The Oxford History of Hinduism: Hindu Practice 019873350X, 9780198733508

Traditions of asceticism, yoga, and devotion (bhakti), including dance and music, developed in Hinduism over long period

570 51 3MB

English Pages 512 [501] Year 2020

Report DMCA / Copyright

DOWNLOAD FILE

Polecaj historie

The Oxford History of Hinduism: Hindu Practice
 019873350X, 9780198733508

Table of contents :
Cover
The Oxford History of Hinduism: Hindu Practice
Copyright
Contents
Acknowledgements
List of Contributors
The Oxford History of Hinduism: Introduction to the Series
Introduction: A History of Hindu Practice
1. Theories of Practice
2. Vedic Sacrifice
3. Hindu Pūjā
4. Tantric Practice
5. Yoga
6. Devotion into Modernity
References
Part I: Textual Sources
Chapter 1: Ritual, Ascetic, and Meditative Practice in the Veda and Upaniṣads
1. The Veda: Text, Textuality, and Practice
1.1. Deliberation versus Action
1.2. Textual Representation of Actual Practice
2. Early Vedic Ritual
3. Ascetics and Asceticism in Ṛgveda
4. Visionary Composition versus Memory Performance
5. Vedic Ritual and Magic Practices
6. The Śrauta Sacrificial System as Ritual Practice
6.1. The Agents of Ritual Practice
6.2. Ritual Competence and Actual Practice
6.3. The Structure, the Texture, the Performance
6.4. Ritual Space and Ritual Time
6.5. The Measure of Sacrifice
6.6. The Purpose of Ritual
7. The Vedic Ritualist and the Ascetic Renouncer
7.1. Figures of Vedic Asceticism
7.2. The Consecrated Ritualist (Dīkṣita)
7.3. Ritual Practices in Search of Transformation and Transcendence
7.4. Textual Practices of Study and Memorization
8. Beyond the Ritual Veda
8.1. Brahmayajña and the Five Great Sacrifices
8.2. The Vidhāna Tradition
9. The Upanisạds: Secret Teaching and Solitary Quest for Liberation
9.1. From Collective to Individual
9.2. New Developments in Belief and Practice
9.3. Meditation and Yoga as Technologies of the Self
10. The Afterlife of Vedic Ritual Practice
Abbreviations
References
Chapter 2: Historical Context of Early Asceticism
1. Asceticism in Greater Magadha
1.1. Inactivity Asceticism
1.2. Fatalism
1.3. Insight into the True Nature of the Self
1.4. A Modified Understanding of Karmic Retribution
2. Brahmanical Asceticism
3. The Meeting of the Two Traditions
3.1. Changes from Within
3.2. Changes from Without
4. Asceticism and Power
5. Asceticism and Human Nature
References and Recommended Reading
Chapter 3: Religious Practices in the Sanskrit Epics
1. Sacrifice and Other Rituals
2. Tapas (Asceticism)
3. Specific Ascetic Practices
4. Popular Religious Practices
5. Yoga
6. Bhakti
7. Conclusion
References
Part II: Histories of Practice
Chapter 4: The Early History of Renunciation
1. ‘Going Forth’: The Pravrajita
2. Ascetic Organizations
3. Origins of the Pravrajita
4. Clash of Values: Vedic and Renunciatory Ideals
5. Theology of Renunciation: Saṃnyāsa and Tyāga
6. Institutionalization of Renunciation: The Āśrama System
7. Texts on Renunciation
8. Issues of Gender
9. Conclusion
Abbreviations
References
Chapter 5: The Later Institution of Renunciation
1. Histories
2. Structures
2.1. Collectives and Individuals
3. Materiality and Transcendence
4. Places and Practices
4.1. Wandering and Tapas
5. The Contemporary Institution
6. Conclusion: Into the Present
References
Chapter 6: Measuring Innovation: Genesis and Typology of Early Pūjā
1. The Genesis of Pūjā Ritual
2. Pūjā: Āryan or Non-Āryan?
3. Pūjā in the Gṛhyapariśiṣtạs
4. Pūjā in the Baudhāyanagṛhyaśeṣasūtra
5. The Arrangement of the Ritual Space
6. The Typology of Offering and Ritual Goals of Adoration
References
Chapter 7: Hatḥayoga’s Early History: From Vajrayāna Sexual Restraint to Universal Somatic Soteriology1
1. Haṭhayoga in Buddhist Texts
2. Śaiva Names for Haṭhayoga
2.1. The Restraint of Ejaculation
2.2. Physical Yoga Methods
3. Haṭhayoga as Physical Yoga Broadly Conceived
4. The Methods of Haṭhayoga
4.1. Mudrā
4.2. Āsana
4.3. Kumbhaka
4.4. Nādānusandhāna
5. The Results of Success in Haṭhayoga
References
Primary Sources
Secondary Sources
Chapter 8: The Quest for Liberation-in-Life: A Survey of Early Works on Hatḥa- and Rājayoga
1. Corpus of Early Hatḥa- and Rājayoga
1.1. The Vivekamārtaṇḍa
1.2. The Candrāvalokana
1.3. The Yogatārāvalī
1.4. The Amanaska (Second Chapter)
1.5. The Gorakṣaśataka
1.6. The Vasiṣtḥasaṃhitā and the Yogayājñavalkya
1.7. The Amṛtasiddhi
1.8. The Amaraughaprabodha
1.9. The Dattātreyayogaśāstra
1.10. The Yogabīja
1.11. The Khecarīvidyā
1.12. The Śivasaṃhitā
2. General Remarks on the Early History of Rājayoga
3. Rājayoga and Liberation-in-Life
4. Rājayoga and Liberation in the Hatḥapradīpikā
5. Concluding Remarks
Acknowledgements
References
Primary Sources (in English Alphabetical Order)
Secondary Sources
Chapter 9: Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva
1. Daily Ritual (Nitya-Karma)
2. Occasional Ritual (Naimittika-Karma)
3. Ritual for a Desired Purpose (Kāmya-Karma)
4. Bhakti and Temple Worship
5. Possession
6. The Sādhaka and Transgression
7. Śaiva Meditation
8. Models of the Person
References
Primary Sources
Secondary Sources and Translations
Chapter 10: Vaisnava Practice
1. Bhakti
2. Vedic Sacrifice (Yajña)
3. Image Worship (Arcana)
4. Praise (Kīrtana)
5. Meditation (Dhyāna, Smaraṇa)
References
Primary Sources
Secondary Sources
Chapter 11: Theatre as Religious Practice
1. Practices
2. Origins
3. The Rites of Theatre
3.1. The Rite as an Opportunity for Theatre: The Indradhvajamaha and the First Performance
3.2. The Nāndī
3.3. The Ran˙gadaivatapūjana and the Pūrvaran˙ga
3.3.1. The Ran˙gadaivatapūjana, the ‘Cult of the Deities of the Stage’
3.3.2. The Pūrvaran˙ga, the ‘Anterior Stage’
3.4. The Bharatavākya
4. The Analogy of Drama as Ritual
5. Theatre, Aesthetic Emotion, and Spiritual Experience
5.1. The Atharvaveda and the Myth of Origin of Rasa: The Work of the Actor
5.2. The Spectator’s Experience
5.3. Aesthetic Enjoyment, Savour of the Self, and Non-Dualist Kashmir Śaivism
6. Conclusions
References
Chapter 12: Sounding Out the Divine: Musical Practice as Theology in Samāj Gāyan
1. Music and Vaisṇạva Culture
2. Ritual Sound in the Rādhāvallabh Sampradāy
3. Accessing the Goddess Through Her Feet
4. Conclusion
References
Chapter 13: Women’s Observances: Vratas
1. Vrata in Historical Context
2. What Constitutes a Vrata?
3. Why Do Hindus Perform Vratas?
References
Part III: Religious Practice and Politics in Modern Hinduism
Chapter 14: Gandhi, Hinduism, and Humanity
1. Caste and the Limits of Humanity
2. From Conversion to Humanitarianism
3. Outside the Species
4. God Disposes
References
Chapter 15: Legal Yoga
1. Yoga in Indian Public Schools
2. Legal Yoga in the US: Religious and Not Religious
3. Conclusion: Yoga, Diversity, and Secularism
Acknowledgements
References
Websites
Chapter 16: The Modern Spirit of Yoga: Idioms and Practices
1. Introduction and Overview
2. The Emergence of Modern Yoga
3. The Idioms of Modern Yoga
4. Methodological Pointers
5. The Practices of Modern Yoga
5.1. Postural Practice
5.2. Literature Samples
5.3. Other Modern Yoga Practices
5.4. Utopian Projections and Social Engagement
6. Concluding Remarks
References
Acknowledgements
Chapter 17: Gurus in Contemporary Hindu Practice
1. Teacher, Mediator, and Image of the Divine
2. Consciousness and the Descent of Power
3. The Overwhelming Love of the Blissful Mother
4. The Master’s Human Behaviour and His Radiant Inner Form
5. Gurus and Disciples in Practice
References
Index

Citation preview

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 17/07/20, SPi

T H E OX F O R D H I S T O RY O F H I N DU I SM General Editor

G AV I N F L O O D

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 17/07/20, SPi

   

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 17/07/20, SPi

The Oxford History of Hinduism Hindu Practice Edited by

G AV I N F L O O D

1

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 17/07/20, SPi

1 Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, United Kingdom Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries © Oxford University Press 2020 The moral rights of the authors have been asserted First Edition published in 2020 Impression: 1 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by licence or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Control Number: 2020939527 ISBN 978–0–19–873350–8 Printed and bound in Great Britain by Clays Ltd, Elcograf S.p.A. Links to third party websites are provided by Oxford in good faith and for information only. Oxford disclaims any responsibility for the materials contained in any third party website referenced in this work.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 17/07/20, SPi

Contents Acknowledgements List of Contributors Introduction to the Series

vii ix xi

Introduction: A History of Hindu Practice Gavin Flood

1

I . T E X T UA L S OU R C E S 1. Ritual, Ascetic, and Meditative Practice in the Veda and Upaniṣads Cezary Galewicz

35

2. Historical Context of Early Asceticism Johannes Bronkhorst

62

3. Religious Practices in the Sanskrit Epics John Brockington

79

I I . H I S T O R I E S O F P R AC T IC E 4. The Early History of Renunciation Patrick Olivelle

101

5. The Later Institution of Renunciation Sondra L. Hausner

122

6. Measuring Innovation: Genesis and Typology of Early Pūjā Natalia Lidova

141

7. Haṭhayoga’s Early History: From Vajrayāna Sexual Restraint to Universal Somatic Soteriology James Mallinson

177

8. The Quest for Liberation-in-Life: A Survey of Early Works on Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga Jason Birch

200

9. Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva Gavin Flood 10. Vaisṇ ̣ava Practice Rembert Lutjeharms

243 272

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 17/07/20, SPi

vi Contents

11. Theatre as Religious Practice Lyne Bansat-Boudon

311

12. Sounding Out the Divine: Musical Practice as Theology in Samāj Gāyan 342 Richard David Williams 13. Women’s Observances: Vratas Tracy Pintchman

362

I I I .   R E L IG IO U S P R AC T IC E A N D P O L I T IC S I N M O D E R N H I N D U I SM 14. Gandhi, Hinduism, and Humanity Faisal Devji

381

15. Legal Yoga Sunila S. Kale and Christian Lee Novetzke

404

16. The Modern Spirit of Yoga: Idioms and Practices Elizabeth De Michelis

425

17. Gurus in Contemporary Hindu Practice Daniel Gold

455

Index

477

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 17/07/20, SPi

Acknowledgements Firstly, I would like to thank all the contributors to this volume for their work and great patience. This book took far longer to complete than anticipated because of a number of factors outside the editor’s control but finally we have a volume of which, I think, we can be proud. Secondly, I would like to thank Tom Perridge at OUP for suggesting the project and for his encouragement and help in bringing it to completion. I would like to thank the Theology and Religion Faculty at Oxford University for supporting my work along with Yale-NUS College, Singapore, colleagues at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies for their collegiality and help when the enterprise seemed to be coming to a standstill, and my wife, Dr Kwan Kui Leung, for her great encouragement, as always, and faith in the project.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 17/07/20, SPi

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 17/07/20, SPi

List of Contributors Lyne Bansat-Boudon is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at École pratique des hautes études (EPHE), Université PSL, and Honorary Senior Member of the Institut universitaire de France. Jason Birch is Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at SOAS, University of London. John Brockington is Professor Emeritus of Sanskrit at the Universityof Edinburgh. Johannes Bronkhorst Professor Emeritus of Sanskrit and Indian Studies at the University of Lausanne. Elizabeth De Michelis is an independent scholar. Faisal Devji is Professor of Indian History at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. Gavin Flood  is Professor of Hindu Studies and Comparative Religion in the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford, and Senior Research Fellow at Campion Hall, University of Oxford. Cezary Galewicz  is Associate Professor in the Department of Oriental Studies at Jagiellonian University. Daniel Gold is Professor in the Department of Asian Studies at Cornell University. Sondra L. Hausner is Professor of Anthropology of Religion in the Faculty of Theology and Religion, at the University of Oxford. Sunila  S.  Kale is Associate Professor in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. Natalia Lidova is Senior Research Fellow in the Institute of World Literature in the Russian Academy of Sciences. Rembert Lutjeharms is Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. James Mallinson  is Senior Lecturer in Sanskrit and Classical and Indian Studies at SOAS, University of London. Christian Lee Novetzke is Professor in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. Patrick Olivelle is Professor of Sanskrit and Indian Religions in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Texas. Tracy Pintchman is Professor of Religious Studies at Loyola University of Chicago. Richard David Williams is Lecturer in Ethnomusicology in the Department of Music at SOAS, University of London.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 17/07/20, SPi

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 17/07/20, SPi

The Oxford History of Hinduism

Introduction to the Series The series offers authoritative, comprehensive coverage of the history of Hinduism. Although the word ‘Hinduism’ is problematic as the term’s origin is only from the nineteenth century and ‘Hindu’ is only attested as a people’s self-description from the sixteenth century, it nevertheless denotes a range of traditions within India whose roots reach deep into the past. The volumes in the series provide a history of the religious traditions encompassed by the term ‘Hinduism’ from the first millennium bce to the present day. One of the problems about studying the history of Hinduism, especially in the earlier period, concerns dating. It has been notoriously difficult to establish the dates of early traditions, figures, and texts before the medieval period. We can fairly accurately date Sanskrit texts of Buddhism when translated into Chinese, but Hindu texts are more problematic, although there is general agreement about the sequence of major developments within this history. Another issue is the category ‘religion’. Some scholars have argued against using it in the Indian context on the grounds of its local origin in the history of the West, but arguably the term demarcates a set of ideas, practices, and hopes and the English word is no more problematic than ‘culture’ or even ‘society’. But we do need to acknowledge these difficulties and that our claims as scholars are always provisional, subject to correction, and our categories must sometimes be used without consensual definition. Each volume considers the relationship between Hinduism and the wider society, for religion is always embedded within culture and socio-political structures. Hinduism needs to be understood as dynamically engaging with wider Indian society and with other religions, particularly Buddhism and Jainism, throughout its long history. This dynamism and the interactive nature of the religion are reflected in each of the volumes, some of which are more focused on Sanskrit traditions while others will have more weight on vernacular literatures such as Tamil. After the Vedic age, the volumes are organized thematically and chronologically. Thus, we have volumes devoted to the three major traditions focused on Shiva, the Goddess, and Vishnu, volumes on philosophy and practice, Hinduism in the modern world, and vernacular traditions. Each volume addresses not only theological concerns but also material culture, such as temples and architecture, along with the history of practices such as making offerings to a deity (pūjā), observances or vows (vrata), and pilgrimage (yatra) which cut across specific traditions. Professor Gavin Flood FBA General Editor of The Oxford History of Hinduism series

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 17/07/20, SPi

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Introduction A History of Hindu Practice Gavin Flood

The emphasis on the study of human practices in the social sciences, particularly in the field of religion, has been intended as a counterbalance or antidote to ­viewing religion as belief and faith in a transcendent or putative theistic reality. It is not so much faith that characterizes religion but kinds of practice. This move from the study of thinking to the study of doing was not so much a harking back to behaviourism in Psychology but rather reflected a shift from Theology, which was traditionally understood as faith seeking understanding, to studying religion through Anthropology and paying attention to what human beings do. It is not so much belief that defines human reality but action and the institutions consequent upon it, which in turn influence action: collective actions produce institutions that affect individual human action (voting produces parliaments that in turn affect voting; inventions produce patents and businesses that affect production, and so on). While too sharp a distinction between idea or belief and act is not helpful because such a distinction undermines people’s reasons for their acts, the emphasis on practice is to be welcomed because practice embodies more than what is consciously present to the actor. I shall say a little more about this in a moment. The scope of the present project is therefore within the bounds of recent interest in human practice, particularly ritual practices, but also the institutions within which we live that are also forms of practice. When studying the history of Indic religions, we are immediately faced with the problem of how we study practices that have long gone into the past. In inquiring into the history of human practices we are necessarily restricted to representations of practice in texts that may or may not accurately reflect what people actually did. These sources are written, although material culture exposed through Archaeology can also contribute to our understanding. The sources that this volume draws on are predominantly textual and this Introduction will use mostly pre-philosophical religious literature. By pre-philosophical, I mean texts that are not systematically presented as a discourse or argument about the nature of existence or knowledge, but are varied genres of literature such as religious revelation, ritual texts, and meditation man­uals, and I will be particularly drawing on the tantric revelation of the Middle Gavin Flood, Introduction: A History of Hindu Practice In: Hindu Practice. Edited by: Gavin Flood, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198733508.003.0001

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

2  Gavin Flood Ages composed in Sanskrit. We also have inscriptions that record practices of donation and support of religious institutions, especially monastic institutions through royal patronage. This is a potentially vast history and the current volume offers portrayals of this history that reflect the major developments of religious practice in India. Some might object: how can we distinguish religious practice from other cultural practices? What is distinctively religious about any human practice? Getting married is clearly a human practice but is it religious, cultural, secular, or something else? Can we anyway speak in general terms or must we speak of Hindu marriage, Chinese marriage, or secular marriage? It is here that I  think we need some integration of ideas about practice with practice. People generally have reasons for doing what they do, and part of these reasons can be what we might call eschatological hope; a kind of cultural prolepsis or anticipation of a more fulfilled or complete future. Reasons for performing certain actions or participating in a collective activity might also be affective elevation, Durkheim’s collective effervescence, or a kind of elation that lifts people out of everyday survival activities. There are many different kinds of activity that do this, and ritual behaviour is important not simply for any elevator effect but also for social function. But the adjective ‘religious’ narrows our inquiry. By it I mean to indicate practices orientated towards a cultural prolepsis that anticipates completion or fulfilment of the human person. I am in sympathy here with Martin Riesebrodt’s thesis that what characterizes religions are practices, but practices performed within ‘the promise of salvation’ (Riesebrodt 2010). I have called this eschatological hope,1 characterized by a sense of transcendence, verticality, or vertical attraction that is common among religious practitioners and that we find repeated instances of in the history of Hindu practice. Eschatological hope is future orientated even though part of its rhetoric is often that complete fullness or total flourishing is not in the future but in the here and now. As we age within a human life span, different phases of life are characterized by different kinds of behaviour and specific points of time marked by specific kinds of action. Van Gennep called these points of time rites of passage, rituals that highlight birth, entry into adulthood, marriage, and death (Van Gennep 1960). These rites of passage would seem to be fairly universal in human communities and involve separation from the group and reintegration with a new status, as Victor and Edith Turner have described and analysed (Turner 1967; Turner 1992). In a Hindu context rites of passage or formations of the human person (saṃ skāra) are generally birth, first feeding, naming, initiation into the community, marriage, and rites of ageing and death along with post-mortem, śrāddha rites.2 There are 1  While it is possible to distinguish between individual soteriology (such as the liberation of the self from reincarnation) and collective eschatology (such as realizing the kingdom of God on earth), ‘eschatological hope’ I take to encompass both theological orientations. 2  For a thoroughly documented ethnography of this process in a Hindu Nepalese community see the three volumes by Niels Gutschow and Axel Michaels, Handing Death: The Dynamics of Death

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Introduction  3 also other kinds of practice such as prayer, meditation, and going to the temple that might accompany a person throughout their life, along with occasional pilgrimage or observance of a vow to a deity (vrata). From an early period, the trad­ ition identified occasional rituals (naimittika-karman) (Āpasthamba Gṛhya Sūtra, 1.1.11. in Oldenberg 1964) and later these were contrasted with everyday rituals (nitya-karman) and rites to obtain a desired result (kāmya-karman). These practices are religious insofar as they embody eschatological hope and also magical insofar as they embody a technology thought to achieve specific results. While I do not wish to evoke the old religion/magic distinction because of this integration of the two realms, these indigenous categories indicate an orientation towards a human purpose or goal considered to transcend the particularity of everyday life alongside goals that we might consider to be more mundane, such as a successful love life. This eschatological hope or cultural prolepsis might be quite explicit— the desire for salvation, of liberation in this lifetime or at death (mumukṣu)—or it might be implicit insofar as a rite of passage such as marriage might be thought of as being within a transcendent order, within a cosmos. So, while I can see what the critics of the category religion mean in emphasizing its European cultural, historical, and even imperialistic origins,3 the kinds of thing it refers to—hope for future peace, hope for a good life for one’s children—are human universals. A marriage might be many things—a purely political or financial arrangement between two parties—but it might also be participation in a cosmic order. It might reflect an eschatological hope for a verticality or vertical attraction that takes us out of the mundane life of everyday transaction. Some practices are specifically eschatological in this sense, such as praying, meditating, going to the temple, and pilgrimage. So, as to the question whether we can distinguish religious from other cultural practices, the answer is yes and no. Yes, in the sense that some practices are explicitly directed towards eschatological hope, such as meditating in the early morning for two and a half hours, while other practices such as lighting incense to an image of Gaṇeśa before work are less focused in that way. Yet both are practices within a framework or discipline orientated towards constructing or chan­ ging the self over the period of a lifetime to a particular kind of human flourishing. Rituals Among the Newars in Bhaktapur, Nepal (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2005), Growing Up: Hindu and Buddhist Initiation Rituals Among Newar Children in Bhaktapur, Nepal (Wiesbaden: Harrassovwitz, 2008), and Getting Married: Hindu and Buddhist Marriage Rituals Among Newars of Bhakatpur and Patan, Nepal (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2012). A classic book that gathers together textual sources on Hindu rites of passage is Rajbali Pandey, Hindu Saṃskāras: Socio-Religious Study of the Hindu Sacraments (Delhi: MLBD, 1969), not forgetting information in P.V.  Kane’s monumental History of Dharmaśāstra: Ancient and Medieval Religious and Civil Law in India, 5 vols (Kane: 1930–62). On śrāddhā see Köhler 1973. 3  Timothy Fitzgerald, Discourse on Civility and Barbarity: A Critical History of Religion and Related Categories (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007); David Chidester, Savage Systems: Colonialism and Comparative Religion in Southern Africa (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1996).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

4  Gavin Flood The repeated patterns of a Hindu ritual life are thought to have a transformational effect on the people who practise them: the ‘identificatory habitus’ of Axel Michaels that ‘ritually regulates most parts of life’ (Michaels 2016: 3–6). This book, then, is about the history of religious practices within the Hindu cultural horizon, within a particular conception of human flourishing. But again we are faced with a problematic adjective. Throughout these volumes ‘Hindu’ is simply a term to limit the scope of discussion to traditions that have historically developed within a Brahmanical frame of reference, constrained especially by the Veda and traditions that stem from it, but not restricted to it and also dealing with later tantric traditions that reject it. Although this discussion is beyond the scope of this Introduction, briefly on the one hand we have the view that Hinduism was created in the nineteenth century under the constraint of colonialism, particularly by thinkers such as Vivekananda, while others wish to push back the coherence of the category to the Sant tradition of early modernity, or even further back.4 But before we launch into our account, I need to say something more about the belief–practice distinction and the nature of human practices.

1.  Theories of Practice One of the features of Hinduism noted by a number of scholars is that it does not entail a specific set of doctrines and beliefs. Frits Staal observed that being a Hindu does not involve believing anything in particular but rather having been born into a certain segment of Indian society and participating in its ritual activity (Staal 1989: 389), although this excludes modern ‘conversions’ to Hinduism. Axel Michaels cites Ashish Nandy who makes a similar claim that South Asian religions do not depend on belief but rather practice, and Michaels himself writes: I propose that Hindu India is special in that ritual surpasses belief and that surviving in such a socio-religious environment is only possible through participation in a great number of rituals. In other words, what you believe is less important than what you do—in and through rituals.  (Michaels 2016: 2)

4  I take the term ‘Hinduism’ to meaningfully denote a range and history of practice characterized by a number of features, particularly reference to Vedic textual and sacrificial origins, belonging to endogamous social units (jāti/varṇa), participating in practices that involve making an offering to a deity and receiving a blessing (pūjā), and a first-level cultural polytheism (although many Hindus adhere to a second-level monotheism in which many gods are regarded as emanations or mani­fest­ ations of the one, supreme being). On prototype theory and Hinduism see Gabriella Eichinger FerroLuzzi, ‘The Polythetic-Prototype Approach to Hinduism’, in Günther-Dietz Sontheimer and Hermann Kulke (eds.), Hinduism Reconsidered (Sontheimer and Kulke: 1997 revised edition), pp. 294–324. See also Julius Lipner, Hindus, Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, 2nd ed. (London: Routledge, 2010), pp. 4–7 and the volume of papers, John Zavos, Pralay Kanungo, Deepa S. Reddy, Maya Warrier, and Raymond Brady Williams (eds.), Public Hinduisms (London: Sage, 2012).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Introduction  5 I think this is generally true. Action or patterns of action predominate over ­assertions about the nature of the world and different philosophical views were held while sharing participation in a common ritual structure, as we will see. But this issue of the relationship between belief and ritual act is complex and needs further reflection. The history of human practices includes a whole range of things that people do from waging war, to getting married, to having children and baptizing them, to establishing political power, to doing philosophy, to telling a story, and to going for a run. These practices might entail rules (marriage entails kinship structures and rules governing who one can and cannot marry), or strategies (waging war), or entail not only practice but also a discourse about practice (doing philosophy). Practice entails a number of things such as occurrence in time, repetition, the development of habit, and goal-orientated behaviour. But, as the theorist of practice Pierre Bourdieu observed, practice is not mechanistic, it is not a mechanical reaction to what went before, but neither can it be reduced to the conscious intention of actors (Bourdieu 1977: 73). What we do is constrained by the structures we are born into and what we do in turn influences those structures. Bourdieu develops the useful idea of the habitus, ‘systems of durable, transposable dispositions’ (Bourdieu 1990: 53) that identify human practices. Dispositions to behave in certain ways are just that; tendencies that require human agency yet an agency that always operates within a system that anticipates particular outcomes of action. Indeed, a society can only function within such reliability, within the anticipation of outcomes that are judged on the transposable dispositions that comprise practices. This entails time and the structuring of time in orientation to goals and purposes of action. The patterning of action into sequences, often repeated, pervades the whole gamut of human practice that we call ritual. Ritual is a category that can be applied to all Homo sapiens and is also something that we share with other animals. Our furry and feathered friends perform ritual for pair bonding and ritual displays for protection of space, resources, and family. And there is some evidence for less functional ritual behaviour among higher primates such as chimps gathering stones into piles in the hollows of trees (Kühl 2016). But generally ritual tends to have a function and has probably evolved as part of human niche construction in the service of species propagation and protection; there is a feedback mechanism that ensures propagation through the generations (Odling-Smee 2003: 376–7). The question about whether ritual has meaning must be linked to questions about function and purpose independent of the participants’ awareness or intention. The chimps’ stone-throwing behaviour presumably has a cause but might not have a meaning if we restrict meaning to linguistic expression. Frits Staal has developed an interesting thesis from evidence from ancient Hindu ritual. He argues that the Śrauta ritual—the solemn, public sacrifice and accompanying rites—can be characterized as having a structure, a syntax, but in itself is devoid of meaning; it has no semantics. The Śrauta ritual is action

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

6  Gavin Flood for its own sake and not for the sake of something else. This is a strong argument demonstrated in great detail by Staal’s analyses of the rites, both as practised and textually represented. What counts in ritual is correct performance, not meaning; all meaning is secondary elaboration that changes, projected in an ad hoc manner onto the ritual structure. On the analogy with language, the Śrauta rites involve basic and secondary elements along with processes or rules of trans­form­ation whereby different ritual elements are embedded within others and are recursive. For example, sequences of recitation such as ‘this is for Agni not for me’ are embedded within other sequences of recitation and a recursive pattern of these recitations can be identified. Like music, these recursive patterns ‘do not mean anything apart from and beyond the structural complexity they display’.5 This is quite distinct from the view of Anthropologists such as the Turners, for whom ritual is deeply meaningful because it is linked to experience and facilitates certain kinds of transformative experience for human communities, as we see with the ihamba tooth ritual of the Ndembu, in which a person is cured from possession by the spirit of a hunter through a ritual process (Turner  1992). Of course, it may be that the Śrauta rituals are meaningless in contrast to the Ndembu rite that is not, but I suspect that there are patterns of deeper significance that we need to understand. There are many theories of ritual (see Michaels 2016: 10–21), including functional accounts that stress the social function of ritual as a group-bonding process (particularly Durkheim and the Durkheimian tradition) and psychological accounts that emphasize the release from stress or fear that ritual brings (Malinowski) or the cathartic release of tension caused through repression (Freud) or mimetic rivalry (Girard). There are also sociobiological and neuro­ logic­al or cognitivist accounts (Lawson and McCauley  1990). There has been some application of these to Hinduism.6 It is not possible to discuss them here, but I need to say something about the common features of human behaviour that all of these theories deal with. That is, we need to postulate three categories for understanding human practices generally and ritual processes in particular, namely function, meaning or purpose, and experience. Firstly, function. At least some if not most ritual has a social function. As I have said, ritual marks off stages in the process of life, it marks off different social groups and the power relationships between them, and it functions to make 5  Frits Staal, Rules Without Meaning: Ritual, Mantras, and the Human Sciences (New York: Peter Lang, 1989), p. 182. I cannot do justice to Staal’s thesis here that he presents with meticulous detailed analysis. See also Carl A. Seaquist, ‘Ritual Individuation and Ritual Change’, Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 21, 2009, pp. 340–60. 6  For example, the reading of Hinduism through a Girardian lens: Brian Collins, The Head Beneath the Altar: Hindu Mythology and the Critique of Sacrifice (East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 2014). See also Gananth Obeyesekere’s fascinating study of possession from a Freudian perspective: Medusa’s Hair: An Essay on Personal Symbols and Religious Experience (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1984).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Introduction  7 groups cohere. Ritual is social glue, among other things, that facilitates social ­cognition and group bonding.7 Staal’s counter-argument to this is that social bonding and social differentiation may be by-products of ritual, an epiphenomenon, but they are not inherent to ritual itself. Ritual itself is without semantic content and is action for its own sake rather than action for the sake of something else (such as social cohesion). Yet it could be argued that even if this is the case, the function of ritual must be the primary way in which we understand it if we are to take human social formation as important. The function of ritual might therefore be distinguished from the meaning of ritual. The meaning of ritual involves linguistic accounts that are internal to participants and that are commentaries upon the action involved. There are also more developed reasons for ritual, which can overlap with function, such as performing tonsure on children as part of the initiation that will incorporate them into the world of adults. In specifically religious ritual—such as performing sacrifice in the anticipation of life in the next world—meaning is more explicit, and the meaning is reflected upon within the textual tradition that accompanies the ritual act. Vedic sacrifice is performed primarily because of injunction, but secondarily to ensure a place in heaven for the patron. These are accounts that are within meaning and arguably central to the act rather than ad hoc or arbitrary post-event projections. In this case meaning—heaven for the patron—might be distinguished from function that is about social differentiation and marking out status for the patron, as well as for the Brahman ritualists that the participants themselves may not be aware of. Meaning is also associated with experience. While ritual mostly has a social function and while it may have an overt meaning or reason for being performed, it can also have emotional or experiential consequences on the participants. Having undergone elaborate purifications and persisted with the ritual procedure, the patron of the Vedic sacrifice has experienced the rite and returns to his house in a state of ritual purity and feeling good about himself. In this case experience for the patron is important even though it may well be irrelevant to function and even irrelevant to meaning. Thus, for example, in the dance possession rites of Kerala documented in meticulous detail and theorized by Freeman, the inner experience of the dancer, whether they feel possessed by the deity or whether they do not, is irrelevant to the social function of its performance (Freeman 2003). But for some kinds of ritual experience is important. If yoga or meditation is a kind of

7  Émile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, trans Karen E. Fields (New York: Free Press, 1995 [1912]), p. 44. This is his definition of religion that unites people into ‘a single morel community’. See also Harvey Whitehouse, ‘Ritual as Social Glue: An Interview with Harvey Whitehouse’ (2014), http://theritualproject.org/2014/02/05/ritual-as-social-glue-an-interview-with-harvey-whitehouse; Dan Jones, ‘Social Evolution; the Ritual Animal: Praying, Fighting, Dancing, Chanting— Human Rituals Could Illuminate the Growth of Community and the Origins of Civilization’, Nature 493, 2013, pp. 470–2.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

8  Gavin Flood ritual, then experience might be a reason for its performance. Experience has often been a theme in the history of Indic religions, although perhaps gaining particular favour in the twentieth century through the West, with the privileging of experience over cognition, of affect over doctrine. The vertical elevation of the practitioner through different stages of practice and levels is an intensification of inner experience. Here function, meaning, and experience coincide. One of the functions of ritual is group bonding: a structure of action that facilitates and enables individuals to mirror other members and to identify with the group’s values. All human communities must have this function to some degree, but some communities have developed extraordinarily complex patterns of action that support the bonding as well as the social differentiation function. The history of Indic society is an example of a structured and differentiated society characterized by a very high degree of ritual behaviour. As Dumont observed, the highly segmented society of South Asia is characterized by caste or groups of agnatic descent in which members of the group must generally marry and eat only within the descent group. That is, rules of endogamy and commensality ensure group cohesion and identity of members. In such a society, there is a high degree of ritual that functions to reinforce group boundaries, including the elaborate series of twelve classical Hindu saṃ skāras that mark the junctures of life and ‘construct’ the social person. Whenever we are dealing with human practices focused on the body, focused on gender, and focused on age, it seems to me that we are inevitably within the realm of human meaning. There is clearly intention involved in the ritual process as well as experience. Although not so much in Hinduism, other societies that practise initiation often inflict varying degrees of pain on the young participants, underlining experience as being intertwined with function and meaning. Arguably experience is fundamentally important in forms of ritual explicitly concerned with eschatological hope. Some ritual is only meaningful in terms of this cultural prolepsis and the anticipation of spiritual liberation or enlightenment. In Hinduism, one can formally become a world renouncer, give up being a householder, and dedicate the remainder of one’s life to pursuing the goal of lib­er­ation through ascetic practices and meditation. In such cases, the social function of renunciation for the wider society is probably minimal (not withstanding Dumont’s claim that all innovation comes from the renouncer) but the intensification of meaning for the individual practitioner is great. The daily, dedicated practice of yoga along with ascetic practices of restricted eating and sleeping, intended to control desire and focus the mind on transcendence, is both deeply meaningful and experiential. Such practices cannot be explained by social function alone but need to be accounted for with reference to bringing about the eschatological hope of the practitioner. The meaning of the practice is linked to the anticipated experience. For example, in Jainism some ascetics have practised fasting to death, sallekhana, labelled as ‘ritual suicide’.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Introduction  9 This sallekhana is a withering or scraping (lekhana), attenuating the body for the sake of truth (sat). One of the meanings of the term lekhana is ‘scratching’ or ‘writing’, and so indicates the body being inscribed by the tradition through the act of fasting. The meaning here is explicit: the Jain ascetic wishes to withdraw his attention from the world, stop action that causes further impurity leading to rebirth, and experience the joy of liberation in the isolation (kaivalya) of the soul from phys­ic­al matter at the top of the universe. Such an act is functionally minimal (although such saints do have some effect upon their communities), but experientially intense and completely motivated by eschatological hope. It is this kind of meditative, ascetic ritual that is most closely linked to the anticipation of lib­er­ation and has least in common with the social ritual of rites of passage. Furthermore, such practice enacts the values of Jainism and exemplifies extreme non-violence on the part of the ascetic and a deep longing for isolation from the material world.8 But while the Jain ascetic is individual, his practice does not entail the values of individualism that have only developed in modernity. Indeed, Michael’s Homo ritualis entails non-individualist values in that highly ritualized societies, such as India, espouse a collectivism that places emphasis on the group rather than the individual. In his famous essay on world renunciation, Dumont claimed that the renouncer is an individual whereas the ‘man-in-the-world’ is not, being defined rather by social role (Dumont  1979). It is the renouncer who seeks individual salvation through rejecting the collectivism of the social person. While I can see what Dumont means, this is problematic in that the renouncer is not an individual in the sense of espousing the value of individualism because he, and sometimes she, is losing social identity through the rite of renunciation but gaining a different social identity instead. The renouncer becomes part of an order of renouncers and indeed all markers of individuality are stripped away—he or she wears an orange robe or walks naked, takes a name dependent on the sect, and seeks to erase individuality through a rigorous regime (Flood 2006: 88–9). Such practices of renunciation are highly motivated by eschatological hope, even though there may be other, more worldly factors involved, such as becoming a renouncer to escape from a family problem or because he cannot find another social role (Hausner 2007). While Dumont may have exaggerated the individuality of the renouncer, I think he makes an important point in that the history of Hinduism can be characterized as comprising these two institutions of the Brahmanical householder and the world renouncer, a distinction that maps onto two realms of value or purposes of life: dharma focused on living a good and full 8  See the account of the Jain ascetic Sri Armacand ji Nahar in J. Laidlaw, Riches and Renunciation: Religion, Economy, and Society Among the Jains (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), pp. 230–4. Sallekhana is related to ‘yogic suicide’ (utkrānti) where the yogi is said to protect his consciousness out of the body to some higher state. See Somadeva Vasudeva, The Yoga of the Mālinīvijayottaratantra (Pondichéry: Institut Français de Pondichéry, 2004), pp. 437–45.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

10  Gavin Flood life in the world, pursuing the legitimate goals of duty, pleasure, and prosperity, and mokṣa focused on a verticality that ultimately takes the person out of the social world. These trajectories, the householder and the renunciate, interact with the Brahmanical tradition absorbing practices and ideas from the realm of renunciation (on the history of renunciation see the essays by Olivelle and Hausner in this volume). In the history of Hindu practices, we might therefore distinguish between those orientated towards the clarification of social role and marking temporal transitions through life, such as birth rites, marriage, and death rites—that is, the social construction of the self—and practices orientated towards eschatological hope. The history of Brahmanism initially distinguished between these two in the sense that sacrificial rites were the concern of a particular group of texts called the Śrauta, those that followed from revelation or Śruti, and those that were concerned with the home, with life-cycle rituals, were the focus of Gṛhya texts (see Galewicz in this volume). The Śrauta texts were concerned with eschatological hope in the sense that the ritual patron was deemed to acquire not simply status but supernatural benefit from the ritual process, namely heaven at death. The domestic rites, on the other hand, were concerned with the horizontal trans­form­ ation of a person through life, becoming a particular kind of person with a particular status. With the Upaniṣads and the influence of Śramaṇa spiritualty on mainstream Vedic Brahmanism we have the internalization of the sacrifice and its re­inter­pret­ ation as a process within the self; the sacrifice of the self to a transcendent reality (see the chapters by Galewicz and Bronkhorst in this volume). This shift is part of what some scholars, following Karl Jaspers, have called the Axial transition (Bellah and Joas  2012) in which rather than affirmation of the human good simply as prosperity in the world facilitated through the magical means of sacrifice, there is a claim to a higher, transcendent good; that human fulfilment is beyond the world of daily transaction. They are part of this shift in values from a this-worldly orientation of the Vedic sacrifice to an other-worldly orientation of the Upaniṣads. The term dharma, which among its meanings refers to ritual system, comes to be reinterpreted as ethics. There is a shift from ritualism to values that place emphasis on transcendence. This verticality, the awareness of height in human reality, comes to control the values of the tradition. Thus liberation (mokṣa) comes to be added to the three purposes of human life (puruṣārtha), namely duty (dharma), pleasure (kāma), and prosperity (artha), and comes to be regarded as the highest. Practices might therefore be classified along the lines of these two orientations, the one towards transcendence and final liberation that I have called eschato­ logic­al hope, the other towards worldly prosperity and the leading of a full and complete life on earth as a social person embedded in time: the social ‘construction’ (saṃ skāra) of the self. The value of transcendence or verticality came to be associated with practices of asceticism and yoga to achieve an existential

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Introduction  11 realization of that truth within the practitioner. The householder was also able to adopt these practices and values of transcendence came to be the values of worldly or horizontal fulfilment. We can therefore distinguish between inner practices focused on the realization of transcendence and external practices concerned with the worship and appeasement of deities, with pūjā, and the fulfilment of worldly obligations. The inner practice of meditation and asceticism by those who practise them are considered to be of higher worth than the merely external: for Śaṅ kara knowledge is better than devotion, for Rāmānuja devotion is better than action, and for Abhinavagupta the spontaneous realization of truth is higher than any of them. So, to return to the larger point: Hinduism is a religion of ritual par excellence but within it we can identify two kinds of practice, one orientated towards social value, obligation, and duty, the other orientated towards liberation and spiritual ascent. Both can overlap to an extent in that spiritual ascent can also be a value of the householder committed to practices of social obligation and value. We see this in the married householder, male or female, who devotes some hours every morning to meditation while fulfilling worldly responsibilities in the rest of the day (Juergensmeyer 1991: 127–46). Ritual therefore is a term that can cover both practices of social transformation and practices of inner transformation. Axel Michaels in an important book, Homo Ritualis, has discussed the history of the term ‘ritual’ in a fine survey of theories about it and points out that it covers a wide range of indigenous Indic terms, mostly in Sanskrit. Michaels lists karma and kriyā from the verbal root kṛ, to do or make; maṅ gala to denote a rite or auspicious event; saṃ skāra, to put something together perfectly; kalpa, a ritual rule; pūjā, worshipping, honouring, adoring; yajña/yāga, sacrifice; and utsava, melā, or līlā to denote a festival (Michaels 2016: 8–10). Lastly, we have not yet talked about practice more broadly as behaviour or comportment towards the world: dharma, the social and moral obligations of Hindus, is actually a kind of practice. The Dharmaśāstras, the so-called law books, are treatises that include ritual procedures but are particularly concerned with comportment and behaviour and the great epic literature, the Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa, are fundamentally concerned with questions of correct action and moral conduct (see Brockington in this volume). The Brahman should behave in particular ways to maintain purity and also dignity. This kind of thing extends to ways of eating, bodily cleanliness, ways of interacting such as how one greets another, and moral obligations to one’s family and wider society. One of the key questions of the Bhagavad-gītā is about how to act and behave, particularly regarding Arjuna’s dilemma about whether he should fight in the great battle or not. To act honourably is to fight, as he is a warrior whose commitment should be to the king and state, even above his responsibility to family (Malinar 2007: 44–5). These issues have been and continue to be articulated through story-telling trad­ itions and especially acted out in theatre (see Bansat-Boudon in this volume).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

12  Gavin Flood Bansat-Boudon shows how theatre is a central motif in Indian thought that ­cannot be limited to the realm of dharma alone. Moreover there is an affinity between theatrical and spiritual experience, as we see in the aesthetic theory within ‘Kashmir’ Śaivism. So, I take human practice to entail body, movement, and repetition. Indeed, the noun ‘practice’ implies the verb ‘to practise’ and entails something yet to be completed. Practice involves a temporality and fore-conception of what is to be achieved. It also entails establishing a pattern of repetition, a habit, some of which will be purposive in the sense that the practice is directed towards a future goal, such as the practice of studying for an exam, while others are purposive in a ­different or more limited sense of maintaining a certain state of affairs (such as the habit of cleaning one’s teeth). Religious practice is orientated towards ­verticality (there has to be eschatological hope or cultural prolepsis), which is the elevation of self or community that can sometimes disrupt conventional or even biological patterns of practice; the Jain monk radically disrupts the conventional practice of eating. The cultivation of religious habits, such as regular prayer and meditation, entails discipline and application and often go against what I have called ‘the flow of the body’ (Flood 2006: 4–5). A key feature of ascetic practice is the reversal of the body’s biological orientation through the renunciation of food and sexual practice, along with the intention to eradicate sexual desire. The cultivation of a religious or ascetic habitus is central to what religions are and the goals they seek; such a habitus disposes people to act in particular ways and to respond to cultural rhythms that inscribe the body with cultural power, as Bourdieu reminds us (Bourdieu 1977: 163). The cultivation of the practice of asceticism inscribes the ascetic’s body with the values of tradition and often goes against the prevailing social habitus of conformity to social rules and norms. It is not simply that the ascetic, in the extreme Jain case, embraces the world of death at the expense of the world of life, but rather that they seek what they regard as the fulfilment of life through the habitus of asceticism. Tradition is vitally important here as traditions handed down from the past determine the shape and form of religious practice; the ascetic enacts ‘the memory of tradition’ (Flood  2006: 8–13). Of course, the religious habitus changes through time and each performance of a ritual, for example, is the same and yet different and unique. Religious practice is non-identical repetition; it enacts what is prescribed, yet each instantiation is inevitably unique to itself. Practices then are kinds of repeated action and action is intentional movement in space/time. Repeated intentional movement creates events that feed back to the actor and reinforce those patterns of behaviour.9 To explore this history of repeated action that forms habits of behaviour more systematically, I shall begin with Vedic sacrifice, as this is the foundation of all that follows. I shall then view practice through the traditional classification of 9  I called this feedback mechanism ‘act theory’ in Flood, The Truth Within: A History of Inwardness in Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 262–7.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Introduction  13 daily rites, occasional rites, and rites for obtaining a desired purpose, as this is an informative indigenous classification that demarcates well the different areas of Hindu practices linked to different kinds of purpose (such as social cohesion or integration, salvation, and the fulfilment of worldly desire). But we must begin with Vedic sacrifice.

2.  Vedic Sacrifice As Alexander Piatigorsky once observed, when we are studying the history of Indian religions, we are studying something that has already studied itself (Piatigorsky 1985). There are categories of self-understanding that developed within Hinduism that need to be taken into account. Vedic ritual is arguably the foundation of Brahmanical practices and even once the majority had left sacrifice far behind, it still retained a hold on the religious imagination and structured patterns of ritual focused on the fire. Moreover, the tradition developed a discourse that was pure reflection on the meaning and purpose of ritual, namely the Mīmāṃ sā. I first need to say something about both Vedic ritual itself and then Vedic reflection upon ritual. The central practice of Vedic religion is sacrifice. This involved elaborate ritual procedures that might last for many days and involved the construction of a temporary pavilion for the rites, an altar made of bricks in the shape of a bird, and three places for the sanctified fire. The purpose was the purification of the patron of the sacrifice who, accompanied by his wife, would undergo asceticism before participating in the rite indirectly through the actions of the ritualists, the Brahman experts who would recite or sing verses from the Vedas. Three priests would recite from the three Vedas with a fourth priest, called the Brahman reciting from the fourth Veda, the Atharva, and overseeing the process. The animal that was to be the victim would be tied to a post (yupa) outside the main en­clos­ ure and its death would be by suffocation although in the original rite it would probably have been decapitated. In origin, the killing of the animal—horse, cow, or goat—would be followed by a shared meal. Heesterman has noted that sacrifice entails the three acts of killing, destruction, and food distribution. The animal is killed, destroyed in the fire, and distributed as food, thereby facilitating ‘the formation and maintenance of human society’ (Heesterman  1993: 10). Heesterman also highlights a fourth component of the original Vedic sacrifice, namely contest. Indeed, contest pervaded the rite in the original competition about who would be the sacrificer, chariot races, dicing games for different parts of the sacrificed animal, and disputation in which participants would challenge each other with riddles (Heesterman 1993: 42). Heesterman sees the function of Vedic sacrifice as the attempt to restore the primal unity of the cosmos indicated in the hymn to the cosmic person whose sacrificed body forms the universe and society (Ṛg-veda 10.90 in Jamieson and Brereton 2015). This is sacrifice’s ‘broken world’ because the desire (kāma) for the primordial unity and for a healed

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

14  Gavin Flood community in which death has been banished is, of course, unobtainable. The complex issue of the purpose of sacrifice is beyond the scope of our discussion, but Heesterman’s contention about reaching back to a primordial unity and the banishing of death has support in the texts. The fourth priest, the Brahman, is said to ‘heal the sacrifice’ by offering a portion of the sacrificed animal, called the iḍā, to the Brahman or power of the rite. This act symbolizes the wound created by the feral deity Rudra who, when excluded from the sacrifice by the gods, shot an arrow, piercing the sacrifice that needs to be symbolically healed. This myth of Rudra foreshadows the later myth of Śiva in the Purāṇas who is excluded from Dakṣa’s sacrifice and then destroys it. Iḍā was the Goddess in the form of a cow who represents the sacrificial meal, and the iḍā portion of the sacrificial meal is ‘torn apart’ but healed by the Brahman priest through offering it into the fire. There is an identification of the sacrificial cow with the power of the sacrifice, brahman. Heesterman observes that the meaning of this rite seems to be that for the sustenance of life, food (the cow) has to pass through death. In a similar way, the royal patron of the sacrifice has to symbolically pass through death to live. Thus the ‘link between life and death, is the riddle of brahman’ (Heesterman 1993: 155–6). Heesterman is surely right that sacrifice is about the affirmation of life and the overcoming of death. Through the death of the sacrificial victim, the patron is given life. This is affected through ritual substitution. Indeed, the idea of the hidden connections or ‘binding’ (bandha) between sacrifice and cosmos, patron and sacrifice was developed in the post-Saṃ hitā literature of the Brahmaṇas. The patron, the one who has been initiated (dīkṣita), is a sign for the whole community who has a connection with the victim. The sins of the patron are transferred to the sacrifice and so he is purified, and thus symbolically is the community. The repeated statement that ‘man is the sacrifice’ (puriṣo vai yajña) echoes the hymn to the cosmic man, the puruṣa who is immolated to create the universe, and perhaps reflects events of actual human sacrifice, as indicated by the very category puruṣamedha. We see this in the myth of Śunaḥśepa told in the Śathapatha-brahmaṇa. The Brahman’s son Śunaḥśepa is substituted as a sacrifice for King Hariścandra’s son who had been granted to the king as a boon by the god Varuṇa on the condition that the son be sacrificed back to him. Varuṇa agrees that the Brahman’s son can substitute for the King’s son but Śunaḥśepa skilfully wrangles his way out of his fate by praising the gods and wins his freedom (Heesterman  1993: 173–4). Sacrifice is substitution and through substitution claims that death is not in­ev­it­ able and affirms life through the immolation of the victim: an act that necessitates repetition because of its inevitable failure. This hope of transforming death into life through sacrifice is even reflected at human death in the funeral pyre that is called the ‘last sacrifice’ (antyeṣt ̣i): the final sacrifice that transforms death into sacrifice and so death into eschatological hope.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Introduction  15 Vedic sacrifice was and continues to be a long and complex ritual process that has continued in a line of transmission for several thousand years.10 The Śrauta sūtras describe the correct procedures. The Baudhāyana-śrautasūtra describes how the patron is anointed and offers soma juice pressed from plants that may in origin have been a stimulant of even hallucinogenic substance to Indra. The text presents precise details of what is to be done. For example, during the morning pressing of Soma the victim’s heart is put on a twig of a fig tree (Plakṣa)11 and a portion cut out and offered into the fire, then the fatty fold that is the omentum is offered into one of the three fires (into the Āhvanīya fire) as an offering to the fire god Agni. After this a rice cake is prepared while the victim is butchered and cooked, and finally all parts of the animal, parts of the tongue, the sternum, liver, right front leg, buttocks, testes, and penis are offered with its liquefied fat (Baudhāyana-śrautasūtra 4.8–9; 20.29–30; 24.36–7, in Kashikar 2003). At the end of the sacrificial process the relationship between the patron and the priests is formally dissolved and the ritual enclosure burned down. The patron returns to his home, accompanied by his wife, where he will make offerings into the three household fires for the remainder of his days.12 His asceticism, celibacy, and ritual performance have finally achieved a limited success in their completion, even though the ultimate desire to defeat death cannot be fulfilled. Sacrifice is not only the central rite of Vedic Brahmanism but also the central metaphor that extends well beyond the temporal boundary of Vedism. The ‘cycle of sacrifice’ (yajñacakra) refers to the process of consumption within the entire universe where food from the sacrifice moves through the cosmic regions, beings consuming beings to live, the exchange of goods between gods and humans being facilitated through Agni (Wilden 2000: 65–6). Consumption of food, the sacrifice of one being to another for survival, is the central theme of the Taittīrya-upaniṣad and even the Bhagavad-gītā describes the universe in terms of sacrifice: that creatures come from food, food from rain, rain from sacrifice, sacrifice from action enjoined by the Veda, this from the absolute power Brahman, and Brahman from the cosmic sound oṃ , thus Brahman is founded on sacrifice (Bhagavad-gītā 10  Michael Witzel remarks that hearing the Veda is like hearing a 3,000-year-old tape recording. Witzel, ‘Vedas and Upaniṣads’, pp. 68–9 in Gavin Flood (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism (2003), pp. 68–101. In a way, the remnant of Vedic ritual in Kerala among the Nambudri Brahmins is a kind of cultural fossil. One way of accounting for such longevity is to separate form or structure from meaning. This is what Frits Staal does in his explanation in which he argues that Vedic ritual has structure or syntax but no meaning; no semantics. Meaning, such as we find in the Brāhmaṇas and Upaniṣads, is later ad hoc projection. See his important book Rules Without Meaning, pp. 131–40. 11 The plakṣa or Judas tree is associated with sacrifice and is classified as a Brahman tree. See Brian K. Smith, Classifying the Universe: The Ancient Indian Varṇa System and the Origins of Caste (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), p. 221. 12  This is a condensed version of Frits Staal’s description of the agnicayana he witnessed in 1976, summarized in Rules Without Meaning: Ritual, Mantras, and the Human Sciences (New York: Peter Lang, 1989), pp. 76–7.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

16  Gavin Flood 3.9–15. See Malinar 2007: 84–90). The whole Vedic worldview is sacrificial with sacrifice at the ritual heart of the society and central to the founding myth of the immolation of the cosmic man from which society and universe emerge (Jamieson and Brereton 2015). Although the Śramaṇa traditions rejected sacrifice, as did the renouncers who have given up fire going beyond the householder’s life to the fourth stage, Vedic sacrifice continued to be practised through the generations, being particularly auspicious for kings in the medieval period, and continues in an ameliorated form into modernity. Given the importance of Vedic sacrifice, it is not surprising that the tradition developed refection upon it and the exegesis of the scriptures that prescribed it. The Mīmāṃ sā tradition of hermeneutics was keen to uphold the authority of the Veda and to explicate the meaning of those scriptures through an apparatus for reading scripture, the six signs or characteristics (ṣadliṅga) (Rambachan  1992), that enabled the reader to understand the importance of performing the sacrifice correctly. The Mīmāṃ sā developed a theory of language showing how the sentences in Vedic scriptures are primarily concerned with injunction (vidhi) and other sentences are ‘subsequent reference’ (anuvāda) which simply offer add­ ition­al information to the injunction (Benson 2010: 47). Indeed, the Mīmāṃsā is in many ways an ally for Staal’s thesis in that Vedic ritual is to be performed simply because it is an injunction (vidhi) prescribed by the Veda and the Veda is selfvalidating revelation. The Mīmāṃsakas even maintained the view that the gods have no reality other than as their appearance in language. The gods are real only as their names uttered in the ritual and encoded in the texts and so as simply verbal signs; no god is superior to any other. Ritual recitations or mantras are meaningless (anarthakā mantrāḥ), it says in the Mīmāṃ sā-sūtra (Mīmāṃ sā-sūtra 1.2.31–9 in Staal 1989: 234). Mantras, particularly the meaningless sounds recited during Vedic ritual stated in the Śrauta texts (the stobhas) as well as the seed syllables (the bījas) of Tantric ritual, could be a remnant of a past before semantics and referential language emerged. Staal argues this: that such sounds are ‘but a remnant or resurgence of a pre-linguistic stage of development, during which man or his ancestors used sound in a purely syntactic or ritual manner’.13 But even if many sounds and uses of language in Vedic ritual are meaningless, this is not the case in the majority of instances. Lubin makes the point that ‘it is indisputable that the ritual words and actions are in the vast majority of cases not perfectly arbitrary but are assigned their place on the basis of lexical meaning (if not of the whole of the mantra, at least of some word in it) and the mimetic or dramatic value of ritual acts’ (Lubin 2016: 147). Indeed, Jaimini’s Mīmāṃ sā-sūtra is generally of the view that ritual action is meaningful, notwithstanding the Kautsa 13 Staal, Rules Without Meaning, p. 113. Although Staal’s thesis is not incompatible with con­tem­ por­ary theories about the origin of language, the ritual origin that he proposes is one that needs to be taken up by broader evolutionary anthropology.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Introduction  17 claim about the meaninglessness of mantras. In ordinary life, Jaimini says, action depends upon need (loke karma arthalakṣaṇam) so all action, both everyday action and ritual action, is performed for a purpose (artha) and action without purpose should not be done (Mīmāṃ sā-sūtra 11.1.26. See Clooney 1990: 135–6). The issue of meaning in Vedic ritual is important because it relates to the con­ tinu­ity of ritual through the generations. The contemporary Nambudri Brahmans of Kerala who preserve the Veda through ritual recitation and who perform Vedic sacrifice from time to time will rarely understand the meaning of their recitations, underlining the fact that ritual transmission is more important. What counts is the correct transmission and correct performance. But while meaning might be in abeyance, the function of bonding the community is clearly in evidence along with the purificatory experience of the participants.

3.  Hindu Pūjā How do we move from formalized Vedic sacrifice to the archetypal Hindu ritual of offering vegetarian food to deities embodied in icons in temples and shrines? The answer is probably in the domestic rites of the Brahman householder. While the Śrauta texts emphasized public practice, a different group of texts, the Gṛhyasūtras, describe the Brahman householder and the domestic rites he should perform. The Gṛhya rites involved the maintenance of and making offerings into the three domestic fires. In an incremental process, these probably developed into the standard form of worship that is all-pervasive in Hinduism today, pūjā. While the Śrauta Brahmans were concerned with the large sacrifices that attracted royal support throughout the first millennium bc and into the first millennium of the common era, the Smārta Brahmans developed from the Gṛhya tradition of domestic worship focused on particular deities. During the first millennium ad these became standardized as worship of five gods, Viṣṇu, Śiva, Devī, Gaṇeśa, and Sūrya (the pañcāyatana worship), but became more sectarian as time went on, in particular with the Purāṇas and their focus on specific deities (Bühnemann 1988). The Smārta worship of Viṣṇu in the Vaikhānasa sect is a good example or the Pāñcarātra worship of Viṣnu ̣ that, while being tantric, is still close to the Vaikhānasas (Colas 1996). The standard term for Hindu ritual that involved offering to the gods is pūjā (see Lidova in this volume). This would seem to have been in place by the time of the Bhagavad-gītā,14 when the portable religion of Vedic sacrifice is replaced by more stable places of worship and enshrined images. Although the earliest stone 14  Bhagavad-gītā 9.26: ‘Who with devotion offers me/a leaf or flower, water, fruit/I will taste from that steadfast self,/anything devotedly offered’. Flood and Charles Martin translation, The Bhagavad Gita: Norton Critical Edition (New York and London: Norton, 2015).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

18  Gavin Flood temple at Mahābalipuram only dates from around the fifth century ad, the trad­ ition of plastic icons may go back much further and there may have been wooden temples long before there were stone ones. The origins of pūjā are unclear, especially as it seems so markedly different to Vedic sacrifice, but Timothy Lubin has put forward an argument that it does indeed develop from Vedic ritual, but not the Śrauta rites of the Śrauta ritualists but rather the domestic rites or the Smārta ritualists. That is, while the Śrauta-sūtras document the dominance and im­port­ ance of sacrifice, another tradition developed, once the patron arrived home, of making offerings into the domestic fire, which in time became offerings of food to a deity in a domestic setting. Lubin has documented how the domestic or Gṛhya, later Smārta, rites developed as modelled on the Śrauta. One important shift was the development of ritual acts without the need of fire such as the rites of passage or life-cycle rituals (saṃ skāra), and over the period of a few hundred years, the growth of the worship of Rudra, Viṣṇu, and Gaṇeśa. The Varāhagṛhya-sūtra discussed by Lubin describes rites of attendance on a deity such as Rudra who is residing in a tree, at a crossroads, at a cremation ground, or in a pot, and how there is Vedic precedent for offerings without fire (Lubin 2016: 151). Rudra who is outside of rites dealt with in the Śrauta texts is offered the sacrifice of a cow modelled on the Śrauta ritual. Texts such as the Baudhāyana-Gṛhya-śeṣasūtra, which deals with what was left out of the main text, introduce image worship and rites for Rudra, Viṣṇu, and Durgā, the main deities of later Hinduism, while the parallel VaikhānasaGṛhyasūtra focuses on Viṣṇu and becomes a key text of the Vaiṣṇava Vaikānasa tradition (Lubin 2016: 152–3). Mainstream Hindu worship would therefore seem to be a development of the non-Śrauta, Gṛhya tradition in which offerings could be made which were vegetarian, using milk-rice, or flowers with water, and mantras accompanied by the word ‘homage’ (namaḥ). We see in the Baudhāyana trad­ ition the bringing into the Vedic fold of non-Vedic worship of deities, particularly Rudra who was given no warrant in the Śrauta textual corpus and practice. Pūjā is  here brought into harmony with homa and the Smārta Brahmans practice ­harmonized with that of the Śrauta Brahmans. In time, pūjā becomes the dom­in­ ant mode of worship and it is rather the Vedic fire ritual that finds its way as an option into pūjā as the offering of generally vegetarian foodstuffs to the deities of the Hindu pantheon (see Lidova in this volume).15 Pūjā is related to an attitude of devotion or bhakti to the deity. The epics bear witness to the rise of theism, especially the Bhagavad-gītā, but a large corpus of interrelated textual material called ‘the ancient texts’ or Purāṇas bears witness to the worship and the expression of what we can easily identify as typical Hindu 15  Ibid. p. 159. For a good study of later Vaiṣṇava pūjā see Kenneth Valpey, Attending Krishna’s Image: Chaitanya Vaishnava Murti Seva as Devotional Truth (London: Routledge, 2006).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Introduction  19 devotion in temples and shrines throughout the sub-continent. The Purāṇas are narratives that were told by professional storytellers, the Sūtas, and came to ­distillation, as it were, over many generations. These texts include creation myths, genealogies of kings, stories of the gods, and moral tales about the violation and fulfilment of dharma.16 That these stories are so widespread and popular—there are many manuscripts of the Bhāgavata-purāṇa, for example—bears witness to the deep cultural roots of popular devotionalism that remains unabated. Much of this devotionalism has its roots in Tamil culture. So, by the beginning of the second millennium all the elements are in place that we can recognize in modern Hinduism: mythic narratives, devotional worship of deities embodied in images, temple worship, and caste- and region-specific kinds of devotional practices such as pilgrimage. By this time (the first millennium ad) the Śrauta tradition is still strong, the Smārta tradition is developing more sectarian worship of deities as articulated in the Purāṇas, with a great focus on devotion (bhakti) and offerings (pūjā), and alongside this we have a new form of worship based on a new revelation, that of the Tantras.

4.  Tantric Practice The earliest sections of the Niśvāsatattva-saṃhitā focused on Śiva can be dated to the fifth century ad. This is the earliest Tantra that has so far come to light. Between its composition and the eleventh century there is a great proliferation of texts in this genre, and these further revelations continue to be produced even up to the eighteenth century. Sanderson has called the heyday of this revelation and the traditions associated with it the ‘Śaiva Age’ (Sanderson 2009), and I refer the reader to his publications for a mapping of these traditions (Sanderson 2012–13). In terms of practice, some specific forms developed that claimed to have lib­er­ ation and/or power as their goal. Śaivism became very influential in courtly circles during the medieval period and penetrated all levels of society, from low-caste possession cults, to yogic practices, to Brahmanical appropriation of fringe ascetic practices. Through focusing on these traditions, we have an insight into the structures of practice in the history of Hinduism that are still with us today. By the

16 Freda Matchett, ‘The Purāṇas’, in Gavin Flood (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003), pp. 129–43. For a magisterial survey of this literature see Ludo Rocher, The Purāṇas History of Indian Literature vol. 2 (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1986). Also Wendy Doniger, Purana Perennis (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1993). There is now serious philological study being undertaken of the Skanda Purāṇa; see for example Hans Bakker, The World of the Skanda Purāṇas (Leiden: Brill, 2014) and Hans Bakker, Peter Bisschop, and Yuko Yokochi (eds.), The Skandapurāṇa, vol. IIb and III (Leiden: Brill, 2013, 2014).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

20  Gavin Flood medieval or post-Gupta period, we can identify broad currents of tradition, each with its own specific practice. These are: 1. The Śrauta current of Vedic sacrifice, discussed above, with the Brahmans making claims of high purity and espousing the doctrine of conformity to the values of caste and stages of life (varṇāśrama-dharma). 2. The Smārta adherence to the same values while adhering to devotion and worship of deities that generally involved making vegetarian offerings to Śiva, Viṣṇu, and the Goddess, although in the latter case making blood offerings too. This is the religion of those who followed the law texts, the Smṛtis, and the Purāṇas. 3. Ascetics of the Higher Path or Ati Mārga, who followed their own texts and thought of themselves as the ‘fifth āśrama’ who had transcended the Śrauta and Smārta revelation. The main sect of the Ati Mārga was the Pāśupata ascetic order in the religion of Śiva. The later phase of this developed into a Goddess-orientated or Śākta tradition called the Kula Mārga. 4. The tantric revelation. Within the religion or teaching of Śiva (śivaśāsana), this is the Mantra Mārga in contradistinction to the Ati Mārga. The Mantra Mārga or Path of Mantras is Tantric Śaivism whose revelation was the Śaiva Tantras that incorporates Śākta Tantras and might be referred to as a ŚaivaŚākta tradition.17 There were also Tantras focused on Viṣṇu in the tradition of Tantric Vaiṣṇavism called the Pāñcarātra. There were Tantras for protection and the magical cure of snakebites, the Bhūta and Garuḍa Tantras, and the now lost Tantras to the sun (Saura Tantras). Outside of the Hindu corpus, there were Jain and Buddhist Tantras. Tantric Buddhism became the distinct religion of the Vajrayāna and also went into China and Japan. Within the tantric revelation there is a spectrum of practice that rejects or conforms to Brahmanical values of duty regarding caste and stage of life (varṇāśrama-dharma) in varying degrees. 5. The Yoga tradition, specifically the hat ̣ha yoga tradition that develops through to modernity. 17  Sanderson, ‘Religion and the State, Śaiva Officiants in the Territory of the Brahmanical Royal Chaplain’, Indo-Iranian Journal vol. 47, 2004, pp. 229–300. Page 229 footnote 1 gives a brief description of the Mantra Mārga that I present in summary form here. It comprised: (1) the Siddhānta as taught in the Niśvāsa, Kiraṇa, Parākhya, Mṛgendra, Kālottara, Mataṅga, and other texts; (2) the ‘left’ or ‘northern’ Vāmaśaiva sect of the god Tumburu and his four sisters, taught in the Vīnaśikha-tantra; (3) the ‘right’ or ‘southern’ Dakṣinaśaiva sect of the god Svaccandabhairava in the Svacchanda­bhairava-tantra; (4) the Yāmala sect of Kapālīśa and Candā Kāpālinī taught in the Picumata and Brahmayāmala; (5) the Trika cult of the goddesses Parā, Parāparā, and Aparā as taught in the Mālinīvijayottara, the Siddhayogeśvarīmata, and the Tantrasadbhāva; (6) the Kālīkula sect of Kālasaṃkarṣanī or Kālī taught in the Jayadrathayāmala and the Krama texts, the Kālīkulapañcaśataka and the Kālīkulakramasadbhāva, and so on; (7) the Kubjikā sect from the Kubjikāmata-tantra and other texts; (8) the Tripurasundarī cult found in the Nitaśodaśikārṇava and other texts; and (9) the Aṃ riteśvara and Amṛtalakṣmī sect in the Netra-tantra.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Introduction  21 6. Bhakti of the early modern period through to modernity. The tradition of devotion to a particular deity such as Kṛṣṇa or to a God without qualities influences the formation of modern Hinduism during the nineteenth century, a legacy that remains today. Within the tantric traditions some adopted antinomian practices opposed to orthodox Brahmanism, although the mainstream tantric tradition of the Śaiva Siddhānta did not (see Flood in this volume). By the eleventh century, this trad­ ition, following orthodox Brahmanical classification found in the Mīmāṃ sā (Benson 2010: 34), divided ritual into daily rites (nitya-karman), occasional rites (naimittika-karman), and rites for a desired purpose (kāmya karman). This ritual pattern is shared by tantric traditions and while the Śaiva Siddhānta ritual manual, the Somaśambhupaddhati, has a good account, perhaps the best tantric text for the identification of the body with the cosmos is the Pāñcarātra scripture called the Jayākhya-saṃ hitā, one of the ‘three gems’ of the tradition,18 composed before Utpaladeva (c. 925–75 ad) who quotes it.19 The Pāñcarātra is the tantric version of the religion of Viṣṇu. After a chapter describing the ritual bath, the text describes the purification of the elements within the body (bhūtaśuddhi) as a preliminary to ritual identification with the deity. The body needs to be purified and transformed from a biological body that in its non-ritual state is impure (malina), without autonomy (asvatantra), subject to decay and death, and made from blood and semen (retoraktobhava) (Jayākhya-saṃ hitā 10.16) into a pure, ritual body; a divine body (divya deha). As the cosmos is dissolved at the end of an age in the Pralaya, so the body is to be dissolved, the ritual time of the practice reflecting the cosmic time of the universe. The hierarchical universe divided into pure, mixed, and impure regions is mapped onto the hierarchy of the body. Of particular interest is the elaborate detail that the text goes into regarding the specific visualizations that accompany each stage of the rite. The five elements earth, air, fire, water, and ether or space are mapped onto the body: earth pervading from knees to feet, water from the top of the thighs to the knees, fire from navel to anus, wind from throat to navel, and space from ears to the crown of the head. The procedure is to

18  Jayākhya-saṃ hitā of the Pāñcarātra Āgama, edited by E. Krishnamacharya (Baroda: Gaekwad’s Oriental Series, 1931). The other two gems are the Pauṣkara and Sāttvata; see Dan Smith, ‘The Three Gems of the Pāñcarātra Canon: A Critical Appraisal’, Studies in the History of Religions, supplement to Numen 22 (1972), pp. 40–9. On their contents see Otto Schrader, Introduction to the Pāñcarātra and the Ahirbudhnya Saṃ hitā (Madras: Adyar Library, 1973 [1916]), pp. 2–30. 19 Utpladeva, Spandapradīpikā, edited Mark S.G. Dyczkowski, The Spandapradīpikā, a Commentary on the Spandakārikā (Varanasi: Private Publication, 1990), pp. 6–7, 12, 56. The passages cited here are the Jayākhya 20.233–9, 10.69, and 1.63cd–64b. See Marion Rastelli, Philosophisch-theologische Grundanchaungen der Jayākhyasaṃ hitā (Vienna: Österreichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1999). Gavin Flood, ‘The Purification of the Body’, in David Gordon White (ed.), Tantra in Practice (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000), pp. 509–20.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

22  Gavin Flood dissolve each element systematically from the feet upwards. The element is ­dissolved into its mantra and the mantra dissolved into the subtle element that is regarded as its cause, also regarded as energy or power (śakti/vibhava). In practice, this means that the practitioner imagines the element in front of him, such as the earth in the form of a yellow square, breathes it in so that it goes down his body to pervade from knees to the soles of the feet while repeating the mantra OṂ ŚLĀṂ PṚTHIVYAI HUṂ PHAṬ, thereby dissolving it into the mantra, then  breathes out the mantra which dissolves into the subtle element (sound) (Jayākhya-saṃ hitā 10.26–30ab, Flood 2000: 514–17). The process continues with each element in sequence replacing the earth seed syllable (here ŚLĀṂ) with its own seed. In this way, the body is ‘destroyed’, reduced to a pile of ashes in the imagination and swept away, to allow for the construction of a divine body. I have described this process as the entextualization of the body (Flood 2006: 74–6) in which the biological body is overlaid with a cultural body specified in the textual revelation. Through the taking on or appropriation of this new body, the practitioner transcends biological destiny and is then prepared for the formation of a divine body, a body made of mantras exactly as the body of the deity is made of mantras. The creation of the divine body through the imposition of mantras upon it is the expression of a vertical attraction to a transcended realm. Or rather, the pure transcendence is brought down into the world in the imagination. With the trans­form­ation of the body in this way, God as Nārāyaṇa is visualized above the crown of the head and made to descend through the top of the head and installed on a throne visualized in the heart where offerings are presented purely in im­agin­ation. This is followed by external worship to an icon (Jayākhya-saṃ hitā 12.1–15; Flood  2006: 116–18; Rastelli  1999: 246–71,  2002: 9–59). Although the Jayākhya is a Pāñcarātra text, the procedure is virtually identical to that found in the Śaiva Siddhānta, which influenced it (Jayākhyasaṃ hitā 1931). But generally absent from these mainstream tantric traditions are the antinomian practices often associated with Tantrism, of taboo breaking through the consumption of polluting substances (alcohol, meat, sexual fluids, and even human flesh) regarded as being conducive to attaining enlightenment and power (see Flood in this volume).

5. Yoga More mainstream practices for the attainment of power and liberation were yoga and ascetic disciplines. Yoga or meditation came to be important and emerged as  central concerns of Brahmanical Hinduism, becoming emphasized and popularized in the nineteenth century with Vivekananda and now being a global phenomenon. From an ancient ascetic context, the Brahmanical householder absorbed yoga. The origins of yoga may be ancient and at least go back to the time of the Buddha. Indeed, the origins of haṭhayoga are arguably from within

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Introduction  23 Vajrayāna Buddhism (see Mallinson in this volume), although later texts such as  the Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad present a description of holding the back straight and practising meditation (Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad 2.8–15 in Olivelle  1998). The Yoga-sūtra of Patañjali, composed probably during the latter years of the first millennium bc, is a text that probably reflects an ancient tradition and codifies practices for meditation and controlling the mind. It famously defines yoga as ‘the cessation of mental fluctuations’ (Yoga-sūtra 1.2: yogaś citta­vṛtti­nirodhaḥ in Āraṇya  1983), the idea being that if the mind is stilled then liberation will be attained. Eliade long ago in his masterful book described how there is a link between consciousness, breath, and body in yoga, so that in Patañjali’s eightfold system, the yogi practises restraint (niyama) and discipline (yama), stills the body through posture (āsana), stills the breath through breath control (prāṇayama), withdraws the senses (pratyahāra), and stills the mind through concentration (dhāraṇa, dhyāna, samādhi) (Eliade  1958: 47–95). Patañjali seems to adopt a Sāṃkhya metaphysics in which the purpose of practice was the isolation of the self from matter, although his text has a commentary attributed to Śaṅkara who reads it through the lens of the non-dualist ontology of the Vedānta. There is also a section of the text on the attaining of magical powers (siddhi) through yoga, which David White has claimed is more important than the quietist aspect that sees liberation as dominant (White 2009 but see Mallinson 2014a). But it was particularly during the medieval period that yoga develops and hat ̣ha yoga in particular that has become so popular worldwide; yoga shifts from being restricted to renouncers to become a practice for householders as well. The eight ancillaries or limbs of yoga are also adopted and modified by Śaivism into a ‘six-limbed’ (ṣaḍaṅga) system. Hat ̣ha yoga, the ‘yoga of force’ (Birch 2011), is posture-based yoga concerned with the cultivation of a regime of physical exercise accompanied by meditation that stills the mind. Expressed in the key fifteenth-century Haṭhapradīpika by Svātmarāma (Akers 2002), there is great emphasis on posture and minimal phil­ oso­phy. While this text is a Śaiva appropriation of an extra-Vedic soteriology, as Mallinson shows, it does not particularly adopt a Śaiva metaphysics (Mallinson 2014b). Hence when Śaivism has faded away as a dominant cultural and political force, yoga continues and adapts. The origins of hat ̣ha yoga seem to have been in Buddhism (see Mallinson in this volume) and adopted by groups of ascetics; it may also have roots in the Vedānta and Vaiṣṇava sources (Mallinson  2014b). There would also seem to be a later connection with Śākta yogini cults and Kiss has shown how the Matsendra­saṃ hitā is a thirteenth-century text from South India that incorporates both Śaiva and Śākta, Kaula Yoginī teachings within it from the Śāmbhava Śaiva sect (Kiss 2011). The minimizing of metaphysics in practices that abjure effort can also be found in the texts of ‘mindless yoga’ (amanaska yoga) that teach an immediate realization of truth (see Birch in this volume). This tradition of meditation forgoes a

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

24  Gavin Flood structured understanding of a path to a goal in favour of an expansion of awareness in the present moment that is beyond intellectual understanding. These yoga texts from the mid- to late medieval period are minimally philosophical in the sense that they do not develop a systematic metaphysics, nor do they align themselves with a particular religious tradition. Regarding the Hat ̣hapradīpikā, Mallinson has noted that this non-alignment with philosophical positions and systems is one of the features of yoga that has made it easy to adopt by different philosophical and religious systems: it is first and foremost a practice, and furthermore a practice that can be adapted to suit different intellectual and cultural climates, as has happened throughout the course of its history.

6.  Devotion into Modernity Although the tantric tradition continues, especially with the development of a tradition called the Śrīvidyā where it becomes respectable Hinduism in the South, Śaivism as a political force died out in India by about the thirteenth century. With Mughal polity dominating the North and fractious kingdoms in the South, Hindu practices developed through temple devotion and pūjā with the large, regional temples such as Tirupathi, Cidamabaram, and Jagannatha at Puri remaining important centres of power and pilgrimage. Within Vaiṣṇava practice, in Bengal, devotion to Kṛṣṇa became especially important with Caitanya (1486–1533) inspiring a great swathe of devotion and devotional literature composed by his disciples, especially the Gosvāmins (see Lutjeharms in this volume). Caitanya was a reformer who developed a new kind of devotional religion in Bengal and later at Puri in Orissa, which emphasized surrender to the Lord in ecstatic devotion, particularly through dancing and singing the names of God. The literature of this tradition of Bengal or Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism is large, with an important hagi­og­ raphy of Caitanya (Steward 2010) and independent works by the Gosvāmins on the theology of the sect. Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism became extremely popular and had courtly influence. In the context of the decay of Mughal power and increasing hostility to Hinduism, the Rajput king Jaisiṅgh II (1688–1743) supported Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism but was concerned with the ethics of Vaiṣṇava theology because in the poetic tradition the love between Kṛṣṇa and his consort Rādhā is adulterous, and love in separation is theologically superior to love in union because it is based on longing (viraha), the fundamental attitude of the soul towards God. The theologians seem to have resolved the issue and Jaisiṅgh asserted his a­ uthority as a dharmic ruler (Okita 2014: 30–40; Patel 2018; Wong 2015: 318; Horstmann 2009: 90–8). Apart from the practice of ecstatic devotion, in the early modern period we have the development of devotional movements articulated through poetry in vernacular languages. Kabīr (1398–1448) is especially important who advocates

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Introduction  25 the practice of devotion to a God who is wholly transcendent and without ­qual­ities. In the Panjab we have Nānak whose devotional poetry comes to form the backbone of Sikh holy scripture, the Ādi Granth, and in Maharashtra we have the poetry of Tukārām (c. 1568–1650). These are but three names among many Sants who included women (we might mention Mīrābāī in Kashmir) who composed devotional verses, important for the practice of Hinduism because their poetry comes to be collected and sung in collective gatherings called satsang. The expression of devotion through music is an important practice in the history of Hinduism and Richard David Williams gives us examples in this volume. From the time of their composition, these saints gathered groups of disciples around them who formed the origin of specific traditions of practice and transmission. Each saint generated a lineage of masters and community of service and worship. One example of this is the Radhasoami tradition founded in the nineteenth century in Agra by Shiv Dayal (see Daniel Gold in this volume). He generated two lineages, one remaining in Agra and the other developing at Beas near Amritsar in the Punjab. The central practice of the tradition is meditation on a transcendent God through repeating the names of God given by the master and focusing attention on the inner sound (shabd) of God so that the soul will rise up, leaving the body, through the levels of the cosmos to its true home (sacch khand, sat lok) (Juergensmeyer 1991). These are fundamentally gnostic practices that reach far back into Hindu tradition. While performing one’s duty in the world, one’s dharma, the deeper orientation of the devotee is towards God. Through devotion to the guru, daily meditation of repeating the names, and a well-ordered life, the practitioner hopes to attain lib­er­ation at death when the soul will be taken to the divine abode. This is an example of a religion perfectly at home in the modern world and yet whose roots are deeper than the nineteenth century. The Bhagavad-gītā itself advocated the performance of duty in the world while being detached at the same time. Eschatological hope lies in transcending the world and yet there is the imperative to fulfil one’s duty in it. Perhaps this goes to the heart of the history of Hindu practice. The pull of verticality is strong in the tradition that seeks transcendence and the realization of the person’s innate divinity, and hence the realm of true value lies outside the world, and yet the imperative to do one’s duty and perform social obligation is equally strong, and hence the realm of value lies within the world. This is perhaps the paradox of Hindu practice: the affirmation of dharma in the world through the practice of everyday responsibility alongside the affirmation of transcendence and verticality through the practice of detachment and inner ascent. Like many Indic traditions, the Radhasoami has found a following outside of India and the West has adopted many Hindu practices. There are now many trad­ itions of gurus and disciples whose roots are in Hinduism but are wholly Western (although now dated; see Rawlinson 1998). Tantric Śaivism has taken root in the USA with gurus such as Cetanananda, an American whose own guru was a New

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

26  Gavin Flood York art dealer, Rudi. His guru was from Kerala, Nityananda, also an influence on Muktananda who founded Siddha Yoga, again a largely Western concern. We should also mention here the Hare Krishna movement whose founding father Swami Prabhu Bhaktivedanta founded the tradition when quite elderly and that has now been reintroduced to India. These traditions show the centrality of the guru in Hindu practice (see Gold in this volume). Many recent gurus have been one-offs, as it were, without a significant tradition following from them. The magician Sai Baba was the centre of a vast enterprise but with his demise it has declined. Similarly, Da Avabhasa Kalki in Hawaii was a spontaneously realized guru, but without his charismatic personality, the tradition goes into abeyance. The history of gurus (as Gold shows in this volume) has been important in Hinduism and gurus continue to attract large followings. Outside of particular gurus, the practice of yoga has become a global phenomenon and adapted for health and recreation (see De Michelis in this volume), demonstrating its plas­ti­ city and ability to meet the demands of different cultural needs in different times and places. By way of summary, our survey of religious literature on practice has given us a picture of religious practices that persist through time, virtually unchanged such as Vedic sacrifice, and we might include here the chanting of Vedic texts. With the  Upaniṣads and what scholars have called the Axial shift, we have seen the ­re-thinking of dharma as ritual act to ethics and the development of the idea of a transcendent reality. We have seen a shift from Brahmanical sacrifice in the Śrauta tradition to worship of a putative theistic reality in the Smārta tradition along with the development of an emotional attachment to God (bhakti). With the medieval period a new development occurs with the tantric revelation and forms  of practice characterized by the ritual identification of the practitioner with  the deity. We also witness here practices on the edges of society or from lower social ranks, such as possession and exorcism, penetrating into mainstream Brahmanism and being absorbed by it. The tantric traditions along with ascetic traditions are arguably a way in which the culture manages sexuality: controlling it within caste boundaries yet developing exceptions and transgressions. Yoga is an important development during the medieval period whose roots are much older, and this tradition develops up to today’s multimillion-dollar industry along with India’s reinvigoration of yoga in public discourse and political formation (see Kale and Novetzke in this volume). The older forms of practice are still with us today but many of these have been updated through communicative technologies— there is online darśana, the viewing of the deity, and millions of Hindus still continue to do pūjā as well as practise life-cycle rites, much as prescribed in the ancient Smṛti texts. Many Hindu practices have been exported beyond India, notably yoga, bhakti, and gurus, all of which have become English nouns. Practices, even those characterized by eschatological hope, or perhaps particularly those, are today deeply imbricated in politics, and the ‘Hindu’ voice, as we

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Introduction  27 have seen with ‘saffron power’, is effective in contemporary Indian politics. Hindu practices had become absorbed in the service of developing the nation of India, particularly exemplified by the figure of Gandhi (as Devji discusses in this volume). The vision of the nation is linked to its past and the construction of that past as Hindu is part of the political landscape. Traditionally a political theology that articulated eschatological hope in terms of a transformed social and political world never developed within Hinduism. Although there are political texts such as Kautilya’s Arthaśāstra, there is no religio-political text in the ancient past that presents a vision of a future world transformed. This is partly due, I think, to the distinction between the two institutions of the householder life and renunciation that Dumont highlighted. The practices of Hinduism geared towards eschato­logic­al hope remain, in a sense, individualistic. Hinduism bears witness to the deeprooted persistence of cultural practices through the generations and their transformative potential for those who live in eschatological hope. To counterbalance the hijacking of religious practice by those with a very narrow view of Hinduism, perhaps we need the development a Hindu political theology that reflects the wider history of its practice, along the lines of a cultural prolepsis brought into a socio-political vision. This is now a desideratum for Hindu theologians.

References Akers, Brian Dana. 2002. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika. New York: Yoga Vidya.Com. Āraṇya, Swami Hariharānanda. 1983. Yoga Philosophy of Patañjali. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Bakker, Hans. 2014. The World of the Skanda Purāṇa. Leiden: Brill. Bakker, Hans, Peter Bisschop, and Yuko Yokochi (eds.). 2013–14. The Skandapurāṇa, vol. IIb and III. Leiden: Brill. Bellah, Robert  N. and Hans Joas (eds.). 2012. The Axial Age and Its Consequences. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Benson, James. 2010. Mahādeva Vedāntin, Mīmāṃ sānyāyasaṃgraha: a Compendium of the Principles of Mīmāṃ sā. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Birch, Jason. 2011. ‘The Meaning of Hatha in Early Hat ̣hayoga’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 131(4), 527–54.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1977. Outline of a Theory of Practice, trans. Richard Nice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bourdieu, Pierre. 1990. The Logic of Practice, trans. Richard Nice. Cambridge: Polity Press. Bühnemann, Gudrun. 1988. Puja: A Study in Smarta Ritual. Publications of the De Nobili Research Library 15. Vienna: Institut für Indologie, Universität Wien.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

28  Gavin Flood Chidester, David. 1996. Savage Systems: Colonialism and Comparative Religion in Southern Africa. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia. Clooney, Francis. 1990. Thinking Ritually: Rediscovering the Pūrva Mīmāṃ sā. Vienna: de Nobli Research Library.

Colas,Gérard. 1996. Vishnou, ses images et ses feux. Les métamorphoses du dieu chez les vaikhânasa. Monographie n°182. Paris: Publications de l’Ecole Française d’Extrême Orient. Collins, Brian. 2014. The Head Beneath the Altar: Hindu Mythology and the Critique of Sacrifice. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press. Doniger, Wendy (ed.). 1993. Purana Perennis. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Dumont, Louis. 1979. Homo Hierarchicus: The Caste System and Its Implications. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press. Durkheim, Émile. 1995 [1912]. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, trans. Karen E. Fields. New York: Free Press. Eliade, Mircea. 1958. Yoga, Immortality and Freedom, trans. Willard Trask. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Ferro-Luzzi, Gabriella Eichinger. 1997. ‘The Polythetic-Prototype Approach to Hinduism’, in Günther-Dietz Sontheimer and Hermann Kulke (eds.), Hinduism Reconsidered. Delhi: Manohar, pp. 294–324. Fitzgerald, Timothy. 2007. Discourse on Civility and Barbarity: A Critical History of Religion and Related Categories. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Flood, Gavin. 2000. ‘The Purification of the Body’, in David Gordon White (ed.), Tantra in Practice. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, pp. 509–20. Flood, Gavin (ed.). 2003. The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Oxford: Blackwell. Flood, Gavin. 2006. The Tantric Body. London: I.B. Tauris. Flood, Gavin. 2013. The Truth Within: A History of Inwardness in Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Flood, Gavin (ed.) with translation by Gavin Flood and Charles Martin. 2015. The Bhagavad Gita: Norton Critical Edition. New York and London: Norton. Freeman, Rich. 2003. ‘The Teyyam Tradition of Kerala’, in Gavin Flood (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 307–26. Gutschow, Niels and Axel Michaels. 2005. Handing Death: The Dynamics of Death Rituals Among the Newars in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Gutschow, Niels and Axel Michaels. 2008. Growing Up: Hindu and Buddhist Initiation Rituals Among Newar Children in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Gutschow, Niels and Axel Michaels. 2012. Getting Married: Hindu and Buddhist Marriage Rituals Among Newars of Bhakatpur and Patan, Nepal. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Hausner, Sondra. 2007. Walking with Sadhus: Ascetics in the Hindu Himalayas. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Introduction  29 Heesterman, J.C. 1993. The Broken World of Sacrifice: An Essay in Ancient Indian Ritual. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press. Horstmann, Monika. 2009. Der Zusammenhalt der Welt: Religiöse Herrschaftslegitimation und Religionspolitik Mahārāja Savāī Jaisinghs (1700–1743). Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz. Jamieson, Stephanie and Joel Brereton. 2015. The Rig Veda vol. 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jayākhyasaṃ hitā, edited by E.  Krishnamacharya. 1931. Baroda: Gaekwad’s Oriental Series. Jones, Dan. 2013. ‘Social Evolution; the Ritual Animal: Praying, Fighting, Dancing, Chanting—Human Rituals Could Illuminate the Growth of Community and the Origins of Civilization’, Nature, 493, 470–2. Juergensmeyer, Mark. 1991. Radhasoami Reality: The Logic of a Modern Faith. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Kane, P.V. 1930–62. History of Dharmaśāstra: Ancient and Medieval Religious and Civil Law in India, 5 vols. Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Institute. Kashikar, C.G. editor and translator. 2003. The Baudhāyana Śrautasūtra vol. 1. New Delhi: Indira National Centre for the Arts and MLBD. Kiss, Csaba. 2011. ‘The Matsyendrasa: A Yoginī-Centred, Thirteenth-Century Text from the South Indian Śāmbhava Cult’, in David N. Lorenzen and Adrian Munoz (eds.), Yogi Heroes and Poets: Histories and Legends of the Nāths. New York: SUNY Press, pp. 143–62. Köhler, Hans-Werbin. 1973. Śraddhā in der vedischen und altbuddhistischen Literatur, Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag. Kühl, H.S. et al. 2016. ‘Chimpanzee Accumulative Stone Throwing’, Scientific Reports, 6, 22219 (doi: 10.1038/srep22219). Laidlaw, J. 1995. Riches and Renunciation: Religion, Economy, and Society Among the Jains. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Lawson, E. Thomas and Robert N. McCauley. 1990. Rethinking Religion: Connecting Cognition and Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lubin, Timothy. 2016. ‘The Vedic Homa and Standardization of Hindu Pūjā’, in Richard K. Payne and Michael Witzel (eds.), Homa Variations: The Study of Ritual Change Across the Longue Durée. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 143–66. Malinar, Angelika. 2007. The Bhagavadgita. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mallinson, James. 2014a. ‘The Yogī’s Latest Trick’, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 24(1), 165–80. Mallinson, James. 2014b. ‘Hat ̣hayoga’s Philosophy: A Fortuitous Union of NonDualities’, Journal of Indian Philosophy, 42, 225–47. Matchett, Freda. 2003. ‘The Purāṇas’, in Gavin Flood (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 129–43.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

30  Gavin Flood Michaels, Axel. 2016. Homo Ritualis: Hindu Ritual and Its Significance for Ritual Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Netra-tantra with the uddyota by Kṣemarāja, edited by M.S. Kaul. 1926 and 1927. 2 vols. Srinagar: Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies. Obeyesekere, Ganantha, 1984. Medusa’s Hair: An Essay on Personal Symbols and Religious Experience. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press. Odling-Smee, John et al. 2003. Niche Construction: The Neglected Process in Evolution. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Okita, Kiyokazu. 2014. Hindu Theology in Early Modern South Asia. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Oldenberg, Hermann. 1964–5. The Gṛhya Sūtras, Sacred Books of the Hindus 29, 30. Delhi: MLBD, reprint. Olivelle, Patrick. 1998. The Early Upanishads. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pandey, Rajbali. 1969. Hindu Saṃskāras; Socio-Religious Study of the Hindu Sacraments. Delhi: MLBD. Pāśupata-sūtras with Pañcārthabhāṣya of Kaundinya, edited by R.A.  Sastri. 1940. Trivandrum: Trivandrum Sanskrit Series 143. Patel, Sachi. 2018. Politics and Religion in Eighteenth Century North India. DPhil. Oxford University. Piatigorsky, Alexander. 1985. ‘Some Phenomenological Observations on the Study of Indian Religion’, in Richard Burghardt and A.  Cantille (eds.), Indian Religions. London: Curzon, pp. 208–24. Rambachan, Anantanand. 1992. ‘Where Words Can Set Free: The Liberating Potency of Vedic Words in the Hermeneutics of Śaṅkara’, in Jeffrey R. Timm (ed.), Texts in Context: Hermeneutics in South Asia. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, pp. 33–46. Rastelli, Marion. 1999. Philosophisch-theologische Grundanchaungen Jayākhyasaṃhitā. Vienna: Österreichen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

der

Rastelli, Marion. 2002. ‘The āsana According to the Parameśvarasaṃhitā or a Method of Writing a Saṃhitā’, in G. Oberhammer and M. Rastelli (eds.), Studies in Hinduism III, Pāñcarātra and Viśi rameśvar. Vienna: Der Österreichischen Akademi der Wissenschaften, pp. 9–59. Rawlinson, Andrew. 1998. The Book of Enlightened Masters: Western Teachers and Eastern Traditions. New York: Open Court. Riesebrodt, Martin. 2010. The Promise of Salvation: A Theory of Religion. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press. Rocher, Ludo. 1986. The Purāṇas History of Indian Literature vol. 2. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz. Sanderson, Alexis. 2009. ‘The Śaiva Age: The Rise and Dominance of Śaivism During the Early Medieval Period’, in Shingo Einoo (ed.), Genesis and Development of Tantrism. Tokyo: University of Tokyo.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Introduction  31 Sanderson, Alexis. 2012–13. ‘The Śaiva Literature’, Journal of Indological Studies, 24 and 25, 1–113. Schrader, Otto. 1973 [1916]. Introduction to the Pāñcarātra and the Ahirbudhnya Saṃhitā. Madras: Adyar Library. Seaquist, Carl A. 2009. ‘Ritual Individuation and Ritual Change’, Method and Theory in the Study of Religion, 21, 340–60. Smith, Brian K. 1994. Classifying the Universe: The Ancient Indian Varṇa System and the Origins of Caste. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Smith, Dan. 1972. ‘The Three Gems of the Pāñcarātra Canon: A Critical Appraisal’, Studies in the History of Religions, supplement to Numen, 22, 40–9. Sontheimer, Günther-Dietz and Hermann Kulke (eds.). 1997. Hinduism Reconsidered. Delhi: Manohar. Staal, Frits. 1989. Rules Without Meaning: Ritual, Mantras, and the Human Sciences. New York: Peter Lang. Steward, Anthony. 2010. The Final Word: The Caitanya Caritamrita and the Grammar of Religious Tradition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Turner, Edith with William Blodgett. 1992. Experiencing Ritual: A New Interpretation of African Healing. Philadelphia, PA: Pennsylvania University Press. Turner, Victor. 1967. The Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press. Valpey, Kenneth. 2006. Attending Krishna’s Image: Chaitanya Vaishnava Murti Seva as Devotional Truth. London: Routledge. Van Gennep, Arnold. 1960. Rites of Passage, trans. by Monika  B.  Vizedom and Gabrielle L. Caffee. London and Henley: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Vasudeva, Somdeva. 2004. The Yoga of the Mālinīvijayottaratantra. Pondichéry: Institut Français de Pondichéry. White, David Gordon. 2009. Sinister Yogis. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press. Whitehouse, Harvey. 2014. ‘Ritual as Social Glue: An Interview with Harvey Whitehouse’, http://theritualproject.org/2014/02/05/ritual-as-social-glue-aninterview-with-harvey-whitehouse. Wilden, W. 2000. Krieslauf der Opfergaben im Veda. Stuttgart: Steiner. Witzel, Michael. 2003. ‘Vedas and Upaniṣads in Gavin Flood (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 68–101.

Wong, Lucian. 2015. ‘Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Studies: Mapping the Field’, in Religions of South Asia, 9(3), 305–31. Zavos, John, Pralay Kanungo, Deepa  S.  Reddy, Maya Warrier, and Raymond Brady Williams (eds.). 2012. Public Hinduisms. London: Sage.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

PART I

T E XT UA L SOU RCE S

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

1

Ritual, Ascetic, and Meditative Practice in the Veda and Upaniṣads Cezary Galewicz

Writing on historical religions of India remains a challenge when it attempts to include practices as meaning-generating actions that complement (or contradict) the message of textualized ideas and concepts. In the context of the Veda one should differentiate between textual references to concepts of religious practices that ‘seek liberation and power’ and the historical existence of such practices in the Indian sub-continent during the formation of the Vedic canon. The latter ones may to some extent be inferred from other, though later, textual remains of early Buddhist texts or grammatical literature.

1.  The Veda: Text, Textuality, and Practice Close to the appearance of Buddhism towards the sixth or fifth century bce, the already rich textual heritage of the Veda emerged as a canonical collection re­arranged for ritual use. Most of its texts had been composed centuries earlier, beginning in the north-west areas of the Greater Punjab, and continued to grow while transmitted orally over a period of several centuries. All that accompanied a slow movement towards east and south of the Vedic tribes and clans. They fought and formed alliances among themselves and with others in the process of growing cultural synthesis. The complex Vedic canon represents a religion which modern scholarship chose to name either Vedism or Vedic Hinduism as preceding that of Brahmanism and later traditions of Hinduism. It also bears witness to a marked emphasis on ritual practice of a decidedly elite character. The late phase of its oral canonization has been recently considered as redefinition in the face either of the universal call of Buddhism (Bronkhorst 2007) or the challenge of the written media of the neighbouring Persian Empire (Witzel 1997). The Vedic texts express ideas about as well as register various forms of ritual with elements of asceticism and hints at meditation practices. In order to make sense of their development over time one should segment the field covering roughly 1500–400 bce into three periods, that of the hymns of the Ṛgveda, the Cezary Galewicz, Ritual, Ascetic, and Meditative Practice in the Veda and Upaniṣads In: Hindu Practice. Edited by: Gavin Flood, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198733508.003.0002

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

36  Cezary Galewicz middle period of the post-Ṛgvedic mantra collections, and the late Vedic period of Upaniṣads and ritual manuals. However, for this volume I adopt a simplified division into early (mostly Ṛgvedic) Vedic and later Vedic ritual and practices. The Vedas came down to us as a huge corpus accommodating various types of textuality in verse, prose, and mixed forms of different length, convention, and purpose. All developed within or have been adopted by one of the four (initially three) mutually acknowledged currents of Vedic tradition: the Ṛgveda, the Sāmaveda, the Yajurveda, and Atharvaveda as the fourth. All of them shared a conviction about registering and ordering a particular religiously useful skill, artde-faire, or knowledge (veda). Each of the four currents came to be represented textually by their ‘branches’ or schools (śākhās). The adherents of the latter adopted a common practice of completing their repertoire with a set of four  classes of text: the Saṃ hitā, or ‘collection’ in verse or short formulas, the Brāhmaṇa, or ritual ex­plan­ations in prose, the Āraṇyaka in speculative prose to be studied in the wilderness, and the Upaniṣad(s), or dialogical texts in search of a unifying principle and liberating knowledge. The ‘guiding lines’ (sūtras) for ­ritual procedure made the fifth. Although the Vedic ritual is perhaps the ‘best documented among the rituals of man’ (Staal 1983), it is not always clear how this textual evidence refers to actual practice. Efforts towards control and systematization of sacrificial ritual that eventually resulted in the Vedic corpus were accompanied by a growing focus on the primacy of correct pronunciation that put engagement with the words of the Veda at the centre of the ritual action of almost any kind. Seen from that angle, Vedic ritu­al­ism is inseparable from Vedic textuality and performing Vedic ritual must have meant and still means performing Vedic text (Witzel 2003), even if such performance may not intend (Sāmaveda) to be intelligible. The paradigmatic set of four classes of texts, making each Vedic śākhā, should better be seen as four distinct types of textual practice cultivated in families, clans, and schools (śākhās) as complementary ways of seeking power through verbal and bodily performance in composite liturgies perpetuated by collective memory, and eventually sys­tem­ atized in the manuals of ritual procedure, or Śrautasūtras.

1.1.  Deliberation versus Action A tendency to see a gross development from Vedism and Brahmanism towards later Hindu religious traditions as a breakthrough in the general attitude towards religious goals may be generally right if not oversimplified. The sacrifice (yajña) features in the Vedic context as a paradigmatic religious action (karman), if not any goal-orientated action at all. It appears centred on abandonment of goods of life and self-discipline on the part of the sacrificer. With an aim to fulfil, it remains an action seen as creative, and this brings it close to the Greek poiesis, or ‘activity’

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Ritual, Ascetic, and Meditative Practice  37 in a creative sense (Staal 1996). Numerous Vedic passages take sacrifice as a skill or art-de-faire. Thus, ŚB XI speaks of a fire oblation formula to transform a mortal named Purūravas into an immortal Gandharva: ‘a form of sacrifice through which man could become immortal’. What is meant is the sacrificial act unifying verbal and manual practice seen as an instrument of meaningful and transformative action on the part of a human being.

1.2.  Textual Representation of Actual Practice Śrautasūtras, or ‘guiding lines’ for ritual praxis, originated as memorized prescriptions concerning ritual specialists, later called Vaidikas, who were burdened with the know-how of ritual deployment of (particular portions from) the Vedas. The implied principal agent of Śrautasūtras remains the Adhvaryu priest. His dominion is Yajurveda, or the Veda of ritual action par excellence, and its voice retains the power of regulating agency. Due to conventions of their peculiar textuality, the Śrautasūtras remain in many respects silent as well as redundant in others. We must keep in mind that the ritual actions prescribed, commented on, and ­specu­lated upon in Vedic texts represent only a ‘narrow window’ into the world of religious practices that must have been much richer. The nature of the relationship between the elite solemn ritual and more popular practices in the Vedic context remains largely inaccessible for us today, in spite of the Atharvaveda, the so-called gṛhya, or domestic rituals and passages suggesting other regimes, like pāka, or ‘cooked’ rituals (Lubin 2016).

2.  Early Vedic Ritual An immense distance in time and space separates the world of the Ṛgveda from that of later Vedic texts. Making sense of the former by projecting back the c­ oncepts of  the latter may be a risky enterprise. Its socio-political backdrop largely escapes us, notwithstanding important studies (Witzel 1997). As a collection of hymns, the Ṛgvedasaṃ hitā remains a liturgical project (Jamison-Brereton 2014). Most of the ritual practices in the background of the Ṛgvedic hymns focus on fire offerings and Soma sacrifices. A rich vocabulary articulates various aspects of Soma: as a deity, or king Soma, as a plant, as máda, or ‘intoxicating draught’. Related practices comprised composing hymns for Soma liturgies, ritual purchase of the Soma plant, extracting and filtering its juice (presented as parallel to perfecting poetic visions), preparing the drink, libations in fire, and collective consumption of the leftovers from the feast offered to gods. The Ṛgvedic authors shared a belief in ritual efficacy of their own art, or professional ‘verbal behavior’ (Witzel 2003), and regularly engaged in contests to prove its valour in competitions regarded as

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

38  Cezary Galewicz a form of religious practice. Composing Ṛgvedic hymns related to core concepts in  the Ṛg vedic Weltanschaung, like ṛta, or ‘Universal Order’, believed to be evoked through visionary formulations. As such, this meant bringing order and sense to the universe. Successful formulations, striking with novelty, were deemed to mobilize the enigmatic power of bráhman. Their authors claimed the status of brahmáns, or ‘formulators’. Best compositions came to be circulated in fixed form and were believed to repeat their functionality upon proper pro­ced­ure. This enhanced the development of memorization technics and oral transmission with strict protocols of recitation while connecting to social and political claims to control the ritual. This tendency positioned oral transmission against writing for several centuries to come. Most religious practices hinted at in the hymns concern elite visionary poets. Their social world remained determined by the patronage of munificent chiefs (maghávan, sūrí) forming assemblies of contesting ritual agents (vidátha). Sacrifices took place in ritual enclosures (vṛjána). Hymns mention gods solemnly invited to and offered a feast as guests of honour. They were treated with libations poured into fire and entertained by the best-crafted and never-heard-before hymns of praise. An air of competition pervades supplications to gods to omit sacrifices (or hymns) by rivals. Their performance must have taken place in a period of the year held either auspicious for sacrifice or in need of sacrificial action. It has been interpreted as a period of festivities, chariot races, and poetic contests preceding the commencement of the new year cycle. The hymns referred to its conclusion as the time of darkness (támas) and constraint (áṃ has) and con­ sidered dangerous to go through without ritual stimulation of the cosmic powers that needed help to win back the sun and put it to its new track in its yearly repeated cosmic combat with the forces of darkness. Earlier hypotheses understood this as a ‘critical period of transition from the old to the new year’ (Kuiper  1960; Hillebrandt 1899) and tended to locate it around the winter solstice. It was explained with the model of the winter potlatch ritual (Hubert and Mauss 1897). Other scholars located the events towards the vernal solstice and springtime with rituals performed by the river banks (Falk 1997). Some hymns relate events of this ritual to the cosmic feat by the god Indra releasing waters/sunlight/herds of cows, and correlate it with the release of the poetic inspiration (dhī́) needed for new compositions. A rich vocabulary addressing poetic art suggests ritualized practices of professional poets. The names of the ritual functionaries correspond partly to the later Śrauta model. The Hotṛ (‘one who pours[oblations]’), as principal functionary, may have not only uttered the recitations but often also composed them. More generic appellations of ritual agents differentiate between those specializing in fire ritual (uśíj) and experts in ritual knowledge (kávi, brahmán). No strict labour division probably permitted a brahmin to officiate in different priestly capacities during the sacrifice, as well as act as a warrior on other occasions. Several rituals of royal character are alluded to (the horse sacrifice, or aśvamedhá, a royal rite of consolidation of power, the rājasūya, or (re)consecration of the king). References to animal sacrifice betray practices where taking an animal’s life was considered inauspicious.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Ritual, Ascetic, and Meditative Practice  39

3.  Ascetics and Asceticism in Ṛgveda The evidence of Ṛgvedic hymns (RS 9.83) indicates that tapas (ascetic exertion) was an important early concept referring to ascetic practice and that being a tapasvin, i.e. someone practising tapas, could be seen as securing access to gods like Brahmaṇaspati (Lord of Sacred Utterance). Frequent occurrences of the term vratá (compelling principle, law—Lubin  2001) as circumscribing the paradigmatic behaviour of Ṛgvedic gods begin to qualify also ritual actions of men as conforming to the wilfully followed rule. A parallelism and reciprocity between the world of gods (with their perseverance in following their own ordinances) and that of humans (with their ambition to follow paradigms set by the gods) anticipates later Vedic understanding of vratá as ascetic regimen by ‘twinning’ (Lubin 2001) god’s vratás with those of human ritualists. References to vratyàs as followers of divine ordinances (vratás) suggest action regulated by a specific regime of conduct and procedure. In a number of instances (RS 9.70.4) Soma’s vratás connote ‘ritual institutions’ or ‘ritual observances’ (Lubin 2001), paving the way for later Vedic usages of vratá in the specific sense of a ritual regimen connected to embodied practice governed by self-imposed rules regulating action. In this capacity vratá connotes a function of will and implies a strong measure of self-determination. Following divine vratás of Ṛgvedic gods entailed partaking of their divine powers. The specific human vratás of the brahmacārín (seeker of bráhman) and of the consecrated sacrificer (dīkṣitá) are suggested by isolated instances (RS 7.103.1). Stray references to practitioners called vrātyà suggest their connection with ascetic practices and special status as outsiders or rivals to the mainstream ritual model of Soma sacrifice (Heesterman 1962). Somewhat amorph­ous as a community, they too could be seen as following religious vows (vratá). In later strata of post-Ṛgvedic Vedism vratá takes the specific meaning of an ‘initiatory regimen’ (Lubin  2001) of ascetic character connected to the selflimitation undertaken by the sacrificer, or that followed by a Vedic student during his apprenticeship. It refers to a discipline of the body and/or mind suggestive of a search for spiritual powers and/or liberation. It was meant to purify and sym­bol­ ic­al­ly divinize the sacrificer, preparing him to deal with gods during the sacrifice. Similarly, the vrata of the student-brahmacārin was expected to purify and transform his body into one fit for contact with the Veda.

4.  Visionary Composition versus Memory Performance An important distinction between the Ṛgvedic and later Vedic liturgies concerns the nature of textual practices: while in the Ṛgvedic period it was an originally composed verse that mattered, later practices are reflected by Vedic liturgical texts readily reworking material selected from among earlier compositions. Early evidence of these textual practices (‘composite liturgies’—Proferes 2003) can be

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

40  Cezary Galewicz seen in RS IX. The Śrauta system shows a general departure from practices of composing new versified liturgies. Śrauta liturgies feature extraction, collation, amalgamation, and rearrangement coupled with exact memorizing of already acknowledged liturgical verses. This change marks a transition from the practice based on ritual competence of a single clan (of the author) to that incorporating divergent traditions. The reformed Śrauta ritual mobilizes a multi-voiced ritual competence of several Vedic clans and schools as allegedly superior in efficacy. The transition entails a change in the imagined goals: for the Ṛgvedic singercomposer these were the goods of life and generative power (vā j́ a) for his patrons and clan members, and recognition for himself. If composing a Ṛgvedic hymn meant seeking a power, it was a power of bringing about the presence of gods, compelling them to act in favour of the poets’ patron and clan folks, and ordering the universe endangered by the dissipation of time. For the Śrauta ritualist the goals changed to those of the duty (nitya) of regular practice and satisfying optional (kāmya) wishes. The change resulted also in a concept of a system of possibilities to choose from. The sacrifice as practice sought to mobilize and consolidate powerful means of defying the basic limitations of the human being in its struggle for control over the flow of time.

5.  Vedic Ritual and Magic Practices Most opinions indicate the texts of the Atharvaveda as recording practices of magic rites of both a healing and aggressive kind. They remain outside the scope of this chapter. Recent studies (Parpola 2015) point to important intersections of the Vedic solemn ritual and magic. The Pāñcaviṃ śa Brāhmaṇa VII prescribes manipulations on the Sāmavedic chant to secure magic effects for the one who wishes to attain wealth, heaven, fame, a long life, or to ‘kill’ (haṃ si) [the enemy?]. Also earlier YV saṃ hitās, the MS and KS, place within the Śrauta system the socalled kāmya-iṣt ̣i (wish-fulfilling) rituals, including those designed to ‘harm rivals and enemies’ (Parpola  2015; Caland 1906). The Vrātyas of the AV XV, PB, and LŚS may represent fossils of ritual practices that predated the reformed Śrauta ritual and preferred less organized and not purified forms of communal feasting with elements of music, dance, and sexual indulging as forms of empowerment.

