Uddālaka’s Yoga in the Mokṣopāya
2. Uddālaka’s Awakening
yāvadiccham avasthaiṣā praṇavaprathame krame |babhūva na haṭhād eva haṭhayogo hi duḥkhadaḥ || 5.54.8 ||
In this first (or primary) method (prathame krame) of praṇava [which is also the first stage of prāṇa], this state (avasthaiṣā) occurs by will (yāvadiccham) and not merely from force (na haṭhād eva), because forceful yoga brings suffering (haṭhayogo hi duẖkhadaḥ) (54.8).
yāvadiccham avasthaiṣā praṇavasyāpare krame |babhūva na haṭhād eva haṭhayogo hi duḥkhadaḥ || 5.54.15 ||
In this subsequent method (apare krame) of praṇava, this state (avastheṣā) [called unmoving retention (nisspandakumbhako), in which Uddālaka’s body is ash mixed into the ether,] occurs by will (yāvadiccham) and not merely (eva) from force (na haṭhād), because forceful yoga brings suffering (haṭhayogo hi duḥkhadaḥ).
3. Historical Analysis
4. Jīvanmukti and Videhamukti
Conflicts of Interest
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This essay draws exclusively on the critical edition of the Mokṣopāya, edited under the direction of Walter Slaje; See Krause-Stinner and Stephan (2014, 2018); the full published text of the critical edition can also be found online at http://gretil.sub.uni-goettingen.de/gretil.html#Sanskrit.
YS 2.29; these are yamas, niyamas, āsana, prāṇāyāma, pratyāhāra, dhāraṇā, dhyāna and samādhi.
vivekakhyātir aviplavā hānopāyaḥ || YS2.26 ||.
tasmād dehād atīto ‘haṃ nityo ‘nastamitadyutiḥ |yas saṅgaṃ bhāsvatā prāpya vedmi vyomani bhāskaram || 5.53.71 || jño ‘haṃ me na sukhenārtho nānarthena ca duẖkhitā | śarīram astu vā māstu sthito ‘smi vigatajvaraḥ || 5.53.72 || yatrātmā tatra na mano nendriyāṇi na vāsanāḥ | pāmarāḫ paritiṣṭhanti nikaṭe na mahībhṛtaḥ || 5.53.73 || padaṃ tad anuyāto ‘smi kevalo ‘smi jayāmy aham | nisspṛho ‘smi niraṃśo ‘smi nirīho ‘smi nirīpsitaḥ || 5.53.74 || nedānīṃ mama sambandho manodehendriyādibhiḥ | pṛthakkṛtasya tailasya tilair vidalitair yathā || 5.53.75 || vigatamohatayā vimanastayā gatavikalpanacittatayā sphuṭam | uparamāmy aham ātmani śītale ghanalavaś śaradīva nabhastale || 5.53.81 ||.
In some way the recaka carries the prāṇa out of the body, although the exact correlation between the prāṇa and the breath is not clarified in this passage. In the Bhusuṇḍa story (6.13-28), we hear that the processes of prāṇa-apāna and recaka-kumbhaka-pūraka are distinct yet related. The passage in Uddālaka is as follows: omuccārayatas tasya saṃvittattve tadunmukhe | yāvadoṅkāram ūrdhvasthe vitate vimalātmani || 5.54.3 || sārdhatryaṃśātmamātrasya prathame ‘ṃśe sphuṭārave | praṇavasya manākkṣubdhaprāṇāraṇitadehake || 5.54.4 || recakākhyo ‘khilaṃ kāyaṃ prāṇaniṣkramaṇakramaḥ | riktīcakāra pītāmbur agastya iva sāgaram || 5.54.5 || atiṣṭhat prāṇapavanaś cidrasāpūrite ‘mbare | tyaktadehaḫ parityaktanīḍaḥ khaga ivāmbare || 5.54.6 || hṛdayāgnir jvalañ jvālī dadāha malinaṃ vapuḥ | utpātapavanocchūno dāvaś śuṣkam iva drumam || 22.214.171.124 ||.
These are prāṇa, apāna and samāna; the correlation of the additional half part of praṇava with a part of the prāṇa is not given in the story.
Yoga as disciplined praxis has been traced to an early tapas (austerity) tradition that was external to the Vedic tradition and involved renunciation from worldly life, and control of the body, senses, mind and breath (see Brockington 2003; Fitzgerald 2012, pp. 45–46; and Mallinson 2016). The earliest texts of Haṭha Yoga, which post-date the MU, describe mūdras (seals), bandhas (binds), and other techniques for forcefully controlling prāna and moving bindu (semen or drops) and (later on) kuṇḍalinī to the place of amṛta (nectar) in the head, thereby flooding the body with amṛta and leading to a physiologically based immortality (Mallinson 2011, p. 770).
