Showing posts with label Yogi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yogi. Show all posts

What Is The Meaning Of Freedom In Yoga?




TABLE OF CONTENTS
DISCOVERY OF INDIA
THE EXOTIC UNKNOWN
THE MEANING OF BEING
THE PATH OF YOGA




DISCOVERY OF INDIA


There is no more fascinating tale than that of Western awareness' discovery and understanding of India. 


Not only do I refer to its geographical, linguistic, and literary discoveries, as well as expeditions and excavations—in short, everything that forms the foundation for Western Indianism—but I also refer to the diverse cultural adventures sparked by the increasing revelation of Indian languages, myths, and philosophies. 


  • Raymond Schwab's excellent book La Renaissance Orientale describes some of these cultural experiences. 
  • However, the exploration of India is still ongoing, and there is no reason to believe that it will be completed soon. 
  • For the most part, analyzing a foreign culture shows what the seeker was looking for or what the seeker was already willing to learn. 



The discovery of India will not be completed until the day when the West's creative powers have run dry irreversibly. 


  • When it comes to spiritual values, the contribution of philology, as important as it is, does not exhaust the object's richness. 
  • Attempting to comprehend Buddhism would have been futile if the texts had not been properly edited and the different Buddhistic philologies had not been established. 
  • The truth is that having access to such great instruments as critical editions, polyglot dictionaries, historical monographs, and so on did not ensure understanding of that huge and complex spiritual phenomena. 




THE EXOTIC UNKNOWN



When one approaches exotic spirituality, one is primarily understanding what one is predestined to learn by one's own vocation, cultural orientation, and the historical period to which one belongs. 


This axiom may be applied to any situation. The image of "inferior societies" that our nineteenth century created was largely derived from the positivistic, antireligiose, and ametaphysical attitude held by a number of worthy explorers and ethnologists with whom he shares, his unconscious—and above all by history, by his historical moment and his own personal history. 


  • Western philosophy is still dominated by this final finding of Western thought: that man is fundamentally a temporal and historical creature, that he is, and can only be, what history has created him. 
  • Certain philosophical trends even conclude that the only worthy and valid task proposed to man is to accept this temporality and historicity honestly and fully, because any other option would be equivalent to an escape into the abstract and nonauthentic, and would come at the cost of the sterility and death that inexorably follow any betrayal of history. 
  • It is not our responsibility to debate these claims. However, we may see that the difficulties that now occupy the Western mind prepare it for a greater comprehension of Indian spirituality, indeed, they encourage it to use India's millennial experience in its own philosophical endeavor. 




THE MEANING OF BEING.



The goal of the most modern Western philosophy is the human condition, and above all, the temporality of the human person. 


  • All additional "conditionings" are made possible by this temporality, which, in the end, renders man a "conditioned being," an infinite and ephemeral sequence of "conditions." 
  • Now, the fundamental issue of Indian philosophy is the "conditioning" of man (and its counterpart, "deconditioning," which is often overlooked in the West). 


Since the Upanisads, India has been concerned with just one major issue: the constitution of the human condition. ( As a result, it has been claimed, and rightly so, that all Indian philosophy has been and continues to be "existentialist.") 


As a result, the West would benefit from learning, 


( 1) what India thinks about the multiple "conditionings" of the human being, 

( 2) how it has approached the problem of man's temporality and historicity, and 

(3) what solution it has found for the anxiety and despair that invariably accompany consciousness of temporality, the matrix of all "conditionings." 



India has devoted itself to studying the different conditionings of the human person with a thoroughness not seen elsewhere. 


  • We accelerate the Bhagavad Gita because, in some ways, the problem revealed itself in these words for Christianity. 
  • How shall we resolve the paradoxical situation created by the twofold facts that man, on the one hand, finds himself in time, given over to history, and that, on the other hand, he knows that he will be "damned" if he allows himself to be exhausted by temporality and historicity, and that, as a result, he must find a road in this world that issues upon a transhistorical and atemporal plan at all costs? 
  • The Bhagavad Gita's suggested remedies will be addressed later. 




THE PATH OF YOGA



What we want to highlight right now is that all of these solutions represent different Yoga applications. 


For the fact is that the answers offered by Indian thought to the third question that concerns Western philosophy (that is, what solution India proposes for the anxiety produced by our discovery of our temporality and historicity, the means by which one can remain in the world without letting oneself be exhausted by time and history), all more or less directly imply some. 