6.  The Śrauta Sacrificial System as Ritual Practice The standardized Śrauta liturgy that eventually replaced the diversified practices of the Ṛgveda (Proferes  2007) aimed at accommodation of separate streams of the Vedic tradition. It was accomplished without writing which also after its introduction around 3rd c. BCE was not considered proper as a medium for Vedic textuality

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Ritual, Ascetic, and Meditative Practice  41 (until probably the tenth century ce). Establishing the new ritual order was a process wrought with rivalry and conflict. It is reflected already in the formation of the Ṛgveda and the anxiety of the Ṛgvedins to incorporate the Veda of the Sāmavedic and Atharvan priests in books IX and X of RS (Witzel 1997). The ŚS, located outside the Veda proper, have been conceived as ‘guiding lines’ in the sense of mode d’emploi for the actual Vedic ‘scripture’ which they quoted or referred to. The question of the relationship between the knowledge and actual performance of rites, i.e. between textuality and praxis in their power to effect major transformation or express fundamental truths, re-surfaces within the later school of Vedic exegesis (Mīmāṃ sā). It bears on the Vedic concept of human agency versus that of the Vedic textuality, sacrifice, and gods. The Mīmāṃ sā concept of the supreme agency of the Veda appears to feed on the Vedic ambivalence of textuality as praxis and ritual practice as communication and can be paraphrased by a formulation borrowed from another religious context: ‘Tout récit ou toute analyse de la praxis reste un discours qui n’est pas plus “fidèle” à l’action par le fait qu’il en parle’ (Certeau 1987). For ŚS the ritual effect is purely procedural: proper performance focused on textual fidelity secures success. There seems no visible scope for human or divine interaction with the rule of procedure. Yet it is difficult to deny that Vedic sacrifice as practice harnessing the ambivalent powers of textualized procedure remained a bald attempt at rejecting the finitude of the human condition, an act of denying death and temporality and of affirming life (Flood 2013), even though it might entail taking the life of a victim.

6.1.  The Agents of Ritual Practice As any other, Vedic rituals needed agents or actors and presupposed concepts concerning ritual action, like that of sacrificing for oneself (yajate) or for others (yajati), ritual regimen (vrata), initiation (dīkṣā), or eligibility (adhikāra). The practice of Vedic sacrifice entailed close cooperation of a sacrificer (yajamāna) and a team of officiants acting on his behalf on a prearranged ritual ground. The proceedings required neither a temple nor an image of the divine. The yajamāna (sacrificing for himself) had to be a ‘twice-born’ (ideally a king), and a married householder. For a number of rituals he had to undergo a particular form of ini­ti­ ation (dīkṣā) preparing him to deal with the divine. Other participants included up to seventeen officiating priests (ṛtvij) appointed as ritual specialists for every performance in a ceremonial selection (ṛtvigvaraṇa) which could take the form of an open competition in ritual knowledge. They worked in four groups of four representing the four Vedas. One named Brahman represented the Atharveda (almost absent textually in the ritual) and was to side with the sacrificer, keep an eye on possible mistakes by other officiants, and deploy ready-made formulas of atonement (prayaścitta) when needed. He is pictured as moving by Yajamāna’s

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

42  Cezary Galewicz side across the ritual ground while positioning himself spatially often against other functionaries (Minkowski 1991). Sometimes a Sadasya, acting as overseer, was added as the seventeenth officiant. The most prominent among the officiants was Adhvaryu—the head of the Yajurveda team—who would see that the ritual action was done (karma kriyate), pour oblations into fire (juhoti), pronounce yajus formulas, consecrate objects with them, perform Yajurvedic mantras (pratipādyate), run over specific mantras (anudruti) while making oblation to the fire, and measure out (samminoti) sectors of sacrificial ground. He would bring forth (praṇayati) gods and substances and ‘yoke’ (yunakti) the Agni altar with a yoking formula (yogena, BŚS 10.56.57), perform whole rites (pracarati BŚS), or make preparations (upākaroti) to them and undertake a performance (upaiti) of Soma pressing. He would also prompt other officiants to action. No wonder it was his Veda that was most prominent. The Hotṛ priest headed the Ṛgveda group. The basic Soma ritual of Agniṣt ̣oma made of twelve Sāmavedic chants (stoma) and twelve Ṛgvedic recitals (śastra) involved three ‘pressings’ (savana) of the Soma plant (morning, midday, and evening). The chants and recitals were distributed unevenly: two in the morning, five at midday, and five during the evening pressing. They are said to ‘light up the heavenly world for the Yajamāna’ (Sarma 1983: 161). The rounds of chants and recitals were made of different textual matter and forms of presentation. The first recital named ājya comprised 336 verses recited by the Hotṛ; the second only twenty. The last, named āgnimaruta, consisted of three hymns and a number of verses interspersed with ‘call-outs’ by Hotṛ to Ādhvaryu who responded while performing actions of his own. The most demanding Overnight Soma sacrifice (Atirātra) features twenty-nine rounds of chants and recitals. The final recital of the Hotṛ consists of 1,000 verses arranged in a complex way—a veritable ‘tour de force’ (Staal  1996)—that must present no mere challenge to the body of the reciter by the condition of executing full lines on one breath. The actual performance of the Hotṛ required due modifications to transform memorized verses into recitals and good orientation in the topography of the sacrificial ground and the sequence of actions. The Udgatṛ presided over the Sāmaveda priests. The liturgical melodies (sāmans) must have been held in huge respect and extraordinary awe (Staal 2008), as can be inferred from their separate collection in the Sāmaveda which was handled with additional care as containing musical pieces of value and power independent from the text. Setting the latter to the former in intricate patterns for the context of particular Vedic rites demanded unique knowledge and skills, which is reflected in passages showing the aloof position of Sāmavedic priests within the sacrificial enclosure. Contemporary ethnography confirms the critical status of the Sāmavedic experts for the feasibility of the Vedic sacrifices. We must acknowledge also an agency for the community of the Yajamāna. The agency of the sacrificer does not suggest affirming his individuality. Rather the opposite: the sacrificer in a profound sense stood for the community and asserted

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Ritual, Ascetic, and Meditative Practice  43 its claim to its proper identity expressed through the bald undertaking of the ­sacrificer. The sacrificer was expected to be a man of means to patronize over an expensive ritual. He had to be a full-fledged householder, attending to his fires (ahitāgni) and married. Acting as Yajamāna was perceived as a claim to status as well as a supreme religious practice affirming life against death: ‘Whosoever offers the Agnihotra reproduces himself . . . and hence saves himself from death’ (ŚB 2.2.4.7. tr. Eggeling). Yajamāna entered the ritual enclosure along with his wife ready to submit to the absolute rule of procedure. Both enacted their roles including movements across the ritual ground, manipulation of objects, recitation of mantras and formulas, and communicating with other participants, while enduring numerous hours of hardship during continuous night and day proceedings of the theatrum of sacrifice. The sacrificer had to secure effective expertise of the officiants. Mistakes and discontinuities could be seen as his inappropriate attitude and be read as inauspicious signs for the whole community. The actual per­form­ ance must have looked different in each case depending on the competence of the officiants, selected options, and successful completion of its specific components. In principle, only acting as the sacrificer entailed reaping of the fruit (phala) of the ritual action(s). By the same, the odium of any miscalculated, mistaken, or failed action would befall the sacrificer, and Vedic narratives bring stories of emotional tension accompanying his decisions. Many passages suggest the unpredictable nature of sacrifice which might either bring heaven or ruin the sacrificer. The success (samṛdh) of any Vedic ritual depended on the skilful orchestration of the multitude of agents with different actions overlapping or happening sim­ul­tan­ eous­ly. Prestigious performances with high stakes for the officiants must have triggered rivalry among representatives of different śākhās over their claims to the roles of the officiating priests and it is possible that Ṛgvedins took up the roles of Yajurveda officiants or vice versa. Narratives of rivalry and contested ritual knowledge recur throughout Vedic texts down to Upaniṣads. Departures from the paradigm by way of optional procedure or substitute preferred by particular Vedic schools and cases of ritual denial feature in the narratives: AiB 7:14–19 re­ gis­ ters two separate acts of ritual denial concerned with sacrifice (Galewicz 2016). Deviation, resistance, and reformation in practice tended to be inclusively absorbed and appropriated.

6.2.  Ritual Competence and Actual Practice References to ritual knowledge as a sufficient tool of empowerment suggest a distinction between two orders of Vedic ritual: competence and performance. A peculiar topos running from Brāhmaṇas through Upaniṣads (developed later by Mīmāṃ sā and argued against by commentator Sāyaṇa in the fourteenth century) advocates a superiority of ritual knowledge over actual performance. The figure

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

44  Cezary Galewicz of the competent ritual specialist ‘who knows thus’ (yad evam veda) appears to anticipate that of the Upaniṣadic seeker of liberating knowledge by interiorizing ritual action. Yet the Śrauta sacrifice was conceptualized as a supreme ritual practice deriving efficacy from the presumed power of the technically perfected actions by eligible agents framed by properly constructed space, time, and procedure.

6.3.  The Structure, the Texture, the Performance All actions of ritual agents were situated against the background of a system structured by operations that expanded basic ritual units into larger ones through extension (tan) or modification (vikṛti) of the basic unit (prakṛti), and included concatenation, embedding, surrounding, and the formation of binary, mutually balanced structures of symmetrical arrangement. This must have added to the effect of an agency in control of rationally organized space and time while expressing a sense of order. Basic ritual units can be identified as a ritual to fulfil a desire (iṣt ̣i) in the form of vegetal offering, animal sacrifice (paśubandhu), and Soma sacrifice (agniṣt ̣oma). Complex rituals included variously distributed multiplications/contractions of the three. One among the combined Soma rituals named Atirātra-Agnicayana could include a piling of a thousand of bricks into a huge bird-shaped altar Most Vedic rituals repeat an extendable pattern: core offerings (iṣt ̣i) are introduced by fore-offerings (praṇayeṣt ̣i) preceded by preparatory rites. They are followed by after-offerings (udayanīyeṣt ̣i) and rites of dis­sol­ ution (avabhṛta-iṣt ̣i) with ablution, sometimes complemented with rites of departure (udavasānīya-iṣt ̣i). A year-long dīkṣā austerities in preparation for a Soma sacrifice, including dietary regime, abstaining from sexual intercourse, etc., is mirrored by a parallel period after the sacrifice of refraining from showing ­honour to others, eating certain substances, and touching women of lower classes. The fear of mistakes that might result either in extensive repetitions or a total failure suggests an emotionally charged context for all actions within the ritual arena. Complex rites required a mobilization of the whole community: a period of preparations and rehearsals as well as securing necessary implements and substances. Apart from Soma plant, another important item was the hide of the black antelope needed for Yajamāna to take on his staged ascetic peregrination.

6.4.  Ritual Space and Ritual Time While ŚS do focus on sacrifice, they ‘do not present it as a social or communal institution’ (Heesterman  1995). Instead they bring a perfect system made of minutely drawn rules strictly to be abided. It is meant for the individual who resolves to leave the social world and submit himself for the duration of the ritual

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Ritual, Ascetic, and Meditative Practice  45 to its ‘absolute rule’. His actions in ritual enclosure need specific knowledge whose overall organizing principle is numerical symbolism of correspondences between elements of ritual time and space to those of the world outside and that of the beyond. This translates into careful geometric measurements for the ritual ground and its division into sectors, zones, and symmetric and dis-symmetric areas as well as its orientation towards the cardinal points. The knowledge concerning time cycles, rhythmic patterns of sequences mirrored by the symbolism of chanting meters, conditioned successful performance. With its totalizing design, the Vedic sacrifice constitutes an assault on the man’s temporal and spatial finitude and unpredictability—a claim to control space and time from the inside out. All actions of the sacrificer (and his party) acquire specific spatial and temporal ­status: with a few exceptions (‘pacifying’ of the sacrificial victim), all the actions take place within the space cut out and lifted up from the world outside by the boundaries of the field of sacrifice (yajñakṣetra) located by a reservoir of water, through ritually executed measurements. The performance enfolds with the gradual movement of the agents along the west–east line geometrically drawn as the backbone of the sacrifice (yajñapṛṣt ̣ha) towards the east where the new sacrificial altar is located and concluding rites are to be celebrated. The temporal structure is articulated by the time unit of the sacrificial day made of a fixed sequence of rites to be completed. Contemporary revival practice suggests (Staal and Mahadevan 2003) that the ritual days might not necessarily match the calendar and the resulting partial overlapping might blur the physical night and day div­ ision and situate the actions outside the physical time, thus proving the fundamental difference between the ritual and physical temporality. Many actions on the sacrificial ground must have taken place simultaneously (Staal  1996). Retardations caused by some actions failing to complete in time might result in a cacophony of overlapping sounds and images. On the other hand, the expected harmony of actions is also corroborated by revival performances, both tendencies confirming the warning of the Brāhmaṇas that the sacrifice may either work smoothly or get out of control and become a ‘wild beast’, dangerous and unpredictable.

6.5.  The Measure of Sacrifice A conspicuous dimension of śrauta ritualism is its obsession with geometry. In place of the temple of the later Hinduism we have a carefully measured and orientated field with boundaries, sectors, symmetries, and passages. All parts of the field are expressed in units of measurement that are not fixed but remain related to the actual height of the sacrificer (Staal 1983) who is ceremonially measured (with hands stretched) before constructing the ritual ground. This act of translating the size of the human body into that of the ritual ground anticipates concepts

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

46  Cezary Galewicz of the sacrificial ritual internalized within the body of the sacrificer (Staal 1983). Such a principle of measurement gave a human and personal dimension to each and every action within the carefully drawn sections of the sacrificial ground where the agents moved and acted in prescribed locations and sequence.

6.6.  The Purpose of Ritual The goals of ritual are usually pictured in most general terms and vary between śākhās. JB declares them as attainment of ‘progeny, lordship of villages, excellent position, brilliant status, spiritual preeminence, prosperity, . . . sovereignty’. Elsewhere, sacrifice is said to accomplish any desire (JB 1.67). Quite often the goals are associated with a desire of ‘reaching’ heaven. Getting access to heaven happens to be portrayed as a result of śrama, or ‘exertion’ (Bodewitz 2007). A peculiar concept of meaning (artha) of the Vedic ritual happens to be communicated by its qualification as adṛṣt ̣a (Staal 1996; Heesterman 1993), i.e. of invisible or secret nature, even though specific rituals are described as opening gates to or securing a sojourn in heaven. It connects to the concept of Dharma in its meaning of perfect order never to be reached in the lived-in world, a concept which later Mimāṃ sā philosophy fully associates with a fruitful effort of the sacrificer’s successful performance of ritual. It is symbolically represented by the sacrificer’s reaching the eastern end of the sacrificial ground associated with heaven. As an enterprise of uncertain outcome, the Vedic sacrifice presupposes an endeavour into the unknown by the sacrificer who risks losing everything when deciding to venture on the road of yajña in quest of reaching the ‘unseen’ (Heesterman 1993). Some studies indicate that a general concept behind the Vedic sacrifice was a transformation of the Yajamāna entailing his spiritual rebirth (Kaelber 1989) through a performance in the capacity of a consecrated sacrificer (dīkṣita). While trying to make sense of Vedic ritualism we should not neglect its socio-historical context. Witzel (1997 indicates a close relationship between the two in the process of the formation of the earliest polities of northern India. One of the royal rites, the Rājasūya, or the rejuvenation of the ruler, had the kingly Yajamāna listen to a story of a legendary ruler Hariścandra and his son’s quest for the effective means to challenge the provisions of the gods (AiB VII.14–19).

7.  The Vedic Ritualist and the Ascetic Renouncer Contemporary scholarship offers several contradicting opinions concerning sources of Indian ascetic traditions. While some stress Vedic origins, others prefer to look outside or propose two independent sources (Bronkhorst 1993, 2000). Another voice (Olivelle 2003, 2006) postulates a common substratum for the new Indian religions in the shape of a ‘socio-cultural mix’ for which the ‘renouncer tradition’ as a

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Ritual, Ascetic, and Meditative Practice  47 cultural institution became an essential ingredient and gave rise in the middle of the first millennium bce to new forms of ‘elite asceticism’ with its life-long goals. Both BAU and ChU, the earliest Upaniṣads, know of and register an ap­pre­ci­ ation for new technologies of self-development and empowerment that held out for their practitioners a promise of emancipation and eventual breakaway from the cycle of rebirths understood as a basic oppression of man. But a question concerning continuity between the earlier Vedic and Upaniṣadic concepts remains open. Some studies draw a sharp division between the Vedic ritualist and the ascetic renouncer (Bronkhorst 1993, 2000); others highlight a socially essential, functional equivalence of the figure of the sacrificer and that of the renouncer in the Vedic context (Flood 2013). The two might share their community’s need to articulate its denial of human limitations expressed in a refusal of mortality and in a desire to control the flow of time. Both might share their basic concept of subjectivity that retained strong links to the community they derived from and whose tradition and collective subjectivity they recreated in practice. The Vedic asceticism is not always easy to conceptualize and remains contradictory, confirming the hypothesis that ‘Asceticism neither simply condemns culture nor simply endorses it . . . [and] . . . is always marked by ambivalence’ (Harpham 1987: xii). While Vedic sacrifice embraces the death of the victim and subjects it to the perfect organization of the ritual procedure, the ascetic renouncer interiorizes the sacrifice in a practice orientated on transcending death and its consequences (Heesterman  1993). Both engage in parallel scenarios of refusing the reality of death through enacting its ambiguity. The topos concerning the quest for a liberating knowledge expected to deliver its holder from the imminent death and the ‘prison’ of endless rebirths in life is usually believed to have been introduced in the early Upaniṣads (BAU 2.4 and 5.4). But a number of studies (Staal 1996; Minkowski 1991) take essential components of the Vedic ritualism as anticipating later developments in the concept of the renouncer. By the time of the early Upaniṣadic period, there seem to have eventually crystallized two paradigms for ascetic practice: a temporary one and a full-life one. Both addressed and were rooted in an economics of power constituting a ‘system for generating and harnessing the unseen power of heaven or of the soul’ (Lubin  2018). Both appear to have shared, though with different consequence, two concepts of ascetic regimen, vrata and dīkṣā, expected to be a means not only of purification and expiation but also for variously construed supernormal effects of self-restraint in the form of benefits and powers indicating a change in social status or transcendence of human limitations. In most of the performed Vedic rituals (Staal  1996; Minkowski 1991) the ­sacrificer solemnly declares abandoning his ownership of the substance of the offering while pronouncing the formula: ‘this is for Agni [or other God], not for me’ (idám agnaye, ná máma). The formula marks out any Vedic ritual as action ­centred on the wilful abandonment of substance representing the goods of life. Earlier scholars understood it in the sense in which one parts with a gift (Mauss 1923);

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

48  Cezary Galewicz others as renunciation including also the fruit (phala) of the sacrificial action. The latter understanding brings the act of tyāga in line with concepts accompanying practices of asceticism in a general sense. From such a perspective, the Śrauta ritual becomes an act of ascetic practice translated into a spectacle of sacrifice harnessing its potential energy. Several opinions hold that later Indian ascetic traditions contain ideas basically incompatible with the dominant tenets of Vedic ritualism (Olivelle 2003). On the other hand, the images contrasting the world of the Vedic householder (devoted to ritual and the village) and the society-renouncing ascetic of later Upaniṣads (MU) seem to recycle motifs visible in Brāhmaṇas and Āraṇyakas: in AiB 7.14 the young prince Rohita, bound to be sacrificed, is encouraged to continue in his resolve to quit society and roam in the wilderness where only a new solution to his life-and-death conundrum can be found (Keith 1920).

7.1.  Figures of Vedic Asceticism While Vedic references to devout ascetics may not be very frequent, both Buddhist and Jaina canons know of Brahmin ascetics (Bronkhorst 1998). Some Vedic instances indicate ambivalent attitude towards practices that could be seen as ‘misdirected’ or vain asceticism (Ait Br 7.13) of a wandering variety while contrasting them with those of Vedic ritualism. The existence of a group of Śramaṇas as different from the Ṛsị s is taken for granted in TĀ II.7 which ascribes to Śramaṇas the origin of an important expiatory rite declared to remove all impurity. Historical sources from outside (Herodotus, c. 420 bce) mention as­cetics in Panjab (Witzel  2011). A number of ascetic figures appearing in various Vedic texts show different traits entailing various concepts behind their textual construction: the enigmatic Vrātya, the wandering Śramaṇa, the consecrated (dīkṣita) Yajamāna, the Upaniṣadic wandering renouncer Parivrājaka, and the chastitypractising Vedic student Brahmacārin. Their pictures happen to overlap while sharing basic concepts of asceticism as the technology of self-development through self-limitation, either temporary or life-long.

7.2.  The Consecrated Ritualist (Dīkṣita) The ritual practice as featured in the Veda most often concerns the figure of the sacrificer. The concept of ascetic exertion (śrama) can be seen in the background of practices known as dīkṣā performed by and upon the person of the Yajamāna who becomes temporarily a (wandering) ascetic assuming the status of a consecrated (dīkṣita) sacrificer. This is visually confirmed by a wooden stick, a turban, a horn, and an antelope hide given to him for his (enacted) peregrination. However, his dīkṣā has a limited lasting and is said to be up to one year long. It may look

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Ritual, Ascetic, and Meditative Practice  49 like an attempt on the part of the holistic system of Śrauta ritualism to embrace, mobilize, and harness the powers of asceticism for its own goals while domesticating it within the ritual frame. The same suggests itself with the purificatory rite of kuśmaṇḍahoma featuring as independent ritual in TĀ II. The consecrated sacrificer symbolically enters a temporary form of an embryo and strives to get himself reborn through sacrifice. In this respect he resembles (Staal  1983; Bodewitz 2007) the later Vedic figure of the Brahmacārin, or the Vedic student. The concept of rebirth appears to refer not only to mythological and so­terio­logic­al imagery but also to the psychology of actually performed practices and the fear that sacrifice may fail to complete. In the ceremony of consecration (dīkṣā) for the Soma sacrifice, the Yajamāna is made to sit in a position of an embryo while clenching his fists and restraining breath, in order to be reborn through the ritual which is replete with heating/reheating and warming up symbolism. Some Vedic texts explicitly equate dīkṣā and tapas (ŚB 3.4.3.2). He is expected to practise restraint from company, food (fasting), speech (silence), and sexual intercourse (chastity or brahmacarya). He is also forbidden to cut his hair, beard, or nails. The sacrificer is declared to be producing the heat of tapas through the various austerities that he voluntarily undergoes. A climax is the upasad ceremony which entails intensified tapas (Klaeber 1976). It follows the pravargya rite (fiery image of a heated ‘great hero’, Vesci 1985; Houben 2000) and is designed to equip the consecrated sacrificer with a golden body in which he can only approach gods (Haug 1878). In consequence of dīkṣā the sacrificer enters the state of ascetic heat (tapas) and in that condition performs the sacrifice seen as transformative and leading to his spiritual rebirth. The embryonic state, ascetic practice, and the heat effected by the latter correlate with the actual performance of the sacrifice (Kaelber  1976). During his voluntary asceticism the consecrated sacrificer survives on vrata-milk, or milk of (ascetic) vow only (ŚB 9.5.1). The expression tapaso jātam (‘born from heat’) recurs in cosmogonic descriptions including the symbolism of the cosmic egg and the ‘creative warmth’ or the heat of hatching (Kaelber 1976). Also the Brahmacārin, or the student of the Veda, enters the path of brahmacarya (chastity) in order to prepare himself for contact with the textuality of the Veda. He also happens to be conceptually linked to the practices of ‘heating up’ that are pictured as austerities (ChU 4.10.2).

7.3.  Ritual Practices in Search of Transformation and Transcendence The Vedic sacrifice has been variously understood by scholars. One recent model constructs it as an act of communicating a desire of refusal of death and time through a renunciation of sacrificed goods of life by which a community ‘enacts the transcendence of its own mortality’ (Flood 2013). This perspective highlights

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

50  Cezary Galewicz a deep undercurrent link between sacrifice and asceticism, allowing for a better understanding of ascetic elements in Vedic sacrificial ritualism. The link surfaces in various formulations picturing sacrificial effort as the labour of constructing the sacrificer’s new subjectivity. The paradigmatic picture can be seen in images of the god Prajāpati toiling to re-construct his fragmented body (ŚB). TĀ II.2 wants us to believe that dīkṣā could be understood as a work on the self (Malamoud 1977). It seems that one of the core concepts behind practices engaging technologies of the self was that of vrata, or a regimen of self-discipline believed to be an instrument of empowerment and transcendence with respect to the limitations of the human body. Rather than dominating the Vedic ritual ideology one-dimensionally, it had been incorporated in the ritual system designed to mobilize any pos­sible technology of the body and mind (techniques du corps, Mauss  1936) into the project of transformation of the self of the householder sacrificer representing his community. The ascetic elements in the practices of the sacrificer connect to the idea of reaching for heaven (obtaining immortality) as one of the important purposes of sacrifice (Bodewitz 2007). We can see a paradigm for this in the image of the gods accessing heaven by force of concentrated effort (śrama), sacrifice (yajña), and tapas, or heat-generating austerity (ŚB 1.7.3.1–2). According to Bodewitz (2007), the use of the noun śrama (ascetic exertion) indicates precedence in time: the exerted effort precedes the actual performance of sacrifice (Bodewitz 2007). The contemporary revived practice proves that not only the dīkṣā period but also the whole duration of sacrifice constitutes a radical challenge to the consecrated sacrificer’s ability to bodily and mentally endure the liminal experience of prolonged exposure to several days and nights of continuous procedures requiring sleepless attention and alertness while depriving him of basic amenities. Śrama, dīkṣā, and vratacaryā seem to address a correlated set of ritualized ascetic practices preparing the sacrificer’s body for the performance of the sacrifice proper: ascetic exertion, ini­ ti­ ation/consecration, and devout observance (Bodewitz  2007). They happen to be meaningfully juxtaposed in JB 2.217, suggesting complementarity. We should also add the concept of ‘[powerful] resolution’ (kratu) that sometimes mirrors that of the ‘[sacred] vow’, or vrata. Especially remarkable is ChU 3.14 which makes of kratu a vehicle of empowerment which appears to hold a promise for a practitioner to transcend his human condition (‘man is undoubtedly made of resolve [kratu]. What a man becomes on departing from here after death is in accordance with his resolve’, Olivelle 1998). Kratu has a long history in the Veda with an evolving meaning comprising those of ‘divine resolution’, ‘powerful statement’, and ‘ritual act’, and always suggests pragmatic action. The brahmacarya, or chastity, as a specific form of asceticism may be an instrument or vehicle of rebirth or conquest over death as is the case of the gods in AV 11.5.19a. It happens to be understood as an equivalent to all forms of transformative action and the one that as a final resort leads to the possession of the world of Brahman and

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Ritual, Ascetic, and Meditative Practice  51 ultimate freedom in all the worlds (ChU 8.5.4). The prolonged version of the ‘life of the celibate student’ is often indicated as practice leading to the discovery of the never dying, inner self, or ātman (ChU 8.7.3). All these concepts appear in the Veda both in contexts suggesting actual practice as well as those displaying expertise in speculation on ritual knowledge. The symbolism of ­solemn vows in connection with the puzzle of the mahavrāta ritual is played upon in ŚB X.

7.4.  Textual Practices of Study and Memorization The perspective of this volume invites us to see the Veda not only as a corpus of texts, but rather as a repertoire of ritualized textual practices (of which it is a record). The grounds for such an understanding are many: not only practices of memory-based oral transmission but also an array of textual practices seeking power and transformation through engagement of the practitioner with the Vedic textuality. These textual practices should be seen as governed by orality understood as embodied skills developed to memorize, store, and experience phenomena of sound and rhythm with due expectations of their effects. These skills or techniques can be glimpsed through the rich vocabulary concerning genres of verbal expression focused on ‘doing things with words’ rather than only communicating meaning. One variety among them remains the study of the Veda conceptualized in the notion of svādhyāya (personal recitation). We should im­agine it as a regular and patterned oral-cum-memory practice in the form of an engagement with a textual heritage of the community to which one belonged. This practice must have become ritualized relatively early, though for natural ­reasons it is more visible textually in later Vedic texts where it meets the idea of apprenticeship accompanied by chastity, or brahmacarya. In TĀ II the formulation of svādhyāya or ‘personal recitation’ is presented as an independent form of sacrifice and an actual social practice requiring resolution, determination, and self-restraint of a vow (vrata). In the same text goes so far as to regard the practitioner of svādhyāha as a body divinized through the presence of the (verbal forms of) Vedic gods. Contrary to other ritual occasions where Vedic mantras are recited with some specific purpose, the practice of svādhyāya makes the Vedic text into a pure sacrifice of itself—an ideal parallel to the Ṛg vedic concept of ‘sacrifice offered by gods with sacrifice as substance’ (ṚS 10.90.16c). The later conceptual pairing of svādhyāya-pravacana indicates a duty for regular engaging with the Vedic text in a double way—through personal study and teaching (personal and ‘public’ recitation) which is recommended by TU 1.2 as a commitment making a true brahmin. TU 1.9 declares it as utmost liberating practice: ‘Nothing but the private and public recitation of the Veda . . . for that is austerity, that indeed is austerity’ (Olivelle 1998).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

52  Cezary Galewicz The relationship between the practice and the Vedic text in TĀ is not always easy to conceptualize. If we admit an understanding offered by the medieval commentator Sāyaṇa, the Vedic ritual practice (anuṣt ̣hana) might be expected to lead to a transformation of consciousness effecting an awakening towards a new knowledge concerning the essence of Brahman (brahmatattvavedane ‘bhirucir) in a sense probably not far removed from that believed to be produced by the practices of yoga or tantra (Kānvasaṃ hitābhāṣyabhūmikā, Baladeva 1958: 110).

8.  Beyond the Ritual Veda 8.1.  Brahmayajña and the Five Great Sacrifices Brahmayajña (sacrifice to Brahman) makes one of the five great sacrifices (pañcamahāyajña)—a concept representing perhaps a counter-current against the dominant ideology of the Śrauta sacrifice and its complex field ritualism. It focuses on a day-to-day routine practice of a lonely ritualist who could act on his own and for his own interest in close relationship to Vedic textuality. It markedly departs from solemn sacrifices and in this aspect resembles the renouncer’s critique of fire ritualism. While connecting to everyday life, it incorporates ideas considered often (Bronkhorst 1993) to have originated outside the Vedic religion, like the ascetic practices and doctrines of liberation from cycles of rebirth (TĀ II.14.1–3, Malamoud 1977). Some of them (the expiatory rite of kuśmaṇdạ homa) are explicitly acknowledged (TĀ II) to have been taken over from extraneous ascetic groups like Śramaṇas. Developing ideas of Brāhmaṇas (ŚB XI 5.6.3–9), the TĀ takes brahmayajña as centred upon personal recitation (svādhyāya) made into a standalone sacrificial ritual. The svādhyāya-brahmayajña, or ‘sacrifice by personal recitation’, focuses on a ritualized engagement with Vedic speech alone. Preliminary rites comprise purification of body and place, and pouring of water at the rising sun to the accompaniment of Gāyatri mantra (TĀ II.2)—a rite that survives in a simplified form in popular Hinduism. The TĀ combines brahmayajña with a purificationcum-expiation fire rite of kuśmaṇdạ homa. Its liturgy comprises a dīkṣā consecration. The whole features in TĀ II as a daily rite recommended to avert the ‘second death’ (punarmṛtyu). Though originating in the Yajurvedic circles, the svādhyāyabrahmayajña develops later into independent regional forms of liturgical practices focused on Ṛgvedic recitation. Some of them merge with traditions of magic-like practices (Ṛg vidhāna) and appear to surface much later in regional ritualized practices of Vedic recitation (vedapārāyaṇa in Maharashtra or trisandhā in Kerala). According to Malamoud (1977), the brahmayajña represents a concept of reconciliation between the mainstream Śrauta sacrificial ideology of gaining heaven and goods of life and the swelling ideas of renunciation and liberation originating in different forms within and outside the Vedic ritualism. The TĀ registers tensions

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Ritual, Ascetic, and Meditative Practice  53 within late Vedism in the process of transition into the Brahmanism and exemplifies the inner Vedic criticism of ­sedentary life and ritual action in the form of a violent śrauta sacrifice which it substitutes with the inner act of offering the essence of the Vedic speech (brahman) to the universal Brahman (Malamoud 1977).

8.2.  The Vidhāna Tradition Another important development of the early Vedic concepts relating to texts and practices is the vidhāna (prescription) tradition. Not counted as Veda proper, the  early vidhāna manuals date to 500–300 bce (Bhat  1987) and represent an application-centred continuation of the Veda, often peripheral to the attention of modern scholarship. They form a ‘natural’ extension to domestic (gṛhya) rituals with a specific focus on the independent use of the Vedic text (Patton 1997, 2004). The best known remains the Ṛgvidhāna. Apart from magic application, it attempts to regulate the practice of ‘study’ conceived of as a ceremonial ‘going over’ (pārāyaṇa) of the Rgvedasaṃhitā with introductory rites involving forms of austerity and asceticism. According to some (Patton et al. 2011: 314), it can be seen as an elab­or­ation of the theme of the ‘technology of the self of the household priest’ in which one can detect anticipations of later discussions on daily practices of yoga. Other practices, peripheral to mainstream Vedic ritualism, and concerned with magic, found its textual embodiment in Kauśikasūtra of the Atharvaveda and Pañcaviṃśa Brāhmaṇa (Bloomfield 1890,1908; Caland 1931).

9.  The Upaniṣads: Secret Teaching and Solitary Quest for Liberation The late phase of Vedism saw a radical change in the socio-political environment. The emergence of vibrant cities, the growth of long-distance trade and trading communities, competing kingdoms, new patterns of urban patronage, and new religious movements challenged the hitherto village-based Vedic ritual culture while creating a socio-cultural context that proved stimulating for the new cultural institution of the renouncer. To some extent, it must have shared common features with another type of asceticism represented by the culture of forest recluse an­chor­ ites (Olivelle 2003). While the latter eventually became extinct (with an afterlife career in epic literature), the former was later to evolve into practices and ideologies to be incorporated by religious traditions of Hinduism as well as Buddhism and Jainism. The early Upaniṣads (in contrast to later works adopting that appellation), composed towards the end of the Vedic period, emerge as a new textual expression of practices in search of a unifying principle of universe and spiritual

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

54  Cezary Galewicz lib­ er­ ation. This new expression crystallizes in a genre suggestive of secret ­teaching, meditation, and a selective transmission of knowledge deemed to be transformative in nature. The term upaniṣad itself refers to secret knowledge or doctrine (Olivelle 1998, 2011). Their prevailing convention of a dialogue between a teacher and a student features formulations of either descriptive or prescriptive nature. The former suggest physico-spiritual practices as part of a new environment of the more eastern provinces where ideas of the upaniṣadic thinkers may have met with the socio-cultural background that gave rise to Buddhism (ChU VI.14). The structure of the early Upaniṣads suggests a background of a conscious process of evolving new patterns of intellectual investigation in search of unifying principle(s) connecting human beings to the wider universe and society, as well as paradigms for acquiring new types of transformative knowledge through practices of spiritual inquiry and development. The latter appears to involve elements of asceticism and meditation, and—in a sense—yoga. Some of these elements seem to be translocated from their initial Vedic śrauta ritual context. Others may have been adopted from traditions developing ori­gin­al­ly outside the Vedic fold. The Upaniṣads appear to register a religious practice of inquiry into and search for a possibility of spiritual transformation through investigative dialogue. As secret texts, they were meant to be studied and meditated upon by selected students and were not always as perfectly transmitted as other Vedic texts (Witzel 2011). The addressee of the secret teaching is by principle either a young celibate student (brahmacārin) or a rival expert in ritual knowledge. Historically, the concept of brahmacārin relocates itself from a mature searcher for the enigmatic formulation of brahman (Olivelle  2007) to a student ready to leave his home and move on a journey and many-year sojourn by his master while being reduced to a servant and undergoing deprivations and austerities, including strict chastity by which he submitted himself to the path of trans­form­ation leading to new knowledge. The ambivalence of the teacher–student relationship is played upon in the important passages focusing on the tension involved in the danger of switching the roles between the teacher and the taught, especially in encounters of rival masters (BAU, ChU).

9.1.  From Collective to Individual In contrast to all other Vedic texts, the Upaniṣads had no application in the Śrauta ritual, and by the same token, no communal (collective) appeal. They aimed at the individual. In that sense they represent a departure from c­ ommunity-connected practice towards speculation and individual search for truth and development. One of important topoi recurring through out the Upaniṣads remains that of a practice of interiorizing the Vedic ritual with sacrificial fire into the body of

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Ritual, Ascetic, and Meditative Practice  55 the individual sacrificer who no longer needs the cooperation of the team of specialized officiants, or the context of his community social set-up. From now on, the ­solemn Vedic rituals can be performed mentally (Bodewitz 1973). The narratives of the earliest BAU, ChU, and ŚUB bring stories of individuals whose exceptional knowledge and access to newly discovered secrets of transformative action secure for them a new place in the community.

9.2.  New Developments in Belief and Practice The Upaniṣads record and comment on practices in a way that relocates the focus from the collective to individual subjectivity. The surfacing of the concepts of rebirth and retribution (karman) marks this relocation as leading to new developments in belief and practice that might have been triggered by competition with the ideas and practices of new rival religious traditions. But they can also be made sense of in relation to Vedic ritual and earlier speculations of the Brāhmaṇas. The new concept of karmic rebirth that emerges out of the older Vedic idea of ‘natural’ returning from the world of the manes (‘automatic’ rebirth, Witzel 2011) to live again, preferably in one’s own clan, gives rise to the search for emancipation from the endless cycle of determination by deeds. This probably marks the beginning of the concept of life renunciation that proved later to be so influential in shaping religious imagination and practice. Austerity (tapas), fasting (anāśaka), and world-renouncing wandering (pravraj-) appear, along with the study of the Veda, s­ ac­ri­ficing, and gift-giving, as effective ways in search for the immortal self in BAU 4.4.22. The Upaniṣads recommend a new way of access to the knowledge of the unifying principle (Brahman) of the universe: it is through austerity (tapas) that one is to desire knowledge of Brahman in TU 3.1–2. The Upaniṣads bring new language to name, refer to, and conceptualize practices that appears to gain momentum in their time and place. The later MU goes so far as to oppose the entire knowledge of the ritual Veda with the knowledge of the Brahman to be searched for in an entirely different way (MU 1.1.4–6, Olivelle 1998). It calls the former ‘lower’ and the latter ‘higher’ knowledge. In a parallel way, the Upaniṣads bring a new dimension to language in order to conceptualize the attitudes and practices of those in search for emancipating and liberating knowledge. References to ascetic practices in Upaniṣads make use of old Vedic concepts such as tapas or karman but relocate their relationship and reconfigure its implications. The new formulations concern among other things the figure of a wandering ascetic, exemplified for instance by BAU 4.4.22 where wandering ascetics (pravrājinah ̣) depart in search of the knowledge of  the  Self (ātman) that makes one a sage (muni, Olivelle 2007).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

56  Cezary Galewicz

9.3.  Meditation and Yoga as Technologies of the Self Contemporary studies tend either to see meditation practices as part of ­asceticism or to distinguish between the two. Bronkhorst (2014) proposes to differentiate between two types of meditational practices corresponding to two distinct concepts and results of such practices. References to meditation as a kind of practice embarked upon with a certain aim in mind appear to surface from different Vedic texts and concern different contextual backgrounds. A meditation accompanying Vedic study according to the concept of brahmayajña-svādhāya (mentioned above) should probably be differentiated from a meditation suggested by textual passages concerning asceticism as permanent world renouncement. The earliest references to the latter are usually believed to come from the Upaniṣads. One instance is BĀU(K) 4.4.23: ‘Therefore, knowing this, having become calm, subdued, quiet, patiently enduring, concentrated, one sees the soul in oneself ’ (Bronkhorst 2000). The passage appears to be put into the context of secret practices in search of lib­er­ ation of the self from the cycle of rebirth through suppression (or fulfilment) of all desires, and for its ultimate immortality. It is also hinted at in BAU 4.4.5–7. The same passage presupposes action (karman) as making human destiny in afterworlds and speaks of the wise men who renounce the world and set off to wander in search of liberation. The ChU 8.15 appears to echo a sort of meditation practice while referring to a man who ‘firmly focused his senses on the ātman’. The earliest reference to both meditation and yoga appears to be that of KU, especially Book 6, strongly suggesting a practical context. It mentions 101 channels (nāḍi) leading to the heart with one running up to the crown of the head, and promises that an adept by ‘going up by it . . . reaches the immortal’ (KU 6.18, Olivelle 1998). A reference to a practice of meditative concentration of mind appears in KU 6.10–11 which speaks of its effects when ‘the five perceptions are stilled/together with the mind/and not even the reason bestirs itself . . . when senses are firmly reined in/that is Yoga . . . / From distractions a man is then free’ (Olivelle 1998). The same Upaniṣad concludes with a specific indication of a ‘complete instruction of Yoga’ (yogaviddhim ca kṛtsnam) which, when applied, guarantees its results. Another Upaniṣadic passage speaking of yoga is ŚU 1.15 which refers to meditation practice (dhyāna) directly while using an image taken from the stock of Vedic Śrauta ritualism when it speaks of meditation as a ritual instrument for churning fire. Yoking (yuj), as one of the root ideas for the later concept of yoga, very much present already in the ṚS and throughout the Brāhmaṇas, re-emerges in ŚU 2.1–4 showing an important conceptual connection between the idea of ritual efficacy and the instrumental practice of ‘yoking [the mind]’ as a vehicle for reaching a goal. The classical locus, however, is ŚU 2.8–15 which offers a sketchy description of rules for positioning the body and focusing the mind (‘Compressing his breaths . . . curbing his movements, a man should exhale through one nostril when his breath is exhausted. A wise man should keep his mind vigilantly under control’, Olivelle 1998). It also lists the effects of a successful yoga practice leading to the final

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Ritual, Ascetic, and Meditative Practice  57 liberating experience of apprehension of a godhead which delivers one from all bonds of life (mucyate sarvapāśaiḥ). References to practices of yoga, restraint of breath (prāṇayama), withdrawal of senses (pratyahāra), meditation (dhyāna), concentration (dhāraṇa), contemplation (tarka), and absorption (samādhi) as effecting the ‘unity in the supreme Imperishable’ can be seen in the somewhat later MaiU 6.18 (Hume 1921: 435), and MaiU 6.20 speaks of ‘pressing the tip of the tongue against the palate and suppressing speech, mind and breath’ that makes one see ‘Brahman through insight’ (Bronkhorst 2000: 23). Other instances include ŚU2.8–15 speaking of a practitioner whose ‘body tempered by the fire of yoga, will no longer experience sickness, old age, or suffering’ (Olivelle 1998: 419). The new Upaniṣadic turn towards inwardly directed bodily practices as technologies of the self as well as renunciation paves the way for an array of later post-Vedic works that adopt the textual convention of the Upaniṣad, while centring on the professional practice of asceticism and world renunciation (samnyāsa) that proves to profoundly inspire later religious traditions of India.

10.  The Afterlife of Vedic Ritual Practice In the last centuries bce the Vedic ritualism gradually recedes to the margins of religious practices preferred by new religions while different regional Brahmin communities retain varying degree of engagement with Vedic textuality. At the same time the Veda crystallizes as a point of reference and a complete system of knowledge soon to evolve an important theoretical reflection in the form of the Mīmāṃ sā school of Vedic exegesis. Vedic ritualism apparently receded from the focus of Indian rulers but regional Brahmin groups kept reinventing their heri­tage in several different ways, one of which proved to be the vidhāna tradition of prac­ tical use. In its relation to political power, the Vedic ritualism appears to have gone through several stages of oblivion and revival, uneven regionally and fragmentary in nature, with a notable instance of a grand revival in the imperial project of the fourteenth-century ad Vijayanagara rulers (Galewicz 2010). While the simplest form of the Śrauta ritual called Agnihotra is believed to still be performed by a number of Brahmins across India, the recent revival of Vedic ritu­al­ism includes important regional traditions with a varying degree of continuation and reconstruction ( Maharashtra, Andhra, Kerala, Nepal), and hints at the distinct his­tor­ ic­al development of regional traditions that remain to be studied systematically.

Abbreviations AiB = Aitareya Brāhmaṇa BU = Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad ChU = Chandogya Upaniṣad KU = Kāt ̣ha Upaniṣad

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

58  Cezary Galewicz MaiU = Maitrāyaṇīya Upaṇiṣad MU = Mūṇdaka Upaniṣad RS = Ṛgvedasaṃ hitā ŚB = Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa ŚS = Śrauta Sūtra ŚU = Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad TĀ = Taittirīya Āraṇyaka TS = Taittrīyasaṃ hitā TU = Taittirīya Upaniṣad VBhBhS = Vedabhāṣyabhūmikāsaṃ graha YV = Yajurveda

References Baladeva Upadhyaya, ed. 1958. Vedabhāṣyabhūmikāsaṃ grahaḥ. Varanasi: Chawkhamba. Bhat, M.S. 1987. Vedic Tantrism: A Study of Ṛgvidhāna of Śaunaka with Text and Translation. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas. Bloomfield, M. 1890. ‘The Kāuçika-Sūtra of the Atharva-Veda’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 14, i–424. Bloomfield, Maurice. 1908. The Religion of the Veda: The Ancient Religion of India. New York: Putnam and Sons. Bodewitz, H.W. 1973. Jaiminīya Brāhmaṇa I, 1–65. Translation and Commentary. Leiden: Brill. Bodewitz, H.W. 2007. ‘The Special Meanings of Śrama and Other Derivations of the Root Śram in the Veda’, Indo-Iranian Journal, 50, 145–60. Bronkhorst, J. 1993. The Two Traditions of Meditation in Ancient India. Second edition. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Bronkhorst, J. 1998. The Two Sources of Indian Asceticism. 2nd edition. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Bronkhorst, J. 2000 (1986). The Two Traditions of Meditation in Ancient India. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas. Bronkhorst, J. 2007. Greater Magadha: Studies in the Culture of Early India. Leiden; Boston, MA: Brill. Bronkhorst, J. 2014. ‘Can There Be a Cultural History of Meditation? With Special Reference to India’, in H.  Eifring (ed.), Hindu, Buddhist and Daoist Meditation: Cultural Historie. Oslo: Hermes, pp. 27–40.

Caland, W. 1906. L’Agniṣt ̣oma, 2 vols. Paris: E. Leroux.

Caland, W. 1931. The Pañcaviṃ śa-Brahmaṇa: The Brahmaṇa of Twenty Five Chapters. Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press. Certeau, de, M. 1987. La faiblaisse de croire. Paris: Editions du Seuil.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Ritual, Ascetic, and Meditative Practice  59 Falk, H. 1997. ‘The Purpose of Ṛgvedic Ritual’, in M.  Witzel (ed.), Inside the Texts, Beyond the Text. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 69–88. Flood, G. 2013. ‘Sacrifice as Refusal’, in Meszaros and J. Zachuber (eds.), Sacrifice and the Modern Thought. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 115–31. Galewicz, C. 2010. A Commentator in Service of the Empire: Sāyaṇa and the Royal Project of Commenting on the Whole of the Veda. Wien: Sammlung de Nobili. Galewicz, C. 2016. ‘Anxiety and Innovation: On Denial of Sacrifice in Vedic Ritual’, in U. Simon and U. Huesken (eds.), The Ambivalence of Denial: Danger and Appeal of Rituals. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Harpham, G.G. 1987. The Ascetic Imperative in Culture and Criticism. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press. Haug, M. 1878. Essays on the Sacred Language, and Religion of the Parsis. London: Trübner and Co. Heesterman, J.C. 1962. ‘Vrātya and Sacrifice’, Indo-Iranian Journal, 6(1), 1–37. Heesterman, J.C. 1993. The Broken World of Sacrifice: An Essay in Ancient Indian Ritual. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press. Heesterman, J.C. 1995. ‘Warrior, Peasant and Brahmin’, Modern Asian Studies, 29(3), 637–54. Hillebrandt, A. 1899. Vedische Mythologie, II. Breslau: W. Koebner. Houben, J. 2000. ‘The Ritual Pragmatics of a Vedic Hymn: The “Riddle Hymn” and the Pravargya Ritual’, JAOS, 120(4), 499–536. Hubert, H. and M.  Mauss. 1887–98. ‘Essai sur la nature et la fonction du sacrifice’, L’Année sociologique. [Transl. by W.D.  Hall: Sacrifice: Its Nature and Function (Chicago, 1964)]. Hume, R.E. 1921. The Thirteen Principal Upaniṣads. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jamison, S. and J. Brereton, tr. 2014. The Rigveda: The Earliest Religious Poetry of India. New York: Oxford University Press. Kaelber, W.O. 1976. ‘ “Tapas”, Birth, and Spiritual Rebirth in the Veda’, History of Religions, 15(4), 343–86. Kaelber, W.O. 1989. Tapta Mārga: Asceticism and Initiation in Vedic India. Albany, NY: SUNY. Keith, A.B. 1920. Rigweda Brahmanas. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Kuiper, F.B.J. 1960. ‘The Ancient Aryan Verbal Contest’, Indo-Iranian Journal, 4(4), 217–81. Lubin, T. 2001. ‘Vratá Divine and Human in the Early Veda’, JAOS, 121(4), 565–79. Lubin, T. 2016. ‘Custom in the Vedic Ritual Codes as an Emergent Legal Principle’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 136(4), 669–87. Lubin, T. 2018. ‘The Householder Ascetic and the Uses of Self-Discipline’, in P. Flügel and G. Houtman (eds.), Asceticism and Power in South and Southeast Asia. London: Routledge.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

60  Cezary Galewicz Malamoud, C. 1977. Le Svādhyāya. Récitation Personelle du Veda. Taittirīya-Āraṇyaka Livre II. Paris: Inst. De Civilisation Indienne. Mauss, M. 1923. ‘Essai sur le don, forme et raison de l’échange dans les sociétés archaïque’, L’année sociologique, N.S. 1, 30–186. Mauss, M. 1936. ‘Les techniques du corps’, Journal de Psychologie, XXXII(3–4). Minkowski, C. 1991. Priesthood in Ancient India. Vienna: De Nobili. Olivelle, P. 1993. The Aśrama System. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Olivelle, P. 1998. The Early Upaniṣads. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Olivelle, P. 2003. ‘The Renouncer Tradition’, in G. Flood (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 271–87. Olivelle, P. 2006. ‘The Ascetic and the Domestic in Brahmanical Religiosity’, in O.  Freiberger (ed.), Critics of Asceticism: Historical Accounts and Comparative Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 25–42. Olivelle, P. 2007. ‘On the Road: The Religious Significance of Walking’, Theatrum Mirabiliorum Indiae Orientalis: A Volume to Celebrate . . . Maria Krzysztof Byrski. Rocznik Orientalistyczny, 50, 173–87. Olivelle, P. 2011. Ascetics and Brahmins: Studies in Ideologies and Institutions. London; New York; Delhi: Anthem Press. Parpola, A. 2015. The Roots of Hinduism: The Early Aryans and the Indus Civilization. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Patton, L. 1997. ‘Making the Canon Commonplace: Ṛgvidhāna as Commentarial Practice’, The Journal of Religion, 77(1), 1–19. Patton, L. 2004. ‘Veda and Upaniṣad’, in S. Mittal and G.S. Thursby (eds.), The Hindu World. London: Routledge. Patton, L., S.R. Sarbaker et al. 2011. ‘Contextualizing the History of Yoga in Geoffrey Samuel’s The Origins of Yoga and Tantra: A Review Symposium’, International Journal of Hindu Studies, 15(3), 303–57. Proferes, T.N. 2003. ‘Remarks on the Transition from Ṛvedic Composition to Śrauta Compilation’, Indo-Iranian Journal, 46, 1–21. Proferes, T.N. 2007. Vedic Ideals of Sovereignty and the Poetics of Powers. New Haven, CT: American Oriental Society. Samuel, G. 2011. ‘The Writing of the Origins of Yoga and Tantra’, International Journal of Hindu Studies, 15(3), 305–12. Sarma, S.E.R. 1983. ‘The Atirātra According to the Kauṣītaki Brāhmaṇa’, in F.  Staal (ed.), Agni: The Vedic Ritual of the Fire Altar, Vol. II. Berkeley, CA: Asian Humanities Press, pp. 161–7. Staal, F., ed. 1983. Agni: The Vedic Ritual of the Fire Altar. Berkeley, CA: Asian Humanities Press. Staal, F. 1996. Ritual Mantras: Rules without Meaning. Delhi: Motilal. Staal, F. 2008. Discovering the Vedas. London: Penguin Books.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Ritual, Ascetic, and Meditative Practice  61 Staal, F. and T.P.  Mahadevan. 2003. ‘The Turning Point in a Living Tradition: Somayāga 2003’, Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies, 10(1), 1–29. doi:10.11588/ ejvs.2003.1.743. Vesci, U. 1985. Heat and Sacrifice in the Veda. Delhi: Motilal. Witzel, M. 1997. ‘The Development of the Vedic Canon and Its Schools: The Social and Political Milieu’, in M.  Witzel (ed.), Inside the Texts, Beyond the Texts: New Approaches to the Study of the Vedas. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 257–345. Witzel, M. 2003. ‘Veda and Upanishads’, in G. Flood (ed.), A Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. London: Blackwell. Witzel, M. 2011. ‘Gandhāra and the Formation of the Vedic and Zoroastrian Canons’, in Proceedings of the International Symposium: The Book. Romania. Europa. Etudes euro- et afro-asiatiques. Bucharest: Biblioteca Bucurestilor, pp. 490–532.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

2

Historical Context of Early Asceticism Johannes Bronkhorst

Ascetics have impressed foreign visitors to India from an early time onward. The Greek Megasthenes, who spent time in eastern India around the year 300 bce, described ascetics that remained motionless for a whole day in one single pos­ ition. More than a thousand years later, Arab travellers marvelled at men in India who remained motionless for years on end (Mackintosh-Smith 2014: 57). After almost another millennium, in the seventeenth century CE, the Frenchman François Bernier saw ascetics who remained standing seven days and nights, without sitting or lying down, leaning against ropes while asleep. Today Indian ascetics still impress foreigners, but the latter no longer have to leave their arm­ chairs and can observe the sādhus, yogis, or fakirs on their television or computer screens. This chapter will briefly present what we know about asceticism in early India. It will present the evidence schematically, because this is the only way in which an understanding of complicated historical processes can be conveyed. Hindu asceticism has two main sources. These two sources are connected with the two cultures that existed side by side in northern India during the early period: (1) the culture of Greater Magadha (see Bronkhorst 2007) and (2) Brahmanical culture. Most of the ascetic practices and ideas we find described in surviving Hindu literature draw upon both of these sources, presenting a mixture of their features. It is clear, however, that the two types of asceticism once existed ­independently of each other, and that the two have to some extent succeeded in surviving on their own. For expository purposes, it will be useful to present Hindu asceticism in its main developments in three sections: 1. Asceticism in Greater Magadha; 2. Brahmanical Asceticism; and 3. The Meeting of the Two Traditions. After a section on the special powers attributed to ascetics in India (4), this chapter will conclude with section 5: Asceticism and Human Nature.

1.  Asceticism in Greater Magadha Greater Magadha is the name here used to designate a region in the eastern parts of the Ganges valley that included, at the time when Buddhism and Jainism came Johannes Bronkhorst, Historical Context of Early Asceticism In: Hindu Practice. Edited by: Gavin Flood, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198733508.003.0003

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Historical Context of Early Asceticism  63 into being, the kingdom called Magadha. A precise geographical delimitation of this region is hard to give, but it coincides by and large with the region where both the Buddha (the founder of Buddhism) and the Jina (the most recent sacred teacher of Jainism) preached. Indeed, the ideological background of asceticism in Greater Magadha is primarily known from the surviving texts of Buddhism and Jainism, even though there are also other sources. The main feature of this ideological background is the belief in rebirth and kar­ mic retribution. This belief, as we will see, was initially not part of Brahmanical culture, and is all by itself responsible for a number of characteristics of asceti­ cism in this part of the sub-continent. The belief in rebirth and karmic retribution in its most common form holds that all deeds one performs will have consequences in this or a next existence. Those who held this belief were convinced that by simply acting in this world, rebirth in this or another world, whether as human beings or as something else, was unavoidable. This prospect may not have seemed disagreeable to all, whether in ancient India or in the modern world—some people nowadays lay out large sums of money in the hope of a next life through cryonics—but those who turned to asceticism or related methods did so in principle to avoid such a fate. In other words, all forms of asceticism we know about that originated in Greater Magadha were based on the wish to escape from the cycle of rebirth and karmic retribution. Those who sought an escape from the cycle of rebirth and karmic retribution came up with four responses in particular: (i) inactivity asceticism; (ii) fatalism; (iii) insight into the true nature of the self; and (iv) a modified understanding of karmic retribution. These will now be discussed in order.

1.1.  Inactivity Asceticism If rebirth is the result of deeds carried out in earlier existences, the way to end rebirth passes through the suppression of all deeds. Suppressing all activity was the way in which numerous seekers after freedom from rebirth attempted to attain their goal. Best known among them are the Jainas, but they were not the only ones: this method also gained prominence in Hindu texts, showing that ­others than only Jainas followed this path. Since Jainism has left us a canon of scriptures that allow us to gain a deeper understanding of this particular path, we will concentrate on this movement. Non-activity to avoid the results of activity seems straightforward. Deeper reflection shows that it is not. One can—and certain Jaina ascetics did—stop all activity and remain motionless (standing, sitting, or lying), trying to suppress all thought and even holding one’s breath until death ensues, but this does not

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

64  Johannes Bronkhorst guarantee that one will not be reborn: earlier activities will have left their traces and these will lead to retribution in a next life. Even the most severe form of inactivity asceticism is pointless if there is no way to get rid of the traces of earlier deeds. Jainism had an answer to this dilemma. Inactivity asceticism is a painful affair. Fighting exhaustion while standing in the blazing sun, hungry and thirsty, with­ out being able to scratch when bitten by insects, or to ward off offensive creatures, is an excruciating experience. It is useful, however, according to the Jaina scrip­ tures. The very suffering one goes through as a result of suppressing all activity destroys the traces of earlier deeds. If one inflicts upon oneself this kind of suffer­ ing for long enough, and at the right time (i.e. after the right preliminary exer­ cises), one may reach the point where all earlier traces are destroyed. Death at that moment, in a motionless position, the mind brought to a complete standstill and breath interrupted, frees the person from rebirth.

1.2. Fatalism Total immobilization, as shown above, is by itself not good enough to guarantee freedom from rebirth. Jainism presented an additional mechanism in the form of the suffering that necessarily accompanies seriously performed inactivity asceti­ cism: this suffering would destroy the traces of all those deeds that had been accomplished before the ascetic abstained from further activity. Not all were convinced. The adherents of one movement in particular, the Ājīvikas, did not think that traces of earlier deeds could be gotten rid of in this manner, or indeed in any other manner. Future rebirths were therefore inevitable, whatever one did (or abstained from doing) in the present life. However, the Ājīvikas did not give up hope altogether. All living beings, they maintained, have to pass through a long, but finite, cycle of rebirths. The duration of the total cycle is more than astronomical—about two and a half million times the duration of the universe as calculated in modern cosmology—but will come to an end, at a different moment for each living being. How will those behave who have come to the end of their cycle? Ājīvikism appears to have held that those individuals will live ascetic lives, not unlike Jaina ascetics. But whereas Jaina ascetics practised asceticism in order to gain lib­er­ ation, Ājīvika ascetics did so because they were near liberation. Unfortunately, Ājīvikism has not survived until today; nor has it left us any scriptures. All the information we can obtain about it has to be culled from refer­ ences to it in other texts. Since Ājīvikism was close to Jainism, the Jaina canon is an important source of information. Some of this information is confirmed in references to this movement in the early Buddhist canon. Epigraphy tells us that

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Historical Context of Early Asceticism  65 Ājīvikism survived into the second millennium of the Common Era in South India, after which it disappeared altogether.

1.3.  Insight into the True Nature of the Self Inactivity asceticism might be described as the manifestation of an unwillingness to identify with body and mind. Ascetics systematically ignore pain and other bodily or mental signals. The question could and did arise what remains if one does not identify with body and mind. Is there anything that can be considered one’s self, different from those two? Certain seekers thought there is. They believed that each person has a core, her self, which is different from both body and mind, and therefore unrelated to all bodily and mental activity. In fact, the real self is intrinsically inactive. The belief in a totally inactive self could go hand in hand with the inactivity asceticism and fatalism described above, and there are indications in the texts that it did. However, certain seekers put relatively more emphasis on the nature of the self at the expense of ascetic fervour. After all, if the core of one’s being never acts, it is not subject to karmic retribution. In order to escape from the cycle of rebirths, it is sufficient to identify with this core of one’s being, one’s true self, and no longer therefore with one’s body and mind. Insight into the true nature of the self becomes in this way a sine qua non for liberation from karmic retribution. It is responsible for some of the philosophical developments that came to accompany—or replace—ascetic religious practice. All the schools of classical Brahmanical philosophy have one thing in common: they all propose a vision of the world in which one or more inactive selves occupy a central position. This is true of Sāṃ khya, the philosophy with close links to Yoga, but also of the school of Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika, and of course of Vedānta in its various manifestations. For our present purposes, the Sāṃ khya school of philosophy is of most inter­ est. As stated above, one of its central elements is a completely inactive self. Nothing much can be said about it apart from the fact that it is conscious: this consciousness is, of course, totally motionless, a bit like the flame of a candle where there is no wind. All that is active belongs to the realm of Original Nature (prakṛti), fundamentally different from the self. Its activity covers mental activity as much as physical activity. This activity is due to the fact that it has three differ­ ently orientated constituents (called guṇas): Goodness (sattva), Vigour (rajas), and Darkness (tamas). Mental activity is the result of the interaction of Original Nature (which is active but not conscious) and the self (which is conscious but  not active). A predominance of sattva allows the self to ‘shine through’, thus facilitating the identification with this inactive centre of the personality.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

66  Johannes Bronkhorst Ascetic practice should therefore aim at bringing about a predominance of sattva. We will see below that another interpretation of this same scheme of mental ­functioning is possible, too.

1.4.  A Modified Understanding of Karmic Retribution Buddhism falls into a category of its own because it rejects the belief that all activ­ ity leads to karmic retribution and, by implication, that only through inactivity can one be freed from rebirth. It is, moreover, emphatic in its rejection of the belief that insight into the true nature of the self is a condition for liberation. If deeds do not lead to rebirth and karmic retribution, what does? The Buddhist answer is: the desires and intentions that inspire us to act. Deeds that may have been inadvertently carried out are not by themselves causes of rebirth and karmic retribution. As a result, rather than suppressing deeds and destroying the traces of deeds, the Buddhist path aimed at the destruction of the roots of desire. This can neither be done through inactivity asceticism nor through an insight into the true nature of the self. The Buddhist method was—and could not but be—a psy­ chological method that aimed at a radical and lasting modification of the struc­ ture of the mind. This change could only be produced in a state of mind different from ordinary consciousness. Certain forms of meditation were thought to prod­ uce that particular state of mind. The Buddhist path was clearly less straightforward and more complicated than the other paths considered so far. It involved a different notion of the mechanism of karmic retribution, and psychological practices that were far removed from everyday experience. It could therefore easily give rise to misunderstandings. This is what happened. The result is that already the early Buddhist canon contains numerous contradictory indications as to the right path to follow. Analysis shows that features from the inactivity ideology slipped in, without replacing the authentic bits. Fortunately, it is possible for modern research to separate the wheat from the chaff, since the inactivity ideology is easily recognizable in the added ascetic and mental practices. In chronological terms, we know that the different forms of asceticism that were a response to the belief in rebirth and karmic retribution, and that have been described in outline above, existed at the time of the Buddha and the Jina, the founders of Buddhism and Jainism respectively. Recent research puts the death of the Buddha in or soon after the year 400 bce; Mahāvīra (the most recent Jina) appears to have been a contemporary of the Buddha who died some years before him. It is possible that before Mahāvīra there had been an earlier preacher of (a  variant of) Jainism, Pārśva. If so, asceticism inspired by rebirth and karmic retribution existed already before the fifth century bce. Unfortunately, no more precise date can be given.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Historical Context of Early Asceticism  67

2.  Brahmanical Asceticism The centre of Brahmanical culture lay west of Greater Magadha. Brahmins were primarily sacrificial priests, specialized in the sacrificial culture that finds expres­ sion in the corpus of texts called the Veda. This sacrificial culture implied various restrictions that, in the end, led certain Brahmins to the cultivation of an ascetic lifestyle. Restrictions demanded of the Vedic sacrificer included fasting, sexual abstinence, limitations of speech, restricted movements, and more. Sacrificial consecration (dīkṣā) frequently imposed these restrictions on the sacrificer. Certain Brahmins extended these sacrificial restrictions beyond the sacrifice itself and beyond the time span reserved for its regular execution. In other words, certain Brahmins decided to live a consecrated life for the remainder of their days. They often used the same word, dīkṣā, ‘consecration’, in this context. Another principal feature of Brahmanical asceticism was the central place that the sacrifi­ cial fire plays in it. This is not surprising. Fire played a fundamental role in Vedic culture in general. A Brahmin kindled his own sacrificial fire after finishing his religious studies. He maintained it until his death, upon which his bodily remains were to be burned in this fire. Brahmanical ascetics went further. They would abandon almost all they pos­ sessed, except of course the sacrificial fire, and withdraw to the forest, separating all links with ordinary society. In the forest, they would make regular ritual ­offerings to the fire, and survive by what the forest would provide, primarily roots and fruits. Beside the sacrificial fire, a further concern of the Brahmanical ascetic was purity. This explains his refusal to enter into any form of contact with society. In practice, this meant that the Brahmanical ascetic would not accept anything, including food and, more precisely, agricultural products. The question can be asked whether human beings can find enough fruits and roots in the forest to survive while at the same time dedicating much time to looking after the sacrifi­ cial fire. The answer to this question is only to a limited extent relevant at present. The consecrated life of the Brahmanical ascetic was and remained an ideal that certain people no doubt tried to approximate, and that exerted a determining influence on much of subsequent Brahmanical literature. Close study of the Vedic sacrifice has shown that its victim is a substitute for the sacrificer. This allowed Sylvain Lévi to state, already in 1898 (p. 133), that ‘the only authentic sacrifice would be suicide’ (‘Le seul sacrifice authentique serait le suicide’). Heesterman (1993: 173, with a reference to Heesterman 1987) observed: ‘self-sacrifice is an all-but-ubiquitous theme in the ritual brāhmaṇa texts, the vic­ tim as well as other offerings being regularly equated with the sacrificer’. Biardeau (Biardeau and Malamoud 1976: 38) added that ‘the cremation [of the body of the deceased sacrificer] is itself conceived of as a sacrifice in which the sacrificer has become the victim’. In other words, the sacrificer is or can be the victim in his

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

68  Johannes Bronkhorst own sacrifice, with the proviso that most often he is replaced by a substitute; he is himself sacrificed in his fire after his physical death. There are reasons to think that certain Brahmanical ascetics were not willing to wait that long. They ended their lives by voluntarily entering into the fire. Dating Vedic religion is a perilous undertaking; dating the beginnings of Brahmanical asceticism even more so. However, we have good reasons to believe that Alexander of Macedonia (‘Alexander the Great’) met Brahmanical ascetics in  Taxila in 325 bce, i.e. only fifty or seventy-five years after the death of the Buddha, well before Buddhism and Jainism had penetrated into those far western regions. One of these Brahmanical ascetics (Calanus/Greek: Kalanos) ac­com­pan­ied Alexander to Persia, where he ended his life by voluntarily entering the fire. We may conclude that Brahmanical asceticism existed at that time. It must therefore date back at least that far. It can therefore be claimed with confidence that Brahmanical asceticism and the different forms of asceticism characteristic of Greater Magadha coexisted—though in different parts of the Indian sub-continent—in and ­presumably already before the year 400 bce.

3.  The Meeting of the Two Traditions Alexander’s conquests in the north-western parts of the Indian sub-continent profoundly affected the political situation. The strongly brahmanized regions that he had conquered did not remain in Greek hands for long and soon became part of the Maurya Empire. The capital of this empire was Pāt ̣aliputra, the capital of Magadha and therefore right at the centre of Greater Magadha. The brahmanized regions of north-western India were now governed by rulers who had no sym­pathy for Brahmins or their sacrificial culture, and whose natural sympathies lay with the religions of Greater Magadha, primarily Jainism, Ājīvikism, and Buddhism. Brahmanism survived this difficult period, but not without undergoing pro­ found changes. These changes came both from within and from without.

3.1.  Changes from Within The Maurya Empire deprived the Brahmins of their natural sponsors, rulers who financed the sacrifices that Brahmins carried out for them. Brahmanism, as a result, turned inward, with an increased emphasis on household rites and private piety. Brahmanical asceticism had existed before the Maurya Empire (think of the ascetics Alexander met), but could not but gain in appeal during this period, pre­ cisely because the element of private religious motivation plays an important role in it. It is, however, possible that it downplayed some of its more extreme aspects, most notably the custom of ending one’s life by entering voluntarily into the fire.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Historical Context of Early Asceticism  69 Traces of the earlier situation survive, as in the following passages: After having addressed his relatives, he makes the fires rise up in himself. ‘For the fire is a comrade, an observer of joy and pain’, thus it is said. With the verse: ‘This is thy due place of birth, etc.’ he shall set fire to himself in the three sacrificial fires.  (Mānava Śrautasūtra 8.25)

And: Having made the sacrificial priests place all the sacrificial utensils on the limbs of the sacrificer (i.e., of his own), he should place (his five breaths, viz.) prāṇa, apāna, vyāna, udāna and samāna, that are in (the five sacrificial fires, viz.) āhavanīya, gārhapatya, anvāhāryapacana, sabhya and āvasathya, all [five of them], in all [of the five sacrificial fires].  (Kaṭhaśruti, ed. Schrader (1912: 31l.7–32l.3))

Both these passages suggest at first that the person concerned ends his life in his fire(s), but both then continue as if he is still alive and ready to proceed to a next phase of ascetic life. This makes most sense if we assume that the editors used earlier passages (in which the person really dies) but give them a ‘symbolic’ ­interpretation, so that he now stays alive. One law book—the Vasiṣt ̣ha Dharmasūtra (29.4)—states in so many words that one reaches the world of Brahma by entering the fire. There is even a ­sacrifice—the so-called Śunaskarṇa (= ‘dog-eared’) sacrifice—in which the sacrificer dies and his body is burnt in the fire; according to at least one source, the sacrificer brings this about by entering the fire.1

3.2.  Changes from Without Brahmanism could not avoid coming into contact with the altogether different ideology of Greater Magadha. If it had tried to stay aloof from outside influence in earlier days, which seems likely, this was no longer possible once its adherents had become part of the Maurya Empire, whose rulers felt close to that ideology. We can only guess what this interaction may have looked like on the ground, but its effects on Brahmanical asceticism are more than clear. The belief in rebirth and karmic retribution was unknown to the Vedic trad­ ition. No Vedic texts are acquainted with it, with the exception of some passages in Upaniṣads. These passages are associated with the names of Uddālaka and Yājñavalkya, and occur in the Bṛhadāraṇyaka, Chāndogya, and Kauṣītaki Upaniṣads. The Bṛhadāraṇyaka and the Chāndogya Upaniṣads point out that this knowledge 1  For details, see Bronkhorst 2016: 417–22 (Appendix II).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

70  Johannes Bronkhorst had thus far been unknown to Brahmins. As the Chāndogya Upaniṣad (5.3.7) puts it: ‘before you this knowledge has never reached Brahmins. In all the worlds, therefore, government belonged exclusively to royalty’ (tr. Olivelle 1992). The importance of this admission is not always fully appreciated by modern scholars. Brahmins, normally the guardians of important and esoteric knowledge, are here stated not to have known a crucially important fact. These are probably the only Vedic passages that make such an admission. They state in so many words that rebirth and karmic retribution were borrowed notions in the Brahmanical ­tradition. The texts do not say from whom they borrowed this notion, but it will be clear that they borrowed it from the culture of Greater Magadha. Not all Brahmins accepted rebirth and karmic retribution at the time of those Upaniṣads. It took another thousand years before this belief became part and par­ cel of Brahmanism in most of its forms. The most orthodox Brahmins—the Mīmāṃ sakas, who occupied themselves with Vedic interpretation—did not do so until the middle of the first millennium ce. The Cārvākas, who were at one point close to the Mīmāṃ sakas, refused to accept rebirth and karmic retribution until the end of the first millennium, after which they disappeared from sight. But clearly this belief gained enormously in importance in Brahmanism already dur­ ing the centuries preceding the Common Era, and affected the way people thought about asceticism. This is clear from the fact that certain Brahmanical texts—primarily the Dharmasūtras, which may date from the last centuries preceding the Common Era—present young Brahmins and others who are twice-born with four options as to how they wish to spend their lives. In the theoretical scheme presented by these texts, a young man first spends time with a teacher. At the end of this period, he can (i) decide to remain a religious student for the rest of his life; (ii) marry and create a family; (iii) become a Brahmanical ascetic (vānaprastha, ‘forestdweller’) and withdraw to the forest with his wife and fire; or, finally, he can (iv) become a renouncer who abandons all including his wife and fire, and survives furthermore by begging. The terms used for the renouncer are primarily parivrāj or parivrājaka, which means ‘wandering mendicant’; later on another term came to be used, saṃ nyāsin, which literally means ‘renouncer’. A look at the way of life of the forest-dweller shows that it corresponds to the lifestyle of the Brahmanical ascetic described above. It is not surprising that this is one of the options open to the religious Brahmin (and, at least in theory, to other twice-born men, i.e. Kṣatriyas and Vaiśyas). More surprising is the fourth option, that of the renouncer, for it has no inherent connection with Brahmanical trad­ ition. It has all the more connection with the ascetic lifestyles that had been com­ mon in Greater Magadha. The Dharmasūtras, then, reserve a place for a form of asceticism that has no inherent link with the Brahmanical tradition: they allow a young (male) Brahmin to enter a life of religious mendicancy in which all connections with Vedic ritual

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Historical Context of Early Asceticism  71 have been broken. Many experienced this as embarrassing, and it is easy to understand why. The importance of progeny in the Brahmanical tradition can hardly be over­ esti­mated. A person’s wellbeing after death depends on ritual performances car­ ried out by his son. Indeed, the texts sometimes speak of the three debts with which a Brahmin is born. It finds its classical expression in a Vedic text, the Taittirīya Saṃ hitā (6.3.10.5): A Brahmin, at his very birth, is born with a triple debt—of studentship to the seers, of sacrifice to the gods, of offspring to the fathers. He is, indeed, free from debt, who has a son, is a sacrificer, and who has lived as a student.  (tr. Olivelle 1992: 47)

The idea of voluntarily renouncing parenthood is, as a result, almost un­imagin­ able in traditional Brahmanism. And yet, those who opt for a life of religious mendicancy do precisely that. In view of the above it is perhaps not surprising that Brahmanical texts looked for ways of taming an intruder that could no longer be expelled. External forms of asceticism had entered Brahmanism from Greater Magadha and were there to stay. Strict sexual abstinence was part of them, and this implied that any young­ ster who opted for this path before and instead of marriage would be without off­ spring. (The same applies, of course, to the young man who decides to remain a religious student for the rest of his life.) For traditional Brahmanism this was hard to accept. The simplest way to avoid this outcome would be to move these forms of asceticism to a later phase of life, well after the production of offspring. This is indeed what happened. The relatively early Dharmasūtras had offered four options to the young man at the end of his period of study. More recent texts on Dharma turn these four options into a sequence of four stages. The first stage is now the period of study. After this the young man is expected to marry and found a family. This second period is followed by one in which he withdraws into the forest with wife and sacrificial fire. Only at the very end does he abandon all so as to become a religious mendicant in search of enlightenment. These are the four āśramas that become a standard ingredient of classical Hinduism. The transition from the third āśrama, that of the forest-dweller, to the fourth āśrama, that of the religious mendicant, remained somewhat problematic for Brahmanical thinkers: no inner logic appears to connect these two altogether dif­ ferent forms of asceticism. This puzzlement finds expression in certain Brahmanical texts. An example is provided by the two passages we studied earl­ier: one from the Mānava Śrautasūtra, another from the Kat ̣haśruti. These two passages ­reinterpret self-destruction in the sacrificial fire as a transition to a next phase of ascetic life. This next phase of ascetic life lies beyond ordinary life, and follows indeed on the symbolical death of the person concerned. Henceforth he no longer belongs to the realm of ordinary human beings, and is ‘dead to the world’. His

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

72  Johannes Bronkhorst bodily remains will not even be incinerated (as happens in the case of everyone else), for his incineration has already taken place, though symbolically, when he entered this phase of life. We noticed above that Brahmanism felt threatened by the forms of asceticism that had entered it from the region to its east. The invention of the four sequential āśramas was a way to deal with this threat. It was not the only one. Another one became at least as popular and found its primary expression in the Bhagavadgītā, a text that became extremely influential and remains so today. Recall that insight into the true inactive nature of the self was one of the responses to the doctrine of rebirth and karmic retribution. It found expression in the Sāṃ khya philosophy (though not only there). In Sāṃ khya the inactive self is strictly differentiated from Original Nature, which is active on account of its three constituent guṇas. In classical Sāṃ khya, Original Nature is compared to a dancer (female: the word prakṛti is feminine) who performs before the self (the Sanskrit word for self is puruṣa, which also means ‘man’). The dancer performs as long as the man shows an interest, but stops dancing when the man no longer pays attention. In classical Sāṃ khya, therefore, insight into the true nature of the self went hand in hand with calming the activity of Original Nature. The Bhagavadgītā interprets the situation differently. If a person realizes that he is not involved in ‘his’ actions, that Original Nature works on its own, driven by the three guṇas without the involvement of the self, that person will no longer be attached to the fruits of his actions. But mind and body will continue to act. Mind and body, the Bhagavadgītā proclaims, will act in accordance with the position in society in which one is born. Since one’s position in society is determined by the caste-class system that is supposed to prevail in Brahmanical societies, the person who knows his true self will abide by the rules imposed by Brahmanism. Far from leaving society to search for liberation, such a person will become a pillar of trad­ ition­al Brahmanical society, free from the desire to change his position in life. On several occasions (3.35 and 18.45–8) the Bhagavadgītā emphasizes that it is better to perform one’s own duty imperfectly than someone else’s well. This reinterpretation of an originally ascetic philosophy became a potent weapon in the hands of Brahmanism and its vision of society. Doubters now learned that the highest goal (liberation, or union with God) is best reached not by leaving the world and becoming wandering mendicants, but by following in all details the rules of Brahmanical society. These rules are weightier than any moral considerations. This is clear from the way in which the Bhagavadgītā presents its message. The warrior Arjuna has moral qualms about the battle that is about to start and in which he is to play a central role. God, in the form of Kṛsṇ ̣a, tells him to forget these moral qualms and to carry out his duty as a warrior without asking these questions and, of course, without getting attached to the fruits of his actions. Brahmanism did not succeed in banishing asceticism, as suggested in the Bhagavadgītā, or indeed in preventing young people from taking up the ascetic

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Historical Context of Early Asceticism  73 life, as the sequence of life stages (āśrama) would expect them to do. Ascetics remained and remain a prominent feature of the religious landscape we often call Hinduism, and there can be no doubt that respect for ascetics was and is as important for many ordinary Hindus as respect for Brahmins. It is not surprising that the two were and are engaged in an implicit competition.

4.  Asceticism and Power Ascetics in India have, as far as we can see, always been associated with special powers.2 To the extent that they occupied themselves with mental exercises of various sorts, it is not surprising that extraordinary mental powers were attrib­ uted to them, or that they claimed such mental powers for themselves. But also non-mental powers came to be attributed to advanced ascetics, even in Buddhism and Jainism where mental development held the centre of attention. Information about the special powers of ascetics in early India usually comes from narrative literature. This is once again not surprising, since stories are our most important source of information about popular beliefs of the time. Members of the general public who were in awe of this or that ascetic were inclined to believe that the ascetic concerned was in the possession of extraordinary powers. This observation may have been valid quite independently of the particular cur­ rent to which the admired and/or feared ascetic may have belonged. He may have looked upon himself as a follower of the Buddha or of the Jina, or he may have been a Brahmin who dedicated himself to Brahmanical asceticism; he may also have been an ascetic without a link to any of these currents. This general picture has to be adjusted in light of the following. From among the currents we have studied in the preceding pages, one—and to the best of our knowledge only one—made a concerted effort to spread the idea that its ascetics were particularly powerful, so much so that fear and reverence towards them was an absolute necessity. This one current was, of course, Brahmanism. The strong Brahmanical preoccupation with language, and with the special powers it attrib­ uted to certain verbal expressions, primarily mantras, explains the central role of curses among the means by which Brahmins were believed to exert their power. The belief in the extraordinary powers attributed to Brahmins stood them in good stead. Indeed, it was perhaps the most important instrument enabling Brahmanism to succeed in spreading far and wide from an initially limited ­geographical area, and to gain the respect and awe that characterized them in the following centuries. This belief primarily spread through the intermediary of 2  On the supernatural perceptions and powers of Indian ascetics, see Franco  2009; White  2009; Jacobsen  2012; Olson  2015. On the role that stories of Brahmanical power played in the spread of Brahmanism, see Bronkhorst 2016: § IIB and III.5.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

74  Johannes Bronkhorst narrative. Brahmanical narrative—and for the early period we may first of all think of the Sanskrit epics, i.e. the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa—is brim-full of extremely powerful Brahmins, all of them ascetics, whose powers far exceed those of the worldly rulers they meet, and of everyone else. No one can read the narrative portions of these epics without realizing that the heroic valour of the warriors in these stories fades in comparison with the ascetic powers that those Brahmins have at their disposal. By emphasizing the power of those Brahmins, and by illustrating this with examples that leave no room for doubt, the epics could become an important instrument for the accomplishment of the Brahmanical project of gaining pre-eminence in society. In this situation, it was only to be expected that rival currents—such as Buddhism and Jainism—felt they had to compete, with the result that ever more extraordinary powers came to be attributed to their ascetic saints, too. Stories about powerful ascetics of all colours henceforth adorned the Indian religious landscape.

5.  Asceticism and Human Nature So far this chapter has dealt with the historical context of early asceticism in India. To some extent this historical context explains why certain individuals in early India engaged in asceticism at all. Among the motivating factors we found the wish to escape from rebirth and karmic retribution, and the goal of reaching perfect Brahmanical purity. There were no doubt other motivating factors, such as the desire to escape from society or, paradoxically, the wish to conform to soci­ etal pressures once ascetic traditions had been institutionalized. The hope of obtaining the supernatural powers that were attributed to ascetics may also have inspired some to pursue an ascetic way of life. As so often, historical processes are far too complicated to be fully caught in simplifying schemes. And yet, such schemes do sometimes enable us to see the forest for the trees. They most certainly do so in this case. However, ascetic practices are no child’s play. No amount of historical informa­ tion can sufficiently explain that people were willing to take such extreme steps, which sometimes resulted in death, presumably in response to beliefs they held. It has to be remembered that asceticism was (and is) not an exclusively Indian phenomenon. Ascetic practices are known from other cultures, some of which had no known historical connections with India. In each of these alternative ascetic traditions there are no doubt belief systems in which these practices find their place. But the occurrence of similar ascetic practices in different theoretical contexts obliges us to conclude that belief systems can only provide a partial explanation (if at all). Another part of the explanation has to be based on the fact that ascetics in different cultures have one thing in common: they are all human

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Historical Context of Early Asceticism  75 beings. It appears that human beings, simply by being human, have what it takes to ensure that some of them, in certain cultural contexts, will engage in activities of the kind we call ascetic. This is not the place to elaborate these observations. Note, however, that a recurring theme in asceticism in different cultures is the disinclination to identify with one’s body and mind, and the tendency to remain aloof even when faced with extreme conditions. This can be accompanied by a belief that the inner self is fundamentally different from body and mind, as we saw was true for certain Indian ascetics. However, ascetic practices are not always accompanied by this particular belief. This suggests that specific beliefs (such as, for example, the doc­ trine of karma in India) may in the end not be the cause of ascetic practices, but perhaps rather the other way round: their effect (see Bronkhorst 2001 and 2017). The other motivating factor behind ascetic practices considered above, viz. the Vedic sacrificial tradition, is similarly in need of further explanation in more gen­ erally human terms. For sacrifices, too, occur in altogether different cultures. The willingness to inflict harm upon oneself, and in certain cases to kill oneself, fits into a more general understanding that looks upon the sacrifice as a ritual man­ ner to solemnize a hierarchical relationship. The sacrificer ritually subordinates himself to the entity—usually a divinity, sometimes another human being—to whom the sacrifice is made. Instances of the opposite, in which the sacrifice gives ritual expression to the hierarchical superiority of the sacrificer over others, also exist (Bronkhorst 2012b). This understanding of the sacrifice makes sense of the situation in India and elsewhere. We have seen that the Vedic sacrifice inspired some people (think of Calanus, mentioned above) to violently put an end to their own life. All this makes sense of a form of asceticism that occurred in early India but that does not derive from the two traditions, singly or jointly, specified above. In fact, this kind of asceticism is close to the margins of what is commonly called asceticism, and has structural similarities with the Vedic sacrifice, or rather with sacrifice in general. It manifests itself in Buddhism and elsewhere. Earlier in this chapter we had occasion to draw attention to the connection between the Vedic sacrifice and (Vedic) asceticism. The kind of Buddhist asceti­ cism now to be discussed has structural similarities with sacrifice, without there being reason to suppose that it is historically linked with the Vedic sacrifice. An oft-recurring theme in Indian Buddhist literature—especially in the socalled Jātakas, but also in the Lotus Sūtra (Plank 2014: 181–6)—is giving away all one’s possessions, including one’s body or parts of it. Numerous stories told about the former lives of the Buddha depict him as involved in such activities. We find here, for example, King Śibi who cut off parts of his body to feed a bird of prey, or Prince Viśvāntara, who gave away all his possessions including his wife and children. But this theme was more than a mere literary motif. The Chinese ­pilgrim Yijing, who visited India around the year 700 ce, reports that there were

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

76  Johannes Bronkhorst Buddhists in India who burned their own bodies as an act of religious fervour. The habit of self-mutilation became particularly popular in China, where it occurred on a large scale in conjunction with the worship of Buddhist relics or stūpas (Bronkhorst 2012a). Self-mutilation, and self-decapitation in particular, are also known from Hinduism. Hero stones in Andhra commemorate such cases of suicide, and devices were created to permit devotees to decapitate themselves without outside help. These suicidal practices have no known link to the Vedic tradition, whereas in some cases a historical link with Buddhism seems plausible (Sudyka 2014). We saw that, in theory, the victim in a Vedic sacrifice is to be identified with the sacrificer; in other words, ‘the only authentic sacrifice would be suicide’ (see section 2 above). The self-destructive behaviour of certain Buddhists falls in this same category, all the more since these Buddhists, by offering themselves, or parts of themselves, to the Buddha, hierarchically subordinate themselves to the Buddha in the way in which the Vedic sacrificer subordinates himself to the gods. The same can be said about the self-decapitations of Hinduism. Certain scholars think therefore that this kind of behaviour arose in Buddhism under the influ­ ence of the Vedic sacrifice. This theory is hard to maintain. Buddhism was critical of the Vedic sacrifice and did not try to imitate it in any way. What is more, few Vedic sacrificers ­literally harmed themselves; the idea that Buddhists would outperform them in this respect is highly unlikely, to say the least. And, finally, self-mutilation in Buddhism developed on a large scale in China rather than in India, and therefore far from any possible influence of the Vedic sacrifice. We must conclude that this particular form of Buddhist ascetic behaviour, and by extension the tradition of self-decapitation in Hinduism, arose neither out of the traditions of asceticism outlined above, nor out of the Vedic sacrifice. They must rather be looked upon as new and independent developments, based on the same human predisposition that also gave rise to sacrifice, both in India and elsewhere. Self-destruction and self-mutilation in India as an expression of religious respect and subordination occurred both in Buddhism and Hinduism, as we have seen. In Buddhism, it primarily occurred during the early period, and was there largely confined to literature. To the examples discussed above we must add the infamous custom of suttee, in which a widow follows her dead husband on the funeral pyre. Once again, there is no reason whatsoever to think that suttee was influenced by Buddhism or by the Vedic sacrifice, or vice versa.

References and Recommended Reading Balcerowicz, Piotr. 2016. Early Asceticism in India: Ājīvikism and Jainism. London and New York: Routledge. (Routledge Advances in Jaina Studies, 6.)

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Historical Context of Early Asceticism  77 Biardeau, Madeleine. 1976. ‘Le sacrifice dans l’hindouisme’, in Madeleine Biardeau and Charles Malamoud (eds.), Le sacrifice dans l’Inde ancienne. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Biardeau, Madeleine and Charles Malamoud. 1976. Le sacrifice dans l’Inde ancienne. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Bronkhorst, Johannes. 1998. The Two Sources of Indian Asceticism. 2nd edition. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Bronkhorst, Johannes. 2001. ‘Asceticism, Religion and Biological Evolution’, Method & Theory in the Study of Religion, 13, 374–418. Bronkhorst, Johannes. 2007. Greater Magadha: Studies in the Culture of Early India. Leiden; Boston, MA: Brill. (Handbook of Oriental Studies 2/19.) (Indian reprint: Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi 2013.) Bronkhorst, Johannes. 2012a. ‘Buddhism and Sacrifice’, Asiatische Studien/Études Asiatiques, 66(1), 7–17. Bronkhorst, Johannes. 2012b. ‘Rites without Symbols’, Method & Theory in the Study of Religion, 24, 236–66. Bronkhorst, Johannes. 2016. How the Brahmins Won: From Alexander to the Guptas. Leiden; Boston, MA: Brill. (Handbook of Oriental Studies 2/30.) Bronkhorst, Johannes. 2017. ‘Can Religion Be Explained? The Role of Absorption in Various Religious Phenomena’, Method & Theory in the Study of Religion, 29, 1–30. Franco, Eli (ed.). 2009. Yogic Perception, Meditation and Altered States of Consciousness. Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. (Philosophischhistorische Klasse, Sitzungsberichte, 794. Band; Beiträge zur Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte Asiens, Nr. 65.) Heesterman, J.C. 1987. ‘Self-Sacrifice in Vedic Ritual’, in S. Shaked, D. Shulman, and G.G. Stroumsa (eds.), Gilgul: Essays on Transformation, Revolution and Permanence in the History of Religions, dedicated to R.J. Zwi Werblowsky. Leiden; Boston, MA: Brill, pp. 91–106. Heesterman, J.  C. 1993. The Broken World of Sacrifice: An Essay in Ancient Indian Ritual. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press. Jacobsen, Knut A. (ed.). 2012. Yoga Powers: Extraordinary Capacities Attained through Meditation and Concentration. Leiden; Boston, MA: Brill. (Brill’s Indological Library, 37.) Kat ̣haśruti, in Otto Schrader (ed.). 1912. The Minor Upaniṣads. Vol. I: Saṃ nyāsaUpaniṣads. Madras: Adyar Library, pp. 31–42.

Kennedy, Philip  F. and Shawkat  M.  Toorawa (eds.). 2014. Two Arabic Travel Books: Accounts of China and India and Mission to the Volga. New York; London: New York University Press. Lévi, Sylvain. 1898. La doctrine du sacrifice dans les Brāhmaṇas. Paris: Ernest Leroux. Reprint: Brepols, 2003.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

78  Johannes Bronkhorst Mackintosh-Smith, Tim (ed., tr.). 2014. Accounts of China and India: Abū Zayd al-Sīrāfī, in Philip F. Kennedy and Shawkat M. Toorawa (eds.), Two Arabic Travel Books: Accounts of China and India and Mission to the Volga. New York; London: New York University Press, pp. 1–161. Mānava Śrautasūtra, edited by Jeanette M. van Gelder. 1985. New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture. 1961. Reprint: Sri Satguru Publications, Delhi. Ohnuma, Reiko. 2007. Head, Eyes, Flesh, and Blood: Giving Away the Body in Indian Buddhist Literature. New York: Columbia University Press. Olivelle, Patrick. 1992. Saṃ nyāsa Upaniṣads: Hindu Scriptures on Asceticism and Renunciation. Translated with Introduction and Notes. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Olivelle, Patrick. 1998. The Early Upaniṣads. Annotated text and translation. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press. Olivelle, Patrick. 2000. Dharmasūtras: The Law Codes of Āpastamba, Gautama, Baudhāyana, and Vasiṣt ̣ha. Annotated text and translation. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Olson, Carl. 2015. Indian Asceticism: Power, Violence, and Play. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Plank, Katarina. 2014. ‘Burning Buddhists: Self-Immolation as Political Protest’, in James R. Lewis and Carole M. Cusack (eds.), Sacred Suicide. Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 173–91. Schrader, F.  Otto (ed.). 1912. The Minor Upaniṣads. Vol. I: Saṃ nyāsa-Upaniṣads. Madras: Adyar Library. Sudyka, Lidia. 2014. ‘The Chejarla Temple Myth Revisited: Self-Decapitation in Medieval Andhra’, Indologica Taurinensia, 40, 318–40.

Vasiṣt ̣ha Dharmasūtra, in Patrick Olivelle. 2000. Dharmasūtras: The Law Codes of Āpastamba, Gautama, Baudhāyana, and Vasiṣt ̣ha. Annotated text and translation. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. White, David Gordon. 2009. Sinister Yogis. Chicago, IL; London: Chicago University Press.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

3

Religious Practices in the Sanskrit Epics John Brockington

Both the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa, the two texts usually designated jointly as the Sanskrit Epics (though placed in separate categories within the Indian trad­ ition), are major sources for the history of religious and social ideas. Because their authors tend to present ideals and practices in a living situation, this material is potentially even more valuable, although the specific nature of the episodes at the same time raises greater difficulties and uncertainties in their interpretation. In addition, we must guard against too readily reading into various terms their later technical meanings, even in the didactic parts of the Mahābhārata to which scholars most often refer (partly because narrative issues are least obvious there). Moreover, a given word’s spread of meaning may well encompass both religious and in Western terms more secular meanings; an excellent example of this is the term mantra, which not only designates the Vedic utterances used in connection with sacrifice and similar rituals—and by extension can also commonly mean in both Epics something like a spell or charm, such as those used to empower ­weapons—but quite as frequently denotes the kind of consultation, counsel, or advice exchanged between kings and their counsellors (commonly mantrin). This issue is made all the more complex by the long period (perhaps fifth century bc to fourth century ad) over which both the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa have reached their present form, during which both society and religion undoubtedly changed appreciably.1 The pattern of religious activity revealed in the narratives of both Epics still owes much to Vedic ritual, in the same way that the pattern of deities is broadly Vedic, or more specifically late and post-Vedic. Indeed, sacrificial rituals in gen­ eral bulk larger in the incidental references within both Epics than various ascetic practices. As well as features which are later marginalized, others such as tapas which can be traced back to a very early period come to play an increasing role in more developed Hinduism, as do other features which only come to the fore well 1  All references to the Mahābhārata (MBh.) and the Rāmāyaṇa (Rām.) are to their Critical Editions. The general scholarly consensus is that the Sanskrit Epics have developed to the stage recorded in the text of their Critical Editions over several centuries, based on the significant linguistic changes visible and on the developments in the religious, social, and political patterns recorded; however, there have sporadically been scholars who regard the Mahābhārata as broadly a unitary production (e.g. Dahlmann 1895 and Hiltebeitel 2001). John Brockington, Religious Practices in the Sanskrit Epics In: Hindu Practice. Edited by: Gavin Flood, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198733508.003.0004

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

80  John Brockington after the Vedic period, such as the cult of pilgrimage. The influence the two Epics came to have on the various Hindu religious traditions, in particular on the bhakti tradition, and more generally on Indian culture, is shown not only by the many versions and summaries of them throughout the devotional literature (from the Purāṇas to contemporary pamphlets) but also in many other forms right up to the present day.

1.  Sacrifice and Other Rituals The extent to which Vedic ritual was still a living reality is seen in the degree to which the narrative of the Mahābhārata is structured around ritual concepts, especially the notion of sacrifice. This sacrificial background is depicted at length and in great detail in the first part of the Ādiparvan. The narrative opens with an awesome but incomplete sacrifice, Janamejaya’s snake sacrifice; a central episode is structured around performance of a rājasūya, also interrupted (by Yudhiṣt ̣hira’s defeat at the dice-game), and the main story is rounded off by Yudhiṣt ̣hira’s ­performance of an aśvamedha; the events of the Sauptikaparvan at the close of the battle can be seen as another sacrifice, indeed as a replay of Dakṣa’s sacrifice; and James Laine has seen initiation as a main theme of the Āraṇyakaparvan (Laine  1991). Similarly, the first recitation of the Rāmāyaṇa by Kuśa and Lava occurs within the context of Rāma’s aśvamedha, while the starting point of its whole narrative is the sacrifices performed by Daśaratha for the birth of sons: an aśvamedha and the apparently Atharvavedic putreṣtị , ‘sacrifice for son(s)’. Terms for sacrifice (yajña, medha, adhvara, kratu, iṣtị ) occur widely through­ out the Mahābhārata narrative, as well as in the more didactic portions, although there is often tantalizingly little detail given. Indeed, sacrificial rituals are com­ moner in incidental references than various ascetic practices; for example, the office of the hotṛ priest is mentioned at 9.34.32d and various ritual items in neigh­ bouring verses. The term āyatana is quite frequently used to designate the loca­ tion of a ritual action and in the compounds yajñāyatana (nine occurrences) and devatāyatana (sixteen occurrences) may indicate some kind of structure, although there is no indication of its nature, if so (cf. Gonda 1969: 17–21).2 The most spe­ cific details about Vedic literature and ritual are found in the Śānti and Anuśāsana parvans (the didactic twelfth and thirteenth books). For example, in the Śāntiparvan we find the vedī altar (12.29.44b), a warning that women who make offerings into the fire go to hell (12.159.19–20), the term makha at 12.255.37b+f (also 330.52b), and the puroḍāśa cake at 38c. In the Anuśāsanaparvan, in order to praise Śiva, Brahmā utters the rathantara, Nārāyaṇa sings to him with the jyeṣtḥ a 2  The term yajñāyatana only occurs in MBh. books 1–3, apart from once in book 14, whereas devatāyatana is found in books 1–3, 5–6, and 12–14 (also at Rām. 112.32b and 4.36.32a, cf. 7.57.34b).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Religious Practices in the Sanskrit Epics  81 sāman, and Indra sings the Śatarudrīya (13.14.147), while elsewhere there is ­frequent mention of Vedic sacrifices, sacrificial priests, and implements; for ex­ample, the Agniṣt ̣ut along with prāyaścittas (13.12.4), the antarvedi (13.60.3a), adhvaryu, chandoga, and atharvaṇa priests (13.95.75), the Gosava and Aptoryāma sacrifices (13.106.13–16), the Atirātra (13.109.38), and the Dvādaśāha (13.110.20d). However, such clustering in these two parvans indicates that these are learned references owed to brāhman redactors rather than part of the stock in trade of the earlier reciters of the Epic. In the earlier parts of the Rāmāyaṇa the commonest ritual acts mentioned are the morning and evening worship (saṃ dhyā) but the fullest descriptions of them occur in the later Bāla and Uttara kāṇḍas (at 1.22.2–3 and 7.72.20–73.2); how­ ever, there is no mention of a midday saṃ dhyā. There was still clearly no bar on women performing many rituals—formal or informal—themselves, since Sītā performs the saṃ dhyā when alone (5.12.48), Kausalyā performs pūjā to Viṣṇu and makes oblations into the fire (2.17.6–7), and Sītā worships the Gaṅgā as the exiles cross the river (2.46.67–73), while the second of these also illustrates the increasing trend towards the more informal types of worship which may be classed as pūjā. Sacrifice (yajña, occasionally adhvara or kratu), oblations (homa, rarely havis), and the sacrificial altar (vedi) are all mentioned occasionally in earl­ ier passages, along with the best known of the individual sacrifices (agnihotra, aśvamedha, rājasūya, vājapeya), to which later another four are added (agniṣtọ ma, āgrayaṇa, paurṇamāsī, pauṇḍarīka). Similarly, the only priest mentioned in the earliest material is the purohita, who has particularly close connections in any case with the king, but the praśastṛ and the sadasya are each mentioned once in slightly later parts. Little detail is given about performing sacrifice—usually no more than mention of the fire carrying the offering to the gods—and indeed as much is said about the very informal sacrifice of a blackbuck by Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa to consecrate their newly built hut (2.50.15–19) as about the more ­formal rituals. There is nothing equivalent to the detail found in the Śānti and Anuśāsana parvans, apart from the description of Daśaratha’s sacrifices in the Bālakāṇḍa. Rituals are also performed in the forest among the sages, who there­ fore clearly are vānaprasthas. In fact, in the main narrative, the performance of rituals is more often mentioned as an activity in hermitages than performance of austerities, although the emphasis is reversed in the Bāla and Uttara kāṇḍas. The agnihotra is quite often mentioned and one reason for Rāma helping the ascetics is because the Rākṣasas are interrupting their rituals (3.9.11, cf. 6.27.17–20). There are frequent references throughout the Mahābhārata to caityas as places of worship, most often probably designating a sacred tree or similar site, as is sug­ gested by the compounds caityavṛkṣa (6.3.37c, 12.69.39d, and as a variant at 3.188.56a) and caityadruma (12.59.63a) and by the comparison of a warrior’s fall to a caitya toppled by the wind (7.37.7). This presumably reflects an ancient popular form of worship, not necessarily connected with Buddhism and sometimes

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

82  John Brockington having clearly positive associations (e.g. 2.71.27 and 3.189.8).3 By contrast, examples of the later pattern involving image worship and temples are confined to the Śānti and Anuśāsana parvans. There the pattern sometimes seems very late, for example in assigning the temple priest, devalaka, to the status of brāhmaṇacaṇḍāla (12.77.8), in the injunction that temple property, devasva, is not to be touched by a king even in extremity (12.134.2), or in the mention of dīpavṛkṣas which are probably temple lamp standards (12.195.9c). There are almost no references in the Rāmāyaṇa to any kind of permanent building for ritual or worship; a separate room or hut for the fire, mentioned just three times, belongs basically with the older pattern of ritual and nothing more than this need be meant when, in preparing for his installation, Rāma worships Nārāyaṇa with oblations and then lies down with Sītā to sleep in Viṣṇu’s holy sanctuary (āyatana, 2.6.1–4). However, a caitya building with a thousand pillars, a stairway of coral, and a golden dais within Rāvaṇa’s aśoka grove (5.13.15–17) must be a substantial building. Although caityas are mentioned elsewhere occa­ sionally, early references seem to be to non-Brāhmanical cult spots such as a sacred tree, particularly associated with the Rākṣasas, whereas in late passages excluded from the text (but already in the text of the Mahābhārata) they are quite often linked with āyatanas and both probably then designate some kind of building. As an accompaniment to sacrificial rituals, the practice of murmuring Vedic mantras, japa, is well known but seems to have taken on a life of its own in the Epics. While that meaning of the term fits a good many of the contexts where it is used (often in a stock phrase of commendation for sages), some contexts suggest different nuances and in particular the possibility that it was seen by some as an alternative means to achieve a higher spiritual state, in competition or in parallel with the developing practices of tapas and of yoga (Brockington 2012). The most significant passage in this regard is the Jāpakopākhyāna (MBh 12.189–93), a pas­ sage appearing between one broadly on Sāṃ khya and another on the fourfold Yoga of meditation, where Bhīṣma declares that japa constitutes an independent discipline belonging to the Vedic sacrificial tradition and differing from Sāṃ khya and Yoga; from the concluding encomium on the jāpaka, the practitioner of this technique, the passage is obviously intended to meet the challenge of Yoga by pre­ senting japa as a viable alternative, while simultaneously incorporating various elements associated with Yoga. Within another late passage, the Nārāyaṇīya (12.321–39), the practice of japa is also twice linked with one-pointedness of the mind (ekāgramanas/°tva at 12.323.32 and 325.2–3), in the first of these being also described as mental, as occasionally elsewhere, and on three occasions is alluded 3  On the other hand, the term eḍūka (MBh. 3.188.64c and 66a), which people will worship at the end of the Yuga (when all proper order is overturned), may well denote the relic chamber of a Buddhist stūpa (cf. Allchin 1957).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Religious Practices in the Sanskrit Epics  83 to as sung or chanted in a way that might suggest devotional hymns. There may be indications that such devotion is directed towards the deity Brahmā (the per­ sonification of Brahman, either a term for the Vedas or for the Absolute) in use of the term parameṣtḥ in for the supreme deity and of brahmabhūta for the state aimed at. Expiations, prāyaścitta, are rarely mentioned outside the Śāntiparvan and even there mainly in the context of Yudhiṣt ̣hira’s remorse for the slaughter in the battle, when Vyāsa gives a long list of faults requiring expiation (12.35.1–38.3) and starts by defining these as failure to do a prescribed action, performing forbidden actions, and acting wrongly (12.35.2). The actions proscribed range from a Vedic student being still asleep at sunrise through alienation from one’s father to mur­ dering a brāhman. The expiations range from eating once a day, begging for one’s food, and carrying a skull (for a begging-bowl and as a sign of the crime) to per­ forming an aśvamedha, but the list also provides for in effect buying one’s release, for example a brāhman-killer can get off by giving away a hundred thousand head of cattle (12.36.8). However, when Vyāsa has finished his homily, Yudhiṣt ̣hira just moves on to his next question. In the Rāmāyaṇa, there are only three occurrences of the term, all relatively late: king Romapāda is advised as the prāyaścitta for the drought affecting his kingdom to lure Ṛśyaśṛṅga there (1.8.14), king Ambarīṣa is advised as a prāyaścitta for a lapse in his sacrifice (Indra has carried off the sacri­ ficial victim) to buy a human victim, Śunaḥśepa (1.60.8), and Rāma in his reply to Vālin declares that evils committed are wiped out by performing a prāyaścitta (4.18.31–2).

2.  Tapas (Asceticism) A major study by Minoru Hara showed that the term tapas occurs over 3,000 times in the Mahābhārata, mostly in the Śānti and Anuśāsana parvans (Hara 1979).4 Hara first noted occasional definitions of tapas occurring in the text; for example, one verse declares that tapas was supreme in the Kṛtayuga, knowledge in the Tretāyuga, sacrifice in the Dvāparayuga, and giving in the Kaliyuga (12.224.27), while another defines it in terms of concentration of the mind and sense organs (manasaś cendriyānāṃ cāpy aikāgryaṃ niścitaṃ tapaḥ 3.246.25cd, cf. 12.242.4ab). The definitions found in Bhīṣma’s and Kṛsṇ ̣a’s discourses, though more systematic than most, are simply formal definitions which do not reflect actual usage; indeed, in these passages an attempt is being made to put a spiritual value on tapas while rejecting its older magical connotations. When the contexts in which the term occurs are examined, the linking of tapas with dharma is 4  This study, though written in Japanese, contains an index locorum and an English summary, on which the material in the rest of this paragraph is based.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

84  John Brockington noteworthy, as well as its association with concepts of expiation. The efficacy of tapas is reckoned in terms of the goals aimed at: granting of boons, curses, super­ natural knowledge, acquisition of higher rank or status, in­vul­ner­abil­ity, the ability to create or destroy at will, purification, and various other supernatural powers. Finally, Hara noted the opposing beliefs in its omnipotence (for example, sarvaṃ tat tapasā śakyaṃ tapo hi duratikramam, 12.155.5cd) commonly expressed throughout the Śānti and Anuśāsana parvans and in its limitations (for example, in the face of death and destiny, or by comparison with either bhakti or jñāna), which suggest that tapas is basically just a means or instrument to achieve other ends. Monika Shee subsequently examined the terms tapas and tapasvin in the nar­ rative parts of the Mahābhārata (Shee  1986). Many occurrences are in various episodes involving ascetics, such as several accounts of Agastya, particularly his subduing of Vātāpi (3.94–7) and the cursing of Nahuṣa (of which the Udyogaparvan version seems the earliest). In the story of Yavakrī (or Yavakrīta) ascetic power alone, represented by Yavakrī, is presented as inferior to asceticism combined with or based on Vedic knowledge, represented by Raibhya (3.135–9).5 Pāṇḍu’s austerities (1.109–18) differ in being tapas undertaken by a kṣatriya, not a brāhman, and not so much to accumulate power as to reach release; whereas Pāṇḍu here regards it as self-evident that tapas is a means to gain mokṣa, this is far from being the case in the truly narrative passages.6 In her analysis of the vari­ ous aspects of tapas revealed in these passages Shee demonstrates that originally tapas was not primarily connected with ideas of renunciation or salvation and so the links with yoga and saṃ nyāsa are secondary; it was rather a form of power by which even the gods could be coerced and so was favoured by those who already have a hereditary disposition towards power, whether brāhmans or kings. The performance of tapas by śūdras is naturally therefore rejected, although in con­ trast with older views there is the story of a śūdra who lives an ascetic life and makes offerings to the gods and ancestors, thereby gaining enough merit to be reborn as a king (13.10). Among Shee’s other conclusions are that asceticism is regularly practised in pleasant surroundings (hermitages as idyllic locations). Overall, her findings agree with Hara’s that tapas is basically a means to achieve various powers. Indeed, the accumulation of tapas has often been compared by various scholars to a kind of spiritual bank balance or the energy stored in a battery, with the latter image suiting rather well its sudden and violent ­discharge by an ascetic through uttering a curse. However, particularly in the Śāntiparvan, we then find attempts being made to redefine tapas in more 5  This episode also includes the motif of Indra seeking to undermine an ascetic’s building-up of tapas, found also in such well-known stories as those of the caṇḍāla Mataṅga (13.28–30), Menakā’s seduction of Viśvāmitra (1.65), and others (cf. Hara 1979: 473–95). 6 Pāṇḍu’s resolve to become a forest-dwelling ascetic here has much in common with Yudhiṣt ̣hira’s resolve, occurring at the start of the Śāntiparvan (12.9).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Religious Practices in the Sanskrit Epics  85 ethical terms, for ex­ ample as non-injury, speaking the truth, non-cruelty, ­self-control, and compassion (12.80.17). The term tapas is both absolutely and proportionately less frequent in the text of the Rāmāyaṇa than in the Mahābhārata (Brockington 2000).7 It is also much more frequent in the later Bāla and Uttara kāṇḍas than in the Ayodhyā to Yuddha kāṇḍas, with the adjectival form mahātapas occurring almost exclusively in those two books. This is partly, but not entirely, related to the greater participation of various sages in the narrative there. One contrast with the Mahābhārata is the paucity of linkage with dharma but in other respects the pattern is similar. There is some association with Vedic concepts such as japa, mantra, yajña, and svādhyāya, with Yoga, with self-control, and with truth (satya, satyavākya), but the most obvious associations are with power and with the results gained, alongside emphasis on possible obstacles and the effort involved. Thus tapas is regarded as a power-substance above all, the signs of which include heat and radiance or illu­ mination, for example in Bharadvāja being marked by samādhi, tejas, and tapas (2.85.19). One of the clearest examples of the association between asceticism and power is Rāvaṇa declaring to Sītā that Rāma cannot equal him in tapas, bala, and vikrama (5.18.33). The frequency of the compound noun tapobala, especially within tapobalasamanvita, further illustrates the dominance of this aspect. Most passages in the core books simply allude to performing austerities, espe­ cially in hermitages (where, however, performing rituals is more frequent8); because the forest is the natural place for asceticism, the compound tapovana often designates little more than the forest itself in contrast to city life. The nature of tapas is by no means always clear, however, and in some passages in the earlier books it almost seems that the term is being used to denote hardship in general, especially in some instances where kṣatriyas are referred to. Basically, however, the performance of tapas has a specific purpose and is seen as a form of power; tapas does not operate automatically but through the winning of boons or the uttering of curses. In the core books boons are granted by Brahmā alone as a reward for extremes of asceticism, but in the Bāla and Uttara kāṇḍas boons are granted by other gods or by exceptional human beings and curses are the pre­ roga­tive of ascetics (often resulting in the discharge of their accumulated tapas); probably the best-known example is that of Gautama cursing Indra to lose his testicles (1.47.26–7 and 48.10) and Ahalyā to remain invisible (1.47.28–31 and 48.13–16; cf. Hara 1997), where Indra bases his claim on help from the other gods

7  It should be noted that the meanings ‘wretched’ and ‘ascetic’ of the related adjective tapasvin each account for approximately half its occurrences, although the proportions shift markedly from a pre­ dominance of the sense ‘wretched’ earlier to that of ‘ascetic’ in the Bāla and Uttara kāṇḍas. 8  Indeed, the casual linking of tapas and ritual activities is by no means uncommon; for example, according to Hanumān, Daśaratha pleased Agni with rājasūyas and aśvamedhas and protected the earth by his tapas and his truthfulness (4.5.5–6ab). Even as late as the Bālakāṇḍa, we find Viśvāmitra enquiring after the health of Vasiṣt ̣ha’s tapas, agnihotra, and pupils (1.51.4cd).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

86  John Brockington on his having created an obstacle to Gautama’s austerities (1.48.2–4). Another is Viśvāmitra cursing Rambhā sent by Indra to seduce him, which would have dis­ charged his tapas in another way (1.63). Even when the reward gained by tapas is set beyond this life, it is seen simply as the winning of heavenly worlds and throughout there is a notable absence of mokṣa as the goal. But the results of tapas may just as often be purely material, though, with tapas itself simply a means to a mundane end. The goals sought are typically invulnerability, long life, supernatural knowledge or vision, and the like. The minimal degree of attention paid to the theoretical aspects of tapas is clearly shown by the effective absence of the opposing beliefs in its omnipotence (common in the didactic parts of the Mahābhārata) and in its limitations. This does, however, fit well with tapas being basically just a means or instrument to achieve other ends, which is as true of the Rāmāyaṇa as of the Mahābhārata. The understanding of tapas throughout the Rāmāyaṇa is on the whole closest to that in the earlier parts of the Mahābhārata—essentially a means to achieve various powers.

