On Sunday, January 5, 2020, we have the pleasure of starting the year with Jens Bache from Astanga Yoga Copenhagen. Jens comes to our shala in Malmö to teach a traditional guided Ashtanga Yoga Primary series class . After the class he gives a presentation of his research on an old handwritten manuscript in Sanskrit about Ashtanga yoga which he found in “The Oriental Library” in Mysore 2017. Jens has translated the manuscript into Danish as part of his research and found interesting details about Ashtanga Yoga in the vīraśaiva-tradition. The lecture is given in English, but as Jens speaks both Danish and Swedish, the discussion about the document and the eight limbs of yoga can also take place in Swedish if necessary. The timings of the day are outlined below and further down the page you can see an abstract of Jens’ project.
9-10.30 Guided class of the first series (traditional Sanskrit count)
11-13 Lecture (tea & talk) “Aṣṭāṅgayoga in the Vīraśaiva tradition”
PRICE: For those who have monthly/seasonal cards guided class and lecture are included in the cards. For “punch ticket”, 2 punches apply (one for guided class and one for the lecture). Others who do not have cards can book and pay via our partner partner Medborgarskolan (Guided class + lecture 300SEK, only led class or lecture 160SEK/class).
In the summer of 2019, Jens graduated from the University of Copenhagen and now holds a BA in Indology. His bachelor project included the translation and analysis of the above mentioned manuscript on Ashtanga Yoga. Jens is also a KPJAYI-authorized Ashtanga yoga teacher and has been running and teaching at the Astangayoga School in Copenhagen since 2000. Read about Jens at Astanga.dk
Abstract in English
Aṣṭāṅgayoga in the vīraśaiva-tradition (aṣṭāṅgayogaḥ C.823)
The purpose of this project is the classic undertaking for an Indologist; to read, transcribe, analyze and translate a Sanskrit-manuscript from India.
The manuscript in question is from the Oriental Library in Mysore handwritten in devanāgarī on paper consisting of 18 folios. It is entitled “aṣṭāṅgayogaḥ” with the registration no. C.823/2 in the official library catalogue of Sanskrit Manuscripts, but having no information regarding author, date of composition or place of origin.
The assignment has been to identify the text’s literary category and traditional culture in it’s historical period and through analysis placing it in a larger context in the hope of answering questions like what is the overall message of the manuscript and for whom was it maybe intended.
Aṣṭāṅgayoga is only dealt with in 10 ślokas in the folios 12 to 13. In these 10 ślokas the 8-limbed (aṣṭāṅga) yoga is laid out in a structure following Patañjalis’ Yogasūtra, but in a metric poetic form adding meanings of devotion (bhakti) to the technical terms and aligning it with the doctrine of 6 stages (sthala) outlined in the main text of the manuscript in folios 1 to 12.
My initial findings showed that the main text titled Anubhavasūtra is a religious doctrine of Śakti- qualified monism to unite with Śiva in the 6 sthala of liṅga and aṅga through bhakti for the aim of oneness of paramātman, universal spirit, and jīvātman, the individual spirit. This doctrine from the 15th century belongs to the vīraśaiva-tradition which originated in Karnataka, South India, around the 12th century.
The paper ends with identifying the origin of the metric verses of the 8 limbed yoga in the yoga- upaniṣads with an open question to locate the mentioned guru in further research and a field study.