Cover image for The yoga tradition : its history, literature, philosophy, and practice
The yoga tradition : its history, literature, philosophy, and practice
Feuerstein, Georg.
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Publication Information:
Prescott, Ariz. : Hohm Press, [1998]

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xxxii, 686 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
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B132.Y6 F489 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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The author is founder-director of the Yoga Research Center in Northern California and the author of 30 books on yoga. The present volume is a revised and greatly enlarged edition of the author's 1989 work, Yoga: The Technology of Ecstasy . Its objective is to give the lay reader a comprehensive int

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Booklist Review

Feuerstein is a renowned yoga scholar and a tireless communicator, sharing his knowledge in more than two dozen books on the subject as well as translations of key yoga scriptures. Most Westerners have a limited understanding of what the term yoga, which means "union," implies. Feuerstein describes yoga as a "spectacularly multifaceted phenomena," and performs a truly yogic feat by combining commentary with translated Sanskrit teachings, history with theory, the spiritual with the practical, and the classical with the contemporary. He illuminates every facet and phase of yoga from its roots in shamanism to its connections to the complex and dynamic spirituality of India, especially yoga's relationship with Hinduism and Buddhism. Feuerstein explicates the different yogic schools and profiles key yoga teachers. Yoga is a vast and vital universe maintained over the centuries by the discipline and persistence of its practitioners, who strive to join the physical with the spiritual, the "individual self with the supreme Self." No more adept or comprehensive study of yoga aimed at a Western audience is to be found. --Donna Seaman