3.  Specific Ascetic Practices Among the most detailed listings of the austerities undertaken by an ascetic is that of king Yayāti when he retired to the forest (MBh. 1.81.9–16): eating roots and fruit, living off gleanings and eating others’ leavings for a thousand years, living on water for thirty autumns, living on air for a year, undergoing tapas between five fires,9 and standing on one leg and eating the wind for six months. Although the detail indicates the relative lateness of the episode, we should note that Yayāti is explicitly called muni and vānaprastha, also made offerings into the fire, and finally went to heaven. Such practices are most often mentioned in the Śānti and Anuśāsana parvans, commonly grouped in the same way. Those occur­ ring more than once are: fasting (upavāsa, seventy-one times; nirāhāra, fortythree times), eating the wind (vāyubhakṣa, forty-one times), eating remnants (vighaśāsin, twenty-two times, but some in praise of householders as superior; cf. Wezler 1977–8), keeping arms raised (ūrdhvabāhu, seventeen times), standing on one leg (ekapāda(sthita), twelve times),10 drinking foam (phenapa, nine times and once of calves suckling), living on water (abbhakṣa, nine times), grinding one’s grain with stones (aśmakuṭtạ , nine times), living off gleanings (uñchavṛtti, eight

9  This consists of sitting between fires on all four sides with the sun overhead; this practice, men­ tioned a number of times, underlines the fact that the root meaning of the root √tap is ‘to heat’. 10  These counts exclude the use of epakāda to denote a mythical group similar to the skiapods of classical antiquity, to indicate attentiveness or concern, and in the image of dharma reduced to stand­ ing on one leg in the Kṛtayuga, and of ūrdhvabāhu for the sorrowful Yudhiṣt ̣hira (15.45.41c).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Religious Practices in the Sanskrit Epics  87 times),11 drinking [i.e. living only on] sunbeams (marīcipa, eight times), using the teeth as mortars (dantolūkhalin, six times), performing ablutions (saṃ prakṣāla, five times), sleeping wherever evening overtakes one (yatrasāyaṃ gṛha, four times),12 sleeping on the ground (sthaṇḍilaśāyin, twice; the concept occurs more often), and eating leaves (patrāhāra, twice). Keeping one’s arms raised and standing on one leg illustrate a significant element of ascetic practice, that of remaining as motionless as possible, dramatically illustrated by the stories of Cyavana and Vālmīki becoming covered by anthills and of birds nesting in Jājali’s hair. Restricting one’s food in various ways up to complete fasting is clearly the commonest form of tapas, its possible extent indicated by the stock phrase, kṛśo dhamanisaṃ tataḥ, ‘so emaciated one’s veins stand out’, found a dozen times in the Mahābhārata (see Hara 1995) but absent from the Rāmāyaṇa. A comparable list of ascetic practices occurs in the Rāmāyaṇa when groups of sages approach Rāma for protection (3.5.1–5); besides Vaikhānasas, Vālakhilyas, and many of those in the Mahābhārata list, they also include several not found there: sages who plunge into water (unmajjaka), consume water (salilāhāra), live in the open (ākāśanilaya), live on heights (ūrdhvavāsin), or wear wet clothes (ārdrapaṭavāsas).13 It is noteworthy that some of the ascetic practices in these lists are nowadays more commonly associated with Yoga but in the Epics are linked rather with tapas as a completely separate discipline. Moreover, gods and kings, as well as hermits, are described as engaging in such practices.14 It must also be emphasized that standardly in the Mahābhārata those who have retreated from active life to practise such austerities are described, explicitly or implicitly, as belonging to what is recognized as the third in the developed pattern of four stages of life (āśrama), that of the vānaprastha, the regular term for it in later literature.15 They are also commonly described as performing fire rituals and the like. There is little trace in the narrative parts of the Mahābhārata and none in the Rāmāyaṇa of the fourth āśrama, that of the saṃ nyāsin who has totally 11  This practice is clearly highly valued: an uñchavṛttir gṛhasthaḥ (12.184.18a) can gain svarga (18d), and the final passage, so arguably the climax, of the Mokṣadharmaparvan is the Uñchavṛttyupākhyāna (12.340–530), where the brāhman gleaner becomes like a second sun, lighting all worlds (350.8–15). 12 This only occurs in the stereotyped quarter-verse, yatrasāyaṃgṛho muniḥ, both in the Mahābhārata and in its only occurrence in the Rāmāyaṇa (2.61.18d). 13  The meaning of unmajjaka (found also at Baudhāyana Dharmasūtra 3.3.9–10) is discussed in Wezler 1991. Elsewhere a description of Vasiṣt ̣ha’s āśrama includes otherwise unmentioned ascetics who eat withered leaves (śīrṇaparṇāśana, 1.50.26d) alongside drinkers of water and of wind. 14  However, the story of the brāhman Jājali and the merchant Tulādhāra (MBh.12.253–7) reveals another side to the practice of austerity: Tulādhāra shows up the limitations of Jājali’s practice (cf. Proudfoot 1987 and Chapple 1996). 15  The actual terms occurring in the Mahābhārata in descending order of frequency are: muni, yati, bhikṣu(-ka/-kī)/bhikṣiṇ/, śramaṇa, parivrājaka, and vānaprastha; however, at 12.69.49 a bhikṣu is among those who should be avoided, while in a listing of the names of the members of the four āśramas at 14.45.13ab bhikṣuka is the fourth. Of these terms only muni is common in the Rāmāyaṇa, parivrājaka is used only of Rāvaṇa’s disguise in order to abduct Sītā (five occurrences), and yati is totally absent.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

88  John Brockington renounced all rituals and all contact with society (Olivelle 1981; Brockington 1998: 214–16, 240–1, 428, and 448).16 Moreover, adopting an ascetic way of life does not mean abandoning family relations (for example, Viśvāmitra engages in extreme austerities but also produces several sons, Rām. 1.561–3) and adopting celibacy before producing offspring is typically condemned, as the story of Jaratkāru shows: he sees his ancestors hanging upside down in a cave and menaced by impending destruction which they declare can only be warded off by his rapidly finding a wife and producing offspring (MBh. 1.31.9–44 and 1.41.1–44.22).

4.  Popular Religious Practices One practice which has been popular from the Vedic period to the present is that of undertaking vratas (Hacker 1973; Lubin 2001). These are essentially a regimen involving a restriction of some kind, undertaken for a specific purpose and usu­ ally for a fixed period. In the oldest literature often related to Vedic study and worship, in more recent times the term is used most frequently for the vratas that particularly women undertake for some specific worldly purpose; this is already seen occasionally in the Epics, for example in Vinatā performing tapas intent on her vrata for the birth of a son (MBh. 1.27.24–5) and Pārvatī undertaking a dreadful vow and performing tapas in order to win Śiva (Rām. 1.34.18cd). Though com­ monly translated as ‘vow’, the term more exactly denotes the activity (whether positive or negative) that the individual first declares the intention (saṃ kalpa) of performing. In both Epics, although sages are often described as ‘practising severe vows’ (munayaḥ saṃ śitavratāḥ), two other compounds, dṛdḥ avrata and dhṛtavrata, ‘of firm resolve, resolute’, are regularly applied to warriors’ tenacity in battle; indeed, in some contexts vrata means something nearer to ‘behaviour, code of conduct’, as in kṣatravrata, ‘the warrior code’.17 Examples of behaviour called a vrata are: Arjuna referring to the year incog­ nito at Virāt ̣a’s court as his vrata of brahmacarya (MBh. 4.40.12–13) and his determination to kill anyone injuring Yudhiṣt ̣hira (4.63.53), Sāvitrī’s vrata to stand for three nights and to fast (3.280.3+20), and the merit gained in visits to a tīrtha being equal to a twelve-year vrata (3.82.80). The most frequent components of vratas or practices linked with them are fasting (upavāsa) and observances (niyama); a list of moral qualities starting with ahiṃ sā and celibacy are termed

16  Similarly, the term mokṣa usually in the narrative parts of the Mahābhārata and always in the Rāmāyaṇa means escape from an enemy’s grasp or the like, not the final release that it means in the Śānti and Anuśāsana parvans (cf. Hara 1996). 17 Indeed, dṛḍhavrata is proportionally more frequent in the Rāmāyaṇa than the Mahābhārata because of its largely non-religious use, while kṣatravrata is frequent enough in the Mahābhārata to appear in a standardized quarter-verse: kṣatravratam/yodhavratam anusmaran/anuṣt ̣hitaḥ.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Religious Practices in the Sanskrit Epics  89 the eight vratas at 14.46.35–6. The vrata of silence is rare and only mentioned in later passages.18 Pilgrimage to tīrthas is clearly a late feature in the Epics, mostly limited to the Tīrthayātrāparvans in the Mahābhārata (3.80–8 and 9.29–53), although these passages are our oldest evidence for this particular form of religious activity.19 As well as bathing, offerings to the gods and ancestors and fasting are regularly men­ tioned as activities—often designated vratas—to be performed at tīrthas. The rewards to be gained are rated in terms of the merit gained by performing aśvamedhas and similar Vedic sacrifices but as yet the scale is modest, since at Puṣkara, the tīrtha accorded the highest prestige, the rewards promised are the equivalent of ten aśvamedhas for bathing there, and reaching the world of Brahmā for a stay of twelve years (3.80.41–59). But pilgrimage may also be undertaken as a penance; for example, Janamejaya goes on pilgrimage to expiate the sin of kill­ ing a brāhman (12.146–8). The term pūjā, which in later Hinduism standardly denotes the more informal types of worship through simple offerings made to images of deities, in both Epics occurs mainly in the sense of respect or honour paid to an individual; one of the fullest descriptions of this in the Mahābhārata occurs when Janamejaya greets Vyāsa’s arrival by offering him, ‘with the action laid down in the śāstras’, water to wash his feet, water to drink, a guest gift, and a cow (1.54.12–13), but many other instances list most of these items. Bhīma defines the highest dharma, when chid­ ing Yudhiṣt ̣hira, as giving, sacrifice, honouring good people (satāṃ pūjā), holding on to the Veda, and uprightness (3.34.45), while ascetics offer pūjā to Damayantī during her search for Nala (3.61.65). This fits well with the occasional use (mostly in the Śāntiparvan) of the compound gurupūjā, ‘honouring one’s elders’. The term occurs several times in the well-known episode of Śiśupāla objecting to Kṛsṇ a being offered the guest gift (2.34), before which Bhīṣma declares, ‘They say that six are worthy of the guest gift (arghya): one’s teacher, one’s officiating priest, a relative, a snātaka, a friend, and the king’ (2.33.23); at this point Kṛsṇ ̣a is the leader of the Vṛṣṇi party and suggestions that he is divine come later (2.35.6–11, 37.14, 42.21–5). A definite religious sense of pūjā is found when Indra presents a bamboo pole to king Vasu which the king then erects ‘in Śakra’s honour’, so inaugurating the annual Indradhvaja festival (1.57.17–24). The Kuru ancestor, Duḥsạ nta, visiting Kaśyapa’s heritage, is amazed to see pūjā made to abodes of the gods (devatāyatana) by brāhmans (1.64.40). There are also instances where 18  The compound term, maunavrata, is found only in the Ādiparvan (book 1) of the Mahābhārata, in the stories of Śamīka and of Māṇḍavya, and even the concept is rarely found outside that book. In the Rāmāyaṇa, in the only references to this practice, Viśvāmitra on one occasion maintains silence while consecrated for six nights (1.29.4) and on another performs a vrata of silence for a thousand years (1.64.2ab). 19  By contrast, and underlining the lateness of its meaning as a pilgrimage site, in the Rāmāyaṇa the word tīrtha only has the meanings of ‘bathing place’, ‘landing place’, or ‘ford’, deriving more directly from its root meaning of crossing over, with just three late exceptions (6.113.24d and 7.52.6b,7c).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

90  John Brockington actions typical of pūjā as later understood are performed or commended, although the term is not used; a well-known instance is Kṛsṇ ̣a’s statement in the Bhagavadgītā that a leaf, flower, fruit, or water offered to him with devotion by a self-restrained person he accepts (6.31.26). But these occasional and mostly late instances are exceptional. Similarly, in the Rāmāyaṇa the only clear instance of its later meaning is when Kausalyā performs pujā to Viṣṇu and makes oblations into the fire (2.17.6–7) in anticipation of Rāma’s installation.20

5. Yoga The Mahābhārata contains several passages on yoga, as well as incidental refer­ ences more widely;21 in contrast, neither yoga nor sāṃ khya occur in the Rāmāyaṇa in anything like their later meanings (Brockington  2003 and  2005). Even in the Mahābhārata, the term yoga and the term sāṃ khya, with which it is often associated,22 do not refer to the developed systems found later in Patañjali, Īśvarakṛsṇ ̣a, and their commentators, but often have the more general meanings of ‘practice’ and ‘theory’ respectively, while in compounds yoga often has the sense of ‘discipline, regimen’. Yoga and yogins occur widely in the Mahābhārata in contexts which suggest this broader and, in part, different understanding of the terms,23 while the older practice of tapas and that of Yoga are often linked (e.g. 3.2.77, 3.3.10–11, etc.). Various individuals are linked with Yoga teachings; indeed, Vyāsa himself is the main teacher of Yoga, and is once called ‘the best of Yoga experts’ (12.26.4b), and Kapila is referred to as a sage (e.g. 3.106.2, 5.107.17, 12.211.9, 12.260–2). Yoga refers to several spiritual methodologies or disciplines which seem to have originated, at least in part, in non-Brāhmanical circles and to be widely practised without regard to specific ideologies (cf. Bronkhorst 1993). The term ekāgramanas, ‘having a single-focused mind’, occurs, especially in the Mokṣadharmaparvan (12.168–353), as the name for a technique adopted in meditation, for example at 12.188.5, during an explanation of the fourfold ‘Yoga of meditation’ (dhyānayoga). Elsewhere, a description of the practice of Yoga (yogakṛtya) contains a reference 20  Even in the episode where Sītā worships the Gaṅgā as the exiles cross the river and promises offerings analogous to those made in later pūjā, neither the term nor any of its cognates is used (2.46.67–73). 21  Besides various passages in the Śānti and Anuśāsana parvans, these are the Bhagavadgītā, the recapitulation of which Kṛṣṇa delivers to Arjuna after the battle (the Anugītā 14.16–50), a passage attributed to the mythical sage Sanatsujāta (the Sanatsujātīya, 5.43–5) and a few others. 22  While later there is a fairly clear distinction between Sāṅkhya and Yoga, this is not necessarily true in the epic or other popular presentations. The Śāntiparvan contains several assertions of their essential identity, as expounding the twenty-five tattvas (12.228.28, 295.42, and 304.3), as emphasizing purity of conduct and observance of vows (289.9), and so on. 23 Indeed, yoga and yogin occur well over 300 times in the Śāntiparvan, over 100 times in the Bhagavadgītā, and not far short of 900 times in the Mahābhārata as a whole.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Religious Practices in the Sanskrit Epics  91 to performing ‘one-pointedness of the mind and senses’ (manasaś cendriyāṇāṃ ca kṛtvaikāgryaṃ , 12.232.13ab, see also 24c). In the dialogue between King Karāla Janaka and the seer Vasiṣt ̣ha (12.291–6), Vasiṣt ̣ha defines Yoga in terms of onepointedness and breath control (ekāgratā and prāṇāyāma, 12.294.8). The Anugītā (14.16–50) refers to the unequalled science of Yoga (14.19.14ab) in a passage directed towards seeing the self in the self, using also the term ekāntaśīlin, ‘devoted to one purpose’ (14.19.18c, 30c), as perhaps a later equivalent of ekāgramanas.24 As well as being explicitly associated with the practice of Yoga (e.g. 12.304.23) and meditation (dhyāna, e.g. 12.198.6), one-pointedness is also linked to the practice of recitation (svādhyāya at 12.188.5, japa at 12.192.16) and to asceticism (tapas, e.g. 3.246.25 and 12.242.4). However, ekāgramanas is used not only of yogic discipline but also as a general term of commendation; for example, the Kurus as they march out against the Pāṇḍavas are Veda-knowing heroes, all having well performed their vows and having concentrated minds (5.197.3–4, cf. 6.53.3 and 10.4.29).25 Most dra­mat­ic­ al­ly, the man of concentration is one who could carry a full vessel of oil up a staircase while menaced by armed men without spilling a drop (12.304.22–3, cf. 12.289.32). In particularly late passages we find the disciplined yogin and the warrior slain in battle directly compared, in that both are able to pierce the orbit of the sun. Indeed, the two most striking features of Yoga in the Mahābhārata are probably a concern with techniques of dying and use of the imagery of light (Brockington 2010). One example comes in the dialogue of the brāhman and the hunter (3.198–206; cf. Laine 1991: 276–80), where, after expounding the Sāṃ khya categories and the role of the prāṇas, the hunter declares that if one disciplines the mind during the night, eats little, and is pure of soul, one sees the self within oneself and, as though with a lighted lamp, ones sees with the lamp of the mind that the self is separate, and is then released (3.203.37–8). At the most basic level, this light image is widespread in the simile of the steady lamp applied to the yogin. On one occasion, this lamp image is followed by the statement that ‘like a smokeless fire, like the sun with its rays, like the fire of lightning in the ether, so the self is seen in the self ’ (12.294.20), where there is perhaps a succession of ever more dazzling experiences. The most striking example comes in the description of Droṇa’s death. Here, as Droṇa resolves to die, he abandons his weapons and applies himself to Yoga (yogayuktavān); he who possesses great austerities assents to it, resorts to Yoga, becomes a light, and ascends to heaven; as he goes it seems to those below that 24 Alternatively, ekāntaśīlin (found also at 1.32.4c, 110.33a, 12.9.10a, 21.9d, 288.29d; cf. ekāntaśīlatva at 12.23.8c) may mean ‘practising a life of solitude’. 25  In the Rāmāyaṇa both ekāgra and ekāgramanas are used almost invariably in non-religious, often military, contexts; the only exceptions are that Svayaṃprabhā is ekāgrā tāpasī dharmacāriṇi (4.51.1cd) and Sītā goes to Vālmīki’s hermitage upavāsaparaikāgrā (7.46.17c).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

92  John Brockington there are two suns and that the atmosphere is entirely filled with lights (7.165.35–40). Although the degree of duplication overall indicates the existence of more than one layer in its narration, this passage shows that it has been unified with accounts of yogic experience in terms of incomparable radiance. This has clear similarities to the account of Kṛsṇ ̣a’s death (16.5; Schreiner 1988), while the term ‘becoming radiance’, jyotirbhūta, used within this description is used elsewhere of Kṛsṇ ̣a as the supreme deity (13.143.35a), as well as of mythical figures or those achieving liberation, and seems almost a synonym of ‘becoming Brahman’, brahmabhūta. There is quite a close parallel in the death of Bhūriśravas, also described as yogayukta, earlier in the Droṇaparvan (7.118.16–18), while in the Karṇaparvan the dying Droṇa is called yuktayoga (8.5.61); in the later stages of the Epic, the dying Vidura, resorting to the power of Yoga and as it were blazing with splendour, enters the body of Yudhiṣt ̣hira (15.33.26–8). There is no unanimity over what constitutes the practice of Yoga in the Mahābhārata, but rather a wide variety of configurations, with greater or lesser resemblance to the classical system, for example reference to eightfold Yoga (12.304.7) but also to seven dhāraṇās (12.228.13–15; cf. also 12.289.39–57, which contains the striking image that it is easier to stand on sharpened razor edges than to undertake the dhāraṇās of Yoga for the uncontrolled, 54). Yoga practice in the Mahābhārata tends to have four main aspects: general preparations through such things as moral conduct; diet, posture, and surroundings; breath control (prāṇāyāma, rarely mentioned);26 and withdrawal of the senses (pratyāhāra), concentration, and meditation. Especially in the Mokṣadharmaparvan, we find a variety of practices that are to some extent the precursors of the classical system. We also find evidence of a trend towards theism, either by recognition of Īśvara or in the more elaborate form of the focus on Kṛsṇ ạ in the Bhagavadgītā. Although Īśvara, the supreme deity, is recognized, he is not active and tends to be equated with the enlightened self; for example, in the ‘Account of Yoga’ (12.289) sāṃ khyayoga is clearly differentiated from other kinds of Yoga and it is stated that Sāṃ khya is non-theistic, emphasizes knowledge as the only means of salvation, and relies mainly on accepted teaching as a means of knowledge, whereas Yoga is theistic, emphasizes the power and strength of bodily discipline, and relies primarily on immediate perception as a means of knowledge. However, some of the passages which assert a twenty-sixth principle do not imply the later Yoga notion of a lord as a kind of super-soul, but rather mean the ‘person’, puruṣa, or ‘knower of the field’, kṣetrajña, in its enlightened state (e.g. 12.296.11), and several passages clearly imply a non-theistic doctrine; for example, in 12.241.1 the ‘knower of the field’ is equated with īśvara, meaning a yogin possessing powers. But the clearest 26  Just as mokṣa usually in the narrative parts of the Mahābhārata and always in the Rāmāyaṇa means escape from an enemy’s grasp or the like, prāṇadhāraṇa, a similar compound to prāṇāyāma, has the meaning of keeping oneself alive (e.g. 12.139.36–58).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Religious Practices in the Sanskrit Epics  93 theistic emphasis is found in the Bhagavadgītā, where the highest principle which is beyond the twenty-five is Kṛṣṇa, although it also includes passages of non-theistic Yoga, since its earlier chapters are mainly concerned with techniques of isolating the self and achieving self-control, in particular through the practices called buddhiyoga (6.24.48–52; cf. Malinar 2007: 73–5) and karmayoga, self-control through disinterested, so consequenceless, action (6.25; cf. Malinar 2007: 79–81). Another issue that first appears in the Mahābhārata and continues to be important to the later tradition is ambivalence regarding the status of the powers (aiśvarya, bala, vibhūti, siddhi, etc.) that accompany yogic practice and are commonly ascribed to epic characters, both sages and kings or warriors (see Malinar 2011). We find clear warnings about the dangers of such powers for the practitioner, while at the same time such powers are recognized as an inevitable result of yogic practice and are frequently approved of or even made the primary goal of such practice (e.g. yogabala is a goal in its own right at 12.289; cf. yogaiśvarya at 12.228). Elsewhere specific practices are linked, for example breath control and plucking out one’s hair (3.81.51cd). Indeed, tapas and other Yoga practices are often simply efficacious methods to achieve mundane ends, since they produce power which can be manipulated and used to force one’s will on others. This feature persists even into the Mokṣadharmaparvan; examples include the magical power of flying through the air mentioned at 12.312.8cd (where Vyāsa cautions his son Śuka not to be tempted to use it), a long list of such powers at 12.228.21–37, the bhikṣukī Sulabhā entering king Janaka’s body (12.308; cf. Fitzgerald 2002), and even simply aṣtạ guṇam aiśvaryam at 12.326.51c. A striking instance occurs in the episode of Kāvya Uśanas, described as yogasiddha, who uses his yogic power to deprive Kubera of his wealth and then to evade Śiva’s tri­ dent and enter his mouth (12.278.13–20), for which he is finally granted a boon by Śiva and adopted by Pārvatī as her son.

6. Bhakti Just as pūjā in the Epics usually means the honour paid to another person, so too bhakti standardly denotes the loyalty, commitment, or affection of one person to another: wife to husband, child to parent, subject to king.27 The only major pas­ sages in the Mahābhārata where it has religious connotations are the Bhagavadgītā

27  Its derivation from the root √bhaj, ‘to share’, means that it also often has a reciprocal aspect, while another aspect of the meaning of the verbal root, ‘to enjoy sexually’, can be seen in occasional uses of bhakta, usually meaning a loyal follower, to refer to himself by a man propositioning a woman, for example by Nahuṣa lusting after Śacī (bhaktaṃ mām bhaja, MBh 5.15.7a, cf. 13.1e) or Daṇḍa lust­ ing after Arajā (bhaktaṃ bhajasva māṃ, Rām. 7.71.14c).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

94  John Brockington (6.23–40) and the Nārāyaṇīya (12.321–39).28 Even in the Bhagavadgītā Kṛsṇ ̣a discourses on the nature of the ātman and the discipline (yoga) of disinterested action in the first six chapters without once using the word bhakti, while in the middle six chapters, when he deals with the nature of the supreme deity, the term yoga is as frequent as bhakti, showing clearly how it is a matter of loyalty (which includes affection) towards a supreme deity and self-discipline, rather than ecstatic emotional attachment. A good example of this is when Kṛsṇ ̣a declares that he will teach Arjuna the unchanging (avyaya) and ancient (purātana) Yoga ‘because you are my loyal follower and companion’ (bhakto ‘si me sakhā ceti, 6.26.3c). The religious practice required is therefore a relinquishing of personal interests and attachment to the deity in service to him and to the world. It is also intellectual in nature; for example, when Kṛsṇ ̣a classifies devotees into four (6.29.16–18), two are the seeker of knowledge (jijñāsu) and the knower (jñānin, by implication the knower of Kṛsṇ ̣a). In general, the Nārāyaṇīya expounds the bhakti worship of a supreme deity, similar but not identical to that proclaimed by Kṛsṇ ̣a in the Bhagavadgītā, but the Nārāyaṇīya attaches greater value to rituals, sacrifices, tapas, and yoga. Nārāyaṇa, the supreme deity, is gracious to those who are entirely devoted to him (shown by being always employed in doing good to others and being desireless) and this path of devotion is superior to that of knowledge; the one on whom Nārāyaṇa looks with compassion succeeds in becoming awakened from the sleep of ig­nor­ ance and darkness. Nevertheless, the frequency of mention of ekānta, ‘singleness of purpose’, in the first seven adhyāyas suggests the importance of the will for this single-minded devotion. But this one-pointedness is also linked with japa (12.323.32, 325.2–3) and with tapas (327.41); it is also attributed to Nārada as he practises all austerities (sarvakṛcchradharaḥ, 325.2d), having arrived at the White Island. In the Rāmāyaṇa, most of the mere thirty-two occurrences of the term bhakti denote the loyalty of subjects to their king (and at 2.40.27 also the reciprocal con­ cern of Rāma for the citizens) or the loyalty of wife to husband, e.g. Tārā to Vālin (4.16.6) or Sītā towards Rāma in her reply to Hanumān (5.35.62, 57.15, and 63.17; cf. 6.102.12, 104.16). The few explicit uses of bhakti in the sense of devotional worship come from the latest parts of the text, the end of the Yuddhakāṇḍa and the Uttarakāṇḍa: when Brahmā reveals his divinity to Rāma (6.105.5–28) he speaks of those who are devoted to Rāma worshipping him as the primordial supreme person (purāṇaṃ puruṣottamam, 28b); the vānaras are described as 28  There are also a very few minor ones, such as in Saṃjaya’s affirmation of Kṛṣṇa Madhusūdana as the great lord of all the worlds (5.67.1–5). Biardeau’s approach to the Mahābhārata as revealing ‘a universe of bhakti’; that is, the outlook of the Purāṇas does not seem convincing, emphasizing as it does the claimed pervasiveness of bhakti in the text (Biardeau 1982). In fact, the term bhakti in all its senses occurs only just over 150 times, which is a tiny fraction of the number of occurrences of yoga and yogin.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Religious Practices in the Sanskrit Epics  95 showing rāmabhakti (7.38.15d) and Hanumān, because of his bhakti to Rāma, asks to live as long as he shall hear the Rāmakathā on earth (7.39.15–16); and in the closing verses of the Uttarakāṇḍa Brahmā declares the rewards of thinking of Rāma with devotion at the point of death (7.100.17).29

7. Conclusion References to subjects showing loyalty to Rāma are, of course, often held by later audiences and readers to imply the subjects’ religious devotion to him but, as the preceding analysis of how other significant terms are used has shown, the context always needs to be properly understood. Terms for sacrifice and similar rituals, being inherited from the Vedic background, are least affected. Sacrificial rituals in general actually bulk larger in incidental references within both Epics than ascetic practices. Terms for sacrifice occur widely throughout the Mahābhārata narra­ tive, as well as in the more didactic portions. But expiations, prāyaścitta, are rarely mentioned outside the Śāntiparvan, no doubt because of their technical nature, and are almost invariably restricted to mere mentions. Mention of tapas in the Mahābhārata is frequent but occurs mostly in the Śānti and Anuśāsana parvans; however, the definitions in Bhīṣma’s discourses are sim­ ply formal statements which do not reflect actual usage but seek to put a spiritual value on tapas. Elsewhere its efficacy is measured in terms of its goals, which include curses, invulnerability, and power to create or destroy at will; basically, tapas is a means to achieve other ends. Restricting one’s food in various ways up to complete fasting is the commonest form; remaining motionless in its various forms is also significant in the Mahābhārata. In both texts, although sages are often described as ‘practising severe vows’, two other compounds, dṛḍhavrata and dhṛtavrata, are regularly applied to warriors’ tenacity in battle and vrata itself can mean something nearer to ‘behaviour, code of conduct’. The most frequent components of vratas or related practices are fast­ ing (as with tapas) and observances. Pilgrimage to tīrthas is a late feature, mostly limited to the Tīrthayātrāparvans in the Mahābhārata. The term pūjā occurs pre­ dominantly in the sense of respect paid to an individual, especially the formal greeting of a new arrival, of which some details occur widely, but which is a social more than a religious practice. However, practices typical of the later understand­ ing of pūjā, such as making simple offerings of flowers or fruit to a deity, are beginning to appear, although the term itself is not yet commonly used.

29  In addition, in another late passage from the Bālakāṇḍa, Viśvāmitra, telling the young Rāma about the Siddhāśrama, states that because of his (Viśvāmitra’s) devotion to Vāmana the āśrama has become his (1.28.12).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

96  John Brockington The Mahābhārata contains several specific passages on Yoga, as well as many incidental references; however, there is no unanimity concerning which practices constitute its praxis, but rather a wide variety of approaches. Yoga practice tends to have four main aspects: general preparations through moral conduct and the like; diet, posture, and surroundings; breath control; and concentration and medi­ta­tion. We find, especially in the Mokṣadharmaparvan, a variety of practices that in one way or another are precursors of the classical system. The Mahābhārata is ambivalent regarding the status of the powers that accompany yogic practice and are commonly ascribed to epic characters, both sages and kings or warriors. Clear warnings about the dangers of such powers for the practitioner occur alongside recognition that they are an inevitable result of yogic practice, even its primary goal. Indeed, both tapas and Yoga are often simply effective methods to achieve mundane ends, since they produce power which can be manipulated and used to force one’s will on others. Perhaps the two most striking features of Yoga in the Mahābhārata are concerned with techniques of dying and use of the imagery of light. We also find a trend towards theism, whether in the form of a recognition of Īśvara or in the much more elaborate form of the Bhagavadgītā’s focus on Kṛsṇ ạ . This theistic impulse is expressed in the form of loyalty and service to the deity in the same way that a subject is loyal to his king or a wife to her husband, which is what the term bhakti mainly denotes within both the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa. The only major Mahābhārata passages where it has a religious con­ notation are the Bhagavadgītā and the Nārāyaṇīya. In the Rāmāyaṇa, the few explicit uses of bhakti in the sense of devotional worship come from the latest parts of the text. As this chapter shows, the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa occupy a pivotal position in the evolution of Hinduism. Although the pattern of religious activity revealed in their narratives still owes much to Vedic ritual (just as the pattern of deities is broadly Vedic), they also contain the seeds of many later developments in forms which are appreciably different from and correspondingly significant for our understanding of those developments.

References The Mahābhārata, critically ed. by V.S.  Sukthankar and others. 1933–66. 19 vols. Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. The Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki, critically ed. by G.H. Bhatt and U.P. Shah. 1960–75. 7 vols. Baroda: Oriental Institute. Allchin, F.R. 1957. ‘Sanskrit eḍūka—Pāli eluka’, BSOAS, 20, 1–4. Biardeau, Madeleine. 1982. Études de mythologie hindoue, I: cosmogonies purāṇiques. Paris: Maisonneuve.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

Religious Practices in the Sanskrit Epics  97 Brockington, John. 1998. The Sanskrit Epics, Handbuch der Orientalistik 2,12. Leiden: Brill. Brockington, John. 2000. ‘Religious Attitudes in Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa’, JRAS, 1976, 108–29 [rev. repr. in Greg Bailey and Mary Brockington (eds.), Epic Threads: John Brockington on the Sanskrit Epics. New Delhi: OUP, pp. 218–49]. Brockington, John. 2003. ‘Yoga in the Mahābhārata’, in Ian Whicher and David Carpenter (eds.), Yoga: The Indian Tradition. London and New York: RoutledgeCurzon, pp. 13–24. Brockington, John. 2005. ‘Epic Yoga’, JVS, 14(1), 123–38. Brockington, John. 2010. ‘Sūrya ivāparaḥ: Exemplary Deaths in the Mahābhārata’, in Andreas Bigger, Rita Krajnc, Annemarie Mertens, Markus Schüpbach, and Heinz Werner Wessler (eds.), Release from Life—Release in Life: Indian Perspectives on Individual Liberation. Bern: Peter Lang, pp. 21–33. Brockington, John. 2012. ‘How Japa Changed between the Vedas and the Bhakti Traditions: The Evidence of the Jāpakopākhyāna (MBh 12.189–93)’, JHS, 5, 75–91. Bronkhorst, Johannes. 1993. The Two Sources of Indian Asceticism. Bern: Peter Lang [2nd. edn, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1998]. Chapple, Christopher Key. 1996. ‘Ahiṁ sā in the Mahābhārata: A Story, a Philosophical Perspective, and an Admonishment’, JVS 4(3), 109–25. Dahlmann, Joseph. 1895. Das Mahābhārata also Epos und Rechtsbuch. Berlin: Dames. Fitzgerald, James L. 2002. ‘Nun Befuddles King, Shows Karmayoga Does Not Work: Sulabhā’s Refutation of King Janaka at MBh 12.308’, JIPh, 30, 641–77. Gonda, Jan. 1969. ‘Āyatana’, Adyar Library Bulletin, 33, 1–79 [repr. Gonda, Jan. 1975–91. Selected Studies, 6 vols. Leiden: E.J. Brill, II, pp. 178–256]. Hacker, Paul. 1973. Vrata, Nachrichten der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen, Philologisch-Historische Klasse, Jahrg, Nr. 5. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, pp. 107–42. Hara, Minoru. 1979. Koten Indo no kugyō [tapas in MBh.]. Tokyo: Shunjūsha. Hara, Minoru. 1995. ‘A Note on the Phrase kṛśo dhamani-saṃ tata’, Asiatische Studien, 49, 377–89. Hara, Minoru. 1996. ‘A Note on the Epic Phrase jīvan-mukta’, ALB, 60, 181–97. Hara, Minoru. 1997. ‘The Losing of Tapas’, in Dick van der Meij (ed.), India and Beyond: Essays in Honour of Frits Staal. London: Kegan Paul International, pp. 226–48. Hiltebeitel, Alf. 2001. Rethinking the Mahabharata: A Reader’s Guide to the Education of the Dharma King. Chicago, IL and London: Chicago University Press. Laine, James W. 1991. ‘Out of Character: Marginal Voices and Role-Transcendence in the Mahābhārata’s Book of the Forest’, JIPh, 19, 273–96. Lubin, Timothy. 2001. ‘Vratá Divine and Human in the Early Veda’, JAOS, 121, 565–79. Malinar, Angelika. 2007. The Bhagavadgītā: Doctrines and Contexts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

98  John Brockington Malinar, Angelika. 2011. ‘Yoga Powers in the Mahābhārata’, in Knut A. Jacobsen (ed.), Yoga Powers: Extraordinary Capacities Attained through Meditation and Concentration. Brill’s Indological Library 37. Leiden: Brill, pp. 33–60. Olivelle, Patrick. 1981. ‘Contributions to the Semantic History of Saṃ nyāsa’, JAOS, 101, 265–74. Proudfoot, Ian. 1987. Ahiṃ sā and a Mahābhārata Story: The Development of the Story of Tulādhāra in the Mahābhārata in Connection with Non-Violence, Cow Protection and Sacrifice. Asian Studies Monographs, n.s. 9. Canberra: Faculty of Asian Studies, Australian National University. Schreiner, Peter. 1988. ‘Yoga—Lebenshilfe oder Sterbetechnik?’, Umwelt & Gesundheit (Köln), 3+4, 12–18. Shee, Monika. 1986. Tapas und tapasvin in den erzählenden Partien des Mahābhārata, Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik, Dissertationen 1. Reinbek: Dr. Inge Wezler. Wezler, Albrecht. 1977–8. ‘The True vighasāśins: Remarks on Mahābhārata XII 214 and XII 11’, ABORI, 58–9, 397–406. Wezler, Albrecht. 1991. ‘A Note on the Class of Ascetics Called unmajjaka’, Bulletin d’Études indiennes, 9, 217–33.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

PART II

H ISTOR IE S OF PR AC T ICE

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

4

The Early History of Renunciation Patrick Olivelle

The terms ‘renunciation’ and ‘renouncer’ have become commonplace in modern scholarship on ancient and medieval Indian religions. One of the prominent examples of the use of these terms is the seminal study of Louis Dumont (1960), ‘World Renunciation in Indian Religions’, which had a profound impact on later scholarship. He makes several sweeping assertions relating to the centrality of renunciation both within Hinduism and more generally in Indian religions. ‘The secret of Hinduism’, he claims, ‘may be found in the dialogue between the renouncer and the man-in-the-world’ (37). While the ‘man-in-the-world’ is bound in a network of relationships including caste, the renouncer ‘depends upon no one but himself, he is alone’; ‘he thinks as an individual and this is the dis­tinct­ive trait which opposes him to the man-in-the-world and brings him closer to the western thinker’ (46). It is not my intention here to analyse these assertions or to determine their historical accuracy. Rather, at the beginning of this chapter devoted to exploring the origins of the institution that Dumont elevates to such a central position, I want to define the terms and categories we are using. What is ‘renunciation’? Who is a ‘renouncer’? To which Indian institutions and in­di­gen­ous terms and categories do they refer? It is, of course, beyond the scope of this study to delve into the history of these terms within modern, especially Western, scholarship, but I think it is likely that they correspond to the Sanskrit terms saṃ nyāsa and saṃ nyāsin. The former was a term for the Brahmanical institution of becoming a homeless and wandering mendicant, and the latter was the name for a person living that lifestyle. Yet these terms came into use only around the beginning of the Common Era, and they became commonplace only in the medieval period (Olivelle 1975, 1981). In most ancient texts, including the Dharmaśāstras, the usual terms for such ascetics were pravrajita, parivrājaka, parivrāt ̣, bhikṣu, śramaṇa, and yati. Further, during the middle of the first millennium bce there were numerous ascetic organizations and groups with varying doctrines and modes of life that were referred to by some or all of these terms. Saṃ nyāsin, however, was not one of them. So, from a historical perspective, the modern scholarly terms ‘renunciation’ and ‘renouncer’ refer to the complex of ascetic groups, often with historical founders and sacred texts. Dumont’s use of the terms hides the complexity of the institution that he is attempting to describe and locate within the religious history of India. Patrick Olivelle, The Early History of Renunciation In: Hindu Practice. Edited by: Gavin Flood, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198733508.003.0005

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

102  Patrick Olivelle In attempting to get a handle on ‘renunciation’ I used the term ‘ascetic’ as if it was self-explanatory. It is not. Following the work of Harpham (1987), I have argued that the ‘ascetic’ is at the very root of social life; in this sense everyone living in society and forced or taught to curb their instincts and appetites, their id, is an ascetic. But when a word means everything, it means nothing. So I tried to narrow the definition to what I have called ‘elite asceticism’; that is, extraordinary ascetic forms adopted by individuals and groups to achieve specific social, religious, and personal goals (Olivelle 1975, 2006). Yet it is good to remember that these extraordinary forms are not total aberrations; they take what is normal in society to extraordinary heights, just like an athlete takes normal human physical capabilities and activities to an exceptional level. There is ample evidence for the elite kind of asceticism in the earliest period of Indian history. Two terms in particular point to extraordinary bodily control, deprivation, and torture: tapas and śrama, along with their verbal counterparts (Knipe  1975; Kaelber  1989; Olivelle  1993: 9–16). The power derived from performing tapa and śrama was viewed as the source of creation: gods performed tapas in creating the world. Both terms, especially tapas, are connected with heat and fire. Within the human realm, religious virtuosi are said to perform tapas of a variety of sorts. The most common concerned food: depriving oneself of food, fasting, or subsisting on special kinds of food (Olivelle  1991). Taking the fire metaphor literally, one form of tapas consisted of sitting in the middle of four fires blazing during the summer heat, with the sun above as the fifth fire. The analogy to the five sacred Vedic fires is obvious. There is little said, however, about the lifestyle of individuals devoted to such ascetic practices. The Vedic evidence, however, does not present these practitioners as in any way opposed to or an­tag­ on­is­tic towards the Vedic ritual religion. There is also no evidence that people who undertook such ascetic practices adopted a special lifestyle, much less that they withdrew from home, family, or society.

1.  ‘Going Forth’: The Pravrajita At least by the middle of the first millennium bce a novel form of ascetic life arose probably in the north-eastern region of India that has been called ‘Greater Magadha’ (Bronkhorst 2007). This lifestyle was defined by the withdrawal from familial and social structures and the departure of the ascetic from home into a life of homeless wandering. Ancient texts, both Brahmanical and Buddhist, as well as the Aśokan inscriptions, use the verb pravrajati and especially the past participle pravrajita to refer to this ‘going forth’ from the physical and social space of one’s home and to a person who has ‘gone forth’. In Buddhist Pāli sources we encounter the repeated and formulaic phrase with reference to the moment when a person becomes a Buddhist monk: agārasmā

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

The Early History of Renunciation  103 anagāriyaṃ pabbajati—‘He goes forth from home into the homeless state’.1 In the early Dharmasūtras (third to first centuries bce), the term pravrajati is regularly used with reference to the entry into the ascetic modes of life within the āśrama system.2 Prakrit equivalents of pravrajita are used several times by Aśoka in his inscriptions dating to the second half of the third century bce, which I will examine below. Most terms for wandering ascetics are derived from some aspect of their lifestyle. As pravrajita refers directly to the initial departure from home, so parivrājaka and parivrāt ̣ (lit., ‘one who wanders about’) refer to the fact that the ascetic is forbidden to have a permanent residence; he is expected to be itinerant, always on the move. One early Dharmasūtra says that ‘he should not spend two nights in the same village’ (na dvitīyām . . . rātriṃ grāme vaset: GDh 3.21). The other common term bhikṣu (lit., ‘beggar, mendicant’) indicates that the ascetic has no possessions and must beg for food each day. To obtain it, a wanderer enters a village; he is instructed to gather food like a bee (mādhūkaravṛtti); that is, not from a single house but one morsel each from several houses, without becoming a burden on any. The food begged, however, had to be already cooked: one of the central elements of home and social life that the wandering ascetic abandoned was fire, both domestic and ritual. This aspect of his lifestyle is highlighted especially in the Brahmanical literature, which gives him the epithet anagni, ‘fireless’. In an interesting twist, the very tradition that has ritual at the very centre of its religious life is the one that highlights the lack of a ritual fire in the case of wandering ascetics. As we will see, it is this central abandonment that the term saṃ nyāsa originally signified.

2.  Ascetic Organizations Even though the wandering mendicant is often presented both in ancient texts and in modern scholarship as ‘solitary’ and ‘alone’—wandering alone like the single horn of a rhinoceros, as one Buddhist text puts it3—all the evidence we have points to organized groups, often with leaders and names, to which individual ascetics belonged. The only datable evidence regarding ancient Indian ascetics comes from the Aśokan inscriptions, and it is clear that Aśoka assumed that ascetics lived in organized groups or religious orders, although he gives no information about how they were organized and where they lived.

1  Dīgha Nikāya II: 153 and elsewhere. The Pāli pabbajati corresponds to the Sanskrit pravrajati. 2  atha parivrājaḥ. ata eva brahmacaryavān pravrajati. ‘Next, the wandering ascetic. From that very state (brahmacarya), remaining chaste, he goes forth’ (ĀpDh 2.21.7–8). 3  See the Khaggavisāṇasutta of the Suttanipāta, Uragavagga 3.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

104  Patrick Olivelle Aśoka sees pravrajita as falling within or a subcategory of a broader category, namely pāṣaṇḍa. Unfortunately, there is hardly any study on the origin or history of this term, which in later Brahmanical writings came to mean ‘heterodox’, i.e. non-Brahmanical or anti-Brahmanical ascetic sects, such as the Buddhist and Jain.4 In Aśoka, however, the term has a neutral meaning and appears to refer to a religious order or organization. In Pillar Edict 7 Aśoka refers to four pāṣaṇḍas by name: Saṃ gha (that is, Buddhist), Brāhmaṇa, Ājīvaka, and Nirgantha (that is, Jain). We find in this list three well-known religious traditions of the time, but it is significant that Brāhmaṇa is also counted as a religious tradition falling under the category of pāṣaṇḍa. It appears, then, that in Aśoka’s understanding of the term, pāṣaṇḍa was the broadest category to refer to any kind of distinct religious/ascetic organization, a term that comes close to what we mean today by ‘religion’. To understand the meanings of both pāṣaṇḍa and in particular pravrajita, we need to introduce the other category that Aśoka subsumes under pāṣaṇḍa, namely gṛhastha (‘stay-at-home’, householder). In both the Rock Edict 12 and Pillar Edict 7, Aśoka presents both pravrajita and gṛhastha as subcategories of pāṣaṇdạ . In the former he says: devānāpiye piyadaṣsị lājā ṣāvvāpāṣaṃ ḍāni pavajitāni gahatthāni vā pujeti dānena vividhāye ca pujāye; ‘The king, Devānāṃ priya Priyadarśin, pays homage to all pāṣaṇḍas, whether pravrajitas or gṛhasthas with gifts and with a variety of homage-offerings’. In the rather lengthy Pillar Edict, he says: dhaṃ mamahāmāttā pi m'ete bahuvidhesu aṭṭhesu ānuggahikesu viyāpaṭāse pavvajitānaṃ ceva gihitthānaṃ ca savvapāsaṃ ḍesu pi ca viyāpaṭāse—My high administrators of dharma are occupied with various kinds of beneficial ac­tiv­ ities; they are occupied with pravrajitas and gṛhastha, and with all the pāṣaṇḍas.

saṃ ghaṭṭhassi pi me kaṭe. ime viyāpaṭā hohaṃ ti ti—I have directed, ‘These should be occupied also with the affairs of the Saṅgha’. hemeva bābhanesu ājīvikesu pi me kaṭe. ime viyāpaṭā hohaṃ ti ti—Likewise, I have directed, ‘These should be occupied also with Brāhmaṇas and Ājīvikas’. nigaṃ ṭhesu pi me kaṭe. ime viyāpaṭā hohaṃ ti—Likewise, I have directed, ‘These should be occupied also with the Nirgranthas’. nānā pāsaṃ ḍesu pi me kaṭe. ime viyāpaṭā hohaṃ ti ti—I have directed, ‘These should be occupied also with various pāṣaṇḍas’. paṭivisiṭṭhaṃ paṭīvisiṭṭhaṃ tesu tesu te te mahāmāttā—To each specific group have been assigned specific high administrators.

4 The best study of the term in the earliest literature is Joel Brereton’s ‘Pāṣaṇḍa: Religious Communities in the Aśokan Inscriptions and Early Literature’, second chapter of Olivelle 2019.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

The Early History of Renunciation  105 dhaṃ mamahāmāttā cu me etesu ceva viyāpaṭā savvesu ca aṃ nesu pāsaṃ ḍesu— And my high administrators of dharma are occupied with these, as also with all other pāṣaṇḍas.

The assumption in all these inscriptions is that in general pāṣaṇḍa groups had two kinds of members: some who had left home and family (pravrajita) and some who remained at home (gṛhastha).5 These subgroups were found both in what we commonly think of as the new ascetic religions, such as Buddhism, and in what Aśoka calls Brāhmaṇa. The pairing of pravrajita and gṛhastha, both viewed by Aśoka as individuals devoted to a religious life and belonging to demographically identifiable religious groups, complicates our accepted notions of renunciation and asceticism. What is even more surprising is that, as Stephanie Jamison’s seminal study has shown, the term gṛhastha was a neologism in the Sanskrit vocabulary, being used for the very first time in the early Dharmasūtras. The Vedic term for a householder was gṛhapati, but this term fell into disuse in later Brahmanical texts. The new term was probably coined not in Sanskrit but in Prakrit with various permutations such as gharasta, gahattha, grahattha (and grahatha), gehastha, and gihittha found in Pāli and Aśokan inscription. Neither the gṛhastha nor the pravrajita can be studied in isolation; the two relate to and complement each other.6 If we assume that pāṣaṇḍa referred to ascetic or at least religious organizations, then we have here not one but two kinds of ascetic or religious persons, one who has ‘gone forth’ from home and another who has ‘stayed at home’. What the Aśokan material also tells us is that the ascetics who were wandering mendicants (pravrajita, bhikṣu) were not lonely trekkers but belonged to or­gan­ iza­tions. We do have in this same material, as also in Buddhist texts, the term used for the Buddhist organization: saṅgha, a term also used in many sources, including Kaut ̣ilya’s Arthaśāstra, for political organizations that were corporations or ­confederations as opposed to monarchy. Even in Pāli Buddhist texts we can detect an implicit assumption that wandering ascetics were not simply loners but belonged to an organized group with a leader called saṅghin or gaṇin (a person who possesses the saṅgha or gaṇa). There is the repeated use of the formulaic statement with regard to such leaders: saṅghi c’eva gaṇī ca gaṇācariyo, ‘The teacher of a body of disciples, possessing a group’.7 A common question one ascetic may ask another whom he has encountered is:

5 For a discussion of gṛhastha in Aśoka, see Patrick Olivelle’s (2019) ‘Gṛhastha in Aśoka’s Classification of Religious People’, chapter 3. 6  Jamison’s study, as well as several other papers on the gṛhastha, were published in Olivelle 2019. Other studies relevant to this topic are found in Olivelle 2018. See especially ch. 5 on āśramas (Olivelle), ch. 9 on householders (Jamison), and ch. 18 on asceticism (Olivelle). See also Skurzak 1948, Sprockhoff 1976. 7 See Dīgha Nikāya I: 47–9; II: 150.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

106  Patrick Olivelle kaṃ ‘si tvaṃ āvuso uddissa pabbajito, ko vā te satthā, kassa vā tvaṃ dhammaṃ rocesi, ‘Resorting to whom have you, Sir, gone forth, who is your master, whose dharma do you profess?’8 Such leaders are sometimes called tīrthaṅkara, ‘fordmaker’, and six such individuals are mentioned in the Pāli Sāmaññaphala Sutta: Pūrṇa Kassapa, Makkhalī Gosāla, Ajita Kesakambala, Pakudha Kaccāya, Sañjaya Belat ̣t ̣hiputta, and Nigaṇt ̣ha Nātaputta (i.e. the Mahāvīra).9 It is, of course, unclear whether all pāṣaṇḍa groups had similar organizational structures. Even though Aśoka considers Brāhmaṇa also to be pāṣaṇḍa, we do not have archaeological or textual evidence for any kind of monastic organization for Brahmanical ascetics. Yet the information on texts dealing with Brahmanical ascetics, both wandering mendicants and forest-dwelling hermits, that I will ­presently explore makes it likely that some sort of institutional framework was present. It is less likely that texts would emerge and be handed down without some sort of organizational structure.

3.  Origins of the Pravrajita How did the ascetic institutions of ancient India, and more specifically the trad­ ­ ition of wandering mendicants, come into being? Were they religious ­innovations instituted by charismatic religious entrepreneurs? Or were they derived from religious practices of certain ethnic groups? Or do they represent the internal or ‘orthogenetic’ developments of the Vedic religion? There has been a long-standing and ongoing scholarly debate on these questions without giving rise to any kind of consensus. To simplify the discussion, some contend that the origins of Indian asceticism in general and of the renouncer tradition in particular go back to the indigenous non-Aryan population (Bronkhorst 1993; Pande 1978; Singh 1972). Others, on the contrary, see it as an organic and logical development of ideas found in the Vedic religious culture (Heesterman 1964). It is time, I think, to move beyond this sterile debate and artificial dichotomy. They are based, on the one hand, on the false premise that the extant Vedic texts provide us with an ad­equate picture of the religious and cultural life of that period spanning over half a millennium. These texts, on the contrary, provide only a tiny window into this period, and that too only throws light on what their priestly authors thought it important to record. It is based, on the other hand, on the untenable conviction that we can isolate Aryan and non-Aryan strands in the Indian culture a millennium or more removed from the original and putative Aryan migrations. It is obvious that the ancient Indian society comprised numerous racial, ethnic, and linguistic groups and that their beliefs 8  Mahāvagga of the Vinaya Piṭaka, I.6.7; I.23.3. 9  For an extensive study of these and other leaders and their sects, see Basham 1951: 10–93.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

The Early History of Renunciation  107 and practices must have influenced the development of Indian religions. It is quite a different matter, however, to attempt to isolate these different strands at any given point in Indian history. It is a much more profitable exercise to study the social, economic, political, and geographical factors along the Gangetic valley during the middle of the first millennium bce that may have contributed to the growth of ascetic institutions and ideologies. This was a time of radical social and economic change, a period that saw the second urbanization in India—after the initial one over a millennium earlier in the Indus Valley—with large kingdoms, state formation, a surplus economy, and long-distance trade. Although the particular causes and circumstances cannot be pinpointed, it is this social and economic background that spawned the ascetic movements. I tend to believe that the specific institution of wandering mendicants, the pravrajitas, was an innovation. Although the innovators themselves cannot be identified, we can identify the region in which this institution originated. It was north-eastern India, somewhat coinciding with the modern states of Bihar, what Bronkhorst (2007) has called ‘Greater Magadha’. It is probable that, as Bronkhorst has indicated, some cultural traitsof this region may have contributed to the rise of ascetic institutions in the region. The conflict of this renunciatory institution with the values of the Vedic religion, which I will explore in the next section, was more likely in this marginal region where the Vedic culture was less firmly established and which has a distinct cultural identity. Bronkhorst has plausibly identified several features of Indian religion that originated in this region, including rebirth, karma, and the quest for liberation. Aśoka himself, whose writings we have examined, belonged to this region.

4.  Clash of Values: Vedic and Renunciatory Ideals It is not inevitable for ascetic or monastic forms of religious life to be in ­conflict with the broader religion to which they are related. Asceticism of Franciscan ­friars and the monasticism of the Benedictines did not present themselves in  opposition to the Catholic religion or values. The case in India, however, was different. From a very early period we have evidence that the emergent renunciatory values and goals clashed with the ideals espoused by the Vedic religion. Celibacy, non-engagement in ritual activity symbolized by abandonment of the ritual fires, search for transformative wisdom through mental cultivation, and the like stand in sharp contrast to the ritual religion centred on the married householder espoused by the Vedic religion. This clash may have been responsible for the creation of the doctrine of debts in Vedic texts, a doctrine claiming that a man is born with three debts—to gods, to ancestors, and to Vedic seers—debts from

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

108  Patrick Olivelle which one can be freed only by offering sacrifices, begetting offspring, and studying the Vedas, respectively. A Vedic text waxes eloquent on the importance of a son, who is viewed as the continuation of the father and the guarantor of his immortality: A debt he pays in him, And immortality he gains, The father who sees the face Of his son born and alive. Greater than the delights That earth, fire, and water Bring to living beings, Is a father’s delight in his son. (Aitareya Brāhmaṇa, 7.13) And in what appears to be a dig at ascetic claims, the same text continues: What is the use of dirt and deer skin? What profit in beard and austerity? Seek a son, O Brahmin, He is the world free of blame. Using the ideology of rebirth and karma, the renunciatory traditions presented the Vedic ritual religion as continuing the cycle of saṃ sāra; liberation or mokṣa can only be attained through the abandonment of ritual activities, which constituted the most potent form of karma. Some of the anti-ritual rhetoric can be found in the Brahmanical texts themselves, especially in the Upaniṣads (Olivelle 1998). Thus the renunciatory opposition to Vedic ritualism cuts across the Brāhmaṇa/non-Brāhmaṇa divide. One texts ridicules Vedic sacrifices: Surely, they are floating unanchored, these eighteen forms of the sacrifice, the rites within which are called inferior; The fools who hail that as the best, return once more to old age and death. (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad, 1.2) The most famous of the Upaniṣads devalues the significance of children: This immense, unborn self is none other than the one consisting of perception here among the vital functions. It is when they desire him as their world that wandering ascetics undertake the ascetic life of wandering. It was when they

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

The Early History of Renunciation  109 knew this that men of old did not desire offspring, reasoning ‘Ours is this self, and it is our world. What then is the use of offspring for us?’ (Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad, 4.4.22)

Thus, the theological debates concerning the two value systems took place as much within the Brahmanical circles as between the so-called orthodox Brahmanism and the heterodox sects. The intense discussion between Kṛsṇ ̣a and Arjuṇa in the Bhagavad Gītā on the issue of the relative value of renunciation and engagement in one’s socially appointed duties is a classic example of such controversy and debate. Efforts were made, however, to reconcile in some way the Vedic and re­nun­ci­atory religions. The very success of the ascetic traditions based on renunciatory values as evidenced in Buddhism and the Aśokan inscriptions may have prompted Vedic Brāhmaṇas to re-evaluate the ritual religion. Brahmanical renouncers themselves may have wanted to create space for their way of life with the broader Vedic scheme. I discuss two such efforts: the first in the dialogue between Kṛsṇ ạ and Arjuna that I already referred to, and the second in the āśrama system conceived within a new genre of Brahmanical literature called Dharmaśāstra. Both these efforts revolved around the concept of dharma, an old term given new meaning by the ascetic traditions and by Aśoka himself. What is dharma? And how do we know what is the true dharma? These are the questions addressed in the theology that emerged from the clash and the dialogue between ritual and renunciatory value systems.

5.  Theology of Renunciation: Saṃnyāsa and Tyāga In the Bhagavad Gītā, and more generally in the Mahābhārata, renunciation is given a new definition as an internal quality, a disposition of the mind, as opposed to an external mode of life highlighted by the term pravrajita. External emblems, such as ochre robes, begging bowls, and staffs, and external forms of asceticism, such as begging, wandering homeless, and bodily penance, are not essential ingredients of renunciation. It is given a new name, saṃ nyāsa, and the new kind of renouncer is a saṃ nyāsin. As I have shown elsewhere (Olivelle 1981), the term saṃ nyāsa and its verbal and nominal equivalents with reference to renunciation are a rather late entry into the Sanskrit vocabulary. It is only to one aspect of Brahmanical renunciation that saṃ nyāsa refers in its earliest recorded usage within the context of re­nun­ci­ ation, and that is the abandonment of actions, especially ritual activity (karma). Vasiṣt ̣ha, the first Dharmaśāstric writer to use the term, states: saṃ nyaset sarvakarmāṇi vedam ekaṃ na saṃ nyaset| vedasaṃ nyasanāc chūdras tasmād vedaṃ na saṃ nyaset||VaDh 10.4

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

110  Patrick Olivelle Let him abandon all ritual activities; the Veda alone let him never abandon. By abandoning the Veda he becomes a Śūdra; therefore let him never abandon the Veda. The meaning is clear: saṃ nyāsa should be directed at ‘all rites’ but not at the Veda. Manu attaches a technical meaning to the term, but it is always directed at karma: saṃ nyasya sarvakarmāṇi (‘Having abandoned all rites’: MDh 6.95), evaṃ saṃ nyasya karmāṇi (‘Having thus abandoned rites’: MDh 6.96). In Yājñavalkya also, where we find the expression nyastakarmā (‘one who has abandoned rites’: YDh 3.204), the term has the same meaning. The Bhagavad Gītā uses saṃ nyāsa twenty-two times.10 The author of this text attempts to reinterpret the meaning or discover the ‘true’ meaning of saṃ nyāsa. He proposes that attachment to or the desire for the fruits of karma (saṅga, phala) ought to be considered the proper object of saṃ nyāsa, not karma as such. The very fact, however, that he felt the need to undertake such a reinterpretation demonstrates that saṃ nyāsa was commonly thought of as referring to the abandonment of karma. The term is used thirteen times in the Gītā with karma as the object11 and nine times with desire or attachment as the object.12 Significantly, the Gītā calls a person who abandons his attachment to the fruits of karma ‘nityasaṃ nyāsī’ (5.3). The meaning of this term becomes clear when we contrast the nityasaṃ nyāsin with the regular saṃ nyāsin. The latter abandons karma once, namely during the rite of renunciation, whereas the former is engaged continually in abandoning attachment. For the Gītā the nityasaṃ nyāsin represents the true renouncer: anāśritaḥ karmaphalaṃ kāryaṃ karma karoti yaḥ| sa saṃ nyāsī ca yogī ca na niragnir na cākriyaḥ|| A man who performs activity without depending on the results of that activity, he is the saṃ nyāsin and the yogin, not someone who is without a fire and performs no activity. (BhG 6.1) Thus the Gītā proposes sarvasaṃ kalpasaṃ nyāsī (one who abandons all intentions: 6.2, 4) as an alternative to the oft-repeated injunction sarvakarmāṇi saṃ nyaset. What is significant is that the Gītā never uses saṃ nyāsin as a synonym of parivrājaka or bhikṣu. In chapter eighteen the Gītā attempts to draw a distinction between saṃ nyāsa and tyāga (18.1). At first sight the distinction is clear enough:

10  BhG 3.4, 30; 4.41; 5.1, 2 (twice), 3, 6, 13; 6.1, 2 (twice), 4; 9.28; 12.6; 18.1, 2 (twice), 7, 12, 49, 57. 11  BhG 3.4, 30; 4.41; 5.1, 2 (twice), 5.13; 12.6; 18.1, 2 (twice), 7, 57. 12  BhG 5.3, 6; 6.1, 2 (twice), 4; 9.28; 18.12, 49.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

The Early History of Renunciation  111 kāmyānām karmaṇāṃ nyāsaṃ saṃnyāsaṃ kavayo viduḥ| sarvakarmaphalatyāgaṃ prāhus tyāgaṃ vicakṣaṇāḥ|| Sages consider the relinquishment of actions prompted by desire to be ‘renunciaton’, while the wise say that the abandonment of the fruits of all actions is ‘abandonment’. (BhG 18.2) Tyāga thus indicates the internal quality of detachment, while saṃ nyāsa is the actual abandonment of optional rites. However, the Gītā does not consistently maintain such a distinction. We see that saṃnyāsa is often used with reference to the attachment to karmaphala. Discounting the uses of tyāga outside the present context,13 it is used twenty-one times in the Gītā with reference to the attachment to karmaphala14 and only ten times with reference to karma.15 Even though saṃ nyāsa is used more frequently with reference to karma and tyāga with reference to saṅga and karmaphala, the two terms are used interchangeably in the Gītā as in other literature on renunciation. Nevertheless, the fact that when making the above distinction (18.2) the author instinctively chooses saṃ nyāsa to indicate the abandonment of karma is further proof that this term referred primarily to the abandonment of rites and activities. What is significant is that here we have an early attempt at defining re­nun­ci­ ation as an internal quality or virtue and not simply or primarily as an external way of life. The use of terms such as saṃ nyāsa and saṃ nyāsin facilitated this transformation.

6.  Institutionalization of Renunciation: The Āśrama System Perhaps the earliest but certainly the most successful institutionalization of world renunciation within the Brahmanical tradition took place in the novel genre of literature called Dharmaśāstra originating sometime around the third or fourth century bce. Within that literature the vehicle for bringing renunciation into the Vedic world was the new theological system of āśrama (Olivelle 1993). As first articulated in the early Dharmasūtras, the āśrama system envisages four distinct and legitimate modes of religious life. The system originated as a theological construct, and āśrama in its technical usage within the system is a theological concept. The purpose of this theological innovation was to create a scheme within which the pivotal category of dharma could be extended to include religious modes of life different from that of the Vedic householder. The āśrama 13 See BhG 1.9, 33; 2.3; 4.9; 8.6, 13. 14  BhG 2.48, 51; 4.20, 21; 5.10, 11, 12; 6.24; 12.11, 12 (twice); 16.21; 18.1, 2 (twice), 6, 9 (twice), 10, 11 (twice). 15  BhG 12.16; 14.25; 18.3 (twice), 5, 7, 8 (twice), 11, 48.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

112  Patrick Olivelle system can thus be seen as a structure for inclusion aimed at managing diversity not by eliminating it but by recognizing and including diverse religious modes of life within an overarching theological system. The newly discovered history of the term gṛhastha and its underlying mode of life as divergent from and related to the pravrajita discussed earlier, however, provide a new lens through which to explore the origins of the āśrama system.16 The conclusion that the Brahmanical pāṣaṇḍa group had both pravrajitas and gṛhasthas based on Aśoka’s inscriptions is confirmed by the novel institution of the four āśramas. Now, one may ask how the twofold division of pāṣaṇdạ cor­res­ponds to the fourfold division of the āśramas. If we look closely at the four āśramas, however, we find that they actually represent two institutions each subdivided into two. The man who chooses to ‘stay at home’, the gṛhastha, is contrasted with the man who chooses to ‘go forth’, the pravrajita. The former, however, includes the brahmacārin; that is, the student of the Veda who chooses neither to return home and get married nor to go forth as a pravrajita, but who opts to stay on permanently at his teacher’s home devoting himself to Vedic studies. Instead of creating a new household, one’s own gṛha with wife and sacred fire, he remains part of his teacher’s household, serving the teacher’s wife, son, or ritual fire after the teacher passes away. The man who chooses to ‘go forth’ also has two options: he can go to the forest and become a vānaprastha, forest hermit, or he can go to the wilderness and become a wandering mendicant variously called bhikṣu, parivrājaka, pravrajita, muni, and yati. Significantly, the verb pravrajati applies to both these institutions. This is demonstrated by the way Āpastamba, the author of the oldest extant Dharmaśāstra, introduces the two institutions with identical phrases: atha parivrājaḥ| ata eva brahmacaryavān pravrajati||(ĀpDh 2.21.7–8) Next, the wandering ascetic. From that very state (brahmacarya), remaining chaste, he goes forth. atha vānaprasthaḥ| ata eva brahmacaryavān pravrajati||(ĀpDh 2.21.18–19) Next, the forest hermit. From that very state (brahmacarya), remaining chaste, he goes forth. The conclusion that both the wandering ascetic and the forest hermit belong to the category of pravrajita is also supported by an interesting statement in Kaut ̣ilya’s Arthaśāstra. In his discussion of the janapada or countryside (as opposed to the

16  This is an emendation of and correction to what I have said in my monograph on the subject: Olivelle  1993. For this corrected version see my chapter ‘Gṛhastha, Āśrama, and the Origin of Dharmaśāstra’ in Olivelle 2019.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

The Early History of Renunciation  113 pura, city or fort), he lists people and groups who should be barred from entering or living in the janapada. In this context he states: vānaprasthād anyaḥ pravrajitabhāvaḥ—‘any kind of pravrajita other than forest hermits’ (KAŚ 2.1.32). Here pravrajitabhāva, the category of pravrajita, includes the vānaprasthas, who alone are permitted to reside within the janapada. By the beginning of the Common Era, however, the āśrama system underwent drastic changes that culminated in its classical formulation. The āśramas are now envisaged not as alternative modes of life but as stages an individual goes through as he grows old. The first āśrama in the new scheme is identified with the tem­por­ ary period of study following Vedic initiation. After completing this stage, a young adult got married and raised a family; this is the second āśrama. When the householder had settled his children, he withdrew into the forest as a hermit. After a period of time in this stage, the man became a renouncer during the final years of his life. Here the āśramas are temporary modes of life corresponding to different age groups, and choice is eliminated. This formulation reasserts the centrality of the householder; the prime years of an adult’s life are spent as an economically productive head of a household. The classical formulation also avoided the problems posed by the theology of debts. In the new system a man only took to renunciation and celibacy after he had fulfilled his obligations to get married, beget offspring, and offer sacrifices (MDh 6.35–7). In effect, the classical āśrama system transformed renunciation from a life’s calling into an institution of old age, a form of retirement. Both these formulations of the system contained aspects of artificiality. They answered to the requirements of theological and legal minds demanding order; they did not reflect the usually chaotic reality of social or religious institutions. In the original system the choice of āśramas was limited to a single moment of a young adult’s life; in reality, as we know from numerous contemporary sources, married people did leave their families and became renouncers. The classical system limited renunciation to old age; in reality people of all ages became re­nouncers. In time riders were attached to the classical system permitting individuals with extraordinary zeal and detachment to become renouncers early in life (Olivelle 1993: 173–82). Attempts to blunt the opposition between domesticity and celibate asceticism were at best only partially successful. Proponents of asceticism objected especially to the fact that the grand compromise of the āśrama system relegated asceticism to old age, equating it thereby with retirement. The urgency of ­personal salvation could not brook such postponement. An example comes from a Life of the Buddha written in the second century ce by Aśvaghoṣa, a Brahmin who converted to Buddhism and became a Buddhist monk. Although the setting is formally Buddhist, the dialogue between the future Buddha and his father, Suddhodana, captures the controversy both within and outside the

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

114  Patrick Olivelle Brahmanical mainstream regarding the proper age for becoming an ascetic. When the future Buddha informs his father of his intention to leave the world, Suddhodana tells him: Turn back, my son, from this resolution, for it’s not the time for you to give yourself to dharma; For, when you’re young and your mind is fickle, there’re many dangers, they say, in the practice of dharma. As objects of sense tend to excite his senses, as he can’t be firm facing the hardships of vows, A young man’s mind turns away from the wilderness, above all as he is not used to solitude. (5.30–1) The future Buddha replies: If you will become a surety for me in four things, O King, I will not go to the ascetic grove. My life shall never be subject to death; disease shall not steal this good health of mine; Old age shall never overtake my youth; no mishap shall strike this fortune of mine. (5.34–5) When separation is the fixed rule for this world, is it not far better for dharma’s sake to make that separation on my own? Will death not separate me as I stand helpless and unfulfilled, without reaching my goal? (5.38; Olivelle 2008: 137–41) The rejection of the compromise proposed in the classical āśrama system is presented vividly also in a conversation recorded in the Mahābhārata (12.169: selections) between a father, the guardian of the old order, and his son, representing the troubled and anguished spirit of the new religious world. This story, appearing as it does in Jain (Uttarādhyayana, 14) and Buddhist (Jātaka, 509) and later Brahmanical (Markaṇḍeya Purāṇa, ch. 10) texts as well, probably belonged to the generic ascetic folklore before it was incorporated into the Mahābhārata. This text, just like the story of the Buddha, points to the ascetic rejection of societal attempts to convert asceticism into an institution of old age. To the son’s question regarding how a person should lead a virtuous life, the father replies:

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

The Early History of Renunciation  115 First, learn the Vedas, son, by living as a Vedic student. Then you should desire sons to purify your forefathers, establish the sacred fires, and offer sacrifices. Thereafter, you may enter the forest and seek to become an ascetic. The son retorts: When the world is thus afflicted and surrounded on all sides, when spears rain down, why do you pretend to speak like a wise man? The world is afflicted by death. It is surrounded by old age. These days and nights rain down. Why can’t you understand? When I know that death never rests, how can I wait, when I am caught in a net. This very day do what’s good. Let not this moment pass you by, for surely death may strike you even before your duties are done. Tomorrow’s task today perform. Evening’s work finish before noon, for death does not wait to ask whether your duties are done. For who knows whom death’s legions may seize today. Practice good from your youth, for uncertain is life’s erratic path. The delight one finds in living in a village is truly the house of death, while the wilderness is the dwelling place of the gods—so the Vedas teach. The delight one finds in living in a village is the rope that binds. The virtuous cut it and depart, while evil-doers are unable to cut it. In the self alone and by the self I am born, on the self I stand, and, though childless, in the self alone I shall come into being; I will not be saved by a child of mine. The text concludes: Of what use is wealth to you, O Brahmin, you who must soon die. Of what use are even wife and relatives. Seek the self that has entered the cave. Where have your father and grandfather gone? (Translation from Winternitz 1923)

7.  Texts on Renunciation It is clear that organized renouncer traditions produced their own texts dealing with the rules and ideals of their respective traditions at least by the second half of the first millennium bce. This is demonstrated by the extensive literature produced by Buddhist and Jain monks; literature that became their scriptural canons. We do not have similar texts or canons within the Brahmanical traditions of renunciation. But there is evidence that such texts were indeed produced.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

116  Patrick Olivelle A small hint is found in the fifth-century bce grammarian Pāṇini’s reference to two texts on mendicants, which he calls bhikṣusūtra, ascribed to Pārāśarya and Karmanda.17 For him to have adduced these examples to explain a grammatical rule indicates that they were well known to his audience. In the early Dharmasūtras as well, we have what appear to be extracts from texts on the life and behaviour of ascetics, perhaps derived from texts such as those referred to by Pāṇini. Once the institution of renunciation was integrated into the Brahmanical dharma within the novel system of the āśramas, texts of the Dharmaśāstras became the main medium within which the life and activities of renouncers were presented in textual form. The Dharmasūtra of Gautama exemplifies the succinct presentations of ascetic rules common in these texts: A mendicant shall live without any possessions, be chaste, and remain in one place during the rainy season. Let him enter a village only to obtain almsfood and go on his begging round late in the evening, without visiting the same house twice and without pronouncing blessings. He shall control his speech, sight, and actions; and wear a garment to cover his private parts, using, according to some, a discarded piece of cloth after washing it. He should not pick any part of a plant or a tree unless it has fallen of itself. Outside the rainy season, he should not spend two nights in the same village. He shall be shaven-headed or wear a topknot; refrain from injuring seeds; treat all creatures alike, whether they cause him harm or treat him with kindness; and not undertake ritual activities. An anchorite [that is, a vānaprastha] shall live in the forest, subsisting on roots and fruits and given to austerities. He kindles the sacred fire according to the procedure for recluses and refrains from eating what is grown in a village. He shall pay homage to gods, ancestors, humans, spirits, and seers, and entertain guests from all classes, except those who are proscribed. He may also avail himself of the flesh of animals killed by predators. He should not step on plowed land or enter a village. He shall wear matted hair and clothes of bark or skin and never eat anything that has been stored for more than a year.  (GDh 3.11–35)

Early in the Middle Ages, when a new genre of dharma literature called Nibandha or Legal Digest emerged, monographic texts on renunciation came to be written describing most aspects of a renouncer’s life and death, including the ritual by which a person became a renouncer. One of the earliest and most substantial was the Yatidharmasamuccaya written by Yādava Prakāśa in the eleventh century ce (Olivelle  1995). Larger Nibandhas, such as the Kṛtyakalpataru by the twelfthcentury scholar Lakṣmīdhara, contain voluminous sections dedicated to re­nun­ci­ ation (Mokṣakāṇḍa). 17  Aṣt ̣ādhyāyī, IV.3.110–11.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

The Early History of Renunciation  117 Another group of texts that deal with renunciation are a set of Upaniṣads generally called the Saṃ nyāsa Upaniṣads (Olivelle 1992). These were composed over a span of more than a millennium from the early centuries of the Common Era well into the late Middle Ages. Yet Brahmanical renunciation never produced the kind of scriptural corpus its Buddhist and Jain counterparts did, perhaps because it was absorbed and to a large degree controlled by the Dharmaśāstric tradition.

8.  Issues of Gender Two issues of gender loom large with respect to ancient Indian forms of asceticism. First is historical: were there women who became world-renouncing wandering mendicants? Second is theological: what kinds of theologies supported or opposed female renunciation? The answer to the first question is easy. We know from Buddhist and Jain texts and from archaeological and inscriptional sources the existence of orders of Buddhist and Jain nuns (Deo 1956). We also have texts with detailed rules governing the life of Buddhist nuns and their interaction with Buddhist monks. Aśokan inscriptions attest to the presence of Buddhist nuns, whom he calls bhikṣuṇī (Prakrit bhikkuni). The issue is less clear in the case of the Brahmanical tradition. Kaut ̣ilya’s Arthaśāstra (1.12.4), although from a later date (around the first century ce), provides clear evidence of Brāhmaṇa women who have become wandering ascetics (parivrājikā) and have been recruited into the secret service. The Mahābhārata contains several references to both female renouncers and female hermits; the contexts make it clear that these female ascetics were con­ sidered to have been broadly within the Brahmanical tradition. The most celebrated of such female renouncers is Sulabhā, who entered into a debate on the superiority of asceticism over home life with the famous king Janaka (MBh 12.308). Sulabhā is clearly recognized in the story as a Brahmanical ascetic carrying a tripod and well versed in philosophy and yoga. Then there is the story of Ambā, rejected both by her captor, Bhīṣma, and her suitor, Śālva. She decides to become a hermit to perform tapas and, going to a hermitage, she asks the hermits to do her a favour: ‘I want to go forth. I shall practice severe austerities’.18 What is significant here is that Ambā’s decision is her own, and she requests to be initiated into asceticism as a single woman and not as the wife of a man who intends to  become a hermit. Another female hermit named Śabarī is celebrated in the  Rāmāyaṇa (1.1.46; 3.69–70) as a great disciple of the sage Mataṅga.

18  MBh 5.173.14: pravārjitum ihecchāmi tapas tapsyāmi duścaram. Here again the technical term for ascetic initiation—pra√vraj—is used, making it clear that she desired formal initiation into the hermit’s way of life.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

118  Patrick Olivelle The  Mahābhārata likewise records instances where wives go to the forest and become hermits after the death of their husbands.19 The issue is more complicated with regard to the theological positions within Brahmanism. Even in Buddhism we detect a reluctance to admit women into the monastic life, with one story telling us that the Buddha admitted women only reluctantly and predicted that his dharma will have a shorter life in the world because of that decision. Within Brahmanism, the issue hinges on whether women were permitted to undergo Vedic initiation. The general position is that women are not permitted to do so; the only lifecycle ritual accompanied by mantras that women are allowed to perform is marriage, which, according to some, acts as their initiatory ceremony. In the original āśrama system where Vedic ini­ti­ation is the prerequisite for choosing an āśrama, including renunciation, the inability of women to undergo initiation would implicitly bar them from any ascetic mode of life, including renunciation. Yet there are theological voices offering different opinions. Kane (1962–75, II: 293–6) has shown that many ancient authorities assumed that some women underwent Vedic initiation. A text ascribed to Hārīta’s Dharmasūtra and cited by medieval authors explicitly permits it: There are two types of women: those who become students of the Veda and those who marry immediately. Of these, the students of the Veda undergo ini­ti­ ation, kindle the sacred fire, study the Veda, and beg food in their own houses. In the case of those who marry immediately, however, when the time for marriage comes, their marriage should be performed after initiating them in some manner.20

Another opinion comes from the famous twelfth-century Dharmaśāstric scholar Vijñāneśvara. He cites the one instance in which a Brahmanical authority appears to suggest that the renunciation of women constitutes an āśrama. In his commentary on the Yājñavalkya Smṛti (YDh 3.58), Vijñāneśvara interprets the expression ‘delighting in solitude’ (ekārāma) to mean that a renouncer should not have female renouncers or other women as companions. He goes on to cite the following passage from Baudhāyana that permits even women to renounce: ‘Some (teachers permit renunciation) also for women’.21 This statement is made within the context of the discussion of the fourth āśrama, and it may well be that 19  Thus, after the death of King Pāṇḍu, his wife, Satyavatī, and her two daughters-in-law became hermits (MBh 1.119.11). After Kṛsṇ ̣a’s death, likewise, his wives departed to the forest (MBh 16.8.72). See also Kālidāsa, Kumārasaṃ bhava, 5.20, 42, 44. 20  Cited by Nirṇayasindhu (Nirṇaya Sāgar Press ed.), p. 200. 21 Vijñāneśvara on YDh 3.58: ekārāmaḥ pravrajitāntareṇāsahāyaḥ saṃ nyāsinībhiḥ strībhiś ca, ‘strīṇāṃ caike’ iti baudhāyanena strīṇām api pravrajyāsmaraṇāt. This sūtra is not found in the extant version of the BDh. Nandapaṇḍita (on ViDh 25.14) also cites this sūtra but restricts its application to widows.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

The Early History of Renunciation  119 Vijñāneśvara recognized female renunciation as an āśrama. Yet even here there is no explicit statement of that recognition. Sarvajñanārāyaṇa, however, in his commentary on MDh 6.97 records an interesting opinion of some according to which the entire āśrama system is open also to women. They also cite the above sūtra of Baudhāyana as the scriptural basis for their position and interpret the masculine brāhmaṇasya (‘for a Brahmin’) in Manu’s verse as a synecdoche meant to include also the feminine. The medieval theologian Vidyāraṇya attempts a compromise by distinguishing between renunciation preceded by the appropriate ritual, which alone constitutes the corresponding āśrama, and the abandonment of activities prompted by desire. This is similar to the abandonment (tyāga) of the fruits of actions in the Bhagavad Gītā discussed above. According to Vidyāraṇya, all scriptural references to female renouncers should be interpreted as pertaining to the latter type of informal and internal renunciation.

9. Conclusion The creation of the āśrama system placed renunciation at the very heart of Brahmanical religion, given the central position of Dharmaśāstra within it. In the process, however, the renunciation itself underwent changes and reconceptualizations. The conception of internal renunciation of the Gītā was one of the earliest; we will see further domestication of renunciation in later texts (Olivelle  1995: 17–26). On the other hand, renunciatory values were integrated into Brahmanical ethics. We saw the figure of the gṛhastha, very much part of the ascetic world, emerging as the paradigmatic Brahmanical householder. Brahmanical ethics also becomes transformed by giving prominence to virtues such as detachment, ­poverty, and especially sexual abstinence. Yājñavalkya (fifth century ce), the author of a famous Dharmaśāstra, for example, attempts to co-opt the householder into his vision of the true ascetic. A person does not have to formally leave home and family and don special attire in order to be a true ascetic. He observes that ‘By refraining from meat . . . while still living at home he becomes a sage’ (YDh 1.180), and asserts that a householder actually remains a celibate (brahmacārin) by strictly observing the rules with regards to sexual intercourse with his wife (YDh 1.78). Yājñavalkya concludes the topic of the householder by exhorting him to end his life by adopting some of the ascetic behaviours with regard to food: ‘Let him be a man who stores grain sufficient to fill a granary or sufficient to fill a jar, a man who has grain sufficient for three days, or a man who keeps nothing for the next day; or else, he may live by gleaning. Of these, each succeeding one is superior to each preceding’ (YDh 1.127). And at the end of his discussion of the wandering ascetic, he returns to the possibility that even a householder may become liberated if he follows certain

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

120  Patrick Olivelle practices: ‘Even a householder is liberated when he acquires wealth by lawful means, is firmly established in the knowledge of the truth, loves guests, performs ancestral offerings, and speaks the truth’ (YDh 3.206).

Abbreviations ĀpDh  Āpastamba Dharmasūtra BhG Bhagavad Gītā GDh Gautama Dharmasūtra KAŚ Kaut ̣ilya, Arthaśāstra MBh Mahābhārata MDh Mānava Dharmaśāstra VaDh Vasiṣt ̣ha Dharmasūtra ViDh Viṣṇu Dharmasūtra YDh Yājñavalkya Dharmaśāstra

References Basham, A.L. 1951. History and Doctrines of the Ājīvikas: A Vanished Indian Religion. London: Luzac. Bronkhorst, Johannes. 1993. The Two Sources of Indian Asceticism. Schweizer Asiatische Studien, Monographien 13. Bern: Peter Lang. Bronkhorst, Johannes. 2007. Greater Magadha: Studies in the Culture of Early India. Leiden: Brill. Deo, S. B. 1956. History of Jaina Monachism from Inscriptions and Literature. Deccan College Dissertation Series, 17. Poona. Dumont, Louis. 1960. ‘World Renunciation in Indian Religions’, Contributions to Indian Sociology, 4, 33–62. Harpham, Geoffrey. 1987. The Ascetic Imperative in Culture and Criticism. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press. Heesterman, J.C. 1964. ‘Brahmin, Ritual and Renouncer’, Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens, 8, 1–31. Kaelber, W.O. 1989. Tapta Mārga: Asceticism and Initiation in Vedic India. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Kane, P.V. 1962–75. History of Dharmaśāśtra. 5 vols. Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. Knipe, David M. 1975. In the Image of Fire: Vedic Experience of Heat. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Olivelle, Patrick. 1975. ‘A Definition of World Renunciation’, Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens, 19, 75–83.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 10/07/20, SPi

The Early History of Renunciation  121 Olivelle, Patrick. 1981. ‘Contributions to the Semantic History of Saṃ nyāsa’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 101, 265–74. Olivelle, Patrick. 1991. ‘From Feast to Fast: Food and the Indian Ascetic’, in Julia Leslie (ed.), Rules and Remedies in Classical Indian Law. Panels of the VIIth World Sanskrit Conference, Vol. 9. Leiden: E. J. Brill, pp. 17–36. Olivelle, Patrick. 1992. The Saṃ nyāsa Upaniṣads: Hindu Scriptures on Asceticism and Renunciation. New York: Oxford University Press. Olivelle, Patrick. 1993. The Āśrama System: History and Hermeneutics of a Religious Institution. New York: Oxford University Press. Olivelle, Patrick. 1995. Rules and Regulations of Brahmanical Asceticism (critical edition and translation of Yādava Prakāśa’s Yatidharmasamuccaya). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Olivelle, Patrick. 1998. The Early Upaniṣads: Annotated Text and Translation. New York: Oxford University Press. Olivelle, Patrick. 2006. ‘The Ascetic and the Domestic in Brahmanical Religiosity’, in Oliver Freiberger (ed.), Critics of Asceticism: Historical Accounts and Comparative Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 25–42. Olivelle, Patrick. 2008. Life of the Buddha: Buddhacarita by Aśvaghoṣa. The Clay Sanskrit Library. New York: New York University Press. Olivelle, Patrick. (ed.). 2018. ‘Hindu Law: A New History of Dharmaśāstra’, in The Oxford History of Hinduism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Olivelle, Patrick (ed.). 2019. Gṛhastha: The Householder in Ancient Indian Religious Culture. New York: Oxford University Press. Pande, G.C. 1978. Śramaṇa Tradition: Its History and Contribution to Indian Culture. Ahmedabad: L. D. Institute of Indology. Singh, S. 1972. Evolution of Smṛti Law: A Study in the Factors Leading to the Origin and Development of Ancient Indian Legal Ideas. Varanasi: Bharatiya Vidya Prakasana. Skurzak, L. 1948. Études sur l’origine de l’ascétisme indien. Wroclaw: Societé des Sciences et de Lettres.

Sprockhoff, J.F. 1976. Saṃ nyāsa: Quellenstudien zur Askese im Hinduismus. I— Untersuchungen über die Saṃ nyāsa-Upaniṣads. Abhandlungen für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 42,1. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner. Winternitz, Moritz. 1923. ‘Ascetic Literature in Ancient India’, Calcutta Review, October, 1–21.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

5

The Later Institution of Renunciation Sondra L. Hausner

Thinking arises from the unthinkable; Thinking destroys the whole world. A yogi forgets about the thinking, And immerses himself into the unthinkable . . .. A householder who talks about wisdom, An opium addict who tries to meditate, A renouncer who maintains desire— The nāth says: They are all in a nice trap. (Attributed to Gorakhnāth. Djurdjevic and Singh 2019: 147–8)

Renunciation plays a particular cultural role in the social worlds of both historical and contemporary South Asia. As the practical manifestation of a philosophical legacy that in its many schools emphasizes the importance of cosmic unity and transcendental knowledge—the capacity to overcome human emotion and phys­ ic­al shortcomings—as the way to achieve it, the rejection of worldly pursuits through renunciation has become a core tactical and symbolic solution to reli­ gious attainment. The person who embodies that goal—he (or, more rarely, she) who ably renounces the otherwise assumed life course of marriage, parenthood, ritual action, and community involvement—thus occupies a special place in the religious life of the sub-continent. A textual renouncer lives the philosophical dictum to renounce society, pursuing full-time the religious attempt to transcend earthly limitations, in a worldly body all the while. Thus it is that sādhus—known as wandering ascetics, renouncers, sannyāsīs, bābās, or sometimes yogīs or jogīs—have been a real, visible presence in the Indic religious landscape for thousands of years. Ironically, perhaps, and on the ground (rather than in the philosophical texts laying out the ethical laws of structure and practice), he or she cannot pursue the path alone. One must have a teacher—a guru—if one is to follow the rigorous path of renunciation, and from this seminal teacher–student relationship springs a new, alternative social network for those who renounce. Renunciation may be an anti-institutional life path, but new insti­ tutions emerge in turn to enable the strength as well as the solitude that the rejec­ tion of the mainstream world requires. Famous worldwide as isolated hermits in Sondra L. Hausner, The Later Institution of Renunciation In: Hindu Practice. Edited by: Gavin Flood, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198733508.003.0006

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

The Later Institution of Renunciation  123 the Himalayas, the social structures of ascetic life have in fact sustained the institutions of renunciation for centuries. By the early modern period, these structures were well developed and played a key role not only in the ways ascetics saw themselves, but also in how sādhus were seen by the rest of Indic society. This double paradox—solitary renouncers who belong to institutions that are designed to challenge the conventional structures of society—is at the core of ascetic life. It is a paradox that does not much trouble real-life renouncers, how­ ever; rather, it emerges as a source of sustenance for what can be a challenging if liberating life choice. But analytically it requires some unpacking: how can soli­ tary renouncers belong to institutions? And if renunciation is premised on undo­ ing conventional social worlds, how can it depend on social structures and institutions of its own? Renouncers do belong to institutions, and engage in social relationships, with teachers, with householders, and particularly with each other, especially members of their own ascetic orders and lineages. And the institutions that derive from those lineages play a special role in challenging worldly orders or structures, and in supporting those who reject or renounce them. In what follows, five sections lay out the most concrete ways we can under­ stand the widely varied and often changing later institution of renunciation. First, the long histories of these structures are to some degree known, but they are also mythologized in both the ascetic and the popular imagination; significant aspects of renouncer history underscore sādhus’ identities today. Next, renouncer social structures show us how individual practitioners from a wide variety of back­ grounds and who engage in a broad range of religious actions (and who are some­ times defiantly individualistic) can nonetheless consider themselves to be members of a social group, and act in collective fashion. In the third and fourth sections, we see the many forms of religious practice in which renouncers engage as part of their vocation, individually and together, through space and time, sometimes in a manner akin to the practices of householders, but in others in a manner distinct: no renouncer can earn the respect of his lineage or the public without a proven history of practice, broadly defined. Finally, what does the con­ temporary institution of renunciation look like? After so many centuries, what shape does renouncer life take in the face of modernity, and in the present?

1. Histories As with so many elements of early religious history in the sub-continent, the great eighth-century innovator Ādi Śaṅkarācārya is often popularly attributed with organizing the first institutional orders that would bring individual ascetics into collective bands or families. These first ascetic orders—more likely initiated in the early modern period (Clark  2006)—were (and remain) known as akhāṛās, or regiments. The use of military symbolism here is intentional: members of an

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

124  Sondra L. Hausner akhāṛā were considered able to deploy and sometimes display both religious prowess and the great personal and physical strength that derived from it. A renouncer’s identity has long drawn on the idea that power in the transcendental realm could be translated into power on the material plane, and vice versa. Whether or not Śaṅkarācārya was really the innovator of early ascetic social structure, akhāṛās were conceived of as fraternal orders, and as formalized struc­ tures that could protect ascetics (and, in turn, others) in variable and changing circumstances that could sometimes be hostile. Indeed, renouncer experience must have changed dramatically around the turn of the first millennium when akhāṛās were first instituted, and again over the course of the sixteenth and seven­ teenth centuries, when political instability erupted anew, creating a large popula­ tion of geographically dispossessed men who must have been drawn to the possibility of institutional affiliation (Gross  1992). Ascetic akhāṛās or regi­ ments—many new ones emerging over the centuries (Clark 2006; Sarkar 1950)— meant that ascetics could and did band together when necessary, practise together when expedient, and, most importantly, develop a sense of collective identity that was grounded in strength and power, in contrast to the isolation that may have derived from the experience of being a poor, landless, unemployed young man, which likely marked the personal histories of many aspirants. Realistically, circumstances of displacement and poverty may have been the life experience of many men who turned to renouncer life and renunciate orders in these periods, a pattern that continues into the present. That there was a viable alternative institution to join may have inspired the choice to renounce ­householder conventionality for many individual sannyāsīs over the course of the centuries; few sādhus may have been devoted, full-time religious practitioners from the outset. This is not to say that solitary practice or religious devotion has played no part in ascetic life, but the social worlds of renouncers are equally developed (Hausner 2007; Olivelle, this volume; Farquhar 1918, 1925). Being part of a brother­hood offered a different kind of renunciation than being an isolated ascetic did. The creation of a formal home base for those who had previously been in loose and unaffiliated bands of ascetics led to new possibilities for the larger institution of renunciation—and new implications for the harnessing of ascetic power. By the end of the sixteenth century, ascetic regiments were collectively hired as mer­ cenary warriors to protect local principalities from foreign armies of all persua­ sions (Pinch  1996). What better way to make use of the religiously inspired strength of unattached young men than to direct it against those who would chal­ lenge the religious commitment or autonomy of their patrons? If the religious conviction of ascetics with a history of disenfranchisement and deprivation was strengthened by spiritual teachings emphasizing the immateriality of the tran­ scend­ent, so much the better. Indeed, in the early modern period, wandering ascetics drove the British to  distraction: akhāṛās collected taxes of their own and owned increasing amounts of land. After an initial attempt to ally with ascetic akhāṛās, new laws

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

The Later Institution of Renunciation  125 were laid down to disallow the free movement of Indian colonized subjects, ­precisely inspired by the impossibility of governing usually naked, sometimes armed, ascetic self-made militaries (Ewing 1997; Freitag 1985). British colonizers had reasons to be nervous: after repeated lootings and attacks on the East India Company, it was reported that, in 1773, sannyāsīs slaughtered an entire British detachment (Stiller 1989). There is no doubt that becoming institutionalized made ascetics stronger, as a collective and possibly also as individuals, able to demonstrate their power in the service of the external world as well as in their own internal worlds. If renun­ ciation is about harnessing religious power—the power of transcendental, emotion-free, cosmic knowledge—why not use that power for worldly ends, too? A capable renouncer will be both powerful and detached from the fruits of that power, and so is an ideal warrior, it is said: he is able to display great strength—partly as a result of having overcome emotion—and he is able to deploy that strength in the service of a righteous cause. Famed ṛṣis, or sages, are revered in ancient texts as ‘conquerors of the senses’ (jitendriya). And an army of renouncers is even stronger than the sum of its individual parts. The mercenary life built upon and confirmed the same values that the ascetic life did: strength, autonomy, and a refusal to become attached to a particular home life or territory unless it was affiliated to a higher or divine cause. For its part, regimental existence offered a few benefits of its own: a powerful sense of mas­ culine prowess for those who had renounced householder life, and sometimes weapons to boot. Legacies of all these histories remain in the present: akhāṛā structures; the value of autonomy and the creation of the self in religiously inspired ways; the combination of wandering and weaponry; the association between military and ascetic force; and the power of the ascetic brotherhood. What is clear is that the long history of ascetic life is, counter to popular imagery in both the sub-continent and the rest of the world, precisely institutionalized. Institutions themselves—the formal aspect of asceticism, and sometimes even the bureaucratic dimension of it—constitute, and even ground, the social orders of sannyāsī life, as paradoxical a construction as that may be.

2. Structures The akhāṛā is still in existence today as a major organizing structure of ascetic life: although they are no longer mercenary outfits, their legacy as a set of regimental orders remains one of the most fundamental aspects of the institution of renun­ ciation. Akhāṛā membership means an alternative form of belonging is real: the akhāṛā can be a source of strength for an ascetic who might otherwise be on his or her own. Religious knowledge, mercenary history, and collective identity all combine to contribute to the perceived power of the renouncer.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

126  Sondra L. Hausner On a practical level, akhāṛās work as membership organizations, or as­so­ci­ations; they ensure that its members are fed and, when they are in the location of an akhāṛā headquarters or mat ̣h or monastery, housed. They may lobby or advocate for the rights of their members, to whom they issue formal identity cards that may make movement across the sub-continent easier, as in the case of travel to restricted pilgrimage areas, for example. The administrative structure of the akhāṛās is elaborate, and it is possible (and, for some, desirable) to rise in the ranks from being simply a member of an akhāṛā to an officer, or a mahant, or maṇḍaleśwar, or, higher, a mahāmaṇḍaleśwar, who is in charge of akhāṛā policy as well as interactions or negotiations with other ascetic and lay collective bodies, about festival processions, for example, or when to make a political statement in a public forum with a display of Hindu religiosity. Akhāṛās are powerful on the lay material plane, too: the institutions are still major landowners in pilgrimage places, such as Haridwar and Varanasi, and they continue to act as landlords, administra­ tors, and monasteries all in one. If akhāṛās are administrative bodies that ensure collective home bases and a sense of membership, daśnāmī lineages among Śaiva sādhus in particular are ver­ tical lines of continuity within—and across—multiple akhāṛās. The daśnāmī— ‘ten-name’—structure delineates a system of descent that, in parallel, ensures that a sādhu lineage is not exclusively an administrative structure, but also draws on the most intimate bond of sadhu life, that is, the relationship between teacher and student. Thus do daśnāmī lineages create an institutionalized mode of transmit­ ting teachings and facilitate a shared practice among brothers; an initiate sādhu takes on the surname of his teacher. The daśnāmī line or surname is a more per­ sonal connection to the institutions of renunciation, built into one’s identity as a practitioner. Key to the institution of renunciation—to sādhu identity, sādhu practice, and the generation of an alternative sādhu social world—are the lineages between teacher and student, or guru and chela (see also D. Gold 1987 and this volume). Disciples who have been formally initiated into teachers’ own lineages are the backbone of the enduring institution as a viable or extant social order, on both the practical and theological levels. And the value of having a teacher is primary among what it means to renounce in the first place: many contemporary sādhus narrate their own journeys towards renunciation as beginning with, or being cata­lysed by, meeting a guru. Even if such an encounter does not take the form of a deus ex machina, or a dramatic conversion from householder to renouncer life, meeting or looking for someone who might become a guru is inevitably part of the path of renunciation. It is not possible to renounce householder life effectively, with solid support in place, without a guru to follow; that is, someone who will consistently offer teachings to guide and structures to join. A student will always belong to his or her teacher’s lineage, line of transmission, and akhāṛā: crossovers in these areas are not viable. Closely following the religious instructions of a

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

The Later Institution of Renunciation  127 teacher is seen as the steadfast mechanism by which a newly initiated renouncer, who would otherwise have to navigate an unmoored existence apart from con­ ventional householder social orders, becomes tethered or connected to an equally significant institutional reality. Of course, these close lines of transmission act as a kind of reproduction in a world that does not countenance—and precisely defies—householder values that place a premium on family life as a way to ensure social and sexual reproduction. The guru–chela relationship is designed to produce a lineage in the absence of a father–son one, with a higher set of transcendent religious values replacing the worldly reproduction of caste and family line. In ascetic worlds, the reproduction of religious teachings and sannyāsī lineages in place of householder families is referred to as an explicit parallel, with kinship terms used among renouncers to designate relationships. A fellow disciple of one’s teacher is referred to as one’s ‘guru-brother’, for example, and one’s guru’s guru is referred to as one’s ‘grandfather’. Lineages are explicitly referred to as ‘families’; usually the eldest guru-brother, or at least the most senior in terms of respect or accomplishment, will take over the lineage upon the passing of the guru or teacher. These are conscious reflections upon—and responses to—householder kinship structures: sādhu lin­eages and kinship charts both acknowledge the power of families and make a claim for the sustainability of renouncer institutions. The reproduction of a counter-structural institution through teaching and name lineage—rather than through sexual reproduction—ensures the longevity of both religious teachings and the social values of the institution that refers to itself as a renouncer family. Kin networks sustain renouncer sociality (just as they sustain householder sociality), but here they do so in an alternative, counter-cultural world. They also sustain the specific practices—wandering; bodily dis­cip­lines, known as tapas; or particular dietary restrictions, for example—that are embraced by that lineage, or that are negotiated between individual teachers and their students.

2.1.  Collectives and Individuals Śaiva sādhus, through their daśnāmī lineages; Vaiṣṇava sādhus, including Tyāgī, Bairāgi, and Rāmānandi lineages; Udāsīn sādhus, based in Sikh orders; and Nāth sādhus, descended from the yogi Gorakhnāth, tend to be the four sectarian divi­ sions along which the membership or bureaucratic administration of the world of renouncers as a whole is usually delineated. These sectarian nomenclatures, espe­ cially between so-called Śaiva and Vaiṣṇava sādhus, have less to do with worship of a particular deity (Śaiva sādhus call out, ‘Om Namo Nārāyaṇa’—‘Praise to Viṣṇu—to each other, too) than with the administrative homes each order sus­ tains, especially in connection with major festivals that bring ascetics together

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

128  Sondra L. Hausner and place them at the centre of the proceedings, such as at the Kumbh Melās in central and northern India. Each collective of sādhus has its own assigned terri­ tory in the central tented area at these large gatherings, and each is assigned an order in which its members may bathe. The point of all these administrative and sectarian divisions, and even the com­ plex and elaborate set of teacher–student lineages, or families, that make up the institution of renunciation, especially in the context of a history of practice, is that renouncers operate from a collective base (see Burghart 1983a, 1983b; Gross 1992; Clark 2006; Hausner 2007). For all their variety of backgrounds; ideologies; theo­ logic­al orientations; dress and bodily adornments; and religious practices and proscriptions, renouncers share one thing in common: they consider themselves and renouncer life as fundamentally opposed to householder, or gṛhasthī, life. This binary opposition between renouncers and householders is part of the mo­tiv­at­ing momentum of renouncer experience: sannyāsī worlds defy conven­ tional householder ideology. The mythic and textual premises of renouncer life thus deliberately undo or invert standard householder actions and aspirations, on the matters of creating homes and communities, performing ritual action, and producing children. These intentions are rather creatively reappropriated. Louis Dumont (1980 [1966]) famously describes sannyāsīs as the only ­individuals in a hierarchical, otherwise entirely collective, Hindu society. This view is now much critiqued—householder Hindus have individual lives, too (see, for example, Mines  1994; Trawick  1990), and, as we have seen, ascetics cultivate and live within collective structures of their own. But Dumont was correct to consider the oppositional quality of renouncer life. Further, the ways in which a social order that is largely constituted by sometimes irreverent (as far as mainstream society goes) and even defiant individuals is held together is one of the enduring and operative questions in the production of renouncer life as an alternative counter-culture to householder existence (Thapar  1979; Hausner 2007). To be sure, in addition to whatever religious inspiration they may have, sādhus renounce householder life in part because they do not want to be con­ stricted; in sociological terms, they want to be individuals. But the possibility of being an individual ascetic within the shared social worldview of renunciation only came into being, ironically, once akhāṛās and lineages were institutionalized; that is, once there was a way of being a renouncer within an organizational framework. One could leave the world of being a householder and find that the alternative world of being a renouncer was enhanced by the perception of reli­ gious power. For millennia, the institution of renunciation has allowed sannyāsīs to be individuals, in pursuit of the religious life—and able to be defi­ ant about it—precisely because they belong to alternative social structures that can support and even nurture them in what inevitably will be a sometimes lonely journey.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

The Later Institution of Renunciation  129

3.  Materiality and Transcendence To what extent is ascetic life, then, about engagement with spiritual practice— especially if we understand spiritual practice to be an individual pursuit, when here we have emphasized the social or institutional aspect of ascetic life? We have seen that, even if an ascetic’s practices appeared isolated—when he or she repairs to the mountains, for example, to engage in solitary retreat, or takes to a life on the road, to wander the most important pilgrimage sites for a decade or more— renouncers still belong to alternative families, lineages, and administrations. And yet, despite the institution that supports it, renunciation must be understood first as an act of social disengagement. But the extent to which the symbolic act of  renunciation—which idealizes solitude as the full-time path to religious commitment—is made literal in practice varies widely. Indeed, the discrepancy between the ideology of solitude and detachment, which is so deeply grounded in textual and philosophical ideals, on one hand, and the real-life practices of living sādhus, who sometimes stray from those ­ideals, on the other, is enough to make many lay Hindus doubt the veracity of the institution as a whole. (The trouble, of course, is that one never knows when Śiva may precisely disguise himself as a bedraggled, wandering renouncer, seemingly without attainment, and come asking for alms. That Śiva often takes this form in myth points to the figure of the sādhu as a real-life version of: ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’.) Even if the vast majority of sādhus are thought to be charlatans or no-good-niks, there is still patience and even a tacit public respect for the so­terio­logic­al goals of renunciation in Hindu life. The ambivalence with which the lay public views the discrepancy between ascetic textual ideals and the ways they are—or are not—played out in practice reflects the ambivalence between ideology and exigency within renouncer life as well. One clear area of tension is in the area of gender, for example: theologically, gender is well understood as ‘a mere attribute’ (Khandelwal  1997: 80) of the ephemeral body, already known to be an illusion or at least an impermanent sheath for the eternal ātman, which is the true concern of the ascetic. And yet the experiences of—and the structures for—women ascetics differ dramatically from those of and for men. This difference is widely and publicly acknowledged, right alongside theological teachings that hold firmly that all material forms or manifestations—bodies and selves being primary among them—are not to be taken or trusted as real. Gendered bodies are thus the preeminent examples of changeable, non-eternal nature that must be seen through if eternal reality is to be known, or correctly apprehended, through ascetic practice—and yet those same gendered bodies determine the roles that one plays, the ways one may be interacted with, and the structures to which one may belong. In short, even within ascetic life, gender matters, despite a rhetoric that emphasizes the irrelevance of bodily manifestation

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

130  Sondra L. Hausner or materiality in general, and that of gender in particular. Women ascetics reign supreme in some cases (think of the unmitigated universal regard in which Anandamayi Ma has always been and is still held), but women of the rank-andfile are generally treated as second-class citizens within ascetic regiments, just as they are within many householder societies (Khandelwal et al. 2006). Despite the ideals of ascetic solitude, women ascetics are rarely alone, and few would wish it upon them: most women ascetics live in collective women’s ash­ rams, sometimes exclusively for widows; many women ascetics renounce upon the death of husbands (Denton 2004). It is considered safer for women to be in a group, physically and materially. To be sure there are exceptions to the widespread dictum that women, especially, should remain in groups, or should remain mod­ est in their demeanour—always following the men in collective processions at Kumbh Melās, for example—while their male counterparts enjoy the power of militant imagery. Some women sādhvīs are defiant (Hausner 2005); some choose to live alone but then, in desperate poverty, fall through the cracks even of sādhu society (Hausner 2007); and some (on the opposite end of an odd social spectrum that would measure the resources available to ascetics) run ashrams of their own and are respected for it (Khandelwal 2004). Such flexibility around the classical tenets of renouncer life is not limited to the question of whether gender matters, or that of solitude, although that, too, is a productive example. Although renouncers are classically meant to spend no more than three nights in a particular location—attachment inevitably arises when one becomes accustomed to the places in which one finds oneself—contemporary sādhus do, often, remain in place. Both women and men argue that it is too hard to engage in contemplative life on the road; daily practices of both the religious and the everyday variety become more manageable if a renouncer finds an alter­ native base from which to engage, and to which to repair. Some locations are more acceptable bases for a renouncer than others, however: caves, small kutīrs or cottages, or dhūnis, sacred fire pits that are often built within or adjacent to tem­ ples, are all suitable locations for practising renouncers. Sometimes temple dhūnis are hosted on akhāṛā land, and a sādhu is charged with its care and the ritual activities associated with it—much as a paṇḍit would care for a household or a gṛhasthī collective association’s temple. If appointed modestly and maintained in a manner sufficiently religious in tone, ashrams, too, are considered locations where individual sādhus and their followers, students, and devoted or like-minded individuals may retire for the sake of reflection and appropriately engaged action. Mostly in the domain of men—but not entirely—the dhūni, or sacred fire pit, is often the place of a sādhu, also demarcating his or her ‘seat’, or sthān. The dhūni is the exteriorization of the fire; indeed, the mark of a successful—or genuine— ascetic is the capacity to internalize the three fires that Brahmans are required to keep alight as part of their religious duties to their ancestors (see Doniger and Smith 1991; Olivelle 1992). Dhūnis have multiple practical purposes, too—they

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

The Later Institution of Renunciation  131 are a place to cook; a source of warmth; a way to keep the insects and mosquitos away. But primarily they are a portable symbol of a hearth for he who has renounced the homestead. One can carry one’s seat; one’s place; the symbol of one’s home: these seemingly critical aspects of material existence for household­ ers are not forsaken as such, but shown to be mobile, enabling a life of transcend­ ence. They are a creative way of playing out a textual ideal in practice, for the sake of sustenance.

4.  Places and Practices Home; the hearth; the fire; the seat—those symbols of stability and accomplishment—­have a way of taking on greater importance and meaning than a religious philosophy that encourages detachment would deem appropriate for those seeking attainment. The solution for a practitioner? Show them to be illu­ sory: Take them on the road. It should be no surprise that the religious transcendence to which renouncers aspire is made both metaphorical and literal through spatial metaphors. What better way to indicate the heavens, or the realm of extra-illusory knowledge? Indeed, the alternative network that constitutes sādhu society exists in broader spatial dimensions than those that contain a householder community: renouncer communities map themselves onto mythological territory that speaks to Hindu ideas of sacred landscape (Eck 1981; Hausner 2007). Pilgrimage places, or tīrthas, are plentiful throughout India and the ­sub-continent—and are particularly dense in the Himalayas, the abode of Śiva, the patron deity of renouncers, and of many householder pilgrims too. Whether because of ancient textual injunctions that suggest that sādhus might be fed, sheltered, and offered service at tīrthas—yogis were, until recently, offered hashish at Kathmandu’s Paśupatināth Temple on Śiva Rātrī—or because tīrthas make con­ venient des­tin­ations for an ascetic on the road, where he or she is bound to meet sādhu sisters and brothers, during festival season or outside of it, the many holy sites and temples in the sub-continental landscape have become the nodes on the wandering circuits and routes for renouncers. They have become the places where sādhus stay on, too: pilgrimage destinations are often home to a sādhu’s dhūni, or an akhāṛā’s temple or ashram—and they can serve as a welcoming overnight (or longer) stay for a renouncer who has set forth to visit a teacher or a guru-brother in another area or region of India. Such a spatial network of pilgrimage places, many tended to by renouncers, thus serves to enable an extended social network of ascetics. Indeed, given renouncers’ public role as holders of religious knowledge (ideally speaking), it is thought appropriate that their home bases, such as they are, are located in places of religious significance. The dharmaśāstras specifically state

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

132  Sondra L. Hausner that the presence of ascetics augments the holiness of a pilgrimage place, and sevā, or service, to ascetics, at these locations was a long-held practice (Michaels 2008: 190), particularly during certain festivals when sādhus would make their way to known places of gathering. It may be that a textual encouragement to offer shelter and alms to ascetics at pilgrimage places set in motion a practice of travel­ ling to—and then staying in—these destinations for sādhus; it must also have heightened the symbolic association between the religious power of a tīrtha and that of an ascetic, as well as that of their corresponding spatial and social networks. Whether textual, practical, or both, a spatially dispersed network of cosmically linked pilgrimage places considered home to renouncers as a group has enabled the possibility of building a renouncer community over great distances and some­ times infrequent meetings. Similarly, renouncers share a festival calendar of sorts, with specific ritual events, particularly the Kumbh Melā, serving as a call for a collective gathering; these are occasions when sādhus do meet each other in person, to refresh their ties to each other and to their community as a whole. Again, this calendar is pro­ jected on to a transcendent scale, taking place not annually (as would often be the case for householder communities) but every twelve years (or every three years, insofar as the festival takes place in four locations, each on a twelve-year cycle). If, for householders, calendars are aligned with lunar and solar cycles, for re­nouncers they are aligned with astral cycles: the twelve-year cycle is the orbit of Jupiter, and the length of time it takes for the constellation to return to its home base in the sky. The mythological basis of such a festival projects on to a grander, more tran­ scend­ent, more super-human scale, both spatially and temporally, for it derives from a story of rivalry between the gods and the demons fighting over a pot (the kumbh of the festival name) of amṛta, or the nectar of immortality. The kumbh— wrested away from the demons by the gods, through a clever shape-shifting ruse by Viṣṇu in the guise of a beautiful woman named Mohinī, or delusory one—was presumably filled to overflowing with the precious nectar; in the ruckus, a little bit spilled—four drops, to be precise. These four drops fell into the rivers at four precious locations, the current locations of the four Kumbh festivals, and when the heavens return to the same configuration in which they appeared at the time of the feud, the rivers turn into nectar all over again. Renouncers thus live on a circuit of pilgrimage places and gather on a cycle of festival rituals (Hausner  2007). Their places and times of connection—the way their institutions are bolstered and sustained over time and place—are perhaps more abstract than those of householders; they use landscapes as maps and ritual occasions as calendars. Such abstraction is a way of articulating—to themselves and to householders, who may visit them in pilgrimage places or come to offer respects and receive blessings at melās, or festivals—that they occupy a tran­scend­ ental realm that is cosmically, astrally, and philosophically far beyond the con­ crete or defined spatial and temporal domains of householder life.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

The Later Institution of Renunciation  133 If there is any doubt as to whether renouncers’ lives are closer to ­householder-style lives, or to the philosophically more rigorous and materially purer lives of the religiously accomplished; if there are questions about the level of renouncers’ accomplishments, or signs of enduring worldliness, or collective life in the guise of renunciation, let it be recalled, an ascetic might say, that the pilgrimage circuits and festival cycles that ground and pace renouncers’ collective lives are attuned to those of the gods, or those who have definitively transcended the petty moral quandaries and material troubles of humanity. The mountains and rivers are manifestations of those deities, and the festivals that place renouncers at the ­centre of the action emerge from the victories of the gods. If spatial and temporal practices define the terms of any society, the institution of renunciation aligns itself with a heavenly one.

