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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

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

Wendy Doniger

Oxford University Press

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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