The two schools of Mimamsa and Advaita Vedanta both subscribed to the Gnostic Realisation model of liberation: liberation is an event generated by the insight into the fundamental truth underlying and transcending reality, brahman. It was a dry and intellectual liberation discourse. In this intellectual milieu concerned with and receiving authority from ancient canons, ascetic-meditative yoga efforts could not and did not easily play any significant role265. Still as we have seen the Brahmins now incorporated the Yoga Sutra as a darsana . It did not play any significant role in their Vedantic philosophy, but it was probably deemed necessary to include ascetic-meditative technologies where the Advaita Brahmins tried to position themselves as standing in a long tradition of specialists in liberation. This deliberate manoeuvre made them look very much like their main competitor in their cultural field – the Buddhists.
So as we shall see in this chapter the various Vedantic schools realised that they needed to have some kind of yoga in their fold. In the Yoga Sutra chapter we have seen how some Brahmins tried to fit the Yoga Sutra into their Vedantic sign system by giving commentaries (a genre called bhyasa). Others went by different routes and discovered a jnana-yoga – a Gnostic yoga – among heterodox story-tellers, who entertained the Indian courts. Gnosticism (gnosis,
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