Showing posts with label Supernatural. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Supernatural. Show all posts

RELIGION AND YOGA.

 



Philosophy taught from a physical standpoint might be seen as problematic. 

Philosophy has been associated with components of religion or else as something that has more to do with debate than demonstration in the modern yoga studio context. 



It's a good idea to start by examining the differences between religion and philosophy. 


Religions assume the presence of supernatural places, entities, and powers; religion claims the existence of supernatural things (Stark and Bainbridge 1985, 3). 

Belief in these supernatural beings does not have to be shown, and it may defy evidence. 

In contrast, one of the objectives of philosophy is that tenets be rationally deduced and the method by which it arrives at conclusions be provable. 

David Lewis-Williams and David Pearce develop a practical paradigm for explaining religion that, in many respects, is similar to a yoga explanation. 




Experience, belief, and practice are three mutually supportive components to explore. 


They claim that "religious experience is a series of mental states formed by the functioning of the human brain under natural and induced situations," and that individuals interpret these experiences as "kind of touch with otherworldly, but very real, worlds... 

"In the first instance, religious belief arises from efforts to codify this experience in particular social settings" (Lewis-Williams and Pearce 2005, 25–27). 



Beliefs give religious experience significance. 


The way beliefs are expressed — the specific rituals and symbology of the community in which they occur – is referred to as religious practice. 

These rituals are intended to guide individuals into religious experiences and to help them express their views. 

People may, for example, believe in the existence of a heaven and hell by visiting church on Sundays or that spiritual insight may be gained by taking a yoga class once a week. 

Because those in attendance share similar beliefs, the mystical experience is intensified and supported, and symbolism and rituals (an Om sign on the studio entrance; a cross on the church – kneeling to pray or putting the hands into namaste) are reinforced. 



Even if the most intense mystical experiences in religion and yoga are uncommon, these beliefs and practices give them legitimacy. 


Religion, on the other hand, gives definitive solutions, frequently backed up by a canon of written or oral scriptures, to challenging issues to which it presents hypothetical possibilities. 


Philosophers develop and test hypotheses in order to improve, disprove, or reify their subject's knowledge. 


Philosophical assumptions are evaluated by experience in physical yoga, and results are susceptible to change. 

The uniqueness of each experience is emphasized when the conditions of a yoga pose vary from day to day. 

The practitioner seeks to extrapolate – both about the uniqueness of the bodily experience and what this could entail – by constant exploration. 



Although Yoga has been put in a religious framework in previous assessments, there is nothing in yoga practice that requires believing in supernatural entities or that the supernatural exist (Eliade 1958, 363). 


While yoga and its physical philosophy share certain religious characteristics, such as references to heavenly or supernatural creatures, these are culturally particular (theistic) interpretations that are unimportant to the study of yoga and its physical philosophy (Jakubczak 2014). 

This is not to argue that religious ideas are unimportant to those who possess them; on the contrary, religious beliefs may help contextualize what a person experiences via yoga.





References & Further Reading: 



Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, Sri Srimad and Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Pure Bhakti: Bhajana-rahasya, 2nd Edition. New Delhi: Gaudiya Vedanta Publications, 2015.

Birch, Jason. “The proliferation of asana-s in late-medieval yoga texts.” In Yoga and transformation historical and contemporary perspectives, edited by Karl Baier, Philipp A. Maas, and Karin Preisendanz, 101–180. Vienna: Vienna University Press, 2018.

Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. The dance of Siva: essays on Indian art and culture.
New York: Dover, 1985.

Cooper, David E. “Introduction.” In Aesthetics: the classic readings, edited by David E. Cooper, 1–10. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1997.

Eliade, Mircea. Yoga immortality and freedom, translated by Willard R. Trask. 
Princeton: Bollingen Foundation, Princeton University Press, 1958.

Herbermann, Charles, ed. “The Absolute.” In Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1913.

Jakubczak, Marzenna. “The purpose of non-theistic devotion in the classical Indian tradition of Sāmkhya-Yoga.” Argument, vol. 4 (January, 2014): 55–68.

Jaspers, Karl. The origin and goal of history, translated by Michael Bullock. London: Routledge, 1955.

Johnson, Williams J., translator. The Bhagavad Gita. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Lewis-Williams, David and David Pearce. Inside the neolithic mind. London: Thames and Hudson, 2005.

Mallinson, James and Mark Singleton. Roots of yoga. New York: Penguin Books, 2017.

McGilchrist, Iain. The master and his emissary: the divided brain and the making of the Western world. New Haven: Yale, 2009.

Rama, Swami. The science of breath. Delhi: The Himalayan Institute Press, 1979.

