B. K. S. Iyengar
Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar, better known as B. K. S. Iyengar, was the founder of the style of modern yoga known as "Iyengar Yoga" and was considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world, he was the author of many books on yoga practice and philosophy including Light on Yoga, Light on Pranayama, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Light on Life. Iyengar was one of the earliest students of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, referred to as "the father of modern yoga", he has been credited with popularizing yoga, first in India and around the world. The Indian government awarded Iyengar the Padma Shri in 1991, the Padma Bhushan in 2002 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2014. In 2004, Iyengar was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. B. K. S. Iyengar was born into a poor Sri Vaishnava Iyengar family in Bellur, Kolar district, India, he was the 11th of 13 children born to Sri Krishnamachar, a school teacher, Sheshamma. When Iyengar was five years old, his family moved to Bangalore.
Four years the 9-year-old boy lost his father to appendicitis. Iyengar's home town, was in the grip of the influenza pandemic at the time of his birth, an attack of that disease left the young boy sickly and weak for many years. Throughout his childhood, he struggled with malaria, typhoid fever, general malnutrition. "My arms were thin, my legs were spindly, my stomach protruded in an ungainly manner," he wrote. "My head used to hang down, I had to lift it with great effort." In 1934, his brother-in-law, the yogi Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, asked the 15-year-old Iyengar to come to Mysore, so as to improve his health through yoga practice. There, Iyengar learned asana practice, which improved his health. Krishnamacharya had Iyengar and other students give yoga demonstration in the Maharaja's court at Mysore, which had a positive influence on Iyengar. Iyengar considers his association with his brother-in-law a turning point in his life saying that over a two-year period "he only taught me for about ten or fifteen days, but those few days determined what I have become today!" K. Pattabhi Jois has claimed that he, not Krishnamacharya, was Iyengar's guru.
In 1937, Krishnamacharya sent Iyengar to Pune at the age of eighteen to spread the teaching of yoga. Though Iyengar had high regard for Krishnamacharya, turned to him for advice, he had a troubled relationship with his guru during his tutelage. In the beginning, Krishnamacharya predicted that the stiff, sickly teenager would not be successful at yoga, he was tasked with household chores. Only when Krishnamacharya's favorite pupil at the time, left one day did serious training start. Krishnamacharya began teaching a series of difficult postures, sometimes telling him to not eat until he mastered a certain posture; these experiences would inform the way he taught his students. Iyengar reported in interviews that, at the age of 90, he continued to practice asanas for 3 hours and pranayamas for an hour daily. Besides this, he mentioned that he found himself performing non-deliberate pranayamas at other times. In 1952, Iyengar befriended the violinist Yehudi Menuhin. Menuhin gave him the break that transformed Iyengar from a comparatively obscure Indian yoga teacher into an international guru.
Because Iyengar had taught the famous philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti, he was asked to go to Bombay to meet Menuhin, known to be interested in yoga. Menuhin said he was tired and could spare only five minutes. Iyengar told him to lie down in Savasana, he fell asleep. After one hour, Menuhin awoke spent another two hours with Iyengar. Menuhin came to believe that practising yoga improved his playing, in 1954 invited Iyengar to Switzerland. At the end of that visit, he presented his yoga teacher with a watch on the back of, inscribed, "To my best violin teacher, BKS Iyengar". From on Iyengar visited the west and schools teaching his system of yoga sprang up all over the world. There are now hundreds of Iyengar yoga centres, he taught yoga to several celebrities including Jayaprakash Narayan. He taught sirsasana to Elisabeth, Queen of Belgium when she was 80. Among his other devotees were the novelist Aldous Huxley, the actress Annette Bening, the film maker Mira Nair and the designer Donna Karan, as well as prominent Indian figures, including the cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and the Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor.
