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God as an Alternative?

God as an Alternative? The meditative Process of Īśvarapraņidhāna in the Yogasūtras of Patañjali and the Commentaries on them (Garant: Leuven/Apeldoorn, 1991), 202 pp.


The question about the relation between man and Īśvara is an old one in India. Classical Yoga never pretended to be able to answer that question but it has offered two things: insight into the structures of normal human consciousness, and a series of methods for refining that consciousness up to the point where even the last mental fluctuations come to a standstill.


Philosophically, a God was not needed in the categories of reality accepted by Yoga. Yet one of the methods of interiorisation in the Yogasūtras of Patañjali consisted of meditation with God (Īśvara) as its object. This inevitably posed a problem for those scholars who studied the Yogasūtras as a document of philosophy, and thus distanced its content from Yoga as a practical approach.


This form of meditation proved to be attractive and natural for many Yogis. In this study we follow the gradual integration of this method into the totality of Yoga techniques as displayed by the commentarial tradition.

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