4.1.  Wandering and Tapas Wandering is the most potent ascetic symbol of practice. Roaming, wandering, traversing—the word tīrtha, or pilgrimage place, derives from the root tṛ, or to traverse or cross over—accomplishes at least two symbolic gestures. First, it indi­ cates in no uncertain terms that renouncers do not belong to a particular place, and this above all confirms their status as sannyāsīs. They are perpetual wan­ derers, who belong everywhere and nowhere at once. Second, it demonstrates that the ideals of detachment are practically acted upon; renouncers do not settle, this rule suggests, and thus they do not develop the lasting ties that would bind us all into saṃ sāra and enduring karma. They are free, metaphorically—spatially— and thus philosophically. Wandering is the classic metaphor of renouncer life: by making the body the central vehicle of practice, the renouncer is no longer beholden to external space, an external community, or even, at the higher attain­ ments of practice, to the body itself. In truth, and in the contemporary period, renouncers may not wander for their entire lifetimes but for a prescribed period, in consultation with their gurus, or, alternatively, to get to a particular place, sometimes to visit a guru-brother or fellow member of a lineage or akhāṛā. And they may wander to a festival as well. They may also feel an affinity with a particular place, and possibly settle there—an akhāṛā temple; a guru’s ashram—for a time. Or they may be assigned to perform caretaking duties at a particular akhāṛā temple or ashram. In general, then, renouncers neither wander perpetually nor belong nowhere—but they do jeal­ ously guard their independence; their freedom of movement; their connections to many people and many places; and their ability to belong to a landscape rather than to a singular, sometimes provincial location. Thus do renouncers’ institutional networks and histories of wandering offer them a more expansive—or, as they might argue, transcendental—view of the

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

134  Sondra L. Hausner land and the communities of which they are a part, at least on the fringe, in the case of householder worlds, or more centrally, in the case of sādhu worlds. And whether they wander or stay put, are connected to householder communities or not, all renouncers emphasize the importance of the value of the mobile lifestyle to teach lessons. They also acknowledge that true religious realization can come to a pure practitioner in any form, whether they be sedentary or mobile, isolated or connected. To become fixated on wandering, or on any particular practice, as the only way to achieve realization would be counter-productive: the end, not the means, is the goal. If a renouncer can fulfil his ritual duties wandering all the while, he is poised to become a powerful practitioner indeed, by accruing the heat within the body that would precisely afford the highest level of spiritual attainment. (Recall that the central practical problem of asceticism was solved once it was determined by the ancient texts that a renouncer could transmute the ritual obligations of a practi­ tioner to the ancestral deities by keeping the three fires lit within the body instead of outside of it [Olivelle 1992; Doniger and Smith 1991].) The tapas that is said to be the result of a steadfast renouncer’s disciplines has an enormous, otherworldly capacity: it can precisely be accrued only by a devoted practitioner, usually in extreme circumstances. Besides, if an ascetic can truly master the discipline—the tapasya—that is core to the yogic life, the kind of power he or she can accrue would easily match or mimic that of a warrior. It is a long-held saying that an accomplished sādhu would be a master of both ‘śāstra and astra’—the śloka and the sword, or the line of religious text and the weapon. Both require a steadfast focus, an unerring gaze, a determination, and a willingness to apply intense phys­ ic­al effort and mental determination in order to reach the highest transcendental or ideological goals. Embedded in the act of renunciation are, thus, both sociological and theo­ logic­al motives, and ascetic practices reflect each, even as they sometimes seem­ ingly contradict each other. The image of the powerful yogi—as powerful as a warrior—implies that the material world itself is the plaything of the accom­ plished practitioner. In one sense, the warrior ascetic is at cross-purposes with the isolated renunciant: highly engaged with the material and social world, the for­ mer seems to contradict the latter’s ambitions to attain transcendental knowledge; some ascetics as well as some laypeople argue that the two positions are incom­ patible. But in practice, the accomplishments of charisma, usually masculine power, and loyal ferocity tend to stand in as the metaphor for access to the world of the tran­scend­ent, and as evidence that renouncers have a larger-than-life power to which the rest of us mere mortals can only aspire (Orr 1944). Whatever individual or lineage practices renouncers may engage in, their his­ torical role as wanderers, sometimes armed, often alone (or in small bands), showing the wear and tear of extensive travel and, for some, frequent hashish use as well, means that they have always been assigned a number of social functions

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

The Later Institution of Renunciation  135 that could only be delegated to someone marginal. A transient passer-by, who would not stay long in a village or a township, and who knew how to be fierce when need be, could serve multiple roles on his or her perambulations around the countryside, ranging from healing acts to religious orations. Renouncers could sing of mythical heroes who eventually come around to the correct mo­tiv­ ation towards religious action (A. Gold 1992). They could rally political causes by drawing out themes based on the importance of religious ideology as explained through famous and much-loved literature (Menon  2012). They could demon­ strate their own religious awareness and accomplishment through song (DeNapoli 2014). Or they could care for animals or orphans, offering healing power when it was needed (Hausner 2005). Apocryphal myth tells us that they could also heal infertility when passing through a village quickly overnight. While all these methods may have been ways for renouncers to earn their alms, and a place to  sleep and stay during their wanderings—and while some of them seem ­ utcome— downright worldly rather than transcendent in their orientation and o they also constitute much-appreciated, and often solicited, forms of religious action. Such a range of contributions can also be understood as elements of religious practice.

5.  The Contemporary Institution Actual practices in much of twentieth-century asceticism most likely reflected many centuries of sādhu life. Both symbolically and structurally, the longstanding history of this core Indic institution holds many continuities into the present. Structurally, the ways renouncers are organized—into akhāṛās, first, and daśnāmī lineages dependent on a new, sannyāsī name, second—have been in place for a thousand years and remain the operative institutional characteristics of renouncer life. Symbolically, ascetics retain a particular brand of largely masculinist power that is associated with a military, mercenary history, and its sometimes attendant nationalist values that prioritize Hindu life and practice. The point of these alternative structures is precisely to create a social world that rests on its own laurels, or an institution that can sustain itself on its own terms, and is beholden to no other. And what of the contemporary institution? Beyond these technical structural markers of sādhu identity, how does the institution of renunciation sustain and comport itself in the present? What does it mean to be a sādhu in the modern period, and especially in the contemporary era? Dramatic changes have taken place in the ascetic institutional worlds in the last two decades and, unsurprisingly, the starkness of the division between sannyāsīs and gṛhasthīs has muddied, itself an indication of the changing structures of Indian society. Sannyāsīs are no longer quite so removed from householder society. (They never were, entirely—they had

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

136  Sondra L. Hausner to beg for alms, and depend on householders for sustenance even as householders might depend on them for religious instruction and inspiration. And ascetic lore is full of tales of individuals who managed to fudge a full-time ascetic existence, living a sādhu’s life for a season or two annually, and then returning to marital families for part of the year.) But for the most part, the primary identifying factor of a large range of renouncer institutions and practices was a fundamental dis­ tinction from householder values and aspirations: a different worldview emerges for those who are not focused on marriage, childbearing, home ownership, and ensuring the longevity of offspring and kin. Such a distinction was notable in physical markings and the colour of clothing (ochre; matted hair; earrings through the centre of the ear for Nāth yogis; etc.), for example, as well as in the sustained nature of ascetic practices. Now, with mobile phones a near-universal apparatus for creating and main­ taining networks—and with householder families sometimes as geographically spread out as ascetic families are—ascetic institutions rely on the same technol­ ogy as householder institutions do. Sannyāsīs and gṛhasthīs are both geo­graph­ic­ al­ly disparate and technologically linked up (or linked in), using the shared platforms of WhatsApp and Facebook. Further, individual modes of transport serve independent sādhus just as they serve young and mobile householders: mopeds, motorbikes, cars—and even large SUVs for wealthy or ashram-running bābās—serve a generation eager to cross large distances quickly and in­de­pend­ ent­ly. Unlike the decades when ascetics were thought to walk—or the decades when they could travel for free on public buses or trains—in the twenty-first cen­ tury, for a young sādhu to have a vehicle is not unusual. Younger sādhus still do spend time on the road, possibly more to visit their wide social and geographical networks than on pilgrimage, however—although they will always visit the holy sites on the way, and be lauded for it. Perhaps, rather than seeing the ascetic world as becoming more aligned with householder values and practices, we might see householders as becoming more like the individuals in the classic sociological rendering of ascetics. If buses and trains used to be free for a wandering ascetic in India, and hashish was freely provided by the Nepali government for yogis at the Paśupatināth tem­ ple, no such government provisions are available any longer, even as the Modi administration publicly proclaims itself in favour of and aligned with ascetic life. Individual sādhus, like everyone else in aspiring middle-class India, are required to make ends meet on their own terms. And the cost of living in South Asia has skyrocketed in recent years, meaning that even ascetics have to find a way to pay for food and basic supplies—they can no longer live a cash-free existence. These seemingly small but dramatic changes—no free transportation; much higher costs, including taxes, of food and even basic sustenance like tea; and, like every­ one else, a social landscape changed by a reliance on individualized travel—seem

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

The Later Institution of Renunciation  137 to flatten the distinctions between the ascetic institution and the structures of householder life. Many lay Hindus question the number of lavish ashrams and rich gurus that have burgeoned on the Indic landscape in recent decades, especially when they come with cars, bank accounts, or large groups of followers that require consider­ able land and even more sizeable numbers of staff to clean, cook, and manage sometimes large holdings. These trappings, many argue, are not appropriate markers of renouncer life. Many renouncers who manage ashrams for the sake of the religious health of their communities share these apprehensions: ashram life, if one has to run it, deviates significantly from the classic mode of renouncer life, even if the ideal of repairing to an ashram continues to inspire practice and reflection. And yet ascetic life thrives in contemporary South Asia, and the modern world. In one sense, this is because—not for the first time and probably not for the last— the iconic role of asceticism in Hindu life and culture is on the ascendant both in contemporary India and Nepal and, in many contexts where ‘Eastern’ spirituality is sought (Singleton and Goldberg  2014), globally. The idea of an ashram—so central in the history of asceticism and the experience of most renouncers at some if not all points in their development as religious practitioners—has made its way around the world as synonymous with a spiritual retreat and a space set apart for private meditation. The global resonance, thus, of the institution of renunciation means that, in the twenty-first century, it is not subsiding, even if it looks significantly different from what it has meant for the last half-millennium.

6.  Conclusion: Into the Present The later institution, as we have described it here, begins in the medieval period and continues unabated until the end of the twentieth century. As a set of struc­ tures and practices, renunciation has been used to various ends but has remained highly visible and recognizable for the past 800 years or so. Whatever its struc­ tural manifestation or political uses over this long period—and they were many and varied—one societal feature remained constant: the later institution of renunciation acted as a challenge, or a counter, to mainstream householder Brahmanism. In many ways this oppositional stance was deliberate, serving as a productive relation for both worlds: householder religiosity could not hold itself up as an unchecked superior form of religious life if other practitioners were fulltime; celibate; solitary; and able to put into practice or make real religious as­pir­ ations such as detachment from the material and social worlds. Ascetics kept householders humble, on one hand, reminding them that all worldly goals and achievements were at some level illusory. On the other, householder life

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

138  Sondra L. Hausner has been, for ascetics, a continual reminder of that which they aspire to transcend, as challenging as that may be. To be a renouncer requires a structure to renounce; a framework that stands as an ideal must itself be rejected by the renouncer. Even at the highest levels of caste, which tend to be correlated, in householder worlds at least, to the highest perceived level of religious knowledge and power—such as a Brahmin pandit should possess—the presence of the renouncer in the Indic reli­ gious landscape indicates yet another religious goal, or a superstratum, to which the ascetic alone has the bravery and courage to aspire. This tussle between the heights of Brahmanical structure and the transcendental otherworldly attainments of the sannyāsī has informed Indian religious life for centuries (see, for example, Heesterman 1964). There has been much scholarly debate about whether and to what extent renunciation is actually about departure from everyday, householder life: if new social worlds emerge, is renouncing somehow less social? And if renouncers still interact heavily with householders—if their reputation as being ‘dead’ to their natal families does not play out in practice; if sādhus seek alms, teach aspirants, establish ashrams, or engage in political lives; if, indeed, some renouncers even spend part of their post-renunciation lives as part-time householders—can we think of renunciation as a legitimately alternate path to the ways of householder life? Is renouncer life significantly or fundamentally different in quality to house­ holder life if, in all these domains, we see a blurring of the categories or a lack of differentiation as envisioned by the early texts? Despite this overlapping of categories and frequency of encounter with house­ holders, the world of renouncers has always been ideologically distinct, and this conceptual difference is what matters. Renunciation is supposed to be different— being able to travel easily, to fulfil political or even militant duties, to live religious life in a way that householders may not be able to is what gives this life choice purchase. Renouncers are supposed to be detached from the traditional goals of producing family, generating wealth, or holding land, for the sake of religious—otherworldly, to use a Weberian phrase—aspirations, not this-worldly ones. Thus is the renouncer such a powerful symbolic role in Indic social life, and in an accounting of Hindu religious aspirations. Renunciation is the act that em­bodies religious wisdom, transcendent ideals, and detachment from the world as it is lived and experienced. For centuries, renouncers were—and arguably they remain, even as their outer trappings change—the symbols of true religious life, and of practices that are said to fulfil an aspiration towards higher goals, however those ends may be articulated. In short, renouncing the world has long been understood as a means for achieving difficult or out-of-reach destinations on the material plane, or the transcendent one, or even the ideological one: all these dimensions fold together in the iconic weight of renunciation in modern India.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

The Later Institution of Renunciation  139

References Burghart, Richard. 1983a. ‘Renunciation in the Religious Traditions of South Asia’, Man, n.s., 18, 635–53. Burghart, Richard. 1983b. ‘Wandering Ascetics of the Ramanandi Sect’, History of Religions, 22, 361–80.

Clark, Matthew. 2006. The Daśanāmī-saṃ nyāsīs: The Integration of Ascetic Lineages into an Order. Leiden: Brill. DeNapoli, Antoinette  E. 2014. Real Sadhus Sing to God: Gender, Asceticism, and Vernacular Religion in Rajasthan. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Denton, Lynn Teskey. 2004. Female Ascetics in Hinduism. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Djurdjevic, Gordan and Sukhdev Singh, trans. 2019. Sayings of Gorakhnāth: Annotated Translation of the Gorakh Bānī. New York: Oxford University Press. Doniger, Wendy, with Brian  K.  Smith, trans. 1991. The Laws of Manu. New York: Penguin Books. Dumont, Louis. 1980 [1966]. Homo Hierarchicus: The Caste System and Its Implications. Mark Sainsbury, Louis Dumont, and Basia Gulati, trans. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press. Eck, Diana  L. 1981. ‘India’s “Tīrthas”: “Crossings” in Sacred Geography’, History of Religions, 20(4), 323–44. Ewing, Katherine Pratt. 1997. Arguing Sainthood: Modernity, Psychoanalysis, and Islam. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Farquhar, J.N. 1918. Modern Religious Movements in India. New York: Macmillan. Farquhar, J.N. 1925. ‘The Fighting Ascetics of India’, The Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 9, 431–52. Freitag, Sandria B. 1985. ‘Collective Crime and Authority in North India’, in A.A. Yang (ed.), Crime and Criminality in British India. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, pp. 140–56. Gold, Ann Grodzins. 1992. A Carnival of Parting: The Tales of King Gopi Chand and King Bharthari as Sung and Told by Madhu Natisar Nath of Ghatiyali, Rajasthan, India. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Gold, Daniel. 1987. The Lord as Guru: Hindi Saints in the Northern Indian Tradition. New York: Oxford University Press. Gross, Robert Lewis. 1992. The Sādhus of India: A Study of Hindu Asceticism. Jaipur, New Delhi: Rawat Publications. Hausner, Sondra  L. 2005. ‘Staying in Place: The Social Actions of Hindu Yoginīs’, European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, 28 (Spring), 54–66. Hausner, Sondra L. 2007. Wandering with Sadhus: Ascetics in the Hindu Himalayas. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 09/07/20, SPi

140  Sondra L. Hausner Heesterman, J.C. 1964. ‘Brahman, Ritual, and Renouncer’, Wiener Zeitschrift fur die Kunde Sud- und Ostasiens, 8, 1–31. Khandelwal, Meena. 1997. ‘Ungendered Atma, Masculine Virility and Feminine Compassion: Ambiguities in Renunciant Discourses on Gender’, Contributions to Indian Sociology, 31(1), 79–107. Khandelwal, Meena. 2004. Women in Ochre Robes: Gendering Hindu Renunciation. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Khandelwal, Meena, Sondra  L.  Hausner, and Ann Grodzins Gold (eds.). 2006. Women’s Renunciation in South Asia: Nuns, Yoginis, Saints, and Singers. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Menon, Kalyani. 2012. Everyday Nationalism: Women of the Hindu Right in India. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Michaels, Axel. 2008. Śiva in Trouble: Festivals and Rituals at the Paśupatinātha Temple of Deopatan. New York: Oxford University Press. Mines, Mattison. 1994. Public Faces, Private Voices: Community and Individuality in South India. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Olivelle, Patrick. 1992. Saṃ nyāsa Upaniṣads: Hindu Scriptures on Asceticism and Renunciation. New York: Oxford University Press. Orr, W. 1944. ‘Armed Religious Ascetics in Northern India’, Bulletin of John Rylands Library, 24(1), 81–100. Pinch, William R. 1996. Peasants and Monks in British India. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Sarkar, J. 1950. A History of the Dasnami Naga Sannyasis. Allahabad: P. A. Mahanirvani. Singleton, Mark and Ellen Goldberg. 2014. Gurus of Modern Yoga. New York: Oxford University Press. Stiller, L.F.S.J. 1968. Prithvinarayan Shah in the Light of Dibya Upadesh. Kathmandu: Himalayan Book Centre. Thapar, Romila. 1979. ‘Renunciation: The Making of a Counter-Culture?’, in Ancient Indian Social History: Some Interpretations. Delhi: Orient Longmans. Trawick, Margaret. 1990. Notes on Love in a Tamil Family. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

6

Measuring Innovation Genesis and Typology of Early Pūjā Natalia Lidova

Pūjā is often perceived as a predominantly Hindu form of veneration of gods, as it is currently the main ritual for almost one billion followers of Hinduism (about 15 per cent of the world’s population), with approximately 800 million of them living in India. It is less known that pūjā is also used as the main ritual in other religious communities, specifically different groups of contemporary Buddhists and Jains, as well as of Sikhs and various India-orientated spiritual practices and religious movements such as ISKCON. This makes pūjā not only a pan-Indian form of worship but the worldwide ritual that crossed the borders of its native country and gained many adepts all over the world. This chapter examines the genesis and development of this religious practice. Despite the popularity and importance of pūjā, relatively few studies are dedicated to this form of ritual. Most of them represent overview discussions of fieldwork dedicated to the study of contemporary practices of the ritual. These works create a detailed picture of what pūjā means as a contemporary ritual,1 both in its developed and organized priestly form, performed mainly in the temples, and 1  A generally accepted definition of pūjā does not exist. In highlighting the main features of this ritual, scholars give pūjā the following definitions: ‘Puja, also spelled pooja or poojah, in Hinduism, ceremonial worship, ranging from brief daily rites in the home to elaborate temple ritual’ (Falk 2005: 7493); ‘The daily or regular worship of one or several deities through invocations, offers of gifts, and ritual farewell is called Pūjā’ (Michaels 2004: 241); ‘Pūjā means reverence, honour, adoration or worship. It is a fundamental religious ritual that Hindus perform on a variety of occasions’ (Gligor 2009: 243). A more detailed definition of pūjā can be found on the website of the Smithsonian Institute: ‘Pūjā is the act of showing reverence to a god, a spirit, or another aspect of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs, and rituals. An essential part of puja for the Hindu devotee is making a spiritual connection with the divine. Most often that contact is facilitated through an object: an element of nature, a sculpture, a vessel, a painting, or a print. During puja an image or other symbol of the god serves as a means of gaining access to the divine. This icon is not the deity itself; rather, it is believed to be filled with the deity’s cosmic energy. It is a focal point for honoring and communicating with the god. For the devout Hindu, the icon’s artistic merit is important, but is secondary to its spiritual content. The objects are created as receptacles for spiritual energy that allow the devotee to experience direct communication with his or her gods. . . . Wherever pūjā is performed it includes three important components: the seeing of the deity; puja, or worship, which includes offering flowers, fruits, and foods; and retrieving the blessed food and consuming it. By performing these sacred acts the wor­ ship­er creates a relationship with the divine through his or her emotions and senses’ (http://www.asia. si.edu/pujaonline/puja/background.html (accessed on 15.07.2018)). Natalia Lidova, Measuring Innovation In: Hindu Practice. Edited by: Gavin Flood, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198733508.003.0007

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

142  Natalia Lidova numerous local tantric and folk variations, including those used in sectarian, ­syncretic, and Guru-focused religious groups.2 Very rarely, pūjā is considered theoretically as a particular type of ritual to be studied comprehensively from historical, comparative, religious, semiotic, and other points of view. This chapter aims to tackle just two essential questions, namely the question of origins and that of the typology of the early pūjā cult.

1.  The Genesis of Pūjā Ritual Genesis as a concept is associated with two basic factors: birth, usually determined by a break in continuity and a transition of the phenomenon to a qualitatively new state, and the subsequent development of this new-born phenomenon, which involves the process of assimilation and transformation of the acquired set of qualities into a new integrity and new system of interaction. Both these factors are relevant to pūjā, if we bear in mind not just the moment of origin of this ritual but also its introduction into the circle of Vedic rites. Scholars have, on several occasions, referred to the heterogeneity of pūjā to the Vedic cult, with its main ritual, performed with the help of fire, defined by a completely different name—yajña or yāga. The main reason for this differentiation was the absence of any detailed description, or even a singular mention, of the pūjā ritual in the texts of the Vedic era. If the pūjā ritual existed in Vedic time at all, it was on the periphery of the Āryan world and was totally marginal to it. This is the only plausible explanation for why it avoided codification and does not feature in any known text of the Vedic era. Furthermore, even the word forms derived from the root ‘pūj’ made their way to the thesaurus of the twice-born accidentally and are extremely rare in Vedic Sanskrit. At the same time, the root itself is undoubtedly ancient and was recorded already in the hymn Ṛgveda 8.17.12, where the name Śācipūjana (lit. ‘honouring of/by the power’)3 is mentioned. The references to the pūjā ritual become more frequent around the middle of the first millennium bc in the texts of late Vedic and early post-Vedic eras. This word occurs twice in the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa (ŚB 3.5.3.25; 3.6.1.25), once in the Chāndogya Upaniṣad (ChUp 1.2.1), and many times in different contexts in Āpastamba, Baudhāyana, and Gautama Dharmasūtras. In early Buddhist texts pūjā as a form of veneration is repeatedly mentioned in  Sutta Nipāta (SN 128; 238–40; 261; 318), in Dīgha-, Majjhima-, and

2  The most important publications are given in the References at the end of this chapter. 3  ‘O Śācigu, Śācipūjana, this [soma] has been squeezed for thee to rejoice’ (śācigo śācipūjanāyaṃ raṇāya te sutaḥ). The same line occurs in the Atharvaveda 20.5.6a, Samaveda 4.1.2.05.02a.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

Measuring Innovation  143 Saṃ yutta-Nikāyas, in Dhammapada,4 and among more reliably dated sources—in the edicts of king Aśoka, in particular the 12 Edict from Girnar.5 This fact can have only one explanation: although the root pūj existed in the Vedic time, it, as well as the ritual itself, was absolutely alien to the Āryan society. It is difficult to establish what came first—the noun or the verb—as the debate on the primacy of one or the other part of speech continues from predecessors of Sanskrit grammarian Pāṇini to our days. It is important that both linguistic forms with the meaning of ‘honour’ or ‘worship’ were well known to Pāṇini’s predecessor, grammarian Yāska (sixth to fifth century bc), the author of the treatise called Nirukta on etymology and the semantics of Sanskrit words. The contexts in which Yāska mentions the word ‘pūjā’ suggest that he was familiar not only with the notion but also with the practice of the ritual it defined. An example would be Nirukta 2.26, which states: ‘pāṇiḥ (hand) is derived from [the root] paṇ, meaning to worship: they worship gods, having folded their hands’ (pāniḥ panāyateḥ pūjā karmaṇah pragṛhya pānī devān pūjayanti) (Sarup  1920: 36–7). Another example is Nirukta 5.14, where it is said: ‘water is called puṣkaram, because it is a means of worship (pūjā-karam), or to be worshiped (ūpak)’ (udakam puṣkaram pūjākaram pūjayitavyam) (Sarup  1920: 81). In both cases, Yāska referred to distinctive features of the actual ritual of the pūjā type, namely the use of water in worship of gods for sprinkling and bathing, and of a special gesture of the hands folded together, known as añjali mudrā or praṇāmāsana and widely used in the practice of contemporary pūjā and yoga. Pāṇini’s grammar Aṣt ̣ādhyāyī (fifth to fourth century bc) also has a significant number of sūtras defining the rules of word formations using the root pūj,6 as well as some scattered references to the realities of the Hindu cult.7 Moreover, Patañjali’s (2 bc) commentary on the Pāṇini’s sūtra 5.3.99 ‘jīvika-arthe cāpaṇye’,8 4  See for example Dhammapada 5.45: māse māse sahassena yo yajetha satam samam-ekam ca bhāvitattānam muhuttampi puja sā yeva pujanā seyyo yam ce vassasatam hutam. 5  In GRE XII Aśoka orders the honouring of all sects, including ascetics and householders, with gifts and pūjā of various kinds (sava pasandāni dānam cha [pa]vajitani cha gharastani cha pujayati dānena cha vividāya pujā pujayati). See also: KRRE XII; SRE XII; MRE XII. See Hultzsch 1925. On the religious beliefs according to the Aśoka’s edicts, see: Lubin 2013: 29–41. 6 For example: su-ḥ pūjā-yām (1.4.94), vṛddhá-sya ca pūjā-yām (4.1.166), árc-aḥ pūjā-yām (3.2.133), ance-ḥ pūjā-yām (7.2.53; 6.4.30), máti-búddhi-pūjā-arthe-bhyas-ca (3.2.188). See also: 1.4.94; 2.1.61; 2.1.62; 2.2.12; 3.3.105; 5.4.69; 6.4.30; 8.1.37; 8.1.39; 8.1.67; 8.2.100. 7 In sūtra 4.3.95 the term ‘bhákti’ is mentioned. Lately, it has become widely widespread in Hinduism as a designation of ‘worship’ and ‘devotion’. According to Pāṇini’s rule, it also denotes ‘the object of devotion of worship’. For example, ‘Vasudevakaḥ “devotee or worshipper of Vasudeva”, similarly Arjunakaḥ’ (Katre 1987: 462). 8  This sūtra introduces a nominal stem to denote the meaning of ‘like, similar’ as in 5.3.96, but ‘when it is made a means of livelihood [jīvika-arthe] and it is not for sale (á-paṇ-y-e)’ (Katre 1987: 608). According to the clarifications made by a number of commentators, this rule means ‘vasudevapratikiṛtiḥ’ or ‘an image of Vasudeva used as means of livelihood’ (Katre 1987: 608). Also ‘this rule applies to the images of gods, which are made means of subsistence by a low order of Brāhmaṇas, not by selling them, but exhibiting them from door to door. Thus “the idol of Vasudeva”, “the idol of Śiva” ’ (Vasu 1897: 975). The next sūtra ‘devapathá-ādibhyas-ca’ (5.3.100) introduced the class of nominal stems, beginning with ‘deva-pathá’ (‘the path of gods’, ‘heaven’), followed by an explanatory kārikā:

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

144  Natalia Lidova discussed on several occasions, allows us to suggest that during the last centuries bc India witnessed the spread of a cult, a distinctive feature which comprised the use of images in worship or as symbols of gods.

2.  Pūjā: Āryan or Non-Āryan? In discussing the question of the genesis of pūjā, one must briefly review various assumptions made vis-à-vis the borrowing of this ritual from the autochthonous non-Āryan cultures existing side by side with Vedic religious tradition. The hypothesis of a non-Āryan origin of pūjā appeared at the beginning of the twentieth century in connection with the discussion on the etymology of this key term and immediately gained support. One of the most committed and convinced among them was Jarl Charpentier.9 He believed that the Ṛgveda, which reflected the religious beliefs of the higher strata of society, was never accessible to the masses, ‘because its ideas are too complicated, its ritual too expensive’ (Charpentier 1927: 93). He considered it to be a male religion, since goddesses, with the exception of the Uṣas, the goddess of dawn, play no part amongst the Vedic gods except as wives of their divine husbands, and possess the same status as the wife of the yajamāna, a person who ordered, performed, and paid for a sacrifice. Importantly, Āryans were nothing more than representatives of an upper class of society, which lived amongst the peoples of Dravidians and Muṇḍa, who belonged to another race, spoke a different language, and worshipped different gods. Charpentier acknowledged that no ancient document is preserved on the religion of Dravidians proper and the beliefs of these peoples were recorded only in the period when European missionaries appeared in India, ‘but they give us the picture of the religion so very primitive that we cannot well doubt that it must have been mainly the same for thousands of years’ (Charpentier 1927: 96). According to Charpentier, the Dravidian religion placed great prominence on the female element, and the gods of Dravidians, above all, are female grāmadevatās, adored either in the shape of crude logs or stone, or rather crude idols. The Dravidian sacrifices generally are characterized by the smearing of idols with blood or pouring boiled rice on them which is then used for a communal meal. When comparing the religions of Ṛgvedic Āryans and Dravidians, Charpentier noticed that ‘all the leading ideas are totally opposed to each other, and [. . .] the ‘the affix “kan” is elided when the imitation is an image of the god which is worshipped, or a picture, or a design on a flag. As Śivaḥ, Viṣnu ̣ ḥ: are example of gods, Arjunaḥ: “the picture of Arjuna”, Duryodhanaḥ: “the picture of Duryodhana”, kapiḥ: “the flag having the figure of monkey”, garudaḥ: “the eagle-flag” ’ (Vasu 1897: 976). See also: Stietencron 1977: 129–30. 9  His article entitled ‘Über den Bergriff and die Etymologie von pūjā’ appeared in 1926 (Charpentier 1927: 276–97). The paper seemed so important that in the following year the magazine ‘The Indian Antiquary’ published its English translation (Charpentier 1927: 93–9; 130–6).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

Measuring Innovation  145 two religions came to stand against each other as the religions of upper and lower classes of society’. Because the lower classes were much more numerous, ‘the Āryan Brāhmaṇism already at an early date began to be compromised, and thus created the most heterogeneous religion in the world, which, for want of a better term, we call Hinduism’ (Charpentier 1927: 97). It went so far that the followers of this religion, which Charpentier defined as ‘popular Hinduism’, abolished the old fire ritual, the Vedic sacrifices, and preparation of soma, and introduced quite a new cult under the name pūjā. This excursus was used by Charpentier as a preamble to the main question of the original meaning and etymology of pūjā. He believed that the word ‘pūjā’ stood independently within the Sanskrit dictionary. Since none of the suggested Indo-European etymologies of pūjā seemed convincing to Charpentier, he focused his attention on the Dravidian languages. He was a strong supporter of Dravidian etymology, proposed by Hermann Gundert10 and later picked up in ‘A KannaḍaEnglish Dictionary’ by Ferdinand Kittel.11 According to this etymology, the word ‘pūjā’ derived from a Dravidian verbal root, which occurs in Tamil as ‘pūśu-’, and in Kannaḍa as ‘pūsu-’ and means ‘to smear’, ‘to put on sticky substances’, or ‘to paint’. Charpentier, convinced of the correctness of the etymology proposed by Gundert and Kittel, believed that it only lacked a detailed ritual substantiation and, considering the importance of 10  Gundert noticed: ‘Möglich scheint, dass das in Indien so beliebte Salben u. Schmieren (D. pūju, pūyu, pūsu) auch von pū stammt, und so viel als “neu, frisch, blühend machen’ bedeutet. Das aber scheint sicher, dass das S. pūja seinem Ursprung nach nichts anderes ausdrückt, als “mit Oel salben”. Auch S. pustaka dürfte eher (nach Analogie von lipi) auf diesen D. Stamm als auf bust a zurückzuführen sein’ (Gundert 1869: 528). Hermann Gundert (1814–93), a German linguist and protestant missionary, lived in South India from 1836 to 1859. In 1851 Gundert compiled a Malayalam grammar book entitled ‘Malayala Bhasha Viyakaranam’ and in 1872 a ‘Malayalam-English Dictionary’. Gundert’s merit was that he attempted to find the etymology of each word, paid special attention to the comparison with Dravidian languages, and provided a discussion on borrowing Dravidian words in Sanskrit. 11  Kittel mentions the word ‘pūjā’ in the Preface among the words that were probably borrowed by Sanskrit from Dravidian. He writes: ‘pūjā—worship, adoration, etc. Gt. (p. 528) thinks it is probable that this word originated from D. pūsu’, originally meaning ‘anointing with oil. Sk. verb pūj, to worship, etc. would then be the same like D. pūsu’ (Kittel 1894: xli). In discussing the Dravidian borrowing of the word ‘pūjā’, Kittel relied on the methodology proposed by R.A. Caldwell in his ‘A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian Family of Languages’: ‘The grounds or conditions, on which I think any word contained in the Sanskrit lexicons may be concluded to be of Dravidian origin, are as follows: (i.) When the word is an isolated one in Sanskrit, without a root and without derivatives, but is surrounded in the Dravidian languages with collateral, related, or derivative words; (ii.) when Sanskrit possesses other words expressing the same idea, whilst the Dravidian tongues have the one in question alone; (iii.) when the word is not found in any of the Indo-European tongues allied to Sanskrit, but is found in every Dravidian dialect, however rude; (iv.) when the der­iv­ation which the Sanskrit lexicographers have attributed to the word is evidently a fanciful one, whilst Dravidian lexicographers deduce it from some native Dravidian verbal theme of the same or a similar signification, from which a variety of words are found to be derived; (v.) when the signification of the word in the Dravidian languages is evidently radical and physiological, whilst the Sanskrit signification is metaphorical, or only collateral; (vi.) when native Tamil and Telugu scholars, notwithstanding their high estimation of Sanskrit, as the language of the gods and the mother of all literature, classify the word in question as a purely Dravidian one—when any of these reasons is found to exist, and more especially when several or all of them coincide, I conceive we may safely conclude the word in question to be Dravidian, and not a Sanskrit, derivative’ (Caldwell 1875: 453–4).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

146  Natalia Lidova the word ‘pūjā’ in the history of Hinduism, took the trouble of providing necessary observations on the topic. Charpentier saw the confirmation of the discussed etymology in two ritual acts characteristic of pūjā—the ablution of the gods’ images with various substances (water, honey, yogurt, etc.), and anointments with different unguents and powders of yellow or bright red colour. With numerous examples Charpentier sought to show that anointing and ablution were not only the main constituent elements of pūjā, but once formed the basis of this ritual. Although the Dravidian etymology supported by Charpentier was never totally accepted,12 it, together with the very possibility of borrowing the word ‘pūjā’ from Dravidian languages,13 still retains its significance as a working hypothesis.14 It could be completely rejected only if another, more convincing etymology from a religious and linguistic point of view was found.15 However, the situation in this field of knowledge remains similar to, and corresponds to, the position sum­mar­ ized in the Gudrun Bühnemann’s monograph, dedicated to Smārta Pūjā and published almost thirty years ago (Bühnemann  1988: 9–10), as follows: The etymology of the word pūjā—although discussed widely—has not been explained convincingly. Mayrhofer Charpentier’s suggestion seems most convincing—which derives the word from the Tamil root pūcu- ‘to smear’. Thieme16 connects (p. 122) and conceives pūjā as the ‘honouring of a guest’. To the root pūj he assigns the following meanings (p. 114): 1. To honor [a guest or a newcomer] with a hospitable reception—to receive, to entertain; 2. to honor [a god] as guest (in a manner customary for the arriving guest); 3. to honor [objects like weapons etc.] with flowers etc. (as gods).

She further points out that both the Vedic sacrifice (yajña/yāga) and pūjā are based on the same idea of serving an invited deity (p. 123):

12  Significant in this regard is the discussion of the etymology of pūjā on INDOLOGY (the online discussion forum for Classical South Asian studies). Available at: http://list.indology.info/pipermail/ indology_list.indology.info/2001-December/026580.html (accessed 15.07.2017). 13  One more Dravidian etymology of word ‘pūjā’, treating this ritual as a ‘flower offering’ (pū-cey) or ‘puṣpa-karman’, was proposed by M. Collins. He considered pūjā as a Dravidian borrowing, derived from the word ‘pu’, ‘flower’, and the root ‘ge’, ‘to make’, represented as ‘cey’ in Tamil, ‘ge’ in Kannada and ‘ce’ in Telugu. See also: Chatterji 1924: 668. 14  See, for example, the opinion of Axel Michaels: ‘The etymology of this word is uncertain, it could be from Tamil pūca (smear), but as early as Vedic texts the verb pūj is used in the sense of “worship” [. . .] as no form of worship by smearing with dye or blood can be seen within Vedic texts and since this act is not central to traditional Pūjā ritual, the original meaning remains unclear’ (Michaels 2004: 241). 15  An overview of possible etymologies was made in Sanskrit etymological dictionaries by Manfred Mayrhofer (Mayrhofer 1956–80, 2: 320–1, 3: 760–1; see also: Mayrhofer 1986–2001, 2: 154). 16  For details see: Thieme 1939: 105–37, partially translated into English: Thieme 1960: 1–16. See also: Witzel 1980: 37ff and Smith 1987.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

Measuring Innovation  147 Thieme’s remarks specify important aspects of pūjā. As can easily be shown the pūjā has incorporated elements of older rites, like the reception of an honored guest (arghya) as well as elements of the traditional service given to a king, like the offering of an umbrella and a chowry. Already in the bali rites [. . .] certain offerings which resemble the ones occurring in the pūjā are deposited on the ground. [. . .] However, continuity of elements does not signify identity of rites.17

In the discussion on the origin of the term pūjā, Bühnemann rightly evidenced two main points of view18—the Dravidian etymology of Jarl Charpentier and the Indo-European etymology proposed by Paul Thieme. The same opinion is expressed by Nancy Auer Falk in her article ‘Hindu Pūjā’ in ‘Encyclopedia of Religion’: Scholarly opinion is divided regarding the origins and etymology of the word Pūjā. Many scholars have argued that Pūjā was initially a Dravidian practice native to India and point to the sharp distinction traditionally drawn between Pūjā and yajña, the refusal of the strictest Vedic priests to participate in Pūjā, the long-standing prevalence of Pūjā in village cults, and the long role of low-caste (and hence non-Aryan) hereditary priests in village Pūjās. [. . .] Alternatively, the Sanskritist Paul Thieme proposed in 1939 that the term pūjā is derived from the Sanskrit (and hence Aryan) pṛc, ‘to mix’, a reference to the madhuparka, or mixture of honey and water that was commonly offered to guests in ancient Indian times. [. . .] However, traces of guest ritual are rarer in village practice and in pūjās of heterodox (i.e., Buddhist and Jain) traditions; hence the question of the term’s origin remains open. (Falk 2005: 7493)

The lack of clarity in the question of the origin and etymology of pūjā puts ­scholars who study the transformation of the post-Vedic ritual in a difficult situ­ ation. If indeed pūjā is a non-Āryan ritual, then it should be acknowledged that its adaptation within one of the most elaborate ritual cultures of antiquity resulted in a drastic change of a previously stable and well-protected system. Many of the traditional and basic hierarchical relations within this system were reconsidered. The most important, in the context of Vedic cult śrauta rituals, ceased to be performed; the pattern of the sacrifice was changed, and the main religious ceremony of post-Vedic India became the non-Āryan pūjā. It is possible to solve the issue of the origin of the word and, consequently, of the ritual of pūjā only if somebody manages to justify an alternative etymology or to bring new, compelling evidence in favour of one of the already known ones. In 17  Interesting in this regard is the opinion of Axel Michaels: ‘Ancient Indians did know many forms of worship, which also occurs in a classical Pūjā, especially in the ritual worship of guest (madhuparka or arghya), offering a seat, washing the feet, bathing, feeding, offering lights, and other things; but these ritual acts are so general that they can be tracked back to many religions’ (Michaels 2004: 241). 18  See also: Gligor 2009: 245.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

148  Natalia Lidova the meantime, the majority of scholars find the idea of the Dravidian substrate origin of pūjā more convincing. Among them is Timothy Lubin, who in his recent article ‘The Vedic Homa and the Standardization of Hindu Pūjā’ defined his position quite clearly: ‘like many others, I regard such offerings as an innovation in the Vedic religion, and indeed a borrowing from a substrate or neighboring culture with which the Vedic priesthood and its traditional clientele were in contact—a culture the identity of which will likely remain forever uncertain’ (Lubin 2015: 144). As Lubin points out, his paper was written with the idea to clarify ‘the Vedicization of pūjā-type offerings through assimilation to the gṛhya homa’ (Lubin 2015: 144). According to him, ‘the primary means of assimilating new religious elements, whether found outside the tradition or innovated from within, was by superimposing Vedic ritual structures (such as that of the homa, madhuparka, vrata, or śānti) over them, while inserting into them Vedic (or Vedic-style) mantras, the DNA of Vedic ritual’ (Lubin 2015: 145). Lubin believes that the Brahmin priesthood consciously implemented the superimposing Vedic ritual structures by using two main ritual forms—homa and bali. According to Lubin, it was the rite of bali that provided a model for the elaboration of a ‘Vedic’ pūjā ritual. It allowed one to expand the domestic canon and to ‘integrate Puraṇic rites and ritual terminology into the Vedic framework by assimilating the food offerings to the well-known Vedic bali, by culling from the old mantra collections those stanzas that pertained to Rudra and Viṣṇu, for use in the pūjā ritual, and by inserting the pūjā-type acts of ritual service (upacāra) into a standard fire sacrifice’ (Lubin 2015: 158). These adaptations, as Lubin sees them, served two purposes: to appropriate borrowed ritual forms so that they would not seem alien from the Brahmanical point of view, and to ensure an expert role of the Brahmin priesthood in the services and religious milieu from which they had previously been absent. At the same time, Lubin acknowledged that although ‘the elements of image pūjā were inserted into the framing structure of ahoma, eventually the frame-insertion relationship would be reversed, and the homa would become an optional and clearly circumscribed element in Hindu pūjā services’ (Lubin 2015: 159). A slightly different interpretation of the adaptation of non-Vedic elements of the pūjā by the Vedic cult was offered by Shingo Einoo in his article ‘The Formation of the Pūjā Ceremony’, written almost twenty years earlier (Einoo 1996), sum­mar­ ized thus: 1. The people, whose religious customs were not recorded in the Śrauta-sūtras, traditionally used fragrant paste, flowers, incense, and lamps in religious ceremonies. 2. Some Gṛhyasūtras introduced the use of gandha, puṣpa, dhūpa, and dīpa sporadically in some specific rites. 3. At the time of the latest Gṛhyasūtras and the Gṛhyapariśiṣt ̣as, people began to use this set of four items in the worship of personal gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

Measuring Innovation  149 4. At first the items were usually used in combination with homa, or the ­traditional method of offering oblations to the deities, and the whole pro­ ced­ure was prescribed according to the basic pattern of the Gṛhya ritual. 5. The madhuparka is a traditional Vedic rite to honour human guests. In the course of time, some elements of the madhuparka were adopted into deity worship. 6. The number of items offered to the deity increased, and the pūjā moved away from the basic pattern of the Gṛhya ritual and developed into an independent method of worship (Einoo 1996: 73–87). Unlike Lubin, Einoo does not mention explicitly a substrate or neighbouring culture with which the Vedic priesthood was in contact. However, when referring to some people, whose religious customs were not recorded in the Śrauta-sūtras, he basically underscores the same thing. According to Lubin, the process of adapting alien elements was completely controlled by the Brahmin priesthood, and ‘this clearly was not the case for the priestly authors of the ritual codes. They knew what they meant by the ritual words and acts, and they knew how to deploy the syntax to “say” and do new things’ (Lubin  2015: 158). In accordance with Einoo’s assumption, this process took place in a different, popular environment and was less predictable, since the people themselves began to use forms of ­worship, new for the Vedic milieu, such as gandha, puṣpa, dhūpa, and dīpa in the veneration of personal gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon. Besides, Einoo also believed that Vedic homa played a crucial role in this process. However, differently from Lubin, he suggested not the superimposition of non-Vedic elements on Vedic ritual structures, but, rather, their combination with homa while the whole ritual, nevertheless, followed the basic pattern of the gṛhya ritual. Influenced by the etymology proposed by Thieme, Einoo saw the second component of the new ritual system not so much in the bali, but in madhuparka,19 a traditional Vedic rite to honour human guests,20 some elements of which were adopted into the worship of deities.21 19  Madhuparka (lit. ‘honey mixture’) included five compulsory ingredients: purified melted butter, water, honey, sugar, and curd. Its mention occurs in the Atharvaveda X.3.21a (yáthā yáśaḥ somapīthé madhuparké yáthā yáśaḥ, ‘As glory [is placed] in the soma drink, as in the honey mixture. . .’) and later in the Gṛhya Sūtras, e.g., the Āśvalāyana Gṛhyasūtra (I.24.1; 7; 14; 33). Madhuparka was mainly used in the ceremonial greeting of a guest of honour or the groom as he came to the threshold of the father of his betrothed. The ritual accompanying that ceremony demanded ‘honey mixture’ poured over hands. 20  Fuller writes about this: ‘Certainly, the idea that the deities are royal guests is important, especially in major temples where they are proclaimed as sovereign rulers. On the other hand [. . .] Hindu worship has a personal and homely aspect too [. . .] Gods and goddesses are often the honored guests of humble worshippers, and the offerings and services of pūjā closely resemble the acts that ordinary people perform for each other or their guests at home’ (Fuller 1992: 69). Fuller’s point about pūjā as ‘hospitality to honoured guests’ is reminiscent of the Vedic concept of the sacrifice as a feast for the gods. Cf. Thieme 1984, I 343–70 (343–61). 21  Despite the fact that the ceremony of the reception of guest-atithi is constantly discussed both in connection with the general scheme of pūjā and its individual elements, it cannot be considered as a unique feature of the post-Vedic ritual, because it was equally important for the practice of yajña. As an initial disposition the ritual of yajña presupposed the existence of two parties, one of which was the

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

150  Natalia Lidova Therefore, the two scholars that undertook the difficult task of reconstructing the initial stage in the formation of pūjā rituals referred to the ritual and cultural context, which was largely marginal within the Vedic tradition—and even ethnically alien to it. According to their vision, it was that particular context that supplied new ritualistic elements that were assimilated in the domestic forms of yajña during the formation of the latest Gṛhyasūtras and the Gṛhyapariśiṣt ̣as.

3.  Pūjā in the Gṛhyapariśiṣt ̣as Gṛhyapariśiṣt ̣as represent appendices to the Gṛhyasūtras, belonging to ancillary literature and poorly studied texts.22 With a few exceptions,23 they are not translated into any European language, while existing Sanskrit editions are imperfect and call for revision. However, the main problem with pariśiṣt ̣as is not concerned with dissemination, but with the fact that they are not reliably dated. This has been already highlighted by A.B.  Keith in his review of the publication of the Atharvaveda-pariśiṣt ̣as by George Melwille Bolling and Julius von Negelein: ‘the value of the pariśiṣt ̣as is, unhappily, seriously diminished by the total uncertainty of their date’ (Keith 1912: 756). B.R. Modak, who studied the texts, believed that the ‘Atharva-Veda pariśiṣt ̣as obviously represent a composite text, being a collection of tracts presumably belonging to different chronological periods’, but ‘one may not be far from the truth if one assigns the Atharva-Veda pariśiṣt ̣as to a period somewhere round about the beginning of the Christian era’ (Modak 1993: 473). The problem of dating is acute not only for Atharvaveda-pariśiṣt ̣as, but also  for  other texts of post-Vedic ancillary literature. This problem was discussed  by P.N.U.  Harting, who selected, edited, and translated nineteen giving one (the host) and the second one hosting (the guest). A number of contexts of the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa (1.1.1.7–8, 1.3.1.1–3, 11, 1.5.1.26, 1.6.4.3), as well as of many other Vedic texts, suggest that a specific form of implementation of this disposition during yajña was the scheme of guests’ reception, where gods played the role of the accepting party. This is fully consistent with the dominant archetype of yajña, in which the solemn feeding of gods was not disinterested, but formed an integral part in the exchange, as a result of which the donor (yajamāna) hoped to receive even greater benefits in return (see ŚB 1.1.2.19, 1.9.1.3, etc.). Among these benefits there were the abundance of food (vāja), wealth (prasava), efficiency in work (prayati), mental acuity (dhiti), enlightenment (jyoti), physical vigour (ojas), longevity (dirghāyu), health (anāmaya), tranquility (śarma), fearlessness (abhaya), friendship (anamitram), etc. (Yajurveda 18.1.2; 6). At the same time the most important goal of the yajña is the attainment of heaven (svarga). 22 Atharvaveda-pariśiṣt ̣as, consisting of seventy-two (actually seventy-nine pariśiṣt ̣as), represent the most voluminous group. Another rather large group is twenty-four Pariśiṣt ̣as, ascribed to Kātyāyana (among them eighteen Kātiya Pariśiṣt ̣as) and belonging to the Śukla Yajurveda. Only three texts—Āpastamba Hautra Pariśiṣt ̣a, Vārāha Śrauta Sūtra Pariśiṣt ̣a, and Kātyāyana Śrauta Sūtra Pariśiṣt ̣a—represent the tradition of Kṛsṇ ̣a Yajurveda. Gobhila Gṛhya Pariśiṣt ̣a and Chāndogya Pariśiṣt ̣a belong to the Samaveda and Āśvalāyana Gṛhya Pariśiṣt ̣a to the Ṛgveda. 23  For the survey of editions, translation, and studies of Atharvaveda-pariśiṣt ̣as, see Bisschop and Griffiths 2003: 316–17; see also Bisschop and Griffiths 2008: 1–46.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

Measuring Innovation  151 ­chapters24 of Baudhāyanagṛhyaśeṣasūtra (BGŚS), which along with Baudhāyanagṛhyaparibhāṣāsūtra (BGPS) represent an important appendix (pariśiṣt ̣a) to the Baudhāyanagṛhyasūtra (BGS). In the Introduction to his book Harting writes: ‘the object of this edition is to call attention to some hitherto neglected materials for the study of the period in the religious history of India about which comparatively little is known, namely the period of transition from Brāhmaṇism into Hinduism. For knowledge of the philosophical aspects of Brāhmaṇism and Hinduism the texts which are edited and translated here have little or no value, but they do help us to understand better the development of the liturgy [. . .] of early Hinduism. [. . .] In the texts of Baudhāyana we find old Brāhmaṇism and new Hinduism combined’ (Harting 1922: ii–iii). Putting forth the assumption that BGŚS reflected the period of transition from Brāhmaṇism to Hinduism, Harting had to approach the problem of dating the text he was investigating. If the appendix under the discussion demonstrates the development of liturgy of early Hinduism, then the dating should be early enough, going back to the middle of the first millennium bc, when, as Harting points out with reference to R.G.  Bhandarkar, the cult of Vāsudeva already existed, which ‘must be as old as Pāṇini [. . .] and may be of the same period as Buddhism and Jainism’ (Harting 1922: iv). However, Harting did not find sufficient arguments to substantiate an early dating. First, he believed that ‘pūjā itself may not be of very old date’, and second, the ritual ‘described in Baudhāyana is practically the same as that used in the Purāṇas’, although ‘this method of worship may have existed a very long time before it was incorporated in the Purāṇas’ (Harting  1922: xxvi). As a result, Harting concluded that ‘pūjā and the Mantras used in it may be pre-Christian for all we know. On the other hand, if anybody cares to argue that these chapters are of the 7th century or even later, I cannot refute this. In these circumstances I consider it impossible to formulate any opinion concerning the age of the Gṛhyapariśiṣt ̣asūtra’ (Harting 1922: xxv). Since Harting’s publication almost a hundred years ago little has changed with the uncertainty of dating the Vedic ancillary literature. The latest attempt to discuss the question of the dating of BGŚS was made by Lubin, who devoted several recently published articles to the Baudhāyanagṛhyasūtra. In the paper ‘Towards a New Edition of the Baudhāyanagṛhyasūtra’, Lubin gives an overview of the current state of research of the text: ‘some observations about the form and content of the Sūtra are adduced to support the view that even if the BGS were one of the first Gṛhyasūtras to be composed, the form in which it is attested today shows many signs of relative lateness’ (Lubin 2016a: 318). Nevertheless, in this paper he expresses his opinion concerning the dating of the Baudhāyanagṛhyaṣeṣasūtra 24  Harting selected chapters (adhyāyas) form three Praśnas. Nine of them belong to the Praśna 2, another nine to the Praśna 3, and one to the Praśna 4.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

152  Natalia Lidova and the Baudhāyanagṛhyaparibhāṣāsūtra very cautiously: ‘the fascinating appendices to the BGS deserve much more study in their own right. Although undatable in strict terms, the contents of the BGPS and BGŚS (the latter comprising more than half of the gṛhya material) are surely of various ages, in most (though not all) cases later than the BGS proper. They expand upon and provide more detailed prescriptions for rites presented in the BGS, and provide a rubric for many other rites, such as the cult of images of Rudra and Viṣṇu’ (Lubin 2016a: 321). However, in another paper published in the same year, Lubin dates BGŚS with greater precision by stating that ‘the Baudhāyanagṛhyasūtra (with its lengthy later additions) has still not been studied adequately. This corpus, if more het­ero­ge­ neous and unwieldy than the canons of other Vedic schools, reveals more clearly than most the steps by which Vedic ritualists set about forging a flexible, broadbased religion that retained a palpable connection with the old Vedic cult. The Gṛhyasūtra of the Baudhāyana school is the longest of the genre, especially if we include its later extensions, paribhāṣāsūtra and the śeṣa or pariśiṣt ̣asūtra. Like the appendices of other Gṛhyasūtras, the various chapters of the Śeṣa probably were added well into the middle of the first millennium ce’ (Lubin 2016b: 592). The dating of pariśiṣt ̣as to the middle of the first millennium ad has been previously proposed. Some scholars, for example Peter Bisschop and Arlo Griffiths (who published the translation of Atharvavedapariśiṣt ̣a 40), dated them even later and assumed that they belonged ‘to sometime in the second half of the first millennium ce’ (Bisschop and Griffiths 2003: 324). B.R. Modak also considers that ‘the date of the compilation of the Atharva-Veda pariśiṣt ̣as lies somewhere between second century bc . . . and fifth century ad’ (Modak 1993: 473). At the same time, Modak does not exclude the possibility that the date of the Atharvavedapariśiṣt ̣as could in some cases go back much earlier and suggests that at least some texts of this corpus could belong to the period of the third to fourth centuries bc (Modak 1993: 482, note 141). Since the pariśiṣt ̣as are indeed very poorly studied, and their cultural and historical context is unclear, the dating to the middle of the first millennium ad remains problematic, although it might at some point become widely accepted in Indological scholarship. If this happens, then pariśiṣt ̣as will be associated with the Gupta era or even later periods. While it might be quite true for some of the pariśiṣt ̣as, to date the whole corpus of Vedic ancillary literature to the middle of the first millennium ad does not seem to be well grounded or justifiable. The works by Yāska and Pāṇini, and some other texts, which can be dated back to the middle of first millennium bc, as well as the edicts of king Aśoka, testify that pūjā existed for at least 1,000 years before the Gupta era. It is hard to imagine that such a significant period of time is not reflected in any way in the pariśiṣt ̣as, the sources containing the earliest detailed description of pūjā.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

Measuring Innovation  153 Additional evidence can be found in texts which do not belong to the corpus of pariśiṣt ̣as, but are clearly pertinent for the problem of the formation of the pūjā cult. One of them is the Nāt ̣yaśāstra, the tradition of which is also traced back to the time of Pāṇini. It is well known that the grammarian mentioned the sūtras in meaning nat ̣as (Pāṇ 4.3.110–11) that did not reach us (or that may have been included in the compendium entitled the Nāt ̣yaśāstra—and absorbed into it). However approximate the dating of this compendium may be, we still believe that the latest possible period of its formation should precede the dramas of the Gupta era. In the form that it has come down to us, it must have been compiled several centuries before this, presumably in the period between the second century bc and second century ad. The detailed description of several pūjā rituals, preserved in the Nāt ̣yaśāstra, undoubtedly belongs to the most ancient part of the treatise. However, as I showed elsewhere (Lidova 2009: 205–31), one of these rituals, described in ch. 3, is so similar to the rite Brahmayāga, described in AVPar XIXb, that it might reflect not only a mere typological similarity but also a direct genetic link. Thus, having insufficient grounds for dating the pariśiṣt ̣as, it seems reasonable to avoid any generalizations to the use of a single date for the whole corpus. Most likely, the pariśiṣt ̣as were created by different authors at different periods of time, so there are a number of options to choose from in attempting to determine their precise times of formation. In order to use the text and rely on it, we have to discuss not only the date of the fixation of the pariśiṣt ̣a, but also the era in which a particular content could have appeared or been added to the work. In my opinion, for the study of pūjā cult it is crucial not only to work on the established times when pūjā was already a widespread ritual, performed in temples in front of images of gods, but also to go back to that pivotal era around the middle of the first millennium bc, when pūjā was introduced as part of religious life in the Āryan society (according to the evidence already discussed).

4.  Pūjā in the Baudhāyanagṛhyaśeṣasūtra When asserting in his monograph that ‘the chapters of Baudhāyana are not for the first place remarkable, because they show the Paurāṇic mode of worship, but because they show this mode of worship blended with and grafted upon the old Brāhmaṇic ritual which we find and explain at length in the Gṛhyasūtra of Baudhāyana’ (Harting 1922: xviii), Harting had in mind the descriptions of the following rites: II, 13. The consecration of an icon of Viṣṇu, with an extensive description of the ritual. II,14. The ritual of the adoration of Mahāpuruṣa, a form of Viṣṇu.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

154  Natalia Lidova II, 15. The ceremony of the bathing of Viṣṇu. II, 16. The consecration of an icon of Rudra-Śiva [. . .]. II, 17. The adoration of Mahādeva, a form of Rudra-Śiva [. . .]. II, 18. The ceremony of the bathing of Rudra. II, 19. The second consecration of an image, to be performed in case its worship was neglected for a specific period of time. II, 21. The ceremony of bathing of Deva, a form of Rudra-Śiva [. . .]. II, 22. General precepts concerning the Pūjā of Viṣnu ̣ and Rudra-Śiva, the persons allowed to take part in it, and where and when to perform it. III, 3 Durga III, 4 Upaśruti III, 5 Śrī III, 6 Sarasvatī III, 7 Viṣṇu III, 8 Ravi III, 9 Jyeṣṭhā III, 10 Vināyaka III, 15 Rudra The last chapter IV.2 presents the ceremony of bali oblation to Dhūrta (Skāṇḍa or Kārttikeya) (Harting 1922: xix).

Harting proposed the idea that these chapters of Baudhāyanagṛhyaśeṣasūtra represent one of the earliest detailed descriptions of pūjā. His opinion was supported by Jan Gonda (Gonda 1970: 186, note 196) and later accepted by Gudrun Bühnemann (Bühnemann 1988: 12), who also shared Harting’s opinion that this ‘important appendix to the BGS shows the Hindu ritual at an early stage mixed up with Vedic ritual’ (Bühnemann 1988: 11). Unfortunately, Bühnemann, just like Harting himself, left the question without further discussion and necessary specification of the exact elements pertinent to the Vedic religion. Taking into consideration the importance of the relationship between Vedic and non-Vedic elements in the early pūjā, let us analyse the listed rituals of the BGŚS, with the intention to determine the features that can be considered inherited from Vedic religion, as well as those characteristics that clearly point to a newly established cult. The Baudhāyanagṛhyaśeṣasūtra describes ritual, which is topical for the smārta tradition and prescribes rites for Viṣṇu and Rudra-Śiva, as well as for Ravi (the sun), Jyeṣt ̣hā, Vināyaka, and Dhārta and the goddesses Srī, Sarasvatī, Durga, and Upasruti. Let us consider as an example just one, called Viṣṇu-pratiṣt ̣hā-kalpa (BGŚS 2.13), which is the most detailed among them.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

Measuring Innovation  155 As the title implies, this ritual deals with the consecration or installation of the image of Viṣṇu, defined here as pratikṛti (counterpart, substitute) and pratimā (likeness or model). According to BGŚS, the ritual had to be performed on the twelfth or eleventh day of the month under the Śravanā constellation. On a preceding day, the performer had to serve food to an even number of Brāhmaṇas. Having received their blessings, at nightfall of the same day he had to make an image of Viṣṇu, represented resting on gold, using the five substances of a brown cow, gold, grains, blades of Dūrvā grass, and leaves of sacred trees. Then, while reciting the prescribed Vedic stanzas, he had to sprinkle the image with water and pronounce certain mantras, and place barley and blades of Dūrvā grass, mixed with flowers, fruit, and unpolished grain, at the feet of the god. Then, whilst still reciting, he had to tie a cord around the hand of the image. He then had to cover the image of Viṣṇu with a new unwashed garment, crown it with a wreath of kuśa grass, and leave it for the night in one of the following places: a river, a pool, a waterfall, a pond, or a sacred bathing place. On the following morning, four Brāhmaṇas, having bathed and put on new unwashed garments, had to recite again prescribed Vedic stanzas and set up the image in a pure place. Then followed the ritual of veneration of the newly established image of Viṣṇu. With the mantra Gāyatrī the cow’s urine was offered, with the words ‘gandhadvārām’ (TA X.1.10) the cow dung, with the verse ‘ā pāyasva’ (TS I.4.32) the milk, with the verse ‘dadhi-krāvṇaḥ’ (TS I.5.11b) the sour milk, and with the words ‘śukram asi jyotir asi’ (TS  I.1.10) the clarified butter, while the formula ‘devasya tvā’ (TS VII.1.11a) corresponded to the decoction of kuśa grass and preparation of a mixture combining five products of a cow (pañcagavya). Then the priest in charge had to bathe the image, reciting the eight verses beginning with ‘ā vo rājānam’ (TS  I.3.14 b–i). After that, while reciting some other prescribed Vedic verses, he had to sprinkle the image from a jar filled with a decoction of the bark of eleven sacred trees traditionally used in Vedic sacrifice, and subsequently once again sprinkle the image with water from a jar filled with immersed pearls, jewels, silver, and copper. With a sharp instrument, made of gold, he had to form or to open the eyes of the image with the words ‘tejo ‘si’ (TS I.1.10). The ritual continued to completion with him reciting the mantras continuously, cutting cooked food portions, performing homa, and offering burnt oblations into the sacrificial fire. He then recited the Puruṣa-hymn (TA 3.12),25 offered the oblations of clarified butter, and touched both feet of the image. Whilst performing the second oblation accompanied by the verse ‘ato devā avantu naḥ’ (ṚV 1.22.16), he was expected to touch the navel of the figure of the god, and during the third oblation, the head. Reciting the Puruṣa-hymn once again, further oblations were offered and the whole body of the image had to be touched. At the end 25 This refers to the famous cosmogonic Vedic hymn ṚV 10.90, which is also found in the Atharvaveda 19.6 and in the Vājasaneyi-Saṃ hitā 31.11.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

156  Natalia Lidova of the sacrifice, the priest, standing, reciting prescribed Vedic verses, had to touch the image of Viṣṇu again. After that, he had to take the image into a permanent residence, dedicated to this god (devālaya), and whilst saying the words of the Śākuna-hymn (ṚV 2.42), lay pearls, jewels, coral, gold, and silver on the pedestal and place Viṣṇu on it, once again reciting the verse ‘ato devā avantu naḥ’ (ṚV 1.22.16). After installing the image of the god he had to perform the pūjā-type ritual: ‘[observing] the ether image [of Viṣṇu] and offering [him] fragrant substances, flowers, incense, and a lamp. He should perform the invocation [of the deity] with the syllable “Om” (praṇava), singly and in combination with the sacred interjections (vyāhṛtis): “Oṃ bhūḥ, I invoke Puruṣa, Oṃ bhuvaḥ, I invoke Puruṣa, Oṃ suvaḥ, I invoke Puruṣa, Oṃ bhūr, bhuvaḥ, suvaḥ, I invoke Puruṣa”.’26 Thus having invoked the deity, he sprinkles the image with water from a jar that also holds submerged pearls. With one more praṇava he offers the god a bundle of kuśa grass as the seat for the deity. From a jar that contains water, dūrvā grass, lotus leaves, and other sacred plants he offers the water for washing the god’s feet (pādya). From a jar which contains water and a mixture of cardamom, cloves, camphor, and other herbs he offers the water for sipping and rinsing the mouth (ācamaniya). Water, milk, tips of kuśa grass, unhusked barley corns, and white mustard seeds are offered as a scented mixture for the ablution of the deity (arghya), followed by the sacrifice of perfume (gandha), garland (māla), flower (puṣpa), incense (dhūpa), a burning lamp (dīpa), etc. Then, pronouncing the twelve names of Viṣṇu, the priest again gives him flowers, and once again pronounces the god’s names and then, reciting the Vedic verses, he offers Viṣṇu food in the form of boiled rice with sesame seeds, rice milk, boiled rice with treacle, and boiled rice with curcuma. Finally, he offered the god an oblation of ghee mixed with boiled rice and sesame seeds. According to BGŚS 2.13, the main ceremony began with the sacrifice to Agni Sviṣt ̣akṛt and ended with the gift of a cow as a sacrificial fee. Once accomplished, the bali-offering of all oblations had to be performed, and the following praise of Viṣṇu in non-Vedic verse pronounced: ‘you are the only one, the first created, the Puruṣa, belonging to the past, Nārāyaṇa, the all-creating, [whom] we worship with sacrifices. For you the sacrifice is performed, [and] to be performed. Accept this sacrifice by yourself in yourself ’.27 Then, after placing the remains of the offering on Aśvattha leaves in front of the fire and saying ‘bhūr, bhuvaḥ, suvaḥ, oṃ ’, the priest had to make a pradakṣiṇa, two or four times, circumambulating the fire and turning his right side towards it and saying: ‘Adoration to Viśvabhuj, 26  atha gandha-puṣpa-dhūpa-dipāny ākāśonmukhāni kṛtvopotthāyāvāhanaṃ karoti praṇava-yuktavyāhṛtibhir vyastaiḥ samastaiś-coṃ bhūḥ puruṣam āyāvāyamy oṃ bhuvaḥ puruṣam āyāvāyamy oṃ suvaḥ puruṣam āyāvāyamy oṃ bhūr, bhuvaḥ, suvaḥ puruṣam āyāvāyamīty (BGŚS 2.13: 2.15–19). 27  tvām ekam ādyaṃ puruṣaṃ purātanaṃ /nārāyaṇaṃ viśvasṛjaṃ yajāmahe||tvam eva yajño vihito vidheyas/tvam ātmanātman pratigṛhṇīṣva havyam|| (BGŚS 2.13: 3.25–8).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

Measuring Innovation  157 adoration to Sarvabhuj, adoration to the Ātman, adoration to the Paramātman’. After concluding the ceremony of the consecration of the image, the brahmacārin or gṛhastha had to feed twelve Brāhmaṇas with boiled rice seasoned with curcuma. This ritual clearly represents a combination of Vedic and non-Vedic elements, the first of which is characteristic of the Vedic cult of yajña, and the second of which is pertinent to the cult of pūjā. However, in my opinion, the mere selection of features related to each does not provide enough information for further research. As I have argued elsewhere (Lidova  2009: 205–31), the discussion of these multifaceted rituals appears helpful and informative only if a specific methodological approach is applied which allows a systematic comparison based not on the superficial aspects of the rites but on the basic ritual principles underlying them. As I see it, the most salient features of a ritual are determined by an underlying pattern or archetype, which can be expressed with the help of three principal elements, or queries: ‘Where?’ pertains to the arrangement of the ritual space; ‘How?’ reveals the type of the offering; and ‘What for?’ describes the ritual goals of the worship (see Lidova 2009: 205–31). Let us rely on this scheme in order to analyse the basic aspects of religious practice described in BGŚS, more specifically in the ritual of the consecration of the Viṣṇu image and other relevant rituals.

5.  The Arrangement of the Ritual Space In the ritual of BGŚS 2.13, the type of arrangement of ritual space reproduces a standard paradigm pertinent to the organization of a sacrificial place, typical of the Vedic gṛhya rites and repeatedly described in BGŚS. It is well known that in the rites of gṛhya, in contrast to the śrauta rituals, not three but only one ritual fire was used, defined in BGŚS as Agni Svis ̣ṭakṛt. The sacrificial place had to be created on even ground, situated to the east or north of the permanent dwelling place (BGŚS 3.7; 4.2), or in the house of a pure person (BGŚS 3.7, cf. 3.9). In BGŚS 4.2 we find a mention of a riverbank as a pure and suitable place for the performance of the sacrifice. There, an altar (vedikā) can be built the size of a man or any other size. On the eastern side of vedi there had to be a place for sthaṇḍila, an elevated ground for fire, circular or quadrangular in shape, smeared with cow dung and quite often the size of ‘a bull’s hide’ (BGŚS 3.2; 3.5; 3.8). Among the rituals, selected by Harting, neither contains a description of a maṇḍala, used regularly in early pūjā cult for the arrangement of the ritual space. However, the underlying scheme of the maṇḍala, which included the sacral c­ entre with the four cardinal and sometimes four additional intermediate directions around it, had been well known to the author of the adhyāya 2.15. It is quite possible that this adhyāya represents a different or later tradition in relation to other

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

158  Natalia Lidova chapters of the second praśna of BGŚS. It differs from them in style and, unlike them, it is not written in prose, but in verses in the metre of anuṣt ̣ubh śloka. The ritual, described in BGŚS 2.15, is dedicated to the bathing (snapana) of Viṣṇu, which had to be performed outside the main place of worship of the deity. For this ritual, a special pavilion (maṇḍapa) had to be created, in the middle of which a Vedic altar (vedikā) was constructed (BGŚS 2.15.1–2). Near the altar, in a specific place, nine jars or water-pots (kalaśa) were placed. Whilst placing these, the praṇava (sacred syllable ‘om’) has to be pronounced. As prescribed, the pla­ cing of the jars started east, and ended pointing northeast (BGŚS 2.15.1–2). Finally, the priest placed the ninth jar in the centre. All jars were placed on kuśa grass bunches, which rested on a layer of rice or any other cultivated grain. Afterwards eight of the jars were filled with pure water, but the jar in the middle was filled with pañcagavya or a sacral mixture of five products of a cow. Subsequently the priest placed a bunch of kuśa grass on all the jars, covered them with platters, and put unpolished rice into them (BGŚS 2.15.7–8) and then, in due order, worshipped (arca) all jars with perfume (gandha), ­flowers (puṣpa), etc. (BGŚS 2.15.10a). According to BGŚS 2.15, this ritual had a subsidiary character and preceded the main sacrifice performed in honour of Viṣṇu, in the form of Paramātman, which consisted of the invocation of a god at the right moment with prescribed Vedic mantras, and worship from every quarter with the unpolished grain. After that, the priest invites the god to come to the altar, and then the priest prepares a marked spot for the god which has to be smeared with cow dung and sprinkled with different grains. Finally, the god settles there facing east. Then the priest has to offer him a seat (āsana), and water for ācamaniya, arghya, etc. in a specific order. As in all other cases, when Viṣṇu was revered as the supreme deity, the main mantra was the Puruṣa-hymn (BGŚS 2.15.14). Reciting it, the priest performed a series of nine ablutions, committing the first of them with the jar, which he had previously placed in the centre. Then he gives milk and food to the god, and completes the rest of the ceremony with actions suitable for this divine worship (BGŚS 2.15.17–18).28 Therefore, the sacral space in this ritual is arranged not only with the help of the Vedic altar, but also using maṇḍala, unknown in the Vedic tradition. In this case, maṇḍala was not depicted or drawn on the ground, but symbolically marked by the jars. Its outline was re-enacted in the movements and actions of the priest, who placed the main kalaśa in the centre, and then, circumambulating it, put the other eight kalaśas on the main and intermediate directions.29 He began with the 28 A similar ceremony with the jars was part of the consecration of the Viṣṇu image (BGŚS 2.13.2.1–5). 29  In the ritual of the consecration of the Viṣṇu image (BGŚS 2.13), the priest used only three jars, filled with pañcagavya, a decoction of the bark of eleven main sacrificial trees, and water, in which pearls, jewels, silver, and copper were immersed. It is quite possible that in this case the number of jars

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

Measuring Innovation  159 most sacred direction in the Vedic tradition—the east, and finished in the northeast. In the ritual of pūrvaraṅga, described in ch. 5 of the Nāt ̣yaśāstra, the sūtradhāra created on stage the same symbolic maṇḍala with the help of steps. In the beginning, he also marked the centre of the maṇḍala, and then, circumambulating the stage in a circle from the east to the north, he stopped at the four main directions and honoured the gods-lokapālas (NŚ 5.92–7). Along with symbolic renderings and reproductions with the help of steps or ritual objects, maṇḍalas could also be drawn on an especially prepared surface. The creation of similar maṇḍalas for the purpose of worshipping gods is described in a number of AVPars. Among them, AVPar 19b describes the rite of Brahmayāga, which is very similar in form to the ritual known from ch. 3 of the Nāt ỵ aśāstra (NŚ 3.21–3). According to AVPar 19b, once the construction of the maṇḍapa was completed, the priest had to smear the floor with cow dung and sprinkle it with pañcagavya or, as a variant, blessed water. On the aftermath of the bali-offering, bringing lamps filled with oil, the priest started making the divine maṇḍala in the centre of the pavilion, in a circular or quadrangular fashion. He finished by drawing a lotus in the centre of the maṇḍala with white powder and placing the supreme deity—Brahmā Parameśvara—in the middle of the lotus. Then he honoured him with pūjā, reciting ‘brahma jajñānam’ (AV IV.1.1; V.6.1) and some other Vedic mantras. To the south or west of the maṇḍala an altar had to be placed, on which the priest performed the sacrificial libation (homa) (AVPar 19b.2.1–3.3). Being very similar in symbolism and structure30 to the maṇḍalas described in NŚ and AVPars, the maṇḍala presented in BGŚS 2.15 differs from the other two in one principal respect: it serves as the place not of the main ritual, as in the NŚ and AVPars, but of a subsidiary one, with the main sacrifice performed on the Vedic altar. The latter marks the spot, accentuated with the help of cow dung and accommodating the image of a god, facing the east. Therefore, it is possible to assume that although in the organization of the sacred space for early pūjā rituals, the Vedic altar was used alongside non-Vedic maṇḍala, their statuses were not identical, since only one of them was considered to be the place of the god’s presence and used for the performance of the main ritual. It is necessary to ask: why, then, is the maṇḍala not relevant for other rituals, described in the BGŚS? Does this mean that the chapters of the BGŚS are re­flect­ ive of an earlier tradition in comparison with the NŚ and AVPars, and belong to also correlated with the spatial arrangement of the universe, but in its Vedic version, which was vertical rather than horizontal, as in pūjā rituals, and in which only three worlds were distinguished: bhūr (the earth region), bhuvaḥ (the middle or aerial region), and svaḥ (the celestial region). These three worlds were constantly mentioned in the prayers and vyāhṛtis, which were recited during the rituals of BGŚS. 30  As I discussed elsewhere, while the Vedic altar represented the earth, the maṇḍala symbolized the entire universe, and its circle outline stood as a visible borderline of the cosmos and the centre coincided with the centre of the universe (Lidova 2009: 205–31).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

160  Natalia Lidova the time when the maṇḍala had not yet been regarded as principal in organizing the sacral space and that the crucial role was played by the Vedic altar? Without excluding this possibility, I would like, nevertheless, to make an additional observation: it needs to be highlighted that all three rituals under discussion, namely the rite of the NŚ, AVPar 19b, and BGŚS 2.15, are said to have been performed in a temporary sacrificial pavilion—maṇḍapa. Hence, one can suppose that the combination of Vedic altar and maṇdạ la was originally characteristic of temporary structures and sacred space arrangements. At the earlier stage of pūjā development, the maṇḍala was created symbolically with steps or with the help of flowers, jars, purified cow dung, and other improvised materials, and had lesser significance than the Vedic altar. Then the situ­ ation radically changed, and maṇḍala, which like the Vedic altars had to be created anew before every ritual ceremony, assumed greater importance in relation to the Vedic altar. At a certain stage in the development of the pūjā cult, the first permanent maṇḍapas with stationary maṇḍalas appeared, succeeded by temples that inherited the sacral idea and symbolical content of maṇdạ la, reflective of the image of the universe and essentially different from the Vedic altar not only in the architecture but also in semantics.31 This proposition appears even more likely if we notice the difference reflected in various chapters of BGŚS in the descriptions of the ritual performed in per­ man­ent and temporary sacral spaces. In particular, it is said that in the permanent shrine or the god’s abode (devāyatana), with the stationary image of the god, the Vedic altar should not be built (acala-pratiṣt ̣ho yatra devas tatra na vedikā) (BGŚS 2.15.2b). The performance of the ritual was also slightly different, because for worship in the temporal space the invocation and dismissal of the god were ob­liga­tory, while on the site, where the image or symbol of the god was per­man­ ent­ly present, they could be omitted. It is very important that the original, basic rule was formulated in connection with temporary sacrificial arrangements, organized anew for each ritual,32 and then, just as in the Vedic period, destroyed upon the completion of the rite. One such temporary site is mentioned in ch. 2.14, and is dedicated to the daily worship of Viṣṇu in the form of Mahāpuruṣa. According to BGŚS 2.14, for the worship of Mahāpuruṣa one should choose a pure and suitable place, where he should smear cow dung, make an image of the god, and then worship it with unpolished rice, flowers, and flower-water. Afterwards he should invoke Mahapuruṣa with the words: ‘Oṃ bhūḥ, I invoke Puruṣa, Oṃ bhuvaḥ, I invoke Puruṣa, etc.’ and provide him a seat of kuśa grass with the words: ‘May the Lord Mahapuruṣa come 31  For details, see Lidova 2009: 205–31. 32  According to the teacher Śālīki, one of the most auspicious places to perform pūjā is in the water, on a sthaṇḍila, or near images (pratimā). In the absence of a suitable place or means, one should perform the ceremony in a public place (deśabhāva) or one should worship the god mentally (BGŚS 2.22.14.11–13).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

Measuring Innovation  161 here’ (BGŚS 2.14.4.4–6). On the completion of the ritual, one should dismiss Puruṣa with the words: ‘Oṃ bhūḥ, I dismiss Puruṣa, Oṃ bhuvaḥ, I dismiss Puruṣa, Oṃ suvaḥ, I dismiss Puruṣa, Oṃ bhūr, bhuvaḥ, suvaḥ, I dismiss Puruṣa, Oṃ , may the Lord, the great Puruṣa depart’ (BGŚS 2.14.5.1–4).33 This is the general scheme of the ritual performed in a temporary sacral space, where the image of the god had to be created every time anew. In a place where the image of the god was installed permanently, the bulk of the ritual remained the same; however, the opening rite of invocation and the concluding ceremony of dismissal were disregarded (pratimā-stāneṣv avāhanotsarjana-varjaṃ sarvaṃ samānaṃ , BGŚS 2.14.5.4–5; cf. 2.17; 2.18, etc.). This prescription was not a specific feature of Viṣṇu veneration, but functions as a general rule for permanent shrines. The same was prescribed for the daily worship of Śiva Mahādeva. Invocation and dismissal were an indispensable part of the ritual, if Liṅga was established or depicted temporarily, and were omitted if the ritual took place before a settled and lasting Liṅga (BGŚS 2.17.10.23–4; cf. BGŚS 2.18). It is quite possible that variations in the rules for carrying out these rituals in a stationary and temporary space reflect not only typological but also chrono­logic­al differences. As is well known, the idea of permanent places of worship and as­so­ci­ ation of holy places with specific geographical sites was foreign to the Vedic trad­ ition. The whole earth was considered sacral. To perform a sacrifice, it was sufficient to choose a suitable place and build there a sacrificial altar that during the ritual symbolically represented the whole earth and acted as its centre, or navel. The Hindu culture, for which the temples were an indispensable element, is based on a completely different religious and spatial paradigm. At its foundation lies the idea of geographically and mythologically interconnected holy shrines, pilgrimage sites, and places of adoration, the visit to which was considered mandatory for the adherents. Originally, these holy places were marked by a sacred tree, a source, a cave, and a small shrine nearby. Later on, permanent temples were built in immediate proximity to these sites. The fundamental difference of the sacral space, organized in the form of a shrine or temple, is not only in its permanent rather than temporary nature, but also in the fact that unlike the Vedic altar it represented not just the navel of the earth, but the entire universe, inheriting this symbolism via maṇḍala. Therefore, there can be little doubt that the typology of temporary places of worship, characteristic of the Vedic ritual practices, preceded the concept of a permanent holy place. In this sense, it is not surprising that the ritual prescriptions found in the BGŚS are formulated for temporary sacrificial places and acquired a more refined, reconciled, and shortened form in the case of permanent

33  In this case both quotations are given in Harting’s translation (see BGŚS, p. 34).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

162  Natalia Lidova ritual structures. The explanation for these differences is straightforward: space created temporarily for a particular ritual had also to serve as a temporary abode of the deity, hence gods had to be invited there, pleased with the help of offerings, and praised in hymns. At the end of the ritual, they were asked to depart, a request directly related to the necessity to destroy the sacred space in order to avoid uncontrolled or accidental influences on the universe. As for the permanent places of adoration, they were considered sacred in their own right, had the capacity to sanctify the entire surrounding area, and formed centres and part of the general sacral topography. Once consecrated, they retained their ritual significance throughout their use, and therefore the buildings erected could not be destroyed, and the idols and symbols of gods could not be removed. After inviting the god once to a holy place and installing his/her presence there in the guise of an image, it was no longer necessary to ask the deity to retire or to call him/her again and ask to return. Another reason for the practice of invocations and dismissals in the temporary ritual spaces was connected to the nature and significance of early images of gods. Without discussing here the problem of iconism and aniconism in the cult of Vedic yajña and non-Vedic pūjā, I would like to note that in the pūjā, in which the gift is brought without an intermediary role of fire, the visible, physically perceived presence of god had to play a crucial role. However, in the early syncretic rituals, in which the elements of yajña and pūjā are combined, the gods, like in the Vedic period, were revered as invisible spiritual entities. By inviting them, the priest offered them a seat on the altar itself, or, as in Vedic time, on a bunch of kuśa grass. At the next stage, the iconic representation of gods became more palp­ able. For this purpose people began to use certain ritual objects (most often a clay pot filled with clear water or precious liquid and imitating the womb), as well as self-manifested (svayambhuva or svayamvyakta) natural objects. Then, once the idea of anthropomorphic images of the gods was established, representations of gods were created as temporary renderings made from improvised materials, including flour, barley, leaves, etc.34 The idols created this way were used only for the purposes of a particular ritual,35 and were never intended for long-term preservations or perceived as markers of constant divine presence. 34  This type of image was created in the ritual described in BGŚS 2.13. One should make ‘at nightfall [before the day of the ritual] an image [of Viṣṇu] with the five products of a brown [cow], with gold, barley, blades of dūrvā grass, leaves of aśvattha (Ficus Religiosa) and palāśa (Butea Frondosa) [trees] resting on gold’ (samāgatāyāṃ niśāyāṃ kapilā-pañcagavyena sahiraṇya-yavadūrvāṅkurāśvattha-palāśa-parṇena suvarṇopadhānāṃ pratikṛtiṃ , BGŚS 2.13.1.4–6). In BGŚS 4.2 the image of Dhūrta is made by means of dūrvā grass. It should be erected on the west of the Udumbara tree and entwine its branch with the bracelet in order to keep it in an upright position (BGŚS 4.2.23.23–4). 35  Not only were images of gods created from the temporary materials, but also the whole ritual installation. For example, in the AVPar 10 a model of earth is described, made from gold the size of a cow’s skin. It was decorated with various jewels; its rivers and oceans filled with precious liquids, mountains, hills, trees, etc. are set (AVPar 10. 1.8–18).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

Measuring Innovation  163 In the permanent places of worship, the image of a god also became stationary, and made with solid materials, for example brass or gold (BGŚS 3.7.18.6). This type of idol suited various sacral manipulations, such as dressing, bathing, moving during the festivals, and transportation to a different permanent or temporary sacral space, much better. The milieu in which the BGŚS was created was aware of all three types of the representations of gods. At the same time, there is an impression that while preserving the core of the ritual structure, certain elements have been modified more than once, with the aim of meeting the needs of the changing ritual practices. Finally, something needs to be said about the time chosen for the performance of the ritual. In the BGŚS, we do not find evidence for a later tradition characteristic of a developed cult that divided pūjās into regular or obligatory (nitya),36 conducted on special occasions (naimittika), and ordered at will (kāmya). At the same time, the description of almost every ritual begins with the prescription of time, which can be considered as the earliest phase in the arrangement of the later temporal system. For example, the goddess Durgā (BGŚS 3.3.14.1–2) had to be worshipped every month in the forenoon of the day on which the moon stands in conjunction with the Kṛttikās lunar mansion. On certain days of the month, under Bharaṇī or Kṛttikā constellations, the goddess Upaśruti was worshipped (BGŚS 3.4.15.21–2). The goddess Sarasvatī had to be venerated on the thirteenth day of the bright half of the month under Uttarā Phalgunī or any other auspicious nakṣatra (BGŚS 3.6.17.7–8). At the same time, there are mentions of rituals performed according to the need or at will, later known as kāmya. For example, in connection with the veneration of Viṣṇu, the following is prescribed: one should perform worship on the twelfth day of the bright half of the month Āṣāḍha, Kārttika, or Phālguna, or when one feels inclined to sacrifice (BGŚS 3.7.18.1–2). The god Vināyaka, besides his certain auspicious days, had also to be worshipped on the occasion of the festival or if one was desirous of success, prosperity, or cattle (BGŚS 3.10.21.1–3). BGŚS also mentions daily worship, performed in honour of Viṣṇu Mahāpuruṣa (BGŚS 2.14) and Śiva Mahādeva (BGŚS 2.17). Thus, the temporary organization of rituals, described in the BGŚS, contains the prerequisites of the system that eventually became generally accepted in Hinduism.

6.  The Typology of Offering and Ritual Goals of Adoration When discussing the typology of offering bringing in pūjā, we ipso facto assume that it is marked by its own typology noticeably different from the Vedic one, and 36  The rite nityahoma is mentioned in Vaikhānasa Gṛhyasūtra 4.10: 59.1. Several chapters from VGS, which Harting considered very similar to BGŚS, were published and translated by him as an addendum (Harting 1922: 59–67).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

164  Natalia Lidova therefore it can be characterized by comparison with the latter. This approach is fundamentally different from the opinions of T. Lubin and S. Einoo, who believed that initially no independent pūjā ritual existed, and there were only singular ­elements of god’s adoration, formed in non-Vedic, non-Śrotrīya, and even nonĀryan environments, that were at some stage included in the structure of the Vedic gṛhya rites. At the same time, both authors point out that the assimilation of new elements with the basic Vedic scheme, regardless of whether it was homa and bali, or homa and madhuparka, ultimately led to a qualitatively new result and fundamentally changed the basic pattern of the gṛhya Vedic rituals. It should be noted that this approach, justifying the possibility of introducing alien elem­ ents into the ritual, which is already completely formed and calculated in its structure, symbolism, and goal-setting, presupposes an extremely high level of flexibility. It meant that ritual was perceived not as an indissoluble unity, but as a more or less stable combination of separate elements that could easily incorporate something new without running the risk of the structure and symbolism being altered and hence, as a direct consequence, the cosmic order (ṛta), and universal cosmic cycle, maintained by Vedic Brahmins, being at risk of destruction. However, such formal aspects as structure, consistency, temporal and spatial organization, type of offering, and goal-setting play a determining role in the ritual. These elements combined define the nature and content of the ritual, its symbolism, its sacred status, and its typology. This does not mean, of course, that the ritual represents a frozen structure, which essentially lacks the capacity to change, develop, and be enriched with new elements. The point is, however, that in the case of yajña and pūjā we have to discuss not the process of incorporation of the new elements, but rather the introduction and adoption of a different typology, which gradually replaced or made purely marginal the typology of sacrificing in the Vedic ritual. To be more explicit, the Vedic kind of sacrifice relied on the mediating role of fire and could not be carried out without burning the offering. This was in line with the fact that in the Vedic cult gods were perceived as imperceptible entities and invisible substances, to whom one could only bring offerings that were fully dematerialized and burnt without traces in the flames of a sacrificial fire. In terms of the nature of the sacrifice, pūjā belonged to an absolutely different type of ritual, exhibiting features already manifested in the earliest and simplest examples and fully preserved in the established form of a cult. The pūjā was performed without fire and the offering had to be sacrificed in its physically tangible form, which presupposed the possibility to offer it to the god that could be physically perceived and visible in the guise of an image. In other words, yajña was a profoundly aniconic ritual, while in pūjā iconism became an archetypical element of the ritual. This archetype determined almost all important features of the cult of pūjā, including the organization of permanent places of worship (later transformed

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

Measuring Innovation  165 into temples), and the use of divine images of gods treated as physical entities, which were involved in the rotation of time, with cycles of gods’ slumber, wakefulness, dressing, dining, and entertainment.37 However, to its fullest extent, this archetypical feature is realized in the main goal of adoration, which in the cult of pūjā consisted in darśan. Adepts had to go to temples not only to make sacrifices or to purify themselves of sins but to see the god in physical hypostasis and to establish personal and emotional contact with the deity. It must be said that the idea of the visual experience of god as a culminating element and main goal of religious action has to be considered a characteristic feature of the cult of pūjā. This feature is atypical not only for Vedic ritual, orientated primarily on the creative power of sacred words, but also for the vast majority of other religious practices.38 In this sense, darśan, which realized the principle of iconism in its highest form—and brought it to an absolute state—is deeply antagonistic to the cult of Vedic yajña. The latter realized the concept of har­mon­ iz­ing the world through the power of the spoken word and helped to maintain a higher order via regular offerings of evanescent donation to invisible gods. This concept retained its relevance in the rituals of the homa type, which became an integral part of the cult of pūjā, but, as Lubin rightly observed, they ended up being marginal within the cult. However, in the rituals of the BGŚS the significance of homa is still very high; it is not at all marginal and defines a number of key aspects of the ritual, including the organization of sacral space. Pūjā is performed in the space of yajña, in the immediate vicinity of the fire altar, before which the priest invokes and glorifies the god. He circumambulates the altar in a series of pradakṣiṇas, and like in Vedic times, he offers clarified butter, milk, grains, rice porridge, etc. on it. Nevertheless, the most noticeable innovations occurred in the type of offering itself, since the introduction of pūjā ensured an alternative way of sacrificial offering. As a result, the fire ceased to be the only mediator between the world of gods and humans. It needs to be pointed out that, notwithstanding its multifaceted nature and profound magical constituent, the Vedic cult was essentially quite simple. It was based on the idea of feeding and glorifying the gods, who were invited as guests to the place of ritual performance. Although the preparations could be quite

37  The use of dance for religious purposes is mentioned in BGŚS. The pantomimic dance (nṛtya) was part of the ritual of Dhūrta bali, when the priest danced holding the image of Dhūrta and evoked in the process of dancing the name of the deity. The first time he danced, performing pradakṣiṇa and circumambulating the fire three times, then at the end of the ritual he repeated the dance again (BGŚS 4.2.25.3, 26.22). 38  Diana Eck writes: ‘the Western traditions, especially the religious traditions of the “Book”—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—have trusted the Word more than the Image as a mediator of the divine truth. The Qur’an and the Hebrew Bible are filled with injunctions to “proclaim” and to “hear” the word. The ears were somehow more trustworthy than the eyes. In the Christian tradition this suspicion of the eyes and the image has been a particularly Protestant position. And yet the visible image has not been without some force in the religious thinking of the West’ (Eck 1998: 19).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

166  Natalia Lidova complex and time-consuming, the very moment of the sacrifice was stereotypical and presupposed the burning of a more or less significant and costly sacrificial donation in the flames of the fire burning on the altar. The introduction of pūjā led not only to the sophistication of the cult practices, but also to the concretization of the Gṛhya rituals. A god started to be perceived not as an invisible spirit, independent of all earthly laws, but as a physical entity, a concrete body, needing subsistence, bathing, changing of clothes, sprinkling with incenses, etc. Most importantly, all these offerings, including food, ceased to be burned in the fire, and were given in their natural, physical, tangible form (although in some cases instead of a food offering (naivedya) as typical for the pūjā, the havis continued to be offered (BGŚS 2.14.4–5). The description of the rituals in the BGŚS suggests that the constituent parts of the sacrificial donation in the pūjā ceremony were already so well known that sometimes only the first ones of the list were mentioned. At the same time, neither of the adhyāyas selected by Harting in his study describes a sixteen-part pūjā (ṣoḍaśa-upacāra-pūjā), which is considered the standard type of this ritual. The only reference to this type of pūjā in the manuscripts examined by Harting is found in manuscript B and represents an interpolation between I.1 and I.2, reproduced with some variations in manuscript H, as a footnote to I.11 (Harting 1922: xxvi). In manuscript B one can read the following: āsanāvahanaṃ pādyam arghyam ācamanaṃ tathā | snānaṃ vastropavītaṃ ca gandha-puṣpaṃ tathaiva ca || dhūpaṃ dīpaṃ ca naivedyaṃ punar-ācamanaṃ tathā | tāmbūlodvāsanaṃ ceti upacāras tu ṣoḍaśa ||

This reference represents the core of the ritual, in which the pūjā elements are already organized into a structure of sixteen acts of services or ‘attendances’ (upacāras) upon a divinity and include the following parts: 1) providing the deity with a seat (āsana) 2) invocation to occupy it (āvāhana) 3) providing water for the washing the god’s feet (pādya) 4) scented water for the god’s ablution (arghya)39 5) water for sipping or rinsing the mouth (ācamana) 6) water for bathing (snāna) 39  Pādya and arghya as kinds of worship are mentioned already in Pāṇini. They features in sūtra 5.4.25 ‘pāda-arghābhyāṃ -ca’. This sūtra introduces two nominal stems, ‘pāda’—‘foot’ and ‘arghá’— ‘homage, worship’. From a commentary accompanying this rule, we learn that ‘pādāya-idám’ = ‘pādyam’ and defines ‘water meant for the washing of the feet as an act of worship’; similarly ‘arghārtham udakam’ = ‘árghyam’ and means ‘water offered at the respectful receptions of the guest’ (see Katre 1987: 620). For árghya, see ŚB 14.9.1.7.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

Measuring Innovation  167 7) offering of a garment (vastra) 8) putting on the sacred thread (upavīta) 9) fragrant substance, perfume (gandha) 10) flowers (puṣpa) 11) burning incense (dhūpa) 12) light in the form of an oil lamp (dīpa) 13) food (naivedya) 14) water for rinsing the mouth (ācamana) 15) betel (tāmbūla) 16) dismissal of the deity (udvāsana).40 The difference between individual elements of pūjā and the sixteen-part pūjā is the same as that between ‘material’ and ‘structure’. Being organized in this way, pūjā acquires characteristics of a regularized sequence of the god’s reception. It is obvious that from the first to the eighth, upacāras are preparatory in nature; their goal is to invoke the deity to occupy the honourable place, sprinkle him with water and other precious liquids, and then dress him, thus preparing the god for the main part of the adoration. Subsequent acts, starting from the ninth when the fragrant water (gandha) is offered up to the fifteenth when betel (tāmbūla) is given, constitute the actual sacrificial offering, while the last, the sixteenth, upacāra, denotes the dismission of the deity and the end of pūjā. The formation of this type of pūjā, widespread in contemporary Hinduism,41 was undoubtedly not momentary. It is quite possible that the BGŚS, omitting the description of the sixteen-part pūjā, represents the earlier stage in relation to other pariśiṣt ̣as.42 It should be noted that among the adhyāyas selected by Harting, the word ‘pūjā’ as a designation of the ritual in question is used only once, in 40  Nancy Falk provides a slightly different description of the sixteen-part pūjā: 1) Āvahāna (‘invocation’). The god is invited to be present at the ceremony. 2) Āsana. The god is offered a seat. 3) Svāgata (‘greeting’). The worshipper asks the god if the journey has gone well. 4) Pādya. The worshipper symbolically washes the god’s feet. 5) Arghya. Water is extended so that the god may cleanse his or her face and teeth. 6) Ācamanīya. Water is offered for sipping. 7) Madhuparka. The god is offered the waterand-honey drink. 8) Snāna or abhiṣekha. Water is offered for symbolic bathing; if submersible, the image may literally be bathed and then towelled dry. 9) Vastra (‘clothing’). Here a cloth may be wrapped around the image and ornaments affixed to it. 10) Anulepana or gandha. Perfumes and/or ointments are applied to the image. 11) Puṣpa. Flowers are laid before the image, or garlands are draped around it. 12) Dhūpa. Incense is burned before the image. 13) Dīpa or ārati. A burning lamp is waved in front of the god. 14) Naivedya or prasāda. Foods such as cooked rice, fruit, clarified butter, sugar, and betel leaf are offered. 15) Namaskāra or pranāma. The worshipper and family bow or prostrate themselves before the image to offer homage. 16) Visarjana or udvāsana. The god is dismissed (Falk 2005: 7493–4). 41  A detailed overview of the sixteen-part pūjā, performed in the temple of goddess Catuḥśṛṅgī in Poona, India, can be found in Tachikawa 1983: 104–86. For a revised and enlarged version of this art­ icle see Tachikawa, Deodhar, and Hino 2001 with two appendices on the general procedure and var­ ieties of ṣoḍaśa-upacāra-pūjā, performed at Nägešvar and Pärvatí Nandana Termples in Poona. 42  Among these texts, Bühnemann mentions Vaikhānasa-Smārtasūtra 4.10–12, ‘the youngest of the Taittiriya school’, Vaikhānasa-Smārtasūtra, Āgniveśya-Gṛhyasūtra, and pariśiṣt ̣a of ĀśvalāyanaGṛhyasūtra (Bühnemann 1988: 11–12).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

168  Natalia Lidova BGŚS 2.22, which goes back to the authority of the teacher Śālīki.43 In the adhyāyas attributed to Baudhāyana the more neutral term ‘arca’ or ‘arcana’ is used; it derives from the root ‘arc’, which in its main meaning, ‘praise’, ‘doing homage’, or ‘worshipping’, as well as ‘an object of worship’,44 can be traced back to Pāṇini.45 The ceremony of adoration is also defined as kalpa (‘Durgākalpa’, ‘Upaśrutikalpa’, ‘Viṣṇukalpa’, etc. is designation of the rituals in honour of different gods from praśna 3), paricara (attendance, homage), ārādhana (adoration or propitiation of the deity), etc. Let us return to the question of whether pūjā in its earliest known form was an integral, self-standing ritual or whether, as Lubin and Einoo have suggested, it was just a combination of sporadic non-Vedic elements incorporated into a structure of a typologically different ritual. Despite the fact that the sixteen-part pūjā in BGŚS is not mentioned, the ceremonies of pūjā-type that are present in the text cannot be seen as random collections of independent elements. It is possible to distinguish in them a clearly discernible structural principle, based not on the process of hosting the gods, characteristic for the ṣoḍaśa-upacāra-pūjā, but on the complex verbal outline, consisting of various verses, incantations, hymns, or mantras, selected for the purpose of glorifying a particular god known from Vedic texts. Recitations of texts were not intended to merely accompany ritual actions; on the contrary, they action themselves without deviation, following the utterance of ritual formulas and mantras. In general, this was consistent with the paradigm underlying the Vedic ritual culture. When speaking about performative and verbal aspects of the ritual, we often consider physical actions that seem to be more prominent in the ceremony as the most important element, and treat the verbal component as complementary. In the Vedic ritual, however, the dominant role belonged exactly to a sounding word, shaped as a mantra, a hymn, an interjection, or an equivalent ritual formula. The utterance of the hymn or mantra actually constituted the ritual, which was further revealed, enriched, and acquired a physical concreteness in the ritual actions, which, in their turn, lost a significant part of their sacredness without the necessary verbal component. Mantras are the defining basis of the BGŚS rituals. Characterizing them, Harting wrote the following: ‘most of them are Vedic, taken either from the Saṃ hitā, the Brāhmaṇa, and the Āraṇyaka of the Taittirīyas, the school to which Baudhāyana belongs, or, in some cases, from other Vedas [. . .] A few seem to have been taken 43  On teachers of the Baudhāyana school, see Caland 1903: 35. 44  The word ‘arcā’ derives from the root ‘arc-’ which is one of the standard terms, meaning ‘divine image using for the cult purposes’ or ‘object of adoration and worship’. This word is quite common in the texts on image-worship in its well-developed form. See, for example, Viṣnu ̣ dharmottara purāṇa 3.1.7. 45 Pāṇini mentions it among other nominal stems in sūtra 5.2.101: ‘prajñāśraddhā-arcāvṛttibhyaḥ Ṇaḥ’. According to this rule ‘arcāvat’ means ‘possessing an object of worship’ (Katre 1987: 575). See also sūtra 6.1.3, in which Pāṇini mentions the word ‘arciciṣa’—‘wish to honour or worship’ (for details, see Katre 1987: 655).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

Measuring Innovation  169 from Upaniṣads, but I have not been able to locate them. The rest of the Mantras is Paurāṇic. [. . .] A peculiarity of the Paurāṇic Mantras is that, unlike the Vedic Mantras, they are much subject to alteration. They are rarely found twice in exactly the same form. This is due to the fact that the Paurāṇic mode of worship was not based upon a sacred and unchangeable body of literature, like the Veda’ (Harting 1922: xxix). In the three types, highlighted by Harting, only two were significant for BGŚS rituals: Vedic and post-Vedic or Paurāṇic.46 Vedic verses are referred to as pratīka (in abridged form), while non-Vedic invocations are given in full length. The use of certain mantras does not follow a single rule. In some rituals, the Vedic mantras47 evidently predominate, while in others, along with them, there are a significant number of non-Vedic invocations. At the same time, it is obvious that, unlike the Vedic ones, which are just a compilation of quotations from various sources, non-Vedic verses were created deliberately. They reflect the peculiarities of the ritual practice of pūjā and in the overwhelming majority of cases are the praise of the donations that are brought during the pūjā offering. For example, in the rite of the consecration of Viṣṇu’s image, the sanctified water for pādya, ācamana and arghya is offered to the god with the following verses: ‘These waters are beneficial, very beneficial; clean, very clean; pure, very pure; immortal, nectar fit for pādya, for ācamana for arghya; may they be welcome, may they be accepted, may the Lord, the great Viṣṇu accept [them], ad­or­ ation to Viṣṇu’ (trans. by Harting 1922: 30). When offering to the god a fragrant substance (gandha), one should recite: ‘These perfumes are beautiful, heavenly, adorned with all perfumes, purified by kuśa grass, purified by the rays of the sun. May it be accepted, may the Lord, the great Viṣṇu, accept it; adoration to Viṣṇu’ (Harting 1922: 31). The garlands (māla) are given with the words: ‘Those garlands are beautiful, heavenly, adorned with all garlands, purified by kuśa grass, purified by the rays of the sun. May it be accepted, may the Lord, the great Viṣṇu, accept it; adoration to Viṣṇu’ (Harting 1922: 31). With this standard type of mantra that 46  The quotations from the Upaniṣads are very rare and do not play a significant role. Harting c­ onsidered one of them to be a mantra dedicated to the glorification of the sacred thread, which also occurs in BGS 2.5 and could be found in Brahmopaniṣad 2: ‘The sacred thread is the best purifier, which was formerly born with Prajāpati. Put on the vitalizing, pre-eminent, radiant sacred thread; be there strength and splendour’ (yajñopavītaṃ paramaṃ pavitraṃ |prajāpater yat sahajaṃ purastāt || āyuṣyam agriyaṃ pratimuñca śubhraṃ |yajñopavītaṃ balam astu teja || BGŚS 2.13.24.14–18). 47  One such ritual is the rite of daily worship of Mahāpuruṣa (BGŚS 2.14) where the water for washing the feet (pādya) is given with the verse ‘trīṇi padā vi cakrame’, etc. (TB 2.4.6.1), the arghya, reciting the verse ‘idaṃ viṣṇur vi cakrame’, etc. (TS I.2.13e), and the water for ācamana with the verse ‘divo vā viṣṇo’, etc. (TS I.2.13h), the sacred thread with the Sāvitrī, and water for another ācamana with the verse ‘idaṃ viṣṇur vi cakrame’, etc. (TS I.2.13e), the perfume, reciting ‘gandhadvārām’, etc. (TĀ X.1.10), the unpolished barleycorns with the verse ‘irāvatī’, etc. (TS 1.2.13f); the flower with the verse ‘tad viṣṇoḥ’, etc. (TS I.3.6l); incense with the Sāvitrī, the lamp with the verse ‘ud dipyasva’, etc. (TĀ X.1.4) and havis with the formula ‘devasya tvā’, etc. (TS VII.1.11). On the aftermath, they praise the god with hymns relating to Viṣṇu from all four Veda and dismiss Puruṣa with the Vyāhṛtis (BGŚS 2.14.4–5).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

170  Natalia Lidova preserves the main part invariably, only the name of the offering is substituted, and in each case, the priest offers Viṣṇu a flower (puṣpa), incense (dhūpa), a lamp (dīpa), etc. Another quite common type of mantra was the utterance of various names of the god, accompanied by the exclamation ‘svāhā’. For example, in the same ritual, the priest offers the oblations with the following sacrificial formula: to Vasudeva svāhā, to Saṅkarṣaṇa svāhā, to Pradyumna svāhā, to Aniruddha svāhā, to Śānti svāhā, to Śri svāhā, to Sarasvatī svāhā, to Puṣt ̣i svāhā, to Viṣṇu svāhā (BGŚS 3.13.3.18–20). And, at last, there are a few rituals (for example, the consecration of water) that are performed without any recitations of mantras, or that are specified to be realized in silence (BGŚS 4.2.8–9). It is worth mentioning that among the selection taken by Harting from the BGŚS, we do not find a single ritual that had to be performed without Vedic mantras. This fact is directly related to the nature of the religious milieu which had the right to perform these religious ceremonies: the forms of reverence to gods, described in BGŚS, are rituals of the twice-born varṇas. This is clearly stated in BGŚS 2.22, containing the description of pūjā in honour of two gods—Viṣṇu and Rudra-Śiva. This type of pūjā, performed with the recital of two Vedic verses, ‘trīṇi padā vi cakrame’ etc. (TB 2.4.6.1) for Viṣṇu and ‘tryamkabaṃ yajāmahe’ etc. (TS 1.8.6i) for Śiva, ‘is well-known everywhere in the world [as] dharma of the three [highest] varṇas’.48 This reflects the most important principle of the Vedic religion, according to which only members of the three higher varṇas had the right to teach, memorize, and recite Vedic texts, and to perform rituals in which they had to be used. In order to conduct a ritual, one had to be born in high varṇa and become a twiceborn, to receive a traditional education, and to go through the sacred thread initiation ceremony (upānayana), which was established as a compulsory ritual in the late Vedic period. For the lowest stratum of society, which by the end of the Vedic period established itself as the fourth Varna Śūdras, the performance of these rituals was categorically forbidden, and in case of violation cruelly punished. According to the Dharmasūtra of Gautama, if Śūdra ‘listens in on a vedic recitation, his ears shall be filled with molten tin or lac; if he repeats it, his tongue shall be cut off; if he commits it to memory, his body shall be split asunder’ (12.4–7, trans. by Olivelle 1999: 98).49 48 trai-varṇika-dharmatvāt sarvatra vacanāl loka-prasiddha (BGŚS 2.22.14.1–2). This feature was noticed by Lubin: ‘it establishes, in Baudhayana’s name, the injunction to perform the pūjā of Viṣṇu and Rudra on the grounds that it is part of the Dharma, the pious observances, of Āryas’ (Lubin 2015: 156). A similar idea is expressed in the Vaikhānasa Gṛhyasūtra, where pūjā is also mentioned as a ritual of a twice-borns: ‘A twice-born man should attentively and constantly, in [his] house or in a [permanent place of the] dwelling of the god, devoutly worship the Lord Nārāyaṇa. Then he reaches Viṣṇu’s highest abode, thus it is known’; ‘dvijātir atandrito nityaṃ gṛhe devāyatane vā bhaktyā bhagavantaṃ nārāyaṇam arcayet|tad viṣnọ ḥ paramaṃ padaṃ gacchatīti vijñāyate ||’ (VGS 4.12.61.10–11). 49  See also Sharma 2014: 300; Flood 1996: 36–7.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

Measuring Innovation  171 Somewhat more restrained, although still very similar and rigid, is the attitude we find in the BGŚS. It is said that if one touched Śūdra or a woman during her menses he should perform the ceremony of the second consecration (punaḥpratiṣt ̣ha-kalpa, BGŚS 2.19). It is also made explicit in connection with pūjā, in which the Vedic mantras are uttered, in particular pūjā in honour of Viṣṇu and Rudra-Śiva, that ‘a woman or Śūdra should not perform. If they perform [it is] only [as] self-willed (unauthorized), thus [it is] established according to ācārya [Baudhāyana]. If [any] Brāhmaṇa even if [he is] without means of subsistence, unauthorizedly [performs this pūjā for woman or Śūdra] he falls [out of his varṇa, thus according to teacher] Śālīki’.50 It can be argued that nothing else but the rejection of the use of Vedic mantras and adaptation of the ritual formulas from the non-Vedic sources has marked the dividing line between the early pūjā, with Smārta pūjā51 genetically linked to it, from the tantric (Āgamic) and folk forms of the pūjā ritual. If we perceive the ritual as it was seen in the late Vedic period, i.e. as a sequence of ritual word formulas and prayers accompanied by actions, revealing or illustrating the meaning of words, it becomes clear that the rejection of Vedic mantras changed not so much the outward features, but the very typology of the ritual. The external presentation of the ritual did not change significantly, because the sequence of actions, as well as the objects and techniques used in the ceremony, remained the same. And yet it was a revolutionary moment in the history of the ritual because, as Bühnemann rightly pointed out, ‘pūjā without the recitation of mantras from the Vedic literature can be performed by anyone, including women and Śūdras’ (Bühnemann 1988: 2). In other words, in order to make the religious sphere of pūjā more democratic and available to all varṇas without exception, there was no need to change anything in its procedure or ritualistic actions. It was enough to refrain from recitations of Vedic mantras and to replace the main Vedic sacred syllable ‘Om’ with the non-Vedic interjection (bijākṣaras, like hrīm, hrom, yam, etc.) and recognize pūjā consisting of the non-Vedic verses as a fully fledged type of ritual. Thus the refusal to recite the prayers from Vedic texts along with the sacral typology of the ritual fundamentally changed the social status of the gṛhya rites, which became enriched with the pūjā offerings. This allowed it to encompass a much wider social audience and give the status of fully fledged adepts to all those who had been previously rejected and considered external to the ritual because of their birth and alienation to the three highest varṇas, or even to Āryan milieu. These efforts provided the opportunity to resolve the problem that emerged in the 50  na strīśūdrau kuryātāṃ yadi kuryātāṃ svatantropanata evety ācārya āśrayaḥ|svatantroyoś ced vṛttikṣīṇo ‘py brāhmaṇaḥ pataty eveti śālīkir| (BGŚS 2.22.14.8–10). 51  Smārta (an adjective derived from Smṛti) type of pūjā which is popularly also known as Vedic or Vaidik pūjā because its performance is still accompanied by mantras from the Vedic literature.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

172  Natalia Lidova middle of the first millennium bc of seeking a religious alternative to the elitist, privileged, and exclusive Vedic cult. However, this conclusion also indicates another aspect of the question, mainly the fact that the performance of rituals of pūjā with the recitation of the Vedic mantras at a certain stage of its development was an absolute prerogative of the male members belonging to the three upper castes of Vedic society. Apparently, it is this milieu that grew out of the Vedic religious elite that adapted the core of the pūjā ritual, and then developed it into an independent cult with its main features: permanent places of worship, liturgical images of gods, and darśan as the main goal of adoration.52 If we discuss the people who were responsible for the rituals described in the BGŚS, it is necessary to say a few words about these immediate performers. In some cases, the performer is not specified or is characterized as an expert or wise man (vidvān) (BGŚS 2.15.2) who received all the benefits from the ritual and, in particular, was released from his sins (BGŚS 2.15.22). However, the main performers of these rites were Brāhmaṇas, whose number ranges from one to twelve (BGŚS 2.13.3.32–3). There was also the person who ordered the ritual, who could be a religious student (brahmacārin) or a householder (gṛhastha) (BGŚS 2.13.3.32–3), as well as any member of the three higher varṇas—Brāhmaṇa, Kṣatriya, or Vaiśya. He had the status of a Vedic yajamāna that played a very important part in the Vedic sacrifice, paid its cost and received the sacrificial bene­fits. According to the BGŚS, before the ritual, the customer had to serve food for the Brāhmaṇas (BGŚS 2.13.1.3), and upon its completion once again feed them with specially cooked rice and some other pure vegetarian food. He also had to provide them with everything necessary for the performance of the ritual (BGŚS 2.22.14.21–2), and at the end distribute a dakṣiṇa as a donation to the priest and as a sacrificial fee for the performance of the ritual. Similarly to the Vedic times, the typical dakṣiṇa most often consisted of a cow (BGŚS 3.6.17.23, 3.9.20.23), but in some cases the reward could have been much more significant. For example, in BGŚS 2.18.12.15–17 it is said that the religious teacher (ācārya) has to receive a fee of ten cows with their calves, adorned with gold together with a bull, but specifies that in the absence of means for all this, one can pay a dakṣiṇa with just one cow. Quite remarkable was the dakṣiṇa paid for the performance of the ritual in honour of one of the higher gods—Viṣṇu or Rudra. If Viṣṇu was revered, a golden conch had to be given, and in the case of Rudra worship, a bull fixed in gold (BGŚS 2.22.14.20). 52 Gonda writes about this: ‘The often extremely complicated Vedic “sacrifice”, the centre of the a­ niconic Aryan cult [. . .] contrasts markedly with the basic rite of Hinduism, the so-called pūjā which generally consists of the worship of a god in the form of an icon, to which flowers, betel quids, water for washing the feet and other—as a rule vegetarian—presents are offered. The image in which the god is believed to have in some sense taken up his abode is honored, fed, fanned, and placed in a shrine or ­temple, erections and edifices which in the Vedic cult are conspicuous by their absence’ (Gonda 1965: 16).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

Measuring Innovation  173 The value of the sacrificial gift also depended on the varṇa of the performer of the ritual. One rule going back to the authority of the teacher Śālīki prescribes that one who is devoted to the gods should give to the person who teaches him pūjā, or performs it for him for a different fee. If this person is a Brāhmaṇa, he should give him 100 grams (māṣas) of gold; if he is a Kṣatriya, 1,000; if he is a Vaiśya, he should give him a proportion according to his charity (BGŚS 2.22.14.6–8). Thus, the reformed cult preserved the regulation, typical for the Vedic domestic rituals (gṛhya), that in contrast to the Vedic solemn rituals (śrauta) in which usually Brāhmaṇa acted as the officiating priest, it could be performed by members of all three higher varṇas, including the Kṣatriyas and the Vaiśyas. Thus, the main performers of the rituals described in the BGŚS were the priest and the yajamāna, i.e. the same pair that determined the core of Vedic yajña. The connecting thread between them, apart from the desire of the yajamāna to perform the ritual, was dakṣiṇa, which in itself was the most important feature of the Vedic sacrificial idea and practice, and one of the archetypal hallmarks of the Vedic cult.53 For some time, the sacrificial fee undoubtedly retained its original Vedic significance within the cult of the pūjā. Moreover, it seems there was an attempt to confirm its status as the final stage of the ritual and include it in the sixteen-part pūjā. For example, it is mentioned among the last upacāra in the Ṛgvidhāna (Ṛgv 3.30–1.162–6) (Gonda 1951; Bhat 1987), and the penultimate, just before the dismissal of the god (visarjana), in the Āśvalāyana Gṛhyapariśiṣt ̣a (ĀGP 2.10). In conclusion, a few words need to be said about the religious status of the BGŚS rituals, which, in the eyes of the teachers of the Baudhāyana tradition, were very potent. The regular or continuous performance of rituals was capable of fulfilling all desires (BGŚS 3.3.15.18). Veneration of Rudra also allowed one to achieve almost all desires. By performing rituals in honour of this god, one could achieve not only traditional Vedic goals—to be rich in sons and cattle—but also the aim that was characteristic of the world-view of a new era: one could overcome the repeated cycles of life and death. Besides that, by worshipping Rudra one could atone for any guilt, even the guilt of killing a Brāhmaṇa (BGŚS 3.7.23.6–7). And finally, notwithstanding that in the hierarchy of the Vedic rituals, ­characteristic of the late Vedic period and including soma-yajña, havir-yajña, and pāka-yajña,54 the rites of the BGŚS formally belong to the lowest type of pāka-yajña, and they are often compared in the text to the śrauta ceremonies of soma-yajña, which occupy the top of this hierarchy. For example, bali-offering to Dhūrta, 53  Cf. the opinion of James Egge: ‘the Brāhmaṇical texts themselves equate sacrifice with dakśiṇa, the gift given to the officiating priests. . . A discussion of the agnihotra sacrifice in Yajur Veda illustrates well the interpretation of dakśiṇa as sacrifice’ (Egge 2013: 18). See also Devi 2016: 341–50. 54  This hierarchy is mentioned in a comparatively late Gopatha Brāhmaṇa, where it is also indicated that there are seven forms in each type of yajñā (sapta sutyāḥ sapta ca pākayajñāḥ haviryajñāḥ sapta tathaikaviṃ śatiḥ, GB I.5.25).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

174  Natalia Lidova performed every fourth month, allowed one to receive a reward of the Cāturmāsya sacrifice (BGŚS 4.2.27.12), while one of the rituals, dedicated to Viṣṇu, whose cult undoubtedly occupies a priority place in the BGŚS, allows one to attain the eternal reward of the Vedic Aśvamedha (aśvamedha-phalam āpnoti sakṛd iṣt ̣vā sanātanam, BGŚS 3.7.19.3–4).

