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Haṭhayoga’s Philosophy: A Fortuitous Union of Non-Dualities

Mallinson, James (2013) 'Haṭhayoga’s Philosophy: A Fortuitous Union of Non-Dualities.' Journal of Indian Philosophy, 41 (6).

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Abstract

In its classical formulation as found in Svātmārāma’s Haṭhapradīpikā, haṭhayoga is a Śaiva appropriation of an older extra-Vedic soteriological method. But this appropriation was not accompanied by an imposition of Śaiva philosophy. In general, the texts of haṭhayoga reveal, if not a disdain for, at least an insouciance towards metaphysics. Yoga is a soteriology that works regardless of the yogin’s philosophy. But the various texts that were used to compile the Haṭhapradīpikā (a table identifying these borrowings is given at the end of the article) were not composed in metaphysical vacua. Analysis of their allusions to doctrine shows that the texts from which Svātmārāma borrowed most were products of a Vedantic milieu—bearing testament to Vedānta’s newfound interest in yoga as a complement to jñāna—but that many others were Śaiva non-dual works. Because of the lack of importance given to the niceties of philosophy in haṭhayogic works, these two non-dualities were able to combine happily and thus the Śaiva tenets incorporated within haṭhayoga survived the demise of Śaivism as part of what was to become in the medieval period the dominant soteriological method in scholarly religious discourse in India.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia
ISSN: 00221791
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1007/s10781-013-9217-0
Depositing User: James Mallinson
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2014 12:43
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/17967

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