14 Pages

Yogic Rays: The Self-Externalization of the Yogi in Ritual, Narrative and Philosophy

While most Indian and western commentators and scholars, following the ca. third-century CE Yogasūtras (YS) of Patañjali, have assumed the Hindu yogic body to be a closed, self-contained system, a signifi cant volume of data from a variety of sources-ranging from the classical down through the Tantras (and including passages from the Yogasūtras themselves)—indicate that an “open” model of the yogic body has also been operative in Hindu philosophical, medical, ritual and mythological traditions. In these open models, the mind-body complex is linked, often via “solar rays,” to the sun of the macrocosm, as well as to other mind-body complexes, which Yogis are capable of entering through their practice.