Year : 2020  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 45-51

An integrative approach (Vedic and Western) to Yoga Sādhanā in our times

Independent Researcher, Guelph, ON, Canada N1H 5T8, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Shrinivas Tilak
14-121 Bagot Street, Guelph, ON
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ym.ym_6_20

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A survey of available literature on Yoga Sādhanā (philosophy and practice of yoga) in our times suggests that it has been built up using conceptual frameworks and categories developed in modern (mostly Western) intellectual tradition. Traditional advocates and practitioners of yoga on their part feel (justifiably so) that contemporary Yoga Sādhanā is a product of appropriation of whatever the moderns deemed useful in yoga after detaching it from its Vedic and Indic context while at the same time retaining exegetical control over its interpretation and dissemination. That human beings think, judge, feel, and act differently is incontestable. Such “differently” posited difference, however, cannot be total or exclusive. Because otherwise, no difference could be identified, articulated, and claimed. This suggests the existence of a deeper similarity that makes understanding and communication among cultures and philosophies possible. In light of the preceding, it is argued here that Yoga Sādhanā, and the metaphysics undergirding it, should be approached in a collaborative, i.e., modern Western (“Etic” or outsider) as well as traditional Vedic (”Emic” or insider) scholarly perspectives. Such an integrative framework accordingly is proposed here incorporating (by way of illustration) insights discernible in the works of two Western (Ian Whicher and Soraya Franco) and two Vedic (Swami Kuvalayananda and T. Krishnamacharya) advocates of Yoga Sādhanā.

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