Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilNuméros14VariaRest after War: yóga in the R̥gve...

Varia

Rest after War: yóga in the R̥gveda and Its Scholarly Understanding in the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries

Il riposo dopo lo scontro: yóga nel R̥gveda e la sua interpretazione accademica nel XIX e XX secolo
Marianna Ferrara

Résumés

From a longue durée perspective, the term yoga has been scholarly understood as a philosophical system or a religious phenomenon. Such an approach, however, does not take into account the uses of the word yóga in the early Vedic texts, mainly the gveda, where this term is linked with the art of war. This article suggests that the term yóga should be understood in the social and political context of the mobility and warfare of the semi nomadic communities of ancient India. It also addresses the question of historiography of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It is suggested that the scholarly understanding of the word yóga in the early Vedic literature has been impacted by many attempts to search for an original, pure or essential yoga. For the purposes of this articles, the invention of the Ur-Yoga will be discussed to show how they contributed to forge ideologies in the course of the twentieth century.

Haut de page

Texte intégral

About the Word yoga

  • 1 Böthling, Roth 1855-1875; Burnouf, Leupol 1866; Monier Williams 1899.
  • 2 There is no consensus, but many scholars agree with the date of 3rd c. CE because of Patañjali’s re (...)
  • 3 According to Phillip Maas (2006, 2013) the Yogasūtra and its commentary belong to the same work b (...)
  • 4 Cf. White 2009; Squarcini 2015, esp. liii ff; Wujastyk 2018; Neri, Pontillo 2019.

1In the field of Indological studies, the term yoga has been variously translated, from union, tension, conjunction, effort, attention, contemplation, spiritual concentration, meditation, ability to direct knowledge1. Some of these interpretations of the term yoga are derived from the short texts in sūtra style attributed to Patañjali (3rd–4th c. CE)2, known as the Yogasūtra or Pātañjalayogaśāstra3. The term yoga is also attested in the oldest strata of the literature composed in the Brahmanical and Buddhist circles, in particular within those collections that have been assembled in the Saṃhitās and Brāhmaṇas, and in the Pāli canon4. The presence of the term yoga in all these sources, decidedly older than Patañjali’s, begs the question of what yoga meant before 3rd–4th c. CE.

  • 5 Following the internal sandhi rules, the unvoiced guttaral -j in front of vowels, which are conside (...)
  • 6 One example in Latin is the class of verbs connected to iŭgo / iŭgāre (‘to bind, marry’), such as (...)
  • 7 Cf. Oguibénine 1998 [1984].
  • 8 Geldner 1951–1957; Renou 1953; Oguibénine 1984; 1998 [1984]; Elizarenkova 1989–1999; Jamison, Bre (...)
  • 9 Geldner 1951–1957; Elizarenkova 1989–1999; Witzel, Gotō 2007.
  • 10 Grassmann 1873, 1125–1126; Papesso 1929–1931; Mayrhofer 1956–1976, 3.20–21; Sani 2000.

2Current translations of the word yoga emphasize its connections to “mind actions”; nonetheless, the richness of meanings this term received in the Indo-European vocabulary invites us to consider a wider semantic domain for yoga, paying special attention here to "recruitment of forces and their release”. At the morphological level, yoga is an a-stem, derived from the verbal root *yuj, ‘to yoke, join, fasten, harness’.5 The term yoga is, therefore, a nominal derivate indicating the act of yoking, joining, fastening, harnessing. This meaning of yoga is shared with other Indo-European languages6. From them we may come back to the Proto-Indo-European root *ieu, *ieuu, *ieu-g, meaning ‘to yoke, join, tie together.’ Despite displaying a strong linguistic consistency among the Indo-European languages, as Boris Oguibénine noticed7, the term yóga (with Vedic accent) is also employed by Indo-Aryan speakers of the language used in the R̥gvedic poetry with the meaning of ‘conquest’ or ‘battle’8, ‘effort’ or ‘engagement’9, ‘achievement’ or ‘action’10. Some scholars argued that the purposes of the Yogasūtra explain the semantic shift from the idea of ‘yoke’ to that of ‘effort’. They, indeed, interpreted the aim of ‘yoking’ the body to the activity of the mind as being one of the main principles of Patañjalian’s yoga.

  • 11 Bronkhorst 2011, 165–170; Squarcini 2015, xlix–lxxxix.
  • 12 Maas 2006; Bronkhorst 2011, 165-170; Squarcini 2015, xlix–lxxxix.

3What all these examples suggest is that the Vedic term yóga has been given different meanings within the early poetry of ancient India. At the time when the Yogasūtra and the Yogabhāṣya were composed, during the first centuries of the Common Era, the word yoga principally was used to mean ‘means, method for, way of.’ Within his works, Patañjali joined a discussion about the method and its object, mainly concerning the ‘means’ to liberation. One could thus infer the existence of an intra-textual network made of quotations, literary borrowings, and references, within which Patañjali entered in conversation with other authoritative masters on topics such as asceticism, meditation, knowledge, and much more11. The above alluded intellectual network, to which Patañjali implicitly refers in his statements, indicates the existence of significant reflections on ‘the adequate methods’ as a part of a broader analysis of philosophical questions. Reflections on the effective or appropriate means to liberation can be dated back to the earliest Brahmanical and Buddhist works, before theYogasūtra. There is thus evidence both that the word yóga was employed before Patañjali in different religious and philosophical circles, and that the technical use by Patañjali constituted a historical caesura. Of course, the purpose of the method was particularly at stake in the situations in which Patañjali was either attacked or followed by his contemporaries. To date, the discussion on yoga in the Yogasūtra constitutes a piece of a bigger and even older literary puzzle12.

  • 13 Maas 2013, 53 ff; Singleton 2010, 4 ff.
  • 14 Cf. Maas 2006; White 2009; Singleton 2010.

4Despite the richness of the term yoga, above indicated, modern academic literature tends to privilege a rather narrowly focused understanding of yoga. From the end of the nineteenth century, a univocal interpretation of yoga has strongly impacted the scholarly understanding of the term in the oldest literary contexts. Scholars turned to searching the ‘original’ meaning of yoga and aimed to separate ‘Yoga philosophy’ from the ‘practice of yoga13. Yet, the understanding of yoga as a philosophical approach (primarily, Advaita Vedānta) or a religious phenomenon (especially, Haṭha Yoga)14 does not take into account the meanings assigned to the term yóga in early texts, composed many centuries before Patañjali’s works in a social and political context where the word yóga was linked with the art of war.

  • 15 Maas 2016, 2013.
  • 16 Maas 2006, 53 ff; White 2009; Bronkhorst 2011, 165 ff; Squarcini 2015; Neri, Pontillo 2019.

5The fact remains, however, that the composition of Yogasūtra and Yogabhāṣya has been set by some scholars as a chronological and thematic frame within which they identity a conceptual change in the use of the word yoga15. Evidence of this change has been isolated through the comparison between the oldest oral tradition belonging to the Brahmanical circles – later crystallized in the Vedic canons – and the post-Buddha Sanskrit traditions. The triangulation, however, between the early Vedic and post-Buddha Sanskrit sources and the Buddhist texts allow us to rethink the semantic development around the word yoga and to retrace the early stages of the intellectual history of yoga before and after Buddha16.

  • 17 Cf. Oldenberg 1888; Witzel 1997.

6In the following, I shall investigate the oldest strata of the Vedic literature in order to unfold the semantic development associated with the word yoga in the Yogasūtra and the successive sources. From a diachronic perspective, I will pay close attention to the earliest hymns that the ancient Brahmins had composed to honour gods, since this textual data is considered as being one of the oldest witnesses in the Indo-Aryan languages. Scholars proposed many chronologies for the composition of the earliest Vedic literature, but the second half of the second millennium BCE is the most accredited17. Therefore, in order to test the hypothesis according to which the term yoga appeared in the oldest hymns, I shall refer to the canon of strophes named R̥gvedasaṃhitā (R̥V).

7In this article, I also address the question of historiography on yoga in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I will show how some attempts to search for an original yoga answered to the attempts to forge ideologies and how they impacted the scholarly understanding of the word yóga/yoga.

Modal Meanings of yóga in the R̥gveda

  • 18 Cf. Witzel 1997, 257–348; Oldenberg 1888. See the Appendix above.
  • 19 Cf. Mahadevan 2011; Macdonell 1886.

8The occurrences of the term yóga in the R̥gveda are not abundant. The stem yóga- appears in only 21 of the 1028 hymns of the R̥gveda, scattered among the ten books of this collection. The order of the books is not chronological, nor is it the sequencing of the hymns in every book. We have good reasons, however, to hold that the diachronic disposition of the data should proceed from an older core – identified with the books II–VII – to the newer additions, comprising the books VIII, I and X18. The ninth book is often considered as a special collection because it includes a small group of hymns dedicated to the ritual practice for producing the liquid offered to gods, that is, the soma drink. Moreover, the so-called ‘soma-collection’ contains hymns that have been attributed to various poets in the circles of Brahmins who took part in composing the collection – this is given as the ‘official’ authorship, according to the late indexes of the R̥gveda19.

  • 20 Maas 2013.

9The idea that textual stratification provides a diachronic disposition of the texts should not justify, however, the search for an ‘authentic’ meaning of the term yóga, or the identification of a ‘true’ and ‘original’ notion out of which the late ‘yogic methods’ developed. This attempt to locate a ‘pure,’ ‘true,’ ‘essential,’ or ‘original,’ yoga represents, indeed, the direction taken by many nineteenth and twentieth century scholars20.

10From the reading of the several available translations of the R̥gveda, however, one has the impression that many modern scholars have difficulty in abandoning the ‘hypostatic and monothematic’ meaning of the term yoga as it was used in later texts, produced after the Vedic corpora. On the one hand, one could explain this attitude as the systematic projection of a more recent meaning of yoga retroactively over texts arguably by one millennium and a half older. Such anachronistic readings are not limited to the history of the term yoga. The history of ‘comparative religions’ is replete with chronologically backwards’ interpretations of concepts into more ancient texts. On the other hand, one could possibly identify a certain resistance in scholarly circles to unpacking the historical layers of yoga, which, coupled with the implicit consensus to treating yoga as a stable concept, resulted in its scholarly armature becoming connected rather to the later literary contexts.

  • 21 White 2009; Squarcini 2015; Baier, Maas, Preisendanz 2018.

11The history of the use of the word yoga, both as a practice and as an intellectual method, covers an immense cultural landscape, which is rooted within the Brahmanical, Buddhist, Jain environments and stretches from South Asia to Central and East Asia. Nonetheless, only a restricted range of definitions, arisen in the colonial-like encounter between the West (European, North American) and the East (religious sources, commentaries, native practitioners), has oriented the nineteenth- and twentieth-centuries academic writings about what is expected to be yoga and what is not. At odds with the position advocated by recent scholarship, on the historical use the plural term yogas, which developed out of the focus on cultural transformation of yoga21, I suggest the word yoga be reconsidered within the Vedic literature by taking the R̥gvedic strata as a starting point. From this vantage point, I will break with the trend, extremely common, of understanding yóga in the R̥gveda and the oldest Vedic literature as an ascetic practice that presents the rudiments of yoga as a philosophical system or a religious discipline. Following a pragmatic approach to the study of the stem yóga in the Vedic corpora, I suggest that the word yóga should be interpreted in relation to two pragmatic processes that marked the life of the migrant people of the North-Western regions of ancient India: 1) the passage from the preparation of men to their ‘recruitment, regrouping, reunion, gathering’ (yóga) before the battle to the moment of the fight; 2) the passage from the end of battle to the period of ‘rest’ and ‘peace’ (kṣéma). At the moment of yóga, the forces previously spread within a unique, cohesive, close-knit body, take distance from their habitat and assemble against ‘the other.’ At that precise moment, the individual and the whole collectivity prepare for the fight. Only after the battle, the forces break up and disperse for a peaceful rest, i.e., the time for kṣéma.

