Welcome to this overview lecture on yoga. Yoga is a body mind discipline that's now practiced around the world. Many think of body yoga or hatha yoga is the only form of yoga, but there are many other forms of yoga discipline. This includes a yoga of knowledge, or jnana yoga. Disciplined action, or karma yoga. Devotional focus, or bhakti yoga and the royal path ,or raja yoga. >> There is little doubt that yoga is ancient in India. We also know that while yoga is considered one of the classical six schools of thought in India, yoga did not develop as a separate religion. Rather as a spiritual discipline, yoga was adopted and adapted into various expressions and schools of thought and religious orientations. For example, we see here the Jain and Buddhist adaptations of yoga. And as yoga was adapted by Buddhism and Jainism they have quite different views of reality and paths of liberation, but you can see what's shared here. And this sharing in these traditions is the sense of a bodily discipline and breath control. And mental inwardness that liberates an individual into an ultimate reality. Interestingly, while the aim of yoga is a realm distinctly different from the finite and conditioned world of sense experience, the practitioners of yoga often experience an enhanced appreciation of daily life. >> Daily life actually includes nature as well. Here as we've noted in an earlier lecture, the lotus posture of seated meditation appears on a small seal from the river valley civilizations. It's interesting that the tiger faced in horn figure is surrounded by other animals and the script of these people. This suggests that the practice of yoga of meditation was embedded in the natural and the cultural life of that era. From this four thousand year association, further evidence of yoga is found in the Vedas. Namely aesthetic practices, internalization of sacrifice and breath control. >> In the Vedas ascetics such as we see here are called munis and are known for their ecstasy and magical feats and super normal powers. These accomplishments are often credited to the inner heat or tapas generated by these austerities such as fasting and controlling breath. The term tapas continued in South Asian religions to describe this internal spiritual energy. Cultivating this internal energy through aesthetic practices continues into the present as we see in this contemporary photograph of a renouncer. Again an aesthetic practice which is found in the present. Yet even within the Vedas themselves, the link between breath and sacrifice was established quite early. By the sixth century and the close of the Vedas in the Upanishads. The interiorization of sacrifice began to fuse with the inner breath of words and this augured new perspectives on the ultimate. For example, this image again of the symbol om. The perfect sacrificer became that one who controlled the breath sound of speech using mantra such as om. To compel the Devas, the gods to do his bidding. In these later hymns then of the Rig Veda, new forms of consciousness are described such as in the hymn to the goddess Devi. >> Here a feminine divine consciousness guides the sacrificer. The person who sees, who breathes, who hears words spoken, He obtains his nourishment from me alone. Even though they do not recognize me, yet they dwell in me. I make him a God, a perfect sacrifice, a seer. I breathe powerfully, like the wind, while holding all the worlds. So mighty and splendid is my power. I go beyond the heavens and beyond the earth. >> Mm-hm, it's interesting to feel in this hymn, the sense of the focus on this, the seer, the one who is undertaking the sacrifice. And yet something is beyond, going beyond heavens and beyond. Feel this tension of the immediacy of the sacrifice and yet something beyond. So with this interiorization of the sacrifice, we are introduced to two elements that also characterize yoga. First, there is definitely a turning away from the natural world and the human condition of life and death as the supreme value towards an ultimate reality beyond the world. And yet we also feel attention, that the natural world is not left entirely. So how that factors into yogic thought and practice is something we need to reconsider. A second point then, a second emphasis marks the individual as the practitioner of accomplishment. Rather than the practitioner being part of a consortium of Brahman priests. >> A final point from the Vedic hymns is a shift in the naming and meaning of Purusha. In the early religious cosmology, Purusha referred to the primal being who was sacrificed to create the cosmos. By the later Vedanta or Panishads, Purusha began to refer to a universal cosmic spirit. Eventually Purusha as unchanging spirit was seen in contrast with dynamic changing matter or prakriti. >> In the Upanishads, emphasis on the knowledge generated by sacrifice brings one to a higher self or Atman such as we've discussed in prior lectures. This higher self was believed to lead one from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, and from death to immortality. Here we see a turn to an interior ultimate reality. Realization of this deeper calm reality became the goal of humans who are originally born into a lower turbulent consciousness. >> So as we see in the slide, the effort of a yogi, very often in the natural world is to present him or herself in relation to the heavens, the sun, the gestures, the