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On Hinduism$
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Wendy Doniger

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199360079

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199360079.001.0001

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Assume the Position: The Fight Over the Body of Yoga 1

Assume the Position: The Fight Over the Body of Yoga 1

Chapter:
(p.116) Assume the Position: The Fight Over the Body of Yoga1
Source:
On Hinduism
Author(s):

Wendy Doniger

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199360079.003.0009

This chapter examines the philosophy of yoga in Hinduism and why many Hindus care so much whether yoga is Hindu. It looks at a chronology of four claims in support of arguments that yoga is of Hindu origin, and the evidence for or against them: yoga began before 2500 BCE, in the Indus Valley Civilization, in what is now Pakistan and northwest India; yoga began in around 1500 BCE, in the Rig Veda, the oldest Sanskrit text; yoga began sometime in the middle of the first millennium BCE in the Sanskrit philosophical texts known as the Upanishads; and yoga began in India in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, probably in the third century CE. It then considers a fifth claim: that contemporary postural yoga was invented in India in the nineteenth century.

Keywords:   yoga, Hinduism, Indus Valley Civilization, Pakistan, India, Rig Veda, Upanishads, Patanjali, Yoga Sutra

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