  • 22 Renou 1953, 177–180.
  • 23 Oguibénine 1984, 85–101.
  • 24 Cf. Garbe 1896, 34–35; Hauer 1922, 1932.
  • 25 Garbe 1896, 34.
  • 26 Garbe refers to the book Religions des Veda (1888) by Hermann Oldenberg.
  • 27 Garbe 1896, 35: “Damit wuchs der Begriff des Yoga (etymologisch »Anschirrung«, d. h. Anspannung d (...)
  • 28 Hauer 1921, 190: “Yoga heißt ja Anspannung, und bedeutete in der ältesten Zeit der brahmanischen (...)
  • 29 Hauer 1921, 169. Cf. the representations of the “Aryan werewolf” in the critical analysis by Lincol (...)
  • 30 Hauer 1921, 156: “dieses Element der Yogapraxis, die von den Kriegern herkam, von der brahmanischen (...)
  • 31 In 1933, Hauer joined Rosenberg’s Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur and Hitlerjugend. In 1934, he joine (...)
  • 32 Poewe, Hexham 2005, esp. 208 (emphasis in the original; republished and developed in Poewe 2006).
  • 33 Benavides 2018, 263–264.
  • 34 Cf. Fröbe-Kapteyn 1942, 1. Hauer was regular speaker at the Eranos meetings until he and Jung adopt (...)
  • 35 Renou, Filliozat 1947, 356 (§722) and 371 (§ 752).
  • 36 Hauer 1921, 19.

12Taking the above examples as a basis will enable us to distinguish the term yóga in the early texts from later developments, such as the Yogasūtra. Evidence of this distinction has already been illustrated some decades ago by Louis Renou (1896–1966)22 and Boris Oguibénine23, while a few among the early twentieth century’s scholars underestimated the semantic development of the word yoga in the attempt to seek the traces of the yogic practices in the earliest layers of the Vedic texts24. In particular, Richard Garbe (1857–1927) aimed to explain the distinction between “der Begriff des Yoga und seine Herkunft”, going back to the “Indo-Germanic past”25. Starting from the studies by the philologist Hermann Oldenberg26, Garbe did not link the ascetic practice to the notion of yoga, but to that of tapas, meant here as the ‘heat’ produced in an ascetical state.27 Jakob W. Hauer (1881–1962), who was supervised by Garbe during his Doktorat in 1918, argued that the term yoga means ‘tension,’ not in the ‘classical Yoga’ sense – with reference to the Yogasūtra –, but as the ‘effort’ due to the ritual labour or concentration28. This interpretation of yoga was supported, in Hauer’s view, by the ‘primitive yogins’ (Keśin and the vrātyas) who appeared in the R̥gveda as non-Brahmanical “ecstatic characters”. These two figures have peculiar characters compared to standard Brahmins. Because of this, Hauer and others suggested that they could not have belonged to Brahmanical circles. However, Hauer, in his interpretation of the ‘original Yoga,’ was fascinated by the figure of the vrātya, whom he considered a “Wildekstatiker der Kriegerkaste”29. Hauer was convinced that the practice of yoga, albeit an ekstatische Praxis, derived originally from the milieu of warriors and only later it developed within the Brahmanical religion30. Hauer’s interest in arguing the connection between the ‘yogic elements’ with the warlike nature supported another crucial point of his study on yoga: that is, the emphasis on karmayoga (‘yoga or path of action’) as the highest form of yoga which, in the poem of Bhagavadgītā, helped the prince Arjuna to choose for fighting when he hesitated in taking up arms against his relatives. Hauer’s fascination for warrior-like vrātyas and his exaltation of the ‘yoga of action’ provided him with a certain religious basis which allowed him to advocate the notion of military heroism befitting his ideological purposes. Indeed, Hauer’s correspondences up to 1937 demonstrate that secretly he was a strong supporter of the National Socialism before he publicly joined the SS31. The notion of Yogapraxis within the ideology of the new Indo-Aryan-Germanic religion helped Hauer forge “a faith based on völkisch experiences”32. Hence, from his works on yoga, published and partially re-published during and after the Nazi regime,33 we have evidence of Hauer’s manipulation of the sources according to his political and religious agenda. In the 1930s-40s’ Europe, Hauer was one of the most influent scholars of Indology and experts on yoga. He collaborated with Heinrich Zimmer (1890–1943) and Carl Gustav Jung (1865–1961) at the ‘Psychologischer Club’ in Zurich; and in 1934, he took part in the second Eranos meeting with a paper on yoga34. Still in 1947, in the section about “Les pratiques du yoga et de l’ascèse”, Louis Renou and Jean Filliozat refer exclusively to Hauer’s theses about the “antécédents du yoga” and the vrātyas as “une confrérie de mystères, porteurs de pratiques extatiques et magiques originales” to hold the non-Brahmanical origin of the “yogic practices” in the oldest literary contexts35. Hauer contributed to shaping the European discourse about yoga that emphasizes the ‘miraculous powers’ (Wunderkraft) of yoga as the result of the encounter between the vrātyas’ and the Brahmins’ goals: “Erwerbung von Wunderkraft, Vereinigung mit den Göttern, Loslösung von der Welt der Erscheinungen und später Versenkung”36.

  • 37 Renou 1953, 177–178.
  • 38 Sparreboom 1985.
  • 39 Grassmann (1873, 1125) indicates the following meanings of yóga in the R̥gveda: 1) “das Anschirre (...)

13From a position different from the psychological approach of Eranos speakers and the distortions of Hauer, however, Louis Renou was the first to rethink the meaning of yoga by taking into account exclusively the semantics suggested by the Vedic context in which the term appears. In his Études védiques et pāṇinéennes, Renou translated Vedic yóga as attelage, ‘coupling, harness, yoke’37, evoking the image of the draught animal tied to the yoke. The image of horses yoked together to the cart is frequently employed in the R̥gvedic verses to evoke movement, the act of running, the excitement of victory38. The carts described in these verses are not those that are carried by animals for agricultural activities; instead, they are chariots for conquering with speed. Therefore, attelage, in Renou’s words, is what prepares the chariots for the expedition, for enterprise, and action. This image is suggested in the authoritative translations from Vedic into German by Hermann G. Grassmann (1809–1877) and Karl F. Geldner (1852–1929), more recently, by Michael Witzel, Toshifumi Gotō and Salvatore Scarlata, in the translation into Russian by Tat’jana J. Elizarenkova (1929–2007) and in the English translation of Stephanie W. Jamison and Joel P. Brereton39.

  • 40 Elizarenkova 1989–1999 translates kṣéme…yóge as “в мире и в походе”, v mire i v pokhode (“in peac (...)
  • 41 Oertel 1926, 223 ff.
  • 42 Oertel 1926, 226.
  • 43 Oertel 1926, 226.
  • 44 Jamison, Brereton 2014, 111: “insightful thoughts.”
  • 45 Renou 1953, 177–178.
  • 46 Renou 1953, 178.

14Renou’s arguments derive their persuasive force from his focus on the context: through the yóga of horses, the gods Aśvins prepare themselves for the voyage (R̥V I.34.9); with the determination of yóga the divine warriors place the chariot in position (VII.67.8); from the movement implied in the yóga of the chariot, the divine dawn rises as the goddess who confers luminous gifts (VIII.58.3; X.39.12). Renou shows that the condition of rest and peace (kṣéma) is required to start the activity of yóga due to the opportunities for new conquest and for acquiring new goods (V.37.5; VII.54.3; X.89.10; X.166.5)40. One could identify in Renou’s reading echoes of Hanns Oertel’s work The Syntax of Cases in the Narrative and Descriptive Prose of the Brāhmaṇas (1926) about the meaning of yóga and kṣéma41. There are, however, some differences between these two scholars. Renou agrees with Oertel’s idea that the early Vedic adoption of the opposition between yóga and kṣéma expresses the general alternation of the “active life away from home on a journey” (yóga) and the “reposeful life at home” (kṣéma)42. Oertel doubted, however, that “down to the time of the Brāhmaṇas the terms yoga and kṣema had already acquired the narrow and specific meanings which the concurrent testimony of the native commentators ascribes to them viz. ‘acquisition of property’ for yoga, and ‘conservation of this acquisition’ for kṣema43. On the contrary, Renou suggests that, even in the R̥gveda, there is an original connection between the idea of stability and the discipline of thoughts. It is precisely this link, according to Renou, which is concentrated in the meaning of yóga. Indeed, Renou uses the expression attelage mentale to distinguish the “yóga of the poetical thoughts”44 (I.18.7: dhīṇā́m yóga), as the capacity to impose discipline to mind, from the “yóga of the horses well yoked to the chariot” which prepares the warrior to battle (V.43.5). One might be tempted to say that Renou was unable to completely abandon the idea, much more familiar, of yoga as an exercise for self-control. Indeed, at the moment to explain the attelage mentale, he affirms that yóga imposes ‘discipline’ to the thoughts, gives a direction and keeps them in position during the poetic inspiration45. In this regard, Renou expresses his disappointment that his predecessor, Hermann G. Grassmann, did not notice this occurrence and excluded it from his lexicographic dictionary on R̥gveda46.

15The attelage mentale, in Renou’s arguments, is a point that deserves to be revisited. In the following sections, I therefore revisit the yoga-kṣema connection, but first I discuss Boris Oguibénine’s translations and interpretations of the term yoga in the second half of the twentieth century.

16The originality of the study by Oguibénine lies in his interpretation of yoga as the “capacity in keeping things tied, stable, in position”. Oguibénine arrived at this meaning by examining the semantic range of the Sanskrit verbal root *yuj, which other scholars, such as, previously, Renou and Geldner, have variously translated with “to tie together, link, connect, attach, subdue”, but also “to prepare, mobilize”.

  • 47 Oguibénine 1984, 86–87.

17Following the ‘contextual’ approach promoted earlier in the Vedische Studien (1889–1901) by K. F. Geldner and R. Pischel, Oguibénine proposes a reading of the term yóga in R̥gveda different from Renou’s, one that is closer to the efficacy of the ritual labour than to the ascetic or cognitive aspects of the of poetic activity. Oguibénine was interested in the ritual and the prescriptive nature of the Vedic poetry and, as a result, he focused on the features of the interrelated dual concept of yoga and discourse. Oguibénine noticed that the relationship between yóga and discourse should be interpreted in connection with the role of speech in the Vedic ritual context. As a Vedic term, yóga is a word that “goes through the space,” which crosses beyond boundaries to “tie the extremities together and create a link between them” – a ‘feature’ he adds “that we recognize in the role of the officiant poet”, that is, the officiant’s skill in producing correlations and correspondences between divine and human, macro- and microcosmos47.

  • 48 Oguibénine 1998 [1984], 223–244, esp. 224–226. Cf. Durante 1968 [1958], 242–260; Durante 1976.
  • 49 Oguibénine 1998 [1984], 226–233.

18However, this metaphor is not a specific feature of R̥gvedic poets. Oguibénine, quoting the studies of Marcello Durante (1923-1992), shows that the idea of the poet as one who holds the reins of speech is common to the Greek context, with Pindar and Parmenides48. Thus, Oguibénine illustrated the results of a comparison with the Indo-Iranian context. He noticed that the metaphor of the yoke is to be interpreted in the relationship between the one who is putting the yoke and what is yoked. This kind of relationship, it is suggested, can be interpreted as a specificity of the Vedic poetry only, he clarifies, from the view of the expert officiant who can control with powerful speech and orientate the ritual action49.

  • 50 Renou 1953; Oguibénine 1984; 1998 [1984]; Ambrosini 1981, 58 (X.53.11); Jamison, Brereton 2014, 2 (...)
  • 51 Grassmann 1873, 1126; Elizarenkova 1989–1999, постро́мки, postromki (III.6.6); Jamison, Brereton (...)
  • 52 All translations of the R̥gveda are by S. W. Jamison and J. P. Brereton (2014), while the italicize (...)

19From this perspective, scholars have interpreted the meaning of the derivative yogyā́-, a term which appears in a few occurrences in the R̥gveda, as the ‘reins’50 or the ‘strings’ (cords, ropes)51 that help to control stability and force52:

R̥V III.6.5ad-6ad: vratā́ te agne maható mahā́ni táva krátvā ródasī ā́ tatantha | tváṃ dūtó abhavo jā́yamānas tváṃ netā́ vr̥ṣabha carṣaṇīnā́m ||

r̥tásya vā keśínā yogyā́bhir ghr̥tasnúvā róhitā dhurí dhiṣva | áthā́ vaha devā́n deva víśvān svadhvarā́ kr̥ṇuhi jātavedaḥ ||

Great are the commandments of you who are great, o Agni. Through your will you extend throughout the two world-halves.

You became the messenger as you were born. You are the leader of the different peoples, o bull.

Or place your own two long-maned (horses) of truth, sorrels bathed in ghee, on the yoke-pole with the harness ropes [by means of which they bend to their task].

Then convey all the gods here, o god. Perform good rites, Jātavedas.

R̥V VII.70.4ab: caniṣṭáṃ devā óṣadhīṣv apsú yád yogyā́ aśnávaithe ŕ̥ṣīṇām |

O gods, delight in the plants and waters when you will take on the harness cords [=the ritual acts?] of our seers.

