Pasupata Yoga and the Art of Dying

With Specific Reference to the Pasupatasutra, Ratnatika and Skandapurana

Authors

  • Arinde Jonker Independent scholar

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/rosa.20909

Keywords:

Pāśupata, Śaivism, yoga, utkrānti, death, Skandapurāṇa

Abstract

This paper researches the relation between yoga and death in the early Saiva tradition of the Pasupatas, based on three Pasupata sources: the Pasupatasutra, the Ratnatika and the Skandapurana. The paper presents an analysis and interpretation of textual passages that treat the last moment of the life of a Pasupata ascetic in order to find out whether or not his death can be interpreted as a form of ‘self-induced yogic death’. Following the analysis of the primary sources, it will become clear that yoga and death stood in a much closer relation than one might expect.

Author Biography

Arinde Jonker, Independent scholar

Arinde Jonker completed a BA in religious studies and a ResMA in Asian studies at Leiden University. She studied Sanskrit under the guidance of Professor Peter Bisschop and Professor Jonathan Silk. In the course of her studies she developed an interest in the academic study of the history of yoga, especially in relation to Pāśupata Śaivism.

References

Primary Sources

Bhagavad Gita: Christopher Key Chapple (ed. and trans.) and Winthrop Sargeant (trans.). 2009. The Bhagavad Gita. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Chandogya Upanisad: Patrick Olivelle. 1998. The Early Upanisads: Annotated Text and Translation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Katha Upanisad: Patrick Olivelle. 1998. The Early Upanisads: Annotated Text and Translation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ksurika Upanisad: Narayana and Sankarananda 1925. Srinarayanasankaranandaviracitadipikasametanam atharvasikhadyanam Hamsopanisadantanam Dvatrimsanmitanam Upanisadam Samuccayah. Dvitiyeyam ankanavrrttih. ed. Anandasramasamskrtagranthavalih; 29. Punyakhyapattane: Anandasramamudranalaye.

Pañcarthabhasya: See Pasupatasutra

Pasupatasutra: Pasupatasutra (= Pañcartha) with the commentary (Pañcarthabhasya) of Bhagavat Kaundinya, ed. R. Anantakrishna Sastri. 1940. Trivandrum Sanskrit Series 143. Trivandrum: University of Travancore.

Patañjalayogasastra: Rama Prasada (ed. and trans.). 1912. Patañjali’s Yoga Sutras. With the Commentary of Vyasa and the Gloss of Vachaspati Misra. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal.

Ratnatika: Cimanalala Dahyabhai Dalala (ed.). 1920. Gana-Karika. Gaekwad’s Oriental Series XV. Baroda: Central Library.

Skandapurana: See Skandapuranasya Ambikakhandah

Skandapuranasya Ambikakhandah: Krsnaprasad Bhattarai (ed.). 1988. Skandapurana: Skandapuranasya Ambikakhandah. Kathmandu. Excerpts taken from: Sanderson (2004).

Secondary Sources

Adriaensen, Rob, Hans T Bakker, and Harunaga Isaacson. 1998. The Skandapurana Volume I: Adhyayas 1–25. Critically Edited with Prolegomena and English Synopsis. Groningen: Egbert Forsten.

Bakker, Hans. 2014. The World of the Skandapurana. Leiden: Brill.

Bisschop, Peter C. 2006. Early Saivism and the Skandapurana. Sects and Centres. Groningen Oriental Studies XXI. Groningen: Egbert Forsten.

——2013. ‘Pañcartha Before Kaundinya.’ Journal of Indian Philosophy 42(1): 27–37. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10781-013-9210-7 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10781-013-9210-7

——Forthcoming. ‘After the Mahabharata: On the Portrayal of Vyasa in the Skandapurana.’

Bouy, Christian. 1994. Les Natha-yogin et les Upanisads: Étude d’histoire de la littérature hindoue. Paris: de Boccard.

