Year : 2020  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 61-64

Do Hindu tradition and Jewish–Christian tradition speak the same language?

Yoga Teachers Trainer of the School for Yoga Teachers of Metamorfosys Association, Via XXX Ottobre 19, Trieste, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Tommaso Bianchi
Via Della Tesa 20, 34138 Trieste
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DOI: 10.4103/ym.ym_20_20

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Introduction: The globalization in progress brings cultures and religions, that were once distant, ever more close, sometimes in a conflictual way. Often, the discussion has a superficial character because knowledge of the roots of one's own culture is being lost. Therefore, it is difficult to study other cultures in depth. In particular, in studying yoga, it seems appropriate to refer to the texts that are at the basis of both Western and Indian civilizations. The comparison of texts could add a little more understanding of a practice that has recently become an intangible heritage of humanity. Material and Methods: In this article, texts in hand, we intend to offer an example of how two cultures, the Hindu one, with particular reference to yoga, and the Jewish–Christian one, present common contents. For reasons of space, the Jewish and Christian traditions have come together in that they, although present very different characters, share a good part of the same sacred book, the Holy Bible, as their foundation. For Hinduism, yoga and Vedānta have come together in that aimed, in different ways and languages, to the same purpose: the realization of the identity between ātman and Brahman. The texts taken as an example in this case were the Bṛhad-Āraṇyaka-Upaniṣad and Yoga Yājñavalkya. Results: We found textual evidence of commonality between the concepts of vital breath and speech, present in both traditions. In addition, the functions attributed by the texts to both these concepts – that is, to give life, remove demons and blot out sins – appear to be common. Discussion: Yoga has been defined by Sri Krishnamacharya as the “India's biggest gift to the world.” However, in the West, it is increasingly becoming “simply” a sporting practice. The comparison between the two traditions therefore appears necessary to recover the knowledge of both, the common traits and, ultimately, to deepen all that yoga has to offer regarding the understanding of life itself. The short comparison of texts we made in the present article reveals similar conceptions regarding fundamental concepts, such as vital breath and speech, and suggests the possibility of finding broader commonalities.

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