Yoga how to breathe

Hence the YV is a beautiful example of a wisdom power discourse in action. It seeks no justification in asceticism or rituals like many of the early Sramanic and Brahmin discourses. It expresses the core of Buddhist and Brahmin wisdom discourses, as we encountered them in earlier chapters in this book. Its message is that if the audience listens long and carefully to its wisdom, they will harvest the benefits.

We don’t know how widespread the text was; if the audience only perceived the stories as sophisticated entertainment, or how far the stories inspired the upper classes to transform their lives. But, then on the other hand, we can ask the same question of our time and era: how much do Hollywood movies, often coded with moral teachings and life philosophy, motivate and transform our modern lives? Following this, can we ask whether the sages of the YV had the same impact as the celebrities and figures of Hollywood movies have on our society?

As we accept the power of captive story telling and their identities, I believe that the YV, and the yoga wisdom it expresses, deserves its own short chapter. Modernist yoga discourse mostly focusses on the Yoga Sutra as the decisive and towering text of the yoga discourse. Perhaps the majority of yoga sympathisers in pre-modern India saw it differently. For them yoga was not about release in absorbed meditation. Instead yoga was about listening to enlightening tales, scriptural studies and a bit of tranquil meditation in good company with a guru.

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