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Thread: In Defense Of Hatha Yoga

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Singhi Kaya
    Thanks,

    That all three of karma/bhakti/jnana go together is what I believe too. sepration is superficial and for the mind. Also higher karma and bhakti is not possible without jnana is true. In reality yoga is about realizaing the tattvas as laid down by kapil muni. This is rendered in a different language in tantra in terms of sat-chakras. So I agree with you, but your linking of various yogas with the corresponding tattvas will be helpful.
    Yes, Chakras are directly related to tattvas. There is consequently, no difference. The primary difference between Yogas is their group of various stages, with some Yogas clubbing several stages. All Yogas have 25 steps, one stage for each tattvam. Each stage might incorporate more than one tattvam in different Yogas.

    For instance:

    Hatha Yoga - Deals with 12 tattvams, Raja Yoga with the next thirteen tattvas.(opinion of some Yogis differ)

    Karma Yoga - 18 tattvas, Jnana Yoga - 7 tattvas

    Kundalini Yoga, has 7 seven stages spanning 25 tattvas.




    All this process and sophistication is for the first vision of God as Visva, which occurs with jnana of first ten tattvas. After that, there is no confusion over tattva jnana or the Yoga itself, because God guides you through the process. There will be many intermediate visions of God after the fourth tattva. Will elaborate in a later post.

    Vishva - 10 tattvas
    Taijasa - 18 tattvas
    Pranjna - 24 tattvas
    Turiya - 25 tattvas
    Last edited by TruthSeeker; 30 April 2006 at 02:54 PM.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthSeeker
    Very broadly speaking, different Yogas are not different from each other. They are either independent equivalents of each other, or continuation of each other. The goal of Yoga is tattva jnanam, cultimating in the knowledge of Purusha, through the knowledge of 24 tattvams.
    This is not exactly so. There are several different systems of Yoga which HAVE DIFFERENT AIMS.
    For instance, while Patanjali's ashtanga states its aim as separation of Purusha from prakriti (called in Yoga-sutras "kaivalya"), Yoga of Matsyendranatha has the aim of UNION of Shiva and Shakti ("samarasa"). These two are exactly opposite!

    Again, not only philosophies, but methods of different yoga systems are sometimes incompatible.

    If we take Yoga to be "the union of jivatman with Paramatman", then different systems can be viewed indeed as stages on this path.

    I cannot fully agree with Ur definition of Yoga, since as per Shaiva Doctrine it culminates in the knowledge of Shiva (Shiva-vyapti) and not of Purusha (Atma-vyapti, which is lower comparatively to the first).

    Quote Originally Posted by TruthSeeker
    Hatha/Raja
    Kriya/Kundalini (or simply Kundalini)
    Karma/Jnana
    are the three major systems
    Bhakti Yoga is just another name of Jnana Yoga.
    There are too many classifications of yogas in various Shastras. Moreover, each term has sometimes very different meanings (for example, original meaning of Raja-yoga was derived from intensified form of rajas and not from rAja, "king").

    In essence any true Yoga is Jnana-yoga only, where Jnana is not information juggling or speculative study of scriptures, but Brahmanubhuti.

    Quote Originally Posted by TruthSeeker
    There are two kinds of bhakti - kevala bhakti, which is ordinary devotion, also called faith. There is a higher bhakti, called the Karma Bhakti, and Jnana Bhakti that results from an actual vision of God.
    What is the base of this classification? I think i understand what U mean to say, but i want to have any reference to texts.

    There are no distinctions between any of the systems of Yogas except in the minds of people. I can elaborate how various tattvams are realized in various Yogas at various stages, in a later posting.

    Quote Originally Posted by TruthSeeker
    Karma Yoga is not just related to works or sacrifice of the fruits of works. Karma Yoga is tightly bound to Jnana Yoga, and will actually lead to a vision of God on its own.
    This seems to be quite similar to Kaula doctrine of jnanakarma-samarasya.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Arjuna
    This is not exactly so. There are several different systems of Yoga which HAVE DIFFERENT AIMS.
    For instance, while Patanjali's ashtanga states its aim as separation of Purusha from prakriti (called in Yoga-sutras "kaivalya"), Yoga of Matsyendranatha has the aim of UNION of Shiva and Shakti ("samarasa"). These two are exactly opposite!
    These are just difference of semantics. While vedantins practice a form of Patanjali Yoga, their differences arise only in the final stage. Upto Dhyana all Yogas are identical in purpose. If any form of Yoga does not preach advaita as the final goal, it is incomplete. If it is so, there is no difference whatsoever. I have never referred to Patanjali's Yoga per se if you refer to my posts, because it is dualistic and consequently incomplete.