body postures are very much integrated into nature. Now we want to return then to this, the sources of this, namely the first systemic treatment of yoga. And it was potentially in the yoga searchers who composed this in the early second century before the common era. This is only one of the many treatises on yoga, but it became a seminal focus for commentaries into the present. The philosophy of yoga presented in the text is known as Samkhya. Scholars in the West have often understood Samkhya philosophy as a dualistic system. In which an absolute difference is drawn between matter and spirit of prakriti and purusha. The characterization though of Samkhya as dualistic in the cartesian or mannequin sense of the word is not accurate. The two aspects of reality exists in reciprocity. There can be no experience (prakriti) without consciousness (purusa). There can be no freedom without experience. So we can suggest this. Samkhya highlights two aspects of the human experience. Activity and change in relationship to a deep, abiding silent witness. By delving periodically through meditation into silence, one takes up one's life work in the world with renewed energy and perspective. Thus this is not life denying, it is renewing human energy for the work ahead. As we see here to those with discriminating judgment, everything is in a manner painful since everything brings pain either as an actual effect, as anxiety over the future deprivation of joy, as desire newly arising from past impressions. Or as the conflicting activity of the quality of things. >> Thus an individual reflexive mind or chitta might ultimately come to the liberating realization of quiescent and unmoving consciousness Purusha. This is the Purusha that sees the world through the mental and sense activities but is not part of the prakriti world. This realization can occur by suppressing the disturbing whirlpools of consciousness of vritti. The aesthetic act of suppression or nirodha is the beginning work of the Yogi. These ideas are fundamental to Samkhya thought and find immediate expression at the beginning of the Yoga Sutra. Yoga, chitta, vritti, nirodha yoga is the suppression of the modifications of the mind. It's a powerful, actually the second proposition but it's so arresting that Patanjali opens the Yoga Sutra with this definition drawn from the core teachings of Samkhya thought. He then goes on to lay out in a systematic way the teachings of yoga as a five external disciplines to control the whirlpools of our chaotic consciousness. Namely these five yogic external techniques to control consciousness. Yama, the moral restraints, Niyama, the disciplines again external disciplines in relationship to the social world. Asanas, and this is the image that we all know of yoga, the body postures. And pranayama, regulation of the breath energy. This is something again, we've seen the continuity of this development in Hindic thought. And pratyahara, sense withdrawal, the sense of a retreat from the world. >> The five moral restraints, then our non-violence, Ahimsa, a powerful concept throughout Indian thought. Truthfulness, non-stealing, sexual restraint, non-grasping. >> This leads to the five disciplines of Niyama. So these are both external, the yama are external and the niyama then now turn towards the social concern just as we've seen sexual control, purity now almost the opposite side of control. The sense of of the young student engaging in a restrained life and cultivating calmness. And asceticism shows itself again, the active study of texts and then devotion to a higher power or Ishvara. Very interesting point in these Niyama. >> Each of these teachings then are extensively developed by different schools of yoga. Two points present themselves to us for our consideration. First, the external technique of moral restraints are not ends in themselves, but assist on the path to liberation. Second, yoga presents an ultimate goal beyond the changing world. However, in practice it holds that one's life in the natural world can be enhanced by discriminating judgment. Thus there is an inherent ambiguity and tension about flight from the world and learning from the world as an aesthetic strives to reach Purusha. >> Having undertaken this external training, the yogi now turns to the internal disciplines. These internal techniques, our efforts to control consciousness by an intense concentration or dharana. And in this concentration then it focuses on objects within the natural world, but yet it's effort is to reach external or the sense of Purusha. Through deep meditation on the concentration and finally arriving at samadhi or liberation in relationship to this focus of concentration. So in these stages of realization, the yogi calms the mind, enabling the moon of Purusha to arise. So the ultimate goals of yoga present themselves. Moksha as the culminating stage in what we have seen as a sequence of external and internal meditative efforts to reach a liberative stage. Where Purusha now becomes the position from which one engages the world that is kaivalya. So moksha the final liberation on the path and kaivalya, the position from which the yogi in Purusha engages the world. This incredible paradox and tension within the yogic tradition, which sees the world as an arena of suffering from which one retreats but then reengages from the Purusha perspective. >> Intimacy and distance. >> Yes.