References Bhat, Muralidhar Shrinivas. 1987. Vedic Tantrism: A Study of Ṛgvidhāna of Śaunaka with Text and Translation. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Bisschop, Peter and Arlo Griffiths. 2003. [published 2004] ‘The Pāśupata Observance (Atharvavedapariśiṣt ̣a 40)’, Indo-Iranian Journal, 46, 315–48. Bisschop, Peter and Arlo  Griffiths. 2008. ‘The Practice Involving the Ucchuṣmas (Atharvavedapariśiṣt ̣a 36)’, Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik, 24, 1–46.

Bolling George Melville and Julius von Negelein (eds.). 1909–10. The Pariśiṣt ̣as of the Atharvaveda. 2 vols. Vol. I: Text and Critical Apparatus. Leipzig: Harrassowitz. Bühnemann, Gudrun. 1988. Pūjā: A Study in Smārta Ritual. Vienna: Institut für Indologie der Universität Wien, Sammlung De Nobili. Caland, Willem. 1903. Über das rituelle Sūtra des Baudhāyana. Leipzig: In Commission bei F. A. Brockhaus. Caldwell, Robert. 1875. A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian Family of Languages. 1st ed.: London: Harrison, 1856; London: Trübner & Co.; Rpt.: Asian Educational Services, 1998. Charpentier, Jarl, 1927. ‘The Meaning and Etymology of Puja’, Indian Antiquary, LVI, 93–8, 130–5. (Earlier German version: Charpentier, Jarl. 1926. ‘Über den Begriff und die Etymologie von püjā’, in Willibald Kirfel (ed.), Beiträge zur Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte Indiens: Festgabe Hermann Jacoi zum 75 Geburstag dargebracht von Freunden, Kollegen und Schülern. Bonn: Fritz Klopp.) Chatterji, Suniti Kumar. 1924. ‘Dravidian Origins and the Beginning of the Indian Civilization’, Modern Review, 36, 665–79. Devi, Manjula. 2016. ‘Dakṣiṇā in Vedic Sacrifices’, in Asko Parpola and Petteri Koskikallio (eds.), Papers of the 12th World Sanskrit Conference, Vol. 1: Vedic Investigations. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, pp. 341–50. Eck, Diana. 1998. Darśan: Seeing the Divine Image in India. New York: Columbia University Press. Egge, James. 2013. Religious Giving and the Invention of Karma in Theravada Buddhism. London: Taylor & Francis (Routledge Studies in Asian Religion). Einoo, Shingo. 1996. ‘The Formation of the Pūjā Ceremony’, Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik, Festschrift Paul Thieme, 20, 73–87. Falk, Nancy Auer. 2005. ‘Pūjā: Hindu Pūjā’, in Lindsay Jones (ed.), Encyclopedia of Religion. Detroit, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, pp. 7493–5.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

Measuring Innovation  175 Flood, Gavin. 1996. An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Fuller, Christopher John. 1992. The Camphor Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in India. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Gligor, Mihaela. 2009. ‘Performing Pūjā in Hinduism: The Achievement of Identity between God and Worshiper’, Anuarul Institutului de Istorie “George Baritiu” din Cluj-Napoca, Seria Humanistica, VII, 275–85. Gonda, Jan. 1951. The Ṛgvidhāna: English Translation with an Introduction and Notes. Utrecht: N.V.A. Oosthoek’s Uitgevers Mij. Gonda, Jan. 1965. Change and Continuity in Indian Religion. The Hague: Mouton. Gonda, Jan. 1970. Viṣṇuism and Śivaism, a Comparison. London: Athlone Press.

Gundert, Hermann. 1869. ‘Die dravidischen Elemente im Sanskrit’, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 23(4), 517–30. Harting, Peter Nicolaas Ubbo. 1922. Selections from the Baudhāyana-Gṛhyapariśiṣt ̣asūtra. Utrecht, Amersfoort: J. Valkhoff & Co. Hultzsch, Eugen. 1925. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum t. 1. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Katre, Sumitra. 1987. Aṣt ̣ādhyāyī of Pāṇini: In Roman Transliteration. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

Keith, Arthur Berriedale. 1912. Review on ‘The Pariśiṣt ̣as of the Atharvaveda. Edited by George Melwille Bolling and Julius von Negelein. Vol. I, in three parts: Text and Critical Apparatus, Leipzig, 1909–10’, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland (New Series), 44, 755–76. Kittel, Ferdinand. 1894. A Kannaḍa-English Dictionary. Mangalore: Basel Mission Book & Tract Depository. Lidova, Natalia. 2009. ‘The Changes of Indian Ritualism: Yajña versus Pūjā’, in Himanshu Prabha Ray (ed.), Archaeology and Text: The Temple in South Asia. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 205–31. Lubin, Timothy. 2013. ‘Aśoka’s Disparagement of Domestic Ritual and Its Validation by the Brahmins’, Journal of Indian Philosophy, 41(1), 29–41. Lubin, Timothy. 2015. ‘The Vedic Homa and the Standardization of Hindu Pūjā’, in Richard K. Payne and Michael Witzel (eds.), Homa Variations: The Study of Ritual Change across the Longue Durée. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 143–66. Lubin, Timothy. 2016a. ‘Towards a New Edition of the Baudhāyanagṛhyasūtra’, in Asko Parpola and Petteri Koskikallio (eds.), Vedic Investigations, Papers of the 12th World Sanskrit Conference. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, pp. 317–40. Lubin, Timothy. 2016b. ‘Baudhāyanīya contributions to Smārta Hinduism’, in Jan  E.M.  Houben, Julieta Rotaru, and Michael Witzel (eds.), Vedic Śākhās: Past, Present, Future. Proceedings of the Fifth International Vedic Workshop. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 591–606. Mayrhofer, Manfred. 1956–80. Kurzgefasstes etymologisches Woerterbuch des Altindischen. Heidelberg: Carl Winter.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 11/07/20, SPi

176  Natalia Lidova Mayrhofer, Manfred. 1986–2001. Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen. Heidelberg: Carl Winter. Michaels, Axel. 2004. Hinduism: Past and Present. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Modak, B.R. 1993. The Ancillary Literature of the Atharva-Veda: A Study with Special Reference to the Pariśiṣt ̣as. New Delhi: Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratishthan in as­so­ci­ ation with Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. Olivelle, Patrick. 1999. The Dharmasūtras: The Law Codes of Ancient India. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sarup, Lakshman (ed.). 1920. Yāska, The Nighantu and the Nirukta, the Oldest Indian Treatise on Etymology, Philology and Semantics. London, New York: Oxford University Press. (Rpt. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1984.) Sharma, Ram Sharan. 2014. Sudras in Ancient India: A Social History of the Lower Order Down to Circa ad 600. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Smith, Frederick M. 1987. The Vedic Sacrifice in Transition: A Translation and Study of the Trikāṇḍamaṇḍana of Bhāskara Miśra. Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. Stietencron, Heinrich  von. 1977. ‘Orthodox Attitudes towards Temple Service and Image Worship in Ancient India’, Central Asiatic Journal, 21, 126–38. Tachikawa, Musashi. 1983. ‘A Hindu Worship Service in Sixteen Steps, Shoḍaśaupacāra-pūjā’, Bulletin of the National Museum of Ethnology, 8(1), 104–86. Tachikawa, Musashi, Lalita Deodhar, and Shoun Hino (eds.). 2001. Pūjā and Saṃ skāra. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Thieme, Paul. 1939. ‘Indische Wörter und Sitten’, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 93, 105–37. Thieme, Paul. 1960. ‘Pūjā’, The Journal of Oriental Research, 27, 1–16. Thieme, Paul. 1984. ‘Bráhman’, in Kleine Schriften. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, pp. 91–129. Vasu, Srisa Chandra (trans.). 1891–8. The Ashtadhyayi of Pāṇini. Allahabad: Indian Press.

Witzel, Michael. 1980. ‘Die Kat ̣ha-Śikṣa-Upaniṣad und ihr Verhältnis zur Śīkṣāvallī der Taittirīya-Upaniṣad’, Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens, 24, 21–82.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

7

Haṭhayoga’s Early History From Vajrayāna Sexual Restraint to Universal Somatic Soteriology1 James Mallinson

In India physical methods have been used for religious ends since at least 1000 bce.2 For two millennia these methods were simple techniques of privation in which the body was mortified, usually by holding a particular posture for long periods, in order to acquire tapas, ascetic power. The details of their performance were not transmitted in texts but, we must assume, passed on orally within ascetic lineages.3 In the early part of the second millennium ce a somatic soteriology whose physical methods are body-affirming appears in textual sources;4 some of its practices are depicted soon after in the material record.5 In certain Sanskrit texts these methods of yoga were classified as haṭha, which means ‘force’; haṭhayoga means ‘yoga by means of force’. In this chapter I shall analyse the history of the 1  This chapter combines a revision of a paper on the Vajrayāna origins of the term haṭhayoga given twice (at the American Oriental Society’s meeting on 16 March 2019 and at a conference held in honour of Professor Jim Benson at the University of Oxford, 20 June 2019) with parts of a draft article on early haṭhayoga which I first started to circulate in April 2018. The research for this chapter was carried out as part of the Hatha Yoga Project (hyp.soas.ac.uk). This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 647963). Other outputs of the project (together with Mallinson 2011a and 2016, Birch 2011, and Mallinson & Singleton 2017) will provide much contextual information on the subject matter, in particular on the dating of texts cited. I am indebted to several scholars for helping me with this chapter, in particular Péter-Dániel Szántó, who patiently answered my questions about Vajrayāna Buddhism, provided me with many of the references to haṭhayoga in Vajrayāna texts, and contextualised and dated those texts, Francesco Sferra, who made a close reading of a late draft of the chapter and provided me with detailed feedback, in particular on the dating of Vajrayāna texts, and Jason Birch and Lubomír Ondračka, who both gave me detailed feedback on the original draft article on early haṭhayoga. Others whom I would like to thank for their help include Martin Delhey, Harunaga Isaacson, Dan Lusthaus, Karen O’Brien-Kop, Olga Serbaeva, and Somdev Vasudeva. 2  Atharvaveda 15.3 describes Vrātyas standing for a year. 3  One physical method of acquiring tapas, namely prāṇ āyāma, breath control, was codified prior to the production of the haṭha corpus, first in the Pātañjalayogaśāstra and subsequently in several tantric works. 4 The earliest of these sources are the c. tenth-century Vimānārcanākalpa, the c. eleventhcentury Amṛ tasiddhi, and Hemacandra’s twelfth-century Yogaśāstra together with its Svopajñavṛ tti auto-commentary. 5 The c. 1230 ce Mahudi Gate at Dabhoi, in Gujarat, depicts yogis in various balancing postures. James Mallinson, Hat. hayoga’s Early History: From Vajrayāna Sexual Restraint to Universal Somatic Soteriology In: Hindu Practice. Edited by: Gavin Flood, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198733508.003.0008

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

178  James Mallinson codification of haṭhayoga techniques up to the composition of the c.1400 ce Haṭhapradīpikā, which became haṭhayoga’s locus classicus. In so doing I shall show how the name haṭhayoga originated as a Vajrayāna (Buddhist tantric) term for the restraint of orgasm by the male practitioner in sexual ritual, and then trace its subsequent use to denote an increasing range of physical methods until its apotheosis in the Śaiva Haṭhapradīpikā, the first text to use it to denote complex physical postures and methods of breath control.

1.  Haṭhayoga in Buddhist Texts In an article published in 2011 Jason Birch analysed the meaning of the word haṭha in the context of haṭhayoga. The compound haṭhayoga was known to be used in non-Buddhist Sanskrit texts from about the twelfth century onwards to denote methods of yoga in which physical practices predominate. Birch drew attention, for the first time, to seven occurrences of the compound haṭhayoga in Vajrayāna texts which predate the non-Buddhist haṭhayoga corpus, in which it denoted a method used in sexual ritual. Birch also noted that he had not found any occurrences of the term haṭhayoga in tantric Śaiva works, but suggested that it may have first been used in Śaiva works which are now lost and that Vajrayāna authors took the name from those lost Śaiva texts.6 In the first part of this chapter I shall propose that the name haṭhayoga ori­gin­ ated in a Buddhist milieu. To do so I shall (1) identify additional occurrences of the compound haṭhayoga in Buddhist works; (2) note how the term has still not been found in any Śaiva works and that in the few instances where practices elsewhere denoted as haṭha are mentioned in Śaiva texts they are categorised by names other than haṭha; and (3) draw on recent scholarship on texts from the haṭha corpus to chart how the Vajrayāna name haṭhayoga found its way into those texts. The compound haṭhayoga is first used in the c. third-century Bodhisattvabhūmi,7 which is part of the Yogācārabhūmiśāstra, a voluminous compendium on the Mahāyāna Yogācāra tradition.8 In Wogihara’s edition of the Bodhisattvabhūmi, the text says that he who is gotrasthaḥ, i.e. destined to become a bodhisattva, acquires

6  Birch 2011: 539–40. 7  Deleanu (2013: 887) notes that the compilation of the Bodhisattvabhūmi ‘was very likely more or less finished by the end of the third century’. 8  Bodhisattvabhūmi p. 318 ll. 11–17: dvādaśānāṃ punar bodhisattvavihārāṇāṃ yathā vyavasthānaṃ bhaviṣyati tathā nirdekṣyāmi | katamaś ca bodhisattvasya gotravihāraḥ | katham ca bodhisattvo gotrastho viharati | iha bodhisattvo gotravihārī prakṛtibhadrasaṃ tānatayā prakṛtyā bodhisattvaguṇair bodhi­ sattvārhaiḥ kuśalair dharmaiḥ samanvāgato bhavati | tatsamudācāre ca saṃ dṛśyate | prakṛtibhadratayaiva na hat ̣hayogena tasmin kuśale pravartate | api tu pratisaṃ khyānataḥ sāvagrahaḥ saṃ bhrt ̣o bhavati |

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

Haṭhayoga ’ s early history  179 the appropriate qualities through his natural excellence (prakṛtibhadratayā), not by haṭhayoga (na haṭhayogena). The negative particle na before haṭhayogena is not found in the Sanskrit manuscript used by Wogihara, whose text he emends to be in accordance with the Tibetan translation (the reading of which is supported by Xuanzang’s Chinese translation and an eighth-century citation of the passage by a Chinese exegete).9 There is thus ambiguity over whether or not haṭhayoga is being injoined. Irrespective of this, haṭhayogena here almost certainly means nothing more than ‘by the application of force’, i.e. ‘forcefully’ or ‘with effort’.10 The next usages of haṭhayoga are in Vajrayāna (tantric Buddhist) texts dating from the eighth to twelfth centuries ce,11 seventeen of which have so far been identified:12 1. Sarvabuddhasamāyogaḍākinījālaśaṃ vara 2. Guhyasamāja tantra 3. *Caryāmelāpakapradīpa 4. Abhidhānottaratantra 5. Sampuṭatilaka 6. Sekanirdeśa 7. Caturmudrānvaya 8. Laghukālacakratantra

early eighth century13 eighth century14 ninth to tenth centuries15 mid-tenth century16 c. 100017 1000 to 105018 1000 to 105019 c. 102520

9  I thank Martin Delhey and Dan Lusthaus for pointing out to me the variations between the v­ arious sources of this passage (email communications on 8 March 2018 and 13 December 2018 re­spect­ive­ly). Dan Lusthaus informed me of the eighth-century Chinese citation, which is in a commentary on the Humane King Sutra by Liangben, a Chinese monk who lived from 717–77. Further study of the Bodhisattvabhūmi’s witnesses, translations, citations, and commentaries is likely to shed more light on how haṭhayogena is to be understood in this passage. 10  I thank Martin Delhey for informing me that this is haṭhayoga’s meaning in the Chinese and Tibetan translations of this passage (personal communication 8 March 2018). 11  There have been great advances in our knowledge of the Vajrayāna textual corpus in recent years, but the majority of it remains unstudied or lost. There are about 2000 surviving tantric Buddhist texts in Sanskrit, and perhaps 2000 more in Tibetan and Chinese translations. Of these only a small proportion have been studied and far fewer critically edited (Isaacson nd: 3). Notwithstanding the recent major advance in our understanding of haṭhayoga in Vajrayāna thanks to Isaacson & Sferra (2014), the remarks here are thus necessarily preliminary. 12  Seven of these texts were noted by Birch (2011: 535). I thank Péter-Dániel Szántó, Olga Serbaeva, and Francesco Sferra for their help in identifying and dating several of the others. 13  Szántó & Griffiths 2015: 367.    14  Matsunaga 1978: xxvi. 15 Szántó & Griffiths 2015: 369. This text, better known by the unattested title *Caryāmelā­ pakapradīpa, is called Sūtaka or Sūtakamelāpaka in its manuscripts (loc. cit.). 16 Durjayacandra, who dates to the late tenth century (Szántó 2012: 119), based his Saptākṣarasādhana (on which see Sinclair 2014) on a chapter of the Abhidhānottaratantra. 17 The Sampuṭatilaka is included as an appendix in eleventh-century manuscripts of the Sampuṭodbhava (Szántó 2016). 18  Isaacson & Sferra 2014: 71. 19 The Caturmudrānvaya is by Maitreyanātha, the author of the Sekanirdeśa. 20  I thank Francesco Sferra for the dating of the Laghukālacakratantra and its Vimalaprabhā commentary, which is a refinement of the 1024–40 range proposed by Newman (1998) based on Sferra’s identification of the date 1024/5 (the mleccha year 403, i.e. 415 AH) mentioned at Laghukālacakratantra 1.27 as the likely year in which the text was completed rather than begun (personal communication 24 August 2019).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

180  James Mallinson 9. Vimalaprabhā 10. Ṣaḍaṅgayoga of Anupamarakṣita 11. Sekoddeśaṭīkā 12. Sekanirdeśapañjikā 13. Ḍ ākārṇ avatantra 14. Gūḍhapadā 15. Guṇ abharaṇ ī 16. Amṛ takaṇ ikā 17. Yogimanoharā

c. 1030 c. 103021 1030 to 104022 mid- to late eleventh century23 late tenth to early twelfth century24 1025 to 114025 c. mid-twelfth century26 c. mid-twelfth century27 c.1200.28

In these texts haṭhayoga may mean simply ‘the application of force’, as it does in the Bodhisattvabhūmi, but some Vajrayāna works do provide information on what this means in practice. The first known mentions of haṭhayoga in Vajrayāna texts are in the early eighth-century Sarvabuddhasamāyogaḍākinījālaśaṃ vara.29 Nothing is said about how haṭhayoga might be performed, but in one verse30 it is associated with mastering bodhicitta, i.e. semen,31 an association found in several subsequent texts. In a commentary on another verse of the Sarvabuddhasamāyogaḍākinījālaśaṃ vara32 in the tenth-or early eleventh-century Sampuṭatilaka (which

21 The Ṣaḍaṅgayoga is cited by Nāropā in the Sekoddeśaṭīkā (pp. 138–9). I thank Francesco Sferra for pointing out this citation to me and its implications for the dating of the Ṣaḍaṅgayoga (personal communication 20 August 2019). 22  Nāropā, the author of the Sekoddeśaṭīkā, died in 1040 or 1041 (Wylie 1982). 23  Rāmapāla, the author of the Sekanirdeśapañjikā, was a student of Maitreyanātha, the author of the Sekanirdeśa. I have inferred this dating from Isaacson & Sferra’s account of the few details known about Rāmapāla’s life (2014: 85–9). 24  Sugiki 2017: 45 n.1. 25 I thank Francesco Sferra for this dating, which is a revision of the date of the Gūḍhapadā ­proposed by Péter-Dániel Szántó at http://tibetica.blogspot.co.uk . . . etc/09/date-of-gudhapada.html (accessed 24 February 2020), based on a revised dating of the active period of Raviśrījñāna (see note 26), who mentions the Gūḍhapadā in his Amṛtakaṇikā (see the aforementioned blog post for details), and on the earlier lower limit for the Laghukālacakratantra proposed in note 21 (personal communication 24 August 2019). 26  I thank Francesco Sferra for this dating, which is a revision of the date range of eleventh to twelfth century he proposed for Raviśrījñāna (Sferra 2000: 48) as a result of a correction of the date of Dharmākaraśānti, Raviśrījñāna’s teacher (personal communication 24 August 2019). 27 The Amṛtakaṇikā is by Raviśrījñāna, the author of the Guṇabharaṇī. 28  Zhongxin & Tōru, Yogimanoharā introduction p. xv. 29  The compound hat ̣hayoga is found at Sarvabuddhasamāyogaḍākinījālaśaṃ vara 5.81, 5.92, 5.93, 6.94, 9.140, 9.142 and 9.189. For an overview of this text, see Szántó & Griffiths 2015. 30  Sarvabuddhasamāyogaḍākinījālaśaṃ vara 5.93 cd: bodhicittam anantāgram hat ̣hayogena sādhayet | 31 On bodhicitta as semen in tantric Buddhism, see Wangchuck 2007: 218–25. 32  Sarvabuddhasamāyogaḍākinījālaśaṃ vara 5.81: sa eva bhagavān yogo vajrasattvas tathāgataḥ | hat ̣hayogaviśuddhyai śrīparamāśvodayo bhavet || a eva ] cod.; * va cod.ac d °odayo ] cod.; °odra* yo* cod.ac Sampuṭatilaka commentary:

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

Haṭhayoga ’ s early history  181 is perhaps recycling exegesis by Ānandagarbha, who dates to the late eighth or early ninth century),33 haṭhayoga is to be used by those who are atyantahīnavīryāḥ, i.e. very lacking in vīrya, which may mean both ‘vigour’ and ‘semen’. Vajrasattva manifests as Hayagrīva in the yogi so that he may achieve purification by haṭhayoga (which is glossed as pauruṣa, ‘manly’, yoga) and thereby restore his vīrya. A very similar usage of haṭhayoga is found in the ninth- or tenth-century *Caryāmelāpakapradīpa.34 Haṭhayoga is associated with the restraint of semen during sexual ritual in its one explicit definition in a Vajrayāna text, which is by Puṇḍarīka in his c. 1030 Vimalaprabhā,35 and in the works of Maitreyanātha and his disciple Rāmapāla, two eleventh- to twelfth-century Buddhist exegetes. These texts’ teachings on haṭhayoga will be examined in more detail below. The mid-tenth-century Abhidhānottaratantra and the late tenth- to early twelfth-century Ḍ ākārṇ avatantra mention haṭ hayoga but do not explain it, saying it should be learnt from a guru.36 The eleventh- to twelfth-century atyantahīnavīryā iti kusīdāḥ sa evetyādi | hat ̣hayogaḥ pauruṣayogas tena viśuddhir hat ̣hayoga­ viśuddhir vīryaniyojanam tadartham haṭhayogaviśuddhaye paramāśvodayo bhavet | hayagrīvodayo bhaved ity arthaḥ | 33  Szántó & Griffiths 2015: 368. 34  *Caryāmelāpakapradīpa p. 87: atyantahīnavīryāṇāṃ paramāśvarūpeṇa haṭhayogasamādhinā parākrameṇa hīnavīrya­ nigrahaṃ karoti | 35  This passage is found verbatim in the Ṣaḍaṅgayoga of Anupamarakṣita, the Sekoddeśaṭīkā, and the Amṛ takaṇikā. 36  Abhidhānottaratantra end of Chapter 34 (Chandra 1981 f.209, diplomatic transcription): hat ḥ ayogottamasādhanopadeśa yathābhedād adhipatya gurugamyatāṃ śikṣet | Ḍākārṇavatantra 8.29–31: evamādi tv anekāyāṃ nāḍikāsandhimarmasu | pīḍayet svasvacāreṣu bodhicittam mahātmanām ||29|| hat ̣hayogavidhānañ ca jñeyā gurusya vākyayā | Witnesses: ngmpp A138–9 (B, f.9v), Matsunami Tokyo 145 (N, f.47r) and nak 3–886 (S, f.21v) (I thank Péter-Dániel Szántó for providing me with scans of these manuscripts). 29b °sandhimarmasu ] em Isaacson; °sandhimamayuḥ S, °sandhim armmayūḥ N, °sandhir *m*armmayuḥ B 29c °cāreṣu ] BN; °rāreṣu S 29d °cittam ] N; °citta SB I thank Harunaga Isaacson for his emendation in 29b, which, in a personal communication on 6 March 2018, he noted is supported by the Tibetan translation of the Ḍākārṇava which has, in Derge, rtsa daṅ tshigs kyi gnad du. Ḍ ākārṇ avatantra 41.1–4 atha unmanīkaraṇam prayogam sarvadurlabham | kathayāmi samāsena khagānanāprayogataḥ ||1|| vīryasaṃ bodhyaṅgadharme himālayeṣu saṃ sthitaḥ | nābhicakre tu madhyeṣu bhāvayec cakranāyikām ||2|| kharūpam ātmano dūtī tāluvajrābjamadhyake | utkṣiptam śaravegena vijñānam vāyunā saha ||3|| gātram dhunadhunāyet karaṇam hatḥ ayogakam | kārayamāṇaḥ sadā yogī sidhyate paramākṣaram ||4||

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

182  James Mallinson Gūḍhapadā37 and the c. 1200 Yogimanoharā commentary on the Pañcakrama38 identify haṭhayoga with controlling the breath and, in the Gūḍhapadā, moving it into the central channel, but make no mention of semen in its context. In Vajrayāna texts haṭhayoga is seen as a method of last resort, or rejected al­together. Thus in the eighth-century Guhyasamāja tantra it is prescribed (without details on its practice) as a means of achieving awakening to be turned to when the usual methods have failed.39 The Yogimanoharā mentions haṭhayoga in passing as a method of restraining the breath, adding that holding the breath and other ascetic practices are unnecessary because success may be achieved through repetition of the vajra mantra alone.40 A wealth of new material on haṭhayoga in Vajrayāna has recently come to light thanks to Harunaga Isaacson and Francesco Sferra’s monumental study of the works of Maitreyanātha and his disciple Rāmapāla, two eleventh-century ­exegetes.41 In Maitreyanātha’s Sekanirdeśa and its -pañjikā commentary Witnesses: B (f.29r) and S (f.71v). 2c madhyeṣu ] B; madhyamu S 3b tālu° ] B; tāla° S 3c utkṣiptam śaravegena ] em Isaacson; rukṣiptam sara° BS 3d vijñānaṃ ] B; jñāna S (unm.) 4c kārayamāṇaḥ ] em Isaacson; kāryāmānaṃ BS 4d °kṣaraṃ ] B; °kṣara S I thank Olga Serbaeva for drawing my attention to the references to haṭhayoga in the Abhi­ dhānottaratantra and Ḍākārṇavatantra, and for providing me with her working editions of both passages, which I drew on in preparing the passages presented here. 37 The Gūḍhapadā quotes the otherwise lost Mahāsamayatantra on haṭhayoga, which is accomplished by means of the ‘bow-piercing process’ (dhanurvedhakrama, Royal Asiatic Society, London, Hodgson collection manuscript No. 34 f.69r7–f.69v3): vajrabāṇāyudhadharam iti | vajrasattvaś ca | tac ca śrīmahāsamayatantre | . . . paramārthata[ḥ] ­dhanurvedhakramenocyate | tatra śvāsocchvāsa samam kṛtvā nābhisthāneṣu dhārayet | avadhūtībāṇavajreṇa nāsārandhragatam dhanuh | vedhayet sarvaśūnyabhrū vajrasattvam anāhatam | hat ̣hayogam idam vyaktaṃ bhāvaṃ bhāveṣu lakṣaṇāt | tena vajram ca sattvam ca dvidhā vācyam mahātmabhiḥ || iti || mahāsamayamantram kṣaṇaikenāpi lakṣayet | prākṛtair manasā yojyam paṇḍitair bodhim āpnuyāt || iti || 38  Pañcakrama 1.59: na tasya vratam ākhyātam nākṣasūtraṃ na mantrakam | dhāraṇāhomakarmāṇi varjyante ca parāparam || Yogimanoharā Pañcakramaṭippaṇī: kim vratādikam ācaraṇīyaṃ no vā ity āśaṅkāyāṃ na tasyetyādi | na mantrakam pravyāhārātmakam dhāraṇā hat ̣hayogena yantraṇam vāyoḥ | nivartante aparāpare | aparāpare [’]pi vyāpārāḥ snānabhojanādir yā[*]pi na kartavyā api tu vajrajāpād eva sidhyantīty āha | 39  Guhyasamājatantra 18.161a–163b: darśanam yadi ṣaṇmāsair yad uktam naiva jāyate | ārabheta tribhir vārair yathoktavidhisambaraiḥ || darśanam tu kṛte ‘py evam sādhakasya na jāyate | yadā na sidhyate bodhir hat ̣hayogena sādhayet || jñānasiddhis tadā tasya yogenaivopajāyate | 40  See footnote 38. 41  Isaacson & Sferra 2014. See in particular pp. 91–102 and Sekanirdeśapañjikā ad vv. 2–4.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

Haṭhayoga ’ s early history  183 by Rāmapāla, haṭhayoga is the reversal of the third and fourth of the four blisses experienced during the tantric Buddhist sexual rite. In the usual order, the first bliss is ānanda, which arises during foreplay, the second is paramānanda (‘supreme bliss’), experienced during coition, the third is sahajānanda (‘spon­tan­eous bliss’), experienced when semen reaches the glans of the penis, and the fourth is viramānanda, the ‘bliss of cessation’, experienced when semen falls into the consort’s vagina. In haṭhayoga, viramānanda is the third bliss and understood as ‘bliss of special pleasure’ rather than ‘bliss of cessation’, semen does not fall, and the four blisses increase progressively in intensity.42 Maitreyanātha and Rāmapāla reject haṭhayoga’s ordering of the blisses because its practice is said to be balātkṛ ta, ‘done by force’, and therefore against reasoning;43 it is also āyāsabahula, ‘full of effort’.44 It is not clear from Maitreyanātha’s exposition whether he identifies all those who propound the reversal of the third and fourth blisses as practitioners of haṭhayoga or whether haṭhayoga is just a particular method of experiencing the blisses in that order,45 but several other proponents of the reversed order make no mention of haṭhayoga,46 suggesting that it is not the only means of experiencing the blisses in that sequence. The reversed order of the blisses is advocated by the renowned scholar Abhayākaragupta and in texts of the Kālacakra tradition.47 The first definition of the practice of haṭhayoga, which does not give any details of its techniques, is found in the Vimalaprabhā, Puṇḍarīka’s c. 1030 ce commentary on the Laghukālacakratantra,48 a verse of which (4.119) says that if the siddhi desired by mantra-practitioners does not arise as a result of purification, yogic withdrawal, and so forth, it should be achieved by the practice of nāda and by forcefully (haṭhena) restraining bindu, i.e. semen, in the glans of the penis when it is in the vagina.49 Puṇḍarīka glosses haṭhena with haṭhayogena and defines haṭhayoga thus: ‘Now haṭhayoga is taught. In this system, when the undying moment does not arise because the breath is unrestrained [even] when the image is seen by means of withdrawal (pratyāhāra ) and the other [auxiliaries of yoga, i.e.

42  Isaacson & Sferra 2014: 100.    43  Isaacson & Sferra 2014: 179 l.11. 44  Isaacson & Sferra 2014: 176 sl.10.    45  Isaacson & Sferra 2014: 101. 46  Isaacson & Sferra (2014: 98) name as proponents of the haṭhayoga order of blisses Kamalanātha (in his Ratnāvalī commentary on the Hevajratantra) and Abhayākaragupta (in his Abhayapaddhati commentary on the Buddhakapālatantra and Āmnāyamañjarī commentary on the Sampuṭatantra), neither of whom mentions haṭhayoga. 47  Isaacson & Sferra 2014: 97. 48  This definition is repeated verbatim in the Ṣaḍaṅgayoga of Anupamarakṣita, the Sekoddeśaṭīkā of Nāropā, and the Amṛtakaṇikā of Raviśrījñāna (for details see Birch 20111: 535). Raviśrījñāna adds that haṭhayoga is a method for making samādhi burst forth (upāyo haṭhayogo ’pi samādhyaṅgasphuṭīb hāvārtham). 49  Vimalaprabhā ad Laghukālacakratantra 4.119: saṃ śuddho ’nusmṛteh syād vimalam api prabhāmaṇḍalam jñānabimbāt tasmāc chuddhah samādhau katipayadivasaih sidhyate jñānadehaḥ | pratyāhārādibhir vai yadi bhavati na sā mantriṇām iṣt ̣asiddhir nādābhyāsād dhat ̣henābjagakuliśamaṇau sādhayed bindurodhāt |

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

184  James Mallinson dhyāna, prāṇ āyāma, dhāraṇ ā, anusmṛti, and samādhi], then, having forcefully (haṭhena) made the breath flow in the central channel through the practice of nāda, which is about to be explained, [the yogi] should attain the undying moment by non-vibration through restraining the drops of bodhicitta [i.e. semen] in the vajra [i.e. penis] when it is in the lotus of wisdom [i.e. vagina]. This is haṭhayoga.’50

Puṇḍarīka’s definition of haṭhayoga combines for the first time two features of haṭhayoga mentioned separately in other Vajrayāna texts: the restraint of semen and the moving of the breath into (and up) the central channel. As noted by Birch,51 these and the association with nāda52 (which is absent in other Vajrayāna works apart from those which repeat the Vimalaprabhā’s definition of haṭhayoga) are shared with subsequent formulations of haṭhayoga in non-Buddhist texts. 50 idānīṃ hat ̣hayoga ucyate | iha yadā pratyāhārādibhir bimbe dṛsṭ ̣e saty akṣarakṣaṇam notpadyate ayantritaprāṇatayā tadā nādābhyāsād vakṣyamāṇād hat ̣hena prāṇaṃ madhyamāyāṃ vāhayitvā prajñābjagatakuliśamaṇau bodhicittabindunirodhād akṣarakṣaṇaṃ sādhayen niḥspandeneti hat ̣hayogaḥ ||119|| 51  Birch 2011: 536. 52  How this practice is performed is not stated clearly in early Buddhist treatments of haṭhayoga. In his commentary to 5.119 Puṇḍarīka says he is about to explain it, but when he does so in 5.120 (together with explanations of bindu and kalā) he simply says that it is [the movement of (breath as?)] cittabindu to the heart, which brings about deep sleep (iha nādo hṛ daye cittabinduh suṣuptāvasthājanakaḥ). In his Ṣaḍaṅgayoga (p. 108), Anupamarakṣita says that Laghukālacakratantra 4.169–7 defines nāda. The passage cited does not use the word nāda, but twice mentions haṭha: yā śaktir nābhimadhyād vrajati parapadam dvādaśāntaṃ kalāntaṃ sā nābhau sanniruddhā taḍidanalanibhā daṇḍarūpotthitā ca | cakrāc cakrāntaraṃ vai mṛdulalitagatiś cālitā madhyanāḍyām yāvac coṣṇīṣarandhraṃ spṛśati hat ̣hatayā sūcivad bāhyacarma || apānaṃ tatra kāle paramahat ̣hatayā prerayed ūrdhvamārge uṣṇīṣaṃ bhedayitvā vrajati parapuram vāyuyugme niruddhe | evam vajraprabhedān manasi saviṣayā khecaratvam prayāti pañcābhijñāsvabhāvā bhavati punar iyam yogināṃ viśvamātā || ‘The goddess who extends from the middle of the navel to the great place at the end of the kalās twelve fingers beyond the top of the head is restrained in the navel in the form of a bolt of lightning. Standing up straight like a staff, she is made to move along the central channel from cakra to cakra with a gentle, charming gait until she forcefully (haṭhatayā) touches the opening at the crown like a needle touching skin. At that moment the yogi impels the apāna breath with the utmost force (paramahaṭhatayā) into the upper channel. Having pierced the crown, with both breaths restrained, she enters the body of another (parapuram). As a result of this vajra piercing, she attains in the mind, together with senseobjects, the state of a sky-rover. With the five special faculties as her essence she then becomes the universal mother for yogis.’ In his Guṇabharaṇī commentary on Anupamarakṣita’s Ṣaḍaṅgayoga, Raviśrījñāna ­identifies the practice of nāda mentioned in Puṇdarīka’s definition of haṭ hayoga with jñānasahajānandābhyāsa, ‘the practice of knowledge and spontaneous bliss’ (cf. Amṛtakaṇikā p. 29, ll. 4–9). The word haṭhena in Puṇdarīka’s definition is glossed by Raviśrījñāna with hūṃ kāranādena, ‘by making the sound (nāda) hūṃ ’. Guṇabharaṇī p. 107: mṛdutayā vāmadakṣiṇavāhāvicchedād ayantritaprāṇatayā | nādābhyāj jñānasahajā­ nandābhyāsād dhat ̣hena [corr., dhat ̣ena Ed.] hūṃ kāranādena On the later hat ̣hayogic practice of nāda, see below, p. 191.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

Haṭhayoga ’ s early history  185

2.  Śaiva Names for Haṭhayoga Haṭhayoga in Vajrayāna thus denoted a secondary method of achieving siddhi which involved the prevention of ejaculation by making the breath flow in the central channel. The details of how it is to be performed are not taught. As will be shown in detail below, this Vajrayāna haṭhayoga was the source of the term’s use to denote an increasing range of physical yoga methods in non-Buddhist texts composed from about the twelfth century onwards. By the time of the com­pos­ ition of the Haṭhapradīpikā it encompassed posture (āsana ), breath retention (kumbhaka), techniques for manipulating the vital energies (mudrā), and concentration upon the internal sounds (nādānusandhāna).53 As is the case with Vajrayāna,54 there are many lacunae in our knowledge of the texts of tantric Śaivism, but a greater proportion of its corpus has been studied. No mention of haṭhayoga has yet been found in it. Sheer weight of evidence thus indicates a Buddhist origin for the term haṭhayoga. Furthermore, in the few instances that Śaiva texts mention practices which in Vajrayāna works or the later non-Buddhist haṭhayoga corpus are classified as haṭhayoga, they are called otherwise, as we shall now see.

2.1.  The Restraint of Ejaculation Instructions to avoid the ejaculation of semen are rare in Śaiva texts, being found only in a power-orientated method of ascetic restraint called the asidhārāvrata or ‘knife’s-edge observance’, which both predates the emergence of tantra and has persisted to modern times, being famously practised by Gandhi, albeit not by that name. Shaman Hatley has analysed its history and practice.55 The earliest mentions of the asidhārāvrata date to the first half of the first millennium ce: it is mentioned in the Lan͘ kāvatārasūtra, Raghuvaṃ śa, and  Vaikhānasagṛ hyasūtra. It is subsequently taught in various Śaiva texts, including the Niśvāsatattvasaṃ hitā Guhyasūtra, the Matan͘ gapārameśvara, the Jayadrathayāmala, and the Brahmayāmala (also known as the Picumata). Its various formulations involve different degrees of union between a man and a woman, ranging from simply sleeping together to, in the c. seventh- to eighthcentury Brahmayāmala, engaging in sexual intercourse. In the chaster varieties the man must simply cultivate dispassion; in the Brahmayāmala he is to avoid having an orgasm. To do so, he is instructed to practise avagraha, which in this context Kiss and Hatley have inferred means ‘sexual restraint’56 and so has a 53  Hat ̣hapradīpikā 1.56.   54  See footnote 11. 55 Hatley 2016.   56  Kiss 2015: 49.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

186  James Mallinson meaning similar to that of haṭ hayoga in Vajrayāna texts. Nowhere in descriptions of the asidhārāvrata are the terms haṭha or haṭhayoga used.

2.2.  Physical Yoga Methods At least five Śaiva texts use the term kaṣtạ yoga, ‘forced’ or ‘painful’ yoga:57 the Tantrasadbhāva;58 the Cittasaṃ toṣatriṃ śikā of Nāga;59 the Devīdvyardhaśatika;60 Śivopādhyāya’s Vivṛti commentary on the Vijñānabhairava;61 and Abhinavagupta’s Gītārthasaṃ graha commentary on the Bhagavadgītā.62 With the exception of Śivopādhyāya, who grudgingly grants it efficacy, these texts reject kaṣtạ yoga. The Cittasaṃ toṣatriṃ śikā and Devīdvyardhaśatika give no indication of what it entails. The Tantrasadbhāva identifies mudrā, maṇ dạ la, mantra, exhalation, in­hal­ation, and various methods of assisted meditation as types of kaṣtạ yoga. In his commentary on the Vijñānabhairava Śivopādhyāya associates kaṣtạ yoga with prāṇ āyāma. Abhinavagupta does not make clear what he means by kaṣtạ yoga in his commentary on the Bhagavadgītā, but in the Tantrāloka he criticizes each of the eight an˙gas of Pātañjalayoga in turn, singling out prāṇ āyāma for special ­ censure because it hurts the body, suggesting that this is what he has in mind when in his Gītārthasaṃ graha he contrasts kaṣtạ yoga with the easy attainment of brahman through simple meditative yoga. Similarly, at Pratyabhijñāhṛdaya 18, Kṣemarāja mentions a sukhopāya, an ‘easy method’ of attaining siddhi, so called because it omits prāṇ āyāma, mudrā, bandha etc. Thus in the few instances in which Śaiva texts give a generic name to practices that in later works were designated as haṭhayoga, they use the near synonym kaṣtạ yoga, indicating that the later usage of the term haṭhayoga was not current in those traditions and supporting the argument that its use to denote physical yoga

57  I thank Somdev Vasudeva for informing me of these passages at a Hatha Yoga Project workshop in September 2017. 58  Tantrasadbhāva 1.37v–41b: mudrāmaṇḍalamantraiś ca kaṣtạ yogais tathāparaiḥ ||37|| recakaih pūrakair dhyānaiḥ sopāyair bahubhiḥ priye | bhrāmitāḥ karmavistārair na jñātaṃ kathitaṃ , mayā ||38|| tais tu jñānāvalepena tac ca pṛsṭ ̣am avajñayā | brahmā viṣṇus tathā rudra indraś candraḥ prajāpatiḥ ||39|| skandanandigaṇāḥ sarve śukrādyā ye ca yoginaḥ | kṛtakṛtyās tu [te] sarve yaiś ca yac cāvadhāritam ||40|| tam tathaivam varārohe gṛhītaṃ mandabuddhibhiḥ | 59  Cittasaṃ toṣatriṃ śikā 46: kliṣt ̣am yad etad abhavaj japakaṣt ̣ayogaḥ. 60  Devīdvyardhaśatika 49: siddhayoginīyogaḥ kaṣt ̣ayogaṃ parityajet. 61 Śivopādhyāya’s commentary on Vijñānabhairava 67: iti kaṣt ̣ayogasyāpi nirvikalpadaśāprāptiḥ prayojanam ity alam. 62  Gītārthasaṃ graha ad 6.29: anenaiva krameṇa yogināṃ sukhena brahmāvāptiḥ na tu kaṣt ̣ayogā­ dineti tātparyam; ad 6.49: na ca nirīśvaraṃ kaṣt ̣ayogamātraṃ saṃ siddhidaṃ ity ucyate.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

Haṭhayoga ’ s early history  187 originated in the haṭhayoga of Vajrayāna. In the following section I shall outline how the Vajrayāna term came to be applied to physical yoga broadly conceived.

3.  Haṭhayoga as Physical Yoga Broadly Conceived The first text to teach in detail any of the practices which came to be classified as haṭhayoga in the haṭha corpus is the c. eleventh-century Amṛ tasiddhi, which was composed in a Vajrayāna milieu63 but is unorthodox insofar as it rejects sexual ritual and teaches a yoga for celibate ascetics. The Amṛ tasiddhi does not use the name haṭhayoga for its yoga method, whose three core techniques, mahāmudrā, mahābandha, and mahāvedha, are physical methods of locking the breath in the abdomen and then propelling it up the central channel. The first non-Buddhist text to use the term haṭhayoga to denote a specific system of yoga is the Amaraughaprabodha, a Nāth Śaiva work which identifies as haṭhayoga the ­methods of the Amṛtasiddhi, and places it second in importance in a hierarchy of four yogas: mantra, laya, haṭha, and rāja.64 The Amaraughaprabodha is likely to have been composed at Kadri in Mangalore, where Vajrayāna Buddhism flourished from at least the ninth century before being subsumed within Nāth Śaivism in perhaps the thirteenth century.65 That the author of the Amaraughaprabodha knew the Buddhist Amṛ tasiddhi is clear because he takes verses directly from it. He would also have known of the Vajrayāna concept of haṭhayoga, which is mentioned in the Guhyasamāja, whose cult flourished at Kadri.66 The author of the Amaraughaprabodha gave the yoga method of the Amṛ tasiddhi the name haṭhayoga, which, as a term for a secondary method of attaining success in yoga in which the breath is made to rise up the central channel in order to prevent ejaculation during sexual ritual, was a fitting name for the second yoga in a hierarchy of four in which the breath is made to rise up the central channel in order to prevent the emission of semen (albeit by celibate yogis).

63  Mallinson 2020. 64  Amaraughaprabodha 2–4 and 19. The term haṭhayoga is also be found in the tenth-century Mokṣopāya (5.54.8, 5.54.15), in the context of prāṇāyāma, but here, like in the Yogācārabhūmi, the meaning seems to be simply ‘the application of force’ with no further connotations. It is used to explain how forceful performance of prāṇāyāma does not bring results because it is painful (8ab and 15ab both read babhūva na haṭhād eva haṭhayogo hi duḥkhadaḥ). Elsewhere in the Mokṣopāya haṭha is used in the context of yoga and/or tapas on its own to describe the forceful performance of a practice (5.93.69, 6.72.4, 6.72.12). See also BIRCH 2011: 542 n.107. 65  Mallinson 2019: 23–4. 66 Mallinson 2019: 23. The brief description of haṭhayoga given in a citation from the Mahāsamayatantra in the c. 1025–1140 ce Gūḍhapadā (see n. 37) has some parallels with the yoga method of the Amṛ tasiddhi and could indicate a more direct source for the name used by the author of the Amaraughaprabodha.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

188  James Mallinson It was only after the compilation of the Haṭhapradīpikā in about 1400 ce that the name haṭhayoga started to be widely used to denote physical yoga methods (and even then it was by no means unanimously adopted). Of the twenty texts which teach physical yoga methods and predate the Haṭhapradīpikā, nine use the name haṭhayoga.67 Of those there is a core group of four which teach the methods of the Amṛ tasiddhi as part of their haṭhayogas: the Amaraughaprabodha, Dattātreyayogaśāstra, Śivasaṃ hitā, and Haṭhapradīpikā. These four are also the only texts of this period to teach, or at least mention, vajrolīmudrā, a technique of urethral suction which is injoined for the retention of semen and explicitly said to allow the yogi to enjoy sexual intercourse without ejaculating.68 The meaning of the name vajrolī was soon forgotten in the haṭha tradition, but it originated as a compound of vajra and olī, a vernacular word from western India which Hemacandra in his Deśīnāmamālā defines as kulaparivāṭī, ‘lineage’. Vajrolī thus means ‘Vajra lineage’, i.e. the lineage of Vajrayāna (tantric Buddhism). This is confirmed by a legend found in the late thirteenthcentury Marathi Līḷācaritra in which the Nāth Śaiva siddha Gorakṣa is said to convert the Buddhist siddha Virūpa (to whom the teachings of the Amṛ tasiddhi are attributed) from vajrolī to amarolī, i.e. from Vajrayāna to the Śaiva Amara lineage of celibate ascetics (whose teachings are found in the Amaraughapra­ bodha, the ‘Awakening in the Amara lineage’, which is attributed to Gorakṣa himself ).69 In haṭhayoga a mudrā is a technique for manipulating the vital energies, so vajrolīmudrā is a Vajrayāna method of doing so; indeed it does not seem overly speculative to conjecture that it was the technique, or one of a group of techniques, by which tantric Buddhists practised haṭhayoga as taught in their texts, i.e. the non-emission of semen during sexual ritual.70 (Meanwhile, in most haṭha texts amarolī, the mudrā of the Amara lineage, is a method of mastering the ejacu­la­tory impulse for which the celibate yogi trains by restraining the flow of urine.)71 The close association of haṭhayoga with vajrolīmudrā further supports Vajrayāna origins for the name haṭhayoga.

67  These twenty texts are, in approximate chronological order, the following (those marked with an asterisk mention haṭhayoga): Amṛ tasiddhi*, Vasiṣtḥ asaṃ hitā, Amaraughaprabodha*, Dattātreyayoga­ śāstra*, Vivekamārtaṇḍa, Gorakṣaśataka, Khecarīvidyā, Yogabīja*, Śivasaṃ hitā*, Aparokṣānubhūti*, Yogatārāvalī*, Tirumantiram, Pampāmāhātmya, Gorakṣayogaśāstra, Jñāneśvarī, Śārn͘ gadhara­ paddhati*, Ānandakanda, Śivayogapradīpikā*, Hemacandra’s Yogaśāstra, Amaraughaśāsana. I have not included here the Vaiṣṇava source texts for the Vasiṣtḥ asaṃ hitā’s non-seated postures, on which see p. 190 and Mallinson 2014: 227–8. 68 On vajrolīmudrā, see Mallinson 2018.    69  Mallinson 2019: 5. 70  Vajrolīmudrā is used to prevent ejaculation during sexual ritual by current Tibetan Vajrayāna practitioners, who claim scriptural authority for the practice in the Yutok Nyingtik cycle, which has origins in the twelfth century (Joffe 2019: 266–282). 71  Mallinson 2018: 189 n.21.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

Haṭhayoga ’ s early history  189

4.  The Methods of Haṭhayoga The practice of haṭhayoga has been well documented in numerous publications and I shall not explain its various methods in detail here.72 Instead I shall chart their textual codification up to the composition of the Haṭhapradīpikā. The Haṭhapradīpikā brings together the teachings on physical yoga in almost all texts which precede it, including several which do not use the name haṭhayoga. I shall restrict myself here to texts which do use that name; by including the Haṭhapradīpikā I shall survey all methods of physical yoga taught in texts which precede it.

4.1.  Mudrā The Amṛ tasiddhi ’s three core practices, mahāmudrā, mahābandha, and mahāvedha, were identified with haṭhayoga in the Amaraughaprabodha.73 The teachings of the Amaraughaprabodha were then drawn on by the composer of the Dattātreyayogaśāstra in his analysis of haṭhayoga, which he says is of two kinds (both of which achieve the same ends): one which was first practised by Yājñavalkya and consists of the same eight aṅgas as Patañjali’s yoga; and another which was first practised by Kapila. The haṭhayoga of Kapila is the three methods of the Amaraughaprabodha together with six other techniques of manipulating the vital energies.74 These include the three bandhas or locks probably first taught in the Gorakṣaśataka (mahābandha, jālandharabandha, and uḍḍiyāṇ abandha).75 That the author of the Dattātreyayogaśāstra is compiling teachings from earlier texts when he describes Kapila’s yoga is supported by the overlaps between the techniques of the Amaraughaprabodha and Gorakṣaśataka: the Dattātreyayogaśāstra’s mahāmudrā includes the positions to be adopted for jālandharabandha and mūlabandha.76 In addition to these six practices, the Dattātreyayogaśāstra teaches khecarīmudrā, in which the tongue is turned back and above the soft palate,77 viparītakaraṇ ī, in which the body is inverted, and vajrolīmudrā, the method of urethral suction mentioned above.

72  See Mallinson & Singleton 2017 for a survey and analysis of yoga methods including all those of haṭhayoga. 73  Amaraughaprabodha 19–41. 74  Dattātreyayogaśāstra 132–58. 75  Gorakṣaśataka 49–63. 76 Compare Dattātreyayogaśāstra 132 and 133 with 144 and 138 respectively. The author of the Dattātreyayogaśāstra is unusual for the haṭha genre in that he draws on the teachings of earlier texts but never incorporates them verbatim, preferring to compose his own verses. 77 On khecarīmudrā, see Mallinson 2007.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

190  James Mallinson In the Śivasaṃ hitā and Haṭhapradīpikā these nine practices are all classified as mudrās and included among the practices of haṭha.78 A tenth mudrā is added, śakticālana, which involves pulling on the tongue in order to stimulate Kuṇḍalinī.79 In these and subsequent haṭhayoga texts, a mudrā is thus a method of manipulating the vital energy, variously conceived as the breath, Kuṇḍalinī, and/or semen, in order to make it rise up the body’s central channel. Until the composition of the Haṭ hapradīpikā, textual treatments of haṭ hayoga identified it with only the practices classified as mudrās in the Śivasaṃ hitā and Haṭhapradīpikā. As noted above, the Haṭhapradīpikā added three more ­categories of haṭ ha technique: āsana, posture, kumbhaka, breath retention, and nādānusandhāna, listening to the internal sounds. Āsana and kumbhaka are practised in preparation for mudrā, while nādānusandhāna is a method of ­ ­attaining samādhi.

4.2.  Āsana In most forms of contemporary yoga practice, āsana is central, but it has a secondary role in early haṭhayoga. The Amṛ tasiddhi and Amaraughaprabodha do not teach āsana as a specific practice. In the Amṛtasiddhi the word āsana is used to refer both to the seat or mat on which the yogi carries out his practice,80 and, when it is said that in the second stage of practice his āsana becomes firm,81 to an unspecified seated position for meditation and breath control. The Amaraughaprabodha repeats this claim82 and says no more about āsana. The Dattātreyayogaśāstra does not include āsana in its treatment of haṭhayoga as practised by Kapila, but it is the third of the eight an͘ gas of Yājñavalkya’s haṭhayoga.83 There are said to be 8,400,000 āsanas, but only one is taught, padmāsana, the lotus position.84 The Śivasaṃ hitā (which does not explicitly identify the components of haṭhayoga practice) says that there are eighty-four postures and teaches four: siddhāsana, padmāsana, paścimottānāsana, and svastikāsana.85 These are all seated postures for meditation and breath control. Paścimottānāsana, a forward bend, is not taught as such in earlier works, but is similar to the daṇ dạ̄ sana taught at Pātañjalayogaśāstra 2.46, with the difference that in paścimottānāsana the toes are to be held by the hands, and the head put on the knees. Additionally, unlike

78  Śivasaṃ hitā 4.23–4, Haṭhapradīpikā 3.6–7. 79  Śivasaṃ hitā 4.106–10, Haṭhapradīpikā 3.100–16. Like mahābandha, jālandharabandha, and uḍḍiyāṇ abandha, śakticālana is first taught in the Gorakṣaśataka (vv. 16–28). 80  Amṛ tasiddhi 11.4.   81  Amṛ tasiddhi 20.1. 82  Amaraughaprabodha 37.   83  Dattātreyayogaśāstra 27. 84  Dattātreyayogaśāstra 34–8.   85  Śivasaṃ hitā 3.96–115.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

Haṭhayoga ’ s early history  191 the other three postures, which are simply taught as suitable positions for meditation and breath control, paścimottānāsana is said to make the breath enter the central channel.86 The Haṭhapradīpikā is the first text to name āsana as a component practice of haṭhayoga, which it says brings stability and suppleness to the body, and keeps away disease.87 The Haṭhapradīpikā teaches fifteen postures, of which ten are seated or lying positions for meditation and five are more complex twisted or balanced postures.88 Of the former, six are taken from the section on āsana in the Vasiṣtḥ asaṃ hitā,89 two from that in the Vivekamārtaṇ ḍa,90 and one is probably drawn from the Śivasaṃ hitā,91 while the ‘corpse pose’ (śavāsana) taught in the Haṭhapradīpikā is a reformulation of a method of layayoga (‘the yoga of dis­sol­ ution [of the mind]’) taught in the Dattātreyayogaśāstra.92 This is the first example of a subsequently common phenomenon in which physical postures originally taught as techniques other than āsanas are included under the āsana rubric.93 Source texts for three of the five complex postures taught in the Haṭhapradīpikā, uttānakūrmāsana, dhanurāsana, and matsyendrāsana, have not been identified. No specific benefits are given for the first two, but matsyendrāsana is said to kindle the digestive fire, remove disease, awaken Kuṇḍalinī, and stabilize semen.94 The verses describing mayūrāsana and kukkuṭāsana, the peacock and cock postures, are taken from the Vasiṣtḥ asaṃ hitā, which in turn derives its teachings from earlier Vaiṣṇava works.95 Mayūrāsana is first taught in the c. tenth-century Vaikhānasa Vimānārcanākalpa, in which it is one of nine postures, the rest of which are seated positions.96 The nine postures are divided into three groups of three, which are classed as low, middling, and high; mayūrāsana is included among the low postures. Its anomalous nature as a balancing position which 86  Elsewhere the Śivasaṃ hitā, a layered text, mentions in passing other postures which it does not describe: vajrāsana (4.51), muktāsana (4.110), gomukhāsana (5.10). 87  Haṭhapradīpikā 1.17. Āsana is also said to get rid of disease in the c. thirteenth-century Vivekamārtaṇḍa, a text which was used to compile the Haṭhapradīpikā. The Vivekamārtaṇ ḍa includes āsana among the six aṅgas of yoga and says there are 8,400,000 postures (as many as there are varieties of living beings), of which it teaches two, siddhāsana and padmāsana (Vivekamārtaṇḍa 3–8). 88  Haṭhapradīpikā 1.17–54. In contrast to earlier publications, I am here categorizing paścimottānāsana as a seated posture. 89 These are the svastika, gomukha, vīra, kūrma, siṃ ha, and bhadra āsanas: Haṭhapradīpikā 1.19–22, 50–54 = Vasiṣtḥ asaṃ hitā 1.68, 70, 72, 80, 81, 73–5, and 79. A variant form of siddhāsana taught at Haṭhapradīpikā 1.36 is taken from Vasiṣtḥ asaṃ hitā 1.81, in which the posture is called muktāsana. 90  These are siddhāsana (a variant of that taught at 1.36) and padmāsana: Haṭhapradīpikā 1.35 and 1.44 = Vivekamārtaṇ ḍa 7–8. A variant form of padmāsana found at Dattātreyayogaśāstra 35–6 is taught at Haṭhapradīpikā 1.45–6. 91  This is paścimatānāsana: Haṭhapradīpikā 1.28–9 ≈ Śivasaṃ hitā 3.108–9. 92  Haṭhapradīpikā 1.32 = Dattātreyayogaśāstra 24cd. 93 In the eighteenth-century Jogpradīpikā, for example, the ancient ascetic practice of hanging upside down from a tree is taught as tapkāra āsana, ‘the ascetic’s posture’ (179–83), and the mahāmudrā first taught in the Amṛ tasiddhi is taught both as a mudrā and an āsana (105–6). 94  Haṭhapradīpikā 1.27.   95  For details see Mallinson 2014: 227–8. 96  Vimānārcanākalpa paṭala 96.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

192  James Mallinson cannot be held indefinitely is not remarked upon, nor is it said to have any ­particular aim. Kukkuṭāsana is first introduced in the Ahirbudhnyasaṃ hitā, which says that all the eleven postures that it teaches (of which only mayūrāsana and kukkuṭāsana are not seated postures) are for promoting health.97 In its description of mayūrāsana, which is derived from that of the Vimānārcanākalpa, the text says that it destroys all poisons and wards off all diseases,98 playing on the peacock’s ability to eat poisonous animals. The Haṭhapradīpikā adds the ability to digest an excess of bad food to mayūrāsana ’s benefits as taught in the Ahirbudhnyasaṃ hitā and Vasiṣtḥ asaṃ hitā.99 Kukkuṭāsana is not said to have any specific benefits in the Haṭhapradīpikā nor in the texts from which it derives its teachings.

4.3.  Kumbhaka Breath control (prāṇ āyāma) is central to all methods of yoga. Until the advent of the haṭha corpus its sole documented practice was a simple method of alternate nostril breathing and breath retention used to purify the body and still the mind (and, in some dharmaśāstras, as a method of atonement for wrongdoing).100 The haṭha corpus introduces eight further techniques of breath control, classified as sahita kumbhakas, ‘accompanied breath retentions’, which for the most part involve variations in the method of inhalation or exhalation. Four of these, sūryā, ujjāyī, śītalī, and bhastrī, are first taught in the Gorakṣaśataka.101 They are included in the Haṭhapradīpikā’s teachings on kumbhaka together with four further breathing practices, sītkārī, bhrāmarī, mūrcchā, and plāvinī, source texts for which have not been identified.102 Mastery of the breath in haṭha texts is marked by the ability to spontaneously suspend the breath for as long as desired. This is called kevala kumbhaka, ‘unaccompanied breath retention’, and can only be performed once the eight sahita kumbhakas have been mastered. The sahita kumbhakas are to be practised after the body’s channels have been purified by means of the basic alternate nostril prāṇ āyāma and a group of internal cleansing techniques called the ṣaṭkarmas (which are taught for the first time in the Haṭhapradīpikā). The sūryā, ujjāyī, and śītalī kumbhakas help to further purify the body, curing imbalances of the kapha, vāta, and pitta doṣas re­spect­ ive­ly. The bhastrī kumbhaka awakens Kuṇḍalinī and pierces the three knots (gran­ this) in the central channel. The four kumbhakas introduced by the Haṭhapradīpikā have more esoteric effects, with bhrāmarī and mūrcchā bringing about states of bliss, sītkārī making the yogi a second god of love, and plāvinī allowing him to float on water like a leaf. 97  Ahirbudhnyasaṃ hitā 31.30.   98  Ahirbudhnyasaṃ hitā 31.37. 99  Haṭhapradīpikā 1.31.   100  Mallinson & Singleton 2017: 129–30.    101  Gorakṣaśataka 28–49.   102  Haṭhapradīpikā 2.44–71.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

Haṭhayoga ’ s early history  193

4.4.  Nādānusandhāna The practice of nādānusandhāna, ‘concentration on the [inner] sound’, taught in the Haṭhapradīpikā as one of the auxiliaries of haṭhayoga, combines two different notions of nāda, ‘sound’ or ‘resonance’: the spontaneous arising of different in­tern­al sounds marking the yogi’s progress through the four stages of yoga practice, first taught in the Amṛ tasiddhi; and deliberate concentration on the sounds that arise internally as a means in itself to attaining samādhi, the goal of yoga practice.103 Source texts for the verses which teach the latter (4.78–99) have not been found, but the practice has precedents in the tantric corpus.104

5.  The Results of Success in Haṭhayoga The Haṭhapradīpikā and earlier texts which teach haṭhayoga chart progress in its practice in a series of four stages, ārambha, ghaṭa, paricaya, and niṣpatti, first taught in the Amṛ tasiddhi. The haṭha techniques, correctly employed, make the vital principle, variously conceived as the breath, Kuṇḍalinī, and/or semen, rise up the central channel, piercing three knots, the brahma-, viṣṇ u-, and rudragranthis, along the way. Different internal sounds arise corresponding to each stage, together with more intense experiences of bliss (ānanda) and emptiness (śūnyatā). When the final stage is mastered, the vital principle reaches the head and the yogi attains samādhi, which is identified with rājayoga, ‘the royal yoga’, amaratva, ‘immortality’, and jīvanmukti, ‘liberation while living’.105

References Primary Sources Atharvavedasaṃ hitā in the Śaunakīya recension with the commentary (-bhāṣya) of Sāyaṇācārya, ed. Shankar Pândurang Pandit Bombay: Government Central Book Depot. 1895. Aparokṣānubhūti, Vidyāraṇyakṛtayā Aparokṣadīpikākhyaṭīkayā saṃ valitā, ed. Kamla Devi. Akṣayavat ̣a Prakāśana. 1988. Amaraughaprabodha, working edition by Jason Birch.106 103  Haṭhapradīpikā 4.64–102. See also Mallinson 2016: 116 and Mallinson & Singleton 2017: 329–330. 104  Vasudeva 2004: 272–80. 105  Haṭhapradīpikā 4.2–4. 106  Unless otherwise stated, references to the Amaraughaprabodha in this chapter are to its shorter recension, on which see Birch forthcoming.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

194  James Mallinson Amṛtakaṇikā: Āryamañjuśrīnāmasaṃ gīti with Amṛtakaṇikā-ṭippanī by Bhikṣu Raviśrījñāna and Amṛtakaṇikodyota-nibandha of Vibhūticandra, ed. B. Lal. Sarnath: Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies. 1994. Amṛtasiddhi, working edition by James Mallinson and Péter-Dániel Szántó. Ahirbudhnyasaṃ hitā, ed. M.D.  Ramanujacharya under the supervision of F.  Otto Schrader; revised by V.  Krishnamacharya. Madras: Adyar Library and Research Centre. 1996. Ānandakanda, ed. S.V. Radhakrishna Sastri. Srirangam: Sri Vilasam Press. 1952. Āmnāyamañjarī, working edition by Toru Tomabechi.107 Ūrmikaulārṇava. Transcription of ngmpp reel no: B 115/9 available at muktabodha.org. Kadalīmañjunāthamāhātmyam, ed. Śambhu Śarmā Kaḍava. Kāśī: Gorakṣa Ṭilla Yoga Pracāriṇī. 1957. (Laghu)Kālacakratantrarāja, Society. 1985.

ed.

Viśvanātha

Devaśarma.

Calcutta:

Asiatic

Kramasadbhāva. nak ms. 1–76 (= ngmpp A 209/23). Working edition by Mark Dyzckowski available at muktabodha.org. Khecarīvidyā, see Mallinson 2007. Gītārthasaṃ graha of Abhinavagupta in The Bhagavadgītā with the Śāṅkarabhāṣya comm and the subcomm of Ānandagiri, the Nīlakaṇtḥ ī comm., the Bhāṣyotkarṣadīpikā comm. of Dhanapati, the Śrīdharī comm., the Gītārthasaṅgraha comm. of Abhinavagupta, and the Gūḍārthadīpikā comm. of Madhusūdana with the Gūḍārthatattvāloka subcomm. of Dharmadatta (Bacchāśarman), ed. W.L.  Shastri Pansikar. Bombay: Nirnaya Sagar. 1912. Guṇabharaṇī, see Ṣaḍaṅgayoga of Anupamarakṣita.

Guhyasamāja tantra, ed. Yukei Matsunaga. Osaka: Toho Shuppan. 1978.

Guhyasiddhi in Guhyādi-aṣtṭ asiddhisaṅgraha, pp. 1–63 (Sanskrit); pp. 1–107 (Tibetan).

Guhyādi-aṣtạ siddhisaṅgraha / gSang pa grub pa logs pa’i grub pa sde brgyad bzhugs, ed. Samdhong Rinpoche and Vrajvallabh Dwivedi. Rare Buddhist Texts Series 1. Two parts: Sanskrit text and the Tibetan translation Sarnath, Varanasi: Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies. 1987. Gūḍhapadā, Royal Asiatic Society, London, Hodgson collection manuscript No. 34. Gorakṣayogaśāstra, ed. Nils Jacob Liersch, Das Gorakṣayogaśāstra: Diplomatische und kritische Edition mit annotierter Übersetzung. Unpublished MA Thesis, RuprechtsKarls-Universität Heidelberg. 2018.

107  The sole Sanskrit witness used by Tomabechi is a bilingual manuscript reproduced in Institute of the Collection and Preservation of Ancient Tibetan Texts of Sichuan Province (compilers), Dpal yang dag par sbyor ba’i rgyud kyi rgyal po’i rgya cher ’grel pa by Pandita ’jigs med ’buying gnas sbas pa, Rare and Ancient Tibetan Texts Collected in Tibetan Regions Series vol. 1, Sichuan Nationalities Publishing House and Guangming Daily Press.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

Haṭhayoga ’ s early history  195 Gorakṣaśataka, working edition by James Mallinson. Caryāmelāpakapradīpa of Āryadeva, ed. Janardan Shastri Pandey. Rare Buddhist Text Series 2.2. Sarnath: Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies. 2000. Cittasaṃ toṣatriṃ śikā of Nāga. SOAS Library manuscript no. 44390 (‘Śaiva Hymns’) ff. 41r–49r. Jayadrathayāmala. National Archives, Kathmandu. MS. No. 1–1468. ngmpp Reel No. B 122/4. Paper Newari. Dated 1622/3 ce. Jogpradīpakā of Jayatarāma, ed. M.L. Gharote. Jodhpur: Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute. 1999. (Śrī)-Jñāneśvarī of Jñānadeva, ed. G.S.  Naṇadīkar 5 vols. Mumbai: Prakāś Gopāl Naṇadīkar. 2001. Ḍākārṇavatantra, unpublished critical edition by Olga Serbaeva. Tantrasadbhāva, working edition by Mark Dyczkowski available at muktabodha.org. Timirodghāṭana. nak 5–690, ngmpp A35/3. Tirumantiram of Tirumūlar, ed. T.N. Ganapathy, 7 vols, Yoga Siddha Research Center Publication Series. Quebec: Babaji’s Kriya Yoga and Publications. 2010. Dattātreyayogaśāstra, working edition by James Mallinson. Devīdvyardhaśatika nak 1–242, ngmpp 161.12. Deśīnāmamālā of Hemacandra, ed. R. Pischel; 2nd ed. revised by P. V. Ramanujaswami. Bombay Sanskrit Series 17. Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. 1938. Niśvāsatattvasaṃ hitā, ed. Dominic Goodall, Harunaga Isaacson and Alexis Sanderson in The Niśvāsatattvasaṃhitā: The Earliest Surviving Śaiva Tantra, volume 1. A critical edition and annotated translation of the Mūlasūtra, Uttarasūtra, and Nayasūtra. (Collection Indologie, no. 128. Early Tantra Series, no. 1.) Pondicherry: Institut Français d’Indologie/École française d’Extrême-Orient 2015. Pampāmāhātmya, ed. K.V.  Śāstri as Skāndapurāṇantargata Hēmakūṭakhaṇḍātmaka Saptarṣi Yātra Prakāśaka Pampā Māhātmyamu 1933. Bodhisattvabhūmi, ed. Unrai Wogihara. Tokyo: Toyo Bunko. 1930–36. Brahmayāmala, see Kiss 2015. Mataṅgapārameśvarāgama, kriyāpāda, caryāpāda and yogapāda, with the commentary (-vṛtti) of Bhaṭt ạ Rāmakaṇt ̣ha up to kriyāpāda 11: 12b. Mataṅgapārameśvarāgama (Kriyāpāda, Yogapāda et Caryāpāda) avec le commen­ taire de Bhat ̣t ̣a Rāmakaṇt ̣ha, ed. N.R.  Bhatt Publications de l’IFI No. 65. Pondicherry: IFI, 1982. Laṅkāvatārasūtra, ed. Bunyiu Nanjio. Bibliotheca Otaniensis, no. 1. Kyoto: Otani University Press. 1923.

Līḷācaritra of Mhāiṃ bhat ̣a, ed. V.  Bh. Kolte. Muṃ baī: Mahārāṣt ̣ra Rājya Sāhitya Saṃ skṛti Maṃ ḍala. 1978. Raghuvaṃ śa of Kālidāsa, ed. Gopal Raghunath Nandargikar Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. 1971.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

196  James Mallinson Yogabīja, working edition by Jason Birch. Yogaśāstra and Svopajñavṛtti of Hemacandra, ed. Muni Jambuvijaya, 3 vols. Bombay: Jain Sāhitya Vikāsa Maṇḍala. 1971, 1981, and 1986. Yogimanoharā Pañcakramat ̣ippaṇī of Muniśrībhadra. The Pañcakramat ̣ippaṇī of Muniśrībhadra. Introduction and Romanized Sanskrit Text, ed. Jiang Zhongxin and Tomabechi Tōru. Schweizer Asiatische Studien/Etudes asiatiques suisses: Monographie 23. Bern: Peter Lang. 1996.

Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā (Yogakāṇḍa). Revised edition, eds. Swami Digambarji, Pitambar Jha, Gyan Shankar Sahay (first edition); Swami Maheshananda, B.R. Sharma, G.S. Sahay, R.K. Bodhe (revised edition). Lonāvalā: Kaivalyadhām Śrīmanmādhav Yogamandir Samiti. 2005.

Vijñānabhairava with the commentary (–uddyota) of Kṣemarāja on vv. 1–23 and the commentary (-vivṛti) of Śivopādhyāya on the rest, ed. Mukund Ram Sastri. Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies 8. Bombay. 1918.

Vimalaprabhāt ̣īkā of Kalkin Śrīpuṇḍarīka on Śrīlaghukālacakratantrarāja by Śrīmañjuśrīyaśas, vol. 1 [pat ̣alas 1–2], ed. Jagannatha Upadhyaya. Bibliotheca IndoTibetica Text Series 11. Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies Sarnath, Varanasi. 1986.

Vimalaprabhāt ̣īkā of Kalkin Śrīpuṇḍarīka on Śrīlaghukālacakratantrarāja by Śrīmañjuśrīyaśas, vol. 2 [pat ̣alas 3–4], ed. Vrajavallabh Dwivedi and Shrikant  S.  Bahulkar. Rare Buddhist Text Series 12. Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies Sarnath, Varanasi. 1994. Vimalaprabhāt ̣īkā of Kalkin Śrīpuṇḍarīka on Śrīlaghukālacakratantrarāja by Śrīmañjuśrīyaśas, vol. 3 [pat ̣ala 5], ed. Vrajavallabh Dwivedi and Shrikant  S.  Bahulkar. Rare Buddhist Text Series 13. Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies Sarnath, Varanasi. 1994. Vimānārcanākalpa, ed. Śrīsvāmīhāthīrāmjī. Madras: Venkateshwar Press. 1926. Vivekamārtāṇḍa, working edition by James Mallinson.

Vaikhānasagṛhyasūtra, ed. W.  Caland in Vaikhānasasmārtasūtram. The Domestic Rules of the Vaikhānasa School, Belonging to the Black Yajurveda. Bibliotheca Indica, no. 242. Kolkata: Asiatic Society of Bengal. 1927. Śārṅgadharapaddhati, ed. Peter Peterson. Bombay: Government Central Book Depot. 1888. Śivayōgapradīpikā: Basavārādhyat ̣īkāsamētā, ed. M.M.  Kalaburgi and Nāgabhūs ̣ana Śāstri Dhāravāḍa: Kannaḍa Adhyayanapīt ̣ha, Karnāt ̣aka Viśvavidyālaya. 1976. Śivasaṃ hitā, ed. and tr. J. Mallinson. New York: YogaVidya.com. 2007.

Ṣaḍaṅgayoga by Anupamarakṣita with Raviśrījñāna’s Guṇabharaṇīnāmaṣaḍaṅgayoga­ t ̣ippaṇī: Text and Annotated Translation, ed. Francesco Sferra. Rome: Istituto italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente. 2000. Saṃ varodayatantra, ed. Shinichi Tsuda. Tokyo: Hokuseido Press. 1974. Sarvabuddhasamāyogaḍākinījālaśaṃ vara, Dániel Szántó.

unpublished

edition

by

Péter-

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

Haṭhayoga ’ s early history  197 Sekanirdeśa and Sekanirdeśapañjikā, see Isaacson & Sferra 2014. Sekoddeśa, ed. Giacomella Orofino. Rome: Istituto italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente. 1994. Sekoddeśat ̣īkā of Nāropā, ed. Francesco Sferra (Sanskrit) and Stefania Merzagora (Tibetan). Rome: Istituto italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente. 2006.

Hat ̣hapradīpikā of Svātmārāma, ed. Svāmī Digambarjī and Dr Pītambar Jhā. Lonavla: Kaivalyadhām S.M.Y.M. Samiti. 1970.

Secondary Sources Birch, Jason. 2011. ‘The Meaning of Haṭha in Early Hat ̣hayoga’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 131(4), pp. 527–54. Birch, Jason. Forthcoming. ‘The Amaraughaprabodha: New Evidence on Its Manuscript Transmission’, in S. Hatley, D. Goodall and H. Isaacson, (eds.), Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions. Leiden: Brill. Chandra, Lokesh. 1981. Abhidhānottara-tantra: A Sanskrit Manuscript from Nepal. New Delhi: Sharada Rani. Deleanu, F. 2013. ‘Meditative Practices in the Bodhisattvabhūmi ’, in Ulrich Timme Kragh, (ed.), The Foundation for Yoga Practitioners: The Buddhist Yogācārabhūmi Treatise and Its Adaptation in India, East Asia and Tibet, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 884–919. Hatley, Shaman. 2016. ‘Erotic Asceticism: The Razor’s Edge Observance (Asidhārāvrata) and the Early History of Tantric Coital Ritual,’ Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 79(2), pp. 329–45. Isaacson, Harunaga. (n.d.). Tantric Buddhism in India. Revised paper of a lecture given at Hamburg University in 1997. Unpublished. Isaacson, Harunaga & Francesco Sferra. 2014. The Sekanirdeśa of Maitreyanātha (Advayavajra) with the Sekanirdeśapañjikā of Rāmapāla. Critical Edition of the Sanskrit and Tibetan Texts with English Translation and Reproductions of the MSS. (With contributions by Klaus-Dieter Mathes and Marco Passavanti.) Serie Orientale Roma fondata da Giuseppe Tucci Vol. CVII. Napoli: Universita degli Studi di Napoli ‘L’Orientale’. Joffe, Ben Philip. 2019. White robes, matted hair: Tibetan Tantric Householders, Moral Sexuality, and the Ambiguities of Esoteric Buddhist Expertise in Exile. Doctoral thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado. Kiss, Csaba. 2015. The Brahmayāmala or Picumata. Volume II. The Religious Observances and Sexual Rituals of the Tantric Practitioner: Chapters 3, 21 and 45. Collection Indologie 130, Early Tantra Series 3. Pondicherry: Institut Français de Pondichéry/École Française d’Extrême-Orient. Mallinson, James. 2007. The Khecarīvidyā of Ādinātha: A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of an Early Text of Haṭhayoga. London: Routledge.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

198  James Mallinson Mallinson, James. 2011. ‘Hat ̣ha Yoga’, entry in the Brill Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 3, ed. Knut A. Jacobsen, pp. 770–81. Leiden: Brill. Mallinson, James. 2014. ‘Haṭhayoga’s Philosophy: A Fortuitous Union of NonDualities’, Journal of Indian Philosophy, 42(1), pp. 225–47. Mallinson, James. 2016. ‘Śāktism and Haṭhayoga,’ in Bjarne Wernicke Olesen, (ed.), Goddess Traditions in Tantric Hinduism. London: Routledge, pp. 109–40. Mallinson, James. 2018. ‘Yoga and Sex: What Is the Purpose of Vajrolīmudrā?’ in Philipp Maas, (ed.), Yoga in Transformation. Vienna: V& R unipress, pp. 181–222. Mallinson, James. 2019. ‘Kālavañcana in the Konkan: How a Vajrayāna Haṭhayoga Tradition Cheated Buddhism’s Death in India’, Religions, 10(273), pp. 1–33. Mallinson, James. 2020. ‘The Amṛtasiddhi: Haṭhayoga’s Tantric Buddhist Source Text’, in Saivism and the Tantric Traditions, ed. S.  Hatley, D.  Goodall, H.  Isaacson and S. Raman. Leiden: Brill. Mallinson, James & Mark Singleton. 2017. Roots of Yoga. London: Penguin Classics. Matsunaga, Yukei. 1978. Guhyasamāja tantra. Osaka: Toho Shuppan. Newman, John. 1998. ‘The Epoch of the Kālacakratantra,’ Indo-Iranian Journal, 41, pp. 319–49.

Sferra, Francesco. 2000. Ṣaḍaṅgayoga by Anupamarakṣita with Raviśrījñāna’s Guṇ a­ bharaṇ īnāmaṣaḍaṅgayogaṭippaṇ ī: Text and Annotated Translation. Rome: Istituto italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente. Sinclair, Iain. 2014. ‘Envisioning Durjayacandra’s Saptākṣarasādhana: On the Sources and Sponsors of a Twelfth-Century Painting of Seven-Syllabled Samvara’, in Benjamin Bogin and Andrew Quintman (eds.), Himalayan Passages: Tibetan and Newar Studies in Honor of Hubert Decleer Boston, MA: Wisdom Publications, pp. 205–20.

Sugiki, Tsunehiko. 2018. ‘The Sādhana of the ‘Adamantine Body’ Maṇḍala: A Critical Edition and a Translation of the Sanskrit Ḍ ākārṇ ava Chapter 50–8’, Journal of Chisan Studies, 67, pp. 45–87. Szántó, Péter-Dániel. 2012. Selected Chapters from the Catuṣpīṭhatantra: Introductory Study with the Annotated Translation of Selected Chapters. Doctoral thesis submitted to University of Oxford. Szántó, Péter-Dániel. 2016. ‘Before a Critical Edition of the Sampuṭa’, ZAS, 45, pp. 397–422. Szántó, Péter-Dániel. 2017. ‘Minor Vajrayāna Texts IV: A Sanskrit Fragment of the Rigyarallitantra’, in Vincenzo Vergiani, Daniele Cuneo, and Camillo Alessio Formigatti, (eds.), Indic Manuscript Cultures Through the Ages: Material, Textual and Historical, Berlin: De Gruyter, pp. 487–504. Szántó, Péter-Dániel & Arlo Griffiths. 2015. ‘Sarvabuddhasamāyogaḍākinījāla­ śaṃ ­vara’, in Brill Encyclopedia of Buddhism. Leiden: Brill, pp. 367–72.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 16/07/20, SPi

Haṭhayoga ’ s early history  199 Vasudeva, Somdev. 2004. The Yoga of the Mālinīvijayottaratantra. Pondicherry: Publications de l’Institut français d’Indologie No. 97. Wangchuck, Dorji. 2007. The Resolve to Become a Buddha. A Study of the Bodhicitta Concept in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism Studia Philologica Buddhica Monograph Series XXIII. Tokyo: The International Institute for Buddhist Studies. Wylie, Turrell. 1982. ‘Dating the Death of Naropa’, in L.A.  Hercus et al. (eds.), Indological and Buddhist Studies. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications, pp. 687–92.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

8

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life A Survey of Early Works on Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga Jason Birch

The Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga texts which were composed before the Haṭhapradīpikā (mid-fifteenth century ce) provide a window onto what might be considered the formative phase of these types of yoga. Liberation (mokṣa, mukti, etc.) is mentioned frequently throughout this literature. Although the practice of Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga is said to bestow supernatural powers (siddhi) and mundane benefits, such as healing diseases, both yogas are undoubtedly soteriological because their main aim is to bring about liberation from transmigration (saṃ sāra). The survey of the early Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga corpus in this chapter reveals that a fundamental premise for the attainment of liberation is the successful practice of yoga. The culmination of the practice is a profound state of meditation, in which the yogin does not breathe, think, or move. This meditative state is called various names, such as rājayoga, amanaska, unmanī, laya, samādhi, nirālamba, and sahaja, which tend to be used interchangeably in these works.1 In this chapter, I shall refer to it by the generic term samādhi. On the whole, samādhi is the necessary and sufficient cause for liberation in Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga texts. Even though gnosis (jñāna) and ritual (kriyā) may be mentioned in these works, both are unimportant for the attainment of samādhi, if not altogether superfluous. Although in some cases gnosis may characterize the liberated state, the study of scripture or the contemplation of doctrinal truths is not presented as a principal means to liberation. The survey of this corpus further reveals that the ultimate goal of the ­prescribed yogas is the attainment of liberation-in-life (jīvanmukti). That is to say, the yogin remains alive after liberation, as opposed to being liberated at death, which was the default position, as it were, of Vedic Brahmanical religions. Seeing that these works tend to expound on practical matters and avoid, perhaps deliberately, philo­soph­ic­al or theoretical concerns, statements about the nature of liberation are in many cases piecemeal and not entirely consistent. Nonetheless, it is clear

1  For a longer list of these terms, see Haṭhapradīpikā 4.2–4.4. The earliest works to use these terms as though they were synonyms include the Amanaska, the Candrāvalokana, and the Yogatārāvalī. These terms refer to the same state of samādhi because, unlike the Pātañjalayogaśāstra, Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga texts do not teach stages of samādhi that would suggest differences in their meaning. ̄ Jason Birch, The Quest for Liberation-in-Life A Survey of Early Works on Hat hạ and Ra jayoga In: Hindu Practice. Edited by: Gavin Flood, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198733508.003.0009

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  201 that at least two different conceptions of the liberated yogin are presented. Some texts emphasize the liberated yogin’s complete transcendence of the world, which is implied by his blissful state of minimal physical and mental activity, whereas other texts state explicitly the yogin’s power to act in the world at will. I have attempted to understand these differences within the framework of ‘freedom from’ (moḳsa) and ‘freedom to’ (siddhi), bearing in mind, as Watson, Goodall, and Sarma (2013: 19) have noted, that this dichotomy is ‘useful not because we can equate one kind with liberation, but because we see how the two kinds are differentially present within the various liberation doctrines’. Most of the early works on Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga have not been critically edited or translated into English. Section 1 of this chapter (‘Corpus of Early Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga’) will provide the first survey of teachings on samādhi and liberation in these works. Section 2 addresses the meaning of the term rājayoga and section 3 discusses the relationship between Rājayoga and liberation-in-life, an essential conception of which can be traced back to earlier Kaula traditions. Section 4 of the chapter will examine how Rājayoga and liberation were understood in the Hat ̣hapradīpikā, which is largely an anthology of the teachings of the early Hat ̣haand Rājayoga texts (Bouy 1994: 40). I attempt to answer the more specific question of how its author Svātmārāma resolved the tension between transcendence and power, which is apparent in many of the works he used for the Hat ̣hapradīpikā. My research concludes that Svātmārāma favoured ‘freedom from’ by regarding the attainment of samādhi as identical with liberation and, in so doing, tends to understate the siddhi-orientated liberation.

1.  Corpus of Early Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga The early works of Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga have been identified by the verses which Svātmārāma borrowed for his Hat ̣hapradīpikā.2 The estimates for their date of composition are based on the textual borrowings between them and other Sanskrit works.3 It should be noted that not all of the yoga texts in this corpus name their systems of yoga as Hat ̣ha- or Rājayoga. Nonetheless, so much of their theory and practice is similar or, at least, relevant to one another that all of them should be considered important for understanding the early formative phase of  these types of yoga. I have ordered the texts according to the theme of 2  Since one of the main concerns of this chapter is to assess how Svātmārāma synthesized earlier conceptions of Rājayoga and liberation in his Hat ̣hapradīpikā, I have excluded some works that teach techniques of Hat ̣hayoga before the fifteenth century, which were not a source for the Hat ̣hapradīpikā. Examples include the Amaraughaśāsana and the yoga sections of the Śārṅ gadharapaddhati. For the same reason, I have not included a few works of this period in other languages, which incorporate either techniques or systems of Hat ̣ha- or Rājayoga, such as the Jñāneśvarī, Vivekadarpaṇa, Tattvasāra, and Vivekasindhu. 3  For information on the dates of these works, see Birch 2011: 528 and Birch 2018a: 5–8.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

202  Jason Birch transcendence (i.e. ‘freedom from’) and power (i.e. ‘freedom to’). Those at the beginning more closely equate liberation with the transcendent state of samādhi, whereas those towards the end describe more explicitly the liberated yogin’s power to act in the world. Those in the centre do not clearly emphasize one or the other. Vivekamārtaṇḍa (twelfth to thirteenth century) Candrāvalokana (fourteenth century) Yogatārāvalī (fourteenth century) Amanaska, chapter two (eleventh to early twelfth century) Gorakṣaśataka (early fourteenth century) Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā (twelfth century) and the Yogayājñavalkya (thirteenth to fourteenth century) Amṛtasiddhi (eleventh century) Amaraughaprabodha, short redaction (twelfth century) Dattātreyayogaśāstra (thirteenth century) Yogabīja (thirteenth to fourteenth century) Khecarīvidyā (thirteenth to fourteenth century) Śivasaṃ hitā (fifteenth century)

1.1. The Vivekamārtaṇḍa The Vivekamārtaṇḍa teaches a yoga with six auxiliaries (ṣaḍaṅ ga), which it does not identify as either Hat ̣ha- or Rājayoga. However, this Śaiva text contains one of the earliest accounts of Hat ̣hayogic mudrās, including the three bandhas, namely, mūlabandha, uḍḍiyāṇabandha, jālandharabandha, mahāmudrā khecarī, and viparītakaraṇa. The aim of its yoga is liberation. In fact, the Vivekamārtaṇḍa twice refers to itself as a ‘ladder to liberation’ (1, 198). The role of its auxiliaries in the attainment of liberation is stated as follows: Diseases are cured by yogic posture (āsana), sin is [destroyed] by holding the breath (prāṇāyāma) and the best of yogins cures his mental disturbances by withdrawing [his mind from sense objects] (pratyāhāra). Stability of the mind is produced by concentration (dhāraṇā), wondrous power by meditation (dhyāna) and [the yogin] obtains liberation by samādhi, after having abandoned [all] action, good and bad.4

4  Vivekamārtaṇḍa 92–3 (āsanena rujo hanti prāṇāyāmena pātakam | pratyāhāreṇa yogīndro vikāraṃ hanti mānasam ||92|| dhāraṇayā manodhairyaṃ dhyānād aiśvaryam adbhutam | samādher mokṣam āpnoti tyaktvā karma śubhāśubham ||93|| 93a dhāraṇayā mano- ] Nowotny Ed.: dhāraṇā manaso Codex).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  203 The verses following the above passage indicate how the yogin progresses through the auxiliaries: By [practising] breath retentions twelve times, withdrawal from sense objects is said [to occur]. By practising this withdrawal twelve times, good concentration arises. The practice of concentration twelve times is said to be meditation by those skilled in meditation. By practising meditation twelve times, it is called samādhi. The fruit of samādhi is the [appearance of] a light, unbounded on all sides. When it is seen, rites, action and [whatever] comes and goes cease.5

The definition of samādhi refers to the time spent in meditation. A subsequent verse elaborates on this by saying that concentration arises after two hours, meditation after a day, and samādhi after twelve days.6 The Vivekamārtaṇdạ finishes with a lengthy description of samādhi, which is consistent with that of other texts in this corpus. The Vivekamārtaṇdạ does not mention liberation-in-life nor does it discuss liberation generally. The fact that the text ends with the following passage on samādhi suggests that its teachings aimed at complete transcendence of the world: When the self and mind unite because of yoga, just as the fusion of salt and water by being mixed, it is called samādhi. When the breath perishes and the mind dissolves, and then the state of coalescence arises, it is called samādhi. In this system, the state of oneness of the individual self with the supreme self, in which all intentional thinking has disappeared, is called samādhi. [. . .] The yogin immersed in samādhi does not cognise smell, taste, form, touch, sound, himself nor another. The yogin immersed in samādhi is not aware of hot and cold, suffering and happiness nor pride and disgrace. The yogin immersed in samādhi is not consumed by time, troubled by [the fruits of] action nor afflicted by disease. The yogin immersed in samādhi is not pierced by any weapon, c­ annot be killed by anyone nor controlled by mantras and magical devices. The knowers of the reality [revealed by samādhi] know it to be without beginning or end and devoid of support, multiplicity, foundation, illness and form. The knowers of Brahman know it to be unmoving, untainted, eternal, without action and free of qualities. It is the great void, consciousness and bliss. Like milk poured into milk, ghee in ghee and fire in fire, the yogin immersed in samādhi becomes absorbed in that.7 5  Vivekamārtaṇdạ 94–6 (prāṇāyāmadviṣat ̣kena pratyāhāraḥ prakīrtitaḥ | pratyāhāradviṣat ̣kena jāyate dhāraṇā śubhā ||94|| dhāraṇādvādaśa proktaṃ dhyānaṃ dhyānaviśāradaiḥ | dhyānadvādaśakenaiva samādhir abhidhīyate ||95|| yat samādhiphalaṃ jyotir anantaṃ̣ viśvatomukham | tasmin dṛsṭ ̣e kriyā karma yātāyātaṃ nivartate ||96|| 95b -viśāradaiḥ ] Nowotny Ed.: -viśārādeḥ Codex. 95c -daśakenaiva ] emend.: -daśakoneva Codex). 6  Vivekamārtaṇḍa 161 (dhāraṇā pañcanāḍī syād dhyānaṃ vai ṣaṣt ̣ināḍikam | dinadvādaśakena syāt samādhiḥ prāṇasaṃ yamāt ||). 7  Vivekamārtaṇḍa 162–64, 166–72 (ambusaindhavayoḥ sāmyaṃ yathā bhavati yogataḥ | tathātmamanasor aikyaṃ samādhiḥ so ’bhidhīyate ||162|| yadā saṃ kṣīyate prāṇo mānasaṃ ca vilīyate |

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

204  Jason Birch

1.2. The Candrāvalokana The Candrāvalokana, which probably dates to the fourteenth century,8 is a short dialogue between Śiva and Matsyendranātha. The name of the text, which literally means ‘looking at the moon’, may be connected to esoteric explanations of the days of the new moon (amāvāsyā), lunar fortnight (pratipat), and full moon (paurṇamāsī), as well as the practice of impeding the downward flow of nectar from the moon in the head. The Candrāvalokana does not refer to its yoga by the name Hat ̣ha- or Rājayoga. However, it teaches techniques, such as śāmbhavī mudrā, with terminology and concepts that are characteristic of these yogas. The overall aim of the text is gnosis of Brahman, which is achieved by dissolving mind and breath and stopping the outward flow of nectar from the moon. The first half of the Candrāvalokana focuses on achieving dissolution (laya) of the mind and breath by fixing the gaze (dṛṣt ̣i). The importance of dissolution for attaining gnosis and liberation is stated as follows: How can gnosis exist in the mind when the mind does not die because the breath is alive? [When his] mind and breath dissolve, that man becomes liberated. There is no other way whatsoever.9

The second half of the work, which was redacted as part of the Yogakuṇḍalyupaniṣat (Bouy  1994: 41, 101), aims at stopping the flow of nectar from the moon by tadā samarasatvaṃ ca samādhiḥ so ’bhidhīyate ||163|| yat samatvaṃ dvayor atra jīvātmaparamātmanoḥ | samastanaṣt ̣asaṅ kalpaṃ samādhiḥ so ’bhidhīyate ||164|| na gandhaṃ na rasaṃ rūpaṃ na ca sparśaṃ na nisvanaṃ | nātmānaṃ na paraṃ vetti yogī yuktaḥ samādhinā ||166|| nābhijānāti śītoṣṇaṃ na duḥ khaṃ na sukhaṃ tathā | na mānaṃ nāpamānaṃ ca yogī yuktaḥ samādhinā ||167|| khādyate na ca kālena bādhyate na ca karmaṇā | pīḍyate na ca rogeṇa yogī yuktaḥ samādhinā ||168|| abhedyaḥ sarvaśastrāṇāṃ avadhyaḥ sarvadehinām | agrāhyo mantrayantrāṇāṃ yogī yuktaḥ samādhinā ||169|| nirādyantaṃ nirālambaṃ niṣprapañcaṃ nirāśrayam | nirāmayaṃ nirākāraṃ tattvaṃ tattvavido viduḥ ||170|| niścalaṃ nirmalaṃ nityaṃ niḥkriyaṃ nirguṇaṃ mahat | vyoma vijñānam ānandaṃ brahma brahmavido viduḥ||171|| dugdhe kṣīraṃ ghṛte sarpir agnau vahnir ivārpitaḥ | tanmayatvaṃ vrajaty eva yogī yuktaḥ samādhinā ||172|| 162a ambusaindhavayoḥ ] emend.: am+saidhavayoḥ Codex. 164c. -saṅ kalpaṃ ] emend.: -saṅ kalpaḥ Codex. 166c nisvanam ] emend.: nisvaram Codex.168a khādyate ] Nowotny Ed.: pīḍyate Codex. 169a śastrāṇāṃ ] corr.: śāstrāṇāṃ Codex. 169c mantrayantrāṇāṃ ] Nowotny Ed.: mantratantrāṇāṃ Codex). 8 The Candrāvalokana’s terminus ad quem is the Hat ̣hapradīpikā (Bouy 1994: 14; Mallinson 2014: 244–5) and its terminus ad quo is probably the Amanaska (2.10 = Candrāvalokana 1) or the Anubhavanivedanastotra (1–2 = Candrāvalokana 2–3). The latter is attributed to Abhinavagupta by tradition. If the author of the Anubhavanivedanastotra were Abhinavagupta, then the Candrāvalokana would have been written after the tenth century. However, the Anubhavanivedanastotra may be more recent. Its attribution to Abhinavagupta is doubtful because it contains terminology not found in Abhinavagupta’s other works, such as śāmbhavī mudrā, which is called parabhairavamudrā in his Mālinīślokavārttika and bhairavamudrā by his student Kṣemarāja (Birch 2014: 408, 425). 9  Candrāvalokana 7 (jñānaṃ kuto manasi jīvati †devi† tāvat prāṇe ’pi jīvati mano mriyate na yāvat | prāṇo mano dvayam idaṃ vilayaṃ prayāti mokṣaṃ sa gacchati naro na kathaṃ cid anyaḥ ||7|| 7a jñānaṃ kuto ] 4345 : jñāto 75278 (unmetr.). devi ] 75278, 4344 : kī+ṣt ̣i 4345. tāvat ] conj. yāvat 4344, 4354, 75278. prāṇe ’pi ] 75,278, 4344 : prāṇo ’pi 4345). Regarding the crux devi/kī+ṣt ̣i, the reading of devi is not possible because the Candrāvalokana is a dialogue between two males (i.e. Matsyendranātha and Śiva).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  205 moving the breath and śakti into the central channel and raising both upwards. Also, this involves a process of moving the breath into the six cakras and fixing it in the uppermost one (i.e. ājñā). The Candrāvalokana seems to be entirely centred on liberation and does not mention a single siddhi. Although the teachings aim at transcending mind and death,10 the final words of Śiva suggest that Matsyendra, who is liberated by Śiva’s favour after having heard the teachings, must return to the world: [Śiva says,] ‘son, go to the earth. You will save the three worlds’.11

1.3. The Yogatārāvalī The Yogatārāvalī (‘a string of stars on yoga’) is the shortest known Sanskrit text on Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga at only twenty-nine verses. Although nearly all the printed editions attribute this work to Śan˙ karācārya, most of the manuscript colophons consulted for this study do not support this.12 The pattern of second-syllable rhyming and alliteration of the first syllable of a verse’s quadrant (pāda) within that quadrant, which is unusual in Sanskrit works but more common in the poetry of South Indian vernacular languages, such as Tamil, strongly suggests this work was composed in South India.13 In the version of the text in printed editions, there are a few passing references to Vedāntic concepts, such as the four states of the Self referred to in Gauḍapāda’s Māṇḍūkyopaniṣatkārikā. However a few manuscripts, which may preserve a shorter, and perhaps older, version of the 10  Candrāvalokana 38cd: ‘Yogins go to immortality, which is the same as the oneness [achieved] through samādhi’ (samādhinaikena samam amṛtaṃ yānti yoginaḥ). 11  Candrāvalokana 45cd (gaccha putra pṛthivyāṃ tvaṃ trailokyaṃ coddhariṣyasi). 12  A descriptive catalogue of yoga manuscripts (Kaivalyadhama 2005: 232–9) reports seven manuscripts which attribute authorship to Govindabhagavatpūjyapāda, two to Nandīśvara, fourteen to Śaṅ karācārya, and one to Sadāśiva. I have consulted most of these manuscripts and this catalogue is unreliable in regard to reporting authorship. For example, Ms No. 240–3748 Ānandāśramasamsthā; Ms No. 75278 Adyar Research Library; Ms No. 6722 Sarasvatī Mahal Library Thanjavur; Ms No. 7970 Oriental Institute, MSU Baroda; Ms No. P5682/3 Mysore Oriental Research Institute; Ms No. 18/2 Sringeri Sharada Peetham; and Ms No. SD5051, D4357–9 GOML do not attribute the authorship to anyone. I have not consulted all the manuscripts in the above catalogue but I can confirm that Ms No. D4357 GOML and SR1873 GOML attributes authorship to Govindabhagavatpūjyapāda; Ms No. SR2126 GOML to Nandīśvara; and Ms No. 6-4-399 Prajñāpāt ̣haśālā, Wai and Ms No. SR7043 GOML to Śaṅ karācārya. Ms No. SR6529 GOML has the title Yogatārāvalīstotra, which is attributed to Śaṅ karācārya, but this text is a different redaction of the Yogatārāvalī. Also, Ms No. 72330 of the Adyar Research Library is a commentary on the Yogatārāvalī by the name of the Rājatarala, which was not composed by Śaṅ karācārya. This work was composed (sometime after the eighteenth-century Maṇḍalabrāhmaṇopaniṣat) by Rāmasvāmipaṇḍita, who is described as a worshipper of Śaṅ karācārya’s feet (śrīśaṃ karācāryapādakiṃ kara). In my view, the text was probably attributed to Śaṅ karācārya sometime after it was composed because three old palm-leaf manuscripts, which have been among the most valuable witnesses for reconstructing the text and one of which is held at the Sringeri Sharada Peetham, do not mention Śaṅ karācārya. In fact, one of these (PUL, Ms. No. 412) attributes the work to Gorakṣanātha. 13  I would like to thank Dominic Goodall for pointing this out at a reading workshop, organized by the Hat ̣ha Yoga Project and the Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient, January 2018.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

206  Jason Birch text, do not have the verses with vedāntic concepts, suggesting that some ma­ter­ ial, including the last verse translated below, was added at a later time.14 Nonetheless, the text is largely free from doctrine and sectarian markers that might identify it with a particular religion or place. The date of composition was sometime after the Amanaska and before the Hat ̣hapradīpikā (Birch 2015: 5–8). The Yogatārāvalī teaches a system of yoga in which Hat ̣hayoga is the chief means to Rājayoga.15 The physical practice of Hat ̣hayoga is the application of the three locks (bandha) during deliberate breath retentions. This induces a spon­tan­ eous breath retention called kevalakumbhaka, which in turn produces Rājayoga. The Yogatārāvalī’s author made use of a similar array of synonyms for Rājayoga, such as amanaska, manonmanī, and yoganidrā, as is found in both the Amanaska’s second chapter and the Hat ̣hapradīpikā. A nod to the former is suggested by the use of amanaskamudrā in referring to the technique more commonly known in this literature as śāmbhavī mudrā. Unlike other Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga texts, the Yogatārāvalī concludes with a somewhat poetic description of the yogin abiding in the complete stillness of samādhi: Oh! When the sun of the supreme self is shining and the darkness of all ig­nor­ ance is disappearing, wise men, though their sight is untainted, see nothing whatsoever of the multiplicity of the world. In caves on the peak of Śrīśaila [mountain], when will I experience samādhi’s culmination in which dissolution of the mind is such that vines cover my body and birds build a nest in my ear?16

Liberation is not mentioned explicitly in the Yogatārāvalī. The following verse, which may have been added later to the text,17 further suggests that the yogin is liberated-in-life: Let this mind [of mine] wander into thoughtless samādhi or into the plump breasts of [women] whose eyes are [as alluring as those of] the spotted black

14 These manuscripts are Ms No. 75278, Adyar Research Library, Ms No. 240–3748, Ānandāśramasamsthā and Ms. No. 412, Panjab University Library Lahore, which omit verses 22, 26, and 29 of the Vārāṇāseya Saṃ skṛta Saṃ sthāna edition. These verses are included in other editions and manuscripts but their numbering may differ. 15  Two important manuscripts (i.e. Ms No. P5682/3 Mysore Oriental Research Institute; Ms No. 18/2 Sringeri Sharada Peetham) insert headings and colophons which indicate that verses 2–5 concern Layayoga and 6–13, Hat ̣hayoga. Although this is plausible, the Yogatārāvalī does not refer to Layayoga. If one ignores these headings, it is possible that verses 2–5 are describing the fusion of the mind with the resonance (nādānusandhāna) which is achieved by the practice of kumbhakas, explained by verses 6–13, in which there is a reference to Hat ̣hayoga. 16  Yogatārāvalī 27–8 (prakāśamāne paramātmabhānau naśyaty avidyātimire samaste | aho budhā nirmaladṛṣt ̣ayo ’pi kiñ cin na paśyanti jagatprapañcam || siddhiṃ tathāvidhamanovilayāṃ samādheḥ śrīśailaśṛṅ gakuhareṣu kadopalapsye | gātraṃ yathā mama latāḥ pariveṣt ̣ayanti karṇe yathā viracayanti khagāś ca nīḍaṃ ). 17  See footnote 15.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  207 deer. Let it do ceaseless repetition of a mantra or likewise small talk. The merits and faults produced by thought do not touch me, the all-pervading [self].18

The culmination of the Yogatārāvalī’s teachings is complete transcendence of the world and mind. The outcome is not orientated towards attaining power (siddhi) in the world. The reference to an ‘all-pervading’ self (vibhu), which is untouched by thought, merit, and so on, merely reflects the vedāntic undertones of this version of the text. It is possible that the original work finished with the yogin en­veloped by creepers in a cave and left open the question of whether he emerged to act in the world.