    Jnana Yoga is essentially same as Patanjali Yoga upto the stage of Dhyana. The semantics for samadhi are quite different, and these are explained in the Vishnu Purana.



    Quote Originally Posted by Arjuna
    Again, not only philosophies, but methods of different yoga systems are sometimes incompatible.
    Yogas are never compared by methods, but solely by tattva alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arjuna
    I cannot fully agree with Ur definition of Yoga, since as per Shaiva Doctrine it culminates in the knowledge of Shiva (Shiva-vyapti) and not of Purusha (Atma-vyapti, which is lower comparatively to the first).
    Purusha is Atma, which is Saguna Brahma. Nirguna Brahma is not treated as a tattva in vedanta( it can be), because it follows spontaneously from Saguna Brahma. Infact, Nirguna and Saguna are one and the same, except for semantics.



    Quote Originally Posted by Arjuna
    There are too many classifications of yogas in various Shastras. Moreover, each term has sometimes very different meanings (for example, original meaning of Raja-yoga was derived from intensified form of rajas and not from rAja, "king").

    In essence any true Yoga is Jnana-yoga only, where Jnana is not information juggling or speculative study of scriptures, but Brahmanubhuti.

    I beleive you are talking outside of the scope of vedanta. In vedanta, there cannot be any difference between Jnana and Bhakti. I have not considered any forms of Yoga outside the scope of vedanta.




    Quote Originally Posted by Arjuna
    What is the base of this classification? I think i understand what U mean to say, but i want to have any reference to texts.
    Bhagavad Gita is emphatic about this, read chapters from 7-12. Also, read Sri Ramanuja's commentary if you have access. The higher bhakti is termed Para Bhakti, Para Jnana and Parama Bhakti.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Arjuna
    I believe the initial question wasn't about this.
    Of course, the word "yoga" is very common to all Hindu traditions and generally refer to religious practice (the very word "religion" is a synonim of "yoga").
    As generally happens we have drifted many miles from the OP. But it is still a useful one and not totally unrelated to OP.



    Quote Originally Posted by Arjuna
    This is not accurate. Historically Gita was written approximately at the same time as Yoga-sutras or even earlier (Gita is dated by 5th century B.C.E., Yoga-sutras as i remember are post-buddhist). But Patanjali's system is very different from Gita's teaching.
    Yoga of early Upanishads is similar to Gita's one.

    Shaiva-siddhanta system of Yoga is again different from these both, as reflected in Tirumantiram (6th century C.E.).

    Tantric Shaiva Yoga can be dated by approximately 69th centuries C.E., and is reflected in Bhairava-agamas (for example, in Netra-tantra and Vijnana-bhairava). Though it has also eight angas, it is very defferent from Patanjali's system, but is well compatible with Gita's teaching.

    Then, both these ancient systems are different from hatha-yoga propogated by followers of Gorakhnath (12th century and later). Here we have Hathayoga-pradipika, Gheranda-samhita etc. But this hatha-yoga is still a religious system, based upon Natha-shaivism.

    I assume Ghata-yoga of Jagannatha cult is of the same period.
    As Truthseeker said general way to compare yogas is by tattvas. Samkhya of maharshi Kapil is the key to yoga. No yoga can be understood without an understanding of Samkhya. In terms of tattavas all yoga are same. It's only semantics which is different. Same as kundalini and sat-chakras, the associated gods and shaktis in tantra. And further analysis of the bijas in the chakras reveal the same tattavas of yoga. Inspite of so much external apparant divisions within sanatan dharma~it is all the same. It has just been expressed differently for different types of peoples in different ages. Sanatan dharma is bound by one cord~this now not well understood by many.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arjuna
    Modern fitness-yoga is neither Patanjala-ashtanga nor Natha's hatha-yoga. It is a commercial product and not a religious system at all. Speculations around Moksha and spirituality usually are simply a part of brand-name and image of "yoga".

    There cannot be any Yoga without Bhagavan and without darshana.
    This is true. Fitness yoga has it's benefits. Only it should be made clear that this yoga is not spirituality~which does not happen as some masters may be inclined to cash in on all types of aspirants, including spiritual ones.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Arjuna
    This is not exactly so. There are several different systems of Yoga which HAVE DIFFERENT AIMS.
    For instance, while Patanjali's ashtanga states its aim as separation of Purusha from prakriti (called in Yoga-sutras "kaivalya"), Yoga of Matsyendranatha has the aim of UNION of Shiva and Shakti ("samarasa"). These two are exactly opposite!

