Origins of Yoga and Tantra










Stories & Sources



Meditation & Yoga



Urbanization of Indian Subcontinent



Worlds & Their Interactions



Religion In The Early Political States



Bauddha & Jaina Religious Orders



Brahmanical Alternative



Asceticism & Caelibacy






Classical Synthesis



Wild Goddesses



Subtle Bodies & Internal Alchemy



Tantra & the [Political] State



Later History of Yoga and Tantra


Capp. 1-8.





Mohenjo-Daro sigilla

pp. 3-4 seated figure on sigillum M-304

p. 3

the head represents a buffalo … (Hiltebeitel 1978).”

{If so, this must be god Mahis.a, who is slain by goddess Mahis.a-mardini.}

p. 4

Asko Parpola suggests that this … posture may simply imitate the Proto-Elamite way of representing seated bulls (1994:250, caption to fig. 14.16)!”

Hiltebeitel 1978 = Alf Hiltebeitel : “Indus Valley “Proto-S`iva” Reexamined”. ANTHROPOS 73:767-97.

Parpola 1994 = Asko Parpola : Deciphering the Indus Script. Cambridge U Pr.

pp. 5-6 figures on sigillum M-1186 (quoted from Parpola 1999b, pp. 249-50)

p. 5

The tree is probably the banyan fig, and the deity inside it a predecessor of Durga … . …

p. 6

The seven females at the bottom probably represent the 'Seven Mothers' …, the stars of the Pleiades … . The markhor goat (s`arabha in Sanskrit) is a symbol of Agni in Vedic texts; according to the Kalika-Puran.a, the goddess … likes best the s`arabha.”

Parpola 1999b = Asko Parpola : “Savitri and Resurrection”. In :- Asko Parpola & S. Tenhunen (edd.) : Changing Patterns of Family and Kinship in South Asia. Helsinki : Finnish Oriental Soc. pp. 167-312.

p. 7 the pool

Kosambi suggested [1965, p. 68] that the Great Bath at Mohenjo Daro served … for ritual purposes, and was surrounded by rooms in which visiting men took part in ritual sexual union with 'female attendant representatives of the mother goddess to whom the citadel complex belonged'.”

Kosambi 1965 = D. D. Kosambi : The Culture and Civilisation of Ancient India in Historical Outline. London : Routledge & Kegan Paul.



Stories & Sources


p. 24 iconography

There have been some impressive recent studies on the basis of iconographical material : instances include Doris Meth Srinivasan's Many Heads, Arms and Eyes (1997) and Rob Linrothe's recent book, Ruthless Compassion (1999), both impressive … (cf. Bakker 1999 on Srinivasan).”

Bakker 1999 = H. Bakker : “Review of Many Heads, Arms and Eyes”. ARTIBUS ASIAE 58:339-43.

p. 32 humor and irony

Bauddha “people may have lost touch quite soon with much of the necessary interpretive background on the texts (Gombrich 1990, 1992, 1996). If Gombrich is right that

we should read a fair amount of humour and irony into the voice of the Buddha as represented by the early sutras (the suggestion seems to me both attractive and plausible),

{Likewise believed to be permeated with satire and with irony are :- the Cynic literature; the Book of Dani^>el (menippean according to David M.Valeta – L&O&V); the Book of >ester (menippean according to Mikhail Bakhtin -- RE, p. 41 sq); and the canonical Gospels (menippean according to Mikhail Bakhtin and Erich Auerbach – MB, p. 250).}

then this makes it even more difficult to interpret these texts”.

Gombrich 1990 = R. F. Gombrich : “Recovering the Buddha's Message”. In :- Seyfort Ruegg & Schmidthausen (edd.) : Earliest Buddhism and Madhyamaka. Leiden : E. J. Brill. pp. 5-23.

Gombrich 1992 = R. F. Gombrich : “The Buddha's Book of Genesis?” INDO-IRANIAN J 35:159-78.

Gombrich 1996 = R. F. Gombrich : How Buddhism Began : the conditioned genesis of the early Buddhist teachings. London : Athlone Pr.

L&O&V = David M.Valeta : Lions and Ovens and Visions.

RE = Kenneth M. Craig : Reading Esther : a case for the literary carnivalesque. Westminster John Knox Pr, Louisville (KY), 1995.