1.4. The Amanaska (Second Chapter) The Amanaska (‘the no-mind state’) consists of two chapters, which were prob­ ably composed separately in different centuries and combined sometime before the eighteenth century.19 The second chapter, which is the older of the two and  teaches a system of Rājayoga, predates the twelfth-century Jain scholar Hemacandra (Birch 2014: n. 21). The available printed editions present a redaction of the text that was probably made in South India sometime after the fifteenth century. There is considerable manuscript evidence for a shorter redaction which predates the South Indian one and was prevalent in North India and, more recently, Nepal (Birch 2013). The second chapter of the shorter redaction begins with Vāmadeva asking Śiva to teach him the advanced yoga that should follow the preliminary one he has learned. Śiva replies that the advanced yoga is called Rājayoga,20 and it is made clear early in this chapter that the main technique of Rājayoga, namely śāmbhavī

18  Yogatārāvalī 29 (vicaratu matir eṣā nirvikalpe samādhau kucakalaśayuge vā kṛṣṇasārekṣaṇānām | caratu japam ajasraṃ jalpam alpaṃ samaṃ vā matikṛtaguṇadoṣā māṃ vibhuṃ na spṛśanti). 19  The earliest dated manuscript known to me that has both chapters and the name Amanaska is at the Sanskrit University Library (Sarasvati Bhavana), Varanasi (Ms No. 30111). It is dated saṃ vat 1778 sare ‘smin vaiśākhamāse kṛṣṇapakṣe saptamyāṃ bhṛguvāre, which is 18.4.1721 ce. The earliest text to quote verses from both chapters with attribution to the Amanaska is the Gorakṣasiddhāntasaṅ graha, which may date to the nineteenth century (Birch  2013: 165–6). The terminus ad quem of the Amanaska’s first chapter is Śivānandasarasvatī’s Yogacintāmaṇi, which was composed in the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century (Birch 2014: 403). 20  Amanaska 1–3ab: ‘Vāmadeva said, “O Lord, chief god of gods, [you] who are beautiful because of [your] supreme bliss, I have obtained the extensive preliminary yoga by your favour. Tell [me] about that other [yoga] which was mentioned by your lordship.” Śiva replied, “The preliminary [yoga] is furnished with external mudrās and [thus] it is regarded as an external yoga. [Whereas] the other [yoga] is richly endowed with an internal mudrā [and] for that reason, it alone is the internal yoga. The [internal yoga] is called Rājayoga. O chief of sages.” ’ (vāmadeva uvāca | bhagavan devadeveśa paramānandasundara | tvatprasādān mayā labdhaḥ pūrvayogaḥ savistaraḥ | aparaṃ kiṃ tad ākhyāhi bhavatā yad udīritam ||1|| īśvara uvāca | bahirmudrānvitaṃ pūrvaṃ bahiryogaṃ ca tan matam | antarmudrāḍhyam aparam antaryogaṃ tad eva hi ||2|| rājayogaḥ sa kathitaḥ sa eva munipuṅ gava).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

208  Jason Birch mudrā, bestows liberation-in-life.21 The simple assumption behind the practice of this mudrā is that liberation arises when both the mind and breath disappear. The following verse succinctly states this: Therefore, having abandoned all sense objects because of meditation on an aspectless self, the breath disappears, then the mind and, because of the dis­ appear­ance of that, liberation arises. O adepts, having realised this, first and foremost make an effort to accomplish the no-mind state, which is natural, pure, aspectless and unchanging.22

Liberation is contrasted with transmigration (saṃsāra) in the same terms. The former arises when the mind is still and the latter when the mind is moving.23 The text pursues this idea to its logical conclusion, that being that the yogin in samādhi is liberated:24 [The Rājayogin] who always remains as though asleep in the state of waking and is free from breathing in and out, is certainly liberated.25

The Amanaska does not teach yogic suicide (utkrānti) nor does it mention a transformative process after the no-mind state has been attained.26 The question of whether the yogin engages with the world after liberation is answered towards the end of the text: For one who is thus [well absorbed27], meritorious and unmeritorious actions are completely destroyed. When those actions are being performed by such a sage, they do not taint him at all. The wise person in whom the bliss of the 21  Amanaska 2.15: ‘[Just as Arjuna’s] fist [aimed his bow] upwards [at the yantra], [yet] his gaze was [on Rādhā’s reflection in a bowl of oil] below; his piercing [of the target] was above, [yet] his head was [tilted] down, [just so the yogin practises śāmbhavī mudrā.] He will become liberated-in-life by [this] method of [gazing down at] Rādhā and [aiming upwards at the] yantra’ (ūrdhvamuṣt ̣ir adhodṛṣt ̣ir ūrdhvavedhas tv adhaḥśirāḥ | rādhāyantravidhānena jīvanmukto bhaviṣyati). 22  Amanaska 2.41 (tasmāt tyaktvā sakalaviṣayān niṣkalādhyātmayogād vayor nāśas tadanu manasas tadvināśāc ca mokṣaḥ | sañcintyaivaṃ sahajam amalaṃ niṣkalaṃ nirvikāraṃ prāptuṃ yatnaṃ kuruta kuśalāḥ pūrvam evāmanaskam). 23  Amanaska 2.92 (citte calati saṃ sāro ’cale mokṣaḥ prajāyate | tasmāc cittaṃ sthirīkuryād audāsīnyaparāyaṇaḥ). Cf. Devīkālottara 10 and Śivayogaratna 3 (citte calati saṃ sāro niścale mokṣa eva tu | tasmāc cittaṃ sthiraṃ kuryāt prajñayā parayā budhaḥ). 24  For these qualifications of the no-mind state, see Amanaska 2.41, 77, 110. 25  Amanaska 2.59, 60cd, 62 (sadā jāgradavasthāyāṃ suptavad yo ’vatiṣt ̣hate | niśvāsocchvāsahīnaś ca niścitaṃ mukta eva saḥ). 26  This contrasts with the first chapter of the Amanaska (probably composed in the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century). The end of the first chapter states that the yogin spends twenty-four years in samādhi, at which time he remains absorbed in the Śakti element, sees the entire world as a pearl in his hand, and truly knows the essential nature of his own body (1.82–3). The teachings of the first chapter are prompted by Vāmadeva asking Śiva for a means to liberation-in-life (jīvanmukti). 27 The previous two verses (2.98–9) describe the highest stage of yoga called ‘well-absorbed’ (suśliṣt ̣a).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  209 nat­ural [no-mind state] has emerged, who is naturally devoted to constant practice and who has completely freed himself of all volition, relinquishes action.28

The liberated yogin, as conceived by the Amanaska, remains free of intention (san˙kalpa) and action, because of his constant practice of yoga (sadābhyāsa). Thus, even if he were to do something, he remains free of karmic effects (karmatyāga). The text’s emphasis on a liberation free from action and cognition, with the exception of bliss (2.97–8, 100), is further reinforced by the theme of detachment (audāsīnya), which is prescribed for the practice (2.52, 54) and continues in the no-mind state (2.80).

1.5. The Gorakṣaśataka The yoga of the Gorakṣaśataka aims at liberation from the world (bhavamukti) through gnostic realizations about the body and universe, which occur after the attainment of samādhi by the conquest of the breath (marujjaya) and the raising of kuṇḍalinī.29 The breath is conquered by adopting a moderate diet (mitāhāra), a yogic posture (āsana), and moving kuṇḍalinī (śakticāla) (11). The text does not refer to Hat ̣ha- or Rājayoga, but it is the earliest known text to teach four of the Hat ̣hapradīpikā’s eight breath retentions (kumbhaka).30 The Gorakṣaśataka’s description of samādhi is very brief. It simply says: Now, I shall teach the best method for samādhi (samādhikrama), which is deathdestroying and a means to [transcendental] happiness. It always brings about the bliss of Brahman.31

The ‘best method’ referred to here is stimulating sarasvatī (i.e. kuṇḍalinī) by manipulating the tongue with a cloth (sarasvatīcālana) and performing the kumbh­akas with the three internal locks (bandha) (51ab). The kumbhakas are supposed to move the breath into the central channel (63ab) and raise kuṇdạ linī (75). The connection between samādhi and liberation is not stated explicitly in the Gorakṣaśataka. However, one might infer from the following description of the

28  Amanaska 2.99–100 (evaṃ bhūtasya karmāṇi puṇyāpuṇyāni saṃ kṣayam | prayānti naiva l­impanti kriyamāṇāni sādhunā || utpannasahajānandaḥ sadābhyāsarataḥ svayam | sarvasaṅ kalpasaṃ tyaktaḥ sa vidvān karma saṃ tyajet). 29 The Gorakṣaśataka being discussed here has 101 verses. It is different to another yoga text of the  same name, which has nearly 200 verses that are similar to those of the Vivekamārtaṇḍa. See Bouy 1994: 40–1. 30 These kumbhakas are called sūryā, ujjāyī, śītalī, and bhastrī. 31  Gorakṣaśataka 63cd–64ab (athedānīṃ pravakṣyāmi samādhikramam uttamam | mṛtyughnaṃ sukhadopāyaṃ brahmānandakaraṃ sadā).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

210  Jason Birch liberated yogin that he is in a state of samādhi, because it is similar to accounts of samādhi in other yoga texts of this corpus: He is indeed liberated whose mind is at rest because of yoga, not awake, asleep or in any other [state] and does not cease or arise. One whose breath does not flow in or out; does not move in the left or right [nostril] and does not go up or down, is undoubtedly liberated. There are two causes of the mind: a past impression (vāsanā) and the breath. When one of the two disappears, then both also disappear. Therefore, conquer the breath first. Thus, a man who is bound is liberated and is freed from old age and so on.32

The Gorakṣaśataka does not use the term jīvanmukti. However, its last twelve verses, which have been poorly preserved by the two available manuscripts, appear to describe seven levels of liberating gnosis, without mentioning any siddhis. The conclusion does not suggest that the yogin casts off his body, but remains alive in a gnostic state.

1.6. The Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā and the Yogayājñavalkya The Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā and the Yogayājñavalkya can be discussed together, because the former was the source of much of the latter’s content. In fact, the Yogayājñavalkya borrows over 250 of its verses from the first four chapters of the Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā (2005: 28) and simply adds some additional passages. Both works teach a very similar type of aṣt ̣ān˙gayoga that derives from earlier Vaiṣṇava works, in particular the Vimānārcanākalpa (Mallinson 2014: 227–8), a Vaikhanāsa work that may date to the ninth century (Colas 2003: 158). Also, the yoga of the Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā and the Yogayājñavalkya is similar in content and style to that of the Sūtasaṃ hitā33 and some Pāñcarātrika texts, such as the Ahirbudhnyasaṃ hitā. Sometime between the thirteenth and fifteenth century, it appears that this aṣt ̣āṅ gayoga was combined with the ten mudrās of Kapila to form a system of Hat ̣hayoga, as evinced in the Dattātreyayogaśāstra (29). However, neither the Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā nor the Yogayājñavalkya refer to their yoga as Hat ̣ha- or Rājayoga. The current version of the Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā has eight chapters. The first four appear to have been either the earliest layer of the current text, to which the 32  Gorakṣaśataka 7–10 (cittaṃ prasuptaṃ yogena jāgrat suptaṃ na cānyathā | nāstam eti na codeti yasyāsau mukta eva hi ||7|| praveśe nirgame vāme dakṣiṇe cordhvam apy adhaḥ | na yasya vāyur vahati sa mukto nātra saṃ śayaḥ ||8|| hetudvayaṃ ca cittasya vāsanā ca samīraṇaḥ | tayor vinaṣt ̣a ekasmiṃ s tad dvāv api vinaśyataḥ ||9|| tasmād ādau samīrasya vijayaṃ kuru samyutaḥ | yas tv evaṃ puruṣo mukto bhaven mukto jarādibhiḥ ||10||. Cf. Mokṣopāya 5.92.48 (dve bīje rāma cittasya prāṇaspandanavāsane | ekasmiṃ ś ca tayor naṣt ̣e kṣipraṃ dve api naśyataḥ). 33  See chapters 12–20 of the jñānayogakhaṇḍa in the Sūtasaṃhitā.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  211 other chapters were added at a later time, or a different work with which the other chapters were combined to create the Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā.34 The first four chapters appear to have been composed by Vaiṣṇava Smārta Brahmins, whereas the other chapters may derive from Śaiva sources.35 The Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā (1.24–31) and the Yogayājñavalkya (1.24–44) present aṣt ̣āṅ gayoga as an auxiliary to internal gnostic daily rites (nityakarma). Following the injunctions of the Vedas, both texts enjoin the performance of daily rites for attaining liberation, but divide them into external and internal rites. The internal rite is a contemplative practice that should be accompanied by knowledge (jñāna), which is later defined as aṣt ̣āṅ gayoga: The internal [rite] is a practice according to [Vedic] rule [done] with only the intellect on the self [. . .]. O learned Brahmin, since even gnostics desirous of liberation do rites, you also should perform these rites with knowledge. [. . .] Know that [this] knowledge is essentially yoga and yoga is located in oneself. This yoga is endowed with eight auxiliaries and it is said to be a religion for all.36

The Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā and the Yogayājñavalkya claim that liberation-in-life (jīvanmukti) can be achieved by the practice of yoga.37 Samādhi is discussed at length because the system of aṣt ̣āṅ gayoga culminates in it. However, in the section on meditation (dhyāna), an interesting distinction between liberation-in-life and permanent liberation is suggested: After a year [of visualizing nectar in meditation], one is without doubt liberated while living. One liberated-in-life never incurs suffering at any place. What 34  The fact that the main topic of the Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā’s first four chapters is a Vaiṣṇava version of aṣt ̣āṅ gayoga and that the fourth chapter concludes with verses proclaiming the merits of reading the text indicates that these chapters were written as a unit. The remaining chapters introduce new topics, namely, knowing the time of death (nāśakāla), overcoming death by means of samādhi, seeing auspicious and inauspicious results and the time of death at equinoctial and solstitial points (ayana), and signs (cihna) of death. 35 The Vaiṣṇava background of this aṣt ̣āṅ gayoga is revealed by references to Viṣṇu (e.g. Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā 1.11–1.12 Yogayājñavalkya 1.12–1.13, 12.45–12.46), visualization practices on Viṣṇu (e.g. Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā 4.27–4.38, Yogayājñavalkya 9.13–9.23), etc., as well as the Vaiṣṇava textual sources from which it is adapted (mentioned above). The Smārta element is the Vedic framing of the teachings in the first chapter of both works, references on caste and position in life (varṇāśrama) (e.g. Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā 1.20–1.25, Yogayājñavalkya 1.21–1.25), the importance of performing Vedic rites with gnosis (see below), etc. The Śaiva orientation of the sixth chapter is indicated by the mention of Rudra and the recitation of the tryambaka verse in various methods for conquering death. I would like to thank Lubomír Ondračka for bringing this Śaiva influence in the Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā to my attention. 36  Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā 1.23cd, 27, 1.31 (ābhyantaraṃ tu buddhyaiva vidhyānuṣt ̣hānam ātmani || yataḥ karmaiva kurvanti jñānino ’pi mumukṣavaḥ | tatas tvam api viprendra jñānenācara karma tat || [. . .] jñānaṃ yogātmakaṃ viddhi yogaś cātmani tiṣt ̣hati | sa yogo ’ṣt ̣āṅ gasaṃ yuktaḥ sarvadharmaḥ sa ucyate ||123d vidhy- ] mss. ra, la, śa, buddhy- ed). Cf. Yogayājñavalkya 1.39 and 1.44. 37  The term jīvanmukta is mentioned at Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā 4.14d and 4.47a and Yogayājñavalkya 9.41a.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

212  Jason Birch more [can be said] of one permanently liberated (nityamukta)? For this reason, liberation [proper] is difficult to obtain. Therefore, O learned Brahmin, for attaining liberation follow my teaching and do daily rites, which are void of rewards, in conjunction with knowledge (i.e., aṣṭāṅ gayoga).38

This statement implies that liberation-in-life was not thought to be permanent in this tradition. The notion of two types of liberation is somewhat similar to attempts by some Vedāntin philosophers to distinguish between liberation-inlife and liberation at death, the latter of which is sometimes said to be more complete because all karma is exhausted.39 In the Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā and the Yogayājñavalkya, the concept of a permanent liberation implies that the yogin must continue to perform daily rites or, in this case, yoga, even when liberatedin-life. The twofold liberation, as well as the defining of yoga as a form of daily ritual, appears to have been contrived to defend Brahmin householders from accusations that they were transgressing the Vedas by not doing daily rites when engaged in the practice of yoga and inactive states of meditation. In the following passage, the Yogayājñavalkya addresses this point more explicitly than the Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā: Gārgi asked, “O lord, how can a man engaged in yoga perform his vedic rites regularly or at the junctures of the day? What is the expiation for one not doing them?” [. . .] Yājñavalkya replied, “O Gārgi, for a man engaged in yoga, the rites that should be done at the junctures of the day or at night have been accomplished by his yoga [practice]. When his own [internal] fire of the agnihotra rite is ignited by breath retentions, what expiation is needed by [such a yogin,] who is offering rites as taught by vedic injunction with his purified mind as the oblation, O child? Then, indeed, he is one who has performed his rites. When sep­ar­ ation (viyoga) of the individual self with the supreme self is experienced, knowers of Brahman should regularly perform rites as taught by vedic injunction. At the time of separation, the yogin who abandons his rites, thinking ‘it is only suffering’, his resting place is hell. Since people cannot abandon their rites entirely, yogins should always perform their vedic rites until death. O Gārgi, do not be one who has transgressed. Perform your vedic rites.”40 38  Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā 4.46cd–48 (vatsarān mukta eva syāj jīvann eva na saṃ śayaḥ || jīvanmuktasya na kvāpi duḥkhāvāptiḥ kadācana | kiṃ punar nityamuktasya tasmān muktir hi durlabhā || tasmāt tvam api viprendra muktaye kuru madvacaḥ | jñānena saha karmāṇi phalaśūnyāni nityaśaḥ). Cf. Yogayājñavalkya 9.41. 39  For example, Sāṅ khyapravacanabhāṣya 1.1 (of Vijñānabhikṣu): ‘The respective difference is that, in the state of liberation-in-life, latent states of suffering called seeds are burnt except for the consequences of [currently] activated karma (prārabdhakarma), whereas in bodiless liberation it is [all] destroyed along with the mind’ (jīvanmuktidaśāyāṃ ca prārabdhakarmaphalātiriktānāṃ duḥkhānām anāgatāvasthānāṃ bījākhyānāṃ dāho, videhakaivalye tu cittena saha vināśa ity avāntaraviśeṣaḥ). 40  Yogayājñavalkya 11.2 11.4–11.9 (gārgy uvāca | yogayukto naraḥ svāmin sandhyayor vāthavā sadā | vaidhaṃ karma kathaṃ kuryān niṣkṛtiḥ kā tv akurvataḥ || yājñavalkya uvāca | yogayuktamanuṣyasya sandhyayor vāthavā niśi | yat kartavyaṃ varārohe yogena khalu tat kṛtam || ātmāgnihotravahnau tu

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  213

1.7. The Amṛtasiddhi The Amṛtasiddhi does not call its system of yoga Hat ̣ha- or Rājayoga. Nonetheless, it is the earliest known textual source on three physical mudrās, namely mahāmudrā, mahābandha, and mahāvedha, which became important techniques in nearly all medieval systems of Hat ̣hayoga. The Amṛtasiddhi also contains detailed descriptions of certain theoretical notions, such as a store of semen in the head being slowly consumed by the fire of the abdomen and the interdependence of semen, mind, and breath, that are mentioned in many subsequent yoga texts (Mallinson  2016a: 6). However, much of its detailed and somewhat eccentric hybrid doctrine, which appears to have been intended for esoteric Buddhists who had rejected deity yoga (Szántó  2016), is absent in Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga texts. The Amṛtasiddhi contains chapters on samādhi and jīvanmukti, the latter term being extremely rare in Buddhist works,41 despite it occurring in Śaiva and vedāntic works of the same era.42 The chapter on samādhi immediately follows a chapter on the mastery of the breath (vāyusiddhi), in which the breath becomes still when the sound of a drum (mardala) arises in the central channel (25.2). This causes samādhi, which is described as follows: [When] that breath is full of perfection and motionless in the central channel, then the mind becomes full of bliss and uniform like the sky. When the mind is full of bliss and is free from external afflictions, sufferings of the world are extinguished and samādhi then arises.43

According to the next chapter, the attainment of samādhi prefects the mind: When the mind is refined by samādhi and full of natural bliss, then it is perfected and destroys all suffering and fear.44 prāṇāyāmair vivardhite | viśuddhacittahaviṣā vidhyuktaṃ karma juhvataḥ || niṣkṛtis tasya kiṃ bāle kṛtakṛtyas tadā khalu | viyoge sati samprāpte jīvātmaparamātmanoḥ || vidhyuktaṃ karma kartavyaṃ brahmavidbhiś ca nityaśaḥ | viyogakāle yogī ca duḥkham ity eva yas tyajet || karmāṇi tasya nilayaḥ nirayaḥ parikīrtitaḥ | na dehināṃ yataḥ śakyaṃ tyaktum karmāṇy aśeṣataḥ || tasmād ā maraṇād vaidhaṃ kartavyaṃ yogibhiḥ sadā | tvaṃ caiva mātyayā gārgi vaidhaṃ karma samācara). 41  I am aware of references to jīvanmukti (or -mukta) in only two works relevant to Buddhism. The first is the Vādarasāvalī of Vindhyavāsī and the second is the Śrīmitra inscription (1183–92 ce). I wish to thank Péter-Dániel Szántó for informing me of these references. Schaeffer (2002: 521–2) notes the peculiarities of the Amṛtasiddhi’s psychophysical realization (i.e. jīvanmukti) and says that the Amṛtasiddhi is the ‘only work transmitted to Tibet that I yet know of which develops this char­ac­ter­is­ tic­al­ly un-Buddhist notion of liberation’. 42  For references to jīvanmukti in such works, see L. Bansat-Boudon (2013), O.S. Saraogi (2010), W. Slaje (2000a), etc. 43  Amṛtasiddhi 26.1–2 (yo [’]sau siddhimayo vāyur madhyamāpadaniścalaḥ || tadānandamayaṃ cittam ekarūpaṃ nabhaḥsamam || yadānandamayaṃ cittaṃ bāhyakleśavivarjitam || bhavaduḥkhāni saṃ hṛtya samādhir jāyate tadā || iti samādhivivekaḥ). 44  Amṛtasiddhi 27.1 (yadāsamādhisaṃ pannaṃ sahajānandasaṃ bhuṛtam | cittam eva tadā siddhaṃ sarvaduḥkhabhayāpaham || iti siddhacittavivekaḥ).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

214  Jason Birch The Amṛtasiddhi’s chapter on liberation-in-life begins with the piercing of Rudra’s knot (granthi), which moves the breath to Śiva’s throne located between the eyebrows (30.1ab).45 The yogin’s body, speech, and mind are perfected, culminating in the attainment of the great siddhi that bestows the reward of liberation-in-life (30.3), as well as various other siddhis. The liberated yogin is said to be all-knowing (sarvajña), all-seeing (sarvadarśin), and so on, as well as having all eight lordly powers (sarvaiśvaryaguṇopeta). In other words, this liberated state is characterized by the power to know and do anything, including helping others achieve liberation.46 Nonetheless, the chapter concludes by saying the following: Wandering through the cycle of samsāra, which is the cage of the three worlds, the yogin, having easily broken [this cycle], becomes powerful and full of bliss. In this way, perfected yogins play on mountain peaks and in caves for hundreds, thousands and [even] hundreds of thousands of years. Indifferent to knowledge of the external world and devoted to samādhi, these yogins, who see with gnosis, remain in a place free of people. They live thus and are seen doing what has to be done. These yogins, who are perfected in the form of victors (jina), should be known as liberated-in-life.47

The Amṛtasiddhi’s conception of the liberated yogin melds the idea of an allpowerful being, who enjoys the world, with the transcendent notion of a yogin who is indifferent to the world and devoted to samādhi and a secluded life. A subsequent verse states that the liberated yogin should use his power to make his body in­vis­ible.48 Such a view of the body, which was also adopted by the author of the Yogabīja, appears to be the logical outcome of achieving embodied immortality and complete transcendence over materiality. The notion of invisible siddhas in caves and on mountain peaks is an early precursor of more recent myths of ancient sādhus living in the Himalayas, who allegedly reveal themselves to only genuine seekers.49 45  Amṛtasiddhi 30.1ab (rudragranthiṃ tadā bhittvā pavanaḥ śarvapīt ̣hagaḥ | śarva- ] emend.: sarvaEd.). Cf. Hat ̣hapradīpikā 4.76. The Jyotsnā (4.76) locates śarvapīt ̣ha between the eyebrows ([. . .] śarvasyeśvarasya pīt ̣haṃ sthānaṃ bhrūmadhyaṃ [. . .]). 46  Amṛtasiddhi 31.10a: ‘Content, he helps people cross over’ (saṃ tuṣt ̣as tārayel lokān). 47  Amṛtasiddhi 31.11–14 (bhraman sāṃ sārikaṃ cakraṃ bhuvanatrayapañjaram || tad bhittvā helayā yogī yāty ānandamayo vibhuḥ | evaṃ varṣasahasrāṇi lakṣāṇi ca śatāni ca | parvatāgre guhāyāṃ ca krīḍanti siddhayoginaḥ || viraktā bāhyavijñāne raktāḥ samādhimadhyataḥ | tiṣt ̣hanti vijane sthāne yogino jñānacakṣuṣaḥ || evaṃ bhūtāś ca tiṣt ̣ḥanti dṛśyante kāryaśālinaḥ | jīvanmuktāś ca te jñeyā ye siddhā jinarūpiṇaḥ || iti jīvanmuktilakṣaṇavivekaḥ). 48  Amṛtasiddhi 34.3: ‘The holder of yoga, who has been perfected thus by samādhi and delighted by the three blisses, should make his body invisible by his power’ (evaṃ samādhisaṃ panna ānandatrayananditaḥ | śarīragopanaṃ kuryād aiśvaryeṇa ca yogadhṛk). 49 For example, Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahamsa Yogananda (1946), Living with the Himalayan Masters by Swami Rama and Swami Ajaya (1978), etc. This myth is also found in theosophical works, such as The Masters and the Path by C.W. Leadbeater (1925), and it appears to have inspired the formation of the esoteric sub-branch of the Theosophical Society called ‘The Himalayan School of Adepts’ in the 1880s.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  215

1.8. The Amaraughaprabodha Recently discovered manuscript evidence has revealed that there are two recensions of the Amaraughaprabodha (Birch 2019). Kalyani Mallik’s (1954) published edition of the Amaraughaprabodha, which was based on one manuscript (1954: 34), presents a long recension of seventy-five verses. Two unpublished manuscripts preserve a shorter one of forty-six verses.50 The short recension is the older of the two and may be one of the earliest works, probably predating the Dattātreyayogaśāstra, to teach the combination of Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga (Birch  2019: 26). In fact, both recensions have a system of four yogas: Mantra-, Laya-, Hat ̣ha-, and Rājayoga. They are defined succinctly in the following shared verse: Laya is taught as that [yoga] which is a constant flow of mental activity [on the deity51] and Haṭha is that [yoga] which is accomplished by the breath and internal resonance. Mantrayoga is that [practice] which controls the mantra-body [of a deity]. Rājayoga is that [state] which is free of mental activity.52

Rājayoga is the goal of the first three yogas (see below). It is also described as beyond the state of duality,53 an abode of awakening and full of eternal bliss.54 Rājayoga is clearly the main concern of the Amaraughaprabodha, because the term amaraugha is said to be a synonym of Rājayoga.55 Amaraugha is also redolent of the divyaugha, a divine stream of teachings mentioned in earlier Kaula scriptures.56 The claim encoded in the term amaraugha, that it transmits the highest teachings emanating from Śiva, may have been intended to conceal the fact that its system of Hat ̣hayoga was largely derived from the yoga of a Vajrayāna tradition, which was recorded in the Amṛtasiddhi.57

50 Manuscripts 1448 (GOML) and 70,528 (Adyar) preserve the short recension of the Amaraughaprabodha and four other manuscripts, namely 4340 (GOML), 75,278 (Adyar), 7970 (Baroda), and 179a (Tirupati), the long one. For further details, see Birch 2019. 51 In other yoga texts, Layayoga is defined as the dissolution of mental activity (e.g. Dattātreyayogaśāstra 15, Yogabīja 150cd–151ab, etc.). However, the section on Layayoga in the Amaraughaprabodha (19–20) describes it as the meditation practice of visualizing Śiva. 52  Amaraughaprabodha 3 (yaś cittasantatagatiḥ sa layaḥ pradiṣt ̣o yaś ca prabhañjananinādakṛto hat ̣haḥ saḥ | yo mantramūrtivaśagaḥ sa tu mantrayogo yaś cittavṛttirahitaḥ sa tu rājayogaḥ). 53  Amaraughaprabodha 2cd (caturtho rājayogaś ca dvidhābhāvavivarjitaḥ). 54  Amaraughaprabodha 6cd literally says, ‘Even after the various practices of yogins, the breath does not go into the base [of the torso] without the respected Rājayoga, which is an abode of awakening and full of eternal bliss’ (ādhāre pavano na yāti vividhād abhyāsato yogināṃ nityānandamayāt prabodhanilayāc chrīrājayogād ṛte). 55  Amaraughaprabodha 17ab: ‘For, this unique amaraugha alone is called Rājayoga’ (eka evāmaraugho hi rājayogābhidhānakaḥ). 56  I am grateful to Somadeva Vasudeva for pointing this out to me. For more information on divyaugha, see the Tāntrikābhidhānakośa vol. 3 (2013: 168). 57 The Amaraughaprabodha’s section on Hat ̣hayoga borrows several verses on its main techniques from the Amṛtasiddhi (Mallinson 2016a: 113).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

216  Jason Birch In the Amaraughaprabodha, Rājayoga is described as uniting the mind with a flute-like sound. In the short redaction, the main section on Rājayoga is at the end of the text: When the mind has become one [with the flute-like sound], then it is called Rājayoga. [The yogin] becomes a creator and destroyer [of the universe] and an equal to the god of yogins. [In Rājayoga] there is no resonance, no bondage, no consciousness nor even unconsciousness [and so] there is no subsequent practice whatsoever. [This state] is called Rājayoga. [For the Rājayogin,] that into which the universe is easily dissolved is called [Śiva’s] liṅ ga. The power of consciousness, which is difficult to understand because of its unfathomable form, has the radiance of the three worlds. Gnosis is that which removes all obstacles of wealth, sense objects and world interaction. [And] mind is that which playfully destroys the veil of unlimited time.58

The short recension adds only two verses to the above passage, one of which claims that the four yogas were taught by the honourable Gorakṣanātha, who is always abiding in samādhi (amaraugha), for the sole attainment of Rājayoga.59 Although liberation is not mentioned explicitly, the final impression is that of a liberated yogin continuing to live in Rājayoga with the power of Śiva. His immortality is affirmed by earlier references in the text (10, 14, 24, 32, etc.), so it is clear that liberation-in-life was intended. In fact, immortality is implied by the term amaraugha, which can mean the ‘tradition of immortals (amara)’.

1.9. The Dattātreyayogaśāstra The Dattātreyayogaśāstra teaches the same system of four yogas as the Amaraughaprabodha (i.e. Mantra-, Laya-, Hat ̣ha-, and Rājayoga), the last of which is said to be the best (10).60 The Dattātreyayogaśāstra’s Laya- and Hat ̣hayoga bring together a much larger repertoire of techniques than those of the Amṛtasiddhi and the Amaraughaprabodha. Its Rājayoga is said to arise as a result of practising the other yogas:

58  Amaraughaprabodha 44–6 (ekībhūtaṃ tadā cittaṃ rājayogābhidhānakam | sṛṣt ̣isaṃ hārakartāsau yogeśvarasamo bhavet ||44|| na nādo na ca bandhaś ca na cittaṃ nāpy acetanam | nābhyāsam uttaraṃ kiñ cit rājayogo nigadyate ||45|| līnaṃ yatra carācaraṃ sukhavaśāt tal liṅ gam ity ucyate sā cicchaktir acintyarūpagahanā lokatrayodbhāsinī | taj jñānaṃ yad aśeṣavastuviṣayavyāpāravārāpahaṃ tac cittaṃ yad asīmakālapat ̣alapradhvaṃ sanaṃ helayā ||46||. I would like to thank Dominic Goodall, Diwakar Acharya, and Gavin Flood for their comments on these verses. 59  Amaraughaprabodha 47 (śrīmadgorakṣanāthena sadāmaraughavartinā || layamantrahat ̣hāḥ proktā rājayogāya kevalaṃ ). 60  See section 2.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  217 With all these [techniques of Mantra, Laya, and Haṭha], one should practice [yoga] at the appropriate time. Then, Rājayoga arises and certainly not otherwise. Success does not arise through mere theory, but by practice alone. Having obtained the supreme [state of] Rājayoga, which subjugates all beings, [the yogin] can do anything or nothing, acting as he desires.61

The liberation offered by the Dattātreyayogaśāstra is clearly liberation-in-life (jīvanmukti), which is mentioned in a passage on the practice of a formless meditation that leads to samādhi: Within only twelve days [of practising formless meditation], one can achieve samādhi. Having stopped the breath, the wise person is surely liberated-in-life. Samādhi is the state of sameness of the individual self with the supreme self.62

Unlike other works in this corpus, the Dattātreyayogaśāstra describes the choice that arises for the liberated yogin at some point in samādhi: If [the yogin] has the desire to cast off his body and if he does so naturally, he dissolves into the supreme Brahman, having abandoned [all] action, good and bad. And if his own body is dear to him and he desires not to cast it off, he can wander in all the worlds, endowed with the siddhis beginning with minimisation. Having become a god whenever he desires it, he could also live in heaven. Or he may instantly become either a man or a spirit by his own wish. He may become a creature, by his wish, a lion, tiger, elephant or horse. Thus, by his will, the wise yogin lives as a great god.63

While seeming to acknowledge the dichotomy of a disembodied and embodied liberation, the Dattātreyayogaśāstra attempts to reconcile the two by presenting them as a choice. Embodied liberation is framed as a transformation into an allpowerful, shape-shifting god, who presumably remains free from the consequences of his actions. This theistic liberation, so to speak, overshadows a suspicion the author has towards siddhis in the case of one who is not liberated. The following comment is made earlier in the text after a passage describing the siddhis attained by the practice of prāṇāyāma: 61  Dattātreyayogaśāstra 159cd–161 (etaiḥ sarvais tu kathitair abhyaset kālakālataḥ || tato bhaved rājayogo nāntarā bhavati dhruvam | na diṅ mātreṇa siddhiḥ syād abhyāsenaiva jāyate || rājayogavaraṃ prāpya sarvasattvavaśaṃ karam | sarvaṃ kuryān na vā kuryād yathāruciviceṣt ̣itam). 62  Dattātreyayogaśāstra 125–126ab (dinadvādaśakenaiva samādhiṃ samavāpnuyāt | vāyuṃ nirudhya medhāvī jīvanmukto bhaved dhruvam ||125|| samādhiḥ samatāvasthā jīvātmaparamātmanoḥ). 63  Dattātreyayogaśāstra 127–130ab (yadi syād deham utsraṣt ̣um icchā ced utsṛjet svayam | atha cen no samutsraṣt ̣uṃ svaśarīraṃ yadi priyam || sarvalokeṣu vicared aṇimādiguṇānvitaḥ | kadā cit svecchayā devo bhūtvā svarge ’pi saṃ caret || manuṣyo vāpi yakṣo vā svecchayā hi kṣaṇād bhavet | siṃ ho vyāghro gajo vāśvaḥ icchayā jantutāṃ vrajet || yatheṣt ̣am evaṃ varteta yogī vidvān maheśvaraḥ).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

218  Jason Birch These [siddhis] are obstacles to the great accomplishment [of liberation]. The wise [yogin] should not delight in them, and he should never show his power to anyone. He should behave among people as a dumb, stupid or deaf person, in order to keep his power secret.64

1.10. The Yogabīja The Yogabīja is a dialogue between Śiva (īśvara) and Devī that teaches Rājayoga as the culmination of the same fourfold system of yoga as the Amaraughaprabodha and the Dattātreyayogaśāstra. The printed editions present a late recension of the work that predates the Yogacintāmaṇi (seventeenth century) and has nearly thirty additional verses, including the well-known definition of hat ̣ha as the union of the sun and moon, which are not in an earlier recension.65 The following discussion is based on passages in the earlier recension, which has not been published but is preserved by two manuscripts.66 Unlike other Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga texts, the Yogabīja argues that both gnosis and yoga are needed for liberation. Devī plays the role of the contentious inquisitor and asks at one point whether yoga is necessary at all for liberation: Because of ignorance alone, there is transmigration and because of knowledge alone, one is freed. Therefore, tell me clearly what can be accomplished by yoga in this regard?67

Three main reasons underlie Śiva’s argument against the notion that gnosis alone can liberate. Firstly the nature of gnosis can be known at first but there is no accomplishment (sādhana) when gnosis alone arises,68 because the individual

64  Dattātreyayogaśāstra 101–103ab (ete vighnā mahāsiddher na ramet teṣu buddhimān | na darśayec ca kasmai cit svasāmarthyaṃ hi sarvadā || kadā cid darśayet prītyā bhaktiyuktāya vā punaḥ | yathā mūrkho yathā mūḍho yathā badhira eva vā || tathā varteta lokeṣu svasāmarthyasya guptaye). 65 The additional verses are 1–3ab, 65–6, 92, 94, 99–125, 148cd–149ab, 150ac, and 187 of the Gorakhnath Mandir Edition. Many of these verses are found in the Gorakṣaśataka, the Dattatreyayogaśāstra, and the Hat ̣hapradīpikā. Two of them are unique to this recension of the Yogabīja and the Hat ̣hapradīpikā, so it remains a possibility that the former predates the latter. However, it also seems more likely that these extra verses were borrowed by Svātmārāma from a different work, which is currently unknown. 66 These manuscripts are: Yogabīja, Ms No. SB29917 (P.S.  49941, Ā. 8772), Saraswati Bhawan Library, Varanasi and Yogabīja, Ms No. 72341, Adyar Library and Research Centre, Chennai. The former is in a Nepalese type of Devanagari and the latter is in Telugu script. 67  Yogabīja 18 (ajñānād eva saṃ sāro jñānād eva vimucyate | yogenātra tu kiṃ kāryaṃ me prasannagirā vada || yogenātra ] 29917: yogenaiva 72341). 68  Yogabīja 19 (satyam etat tvayoktaṃ te kathayāmi sureśvari | jñānasvarūpam evādau jñeyaṃ jñāne na sādhanam).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  219 (jīva) cannot be freed from faults (doṣa) by gnosis (19–21)69 in spite of knowing the aspected and aspectless nature of the self, the gnostic living in the world continues to be influenced by past impressions (vāsanā) and cannot be liberated without yoga (22–29). Finally, gnostics whose bodies have not been cooked by the fire of yoga are subject to suffering, disease, and death (30–41), and only yogins conquer the body and death (42–54). In explaining the last reason, liberation-inlife is raised for the first time in the text as follows: O moon-faced Goddess, you ask what death is for the [yogin]. He does not die again because of the power of yoga. He has already died. [Therefore,] how could death arise for one who has died? Where there is death for all [mortals], there he lives happily. However, where the deluded live, there he is always dead. There is nothing he ought to do and he is not stained by what he has done. He is always liberated-in-life, always resides in himself and free from all faults. [All] others, [namely] ascetics and gnostics, are always conquered by the body. How are they equal to yogins? They are lumps of flesh with defective bodies.70

In the Yogabīja, the liberated yogin has the freedom to know everything and act at will, because of the attainment of siddhis: [The yogin] becomes omniscient, can change shape at will and move as quickly as the wind. He plays in the three worlds and all the siddhis arise [for him]. A great yogin, he undoubtedly becomes a god, the creator of all, autonomous, may take all forms [at once], and is liberated-in-life.71

In keeping with the view that the yogin does not die, bodiless liberation (videhamukti) is rejected explicitly. In fact, the author explains that the gross elements of the body are burnt up by the fire of yoga, which makes the body like ether (ākāśa)

69  Yogabīja 21 (asau doṣair vimuktaḥ kiṃ kāmakrodhabhayādibhiḥ | sarvadoṣair vṛto jīvo jñāne tu mucyate katham || vimuktaḥ kiṃ ] 72341 : vinirmuktaḥ 29917. jñāne tu mucyate katham ] conj.: jñāne tan mucyate kathaṃ 72341 : jñāne to mucyate kathaṃ 29917). 70  Yogabīja 51–4 (maraṇaṃ tasya kiṃ devi pṛcchasīndusamānane | nāsau maraṇam āpnoti punar yogabalena tu || puraiva mṛta evāsau mṛtasya maraṇaṃ kutaḥ | maraṇaṃ yatra sarveṣāṃ tatra jīvaty asau sukhī || yatra jīvanti mūḍhās tu tatrāsau mriyate sadā | kartavyaṃ tu na tasyāsti kṛtena na vilipyate ||58|| jīvanmuktaḥ sadā svasthaḥ sarvadoṣavivarjitaḥ || viraktā jñāninaś cānye dehena vijitāḥ sadā | te kathaṃ yogibhis tulyā māṃ sapiṇḍāḥ kudehinaḥ || punar yogabalena ] 29917: yena yogabhavena 72341. atra jīvaty asau sukhī ] 29917 : tatrāsau jīvate sukhi 72341. mūḍhās ] 29917 : mukhās 72341. tu ] 29917 : te 72341. mriyate sadā ] Ed.: mriyate sadau 29917: mṛyate sadā 72341. tu na ] 29917 : na tu 72341. kṛtena na ] 72341 : kṛtenaiva 29917. vilipyate ] 29917 : vilavyate 72341. svasthaḥ ] 29917 : -svacchaḥ 72341. -piṇḍāḥ kudehinaḥ ] 29917 : -pīḍā hi dehinaḥ 72341). 71  Yogabīja 125, 127 (sarvajño ’sau bhavet kāmarūpaḥ pavanavegavān | krīḍate triṣu lokeṣu jāyante siddhayo ’khilāḥ ||…|| īśvaraḥ sarvakartā ca svatantro viśvarūpavān | jīvanmukto mahāyogī jāyate nātra saṃ śayaḥ). Manuscript 72341 is incomplete and ends at verse 123, so the readings for these verses and those below are based on manuscript 29917.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

220  Jason Birch and it cannot be seen, even by the gods.72 Moreover, an ageless and immortal body is a salient characteristic of the liberated yogin: One should view a man without siddhis as bound. For, one whose body is ageless and immortal, he alone is liberated-in-life. Dogs, cocks, insects and the like obtain only death. Are they liberated with the fall of the body, O goddess? If the breath does not go out, how can the body die? However, liberation which is caused by the death of the body is not considered to be liberation [by me].73

The Yogabīja is the only early Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga text that includes discourse on the philosophical questions underlying the soteriology of these types of yoga. Devī’s probing questions appear to encapsulate some of the objections to yoga that would have been raised by gnostics who believed that liberation could be achieved by gnosis alone. The nature of its discourse suggests that the text was composed at a time when Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga had become prominent enough to attract scrutiny from other traditions, in particular Advaitavedānta and those that embraced the Mokṣopāya and the Yogavāsiṣt ̣ha.

1.11. The Khecarīvidyā The Khecarīvidyā is not among the earliest works in this corpus, because it was composed after the Vivekamārtaṇḍa.74 This Śaiva work calls itself a Tantra and focuses on the practice of khecarīmudrā, which is included among the ten mudrās of most works on Hat ̣hayoga.75 Although the Khecarīvidyā contains a detailed account of the physical practice of khecarīmudrā, much of the text is devoted to explaining the metaphysics underlying the practice, which includes comprehensive descriptions of the various digits (kalā) at important places in the yogic body, the drinking of nectar (amṛta), and the raising of kuṇḍalinī. The detail of these metaphysics, which is the basis of visualization practices, as well as other related topics, such as the worship of the text, the khecarī mantra, yogic suicide, cheating death, and the worship of Śiva, are redolent of the subject matter of earlier Tantras. Much of this material was omitted by texts that teach Hat ̣ha- and 72  Yogabīja 46–7ab (mahābhūtāni tattvāni saṃ hṛtāni krameṇa ca | saptadhātumayaṃ dehaṃ dagdhaṃ yogāgninā śanaiḥ || devatābhir na lakṣyeta yogadehaṃ mahābalam | saṃ hṛtāni krameṇa ca ] 29917 : krameṇa saṃhṛtāni ca 72341. devataiś ca ] 29917: devatābhir 72341. lakṣyeta ] 29917 : lakṣita 72341). 73  Yogabīja 139–40 (siddhibhiḥ parihīnaṃ tu naraṃ baddhaṃ tu lakṣayet | ajarāmarapiṇḍo yo jīvanmuktaḥ sa eva hi || śvānakukkut ̣akīt ̣ādyā mṛtiṃ samprāpnuvanti vai | teṣāṃ kiṃ piṇḍapātena muktir bhavati sundari || na bahiḥ prāṇa āyāti piṇḍasya patanaṃ kutaḥ | piṇḍapātena yā muktiḥ sā muktis na tu gaṇyate). 74  Khecarīvidyā (1.14cd) mentions the Vivekamārtaṇḍa. 75  For example, Dattātreyayogaśāstra 137, Śivasaṃ hitā 4.51–9, Hat ̣hapradīpikā 3.32–54, etc.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  221 Rājayoga and its inclusion in the Khecarīvidyā suggests that, like the Amṛtasiddhi, this Tantra was composed in an esoteric milieu. The Khecarīvidyā mentions liberation-in-life twice. In both instances (2.7 and 2.14), the yogin becomes a Śiva, liberated-in-life by drinking the supreme nectar (parāmṛta) at the aperture of Brahmā. The drinking of nectar, which results from the practice of khecarīmudrā, brings about a large number of supernatural effects (siddhi). This indicates that the attainment of siddhis was of primary importance to the author. Furthermore, the notion of samādhi (unmanī and laya) is mentioned several times, but only in passing.76 Within the broader context of the visu­al­iza­tion practices and the emphasis on drinking nectar, samādhi is presented more like a supernatural effect (siddhi) than an auxiliary in a system of yoga. The absence of descriptions of the liberated yogin in a hypometabolic state further suggests that samādhi is incidental to the main transformative processes of raising kuṇḍalinī and drinking nectar. Like earlier Śaivasiddhānta traditions, the Khecarīvidyā (3.48–54ab) also teaches yogic suicide so that the yogin may cast off his body and become like Śiva. Therefore, the siddhis and the deification, as it were, of the liberated yogin characterize the soteriological aim of this work.

1.12. The Śivasaṃ hitā The Śivasaṃ hitā twice calls itself a Tantra (4.7, 4.25). Its teachings are influenced by the Śrīvidyā of South India (Mallinson 2007b: ix–xiv), a tantric tradition which was reformed by Smārta Brahmins. It flourished in the major temples of Shringeri and Kanchipuram (Golovkova 2012: 817). The first two chapters of the Śivasaṃ hitā teach Śaiva doctrine (jñāna), which espouses the gnostic views of attaining samādhi by simply seeing the Self (1.63–4) and renouncing Vedic ritual in favour of knowledge (1.20–32). Chapters three and four teach the techniques of Hat ̣hayoga, without naming it as such and without referring to Rājayoga. Samādhi is mentioned in the third chapter. As stated in other Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga texts,77 when the stage of perfection (niṣpatti) is attained, samādhi arises at will (3.76–7). Apart from mentioning that this results in the breath dissolving into the power of gnosis (jñānaśakti) (3.78), nothing more is said of samādhi in this chapter. The last chapter, which may have been composed originally as a separate text (Birch 2018b: 107 n. 13), teaches a system of four yogas, Mantra-, Laya-, Hat ̣ha-, and Rājayoga, the last of which is said to be free from the state of duality (5.12). This fourfold system appears to provide only a superficial framework for the fifth chapter, because it is barely discernible in the chapter’s overall structure. Indeed, 76  Khecarīvidyā 2.67, 113 and 3.24, 52. 77  For example, Dattātreyayogaśāstra 160–2, Amaraughaprabodha 36–44, Hat ̣hapradīpikā 4.70–80, etc.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

222  Jason Birch this chapter mainly consists of instructions on various visualization techniques (5.29–5.207), most of which are based on the yogic body of nāḍīs, cakras, kuṇḍalinī, and so on. In a concluding verse (5.208), these meditations (dhyāna) are said to be Rājayoga, at which point rājādhirājayoga, ‘the yoga that is the supreme king of all Rājayogas’, is introduced. Through vedāntic reasoning (vedāntayukti), the yogin frees himself of mental activity and attains the ultimate, pure knowledge (ekam amalaṃ jñāna) (5.210–21), which results in the following: While living in an unchanging body the yogin, who now dies frequently to the pleasures of the sense objects, certainly lives.78

The emphasis on knowledge, visualization practices, and immortality in the Śivasaṃ hitā’s fifth chapter appears to have been intended for householders, who might well have preferred its gnostic and siddhi-orientated practice to the ascetic stillness of Rājayoga in other works consulted for this study. Liberation-in-life is not mentioned in the first four chapters of the Śivasaṃ hitā,79 but it is indicated as the goal of rājādhirājayoga at the end of the fifth chapter: Satisfied with acquiring things by chance and having abandoned his attachments within, the householder is liberated †from all bonds† by the methods of yoga.80 By just repeating the mantras of the gods,81 householders can succeed.82 Therefore, of those engaged in the practice of yoga, the householder [should] persevere. Having remained in the house, full of sons, a wife and so on, while 78  Śivasaṃ hitā 5.223 (sthite dehe jīvati yo adhunā mriyate bhṛśam | indriyārthopabhogeṣu sa jīvati na saṃ śayaḥ || 5.223 || 223a jīvati ] Ed.: jīvatī V: jivati XI. 223a–b yo adhunā ] mss. II, III, XI–XIV: yoḥ adhunā V: yo anśunā IV: yodhunā VI, VIII: ca yogaṃ na Ed. 223b mriyate ] mss. II–VI, XI–XIV: mrīyate VII: agriyate VIII: śriyate Ed. 223c indriyārthopabhogeṣu ] Ed.: indriyārthāpabhogeṣu III: indriyārthāya bhogeṣu IV, V, VII, VIII, XII–XIV. 223d sa jīvati ] Ed. sa jīvanti III: sañjīvati IV. The first pāda is a rare form of the bha-vipulā. The reading yo adhunā (supported by nearly all the manuscripts) is unconventional but appears to be a case of frozen sandhi which sometimes occurs in Āgamic Sanskrit (Goodall  2015: 133). These variant readings have been taken from the apparatus in Śiva Saṃ hitā: A Critical Edition (2009). The numerals I, XV, and XVI are past editions. The oldest Ms is XII, dated saṃ vat 1805 (1749 ce). 79  As far as I am aware, all editions (the exception being Mallinson 2007b) have in their third chapter the hemistich jīvanmuktasya śāntasya bhaved dhīrasya yoginaḥ, but it is absent in nearly all the manuscripts (i.e. II–IV, VII–XII) reported in the critical edition of the Śivasaṃ hitā (2009: 131). 80  Most manuscripts have sakalāśeṣo muktaḥ or something similar, but this does not make sense. In the conjecture sakalāśleṣamuktaḥ, the word āśleṣa, which literally means a ‘connection’ or ‘embrace’, has been understood as another term for mundane attachments. 81  The practice of mantras (mantrasādhana) is a significant part of the Śivasaṃ hitā’s fifth chapter (5.232–5.252). 82  The occurrence of īśvarāṇāṃ is unexpected here, but it is supported by the manuscripts (see footnote 83). I have understood it as qualifying japena. An alternative interpretation would be to understand īśvara in its more mundane sense of a ‘lord’ or ‘king’, and read it along with gṛhasthānām as qualifying siddhiḥ, in spite of the absence of a conjunctive particle such as ca (i.e. ‘householders and kings have success by repeating a mantra’). The problem with this reading is that īśvara is used elsewhere in the text to mean ‘god’, in particular Śiva, who is the main interlocutor in the dialogue.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  223 abandoning attachments within and seeing a sign of success on the path of yoga, the householder may truly amuse [himself], having accomplished my teachings.83

This conclusion reflects the Śivasaṃ hitā’s strong emphasis on siddhis. The final statement that the liberated householder may amuse himself is redolent of Śaiva yogins of earlier traditions, who sought siddhis merely for their own entertainment (krīḍā). These yogins appear to have been inspired by a story of Śiva’s descent into the world for his own enjoyment (krīḍāvatāra) (Vasudeva 2011: 288).

2.  General Remarks on the Early History of Rājayoga From a purely grammatical viewpoint, the term rājayoga can be understood in various ways. However, the survey of early Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga texts used by Svātmārāma for his Hat ̣hapradīpikā indicates that it was used as a karmadhāraya compound,84 in the sense of the yoga that is the king of all yogas. The evidence for this is threefold. Firstly, the context is usually the four yogas, and Rājayoga is presented as the best (uttama) of the other three.85 Secondly, the Amanaska, which is probably the earliest of these works, defines rājayoga as the king of all yogas.86 Thirdly, the notion of ‘king’ or ‘supreme’ yoga is strongly implied by the fact that rājayoga is the goal of the other yogas and at the top of a hierarchy of other yogas.87 Three texts of the corpus, namely the Amaraughaprabodha, the 83  Śivasaṃ hitā 5.258–60 (yadṛcchālābhasantuṣt ̣aḥ santyaktāntarasaṅ gakaḥ | gṛhasthaḥ †sakalāśleṣamuktaḥ† syād yogasādhanaiḥ ||5.258|| gṛhasthānāṃ bhavet siddhir īśvarāṇāṃ japena vai | yogakriyābhiyuktānāṃ tasmāt saṃ yatate gṛhī ||5.259|| gehe sthitvā putradārādipūrṇe saṅ gaṃ tyaktvā cāntare yogamārge | siddheś cihnaṃ vīkṣya paścād gṛhasthaḥ krīḍet sa vai me mataṃ sādhayitvā ||5.260|| 258b santyaktāntarasaṅ gakaḥ ] Ed.: santyaktāntarasañjñakaḥ IV, VII, XII: saṅ gaṃ nyaktvāntaraṅ gakaḥ II: santyaktāntaḥ sañjñakaḥ III: santyaktvātarasañjñakaḥ VI: santyaktvāntarasañjñakaḥ IX, X.  258c grahasthaḥ sakalāśleṣa- ] conj. Dominic Goodall: grahasthaḥ sakalāśeṣo II, V, VIII, XII: gṛhasthā sakalāśeṣo III, IV: gṛhasthaḥ sakalāśeṣo VI, VII, IX, X, XIV: gṛhasthaḥ sakalāseṣo XIII: gṛhasthaś vāpy anāsaktaḥ XVI: gṛhasthaś cāpy anāsaktaḥ Ed. 258d muktaḥ syād ] II, III, V–X, XII XIII: muktā syāt IV: sa mukto Ed. yogasādhanaiḥ ] Ed. yogasādhanāt I, XV, XVI: yogasādhane V.  259b īśvarāṇāṃ japena ] I, XV, XVI: īśvarāṇāṃ janena III-X, XIII, XIV: īśvarāṇāṃ janeta XII: īśvarārādhanena Ed. 259c kriyābhiyuktānāṃ ] Ed.: kriyābhiḥ yuktānāṃ XII. 269d tasmāt saṃ yatate ] Ed.: tasmāt saṃ madyate II: tasmāt saṃ santata XIII. 260a gehe ] Ed. grahe III: gṛhe IV: he XII: gahe XIV. sthitvā ] corr.: sthitā Ed. -pūrṇe ] Ed.: pūrṇaḥ I, XV, XVI: -pūrṇaiḥ II, XII: pūrṇo IV. 260b cāntare ] Ed.: cāntaraṃ VIII. yogamārge ] Ed. yogamārgaṃ II, III, VII. 260c siddheś cihnaṃ ] Ed. siddheś cihna II: siddhe cihnaṃ XV, XVI. vīkṣya ] Ed. vīkṣa IV. 260d. gṛhasthaḥ ] Ed. gṛhastha VII). I wish to thank both Diwakar Acharya and Dominic Goodall for their comments on the above passages in the Śivasaṃ hitā. 84  A type of compound in which both nouns are in an appositional relationship. 85  For example, Dattātreyayogaśāstra 9cd–10ab: ‘Mantra-, Laya and Hat ̣hayoga [are the first three yogas]. Rājayoga is the fourth and it is the best of yogas’ (mantrayogo layaś caiva hat ̣hayogas tathaiva ca || rājayogaś caturthaḥ syād yogānām uttamas tu saḥ). 86  Amanaska 3cd (rājatvāt sarvayogānāṃ rājayoga iti smṛtaḥ). 87  For example, Amaraughaprabodha 74cd (layamantrahat ̣hāḥ proktāḥ rājayogāya kevalaṃ ) and Yogabīja 143cd (mantro hat ̣ho layo rājā yoge ’ntarbhūmikāḥ kramāt). This is also true for the Amanaska, which teaches only Rājayoga. The beginning of its second chapter mentions a preliminary yoga (pūrvayoga), which is not described.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

224  Jason Birch Dattātreyayogaśāstra, and the Yogabīja, establish a fourfold hierarchy in which Rājayoga is the principal one, and the goal of the subordinate yogas. This is also true for the twofold systems of the Amanaska, the Yogatārāvalī, and the Hat ̣hapradīpikā. The Śivasaṃ hitā is an interesting exception insofar as it includes the standard fourfold hierarchy and makes Rājayoga subordinate to rājādhirājayoga. The attempt to supplant Rājayoga with a higher Rājayoga (namely adhirājayoga) suggests that competitive extension was at play among traditions, which vied with one another to teach the ‘best yoga’. This might explain the ongoing use of the term rājayoga with this meaning, which can be construed in many yoga texts composed after the fifteenth century (Birch 2014: 411–14). As the above survey of texts demonstrates, the notion of Rājayoga as ‘kingyoga’ also derives from its soteriological status, for it is the only type of yoga that can bring about liberation. In this context, the meaning of rājayoga becomes synonymous with samādhi. The second definition of rājayoga in the Amanaska identifies it as the yoga that enables the yogin to attain the supreme self (paramātman), which is the king (rājan) of all beings, as stated in the Bṛhadāraṇyakopaniṣat (Birch 2014: 406–7). A subsequent verse in the same text (2.32) indicates clearly that rājayoga denotes the state in which one’s mind is absent (vigatanijamanorājayoga). Therefore, one might infer that the second definition in the Amanaska posits rājayoga, in the sense of samādhi, as the means to lib­er­ ation. Other works in this early corpus define rājayoga as ‘free of mental activity’,88 a non-dual state,89 oneness of mind,90 and beyond the exertion of concentration and meditation.91 All of these texts either state or imply that it arises when the activity of breath and mind ceases.92 Therefore, rājayoga can be understood as both the goal of other yogas and the means to liberation. The earliest use of the term rājayoga to designate the ‘best yoga’ may have originated in the north-west of India. This is suggested firstly by the fact that Hemacandra, who lived in Gujarat in the twelfth century, borrowed many verses on samādhi from the Amanaska, which calls its yoga rājayoga. Hemacandra did not incorporate the term rājayoga into his Yogaśāstra, perhaps because his work is structured according to auxiliaries (aṅ ga), rather than a hierarchy of different yogas. Nonetheless, he borrowed a sufficient number of verses from the Amanaska to indicate that this type of yoga was prominent enough in Gujarat to be known by a Jain scholar in the court of king Siddharāja Jayasiṃ ha (1093–1142 ce). Secondly, Kashmiri exegetes of the tenth century onwards describe the main 88  Amaraughaprabodha 4 (translated in section 1). 89  Amaraughaprabodha 3cd (caturtho rājayogaśca dvidhābhavavivarjitaḥ); Yogatārāvalī 16, which states that there is no subject–object experience (see Birch 2015: 4); Śivasaṃ hitā 5.12. 90  Amaraughaprabodha 53ab (ekībhūtaṃ tadā cittaṃ rājayogābhidhānakam); Śivasaṃ hitā 5.154ab. 91  Yogatārāvalī 14cd (na dhāraṇādhyānapariśramo vā samedhamāne sati rājayoge). 92  Evidence for this is given in section 1. The Yogabīja implies this because Rājayoga is the cul­min­ ation of a sequence, where it follows Hat ̣hayoga, in which the breath is held in the central channel, and Layayoga, the dissolution of the mind.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  225 technique of the Amanaska (i.e. śāmbhavī mudrā) in almost identical words and call it bhairavamudrā (Birch 2014: 408 n. 30), further suggesting that this type of yoga arose in the north-west of India. The combining of Rājayoga with Hat ̣hayoga into a complementary system, which is not evident in the Amanaska, appears to have occurred a century or so later in the Amaraughaprabodha and the Dattātreyayogaśāstra. The former refers to Siddhabuddha and borrowed material from the Amṛtasiddhi, which suggests the text was composed in Kadri, Mangalore (Mallinson 2019: 23–4), probably in the twelfth century (Birch 2019: 23–4). The latter was known in Rajasthan by the fourteenth century, because some of its verses were reproduced in the Śārṅ gadharapaddhati.93 The combining of Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga dissolved tensions between effortful and effortless methods of yoga for achieving samādhi, which were articulated in the Amanaska (Birch 2011: 542–7). In particular, the fourfold system of yoga validated both effortful and effortless methods by allocating each yoga to different types of student, and the twofold system of the Yogatārāvalī integrated Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga as the method and goal respectively. Although the term rājayoga may be construed as ‘yoga for kings’, it is difficult to see how this type of yoga was ever intended for kings in the literal sense. The siddhi-orientated liberation of some of the early Rājayoga works might have appealed to kings, but the requisite practice of a stonelike state of samādhi seems impractical for people with state or institutional responsibilities. Furthermore, the texts advocating the Hat ̣ha-Rāja method do not mention kings and do not contain explicit metaphorical play on the word ‘king’. Even in the context of lib­er­ ation, the yogin is portrayed as a god living in the world, rather than a king.94

3.  Rājayoga and Liberation-in-Life From the above survey of Sanskrit yoga texts, the following three general observations on Rājayoga and its associated conception of liberation can be made. Firstly, each text teaches a system of yoga which has liberation as its main goal. Secondly, Rājayoga, which is synonymous with samādhi, is the culmination of practice and a necessary cause for liberation.95 Thirdly, liberation can be achieved within one lifetime and the yogin continues to live after liberation is accomplished. Although these texts promise liberation-in-life (jīvanmukti) by means of samādhi, two differing conceptions of the liberated yogin emerged and were integrated to varying degrees. 93  On the provenance of the Śārṅ gadharapaddhati, see Sternbach 1974: 17. 94  In fact, I am aware of only two vedāntic works which define rājayoga as ‘yoga for kings’ and both probably date to the eighteenth century (Birch 2014: 412). The Vivekadarpaṇa strongly implies it (see below). 95  As noted in section 1, the Khecarīvidyā is an exception in this case.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

226  Jason Birch On the one hand, liberation-in-life is identified with samādhi, insofar as the yogin in samādhi is liberated and the liberated yogin must continue to practise it. The texts that most clearly represent this view are the Vivekamārtaṇḍa, the Candrāvalokana, the Yogatārāvalī, the Amanaska, and the Gorakṣaśataka. These works tend to emphasize the transcendent and blissful experience of samādhi and, although siddhis may arise from the practice, the role of siddhis in defining liberation is less significant. In this respect, the Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā and the Yogayājñavalkya are similar to these texts and, by identifying yoga with the daily rites (nityakarma) enjoined by the Vedas, the logical outcome of both works is the ongoing need to practise yoga, even for one who is liberated-in-life. On the other hand, liberation-in-life is described as the outcome of a transformative process that takes place in samādhi. In other words, the liberated yogin emerges from samādhi as an all-powerful god who can know and do anything in the world. The texts most clearly supporting this view are the Śivasaṃ hitā, the Khecarīvidyā, the Yogabīja, the Dattātreyayogaśāstra, and the Amaraughaprabodha. The liberated yogin is said to attain all the siddhis which, in the Dattātreyayogaśāstra, includes the power to be inactive. The Amṛtasiddhi appears to sit halfway between these texts and those that emphasize transcendence, because its liberation is very much orientated towards the attainment of siddhis, yet the liberated yogin remains in samādhi, secluded from the world. Although the paradigm of transcendence and power can be used to identify the differing roles of siddhis and the practice of yoga after liberation in these texts, it does not provide a reason for why an author emphasized one rather than the other. One might speculate that divergent views on the rigidity of karma were at play. Although all of the texts in question accept that the practice of yoga can destroy a yogin’s past karma, some advocate the need for ongoing practice after liberation, whereas others assume that the liberated yogin can act in the world and remain untouched by karma. The latter view relies on theistic notions of lib­ er­ation that derive from earlier tantric traditions, in particular the Kaulism associated with Matsyendranātha, who was also one of the supposed founders of Hat ̣hayoga.96 For example, the Kaulajñānanirṇaya, which is a text attributed to Matsyendranātha and may date to the tenth century,97 directly connects lib­er­ ation to the attainment of the no-mind state,98 and describes the king of yogins (yogirāt ̣) as a godlike figure who is active in the world after liberation: 96  For example, Matsyendranātha is close to the beginning of a lineage of gurus in Hat ̣hapradīpikā 1.4ab. 97 The Kaulajñānanirṇaya certainly predates the mid-eleventh century, which is the date of its earli­est manuscript. For details on this, see Hatley 2007: 157–8 n. 77. Shaman Hatley has informed me that he suspects that the Kaulajñānanirṇaya belongs to the tenth century and he is hopeful that his ongoing research on this text will confirm this (p.c. 24.1.2017). 98  For example, Kaulajñānanirṇaya 13.5: ‘[Now,] there is no mind, mental activity [nor] support, no meditation object [nor] concentration, O goddess. He whose mind has become no-mind, has lib­er­ ation †in this world†’ (na manaś cittam ālambaṃ na dhyeyaṃ dhāraṇaṃ priye | unmanan tu mano

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  227 When one knows the self by the self, the self can take any form at will. The self is the supreme deity. He by whom this is known is the king of yogins. He is said to be Śiva. He is clearly liberated and may liberate another. O goddess, he is always very pure, like a lotus in the mud. Having adopted a mortal body, he sports in the world as a Śiva.99

In describing the liberated yogin as an equal to Śiva (śivatulya) and one who can move and behave at will (svacchandagaticeṣt ̣ita) (5.24cd), the Kaulajñānanirṇaya provides a doctrinal antecedent to the conception of liberation seen in texts such as the Amaraughaprabodha, the Dattātreyayogaśāstra, the Yogabīja, and the Śivasaṃ hitā. In fact, the idea that the yogin can live as long as he wants and roam the world at will can be found in other Kaula scriptures.100 There is also an example of a more recent Śaiva work which grafted a Kaula view of liberation onto the practice of the death-like state of samādhi, which is also described in similar terms in the Hat ̣hapradīpikā (see below). The ninth chapter of the Kulārṇavatantra, a Kaula text of the Upper Tradition (ūrdhvāmnāya) that probably postdates the thirteenth century,101 borrows verses from both the yasya tasya mokṣo †bhavaty iha† ||5|| 5a manaś ] A48/13 : manaṃ Ed. 5a ālambaṃ ] A48/13 : ālabdhaṃ Ed. 5b dhyeyaṃ ] emend. Hatley: dheyaṃ A48/13 : peya Ed. 5d bhavaty iha ] conj. Hatley: bhavantiha A48/13 : bhavantīha Ed. I have cruxed the conjecture bhavaty iha simply to indicate that this crucial reading is not clear in the old Nepalese manuscript or the edition, although Shaman Hatley’s conjecture is a good one based on the evidence. Liberation at death (mokṣaḥ [ . . . ] piṇḍapāte) is mentioned in the final verse of this chapter. However, there the context is the practice of sequentially installing seed syllables (nyāsakrama) in the body. 99  Kaulajñānanirṇaya 17.36–8 (ātmānam ātmanā jñātvā ātmā vai kāmarūpiṇaḥ | ātmanaś ca paro devo yena jñātaṃ sa yogirāt ̣ ||36|| sa śivaḥ procyate sākṣāt sa mukto mocayet param | suviśuddhaḥ sadā devi paṅ kastham iva paṅ kajam ||37|| mānuṣyaṃ piṇḍam āsṛtya sa śivaḥ krīḍate bhuvi | itthaṃ bhūtaṃ parātmānaṃ yena jñātaṃ subhāmini|). I wish to thank Shaman Hatley for pointing out this passage to me and for sharing his provisional edition of these verses. The compound kāmarūpinaḥ has been understood as an aśia form of the nominative singular, and 36c is a conjecture by Hatley (the codex has ātmanaś cāparo devi). Also, one should read āsṛtya as an orthographic variant of āśritya (Hatley p.c. 1.2.2017). 100  For example, the Kulasāra f.25v (svecchāyur bhavate yogī tadabhyāsān na saṃ śayaḥ) and (na mṛtyor bhayam etena jāyate ‘bhyāsayogataḥ | svecchāyur jāyate yogī svadehenīśvaro bhavet) and the Kuladīpikā (IFP transcript T1046a) p. 15 (uttiṣt ̣han medinīṃ tyaktvā divyadehaḥ prajāyate | paryat ̣et svecchayā lokāṃ ś chidrāṃ paśyati medinīm || chidrāṃ ] emend. Vasudeva (p.c. 25.1.2017): citrāṃ Codex) and p. 72 (bhramate svecchayā lokāṃ ś chidrāṃ paśyati medinīm | bhramate ] emend. Vasudeva (p.c. 25.1.2017): bhrūmate Codex. lokāṃ ś chidrāṃ ] emend. Vasudeva (p.c. 25.1.2017): lokācchidrān Codex. paśyati ] emend.: paśyanti Codex). I wish to thank Somdev Vasudeva (p.c. 25.1.2017) for these references, as well as for pointing out to me that the idea that a yogin can live as long as he pleases is also found in the Śaivasiddhānta (e.g. Mṛgendratantra’s Yogapāda 46: jitapraṇayano dhatte svecchayā deham ātmanaḥ | Nārāyaṇakaṇt ̣ha comments: jitā praṇayanākhyā prāṇavṛttir yena sa evaṃ vidho yogī yāvadruci svecchayā svadehaṃ dhārayati [. . .]). Also, see Mataṅ gapārameśvaratantra Yogapāda 7.34. Thanks to Lubomír Ondračka for this final reference. 101  For a discussion on the Kulārṇavatantra, see Sanderson  2014: 78, wherein Alexis Sanderson states that it postdates the twelfth century. The Kulārṇavatantra shares a verse with the Vivekamārtaṇḍa on the Hat ̣hayogic Mudrās; Kulārṇavatantra 13.85 (mahāmudrāṃ nabhomudrām uḍḍīyānaṃ jalandharam | mūlabandhañ ca yo vetti sa guruḥ paramo mataḥ) ~ Vivekamārtaṇḍa 40 (mahāmudrāṃ nabhomudrām uḍḍīyāṇaṃ jalandharam | mūlabandhaṃ ca yo vetti sa yogī muktibhājanam). Also, there are other parallels between the Kulārṇavatantra and the Vivekamārtaṇḍa noted in footnote 102.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

228  Jason Birch Amanaska and the Vivekamārtaṇḍa.102 The Kulārṇavatantra uses the same metaphors and language as the yoga texts in question to describe samādhi. For ex­ample, the following verse equates the death-like stillness of this samādhi to liberation-in-life: [The yogin] whose sensory organs are inactive; whose mind and breath have dissolved into himself and who clearly remains [still] like a corpse, is said to be liberated-in-life.103

The interesting difference between the Vivekamārtaṇḍa and the Kulārṇavatantra’s chapter on yoga is that the Kulārṇava’s liberated kulayogin emerges from his death-like samādhi to interact with people, concealing his identity. For example: Although liberated, the lord of the Kula plays like a child and behaves like an idiot. The wise kulayogin speaks like a madman, O goddess. The yogin lives in such a way that people laugh, shun and abuse him. They move far away when they see him. Wearing various outfits, the yogin wanders the world; sometimes [looking] cultured, sometimes wretched and sometimes like [the supernatural beings called] bhūtas or piśācas.104

Such details of how the liberated yogin might behave are absent in the Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga works examined in this chapter. Their authors seem to have been unwilling to present the worldly adventures of the liberated yogin as fully as they were developed in Kaula traditions. Nonetheless, an early Marathi work (twelfth to thirteenth century) called the Vivekadarpaṇa is something of an exception here.105 In its chapter on Rājayoga, a set of four yogas, namely Mantra-, Laya-, Hat ̣ha-, and Rājayoga, are defined. Redolent of the Amanaska’s point of view, the Since the former does not teach these mudrās but the latter does, it is likely that the Kulārṇavatantra is the borrower. The terminus ad quem of the Vivekamārtaṇḍa is the Khecarīvidyā (Mallinson 2007a: 4) or the Śārṅ gadharapaddhati (Bouy 1994: 25), the latter of which can be dated to 1363 ce. Therefore, if we assign the Vivekamārtaṇḍa to the twelfth or thirteenth century, the Kulārṇavatantra, in its published form, probably postdates the thirteenth or fourteenth century. 102 Cf. Kulārṇavatantra 9.13–15 (na śṛṇoti na cāghrāti na spṛśati na paśyati | na jānāti sukhaṃ duḥkhaṃ na saṅ kalpayate manaḥ ||13|| na cāpi kiñ cij jānāti na ca budhyati kāṣt ̣havat | evaṃ śive vilīnātmā samādhistha ihocyate ||14|| yathā jale jalaṃ kṣiptaṃ kṣīre kṣīraṃ ghṛte ghṛtam | aviśeṣo bhavet tadvaj jīvātmaparamātmanoḥ) with Vivekamārtaṇḍa 162–72 (cited and translated above). Also, Kulārṇavatantra 9.10 and 9.11 = Amanaska 2.54cd–2.55ab and 2.59. Most of the Kulārṇava’s ninth chapter is quoted with attribution in the seventeenth-century Yuktabhavadeva (1.55–1.106), as a passage concerning the king of yogas (yogarājam adhikṛtya kulārṇave). 103  Kulārṇavatantra 9.12 (niṣpandakaraṇagrāmaḥ svātmalīnamanonilaḥ | ya āste mṛtavat sākṣāt jīvanmuktaḥ sa ucyate). 104  Kulārṇavatantra 9.72–4 (mukto ’pi bālavat krīḍet kuleśo jaḍavac caret | vaded unmattavad vidvān kulayogī maheśvari ||72|| yathā hasati loko ’yaṃ jugupsati ca kutsati | vilokya dūrato yāti tathā yogī pravartate ||73|| kva cic chiṣt ̣aḥ kva cid bhraṣt ̣aḥ kva cid bhūtapiśācavat | nānāveṣadharo yogī vicarej jagatītale ||74|| 74c veṣa ] corr.: veśa Ed.). 105  Additional verses on the Rājayogin in the long recension of the Amaraughaprabodha (71–3) are also relevant here. For a translation, see Birch 2019: 10–11.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  229 first three are rejected as causes of suffering. However, the Vivekadarpaṇa defines Rājayoga in more gnostic terms as ‘stilling the fluctuations of the mind through one’s own knowledge’.106 The Rājayogin is then likened to a king who rules his body and senses and, like the Kulārṇavatantra, can live in the world as a naked, solitary ascetic or a libertine, so to speak.107 Finally, it should be noted that the acceptance of liberation-in-life in Hat ̣haand Rājayoga texts is not exceptional in the history of yoga and Indian religions. Indeed, the authors of these yoga texts would have been aware of the teachings on liberation-in-life in some earlier works on yoga, such as the Pātañjalayogaśāstra108 106  Vivekadarpaṇa 15.1: ‘Knowing the fluctuations of the mind to be impermanent, they become still through one’s own knowledge, that is Rājayoga’ (citavṛtī anitya jāṇauni āpuleni jñāneṃ nīścalā hoūni āsīje to rājayauguḥ). 107  Vivekadarpaṇa 15.3 (kavhaṇe yekyeṃ t ̣hāiṃ nagnaḥ dīgāṃbaruḥ ānīkye t ̣hāiṃ dīvyāṃbaraḥ parīmaḻa bahaḻuḥ yekyeṃ t ̣hāiṃ tapovanaḥ tarutaḻīṃ bījanaratuḥ ānīkī t ̣hāiṃ vīvīdha bhoga bhogīḥ sahajaprāpta puraṃdharuḥ sarvatra pratībaṃdhuḥ baṃdhanārahītu houni āseḥ tyāteṃ rājayaugī mhaṇījeḥ). To understand this passage, I have relied on the German translation of Reinelt 2000: 240–1 (An irgendeinem Ort [ist er] ein Nackter, einer, dessen Gewand die Himmelsrichtungen sind, an einem anderen Ort einer mit himmlischem Gewand [und mit] reichliche[n] Wohlgerüche[n]. An [irgend]einem Ort [ist] ein Wald für Askese, [dort ist er] am Fuß eines Baumes der Einsamkeit zugetan. An einem anderen Ort genießt er vielfältige Freuden, [die er] auf natürliche Weise erlangt [wie] Indra. [Auch wenn] überall behindert, lebt er ohne Bindung. Er wird ein glücklicher rājayogī genannt), which I have understood as, ‘In some place he is a naked person, one whose garments are the cardinal directions, in another place he is someone with a heavenly garment [and with] abundant fragrance. In some place [like] a forest for asceticism, [there he is] at the foot of a tree devoted to solitude. In another place he enjoys manifold pleasures, [which he] attains naturally [like] Indra. [Even though] handicapped everywhere, he lives without bond. He is called a happy rājayogī’. However, I suspect dīgāṃbaruḥ means ‘sky-clad’ and not ‘garments that are the cardinal directions’. I would like to thank Nils Jacob Liersch for his assistance with my translation of the German. 108 Three sections of the Pātañjalayogaśāstra allude to liberation-in-life, although the term jīvanmukti is not used. The first occurs in the commentary (bhāṣya) to sūtra 1.16, in which the higher form of detachment (vairāgya) is said to be identical to liberation (kaivalya). The yogin who attains it is obviously alive because he realizes ‘what is to be attained has been attained, etc.’ (Pātañjalayogaśāstra 1.16: [. . .] evaṃ manyate—prāptaṃ prāpaṇīyaṃ [. . .]). The second indication of liberation-in-life occurs in a passage on the sevenfold wisdom (prajñā) gained by the fourth type of yogin, who is described as one who has surpassed what ought to be done and whose sole goal is the dissolution of the mind. See a translation and discussion of Pātañjalayogaśāstra 3.51 (caturtho yas tv atikrāntabhāvanīyas tasya cittapratisarga eko ’rthaḥ | saptavidhāsya prāntabhūmiprajñā) in Maas 2014: 17. This passage concludes with the following statement, ‘When the Puruṣa experiences the sevenfold wisdom at its final stage (prāntabhūmi), it is called wise (kuśala). Also, when the [yogin’s] mind returns to its primordial state, Puruṣa is both wise and liberated, because it is beyond the Guṇas’ (Pātañjalayogaśāstra 2.27: etāṃ saptavidhāṃ prāntabhūmiprajñām anupaśyan puruṣaḥ kuśala ity ākhyāyate | pratiprasave ‘pi cittasya muktaḥ kuśala ity eva bhavati guṇātītatvād iti). As the pronoun tasya in sūtra 2.27 indicates, this sevenfold wisdom arises for the yogin who can discern Puruṣa’s fundamental isolation (pratyuditakhyāti). As Puruṣa in the above passage, such a yogin is described elsewhere as kuśala, a term which implies that he is free from transmigration (on the meaning of kuśala in the Pātañjalayogaśāstra, see Maas 2014: 15 and Wezler 2001: 301 n. 52. Both Maas and Wezler conclude that kuśala and mukta are ‘equivalents’). The fact that liberation may arise either when the seven­fold wisdom is experienced or when the mind dissolves appears to reflect the two alternative explanations of liberation (kaivalya) in sūtra 4.34: ‘Liberation is the dissolution of the guṇas which are [now] void of purpose for the Puruṣa, or it is the power of consciousness (i.e., the Puruṣa) established in its own form’ (Pātañjalayogaśāstra 4.34: puruṣārthaśūnyānāṃ guṇānāṃ pratiprasavaḥ kaivalyaṃ svarūpapratiṣt ̣hā vā citiśaktir iti). Note that vā in this sūtra is glossed as punaḥ in the bhāṣya. The third indication of liberation-in-life occurs in the bhāṣya on sūtra 4.30, which exclaims that the yogin’s afflictions, such as ignorance, and accumulated karma end (kleśakarmanivṛtti) when he has achieved the state of samādhi called ‘the cloud that rains virtue’ (dharmamegha). At this point, the wise yogin is freed (vimukta) while living: ‘When the afflictions and accumulated karma have ceased, the wise [yogin]

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

230  Jason Birch and the Yogavāsiṣt ̣ha.109 Furthermore, other traditions, such as Advaitavedānta110 and Rasaśāstra,111 which flourished in the same time period as early Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga, envisage liberation-in-life in various ways.

4.  Rājayoga and Liberation in the Hat ̣hapradīpikā Having identified the shifting emphasis on transcendence and power in early Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga works, it is now possible to understand how Svātmārāma resolved the differences in his Hat ̣hapradīpikā. Although the title of his work suggests that it mainly concerns Haṭhayoga, Svātmārāma indicates clearly that Hat ̣hayoga is the means to Rājayoga and that the yogin cannot succeed at one without the other.112 Moreover, the fourth and final chapter of the Hat ̣hapradīpikā is exclusively on Rājayoga. The first three chapters of the Haṭhapradīpikā explain the principal techniques of Haṭhayoga, namely āsana, prāṇāyāma, and mudrā. There are passing references to liberation in the descriptions of some of these techniques, siddhāsana (1.37), padmāsana (1.51), uḍdị̄ yānabandha (3.60), sahajoli (3.94), amaroli (3.103), and śakticālana (3.105, 107). Although one might infer that these techniques were considered salvific because of their efficacy in inducing samādhi,113 the verses on these techniques that mention liberation do not indicate whether it is siddhiorientated or otherwise.114 is liberated while he is still living’ (Pātañjalayogaśāstra 4.30: kleśakarmanivṛttau jīvann eva vidvān vimukto bhavati). Therefore, as was the case in early Buddhism, Patañjali thought that liberation-inlife was possible. For the contrary view, which gives subsequent commentaries equal weight to the Pātañjalayogaśāstra’s bhāṣya, see T.S.  Rukmani (1997). Note that Śan˙ kara’s commentary on the Pātañjalayogaśāstra does not seem to doubt that the yogin is alive when liberated. His commentary on sūtra 1.25 (56.15) appears to assume that a perfected yogin (siddhayogin), who is free from the afflictions, is alive: ‘Īśvara is free from flaws (kleśa), and so on; because he has an unobstructed knowledge; like an accomplished yogin’ (trans. Harimoto 2014: 106). 109  See Slaje 2000a and 2000b. 110  See Potter 1998 and Fort 1998. 111 The Yogabīja’s rejection of bodiless liberation in favour of liberation-in-life is somewhat similar to Bhairava’s discussion of liberation-in-life in the Rasārṇava: ‘Liberation-in-life occurs when one whose body is ageless and immortal experiences their identity with Śiva, O great Goddess. It is difficult to obtain even for the gods. Liberation at death is a futile liberation. When the body dies, even an ass is freed. [. . .] Therefore, one should preserve the body with potions and elixirs’ (Rasārṇava 1.8–1.9, 1.11ab: ajarāmaradehasya śivatādātmyavedanam | jīvanmuktir mahādevi devānām api durlabhā ||8|| piṇḍapāte ca yo mokṣaḥ sa ca mokṣo nirarthakaḥ | piṇḍe tu patite devi gardabho ‘pi vimucyate ||9|| [. . .] tasmāt saṃ rakṣayet piṇḍaṃ rasaiś caiva rasāyanaiḥ). 112  The relationship between these yogas is stated explicitly at the beginning of the Hat ̣hapradīpikā (1.1–3) and elsewhere (e.g. 2.76; for a translation, see Birch 2011: 546 n. 137). 113  For example, the connection between samādhi and liberation appears to be behind the claim that siddhāsana bestows liberation, because it supposedly induces samādhi (1.42–3), and padmāsana facilitates holding the breath, which should induce kevalakumbhaka and samādhi (2.72–5). Also, śakticālana is the practice of moving kuṇḍalinī, the raising of which is said elsewhere to induce samādhi (4.19–20). 114  These include Hat ̣hapradīpikā 3.60: ‘When the uḍḍiyāna lock is firm, liberation becomes spon­ tan­eous’ (uḍḍiyāne dṛḍhe bandhe muktiḥ svābhāvikī bhavet). The ‘spontaneous liberation’ brought

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  231 At the beginning of the fourth chapter, Svātmarāma notes that Rājayoga is known by many names, including samādhi, laya, tattva, amanaska, and jīvanmukti, among others (4.3–4).115 He was willing to understand the various nomenclature for samādhi as referring to the same meditative state, in the same way that earlier texts, such as the Amanaska, the Candrāvalokana, and the Yogatārāvalī, had done implicitly. In particular, his equating of jīvanmukti with Rājayoga and samādhi signals his intention to represent the type of liberation espoused in texts, such as the Amanaska and the Vivekamārtaṇḍa. Svātmārāma’s definitions of samādhi (4.5–7) are taken from the section of the  Vivekamārtaṇḍa that was quoted above.116 After this, fourth chapter has eight verses that mention liberation. Five of these verses identify samādhi with liberation and can be traced to texts consulted for this study. Three verses are from the Amanaska’s second chapter;117 one from the Gorakaśataka118 and one from the Candrāvalokana.119 Of the remaining three untraced verses, one identifies liberation with the death-like state of Rājayoga. The context is the attainment of samādhi through the practice of fusing the mind with an internal resonance (nādānusandhāna). When the mind and breath dissolve, the sound disappears and the yogin enters samādhi, the no-mind state: Because of fusing the mind with an internal resonance, [the yogin’s] accumulations of sin are destroyed. When the mind and breath surely dissolve in the stainless [state, the yogin] no longer hears the sound of the conch or kettle drum. His body certainly becomes like a piece of wood because of the no-mind state (unmanyāvasthā). The yogin, who is [now] free from all states [of mind] and free from all thoughts, remains like a corpse. [However,] he is undoubtedly liberated. The yogin immersed in samādhi is not consumed by time, bound by the result of action nor controlled by anyone.120

about by uḍḍīyānabandha may follow from the fact that this technique conquers death (3.59). Also, Hat ̣hapradīpikā 3.103cd: ‘This yoga [of practising vajroli] generates merit and gives liberation even when one indulges in pleasure’ (ayaṃ puṇyakaro yogo bhoge bhukte ’pi muktidaḥ). Cf. Hat ̣hapradīpikā 3.94 (ayaṃ śubhakaro yogo bhogayukto ’pi muktidaḥ). I would like to thank Lubomír Ondračka for his insights into the relation between liberation and siddhāsana, padmāsana and uḍḍiyānabandha. 115  For further discussion of the compilatory methods of Svātmārāma see Mallinson 2016b: 117–18. 116  Hat ̣hapradīpikā 4.5–6 = Vivekamārtaṇḍa 162–3, Hat ̣hapradīpikā 4.7 = Vivekamārtaṇḍa 164. Note that Svātmārāma omits the terms saṃ prajñāta and asaṃ prajñāta in his list of synonyms for Rājayoga. Also, Patañjali’s definition of samādhi as cittavṛttinirodha does not occur, which indicates that the Hat ̣hapradīpikā’s teachings on Rājayoga were not influenced by the Pātañjalayogaśāstra. 117  Hat ̣hapradīpikā 4.8, 4.25, 4.112 = Amanaska 2.5, 27, 59. 118  Hat ̣hapradīpikā 4.110 = Gorakṣaśataka 7. 119  Hat ̣hapradīpikā 4.16 = Candrāvalokana 30. 120  Hat ̣hapradīpikā 4.105–4.108 (sadā nādānusandhānāt kṣīyante pāpasaṃ cayāḥ | nirañjane vilīyete niścitaṃ cittamārutau || śaṅ khadundubhinādaṃ ca na śṛṇoti kadācana | kāṣt ̣havaj jāyate deha unmanyāvasthayā dhruvam || sarvāvasthāvinirmuktaḥ sarvacintāvivarjitaḥ | mṛtavat tiṣt ̣hate yogī sa mukto nātra saṃ śayaḥ || khādyate na ca kālena bādhyate na ca karmaṇā | sādhyate na sa kenāpi yogī yuktaḥ samādhinā).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

232  Jason Birch This passage is followed by other verses on samādhi that describe the yogin as free from sensory experience, waking, sleeping, and so on. These other verses are also taken from the Vivekamārtaṇḍa,121 the Gorakṣaśataka,122 and the Amanaska.123 Another important verse on liberation in the Hat ̣hapradīpikā’s fourth chapter suggests that Svātmārāma was aware that some traditions were not convinced that the attainment of samādhi was liberation. This verse (4.30) occurs in a passage on dissolution (laya) of the mind: Whether [samādhi] is called liberation or not in other traditions, an exquisite bliss arises from the dissolution (laya) of the mind and breath.124

The above verse reveals Svātmārāma’s attempt to distance the Hat ̣hapradīpikā from any controversy over whether the state of samādhi could be called lib­er­ ation. Perhaps he had in mind the Yogabīja’s view that yoga without gnosis was insufficient for liberation. Instead of arguing the point, Svātmārāma reminds the reader of the value of Rājayoga by pointing to the apparent consensus among these yogic traditions that samādhi generates bliss.125 The last of the eight verses on liberation (4.78) comments on the tantric view, namely that the liberated yogin becomes a second Śiva. This view is introduced by Svātmārāma in a section on the four stages of yoga called ārambha, ghaṭa, paricaya, and niṣpatti, which he borrowed from the Amaraughaprabodha. Samādhi occurs in the final stage called niṣpatti, which is explained as follows: Then, [when niṣpatti is attained,] the mind becomes one and is called Rājayoga. The [yogin] becomes a creator and destroyer [of the world] and an equal to the god of yogins.126

Immediately after the above verse, Svātmārāma adds the following untraced verses, which qualify this view of liberation: Whether this might be liberation or not, there is certainly uninterrupted [transcendental] happiness in it. This happiness, which arises in samādhi, is attained

121  Hat ̣hapradīpikā 4.109, 4.108, 4.113 = Vivekamārtaṇḍa 166, 168, 169. 122  Hat ̣hapradīpikā 4.110 = Gorakṣaśataka 7. 123  Haṭhapradīpikā 4.112 = Amanaska 2.59. 124  Hat ̣hapradīpikā 4.30 (so ’yam evāstu mokṣākhyo māstu vāpi matāntare | manaḥprāṇalaye kaś cid ānandaḥ sampravartate). 125 Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga texts appear to be consistent in describing samādhi as a blissful state, e.g. Amanaska 2.20–1, 2.100, Gorakṣaśataka 64, Vivekamārtaṇḍa 193, Yogabīja 151, Hat ̣hapradīpikā 4.2, 4.30, etc. 126  Haṭhapradīpikā 4.77 (ekībhūtaṃ tadā cittaṃ rājayogābhidhānakam | sṛṣt ̣isaṃ hārakartāsau yogīśvarasamo bhavet).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  233 because of Rājayoga. Those ignorant of Rājayoga merely perform Haṭhayoga. I think these practitioners are denied the fruit of their efforts.127

Although Svātmārāma was willing to accept the Śaiva ideal of a yogin becoming an equal to Śiva, he qualified it by acknowledging that the attainment of Śivahood may not be accepted as liberation by all. It is possible that the notion of Śivahood was too sectarian to be the final goal of a system of yoga that was intended for a wide audience. On the weight of the evidence, it appears that Svātmārāma favoured transcendence over power, by identifying the state of Rājayoga with liberation. As demonstrated above, he borrowed a significant number of verses from the Vivekamārtaṇḍa, the Gorakṣaśataka, and the Amanaska, all of which support this viewpoint. More importantly, Svātmārāma placed most of these verses at the end of the Haṭhapradīpikā’s final chapter, which gives the impression that they represent his decisive view. Apart from a single hemistich of the Amaraughaprabodha, which is qualified by the verse that follows it, he omitted verses from earlier works that present the liberated yogin as an all-powerful god living in the world. Moreover, descriptions of a liberation characterized by siddhis are not prominent in the final chapter of the Hat ̣hapradīpikā. In grappling with the tensions between transcendence and power, Svātmārāma further simplified the notion of Rājayoga as liberation by eschewing the question of whether the liberated yogin continues to act in the world. In addition to leaving the Kaula view of the liberated yogin largely unrepresented, he omitted the relevant sections on action and rites in earlier yoga texts, such as the Amanaska and the Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃhitā. Although the Hat ̣hapradīpikā implies that the liberated yogin remains suspended in the hypometabolic state of samādhi, its open-ended conclusion was probably an invitation for gurus of various traditions to supply their own views on the yogin’s fate after liberation.

5.  Concluding Remarks It is likely that Haṭha- and Rājayoga arose independently as non-initiatory prac­tices that were ancillary to various religions. By the twelfth or thirteenth century, Haṭhaand Rājayoga were combined to form a distinct system that synthesized tantric teachings of various traditions, including Buddhism. Among the salient features of this system were physical yoga techniques and the goals of a blissful, stonelike samādhi and liberation-in-life. Not being the preserve of any one trad­ition, the codification of the Haṭha-Rāja system produced trans-sectarian texts with minimal 127  Hat ̣hapradīpikā 4.78–9 (astu vā māstu vā muktir atraivākhaṇḍitaṃ sukham | layodbhavam idaṃ saukhyaṃ rājayogād avāpyate || rājayogam ajānantaḥ kevalaṃ hat ̣hakarmiṇaḥ | etān abhyāsino manye prayāsaphalavarjitān).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

234  Jason Birch philosophy or theology. It seems probable that this system became widespread in India because it had significant advantages over the praxis of more fully fledged ascetic and tantric traditions. For, on the one hand, unlike physical methods of tapasyā, such as sitting amid five fires, keeping the arms above the head and standing on one leg for twelve years, the Hat ḥ a-Rāja method did not harm the body, claimed to produce results relatively quickly, and had a range of practical benefits, such as healing diseases and inducing mental calm. The fact that Hat ḥ aand Rājayoga texts do not integrate or even mention the methods of tapasyā suggests that their authors were unwilling to conflate the two. On the other hand, Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga were simpler to understand and disseminate than Tantra’s elaborate initiatory, doctrinal, and ritual systems, as well as the doctrines of Buddhism, Jainism, and Brahmanical philosophical schools (darśana), including Pātañjalayoga. The relative simplicity of the Hat ̣ha-Rāja method meant that it could be adapted for people of different religious beliefs. Its ancillary status ensured that it never became exclusive to one tradition. This produced a body of literature in which the same techniques are integrated with different systems of metaphysics and conceptions of liberation, which emphasize transcendence and power in varying degrees. This is seen clearly in the case of the Amaraughaprabodha, which adapted the three physical mudrās of the Amṛtasiddhi, a Vajrayāna work, for a Śaiva audience by overlaying the same physical practice with Śaiva metaphysics that included the raising of kuṇ ḍ alinī, the attainment of Rājayoga, and the transformation of the yogin into a second Śiva (Birch 2019: 14–21). Through this process of adaptation, the Hat ̣ha-Rāja method crossed sectarian boundaries and evolved for a wide audience, including householders, and varying social conditions. At some point, probably after the fifteenth-century Haṭhapradīpikā, the older ascetic and tantric traditions responded to the success of Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga by reinterpreting and integrating the terminology and techniques of both yogas into their own doctrines. For example, ascetics reinterpreted the term haṭhayoga to mean the mental attitude required to succeed at tapasyā.128 This meaning is absent in the yoga texts consulted for this chapter. Tantrikas incorporated techniques of Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga into their compendiums as preliminary prac­tices.129 128  On this definition of the term haṭhayoga among ascetics, see Bevilacqua 2016. I am not aware of any textual evidence that indicates that this meaning of Hat ̣hayoga predates the Hat ̣hapradīpikā. 129  For example, the Śaiva ritual compilations, the Puraścaraṇacandrikā (late fifteenth century) and the Puraścaraṇārṇava (eighteenth century), incorporated Hat ̣hayogic āsanas and prāṇāyāmas as preliminary rites to mantra recitation. There are Hat ̣hayogic āsanas in the Vaiṣṇava compendium called the Surīsarvasva (I wish to thank Rembert Lutjeharms for this reference). Also, some tantric compendiums that date to after the fifteenth century quote Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga texts or tacitly borrow from them. Examples include the Prāṇ atoṣiṇ ī (1820 ce) of Rāmatoṣaṇa Vidyālan˙ kāra, the Merutantra, Caturbhujamiśra’s Mugdhāvabodhinī (on the Rasahṛdayatantra), the Praśnasaṃ hitā, etc. The Vārāhītantra cannibalized much of the Hat ̣hapradīpikā.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  235 Brahmanical traditions responded by blending the teachings of Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga with Pātañjalayoga in large compendiums and by transforming many Haṭha- and Rājayoga texts into Upaniṣads.130 The integration of Haṭha- and Rājayoga with the yogas of these more prominent traditions resulted in the demise of the Haṭha-Rāja method as a distinct system of practice. By the eighteenth century, Haṭhayoga techniques characterized the auxiliaries of āsana and prāṇāyāma in aṣṭān˙gayoga, and Rājayoga became little more than a label for the ‘best yoga’ of any tradition, regardless of whether samādhi was taught or not (Birch  2014: 412–16).

Acknowledgements I would like to thank Prof. Gavin Flood for encouraging me to write this chapter and for reading several drafts, and (in alphabetical order) Jacqueline Hargreaves, Dr Ulrich Timme Kragh, Dr James Madaio, Dr James Mallinson, Dr Lubomír Ondračka, Shaman Hatley, and Dr Mark Singleton for their incisive comments on this work, as well as Prof. Diwakar Acharya and Prof. Dominic Goodall for their comments on passages from the Amaraughaprabodha and the Śivasaṃhitā. I would like to thank Dr S.V.B.K.V. Gupta for his assistance in reading the South Indian scripts of manuscripts of the Amaraughaprabodha, the Candrāvalokana, and the Yogatārāvalī. My work on this chapter received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 647963).

References Primary Sources (in English Alphabetical Order) Amanaska; see Birch, Jason. 2013. Amaraughaprabodha Amaraughaprabodha, (unpublished) critical edition, ed. Jason Birch. The Haṭha Yoga Project, forthcoming.

130 For example, the Yogacintāmaṇi of Godāvaramiśra (sixteenth century), the Yogacintāmaṇ i of  Śivānandasarasvatī (seventeenth century), the Yuktabhavadeva (seventeenth century), the Hat ̣hasaṅ ketacandrikā (eighteenth century), the Upāsanasārasaṅ graha (sixteenth century), the Yogasārasaṅ graha (sixteenth to eighteenth century), etc. For the redacting of early Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga texts into Upaniṣads, see Bouy 1994.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

236  Jason Birch Amṛtasiddhi Amṛtasiddhi, (unpublished) critical edition, ed. James Mallinson and Péter-Dániel Szántó. The Hatha Yoga Project, forthcoming. Anubhavanivedanastotra Abhinavagupta: An Historical and Philosophical Study. K.C.  Pandey. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Amarabharati Prakashan, 1935. Candrāvalokana Candrāvalokana. Ms No. 75278. Adyar Library and Research ­Centre, Chennai. Candrāvalokana. Ms No. 4344. Government Oriental Manuscript Library, Madras (Chennai). Candrāvalokana. Ms No. 4345. Government Oriental Manuscript Library, Madras (Chennai). Dattātreyayogaśāstra Dattātreyayogaśāstra. (unpublished) critical edition, ed. James Mallinson (compiled with assistance from Alexis Sanderson, Jason Birch, Péter Szántó, and Andrea Acri). The Hatha Yoga Project, forthcoming. Gheraṇḍasaṃhitā; see Mallinson, James. 2014. Gorakṣaśataka

Gorakṣaśataka, (unpublished) critical edition, ed. James Mallinson. Hat ̣ha Yoga Project, forthcoming. Gorakṣasiddhāntasan˙ graha

Gorakṣasiddhāntasan˙ graha, ed. Pāṇḍeya, Janārdana Śāstrī. Varanasi: Varanaseya Sanskrit Vishvavidyalaya Press, 1973. Hat ̣hapradīpikā

Hat ̣hapradīpikā of Svātmārāma, ed. Swami Digambaraji and Pt. Raghunatha Shastri Kokaje. Lonavla: Kaivalyadhama S.M.Y.M. Samiti, 1998. Hat ̣hapradīpikā of Svātmārāma with the Commentary Jyotsnā Brahmānanda, ed. K. Kunjunni Raja. Madras: Adyar Library and Research Centre, 1972.131 Hat ̣hasan˙ ketacandrikā (of Sundaradeva)

Hat ̣hasan˙ ketacandrikā. Ms No. 2244 at the Man Singh Pustak Prakash Library, Jodhpur. Jyotsnā (of Brahmānanda)

Brahmānandakṛtā Hat ̣hapradīpikā Jyotsnā, ed. Maheśānand, Śarmā, Sahāy, and Bodhe. Lonavla: Kaivalyadham Śrīmanmādhav Yogamandir Samiti, 2002. Kuladīpikā Kuladīpikā, Institut Français de Pondichéry Transcript, No. T1046a. Kulārṇavatantra 131  Verse numbers are cited from this edition.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  237 Kulārṇava Tantra, intro. Avalon, A., trans. Pandit, M.P., ed. Vidyāratna, T.  Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1984. Kulasāra Kulasāra. Ms No. NAK 4–137 (NGMPP A40/11). Kathmandu National Archives, Nepal. Kaulajñānanirṇaya Kaulajñānanirṇaya. Ms No. NAK 3–362 (NGMPP reel A48/13). Kathmandu National Archives, Nepal. Kaulajñānanirṇaya (chapters 5 and 17). Critical Edition, Shaman Hatley, Forthcoming. Matsyendrasaṃ hitā; see Kiss, Csaba. 2009. Matsyendranātha’s Compendium (Matysendrasaṃ hitā): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of Matysendrasaṃ hitā 1–13 and 55 with Analysis. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Oxford University. Merutantra

Merutantra, ed. Paṇḍita Raghunāthaśāstri. Śrivenkateśvara Bombay, 1908. Mokṣopāya Bhāskarakaṇtḥ as Mokṣopāya-Ṭ īkā: ein Kommentar in der Tradition der kaschmirischen Yogavāsiṣtḥ a-.berlieferung, vol. 1–4, ed. Slaje, Walter. Graz: EWS-Fachverl., 1996. Mokṣopāya: Upaśāntiprakaraṇa. Kritische Edition von Susanne Krause-Stinner und Peter Stephan. (Anonymus Casmiriensis: Mokṣopāya. Historisch-kritische Gesamtausgabe.) Herausgegeben unter der Leitung von Walter Slaje. Textedition. [Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz. Veröffentlichungen der Indologischen Kommission]. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz [forthcoming]. Mṛgendratantra

Mṛgendra, Vidyāpāda and Yogapāda, with the Commentary (-vṛtti) of Bhat ̣t ̣a Nārāyaṇakaṇt ̣ha, ed. Madhusudan Kaul Shāstrī. KSTS 50. Srinagar, 1930. Mugdhāvabodhinī (of Caturbhujamiśra) Govindbhagavatpada: Rasahrdayatantra with Caturbhuja Misra’s Mugdhavabodhini. Delhi: Chaukhambha Orientalia, 1989. Pātañjalayogaśāstra

Pātañjalayogasūtrāṇi vācaspatimiśraviracitat ̣īkāsaṃvalitavyāsabhāṣyasametāni tathā bhojadevaviracitarājamārtaṇḍābhidhavṛttisametāni, Ānandāśramasaṃskṛtagranth āvaliḥ, 47. ed. Kāśīnātha Śāstrī Āgāśe, Hari Nārāyaṇa Āpat ̣e, Pune: Ānandāśramamudraṇālaya, 1904.

Pātañjala-Yogasūtra-Bhāṣya Vivaraṇam of Śan˙ kara-Bhagavatpāda, ed. Sastri, P.S. and Sastri, S.R.K. Madras: Government Oriental Manuscript Library, 1952. Praśnasaṃhitā Śrīpraśnasaṃhitā, ed. Raghavan, V. Tirupati: Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, 1969. Puraścaraṇacandrikā (of Devendrāśrama) Puraścaraṇacandrikā. Ms No. NGMPP A42/5, Kathmandu National Archives, Nepal.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

238  Jason Birch Puraścaraṇārṇava (of H.H. The Maharājā Pratāpa Śiṃha Sāha Bahādura of Nepaul)

Puraścaryārṇavaḥ, vols 1–3, ed. Śrīpaṇḍita Muralidhara Jhā. Varanasi: Prabhakari & Co. Banaras, 1901. Prāṇatoṣiṇī (of Rāmatoṣaṇa Vidyālan˙ kāra)

Prāṇatoṣinī, ed. Bhattacaryya, J.V. Calcutta: Śrījīvānandavidyāsāgarabhat ̣t ̣ācarya, 1898.

Rasārṇava The Rasārṇavam: or the Ocean of Mercury and other Metals and Minerals, ed. Ray, P.C. and Kaviratna, Hariścandra. Bibliotheca Indica, 174. Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press, 1910. Sān˙ khyapravacanabhāṣya (of Vijñānabhiksu)

The Sāmkhya-Pravacana-Bhāsya or commentary on the exposition of the Sānkhya phil­oso­phy, ed. Richard Garbe. Boston, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1895. Śārn˙ gadharapaddhati

Śārn˙ gadharapaddhati, ed. Peter Peterson. Delhi: Caukhambā Saṃskṛta Pratiṣt ̣hāna, 1987. Śivasaṃ hitā

Śiva Saṃ hitā: A Critical Edition, ed. Maheshananda Swami. Lonavla: Kaivalyadhama S.M.Y.M. Samiti, 2009; see Mallinson, James. 2007b. Sūtasaṃ hitā

Śrīmatsūtasaṃ hitā tātparyadīpikāsahitā. Mylapore, Madras: Sri Balamanorama Press, 1932. Surīsarvasva (of Govindakavibhūṣaṇasāmantarāya) Sri Surisarvasvam, ed. Sri Jagannatha Misra. Calcutta: Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1912. Upāsanāsārasan˙ graha

Upāsanāsārasan˙ graha, Institut Français de Pondichéry Transcript No. T1095b, pp. 15–63. Vārāhītantra mandu National Vārāhītantra, Ms No. 3–315 (B 144/9 (NGMCP 3–315)), Kath­ Archives, Nepal.132 Vasiṣt ̣hasaṃ hitā

Vasiṣt ̣ha Saṃ hitā (Yoga Kāṇḍa), revised edition, ed. Philosophico-Literary Research Department. Lonavla: Kaivalyadhama S.M.Y.M. Samiti, 2005. Vivekadarpaṇa; see Reinelt, K.J.  2000. Das Vivekadarpaṇa: Textanalyse und Erläuterungen zur Philosophie und praktischen Erlösungslehre der Nāthayogis in Mahārāṣt ̣ra. Inauguraldissertation zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades der Fakultät für Orientalistik und Altertumswissenschaft der Universität Heidelberg.

132  I have used a transcript of this text available at muktabodha.org.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  239 Vivekamārtaṇḍa

Vivekamārtaṇḍa. Ms No. 4110. Maharaja Sayajirao Oriental Institute, Central Library, Baroda (Vadodara).133 Gorakṣaśataka, ed. Fausta Nowotny. Cologne: K.A. Nowotny, 1976. Yogabīja

Yogabīja (unpublished) critical edition, ed. Jason Birch. The Hat ̣ha Yoga Project, forthcoming. Yogabīja of Gorakhanātha, ed. Ramalala Srivastava. Gorakhapur: Gorakhanath Mandir, 1982. Yogacintāmaṇi (of Śivānandasarasvatī) Yogacintāmaṇi, ed. Haridāsa Śarma. Calcutta: Calcutta Oriental Press (no date). Yogacintāmaṇi (of Godāvaramiśra) Yogacintāmaṇi. Ms No. 220, 1882–3. Bhandarka Oriental Research Institute, Pune. Yogasārasan˙ graha

Yogasārasan˙ graha. Institut Français de Pondichéry Transcript No. T0859. Yogatārāvalī Yogatārāvalī, (unpublished) critical edition, ed. Jason Birch. The Hatha Yoga Project, forthcoming. Yoga Upaniṣads Yoga Upaniṣads with the Commentary of Śrī Upaniṣadbrahmayogin, ed. Pandit A. Mahadeva Sastri. Madras: Adyar Library and Research Centre, 1968. Yogayājñavalkya Yogayājñavalkya, ed. Sri Prahlad C Divanji. B.B.R.A.  Society’s Monograph, no. 3. Bombay: Bombay Branch Royal Asiatic Society, 1954. Yuktabhavadeva Yuktabhavadeva of Bhavadeva Miśra, ed. M.L. Gharote and V.K. Jha. Lonavla: Lonavla Yoga Institute, 2002.

Secondary Sources Bansat-Boudon, Lyne. 2013. ‘The Contribution of Non-Dual Śaivism of Kashmir to the Debate on jīvanmukti: A Thematic Perspective on the Question of Periodization’. Periodization and Historiography of Indian Philosophy, Eli Franco. Vienna: Verein ‘Sammlung de Nobili, Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Indologie und Religionsforschung’, Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde der Universität Wien.

133  Verse numbers and readings are cited from this codex.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

240  Jason Birch Bevilacqua, Daniela. 2016. ‘Let the Sādhus Talk: Ascetic Understanding of Hat ̣ha Yoga and Yogāsanas’, Religions of South Asia, 11(2–3), 182–206. https://doi.org/10.1558/ rosa.37023. Birch, Jason. 2011. ‘The Meaning of Hat ̣ha in Early Hat ̣hayoga’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 131(4), 527–54.

Birch, Jason. 2013. The Amanaska: King of All Yogas: A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation with a Monographic Introduction. DPhil Dissertation. Oxford: University of Oxford Library. Birch, Jason. 2014. ‘Rājayoga: The Reincarnations of the King of All Yogas’, International Journal of Hindu Studies, 17(3), 401–44. Birch, Jason. 2015. ‘The Yogatārāvalī and the Hidden History of Yoga’, Nāmarūpa: Categories of Indian Thought, Issue 20, Spring. New York: Nāmarūpa Inc. Birch, Jason. 2018a. ‘Premodern Yoga Traditions and Ayurveda: Preliminary Remarks on Shared Terminology, Theory, and Praxis’, History of Science in South Asia, 6, 1–83. doi: 10.18732/hssa.v6i0.25. Birch, Jason. 2018b. ‘The Proliferation of Āsanas in Late Medieval Yoga Texts’, Yoga in Transformation: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on a Global Phenomenon. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Unipress, pp. 101–79. Birch, Jason. 2019. ‘The Amaraughaprabodha: New Evidence on the Manuscript Transmission of an Early Work on Hat ̣ha- and Rājayoga’, Journal of Indian Philosophy, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10781-019-09401-5. Bouy, Christian. 1994. Les Nātha-Yogin et les Upaniṣads. Paris: Di usion de Boccard.

