Yoga Yajnavalkya - A Classical Yoga text

by Gargi Harjai November 29, 2021

concept of kundalini

इज्याचारदमाहिंसा- दानस्वाध्यायकर्मणाम् ।
अयं तु परमो धर्मो यद् योगेनात्मदर्शनम् (Yajn. smriti-1.8)
“ Off all works consisting of sacrifices, or rituals, or control of conduct, or harmlessness, or liberality, or the study of the Vedas; this alone is the highest Dharma(duty) that one should see the self by yoga”- Yoga Yajnavalkya
The yoga Yajnavalkya is a classical Sanskrit text, it is a text written in the form of dialogue exchange between male and female sage. The two sages are Yajnavalkya and Gargi. Yoga Yajnavalkya describes the eight components of yoga, it contains not only yoga sutras, but the concept of Kundalini. It discusses deeply about yoga components such as Pranayama, dharana and pratyahara Dhyana.
According to Upanishad, once King Janaka of Videha kingdom held a Rajasuya Yagna (debate) and invited all the learned sages, kings to participate. King Janaka himself was a scholar, but he wanted to select the most accomplished scholar of them all, who had the most knowledge about the universe (Bramhan). He then offered a prize of 1000 cows, with each cow with gold on its horns.
The renowned sage Yajnavalkya was aware that he was the most knowledgeable out of all the sages , as he had mastered the art of Kundalini Yoga. He ordered his disciple to take cows to his home, this infuriated the crowd, since without any debate he was taking the prize. Everyone was infuriated, but couldn’t come up as they were in doubt, but 8 scholars stood up to him. Out of those eight scholars, Gargi, the only woman. Gargi was the only female in the gathering of the learned.
All the sages lost the debate with the most learned sage, Yajnavalkya, then it was the turn of Gargi to participate in the debate. There was a long debate between the two, which centred on the “warp” of ultimate reality. She started the debate by asking questions about the environment and nature existing in the world, the question of the very origin of the existence of all.
“Since this whole world is woven back and forth on water, on what then is it woven back and forth?”
“On air, Gargi”
“On What, then, is air woven back and forth? On the intermediate regions, Gargi.”
“On what, then, are the worlds of the intermediate regions woven back and forth.”
“On the worlds of the Gandharvas, Gargi”
Gargi wasn’t satisfied with the answers, and continued asking questions. Her final question in the end of Yoga Yajnavalkya is “on what was Brahman (world of the imperishable)? Woven on ``, to which sage replied, to not discuss this further as she might lose mental balance.
Thus, Gargi at the end conceded to the knowledge of Yajnavalkya by saying "venerable Brahmins, you may consider it a great thing if you get off bowing before him. No one, I believe, will defeat him in any argument concerning Brahman."
Gargi Harjai
Gargi Harjai

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