R̥V X.53.11cd: sá viśvā́hā sumánā yogyā́ abhí siṣāsánir vanate kārá íj jítim ||

  • 53 This pāda has been much discussed with regard to the grammatical function and the meaning of the (...)

He, always benevolent, eager to gain, with the yoking strings [to bend things to their task] wins the victory just at the decisive moment53.

  • 54 With this latter meaning, cf. Thieme 1957, 31 fn. 17. With regard to the social principles underp (...)
  • 55 Oguibénine 1998 [1984], 233–236.

20On the one hand, the Indo-Iranian context provides some evidence for the arguments of Oguibénine; on the other hand, it offers a singular case that forces a reconsideration of Oguibénine’s position. This is the case of the Av. yaoxs̆ti, commonly translated as ‘perception’ or ‘promptness,’54 which carries an evident resemblance to yukti. The Sanskrit term yukti was employed by ancient Indian grammarians to indicate ‘having its words fixed,’ that is, a proposition. It also appears in the lexicon of logicians to indicate the cognitive activity – from which ‘reason or ‘reasoning’ – that allows to establish and detail what happens under our eyes. Both Av. yaoxs̆ti and Skt. yukti are mentioned among the historical possibilities of the Proto-Indo-Iranian root *yaog. At the same time, yaoxs̆ti and yukti attest to a semantic development different from the poetic enterprises described by R̥gvedic authors. Oguibénine left open the above question. Paring it down to minimal components, he noticed that the role of the agent who ‘harnesses, connects, ties’ is not always easy to distinguish. If the verbal root is employed in a transitive sense, the act of yoking can express both an active function (i.e., derivative stem yoga-) and a reflexive function (i.e., yukti). In this way, Oguibénine argued for the “identification of the yoke with the yoked”55.

  • 56 Wackernagel, Debrunner 1896–1930, 2/2.622 (§465a).

21One needs to apply these arguments to the few occurrences of the term yukti in the R̥gveda. Morphologically, yukti is an abstract noun formed by adding the suffix -ti to the zero grade of the root, denoting the act of linking, yoking, harnessing56. In the R̥gveda, the term yukti appears as the second member of the following compounds: r̥táyukti, práyukti, sváyukti.

  • 57 Böthling, Roth 1855-1875, s.v. r̥tayukti: “f. rechte Verbindung”; Grassmann 1873, 286 (s.v. ṙtá-y (...)
  • 58 Monier Williams 1899, s.v. Ṛitá-yukti: “mfn. well applied, proper [as a word or hymn]”.

22The compound r̥táyukti can be interpreted as a substantive with the meaning ‘connection’ or ‘junction with the order, reality, truth’57, or as an adjective58 ‘well applied, proper, according to, conforming to the order, reality, truth’ – it might have been intended as the order spoken through the word of the poet, an order which cannot be otherwise because it expresses the ‘natural’ order of things.

  • 59 Cf. Elizarenkova 1995, 10–11, 17, 20–21.
  • 60 Ibidem.

23The term r̥tá expresses, in fact, the real state of things – from that it derives the commonly accepted translation with ‘truth’59 –, which is replied in the physical and cosmic cycle – from which it derives the accepted translation with ‘law’60. Nonetheless, the term r̥tá expresses also the order replied through the ‘good words’ of the poets; r̥tá being thus an ‘order’ which cannot be infringed. Speaking the r̥táyukti, or words which can be so conformed to the order, means to adhere to this order through the poetic speeches, that is, through figures of speech and their capacity to represent the world.

  • 61 Grassmann 1873; Böhtlingk, Roth 1855-1875.

24The composite term r̥táyukti appears in just one occurrence regarding the Navagvas (lit. ‘nine-fold’)61, part of the mythical ancestors with whom some poet families identify themselves. The Navagvas are called to protect the ritual on its path toward a successful performance, they are thus supposed to act according to the procedure which conforms to the real order:

R̥V X.61.10ab: makṣū́ kanā́yāḥ sakhyáṃ návagvā r̥táṃ vádanta r̥tá-yuktim agman |

  • 62 Geldner 1951–1957, 1.228: “Alsbald kamen die Navagvas zur Freundschaft der Jungfrau, die die Wahr (...)

Right away the Navagvas came to the fellowship of the maiden [= Dawn] and, speaking the truth, to the yoking of truth [= the established order]62.

  • 63 R̥V III.27.11; X.30.11.
  • 64 Cf., on this aspect, the relationship between r̥tá and dharmán discussed in Brereton 2004.

25Taken with this meaning, r̥táyukti becomes somewhat equivalent to the expression r̥tásya yóge, “in the union, in connection with order, with truth” – a sporadic expression in the R̥gvedic collection63 – which indicates the condition of being conformed to the established order, that is, the ‘truthful speech.’64

  • 65 Grassmann 1873, 879, s.v. práyukti: “f. 1) Gespann”; Oguibénine 1984, 88: “attelage (de l’esprit) (...)
  • 66 Grassmann 1873, 879, s.v. práyukti: “f. 2) Trieb, Antrieb”; Geldner 1951-1957: “Antriebe (R̥V I. (...)

26In discussing the direct relationship between the words of poets and the efficacy of the ritual act, one cannot disregard the use of the compound práyukti, which is commonly interpreted as a substantive meaning ‘connection’65 or ‘pulsation, setting in motion.’66 The compound práyukti is interpreted as the moving force, which comes forth as soon as a good speech has been offered to gods.

  • 67 Grassmann 1873, 1629, s.v. svá-yukti: “a. sich selbst anschirrend”; Idem in Geldner 1951-1957, 1. (...)
  • 68 Jamison, Brereton 2014, 163; cf. Sani 2000, 113.
  • 69 Elizarenkova 1995, 94: “self-yoked”; Jamison, Brereton 2014, 277: “self-harnessed”.

27Finally, the interpretation of the term sváyukti depends on the meaning given to the prefix svá, ‘self, oneself.’ Many scholars interpret svá as an adjective67 which denotes the skill of agent in ‘self-yoke spontaneously’: this seems to be both the case of the mares bringing the chariot of god Sūrya and thus “with these of his own yoking he drives”68 (R̥V I.50.9), and the case of the ‘self-yoked’69 birds bringing on their back the gods Aśvin to Bhujyu (R̥V I.119.4).

28Oguibénine was right in holding that both the stem yukti- and the compound that has it as a member suggest the idea of a spontaneous movement of the one who is yoked. In this sense, the reading of Oguibénine appears more neutral than that of Renou, because it is not affected by a cognitive reading of yóga, which is an aspect typically arising in later Sanskrit literature. Oguibénine focuses on the verbal root *yuj and its derivatives and does not go beyond the descriptive value of these terms.

29From a historical perspective, rather than linguistic, indeed, one still has to ask the question of what context has influenced the re-qualification of the term yoga and its derivatives in later texts. One has also to address the issue of what is the semantic ascent that affected the use of the term yóga/yoga from R̥gveda to the sūtras attributed to Patañjali.

The pragmatics of the yóga-kṣéma paradigm

  • 70 Cf. Lévi-Strauss 1987, 63 [1950, L].

30In order to investigate the flowing semantic net into which the ancient authors employed the term yoga, one needs to question about the advantages and disadvantages of understanding yoga as reflecting just one thematic meaning, and of consequently employing it in all occurrences in which yoga appears. To paraphrase Claude Lévi-Strauss, one has to wonder whether it is critically suitable to start from a particular object to interpret an absent ‘floating meaning’70. Adapting Lévi-Strauss’s question to the topic of this article, one could ask how suitable is it to interpret the term yoga as the reference term of a leitmotif that occurs in various texts, each with their own nuances, interests, and aims.

31The hypothesis that there is an intra-textual continuity in the use of yoga throughout time has led many scholars, both pioneers and experts, to hold that yoga has an exemplary function. As we have seen, the early works of Garbe and Hauer are characteristic for this approach, which originated in their attempt to find a continuity between the R̥gveda and the discipline of Yogasūtra. The same attitude can be posited behind the standard resistance to abandon a mono-thematic reading of yoga, even among those who, such as Geldner and Renou, read the Vedic texts from a contextual perspective.

  • 71 According to the tradition of the Indexes of the R̥gveda, this hymns has been composed by the sev (...)

32Evidence of such an approach occurs even in more recent studies. At the end of the 1970s, following the psychological approach to the study of religious phenomena, the Indologist Karel Werner drew the main lines of the scientific investigation into the meaning of the word yoga throughout the Indian traditions in a series of essays collected in two volumes, namely, Yoga and Indian Philosophy (1977) and The Yogi and the Mystic: Studies in Indian and Comparative Mysticism (1989). Like Garbe and Hauer, Werner also bases his thesis about the continuity of the term yoga on the hymn R̥V X.136. This hymn is a composition which the specialists consider singular because of the centrality of Keśín, a man ‘with’ (-in) long, abundant or beautiful ‘hairs’ (kéśa), who is also defined as a múni by the author (or authors?)71 of the hymn. The term múni means ‘the one who thinks, reflects’, thus, ‘the silent’ – a character, eventually, whom many scholars have become to define the prototype of the yogin, an ‘Ur-Yogin’ or a ‘mystic’ man.

  • 72 Ducœur 2004, 20 ff. More specifically, Ducœur identifies as shamanic the elements that fit with t (...)
  • 73 Eliade 1954. See Ambasciano 2014 for a critical discussion on the ‘theological’ and ‘teleological (...)

33It is undeniable that Keśín the múni, or ‘the silent with long hairs’, is quite similar to the figures of the yogin described in later literature. Mircea Eliade interpreted Keśín as a ‘shamanic’ figure based on the model of shamanism he systematized at the beginning of the 1950s. Recently, Guillame Ducœur has stressed the connection between the horse-like features employed in the description of Keśín and some traits which he interprets as ‘shamanic’ on the basis of Eliade’s analysis.72 For the purpose of this article, it is worth noting that Eliade conceptualized his shamanism on the basis of the Yogasūtra, that is, the very texts which scholars consider the ‘proofing-texts’ of the yogic practices.73 Nonetheless, the discussion about shamanism as a phenomenon connected to yoga, via the R̥gveda, requires a multi-layered methodological investigation: first, identifying traces of shamanism (we will not delve into it definition here) in the Ṛgveda does not involve ipso facto the identification of traces of yoga (intended as an original stage of shamanism); secondly, shamanism is to be investigated as a notion that has been shaped by various by contexts; thirdly, and related to the previous point, yoga also needs to be researched as a notion that has been shaped by various historical contexts.

  • 74 Cf., about the different types of ‘ascetics’ mentioned in the R̥gveda, Heesterman 1962; Staal 197 (...)
  • 75 White 2004; 2009, 78.

34Karel Werner’s research on yoga and yogin does not quite elaborate much on the use of yóga in the R̥gveda aside from the hypothesis that there are clues of yogic practices in the R̥gveda. Werner never discusses references to the R̥gvedic strophes where the term yoga has another meaning than ‘mental’ yoke, however. Werner suggests that one can identify in early Vedic texts the seeds from which the yoga as a philosophy has grown; yet such an idea had been previously expressed in other words elsewhere. Werner and the Ur-Yoga supporters agree that some of the ascetic and meditative practices described in the R̥gveda did not belong to the Brahmanical milieu. Other than the poets who call themselves ŕ̥ṣi (‘seers’), individual ascetic practitioners mentioned in the R̥gveda are original characters who cannot be identified with the brāhmaṇas of the early Vedic literature. This sort of data, considered as ‘evidence’ also by other scholars, became the main argument in the position according to which the ascetic figures described in the R̥gveda represent the archaic model of yogin. These Ur-Yogins would have been not only the múnis, but also the śramanas and the vrātyas74. Werner takes for granted the conventional use of the term yogin and describes him mainly as a ‘practitioner of heat’ (physical, internal). According to Werner, it follows that, in R̥gveda, the yogin is called tápasvin (‘having, producing heat’, ‘practising austerities’). As such, Werner upholds the hypothesis according to which there is semantic continuity of the term yoga between early texts and late literature. He tries to reconstruct the historical development of the yoga as a discipline beginning with the ascetic practices mentioned in the R̥gveda and up to the yoga as a method in the Pātañjalayogaśāstra. The above development, however, is not explored at the linguistic level, a method which would entail the investigation of the semantic field within which the term yóga and its derivatives were qualified and then re-qualified. Today most scholars move in a different direction, as David Gordon White does in his book Sinister Yogis (2009), when he traces the “semantic shift in the use of the term ‘yoga’ – from its original sense of a chariot warrior’s hitching up his rig and engaging with enemies, fortresses, or gods and other beings in this world or in heaven (the predicate objects of his advances: pra-*kram, ā-*kram, ut-*kram, ati-*kram) – to its opposite, disengagement from the world”75.

