Tuesday, November 8, 2011


More from Geoffrey Samuel's The Origins of Yoga and Tantra:
"The Yogasutra has noticeable affinities to the dhyana and jhana meditations of the Buddhist tradition and has generally been regarded as strongly influenced by Buddhist meditational procedures, with Samadhi seen, as in the Buddhist practices, as a state of withdrawal from external concerns and focusing of the body-mind...
 Rather than seeing this in terms of ‘Buddhist influence,’ we should perhaps again see this more in terms of participation within a shared ascetic sub-culture...
Thus the Yogasutra I.17 defines an initial meditational state (samprajnata Samadhi) in terms close to the Buddhist definition of the first dhyana state, while I.33 recommends the practice of the four states (friendliness, compassion, sympathetic joy, equanimity) known in Buddhist texts as the four brahmavihara states (Satyananda 1980: 33, 57).”
The Origins of Yoga and Tantra, page 222
Samuels goes on to suggest the idea of kaivalya not as a withdrawn "alone-ness" but an "internal reversal rather than necessarily involving a cessation of existence in the world," (p. 223).

Though he does go on to mention that a "consistent emphasis on world-rejection is certainly found in major figures of later Indian philosophy such as Sankara." (p. 223)

What's challenging in reading of Shankara is to consistently remember that he appears to only write from the perspective of One-ness/Singularity/Non-duality.