Rama, Swami. Sacred journey: living purposefully and dying gracefully. Delhi: Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust, 2002.

Rees, Martin. Our cosmic habitat. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.

Sinh, Pancham. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika: Sanskrit text with English translation. New 
Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1915.

Sinha, Phulgenda. The Gita as it was: rediscovering the original Bhagavad Gita. LaSalle: Open Court, 1986.

Stark, Rodney and William Sims Bainbridge. The future of religion. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.

Tarnas, Richard. The passion of the Western mind: understanding the ideas that have shaped our world view. London: Pimlico, 1991.

Vasu, Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra, translators. Siva Samhita. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1914–15.







Supernatural Powers Of Yogis - Yogic Luminescence, Asceticism, And Psychic Power

 





    Long before the word yoga came to mean "spirituality" or "spiritual path," He compelled the Gods to grant His request that the heavenly river Ganges (Ganga) release its waters to flood and regenerate the parched earth by raising his arms high. 



    The archetypal ascetic (tapasvin) of the Vedic period is the ecstatic muni, not the obedient householder-sacrificer or even the elevated seer (rishi). 



    • The muni is part of what is known as the Vedic counterculture, which consists of religious people and organizations (such as the Vratyas) that followed their holy goals outside of Vedic society. 
    • The muni has been referred to be the forerunner of the later yogi? in that he resembles a lunatic in his euphoric oblivion. 
    • Many aspects of his lifestyle foreshadow the later avadhuta's unconventional conduct, which is celebrated in the Avadhuta-Gita and other medieval Sanskrit writings. 



    Tapas has survived as a separate tradition from Yoga.





    The Mahabharata epic, for example, documents this simultaneous growth. 

    Many famous tapasvins' tales are told, including Vyasa, Vishvamitra, Vashishtha, Cyavana, Bharadvaja, Bhrigu, and Uttanka. 



    Indeed, the tradition of tapas is given precedence over Yoga in several sections of the epic, indicating the passages' early antiquity. 


    • Tapas is usually achieved via chastity (brahmacarya) and the subjection of the senses (indriya-jaya). 
    • The inherent tendencies of the body-mind are believed to produce psychophysical effulgence (tejas), brightness (jyotis), tremendous power (ba/a), and vitality (ba/a) (vfrya). 



    Since Vedic times, another word strongly associated with asceticism is ojas (apparently related to the Latin a dt ustus, "majestic"). 


    • It refers to a certain kind of numinous energy that energizes the whole body and mind. 
    • Ojas is produced primarily via the discipline of chastity, as a consequence of sexual energy being sublimated. 
    • It is said to be so powerful that the ascetic may influence and alter his or her own fate as well as the fate of others. 
    • According to the Atharva-Veda, the deities attained immortality by practicing chastity and austerities. 



    Tapas is typically associated with the acquisition of psychic powers (siddhi), which often proved to be the downfall of unwise ascetics who abused their extraordinary abilities. 


    • The Tapas tradition unfolded against the backdrop of a magical worldview in which the cosmos is filled with personalized sources of psychic power, both in the Vedic Age and the Epic Age (virya). 
    • He also names tapas as one of the five observances or restrictions (niyama) and claims that austerity perfects the body and its senses. 
    • Tapas is clearly limited to the role of a warm-up exercise in this context. 





    Yoga is primarily concerned with meditation and its enhanced form, ecstatic transcendence (samadhi).


    • For millennia, the tradition of tapas has coexisted with the schools of Yoga, and this is also the case today. 

    The hagiography Maharaj tells the extraordinary tale of a modern tapasvin and saint who supposedly lived for years. 

    • Tapasviji Maharaj, the story's protagonist, was born into a royal family but abandoned everything in his late fifties and girded himself with a loincloth. 
    • He was regarded as a powerful ascetic and miracle worker throughout his lifetime. 
    • He achieved incredible feats of endurance, overcoming both pain and boredom. 
    • He stood on one leg with one arm extended skyward for three years, then never laid down for another twenty-four years while traveling several kilometers every day. 






    This saint drew a lot of attention in the United States because of his extraordinary lifespan, which he said was due to his receiving the kaya-kalpa or renewing therapy known to traditional Indian medicine three times. 

    • The effectiveness of this therapy is mainly determined on the patient's temperament, since he or she must be able to tolerate extended periods of near-complete isolation. 
    • Only a highly adept meditator of Tapasviji Ma­ haraj's caliber could conceivably bear the agony of self-denial. 
    • Clearly, the tapasvins of ancient and modern India have much to teach Western medicine.


    You may also want to read more about Kundalini Yoga here.

    You may also want to read more about Yoga here.


    You may also want to read more about Yoga Asanas and Exercises here.


    You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

    Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.