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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Yoga by Mircea Eliade. Yoga: Immortality and Freedom by Mircea Eliade ,. Willard R. Trask Translator. In this landmark book the renowned scholar of religion Mircea Eliade lays the groundwork for a Western understanding of Yoga, exploring how its guiding principle, that of freedom, involves remaining in the world without letting oneself be exhausted by such conditionings as time and history.
Drawing on years of study and experience in India, Eliade provides a comprehensive In this landmark book the renowned scholar of religion Mircea Eliade lays the groundwork for a Western understanding of Yoga, exploring how its guiding principle, that of freedom, involves remaining in the world without letting oneself be exhausted by such conditionings as time and history. Drawing on years of study and experience in India, Eliade provides a comprehensive survey of Yoga in theory and practice from its earliest foreshadowings in the Vedas through the twentieth century.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published April 21st by Princeton University Press. More Details Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Yoga , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Yoga: Immortality and Freedom. Oct 25, Craig Shoemake rated it really liked it Shelves: yoga , hinduism , indian-philosophy , indian-religion.
In college I was a huge Eliade fan—my advisor was a student of his, after all—and indeed, when it comes to the analysis of mythology across cultures, he is the giant in whose shadow everyone labors.
This is one of the strengths as well as weaknesses of the book. For the armchair theologian or philosopher, constant allusions to yogic parallels in other cultures—for example, among Inuit shamans—can provide illumination, but it is likely to distract or tire someone who wants to learn something useful from yoga.
Downward dog, anyone? Eliade is clearly most interested in yoga as an exemplary phenomenon of homo religiosus rather than as a practice he or anyone else might seriously take up in their spare time, and this fact has to be borne in mind when venturing into the text. First the strong points.
When one considers the paucity of Western materials he had to work with this back in the thirties and forties , the accomplishment is all the more stunning. A review of the bibliography, for example, shows how reliant he was on texts produced by Indians. He went the extra mile too, traveling to India to study under Surendranath Dasgupta, one of the great scholars of Indian philosophy of the twentieth century.
Eliade mastered Sanskrit and so was able to read and interpret source materials first hand. He also spent six months in an ashram much of that time in tantric dalliance with a South African dakini , and this no doubt helped him with some insight into the yogic life.
Eliade was, however, not so much a yogin as a scholar of vast erudition, and that erudition is everywhere on display, especially in his marshalling of enormous quantities of facts and insights on yoga, Hinduism, mythology, and the meaning of spirituality.
This really is why someone today should read Eliade. If you have the time and patience you will learn innumerable things you never expected to learn, about so many obscure texts and cults, about the mishmash of ideologies and practices that somehow became Hinduism. As the preeminent scholar of comparative religion, he is able to relate all these seemingly disparate phenomena to others around the globe, thereby offering a broad picture of his subject as an example of human spirituality as opposed to simply some weird Indian cultural product.
It is simply rare than anyone can actually master such a significant body of material and present it coherently and with insight. For understanding yoga in its larger, human context, this book is still one that should be read. As noted, though, it has its drawbacks. He also has an irritating propensity for obscure words and neologisms like homology, enstasis, hierophany, as well as an excessive fondness for Greco-Latin phrases.
Eliade himself acknowledged this shortcoming in his autobiography: "The writing went hard at first, requiring more effort than I had anticipated, and I wondered what was wrong with me. Why was I making such slow progress, and why was I writing such strident prose, studded with unnecessary neologisms, with a pretentious, artificial, aggressive syntax?
As I said: Patience! Style aside, there are other problems. The book, which stands as something of a general history of yoga in Hinduism, is arranged in a decidedly non-chronological fashion. Finally, my chronic complaint about scholars rears its ugly head once again—the difference between textual insights and insights born of practice.
Oh, how I could wax poetic on the misunderstandings embodied in this passage! Sabbe dhamma anatta. Either way, it is simply one more cautionary note to carry into this important and worthy book.
View 1 comment. May 02, Barnaby Thieme rated it it was amazing Shelves: hinduism , india , buddhism , tantra , yoga , philosophy , religion-mythology. As David Gordon White eloquently points out in his indispensable introduction, Eliade's early masterpiece was far ahead of the curve; so much so that it is strongest when he sticks to the material he knows first hand.
And so his exposition of Samkhya and Raja Yoga which he knew intimately from the Sanskrit material is truly marvelous and stands hardly rivaled to this day. When he wanders further afield the thinness of the available bibliography becomes evident. The chapters on Buddhism and Tantr As David Gordon White eloquently points out in his indispensable introduction, Eliade's early masterpiece was far ahead of the curve; so much so that it is strongest when he sticks to the material he knows first hand.
The chapters on Buddhism and Tantra are quite insufficient and are often inaccurate. Be that as it may, this marvelous book remains a masterpiece decades after it was written. Eliade's name is synonymous with erudition and this book is one of the cornerstones of his formidable corpus.
Highly recommended to anyone interested in Patanjali, Indian philosophy, or comparative religions. Eliade, Mircea. I have little doubt that they used the plates from that hardcover edition, so the text is identical.
The edition of currently available is the same as the one I have except for a new cover. The original was in French, published in Paris in This edition is professionally translated by William R.
E Eliade, Mircea. Eliade was a nearly legendary scholar of indefatigable energy, and so it is not surprising that this is the definitive single volume academic work on yoga in English that I am aware of.
George Feuerstein's coffee table sized The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice is a different sort of book, covering yoga from a more practical point of view, and is accessible to a general public.
Eliade's book is aimed directly and just about exclusively at academicians. Furthermore, while Feuerstein is a practitioner as well as a scholar, Eliade makes no pretense of first hand experience.
As he relates in the Forward, he is interested in the discovery and interpretation of yoga by the West. He wants to explain that in detail. His is a "comparatively full exposition of the theory and practices of yoga This book really is a "full exposition" insofar as that is possible including the ideas, symbolism and methods of yoga "as they are expressed in tantrism, in alchemy, in folklore, in the aboriginal devotion of India.
Sixty-six pages of notes follow, and then a most extensive and valuable bibliography. The Index itself is 47 pages long and concludes with a by-line! This is not a book for practitioners of yoga but a book for students and scholars of the literature of yoga. It is a challenge to read and appreciate and only really accessible to those with some experience with the literature.
There is probably no serious yoga book written in the past quarter century that fails to cite it. Apr 05, Scott Rennie rated it it was amazing Shelves: yoga , buddhism , tantra. A great book, wish I'd read it several years back on my Yoga journey. This book was written in the 's but it fills in so many gaps and explains some puzzling aspects of Yoga practice.
It has helped me get to understanding why Yoga has become so watered down, and continues to be more so, it is entirely understandable once you read this history of how it has evolved. Inspiring insights, perhaps a bit thick and wordy for anyone who doesn't like academic reading but let's forgive him since he wa A great book, wish I'd read it several years back on my Yoga journey. Inspiring insights, perhaps a bit thick and wordy for anyone who doesn't like academic reading but let's forgive him since he was an academic.
Still, keep your browser open with a dictionary page for every words I'll bet there's one you've never seen before lol A MUST for any Yoga teacher who takes pride in understanding what Yoga is really all about!
Yoga: Immortality and Freedom
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