Iyengar made his first visit to the United States in 1956, when he taught in Ann Arbor and gave several lecture-demonstrations. In 1966, Iyengar published Light on Yoga, it became an international best-seller. As of 2005, it had been sold three million copies. Light on Yoga was followed by aspects of yoga philosophy. Iyengar authored 14 books. In 1975, Iyengar opened the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, in memory of his late wife, he retired from teaching in 1984, but continued to be active in the world of Iyengar Yoga, teaching special classes, giving lectures, writing books. Iyengar's daughter and son, have gained international acclaim as teachers.3 October 2005 was declared as "B. K. S. Iyengar Day" by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Anthropologist Joseph S. Alter of the University of Pittsburgh stated that Iyengar "has by far had the most profound impact on the global spread of yoga." In June 2011, he was presented with a commemorative stamp issued in his honour by the Beijing branch of China Post.
At that time there were over thirty thousand Iyengar yoga stu
Bharatanatyam known as Sathiraattam, is a major genre of Indian classical dance that originated in Tamil Nadu. Traditionally, Bharatanatyam has been a solo dance performed by women, it expressed South Indian religious themes and spiritual ideas of Shaivism and Shaktism. Bharatanatyam's theoretical foundations trace to the ancient Sanskrit text by Bharata Muni, Natya Shastra, its existence by 2nd century CE is noted in the ancient Tamil epic Silappatikaram, while temple sculptures of 6th to 9th century CE suggest it was a well refined performance art by the mid 1st millennium CE. Bharatanatyam may be the oldest classical dance tradition of India. Bharatanatyam style is noted for its fixed upper torso, legs bent or knees flexed out combined with spectacular footwork, a sophisticated vocabulary of sign language based on gestures of hands and face muscles; the dance is accompanied by music and a singer, her guru is present as the director and conductor of the performance and art. The dance has traditionally been a form of an interpretive narration of mythical legends and spiritual ideas from the Hindu texts.
The performance repertoire of Bharatanatyam, like other classical dances, includes nrita and natya. Bharatanatyam remained exclusive to Hindu temples through the 19th century, it was banned by the colonial British government in 1910, but the Indian community protested against the ban and expanded it outside the temples in the 20th century. Modern stage productions of Bharatanatyam have incorporated technical performances, pure dance based on non-religious ideas and fusion themes; the term Bharatanatyam is a compound of two words and Natyam. The term Bharata is believed to be named after the famous performance art sage to whom the ancient Natya Shastra is attributed. There is an alternative belief that the word Bharata is a mnemonic, consisting of "bha"–"ra"–"ta". According to this belief, bha stands for bhava, ra stands for raga, ta stands for tala; the term Natya is a Sanskrit word for "dance". The compound word Bharatanatyam thus connotes a dance that harmoniously expresses bhava and tala. Bharatanatyam was once called Sadir.
The theoretical foundations of Bharatanatyam are found in Natya Shastra, the ancient Hindu text of performance arts. Natya Shastra is attributed to the ancient scholar Bharata Muni, its first complete compilation is dated to between 200 BCE and 200 CE, but estimates vary between 500 BCE and 500 CE; the most studied version of the Natya Shastra text consists of about 6000 verses structured into 36 chapters. The text, states Natalia Lidova, describes the theory of Tāṇḍava dance, the theory of rasa, of bhāva, gestures, acting techniques, basic steps, standing postures—all of which are part of Indian classical dances. Dance and performance arts, states this ancient text, are a form of expression of spiritual ideas and the essence of scriptures. More direct historical references to Bharatnatyam is found in the Tamil epics Silappatikaram and Manimegalai; the ancient text Silappatikaram, includes a story of a dancing girl named Madhavi. The carvings in Kanchipuram's Shiva temple that have been dated to 6th to 9th century CE suggest Bharatanatyam was a well developed performance art by about the mid 1st millennium CE.