  • As a result, it is clear what knowledge with this issue may imply to Western researchers and philosophers. 
  • To reiterate, it is not a simple question of adopting one of India's suggested answers. 
  • A spiritual worth is not gained because a new car model is fashionable. 
  • It is not, above all, a question of intellectual syncretism, "Indianization," or the abhorrent "spiritual" hybridism pioneered by the Theosophical Society and perpetuated, in exacerbated forms, by numerous pseudomorphs of our day. 


The issue is more severe; we must grasp and comprehend a concept that has had a central position in the history of global spirituality. And it's critical that we understand it now. 


  • For, on the one hand, we are now forced—Westerners and non-Westerners alike—to conceive in terms of global history and to create universal spiritual ideals, since any cultural provincialism has been surpassed by the path of history. 
  • On the other hand, the issue of man's place in the world today dominates Europe's intellectual consciousness—and, to reiterate, this problem lies at the heart of Indian philosophy. 
  • Perhaps this intellectual conversation will not continue without some disappointments, especially at initially. 



A lot of Western researchers and philosophers may consider the Indian assessments to be too simplistic, and the suggested remedies to be ineffective. 


Any technical language based on a spiritual tradition is inevitably a jargon, and Western philosophers may regard the jargon of Indian philosophy to be out of date, lacking in clarity, and unusable. 


  • However, all of the dangers that the conversation faces are insignificant. 
  • Under and despite the philosophic jargon, the profound discoveries of Indian thinking will eventually be acknowledged. 
  • It's impossible, for example, to ignore one of India's greatest discoveries: consciousness as witness, consciousness freed from its psychophysiological structures and temporal conditioning, consciousness of the "liberated" man, that is, of him who has succeeded in emancipating himself from temporal-ity and thus knows true, inexpressible freedom. 


The pursuit of this ultimate freedom, of complete spontaneity, is the aim of all Indians, and it may be attained primarily via Yoga, one of the many forms that India has to offer. 


  • This is why we felt it would be useful to write a relatively comprehensive explanation of Yoga philosophy and practices, to chronicle the history of its many manifestations, and to explain its place in Indian spirituality as a whole.




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.




THE RIG VEDA'S RITUAL - YOGA OF SACRIFICE AND MEDITATION




As fascinating as the artifactual evidence of the lndus-Sarasvati civilization is, it is insufficient to establish definitively that any version of Yoga existed during that time period. 


When we read the artifacts with the evidence contained in the Rig Veda songs, however, the situation alters dramatically. 


  • The image that emerges is of a highly ceremonial society rich in proto-yogic concepts and behaviors. 
  • Surendranath Dasgupta, a famous Indian scholar, correctly classified Vedic religion as "sacrificial mysticism." Because sacrifice (yajna) lies at the core of the lndus-Sarasvati civilization's religious beliefs and rituals. 


There were two kinds of sacrifical rites: 

  • griha, or home sacrifices, 
  • and shrauta, or public sacrifices. 


The former were private rituals with just one fire and a single family. 


  • Numerous priests, three flames, and huge throngs of silent participants were needed for the latter. 
  • They lasted many days, and in some cases, weeks or months. 


  • The entire village or tribe would congregate on special sacrificial occasions to participate in large-scale sacrifices, such as the famous agni-shtoma (fire sacrifice) and the ashva-medha (horse sacrifice), which were only performed on rare occasions to ensure the continued reign of a great king and the tribe's or country's prosperity. 



Every "twice-born" (dvija) household, whether they were brahmins, warriors, or agricultural/trading families, was required to make the fire sacrifice (homa) every day at sunrise and dusk. 


The immediate family and any local followers were present for this relatively modest sacrifice, which was performed by husband and wife jointly. 


  • The primary offering was a mixture of milk and water that was poured into the fire. 
  • Recitations were performed as part of the event. 
  • The underlying goal of all sacrifices was to restore universal order (rita) inside the bodies of the sacrificial priest, the sacrifice patron, and the onlookers. 
  • The sacrifice was ostensibly made to gain the favor of a certain god. 


The deities were mostly male Gods like Indra, Agni, Soma, Rudra, and Savitri, although a few Vedic hymns were dedicated to Goddesses like Vac (Speech), Usha or Ushas (Dawn), Sarasvati (the river and her cosmic counterpart), and Prithivi (Earth). 




The Vedic people did not seem to have temples, and public sacrifices were conducted outside, as previously stated. 


Their religion was imbued with a sense of urgency and energy, and they prayed for a long, healthy, and wealthy life in accordance with the cosmic order. 