    Again, not only philosophies, but methods of different yoga systems are sometimes incompatible.

    If we take Yoga to be "the union of jivatman with Paramatman", then different systems can be viewed indeed as stages on this path.

    I cannot fully agree with Ur definition of Yoga, since as per Shaiva Doctrine it culminates in the knowledge of Shiva (Shiva-vyapti) and not of Purusha (Atma-vyapti, which is lower comparatively to the first).
    I'm not an expert on these things, but I feel it is nomenclature and stage difference here. I'll add to truthseekers classification of saguna and nirguna brahma. Gita gives the same classifcation in a different language and clarity. They are 1)khsar purusha 2) akhsar purusha 3)purushottam
    Purusha as a seperate tattva from prakriti exist. At a higer stage they are one and indivisible. I don't want to speculate more on which matsyendranath and patanjali were aiming at. I think they are 2 different stages of cosmic conciousness
    Neither patanjali or matsyendreyanatha aims at purushottama~a stage beyond union of purusha and prakriti [ashar purusha->mahashakti (purusha gets dissolved in prakriti)->ardha nariswar(both exist)->purushottama]

    In short perfection, God himself. I don't know purushottama can be a object of any yoga, but surely it can be guide to our actions. (no need to think of duality here, only it is the supreme stage of perfection)

  6. #16
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    Namaste,

    Quote Originally Posted by TruthSeeker
    These are just difference of semantics. While vedantins practice a form of Patanjali Yoga, their differences arise only in the final stage. Upto Dhyana all Yogas are identical in purpose. If any form of Yoga does not preach advaita as the final goal, it is incomplete. If it is so, there is no difference whatsoever. I have never referred to Patanjali's Yoga per se if you refer to my posts, because it is dualistic and consequently incomplete.
    I agree on point of Patanjala-ashtanga.
    However i would say that there are differences previous to the final stage. Even angas go in different order: for example, there is a type of Tantric shadanga which has dhyana as a second stage.
    In Kula-yoga the attitude is somewhat different from Vedantic from the very beginning, since according to Kaula-mata the world is not an illusion, but actual manifestation of Consciousness, Reality. So, it teaches Bhogamoksha-samarasya and has Sahasa (spontaniety) as its principle.

    Quote Originally Posted by TruthSeeker
    I beleive you are talking outside of the scope of vedanta. In vedanta, there cannot be any difference between Jnana and Bhakti. I have not considered any forms of Yoga outside the scope of vedanta.
    Yoga is not limited to Vedanta, of course. And myself i am not an adherent of Vedanta either.

    In the essence there is no difference between Jnana & Bhakti, the problem is that these two terms are used in somewhat varying meanings.

    Quote Originally Posted by TruthSeeker
    Bhagavad Gita is emphatic about this, read chapters from 7-12. Also, read Sri Ramanuja's commentary if you have access. The higher bhakti is termed Para Bhakti, Para Jnana and Parama Bhakti.
    I have his commentary somewhere. Thanks for the reference.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Singhi Kaya
    I'm not an expert on these things, but I feel it is nomenclature and stage difference here. I'll add to truthseekers classification of saguna and nirguna brahma. Gita gives the same classifcation in a different language and clarity. They are 1)khsar purusha 2) akhsar purusha 3)purushottam
    Purusha as a seperate tattva from prakriti exist. At a higer stage they are one and indivisible. I don't want to speculate more on which matsyendranath and patanjali were aiming at. I think they are 2 different stages of cosmic conciousness
    Neither patanjali or matsyendreyanatha aims at purushottama~a stage beyond union of purusha and prakriti [ashar purusha->mahashakti (purusha gets dissolved in prakriti)->ardha nariswar(both exist)->purushottama]

    In short perfection, God himself. I don't know purushottama can be a object of any yoga, but surely it can be guide to our actions. (no need to think of duality here, only it is the supreme stage of perfection)
    Actually, it is sufficient to complete the equal of Karma Yoga or Anja Chakra, because it is guaranteed to reveal God in the form of Taijasa or Brahma, which is beyond the Visvarupa. However, if Yoga is not continued or the Yogi dies before completion, he will be liberated in the path of Gods, from he will get liberated along with Brahma much later.


    The specifics for Jnana Yoga are irrelevant, because the Yogi we are dealing at this stage is no ordinary human being - he has the divine light guiding him directly. There is consequently no well defined process for Jnana Yoga.

