Presentation by Christèle Barois: On a List of Sixty-Four Yoga Powers in Śaiva Purāṇic Literature

11.07.2018

Presentation by Christèle Barois: On a List of Sixty-Four Yoga Powers in Śaiva Purāṇic Literature

World Sanskrit Conference, Panel 22: Yoga and Ayurveda, convened by Dagmar Wujastyk and Philipp A. Maas

Wednesday, July 11, 2:00-2:30, Allard Forum, UBC

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A list sixty-four supernatural powers, referred to as catuṣṣaṣtiguṇa-s and aiśvarya, is found in three different chapters on Śaivayoga from Purāṇic literature: the Vāyavīyasaṃhitā II.29, the Liṅgapurāṇa I.9, and the Māheśvarakhaṇḍa (Skandapurāṇa) I.2.55. In the Vāyavīyasaṃhitā as in the Liṅgapurāṇa this list is situated after the definitions of ten antarāyas, obstacles, and six upasargas, (negative) effects that indicate closeness to success. In all three chapters, the sixty-four guṇas are similarly classified by series of eight “qualities”, every level including the qualities of the preceding ones (as in certain Sāṃkhya expositions). Many of these sixty-four yogic powers are mentioned in other texts, starting with the Yogabhāṣya, but in these texts they are never organized in a systematic way as they are here. This paper introduces the yogic process concerned with the acquisition of these powers, and examines how the “sixty-four guṇa-s” are referred to in Śaiva literature.

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