Rest from the heat; Steiner (2014, p. 340) translates this verse differently, as follows: “Dann, zum Zeitpunkt (avasara) [des Erklingenlassens] des dritten [Teils] der Silbe Om (praṇava), [der] das Zurruhekommen bewirkt, trat aufgrund des Anfüllens (pūraṇa) [mit dem einströmenden Atem] die Stufe der Atem [winde] (prāṇa) namens ‘Einatmen’ (pūraka) ein.”
niyama īśvarapraṇidhānād || YS 1.23 || īśvarapraṇidhānād vā || YS_1.23 || kleśakarmavipākāśayair aparāmṛṣṭaḥ puruṣaviśeṣa īśvaraḥ || YS_1.24 || tatra niratiśayaṃ sarvajñabījam || YS_1.25 || pūrveṣām api guruḥ kālenānavacchedāt || YS_1.26 || tasya vācakaḥ praṇavaḥ || YS_1.27 || tajjapas tadarthabhāvanam || YS_1.28 ||.
(ibid., pp. 115–17)
(ibid., p. 111)
(ibid., pp. 110 and 121)
For a discussion of the divinization of the Tantric body see Flood (2000, 2006). Flood (2000) presents stages of bodily purification from the Jayākhya Saṃhitā (ca. 7–10th C CE), an important revelation text in the Pāñcarātra tradition of Tantric Vaiṣṇavism. The processes described by Flood loosely parallel the stages of transformation experienced by Uddālaka, however it is not possible to attribute textual influence of the Jayākhya to the MU since Flood draws on a southern recension that is unlikely to have been known to the Kashmirian author of the MU.
(ibid., pp. 142–44)
(ibid., p. 139)
Saṃyama is a technical term in the YS, and consists of dhāraṇa, dhyāna and samādhi (YS 3.1-4).
One exception to this oversight is Timalsina (2012). Timalsina notes that the Bhusuṇḍa narrative contains significant HY material and depicts an embodied liberation by means a method of prāṇāyāma that differs to methods given in the Yoga Sūtra and other later Nāth literature, concluding that the passage demonstrates that the YV does indeed contain Haṭha Yoga material. Timalsina’s paper is significant yet limited in two ways. First, he relies on the highly corrupt published edition of the YV that too many altered, misaligned and interpolated verses for a coherent reading, which leads him to an interpretation that relies on late HY material, whereas the MU is an early HY text. Second, Timalsina suggests that the Bhusuṇḍa story presents a unique episode and a “dynamic shift” within an otherwise entirely advaita philosophical text, however the MU has yoga material throughout. Andrew Fort (1998) has also categorized the YV as a Yogic text in the Advaita tradition that combines Saṅkhya, Yoga and the Śaṅkara’s Advaita Vedānta.
Some scholars have sought to link the YV to traditions outside of Advaita Vedānta, for instance Bhattacharyya (1951); Divanji (1951); Chapple (1981, 2012) and Granoff (1989). These studies follow in the tradition of scholarly attempts to date the YV, beginning with Bhattacharyya (1925), followed by Dasgupta  1991; Divanji (1933, 1938); Raghavan (1939); Lo Turco (2002) and more recently by scholars of the Mokṣopāya Project, including Slaje (1994, 2001, 2005) and Hanneder (2005a, 2005b). Chapple and Chakrabarti (2015) have edited a collection of essays that interpret the YV beyond Advaita Vedānta, often in the language of theoretical paradigms external to the YV itself; several essays in the volume touch on the theme of embodiment.
The Bhusuṇḍa story is discussed in detail by Timalsina, in “Bhuśuṇḍa’s Yoga” (see the preceding note). Bhusuṇḍa lives in the hollow of a Kalpa tree on the tip of Mount Meru in heaven. Bhusuṇḍa is a long-lived (cīrajīvita) liberated-in-life (jīvanmukta) crow who engages a unique method of prāṇāyāma along with a series of dhāraṇas on the five elements to be able to live in his body across the dissolution of the eons. Vasiṣṭha hears about Bhusuṇḍa from a sage in heaven and goes to Mount Meru to hear the story from the crow himself. Vasiṣṭha asks Bhusuṇḍa the following questions: What family were you born in? How do you know what is to be known? How long is your life? What do you remember of the kalpas that have passed? Which far-sighted person gave you your dwelling place? Bhusuṇḍa’s answers to these questions fill the rest of the narrative.
This comparison of verses remains to be done.
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Cohen, T. Uddālaka’s Yoga in the Mokṣopāya. Religions 2020, 11, 111. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11030111
Cohen T. Uddālaka’s Yoga in the Mokṣopāya. Religions. 2020; 11(3):111. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11030111Chicago/Turabian Style
Cohen, Tamara. 2020. "Uddālaka’s Yoga in the Mokṣopāya" Religions 11, no. 3: 111. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11030111