformity of described mind-techniques and experience. 
4. Presence of finished quotes taken verbatim from other sources. 

On the basis of the foregoing criteria I have singled out five different fragments of Yoga Sutras. Notwithstanding the chapter four: there’s little doubt it is an extraneous element within the basic text. As well as inclusions from Buddhism that are 1 or 2 lines long. The latter can be told easily by their being totally out of the basic text tune, and being in fact quotes from Pali sutras.