SV: [INDOLOGY] praa.naayaama again

Dominic Goodall dominic.goodall at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 31 10:56:45 UTC 2011

Dear all,

Many thanks indeed for all these helpful pointers !

When I first scanned through the various passages (to which may be added also the C11th Tattvaratnaavaloka and its autocommentary, by Vaagii"svarakiirti, and Sa.mvarodayatantra 19:30, both of which use the expression pra"saantaka), I had the impression that there were several different notions of a fourth praa.naayaama that might have been added independently.  But one label (for Supraśānta, Praśānta and Praśāntaka are clearly, in essence, the same name), which I had thought rare, turns out to be shared by several early Śaiva sources and a few Buddhist tantric ones.

So now I wonder whether the various notions of the 4th praa.naayaama do not after all all start from Yogasūtra 2:51 (baahyaabhyantaravi.sayaak.sepii caturtha.h), which is (for me) obscure because it uses that rather multivalent verb aak.sip. (Does it mean “pervade”, as the interprets, or “examine” as Bhojadeva supposes, or something else again?)

What I mean is that perhaps there was after all one original conception of a 4th praa.naayaama: a profound super-kumbhaka that is not measured out but that is felt to come to exist, after long practice, as a state that underlies all three other praa.naayaamas.

As for the name sa.mgha.t.taka/sa.mgha.taka in the Siddhasiddhaantapaddhati, it perhaps reflects that all the other 3 are grouped or fused in the fourth. 

I can make nothing of “ejecting like an arrow”.  Could the Tibetan be interpreted in any other way? How is pra"saantaka rendered in Tibetan translation when it occurs in the Hevajratantra ?

In sum, even though I don't really quite understand what is meant by Supraśānta, I feel I know a lot more about it thanks to the interesting messages of Hartmut Buescher, Ulrich Kragh, Judit Törzsök and others.

With thanks,
Dominic Goodall

On 30-Jul-2011, at 3:09 PM, Hartmut Buescher wrote:

>> Although [prāṇāyāma] is commonly divided into three parts, recaka, pūraka and kumbhaka, ...
> Patañjali (PYS II.51) actually indicates a fourth one
>> Is such a fourth prāṇāyāma to be found in any other traditions of yoga ?
> e.g., the Siddhasiddhāntapaddhati II. 35 (ed. Gharote/Pai, Lonavla 2005)
> likewise defines prāṇāyāma in terms of 4 lakṣaṇas; it reads:
> prāṇāyāma iti prāṇasya sthiratā / 
> recaka-pūraka-kumbhaka-saṃghaṭṭakakaraṇāni catvāri prāṇāyāmalakṣaṇāni //
> Best wishes,
> Hartmut Buescher
> ________________________________________
> Fra: Indology [INDOLOGY at] På vegne af Dominic Goodall [dominic.goodall at GMAIL.COM]
> Sendt: 30. juli 2011 11:05
> Til: INDOLOGY at
> Emne: [INDOLOGY] praa.naayaama again
> Dear list,
> After the interesting responses I received on and off list to my query about recaka, pūraka and kumbhaka in March, I am returning with another question about prāṇāyāma.
> Although it is commonly divided into three parts, recaka, pūraka and kumbhaka, the Nayasūtra of the Niśvāsatattvasaṃhitā divides prāṇāyāma into four, the fourth being something it calls supraśānta.
> nābhyāṃ hṛdayasaṃcārān manaś cendriyagocarāt|
> prāṇāyāmaś caturthas tu supraśāntas tu viśrutaḥ|| 4:113||
> “There is a fourth breath-exercise which is called Supraśānta [achieved] by moving [the vital energy] from the heart into the navel and [by moving] the mind away from the sense-objects.”
> This fourth part of prāṇāyāma is found also in the Svacchandatantra, which has drawn a great deal upon the Niśvāsa, and in the Tantrasadbhāvatantra, which has drawn in turn upon the Svacchanda.  And Nirajan Kafle has pointed out to me that the fourth division is to be found also in the Dharmaputrikā, a text of the Śivadharma corpus (Dharmaputrikā 1:19):
> pūrakaḥ kumbhakaś caiva recakas tadanantaram
> praśāntaś caiva vijñeyaḥ prāṇāyāmaś caturvidhaḥ.
> Is such a fourth prāṇāyāma to be found in any other traditions of yoga ?
> Dominic Goodall
> École française d’Extrême-Orient,
> Paris

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