A famous example of illustrative sculpture is in the southern gateway of the Chidambaram temple dedicated to Hindu god Shiva, where 108 poses of the Bharatnatyam, that are described as karanas in the Natya Shastra, are carved in stone. Many of the ancient Shiva sculptures in Hindu temples are same. For example, the Cave 1 of Badami cave temples, dated to 7th-century, portrays the Tandava-dancing Shiva as Nataraja; the image, 5 feet tall, has 18 arms in a form that expresses the dance positions arranged in a geometric pattern. The arms of Shiva express mudras; some colonial Indologists and modern authors have argued that Bharatanatyam is a descendant of an ancient Devadasi culture, suggesting a historical origin back to between 300 BCE and 300 CE. Modern scholarship has questioned this theory for lack of any direct textual or archeological evidence. Historic sculpture and texts do describe and project dancing girls, as well as temple quarters dedicated to women, but they do not state them to be courtesans and prostitutes as alleged by early colonial Indologists.
According to Davesh Soneji, a critical examination of evidence suggests that courtesan dancing is a phenomenon of the modern era, beginning in the late 16th or the 17th century of the Nayaka period of Tamil Nadu. According to James Lochtefeld, Bharatanatyam remained exclusive to Hindu temples through the 19th century, only in the 20th century appearing on stage outside the temples. Further, the Maratha rulers of Tanjore contributed towards Bharatanatyam. With the arrival of the East India Company in the 18th century, British colonial rule in the 19th, many classical Indian dance forms were ridiculed and discouraged, these performance arts declined. Christian missionaries and British officials presented "nautch girls" of north India and "devadasis" of south India as evidence of "harlots, debased erotic culture, slavery to idols and priests" tradition, Christian missionaries demanded that this must be stopped, launching the "anti-dance movement" in 1892; the anti-dance
The Sritattvanidhi is a treatise written in the 19th century in Karnataka on the iconography and iconometry of divine figures in South India. One of its sections, includes illustrations of 122 hatha yoga postures; the Sritattvanidhi is attributed to the Maharaja of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar III. The Maharaja was himself a scholar and writer. There are around 50 works ascribed to him; the first page of the Sritattvanidhi attributes authorship of the work to the Maharaja himself: May the work Sri Tattvanidi, illustrated and contains secrets of mantras and, authored by King Sri Krishna Raja Kamteerava, be written without any obstacle. Beginning of Shaktinidhi. Martin-Dubost's review of the history of this work says that the Maharaja funded an effort to put together in one work all available information concerning the iconography and iconometry of divine figures in South India, he asked that a vast treatise be written, which he had illustrated by miniaturists from his palace. The resulting illuminated manuscript, which he entitled the Sritattvanidhi, brings together several forms of Shiva, Skanda, different goddesses, the nine planets, the eight protectors of the cardinal points.
The work is in nine parts, each called a nidhi. The nine sections are: Shakti nidhi Vishnu nidhi Shiva nidhi Brahma nidhi Graha nidhi Vaishnava nidhi Shaiva nidhi Agama nidhi Kautuka nidhi An original copy of this colossal work is available in the Oriental Research Institute, University of Mysore, Mysore. Another copy is in the possession of the present scion of the Royal Family of Mysore, Sri Srikanta Datta Narsimharaja Wadiyar. An unedited version of this work with only text in devanagari script was published about a century ago by Khemraj Krishna das of Sri Venkateshvar Steam Press, Bombay. In recent times the Oriental Research Institute has published three volumes (Saktinidhi and Sivanidhi. Prof. S. K. Ramachandra Rao, has edited a book titled "Sri-Tattva-Nidhi", it was published by Kannada University, Hampi in 1993. However, in reality it was on Ragamala Paintings as depicted in "Svarachudamani" authored by the Mummadi Krishna Raja Wodeyar. Similar set of Ragamala Paintings are found in Sri Tattva-Nidhi.
Another important work in this genre is by a Sanskrit scholar and hatha yoga student named Norman Sjoman. His 1996 book The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace presents the first English translation of a part of kautuka nidhi, the Sritattvanidhi, which includes instructions for and illustrations of 122 postures, illustrated by stylized drawings of a yogi or yogini in a topknot and loincloth; some of these poses—which include handstands, foot-behind-the-head poses, Lotus variations, rope exercises—are familiar to modern practitioners. But they are far more elaborate than anything depicted in other pre-twentieth-century texts, it describes the origins of some asanas from a gymnastics exercise manual of the late 19th century, the Vyayama Dipika. In his 1996 book, Sjoman asserts that the influential yoga teacher Krishnamacharya, who did much to create modern yoga, was influenced by the Sritattvanidhi, which includes 122 asanas, some based on gymnastics. Wodeyar Hindu iconography Illuminated manuscript Chinmayananda, Swami.
