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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Tantra and S'aiva doctrines Footnote ref 2


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style="text-align: justify;">far as can be judged from the copious extracts supplied by Alberuni) shows that these ideas had undergone some change from what we find in the _Yoga sutra_. Following the idea of God in Alberuni we find that he retains his character as a timeless emancipated being, but he speaks, hands over the Vedas and shows the way to Yoga and inspires men in such a way that they could obtain by cogitation what he bestowed on them. The name of God proves his existence, for there cannot exist anything of which the name existed, but not the thing. The soul perceives him and thought comprehends his qualities. Meditation is identical with worshipping him exclusively, and by practising it uninterruptedly the individual comes into supreme absorption with him and beatitude is obtained [Footnote ref 1].

The idea of soul is the same as we find in the _Yoga sutra._ The idea of metempsychosis is also the same. He speaks of the eight siddhis (miraculous powers) at the first stage of meditation on the unity of God. Then follow the other four stages of meditation corresponding to the four stages we have as in the _Yoga sutra._ He gives four kinds of ways for the achievement of salvation, of which the first is the _abhyasa_ (habit) of Patanjali, and the object of this abhyasa is unity with God [Footnote ref 2]. The second stands for vairagya; the third is the worship of God with a view to seek his favour in the attainment of salvation (cf. _Yoga

sutra,_ I. 23 and I. 29). The fourth is a new introduction, namely that of rasayana or alchemy. As regards liberation the view is almost the same as in the _Yoga sutra,_ II. 25 and IV. 34, but the liberated state is spoken of in one place as absorption in God or being one with him. The Brahman is conceived as an _urddhvamula avaks'akha as'vattha_ (a tree with roots upwards and branches below), after the Upani@sad fashion, the upper root is pure Brahman, the trunk is Veda, the branches are the different doctrines and schools, its leaves are the different modes of interpretation. Its nourishment comes from the three forces; the

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[Footnote 1: Cf. _Yoga sutra_ I. 23-29 and II. 1, 45. The _Yoga sutras_ speak of Is'vara (God) as an eternally emancipated puru@sa, omniscient, and the teacher of all past teachers. By meditating on him many of the obstacles such as illness, etc., which stand in the way of Yoga practice are removed. He is regarded as one of the alternative objects of concentration. The commentator Vyasa notes that he is the best object, for being drawn towards the Yogin by his concentration. He so wills that he can easily attain concentration and through it salvation. No argument is given in the _Yoga sutras_ of the existence of God.]

[Footnote 2: Cf. Yoga II. 1.]

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object of the worshipper is to leave the tree and go back to the roots.

The difference of this system from that of the _Yoga sutra_ is: (1) the conception of God has risen here to such an importance that he has become the only object of meditation, and absorption in him is the goal; (2) the importance of the yama [Footnote ref 1] and the niyama has been reduced to the minimum; (3) the value of the Yoga discipline as a separate means of salvation apart from any connection with God as we find in the _Yoga sutra_ has been lost sight of; (4) liberation and Yoga are defined as absorption in God; (5) the introduction of Brahman; (6) the very significance of Yoga as control of mental states (_citta@rttinirodha_) is lost sight of, and (7) rasayana (alchemy) is introduced as one of the means of salvation.

From this we can fairly assume that this was a new modification of the Yoga doctrine on the basis of Patanjali's _Yoga sutra_ in the direction of Vedanta and Tantra, and as such it probably stands as the transition link through which the Yoga doctrine of the sutras entered into a new channel in such a way that it could be easily assimilated from there by later developments of Vedanta, Tantra and S'aiva doctrines [Footnote ref 2]. As the author mentions rasayana as a means of salvation, it is very probable that he flourished after Nagarjuna and was probably the same person who wrote _Patanjala tantra_, who has been quoted by S'ivadasa in connection with alchemical matters and spoken of by Nages'a as "_Carake_ Patanjali@h." We can also assume with some degree of probability that it is with reference to this man that Cakrapa@ni and Bhoja made the confusion of identifying him with the writer of the _Mahabha@sya. It is also very probable that Cakrapa@ni by his line "_patanjalamahabha@syacarakapratisa@msk@rtai@h_" refers to this work which was called "Patanjala." The commentator of this work gives some description of the lokas, dvipas and the sagaras, which runs counter to the descriptions given in the _Vyasabha@sya_, III. 26, and from this we can infer that it was probably written at a time when the _Vyasabha@sya_ was not written or had not attained any great sanctity or authority. Alberuni


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