  • 76 Cf., on the epistemic function of the semantic discontinuity of the ‘floating’ terms, Smith 2004, (...)

35I suggest not to regard the yóga evoked by the R̥gvedic poets as a meditative technique or a practice of austerities. Instead, I advance that yóga, as it is employed in the R̥gveda, indicates a concrete action that produces strength and stability in battle. As such, yóga appears among the wishes extolled in the eulogies the R̥gvedic poets composed for their patrons and leaders. To return to Lévi-Strauss’s dictum, above referred, the ‘flowing’ meaning of yoga and the difficulty to fix it mark a series of discontinuities rather than continuity76.

36Renou and Geldner already stressed the military context within the act yóga is achieved. As a result, they preferred translating it in a way that highlights the preparations before the battle with the purpose of managing the expedition’s booty. In support of this interpretation one can refer to the semantic opposition between yóga and kṣéma (‘tranquillity, peace, rest, security’). The use of these terms together, despite their semantic opposition, suggests the function of their alternation, designating the shift from the activity of the state of yóga and the inactivity of the state of kṣéma.

  • 77 Mayrhofer 1992–2001, s.v. KSAY1 and KSAY2.
  • 78 Oberlies 1998, 333–337; Köhler 2011, 48; Proferes 2007, 17.
  • 79 Mayrhofer 1956–1976, 1.293. The word kṣéma is often interpreted as “fixed settlement” (Proferes 2 (...)

37The verbal root *kṣi (from which kṣéma derives) develops two meanings and suggests the semantics of kṣéma: ‘to live, dwell’ and ‘to rule, possess’77. One could further relate this to Thomas Oberlies’s clarification, advanced few decades ago and recently resuscitated by Frank Köhler, according to which the twin yóga/kṣéma can be compared to the two moments of the year when R̥gvedic people migrated, probably in a group (yóga), in search for new lands in order to temporarily dwell (kṣéma)78. In other words, the condition of being in a kṣéma time – a safe period, during which it was possible ‘to dwell’ and ‘to rule’ – was suitable only in the absence of any yóga, that is, the activity during which men were recruited for starting a new battle (cf. IV.24.4; I.5.3) or leaving in search of booty (cf. V.37.5; X.53.11). The kṣéma time allowed the group to establish a kṣéma place, that is a “habitable” place where to stay79.

38The above interpretation finds a consistent echo with one of the stanzas of the eighth book of the R̥gveda where the term prayújas appears to be used in the same way as yóga-:

R̥V VIII.37.5a: kṣémasya ca prayújaś ca tvám īśiṣe |

Over both peace and hitching up (for war) [at the time to bend to battle] you are master [...].

  • 80 Elizarenkova 1989–1999: “Ты распоряжаешься миром и войной, О повелитель силы, О Индра со всеми по (...)
  • 81 Renou 1953, 178 and fn. 1.

39The above example brings my position closer to Tat’jana J. Elizarenkova’s translation of kṣémasya ca prayújaś as “peace and war” (миром и войной, mir i voyna).80 Similarly, Renou adopted this interpretation in his translation of the R̥gveda, considering a closely related meaning in his translation of práyoga and prāyogá. He understands práyoga as Agni, the one ‘who directs the yoke’ (“qui dirige l’attelage”), and prāyogá as the Aśvin, who are ‘heads of the yoke’ (“chefs d’attelage”), namely the twins leaders in the art of driving the chariot81:

R̥V X.7.5ad: dyúbhir hitám mitrám iva prayógam pratnám r̥tvíjam adhvarásya jārám | bāhúbhyām agním āyávo ’jananta vikṣú hótāraṃ ny àsādayanta ||

  • 82 The hymn containing this strophe is considered “the most frustrating hymn in the R̥gveda” (Jamiso (...)

To the one established throughout the days like an ally for the harnessing [that bends things to the order], the ancient sequential-sacrificer and lover of the rite, to Agni did the Āyus give birth with their arms and install among the clans as their Hotar.

R̥V X.106.2ab82: uṣṭā́reva phárvareṣu śrayethe prāyogéva śvā́tryā śā́sur éthaḥ |

Like plow-oxen [?] you are fixed in [/to] the pharvara; like brawny lead-horses [?] you follow instructions.

  • 83 Cf. Sparreboom 1985, 133.
  • 84 Cf., on the metaphor of the chariot to express such concept, Sparreboom 1985, 25–26; Renou 1953, (...)

40I would suggest that the above example offers us a precise prescription of what the activity of yoking implies: to be able to yoke is similar to yoke in conformity with one’s own task, that is, according to the established order of things83. This is the order according to which the ‘one who is yoked’ conforms to his function of ‘being yoked,’ whereas the ‘one who yokes’ conforms to his function of ‘yoking.’ Maintaining this order of things requires the skill of the art of ruling84. The yoke thus becomes a metaphor of steadfastness and dominance over the one who is yoked and of the relative order. This aspect also occurs in the poets’ description of the art of composing eulogies as the skill of yoking the words to the order (r̥tá) that precedes them, at the logical level, and that connects them at the cognitive level.

41Indeed, the notion of order is at its most intense in the ‘well-spoken words’ – that is the very meaning of sūktá, the Sanskrit word commonly translated as ‘hymn’ or ‘eulogy’ – that are said to be ‘yoked’ or “conformed to the order” and that aim to create order when the poet, thinking and speaking words, puts them together. The spoken order (r̥tá) represents thus the sphere of the ‘well-spoken words.’ As a result, the poet – or his ‘esprit’ in Renou’s words – displays an intimate knowledge of these connections, or rather, of these combinations, provided that the language is understood as a process of linking, which domesticates the thought through (well-)composed words.

42Like reins and tensioned ropes (yogyā́), the ‘cognitive’ utensils of the poet enable him to rule and lead his thoughts, and also to lend them discipline, according to Renou’s interpretation. The poet is able to shape the train of thought precisely because the art of composition makes room for improvisation within canons of the ‘well-speaking’ (sūktá) in the manner of the elders.

43The semantics of the ‘yoke,’ from which terms such as yóga, yúkti and relative compounds derive, occurs in the linguistic register which connotes the ritual labour par excellence, that is, the poetic speech in its more exacerbated form, in the somayajña, the ‘worship by means of soma’. The power of the ‘spoken speech’, which is central in the R̥gveda, is a symbolical device which sets up the correspondences between the ‘one who yokes’ and the ‘one who is yoked’.

44The above metaphor is efficacious: the poet rules by means of the yoke that ties or binds, or that bows things to the established order. One can appreciate the force of this metaphor by delving into the details of the R̥gvedic poetry, which is partially based on the power of the ritual formulation (bráhman) and on the success of the ritual practice for honouring gods (yajñá). At the same time, the theme of the ‘yoke,’ as the representation of the perfect fit of the ‘one who yokes’ with the ‘one who is yoked’, highlights the social context within which this metaphor produced and reiterated a shared sense. The eulogies of the R̥gveda were composed for patrons who were described by poets as warriors, leading members, rulers, that is, as very important persons who asked the favour of equally fighting deities such as Indra, Agni, Aśvins, in order to obtain victory, progeny, cattle, harvest, prosperity and success. The term yóga in the R̥gveda can be fully understood if one keeps in mind the semantics of control and conformity; particularly in the context of the preparations before the battle and the disposition to excellence – all skills necessary to obtain victory, speed, prize, and that anticipate the optimal condition for the rest and peace settlement when people can enjoy the gained goods. The Paippalāda version of the Atharvaveda (PS) offers evidence for the same metaphor:

PS 7.4.1: indrasya bāhū sthavirau vr̥ṣāṇau citrā imā vr̥ṣabhau pārayiṣṇū |

tau +yokṣiye prathamau yoga āgate yābhyāṃ jitam asurāṇāṃ suvar yat ||

  • 85 Griffiths 2009, 287.

Indra’s two arms, stout, manly: these two are wondrous successful bulls. Now that the [time of] yoking has arrived, I am going to yoke first these two, by means of which the sun, which belonged to the Asuras, was won (tr. Griffiths 2009; the italicized text between square brackets is mine)85.

  • 86 Cf. Elizarenkova 1989–1999, R̥V IV.24.4: Народы замышляют (воинственный) поход, о грозный, / Возбуж (...)

45The time of yoking (yoga āgate) evokes the time when the sun (suvar) must be yoked and acquired. Comparing this stanza with the previous Ṛ̥gvedic strophes, one may hypothesize that only the conservation of the acquired thing (sun = Agni = fire) provides a period of security, but this Atharvanic hymn deals exclusively with the yoga time when Indra’s men are ready to fight86.

  • 87 Maitrāyaṇī Samḥitā 3.4.5, Kāṭha Saṃhitā 22.6, Kapiṣṭhala-Kaṭha Saṃhitā 34, and, with some variation (...)

46The importance of ‘yoking the sun’ is stressed in a parallel passage of some Yajurvedic texts regarding the ritual for the preparation of the ground of the fire (agniciti). The main explanation is that the sun must be yoked to provide the fire. Ancient brahmins explain such an enterprise as agniyoga, the ritual of the ‘yoking of the sun’. It is noteworthy that, according to most recensions of the Yajurveda87, this ritual includes a ‘time of yoking’ (yógā ā́gate; agním yunakti) and a ‘time of unyoking’ (vimoká ā́gate; vímuñcati). To obtain the heavenly world, the Yajurvedic authors recommend the audience to behave like those who yoke and unyoke the sun, i.e. fire, at the right time.

47I suggest that there is a substantial similarity between the time of unyoking and the kṣéma time. If we understand the unyoking as the shift into the state of kṣéma, we could interpret the time of rest as the condition to enjoy and conserve possessions. Like the twin yóga/kṣéma, the yoking/unyoking alternation seems to describe the dialectic process where the fruits of action can be enjoyed at the end of the action itself.

  • 88 Oertel 1926, 231.

48Similarly, the compound yogakṣemá also suggests the importance of the state of yóga as a necessary counterpart of kṣéma. Oertel discusses the nature of this compound in early Vedic texts, and he questions the reading of yogakṣemá as a Dvanda compound, i.e. yoga ‘and’ kṣema. Instead he holds, on the basis of the Brāhmaṇa-texts, that in most cases, yogakṣemá is a Tatpuruṣa compound that we can read as “kṣema connected with or accompanied by yoga88.

49The relationship between yoga and kṣema should be regarded as the achievement of temporary peace, prosperity, and security, and as the labour required for gaining of goods and prizes. The terms yóga and kṣéma appear together a few times in the R̥gveda: only twice in a couple, and once in compound. The compound yogakṣemá appears very frequently in late literature outside the body of Ṛgveda in order to indicate the quintessence of the patron’s prosperity, that is, the safe condition during which what has been gained cannot be taken away anymore:

Taittirīya Saṃhitā 7.5.18.1: ā́smín rāṣṭré rājanyà iṣavyàḥ śū́ro mahārathó jāyatām| dógdhrī dhenús | vóḍhānaḍvā́n ā́śuḥ sáptiḥ púraṃdhir yóṣā jiṣṇū́ ratheṣṭhā́ḥ sabhéyo yúvā | ā́syá yájamānasya vīró jāyatām | nikāménikāme naḥ parjányo varṣatu phalínyo na óṣadhayaḥ pacyantām | yogakṣemó naḥ kalpatām ||

  • 89 Eng. transl. by Keith 1914, 2.633, with minor change. Starting from the paradigm of the yogakṣemá(...)
  • 90 Keith (1914, 2.633) translates yogakṣemá as “union and peace”.
  • 91 This passage is repeated like a refrain in the succeeding sections (5–8).

In this kingdom89 may a prince [who is bent on ruling] be born, an archer [who is able to shoot arrows], a hero [who is bent on excelling in battle], and a great chariot-fighter [who is bent on fighting]; a milk cow [who is bent on giving milk]; a draught ox [who is bent on plowing]; a swift racer [who is bent on running]; a prolific woman [who is able to give progeny]; a victorious warrior [who is bent on winning]; a youth fit for the assembly [who is bent on speaking well]. To this sacrificer be a hero born. May Parjanya rain for us whensoever we desire. May our plants ripen with fruit. May rest after battle90 be ours (tr. Keith 1914, the italicized text between brackets is mine).

Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa 11.5.6.4: [...] tá enaṃ tr̥ptā́starpayanti yogakṣeméṇa prāṇéna rétasā sarvātmánā sárvābhiḥ púṇyābhiḥ sampádbhir91 [...]

