Any distinction between "yoga" and "marga"?

pslvax!siva!sadhu at UCSD.EDU pslvax!siva!sadhu at UCSD.EDU
Sat Oct 7 13:35:55 UTC 1995

|The connection between yoga and health is extremely late in the Indian 
|tradition. Neither yoga, nor yogic ideas, form part of the classical 
|system of Ayurveda until the composition of the Ayurvedasutra, itself
|a very late text, possibly almost a millennium later than Vagbhata.
|I believe that the origin of the notion of yoga as a *physical* system 
|is itself also rather recent, historically. Patanjali has only one sutra
|mentioning that one should sit "level" while meditating.  But I don't 
|know much about the history of yoga.  What is the opinion of others 
|better informed than me?

not being all that well informed, i should probably hesitate
to even contribute to these discussions, but, i would agree
with dominic.

yoga = health probably is a late notion.  or maybe just too
obvious for mention, until the health aspect became an end
in itself.  as a part of yogic discipline, meditation, etc,
hatha yoga i believe goes way back  .. eg, the indus valley figures
shown in padma asana.

then again, the original question referred to "the four yogas", but
not necessarily the time frame of the system.  the four margas i
mentioned are the pattern of the agamic texts.  as i understand it,
and again, please pardon my ignorance, the agamas are much later than
the vedas, but many are over 2,000 years old.  tradition i am told
counts 92 main saiva agamas, and 108 vaishnava pancharatra agamas.
most agamas are of 4 parts, the charya, kriya, yoga and jnana padas
(pada meaning quarter part, also, step, pace, stage, path ...)
which correspond to the 4 margas mentioned in my previous post.  i am
not sure if any of the agamas discuss hatha yoga, anyone know?

anyway, the point was, amongst modern aspirants a least, hatha yoga is not
limited to any of the margas.  the beginner may practice it only
for psyical health.  the advanced yogi, for tuning the thousands of
nadis (psychic nerve currents) into perfect harmony.  as far as the
ancient aspirants, i am not sure, but legend has it that the system
of hatha yoga for meditation has been passed down the various lineages
of gurus since time immemorial.

Om Namasivaya

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