Table of Contents

Sri Satguru Sivaya SubramuniyaswamiKen Wilber
Blessingp. xi
Forewordp. xiii
Prefacep. xv
Acknowledgmentsp. xxi
Transliteration and Pronunciation of Sanskrit Wordsp. xxiii
Introduction: The Impulse Toward Transcendencep. xxv
Part 1 Foundations
Chapter 1 Building Blocksp. 3
I. The Essence of Yoga
II. What's in a Name?--The Term Yoga
III. Degrees of Self-Transcendence--The Practitioner (Yogin or Yogini)
IV. Guiding Light--The Teacher
Source Reading 1 Dakshinamurti-Stotra
V. Learning Beyond the Self--The Disciple
VI. Giving Birth to a New Identity--Initiation
VII. Crazy Wisdom and Crazy Adepts
Source Reading 2 Siddha-Siddhanta-Paddhati (Selection)
Chapter 2 The Wheel of Yogap. 35
I. Overview
II. Raja-Yoga--The Resplendent Yoga of Spiritual Kings
III. Hatha-Yoga--Cultivating an Adamantine Body
IV. Jnana-Yoga--Seeing with the Eye of Wisdom
Source Reading 3 Amrita-Bindu-Upanishad
V. Bhakti-Yoga--The Self-Transcending Power of Love
Source Reading 4 Bhakti-Sutra of Narada
VI. Karma-Yoga--Freedom in Action
VII. Mantra-Yoga--Sound as a Vehicle of Transcendence
VIII. Laya-Yoga--Dissolving the Universe
IX. Integral Yoga--A Modern Synthesis
Chapter 3 Yoga and Other Hindu Traditionsp. 79
I. A Bird's-Eye View of the Cultural History of India
II. The Glow of Psychic Power--Yoga and Asceticism
III. Delight in Nothing--Yoga and the Way of Renunciation
IV. Yoga and Hindu Philosophy
V. Yoga, Ayur-Veda, and Siddha Medicine
VI. Yoga and Hindu Religion
Part 2 Pre-Classical Yoga
Chapter 4 Yoga in Ancient Timesp. 121
I. History for Self-Understanding
II. From Shamanism to Yoga
III. Yoga and the Enigmatic Indus-Sarasvati Civilization
IV. Sacrifice and Meditation--The Ritual Yoga of the Rig-Veda
Source Reading 5 Rig-Veda (Selection)
V. Spells of Transcendence--The Magical Yoga of the Atharva-Veda
Source Reading 6 Atharva-Veda (Selection)
VI. The Mysterious Vratya Brotherhoods
Chapter 5 The Whispered Wisdom of the Early Upanishadsp. 165
I. Overview
II. The Brihad-Aranyaka-Upanishad
III. The Chandogya-Upanishad
IV. The Taittiriya-Upanishad
V. Other Ancient Upanishads
VI. The Early Yoga-Upanishads
Chapter 6 Jaina Yoga: The Teachings of the Victorious Ford-Makersp. 187
I. Historical Overview
II. The Sacred Literature of Jainism
III. The Path of Purification
Source Reading 7 Yoga-Drishti-Samuccaya (Selection)
Chapter 7 Yoga in Buddhismp. 207
I. The Birth and Evolution of Buddhism
II. The Great Teaching of the Small Vehicle--Hinayana Buddhism
III. The Yogic Path of Hinayana Buddhism
IV. Wisdom and Compassion--The Great Idealism of Mahayana Buddhism
Source Reading 8 Prajna-Paramita-Hridaya-Sutra
Source Reading 9 Mahayana-Vimshaka of Nagarjuna
V. The Jewel in the Lotus--Vajrayana (Tantric) Buddhism
Chapter 8 The Flowering of Yogap. 245
I. Overview
II. Heroism, Purity, and Asceticism--The Ramayana of Valmiki
III. Immortality on the Battlefield--The Mahabharata Epic
IV. The Bhagavad-Gita--Jewel of the Mahabharata
Source Reading 10 Bhagavad-Gita (Selection)
V. The Yogic Teachings of the Anu-Gita
VI. The Liberating Gospels of the Mahabharata Epic--The Moksha-Dharma
Source Reading 11 Moksha-Dharma (Selection)
VII. The Sixfold Yoga of the Maitrayaniya-Upanishad
VIII. The Intangible Yoga of the Mandukya-Upanishad
IX. Morality and Spirituality--Pre-Classical Yoga in the Ethical-Legal Literature
Part 3 Classical Yoga
Chapter 9 The History and Literature of Patanjala-Yogap. 283
I. Patanjali--Philosopher and Yogin
II. The Codification of Wisdom--The Yoga-Sutra
Source Reading 12 Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali
III. The Elaboration of Wisdom--The Commentarial Literature
Chapter 10 The Philosophy and Practice of Patanjala-Yogap. 317
I. The Chain of Being--Self and World from Patanjali's Perspective
II. The Eight Limbs of the Path of Self-Transcendence
III. Liberation
Part 4 Post-Classical Yoga
Chapter 11 The Nondualist Approach to God Among the Shiva Worshipersp. 341
I. Overview
II. The Left-Hand Followers of Shiva--"Skull-Bearers," "Phallus-Wearers," and Other Ascetics
III. The Power of Love--The Shiva Worshipers of the North
Source Reading 13 Shiva-Sutra of Vasugupta
IV. For the Love of God--The Shiva Worshipers of the South
Chapter 12 The Vedantic Approach to God Among the Vishnu Worshipersp. 371
I. God is Love: The Vishnu Worshipers of the North and the South
II. The Alvars
III. The Bhagavata-Purana
Source Reading 14 Uddhava-Gita (Selection)
IV. The Gita-Govinda
V. The Bhakti-Yoga of the Vaishnava Preceptors
VI. Jnanadeva and Other Saints of Maharashtra
VII. The Minstrel-Saints of Medieval Bengal
VIII. Popular Love Mysticism of the North
Chapter 13 Yoga and Yogins in the Puranasp. 391
I. The Naked Ascetic
II. Yogic Teachings in the Puranic Encyclopedias
Source Reading 15 Markandeya-Purana (Selection)
Chapter 14 The Yogic Idealism of the Yoga-Vasishthap. 401
I. Overview
II. Mind Only--The Idealistic Approach
III. The Yogic Path
Source Reading 16 Yoga-Vasishtha (Selection)
Chapter 15 God, Visions, and Power: The Yoga-Upanishadsp. 413
I. Overview
II. Sounding Out the Absolute
Source Reading 17 Amrita-Nada-Bindu-Upanishad
III. Sound, Breath, and Transcendence
IV. Photistic Yoga
Source Reading 18 Advaya-Taraka-Upanishad
V. Cutting Through the Knots of Ordinary Awareness
Source Reading 19 Kshurika-Upanishad
VI. Bodily Transmutation--The Upanishads of Hatha-Yoga
Chapter 16 Yoga in Sikhismp. 443
I. Overview
II. The Yoga of Unity
III. Yoga in Contemporary Sikhism
Part 5 Power and Transcendence in Tantrism
Chapter 17 The Esotericism of Medieval Tantra-Yogap. 453
I. Bodily Pleasure and Spiritual Bliss--The Advent of Tantra
II. The Hidden Reality
III. Tantric Ritual Practice
IV. The Magic of Powers
Source Reading 20 Kula-Arnava-Tantra (Selection)
Chapter 18 Yoga as Spiritual Alchemy: The Philosophy and Practice of Hatha-Yogap. 505
I. The Enlightenment of the Body--The Origins of Hatha-Yoga
II. Walking the Razor's Edge--The Hatha-Yogic Path
III. The Literature of Hatha-Yoga
Source Reading 21 Goraksha-Paddhati
Epiloguep. 567
Notesp. 569
Chronologyp. 589
Glossary of Key Termsp. 601
Select Bibliographyp. 613
Indexp. 643
About the Authorp. 685