  • There were also those who had a more mystical bent, as evidenced by Vedic hymns, aspiring to communion with their favorite God or Goddess, or even merging with the ultimate Being (sat) that has no name and was also described as Nonbeing (asat) because it is not limited by any finite form, corresponding to the later concept of the Void (shunya). 
  • The priests were not the Vedic people's spiritual heroes, but they were regarded in great regard. 
  • But it was the sages or seers (rishi) who "saw" the truth, who saw the hidden reality beyond the veil of visible life with the inner sight. 
  • Many of them were members of the priestly class, while some came from the other three social groups. 

They were the enlightened sages, whose knowledge was expressed via rhythmic poetry and highly symbolic language in the Vedic hymns. 


  • These seers, also known as poets (kavi), revealed the lumi­ nous Reality beyond all spiritual darkness to the average, unenlightened person. 
  • They also demonstrated the route to that everlasting Being, who is single (eka) and unborn (aja), yet has countless names. 
  • The Vedic seers earned their holy visions by their own inner labor, austerities, and a strong desire for spiritual enlightenment. 



They saw themselves as "children of light" (Rig-Veda 9.38.5), with their sights set on the "heavenly light," or ultimate Light-Being (Rig-Veda 1 0.36.3). 


Those who were devoid of sin or guilt in this life might look forward to a pleasant afterlife. 

  • Sinners, on the other hand, were believed to be sent into the black pits of hell, but the Rig Vedic hymns do not focus too much on this dreadful destiny. 
  • The Vedic seers, according to British historian Jeanine Miller, favored a positive outlook. 
  • She also said that there are two distinct thinking trends:
    •  The desire for earthly life with its corollary avoidance of death, notwithstanding the fact that physical life and immortality are not always synonymous. 

The latter's goal was, in the end, the quest of every mortal. 


  • Meanwhile, the common man was happy with a long life of a hundred years of vigor, a blessing for which many a prayer has been offered; therefore, one step at a time sums up the attitude: enjoy this earthly life first, then the heavenly recompense. 
  • There are many sections in the Rig-1,028 Veda's hymns, totalling I0,600 lines, that are particularly relevant to the study of the Vedic. 


Proto-Yoga is a term that refers to a kind of yoga that Yoga researchers should pay special attention to the following hymns: 


1.164: This hymn is a collection of deep metaphysical puzzles, with fifty-two verses. 


For example, the sixth stanza inquires about the nature of the unborn One who is yet the cause of the visible world. 

  • The two birds that share the same tree are discussed in verses 20-22. 
  • One is said to consume its fruit, while the other just observes. 
  • The tree may be seen as a symbol for the whole planet. 
  • Egoic impulses drive the unenlightened creature to consume the tree's fruit. 
  • The enlightened being, or sage, on the other hand, abstains and just observes. 
  • The tree may also be seen as a representation of the tree of wisdom, whose fruit the sage enjoys but which the ignorant do not. 


The following is a more strictly Vedantic interpretation: 

  • The uninvolved Self outside the domain of nature is represented by the onlooking bird, whereas the other represents the embodied being entangled in conditioned life. 


The startling and oft-quoted statement that the nameless one Being is named variously by the sages is found in verse 46. 


  • Dirghatamas ("Long Darkness") is the name of the author, or "seer," of this particular Rig-Vedic song. 
  • He was definitely one of the most profound thinkers, or envisioners, of his time. 
  • Dirghatarnas are the type of all men of philosophy and science who have thrown their eyes of understanding on the visible world, according to Indian scholar Vasudeva A. 
  • Agrawala, who has written a comprehensive study of this so-called asya-vamiya-sukta. 
  • Their emphasis is on the unseen source, the First Cause, which was a mystery in the past and is still a mystery now. 
  • Dirghatamas sits at the pinnacle of them all, posing the question: "Where is the Teacher, who knows the answer? Where is the student seeking revelation from the Teacher? 
  • He shoots fast photos of the Cosmos itself, pointing to a plethora of symbols that tell the story of its mystery. 
  • The Seer seems to believe that, while being a true Mystery, the imprisoned heavenly brilliance is present in every visible form and is understandable. 


3.31: Many important elements of Vedic philosophy may be found in this invocation to God Indra, which is translated here. 


3.38: The holy work of composing vision-based songs of praise, which was essential to the rishis' Vedic Yoga, is revealed in this hymn, which is reproduced here. 


3.57: This hymn, which is sung below, is dedicated to the "Single CC'w," which provides sufficient spiritual nourishment for both deities and humans. 


4.58: The esoteric symbolism of the ghee (ghrita) used in the fire sacrifice is revealed in this song. 


  • Ghee is believed to pour from the ocean of the heart (verse 5). 
  • The "mouth of the Gods" or "navel of immortality" is its codename. 
  • Soma is described as a "four-homed buffalo" with three feet, two heads, and seven arms (verse 2). 
  • "The entire universe is stationed in your brilliance (dhaman) inside the ocean, within the heart, in the life-span," says verse I I. 