Colas, Gerard. 2003. ‘History of Vaiṣṇava Traditions: An Esquisse’, in Gavin Flood (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Oxford: Blackwell. Fort, Andrew. 1998. Jīvanmukti in Transformation: Embodied Liberation in Advaita and Neo-Vedanta. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Golovkova, Anya. 2012. ‘Śrīvidyā’, in K.A Jacobsen (ed.), Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Volume Four: Historical Perspectives, Poets, Teachers, and Saints, Relation to other Religions and Traditions, Hinduism and Contemporary Issues. Leiden and Boston, MA: Brill, Handbuch der Orientalistik, Zweite Abteilung, Indien, pp. 815–22. Goodall, Dominic. 2015. The Niśvāsatattvasaṃhitā: The Earliest Surviving Śaiva Tantra. Vol 1. A Critical Edition of the Mūlasūtra, Uttarasūtra and Nayasūtra, Goodall, Dominic, in collaboration with Alexis Sanderson and Harunaga Isaacson, with contributions of Kafle, Nirajan, Acharya, Diwakar, and others. Franco-German Early Tantra Series, École Française D’ extreme-orient Nepal Research Centre. Harimoto, Kengo. 2014. God, Reason, and Yoga: A Critical Edition and Translation of the Commentary Ascribed to Śan˙ kara on Pātañjalayogaśāstra 1.23–28. Hamburg: Department of Indian and Tibetan Studies, Universität Hamburg.

Hatley, Shaman. 2007. The Brahmayāmalatantra and Early Śaiva Cult of Yoginīs. PhD thesis, University of Pennsylvania.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

The Quest for Liberation-in-Life  241 Kaivalyadhama. 2005. Descriptive Catalogue of Yoga Manuscripts (Updated Edition). Lonavla: SMYM Samiti. Kiss, Csaba. 2009. Matsyendranātha’s Compendium (Matysendrasaṃ hitā): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of Matysendrasaṃ hitā 1–13 and 55 with Analysis. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Oxford University. Leadbeater, C.W. 1925. The Masters and the Path. Chicago, IL: Theosophical Press. Maas, Philipp André. 2006. Samādhipāda. Das erste Kapitel des Pātañjalayogaśāstra zum ersten Mal kritisch ediert. (Samādhipāda. The First Chapter of the Pātañjalayogaśāstra for the First Time Critically Edited). Aachen: Shaker (Studia Indologica Universitatis Halensis) (Geisteskultur Indiens. Texte und Studien 9). Maas, Philipp André. 2014. ‘Der Yogiund sein Heilsweg im Yoga des Patañjali’, in Wege zumHeil(igen). Sakralität und Sakralisierung in hinduistischen Traditionen. Karin Steiner. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, pp. 65–90. Mallik, Smt Kalyani. 1954. Siddhasiddhāntapaddhati and Other Works of Nath Yogis. Pune: Poona Oriental Book House. Mallinson, James. 2004. The Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā: The Original Sanskrit and an English Translation. Woodstock, NY: YogaVidya.

Mallinson, James. 2007a. The Khecarīvidyā of Ādinātha: A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of an Early Text of Hat ̣hayoga. London: Routledge.

Mallinson, James. 2007b. The Śiva Saṃ hitā: A Critical Edition and an English Translation. Woodstock: YogaVidya.com. Mallinson, James. 2011. ‘The Original Gorakṣaśataka’ in David White (ed.), Yoga in Practice. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, pp. 257–72.

Mallinson, James. 2014. ‘Hat ̣hayoga’s Philosophy: A Fortuitous Union of NonDualities’, Journal of Indian Philosophy, 42(1), 225–47.

Mallinson, James. 2016a. ‘The Amṛtasiddhi: Hat ̣hayoga’s Tantric Buddhist Source Text (Draft)’. Forthcoming in Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions: Essays in Honour of Alexis  G.  J.  S.  Sanderson, edited by Dominic Goodall, Shaman Hatley, Harunaga Isaacson , and Srilata Raman. Gonda Indological Studies. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming. Available at: https://www.academia.edu/26700528/The_Amṛtasiddhi_Hat ̣hayogas_ Tantric_Buddhist_Source_Text (accessed 9.2.2017). Mallinson, James. 2016b. ‘Śāktism and Hat ̣hayoga’, in Bjarne Wernicke Olesen (ed.), Goddess Traditions in Tantric Hinduism, History, Practice and Doctrine. Oxford: Routledge, pp. 109–40. Mallinson, James. 2019. ‘Kālavañcana in the Konkan: How a Vajrayāna Hat ̣hayoga Tradition Cheated Buddhism’s Death in India’, Religions, 10, 273; doi: 10.3390/ rel10040273. Potter, Karl. 1998. Advaita Vedānta up to Śaṃ kara and His Pupils. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Rama, Swami and Swami Ajaya. 1978. Living with the Himalayan Masters: Spiritual Experiences of Swami Rama. Honesdale: Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Sciences & Philosophy.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

242  Jason Birch Reinelt, K.J. 2000. Das Vivekadarpaṇa: Textanalyse und Erläuterungen zur Philosophie und praktischen Erlösungslehre der Nāthayogis in Mahārāṣt ̣ra. Inauguraldissertation zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades der Fakultät für Orientalistik und Altertumswissenschaft der Universität Heidelberg. Rukmani, T.S. 1997. ‘Tension Between Vyutthāna and Nirodha in the Yoga-Sūtras’, Journal of Indian Philosophy, 25, 613–28. Sanderson, Alexis. 2014. ‘The Śaiva Literature’, Journal of Indological Studies (Kyoto), Nos. 24 and 25 (2012–13), pp. 1–113. Saraogi, Olga Serbaeva. 2010. ‘Liberation in Life and After Death in Early Śaiva Mantramārgic Texts: The Problem of Jīvanmukti’, in Andreas Bigger, Rita Krajnc, Annemarie Mertens, Markus Schüpbach and Heinz Werner Wessler (eds.), Release from Life—Release in Life: Indian Perspectives on Individual Liberation. Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien: Peter Lang, pp. 211–33. Schaeffer, Kurtis R. 2002. ‘The Attainment of Immortality: From Nāthas in India to Buddhists in Tibet’, Journal of Indian Philosophy, 30(6). Netherlands: Springer. Slaje, Walter. 2000a. ‘Towards a History of the Jīvanmukti Concept: The Mokṣadharma the Mahābhārata’, in Minoru Hara, Ryutaro Tsuchida, and Albrecht Wezler (eds.), Harānandalaharī: Volume in Honour of Professor Minoru Hara on His Seventieth Birthday. Reinbeck: Dr Inge Wezler Verlag für Orientalistische Fachpublikationen, pp. 325–48. Slaje, Walter. 2000b. ‘Liberation from Intentionality and Involvement: On the Concept of jīvanmukti According to the Mokṣopāya’, Journal of Indian Philosophy, 28, 171–94. Sternbach, Ludwik. 1974. Subhāṣita, Gnomic and Didactic Literature. History of Indian Literature, vol. 4. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz. Szántó, Péter-Dániel. 2016. A Brief Introduction to the Amṛtasiddhi (Handout for a talk presented at the Hatha Yoga Project’s Workshop, SOAS University of London). Available at: https://www.academia.edu/28522189/_A_Brief_Introduction_to_the_ Amṛt asiddhi_Handout_for_Sanskrit_Texts_on_Yoga_London_Oxford_2016_ (accessed 9.2.2017). Vasudeva, Somadeva. 2011. ‘Powers and Identities: Yoga Powers and the Tantric Śaiva Traditions’, in Knut Jacobsen (ed.), Yoga Powers. Leiden: Brill, pp. 265–302. Watson, Alex, Goodall, Dominic and Sarma, S.L.P. Anjaneya. 2013. An enquiry into the Nature of Liberation: Bhat ̣t ̣a Ramakaṇt ̣ha’s Paramokṣanirasakarikavr̥tti, a commentary on Sadyojyotiḥ’s refutation of twenty conceptions of the liberated state (mokṣa), for the first time critically edited, translated into English and annotated. Pondichery: École française d'Extrême-Orient. Wezler, Albrecht. 2001. ‘Letting a Text Speak: Some Remarks on the Sādhanapāda of the Yogasūtra and the Yogabhāṣya. I.  The Wording of Yoga- sūtra 2.22’, Journal of Indian Philosophy, 29, 293–304. Yogananda, Paramahamsa. 1946. Autobiography of a Yogi. Los Angeles, CA: SelfRealization Fellowship (1954, ©1946).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

9

Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva Gavin Flood

By the early medieval period the religion focused on Śiva was on the rise politically, socially, and culturally, coming to dominate the South Asian context and beyond to South East Asia. The origins of Śaivism, the religion of Śiva, cannot be dated before the middle of the second century BC (Sanderson 2020: 5) although hymns to Rudra, an early form of Śiva, are found in the Ṛg-veda (Jamieson and Brereton 2014: I.114, II.33, VII. 46). With the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad he becomes elevated to the supreme deity in a way that parallels Kṛsṇ ̣a in the Bhagavad Gītā. Śiva’s presence is well attested in the epics and we have entire Purāṇas dedicated to his worship and mythology. But it is with the tantric revelation that Śiva comes into his own, a tradition mapped out by the ground-breaking work of Alexis Sanderson (e.g. Sanderson 2009), and it is this tradition that will be the focus of the current chapter. The development of the householder tradition of adherence to Vedic values is of great importance in the medieval period, not least because of the stability it brings to polities that themselves can sometimes change quite rapidly. The general picture during this period is that we have orthodox worship of Śiva practised by the ‘twice-born’ (dvija, namely Brahmins, Kṣatriyas, and Vaiśyas) who followed the secondary revelation (smṛti) as encoded in Dharma literature (the Śivadharma texts) and the Purāṇas. The Brahmins who followed Smṛti, called Smārtas, adhered to orthodox values of duty concerning one’s caste and appropriate stage of life (vārṇāśramadharma). They would pursue a regime of domestic ritual and Vedic sacrifice and follow prescriptions for temple worship (Bühnemann 1988), making vegetarian offerings to the aniconic representation of Śiva as the lin͘ ga. Alongside these orthodox, high-caste householders were renouncers who had formally taken renunciation (saṃnyāsa) to practise asceticism and yoga to achieve final lib­er­ ation, usually within a formal ascetic order. Although it regarded itself as following a superior revelation, the tantric tradition nevertheless closely parallels the tradition it claims to transcend.1 The practices of the tantric revelation vary from fairly standard temple worship for those in mainstream society to fringe groups that performed unconventional 1  On the parallelism between the tantric and Smārta traditions see Alexis Sanderson 1995: 27. Gavin Flood, Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva In: Hindu Practice. Edited by: Gavin Flood, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198733508.003.0010

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

244  Gavin Flood and polluting practices (such as ritualized sex outside of caste restrictions) to go against orthodoxy in pursuit of power. Indeed, for the more extreme tantric traditions, those who adhered to the orthodox, Vedic revelation were ‘enslaved’ (pāśava) (Sanderson 1985: 212, note 81, citing Abhinavagupta’s Tantrāloka 4.252–3). The history of practice is often linked to the history of power and the social and political relations between communities, although I think it fair to say that the earliest tantric practices are not concerned with temple ritual and public rites, but more with esoteric matters and the gaining of supernatural power (siddhi) and salvation (mokṣa) from the cycle of reincarnation (saṃ sāra). The earliest Tantra that we now have, the Niśvāsatattva-saṃhitā, the earliest layers of which go back to the fifth century ad, bears witness to this in the absence of any concern for temple ritual and displays of public religion in festivals. Indeed, the primary concerns of this text are magical practices and the quest for liberation in a hier­arch­ ic­al universe populated by myriads of supernatural beings inhabiting (to us) invisible worlds. The principal editor and translator of the text, Dominic Goodall, sums up the situation well: In short, the Niśvāsa seems to reflect a religion of spell-masters questing for empowerment (bhukti) and liberation (mukti). That religion is still far distant from the religious world of priests and public temples, such as is reflected in, for instance, the Kāmika, Kāraṇa, Ajitāgama and other such twelfth- and posttwelfth century South Indian Temple Āgamas, and it is probably not yet a socially organized religion housed in monasteries or ordered around rich householder gurus.  (Goodall 2015: 59)

The origins of tantric practice are thus a combination of a yogic or meditative inner quest for liberation, along with a quest for magical power and experiencing other worlds in the cosmos to which the adept would be transported, if not phys­ ic­al­ly then in his religious imagination. On the one hand, we have meditative practices of ascetic renouncers while on the other we have ritual practices of Brahmin householders, both within the remit of Śaivism. During the early medieval period, an ascetic tradition developed known to later classification as the Ati Mārga, the Higher or Outer Path beyond the Vedic. This path, and in particular the Pāśupata order, became influential and powerful, owning land and temples. Indeed, the great Śiva temple at Somnath that was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni and its reputed gold lin͘ ga taken away belonged to the Pāśupatas (Thapar 2004: 92, 96–7). The Pāśupata observance entailed a three-stage process of living in the temple, leaving the temple, and adopting anti-social behaviour such as pretending to be mad (Pāśupata-sūtras 3.12–17; see Oberhammer 1992: 204–23) so as to attract abuse, and finally living in a cremation ground. A later development of this sect were the Kāpālikas, skull-bearing ascetics living in cremation grounds and covering themselves in the ashes of the dead, a type of practice that still persists in India in the form of the Aghori sect (Parry  1994).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva  245 These were a precursor to the tantric ascetic, the Sādhaka, and a tradition that influences mainstream householder religion. In contrast to the Ati Mārga, there was the Mantra Mārga, the path of Mantras that refers to what has become known as ‘Tantric Śaivism’. This path comprised the central tradition of the Śaiva Siddhānta along with other groups that claimed to go beyond even this revelation, such as the Trika in Kashmir. Even though it claimed an alternative revelation, the Śaiva Siddhānta was nevertheless orientated towards orthodox Vedic values and was dualistic in its metaphysics, claiming an eternal distinction between God, souls, and matter in contrast to the nonSaiddhātika tantric traditions that were metaphysically non-dualist and disparaged conventional adherence to Vedic values (Sanderson 1995: 23). Non-Saiddhāntika groups, such as the Trika, adopted antinomian practices that were anathema to the orthodox Brahmins, thereby displaying resistance to Brahmanical authority through the adoption of polluting rites. We see this consistently in the ritual record. What they share is that Śaiva initiation grants complete salvation in contrast to Vedic scriptures that do not. I will therefore initially examine the practices of mainstream, conventional tantric traditions of the Śaiva Siddhānta, which became the normative Śaiva ritual system, before examining the practices of the more fringe groups. Indeed, the Śaiva Siddhānta classified ritual into daily rites (nitya-karma), occasional rites (naimittika-karma), and magical rites for a desired end (kāmya-karma) that I shall use here as a typology. This threefold classification has its origins in the orthodox Vedic tradition and is used by Jaimini in the Mīmāṃsā-sūtras (11.1.26; Thadani 2007) but it is not present in the earliest Tantras although it is in place by the eleventh century, being present in the Mṛgendrāgama (3.49, 6.43).2 Eschatological hope was generally restricted to those householders and ascetics who performed regular, daily worship in the belief that at death they would gain liberation. Whereas the Smārta Brahmin performed pūjā in the hope that at death he would be reborn into the world of his God, vaikuṇt ̣ha for Viṣnu ̣ or śivaloka for Śiva, the Śaiva performed his practice in the hope of liberation beyond the cosmic egg of the Smārtas along with pleasure in higher worlds of experience for those who desired that. Let us examine each of these.

1.  Daily Ritual (Nitya-Karma) Tantric Śaiva religion is a religion of ritual par excellence. After initiation the Śaiva Siddhāntin was required to undergo a daily regime of ritual, worshipping Śiva at the junctures of the day in the belief that this ritual would help to erase the 2  Mṛgendrāgama Kriyāpāda III. 48–49: dīkṣāyāṃ naityake caiva sarvavyatikareṣu ca //48// dhyāyet sādhāraṇaṃ rūpaṃ kāmye kāmānugaṃ mune / śvetababhrupiśan˙gābhakṛṣṇādi. ‘In initiations, in daily rites, and in all misfortunes, one should meditate the supporting form, O Sage, [which] in rites for a desired purpose will correspond to one’s desire. [The colours of such desired purposes are] white, brown, red, black, and so on.’

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

246  Gavin Flood effects of past action and that, at death, with Śiva’s grace, the adept would attain liberation. As in Jainism, rather than knowledge it is action that creates the conditions for liberation. This was a religion of the householder who maintained general adherence to Vedic Brahmanical values (varṇāśrama-dharma) but believed his tantric revelation went far beyond the Veda. The ritual system of the Śaiva Siddhānta became normative and spread throughout the sub-continent from Kashmir to the South where it absorbed Tamil devotionalism.3 Technically there are twenty-eight Śaiva Siddhānta Tantras along with other texts, although there are actually more, particularly ritual manuals or paddhatis that were used as the practical basis for ritual procedure. These paddhatis were distillations of ritual from the Tantras, containing details of actions to be performed along with the mantras to be uttered and the hand gestures (mudrā) to be used. The most famous is the paddhati of Somaśambhu, carefully edited and translated by Hélène Brunner, and also the paddhati of Īśānaśivagurudeva composed in Kerala. Both of these texts are probably eleventh century, although the latter quotes the former and so is later. The Īśānaśivagurudeva-paddhati is still used by some Nambudri Brahman families of the Taranallur clan in the Alwaye region of Kerala (Unni 1988) and is distinctive in the Śaiva Siddhānta corpus for containing chapters on possession and exorcism. The daily ritual life of the Śaiva Siddhāntin involved making vegetarian offerings to the Śiva lin͘ ga, the icon of Śiva, in a standard way, first having identified himself with his God, for one of the distinctive features of tantric worship is that only a god can worship a god. The divinization of the person is therefore an important part of the ritual process. In the Somaśambhupaddhati this process takes the form of purificatory bathing (snāna), the purification of the elements within the body (the bhūtaśuddhi), the divinization of the body through imposing mantras upon it (nyāsa), and the internal worship of the deity within the imagination (antara-/mānasa-yāga), followed by external worship (bahya-yāga) to an icon of the god (Sanderson 1995: 27–9). Following external worship, a Vedic homa rite was added on to the tantric worship. In this process the vertical structure of the cosmos is mapped onto the vertical structure of the body. The Śaiva Siddhānta codified this cosmology in the ‘six ways’ (ṣaḍadhvan) that divided the hierarchy into three paths of sound and three of space, each of which in itself is a complete hierarchical structure.4 This is pervasive in tantric ritual and might even 3  I refer the reader to the work of Dominic Goodall and his colleagues at the French Institute in Pondicherry where a comprehensive project to preserve, edit, and translate the texts mostly, but not exclusively, of the Śaiva Siddhānta is underway. See, for example, Goodall, The Parākhyatantra: A Scripture of the Śaiva Siddhānta (Pondichéry: Institut Français de Pondichéry, 2004). 4  They are varṇa (syllable), mantra, and pada (word) for the path of sound and kalā (power), ­tattva, and bhuvana (world) for the path of space. Some of these terms are not easy to directly translate for their meaning is relational within the system. For details of this system see André Padoux, Vāc: The Concept of the Word in Selected Hindu Tantras, trans. J. Gontier (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1990), pp. 330–71.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva  247 be considered to be a distinctive feature of it, although there are Vedic precedents before the emergence of Tantra (Einoo 2005: 7–49). A particularly interesting text from the Śaiva Mantra Mārga is the Netra-tantra, the ‘eye’ tantra, also called the ‘Lord of Immortality’ (Amṛteśvara-tantra). This was popular in the Kashmir valley and Sanderson has shown its importance as a text that appealed to royalty in the protection of the king’s family from demonic attack and the way the Śaiva priest functions as the royal, Brahmanical chaplain or Purohita (Sanderson 2004). What is interesting here is that the Netra in­corp­or­ ates into it many different systems not only within Śaivism but from Vaiṣṇavism and Śāktism too. It presents visualizations of the ferocious Bhairava (Netra-tantra chapter  10)5 and even of Viṣṇu as an ithyphallic young man seated on a ram (Netra-tantra 13.10). There are notable chapters on possession and rites of protection from demons, not dissimilar to the manual of Īśānaśivagurudeva. The text is an index of a world populated by supernatural forces and in which everyday life was permeated by positive and negative invisible influences. The Netra offers a mantra technology, to control these forces. The control of demonic forces it regards as the lowest level of practice. In three chapters on three kinds of practice that it calls meditations or visualizations (dhyāna), we have the gross meditation that involves practices of protection from demonic forces, the subtle meditation that is an esoteric meditation on powers within the subtle body, and the supreme meditation that is a reinterpretation of the classical eight limbs of yoga as found in Patañjali and that bestows liberation (mokṣada), and in which the practitioner becomes a ‘conqueror of death’ (mṛtjuñjit).6 The gross meditation is for the protection and healing of a sick person, the cause of which is considered to be demonic possession. This involves the construction of a fire pit, as with the Vedic sacrifice, into which offerings are made of sesamum, rice, honey, clarified butter, and milk.

5 For example, NT 10.2-7 pañcavaktraṃ Śavārūḍ haṃ daŚabāhuṃ bhayānakam kṣapāmukhaṃ ghorataraṃ garjantaṃ bhīṣaṇasvanam // 2 // daṃ ṣṭrakarālavadanaṃ bhrukuṭīkuṭilekṣaṇam siṃ hāsanapadārūḍ haṃ vyālahārair vibhūṣitam // 3 // kapālamālābharaṇaṃ dāritāsyaṃ mahātanum / gajatvakprāvṛtapaṭaṃ ŚaŚān˙kakṛtaŚekharam // 4 // kapālakhaṭvān˙gadharaṃ khaḍ gakheṭakadhāriṇam / pāŚān˙kuŚadharaṃ devaṃ varadābhayapāṇikam // 5 // vajrahastaṃ mahāvīraṃ paraŚvāyudhapāṇikam / bhairavaṃ pūjayitvā tu tasyotsan˙gagatāṃ smaret // 6 // pralayāgnisamākārāṃ lākṣāsindūrasaprabhām / ūrdhvakeŚīṃ mahākāyāṃ vikarālāṃ subhīṣaṇām // 7 //. 10.2. [Bhairava] has five faces, mounted on a corpse, with ten arms, a fierce drum, with a dark face, he is most terrible, roaring a terrifying noise. 10. 3. His face has a gaping mouth with fangs, his eyes are frowning, he is mounted on a lion throne, [and] adorned with a garland of snakes. 10.4: He wears a garland of skulls, wide jaws, a great body, his chosen garment, the skin of an elephant, the moon in his tuft of hair. 10.5. He bears a skull topped staff, holding a sword and shield, a noose and elephant hook, the god whose hands bear the boon giving and fear not gestures. 10.6–7. [He holds] a thunderbolt in his hand, the great hero, holding the axe weapon. Having worshipped Bhairava [the practitioner] should bring to mind the [Goddess] sitting on his lap, like the fire at the end of time, radiant in red clothes, with hair piled high, a great body, horrible [and] frightening.’ I have taken kṣapāmukhaṃ (10.2c) to mean dark face, i.e. one whose face is like night. 6  NT 6.8: sūkṣmaṃ cakrādiyogena kalānāḍ yādayena ca / paraṃ sarvātmakaṃ devaṃ mokṣadaṃ mṛtyujid bhavet //. ‘The subtle [method] is by the practice of the centres of the body and so on, and by the arising of the channels and powers. The supreme [method] is God who bestows liberation, the essence of all, [whereby] one becomes the conqueror of death.’

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

248  Gavin Flood The name of the sick person is encased in a mantra, which the  priest repeats. Indeed, any mantra framed by the Lord of Immortality mantra (the netra mantra OṂ JUṂ SAḤ) along with the person’s name will achieve success (Netra-tantra 6.18–27).7 This is accompanied by visualizing the sick person on a lotus in an ocean of milk with the name of the person enwrapped by mantras written in the centre of the lotus. This ritual diagram is also drawn externally to which the priest offers ingredients that are entirely white, and he does this for the protection of the king (Netra-tantra 6.34–5). Another method of protection is to make offerings into a pot filled with jewels and other ingredients. The priest then performs an ablution over the head of the sick person. The water flowing from the pot over the sickly man is the nectar of immortality flowing to the earth from the world of Śiva, filled with the nectar that contains all the cosmological categories (namely the six paths) (Netra-tantra 6.41–5). With this procedure, disease is cured, the king wins a kingdom, the sick become healthy, a barren woman gives birth to a son, and a daughter finds a husband (Netra-tantra 6.18–27).8 This is a world of practical religion. The function of practice is protection and the flourishing of the king and his family where the priest functions as a magical physician. This is quite distinct from the subtle meditation that follows. Here the body is imagined as a structure that maps onto the vertical axis of the cosmos. There is a central channel running through it with various ‘wheels’ (cakra), ‘bases’ (ādhāra), and ‘knots’ (granthi) located along its axis. Two models are presented, the first in which power, forced into the central channel, rises up, piercing the different centres or blockages to the crown of the head where the practitioner enters the supreme state and becomes one with Śiva (Netra-tantra 7.34–5). From here the body is filled or flooded (plavana) with nectar (Netra-tantra 6.40–5). In the second model, the yogi rises up to unite with Śiva at the crown of the head 7 NT 6.16–19: tilataṇḍ ulam ākṣīka ājyaṃ kṣīrasamanvitam / eṣa pañcāmṛto homa[ḥ̣] sarva­ duṣṭanivāraṇaṃ // 16 // guggulān˙ gulikābhiś ca tryaktāś ca śakramātrayā/ homāt puṣṭir bhavaty āśukṣīṇadehasya suvrate // 17 // yadā vyādhiśākīrṇā hy abalo dṛśyate naraḥ /tadā tu sampuṭīkṛtya nāma japtvā vimucyate // 18 // yaṃ yaṃ maṃ traṃ japed vidvān amṛtīśena saṃ puṭam / satasya siddhyate kṣipraṃ bhāgya hīno’pi yo bhavet // 19 //. ‘6.16. To destroy all impurity [one must make] a sacrifice of five ingredients [nectars], sesamum, rice, honey, clarified butter, and milk. 6.17. The emaciated body will be nourished, O one observing the vow, from the fire oblation, by being smeared with three kinds of balls of fragrant resin, merely [the size of] a chickpea. 6.18. If a weak man filled with a hundred diseases is looked after, then after repeating his name framed [by the netra mantra], he will be freed. 6.19. Even though by itself ineffective, whatever mantra the wise man repeats framed by the Lord of Immortality [mantra], with that he will quickly achieve success.’ 8  NT 6. 46–48: āyur balaṃ yaśaḥ kīrtir dhṛtir medhā yaśaḥ śriyaḥ/sarvaṃ pravartate yasya bhūbhṛto rājyam uttamam // 46 // duḥ khānvito viduḥ khas tu vyādhimān nirujo bhavet / vandhyāpi labhate putraṃ kanyā tu patim āvahet // 47 // yayat samīhate kāmaṃ taṃ taṃ tasya dhruvaṃ bhavet/ abhiṣekasya māhātmyaṃ vidhānavihitasya ca // 48 // ‘6.46. [Through this gross method he gains] long life, strength, fame, brightness, firmness, power, fame, [and] beauty, [and] for him everything can be realised, he attains the earth, [he acquires] the best kingdom. 6.47. One afflicted becomes healthy, possessed of suffering he becomes free from suffering, a barren woman attains a son, or a daughter may get a husband. 6.48. Whatever desire he wishes to attain that will c­ ertainly come about for the great soul who is consecrated according to the method [laid out here].’

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva  249 (i.e. no plavana). The first model, the flooding of the body, is distinctive of Śākta traditions and is called the kulaprakrīyā by the commentator on the text, Kṣemarāja (c. 1000–50), in contrast to the normative system of the tantraprakrīyā (Netratantra 7.16cd–35) which shows how Śākta traditions were being incorporated into mainstream Śaiva practice (Wernicke-Olesen and Einarsen 2015). Finally, the supreme meditation is a reinterpretation of the classical eight-limbed yoga through which the yogi becomes free from old age and death. In this reinterpretation, discipline (yama) is said to be cessation of the cycle of reincarnation, restraint (niyama) is constant meditation (bhāvanā) on the supreme reality (paraṃ tattva), posture (āsana) is becoming established between exhalation and inhalation, breath control (prāṇayāma) is stilling the mind, and the three stages of concentration beyond this are refinements of this meditative state, culminating in realizing the sameness of consciousness in all beings. This is the awareness that ‘I am God’ (śivo’ham) (Netra-tantra 8.10–18).9 Attaining this realization, the yogi becomes free from reincarnation, free from disease, and he fills the entire universe, which is the realization of the essence of the supreme self (parmātmasvarūpa) (Netra-tantra 8.28). The text then goes on to reveal that this essence of the self is in fact Power or Śakti, the Goddess, and this power pervades the yogi’s willing, thinking, and acting (Netra-tantra 8.33). This supreme realization is beyond the categories of self and other, a condition of constant meditation, which is dis­sol­ution in a state of joy, the supreme state of the highest God, and the cheating of time in which the yogi becomes the conqueror of death (Netra-tantra 8.39–52).10

9  NT 8.2–6. Here Śiva describes this state: yogī sarvagato bhāti sarvadṛk sarvakṛc chivaḥ /tam ahaṃ kathayiṣyāmi yasmād anyan na vidyate // 2 // yaṃ prāpya tanmayatvena bhavate hy ajarāmaraḥ / yan na vāg vadate nityaṃ yan na dṛśyeta cakṣuṣā // 3 // yan na saṃ śruyate karṇair nāsā yaś ca na jighrati na cāsvādayate jihvā na sparśeta tvag indriyaṃ // 4 // na cetasā cintanīyaṃ sarvavarṇarasojjhitam sarvavarṇṇarasair yuktam aprameyam atīṃ driyam // 5 // yaṃ prāpya yogino devi bhavanti hy ajarāmarāḥ tad abhyāsena mahatā vairāgyena pareṇa ca // 6 // . ‘8.2. The Yogi shines forth as Śiva who is the omnipresent, all seeing, [and] all doing. I will speak about that [condition], beyond which there is nothing else. 8.3–6. Having attained that [state, the Yogi] becomes ageless and deathless through identification with it. It is that eternal which speech cannot express, that cannot be seen by the eye, that cannot be heard with the ears, that the nose cannot smell, that the tongue cannot taste, that the sense of touch cannot feel, that cannot be thought by the mind, freed from all colour and taste [yet it  is] endowed with all colour and taste, immeasurable, [and] beyond the senses. When that is attained, O Goddess, the Yogis become free from old age and death through their exalted practice and supreme detachment.’ 10  NT 8.44–46: ‘8.44. nendriyāṇi [na] bhūtāni śabdasparśarasādinā/sarvaṃ tyaktvā samādhisthaḥ kevalan [tan]mayo bhavet // 44 // sāvasthā paramā proktā śivasya paramātmanaḥ/ nirābhāsapade taṃ tu taṃ prāpya vinivartate // 45 // evaṃ bhāvitām ātmānam ātmano bhāvanābalāt/ sa bhavet paramaṃ śāntaṃ śivam atyantanirmalam // 46 //. ‘[The Yogi should not meditate on] the senses, nor the ­elements, nor on [the objects of the senses] sound, touch, and taste. Abandoning everything, established in concentration, [the Yogi] becomes only made of that [reality]. 8.45. This is called the supreme state of the highest self of Śiva. Having attained that, the condition beyond manifestation, [the Yogi] turns away [from the cycle of reincarnation]. 8.46. In this way [the Yogi] should meditate on the self through the powerful meditation on the self. He [then] becomes the supreme tranquillity that is Śiva, the transcendent purity.’

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

250  Gavin Flood With the Netra-tantra we have the whole gamut of practice in the medieval period. On the one hand, we have a popular version of non-dual metaphysics in which the yogi realizes his identity with absolute consciousness through meditation, which is the realization that the self is God, while on the other we have magical protection from demonic invasion that incorporates Vedic practices of offerings into the fire. We have here a kind of ‘inclusivism’, the incorporation of different traditions in a synthesis and kind of universalism, although distinct from nineteenth- and twentieth-century Hinduism in being hierarchically arranged.11 In contrast to the later tradition, the text is esoteric in the sense that initiation (dīkṣā) is a requirement, a process that is itself effective in protection and ensuring the realization of eschatological hope.

2.  Occasional Ritual (Naimittika-Karma) Occasional rites are principally initiation and funerals, but they also include marriage and occasional observances or vows. Initiation is the main prescribed rite outside of daily ritual in the tantric tradition. In line with Vedic practice, ini­ti­ ation marks an entry into a new condition for the initiate, conceptualized both as a new social condition with a new status and as an ontological condition in which the deeper state of being of the initiate is changed such that he is guaranteed lib­ er­ation through the grace of God mediated through the master. who symbolically cuts the bonds (pāśaccheda) that bind the soul to the universe. In this process the master blindfolds the disciple who throws a flower into the ritual diagram (­man․․dala) to determine his initiation name. In this process the disciple’s soul is symbolically lifted through the levels of the universe, its different worlds, to the abode of Śiva. The master joins the soul with a particular world, causing him to be born into it to enjoy it, and cuts the bond with that world and moves up higher to the next. For example, the lowest world governed by the Rudra who is the fire of

11 NT 9.6–11: na tasya rūpaṃ varṇo vā paramārthena vidyate yasmāt sarvagato devaḥ sarvāgamamayaḥ śubhaḥ // 6 // vyāpakaḥ sarvamantrāṇāṃ sarvasiddhipradāyakaḥ nirmalaṃ sphaṭikaṃ yadvat tantau protaṃ sitādike // 7 // pratibimbeta sarvatra yena yena hi rañjitamtattad darśayate’nyeṣāṃ na svabhāvena rañjitam // 8 // tathā tathaiva deveśaḥ sarvāgamaniyojitaḥ phalaṃ dadāti sarveṣāṃ sādhakānāṃ hi sarvataḥ // 9 // tasmāt srotaḥ susarveṣu cintāmaṇirivojjvalaḥ bhāvabhedena vai dhyātaḥ sarvāgamaphalapradaḥ // 10 // śivaḥ sadāśivaścaiva bhairavas tumburus tathā somasūryasvarūpeṇa vahnirūpadharo vibhuḥ // 11 //. ‘9.6. The nature of the supreme reality is colourless, so the pure, all pervading God comprises all the revelations. 9.7–8. [He is] all pervading, who bestows the total ­perfection of all mantras. As a pure crystal threaded on a coloured thread, always reflects [the colour] by which [the thread] is coloured, so [God] is seen among others, not being coloured by its own nature. 9.9. As the Lord of Gods is expressed in all revelations, he always bestows fruit for all ­practitioners. 9.10. Therefore, the blazing one is the stream [of tradition] among all [of them], like a wish fulfilling gem. Visualised according the division of ­[different] natures, he gives the fruit of all the revelations. 9.11. The Lord Śiva [reveals himself as] Sadāśiva, Bhairava, and Tumburu, with the nature [respectively] of the moon, sun, and fire.’

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva  251 time (Kālāgnirudra) is the first that the disciple is symbolically born into before rising to higher worlds.12 Initiation presupposes the master called the Ācārya, Guru, or Deśika, the one who transfers power to the disciple by giving him the mantra and being the conduit for the descent of power (śaktipāta). He mediates between the transcendent Lord and disciple (Gegnagel 2001). Being a master is not so much about inner awareness as it is a socially defined role; a master is one who has himself undergone a consecration that recognizes his status and knowledge, and his achievement in terms of realizing the tradition’s goals, called the ablution of the teacher (ācāryābhiṣeka). It is his ability to perform the correct rites at the correct time that is more important than the inner state for the Śaiva Siddhānta, although for more extreme tantric initiation, into the Kaula and Krama cults, for example, signs of possession such as trembling were expected: the initiation had to be perceived to have succeeded through these signs (Sanderson 1986). Somaśambhu, as described in detail by Brunner, prescribes three initiations, the general (samaya-dikṣā) that provides formal entry into the tradition, the particular (viśeṣa-dīkṣā), which is part of the general, and the liberating (nirvāṇa-dīkṣā), which guarantees liberation. The main distinction is between the general and liberating initiation that indicates two types of disciple, the Samayin who has undergone the first and the Putraka (‘son of Śiva’) who has undergone the second (Brunner-Lachaux  1977: xxxi). After the liberating initiation there are two further consecrations that can be taken: for one who wishes to become a teacher in the traditions, the ācāryābhiṣeka, and for one who wishes to experience power and enjoyment in higher worlds of the cosmos, the sādhakābhiṣika. This distinction between the teacher and the seeker of power reflects the distinction between one who seeks liberation (mumukṣu) and one who seeks power and pleasure in higher worlds (bubhukṣu) (Brunner 1975: 411–16) that perhaps reflects the incorporation into the normative Śaiva system of an earlier tradition of the Sādhaka as a yogi who sought power. The Mṛgendrāgama, a text of the Śaiva canon that is mostly about private, daily ritual but contains information about initiation, divides Śaivas into four groups, the master (Deśika/Ācārya), the mantra specialist (Mantravṛt ̣ti/Sādhaka), the son of Śiva (Putraka), and the regular initiate (Samayin). All of these may undertake a special observance or vow (vrata) (Mṛgendrāgama Caryāpāda 1.2). Such Śaivas may wear a chignon or have a shaved head, and they bear the emblems of the Śaiva being covered with pale ash, wearing the Śaiva marks on their forehead, and 12 E.g. the Matan˙gaparameśvarāgama Kriyāpāda 7.17–18: śarvaśarvapadoccārāt samyaksaṃ ­ hāramudrayā / gṛhitaṃ yojayed garbhe sadyojātena mantravit //17// kālāgnirudrabhuvaṇaṃ purā saṃ kalpya kalpayet / śivo jñāpayati svāhā rudrāhaccha paśorvidhau // 18//. ‘The mantra master, with the appropriate ritual gesture of destruction and with the formula ‘śarvaśarva,’ should unite [the soul of the disciple] in the womb [of the world] to be grasped with [the form of Śiva] Sadyojāta. Having first imagined the world of the Rudra of the fire of time, he should visualize it [?]. In accordance with the rule of the soul, Śiva commands ‘come from the world of Rudra, svāhā’.’

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

252  Gavin Flood so on.13 But even here there is social differentiation because the lowest caste, the Śūdras, may not wear matted locks, and neither may the foolish, the ignorant, the mad, women, the old, those with missing limbs, and so on.14 Those with matted locks should treat their chignon in a certain way, imbuing them symbolically with the structures of the universe (the six paths) and treating them with special powders and the ‘three fruits’ of the Indian gooseberry tree (myrobolans) (Mṛgendrāgama Caryāpāda 1.7). Those who undertake an observance are themselves of two types, the celibate Brahman that lasts his entire life, called the naiṣt ̣hika-vratin, one whose observance is to the end, and those whose observance is for a shorter duration, the ‘elemental’ or bhautika-vratin. The former is an initiate, or a teacher, and the latter is the Sādhaka. The former is a celibate ascetic, whereas the latter can be married, as he desires power, riches (bhūti), and obtaining a good woman (satpatnīparigraha) (Mṛgendrāgama Caryāpāda 1.9ab–10). The rules of the Śaiva following an observance are quite strict and include the giving up of meat, women, and honey (possibly mead, an alcoholic beverage), sleeping on the ground, and being accompanied only by his gourd for water. He must also avoid singing, dan­ cing, interactions with women, and so on (Mṛgendrāgama Caryāpāda 1.18–19). Another Saiddhāntika text, the Matan͘ gapārameśvarāgama, presents details of the social behaviour of disciples and masters. The Samayin must be a virtual slave to the master and this way gains liberation,15 the Putraka must practise perfectly the general principles (sāmānācāra) of Śaivism, honouring the master, the deity, and the fire, remaining calm in all circumstances (Caryāpāda 4.14), and the Sādhaka focuses on his personal mantra (japa); being an ascetic, he concentrates his efforts on particular duties (Caryāpāda 4.15). The teacher has the duty to briefly attend to his own worship and meditation, for his main obligations are to his disciples, to initiate and teach them in order to facilitate the descent of grace (śaktipāta) upon them (Caryāpāda 4.16–17).

13  Mṛgendrāgama Caryāpāda 1.2: athāto deśikādīnaṃ sāmānyācārasaṃ grahaḥ / paraś cāvasara­ prāptaḥ samāsenopadiśyate //1.1// deśiko mantravṛttiś ca putrakaḥ samayī ca yaḥ / catvāra ete śaivāḥ syur vratino’vratino’pi vā //1.2// vratino jaṭilā muṇḍās teṣv agryā bhasmapāṇḍarāḥ / tilakaiḥ puṇḍrakaiḥ paṭtạ ir bhūṣitā bhūmipādayaḥ //3//. ‘1.1. Now is taught in a concise way, a compendium of shared comportment for masters and so on [and also for] others, when the opportunity has arisen. 1.2. There are four [classes of] Śaiva, the master, the mantra holder, the son of Śiva and the ordinary follower, who may be bound or not to an observance. 1.3. Those lords of the earth and others, bound to an observance, with matted locks or shaved head, of them the highest placed are white with ashes, adorned with turbans, sectarian lines and marks [on the forehead].’ 14  Ibid. 1.4. The commentary glosses the list as śūdramūrkha­pramatta­strī­vṛddhāmayāvivikalpān˙gavā jaṭā na dhāraṇīyāḥ, ‘Those who may not bear matted locks are the lowest caste, the foolish, the insane, women, the old, the sick, or those with insufficient limbs’. 15  Matan˙gapārameśvarāgama, Caryāpada 4.2–3: samayī sarvadāyatto guroḥ sarvāmanā sphuṭam / yadā tadā sa muktātmā nānyathā ucyate bhavāt //4.2// dāsavan nivasen nityaṃ dīkṣām āśritya mokṣadām //4.3//. ‘When the common initiate, giving all, manifests every wish of the master, then he  whose self has been freed, speaks as appropriate and not otherwise. Being like a slave, he may ­constantly enter the [condition in which] liberation has been bestowed, having taken initiation’.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva  253 These textual details are interesting because they give us a picture of Śaiva life in the medieval period. There are clear distinctions between different types of religious mendicant depending upon stages or grades of initiation. There is also an attempt to incorporate and systematize practices. The Sādhaka may well have been an independent yogi that the Śaiva system arrogates to itself and creates a niche for in its initiatory system. This is a common pattern in Brahmanism and Śaivism was successful in absorbing other traditions into it, and was then itself imitated by other religions, particularly Jainism and Buddhism. The chapters on comportment present a picture of the normative, householder life in which the ordinary Śaiva initiate would practise his ritual obligations at the three junctures of the day (dawn, noon, and sunset), perform ritual to install deities in shrines, and occasionally undertake a vow. He would treat his master with great respect, greeting him in a prescribed way and offering him the usual guest drink of honey and milk (madhuparka) should he visit the house.16 The Śaiva virtuosi would undertake even stricter observance and would be quite distinctive in their appearance, bearing the external signs of the Śaiva such as being covered in ash, bearing matted locks, and carrying the water gourd of the ascetic. This religion was not so far from the Vedic Brahmans in social observance, because the ascetic who undergoes an observance must be of higher caste, one of the twice-born, which excludes Śūdras. He must also be as faultless as possible, without disability, without being too old, and only being male. Clearly there was discrimination at this time against women, the low castes, and the dis­abled. Although some forms of tantric Śaivism—the traditions of the left revelatory current—rejected this social exclusion, the rigid social hierarchy remained in place. If we can call the tantric religion a religious revolution of some kind, then it was not a revolution that espoused social equality and rights for mi­nor­ities, although there were groups within it that clearly rejected the values of varṇāśrama-dharma and promoted equality insofar as all are equal in an ultimate reality of consciousness only or anyone may be liberated through initiation.

3.  Ritual for a Desired Purpose (Kāmya-Karma) Rites for a desired purpose are magical rites; ritual as a magical technology to achieve a particular outcome that bypasses natural causal laws. These rites were for gaining some personal advantage such as success in one’s love life by winning over a particular woman, riches, or, especially, the destruction of enemies and the 16  Mṛgendrāgama Caryāpāda 1.21ab: gurutattulyabandhūnāṃ brātṛṇ āṃ jyāyasām api / pūjanaṃ madhuparkādyaiḥ ...//21ab//. [The disciple] should offer worship with honeyed water and so on, to the master even to his brothers and relatives equal to him.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

254  Gavin Flood consequent increase in power. These black magic rituals (abhicāra) were particularly attractive to kings who wished to defeat their enemies. The actual rites used the same kind of ingredients and processes as daily and occasional rituals, often substituting ingredients with different colours for different purposes. For example, the Mṛgendrāgama says that God in the form of Sadāśiva, the central deity of the Śaiva Siddhānta, should be visualized in different colours according to the desired outcome—white, red, copper, black, blue, and grey—as offerings are made into the fire.17 These outcomes are the paralysis of an enemy, causing pain, frightening, destroying, pacifying, and ruining.18 There are also rites to attain what one desires. These rituals seem to be prevalent in texts more distanced from the mainstream. Thus, although respectable Śaiva texts such as the Mṛgendrāgama contain some magical material for the destruction of enemies, some texts focused on the Goddess are exclusively devoted to the pursuit of magical powers and obtaining desired wishes. One of the earliest texts from the tantric Goddess tradition, the Nityākaula, is focused on such magical pursuit. Later the Śākta tradition of the Śrīvidyā was focused on the beautiful Goddess Tripurasundarī, a tradition that became adopted by the mainstream Śan͘ karācāryas in the South. The Nityākaula, however, represents an earl­ier phase of this tradition focused on the Goddess Kāmeśvarī, like Tripurasundarī, a sweet Goddess concerned with love magic iconographically depicted holding an elephant goad, a noose, and bows and arrows in her four arms and seated in a bower of Kadamba blossoms. She holds the weapons of attraction: the goad for pulling the love focus into oneself, a noose for holding him or her, and a bow to shoot arrows of love in a cupid-like fashion. This tradition underwent Brahmanization and was stripped of its transgressive elements although the mantras and mudrās of the ritual system remained. The Śrīvidyā tradition continued to flourish into the nineteenth century, although the last commentator on the tradition is Bhāskararāya in the eighteenth century who still maintains some hardcore, transgressive ritual while reading the texts of the tradition through the lens of Mīmāṃ sā categories (Brooks  1990). But the Nityākaula is a text long before this and of interest here because it is exclusively concerned with magical rites for a desired result.19 This earliest Kaula text that has come down to us, 17  Mṛgendrāgama Kriyāpāda 3.45b–47: muktyārthaṃ sphaṭikākāraṃ prasannaṃ cetasā smaret //3.45// īṣatprahasitaṃ garvitaṃ stambhanādiṣu / karālamasitaṃ pin˙gajaṭāmakuṭabhūṣitam //3.46// kṣādiṣu tirobhāve raktacāvan˙gamaṇḍanam / janane sarvabhāvānāṃ dhyānāsakta anusmaret //3.47//. 3.44cd. To obtain liberation one should recall [the deity] with the mind, with a pleased countenance, whose form is like crystal. 3.45. For rites of immobilization [of enemies] and so on, [one should recall the deity] with a haughty expression, laughing a little, with a gaping mouth, adorned with yellow ­matted locks. In the acts of destruction and so on, one should bring [the deity] to mind, adorned with a red chignon; one attached to meditation should contemplate him in the producing of all beings.’ 18  Ibid. 6.45cd–49. The six are stambha-tāpa-bhaya-dhvaṃ sa-śānty-uccāṭa. For a study of upacāra see Teun Goudriaan, Māyā Divine and Human (Delhi: MLBD, 1978). 19  Nityākaula, NGMPP Reel No. B26/21a. DSCN 6586. My understanding of the text is entirely due to reading it in a class with Alexis Sanderson, Oxford, January 2014.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva  255 probably dated to the tenth century, is concerned with love magic, by which it means winning a desired person. The text described how the practitioner should visualize the target (sādhya) as having a red colour, immersed in nectar, to whom one should make offerings (nivedayet). The love object is then ‘hooked’ by the visu­al­iza­tions and drawn into the practitioner. The text also contains the standard black magic practices of paralyzing the enemy and so on that we saw in the Mṛgendra, although this time through the agency of Kāmeśvarī. In examining the history of Hindu practices, we are restricted to textual representations and some inscriptions that tell us about patronage. We also have contemporary practices that we can cautiously use as a guide to the past. With the Nityākaula and other magical books, we have a representation of more popular practices. We are a long way here from Vedic sacrifice or the meditation on the identity of self with Brahman in the Upaniṣads, but such magical practices are well within the Śaiva tantric universe, as we see with the Netra-tantra where possession sits alongside the supreme meditation. There is a coherence in which practices from different levels of society are integrated into a total worldview. The subtle visualization of the divine body is not incompatible with winning the heart of a woman through magic, destroying one’s enemy, curing an illness due to possession through mantras, or even practising devotion to a deity.

4.  Bhakti and Temple Worship Devotion or bhakti is not a strong dimension in tantric traditions, having ‘no soteriological value’ (Goodall 2015, also 1998, 2004). The Śaiva Siddhānta in the Tamil country did become infused with devotionalism to some extent with the absorption of the Tamil devotional poetry of the Nāyanmārs into the textual corpus, but the tradition remains primarily ritual in orientation. For Śaiva Siddhānta theologians such as Rāmakaṇt ̣ha, bhakti was appropriate for women and bhakti as an attitude was expected towards one’s teacher (Sanderson 1995: 26), and as an emotional attitude plays some role in temple worship. The orthodox Brahmanical worship of Śiva as represented in a corpus of Śivadharma texts does contain some bhakti, but as an emotional attitude expressed in the worship of icons it is generally under-represented, indicating its absence in wider Śaiva practice, at least in the sources of the Siddhānta. The Tamil Tēvāram, a collection of Śaiva devotional poetry of Appar, Campantar, and Cuntarar (sixth to eighth centuries ad) compiled by Nampi Antar Nampi in the tenth century, is wholly devotional, but this was not incorporated into the Śaiva Siddhānta tradition until several centuries after its composition (Goodall 2015: 1). The term ‘devotee’ (bhakta), for example, is used in temple ritual to denote a low-standing official in the hierarchy of officiants; one to mutter Śaiva mantras (Dīptāgama 2.50). Both the Dīptāgama and the Sūkṣmāgama, Śaiva Siddhānta

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

256  Gavin Flood texts of temple worship and construction refer to an annual festival of devotees (bhaktotsava) at which images of the Tamil saints, the Nāyanmārs, are processed or when ordinary devotees accompany an image of Śiva (Sūkṣmāgama chap. 19).20 But this is simply one of five festivals apart from the main grand festival (mahotsava). While bhakti as an emotional attitude and relationship between devotee and deity is important in the Tamil poetic corpus, the Tamil Śaiva canon called the Tirumurai,21 bhakti does not play much of a part in the central Śaiva Siddhānta ritual tradition. But the texts on temple construction and worship, that contain details of popular festivals, reflect a widespread, general religious and devout ­orientation of the majority of people.22 A large part of Śaiva Siddhānta practice is focused on the temple and there are texts in the Śaiva canon devoted to temple construction, the installation of images, and temple practices such as the Dīptāgama and Sūkṣmāgama (for a study of Śaiva temple worship see Michaels  2008). The priest in his solitary practice performs visualizations that are echoes of earlier tradition. Thus, we have the flooding of the body and meditation on the subtle body incorporated into a sequence of daily routine. The practices of the Sādhaka have been brought into the mainstream and thereby controlled and contained. This is a religion whose practices have widespread appeal and can incorporate various social levels, from low-caste devotion to the protection of kings and their families. One of the concerns of popular religion that seeps into the mainstream Śaiva tradition is possession, a  topic not frequently addressed in the Śaiva textual corpus, but significant in non-Saiddhāntika texts such as the Netra-tantra.

5. Possession In the Netra-tantra exorcism and possession are the realm of the Mantrin or Sādhaka rather than of the temple priest, two roles that are distinct, although they can be combined in one person. Even today these two religious specialists, the 20  This is a good example of external, temple ritual that comprises so much of Śaiva practice. Here the text describes the procession of the deity Maheśa from the temple to the audience pavilion and the next day the return procession. Sūkṣmāgama 14.39–41: apare divase dhīmān prātaḥ sandhyārcanāt purā / maheśvaraṃ samānīya pūrvasthānaṃ praveśayet //39// vāstuhomaṃ tataḥ kṛtvā parya­ gnikaraṇaṃ kuru / tadvāstuśobhanārthāya bhaktānām utsavaṃ kuru //14.40// tadrātrāv eva kartavyaṃ yānam ekaṃ samācaret /. 14.39. ‘On the next day, early morning, before the worship at the juncture of the day, [the priest] should return Maheśa to his former place. 14.40. Then having performed the fire worship of the site, you must perform the circumambulation with the fire. For the purpose of the purification of the site, you must perform a procession of the devotees [Nāyanmar’s images]. 14.41. In that night for the performance, he should conduct a single procession.’ 21 The Tirumurai is a vast body of literature compiled over a period from the sixth to twelfth ­cen­tur­ies. It contains poetry of the Nāyanārs. See Normal Cutler, Songs of Experience: The Poetics of Tamil Devotion (Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press, 1987). 22  E.g. the Sūkṣmāgama chapter 14 details rules for a festival of faith (śraddhotsavavidhi). The text gives detailed instruction for carrying out the festival including the flag, drum beating, and procession.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva  257 Mantrin and the Tantri, exist in Kerala, the latter performing temple ritual, the former issuing mantras for curing the sick (Freeman  2003). The Netra-tantra offers an interesting typology of supernatural beings that one must be wary of, classified into three broad categories: those that desire meat offerings, the balikāmāḥ, those that wish you harm and intend to kill you if they can, the hantukāmāḥ, and those who wish to have sexual relations with you, the bhoktu-kāmāḥ (Netra-tantra 19.68 and commentary; White  2012). All of them are bad news because they cause illness or fill a person with insatiable longing such that or­din­ ary functioning becomes impossible. But the good news in the Netra is that these conditions can be cured with the strict application of mantra, especially the death-conquering netra mantra OṂ JUṂ SAḤ. These possessing entities are within a family or clan (kula) in a hierarchy, and by appeasing the higher deity, the lower are thereby calmed as well. For example, possession by the class of beings called Vināyakas is removed by offering sweets, meat, and alcohol to their Lord Vighneśa (or Gaṇeśa).23 Similarly, for someone being oppressed by the  ‘Mothers’, the priest needs to make offerings to the seven ‘Great Mothers’ (mahāmātṛ) from whose wombs they are born, of meat from domestic, wild, aquatic, and flying animals along with rice and flowers (Netra-tantra 19.55–6). This material is very close to the Īśānaśivagurudevapaddhati where possessing entities are divided into those wanting to harm (hantukāmāḥ) and those wanting sex (ratikāmāḥ) who are fierce (agneya) and gentle (saumya). They live in remote places such as mountains, gardens, rivers, deserted Buddhist stūpas, cremation grounds, and so on (Īśānaśivagurudevapaddhati Mantrapāda 2.43.54–5). The text gives details for their exorcism and descriptions of the possessed person. Someone whose face is on the ground, grimacing, with clenched fists, rude, with crossed eyes, and babbling needs to be exorcised by the Mantrin initially with medicine (cikitsā), but if this does not work then mantras are repeated, and if this does not work then he performs harsher rites. Imagining himself as Rudra, the Mantrin should hold down the possessed person and beat them until the demons flee. If this does not work, then he should repeat more mantras, bring the demon into the topknot of the possessed man, nail it to a tree, and then cut the hair, leaving the man free and the demon nailed to the tree. If this does not work, the Mantrin needs to bind the man to a tree, make an image with a flower, bring the demon

23  Netra-tantra 19.63c–65: yadi tair vighnitaḥ kaścid abhibhūto bhaven naraḥ // tatrādhidaivataṃ pūjyo vighneśas tu vināyakaḥ / anyatantropacāreṇa dhyānayogena pūjayet // modakair vividhaiś citrair valibhir ghasmarais tathā / bhūrimadyais tathā māṃ sair raktapuṣpavilepanaiḥ. ‘If a man is overcome and obstructed by them [the Vināyakas] then Vighneśa is to be worshipped, the remover of obstacles, their presiding deity. [A practitioner] should worship [him] with the practice of meditation, a procedure [described] in another Tantra [and by offering] many types of sweets, various voracious offerings, with strong drink, with meat, and with the perfume of red flowers.’

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

258  Gavin Flood into it, and destroy it with a knife, then offer the pieces into the fire pit. He should then cut the centres of the man’s body with a trident, making the blood flow.24 These texts provide interesting sociological information in describing the people who are vulnerable to possession, including children, men who are in despair, who have lost everything, and women who have just bathed after menstruation, who are naked, passionate, pregnant, or who are prostitutes (Īśānaśivagurudevapaddhati 2.42.3b–8). Also vulnerable to possession are those of lower castes who pretend to be Brahmans, but Brahmans are not exempt and can be possessed if they let down their guard and do not maintain their ritual purity; demons enter through the hole (chidra) of their shadow created through this ritual neglect. In contrast to other kinds of texts, we have here a glimpse into popular religion and the Brahmanical pressures of conformity and control. It is those in liminal conditions that become possessed and through possession, as I.O.  Lewis long ago pointed out, people are given voice who would otherwise have no means of cultural expression (Lewis 1975). Indeed, the texts make no distinction between the possessing being and the person possessed during exorcistic procedures. Possession and exorcism have been important practices in the history of Indic religions, and texts where they occur offer us a glimpse into an ‘enchanted world’ in which the boundaries of the self are porous, to use Charles Taylor’s apposite phrase (Taylor 2007: 25–6). Indeed, the history of Indic religions has been read in terms of possession as a central paradigm in the sense of a person being entered by deity and such that his or her agency is overwhelmed by the other presence (Smith 2006). This then becomes reinterpreted at higher cultural levels as we see in the Śaiva tradition where saṃāveśa, whose primary designation is possession, comes to mean immersion in the non-dualistic awareness of God. According to Rich Freeman, institutionalized possession is a central paradigm of worship that goes back to Tamil literature of the early centuries of the common era (Freeman 2003: 308): as the deity is brought down into the icon to enliven it, so the deity comes into the human person. We see this in varying degrees in the occasional rites of initiation in Śaivism where the guru becomes Śiva for the purposes of initiation and in which, in the case of Śākta or Kaula initiation, the initiate was supposed to show signs of possession such as trembling. Possession by female, often theriomorphic deities, the Yoginīs, was an important dimension of early tantric practice as seen in the Krama, Kaula, and also the Trika cults (Törzsök  2013,  1999), ideas and practices which in time become absorbed into

24  Īśānaśivagurudevapaddhati 2.43.1–8: [text gives the mantra] anena māṣakṛsarair jāpitvā grastatādḍanāt / taṃ muñcanti grahāḥ svaikhyaṃ rudradhyānena tat kṣanāt. //2.48.1//. Repeating [the mantra]. . . . [while offering] pulse and jaggery, [the holder of mantra] should visualise himself as Rudra, hold down and beat [the possessed person] on account of which the demons flee from him in a moment.’ See also the Khadgarāvaṇa tradition of exorcism described and translated by Jean Filliozat. 1937. Le Kumāratantra de Rāvaṇa et les textes parallèles Indiens, Tibétains, Chinois, Cambodgien, et Arabe (Paris: Imprimerie National).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva  259 Śaiva Brahmanism. These, then, are examples of ‘good’ possession in that the divinization of the person is a desired outcome. We see this in contemporary dance possession rites in Kerala that Freeman has studied (Freeman 2003). As in contemporary India, possession and exorcism are generally practised among lower-caste communities, although not exclusively. The Tantras we have seen that contain material on this topic probably reflect the absorption of local, lowcaste practices of possession and healing that become standardized in line with the deities and categories of tantric pantheons. This is also true of sexual practices that challenged orthodox norms, coming originally from the social fringe.

6.  The Sādhaka and Transgression Tantrism has become infamous for its sexual ritual. Those Tantras at the end of the scale of texts that strongly rejected Vedic Brahmanism were generally focused on the Goddess or her forms and advocated worship that involved sexual practices to make offerings of mixed sexual fluids to the deity (White 2003). The texts at this extreme end of the Mantra Mārga belonging to the Kaula and Krama sects were composed in non-standardized Sanskrit that became known as a divine language, or Aiśa. The texts at this far end of the spectrum, namely the Brahmayāmalatantra or Picumata, are focused on goddesses, theriomorphic deities worshipped with blood, alcohol, and sexual substances from ritualized sex outside of caste boundaries. They are consciously flouting Brahmanical purity and challenging Brahmanical authority. The skull-carrying ascetics, the Kāpālikas, were involved in these rites from the cremation grounds where these ascetics lived. The Brahmayāmala or Picumata is a very long Śaiva text of over 12,000 verses depicting the life of a Sādhaka and his consort, and their daily and occasional rituals, to gain pleasure and magical power and in due course liberation.25 It is a very old text dated to the seventh century that Abhinavagupta often cites and that had an impact on Buddhism too (Kiss 2015: 13). The text represents a time before the systematization of Śaiva practitioners and is focused on the practitioner that it calls the Sādhaka. In his introduction Kiss presents a lucid description of the Sādhaka’s practice, and how initiation involves the construction of a ritual diagram or maṇḍala upon which are installed the deities of the pantheon. After ini­ti­ ation, the Sādhaka’s daily routine involves self-purification through asceticism, the pacification of Yoginīs, and the gradual adoption of non-conventional practice (nirācāraḥ) in order to facilitate the meeting (melakaḥ) with them. After six months’ practice, the Yoginīs will meet the Sādhaka and instruct him further. The Sādhaka’s practice involves performing four daily rituals, eating only at night, and

25  See Kiss. 2015 and Hatley 2019.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

260  Gavin Flood the observances (vratam), including behaving as if mad (as with the Pāśupata ascetic), nakedness or semi-nakedness (nagnavratam), and imitating being a child and also a flesh-eating demon (Piśāca) which are intended, as Kiss observes, ‘to loosen the bonds of conventional behavior’ (Kiss 2015: 33). The Sādhaka gradually comes to imitate the ferocious form of Śiva his God, Kāpālīśa Bhairava, adopting bone ornaments from the cremation ground, and wearing the same jewellery and hairstyle. In due course he has a vision of the God who then enters him and possesses him along with the entire pantheon of female deities. There are different kinds or stages in the Sādhaka’s development, principally pure, mixed, and impure, which refer to the degrees to which he is engaged with transgressive rites. There are two equally valid paths for him to follow: the transgressive or the non-transgressive. Some of the text’s ‘important rituals are totally and intentionally devoid of any transgression, or rather most rituals seem to have two versions: one transgressive and one non-transgressive’ (Kiss  2015: 37). Which path the Sādhaka follows is determined by the Yoginī and by the guru. Interestingly the highest type of Sādhaka is the one who does not need to engage with transgressive rites, who goes to liberation in this life with initiation and the performance of mantra repetition (japa) and fire ritual (homa), in contrast to those who in a previous life did not abide by their post-initiation rule (samaya) and so had to be reborn as expiation and to finalize their liberation. The transgressive sexual rite that the text describes involves the Sādhaka who, having attracted a beautiful consort or Dūtī—whose numerous qualities the text lists, including high spiritual attainment26—should bathe, install mantras on himself (nyāsa), enter the ritual arena, worship the pantheon of deities, and perform fire worship (homa). He is naked and covered in ash and his female partner is naked too. He installs the pantheon of deities in her genitals, stimulates her through kisses and embrace, collects sexual fluids which they joyfully consume, has sex with her, and then offers transgressive substances into the fire such as cow’s meat mixed with wine (Brahmayāmala 45.198–213). In one version of the rite the Sādhaka should retain semen within himself, which foreshadows the yogic practice of semen retention (the vajrolīmudrā) (Brahmayāmala 47–9) (See Malinson in this volume). This tradition takes what the wider Brahmanical culture regards as impure and uses this as a force to attain power (siddhi) and liberation. The Sādhaka is a conspicuous figure, looking ferocious like the deity he tries to emulate, wearing human bones, and so on. The Sādhaka here is clearly a descendant of the 26  Brahmayāmala 45.185cd–187. This sentiment is also echoed in Abhinavagupta’s Tantrāloka where the dūtī should have the suitable qualification (adhikāra). Jayaratha in his commentary quotes the Tantrarājabhaṭtạ̄ raka that says this qualification means that the dūtī should have eyes rolling with intoxication (madaghūrṇitalocanām), trembling (trasta), quivering (sphura), shining (śubha), laughing merrily (cāruhāsinī), beautiful (subhaga), with a happy nature (sukharūpa) and whose own being is pure consciousness (citisvabhāvikām). TA 29.64 commentary p. 68f.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva  261 Kāpālika of the Ati Mārga. Sanderson cites a reference that says that should an orthodox Brahman see such a figure, he would need to purify his eyes by glancing into the sun, so polluting were they regarded (Sanderson 1985: 211, note 61). But what happens is the gradual absorption of this tradition into the mainstream. By the time of Abhinavagupta’s ritual manual the Tantrāloka, we have a householder trad­ition along with a metaphysical non-dualism that adopts some transgressive practices. Thus Abhinavagupta absorbs the Kaula rites in chapter 29 of the Tantrāloka but here the sexual rite of the household practitioner with a consort becomes an esoteric, almost aesthetic ritual (Masson and Pathwardhan 1985; Dupuche 2003). Rather than the Sādhaka bearing all the external signs of his cult, the Śaiva householder becomes internally a Kaula while retaining adherence to obligations of dharma in his external life and rejecting the earlier transgressive practices by those who are merely ‘holders of bones’ (Sanderson 1985: 214, note 110). It is important to understand this transgression in the wider context of Brahmanical religious practice. The Sādhaka has undergone quite severe ascetic discipline and should not be understood, as the wider tradition sometimes did (Dezsö  2005), as simply an excuse for licentiousness. There were amble op­por­ tun­ities for this in the wider culture in the pursuit of sexual pleasure as one of the valid goals of life (kāmārtha). The Brahmayāmala presents a complete ascetic path with sexual ritual as one important component for the Sādhaka who follows that route. But it is accompanied by long preparation and every aspect of the Sādhaka’s life is controlled by the text and tradition. There are long lists of what he can and cannot eat along with detailed descriptions of the fire pit and the pro­ced­ ures for making offerings into the fire, just as we have with a non-tantric Brahmanical rite (Brahmayāmala 45.58–124). Indeed, the text specifies that he must consume meat every day which thereby marks him out from the orthodox Brahmanical ascetic who is vegetarian. Furthermore, the range of meat is transgressive in itself in the sense that a wide group of wild animals is drawn on for consumption, including the mahāmaṃsa, which may be a human sacrificial ­victim or may refer to corpse flesh. But there is also an acknowledgement that the Sādhaka may be reluctant to do this and so even just a small amount is ­sufficient for him to fulfil his ritual obligation (samaya).27 On the one hand, we have strict Brahmanical observance of the Śaiva householder, while at the other extreme we have the transgressive Sādhaka seeking

27  Brahmayāmala 45.213–222: tālamārge tu vai śastaṃ nityam āmiṣabhojanam //45.213// chāgaṃ vārāha māhiṣya hariṇ aṃ śaśakaṃ tathā / māyūraṃ lāvakāś caiva tittirāś ca kapiñjalāḥ //45.214//. ‘Daily meat consumption is recommended for those who follow the Path of the Tālaka [type of ­practitioner who uses sex and meat]. Goat, pig, buffalo, horse, hare, peacock, quail, partridge and heathcock . . .’ and so on. Having given a list of impure food, the text says ‘these, O Goddess, may be impure, but they are to be eaten all the same’ (etāni devy aśuddham syād bhaksayāṇ i na saṃ śayaḥ) (Kiss translation, pp. 259–260).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

262  Gavin Flood power and pleasure in higher worlds. These are not the only options for the Śaiva and there was also a tradition of meditation or pure gnosis that disparaged ritual, both orthodox and transgressive.

7.  Śaiva Meditation There is a spectrum of practices in Śaivism from ritual acts, both orthoprax and transgressive, to meditation that includes visual contemplation and awareness without mental support. Such practices to some extent map on to metaphysical systems insofar as the goal of the Śaiva Siddhānta was liberation at death (videhamukti) for the initiated who had to follow the regime of prescribed daily and occasional ritual. At death, with Śiva’s grace, he would realize himself to be equal to Śiva (śivatulya) but numerically distinct and also distinguished by not performing the functions of creation, maintenance, and the destruction of the cosmos (Parākhya Tantra, 2.123–4, Goodall 2004; see Watson et al. 2013). On the other hand, for non-Saiddhāntika traditions such as Abhinavagupta’s Trika, the highest goal or supreme human good was liberation in this life (jīvanmukti), understood as a pure gnosis in which the self recognizes its identity with the absolute consciousness of Śiva, the absolute, reflexive subjectivity of ‘I-ness’ (ahantā) (Bansat-Boudon and Tripathi  2011: 26, 51, 195). Each Śaiva tradition saw itself as transcending the goal of the earlier and maps a hierarchy of lib­er­ ation onto the hierarchy of the universe. Although non-dualism in a ritual context refers to whether there is a distinction between pure and impure ritual substances (Sanderson 1995: 48–53), there is some relation between meditation understood as gnosis and the realization of a metaphysical non-dualism. If there is one reality in the universe and the goal of life is the recognition (pratyabhijñā) of one’s identity with it, and this is a kind of gnosis or cognition, then why go to the trouble of ritual action? Thus, within Śaivism there was a tradition of gnosis that emphasized meditation alone without the support of other ritual acts. This purely gnostic tradition lasted into the twentieth century with the last guru in Kashmir being Lakshman Joo (Sanderson 2007). In the ritual traditions so far examined, meditation has been part of the ritual spectrum understood as visual contemplation or visualization (dhyāna). In this ritual context the common verbal forms of terms are used, the third-person singular optative, namely that the practitioner ‘should visualize’ (dhyāyet) or ‘imagine’ (vikapayet), or ‘cause to think about’ (cintayet) (Flood  2002), that have the implication of a mental construction of a reality, as we have seen. This is usually in the context of visualizing the deity to be worshipped but also refers to the visualization of the subtle body and awakening the power of the Goddess at the base of the central channel, the power that came to be called Kuṇḍalinī, the coiled one like a snake who penetrates through the centres located along the central axis to

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva  263 the crown of the head, as we saw in the Netra-tantra above and that was to become particularly popular and pan-Hindu through the Yoga tradition (Silburn 1988). Although imagination is creative here, generally imagination (vikalpaḥ) is a negative mental force that distracts the mind and keeps it away from focused meditation on the truth or the reality of pure consciousness. The most common term for meditation in Śaivism is bhāvanā, which Vasudeva translates as ­‘contemplative insight’ (Vasudeva 2004: 221). This practice leads to absorption of the mind into its object in the state called samādhi, a condition of one-pointed concentration (ekāgratā) that is standard and the last of the eight ancillaries of clas­sic­al yoga in Patañjali’s system. Patañjali’s classic definition in the Yoga Sūtras (1.2) is that ‘yoga is the cessation of mental fluctuation’ (yogaścittavṛttinirodhaḥ) (Aranya 1983: 6). Through focusing on a single point (ekāgratā), the wandering mind or mental fluctuation can be calmed and one-pointed concentration achieved. This one-pointed focus leads into a condition of absorbed consciousness (samādhi) in which the practitioner or yogi is no longer aware of his ambient surroundings but is absorbed in the object of meditation. This state of absorption or trance is attested in tantric texts. Indeed, concentration is the power of the mind that we see not only in Patañjali’s system but also in the tantric six-fold ancillaries of yoga (Vasudeva 2004: 387–436). The yogi becomes absorbed in the object of meditation, thereby achieving identity with it and losing consciousness of his surroundings, becoming like a log or clod of earth, says the Mālinīvijayottaratantra (Vasudeva 2004: 435–46). In this condition of samādhi, the body goes into a state of quiescence ‘without breathing or not breathing, sleeping or waking’, says a later yoga text called the Amanaska (see Birch in this volume). One of the best examples of a state of absorption is described by Abhinavagupta. In his Goddess-orientated form of Śiva worship, one tradition speaks of grad­ ations of emanations of the Goddess Kālī identified with different states of consciousness and degrees of absorption. Here Abhinavagupta describes the tradition known as the Krama. Consciousness is constantly going out into the world and becoming absorbed in its objects, but through withdrawal it becomes purely introverted and focused on its inner objects and in particular itself as its own object. In this meditation process, the mind becomes absorbed in itself through a series of stages or gradations (krama) in which gradually consciousness loses any sense of individuality. The Krama identifies these stages with different em­an­ations and absorptions of the Goddess (Sanderson 1985: 1999–2000, 1995: 73–5). Here consciousness finally implodes upon itself in complete identification of the self with the source of cosmic emanation, here identified with the Goddess at the heart of the Śaiva tradition.28 28  The somewhat obscure and difficult description that would need extended interpretation is in the Tantrasāra 4, pp. 28–29: tā eṣāḥ catasraḥ śaktayaḥ svātantryāt pratyekaṃ tridhaiva vartante sṛsṭ au sthitau saṃ hāre ca iti dvādaśabhavanti / tathāhi: 1. saṃ vit pūrvam antareva bhāvaṃ kalayati, 2. tato

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

264  Gavin Flood But meditation can also mean pure awareness rather than absorption, and bhāvanā can mean a stream of thought (cintā), as we find in the Mālinīvijayottara that describes the mind ‘engaged in contemplative realisation of its ultimate state’ (Vasudeva 2004: 430). Here we have meditation as a flow of awareness of the liberated condition, perhaps not so different to the Buddhist idea of insight meditation (vipaśyāna) in the here and now. One metaphor used is that the mind takes the consistency of flowing oil in all the states of waking, dreaming, and sleeping.29 The Vijñānabhairava-tantra is a text offering a number of meditation practices, called dhāraṇā, that are meditations without visualization, again emphasizing awareness rather than absorption in an object of contemplation. Indeed, the text even says that true meditation is not visualization but rather the mind abiding within itself without any support (Vijñānabhairava-tantra 2.22; 2.39ab). The text describes how the yogi should be seated comfortably on a bed or cushion, sitting with eyes closed and focusing on the inside of the skull whence he realizes supreme consciousness,30 or he should meditate on the space within a pot with his eyes half open, or gaze upon an empty landscape, or within a well, or a space where the rays of the sun are shining, or even meditate on the body as the universe but without imagination (nirvikalpa) (Vijñānabhairava-tantra 1.45–6, 1.73, bahirapi sphuṭatayā kalayati, 3. tatraiva raktimayatāṃ gṛhītvā tataḥ tam eva bhāvam antarupasaṃ ji­ hīrṣayā kalayati, 4. tataś ca tadupasaṃ hāravighnabhūtāṃ śan˙kā nirmaṇ oti ca grasate ca, 5. grastaśan˙kāṃ śaṃ bhāvabhāgam ātmani upasaṃ hāreṇa kalayati, 6. tata upasaṃ hartṛtvaṃ mamedaṃ rūpam ity api svabhāvam eva kalayati, 7. tata upasaṃ hatṛsvabhāvakalane kasyacid bhāvasya vāsanātmanā avasthitiṃ kasyacit tu saṃ vinmātrāvaśeṣatāṃ kalayati, 8 tataḥ svarūpakalanānāntarīyak atvenaiva karaṇacakraṃ kalayati, 9. tataḥ karaṇeśvaram api kalayati, 10. tataḥ kalpitaṃ māyīyaṃ pramātṛrūpam api kalayati, 11. san˙kocatyāgonmukhavikāsagraṇarasikam api pramātāraṃ kalayati, 12. tato vikasitam api rūpaṃ kalayati. ‘These four powers [the supreme Śakti called Kālasaṃ kārṣinī who emanates Parā, Parāparā and Aparā] due to their freedom, become manifested singly in three ways: in creation, maintenance and in destruction and thus become twelve. 1. consciousness projects existence at first only internally; 2. then expanding, it projects it externally; 3. then having grasped that [state of externality] made of the Goddess Rakti, it manifests existence by wishing to withdraw it internally; 4. then [consciousness] fastens onto and swallows the inhibition that has become an obstacle to ­reabsorption; 5. [next] with a portion of inhibition swallowed by means of withdrawing into the self, [consciousness] withdraws [even that] part of existence; 6. Then [thinking] ‘this withdrawal is my nature’ [consciousness] withdraws even [this] essence; 7. Then [consciousness] withdraws [even] what remains of any simple consciousness of any existence, established through the nature of being a destroyer, [which remains] as a trace. 8. then [consciousness] whose nature is manifested internally, withdraws the sphere of the senses; 9. then it reabsorbs even the Lord of the senses; 10. then it reabsorbs even the nature of being an experient, constructed as illusion; 11. then it reabsorbs the object of experience even abandoning contraction and looking out to expansion, grasping, and tasting; 12. Finally it reabsorbs even the nature of that expansion’. 29  Kṣemarāja, Śivasūtra-vimarśiṇi 3.20: triṣu caturthaṃ tailavad āsecyam //3.20//. triṣu jāgarādiṣu padeṣu, caturthaṃ śuddhavidyāprakāśarūpaṃ turyānandarasātmakaṃ dhāma, tailavaditi, yathā tailaṃ krameṇa adhikamadikhaṃ prasarad āśrayaṃ vyāpnoti tathā āsecyam. The fourth state is to be poured like oil in the three [states]. ‘in the three states’ [means] in waking and so on. The fourth [means] the form of light which is pure wisdom, the place whose nature is tasting the bliss of the fourth. ‘Like oil’ [means] as oil gradually spreading more and more, fills its container, so [the fourth state] should be poured.’ J.C. Chatterji (ed.), Muktabodha e-text, M00349. 30  Vijñānabhairava 1.34: kapālāntarmano nyasya tiṣtḥ anmīlitalocanaḥ / krameṇa manaso dārḍhyāt lakṣayel lakṣyam uttamam //1.34//. ‘Having fixed the mind within the skull, with eyes closed, one may gradually perceive the highest thing that can be perceived, due to the stability of the mind’.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva  265 2.9). The text also describes meditation upon inner sound, the ‘unstruck’ sound of the absolute: the yogi who is focused on that uninterrupted (abhagna-) sound goes to the absolute state (Vijñānabhairava-tantra 1.38). These meditation practices are consonant with a non-dualist metaphysics in which there is only one reality in the universe of pure consciousness. The text rhetorically asks, if all is identical with that reality, where can the mind go that is not Śiva? (Vijñānabhairava-tantra 2.10). Meditation plays a role for the most important Śaiva philosopher, Abhinavagupta, whose non-dualist rhetoric continues the tradition. Taking a scheme from the root revelation of the Trika, the Mālinīvijayottara-tantra, which mentions three immersions (samāveśa), namely the divine (śāmbhava-), the powerful (śākta-), and the individual (āṇava-), Abhinavagupta transforms these into a basic heuristic device through which to view the practices of Śaivism. Summarized in his Essence of the Tantras (Tantrasāra), he calls them means or methods (upāya) to attain realization. The śāṃbhāvopāya is realization of enlightenment though the upsurge of emotion or instinct that shatters thought construction (vikalpa), thereby revealing the non-dual consciousness of Śiva. The śāktopāya is the pursuance of a pure thought such as ‘I am Śiva’ until its existential realization is attained, while the āṇavopāya contains all practices focused on the body, namely ritual and meditation, including mantra repetition. All of these goals reach the same end in Śiva for the Mālinīvijayottara, although there is an implicit hierarchy of practice here for Abhinavagupta. Meditation is central to these methods that are also understood as using the faculties of will, (icchā), cognition (jñāna), and action (krīyā), faculties or powers (śakti) of both the human person and Śiva. Finally, Abhinavagupta introduces a fourth, the ‘non-method’ (anupāya), the pathless path in which the goal is the path, and the realization itself is the method, because if all is a unity of consciousness only, there cannot be a distinction between the goal and the path that leads to it. The path and the destination must be non-distinct in an absolutely monistic metaphysics a truth revealed by the word of the master: I am that absolute condition.31

8.  Models of the Person Within the spectrum of Śaiva practice different models of the person and the mind are entailed. On the one hand, we have the theism of Śaiva Siddhānta in which self and God are wholly distinct, and in which liberation occurs at death as a result of grace, certainly, but also through a regime of post-initiatory ritual 31  Tantrasāra, p. 9: tadeva ca aham tatraiva antarmayi viśvaṃ pratibimbitam evaṃ dṛḍhaṃ viviñcānasya śaśvadeva pārameśvaraḥ samāveśo nirupāyaka eva, tasya ca na mantrapūjādhyānacaryādiniyantraṇā kācit /. ‘I am truly that; right there, the universe is within me as a reflection. Thus, for one with firm discernment, there is the constant immersion of the Supreme Lord without method. Such a one is not restrained by mantra, ritual, meditation, conduct and so on.’

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

266  Gavin Flood obligations. Through this process the soul is freed from the bonds of matter. On the other hand, we have the non-theism of Abhinavagupta’s monistic Śaivism in which the self is identical with absolute consciousness and all social identity in the end is a limitation and constriction that prevents us from realizing our true identity. The constricting cognition of distinct personal and social identity is dissolved in the spontaneous expansion of pure consciousness and its reflexive implosion into itself. These are quite distinct metaphysical systems, yet both are within the tantric revelation of Śiva. The Śaiva Siddhānta provides the normative ritual system and temple cult while more esoteric traditions, such as the Trika and the Krama, build on this and reinterpret it in the light of their non-dualist metaphysics. But it does seem to be the case that the earliest Śaivism of the Nihśvāsa-tantra is less concerned with external rites, with no temple rituals, and we seem to witness a process of the ­tradition becoming more exoteric as time moves on. By the tenth and eleventh ­centuries the Śaiva Siddhānta is the dominant ritual system with royal patronage, large t­emple complexes such as Cidambaram in the South, Śaiva Brahmanical ­control of land, a textual canon, and a body of normative rites performed and ­controlled by Śaiva Brahmans. Alongside this official religion we have unorthodox practices linked to a more individual quest for power and liberation, associated with a non-dualist metaphysics, both for renouncers and householders. In terms of practice, the Śaiva Brahman performed supererogatory rites on top of orthodox Brahmanical obligations and the non-dualist householder did not differ significantly from the Śaiva dualist. For Abhinavagupta’s Trika there was the addition of erotic worship necessitated once a year, and while the mental attitude or belief system would have been distinct for the householder, his behaviour was not noticeably distinguished from the orthodox, Brahman householder: the Śaiva should follow orthodox Brahmanical practice in external behaviour, and follow Śaiva ritual obligations, but in his internal life he should follow the practice of the Goddess. Thus, we have a model of a person that is externally conformist to social norms and expectations but secretly subverts those norms and expectations. As such, the non-dualist Śaiva householder contrasts with the acetic renouncer who followed an extreme tantric path, regarding himself as superior in transcending the merely external show of non-duality in the ascetic’s appearance, as we have seen. Recognizing the absolute identity of cosmos, self, and absolute consciousness for the householder did not translate into particularly noticeable change in overt behaviour, apart from occasional flouting of ritual and social convention, although the tantric Śaiva renouncer would have worn the apparel of his sect, indicating his transgressive behaviour and transcendence of social norms. Alongside these soteriological concerns, we have the popular religion of magic and exorcism represented in the Śaiva textual corpus. Here the boundaries between self and world are clearly ‘porous’, to use Taylor’s phrase, with super­nat­ ural beings threatening to take possession of the person should he not undergo

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva  267 protective measures, as we saw with the Netra-tantra, and even illness being interpreted as possession. At one level of high sophistication we have the educated Brahmanical householder maintaining a metaphysical identity of self and God, alongside popular practices of a practical religion that enabled people to negotiate the trials and tribulations of life through a magical technology of protection and manipulation of supernature. Within this mix of attitudes reflected in the texts there is model of the ‘divine body’ (divya-deha), where the physical body is pervaded by a subtle body as the carrier of the soul to the next life and where the yogi can use this body through meditation to transcend the physical body or rather to purify the physical body. So through the subtle visualization in the Goddess or Kaula tradition, the practitioner is flooded with the nectar of immortality that should be retained within the body that Wernicke-Olesen has called a Śākta anthropology. There are suggestions here of gaining physical immortality. The Śaiva corpus of ritual prescription is not gender blind and initiation in the Śaiva Siddhānta was restricted to men, but not so in the non-Saiddhāntika groups, the Śākta traditions that were more orientated towards worship of the Goddess and seeing the Goddess and her forms as the essence of self and cosmos. Indeed, within these traditions there were some women teachers, such as the Tryambaka lineage that Abhinavagupta is initiated into. But perhaps not surprisingly for this period, women’s participation was generally restricted to popular devotion and vicarious salvation through the initiation of their husbands, ascending at death through the levels of the cosmos in consonance with his attainment (Sanderson 1995: 34–6). The range of Śaiva practice in the medieval period reflects attitudes to self and society that are distinct from the kind of dualism between mind and body characteristic of European modernity. What the European tradition might think of as mind is still contained within nature or matter (prakṛti) within Śaivism and Brahmanical tradition more broadly. There is the transcendence of prakṛti in the Śaiva hierarchy of the tattvas, which for the Śaiva Siddhānta is within the category of the ‘bond’ (paśa), the unconscious (jaḍa) substance of the universe that binds the soul (paśu) and that Śiva acts upon as Lord (pati). For the non-dualist these three realities are ultimately non-distinct, all being within absolute consciousness. This unity of being has some effect upon social mores in that women and low castes could be liberated, because initiation had the power to break social convention and transcend caste as an inalienable property of the body one was born with. But generally, a non-dualistic metaphysics had little impact on the wider social body and the individual quest for salvation did not entail a collective eschat­ology. Certainly, in the South the infusion of devotion or bhakti and the introduction of Tamil sources into the Śaiva Siddhānta canon may have broadened the range of participation in tradition, but it remained fundamentally a ritual technology functioning within a prescribed social hierarchy.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

268  Gavin Flood

References Primary Sources Dīptāgama. 2007. Ed. Marie-Luce Barazer-Billoret, Bruno Dagens, and Vincent Lefèvre, Dīptāgama Édition Critique, tome II, Chapitres 22 à 62. Pondichéry: Institut Français de Pondichéry. Īśānaśivagurudeva Paddhati of Īśānaśiva Gurudeva vol. 1. 1988. Ed. M.M.T. Ganapati Śāstri. Delhi and Varanasi: Bharatiya Vidya Prakashan.

Matan͘ gapārameśvarāgama. 1982. Matan͘ gapārameśvarāgama (Kriyāpāda, Yogapāda et Caryāpāda), avec le commentaire de Bhat ̣t ̣a Rāmakaṇt ̣ha, édition critique par N.R. Bhatt. Pondichéry: Institut Français d’Indologie. Mṛgendrāgama. 1962. Critically edited by N.R. Bhatt, Mṛgendrāgama (Kriyāpāda et Caryapāda) avec le commentaire de Bhat ̣t ̣a Nārāyaṇakaṇt ̣ha. Institut Français de Pondichéry. French translation by Hélène Brunner, Mṛgendrāgama: section des rites et section du comportement. 1985. Pondichéry: Institut Français de Pondichéry. Netra Tantra: (a) Netra Tantra with uddyota by Kṣemarāja. 2 vols. 1925 and 1927. Ed. M.S.  Kaul, Srinagar, Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies nos. 46 and 61. (b) Amṛteśatantra, NAK MS 1-285, NGMPP Reel No. B 25/5. Palm Leaf; Nepalese variant of proto- Bengali script, 1200 ad (= Saṃvat 320). (c) NAK 5-4866, NGMPP Reel No. A 171/12 (no date). Nityākaula, NGMPP Reel No. B26/21a. DSCN 6586. Pāśupata-sūtras with Pañcārthabgāṣya of Kaundinya. 1940. Ed. R.A. Sastri. Trivandrum: Trivandrum Sanskrit Series, 143. Śivasūtra-vimarśiṇi by Kṣemarāja, ed. J.C. Chatterji, Muktabodha e-text, M00349. Somaśambhupaddhati. 1977. Ed and trans. Hélène Brunner-Lachaux, vol. 3. Pondichéry: Institut Français de Pondichéry. Sūkṣmāgama. 2012. Ed. S.  Sambandhaśivācārya, Bruno Dagens, M.-L.  BarazerBilloret, and T. Ganesan. Sūkṣmāgama vol. II Chapters 14 to 53. Pondichéry: Institut Français de Pondichéry. Tantrasāra by Abhinavagupta. 1918. Ed. M.S. Kaul. Srinagar: Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies. Vijñānabhairava-tantra. 1918. Ed. M. Śāstri, The Vijñānabhairava: With Commentary Called Kaumadi by Ānanda Bhat ̣ta. Śrīnagara: Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies. English translation Vijñānabhairava or Divine Consciousness. 1979. Jaideva Singh. Delhi: MLBD.

Secondary Sources and Translations Aranya, Swami Hariharananda. 1983 (1963). Yoga Philosophy of Patañjali, trans. P.N. Mukerji. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva  269 Bansat-Boudon, Lyne and K. Tripathi. 2011. Introduction to Tantric Philosophy: The Paramārthasāra of Abhinavagupta with the Commentary of Yogarāja. London and New York: Routledge. Bollée, W.B. 1981. ‘The Indo-European Sodalities in Ancient India’, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 131, 172–91. Brooks, Douglas. 1990. The Secret of the Three Cities. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press. Brunner, Hélène. 1974. ‘Un Tantra du Nord: le “Netra Tantra” ’, Bulletin l’École-Français d’Extrême-Orient, 6, 125–97. Brunner, Hélène. 1975. ‘Le Sādhaka, personne oublié de l’Inde du Sud’, Journal Asiatique, 263, 411–43. Brunner, Hélène. 1977. ‘Introduction’, in Somaśambhupaddhati, vol. 3. Pondichéry: Institut Français de Pondichéry. Bühnemann, Gudrun. 1988. Puja: A Study in Smarta Ritual. Vienna: Institut für Indologie, Universität Wien. Cutler, Norman. 1987. Songs of Experience: The Poetics of Tamil Devotion. Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press. Dezsö, Csaba. 2005. Much Ado About Religion by Jayanta Bhatta. New York: Clay Sanskrit Library. Dupuche, John R. 2003. Abhinavagupta, the Kula Ritual as Elaborated in Chapter 29 of the Tantraloka. Delhi: MLBD. Einoo, Shingo. 2005. ‘The Formation of Hindu Ritual’, in Shingo Einoo and Jun Takashima (eds.), From Material to Deity: Indian Rituals of Consecration. New Delhi: Manohar, pp. 7–49. Elby, Tristan. 2014. ‘A Contemporary Guide to the Vedas: A Critical Survey of the Texts and Literature’, Religion Compass, 8(4), 128–38. Filliozat, Jean. 1937. Le Kumāratantra de Rāvaṇa et les textes parallèles Indiens, Tibétains, Chinois, Cambodgien, et Arabe. Paris: Imprimerie National. Flood, Gavin. 2002. ‘The Purification of the Body in Tantric Ritual Representation’, Indo-Iranian Journal, 45, 25–43. Freeman, Rich. 2003. ‘The Teyyam Tradition of Kerala’, in Gavin Flood (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 307–26. Gegnagel, Jorg. 2001. ‘The Śaiva Siddhānta Ācārya as Mediator of Religious Identity’, in Vasudha Dalmia, Angelika Malinar, and Martin Christoph (eds.), Charisma and Canon: Essays in the Religious History of the Indian Subcontinent. Oxford and New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 77–92. Goodall, Dominic. 1998. Bhat ̣t ̣a Rāmakaṇtha’s Commentary on the Kiraṇa Tantra, vol. 1: chapters 1-6, critical edition and annotated translation. Pondichéry: Institute Français de Pondichéry.

Goodall, Dominic. 2004. Parākhyatantra, a Scripture of the Śaiva Siddhānta, a critical edition and annotated translation. Pondichéry: Institute Français de Pondichéry.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

270  Gavin Flood Goodall, Dominic. 2015. The Niśvāsatattvasaṃhitā, the Earliest Surviving Śaiva Tantra, vol. 1. Pondichéry: Institut Français de Pondichéry. Goudriaan, Teun. 1978. Māyā Divine and Human. Delhi: MLBD. Hatley, Shaman. 2019. The Brahmayāmalatantra or Picumata vol. I: Chapters 1–2, 39–40, and 83. Revelation, Ritual, and Material Culture in an Early Śaiva Tantra (Pondichéry: Institut Français d’Indologie). Kiss, Csaba. 2015. Brahmayāmalatantra or Picumata vol. II: The Religious Observances and Sexual Rituals of the Tantric Practitioner: Chapters 3, 21, and 45, a critical edition and annotated translation. Pondichéry: Institute Français de Pondichéry. Lewis, I.O. 1975. Ecstatic Religion. London: Penguin. Masson, Jeffrey  L. and M.V.  Pathwardhan. 1985. Śāntarasa and Abhinavagupta’s Philosophy of Aesthetics. Pune: Bandharkar Oriental Research Institute. Michaels, Axel. 2008. Śiva in Trouble: Festivals and Rituals at the Paśupatinātha Temple of Deopatan. New York: Oxford University Press. Oberhammer, Gerhard. 1992. ‘The Uses of Mantra in Yogic Meditation: The Testimony of the Pāśupata’, in Harvey Alper (ed.), Understanding Mantras. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, pp. 204–23. Olesen, Bjarne Wernicke and Silje Lyngar Einarsen. 2015. ‘Übungswissen in Yoga, Tantra und Asketismus des frühen indischen Mittelalters’, http://www.academia. edu/274157. Padoux, André. 1990. Vāc: The Concept of the Word in Selected Hindu Tantras. Trans J. Gontier. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Parry, Jonathan. 1994. Death in Benares. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sanderson, Alexis. 1985. ‘Purity and Power Among the Brahmans of Kashmir’, in Michael Carrithers, Steven Collins, and Steven Lukes (eds.), The Category of the Person: Anthropology, Philosophy, History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 190–216. Sanderson, Alexis. 1986. ‘Maṇḍala and Āgamic Identity in the Trika of Kashmir’, in André Padoux (ed.), Mantras et Diagrammes Rituelles dans l’Hindouisme, Équipe no. 249 ‘L’hindouisme: textes, doctrines, pratiques’. Paris: Éditions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, pp. 169–214. Sanderson, Alexis. 1995. ‘Meaning in Tantric Ritual’, in A.-M.  Blondeau and K. Schipper (eds.), Essais sur le Rituel III: Colloque du Centenaire de la Section des Sciences religieuses de l’École Pratique des Hautes Études. Louvain-Paris: Peeters, Bibliothèque de l’École des Hautes Études, Sciences Religieuses, Volume CII, pp. 15–95. Sanderson, Alexis. 2004. ‘Religion and the State: Śaiva Officiants in the Territory of the Brahmanical Royal Chaplain (with an appendix on the provenance and date of the Netratantra)’, Indo-Iranian Journal, 47, 229–300.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Practice in the Tantric Religion of Śiva  271 Sanderson, Alexis. 2007. ‘Swami Lakshman Joo and His Place in the Kashmirian Śaiva Tradition’, in Bettina Bäumer and Sarla Kumar. Samvidullāsah. New Delhi: D.K. Printworld, pp. 93–126. Sanderson, Alexis. 2009. ‘The Śaiva Age: The Rise and Dominance of Śaivism in the Early Medieval Period’, in Shingo Einoo (ed.), The Genesis and Development of Tantrism. Tokyo: Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo, pp. 41–349. Sanderson, Alexis. 2020. Tantrāloka 1.22–122. Draft Critical Edition and Translation for Lectures at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, January 26th 2020. Silburn, Lilian. 1988. Kuṇḍalinī, Energy of the Depths: A Comprehensive Study Based on the Scriptures of Nondualistic Kaśmir Śaivism, trans. J.  Gontier. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Smith, Frederick M. 2006. The Self Possessed: Deity and Spirit Possession in South Asian Literature and Civilization. New York: Columbia University Press. Taylor, Charles. 2007. A Secular Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Thadani, N.V. 2007. Mīmāṃsā Sūtras of Jaimini. Delhi: Bharatiya Kala Prakashan. Thapar, Romaila. 2004. Somnath: The Many Voices of a History. New Delhi: Penguin. Törzsök, Judit. 1999. The Doctrine of Magic Female Spirits: A Critical Edition of Selected Chapters of the Siddhayogeśvarīmata (tantra) with Annotated Translation and Analysis. DPhil thesis, Merton College, Oxford University. Törzsök, Judit. 2013. ‘Yoginī and Goddess Possession in Early Śaiva Tantras’, in István Keul (ed.), Yoginī in South Asia: Interdisciplinary Approaches. Abingdon: Routledge. Unni, N.P. 1988. ‘Introduction’, in M.M.T.  Ganapati Śāstri (ed.), Īśānaśivagurudeva Paddhati of Īśānaśiva Gurudeva, vol. 1. Delhi and Varanasi: Bharatiya Vidya Prakashan. Vasudeva, Somadeva. 2004. The Yoga of the Mālinīvijayottaratantra, Chapters 1–4, 7, 11–17. Pondichéry: Institute Français de Pondichéry. Watson, Alex, Dominic Goodall, and S.L.P. Anjaneya Sharma. 2013. An Enquiry into the Nature of Liberation: Bhat ̣t ̣a Rāmakaṇt ̣ha’s Parmokṣanirāsakārikāvṛtti, a commentary on Sadyojyotiḥ’s refutation of twenty conceptions of the liberated state (mokṣa). Pondichéry: Institut Français de Pondichéry. White, David. 2003. The Kiss of the Yogini: Tantric Sex and Its South Asian Contexts. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press. White, David. 2012. ‘Netra Tantra at the Crossroads of the Demonological Cosmopolis’, The Journal of Hindu Studies, 5, 145–71.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

10

Vaisnava Practice Rembert Lutjeharms

A Vaiṣṇava is one who is devoted to Viṣṇu. It is a self-designation that is used by  those who consider Viṣṇu or Krṣṇa or Rāma—who are all considered to be aspects of the same deity—to be God, from whom all worlds emanate, by whom they are sustained, and into whom they will dissolve at the end. He is identified with the brahman of the Upaniṣads and seen to reside in the heart of all living beings as the ‘supreme self ’ (paramātman) or the ‘inner ruler’ (antaryāmin). According to most Vaiṣṇavas, he is both the efficient and the material cause of this world. Everything that exists exists within his being, and everything depends on him for its very existence. He thus pervades all, and yet always resides in his divine realm, beyond the physical confines of this world of matter, in his divine form. He possesses all perfections and is ever untainted by the blights found in this world. All the gods bow before him, but they can never fathom the greatness of his being. He rules all and is ruled by none. Yet what captures most Vaiṣṇavas is not God’s incomparable majesty and divine power, but his boundless love and compassion for his devotees and his overwhelming beauty. ‘You have placed your truth and your very body at the feet of those who serve you’, writes Vedānta Deśika.1 ‘His heart is compassion through and through’, sings Sūrdās.2 Bilvaman˙ gala says God’s play is ‘sweeter than sweetness [. . .]. Oh, it steals my heart away. What am I to do?’3 The only proper response to God’s love is to reciprocate that love, through worship and service. It is this, above all, that characterizes Vaiṣṇava practice. This chapter attempts to offer not a historical overview of Vaiṣṇava practice, but an overview of the ways Vaiṣṇavas have viewed their own practice. Given the enormous variety of Vaiṣṇava traditions and their very regional nature, any overview of Vaiṣṇava practice is necessarily selective. I have drawn upon the writings of Vaiṣnạ vas from most major traditions, and on a wide range of scriptural texts, but there is undoubtedly a bias—due to familiarity as well as fondness—in my selection. 1  Hopkins (2007: 27).

2  Hawley and Bryant (2015: 687).

3  Wilson (1975: 120).

Rembert Lutjeharms, Vaiṣnạ va Practice In: Hindu Practice. Edited by: Gavin Flood, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198733508.003.0011

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  273 After an analysis of the Vaiṣṇava understanding of bhakti, I discuss just four distinct Vaiṣṇava practices, which Vaiṣṇava Purāṇas proclaim to be the principal practices for the four cosmic ages (yuga): Vedic ritual, image worship, praising God, and meditation. Examining the various practices indicated by just these four, while not exhaustive, does demonstrate the great diversity of Vaiṣṇava practice, and also brings to light how these practices, despite their apparent differences, are all interconnected and, in the Vaiṣṇava mind, all have the same aim: constant remembrance of God.