  • 92 Eggeling 1882–1900, 5.96–97. Eggeling translates here yogakṣemá as “security of possession”. Cf. (...)

[...] and, being satisfied, they satisfy him by (granting him) rest after battle92, by life-breath, by seed, by his whole self, and by all auspicious blessings […] (tr. Eggeling 1882-1900, with minor changes).

Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa 12.1.1.10: yátra haiváṃ vidvā́ṁso dī́kṣante dīkṣamā́ṇā́ haivá té yajñáṃ kalpayanti yajñásya kl̥ptim ánu sattríṇā́ṃ yogakṣemáḥ kalpate sattríṇā́ṃ yogakṣemásya kl̥ptim ánv ápi tásyā́rdhasya yogakṣemáḥ kalpate yásminn árdhe yájante ||

  • 93 Eggeling translates yogakṣemá as “security of property” (Eggeling 1882–1900, 5.138).

[...] assuredly, only when, knowing this, they become initiated, they make ready the sacrifice even whilst being initiated, and along with the getting ready of the sacrifice rest after labour93 accrues to the performers of the sacrificial session (Sattra); and, along with the accruing of rest after labour to the performers of the session, rest after labour also accrues to that district in which they perform the sacrifice (tr. Eggeling 1882-1900, with minor changes).

  • 94 Keith 1914, 2.633 fn. 4.
  • 95 Eggeling 1882–1900, 5.97, 138.
  • 96 Oertel 1926, 231.
  • 97 Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa 11.4.2.2: “there is no question about this: it is good for (securing) cattle a (...)

50Arthur B. Keith translated yogakṣemá with “union and peace,94 stressing the positive function of the aggregation (yoga). Julius Eggeling rendered it with “security for possession” or “security of property”95, referring to the following comment by Sāyaṇa (14th c.): aprāptasya phalasya prāptir yogaḥ tasya paripālanaṃ kṣemaḥ, yoga is the obtainment of the fruit that has not (yet) been obtained, kṣema is its conservation.” As Oertel noticed, “according to them [Keith and Eggeling] yoga does not mean ‘the thing acquired’ but ‘the acquisition of new property’, while kṣema does not mean ‘conservation’ but ‘conservation of what has been acquired’.”96 Eggeling employed the same translation also in other passages97. We can find similar expressions in other texts:

Aitareya Brāhmaṇa 9.8.12: kḷptir asi diśām mayi devebhyaḥ kalpata | kalpatām me yogakṣemo ’bhayam me ’stv […]

  • 98 Eng. transl. by Keith 1920, 326 and fn. 5, with minor change (emphasis mine). Keith translates yo (...)

Thou art the orderer of the quarters, In me be ye ordered for the gods; Mine be rest after battle, Freedom from fear be mine98 (tr. Keith 1920).

51The compound yogakṣemá appears in other few passages about the request ‘to be well ordered or regulated, be well managed’ or ‘to set in order, arrange’ – these are possible translations of the verbal root *kḷp (kálpate or kalpáyati, respectively). This kind of request, phrased with yogakṣemá, expresses the wish to obtain the best results and the greatest prosperity; in other words, the optimal condition to properly enjoy the results.

  • 99 Among several examples, see the notion of fire (agni) in the discourse about sovereignty as it ha (...)

52I would finally suggest that the success of the term yoga in the Sanskrit literature of the exegetes should be sought in its semantic capability to evoke relations, norms and hierarchies and not in its ability of recalling any doctrine or standard topos99. From this perspective, I advance that the crystallized meaning of yoga within the discipline connected to Patañjali represents the result of a later rethinking of yoga as a method or a strategy to provide a good life and prosperity.

53The lack of a critical survey of the semantics of the term yoga produced the rather monolithic scholarly understanding of yoga, that can be understood as a religious phenomenon or a philosophical approach from a longue durée perspective. This approach, however, does not take into account the meanings assigned to the term yóga/yoga in early texts, many centuries before the composition of the Yogasūtra, in a social and political context where the art of winning the battle was a matter of life and death.

  • 100 Lévi-Strauss 1987, 64.

54In conclusion, to paraphrase again Claude Lévi-Strauss, it is worth noticing that, while the term yóga and its derivatives apparently mark a discontinuity in early literary sources, its uses in the R̥gveda offer new glimpses on the way the ‘floating signifiers’ work in a pragmatic space. If the role of the ‘semantic function’ is “to enable symbolic thinking to operate despite the contradiction inherent in it”100, then we propose that, from this vantage point, the word yoga does not have a ‘zero symbolic value’. On the contrary, since the above paragraphs included the proof that, in the R̥gveda, the word yoga floats within a pragmatic space, we can clearly infer when the act of yóga denotes the act of kṣéma and viceversa.

Conclusion

55The different uses of the word yóga/yoga before Patañjali played an important part in the intellectual history of Asia. While Indian authors of the past (Brahmins, Buddhists, Jains) produced an intra- and inter-discourse around yoga as an intellectuak instrument, modern scholars have mostly focused on the one-sided idea of yoga as union, conjunction, tension, effort. In the first half of the twentieth century, the lack of careful contextual readings produced an anachronistically projecting of later meanings back into the early (Vedic) texts. In this article, I tried to show that the different uses of the term yóga in the early layers of the R̥gveda, should be principally understood in the context of the warfare. The R̥gvedic yóga was meant to indicate the passage from the moment of ‘recruitment’ before the battle to the moment of the fight, when scattered forces assemble together against ‘the other’. The moment of the yóga might have been a recurrent moment in the life of the migrant communities of ancient India.

56Yet, the above point is neither an exclusively philological concern about the semantic range of the word yóga nor a concern about how to adequately translate the word yoga in its long semantic history. It is, instead, about understanding what prompted modern scholars to search for an essential form of yoga in the past.

  • 101 Pollock 1993.

57A preliminary answer, sketched in this article, is that every attempt to search for an original or pure yoga highlights a form of substantialism, shared by many European scholars. The above answer will raise the question about the consequences of word reification. To be more precise, the reification of the word yoga both influenced the birth of modern Indology and played a significant role in the formation of ‘deep orientalism’101, taking a strongly ideological shape before and during the Nazi regime. The second one is the role of the study of religions in the forging of ideologies.

Haut de page

Bibliographie

Alles 2002: G. Alles, «The Science of Religion in a Fascist State: Rudolf Otto and Jakob Wilhelm Hauer during the Third Reich», Religion 32 (2002), 177–204.

Ambasciano 2014: L. Ambasciano, Sciamanesimo senza sciamanesimo. Le radici intellettuali del modello sciamanico di Mircea Eliade. Evoluzionismo, psicoanalisi, te (le)ologia, (Sapienza Sciamanica Series 1), Roma 2014.

Ambrosini 1981: R. Ambrosini, Dal X libro del Ṛg-Veda, Pisa 1981.

Baier, Maas, Preisendanz 2018: K. Baier, P.A. Maas, K. Preisendanz (eds.), Yoga in Transformation: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, Göttingen 2018.

Benavides 2008: G. Benavides, «Irrational Experiences, Heroic Deeds and the Extraction of Surplus», in H. Junginger (ed.), The Study of Religion under the Impact of Fascism, Leiden–Boston 2008, 263–279.

Bodewitz 1973: H. W. Bodewitz, Jaiminīya Brāhmaṇa I, 1–65. Translation and Commentary, Leiden 1973.

Böhtlingk, Roth 1855–1875: O. Böhtlingk, R. Roth, Sanskrit-Wörterbuch (Grosses Petersburger Wörterbuch), 7 Theile, St. Petersburg 1855–1875.

Bollée 1981: W. B. Bollée, «The Indo-European Sodalities in Ancient India», Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 131 (1981), 172–191.

Brereton 2004: J. P. Brereton, «Dharmán in the Rig Veda» Journal of Indian Philosophy 32, 5–6 (2004), 449–489.

Bronkhorst 2007: J. Bronkhorst, Greater Magadha: Studies in the Culture of Early India, Leiden 2007.

Bronkhorst 2011: J. Bronkhorst, Buddhism in the Shadow of Brahmanism, Leiden 2011.

Burnouf, Leupol 1866: É. Burnouf, L. Leupol, Dictionnaie classique Sanskrit-Français, Paris 1866.

Dagmar 2008: S. W. Dagmar et al., Nomina im Indogermanischen Lexikon, Heidelberg 2008.

Ditrich 2011: T. Ditrich, «The typology of Āmreḍita compounds in the R̥gveda», Acta Linguistica Asiatica 1, 1 (2011), https://doi.org/10.4312/ala.1.1.71–84.

Dore, Pontillo 2013: M. Dore, T. Pontillo, «What do Vrātyas have to do with long-stalked plants? Darbha, kuśa, śara and iṣīkā in Vedic and Classical sources», in J. Vacek (ed), Pandanus ’13. Nature in Literature, Art, Myth and Ritual, Vol. 4.1, Prague 2013, 35–61.

Ducœur 2004: G. Ducœur, «Métaphore équine et pratiques chamaniques en Rgveda 10.136», ARCHÆVS, Études d’Histoire des Religions 8, 1–4 (2004), 11–24.

Durante 1968 [1958]: M. Durante, «Epea ptereoenta. Die Rede als ‘Weg’ in griechischen und vedischen Bildern», in R. Schmitt (hrg.), Indogermanische Dichtersprache (“Wege der Forschung”, 165), Darmstadt 1968 [1958], 242–260.

Durante 1976: M. Durante, Sulla preistoria della tradizione poetica greca, Vol. 2: Risultanze della comparazione indoeuropea, Roma 1976.

Eggeling 1882–1900: J. Eggeling, The Śatapatha-brâhmaṇa according to the text of the Mâdhyandina school, 5 Vols. (Sacred Books of the East, Vols. 12, 26, 41, 43, 44), Oxford 1882–1900.

Eliade 1951: M. Eliade, Le chamanisme et les techniques archaïques de l’extase. 2e revue et augmentée, Paris 1968 (or. ed. 1951).

Eliade 1954: M. Eliade, Le yoga: immortalité et liberté. Nouvelle édition revue et corrigée, Paris 1968 (or. ed. 1954).

Elizarenkova 1989–1999: T. J. Elizarenkova, Rigveda, 3 Vols. (Mandaly I-IV; Mandaly V-VIII; Mandaly IX-X), Moskva 1989–1999.

Elizarenkova 1995: T. J. Elizarenkova, Language and Style of the Vedic Rsis, Albany 1995.

Falk 1986: H. Falk, Bruderschaft und Würfelspiel: Untersuchungen zur Entwicklungsgeschichte des Vedischen Opfers, Freiburg 1986.

Fröbe-Kapteyn 1942: O. Fröbe-Kapteyn, «Eranos. A Survey», Eranos-Jahrbuch 9 (1942).

Garbe 1896: R. Garbe, Sāṃkhya und Yoga (Grundriss der indo-arischen Philologie und Altertumskunde, III.4), Strassburg 1896.

Geldner 1951–1957: K. F. Geldner, Der Rig-Veda. Aus dem Sanskrit ins Deutsche übersetzt und mit einem laufenden Kommentar versehen, 4 Vols. (Harvard Oriental Studies, Vols. 33, 34, 35, 36), Cambridge, Mass. 1951–1957.

Geldner, Pischel 1889–1901: K. F. Geldner, R. Pischel, Vedischen Studien, Stuttgart 1889–1901.

Griffiths 2009: A. Griffiths, The Paippalādasaṃhitā of the Atharvaveda, Kāṇḍas 6 and 7, Groningen 2009.

Hauer 1921: J.W. Hauer, Die Anfänge der Yogapraxis im alten Indien. Eine Untersuchung über die Wurzeln der indischen Mystik nach Ṛgveda und Atharvaveda, Stuttgart 1921.

Hauer 1932: J. W. Hauer, Der Yoga als Heilweg, nach den indischen Quellen dargestellt, Stuttgart 1932.

Hauer 1958: J.W. Hauer, Der Yoga: Ein Indischer Weg zu Selbst, Stuttgart 1958.

Heesterman 1962: J. C. Heesterman, «Vratya and Sacrifice», Indo-Iranian Journal 6 (1962), 1–37.

Ielex: Indo-European Lexicon, The University of Texas at Austin Linguistics Research Center (LRC) at https://lrc.la.utexas.edu/lex (last access: 7 July 2020).

Jamison, Brereton 2014: S. W. Jamison, J. P. Brereton (trs.), The Rigveda: The Earliest Religious Poetry of India, 3 Vols., New York 2014.