5.81: This hymn, which is translated below, introduces the Solar Yoga, which is fundamental to the Vedic civiliza­ tion's spirituality. 


6.1: Without God Agni, the majestic substance underlying the sacrificial fire that transports oblations to the holy realms, Vedic mysticism would be inconceivable. 

  • This hymn elucidates some of the newly discovered symbolism surrounding Agni and the fire rite. 
  • Vaishvanara describes God Agni as the "immortal Light among humans," "swifter than the intellect," and "stationed in the heart" in this magnificent invocation. 

8.48: This song, dedicated to Soma, the God of immortality's ambrosia, provides numerous insights into Vedic spirituality. 


10.61: This rather lengthy hymn, which has twenty-seven lines, is rich with Vedic symbolism related to the mystery of the sun. 

  • It was written by Nabhanedishtha, whose name means "one who is closest to the navel," the navel being an esoteric term for the sun, as verse 18 explains. 
  • This, along with song 10. 62 (also written by Nabhanedishtha), enabled the Angirases reach Heaven, according to a tale recounted in the Aitareya-Brahmana (5. 1 4). 
  • "I am all this, the twice-born, the first-born of the [cosmic] Order," the great seer exclaims ecstatically in verse 9 affirming his oneness with the sun.


10.72: Another cosmogonic hymn, this one addressing the mystery of the universe's beginning. 

  • The word uttanapad, "one whose feet are pointed upward," is used in the third and fourth verses, and is a name of the Goddess Aditi ("Boundless"), who gave birth to the universe. 
  • This unusual phrase is reminiscent of the uttana-carana posi­ tion mentioned in Y ajnavalkya's Smriti (3. I 98), a book on ethics and jurisprudence that is usually dated to the early centuries c.E. but includes elements that are definitely much earlier. 
  • As with the shoulderstand, this position is achieved by raising the legs above the ground. 


10.90: The purusha-sukta, or "Hymn of Man," is one of the most remarkable of the many cosmogonic hymns that are essential for a study of ancient Yoga because they explain not only the development of the universe but also the origin of the human mind. 

  • The primordial man (purusha) is supposed to have encompassed the whole creation and stretched 10 digits beyond it in the first verse. 
  • This is intended to imply that the Creator transcends his creation, and that the manifest universe originates from but does not define transcen­dental Reality. 
  • The Atharva-Veda has a more complex rendition of this song ( 1 5.6). 


10.121: The hymn's seer imagines the world emerging from the Golden Germ (hiranya-garbha). 

  • The ruler of the universe who has securely established both Heaven and Earth is proclaimed to be the great sin­ gular Being, whose "shadow is immortality." 
  • The refrain "Which God should we serve with oblations?" appears in nine of the 10 verses of this hymn. 


10.129: Also known as the "Hymn of Creation," the nasadfya-sukta foreshadows the later metaphysical theories of the Samkhya school of thought, which was so closely associated with Yoga. 


10.136: This is called the keshi-sukta, or "Hymn of the Long-hair," and it is also translated into English below. 

  • The keshin is a non-Vedic ascetic who has been seen as a precursor of the later yogin by certain academics. 
  • Each stanza of this hymn was written by a separate sage, according to subsequent Sanskrit commentators: Juti, Vatajuti, Viprajuti, Vrishanaka, Karikrata, Etasha, and Rishyashringa. 


10.177: The Vedic spiritual practice of visionary, ecstatic intuition (manisha) is depicted in this brief song, which is translated here.



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.



Yoga And The Indus Settlements' Gloriousness



The massive Indus-Sarasvati civilization (as the Indus civilization should properly be called) was discovered in the early 1920s, just after the savant world had settled down to the comforting belief that, with the surprise discovery of the Hittite empire, they had discovered the last of the ancient world's great civilizations. 


The Indus­ Sarasvati civilization surpassed even modern scholarship's wildest dreams. 


  • Only around 60 of the more than 2,500 identified sites have been excavated thus far. 
  • Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Ganweriwala, Rakhigarhi, Kalibangan, Dholavira, and the harbor city of Lothal (found on the Kathiawar peninsula near Ahmadabad in Gujarat) are the most important sites. 
  • Mohenjo­ Daro, in the south, and Har­ appa, 350 kilometers north, are the most remarkable cities. 
  • The Indus River was formerly their primary means of communication. 
  • The larger of the two metropolises discovered in the Indus valley, Mohenjo Daro, spanned an area of approximately a square mile, providing housing space for at least 35,000 people. 
  • Both cities exhibit careful planning and a high level of uniformity, implying a complex sociopolitical structure. 


