Yoga with steve ross

Recent research by the hatha-yoga expert J. Mallinson reveals that there were two very different texts called Goraksa-sataka (Mallinson 2012). One version was originally called Vivikamartanda and had about 173 verses. The other version had 100 verses (sata meaning hundredâ). The 173-verse version was to become the most cited. Let us have an overview of the earlier hundred verse version to get an impression of a version of the hatha-yoga discourse which would come to dominate.

The first impression of the text is that it was not written like a typical Tantra. Its rhetoric is relatively clear and precise and not, like typical Tantric discourse, full of visions, symbols, encoded notions and incomprehensible mystique. The approach to the body was very physical and mundane in opposition to much Tantric discourse, which often used the body primarily as a screen for projections and visualisations. In fact the hundred verse version positioned itself deliberately in opposition to Tantric techniques of drinking wine, eating meat, having intercourse. Further, it did not employ crucial Tantric techniques like mantras and the usage of mandalas (Mallinson 2012).

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