Junginger 1999: H. Junginger, Von der philologischen zur völkischen Religionswissenschaft. Das Fach Religionswissenschaft an der Universität Tübingen von der Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts bis zum Ende des Dritten Reiches, Stuttgart 1999.

Keith 1914: A.B. Keith (tr.), The Veda of the Black Yajus school, entitled Taittiriya sanhita, 2 Vols., Cambridge, Mass. 1914.

Keith 1920: A. B. Keith (tr.), Rigveda Brahmanas: the Aitareya and Kauṣītaki Brāhmaṇas of the Rigveda, Cambridge, Mass. 1920.

Klein 2003: J. Klein, «Āmreḍitas and Related Constellations in the Rigveda», Journal of the American Oriental Society 123, 4 (2003), 773–802.

Köhler 2011: F. Köhler, Kaví im Ṛgveda: Dichtung, Ritual und Schöpfung im frühvedischen Denken, Aachen 2011.

Koskikallio 1999: P. Koskikallio, «Baka Dālbhya: A Complex Character in Vedic Ritual Texts, Epics and Purāṇas», Studia Orientalia 85 (1999), 301–387.

Kuiper 1960: F. B. J. Kuiper, «The Ancient Aryan Verbal Contest», Indo-Iranian Journal 4, 4 (1960), 217–281.

Lévi-Strauss 1987 [1950]: C. Lévi-Strauss, Introduction to the Work of Marcel Mauss, Eng. transl. by F. Baker, London 1987 [1950].

Lincoln, Ginzburg 2020: B. Lincoln, C. Ginzburg, Old Thiess, a Livonian Werewolf, Chicago–London 2020. Kindle Edition. 

Maas 2006: P.A. Maas, Samādhipāda. Das erste Kapitel des Pātañjalayogaśātra zum ersten Mal kritisch ediert (Geisteskultur Indiens. Texte und Studien), Aachen 2006.

Maas 2013: P.A. Maas, A Concise Historiography of Classical Yoga Philosophy, in E. Franco (ed.), Periodization and Historiography of Indian Philosophy (Publications of the De Nobili Research Library, 37), Wien 2013, 53–90.

Macdonell 1886: A.A. Macdonell, Kâtyâyana’s Sarvânukramanî of the Rigveda, s.l. 1886.

Mahadevan 2011: T. P. Mahadevan, «The R̥ṣi index of the Vedic Anukramāni and the Pravara lists: Toward a Pre-history of the Brahmans», Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies 18, 2 (2011), 1–140.

Mayrhofer 1956–1976: M. Mayrhofer, Kurzgefasstes etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindischen, 3 Vols., Heidelberg 1956–1980.

Mayrhofer 1992–2001: M. Mayrhofer, Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen, 3 Vols., Heidelberg 1992–2001.

Monier Williams 1899: Sir. M. Monier Williams, A Dictionary, English and Sanskrit, Oxford 1899.

Oberlies 1998: T. Oberlies, Die Religion des R̥gveda, Erster Teil: Das religiöse System des R̥gveda, Wien 1998.

Oertel 1926: H. Oertel, The Syntax of Cases in the Narrative and Descriptive Prose of The Brahmanas, Heidelberg 1926.

Oguibénine 1984: B. Oguibénine, «Sur le terme yóga, le verbe yuj- et quelques-uns de leurs dérivés dans les hymnes védiques», Indo-Iranian Journal 27, 2 (1984), 85–101.

Oguibénine 1998 [1984]: B. Oguibénine, «From Vedic Speculation to Indo-European Poetic and Religious Themes», in B. Oguibénine, Essays on Vedic and Indo-European Culture, New Delhi 1998 [1984], 223–249.

Oldenberg 1888: H. Oldenberg, Die Hymnen des Rigveda. Band I: Metrische und textgeschichtliche Prolegomena, Berlin 1888.

Oldenberg 1967: H. Oldenberg, Kleine Schriften (Glasenapp-Stiftung), Band 1, ed. by Klaus L. Janert, Wiesbaden 1967.

Olivelle 2009: P. Olivelle (ed.), Dharma: Studies in its Semantic, Cultural, and Religious History, Delhi 2009.

Papesso 1929–1931: V. Papesso, Inni del Rig-Veda, 2 Vols., Bologna 1929–1931.

Parpola 1983: A. Parpola, «The Pre-Vedic Indian Background of the Śrauta Ritual», in F. Staal (ed.), Agni. The Vedic Ritual of the Fire Altar, 2 Vols., Berkeley 1983, Vol. 1, 41–75.

Pietikäinen 2000: P. Pietikäinen, «The Volk and Its Unconscious: Jung, Hauer and the ‘German Revolution’», Journal of Contemporary History 35, 4 (2000), 523–539.

Pietikäinen 2008: P. Pietikäinen, «Future’s Past. C. G. Jung’s Psychoutopia and the ‘German Revolution’ of 1933», in H. Junginger (ed.), The Study of Religion under the Impact of Fascism, Leiden–Boston 2008, 591-611.

Pokorny 1959: J. Pokorny, Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, Bern–Munich 1959.

Poewe 2006: K. Poewe, New religions and the Nazis, New York–London 2006.

Poewe, Hexham 2005: K. Poewe, I. Hexham, «Jakob Wilhelm Hauer’s New Religion and National Socialism», Journal of Contemporary Religion 20, 2 (2005), 195–215.

Pollock 1993: S. Pollock, «Deep Orientalism? Notes on Sanskrit and Power Beyond the Raj», in C. A. Breckenridge, P. van der Veer (eds.), Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament: Perspectives on South Asia, Philadelphia 1993, pp. 76–133.

Proferes 2007: T.N. Proferes, Vedic ideals of sovereignty and the poetics of power, New Haven, Conn. 2007.

Renou, Filliozat 1947: L. Renou, J. Filliozat, L’Inde Classique. Manuel des études indiennes, vol. 1, Paris 1947.

Renou 1953: L. Renou, «Quelques termes du R̥gveda, d: yoga», Journal Asiatique 241 (1953), 177–180.

Renou 1955–1969: L. Renou, Études védiques et pāinéennes, 17 Vols., Paris 1955–1969.

Rix et al. 1998: H. Rix et al., Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben, Wiesbaden 1998.

Sani 2000: S. Sani, Le strofe della Sapienza, Venezia 2000.

Singleton 2010: M. Singleton, Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice, Oxford 2010.

Smith 2004: J.Z. Smith, Relating Religion: Essays in the Study of Religion, Chicago 2004.

Sparreboom 1985: M. Sparreboom, Chariots in the Veda, Leiden 1985.

Squarcini 2008a: F. Squarcini, Tradens, traditum, recipiens: studi storici e sociali sull’istituto della tradizione nell’antichità sudasiatica, Firenze 2008.

Squarcini 2008b: F. Squarcini, Tradition, Veda and Law: Studies on South Asian Classical Intellectual Traditions, Firenze–New Delhi 2008.

Squarcini 2015: F. Squarcini, «Introduzione», in Patañjali, Yogasūtra, It. transl. by F. Squarcini, G. Pellegrini, Einaudi 2015, pp. vii–cxxv.

Staal 1975: F. Staal, Exploring Mysticism: A Methodological Essay, Berkeley–Los Angeles 1975.

Thieme 1957: P. Thieme, Mitra and Aryaman, New Haven, Conn. 1957.

Wackernagel, Debrunner 1896–1930: J. Wackernagel, A. Debrunner, Altindische Grammatik, 2 Vols., 2 Parts (Vols. 1; 2/1; 2/2; 3), Göttingen 1896–1930.

Werner 1977: K. Werner, Yoga and Indian philosophy, New Delhi 1977.

Werner 1989: K. Werner, The Yogi and the Mystic. Studies in Indian and Comparative Mysticism (Durham Indological Series No. 1), London 1989.

White 2004: D. G. White, «Early Understandings of Yoga in the Light of Three Aphorisms from the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali», in E. Ciurtin (ed.), Du corps humain, au carrefour de plusieurs savoirs en Inde. Mélanges offerts à Arion Roşu par ses collègues și ses amis à l’occasion de son 80e anniversaire, Bucarest–Paris 2004, 611–627.

White 2009: D.G. White, Sinister Yogis, Chicago–London 2009.

Witzel 1997: M. Witzel, «The Development of the Vedic Canon and its Schools: The Social and Political Milieu», in M. Witzel (ed), Inside the Texts, Beyond the Texts. New Approaches to the Study of the Vedas (“Harvard Oriental Series, Opera Minora”, 2), Cambridge, Mass. 1997, 257–348.

Witzel, Gotō 2007: M. Witzel, T. Gotō, Rig-Veda: das heilige Wissen (1. Erster und zweiter Liederkreis), Frankfurt am Main 2007.

Witzel, Gotō, Scarlata 2013: M. Witzel, T. Gotō, S. Scarlata, Rig-Veda: das heilige Wissen (2. Dritter bis fünfter Liederkreis), Frankfurt am Main 2013.

Wujastyk 2018: D. Wujastyk, «Some Problematic Yoga Sūtra-s and their Buddhist Background», in K. Baier, P. A. Maas, K. Preisendanz (eds.), Yoga in Transformation: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, Göttingen 2018, 21–47.

Haut de page

Annexe

In the following section, I will present all the gvedic occurrences of the term yóga. In order to reconsider the use and the semantic field of this term, I will sketch the relative chronology and the diachronic stratification of the books under consideration. I consider this a necessary step to indicate whether and how the semantic boundaries of this term changed over time. For the chronological order of the layers of the R̥gveda, I will refer to Oldenberg’s and Witzel’s reconstruction of the history of the R̥gvedic canon102. The translation is by Stephanie W. Jamison and Joel P. Brereton (2014), while the italicized text between square brackets is mine.

Book II
II.8.1ab: vājayánn iva nū́ ráthān yógām̐ agnér úpa stuhi | yaśástamasya mīḷhúṣaḥ ||
As a prize-seeker (praises) his chariots, now praise the yok(ed teams) of Agni
the most glorious one, who grants rewards, […].

Book III
III.27.11ac: agníṃ yantúram aptúram r̥tásya yóge vanúṣaḥ | víprā vā́jaiḥ sám indhate ||
Agni, guiding (his horses) and crossing the waters – at the harnessing of the truth, the eager
inspired ones kindle him with the prizes of victory.

Book IV
IV.24.4ab: kratūyánti kṣitáyo yóga ugrāśuṣāṇā́so mithó árṇasātau |
The settled people show their resolve at the hitching up (for battle), o powerful one, while they are gasping on opposite sides in the winning of the flood.

Book V
V.37.5ab: púṣyāt kṣéme abhí yóge bhavāty ubhé vŕ̥tau saṃyatī́ sáṃ jayāti |
He will prosper in peace, and he will prevail at the hitching up (for war); (when) the two opponents are clashing together, he will entirely conquer.

V.43.5: ásāvi te jujuṣāṇā́ya sómaḥ krátve dákṣāya br̥haté mádāya | hárī ráthe sudhúrā yóge arvā́g índra priyā́ kr̥ṇuhi hūyámānaḥ ||
The soma has been pressed for you who have enjoyed (it) – for will and skill, for lofty exhilaration.
Indra, bring nearby the two dear fallow bays, those amenable to the chariot-pole at the yoking to your chariot, when you are being invoked.

Book VII
VII.54.3cd: pāhí kṣéma utá yóge váraṃ no yūyám pāta svastíbhiḥ sádā naḥ ||
Protect us at will in peace and war [= at the time to join the duty to fight]. – Do you protect us always with your blessings.

VII.67.8ab: ékasmin yóge bhuraṇā samāné pári vāṃ saptá sraváto rátho gāt |
In your single, joint trek [to which horses must bend to win], o energetic ones, your chariot encompasses the seven flowing streams.

VII.86.8cd: śáṃ naḥ kṣéme śám u yóge no astu yūyám pāta svastíbhiḥ sádā naḥ ||
Let there be good fortune in peaceful settlement for us and let there be good fortune in war [= at the time to bend to the duty to fight] for us. – Do you protect us always with your blessings.

Book VIII
VIII.58.3ad: jyótiṣmantaṃ ketumántaṃ tricakráṃ sukháṃ ráthaṃ suṣádam bhū́rivāram | citrā́maghā yásya yóge ’dhijajñe táṃ vāṃ huvé áti riktam píbadhyai ||
Your light-filled, three-wheeled, well-naved chariot, providing a beacon, easy to sit in, bringing abundant valuables,
at whose yoking (Dawn) of bright bounties [bent to victory] is born – that I call upon, for you two to drink the ‘left-over’ (soma).