The excavations uncovered a complex drainage system, replete with rub­ bish shoots, that is unique to pre-Roman periods. 


  • They also discovered a plethora of bath­ rooms, which indicates the sort of ceremonial ablu­ tion associated with modern Hinduism. 
  • Kiln-fired bricks, one of the best known construction materials, were used to construct the largely windowless structures, which included three-story homes. 


The center of these major towns is a massive castle, measuring 400 by 200 yards and constructed on an artificial hill. 


  • It contains a huge bath (230 by 78 feet), halls of assembly, a large building that was most likely a college for priests, and a vast granary in the case of Mohenjo Daro (grain storage was a governmental function). 
  • The uniform brick sizes and weights, as well as the urban plan, indicate to a centralized authority, most likely of a priestly character. 
  • Despite the fact that no temples have been discovered, we must infer that religion played a significant part in the lives of these early people. 
  • This is mostly supported by discoveries, including patterns on soapstone seals, that bear striking resemblances to later Hindu religious themes while also agreeing with early Vedic symbolism. 


Apart from that, the Vedas include no mention of temples, owing to the fact that the Vedic people practiced their religion at home and only met in public for major official events affecting their tribe or clan. 


Given the prominent importance of religion in other similar societies at the time, archaeologists' reluctance to declare some sites as having been intended for ceremonial or holy use is difficult to comprehend. 


  • Recent excavations at Lothal and Kalibangan have uncovered fire altars whose construction fits in principle with what we know about Vedic fire altars—an important discovery that should not be overlooked. 
  • Not unexpectedly, the seven major rivers that nourished the Indus-Sarasvati civilization spurred shipbuilding as well as marine commerce with Middle Eastern civilizations like Sumer and perhaps farther afield. 


As one would anticipate, active sailing is represented in the Rig-Veda, which has been misinterpreted as the work of an uneducated seminomadic people who lived as herders and enriched themselves by raiding the affluent towns of the Indus on a regular basis. 


The two major cosmopolitan settings of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, which share a similar ground plan, thrived for about 800 years, with remarkably little change in technology, written language, or creative innovation throughout that time. 


This feature prompted British archaeolo-gist Stuart Piggott to remark: 


  • "There is a terrible efficiency about the Harappa civilization that recalls all the worst of Rome," he said, "but with this elaborately contrived system comes an isolation and stagnation hard to parallel in any known Old World civilization."  
  • Continuity, on the other hand, does not always imply stagnation. 
  • It may also be the polar opposite—a symbol of power. 
  • Perhaps the Indus-Sarasvati people were rooted in such a deep spiritual heritage that no significant changes were needed to provide purpose and succor to successive generations. 


The Rig-Veda, the literary equivalent of the archaeological items discovered in the Indus-Sarasvati towns, has such a spiritual tradition. 


We can make greater sense of both the tangible and textual evidence when we analyze cultural objects discovered by archaeologists in light of the Vedas. 


  • The many steatite seals (employed by traders) depicting animals, vegetation, and mythical creatures evocative of later Hinduism are of particular significance. 
  • Several of the more over two thousand terra-cotta seals discovered so far depict horned deities sitting in the manner of the later yogins. 
  • One seal in particular, the so-called pashupati seal, has piqued archaeologists' interest and piqued historians' imaginations. 
  • It depicts a deity seated on a low throne surrounded by four animals: an elephant, tiger, rhinoceros, and buffalo. 
  • A pair of antelope-like animals may be found under the seat. 


God Shiva, the arch-yogin and lord (pail) of the animals Soapstone sculpture of a senior priest or nobleman (pashu). 


  • While some of the theories put forward do not stand up to examination, there is no doubt that the figure (whether male or female) symbolizes a holy deity in a ritualized position that has yet to be definitively named 17 but resembles bhadraor goraksha-asana. 
  • There is also strong evidence that a Goddess cult existed at the period. 
  • One seal shows a female from whose womb a plant develops, implying early agricultural culture reproductive beliefs and ceremonies. 


Objects like the later Tantric male generative sign (linga) and female generative symbol (linga) are associated with this (yoni). 


  • Seals showing the fig tree, which is still considered holy in India, and trees with a humanoid figure standing in their branches make it easy to link to the Vedic hymns. 
  • Most significantly, all of this is still true in rural India's religious world today.


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.




THE INDUS-SARASVATI CIVILIZATION AND YOGA



A Revolutionary New Perspective on the Vedic Aryans Yoga as we know it now is the result of millennia of practice. 


