Significance of Indian Yoga - An Overview



The next great synthesis after the Gita is that of the Tantra.79 The literature concerned with the Tantra Shastra or Agamas appears to have been written and completed very largely during the Gupta period, although the traditions, practices and even texts are considered to have existed from very early times. A number of Agamas, such as those of Jainism and Buddhism and others are not in harmony with the Vedas, yet most of the Agamas are in consonance with the Vedas. Of these latter, there are three categories, those in which the object of worship and realisation is Vishnu (known also as Pancharatra or Bhagavata), those in which the object of worship and realisation is Shiva, and those in which the object of worship and realisation is Shakti. In the Shaiva Agamas we find monism, qualified monism and dualism, in the Pancharatra Agama we find qualified monism, and in the Shakta Agama there is only monism. In all the Agamas there are four aspects, the aspect of jnana, the aspect of Yoga, the aspect of Charya, and the aspect of Kriya. Jnana refers to the metaphysical position of the concerned agama; Yoga refers to the practices of self-discipline and psychological development; charya refers to the conduct of the teacher and the example of self-realisation and self-mastery that he provides, and kriya refers to the practices regarding the installation of the image of the deity, worship and ceremonies and congregations of devotees. All the four

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