MB = Katerina Clark & Michael Holquist : Mikhail Bakhtin. Harvard U Pr, 1984.



Urbanization of Indian Subcontinent


p. 58 republics

a variety of smaller states … employed a system known as gan.a-sangha, generally referred to in English as … 'republics'. … (J. Sharma 1968 ...). The largest of these, the Vajjian confederacy, was actually a league of several such units”.

Sharma 1968 = J. P. Sharma : Republics in Ancient India, c. 1500 B.C. - 500 B.C. Leiden : Brill.



Worlds & Their Interactions


p. 68, fn. 7 Id.a

Ila … appears in the …

{cf. the city-name /ILio-n/}

S`atapatha Brahman.a as the goddess Id.a,

{cf. the mountain-name /IDE/}

a personification of the domestic fire-offering ritual or id.a, one of whose purposes is to bring about progeny (e.g. Gonzalez-Reimann 2006:222; B. Smith 1989:162-6). … [James Francis] Hartzell 1987:114-15 … discusses … Ila / id.a and the Tantric channel id.a.”

Gonzalez-Reimann 2006 = Luis Gonza`lez-Reimann : “The Divinity of Rama in the Ramayana of Valmiki”. J OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHY 34:203-20.

Smith 1989 = B. K. Smith : Reflections on Resemblance, Ritual, and Religion. Oxford U Pr.

p. 70 Nami/Nimi

Nami or Nemi … In Buddhist and Jain sources is one … of a set of four renunciate kings who became pratyeka[-]buddhas … . … In Wiltshire's book … (1990) he analyses … these … . … The four kings are King Nimi or Nami of Videha, King Dummukha or Dummuha of Pan~cala, King Karan.d.u (or Kakaran.d.u) of Kalinga and King Naggaji (or Naggai) of Gandhara (Wiltshire 1990:120).”

fn. 10 “The Buddhist version occurs in the Kumbhakara Jataka, and the Jain version in the Uttaradhyayana Sutra. … Nimi is also mentioned in the Majjhima[-]nikaya, Sutta 83 (Makhadeva Sutta = N~an.amoli and Bodhi 1995:692-7). In this sutra, he is described as the last of a long series of 84,000 kings of Mithila, all of whom became renunciates when their first grey hairs appeared, passing on their kingdoms to their sons. The first of this series, Makhadeva, is described as a previous birth of the Buddha.”

Wiltshire 1990 = M. Wiltshire : Ascetic Figures Before and in Early Buddhism. Berlin : Mouton de Gruyter.

N~an.amoli & Bodhi 1995 = B. N~an.amoli & B. Bodhi : The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha. Boston : Wisdom Publ.

p. 74, fn. 14 marriages betwixt kings and

stories of marriages between rulers and … [are instanced in] a Jain text, the Miyavutta Sutta; a Buddhist jataka, the Kinnari Jataka …; and … Kalidasa's stage play …, the Vikramorvas`i (Wright 1966:20).”

Wright 1966 = J. C. Wright : Non-Classical Sanskrit Literature. U of London, School of Oriental and African Studies.



Religion In The Early Political States


p. 104 abodes of specific yaks.a-s (according to the Maha-mayuriSircar 1971-2, pp. 265)










G.rdhra-kut.a; “three times … his … (… step covers) a hundred yojanas” {= Tri-vikrama ('3-step') Vamana}.







Kala & Upa-kalaka

Kapila-vastu; “where … Buddha … S`akya[-]ketu … Maha[-]muni was born.”

Sircar 1971-2 = D. C. Sircar : “Mahamayuri”. J OF ANCIENT INDIAN HISTORY 5:262-328.

p. 109 Iranian goddess Ardoxs.o

Iranian iconography associated with the goddess Ardoxsho

{The Vaidik aequivalent goddess may have been naks.tra ARDra.}

(who is depicted with her consort Pharro).”

p. 116 sexual intercourse between a brahmacarin and a whore

The most notorious vratya ritual was the mahavrata or 'great observance', which involved ritual sex between a brahmacarin and a prostitute (Gonda 1961).”

Gonda 1961 = J. Gonda : “Ascetics and Courtesans”. ADYAR LIBRARY BULLETIN 25:78-102. reprinted in :- J. Gonda : Selected Studies. Leiden : Brill, 1975.



Bauddha & Jaina Religious Orders


p. 122 two religious orders

the Dharma Sutras … we find … vanaprastha and vaikhanasa, … (Bronkhorst 1998a:18-26) … who live in the forest, subsist on forest produce, maintain a ritual fire … and pursue ascetic practices. The men are … described as having matted hair (e.g. Bronkhorst 1998a:33 …). These … jat.ila or matted-hair Brahmins [are] described … as being relatively highly regarded by the Buddha”.

fn. 4 “in the Apastambha Dharmasutra … has two varieties …, one again called vanaprastha, the other parivraja. … ([Bronkhorst] 1998a:13-20) They do not have a sacred fire. … for a Hindu samnyasin in modern times, … the sacred fire is 'internalized' within the samnyasin's body.”

Bronkhorst 1998a = J. Bronkhorst : The Two Sources of Indian Asceticism. Delhi : Motilal Banarsidas.

p. 123 the 10 r.s.i-s who were authors of veda-samhita

the Buddhist texts give a standard list if ten r.s.i or Brahmin sages” : [fn. 5 “At.t.haka, Vamaka, Vamadeva, Vessamitta {Vis`vamitra}, Yamataggi, Angirasa, Bharadvaja,Vaset.t.ha {Vasis.t.ha}, Bhagu {} (Tsuchida 1991 and Walshe 1995:121).”]

Tsuchida 1991 = R. Tsuchida : “Two Categories of Brahmins in the Early Buddhist Period”. MEMOIRS OF THE TOYO BUNKO 49:51-95.

Walshe 1995 = M. Walshe : The Long Discourses of the Buddha. Boston : Wisdom Publ.

p. 137 divine revelation

another intriguing study of early Buddhism, Peter Masefield's (Masefield 1986; cf. also Harrison 1987[b]).”

Masefield 1986 = P. Masefield : Divine Revelation in Pali Buddhism. Colombo : Sri Lanka Institute of Traditional Studies.

Harrison 1987b = P. Harrison : “Buddhism : a Religion of Revelation after all”. NUMEN 34:256-64.

pp. 140-1 manifestation of deities

p. 140

the Buddhist and Jaina sutras contain many accounts of encounters with gods and spirits of various kinds”. [fn. 29 For the Buddhists, see ... DeCaroli 2004; for parallel early Jaina examples, see e.g. the Uttaradhyayana Sutra ch. 9 (Jacobi 1895:35-41 …), ch. 12 (Jacobi 1895:50-4 …), ch. 23. (Jacobi 1895:121-2 …).”]

These figures appear in the narrative on the same level

{Of course, any literature placing deities on the same level as mortals is patently absurd, and must have been intended as low comedy.}

p. 141

and in much the same terms as the other, human characters”. [fn. 30 “All of which again suggests that we would be better off being careful about taking anything in these accounts too literally”.]

DeCaroli 2004 = R. DeCaroli : Haunting the Buddha. Oxford U Pr.

p. 141 caitya

The term caitya, nowadays synonymous with stupa …, originally … meant a spirit-shrine (cf. Trainor 1997 …).”

Trainor 1997 = K. Trainor : Relics, Ritual and Representation in Buddhism : rematerializing … Theravada tradition. Cambridge U Pr.

p. 144, fn. 36 groups of deva-s and devata-s in heaven

[quoted from Geiger 1964, p. 207] “At the four quarters of the heaven stood …

the four Great Kings, and

the thirty-three gods and

the thirty-two (celestial) maidens and

the twenty-eight chiefs of the yakkhas; but above these …

dancing devatas and devatas playing musical instruments … .”

Geiger 1964 = Wilhelm Geiger (transl.) : The Mahavamsa or the Great Chronicle. London : Pali Text Soc.



Brahmanical Alternative


p. 154 shamanism

I am … using the word 'shaman' these days (see Samuel 2005a:9-13), … at least … in … the R.gveda … relationship with the gods.”