Book I
I.5.3ac: sá ghā no yóga ā́ bhuvat sá rāyé sá púraṃdhyām | gámad vā́jebhir ā́ sá naḥ ||
Will he be here for us at our hitching up (for war) [= at the time to bend to the duty to fight], he for wealth, he in plenty?
Will he come to us with prizes of victory?

I.18.7ac: yásmād r̥té ná sídhyati yajñó vipaścítaś caná | sá dhīnā́ṃ yógam invati |
Without whom the sacrifice even of one attentive to poetic inspiration does not succeed,
he [=Sadasaspati] drives the team of insightful thoughts [bent to the established order].

I.30.7ac: yóge-yoge103 tavástaraṃ vā́je-vāje104 havāmahe | sákhāya índram ūtáye||
At the very hitching up (for battle) [= at the time to bend to the duty to fight], at every prize-contest we call to the more powerful one –
as his comrades (we call) to Indra for help.

I.34.9ad: kvà trī́ cakrā́ trivŕ̥to ráthasya kvà tráyo vandhúro yé sánīḷāḥ | kadā́ yógo vājíno rā́sabhasya yéna yajñáṃ nāsatyopayātháḥ ||
Where are the three wheels of your triply turning chariot, where the three seats which are in the same nest [= chariot box]?
When is the [time of] yoking of the prizewinning donkey [to victory], with which, Nāsatyas, you drive up to the sacrifice.

I.56.1ad: eṣá prá pūrvī́r áva tásya camríṣó ’tyo ná yóṣām úd ayaṃsta bhurváṇiḥ | dákṣam mahé pāyayate hiraṇyáyaṃ rátham āvŕ̥tyā háriyogam ŕ̥bhvasam ||
This one has raised forth for himself the many dippers of this well (of soma), as a stallion, all aquiver, raises himself up to [= mounts] a young mare.
For the great (deed?) he gives himself golden skill [= soma] to drink, having turned his ingenious chariot here, hitched with his fallow bays [for the race].

I.186.7ad: utá na īm matáyó ’śvayogāḥ śíśuṃ ná gā́vas táruṇaṃ rihanti | tám īṃ gíro jánayo ná pátnīḥ surabʰíṣṭamaṃ narā́ṃ nasanta ||
And our horse-yoked-[for winning] thoughts lick him [Indra] like cows their tender young. Our songs approach him, the sweetest smelling of men, like wedded wives.

Book X
X.30.11ad: hinótā no adhvaráṃ devayajyā́ hinóta bráhma sanáye dhánānām | r̥tásya yóge ví ṣyadhvam ū́dhaḥ śruṣṭīvárīr bhūtanāsmábhyam āpaḥ ||
Impel our ceremony by a sacrifice to the gods; impel our sacred formulation to gain the spoils.
At the yoking of truth unloosen your udder. Grant us attentive hearing, o waters.

X.35.9 ab: adveṣó adyá barhíṣa stárīmaṇi grā́vṇāṃ yóge mánmanaḥ sā́dha īmahe |
Today at the strewing of the ritual grass, at the yoking of the pressing stones [to their function] we beg for lack of hatred and for the realization of our thought.

X. 39.12ad: ā́ téna yātam mánaso jávīyasā ráthaṃ yáṃ vām r̥bhávaś cakrúr aśvinā | yásya yóge duhitā́ jā́yate divá ubhé áhanī sudíne vivásvataḥ ||
Drive here with your chariot swifter than thought, which the R̥bhus made for you, o Aśvin,
and at whose hitching up the Daughter of Heaven [=Dawn] is born and both bright-lit day halves of Vivasvant.


X. 89.10ad:
índro divá índra īśe pr̥thivyā́ índro apā́m índra ít párvatānām | índro vr̥dhā́m índra ín médhirāṇām índraḥ kṣéme yóge hávya índraḥ ||
Indra is master of heaven and Indra of earth, Indra of the waters and Indra of the mountains,
Indra of the strong and Indra of the wise; Indra is to be called upon in peace and Indra in war [= at the time to bend to the duty to fight].

X.114.9ad: káś chándasāṃ yógam ā́ veda dhī́raḥ kó dhíṣṇyām práti vā́cam papāda | kám r̥tvíjām aṣṭamáṃ śū́ram āhur hárī índrasya ní cikāya káḥ svit ||
Who is the wise one who knows the yoking of the meters [to the established order]? Who has undertaken the holy speech?
What champion do they call the eight of the priests? Who indeed has discerned the two fallow bays of Indra?

X.166.5ad: yogakṣemáṃ va ādā́yāhám bhūyāsam uttamá ā́ vo mūrdhā́nam akramīm| adhaspadā́n ma úd vadata maṇḍū́kā ivodakā́n maṇḍū́kā udakā́d iva ||
Having taken for myself your yoking up [= war] [at the time to bend to the duty to fight] and your peace, might I become the highest. I have trampled on your head.

Haut de page

Notes

1 Böthling, Roth 1855-1875; Burnouf, Leupol 1866; Monier Williams 1899.

2 There is no consensus, but many scholars agree with the date of 3rd c. CE because of Patañjali’s reference to Vijñānavāda Buddhism and Vasubandhu. It is well-known that Patañjali’s work has been quoted by Bhartṛhari (5th c.–beginning 6th c.) and in the Nyāyabhāṣya (5th c.). Cf. Maas 2006; White 2009; Squarcini 2015.

3 According to Phillip Maas (2006, 2013) the Yogasūtra and its commentary belong to the same work by a unique author. However, this thesis is still open. Cf. Squarcini 2015.

4 Cf. White 2009; Squarcini 2015, esp. liii ff; Wujastyk 2018; Neri, Pontillo 2019.

5 Following the internal sandhi rules, the unvoiced guttaral -j in front of vowels, which are considered voiced, changes into its voiced counterpart -g.

6 One example in Latin is the class of verbs connected to iŭgo / iŭgāre (‘to bind, marry’), such as subiŭgo / subiŭgāre (‘to bring under the yoke, subject, subjugate’), and iungo / iungĕre (‘to join or unite together, connect, attach, fasten, yoke, harness’), adiungo / adiungĕre (‘to add, join, annexe, or bind to anything’), coniungo / coniungĕre (‘to bind together, connect, join, unite’). Another example in Greek is the relation between ζυγόω (‘to yoke’) with ζυγομαχέω (‘struggle with one’s yoke-fellow’), ζυγομαχία (‘quarrelling, strife’). Cf. Pokorny 1959, 508–510; Rix et al. 1998, 316 (s.v. i̯eu̯g-); Dagmar et al. 2008, 398–404; Wackernagel, Debrunner 1896–1930, 1.20–22 (§ 19); IELEX, s.v. Yoke, to Join, Unite at https://lrc.la.utexas.edu/lex/master/0785 (last access: 7 July 2020).

7 Cf. Oguibénine 1998 [1984].

8 Geldner 1951–1957; Renou 1953; Oguibénine 1984; 1998 [1984]; Elizarenkova 1989–1999; Jamison, Brereton 2014.

9 Geldner 1951–1957; Elizarenkova 1989–1999; Witzel, Gotō 2007.

10 Grassmann 1873, 1125–1126; Papesso 1929–1931; Mayrhofer 1956–1976, 3.20–21; Sani 2000.

11 Bronkhorst 2011, 165–170; Squarcini 2015, xlix–lxxxix.

12 Maas 2006; Bronkhorst 2011, 165-170; Squarcini 2015, xlix–lxxxix.

13 Maas 2013, 53 ff; Singleton 2010, 4 ff.

14 Cf. Maas 2006; White 2009; Singleton 2010.

15 Maas 2016, 2013.

16 Maas 2006, 53 ff; White 2009; Bronkhorst 2011, 165 ff; Squarcini 2015; Neri, Pontillo 2019.

17 Cf. Oldenberg 1888; Witzel 1997.

18 Cf. Witzel 1997, 257–348; Oldenberg 1888. See the Appendix above.

19 Cf. Mahadevan 2011; Macdonell 1886.

20 Maas 2013.

21 White 2009; Squarcini 2015; Baier, Maas, Preisendanz 2018.

22 Renou 1953, 177–180.

23 Oguibénine 1984, 85–101.

24 Cf. Garbe 1896, 34–35; Hauer 1922, 1932.

25 Garbe 1896, 34.

26 Garbe refers to the book Religions des Veda (1888) by Hermann Oldenberg.

27 Garbe 1896, 35: “Damit wuchs der Begriff des Yoga (etymologisch »Anschirrung«, d. h. Anspannung der geistigen Kräfte durch Concentration des Denkens auf einen bestimmten Punkt) aus dem des Tapas heraus. Das Tapas oder die leibliche Askese wurde zu einem Hilfsmittel zur Förderung des Yoga oder der geistigen Askese, wenn auch naturgemäß die beiden Begriffe nicht immer von einander geschieden sind. Das Wort yoga tritt in der angegebenen Bedeutung erst beträchtlich später auf als tapas”.

28 Hauer 1921, 190: “Yoga heißt ja Anspannung, und bedeutete in der ältesten Zeit der brahmanischen Zauber- und Opferpraxis Anschirrung der Zauberkraft oder des Gottes durch Zauberspruch, Gebet (bráhman), Lied und Opferhandlung, und etwa noch durch angestrengtes Denken. Diese Übungen ziehen die Kraft oder die Gottheit herbei zum Zauber und Opfer, und zum Menschen, der die Handlung verrichtet, den Soma trinkt, das Opfer genießt, um ihn dann mit Kräften zu erfüllen, zur Verzückung und Unsterblichkeit zu erheben. Das Anjochen oder Anschirren drückt die ekstatische Erregung, das Erleben überirdischer Mächte beim Zauber oder Opfer am deutlichsten aus”.

29 Hauer 1921, 169. Cf. the representations of the “Aryan werewolf” in the critical analysis by Lincoln, Ginzburg 2020, 6-7.

30 Hauer 1921, 156: “dieses Element der Yogapraxis, die von den Kriegern herkam, von der brahmanischen Seite zugeführt wurde”.

31 In 1933, Hauer joined Rosenberg’s Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur and Hitlerjugend. In 1934, he joined the SS (Schutz-Staffel) and SD (Sicherheitsdienst). Cf. Junginger 1999, 128; Poewe, Hexham 2005, 207; Poewe 2006, 43 ff.

32 Poewe, Hexham 2005, esp. 208 (emphasis in the original; republished and developed in Poewe 2006).

33 Benavides 2018, 263–264.

34 Cf. Fröbe-Kapteyn 1942, 1. Hauer was regular speaker at the Eranos meetings until he and Jung adopted different political ways during the 1930s. See Alles 2002; Pietikäinen 2000, 2008; Benavides 2008.

35 Renou, Filliozat 1947, 356 (§722) and 371 (§ 752).

36 Hauer 1921, 19.

37 Renou 1953, 177–178.

38 Sparreboom 1985.

39 Grassmann (1873, 1125) indicates the following meanings of yóga in the R̥gveda: 1) “das Anschirren des Zugthieres oder Wagens”; 2) “Anschirrung, Fahrt”; 3) “das Anschirren [...] Zurüsten, in Thätigkeit setzen mit Gen.; 4) Unternehmung, Werk; 5) mit kṣéma Arbeit und Ruhe”. Geldner (1951–1957), it depends on the case, translates as follows: Ausübung (performance), Anschirrung (harness), Tätigkeit (activity), Unternehmung (engagement, enterprise), Anspannung (effort), Gespanne (yoke). Elizarenkova 1989–1999 often describes yóga as похо́д, pokhoda (activity, journey, military campaign) or войнa, voyna (war), in a few times as упря́жка, upryazhka (team) or запряга́ние, zapryaganiye (yoke), rarely as дело, delo (action). Witzel and Gotō (2007) mostly translate yóga as Anspannung, but they connote this word as Unternehmung (enterprise), Fahrt (journey), Vorbereitung (preparation), Werk (labor), Tagesmarsch (daily march), Krieg (war) or Anschirrung (harness); Witzel, Gotō, Scarlata (2013) as Unternehmung, Anschirrung, Joch (yoke) or Notfall (emergency) in opposition to kṣéma as friedliches Siedeln (peaceful settlement).

40 Elizarenkova 1989–1999 translates kṣéme…yóge as “в мире и в походе”, v mire i v pokhode (“in peace and in the military campaign”). Cf. White 2009, 64: “Before the term yoga came to be yoked to chariots of poetic thought, however, its earliest referent was the yoking of horses to war chariots in preparation for battle. In this regard, Geldner translates the term yoga in ṚV 4.24.4 as ‘Kriegsfahrt,’ while the verb *yuj, employed without modifiers, often signified battle: ‘The jealous [enemies] . . . have yoked themselves (yuyujré) against us.’ In this regard, it is apposite to note that one of the English-language cognates of the Sanskrit ‘yoga’ is the word ‘joust’.