Glory of Ganesha. Bombay: Central Chinmaya Mission Trust. Annals of the Mysore Royal Family, Part II. Mysore: Government Branch Press. 1922. Gopal, R.. MummaDi kRuShNarAja oDeyaru - oMdu cAriTrika adhyana. Karnataka: Directorate of Archeology and Museums. Heras, H.. The Problem of Ganapati. Delhi: Indological Book House. Krishan, Yuvraj. Gaņeśa: Unravelling An Enigma. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. ISBN 81-208-1413-4. Martin-Dubost, Paul. Gaņeśa: The Enchanter of the Three Worlds. Mumbai: Project for Indian Cultural Studies. ISBN 81-900184-3-4. Sjoman, Norman E.. The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace. Abhinav Publications. ISBN 81-7017-389-2. Contains 20 color plate reproductions of 112 asanas reproduced from the Sri Tattvanidhi. Ramachandra Rao, S. K.. The Compendium on Gaņeśa. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications. ISBN 81-7030-828-3. Contains color plate reproductions of the 32 Ganapati forms reproduced from the Sri Tattvanidhi. Thapan, Anita Raina. Understanding Gaņapati: Insights into the Dynamics of a Cult.
New Delhi: Manohar Publishers. ISBN 81-7304-195-4. Wodeyar, Mummadi Krsihnaraja. Sritattvanidhi. Oriental Research Institute, University of Mysore
Yoga for therapeutic purposes
Yoga for therapeutic purposes is the use of modern yoga, consisting of postures called asanas, as a gentle form of exercise and relaxation to maintain or improve health. This postural form of yoga is practised in classes, may involve meditation, breath work and music. At least three types of health claim have been made for yoga: magical claims for medieval haṭha yoga, including the power of healing. Modern yoga exercise classes used as therapy consist of asanas and relaxation in savasana; the physical asanas of modern yoga are related to medieval haṭha yoga tradition, but they were not practiced in India before the early 20th century. The number of schools and styles of yoga in the Western world has grown from the late 20th century. By 2012, there were at least 19 widespread styles from Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga to Viniyoga; these emphasise different aspects including aerobic exercise, precision in the asanas, spirituality in the haṭha yoga tradition. These aspects can be illustrated by schools with distinctive styles.
Thus, Bikram Yoga has an aerobic exercise style with rooms heated to 105 °F and a fixed pattern of 2 breathing exercises and 26 asanas. Iyengar Yoga emphasises correct alignment in the postures, working if necessary with props, ending with relaxation. Sivananda Yoga focuses more on spiritual practice, with 12 basic poses, chanting in Sanskrit, pranayama breathing exercises and relaxation in each class, importance is placed on vegetarian diet. At least three different types of claim of therapeutic benefit have been made for yoga from medieval times onwards, not counting the more general claims of good health made throughout this period: magical powers. Medieval authors asserted that haṭha yoga brought physical benefits, provided magical powers including of healing; the Hatha Yoga Pradipika states that asanas in general, described as the first auxiliary of haṭha yoga, give "steadiness, good health, lightness of limb." Specific asanas, bring additional benefits. These claims lie within a tradition across all forms of yoga that practitioners can gain supernatural powers.
Hemachandra's Yogashastra lists the magical powers, which include healing and the destruction of poisons. Advocates of some schools of modern yoga, such as B. K. S. Iyengar, have for various reasons made claims for the effects of yoga on specific organs, without adducing any evidence; the yoga scholar Andrea Jain describes such claims in terms of "elaborating and fortifying his yoga brand" and "mass-marketing", calling his book Light on Yoga "arguably the most significant event in the process of elaborating the brand". Jain suggests that "Its biomedical dialect was attractive to many." For example, in the book, Iyengar claims that the asanas of the Eka Pada Sirsasana cycle tone up the muscular and circulatory systems of the entire body. The spine receives a rich supply of blood, which increases the nervous energy in the chakras, the flywheels in the human body machine; these poses make the breathing fuller and the body firmer. The history of such claims has been reviewed by William J. Broad in his 2012 book The Science of Yoga.
