The Path of Yoga in the Mokṣopāya

April 10, 2023 | 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Asian Institute, Centre for South Asian Studies

This event is over

The event will take place in room 208N, Munk School, 1 Devonshire Place.
This talk presents the doctrine of the seven levels or places along the path to liberation that is outlined by the sage Vasiṣṭha in the Mokṣopāya (c. 950 CE), a philosophical literary text from Kashmir that is better known in its later Advaita Vedānta affiliated recension as the Yogaavāsiṣṭha. The Yogavāsiṣṭha is an important text of nondual Vedānta that has been transmitted, translated, and commented upon over the centuries. However, when compared with the Mokṣopāya, it is clear that the Yogavāsiṣṭha contains significant corruptions that alter the doctrine of the text. With the near completion of the critical edition of the Mokṣopāya by scholars in Halle, Marburg and Mainz, passages that have never been printed before are available to be studied by scholars. In this talk, I present the rich material from the sixteen sarga-long yogabhūmi passage from the Nirvāṇaprakaraṇa—the sixth book of the Mokṣopāya—that has not been studied before. The Path of Yoga is an everyday path in the human developmental cycle that will ultimately be embarked upon by any inconspicuous person when they become dissasfied with worldly life and devoted to going beyond saṃsāra. At some point in a human life—which extends across lifetimes—a person will inevitably enter the Path of Yoga as the natural culmination of the average life, and the seven bhūmikās are stages of growth, markers of progress or levels of attainment along the way.
Asian Institute, Centre for South Asian Studies


Tamara Cohen

PhD Candidate, Department for the Study of Religion and the Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Toronto

Christoph Emmrich (discussant)

Director of the Centre for South Asian Studies; Associate Professor, Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto