PANTANJALI AND YOGA by Mircea Eliade

PANTANJALI AND YOGA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Professor Eliade is one of today's most distinguished historians of religion and it is in that capacity that he turns his attention in this slender monograph to yoga as codified (c. 200 B.C.) by the half-legendary grammarian, Pantanjali. He considers each of the eight steps to the attainment of freedom from temporality, dwelling particularly on asana, or control of the body through the assumption of certain bodily positions, and pranayama (absorption of vital forces) through rhythmic breathing and breath retention, explaining not only the practice and philosophy of such practices but also their parallel application in e.g., China and Islam. Among the interesting phenomena discussed are the ""miracles"" of the yogin who make of asana a way of life, to the edification of orientals and the stupefaction of occidentals, and the wonders of those adept in samyama, the highest stages of yoga: clairvoyance, telepathy, levitation, etc. As careful as he is thorough, Eliade does not judge; he only records and notes. Like all of his books, Pantanjali and Yoga will find an immediate audience among scholars and students of religious thought; in this instance, there will be an additional market among American devotees of hatha yoga.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1969
Publisher: Funk & Wagnalls