Broad argues that while the health claims for yoga began as Hindu nationalist posturing, it turns out that there is "a wealth of real benefits". Researchers have studied the medical and psychological effects of yoga in a wide range of trials and observational studies, sometimes with careful controls, providing evidence of differing quality about yoga's possible benefits; the various types of claim, the evidence for them, are discussed below. Much of the research on the therapeutic use of modern yoga has been in the form of preliminary studies or clinical trials of low methodological quality, including small sample sizes, inadequate control and blinding, lack of randomization, high risk of bias. For example, a 2010 literature review on the use of yoga for depression stated, "although the results from these trials are encouraging, they should be viewed as preliminary because the trials, as a group, suffered from substantial methodological limitations." A 2015 systematic review on the effect of yoga on mood and the brain recommended that future clinical trials should apply more methodological rigour.
The practice of asanas has been claimed to improve flexibility and balance. A review of five studies noted that three psychological and four biological mechanisms that might act on stress had been examined empirically, whereas many other
Sivananda Saraswati was a Hindu spiritual teacher and a proponent of Yoga and Vedanta. Sivananda was born Kuppuswami in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, he studied medicine and served in British Malaya as a physician for several years before taking up monasticism. He lived most of his life near Rishikesh, he was the founder of the Divine Life Society in 1936, Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy and author of over 200 books on yoga, a variety of subjects. He established Sivananda Ashram, the headquarters of the DLS, on the bank of the Ganges at Sivanandanagar, 3 kilometres from Rishikesh. Sivananda Yoga, the yoga form propagated by his disciple Vishnudevananda, is now spread in many parts of the world through Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres; these centres are not affiliated with Sivananda's ashrams. Swami Sivananda was born Kuppuswamy on Thursday, September 8, 1887, during the first hours of the morning, with Bharani star rising in Pattamadai village on the banks of Tamraparni river in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu.
His father, Sri P. S. Vengu Iyer, worked as a revenue officer, was a great Shiva Bhakta himself, his mother, Srimati Parvati Ammal, was a religious woman. Kuppuswamy was the last child of his parents; as a child he was active and promising in academics and gymnastics. He attended medical school in Tanjore, he ran. Upon graduation he practiced medicine and worked as a doctor in British Malaya for ten years, with a reputation for providing free treatment to poor patients. Over time, a sense that medicine was healing on a superficial level grew in Dr. Kuppuswamy, urging him to look elsewhere to fill the void, in 1923 he left Malaya and returned to India to pursue his spiritual quest. Upon his return to India in 1924, he visited Varanasi and Rishikesh, where he met his guru, Vishwānanda Saraswati, it was Vishwānanda who initiated him into the Sannyasa order, gave him his monastic name. However, since Sivānanda spent only a few hours with Vishwānanda, the full Viraja Homa ceremonies were performed by Vishnudevānanda, the Mandaleswara of Sri Kailas Ashram.
After initiation, Sivananda settled in Rishikesh, immersed himself in intense spiritual practices. Sivānanda performed austerities for many years but he continued to nurse the sick. With some money from his insurance policy that had matured, he started a charitable dispensary at Lakshman Jhula in 1927, serving pilgrims, holy men and the poor using his medical expertise. After a few years, Sivananda went on an extensive pilgrimage and travelled the length and breadth of India to meditate at holy shrines and came in contact with spiritual teachers throughout India. During this Parivrajaka life, Sivānanda visited important places of pilgrimage in the south, including Rameshvaram, he conducted delivered lectures during his travels. He visited the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, met Maharishi Shuddhananda Bharati to which he gave the title of Maharishi. At the Ramana Ashram, he had the darshan of Ramana Maharshi on Maharshi's birthday, he sang danced in ecstasy with Maharshi's bhaktas. He went on pilgrimages to various places in northern India including Kedarnath and Badrinath.