1. Bhakti If only you simply give Hari a try, if only you refuse to worship anything else, in mind, deed, and word letting truth fill your heart, if only you sound his name and praise him night and day, drowning your doubts in the liquid of his love— if you resolve to live in the world this way, who can turn your gold to glass? You won’t be touched by hot or cold, by joy or pain; you won’t feel grief at whatever comes or goes. Sur says, enter his treasury—go and you’ll never have to return and dance to this world’s tune. —Sūrdās4

The central aspect of Vaiṣṇava practice is bhakti. What is bhakti? This Sanskrit term is often translated as ‘devotion’, sometimes even as ‘love’, but its significance is greater than what either of these English words denote. Some scholars have opted to translate it as ‘participation’,5 since the verbal root bhaj from which the noun is derived can mean ‘to share’ as well as ‘to worship’, but while this captures something of the intimacy between the devotee and God that bhakti denotes, it is perhaps also too abstract to convey this without commentary. In Vaiṣṇava texts, the Sanskrit term bhakti is used in two distinct ways. Often the word is used in the instrumental (bhaktyā, ‘with bhakti’), generally in com­ bin­ation with a verb that denotes an act of worship. In this sense bhakti denotes a mental state with which one worships God. The Parama-saṃ hitā defines it as ‘constant meditation [on God] based on affection’.6 For Śrīnātha Paṇḍita it is ‘the

4  Hawley and Bryant (2015: 741–3). 5  See Prentiss (1999: 24, 216n36). 6  Sneha-pūrvam anudhyānam bhaktir ity abhidīyate (Parama-saṃ hitā 4.71).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

274  Rembert Lutjeharms awareness that someone is worthy of worship’;7 for Parāśara Bhat ̣t ̣a it is ‘a servant’s affection for his master’;8 for Rāmānuja ‘a particular type of awareness which destroys all desires for oneself or others, which is its own end, and which is the highest form of love’;9 while for Madhva it is ‘an unshakeable affection, greater than any other, based on an awareness of God’s greatness’.10 Understood in this way, bhakti is not merely a state of mind that accompanies an act of worship, but is that act’s most important aspect. As many Vaiṣṇava texts emphasize, ritual worship without bhakti is pointless: ‘worship without bhakti is undone, even if it’s done’, says the Parama-saṃ hitā.11 The Kāśyapa-jñāna-kāṇḍa similarly states that ‘everything that is performed by persons without bhakti is fruitless’.12 Or, as Madhva writes, in Vaiṣṇava practice bhakti ‘is primary; there should be nothing else, for without it all is pointless’.13 But in Sanskrit texts bhakti, in the accusative case (bhaktim), is often used as the direct object of the verbal root ‘kṛ’, ‘to do’: one does or performs bhakti, as in this passage—one of very many—from the Bhāgavata Purāṇa: ‘with the greatest joy, the wise perform bhakti to the Lord, Vāsudeva’.14 Here bhakti is not that which accompanies the act—or even that which makes the act matter—but the very act  itself. This understanding is reflected in various other definitions of bhakti. Parāśara Bhat ̣t ̣a explains that bhaj, the verbal root from which the noun bhakti is derived, is used to denote performing service, and ‘therefore the wise denote great service (sevā) by the word bhakti’.15 Similarly, the Nārada Pāñcarātra defines bhakti as ‘serving the Lord of one’s sensory faculties with those faculties’,16 and Rūpa Gosvāmin defines bhakti as the ‘continuous service’ to God that is, among other things, ‘pleasing to him, and free from desires for anything else’.17 But what is striking in this understanding of ‘bhakti as action’ is that, across Vaiṣṇava traditions and texts, it is never equated with a single practice. If we leave aside for now the many types of bhakti that later theologians are fond of classifying18—based mostly on degrees of purity—Vaiṣṇava texts have often 7  Upāsyatva-jñānam (Caitanya-mata-mañjuṣā 11.12.8). 8  Svāmini dāsasya anurāgamayī sthitiḥ bhaktiḥ (Commentary on Viṣṇu-sahasra-nāma, p. 32). 9  Bhaktir api niratiśaya-priyānanya-prayojana-svetara-vaitṛṣṇyāvaha-jñāna-viśeṣa eva [. . .] (Vedārtha-san˙graha 92). 10  Māhātmya-jñāna-pūrvas tu sudṛḍhaḥ sarvato’dhikaḥ sneho bhaktir iti proktaḥ (Mahābhāratatātpārya-nirṇaya 1.85). 11  Pūjanaṃ hi vinā bhaktyā kṛtam apy akṛtam bhavet (Parama-saṃhitā 4.72). 12  Nṝṇām abhaktānāṃ kṛtaṃ sarvaṃ niṣphalam (Kāśyapa-jñāna-kāṇḍa p. 97). 13  Mukhyam eṣaiva nānyat syāt sarvaṃ vyarthaṃ tayā vinā (Madhva’s Tantra-sāra-san˙ graha 155). 14  [. . .] kavayo nityaṃ bhaktiṃ paramayā mudā vāsudeve bhagavati kurvanti [. . .] (Bhāgavata Purāṇa 1.2.22). 15  Bhaja ity eṣa dhātur vai sevāyāṃ parikīrtitaḥ/tasmāt sevā budhaiḥ proktā bhakti-śabdena bhūyasī (Commentary on Viṣṇu-sahasra-nāma, p. 39). 16  Hṛṣīkeśena hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṃ ṃ bhaktir ucyate (cited in Rūpa Gosvāmin’s Bhakti-rasāmṛtasindhu 1.1.12). 17 See Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11. 18  Harivyāsadeva, for example, lists no fewer than fifteen different categories of bhakti as practice, depending on what motivation it is performed with; see Vedānta-siddhānta-ratnāñjalī pp. 256–7.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  275 defined ‘bhakti as action’ as comprising a variety of different practices. Thus, the Parama-saṃ hitā talks of bhakti having eight ‘aspects’ (an˙ ga), which include the worship of God, upholding Vaiṣṇava discipline, confidence in the Vaiṣṇavas, great respect for worship, care for one’s own acts of worship, respect for hearing narrations about God, not desiring to torment others, and not making the worship of God one’s livelihood.19 Vedānta Deśika also lists eight, but different ones: being affectionate to God’s devotees; rejoicing at worship; being devoted to listening to narrations about God; experiencing bodily changes such as stuttering, crying, or trembling; personally exerting oneself to worship God; being free from duplicity; always remembering God; and not making the worship of God’s one’s livelihood.20 The most famous of such analysis of bhakti is found in the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, which talks of a ninefold bhakti: ‘hearing, praising Viṣṇu, remembering, serving his feet, worshipping his image, bowing [to him], servitude, friendship, and self-surrender’.21 In other words, although Vaiṣṇavas may at times extol certain devotional practices popular in their tradition as paramount and, in some cases, even denounce those of other Vaiṣnạ va traditions, generally there is a degree of tolerance—theologically, at least, if not always socially—and a recognition that the worship of God can take many forms, and that various Vaiṣṇavas may be drawn to various practices. Bhakti thus denotes both emotion and action. A Vaiṣṇava worships God with reverence, love, or affection, and the act of worship itself is an expression of that love. As we will see below, acts of worship are mostly ritual in nature, and are thus governed by scriptural rules the worshipper should follow. Vaiṣṇava ritualists insist on the proper ritual procedure in all acts of worship, as stipulated in scriptural texts. ‘Śruti and Smṛti are my commands’, Viṣṇu declares in an often-cited passage; ‘one who disregards them violates my command and hates me. Even if he is devoted to me, he is not a Vaiṣṇava’.22 ‘Single-minded devotion to Hari that does not follow the injunctions of the Śruti, Smṛti, Purāṇas, and Pāñcarātra texts is mere disturbance’, writes Rūpa Gosvāmin.23 For some Vaiṣṇavas, this is an absolute principle. Śrīnivāsamakhin, for example, argues that if one worships the Lord without following the scriptural injunctions, even unknowingly, one’s worship cannot lead to liberation. A person who loves Viṣṇu, he continues, will never violate the scriptural ordinances, ‘even in thought’.24 19  Parama-saṃhitā 4.72–4. 20  Rahasya-traya-sāra p. 299. The list is nearly identical to that given in the Kriyādhikāra (24.106–8). 21  Śravaṇaṃ kīrtanaṃ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṃ pāda-sevanam/arcanaṃ vandanaṃ dāsyaṃ sakhyam ā­ tma-nivedanam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa 7.5.23). 22  Śruti-smṛtī mamaivājñe yas te ullan˙ghya vartate/ājñā-cchedī mama dveṣī mad-bhakto’pi na vaiṣṇavaḥ (cited, for example, in Śrīnivāsamakhin’s Daśa-vidha-hetu-nirūpaṇa pp. 56, 65; Jīva Gosvāmin’s Bhakti-sandarbha 173; Vedānta Deśika’s Rahasya-traya-sāra, p. 316; Maṇavāḷa Māmuṉi’s commentary on Piḷḷai Lokācārya’s Śrī-vacana-bhūṣāṇa 282). 23  Śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi-pañcarātra-vidhiṃ vinā/aikāntikī harer bhaktir utpātāyaiva kalpate (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.101); see also Jīva’s Bhakti-sandarbha 312. 24 See Daśa-vidha-hetu-nirūpaṇa, p. 65.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

276  Rembert Lutjeharms But if bhakti is also emotion, there is another dimension to these acts of worship too. Śrīnivāsamakhin argues, as we have just seen, that a devotee’s love for the Lord is demonstrated by his strict adherence to the ritual prescriptions, but many Vaiṣṇavas also argue that love can transcend ritual. Indeed, many Vaiṣṇava traditions teach that there is an alternative path that transcends scriptural injunctions—not because such injunctions are deemed pointless, but rather because some devotees are seen to have already fulfilled their purpose. This is particularly the case for traditions whose object of worship is Kṛsṇ ̣a. Caitanya Vaiṣṇavas, for example, distinguish between two types of practice: devotion that is governed by scriptural injunctions (vaidhī bhakti) and devotion that is governed by passion (rāgānugā bhakti). Most devotees would practise the former, but some devotees have attained a natural attraction to Kṛsṇ ̣a and ‘upon hearing about the sweetness of the various emotions (bhāva) [of Kṛsṇ ̣a’s eternal companions] their mind proceeds without regard for either scriptural instructions or logic’.25 Such a person, Jīva Gosvāmin argues, would not intentionally violate the injunctions of scripture, but even if they accidentally do so, whatever sin might be considered to follow from that is immediately negated by their own devotional absorption.26 As the Bhāgavata Purāṇ a states, one who practises such bhakti ‘is never neglectful; even if he is running on this path with his eyes closed, he will not trip and will not fall’.27 Similarly, Vallabha’s school makes a distinction between ‘the path of limitations’ (māryāda-mārga) and ‘the path of grace’ (puṣt ̣i-mārga), after which his trad­ition is popularly named. The former follows the ‘limitations’ or ‘boundaries’ (māryāda) of scripture, such as the Vedic texts, which cannot be transgressed; there is an emphasis on one’s own effort as well as a desire to attain liberation. The path of grace, however, is one of full surrender to the grace of God, in which one’s main motivation is love. As we will see below, though the spontaneity of love is the guiding force, ritual is not abandoned, but rather re-evaluated as a conduit and expression of such love. The Śrīvaiṣṇava teachings on ‘surrender’ (prapatti), much discussed in academic literature, are often also seen in this light. Śrīvaiṣṇavas, who follow the theology of Rāmānuja, distinguish between two devotional paths. On the one hand, there is the discipline of bhakti (bhakti-yoga), which they understand as the Vedāntic devotional path. The devotee acquires knowledge (jñāna) of the self and God through a study of the Upaniṣads and pursues Vedic ritual practices (karma), which purify the mind, to support this. When such knowledge matures, it becomes

25  Tat-tad-bhāvādi-mādhurye śrute dhīr yad apekṣate/nātra śāstraṃ na yuktiṃ ca [. . .] (Bhaktirasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.277; translation after David Haberman). 26 See Bhakti-sandarbha 312. 27  Yān āsthāya naro rājan na pramādyeta karhicit/dhāvan nimīlya vā netre na skhalen na pated iha (Bhāgavata Purāṇ a 11.2.35).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  277 a constant meditation, ‘uninterrupted like the flow of oil’,28 and is a form of love.29 Since this path is rooted both in Vedic practice and in Vedic (or, spe­cif­ic­al­ly, Vedāntic) study, it is only accessible to those who are eligible for those, namely the twice-born (dvija) upper three classes.30 The second path, surrender to God (prapatti) or seeking refuge in God (śaraṇ āgati), however, is open to all and, moreover, need only be performed once in order to attain salvation, unlike the path of bhakti-yoga, which depends on repeated practice. Surrender to God, Śrīvaiṣṇavas explain, is grounded in the awareness that the self is helpless and utterly dependent on God, as it is, onto­ logic­al­ly, a part (śeṣa) of him who is the whole (śeṣin). To surrender, then, is to make God one’s ‘means’ (upāya) to liberation: the devotee no longer relies on his own actions to attain salvation, but rather abandons himself fully to God, ‘just as a jewel belonging to another person is rightfully returned to him, for him to protect and wear’.31 Śrīvaiṣṇavas have long disputed the exact relationship between these two paths,32 and though surrender (prapatti) has generally been accepted as the preferred practice, bhakti-yoga is also considered to lead to liberation. But it is a path in which the emphasis is on the devotee’s own agency, whereas in surrender the emphasis is on God’s agency in the attainment of salvation. The primary difference between the two is the inner disposition of the devotee. As both Vedānta Deśika and Pil ḷ ̣ai Lokācārya emphasize, those who have sought refuge in God alone are nevertheless expected to follow whatever devotional practices are appropriate to their social class (varṇ a) and stage of life (āśrama), as ordained by scripture. But such acts are performed only out of love for God—since scripture is his command, as we have seen—and they should not consider them to be the means to liberation.33 Rules and emotion, or ritual and devotional love, are thus not antithetical for Vaiṣṇavas, but complement each other. To use Kenneth Valpey’s typology,34 ritual is the grammar of Vaiṣṇava bhakti, while love and emotion constitute its poetics. Both the goal of and the motivation for all Vaiṣṇava ritual is love, and love expresses itself through ritual practice—even if it may at times break its conventions. 28  Dhyānaṃ ca taila-dhārā-vad-avicchinna-smṛti-santāna-rūpam (Śrī-bhāṣya 1.1.1, translation by George Thibaut). 29  See Rāmānuja’s Vedārtha-san˙graha 141. 30  See Vedānta Deśika’s Rahasya-traya-sāra, chapter 9. 31  Vedānta Deśika’s Rahasya-traya-sāra, p. 227 (translation after N. Raghunathan). 32  The complex disputes that arose within the Śrīvaiṣṇava tradition as to the exact relationship between these two paths and the role of human agency in surrender is beyond the scope of this chapter, but see Mumme (1992) for a succinct overview of the debate, and Narayanan (1987) and Raman (2007) for a very detailed study. 33 See Vedānta Deśika’s Rahasya-traya-sāra pp. 316–22; see also Pil ̣l ̣ai Lokācārya’s Śrī-vacanabhūṣaṇ a 279–82. 34  Valpey (2006), particularly pp. 9–11.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

278  Rembert Lutjeharms Bhakti denotes thus both emotion and action. A Vaiṣṇava worships God with love, and the act of worship itself is an expression of that love. This also means that, for a Vaiṣṇava, bhakti is never a means to an end, but its own end: a devotee performs acts of worship in order to obtain bhakti, and that bhakti leads to more worship. Vaiṣṇava texts may at times state that bhakti leads to liberation, but bhakti continues in the state of liberation, and so the latter is not its end. Madhva puts it as follows: ‘By bhakti one attains knowledge [of God], and then bhakti, then a vision [of God], and then bhakti again, then liberation, and then that same bhakti, which is of the nature of joy’.35 Vaiṣṇavas have therefore often distinguished between two types of bhakti: the first is the devotional practice itself, the second the perfectional state of that practice. This distinction is referred to by various terms. Harivyāsadeva talks of bhakti ‘which takes the form of practice’ (sādhana-rūpā) and that which ‘takes the form of its result’ (phala-rūpā);36 Jīva Gosvāmin talks of ‘bhakti as the means’ (sādhana-bhakti) and ‘bhakti as the end’ (sādhya-bhakti);37 and Madhva makes a similar distinction between bhakti as practice (sādhana) and bhakti as perfection (siddhi). The latter arises when one is liberated and no longer conditioned by the deluding forces of matter. As Madhva states, ‘the worship of Hari in that state [i.e. liberation] is always pure joy. It is not a form of practice, but it is perfection, which arose from that’.38 Mere liberation (mokṣa) is therefore never the goal for Vaiṣnạ vas. As the Bhāgavata Purāṇa (3.29.13) states, Viṣṇu’s devotees do not accept any form of liberation if it does not lead to serving him.39 Some Vaiṣṇava texts—such as early Pāñcarātra texts—claim that the worship of God can lead to both liberation (mokṣa) and enjoyment (bhoga) in this world.40 But if some Vaiṣṇavas see the desire for liberation as too self-centred, what to speak then of sensual enjoyment! Rūpa Gosvāmin writes, ‘As long as the fiend of longing for worldly enjoyment or liberation resides in the heart, how can the joy of bhakti arise there?’41 Many Vaiṣṇavas therefore advocate detachment from the world and its sensual pleasures, reaffirming Kṛṣṇa’s own verdict: ‘those enjoyments that arise from contact [of the senses with their objects] are only sources of suffering’.42 Renunciation (vairāgya) is thus praised, but cautiously. First of all, true renunciation arises only from bhakti: only when one understands the true position and nature of the Lord can one become detached from the pleasures of 35  Bhaktyā jñānaṃ tato bhaktis tato dṛṣt ̣is tataś ca sā/tato muktis tato bhaktiḥ saiva syāt sukharūpiṇī (Anuvyākhyāna 3.4.215). 36 See Vedānta-siddhānta-ratnāñjalī p. 256. 37  See Jīva’s commentary on Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.1. 38  Harer upāsanā cātra sadaiva sukha-rūpinī/na tu sādhana-bhūtā sā siddhir evātra sā yataḥ (Madhva’s Brahma-sūtra-bhāṣya 4.4.21). 39  Some Vaiṣṇavas even condemn liberation, as it comes to be associated with the impersonal goal of radical non-dualists. See Lutjeharms (2018). 40  See also Madhva’s Tantra-sāra-san˙graha 154: [. . .] sā bhaktir iti vijñeyā sādhanaṃ bhoga-mokṣayoḥ . 41  Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.22. 42  Ye hi saṃ sparśa-jā bhogā duḥkha-yonaya eva te (Bhagavad-gītā 5.22).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  279 this world. ‘As a result of one’s capacity for maintaining unconditional love and surrender towards the Lord’, Vallabha writes, ‘the renunciation of sense objects becomes firm’.43 Or, as Vedānta Deśika puts it, only ‘he who is attached to the supreme self is detached from that which is not the supreme self ’.44 But too much asceticism also harms bhakti. Vallabha cautions against renunciation, because it can lead to pride which is opposed to bhakti,45 and Rūpa Gosvāmin states that while renunciation may be somewhat useful in the beginning, ‘the saints believe that it causes the heart to harden’; it is thus not suitable for devotion, which is by nature ‘very tender’.46 He particularly warns against ‘superficial renunciation’, which causes one to reject everything as material, and argues that true re­nun­ci­ ation is that by which one always properly employs worldly things, not for one’s own pleasure, but in the service of God.47 Many Vaiṣṇava ritual texts also emphatically denounce those who make the worship of God their livelihood, especially brahmin priests in temples. Priests in a Vaiṣṇava temple should ‘be single-minded, situated in true goodness, and until their death not worship anyone else; they should worship the Lord of gods out of sense of duty, without [the desire for any] reward’, according to the Pauṣkarasaṃ hitā.48 Indeed, both the Vaikhānasa Kriyādhikāra and the Pāñcarātra Paramasaṃ hitā—both texts written for temple priests—claim that ‘not making the worship of God one’s livelihood’ is one of the principal aspects of bhakti.49 Śrīnivāsamakhin, who discusses this topic at some length, states: ‘A brahmin, even if he has learned the four Vedas, who is devoted to the worship of God with an ulterior motive, with the desire for wealth, should be considered equal to a casteless outcast (caṇḍāla)’.50 A Vaiṣṇava always serves God, and does not make God his servant. As some of the above citations indicate, for Vaiṣṇavas bhakti is exclusive: only God is a suitable object of devotion, and those who are devoted to him should not worship other gods. As Kṛṣṇa states in the Bhagavad-gītā ‘those who are devoted to other gods and worship them with faith, worship me alone’, but, he adds, they do so ‘without following the injunctions of scripture’.51 Their faith comes from him, the Gītā claims, as do whatever little rewards the gods may give,52 and thus 43  Nirodha-lakṣaṇa 15 (translation by Frederick Smith, 1998). 44  Paramātmani yo rakto virakto’paramātmani (cited in Rahasya-traya-sāra, p. 158). 45  Sannyāsa-nirṇaya 4. 46  Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.248–9. 47  Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.255–6. 48  Ekāntinaḥ susattva-sthā dehāntaṃ nānya-yājinaḥ /kartavyam iti deveśaṃ saṃ yajante phalaṃ vinā (Pauṣkara-saṃ hitā, cited in Rao 2005: 92). See also Rao (2005: 164–6). 49  Tat-pūjānujīvanam (Parama-saṃ hitā 4.75); yac ca tan nopajīvati (Kriyādhikāra 24.108). See also Yāmuna’s Āgama-prāmāṇya, pp. 156–8. 50  Devārcana-paro yo’pi parārthaṃ vitta-kān˙ kṣayā/catur-veda-dharo vipraḥ sa caṇḍāla-samo bhavet (Daśa-vidha-hetu-nirūpaṇ a p. 64). 51  Ye’py anya-devatā-bhaktā yajante śraddhayānvitāḥ /te’pi mām eva kaunteya yajanty avidhipūrvakam (Bhagavad-gītā 9.23). 52 See Bhagavad-gītā 7.21–2.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

280  Rembert Lutjeharms only those who have but ‘little intelligence’ worship the gods whose blessings are paltry.53 Therefore, as an often-cited passage states, ‘he who disregards Vāsudeva, and attends another god, is [like] a thirsty fool who digs a well on the Ganges’ banks’.54 The worship of Viṣṇu makes the worship of the gods redundant, Madhva explains: ‘When the Lord of all gods, who holds the conch, disc, and club, is worshipped, all the gods are worshipped, since Hari is omnipresent’.55 The Bhāgavata Purāṇ a uses this analogy: ‘just as by watering the root of a tree its trunk, branches, and twigs are satisfied, [. . .] exactly so offerings to the Infallible also honour everyone’.56 A Vaiṣṇava is thus free from the three debts a human being is born with according to Vedic texts: a debt to the gods, repaid by sacrifice; a debt to the sages, repaid by study of the Veda; and a debt to one’s ancestors, repaid by continuing the family lineage through a son.57 Just as there is none higher than Viṣṇu, in whose being everything exists, so there is nothing higher than bhakti to him. This is not to say that Vaiṣṇavas dismiss other gods. The gods are seen as beings vastly more powerful than humans, but as temporary as this material world over which they preside. All the gods are seen to be attendants of Viṣṇu, who serve him in various capacities, and are to be honoured as such. Jīva Gosvāmin, for example, states ‘a person who worships Gopāla [Kṛṣṇa] but disparages other gods—let it be! Both his future and his previously performed dharma will be destroyed!’58 One other deity does gain an immense prominence in all Vaiṣṇava traditions: God’s divine consort—Śrī for Viṣṇu, Rādhā for Kṛṣṇa, Sītā for Rāma. She is seen as God’s greatest devotee, inseparable from him, and eternally perfect. As such, God can never be worshipped without her. ‘The great sages, adept in the know­ ledge of the nature and person of the Supreme Lord’, Vedānta Deśika writes, ‘have declared that the self-evident, essential, and manifest qualities and attributes of the Lord and his glories, obtain greater lustre from the nature, form, and glories’ of his consort, who is to him ‘like the radiance which cannot be separated from the sun’.59 ‘She is full of compassion and grace and very affectionate to the Vaiṣṇavas’, the Kāśyapa-jñāna-kāṇ ḍa states, ‘and therefore one should approach Śrī, and with great effort strive to obtain Śrī, until one’s death. One should not 53  Bhagavad-gītā 7.23. 54  Vāsudevaṃ parityajya yo’nyaṃ devam upāsate/tṛṣito jāhnavī-tīre kūpaṃ khanati durmatiḥ (cited by Vedānta Deśika in Tattva-ṭīkā, p. 64 and by Madhva in Kṛṣṇāmṛta-mahārṇava 112; for similar verses, see Madhva’s Kṛṣṇāmṛta-mahārṇava 108–14; Jīva Gosvāmin’s Bhakti-sandarbha 106; and Gopāla Bhaṭṭa’s Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 1.111–15). 55  Arcite sarva-deveśe śan˙ kha-cakra-gadā-dhare/arcitāḥ sarva-devāḥ syur yataḥ sarva-gato hariḥ (Kṛṣṇ āmṛta-mahārṇ ava 9). 56  Yathā taror mūla-niṣecanena tṛpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopaśākhāḥ /[. . .] tathaiva sarvārhaṇ am actyutejyā (Bhāgavata Purāṇ a 3.31.14). 57 See Taittirīya Brāhmaṇ a 6.3.10.5. 58  Gopālaṃ pujayed yas tu nindayed anya-devatām/astu tāvat paro dharmaḥ pūrva-dharmo’pi naśyati (cited in Bhakti-sandarbha 106). 59  Rahasya-traya-sāra p. 651 (translation after N. Raghunathan).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  281 think that she is hard to attain’.60 She is thus commonly seen as a mediator between God and his devotees—indeed, some say she is more merciful than he! Finally, for Vaiṣṇavas bhakti is inherently communal. There is much emphasis on one’s individual practice (sādhana) and personal worship, but such practice is pursued in a community of fellow Vaiṣṇavas, who themselves should also be an object of devotion. ‘Even more than God’, Harirāma Vyāsa says, ‘I like God’s servants!’61 To love God is to love those he loves. ‘Those who are my devotees’, Kṛṣṇa says, ‘are not my devotees. But those who are devotees of my devotees, those I consider to be the best devotees’.62 Such devotion is particularly directed towards the saints and preceptors of one’s own tradition (sampradāya)—and especially one’s own guru—but is also extended to the wider community of Vaiṣṇavas. All devotees should be honoured on the basis of their devotion to God, Vaiṣṇava unanimously agree. Caste or gender, or anything else by which society evaluates persons, is irrelevant in this regard, and Vaiṣṇava traditions generally offer initiation to anyone who desires it. On the importance of caste in the lives of individual devotees, however, Vaiṣṇavas are not quite in agreement. For example, Vedānta Deśika argues that devotees should certainly be honoured in accordance with the degree of their devotion, irrespective of caste, but their devotion does not eradicate caste distinctions. ‘The idea that devotees of Viṣṇu have the same caste’, he writes, ‘is a foolish claim. [. . .] Equality due to the destruction of such things as caste will happen only at the time of liberation’.63 Especially in regards to social customs, Vaiṣṇavas should uphold such conventions, and each Vaiṣṇava ‘should not discard their castes; they should render service to the Lord according to what is prescribed as competent for that caste’.64 Others, however, are more radical, and argue that since Vaiṣṇava initiation (dīkṣā) is said to destroy all the effects of one’s past actions, this includes the body with which the Vaiṣṇava is born. Caitanya is said to have said: ‘the body of a Vaiṣṇava is never material. The body of a devotee is non-material and is only pure consciousness and bliss (cid-ānanda). At the time of initiation the devotee surrenders himself [to the Lord], and at that time Kṛṣṇa makes him equal to himself ’.65 To think of Vaiṣṇavas in relation to the body of their birth would

60  Sā ca prasādānugraha-parā vaiṣṇ ava-vatsalā, tataḥ śriyaṃ tu sādhayed yatnāt āmṛtyoḥ śriyam eva kān˙kṣeta. Durlabhāṃ nainām avamanyeta [. . .] (Kāśyapa-jñāna-kāṇ ḍa p. 70). 61  Pauwels (2002: v). 62  Ye me bhakta-janāḥ pārtha na me bhaktāś ca te janāḥ /mad-bhaktānāṃ ca ye bhaktās te me bhakta-tamā matāḥ (cited in Kṛsn ̣ ̣adāsa Kavirāja’s Caitanya-caritāmṛta 2.11.28 and Rūpa Gosvāmin’s Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.218). 63  Sājātyaṃ viṣṇ u-bhaktānām iti mandam idam vacaḥ [. . .] jāty-ādi-dhaṃ satas sāmyaṃ mukti-kāle bhaviṣyati (Rahasya-traya-sāra p. 568). 64  Rahasya-traya-sāra p. 563 (translation after N. Raghunathan). 65 Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja’s Caitanya-caritāmṛta 3.4.191–3.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

282  Rembert Lutjeharms thus be an offence, and caste should therefore not be considered in the community of Vaiṣṇavas. Now, let us turn to the nature of Vaiṣṇava practice. How do Vaiṣṇavas worship God? As mentioned above, Vaiṣṇavas have always recognized a variety of ways in which God can be worshipped, and also show an awareness that Vaiṣṇava practices have changed over the centuries. Vaiṣṇava Purāṇas, for example, claim that Viṣṇu is to be worshipped differently in the four cosmic ages (yugas). So the Bhāgavata states: ‘That which was attained in Kṛta [Satya-yuga, the first of the ages] through meditation on Viṣṇu, in Tretā through sacrifice, in Dvāpara through worship [of the image], that is attained in Kali through praising Hari [Viṣṇu]’.66 Using this Purāṇic categorization of Vaiṣṇava practice—saving meditation, as the foundation for all Vaiṣṇava practice, for the end—we now turn to the specifics of Vaiṣṇava practice.

2.  Vedic Sacrifice (Yajña) I glorify the actions of Viṣṇu who made the earthly regions, who held up the lofty gathered site, traversing three times—he is praised by those who are exalted. [. . .] May my fortifying thought go forth to Viṣṇu, who dwells in speech, the one of many hymns, the one who showers; he alone by his three steps made this wide and enduring aggregate. —Ṛg Veda 1.154.1,367

In the famous Puruṣa-sūkta (‘Hymn to the Person’) of the Ṛg Veda (10.90), we are told about a divine person (puruṣa) who encompasses this entire world and exists beyond it. In the hymn, he is identified with sacrifice (yajña) itself, the central Vedic ritual act, and it is through the sacrifice of himself to himself that the other gods are able to create the variety we now experience in this world. In the words of the Ṛg Veda: ‘the gods sacrificed to the sacrifice with the sacrifice’.68 This hymn is of immense importance to Vaiṣṇavas. It is recited daily in many Vaiṣṇava temples and is commented upon and alluded to in many Vaiṣṇava texts. This is because Vaiṣṇavas identify this cosmic person as Viṣṇu. 66  Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇ uṃ tretāyāṃ yajato makhaiḥ /dvāpare paricaryāyāṃ kalau tad dharikīrtanāt (Bhāgavata Purāṇ a 12.3.52). 67  Translation after Laurie Patton (2005: 171). 68  Yajñena yajñam ayajanta devāḥ (Ṛg Veda 10.90.16).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  283 Viṣṇu is a Vedic deity. He is invoked occasionally in the four Vedas and has about half a dozen hymns dedicated to him in the Ṛg-veda. He is thus certainly not the most prominent Vedic deity, but was, according to Jan Gonda, nevertheless ‘a god of considerable notability’,69 because of his association with the most prominent aspect of Vedic religious culture: sacrifice (yajña). According to Vedic texts, Viṣṇu munificently supports those who perform sacrifice;70 he is the guardian of sacrifice,71 and is, according to the Ṛg Veda, ‘upholding dharmic deeds’.72 But the Vedic Brāhmaṇ a texts go one step further: Viṣṇu does not just uphold sacrifice and rewards those who perform it, but he is that very sacrifice: ‘Viṣṇu indeed is sacrifice’ (yajño vai viṣṇ uḥ), the Brāhmaṇ as state again and again.73 Given the association of Viṣṇu with sacrifice, it comes therefore as no surprise that Vaiṣṇavas claim the Vedic tradition and its central ritual, the sacrifice (yajña), as their own. Vedic ritualists are frequently criticized in Vaiṣṇava texts as lacking in spiritual insight and being too infatuated with the pleasures and power that may be obtained from sacrifice,74 but this is generally not seen as a criticism of Vedic ritual itself, just of the mentality with which it is performed. It is only when the Vedas are read in the light of the Upaniṣads, Vaiṣṇavas argue, that the true significance of the Vedic revelation can be understood, because these texts are, by their own admission, the ‘vedānta’75—the ‘end’ or ‘final word’ (anta) of the Veda. Vaiṣṇavas thus considered themselves to be ‘superior insiders’, as Alexis Sanderson put it, in contrast to Śaivas who positioned themselves as outsiders to the Vedic tradition.76 Indeed, Viṣṇu is seen to uphold the Vedic tradition, and descends into this world in his various forms (avatāra) ‘whenever there is a decline of dharma and a rise of adharma’, in order to ‘perfectly establish dharma’, the Bhagavad-gītā claims.77 In contrast to radical Advaitins like Śan˙ kara, Vaiṣṇava Vedāntins have always defended the importance of Vedic ritual even for those who pursued knowledge (jñāna) of brahman through the Upaniṣads. Śan˙ kara claims that ritual action and knowledge of brahman are incompatible, since the former constantly forces an identification with the body and the latter exposes such identification to be ig­nor­ ance. Since ignorance and knowledge cannot coexist, and liberation is dependent on knowledge, renunciation of ritual action is necessary for the aspirant of liberation.78 However, Vaiṣṇava Vedāntins argue that the two can and indeed should be pursued together, as, they argue, the Upaniṣads themselves teach: an often-cited 69  Gonda (1954: 77). 70  See Gonda (1954: 21–4). 71  See, for example, Taittirīya Saṃ hitā 1.1.3, 1.1.11. 72  Dharmāṇ i dhārayan (Ṛg Veda 1.22.18), translation by Laurie Patton (2005: 97). 73  See, for example, Śatapatha Brāhmaṇ a 1.1.2.13, 1.1.3.1, 1.1.4.9, 1.2.5.33, 1.4.5.2, 1.7.1.21, 1.9.3.9, 3.2.1.38, 3.6.3.3, 3.6.4.2, 3.6.4.9, 4.2.2.10, 4.5.7.7, 5.4.5.18, 11.1.4.4, 13.2.2.9; Pañcaviṃ śa Brāhmaṇa 9.7.10, 13.5.5; Gopatha Brāhmaṇ a 2.4.6. 74  See, for example, Bhagavad-gītā 2.41–5. 75 See Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 3.2.6 and Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.22. 76  Sanderson (1993: 40). 77  Bhagavad-gītā 4.7–8. 78 See Upadeśa-sāhasrī 1.1.2–15.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

284  Rembert Lutjeharms passage from the Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad states that ‘it is he [God] that brahmins seek to know by means of vedic recitation, sacrifice, gift-giving, austerity, and fasting’.79 The Vaiṣṇava argument for Vedic ritual is twofold. First of all, it is argued that when such ritual actions are performed without desire for their rewards but only out of a sense of duty, as the Bhagavad-gītā teaches, such acts do not hinder but rather help one achieve knowledge of God. Kṛṣṇa teaches in the Bhagavad-gītā (18.5) that ‘sacrifice, giving, and austerity purify even the wise’ and should therefore not be renounced. Rāmānuja explains that ‘for those who desire liberation and practice contemplative worship (upāsanā) throughout their lives, these actions destroy the [effects of] previous acts (karma) that obstruct the consummation of such contemplation’.80 Vedic ritual—as well as the duties of one’s social position (varṇ āśrama-dharma) which support such ritual practice—are thus seen to support one’s worship of God by purifying the mind and eradicating the power past acts have upon them. The second argument is not unrelated to this but looks at Vedic ritual in a different light. When performed in this way, as supporting contemplation on God, the nature of the ritual is fundamentally changed, Vaiṣṇavas argue. The form of the Vedic ritual remains unchanged, but it is performed with a different intention: not as worship of the many gods, but as worship of Viṣṇu himself, who resides within the gods as the inner ruler (antaryāmin) and grants them their powers, or, as Madhva argues, who alone is the true referent of all the hymns of the Vedas.81 This change in intention makes all the difference. Such Vedic sacrifice for Viṣṇu does not reinforce ignorance as Śan˙ kara claims, but rather, as an act of bhakti, leads to liberation and Viṣṇu himself. ‘Oh, how extraordinarily wonderful is this’, Rāmānuja proclaims, ‘that though engaging in the exact same activity, but with a different intention, some receive paltry rewards and are likely to fall [into the ocean of rebirth], whereas others, whose reward is the obtainment of the supreme person who is limitless and unequalled bliss, will not return [to this world]!’82 As we have seen, Vaiṣṇava bhakti is open to all. But traditionally Vedic ritual is not: only male ‘twice-born’ (dvija), members of the upper three social classes (brahmin, kṣatriya, vaiśya) who have received Vedic initiation (upanayana) and studied the Veda are eligible to sacrifice. Vaiṣṇava traditions that advocate Vedic ritual as worship of Viṣṇu generally uphold this restriction, and mostly expect it only from Vaiṣṇava brahmins born in a family of Vedic ritualists. Texts like the

79  Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 4.4.22 (translation by Patrick Olivelle). 80  Mumukṣāṇ āṃ yāvaj-jīvam upāsanaṃ kurvatām upāsana-niṣpatti-virodhi-prācīna-karmavināśanānīty arthaḥ (Rāmānuja on Bhagavad-gītā 18.5). 81  See Madhva’s Karma-nirṇaya, pp. xxviii–xliv. 82  Aho mahad idaṃ vaicitryaṃ yad ekasminn eva karmaṇ i vartamānāḥ saṃ kalpa-mātra-bhedena kecid atyalpa-phala-bhāginaś cyavana-svabhāvāś ca bhavanti, kecanānavadhikātiśayānanda-paramapuruṣa-prāpti-rūpa-phala-bhāgino’punar-āvartinaś ca bhavanti (Rāmānuja on Bhagavad-gītā 9.25).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  285 Bhāgavata Purāṇ a do declare that anyone, even if they are a ‘dog eater’ (i.e. an outcast), who recites God’s name, praises him, bows down to him, or merely remembers him once, ‘becomes at once eligible for Soma offerings’.83 But Vaiṣṇava commentators argue that, even though his devotional practice has destroyed all his karma—including the ‘manifest’ (prārabdha) karma of the ritually impure body in which he was born—and he is thus technically eligible for such ritual, as the Bhāgavata claims, such an ‘outcast’ Vaiṣṇava should nevertheless not perform Vedic ritual, because he would not have performed the required rituals to grant him the status of being a ‘twice-born’ (dvija), which would ordinarily have been undergone during childhood and which even a brahmin must observe in order to be eligible for Vedic ritual.84 Vaiṣṇavas are thus, in this regard, generally very conservative and orthodox in their attitude to Vedic ritual—a conservatism generally not seen in the other, more popular, forms of Vaiṣṇava practice. Vedic ritual is therefore not very widely practised among Vaiṣṇavas, but there is one Vaiṣṇava tradition which more than any other grounds itself in Vedic texts and practice. The Vaikhānanas are perhaps the oldest living Vaiṣṇava ritual trad­ ition. They are a Yajur Vedic school, and their communities are nowadays mostly located in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, where several prominent temples (such as the temple of Ven˙ kateśvara in Tirupati) follow the Vaikhānasa rite. Vaikhānasas draw upon two textual traditions. The oldest and foundational Vaikhānasa texts are two Yajur Vedic ritual manuals (sūtra) which are traditionally ascribed to the sage Vikhanas, from whom they derive their name: the Vaikhānasa-śrauta-sūtra, which describes the solemn Vedic (śrauta) rituals, and the more influential Vaikhānasa-smārta-sūtra, which is divided into two parts: the Vaikhānasa-gṛhya-sūtra, which discusses domestic ritual, and the Vaikhānasadharma-sūtra, which mostly deal with the stages of life (āśrama) and social classes (varṇ a). The second corpus, collectively called the Vaikhānasa Āgamas, probably dates to the medieval period. This is a collection of texts ascribed to Vikhanas’ four disciples, Bhṛgu (to whom is ascribed, among others, the Kriyādhikāra), Marīci (Vimānārcanā-kalpa), Atri (Samūrtārcanādhikaraṇa), and Kāśyapa (Kāśyapa-jñāna-kāṇḍa). The Vaikhānasa-śrauta-sūtra is, according to Willem Caland, not particularly original in its treatment of the Vedic (śrauta) rituals and borrows much material from other Yajur Vedic (Taittirīya) ritual texts.85 The rituals the text prescribes are  rather unremarkable for a Vedic school, but the text’s Vaiṣṇava character is unmistakable. The text repeatedly stresses meditation on Viṣṇu during the ritual, and sees him as the lord of the sacrifice.86 The basic ritual plan of the 83  Yan-nāmadheya-śravaṇ ānukīrtanād, yat-prahvaṇ ād yat-smaraṇ ād api kvacit/śvādo ‘pi sadyaḥ savanāya kalpate . . . (Bhāgavata Purāṇ a 3.33.6). 84  See Jīva Gosvāmin’s commentary on Rūpa’s Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.22. 85  Caland (1941: xxvii); see also Gonda (1977: 524–5). 86  See Caland (1941: xxi–xxii).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

286  Rembert Lutjeharms Vaikhānasa-śrauta-sūtra is elaborated upon, and slightly modified, in the Vaikhānasa Āgamas. Both enjoin that the ‘sacrificial hall’ (yāga-śālā or agni-śālā) should contain five different sacrificial fire altars:87 the round ‘household’ altar (gārhapatya) in the west, the square ‘offering’ (āhavanīya) in the west, the semicircular ‘southern’ (dakṣiṇ āgni or anvāhārya) in the south, and the triangular or square ‘domestic’ (āvasathya) in the north. The fifth fire altar, the square ‘congregational’ (sabhya), is the most important for the Vaikhānanas, and is to be placed near the centre of the hall, to the west of the offering fire (āhavanīya). Right beside it, between the four cardinal fires, is the ‘altar of repose’ (śayyā-vedī) where images of Viṣnu ̣ are placed.88 The worship of Viṣṇu’s image, which is the primary interest of the Āgamas, is not discussed in the Vaikhānasa-śrauta-sūtra, but is discussed in some detail in the Vaikhānasa-smārta-sūtra, a much more influential text. The practice taught by the Vaikhānasa-smārta-sūtra is a remarkable Vaiṣṇava adaptation of standard Vedic ritual. It involves the performance of standard Vedic ritual offerings to the various gods through Agni, the god of fire, but combines this with the worship of Viṣṇu’s image. Both rituals are seen to complement each other. As the Vaikhānasagṛhya-sūtra proclaims: ‘Now, after the daily (nitya) offerings to Agni comes the daily worship of Viṣṇu, which honours all the gods. As the [Aitareya] Brāhmaṇ a (1.1.1) states, “Agni indeed is the lowest of the gods, Viṣṇu is the highest. Between them are all the other deities” ’.89 Thus, with the worship of Agni through the regu­lar Vedic rituals and the direct worship of Viṣṇu, as taught in the Vaikhānasasmārta-sūtra, all other gods are honoured. The text describes in detail the rituals by which the image of Viṣṇu is consecrated (pratiṣtḥ ā).90 During the ritual, which lasts three days, the devotee fashions an image of Viṣṇu ‘not less than six fingers’ tall,91 which will then be consecrated with a variety of Vedic ritual acts—offerings into the domestic fire, various oblations, and the recitation of Vedic verses. On the second day, the priest fills a vessel with water, kuśa grass, unhusked rice, a piece of gold, and some gems, and then meditates on Viṣṇu in his ‘partless’ (niṣkala) form in the heart. He then meditates on Viṣṇu in his form ‘with parts’ (sakala), ‘as golden of colour, as having a red face, red eyes, red hands and feet, as wearing the Śrīvatsa-mark, as four-armed, as wearing a yellow garb, as having in his hands the conch and the disc, and as of

87  See Vaikhānasa-śrauta-sūtra 1.2–3; Colas (1996: 267–71). In the description that follows, I have followed the Āgamas. 88  A sixth altar, called the ‘lotus’ (pauṇḍarīka), is added to this in the Āgamas. It is placed south of the sabhya and is used primarily for expiatory offerings as well as for the rite of image consecration (pratiṣtḥ ā). 89  Athāgnau nitya-homānte viṣṇ or nityārcā sarva-devārcanā bhavati. ‘Agnir vai devānām avamo viṣṇuḥ paramas tad-antareṇ a sarvā anyā devatā’ iti brāhmaṇ am (Vaikhānasa-gṛhya-sūtra 4.10). See also Kāśyapa-jñāna-kāṇ ḍa p. 2. 90 See Vaikhānasa-gṛhya-sūtra 4.10–12. 91  Vaikhānasa-gṛhya-sūtra 4.10.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  287 benign countenance’.92 Viṣṇu is then invoked in the five forms Vaikhānasas ­ orship—Viṣṇu, Puruṣa, Satya, Acyuta, Aniruddha—as are his two consorts Śrī w and Bhū, followed by more Vedic oblations. On the third day, the new image of Viṣṇu is brought to the place where it will be worshipped, either at home, in a temple, or in the ‘fire hall’ (agni-śālā) where the standard Vedic rituals are performed. The water that was consecrated the previous day and which is now ‘infused with the power (śakti)’ of Viṣṇu is then poured over the image of Viṣṇu, who is requested to appear in this new form. The image is thereby consecrated and comes to be Viṣṇu himself. The text describes but briefly the actual worship of Viṣṇu. It is to be performed every morning and evening, immediately after the Vedic fire ritual (agni-hotra) performed at sunrise and sunset. The devotee then bathes the consecrated image of Viṣṇu, dresses and adorns him, and offers him flowers, perfume, incense, a lamp, water, and food. All this, which is not typically Vedic in character, is to be accompanied by the recitation of various Vedic verses in praise of Viṣṇu and, especially, of the Puruṣa-sūkta. The Vaikhānasa-smārta-sūtra talks elsewhere of the worship of Viṣṇu with more standard Vedic rituals,93 but these are not used in the daily worship of Viṣnu ̣ . Viṣnu ̣ is, however, ‘sacrifice personified’ (yajña-puruṣa), and the Vaikhānasa-gṛhya-sūtra states that ‘what was omitted in the sacrifices is completed by this [worship of Viṣṇu’s image], according to the Śruti. Without laziness, the twice-born should daily worship Lord Nārāyaṇa with bhakti, either in their home or in the temple. They will attain that highest abode of Viṣṇu, it is declared’.94 All of this is elaborated in extraordinary detail in the Āgamas, which follow the main sequence given here, and list the countless mantras that should be used, many of them from the Ṛg and Yajur Veda. We do not need to dwell on those details here,95 but there are two aspects of the Āgamas’ rite that are worth mentioning. The most striking difference between the Āgamas and the Vaikhānasagṛhya-sūtra is that the Āgamas employ five different images of Viṣṇu. The first of these is the ‘immovable image’ (dhruva-bera), which is that described in the Vaikhānasa-gṛhya-sūtra. This is the principal image and resides perpetually in the temple. It embodies Viṣṇu, who is, as we have seen, invoked to reside in this form during the rite of consecration, and from then on is permanently present in this image. The daily (nitya) worship, however, is not offered to this image, but to a  smaller and mobile image, which is the ‘ceremonial image’ (kautuka-bera). 92  Vaikhānasa-gṛhya-sūtra 4.10, translation by Willem Caland. 93 See Vaikhānasa-gṛhya-sūtra 3.13, where Viṣṇu is worshipped as part of standard Vedic pre-natal rituals, and Vaikhānasa-dharma-sūtra 10.9–10, where offerings are made to Viṣṇu during funerary rites. 94  Yajñeṣu vihīnaṃ tat saṃ pūrṇ aṃ bhavatīti śrutir dvi-jātir atandrito nityaṃ gṛhe devāyatane vā bhaktyā bhagavantaṃ nārāyaṇ am arcayet tad viṣṇoḥ paramam padaṃ gacchantīti vijñāyate (Vaikhānasa-gṛhya-sūtra 4.12). 95  For a detailed overview of Vaikhānasa daily worship, see Goudriaan (1970).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

288  Rembert Lutjeharms Similarly, there is a ‘bathing image’ (snapana-bera) used to bathe the deity, a ­‘festival image’ (autsava-bera) that is taken on processions during festivals, and the ‘offering image’ (bali-bera) to whom oblations are made. Unlike the immovable image, these other four images are not consecrated. Rather, at the beginning of the worship Viṣṇu is requested to move into the image form the main image, and at the end of the worship, Viṣṇu is ‘sent back’ to the main image. This ritual of ‘invitation’ (āvāhana) and ‘dismissal’ (visarjana) is distinctly Vedic in character and modelled on the Vedic ritual of invoking the gods, through Agni, into the sacrificial fire and dismissing Agni at the end of the ritual.96 These five forms, identified with the five main forms of Viṣṇu recognized by Vaikhānasas— Viṣṇu, Puruṣa, Satya, Acyuta, and Aniruddha—are also seen to represent the five Vedic fires Vaikhānasas use. The second aspect that is unique to the Vaikhānasa Āgamas is the self-deification that takes place before the worship proper begins. The devotee recites the ‘Hymn to the Self ’ (Ātma-sūkta), a Vaikhānasa hymn of nine verses in which the various parts of the body are identified with aspects of Viṣṇu and the cosmos, so as ‘to enlarge the worshipper’s consciousness into cosmic size, so that he may be able to identify himself with the Lord Whom he is going to worship’.97 The hymn starts as follows: The self of the self, the highest and inner self, the inner self of the earth; he, the primeval self, is our inner self; He envelopes everything, maintains the whole; he, whose merit reveals itself, is our chief. As the outward breath (prāṇ a), he is guidance; as the upward breath (udāna), he is the primeval Boar [Varāha] who grants boons; and as the circulating breath (vyāna), he is the concrete accumulation of ascetic power, Kapila, prince of hermits; and our downward breath (apāna) is Hayaśīrṣa.98

The hymn is an interesting instance of the Vaikhānasas’ Vedic Vaiṣṇavism. It resembles Vedic passages, like those common in Brāhmaṇa texts, that talk of correspondences between the microcosm of the body and the microcosm of the universe which are deemed important for Vedic ritual, and passages from the Upaniṣads in which brahman is seen as the self of all, but re-envisions this in a distinctly devotional Vaiṣṇava fashion. The Vaikhānasa Āgamas differentiate between two types of ritual worship of Viṣṇu: ‘formless’ or ‘aniconic’ (amūrta) and ‘with form’ or ‘iconic’ (amūrta).99 The former type is performed through Vedic ritual, while the latter consists of the worship of an image of Viṣṇu at home or in a temple. While it may be tempting to 96  See Colas (1996: 280–1). 97  Goudriaan (1970: 212). 98  Translation after Goudriaan (1970: 214). 99  See, for example, Vimānārcana-kalpa p. 5, Kriyādhikāra 9.1–3, Kāśyapa-jñāna-kāṇ ḍa p. 3.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  289 classify only the former as Vedic, since the latter introduces elements not typically associated with Vedic ritual, it is difficult to do so. Although it is not its main elem­ent, even the ‘iconic’ worship involves a fire sacrifice, into the sabhya fire,100 but the ‘Vedic’ character of this system goes much beyond that. The ‘iconic’ worship these Vaikhānasa texts describe may seem far removed from the traditional Vedic fire rituals, but the Vaikhānasa tradition is not the only (Yajur) Vedic school to use images in Vedic ritual,101 and the Āgamic rite is a clear development of the early Vaikhānasa Vedic rituals as described in the Vaikhānasa Sūtras. As we have seen, the Vaikhānasas interpret the images in Vedic sacrificial terms, beginning from their consecration, and view both ritual systems as complementary. While the Vaikhānasa Āgamas do contain a few (minor) Tantric elements, as Gérard Colas has noted,102 their rite is markedly non-Tantric and deeply rooted in Vedic imagery, if not also ritual and text. Traditionally, certainly, the Vaikhānasa rite is viewed as a Vedic tradition, and based on its Vedic character it has been differentiated from the (now more popular) Tantric Pāñcarātra rite, which we will discuss below.

3.  Image Worship (Arcana) Ineffable inner light of ascetics, mystical kohl of a yogi’s eye; precious stone, vessel of perfect liberation, healer of the sorrows   of the poor and afflicted— God of gods, divine eye in the assembly   of the Vedas: we see him here, in the middle of Śrīran˙ gam town! —Vedānta Deśika103

Later Vaikhānasa texts claim that of the two forms of worship—aniconic and iconic—iconic worship is ‘best’. Unlike the more complex Vedic rituals, image worship does not depend on a patron (yajamāna) and is thus easier to sustain, says the Vimānārcana-kalpa.104 But the Kāśyapa-jñāna-kāṇḍa gives another, more popular reason: ‘in iconic worship there is the constant flow of delight for both the eyes and mind. That will lead to bhakti and faith (śraddhā), and only for

100  See Goudriaan (1970: 205). 101  See, for example, the use of images in the Baudhāyana-gṛhya-pariśiṣt ̣a-sūtra (Harting, 1922, II, 13, p. 1). 102  Colas (1996: 285–7). 103  Hopkins (2002: 157). 104  Tac chreṣt ̣ham. Yajamānābhāve’pi avicchinnaṃ bhavati (Vimānārcana-kalpa p. 5).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

290  Rembert Lutjeharms one who has both faith and bhakti does all perfection arise’;105 ‘by repeatedly ­seeing [the image] and serving it, bhakti arises’.106 This view is shared across Vaiṣṇava traditions. Pil ḷ ̣ai Lokācārya, for example, has a similar argument: Viṣṇu’s beautiful image is so potent and important because this form of his attracts the mind of his devotee and thereby distracts him from his worldly attachments and generates in him a deep ‘taste’ (ruci) for the Lord—even in those who are disinterested in him. It is this attraction, he argues, that leads them to Viṣṇu.107 Viṣṇu’s image is so attractive, Maṇavāl ̣a Māmuṉi explains, because, although he manifests himself fully in that form, he also assumes ‘simple’ qualities that make him more approachable, while he hides some of his overwhelming divine majesty: out of his boundless grace the omnipotent sovereign of all worlds resides here, in his image, among common mortals!108 Furthermore, as Jīva Gosvāmin argues, attending to God’s image is particularly important because it nurtures a ‘special relationship’: the constant service and worship creates a strong intimacy between the Lord and his devotee, which, for Vaiṣṇavas like Jīva who worship Kṛsṇ ̣a, can take on various forms: the devotee can come to see him as master, friend, child, or even lover.109 As such statements make abundantly clear, Vaịsṇ ̣avas do not look upon the image they worship as a ‘representation’ of God or a symbol. Rather, the image is non-different from him. The image is God. As Śrīvaiṣṇava theology in particular stresses, it is a divine descent (avatāra) of God into this world. Out of his compassion, God assumes a form made of matter so as to be perceptible and ap­proach­ able by his devotees in this world, and Vaiṣṇavas therefore attend the image not just by offering ritual worship (pūjā), but also by bathing him, dressing and ornamenting him, offering him food, allowing him to rest, and so on. The image is treated as a person because he is seen to be the embodiment of the supreme person, and whether in a temple or a household, the image is the central focus of all activities. The temple is seen to be his home, and he is the legal proprietor of all  the temple’s assets, which the temple’s priests, who are his servants, merely manage on his behalf. Viṣṇu’s image (arcā, bera) in temples is generally an image made out of stone, wood, or metal that is a physical representation of one of God’s many divine forms. But Vaiṣṇavas also worship Viṣṇu’s aniconic form of the śālagrāma. These are stones—generally, but not always, black—named after the place where they are found, in the Gaṇḍakī river at the town Śālagrāma, in Nepal. Based on the

105  Samūrte cakṣur-manasoḥ prītiḥ sadā saṃ sṛtiś ca. Tābhyāṃ bhakti-śraddhe syātām. Śraddhābhakti-yutasyaiva sarva-saṃ siddhiḥ (Kāśyapa-jñāna-kāṇḍa p. 3). 106  Abhīkṣṇa-darśanāt paricaryayā bhaktir bhavati (Kāśyapa-jñāna-kāṇḍa p. 97). 107 See Śrī-vacana-bhūṣaṇa 43. 108  See Maṇavāl ̣a Māmuṉi on Pil ̣l ̣ai Lokācārya’s Śrī-vacana-bhūṣaṇa 43 and 40. 109 See Bhakti-sandarbha 283.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  291 stone’s marks and colour,110 or on the desire of the devotee,111 these śālagrāma stones are identified as one of Viṣṇu’s many divine manifestations (such as Narasiṃ ha, Hayagrīva, Rāma, Vāsudeva, etc.). These forms reside in the stone naturally, and the worship of śālagrāma stones therefore does not require any rite of consecration. The sculpted images of Viṣṇu, however, do require consecration. The matter out of which they are made needs to be ritually transformed and through the ritual of consecration (pratiṣt ̣hā) Viṣṇu is requested to become fully present in the image. As we have seen, the Vaikhānasa tradition has such consecration rituals, which are developed out of and associated with Vedic ritual, but the majority of Vaiṣṇavas follow not the Vaikhānasa rituals but those of the Tantric Pāñcarātra texts—or at least rituals that are inspired by these. The Pāñcarātras are a large corpus of Sanskrit Tantric texts. Though they are considered a separate revelation from the Vedic revelation, Vaiṣṇavas have always insisted that they are merely complementary to the Vedic canon and do not replace it. As Yāmuna explains, Viṣṇu revealed the Pāñcarātra texts because he realized most devotees could not understand the intricacies of Vedic texts, and so, out of his compassion, revealed a new set of texts, the Pāñcarātra, which taught the same but would be easier to follow.112 Thus, though the rite is different, it is not contrary to Vedic ritual.113 The consecration rituals described in various Pāñcarārtra texts are detailed and also vary from text to text. The (simplified) account in the Īśvara-saṃ hitā is as follows. An image is carved, in accordance with the regulations outlined in Pāñcarātra texts, and is then brought to a newly erected pavilion. There it is ritually awakened by the ‘opening of the eyes’ (netronmīlana or nayanonmīlana): the right and left eye of the new image are traced with a golden and silver needle or pencil dipped in honey and ghee respectively, after which the priest prays for the Lord to awaken into this form: ‘Now, with this very form of this image please delight the people of this town, who are ignorant of reality. By you, who have entered into them, they will quickly go from sin born from a thousand births, to liberation (mokṣa)’.114 The image is bathed, and then fully consecrated by the ‘placement of mantras’ (mantra-nyāsa), during which the priest touches various parts of the image’s body and ‘places’ a mantra there. The image will thereby be transformed from inert matter into God’s divine and fully conscious body. Once the rite is complete, the image is moved to the temple, where it will permanently reside. Like the Vaikhānasas, the Pāñcarātra rite also worships several images—the big ‘immovable image’ (dhruva-bera or mūla-bera), the ‘festival image’

110  See Rao (2009: 148–331). 111  See, for example, Bhakti-sandarbha 286. 112  See Yāmuna’s Āgama-prāmāṇya p. 102.    113  See Yāmuna’s Āgama-prāmāṇ ya pp. 139–40. 114  Mūrti-bhedena rūpeṇa anenaiva hi sāmpratam/lokān ajñāta-tattvāṃ s tu samāhlādaya nāgarān/ yenāntas sampraviṣt ̣ena īṣat-kāla-vaśāt tu vai/janmāntara-sahasrotthān mokṣam āyānti kilbiṣāt (Īśvara-saṃ hitā 18.49). See also Īśvara-saṃ hitā 18.229–34.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

292  Rembert Lutjeharms (autsava-bera) which is taken on procession, the ‘bathing image’ (snapana-bera) which is bathed daily, and so on115—and these are all consecrated as well. This procedure is often simplified, and in some traditions performed not just once but each time the image is worshipped. The ritual is then, mostly, reduced to just the ‘placement’ (nyāsa), and after the worship is completed, the process is practised in reverse, while the devotee asks forgiveness for any shortcomings and requests the Lord to return to the devotee’s heart.116 Since the consecrated image embodies God and is considered to be no longer made of matter, the devotee too needs to ritually transform his own body into a divine one in order to be able to worship the image. The first step in this is initiation (dīkṣā),117 which is available to anyone, irrespective of caste or gender. The ritual of initiation is of great importance, since only by undergoing this ritual can the devotee worship the image. The ritual of initiation is centred around one or more fire rituals (homa). It can last several days, according to Pāñcarātra texts, but, if one does not have the means to do so, it can be performed very simply too, merely by the recitation of the mantras.118 Whatever form the initiation takes, it has two essential elements: the disciple receives from the guru the mantra(s) with which he will worship the Lord, and initiation transforms the disciple ritually and spiritually. The ritual of initiation destroys all the consequences—good or bad— of past actions (karma) of the disciple. The disciple’s old identities, determined by the accidents of birth and body, are thereby destroyed and the disciple attains the new identity of being a servant of God. The disciple receives a new name—generally a name of Viṣṇu or one of his attendants—and in some traditions even a new caste (jāti) and family lineage (gotra)—he now belongs to the caste of Vaiṣṇavas and the family of Acyuta (Viṣṇu).119 This change is also physically marked: according to Pāñcarātra texts the disciple should be branded (tāpa) on the upper arms with the mark of the conch and discus of Viṣṇu—a practice that, when followed, is usually renewed each year on Śayana Dvādaśī in the month of Āṣāḍha (June to July)—and on the forehead the sign of a Vaiṣṇava (tilaka or ūrdhvapuṇ ḍra) should be (daily) drawn with clay from Vaiṣṇava sacred sites, its shape also signifying one’s specific Vaiṣṇava tradition.120 All these mark the devotee as belonging to God: ‘Wearing the discus and so on is especially so men announce their relation [to the Lord], [just as a wife] adorns herself with bangles and so on to signal her chastity to her husband’.121 115  Pāñcarātra texts list up to six different images. For more on the various images, see Varadachari and Tripathi (2009, Vol. 1: 186–8). 116  See Tripathi (2004: 303, 366). 117  Some texts talk of different types of initiation. See, for example, Lakṣmī-tantra, chapter 41 and Czerzniak-Drożdżowicz (2003: 132–4). 118  See, for example, Lakṣmī-tantra 41.9–10. 119  See O’Connell (2019: chapter 6). 120  See Entwistle (1981–2). 121  Cakrādi-dhāraṇ aṃ puṃ sāṃ paraṃ sambandha-vedanam/pātivratya-nimittaṃ hi valayādivibhūṣaṇam (Varāha Purāṇa, cited in Gopāla Bhat ̣t ̣a Gosvāmin’s Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 15.47).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  293 The change is seen to be not just social, however. As we have seen earlier in Caitanya’s claim, the disciple’s actual body is now transformed into a divine body like that of the Lord. In some initiation rituals the guru ritually ‘deconstructs’ the disciple’s body and then builds up a new, divine, body with mantras.122 Other texts describe a ritual that is reminiscent of the consecration of images: during initiation the disciple is blindfolded or has his eyes closed, and his eyes are then ‘opened’ by tracing them with a small golden pencil. Just as the deity is awakened into the image by the ‘opening of the eyes’ (netronmīlana) with a needle or pencil during the consecration, so are the disciple’s eyes opened to the divine reality of God during the ritual of initiation.123 This process is repeated, in some form, each time the initiated Vaiṣṇava commences his daily worship. While preparing for the worship, the devotee visualizes how the material elements that constitute his physical body are dissolved and then consumed by fire. Having thus mentally destroyed his material body, he then constructs a divine body by the placement (nyāsa) of Vaiṣṇava mantras on the various parts of his body, by which ‘he becomes equal to the God of gods and becomes eligible for all the ritual acts, such as worship (pūjā)’.124 Though rooted in Tantric rather than Vedic practices, the effect and purpose of the ritual is similar to that of the Vaikhānasa recitation of the Ātma-sūkta: the devotee comes to identify himself not with any of the temporary identities he has assumed in this fleeting life, but sees himself only in relation to the unchanging God, whom he is about to worship. The image, then, is worshipped as one would honour an important guest, by offering various kinds of services to the deity. Sixteen main acts of service (upacāra) are generally listed, which are often prescribed to be performed while chanting the sixteen verses of the Vedic Puruṣa-sūkta hymn. There are some minor variations in this list, but the basic structure of the ritual is the same across the different texts. This is the list given in the Nāradīya-saṃ hitā:125 1. invoking the Lord 2. offering him a seat 3. offering water to wash his hands 4. offering water to wash his feet 5. offering water to rinse his mouth 6. bathing him 7. dressing him 122  See, for example, Czerzniak-Drożdżowicz (2003: 142). 123  See Sanātana Gosvāmin’s commentary on Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 2.130–1 and 2.222–5. 124  Yena vinyasta-mantreṇ a deva-deva-samo bhavet/pūjādi-sarva-kāryāṇ ām adhikāraś ca jāyate (Īśvara-saṃ hitā 2.50–1). 125  Nāradīya-saṃ hitā 2.58–60. For variant lists, see Pādma-saṃ hitā 4.6.62–4, Lakṣmī-tantra 36.76–104 (listing eighteen upacāras), Īśvara-saṃ hitā 4.47–8, 132–9.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

294  Rembert Lutjeharms 8. offering him a new sacred thread (yajñopavīta) 9. anointing him with sandal paste 10. offering a flower garland 11. offering incense 12. offering a ghee lamp 13. offering food 14. bowing down before him 15. circumambulating him 16. dismissing, and asking for forgiveness for mistakes made This final offering, ‘dismissing’ (visarjana) the deity, is not included in all Pāñcarātra texts: some add other elements—such as adorning the image with jewellery—and end with submitting oneself and one’s family to God as the final act.126 The difference between the two lists points to the difference in practice: for some God is invoked in the image, honoured as a guest, and then asked to leave the image, but for others, as long as the image is regularly worshipped, God remains present in the image. The latter is certainly the more popular view, as also reflected in countless poems in praise of specific temple images.127 For them, God is ‘not an invited guest—instead, he is always present’; he does not visit the temple, but rather ‘the temple is his home’.128 Of all Vaiṣṇava practices, image worship is undoubtedly the most common. It is also the most ritually involved. Pāñcarātra texts and ritual manuals following them are immensely detailed in their prescriptions, and the rituals I have summarized above, as described in these texts, appear overwhelmingly complex to one not familiar with them. But those texts really describe just one aspect of image worship, which is the grand, public worship performed in temples by fam­ ilies of priests for whom this is their only occupation. Most Vaiṣṇavas practise some form of image worship at home as well. Their rituals are modelled, to a greater or lesser degree, on those performed in the temples, but are generally greatly simplified. However, the ritual aspect of image worship so far discussed is just one of its aspects. Vaiṣṇava communities establish themselves around temples where Viṣṇu is worshipped, and prominent temples became important places of pilgrimage. Devotees visit these temples to participate or observe the rituals, to offer prayers or join in song, or just to see the form of their beloved Lord. The devotees go, often daily, to have an audience (darśana) with God—to see him and be seen by him, and to be in union with him through that act. As Cynthia Packert has argued, this act of seeing is not a ‘singular, definitive moment of religious transaction’ but rather ‘the appreciative, all-over kind of looking that savors the 126  See, for example, Īśvara-saṃ hitā 4.139. 128  Packert (2010: 12).

127  See Hopkins (1993).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  295 details of the body, the surface, and environment of the gods in much the same way as a poem is appreciated, word by word, phrase by phrase’.129 It is a deeply sensuous experience, and always a different one, as the image is richly dressed and ornamented anew each day, and the dress and ornaments change with the seasons and the calendar of festivals celebrated in the temple. As countless Vaiṣṇava poets have expressed, to see God in his adorned image ‘offer[s] privileged glimpses’ of the deity’s daily routine, ‘and reflect[s] his many moods and activities’.130 Sūrdās sings: Let your eyes fill and fill with the beauty of the blessed Cowherd [Kṛsṇ ̣a]. Gaze at the splendor of that lord of life so intensely that your eyes can’t bear to close.131

Although the ritual complexity and rigidity of temple worship might suggest other­wise, it is because of this intimacy that image worship is also emphasized in those Vaiṣṇava traditions that teach a practice that transcends the parameters of scripture. As we have seen above, Śrīvaiṣṇavas distinguish between bhakti and surrender (prapatti). They argue that in the former the devotee depends on ritual practice, while in the latter the devotee depends on God. This should not be understood as a dismissal of temple ritual, however. Indeed, Pil ḷ ạ i Lokācārya argues that Viṣṇu’s image is the best means for the practice of surrender. Surrender consists in making the Lord one’s ‘means’ (upāya) and not only is his image nondifferent from him, but only in this form is he actually accessible to the devotee— all other forms of his are beyond our immediate reach.132 Devotees should therefore surrender to the Lord in his form of the image, and attend him in that form according to their capacity. Similarly, image worship is central in the practice of the ‘path of grace’ (puṣt ̣imārga), taught by Vallabha and his followers, although they view the practice quite differently. They consider their method of image worship to only resemble the structure of the Pāñcarātra method, since they do not worship a consecrated image but the ‘essential form’ (svarūpa) of God. As Anand Mishra explains, ‘the presence of divinity in the svarūpa does not result from elaborate rituals designed to give life to the idol (prāṇa-pratiṣt ̣hā), but from Kṛsṇ ̣a’s decision to reveal ­himself in this form, for the sake of providing special delight to his devotee through the performance of sevā [‘service’], which otherwise would have been impossible’.133 This idea that God manifests himself in the image due to love is not entirely alien to Pāñcarātra practice. The Īśvara-saṃ hitā, for example, states that 129  Packert (2010: 13). 130  Packert (2010: 58). 131  Hawley and Bryant (2015: 721). 132 See Śrī-vacana-bhūṣaṇ a 39–42. See also Vedānta Deśika’s Rahasya-traya-sāra pp. 285–9. 133  Mishra (2012: 100).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

296  Rembert Lutjeharms when God is invoked, in the first of the sixteen acts of services (upacāra), he is ‘reflected [in the image] by the mirror of emotion (bhāva), from the lotus of [the priest’s] heart’ where he perpetually resides.134 But whereas in the Pāñcarātra rite this emotional aspect is rigidly circumscribed by complex ritual, in the image worship of the Puṣt ̣i-mārga it comes to shape the ritual actions themselves. ‘Offer homage to Krishna’s image with the utmost love’, Gopeśvara writes. ‘Do nothing without love. When you are able to perform seva with an absolute dedication of your entire being [. . .], you will experience the bliss of which the divine image is constituted’.135 Similarly, the Caitanya Vaiṣṇava practice of devotion that is ‘pursuing passion’ (rāgānuga-sādhana) is a meditative practice in which one emulates the spon­tan­ eous love of Kṛsṇ ̣a’s immediate companions. Although one may forgo any form of ritual practice while pursuing this, this is rarely done, and image worship especially is not rejected. Indeed, this state of devotion is said to come about by the worship of Kṛsṇ ̣a’s image,136 and such worship is expected to continue, although some authors argue that certain of the more complex aspects of Pāñcarātra worship—like the practice of the placement of mantras (nyāsa), or various hand gestures (mudrā)—as well as any form of identification with Kṛsṇ ̣a are to be rejected.137 The rituals are thus simplified, and, more importantly, directed more by the spontaneous love for God that is gradually awakening in one’s heart than by the injunctions of scriptural texts.

4.  Praise (Kīrtana) To punish Kamsa who tormented the good, the Lord left his primal form of light up there and took birth here: What are people who cannot sing of him, the Lord placed first in the Vedas, who cannot jump about in the streets— Why do the learned and the wise chant and roll the beads? Are they even human?

—Nammāl ṿ ār138

134  Bhāva-darpaṇa-san˙ krāntaṃ kṛtvā hṛt-kamalāt tu vai (Īśvara-saṃ hitā 4.51). 135  Arney (2007: 521). 136  See Rūpa Gosvāmin’s Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.300. 137  See Viśvanātha Cakravartin’s Rāga-vartma-candrikā 12. Nevertheless, some of the rituals that are rejected here do seem to have been followed in communities that followed this type of devotional practice: see, for example, Rādhākṛsṇ ̣a Gosvāmin’s Sādhana-dīpikā, chapter 4. 138  Narayanan (2007: 192).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  297 In the words of Rāmānuja, Viṣṇu possesses ‘immeasurable, innumerable, allsurpassing beautiful qualities’; he has one invariable divine form that is in accordance with His pleasure and in ­harmony with Himself; He has an infinite variety of unsurpassed beautiful ornaments that suit His form, and immeasurable, endless and marvelous weapons of all kinds that are equal to His power; He has a Consort [Śrī] who suits His pleasure and who is in harmony with Him [. . .]; He has an infinite entourage of attendants [. . .]; He has a divine residence, the proper form and nature of which are beyond the ken of thought and the power of expression: all of this [. . .] is everlasting and irreproachable.139

Parāśara Bhat ̣t ̣a comments that a Vaiṣṇava worships Viṣṇu ‘mentally, contemplating the Lord’s qualities which fully extinguish the threefold torments of worldly life (saṃ sāra)—[such contemplation] becoming an uninterrupted stream of nectar’ and ‘verbally, striving to praise his qualities—his body bristling by the extraordinary joy which is born from experiencing them, with welling tears and choking voice’.140 Thus, those who love God talk of God—of his beauty and power, his opulence and splendour, his innumerable attributes, his divine consort and his greatest devotees, his transcendent abode and his descents into this world. As Kṛsṇ ̣a states in the Bhagavad-gītā his devotees are ‘always praising me’,141 and when they meet other devotees whose ‘thoughts are in me’ and whose ‘lives are dedicated to me’, they ‘enlighten one another and always talk about me’.142 Such praise is, however, not just an expression of the devotee’s love for God, and thus an outcome of practice, but is also seen as an important practice in its own right. Vedic ritual is restricted to the twice-born (dvija), and while image worship is generally open to all, it requires following proper conduct and following many rules. But praising God can be practised by all. It rids the person who does so from all sins, because it brings him in contact with God, who is the ‘­purest of the pure’.143 Because of this it is deemed particularly important for those born in this age of Kali, the most difficult of the ages. ‘In Kali, which is a sea of evil’, the Bhāgavata claims, ‘there is still one good quality: by praising Kṛsṇ ̣a, one can become free from attachment [to this world] and reach the highest’.144 139  Vedārtha-san˙ graha 127, translation by J.A.B. van Buitenen. 140  [. . .] mānasam avicchinnāmṛta-dhārākāraṃ niḥśeṣa-saṃ sāra-tāpa-traya-nirvāpaṇa-bhagavadguṇ a-cintanaṃ kurvan [. . .] vācikaṃ ca tādṛśaṃ tad-anubhava-janya-harṣa-prakarṣa-pulakita-śarīraṃ bāṣpa-gadgada-kaṇt ̣haṃ tad-guṇ a-san˙ kīrtanaṃ samīhamānaḥ (Commentary on Viṣṇu-sahasra-nāma p. 33). 141  Satataṃ kīrtayanto mām (Gītā 9.14). 142  Mac-cittā mad-gata-prāṇā bodhayantaḥ parasparam/kathayantaś ca māṃ nityam (Gītā 10.9). 143  Pavitrāṇāṃ madhye paramaṃ mahat pavitram (Parāśara Bhat ̣t ̣a’s commentary on Viṣṇusahasra-nāma, p. 67). 144  Kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ /kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-san˙ gaḥ paraṃ vrajet (Bhāgavata Purāṇa 12.3.51).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

298  Rembert Lutjeharms But praising does more than just destroy sin. It awakens the devotee’s love for God and draws him ever closer to him. The Lord is seen here to be the principal agent. As Vallabha states, ‘having heard his own attributes sung in the hearts [of his devotees], the Lord causes these people to become fully immersed [in bliss]’.145 The Bhāgavata Purāṇa too states when one is absorbed in narrations of the Lord’s play, the Lord himself, situated in everyone’s heart, purifies the heart of all impurities, awakens bhakti for him there, makes one immune to the deluding powers of matter, and thereby grants the devotee liberation.146 Thus, ‘he who praises him becomes praiseworthy’.147 Such praise takes on many forms. While many texts contrast the practice of praise (kīrtana) with either Vedic ritual or image worship, it is intimately connected with both. Reciting Vedic hymns in praise of Viṣṇu or various prayers of praise (stotra, stuti, stava) is an integral part of both ritual practices. Image worship specifically is closely linked with the practice of praise. Countless Vaiṣṇava poets composed poems in praise of a specific image of God, often describing in detail the beauty of his adorned body and singing of the great grace bestowed upon his devotees. Such poems, expressing the poet’s love, are then in turn recited by other devotees as a vehicle for their own devotion. ‘Their very recitation bodies forth God’, Steven Hopkins explains; they are ‘icons of icons’ whose recitation brings the devotee in the presence of the deity, and thereby recreate, for the reciter, the ‘saint-poet’s experience’.148 Such poems, especially those composed in vernacular languages, even become integrated into the temple’s worship. Many Vaiṣṇava temples, and especially those dedicated to Kṛsn ̣ ̣a in northern India, developed a rich musical tradition, in which poems sung in praise of the deity and recounting his divine play were seen as a particularly potent vehicle for the devotees’ love.149 But the practice of praise reaches beyond the worship of the image. Especially popular is the praise of God’s divine play (līlā), as displayed in his many descents (avatāra) in this world. Praising God’s play and listening to such narrations reveals his otherworldly beauty and charm, as well as his great love for his de­votees. These divine acts too are recounted in poetry and song, but also take the form of discourses (kathā), in which a devotee narrates episodes from sacred texts, such as the Purāṇas. The most favoured of this type are week-long narrations of the Bhāgavata Purāṇ a (bhāgavata-saptāha) in which the entire text—or portions thereof—is retold, interspersed with devotional songs and even dramatic performances.150 145  Nirodha-lakṣaṇa 8, translation after Smith (1998: 518). 146 See Bhāgavata Purāṇ a 1.2.17–21. 147  Yaṃ stuvan stavyatām eti (Parāśara Bhat ̣t ̣a’s commentary on Viṣṇu-sahasra-nāma, p. 43). 148  Hopkins (2002: 165). 149  See Beck (2012), esp. chapters 3–5, and Richard Williams’ chapter in this volume. 150  See Taylor (2016).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  299 The praise (kīrtana) that the Purāṇas particularly praise, however, is the singing of God’s name (nāma-san˙ kīrtana). God’s name is softly recited (japa), counting each name on a rosary (mālā), as a meditational practice, or sung in congregation, accompanied by musical instruments. God’s name is particularly singled out, because Vaiṣṇavas consider God to be non-dual (advaita), and so they argue that there is no distinction or duality between God and his attributes. ‘The name Kṛsṇ ̣a is the philosopher’s stone. It is the embodiment of the essence of consciousness, complete, pure, and ever free, because there is no difference between the name and the named’.151 This notion can also be traced to the Pāñcarātra tradition. According to Pāñcarātra, mantras are one of the ways in which the transcendent God reveals himself to us: just as the consecrated image is the physical embodiment of God, mantras are sonic embodiments of God. ‘All mantras are manifestations of god in his pristine glory as saviour’, Sanjukta Gupta writes, and the mantra’s power is therefore ‘the expression or embodiment of god’s saving grace (anugrahamūrti)’.152 To recite the mantra is therefore to be in the presence of God. But, as some Vaiṣṇavas proclaim, God’s name is more than a mantra. Pāñcarātra mantras are only received after initiation, as we have seen. They not only necessitate adherence to Vaiṣṇava standards of purity and good conduct, but their use is also subject to ritual rules. God’s name, however, is not subject to those limitations. Caitanya wrote: ‘O Lord, you revealed your many names. You have invested in them all your potencies (śakti), and there is no established time for remembering them. Such is your mercy!’ God’s name can therefore be recited by anyone, at any time. Though it is often conferred during initiation as a mantra, texts from those traditions that emphasize the importance of the name often claim that it does not require initiation.153 Rather, merely by reciting God’s name, all perfection can be achieved. No other practice but the name is required, because ‘when his name is unreservedly sung a man is at once released from all sins’, the Viṣṇu Purāṇa declares, ‘[which flee] like wolves frightened by a lion’.154 Since the name is God, nothing else is required. As Tulsīdāsa proclaims, Rāma’s name ‘is provisions for those who journey empty-handed, and a friend for those who travel alone, it is blessedness for the unblessed, good character for those with none, a patron to purchase goods from the poor, and a benefactor to the abandoned. It is a good family for those without one, they say—and the scriptures agree—it is, to the crippled, hands and feet, and to the blind it is sight’.155 151  Nāma cintāmaṇ iḥ kṛṣṇaś caitanya-rasa-vigrahaḥ /pūrṇaḥ śuddho nitya-mukto’bhinnatvān nāma-nāminoḥ (attributed to the Pādma Purāṇa, cited frequently in Caitanya Vaiṣṇava texts, such as Rūpa Gosvāmin’s Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.233 and Kṛsn ̣ ̣adāsa Kavirāja’s Caitanya-caritāmṛta 2.17.133). 152  Gupta (1989: 224 and 243). 153  See, for example, Kṛsn ̣ ̣adāsa Kavirāja’s Caitanya-caritāmṛta 2.15.108–11. 154  Avaśenāpi yan-nāmni kīrtite sarva-pātakaiḥ/pumān vimucyate sadyaḥ siṃ ha-trastair vṛkair iva (Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.8.19). 155  Translation by Hawley and Juergensmeyer (2004: 166).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

300  Rembert Lutjeharms

5.  Meditation (Dhyāna, Smaraṇa) In the hollow of the hearts of those who discern some ultimate truth    beyond meditation may the self abide—     nothing but mere consciousness, while in ours may this charming self remain, with lotus eyes and smiling lotus face,     dark as a cloud    clothed in gold. —Kaviratna156

As an independent practice, meditation (yoga, dhyāna, smaraṇa) is relatively rare in Vaiṣṇava traditions. It is prescribed in various scriptural texts, and has been practised by Vaiṣṇava ascetics, but since the majority of Vaiṣṇavas are householders, it has rarely been their central practice. Many Vaiṣṇava texts do include some system of pure meditation, often drawing on the meditation taught in the school of Yoga, as developed in Patañjali’s Yoga-sūtras. The Bhagavad-gītā offers a Vaiṣṇava version of yogic meditation by which, Kṛsṇ ̣a says, one can come to ‘see me in everything and see everything in me’.157 Purāṇas, like the Bhāgavata, also teach the eightfold meditation practice (aṣt ̣ān˙ ga-yoga) to meditate on the form of Viṣṇu, claiming that by such practice ‘the characteristics of bhakti quickly appear’.158 We find a similar adaptation of this form of meditation among the Vaikhānasas. The Vimānārcana-kalpa, for example, list meditation (dhyāna) as one of the four ways in which Viṣṇu can be worshipped (the other three being through mantra meditation, through sacrifice, and through image worship): ‘one should contemplate the supreme self within the living being (jīva) with the self by the practice of eightfold (aṣt ̣ān˙ ga) yoga; this is meditation (dhyāna)’.159 The eight aspects of yoga are the traditional ones, although their interpretation is distinctly Vedic and Vaiṣṇava. Among the ethical observances (niyama), for example, are the worship of Viṣnu ̣ , listening to the meaning of the Veda, recitation of mantras, and sacrifice, alongside the more traditional ones like austerity or contentment.160

156  Dhyānātītaṃ kim api paramaṃ ye tu jānanti tattvaṃ , teṣām āstāṃ hṛdaya-kuhare śuddha-cinmātra ātmā/asmākaṃ tu prakṛti-madhuraḥ smera-vaktrāravindo, megha-śyāmaḥ kanaka-paridhiḥ pan˙ kajākṣo’yam ātmā (cited in Rūpa Gosvāmin’s Padyāvalī 77). 157  Yo māṃ paśyati sarvatra sarvaṃ ca mayi paśyati (Bhagavad-gītā 6.30). 158 See Bhāgvata Purāṇa 2.1.21; see also Bhāgavata 3.28, 11.15, 11.28.38–44. 159  [. . .] aṣt ̣ān˙ ga-yoga-mārgeṇa paramātmānaṃ jīva ātmanā cintayet tad dhyānam iti (Vimānārcana-kalpa p. 509). 160 See Vimānārcana-kalpa pp. 510–11; cf. Yoga-sūtras 2.32.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  301 Since meditation on the transcendent ‘partless’ (niṣkala) form of Viṣnu ̣ ‘even the gods cannot define’, because that form ‘is imperceptible’,161 the Vimānārcanakalpa only enjoins, meditation on the form of Viṣnu ̣ ‘with parts’ (sakala). Such meditation can either be on the divine from of Viṣnu ̣ that is ‘without [material] qualities’ (nirguṇa), or on those forms ‘with qualities’ (saguṇa), in which he is present in this world of matter. This latter form of meditation draws on various Vedic and Upaniṣadic notions and involves meditating on the effulgent form of Viṣnu ̣ , accompanied by his consort and surrounded by his associates, as he is present in various material bodies—such as fire, the sun, and the moon. In the former type of meditation, after ‘making the self pure by the practice of breath control (prāṇāyāma), disengagement of the senses (pratyāhāra), and concentration (dhāraṇā)’, ‘one should see with the self that [form of Viṣnu ̣ ] who pervades all like fire wood, who is [omnipresent and indivisible] like space, who is hidden in the cave of the self of all, who exists both within and outside, who is seen and unseen, tangible and subtle, who is without blemish, immensely clear, immeasurable, without parts, who never exerts himself, who is eternal, inconceivable, and partless’. ‘In the central space of the lotus of the heart which blooms by the practice of breath control (prāṇāyāma)’ one should see ‘with the greatest devotion’ ‘the inner self, Nārāyaṇa, who is the cause of all worlds, imperishable, unmanifest, and the unalterable supreme light’ who illumines the body ‘from the waist up to the crown of the head’ and who is ‘the embodiment of the highest bliss’.162 Both forms of meditation lead to absorption (samādhi), in which one attains, even in this life, supreme bliss and ‘always sees and experiences Nārāyaṇa, the supreme self ’.163 Meditation also plays an important role in Pāñcarātra practice. The Īśvarasaṃ hitā, for example, writes that before engaging in the worship of the image, the devotee should meditate on God. He should sit down and, withdrawing his sensory faculties from their objects, turn his focus to his Lord. Invoking him with mantras, he should prepare a seat for the Lord in the lotus of his heart and invite him to sit there with his consort. He should then meditate on God, his consort, and his attendants, paying attention to every detail of his divine form and at­tri­ butes, praying ‘Welcome, Lord of the god of gods, infallible one, please be near me, and receive my mental worship (pūjā), which is properly imagined’.164 The devotee visualizes God and then performs worship exactly as he would of the consecrated image, but mentally.165 This gives the meditation a distinct sensory aspect: the senses are withdrawn from their objects but imagined actively in the meditation. As the Parama-saṃ hitā states, the devotee should approach the

161  Niṣkalaṃ devair apy anabhilakṣyam adṛśyaṃ syāt (Vimānārcana-kalpa p. 516). 162  Vimānārcana-kalpa p. 517. 163  Vimānārcana-kalpa p. 519. 164  Svāgataṃ deva-deveśa sannidhiṃ bhaja me’cyuta/gṛhāṇa mānasīṃ pūjāṃ paribhāvitām (Īśvara-saṃ hitā 2.107). Cf. Lakṣmī-tantra 36.135. 165  See, for example, Īśvara-saṃ hitā 2.108–28, Lakṣmī-tantra 36.114–36.

yathārtha-

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

302  Rembert Lutjeharms Lord in meditation ‘as if he were seeing’ him, bow down to him ‘as if he were touching’ him, and meditate on him ‘as if he were hearing his words’.166 The Pāñcarātra meditation is thus clearly subordinated to the worship of the image. It is not an independent practice. Not only is it to be practised before one worships the image, as a preparation for it, it is also just an internalized form of the external image worship.167 While the Vaikhānasa method of meditation is less tied to ritual worship, it is nevertheless also subordinated to image worship. The Vimānārcana-kalpa, for example, claims that while meditation is a valid, in­dependent practice, image worship is still the ‘best means to attain all things’,168 and such meditation on both forms of Viṣnu ̣ —in a slightly simplified manner from that described above—is better while performed during the Vaikhānasa rites.169 In the Bhagavad-gītā, when Kṛṣṇa teaches Arjuna the practice of yogic meditation, Arjuna despairs and declares it to be impractical: because the mind is fickle, how can such meditation ever be steady? ‘The mind is fickle, Kṛsṇ ̣a, turbulent, powerful, and obstinate. It think it is as extraordinarily difficult to control as the wind!’170 It is a sentiment that is echoed by many Vaiṣṇavas throughout the ages, who see pure meditation as too difficult for those born in this troubled age of Kali, when people are ‘sluggish, have the most sluggish thoughts, are ill-fated, and disturbed’.171 This is not to say that Vaiṣṇavas reject meditation entirely. As we have seen, meditation (dhyāna) is a key part of both the Vaikhānasa and Pāñcarātra rites. While they may discourage meditation as a practice on its own, they fully embrace meditation if it is part of the larger cultus, because meditation is what all Vaiṣṇava practices have as their goal. According to the Purāṇas God is to be worshipped in different ways in the different cosmic ages (yuga). In the Kṛta or Satya age, the first and longest of the cycle, people are pure and can therefore easily take to the worship of Viṣnu ̣ : all they need to do is meditate on him. But as the ages progress, people grow more restless and distracted and require more engagement to gain the same result. So, in Tretā, the second age, they should perform the ‘aniconic’ worship of the Vedic sacrifices; in Dvāpara, the third age, they should worship an image of God; and in Kali, the last and most troublesome age, they should turn to the name of God.172 The practice of each age after the first is a substitute for meditation proper, but as

166  Parama-saṃ hitā 10.23. 167  Yoginām api sarveṣāṃ mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā/śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṃ sa me yuktatamo mataḥ (Bhagavad-gītā 6.47). 168  Teṣv arcanaṃ sarvārtha-sādhanaṃ syāt (Vimānārcana-kalpa p. 509). 169  See, for example, Vimānārcana-kalpa p. 224. 170  Cañcalaṃ hi manaḥ kṛṣṇa pramāthi balavad dṛḍham/tasyāhaṃ nigrahaṃ manye vāyor iva su-duṣkaram (Bhagavad-gītā 6.34). 171  Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ (Bhāgavata Purāṇa 1.1.10). 172  See, for example, Bhāgavata Purāṇa 12.3.52 and Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.2.17.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  303 proper substitutes they will lead to the same goal as the meditational practice of the first age. Vaiṣṇavas of all schools stress this. Irrespective of what specific practice is followed, the goal is the same: constant awareness of God. As Rūpa Gosvāmin states, ‘Viṣnu ̣ should always be remembered; he should never be forgotten. All scriptural injunctions and prohibitions should be servants of these two principles’.173 Rāmānuja similarly stresses that constant engagement in ritual practice will lead to meditation. Such meditation, he writes: is of the nature of remembrance, but in intuitive clearness is not inferior to the clearest direct perception (pratyakṣa); which by constant daily practice becomes ever more perfect, and being duly continued up to death secures liberation. Such meditation is originated in the mind through the grace of the Supreme Person, who is pleased and conciliated by the different kinds of acts of sacrifice and worship duly performed by the devotee day after day.174

As we have seen, the followers of Caitanya also teach that the practice of image worship and praising God’s divine play (līlā) in particular can bring about a spon­ tan­eous attraction to Kṛsṇ ̣a and the desire to have an intimacy with him like that of his eternal companions. The dominant practice then becomes meditation (smaraṇa) on the divine play of Kṛs n ̣ ̣a, which, as we have seen, could replace all other forms of practice but normally just infuses those other practices—like praising (kīrtana) and image worship—with that meditation.175 Similarly, in the Puṣt ̣i-mārga meditation is an essential part of image worship. ‘It is the nature of the mind to always want to be jumping from one object to another. Therefore, keep it occupied with Krishna’s infinite and multifarious lilas’, advises Gopeśvara, ‘recollecting them one after another in chronological succession’. This should be practised while one serves the image: ‘As you perform seva before the svarup [image]’, he writes, ‘[. . .] savor the sublime sweetness of those lilas that Krishna performed in the company of his devotees’. And when one is not in the presence of the image, ‘keep his lotuslike face constantly in mind as you experience the sorrow of separation’.176 Meditation is for Vaiṣṇavas thus generally not a distinct practice, performed on its own, but all the external practices that Vaiṣṇavas perform are seen as a form of meditation or a means to it. Earlier we have seen the Vaiṣṇava claim that any act of worship without bhakti is invalid: even if it is performed, the Parama-saṃ hitā 173  Smartavyaḥ satataṃ viṣṇur vismartavyo na jātucit/sarva-vidhi-niṣedhāḥ syur etayor eva kin˙ karāḥ (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.8). 174  Śrī-bhāṣya 3.4.26 (translation after George Thibaut). 175  See Rūpa Gosvāmin’s Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.291–307; Jīva Gosvāmin’s Bhakti-sandarbha 312; and Haberman (1988: 133–7). 176  Arney (2007: 513, 514, 519).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

304  Rembert Lutjeharms claims, it is as if it is not performed if there is no bhakti.177 Bhakti is a type of love, Rāmānuja argues, and love is a form of awareness.178 It is therefore meditative awareness of God, his attributes, and his divine play that counts in practice. ‘One may offer the wide earth with all its gems to Kṛsṇ ̣a, but if his mind is elsewhere he will not easily attain Janārdana [Kṛsṇ ̣a]’.179 Whatever way one might worship God—whether by Vedic ritual, by the ritual worship of his image, by gazing upon his divine image, by singing his glories and his divine name, or by any other means—one should in each instance contemplate the nature of God, if it is to be worship at all. Meditation, in some form or another, is thus immensely important for Vaiṣnạ vas, but they do not see it as the only form of practice since it is too difficult to pursue. And meditation is, in part, so difficult because it does not engage all one's faculties. Like all Vedāntic traditions, Vaiṣnạ vas assert that the bodies we bear are temporary, yet deludedly we think we are these bodies—both physical and mental—rather than the unchanging, eternal, and unborn self (ātman) that briefly inhabits this body, and has inhabited countless other bodies before it. Some Hindu traditions see renunciation of all things bodily, insofar as is possible, as the only proper response to this. But while Vaiṣnạ vas see our human bodies as temporary and our identification with them as illusory, the body with all its faculties is not something that can be tossed aside. ‘One who is embodied’, Kṛsṇ ạ teaches in the Bhagavadgītā, ‘can never renounce actions entirely’.180 In Vaiṣnạ va thought agency is a permanent character of the self,181 and such agency is expressed through the faculties of the body. Bhakti is the proper exertion of that agency, and bhakti therefore uses the body in the service of God. As cited earlier, the Nārada-pañcarātra thus defines bhakti as ‘serving the Lord of one’s sensory faculties with those faculties’.182 Now, meditation alone is seen as limited because it only uses one of the body’s faculties—the mind—but Vaiṣṇavas want to engage all their faculties in the worship of God. The Bhāgavata Purāṇa describes an ideal devotee thus: ‘he used his mind [to meditate] on the lotus-feet of Kṛsṇ ̣a, his speech in constantly describing the qualities of Vaikuṇt ̣ha, his hands in acts such as cleansing Hari’s temple, his hearing in listening to the true narrations of the infallible Lord, his sight in seeing the temples of Mukunda’s image, his limbs in touching the bodies of the Lord’s servants, his faculty of smell in smelling the fragrance of the blessed tulasī at his lotus-feet, his faculty of taste in [the food] offered to him, his feet in walking to Hari’s pilgrimage sites, his head in bowing to the feet of the lord of his faculties, 177  Parama-saṃ hitā 4.72. 178  Vedārtha-san˙ graha 141. 179  Pṛthivīṃ ratna-saṃ pūrṇaṃ yaḥ kṛṣṇāya prayacchati/tasyāpi anya-manaskasya sulabho na janārdanaḥ (cited in Parāśara Bhat ̣t ̣a’s commentary on Viṣṇu-sahasra-nāma p. 60). 180  Na hi deha-bhṛtā śakyaṃ tyaktuṃ karmāṇy aśeṣataḥ (Bhagavad-gītā 18.11). 181 See Brahma-sūtras 2.3.33ff. 182  Hṛṣīkeśena hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṃ bhaktir ucyate (cited in Rūpa Gosvāmin’s Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.12).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  305 his desire in service, not in longing for pleasure’.183 Vallabha writes: ‘an organ which is clearly not seen to be used for the Lord’s service should decisively be brought under complete control’ and be used to serve him.184 Vaiṣṇavas therefore want to do more than think of God: they want to serve him, and experience him with every one of their faculties. Even in meditation—as in Pāñcarātra’s inner worship—when the external faculties should be dormant, the sensory faculties are imagined and the Lord is both served and experienced through them. This emphasis on ‘meditating’ on God with all one’s bodily faculties also means that Vaiṣṇavas have a much broader understanding of practice. Since the act of worship itself is seen to be less important than the mood with which it is performed, as we have seen above, any act can become an act of worship: whatever is done, if it is done for God, is considered to be bhakti. This means that bhakti does not end with the ritual act of worship itself, but is rather something that comes to govern one’s entire life. Vaiṣṇava practice is thus, ultimately, the way a Vaiṣṇava comports himself in every aspect of his life. In the Bhagavad-gītā Kṛsṇ ̣a instructs Arjuna to ‘remember me and fight’:185 throughout his daily duties he should meditate on God, by making all his worldly acts acts of worship, through remembrance of God, and with the aim of pleasing him. ‘When even a single moment passes without meditation [on the Lord]’, Parāśara Bhaṭṭa writes, ‘it is proper to weep as if one were robbed by thieves’.186 Therefore, as Kṛsṇ ̣a later states in the Bhagavad-gītā: ‘whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you sacrifice, whatever you give away, whatever austerity you perform, [. . .] make that an offering to me’.187 ‘Whatever one does in accordance with one’s nature—whether with one’s body, speech, mind, senses, intellect, or self—all of it should be offered to the Supreme, with the thought “this is for Nārāyaṇa” ’.188 Or, as it is put in one prayer: ‘May my life be service, my walking pilgrimage, my thoughts meditation, my words words of praise—may what I do with my entire self be done for you, Viṣṇu’.189

183  Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor, vacāṃ si vaikuṇt ̣ha-guṇānuvarṇane/karau harer mandiramārjanādiṣu, śrutiṃ cakārācyuta-sat-kathodaye/mukunda-lin˙ gālaya-darśane dṛśau, tad-bhṛtya-gātrasparśe ’n˙ ga-san˙ gamam, ghrāṇaṃ ca tat-pāda-saroja-saurabhe/śrīmat-tulasyā rasanāṃ tad-arpite, pādau hareḥ kṣetra-padānusarpaṇe/śiro hṛṣīkeśa-padābhivandane, kāmaṃ ca dāsye na tu kāmakāmyayā (Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.4.18–20). 184  Nirodha-lakṣaṇa 19 (translation by Frederick Smith). 185  Mām anusmara yuddhya ca (Bhagavad-gītā 8.7). 186  Ekasminn api atikrānte muhūrte dhyāna-varjite/dasyubhir muṣiteneva yuktam ākrandituṃ bhṛśam (Commentary on Viṣṇu-sahasra-nāma, p. 31). 187  Yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat/yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam (Bhagavad-gītā 9.27). 188  Kāyena vācā manasendriyair vā buddhyātmanā vānusṛta-svabhāvāt/karoti yad yat sakalaṃ parasmai nārāyaṇāyeti samarpayet tat (Bhāgavata Purāṇa 11.2.36). 189  Sthitiḥ sevā gatir yātrā smṛtiś cintā stutir vacaḥ/bhūyāt sarvātmanā viṣṇo madīyaṃ tvayi ceṣt ̣itam (cited in Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 8.431).

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

306  Rembert Lutjeharms

References Primary Sources Bhāgavata-purāṇa of Kṛsṇ ̣a Dvaipayana Vyāsa, with Bhāvārtha-bodhinī commentary of Śrīdhara Svāmin. Edited by J.L. Shastri, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1999.

Gopāla Bhat ̣t ̣a Gosvāmin, Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, with the Dig-darśinī commentary of Sanātana Gosvāmin. Edited by Bhaktivilāsa Tīrtha. Māyāpura: Śrī Caitanya Mat ̣ha, no date. Gopatha Brāhmaṇa. Edited by Rajendralala Mitra. Calcutta: Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1872. Harivyāsadeva, Vedānta-siddhānta-ratnāñjali. Edited, with a Hindi commentary, by Svāmī Dvārakādāsa Kāt ̣hiyābābā. Vārāṇasī: Bhāratīya Vidyā Saṃ sthāna, 2017. Īśvara-saṃ hitā. Critically edited and translated by M.A. Lakshmitathathachar, revised by V. Varadachari and G.C. Tripathi. New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts & Motilal Banarsidass, 2009. Jīva Gosvāmin, Bhakti-sandarbha. Edited by Haridāsa Śāstrī. Vṛndāvana: Śrī Gadādhara-gaurahari Press, 1986. Kāśyapa-jñāna-kāṇḍa. Critically edited by Pārthasārathi Bhat ̣t ̣ācārya. Tirupati: Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthānam, 1960.

Kriyādhikāra (Bhṛgu-saṃ hitā). Edited by S.B. Raghunāthācārya. Tirupati: TirumalaTirupati Devasthānam, 1962.

Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja, Caitanya-caritāmṛta. Edited by Bhakti Kevala Auḍulomi Mahārāja, with the Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya of Saccidānanda Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, and the Anubhāṣya of Vārṣabhānavīdayitadāsa. Calcutta: Gauḍīya Mission, 1957. Lakṣmī-tantra. Translated by Sanjukta Gupta. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2000. Madhva, Anuvyākhyāna. Edited by Bannanje Govindacharya. In: Sarva-mūla-grantha, Prasthānatrayī, volume 1, part 2, pp. 1–229. Bangalore: Akhila Bhārata Mādhwa Mahā Mandala Publications, 1969. Madhva, Brahma-sūtra-bhāṣya. Edited by K.T. Pandurangi. Bangalore: Dvaita Vedanta Studies and Research Foundation, 1997–2002. Madhva, Karma-nirṇaya, with the commentaries of Jayatīrtha, Rāghavendra Tīrtha, Śrīnivāsa Tīrtha, Satyanātha Tīrtha, and Calārī Narasiṃ hācārya. Edited by L.S. Vadirajacharya. Bangalore: Dvaita Vedanta Studies and Research Foundation, 2010.

Madhva, Kṛṣṇāmṛta-mahārṇava. In: Ozeanisches Gefühl Der Unsterblichkeit: Das Krishnamritamaharnava des Madhva, by Thomas  K.  Gugler. Berling: Lit Verlag, 2009. Madhva, Mahābhārata-tātparya-nirṇaya. Edited by Bannanje Govindacharya. In: Sarva-mūla-grantha, Prasthānatrayī, volume 2, pp. 1–469. Bangalore: Akhila Bhārata Mādhwa Mahā Mandala Publications, 1971.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  307 Madhva, Tantra-sāra-san˙ graha, with the Gūḍhārtha-dīdhiti commentary of Bidarahal ḷ ̣i Ven˙ kat ̣apatyācārya. Edited by Tirumala Kulakarni. Bangalore: Poornaprajna Samshodhana Mandiram, 2009. Nāradīya-saṃ hitā. Edited by Rāghava Prasāda Chaudhary. Tirupati: Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, 1971. Pañcaviṃ śa Brāhmaṇa. Translated by W. Caland. Calcutta: The Asiatic Society, 1982. Parama-saṃ hitā. Edited and translated by S.  Krishnaswami Aiyangar. Baroda: Oriental Institute, 1940. Parāśara Bhat ̣t ̣a, Viṣṇu-sahasra-nāma-bhāṣya. Edited and translated by A.  Srinivasa Raghavan. Madras: Sri Visishtadvaita Pracharini Sabha, 1983.

Pil ḷ ạ i Lokācārya, Śrī-vacana-bhūṣāṇa with the commentary of Maṇavāl ̣a Māmuṉi. Translated by J. Rangaswami. Delhi: Sharada Publishing House, 2006.

Rādhākṛṣṇa Gosvāmin, Sādhana-dīpikā. Edited by Haridāsa Śāstrī. Vṛndāvana: Śrī Gadādhara-Gaurahari Press, no date. Rāmānuja, Bhagavad-gītā-bhāṣya. Edited and translated by Svāmī Ādidevānanda. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, no date. Rāmānuja, Śrī-bhāṣya. Translated by George Thibaut. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1971. [Sacred Books of the East vol. XLVIII.] Rāmānuja, Śrī-bhāṣya. Critically edited by M.A.  Lakshmithathachar. 4 volumes. Melkote: The Academy of Sanskrit Research, 1985–91.

Rāmānuja, Vedārtha-san˙ graha. Critically edited and translated by J.A.B. van Buitenen. Poona: Deccan College Postgraduate Research Institute, 1956. Rūpa Gosvāmin, Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, with commentaries of Jīva Gosvāmin, Mukundadāsa and Viśvanātha Cakravartī. Edited by Haridāsa Dāsa. Navadvīpa: Haribola Kut ̣īra, 1961. Rūpa Gosvāmin, Padyāvalī. Critically edited by Sushil Kumar De. Dacca: University of Dacca, 1934. Rūpa Gosvāmin, Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. Edited and translated by David Haberman. New  Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts & Motilal Banarsidass, 2003. Śan˙ kara, Upadeśa-sāhasrī. Edited and translated by Sengaku Mayeda. 2 volumes. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2006.

Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa, Mādhyandinī Śākhā. Edited by Svāmī Satyaprakāśa Sarasvatī. 3 volumes. Delhi: Govindarāma Hāsānanda, 1988. Śrīnātha Cakravartin, Caitanya-mata-mañjuṣā. Edited by Haridāsa Dāsa. Navadvīpa: Haribola Kut ̣īra, 1952. Śrīnivāsamakhin, Daśa-vidha-hetu-nirūpaṇa. In: Vaikhānasa-gṛhya-sūtram. Edited by Pārthasārathi Bhat ̣t ̣ācārya. Tirupati: Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthānam, 1997. Sūrdās, Sūr-sāgar. In: Sur’s Ocean: Poems from the Early Tradition. Edited by Kenneth Bryant and translated by John Stratton Hawley. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

308  Rembert Lutjeharms Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa, with the commentary of Sāyana. Edited by Rajendralala Mitra. Calcutta: Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1855–70.

Taittirīya Saṃ hitā, with the commentary of Bhat ̣t ̣a Bhāskara Miśra. Edited by A. Mahadeva Sastri and K. Rangacharya. 10 volumes. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1986. Upaniṣads. Translated by Patrick Olivelle. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. Vaikhānasa-smārta-sūtra. Translated by W.  Caland. Calcutta: The Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1929. Vaikhānasa-smārta-sūtra. Edited by W.  Caland Calcutta: Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1941. Vaikhānasa-śrauta-sūtra. Critically edited by W.  Calland. Calcutta: Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1941. Vallabha, Nirodha-lakṣaṇa. See Smith, Frederick  M. 1998. ‘Nirodha and the Nirodhalakṣaṇa of Vallabhācārya’, Journal of Indian Philosophy, 26, 489–551. Vallabha, Sannyāsa-nirṇaya. See Smith, Frederick M. 1993. ‘The Saṃ nyāsanirṇaya, a Śuddhādvaita Text on Renunciation by Vallabhācārya’, Journal of Vaiṣṇava Studies, 2(4), 135–56. Vedānta Deśika, Rahasya-traya-sāra. Translated by N.  Raghunathan. Madras: The Samskrta Academy, 2018.

Vedānta Deśika, Tattva-t ̣īkā. Edited by Ran˙ gaśat ̣akopayatīndra Mahādeśika. Madras: Śrīvaiṣṇava Siddhānta Sabhādhyakṣa, 1938.

Vimānārcana-kalpa. Edited by Prayāgadāsa. Tirupati: Śrī Ven˙ kateśvara Mudraṇālaya, 1926.

Viṣṇu Purāṇa, with the commentary of Śrīdhara Svāmin. Edited by Sītārāmadāsa Oṃ kāranātha. Calcutta: Nandadulāla Cat ̣t ̣opādhyāya, 1966. Viśvanātha Cakravartin, Rāga-vartma-candrikā. In: Grantha-ratna-trikam, edited by Kṛṣṇadāsa Bābā. Rādhākuṇḍa: Kṛṣṇadāsa Bābā, 1941 (saṃ vat 2019). Yāmuna, Āgama-prāmāṇya. Critically edited by M. Narasimhachary. Baroda: Oriental Institute, 1976.

Secondary Sources Arney, Paul. 2007. ‘The Bade Shikshapatra: A Vallabhite Guide to the Worship of Krishna’s Divine Images’, in Edwin Bryant (ed.), Krishna: A Sourcebook. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 505–36. Beck, Guy. 2012. Sonic Liturgy: Ritual and Music in Hindu Tradition. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press. Caland, Willem. 1941. Vaikhānasasmārtasūtram: The Domestic Rules of the Vaikhānasa School Belonging to the Black Yajurveda. Calcutta: Asiatic Society of Bengal.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Vaisn  ava Practice  309 Colas, Gérard. 1996. Viṣṇu, Ses Images et Ses Feux: Les métamorphoses du dieu chez les vaikhānasa. Paris: Presses de L’École Française D’Extrême-Orient. Czerzniak-Drożdżowicz, Marzenna. 2003. Pāñcarātra Scripture in the Process of Change: A Study of the Parama-saṃ hitā. Vienna: The De Nobili Research Library.

Entwistle, A.W. 1981–2. Vaiṣṇava Tilakas: Sectarian Marks Worn by Worshippers of Viṣṇu. London: International Association of the Vrindaban Research Institute. Gonda, Jan. 1954. Aspects of Early Viṣṇuism. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.

Gonda, Jan. 1977. A History of Indian Literature. Vol. 1 Veda and Upanishads Fasc. 2 The Ritual Sūtras. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Goudriaan, T. 1970. ‘Vaikhānasa Daily Worship According to the Handbooks of Atri, Bhṛgu, Kāśyapa, and Marīci’, Indo-Iranian Journal, 12, 161–215. Gupta, Sanjukta. 1989. ‘The Pāñcarātra Attitude to Mantra’, in Harvey P. Alper (ed.), Understanding Mantras. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, pp. 224–48. Haberman, David L. 1988. Acting as a Way of Salvation: A Study of Rāgānugā Bhakti Sādhana. New York: Oxford University Press. Harting, Pieter Nicholaas Ubbo. 1922. Selections from the BaudhāyanaGṛhyapariśiṣt ̣asūtra. Amersfoort: J. Valkhoff & Co. Hawley, John Stratton and Mark Juergensmeyer. 2004. Songs of the Saints of India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Hawley, John Stratton and Kenneth E. Bryant. 2015. Sur’s Ocean: Poems from the Early Traditions by Surdas. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. Hopkins, Steven P. 1993. ‘In Love with the Body of God: Eros and Praise of Icons in South Indian Devotion’, Journal of Vaiṣṇava Studies, 2(1), 17–54. Hopkins, Steven  P. 2002. Singing the Body of God: The Hymns of Vedāntadeśika in Their South Indian Tradition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hopkins, Steven P. 2007. An Ornament for Jewels: Love Poems for the Lord of Gods by Vedāntadeśika. New York: Oxford University Press. Lutjeharms, Rembert. 2018. ‘ “Why Do We Still Sift the Husk-Like Upaniṣads?” Revisiting Vedānta in Early Caitanya Vaiṣṇava Theology’, in John Stratton Hawley and Tyler Williams (eds.), Texts and Traditions in Early Modern North India. Delhi: Oxford University Press. Mishra, Anand. 2012. ‘Interplay of Emotions and Rituals in Religious Ceremonies of Puṣt ̣imārga’, in Axel Michaels and Christoph Wulf (eds.), Emotions in Rituals and Performances: South Asian and European Perspectives on Rituals and Performativity. Delhi: Routledge, pp. 93–103.

Mumme, Patricia Y. 1992. ‘Haunted by Śan˙ kara’s Ghost: The Śrīvaiṣṇava Interpretation of  Bhagavad Gītā 18:66’, in Jeffrey  R.  Timm (ed.), Texts in Contexts: Traditional Hermeneutics in South Asia. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, pp. 69–84.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

310  Rembert Lutjeharms Narayanan, Vasudha. 1987. The Way and the Goal: Expressions of Devotion in the Early Śrī Vaiṣṇava Tradition. Washington, DC: Institute for Vaishnava Studies Press & Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University. Narayanan, Vasudha. 2007. ‘Weaving Garlands in Tamil: The Poetry of the Alvars’, in Edwin Bryant (ed.), Krishna: A Sourcebook. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 187–204.

O’Connell, Joseph  T. 2019. Caitanya Vaiṣṇavism in Bengal: Social Impact and Historical Implications. Abingdon: Routledge. Packert, Cynthia. 2010. The Art of Loving Krishna: Ornamentation and Devotion. Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press.

Patton, Laurie. 2005. Bringing the Gods to Mind: Mantra and Ritual in Early Indian Sacrifice. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Pauwels, Heidi R.M. 2002. In Praise of Holy Men: Hagiographic Poems by and about Harirām Vyās. Groningen: Egbert Forsten. Prentiss, Karen Pechilis. 1999. The Embodiment of Bhakti. New York: Oxford University Press. Raman, Srilata. 2007. Self-Surrender (Prapatti) to God in Śrīvaiṣṇavism: Tamil Cats and Sanskrit Monkeys. Abingdon: Routledge. Rao, S.K.  Ramachandra. 2005. The Āgama Encyclopedia, Volume III: Vaikhānasa Āgama. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications. Rao, S.K. Ramachandra. 2009. Śālagrāma-kosha. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications. Sanderson, Alexis. 1993. ‘An Outline of Brahmanism (ca. 900 A.D.)’. Unpublished lectures delivered at the University of Oxford, Michaelmas Term 1993. Smith, Frederick  M. 1993. ‘The Saṃ nyāsanirṇaya, a Śuddhādvaita Text on Renunciation by Vallabhācārya’, Journal of Vaiṣṇava Studies, 2(4), 135–56. Smith, Frederick M. 1998. ‘Nirodha and the Nirodhalakṣaṇa of Vallabhācārya’, Journal of Indian Philosophy, 26, 489–551. Taylor, McComas. 2016. Seven Days of Nectar: Contemporary Oral Performance of the Bhāgavatapurāṇa. New York: Oxford University Press. Tripathi, Gaya Charan. 2004. Communication with God: The Daily Pūjā Ceremony in the Jagannātha Temple. New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts & Aryan Books International.

Valpey, Kenneth Russell. 2006. Attending Kṛṣṇa’s Image: Caitanya Vaiṣṇava MūrtiSevā as Devotional Truth. Abingdon: Routledge. Varadachari, V. and G.C. Tripathi. 2009. Īśvarasaṃ hitā, Volume 1: Introduction. New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts & Motilal Banarsidass. Wilson, Frances. 1975. The Love of Krishna: The Kṛṣṇakarṇāmṛta of Līlāśuka Bilvaman˙ gala. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

11

Theatre as Religious Practice Lyne Bansat-Boudon

Salutation to Śambhu, the poet, creator of the Three Universes, thanks to whom creatures relish the performance of the world theatre every moment. Bhat ̣t ̣a Nāyaka1

1. Practices What theatre and religion have in common is to be first and foremost practices:2 there is no religion without rites, no theatre (whether in Indian or Western conceptions) without performance; that is to say, without putting drama into production and into play. So teaches the Nāt ̣yaśāstra,3 the great founding treatise on Indian dramatic art of the second century ce, not only in the myth of origin narrated in the first five and the last two chapters but also in most of the other ones dedicated to the ‘making’ of theatre, in particular the extensive analysis of the registers of acting (abhinaya) whose highly complex theory is expounded by Bharata, the mythical author of the Treatise and first of the sūtradhāras.4

1  Verse quoted in the Abhinavabhāratī [ABh], Abhinavagupta’s commentary on the Nāṭyaśāstra [NŚ] I 1: namas trailokyanirmāṇakavaye śaṃ bhave yataḥ/pratikṣaṇaṃ jagannāṭyaprayogarasiko janaḥ//; jagannāt ̣ya is the theatrum mundi, prayoga its performance, rasika (rasiko janaḥ) is the spectator experiencing rasa, the aesthetic pleasure, and Śaṃ bhu (one of the names of Śiva) is the ‘poet, creator of the Three Universes’, as well as the Agent and Actor par excellence, as shown by its title of Nat ̣arāja, ‘Prince of the Actors’. 2  The technical term for dramatic ‘practice’ is prayoga. 3  Though sometimes at the cost of a few corrections, all references here are to the Gaekwad’s edition: K. Krishnamoorthy [K.S. Ramaswami Sastri, 1992–M. Ramakrishna Kavi] 19924. Nāṭyaśāstra of Bharatamuni, with the commentary Abhinavabhāratī by Abhinavaguptācārya. Vol. I: revised and ­critically edited: chapters 1–7 illustrated. 4th edition, Baroda, Oriental Institute (Gaekwad’s Oriental Series, 36). 4 The sūtradhāra, literally the ‘thread-holder’, is the head and main actor of the troupe and, according to the Nāt ̣yaśāstra, the theatre’s architect.

Lyne Bansat-Boudon, Theatre as Religious Practice In: Hindu Practice. Edited by: Gavin Flood, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198733508.003.0012

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

312  Lyne Bansat-Boudon

2. Origins The history of Indian theatre shares something with its Western counterpart: both, each in its own way, assume that theatre has religious origins. This assumption, quite a Western one in itself, leads to three more or less conflicting main theories which all attempt to place the source of theatre in the Veda. Indeed, for Western Indologists, theatre would either be derived from the R̥gveda’s dialogue hymns, from certain Vedic rituals that included mime and fixed comedy scenes, or possibly from poetic contests called brahmodya, exchanges of cosmic-ritual riddles between improvising poets invited to challenge each other on the occasion of a sacrifice.5 Indian tradition also goes back to the Veda, but purely in a mythical mode, in the sense that it offers a symbolic justification for the alleged Vedic origins of theatre. Remarkably, this mythical dimension is absent from Western dramatic tradition, which is left guessing on the etymology of the term ‘tragedy’. According to the Nāt ̣yaśāstra’s etiological myth and contrary to Western Indology’s historicist assumptions, theatre does not derive from any particular textual or ritualistic element of the Veda, but from the totality of the Vedic matter which constitutes the very substance of theatre. The R̥gveda, the Sāmaveda, and the Yajurveda provide Brahmā with, respectively, the text (pāt ̣hya), the song (gīta), and the acting (abhinaya) while the Atharvaveda gives him the eight ‘Flavours’ or aesthetic sentiments (rasa).6 This is the reason why theatre (nāt ̣ya), created by Brahmā, can be given the status of fifth Veda7 and its full name of nāt ̣yaveda, ‘theatre Veda’. Depending on how one analyses the compound (respectively a tatpuruṣa or a karmadhāraya), nāt ̣yaveda can either be construed as ‘Veda of theatre’, the Veda about theatre, or ‘theatre as Veda’, the Veda that is theatre, in that drama is intended to educate like the Veda and possibly even better. This is also why theatre is first defined by its practice, from the material aspects of the performance (text, music, registers of acting) to the eight rasas constitutive of the aesthetic experience which is its raison d’être.8 Here one has to re-establish the narrative order of the mythical story. Everything starts in verses 11 and 12 where the gods, eager to restore the dharma, make their request to Brahmā (here named Pitāmaha): 5  Malamoud 1998. 6  NŚ I 17: jagrāha pāt ̣hyam r̥gvedāt sāmabhyo gītam eva ca/yajurvedād abhinayān rasān ātharvaṇād api//. Note that ‘Ātharvaṇa’ is another name for ‘Atharvaveda’; see infra, pp. 313 and 332. On the meanings of the term rasa, see esp. Bansat-Boudon 1992b. 7  The notion of fifth Veda is a known topos applied to major literary works, e.g. the Mahābhārata, to emphasize their importance. It should be noted, however, that the term ‘fifth Veda’ applied to theatre takes its full significance in the myth on the origin of Indian dramatic art. On the myth of the origin of Indian theatre, see Bansat-Boudon 1992a: 53–60, 1995a: 123–6, 2001b: 39–47. 8  On the eight rasas, see Bansat-Boudon 1992a: 109 and n. 118; on the question of the ninth rasa, the śāntarasa, see Bansat-Boudon 2001b: 56–60.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

Theatre as Religious Practice  313 Led by the great Indra, the Gods addressed Pitāmaha: ‘We desire an object of play (krīḍanīyaka), something one can see and hear (dr̥śyaṃ śravyaṃ ca yad bhavet). There is no possible access to this Veda for those casts of śūdras by whom it cannot be heard. So please create another, fifth Veda suitable for all the classes’.9

The gods want something new, pleasant because spectacular (an ‘object of play [. . .] one can see and hear’), and as such able to playfully teach the rules of dharma, the cosmic and social order, to a corrupted society which has become oblivious of them and finds itself as a result reduced to the condition of śūdras,10 the lowest class, to whom the Veda and śāstras are forbidden. In v. 14–15 Brahmā completes the definition of the object he was asked to create and names it ‘theatre’ (nāt ̣ya): Propitious to the dharma [and the other ‘goals of Man’ (puruṣārthas)], desirable and hailed as such, holding all [necessary] teachings, causing them to be perfectly understood, presenting all their actions [up to their fruition] to men of the future, imbued with all the [arts] which have [specific] treatises, and promotor of all crafts, I am making, associated to the Myth, the fifth Veda named ‘theatre’.11

The ritual resolution amounts to a programme to which nothing else can ever be added, according to the Abhinavabhāratī, the commentary by Abhinavagupta (tenth to eleventh century), the great thinker of Kashmiri non-dual Śaivism. Then at v. 17 comes the material creation of theatre: He [Brahmā] took the text (pāṭhya) from the R̥gveda, the singing (gīta) from the Melodies [namely the Sāmaveda], the registers of acting (abhinaya) from the Yajurveda, and the aesthetic sentiments (rasa) from the Ātharvaṇa itself.

Verse 19 opens the second movement of the myth of origin, where drama is put into practice (the gods’ primary request) and given its aesthetic and metaphysical justification: i) the practice and performance of a play is entrusted to the r̥ṣi Bharata and his hundred sons (19–40); ii) rehearsals and introduction of the kaiśikī vr̥tti or the ‘graceful Manner’, the beauty particular to the stage (41–51ab);12 iii) first performance (51cd–8ab)—Brahmā chooses the occasion: the Banner 9 NŚ I 11–12: mahendrapramukhair devair uktaḥ kila pitāmahaḥ/krīḍanīyakam icchāmo dr̥śyaṃ śravyaṃ ca yad bhavet//na vedavyavahāro ’yaṃ saṃ śrāvyaḥ śūdrajātiṣu/tasmāt sr̥jāparaṃ vedaṃ pañcamaṃ sārvavarṇikam//. 10  According to Abhinavagupta’s commentary, this is how the plural śūdrajātiṣu must be construed. 11  NŚ I 14–15: dharmyam arthyaṃ yaśasyaṃ ca sopadeśaṃ sasaṃ graham/bhaviṣyataś ca lokasya sarvakarmānudarśakam//sarvaśāstrārthasampannaṃ sarvaśilpapravartakaṃ/nāt ̣yākhyaṃ pañcamaṃ vedaṃ setihāsaṃ karomy aham//. 12  On the kaiśikī vr̥tti, see Bansat-Boudon 1992a: 169–80, and Bansat-Boudon 1995a.

OUP CORRECTED AUTOPAGE PROOFS – FINAL, 13/07/20, SPi

314  Lyne Bansat-Boudon Festival of Indra (54–5ab); Bharata makes the detailed arrangements according to a precise protocol: the nāndī (55cd–7ab) is followed by a prologue showing the gods and the demons fighting furiously (57cd–8ab); iv) satisfaction of the gods, who give presents to the actors (58cd–63); v) anger of the demons, led by the Vighnas who cannot stand to see their defeat represented on stage and use their māyā or magic power to strike the actors dumb and stop the performance (64–6); vi) new fight between the gods and the demons who are torn to pieces by Indra with the staff of his banner which is at once given the name jarjara, ‘the destroyer’ (67–75); vii) the surviving Vighnas rally (76); viii) to protect the performance, the gods’ architect Viśvakarman builds a playhouse (77–82); ix) expecting the Vighnas’ dogged malevolence, Brahmā posts his forces all around the playhouse, on the stage (and himself in the middle of it), and even below it: the greater gods and their attributes, the multitude of divine or demonic beings of lesser status, and even human society (in that it embodies the dharma through its division into four classes). Even the various roles, such as the Hero (nāyaka), the king’s Jester (the vidūṣaka), etc., and also the performance to be, are placed under the protection of the deities (83–98). So does the mythical narrative set the stage, so to speak, for the ‘cult of the de­ities of the stage’—the ran˙gadaivatapūjana which will be described in ch. III. Thus the arrangements laid out in ch. I constitute in themselves a pre-ritual. At the gods’