Cecil, Elizabeth A. 2014. ‘Seeking the “Lord with a Club”: Locating Lakulisa in the Early History of Pasupata Saivism (Sixth to Ninth Century CE).’ South Asian Studies 30(2): 142–58. https://doi.org/10.1080/02666030.2014.962308 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02666030.2014.962308

Chapple, Christopher Key (ed. and trans.) and Winthrop Sargeant (trans.). 2009. The Bhagavad Gita. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Eliade, Mircea. 1958. Yoga: Immortality and Freedom. Trans. Willard R. Trask. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Hara, Minoru. 1966. ‘Materials for the Study of Pasupata Saivism.’ Harvard University.

——1999. ‘Pasupata and Yoga: Pasupata-Sutra 2.12 and Yoga-Sutra 3.37.’ Asiatische Studien: Zeitschrift Der Schweizerischen Asiengesellschaft 53(3): 593–608.

King, Richard. 1999. Indian Philosophy: An Introduction to Hindu and Buddhist Thought. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Knipe, David M. 1977. ‘Sapindikarana. The Hindu Rite of Entry into Heaven.’ In Frank E. Reynolds and Earle H. Waugh (eds), Religious Encounters with Death. Insights from the History and Anthropology of Religions: 111–24. London: Pennsylvania State University Press. https://doi.org/10.1177/000842987900800318 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/000842987900800318

Levitt, Stephan Hillyer. 1994. ‘On the Nadis, with a Note Concerning the Cakras.’ Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute 75(1): 171–76.

Maas, Philipp. 2006. Samadhipada: Das Erste Kapitel Des Patañjalayogasastra Zum Ersten Mal Kritisch Ediert [Samadhipada: The First Chapter of the Patañjalayogasastra for the First Time Critically Edited]. Indologica Halensis. Geisteskultur Indiens, vol. 9. Texte Und Studien. Aachen: Shaker.

——2013. ‘A Concise Historiography of Classical Yoga Philosophy.’ In Eli Franco (ed.), Periodization and Historiography of Indian Philosophy. Vienna: Sammlung de Nobili, Institut fur Sudasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde der Universität Wien.

Mallinson, James. 2007. The Khecarividya of Adinatha A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of an Early Text of Hathayoga. Abingdon: Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203938263

Mallinson, James and Mark Singleton. 2017. Roots of Yoga. London: Penguin Classics.

Olivelle, Patrick. 1998. The Early Upanisads: Annotated Text and Translation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ruff, Jeffrey Clark. 2002. ‘History, Text, and Context of the Yoga Upanisads.’ Dissertation, University of California.

Sanderson, Alexis. 1988. ‘Saivism and the Tantric Traditions.’ In Stewart Sutherlands, Leslie Houlden, Peter Clarke and Friedhelm Hardy (eds), The World’s Religion: 660–703. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0034412500020278 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0034412500020278

——2004. ‘The Yoga of Dying. The Saiva Atimarga.’ Unpublished lecture handout, 9 November.

——2012. ‘The Saiva Literature.’ Journal of Indological Studies 24: 1–113.

——2015. ‘Saiva Texts.’ In Knut A. Jacobsen (ed.), Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Volume VI: Index. Handbook of Oriental Studies, Section Two: India. Leiden: Brill.

Schreiner, Peter. 2009. ‘Yoga—Lebenshilfe Oder Sterbetechnik.’ In Angelika Malinar (ed.), Hinduismus Reader. Göttingen: Vandehoeck & Ruprecht.

White, David Gordon. 2010. ‘Utkranti: From Epic Warrior’s Apotheosis to Tantric Yogi’s Suicide.’ 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: 291–302. Bern: Peter Lang. https://doi.org/10.1515/olzg-2018-0164 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/olzg-2018-0164

Published

2021-11-17

How to Cite

Jonker, A. . (2021). Pasupata Yoga and the Art of Dying: With Specific Reference to the Pasupatasutra, Ratnatika and Skandapurana. Religions of South Asia, 15(1), 67–88. https://doi.org/10.1558/rosa.20909

Issue

Section

Articles