41 Oertel 1926, 223 ff.

42 Oertel 1926, 226.

43 Oertel 1926, 226.

44 Jamison, Brereton 2014, 111: “insightful thoughts.”

45 Renou 1953, 177–178.

46 Renou 1953, 178.

47 Oguibénine 1984, 86–87.

48 Oguibénine 1998 [1984], 223–244, esp. 224–226. Cf. Durante 1968 [1958], 242–260; Durante 1976.

49 Oguibénine 1998 [1984], 226–233.

50 Renou 1953; Oguibénine 1984; 1998 [1984]; Ambrosini 1981, 58 (X.53.11); Jamison, Brereton 2014, 235 (I.113.17).

51 Grassmann 1873, 1126; Elizarenkova 1989–1999, постро́мки, postromki (III.6.6); Jamison, Brereton 2014, 477 (III.6.6), 971 (VII.70.4), 1462 (X.53.11).

52 All translations of the R̥gveda are by S. W. Jamison and J. P. Brereton (2014), while the italicized text between square brackets is mine, in order to stress the pragmatics of the word yóga.

53 This pāda has been much discussed with regard to the grammatical function and the meaning of the term kārá- (here kāré at the locative). Some scholars hold a derivation from the verbal root *kṝ́, ‘to extol,’ from which it follows that kārá- can be translated as ‘religious hymn’ (Grassmann 1873, 323, Preislied, Gesang) or ‘battle song’ (Grassmann 1873, 323, Schlachtgesang); others propose a derivation from kr̥-, ‘to do’ (kr̥ṇoti) or ‘to celebrate’ (ákārīt) from which it follows the interpretations of kārá- as ‘doing, act, action’, thus, ‘the making together’ (Oldenberg 1967, 407, Zustandebringen) of the poetic activity, that is, the ‘song’ (Elizarenkova 1989–1999, воспева́ние, vaspevani; Ambrosini 1981, 58, canto), or ‘competition’ (Geldner 1951–1957: Kampf, Kampfspiel; Geldner, Pischel 1889–1901, 1.120, 122), in a broad sense the ‘victory’ (Mayrhofer 1956–1976, 1.201, Mayrhofer 1992–2001, 1–340; Wackernagel, Debrunner 1896–1930, 2/2.64, Sieg) that poets composed in verse for their patrons (cf. also Köhler 2011, 328). With a tinge of pragmatism, Renou interpreted kāré as “l’instant décisif” when one obtains the victory (Renou 1953, 180, fn. 1). This interpretation is shared by Jamison and Brereton: “at the decisive moment” (Jamison, Brereton 2014, 1462).

54 With this latter meaning, cf. Thieme 1957, 31 fn. 17. With regard to the social principles underpinning the figure of Ahura Mazdā, Thieme noticed that the notion of contract and its inviolability, synthesised in the concept of miθra, is represented with the image of god having thousands of eyes and ears, that is, the organs functional for the mental promptness and attention. In stressing this aspect, Thieme remarked that the god of contract knows to be ‘tied by’ or ‘ready for’ action (yuxta-) in many ways. Similarly, he is the king in charge of numerous spies, taking care that no one violates any agreements. The interpretation of yoga as ‘readiness to action’ also occurs among Oguibénine’s translations, in his reading of the yóga of poetical thoughts in relation with the officiant’s skill to bring together the ritual’s extremities in order to obtain positive results (cf. Oguibénine 1984).

55 Oguibénine 1998 [1984], 233–236.

56 Wackernagel, Debrunner 1896–1930, 2/2.622 (§465a).

57 Böthling, Roth 1855-1875, s.v. r̥tayukti: “f. rechte Verbindung”; Grassmann 1873, 286 (s.v. ṙtá-yukti).

58 Monier Williams 1899, s.v. Ṛitá-yukti: “mfn. well applied, proper [as a word or hymn]”.

59 Cf. Elizarenkova 1995, 10–11, 17, 20–21.

60 Ibidem.

61 Grassmann 1873; Böhtlingk, Roth 1855-1875.

62 Geldner 1951–1957, 1.228: “Alsbald kamen die Navagvas zur Freundschaft der Jungfrau, die die Wahrheit Redenden zum Bunde mit der Wahrheit”.

63 R̥V III.27.11; X.30.11.

64 Cf., on this aspect, the relationship between r̥tá and dharmán discussed in Brereton 2004.

65 Grassmann 1873, 879, s.v. práyukti: “f. 1) Gespann”; Oguibénine 1984, 88: “attelage (de l’esprit)”, “attelage (de notre pensées)”.

66 Grassmann 1873, 879, s.v. práyukti: “f. 2) Trieb, Antrieb”; Geldner 1951-1957: “Antriebe (R̥V I.151.8; I.153.2; X.30.1); “Betreiben (R̥V VI.11.1); Oguibénine 1984, 88: “impulsion;” Witzel, Gotō 2007: “Vorspannung, Vorspannen” (R̥V I.151.8; I.153.2).

67 Grassmann 1873, 1629, s.v. svá-yukti: “a. sich selbst anschirrend”; Idem in Geldner 1951-1957, 1.210, 212; 2.103; 3.175; Oguibénine 1984, 95: “s’attelant de lui-même, de son propre gré”, “désigner l’aboutissement de l’acte d’identification à un svá”; Oguibénine 1984, 96: “en rapport d’identité avec le svá”; Elizarenkova 1995, 94: “one who yokes oneself in.”

68 Jamison, Brereton 2014, 163; cf. Sani 2000, 113.

69 Elizarenkova 1995, 94: “self-yoked”; Jamison, Brereton 2014, 277: “self-harnessed”.

70 Cf. Lévi-Strauss 1987, 63 [1950, L].

71 According to the tradition of the Indexes of the R̥gveda, this hymns has been composed by the seven sons of Vātaraśana. Cf. Jamison, Brereton 2014, 1621.

72 Ducœur 2004, 20 ff. More specifically, Ducœur identifies as shamanic the elements that fit with the model of the cosmic fly.

73 Eliade 1954. See Ambasciano 2014 for a critical discussion on the ‘theological’ and ‘teleological’ roots of the Eliadian shamanism.

74 Cf., about the different types of ‘ascetics’ mentioned in the R̥gveda, Heesterman 1962; Staal 1975; Bollée 1981; Parpola 1983; Falk 1986; Koskikallio 1999; Dore, Pontillo 2013.

75 White 2004; 2009, 78.

76 Cf., on the epistemic function of the semantic discontinuity of the ‘floating’ terms, Smith 2004, 117–144, especially 133–134.

77 Mayrhofer 1992–2001, s.v. KSAY1 and KSAY2.

78 Oberlies 1998, 333–337; Köhler 2011, 48; Proferes 2007, 17.

79 Mayrhofer 1956–1976, 1.293. The word kṣéma is often interpreted as “fixed settlement” (Proferes 2007, 17; Jamison, Brereton 2014, 55). One may interpret the condition of staying in a fixed habitation as the premise to dwell in a state of security of property. However, as Böhtlingk and Roth suggest, “Besitz des Erworbenen, Erhaltung des Vermögens” (Böhtlingk, Roth 1855–1875, 6.186). Hence, it was the acquisition of a new property to provide a state of security.

80 Elizarenkova 1989–1999: “Ты распоряжаешься миром и войной, О повелитель силы, О Индра со всеми поддержками. Из полуденного выжимания, о убийца Вритры, О безупречный, Испей сомы, о громовержец!” Ty rasporyazhayesh’sya mirom i voynoy, O povelitel’ sily, O Indra so vsemi podderzhkami. Iz poludennogo vyzhimaniya, o ubiytsa Vritry, O bezuprechnyy, Ispey somy, o gromoverzhets! (R̥V VIII.37.5). I wish to thank Walter Montanari for helping me with the Russian language.

81 Renou 1953, 178 and fn. 1.

82 The hymn containing this strophe is considered “the most frustrating hymn in the R̥gveda” (Jamison, Brereton 2014, 1560) for its peculiar lexicon and the strong presence of similitudes and hapax legomena.

83 Cf. Sparreboom 1985, 133.

84 Cf., on the metaphor of the chariot to express such concept, Sparreboom 1985, 25–26; Renou 1953, 179–180.

85 Griffiths 2009, 287.

86 Cf. Elizarenkova 1989–1999, R̥V IV.24.4: Народы замышляют (воинственный) поход, о грозный, / Возбуждаясь друг против друга для захвата водных источников. / Когда сошлись для битвы враждующие племена, / Не тот, так другой прибегает к Индре в решающий момент. Narody zamyshlyayut (voinstvennyy) pokhod, o groznyy, / Vozbuzhdayas’ drug protiv druga dlya zakhvata vodnykh istochnikov. / Kogda soshlis’ dlya bitvy vrazhduyushchiye plemena, / Ne tot, tak drugoy pribegayet k Indre v reshayushchiy moment.

87 Maitrāyaṇī Samḥitā 3.4.5, Kāṭha Saṃhitā 22.6, Kapiṣṭhala-Kaṭha Saṃhitā 34, and, with some variations, Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa 9.4.4.1–17.

88 Oertel 1926, 231.

89 Eng. transl. by Keith 1914, 2.633, with minor change. Starting from the paradigm of the yogakṣemá alternation, one can guess that the request for the kingdom is to give birth to new individuals adequate to their role and able to fulfil their task in the best way, that is, social members who know ‘to bend’ to their function: a prince to the command function, an archer to the skill to shoot arrows onto the right place, and so on.

90 Keith (1914, 2.633) translates yogakṣemá as “union and peace”.

91 This passage is repeated like a refrain in the succeeding sections (5–8).

92 Eggeling 1882–1900, 5.96–97. Eggeling translates here yogakṣemá as “security of possession”. Cf. above fn. 79. Cf. also Elizarenkova 1989–1999, R̥V X.166.5: владение имуществом, vladeniye imushchestvom (possession of propriety).

93 Eggeling translates yogakṣemá as “security of property” (Eggeling 1882–1900, 5.138).

94 Keith 1914, 2.633 fn. 4.

95 Eggeling 1882–1900, 5.97, 138.

96 Oertel 1926, 231.

97 Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa 11.4.2.2: “there is no question about this: it is good for (securing) cattle and life” (Eggeling 1882–1900, 5.57); Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa 13.1.4.3: “And again when he offers the Dhṛtis in the evening, and the (Savitṛ) iṣṭis in the morning, it is security of possession the Sacrificer thereby brings about, whence security of possession is brought about for the subjects where this sacrifice is performed.” (Eggeling 1882–1900, 5.285); Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa 13.1.9.10: “‘may security of possession be assured for us!’ – where they perform this sacrifice there security of possession indeed is assured; whence wherever they perform this (Aśvamedha) sacrifice, security of possession becomes assured to the people” (Eggeling 1882–1900, 5.295) (emphasis mine).

98 Eng. transl. by Keith 1920, 326 and fn. 5, with minor change (emphasis mine). Keith translates yogakṣema as ‘good fortune.’ This passage has been discussed with regard to the term kalpata, that, according to some scholars, is a mistake in the transcription.

99 Among several examples, see the notion of fire (agni) in the discourse about sovereignty as it has been examined by Proferes 2007; the essays on semantics of dharma collected in Olivelle 2009; the investigation about karman in early Brahmanical and Buddhist literatures by Bronkhorst 2007; the requalification of the term prāṇa in rituals and theories discussed by Bodewitz 1973; the requalification of certain ‘technical’ terms of judicial language as discussed by Squarcini 2008a, 2008b.

100 Lévi-Strauss 1987, 64.

101 Pollock 1993.

102 Oldenberg 1888; Witzel 1997.

103 Cf. Klein 2003, 773–802; Ditrich 2011.

104 “Den Anspannen um Anspannen” (Witzel, Gotō 2007, 55, cf. 525). On vā́je-vāje, cf. Kuiper 1960, 239–240.

Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence électronique

Marianna Ferrara, « Rest after War: yóga in the R̥gveda and Its Scholarly Understanding in the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries »Mythos [En ligne], 14 | 2020, mis en ligne le 31 décembre 2020, consulté le 27 mai 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/mythos/2643 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/mythos.2643

Haut de page

Auteur

Marianna Ferrara

Dipartimento di Storia, Antropologia, Religioni, Arte, Spettacolo
Sapienza Università di Roma
Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5
00100 Roma
marianna.ferrara(at)uniroma1.it

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

Mythos

Haut de page
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search