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Birch, Jason (2020) 'The Quest for Liberation-in-Life: A Survey of Early Works on Haṭha- and Rājayoga.' In: Flood, Gavin D., (ed.), Hindu Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 200-242. (The Oxford History of Hinduism)

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The Haṭha- and Rājayoga texts which were composed before the Haṭhapradīpikā (mid-fifteenth century CE) provide a window onto what might be considered the formative phase of these types of yoga. This chapter will present the first survey of this corpus’ content on liberation (moḳsa) and meditative absorption (generally known as samādhi). Although each text contains distinctive features and teachings, this survey reveals the principal meaning of the term rājayoga and several pervasive themes, such as the transformational role of the practice of samādhi and the general acceptance of liberation-in-life (jīvanmukti) as the goal of yoga. After discussing the relationship between Rājayoga and liberation-in-life, an essential conception of which can be traced back to earlier Kaula traditions, the chapter concludes by examining how the author of the Haṭhapradīpikā interpreted this relationship and resolved tension between transcendence and power, which is apparent in many of the earlier works.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Keywords: liberation, yoga, siddhi, rājayoga, haṭhayoga, haṭhapradīpikā, mokṣa, tantra
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics
ISBN: 9780198733508
ISSN: Print ISBN-13: 9780198733508
Copyright Statement: © 2020 Oxford University Press This is a chapter published in Flood, Gavin, (ed.), Hindu Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 200-242. (The Oxford History of Hinduism) Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press: Accepted version downloaded from SOAS Research Online: Re-use is subject to the publisher’s terms and conditions
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2021 12:47
Funders: European Union

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