He visited Kailash-Manasarovar in 1931. He became known to his critics as "Swami Propagandananda" for his energetic propagation of his yoga message. During Sivananda's stay in Rishikesh and his travels around India, many came to him for guidance in the spiritual path, he instructed them. Sivananda asked his students send them for publication. Over time, large numbers of people started coming to him and his devotees started growing in numbers. Sivananda founded the DLS in 1936 on the banks of the Ganges River; the free distribution of spiritual literature drew a steady flow of disciples to him, such as Satyananda Saraswati, founder of Satyananda Yoga. In 1945, Sivananda created the Sivananda Ayurvedic Pharmacy, organised the All-world Religions Federation, he established the All-world Sadhus Federation in 1947 and Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy in 1948. He called his yoga the Yoga of Synthesis. Swami Sivananda entered Mahasamadhi on 14 July 1963 in his Kutir on the bank of the Ganges, in Sivanandanagar.
Sivananda's two chief acting organizational disciples were Chidananda Saraswati and Krishnananda Saraswati. Chidananda Saraswati was appointed president of the DLS by Sivananda in 1963 and served in this capacity until his death in 2008. Krishnananda Saraswati was appointed General Secretary by Sivananda in 1958 and served in this capacity until his death in 2001. Other prominent disciples were Venkatesananda Saraswati, Pranavanda Saraswati and Sivananda Radha Saraswati. Another prominent disciple was Swami Sahajananda Saraswati, directed by Sivananda to establish the Divine Life Society of South Africa. Disciples who went on to grow new organisationsJagadguru H. H. Swami Bua Ji Maharaj, World Yoga Community, USA & India Chinmayananda Saraswati, founder of the Chinmaya Mission Jyotirmayananda Saraswati, President of the Yoga Research Foundation, Miami, USA Lalitānanda Saraswati, Vice-President of the Yoga Research Foundation Omkarananda Saraswati, founder of Omkarananda Ashram, Himalayas Satchidananda Saraswati, founder of the Integral Yoga Institutes, Around the world Satyananda Saraswati, founder of Bihar School of Yoga Shantananda Saraswati, founder of Temple of Fine Arts (Malaysia & S
Modern yoga is a physical activity consisting of postures called asanas connected by flowing sequences called vinyasas, sometimes accompanied by the breathing exercises of pranayama, ending with a period of relaxation or meditation. It is known as yoga, despite the existence of multiple older traditions of yoga within Hinduism where asanas played little or no part, some dating back to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, despite the fact that in no tradition was the practice of asanas central. Modern yoga was created in what has been called the Modern Yoga Renaissance by the blending of Western styles of gymnastics with postures from Haṭha yoga in India in the 20th century. Before 1900 there were few standing poses in Haṭha yoga, held in low regard in India. Asana practice was revived in the 1920s by yoga gurus including Yogendra and Seetharaman Sundaram; the flowing sequences of salute to the sun, Surya Namaskar, were pioneered by the Rajah of Aundh, Bhawanrao Shrinivasrao Pant Pratinidhi, in the 1920s.
Many standing poses used in gymnastics were incorporated into yoga by Krishnamacharya in Mysore from the 1930s to the 1950s. Several of his students went on to found influential schools of yoga: Pattabhi Jois created Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, which in turn led to Power Yoga. Other major schools founded in the 20th century include Bikram Choudhury's Bikram Yoga and Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh's Sivananda Vedanta Schools of Yoga. Modern yoga spread across America and Europe, the rest of the world; the number of asanas used in modern yoga has increased from a nominal 84 in 1830, as illustrated in Joga Pradipika, to some 200 in Light on Yoga and over 900 performed by Dharma Mittra by 1984. At the same time, the goals of Haṭha yoga, namely spiritual liberation through the raising of kundalini energy, were replaced by the goals of fitness and relaxation, while many of Haṭha yoga's components like the shatkarmas and pranayama were much reduced or removed entirely; the term "hatha yoga" is in use with a different meaning, a gentle unbranded yoga practice, independent of the major schools, sometimes for women.
