The New Synthesis of Yoga - An Introduction

PART ONE
 

Two tendencies of development of Yoga

The history of yoga as developed in India brings out two tendencies in the development of yoga through the ages:

(i) Complex effort of yoga, after arriving at a synthesis, seems to break up in the development of specialised systems of yoga;

(ii) These specialised systems tend towards the development of a new synthesis.

The Vedic Samhitas

Historical documents suggest that the earliest synthesis of yoga can be found in the Vedic Samhitas. The very first hymn in the Rig Veda speaks of the old and the new, pūrvebhih nūtanaih, and this suggest that there was an earlier tradition to which the beginnings of yoga can be traced. According to the ancient tradition, there was an earlier period, — pre-Vedic period, — during which there was a great striving to fathom the mysteries of the existence of the world and of the purpose of human life on the earth.

The important point about the Vedic Samhitas is that the voluminous texts have remained uncorrupted for over 2000 years. Even though these texts are supposed to have an almost enormous antiquity, a supreme importance was attached to the accuracy of the text. That is the reason why today we find accuracy in respect of every syllable and of

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