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Primary Textssutras.gif (266766 bytes)

Primary Historical Yoga Texts:

Vedas - The four Vedas are the primary texts of Hinduism. They also had a vast influence on Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. The Rig Veda, the oldest, was perhaps composed about 1500 B.C., and written down about 600 B.C.  The Vedas contain hymns, incantations, and practices. They are among the most ancient religious texts still in existence. Besides their spiritual value, they also give a unique view of everyday life in India four thousand years ago. The Vedas are also the most ancient extensive texts in an Indo-European language.

Rig Veda www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/index.htm
Sama Veda www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sv.htm
Yajur Veda www.sacred-texts.com/hin/yv/index.htm
Atharva Veda www.sacred-texts.com/hin/av.htm

Upanishads - a continuation of the Vedic philosophy, written between 800 and 400 B.C. They elaborate on how the soul can be united with the ultimate truth through contemplation and mediation, as well as the doctrine of Karma-- the cumulative effects of a persons' actions.

www.sacred-texts.com/hin/upan/index.htm

Mahabhrata - One of the national epics of India, the Mahabharata, attributed to the sage Vyasa, was written down from 540 to 300 B.C. The Mahabharta tells the legends of the Bharatas, one of the tribal groups.

www.sacred-texts.com/hin/dutt/index.htm - abridged

Bhagavad Gita, part of the sixth book of the Mahabharata (dating from about 400 or 300 B.C.), this is the famous dialog between the god Krishna and the warrior Arjuna discussing selflessness, duty, devotion, and meditation, and integrating many different threads of Hindu philosophy.

http://eawc.evansville.edu/anthology/gita.htm
www.yoga.com/roots/yoga/info/Geeta/geeta.html
www.bhagavad-gita.org/
www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe08/index.htm (scholarly translation)
www.sacred-texts.com/hin/gita/index.htm#arnoldgita (Edwin Arnold, 1885)

Ramayana - The other major epic poem of India, the Ramayana is attributed to the poet Valmiki and was written down during the first century A.D., although it is based on oral traditions that go back six or seven centuries earlier. The Ramayana is a love story with moral and spiritual themes.

www.maxwell.syr.edu/maxpages/special/ramayana/ - Ramayana
www.valmikiramayan.net/ - Ramayana
www.sacred-texts.com/hin/dutt/index.htm - abridged

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucgadkw/patanjali-yogasutra.html - Photos of a Sanskrit manuscript
www.sacred-texts.com/hin/yogasutr.htm
http://hrih.hypermart.net/patanjali/library.htm - HRIH Network
http://dailyreadings.com/sutras_1.htm - Swami Venkathesananda
www.kofibusia.com/Yoga/Pages/PatanjaliChapter1.html - from Kofi Busia
www.kofibusia.com/Yoga/Pages/PatanjaliChapter2.html
www.kofibusia.com/Yoga/Pages/PatanjaliChapter3.html
www.kofibusia.com/Yoga/Pages/PatanjaliChapter4.html

   PLEASE NOTE THAT KOFI BUSIA HAS NOW PUT AUDIO FILES OF THE SUTRAS ONLINE: 
http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/patanjal/patan-hp.htm - William Q. Judge
http://geocities.com/Athens/Atrium/3256/patajdk.html - Alicia A. Bailey

Hatha Yoga Pradipika - first "users' manual" on asana practice, from the early medieval period

http://lib.ru/URIKOVA/SANTEM/SVATMARAMA/hyp.txt
www.yogavidya.com/hyp.html
www.geocities.com/kriyadc/hatha_yoga_pradipika.html
http://davidrjones.tripod.com/hatha.htm

Gheranda Samhita - another, later, medieval "users' manual" - still searching for an online text for this

Siva Samhita - a late 1600s/early 1700s treatise on yoga

www.geocities.com/kriyadc/shiva1.html

Other texts related to yoga:

Shiva Sutras - http://web.clas.ufl.edu/users/gthursby/tantra/sutras.htm
Ashtavakra Gita - www.clas.ufl.edu/users/gthursby/mys/ashgita.htm
Kama Sutra - www.sacred-texts.com/sex/kama/index.htm
Autobiography of a Yogi - www.crystalclarity.com/yogananda/chap1/chap1.html
Mahanirvana Tantra - www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/maha/index.htm

Other sacred texts:

Dhammapada (Buddhist) - http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phalsall/texts/dhameng.txt
Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh) - www.sikhs.org/english/frame.html
                       www.sacred-texts.com/skh/index.htm
Koran (Islam) - www.hti.umich.edu/relig/koran/
The Bible (Christan) - www.bible.com/bible_read.html

 

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