An Archaeology of Yoga

  title={An Archaeology of Yoga},
  author={Thomas Mcevilley},
  journal={RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics},
  pages={44 - 77}
  • Thomas Mcevilley
  • Published 1 March 1981
  • Philosophy
  • RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics
Various models have been offered for the early history of yoga: this paper will deal with two. The primitivist model proposes that yogic practices derived somehow from shamanism and agricultural magic. This hypothesis has naturally enlisted the Indus Valley to its cause, finding in certain seal impressions and sculptures evidences of proto-yoga. The chief problems of this approach have been the vagueness with which it has been presented, and the definition of the changes which this Ur-yoga… 

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Eliade, Yoga, p. 306. 228. Briggs, op. cit., p. 168. 229. Shirokogoroff, op. cit

  • journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Chanda connects them, tenuously, with the seven sprout headed figures on the famous Tree Goddess seal

    Chattopadhyaya, Lok?yata, ch. 2, adds much of interest on the subject. 214. Shirokogoroff, op. cit., p. 309. 215. Radloff, loc. cit. 216. Czaplicka

    • 1962

    For a complementary approach to the totemic background of tantrism see Alex Wayman

    • Totemic Beliefs in the Buddhist Tantras
    • 1961

    218. Muktananda, op. cit., pp. 101, 104. The frog motion may be very old indeed: Sumerian amulets showing a posture very close to utkat?sana occur in both frog and human forms

    • Symbols of Prehistoric Mesopotamia
    • 1963

    The Golden Bough, part III: The Dying God

    • 1935

    1:51. 196. Chattopadhyaya, Lok?yata, p. 278; and see 232ff

      This is not presented as a dogmatic interpretation, but exempli gratia, to show the kind of account that might emerge if fuller evidence were available, and if