Dwi Pada Pitham or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

This is described as a combination of concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana) and through studying revealed and remembered scriptures’. This combination has clear echoes of the Maitri Upanishad , which also described a yoga combining thinking (tarka ) and meditative absorption. Meditation alone leads nowhere, said the Maitri. Meditation has to be combined with the understanding of canon. In this context it is perhaps important to recall that the yoga of the Maitri had strong flavours of Buddhist mindfulness. Thus it might be Buddhist liberation philosophy that we find at the bottom of YV’s jnana-yoga stages as it combines analytical thinking with meditation.

The efforts of stage two – calming the mind and the build up of dogmatic insights – will lead to the third stage. The third stage has the effect of release from desire’ (v.21) and awakening of the self’ (v.24). We note that the first stage is Buddhist in character (release equals freedom from desire) and the second is Brahmin (release equals brahman realisation). As the YV gives a name to this third stage, it seems to lean towards the Buddhist camp: this is the stage of non-attachement’ (asamsanga).

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