In the darkness of ancient Indian prehistory, the origins are forgotten. 


  • Yoga is referred to be "archaic" (puratana) in the Bhagavad-Gita (4.3), which was basically written in its current form about 500-600 B.C.E. 
  • Western academics have usually underestimated Yoga's antiquity, and until recently, the common wisdom was to associate it with the esotericism of the Upanishads, which have been dated to the sixth or seventh century B.C.E. but are considerably older. 
  • Recent research have convincingly shown the existence of Yoga during the period of the Rig-Veda, as a loose framework of concepts and practices (which we may term "Proto-Yoga"). 
  • More crucially, the Vedic canon's antiquity has been pushed back significantly. 


Long before 1900 B.C.E., the majority of the Rig-Veda, the most significant of the four Vedic hymnodies, was written. 


In a moment, I'll go through the importance of this day. The so-called Aryan invasion concept, which has since been debunked by fresh evidence, has been embraced by many generations of Western academics. 


  • The Sanskrit-speaking Vedic tribes entered India between 1500 and 1200 B.C.E., inflicting death and devastation among the local (allegedly Dravidian) people, according to this out-of-date concept. 
  • This theory, which was championed by renowned academic Max Muller, soon became a popular orthodoxy that has stood the test of time despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. 
  • Archaeologists discovered the ancient towns of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro on the banks of the Indus River in Pakistan in 1921, posing the first challenge to the Aryan invasion hypothesis. 
  • Instead of challenging their beliefs about the Vedic Aryans' origins, most scholars merely pushed back the date of the purported invasion by several hundred years to accommodate for the archaeological evidence. 


They misinterpreted some archaeological discoveries, particularly the apparent signs of violence in certain Mohenjo-Daro layers, since they were influenced by the invasion concept. 


In the meanwhile, although most archaeologists have abandoned this theory, many Indologists continue to cling to outdated interpretations. 


  • The reason for this is because the alternative, which is strongly indicated by the evidence, necessitates a complete revision of our understanding of India's early civilization history: the Vedic Aryan invasion of India never happened! Rather, they have a long history in India. 
  • The book In Search of the Cradle of Civilization presents and discusses the substantial evidence that refutes the Aryan invasion theory. 
  • As a result, there will be no need to go over all of the details again, and a general picture should suffice. 


The Vedic Aryans belonged to the Indo­ European language family, which shared many ethnic characteristics among its various members. 


The Vedic Aryans are linked to the Celts, Persians, Goths, and a number of other extinct language and cultural groups. 


  • They are also distant relatives of those of us who speak English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, and a variety of other Eurasia-derived languages. 
  • All Indo-European speakers are believed to be descended from the Proto-Indo-Europeans, who date back to the seventh millennium B.C.E. 
  • Scholars disagree on where they came from, although it is thought to be either in Central Asia or Eastern Europe. 

According to Colin Renfrew, a well-known linguist, the Proto-Indo­ Europeans originated in Anatolia (now Turkey) and expanded from there to the IJ north, west, and east. 


  • In any case, it's currently thought that the Proto-lndo-European groups were firmly established in Eurasia by 4500 B.C.E., if not before. 
  • Following that, the different dialects separated into their own languages, including Vedic Sanskrit. 


According to Renfrew and others, Indo-European languages and dialects were spoken across Europe by at least 3000 B.C.E., and a significant Indo-European presence remained in Anatolia, as shown by the Hittite state of 2200 B.C.E. 


  • We may confidently dismiss the notion that the Vedic Aryans came in India as late as 1 500 B.C.E., based on this and other evidence. 
  • They may have lived there for millennia, having descended from a branch of the Proto-Indo-European society that already existed on the subcontinent. 
  • The archaeological evidence, as well as the internal evidence of the Rig Veda, also point to this conclusion. 


Significantly, aerial photos have shown that the Sarasvati, the Rig-most Veda's famous river, which was located to the east of the Indus, began to exist about 1 900 B.C.E. 


The devastating drying up of this massive river, which may have been triggered by a large tectonic earthquake followed by climatic and environmental changes, took millennia. 


  • It resulted in the abandonment of many cities and villages, as well as the transfer of the Vedic civilization's heartland to the Ganges (Ganga) River. 
  • To put it another way, the Rig-Veda had to have been written before the Sarasvati vanished. 


In reality, astronomical allusions in this ancient hymnody date from the third, fourth, and even fifth millennia B.C.E., but they have been dismissed as later creations. 