    You only have to make enough progress in Yoga as to reveal God(Saguna) in some way initially. The rest is automatic what is the point is comparing yogas? That is why even intense Bhakti in the ordinary sense of the term without jnana may be sufficient, if it can reveal you the Saguna Brahman in some way who can instruct you. The previous Acharya at the Sringeri Mutt is supposed to have been instructed in Yoga this way. For those who have no access to a true guru, this is the only hope.
    Last edited by TruthSeeker; 11 May 2006 at 08:13 PM.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Singhi Kaya
    I'm not an expert on these things, but I feel it is nomenclature and stage difference here. I'll add to truthseekers classification of saguna and nirguna brahma. Gita gives the same classifcation in a different language and clarity. They are 1)khsar purusha 2) akhsar purusha 3)purushottam
    Purusha as a seperate tattva from prakriti exist. At a higer stage they are one and indivisible. I don't want to speculate more on which matsyendranath and patanjali were aiming at. I think they are 2 different stages of cosmic conciousness
    Neither patanjali or matsyendreyanatha aims at purushottama~a stage beyond union of purusha and prakriti [ashar purusha->mahashakti (purusha gets dissolved in prakriti)->ardha nariswar(both exist)->purushottama]

    In short perfection, God himself. I don't know purushottama can be a object of any yoga, but surely it can be guide to our actions. (no need to think of duality here, only it is the supreme stage of perfection)
    The interpretations for axara is quite different in different systems of vedanta.

    And in advaita, instead of following the paths of tattvams, the model of koshas is used to represent the involution.

    Annamaya Kosha
    Pranamaya Kosha
    Manamaya kosha
    Vijnanamaya kosha
    Anandamaya kosha

    You are right - Patanjali Yoga does not traverse upto Purushottama and stops at the axara. That is why Isvara is not essential in this Yoga. However that should not discredit this Yoga at all. It is not a joke to even accomplish the goal of Patanjali Yoga. If you reach that far, who needs to teach you the one step that lies above?

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthSeeker
    You are right - Patanjali Yoga does not traverse upto Purushottama and stops at the axara. That is why Isvara is not essential in this Yoga. However that should not discredit this Yoga at all. It is not a joke to even accomplish the goal of Patanjali Yoga. If you reach that far, who needs to teach you the one step that lies above?
    The problem is that the very approach of Patanjala yoga is "improper," since God is almost ignored (though Ishvara-pranidhana is present as a niyama), and it is God who grants Jnana and Mukti.

    In Shaiva, Shakta and Vaishnava Yoga systems the stress is always of God (and His Power, Shakti) and not on oneself.
    Of course, from the monistic viewpoint Atman is God, but this becomes actual experience only upon Shaktipata (descent of Grace).

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Arjuna
    The problem is that the very approach of Patanjala yoga is "improper," since God is almost ignored (though Ishvara-pranidhana is present as a niyama), and it is God who grants Jnana and Mukti.
    Yes, this is one the reasons why vedanta dismisses Patanjali Yoga. But Patanjali Yoga can still lead to kaivalya, a state of intermediate liberation and freedom from worldly bondage.

    But who defines the "improper"? Patanjali did not think it was improper. I could call your own beleifs as improper from my perspective. All these are purely relative. A Buddhist calls Sanatana Dharma as one of the stages to attain Buddha hood. So all these notions are pure relative.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arjuna
    In Shaiva, Shakta and Vaishnava Yoga systems the stress is always of God (and His Power, Shakti) and not on oneself.
    Of course, from the monistic viewpoint Atman is God, but this becomes actual experience only upon Shaktipata (descent of Grace).
    I am not entirely with this one. What about Buddhists? I think there are ways to reach God without a direct beleif in God. If we take creation to be lila ( vyavaharika or paramartika), the purpose of lila is agreed upon usually as God's game of hide and seek, by dividing himself and posing a challenge to each of his parts to locate him. Because it is a challenge, you are expected to find God yourself and work for it, through many means. Every jiva is hidden under several sheaths that veil God and you are expected to tear apart these sheaths through Yoga, or through the force of pure untainted love.


    There maybe many ways for every soul. A beleif in God is not necessary if we realize that God is common to all, and for all practical purposes God is the infinite vacant space sorrounding us, and not a personality that reacts differently to our beleifs. It is possible for a thesitic path to have a shorter route. But how can you be a God beleiver, without God willing that? For some people, God will hide that God beleif, and yet show the path to him. If it is all a sport, is it not natural to expect some variety?

    I personally do not think grace is an essential part of mukti. Who are we after all, according to advaita? We are non different from God, and why do we need any special grace? The grace is ever present. It is a useful concept in the path of Bhakti Yoga, which should incidentally be only one of the ways to God. Jnana Yoga does not entail such concepts at all.

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