Yoga has developed into a worldwide multi-billion dollar business, involving classes, certification of teachers, books, videos and holidays. The ancient cross-legged sitting asanas like lotus pose and Siddhasana are widely-recognised symbols of yoga; the practice of yoga using postures called asanas is vaguely traced to Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, but the sutras do not mention any asana by name: they state only that asanas must be "steady and comfortable". However, scholars of yoga suggest that Patanjali composed an integrated work, the Patanjalayogasastra, combining a summary of older traditions of yoga with his own commentary, the Bhasya; the Bhasya names 12 seated asanas including Padmasana, Virasana and Svastikasana. The philologist James Mallinson notes that in ancient times asana meant a meditation seat, a sitting posture, until about 1000 AD; the 8th century Patanjalayogashastravivaraṇa, a commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, gives descriptions of the 12 seated asanas named in Patanjali's bhaṣya commentary on the sutras, including Dandasana and Virasana.
In the medieval Haṭha yoga tradition, symbolically 84 in number, are first named in manuscripts from the 10th or 11th centuries. The earliest of these, the Vimanarcanakalpa, gives the first description of a non-seated asana in the form of Mayurasana, the peacock, a balancing pose; the Ahirbudhnya Samhita describes Kukkutasana, the cockerel, another hand balance, Kurmasana, the tortoise. Non-seated poses appear, according to Mallinson, to have been created outside Shaivism, the home of the Nath yoga tradition, were associated with asceticism; the Goraksha Sataka describes two seated asanas and Padmasana. Svatmarama's 15th century compilation, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, describes 15 asanas, states that of these, four are important, namely the seated poses Siddhasana, Padmasana and Simhasana. By the 17th century, asanas became an important component of Haṭha yoga practice; the Hatha Ratnavali by Srinivasa names 84 asanas, describing 36 of them. These include several variations of Padmasana and Mayurasana, Bhairavasana, Kurmasana, Mandukasana and many names now not in wide usage.
An illustrated 1602 Persian manuscript, the Bahr al-Hayat, depicts a yogi performing 22 asanas. The Gheranda Samhita states that of the 84 asanas claimed to exist, 32 "are useful in the world of mortals."An 1830 illustrated manuscript of Ramanandi Jayatarama's 1737 Joga Pradipika contains high quality paintings of 84 seated and inverted asanas and 24 mudras in the Rajput style from the Punjab, from before the onset of modern yoga. The illustrations are symbolic, not naturalistic; the yoga scholar Gudrun Bühnemann observes that these early images do not demonstrate a more ancient lineage of 84 asanas, "nor is there any evidence that it existed."The Sritattvanidhi, a 19th century manuscript written before 1868, illustrates and describes 122 asanas. Yogi Ghamande's 1905 book Yogasopana Purvacatuska marks a transition from the secret, medieval treatment of Haṭha yoga to the public, mod
The Brahmic scripts are a family of abugida or alphasyllabary writing systems. They are used throughout the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and parts of East Asia, including Japan in the form of Siddhaṃ, they are descended from the Brahmi script of ancient India, are used by languages of several language families: Indo-European, Tibeto-Burman, Austroasiatic and Tai. They were the source of the dictionary order of Japanese kana. Brahmic scripts descended from the Brahmi script. Brahmi is attested from the 3rd century BC during the reign of Ashoka, who used the script for imperial edicts, but there are some claims of earlier epigraphy found on pottery in South India and Sri Lanka; the most reliable of these were short Brahmi inscriptions dated to the 4th century BC and published by Coningham et al.. Northern Brahmi gave rise to the Gupta script during the Gupta period, which in turn diversified into a number of cursives during the medieval period. Notable examples of such medieval scripts, developed by the 7th or 8th century, include Nagari and Sharada.