  • However, because astronomical back calculations are notoriously difficult, there is no reason to dismiss references to solstices in the Rig-Veda and other early scrip­tures as subsequent interpolations, especially given that virtually all scholars marvel at the fidelity with which the Vedic hymnodies have been transmitted over millennia. 
  • Another significant discovery is that Babylonian mathematics (around 1 700 B.C.E.) was heavily impacted by India's intellectual geniuses. 
  • A. Seidenberg, a history of mathematics with no special allegiance to India, came to this conclusion. 
  • The building of complex altars that were symbolically linked to the structure of the macrocosm seems to have spawned Indic mathematics from the brahmins' ritual culture. 


The Brahmanas were the first to introduce mathematical concepts here, which were later developed and formalized in the Shulba-Sutras. 


The earliest Brahmanas are said to have lived about the year 2000 B.C.E. 


  • Some scholars date them to 3000 B.C.E., while others date the Vedas to 4000-5 000 B.C.E. or even earlier. For the oldest Brahmanas, I've used a preliminary date of 2500 B.C.E. 
  • These findings re-ignite the debate about the connection between Sanskrit-speaking Aryan tribes and the Indus civilization, which existed from approximately 2800 B.C.E. to 1 900 B.C.E. 
  • It should also be emphasized that the 2800 B.C.E. date is just a guess, since the oldest layers of Mohenjo-Daro have yet to be excavated due to constant floods. 

The city's foundations, which are buried under twenty-four feet of muck, may be hundreds of years old. 


  • The more than two thousand additional sites along the Indus and Sarasvati rivers have also not been excavated. 
  • Some of these settlements, which are mostly located along the banks of the former Sarasvati (rather than the Indus), may be much older. 
  • The city of Mehrgarh, in India's far northwest, has been dated to 6500 B.C.E., marking the beginning of a remarkable continuity of cultural expression. 

More and more researchers are beginning to believe that the magnificent civilization was built by the Vedic Aryans themselves. 



  • There is nothing in the Vedas themselves that contradicts such a conclusion. 
  • Those passages that have traditionally been regarded as evidence for the violent invasion of India by earlier generations of academics may readily and more rationally be construed in different ways. 
  • Some of the Rig-Vedic hymns describe wars that are either mythical or, if historical, plainly recall intertribal Aryan warfare, rather than the alleged subjugation of the local population by Vedic Aryans as alien aggressors. 



Scholars have often remarked on the striking similarity in symbolic and cultural themes between the Indus-Sarasvati civilization and later Hinduism. 


This continuity becomes completely understandable when we associate the Vedic Aryans with the people who lived in the cities and villages around the Indus and Sarasvati rivers. 


  • When the Aryan invasion model's bias is eliminated, the Vedic oral/scriptural tradition easily fits the archaeological data. 
  • We no longer have to contend with the enigma of magnificent cities devoid of literature, or a rich literary legacy devoid of a material foundation. 


These new discoveries have also revolutionized our view of Yoga's history. 


  • The majority of modern academics believe that evidence of early Yoga may be found in the Indus towns. 
  • This has long been seen as proof of the Yoga tradition's non-Vedic origins, although this notion was only feasible due of a total misunderstanding of the Vedic Aryans' spirituality. 
  • The Vedas include as many proto-yogic concepts as the lndus-Sarasvati artifacts. 
  • This Proto-nature Yoga's will be explored soon.



As far as we can tell, the archaeological discoveries and literary evidence of the Vedas, especially the Rig-Veda, are completely complementary. 


They provide us a good idea of what seems to be the world's oldest continuous civilization, beginning with the early Neolithic culture represented by the town of Mehrgarh in the seventh millennium B.C.E. and continuing with modern Hinduism. 


  • However, the Vedic/Indus/Sarasvati civilization was not only the oldest on Earth, but it was also the biggest early antiquity society, much larger than Sumer, Assyria, and Egypt combined. 
  • According to what we know (and archaeology has just scratched the surface so far), this massive civiliza­tion spanned an estimated 300,000 square miles by the end of the third century B.C.E., an area bigger than Texas, the second-largest state in the United States of America.



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.





Yoga's Origins and Evolution of Consciousness



Yogic Evolution


1. Yoga's psychospiritual technology, in its fully developed form, dates from the "axial age," the crucial period around the middle of the first millennium B.C.E., when Lao Tzu and Confucius lived in China, Mahavira and Gautama the Buddha lived in India, and Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle lived in Greece. 


2. These geniuses and a host of other path-makers of the time - The Swiss cultural philosopher Jean Geb­ ser has brilliantly defined what this new perspective implies in the broader history of human civilisation. 


3. He believes that mankind has traveled through a succession of four mental structures, or cognitive styles, that he has labeled the fol­lows: 


1. Archaic consciousness: This is the simplest and oldest cognitive type, with the lowest level of self-awareness and is still nearly entirely instinctive. 

