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140159 VO Historical Introduction to Yoga Philosophy and Early Indian Traditions of Meditation (2014S)

Details

Language: English

Examination dates

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Tuesday 11.03. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 18.03. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 25.03. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 01.04. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 08.04. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 29.04. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 06.05. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 13.05. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 20.05. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 27.05. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 03.06. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 17.06. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 24.06. 10:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

This series of lectures addresses the foundations of yoga philosophy and its his-
torical development into the modern period. The course also covers the forms
of meditation that are described in the earliest Indian literature.
How old is yoga? What is it, really? Is it a system of meditation, or physical
postures, or both? Is it a kind of medicine? Was it once even a form of controlled
suicide? What role did British gymnastics of the nineteenth century play in the
formation of modern yoga practice? How does the early history of yoga relate
to modern forms of yoga such as that taught by Iyengar, Jois, Desikacharya and
Bikram Choudhury?

This course will introduce you to the foundation texts of yoga, the Yoga Sūtra
of Patañjali, and the Bhāṣya commentary on these sūtras.
Shorter selections from other early yoga treatises will also be read in translation
and discussed in class, including passages from the Mahābhārata, some of the
commentaries on the Yoga Sūtra and its Bhāṣya, and perhaps other works such
as the Gorakṣaśataka, and the Haṭhayogapradīpikā.
Central to early yoga practice was meditation. How do these ancient Sanskrit
texts on yoga describe meditation? Are there several forms of meditation, and
how do they differ? We shall explore how yoga drew on older meditational
traditions, especially those of Buddhism, and reformulated them for a new cul-
tural milieu.

Throughout this course, a historical and analytical approach will be taken as
the touchstone for discovering reliable knowledge. Emphasis will be given to
modern discoveries and interpretations.

Assessment and permitted materials

Assessment

The course will be assessed through

• Two written essays in German or English of approximately six pages.
Or
• One written essay and an equivalent amount of text to be added to a new or
existing Wikipedia page. The details of this option to be discussed in class.
Or
• A final written examination of one hour.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Nähere Informationen im Kommentierten Vorlesungsverzeichnis unter www.stb.univie.ac.at.

Examination topics

The teaching will be supported through the University of Vienna’s Moodle
website for this course. The Moodle site will provide other, more specific read-
ings recommended for each week. Several selected readings will be provided
as PDFs or photocopies; others must be taken from the library. The library has
a shelf of reference books for this course that are restricted for use in the library.

Reading list

Readings

If you wish to start background reading now, some recommended texts include:
• Eliade, Mircea (). Yoga: Immortality and Freedom, Translated from the French
by Willard Trask. Princeton: Princeton University Press, second edn.
• Bronkhorst, Johannes (). Two Traditions of Meditation in Ancient India. nd
edition , reprinted Delhi: MLBD, . PDF.
• Samuel, Geoffrey (). The Origins of Yoga and Tantra: Indic Religions to
the Thirteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Reprinted:
Delhi, .
• Alter, Joseph S. (). Yoga in Modern India: The Body Between Science and
Philosophy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Association in the course directory

BA13, MASK6d, MAP5, EC1/1

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:34