The Concept of smṛti in the Yogasūtra: Memory or Mindfulness?
Keywords:Yogasūtra, Patañjali, modern yoga, mindfulness, modern Buddhism
One of the key concepts in Buddhist meditation is mindfulness which has recently been introduced into new environments, including contemporary yoga. This paper identifies some of the parameters involved in the rather seamless integration of Buddhist mindfulness and yoga and explores whether this synthesis is an ancient one, already found in the oldest recorded text on yoga, the Yogasūtra, by investigating if the word smṛti, usually translated as “memory”, can refer to mindfulness. This would imply that mindfulness may have been a component of ancient Yogic practices, although perhaps lost at some stage in the transmission only to be reintroduced recently by the syncretistic new trends in the globalised spiritual movements.
Eden od osnovnih konceptov budistične meditacije je pozornost ali čuječnost. V zadnjih desetletjih se je praksa meditacijske pozornosti razširila na številna nova področja, med drugim tudi v sodobne jogijske prakse. Prispevek poskuša identificirati nekaj glavnih parametrov, ki pogojujejo integracijo budistične meditacije in joge in raziskuje, ali je koncept pozornosti morda bil prisoten že v najstarejšem poznanem besedilu o jogi, v Yogasūtri. V tem besedilu se večkrat pojavi koncept smṛti, ki je ponavadi preveden kot “spomin”. Prispevek predlaga novo intepretacijo tega koncepta in ga prevaja kot “meditacijska pozornost”. Nova interpretacija odpira vprašanje, ali je praksa pozornosti bila prisotna že v starodavnih jogijskih praksah, a se je pri prenosu jogijskih tradicij izgubila in se šele danes ponovno pojavila v jogi kot odsev sinkretističnih duhovnih gibanj 21. stoletja.
Ključne besede: Yogasūtra, Patañjali, sodobna yoga, pozornost, sodobni budizem
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published (print and online) in journal Asian Studies by Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.