 

  • It dates back to the period of Australopithecus and Homo habilis in terms of history.  

  • Today, this curiosity expresses itself in us as the desire for self-transcendence, for example.  

  • It's also involved in ecstatic experiences (samtidhi) and drug-induced altered states of consciousness, when the barrier between subject and object is temporarily removed. 

 

2. Magical consciousness: The magical consciousness, which emerges from archaic consciousness, is still pre-egoic and has a diffuse awareness. 

 

  • It works on the concept of identity, as represented in analogical thinking, a gut-level (archetypal) reaction that connects seemingly disparate parts into a whole.  

  • Over one-and-a-half million years ago, this kind of consciousness may have defined Homo erectus.  

  • When we are captivated or in sympathy with someone or something, it is still effective in us now.  

  • It shows itself in a variety of ways, like blindly falling in love or momentarily forgetting one's judgment (and perhaps one's humanity) when under the hypnotic effect of a big crowd.  

  • The magical consciousness is also evident in parts of Yoga that require intense inner concentration, which leads to a loss of bodily awareness.  

  • Of course, it is also the conceptual foundation for all kinds of sympathet­ic magic, which is a component of certain yogic pathways, particularly Tantric schools that stress the development of paranormal abilities, or siddhis. 

 

3. Mystical perception: This indicates a higher level of self­awareness, similar to but not equal to that of a toddler. 

 

  • Rather than mystical identity or mental duality, thinking is based on the concept of polarity.  

  • Symbols rather than mathematics, myth rather than hypothesis, emotion or intuition rather than abstraction are used to tell the story.  

  • The legendary consciousness may have been mainly embodied by the Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons.  

  • It, like the other structures of consciousness, is still functional today and played a key role in the development of a vast array of spiritual traditions, including Yoga.  

  • When we shut our eyes and immerse ourselves in mental images, or when we give lyrical expression to our deepest feelings, we engage mythological awareness.

  • Most traditional Yoga methods have a significant mythological component, and they may be effectively put together under the term of Mythic Yoga, as opposed to a more integrative approach, such as Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga. 

  • "In, up, and out" is the verticalist slogan of Mythic Yoga. 

  • All of this is covered in more depth in Wholeness or Transcendence?

 

4. Awareness of the mind:

 

  • This cognitive style, as its name implies, is the realm of the thinking, logical mind, and it operates on the concept of duality ("either/or").  

  • Here, self-awareness is high, and the world is seen as divided into subject and object.  

  • This cognitive approach has controlled our lives since the Renaissance in Europe, and it has even become a harmful force.  

  • Today, the naturally balanced mental awareness has degenerated into what Gebser refers to as the rational mode. 

 

When Patanjali authored his Yoga-Sutra and Vyasa penned his commentary on it, mental awareness was still at its peak. 


  • Yoga does not rule out this specific cognitive approach, but all classic Yoga systems emphasize the transcendence of the mind, both in its lower and higher forms as manas and buddhi. 
  • The truth is always thought to exist outside of the mind and senses. 
  • The mind is often depicted as the arch adversary of the spiritual process in what I've termed Mythic Yoga. 
  • This belief, on the other hand, is a restriction that does not exist in more integrated Yoga. 


Although, in order to know the Self, the mind's mechanism must be transcended and liberated from its egoic anchoring, intellectual work is not always harmful to spiritual development. 


  • Gebser claimed that now we are seeing the emergence of a fifth structure of consciousness, which he termed integral consciousness, in his excellent book The Ever-Present Origin and many other writings. 
  • This is not the place to provide a comprehensive explanation of this new human mental mode. 
  • I only want to point out that this new awareness, in Gebser's opinion, is an antidote to the one-sidedness of the excessive logical mentality, which is a degeneration of the original mental consciousness. 


In Gebser's interpretation, logical awareness is overly egoic and at conflict with spiritual Reality. 


  • In contrast, integral awareness is naturally ego-transcending and receptive to what Gebser referred to as the "Origin," or the Ground of Being. 
  • There are clear similarities to Sri Aurobindo's philosophy here, and Gebser confessed to being in that great sage's spiritual gravity field. 

The job before us, both personally and collectively, is to assist this developing integrated consciousness in ourselves and our human civilization as a whole to take effect. 


  • Only in this manner can we expect to rebalance awareness' different structures, enabling each to express itself according to its inherent values. 
  • I believe that the Yoga tradition, like other spiritual traditions, has many aspects that, when used wisely to our current circumstances, may significantly aid in this difficult process of integration.



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.