Samuel 2005a = Geoffrey Samuel : Tantric Revisionings. London : Ashgate.

pp. 157-8 R.c Veda 10:136 hymn to Kes`in 'hairy' (quoted from Doniger-O'Flaherty 1981, pp. 137-8)

p. 157

1. Long-hair … holds the drug … .

{He holdeth the drug whilest distributing it as eucharist to worshippers.}

Long-hair reveals everything, so that everyone can see the sun. …

{He declareth to the worshippers who ingest the drug all about that which they witness in their drug-revelated vision, thus assisting them to perceive an otherworldly light as brilliant as the sun.}

p. 158

4. He sails through the air, looking down on all shapes below.”

{This is enabled by means of projection of the astral body.}

Doniger-O'Flaherty 1981 = Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty (translatrix) : The Rig Veda. London : Penguin Bks.

pp. 158-9 sexual intercourse between a brahmacarin and a whore

p. 158

For Kaelber, … the well-known mahavrata ritual of the vratyas, described in the Jaiminiya Brahman.a and the S`rauta Sutras, … involved ritual {sexual} intercourse between a brahmacarin and a prostitute

p. 159

. … The creative ritual role of the brahmacarin is already stated in the Atharvaveda (11,5) : …

Down on the ridge of earth the Brahmacari pours seed … (Griffith 1916, vol. 2:... 70 = … v. … 12; cf. Kaelber 1989:17)”

{“she fell in love at the wedding …, the lovers lay together openly in a thrice-ploughed field.” (GM 24.a)}

Griffith 1916 = Ralph T. H. Griffith : The Hymns of the Atharva-Veda. 2 voll. 2nd edn. Benares : E. J. Lazarus, 1916-1917.

Kaelber 1989 = W. O. Kaelber : Tapta Marga … in Vedic India. Albany : State U of NY Pr.

GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. 1955.

p. 161 yaks.a sexuality

the yaks.a religion tended to celebrate adult sexuality, both male and female.”

{Tree-inhabiting divinities may be observed engaging in sexual “orgiastic revelry” (TA, p. 170). This sexual promiscuity may be sufficiently reminiscent of the maha-vrata ritual as to suggest that vratya-s are devotees to yaks.a and to yaks.ini-s.}

TA = Charles Hayes (ed.) : Tripping : an anthology of psychedelic true-life adventures. Penguin Compass, London, 2000.

pp. 171-2 temple-shrines at Madurai in Tamil Nadu : goddess Mina-aks.i ('Fish-eyed') & god Skanda

p. 171

the famous and splendid temple of the goddess Minaks.i (Hudson 1993; Harman 1989 …). Minaks.i … is … married to … Sundares`vara … . …

p. 172

The nearby hill-shrine of Tirupparankunram, … now one of the six famous shrines of the Tamil deity Murugan, … centres around Murugan-Skanda's marriage to Devasena (Clothey 1978:124-7 …).”

Hudson 1993 = D. D. Hudson : “Madurai : the city as goddess”. In :- H. Spodek & D. M. Srinivasan (edd.) : Urban Form and Meaning in South Asia. Hanover : U Pr of New England. pp. 125-44.

Harman 1989 = W. P. Harman : Sacred Marriage of a Hindu Goddess. Bloomington : IN U Pr.

Clothey 1978 = F. W. Clothey : The Many Faces of Murukan. The Hague : Mouton.”



Asceticism & Caelibacy


p. 177, fn. 4 why religious doctrines are indicated as taught to kings

the Brahmins presented their new doctrines as being taught by kings as a deliberate device to enourage acceptance by their royal patrons. … (Olivelle 1998:xxxv).”

{In praecisely similar manner, the fictitious fable that the Bauddha religion was originated by an heir to a royal throne, was fabricated in order to enourage acceptance of that religion by royal patrons.

Olivelle 1998 = P. Olivelle : Oxford U Pr.

p. 185, fn. 9 Gurjara

in taking Nemi, the twenty-second tirthankara, as historical (R. Williams 1966), we would need to include Gujarat.

Gujarat would have been part of the 'non-Aryan' world at that time”.

{Because Acyuta Kr.s.n.a was likewise located in Gurjara, his would imply that his cult is non-Aryan (D.avida, in fact).}

Williams 1966 = R. Williams : “Before Mahavira”. J. OF THE ROYAL ASIATIC SOC, 2--6.


Geoffrey Samuel : Origins of Yoga and Tantra. Cambridge U Pr, 2008.