The Siddhaṃ script was important in Buddhism, as many sutras were written in it. The art of Siddham calligraphy survives today in Japan; the syllabic nature and dictionary order of the modern kana system of Japanese writing is believed to be descended from the Indic scripts, most through the spread of Buddhism. Southern Brahmi evolved into Old-Kannada and Vatteluttu scripts, which in turn diversified into other scripts of South India and Southeast Asia. Bhattiprolu was a great centre of Buddhism during 3rd century BCE and from where Buddhism spread to east Asia; the present Telugu script is derived from Bhattiprolu Script or "Kannada-Telugu script" or Kadamba script known as "Old Telugu script", owing to its similarity to the same. Minor changes were made, now called Tamil Brahmi, which has far fewer letters than some of the other Indic scripts as it has no separate aspirated or voiced consonants; some characteristics, which are present in most but not all the scripts, are: Each consonant has an inherent vowel, a short'a'.
Other vowels are written by adding to the character. A mark, known in Sanskrit as a virama/halant, can be used to indicate the absence of an inherent vowel; each vowel has two forms, an independent form when not part of a consonant, a dependent form, when attached to a consonant. Depending on the script, the dependent forms can be either placed to the left of, to the right of, below, or on both the left and the right sides of the base consonant. Consonants can be combined in ligatures. Special marks are added to denote the combination of'r' with another consonant. Nasalization and aspiration of a consonant's dependent vowel is noted by separate signs; the alphabetical order is: vowels, velar consonants, palatal consonants, retroflex consonants, dental consonants, bilabial consonants, approximants and other consonants. Each consonant grouping had four stops, a nasal consonant. Below are comparison charts of several of the major Indic scripts, organised on the principle that glyphs in the same column all derive from the same Brahmi glyph.
Accordingly: The charts are not comprehensive. Glyphs may be unrepresented if they don't derive from any Brahmi character, but are inventions; the pronunciations of glyphs in the same column may not be identical. The pronunciation row is only representative; the transliteration is indicated in ISO 15919. Notes Vowels are presented in their independent form on the left of each column, in their corresponding dependent form combined with the consonant k on the right. A glyph for ka is an independent consonant letter itself without any vowel sign, where the vowel a is inherent. Notes The Brahmi script was divided into regional variants at the time of the earliest surviving epigraphy around the 3rd century BC. Cursives of the Brahmi script began to diversify further from around the 5th century AD and continued to give rise to new scripts throughout the Middle Ages; the main division in antiquity was between southern Brahmi. In the northern group, the Gupta script was influential, in the southern group the Vatteluttu and Old-Kannada/Pallava scripts with the spread of Buddhism sent Brahmic scripts throughout Southeast Asia.
Gupta script, 5th century Sharada, 8th century Gurmukhi, 14th century Landa, 10th century Khojki, 16th century Khudabadi, 1550s Mahajani Multani Takri Siddham, 7th century Anga Lipi, 720 Assamese script, 13th century Bengali script Tirhuta/Mithilakshar, 15th century Tibetan script, 7th century Lepcha alphabet Limbu alphabet'Phags-pa, 13th century Nagari, 8th century Devanagari, 13th century Gujarati, 16th century Modi, 17th century Canadian Aboriginal syllabics, 19th century Kaithi, 16th century Nandinagari, 8th century Sylheti Nagari, 16th century Bhaiksuki Nepal script Bhujimol, 6th century Ranjana, 12th century Soyombo, 17th century Prachalit Tocharian script, 7th century Meeitei Mayek Odia, 10th century Tamil-Brahmi Tamil script Vatteluttu Saurashtra alphabet Kolezhuthu Malayanma Pallava script Grantha alphabet Goykanadi Cham alphabet Tigalari alphabet Malayalam script Sinhala script Dhives akuru Thaana Kawi script Balinese script Batak script Baybayin Kulitan alphabet Buhid alphabet Hanunó'o alphabet Javanese script Lontara script Sundanese script Rencong script Rejang script Tagbanwa script Khmer alphabet Thai alphabet Lao alphabet Old Mon script Ahom