Year : 2021  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 31-34

The ideal yogi: A man without qualities

Yoga Teachers Trainer of the School for Yoga Teachers of Metamorfosys Association, Via XXX Ottobre 19, Trieste, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Tommaso Bianchi
Via Della Tesa 20, 34138 Trieste
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ym.ym_22_21

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Introduction: The comparison between East and West can be played at different levels. At a religious level, we find numerous analogies. On a more cultural level, we may detect more differences than identities. Culture in the West has long been represented by literature. Perhaps, it is to the latter that Westerners have entrusted the expression of their ideal of man. It may therefore be interesting to make comparisons with the figure of the ideal yogi as it was outlined in India. Materials and Methods: On the one hand, some recent masters and some older texts on yoga have been examined and compared with some European writers, as far as they say about the ideal of man. Results: We found that the Western man, in XIX and XX centuries, has gone through a crisis. This crisis does not seem to have touched Indian thought, at least as far as yoga is concerned. The ideal of the yogi in India has withstood the blows of criticism to which the concept of ego in the West has been subjected. Discussion: While in the West, the ego was considered as a sovereign that performs acts of government and when it fails, a crisis occurs, in yoga, the ahaṃkāra is an aspect that must be transcended in the direction of a further development of the self. These differences in the conception of ego may partially explain the success and spread of yoga in the West.

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