update, read after the main post.
The idea of the indo-european prehistory of yoga is a signal of wishfulfilment here, but I will consider any serious evidence. But the evidence needs to be followed. But the comparative study of myths and then their supposed ‘interiorization’ into yoga doesn’t look promising to me. People didn’t discover yoga by turning myths into spiritual practice.
We see how the yogas might have arisen by looking at their first-born, the later buddhism: it requires an exemplar who reaches ‘turiya’ to try and explain the path to that realization to others. The yoga-guru traditions was always fundamental, more so than the mythological epics, such as the Mahabharata… Everthing in the tradition makes screamingly obvious that a guru arises to show the way.
We can’t reject out of hand the Sumerian source for many things. And it may well be that men of high consciousness are disguised in Sumerian lore. Gurdjieff seems to have said as much But they are more like the Sufis, invisible, with no canon or sutras.
I am often puzzled by the tenacity of the OIT/AIT debate. But to me, the AIT in several versions is the most durable and likely solution to the non-problem created by…who? People complaining that AIT was racist?
Would those who make that claim please make the same claim for the Aryan Greek warriors who invaded Greece. The were bloodthirsty barbarians, OK? They made the ‘indigene’ into helots and the Spartans made sport with their murder (as Nietzsche trying to be bloodthirsty realized, poor fellow, not much of an aryan warrior) I suspect that the Aryan Invasion of India was brutal, racist, and introduced caste distortions that weren’t there, stole the entire primordial tradition of yoga, samkhya, tantra and proto-Shavism, STOLE, I said, from the indigenous peoples, translated it all into Sanskrit, destroyed all early traces, perhaps none to speak of save oral traditions. Danielou is the last to claim the sources of these translations or sanskritizations left clues to their real origin.
An OIT hypothesis must claim that something like PIE emerged from proto-PIE in India, then emigrated to become Greek, Persian, Latin, etc…while what remained descended into Vedic Sanskrit. I find that cockeyed.
The Greek case gives the whole horrifying truth of the history that always had a hard time explaining how Aryan barbarians could have generated the Upanishads. It makes much more sense to realize they didn’t. They appropriated the whole legacy and made it Sanskrit with the spurious Vedas made to seem like the grandparents of the Upanishads. And the influence is clearly Jain and the origins of yoga in Jainism thence beyond into the ‘primordial shaivism’. It might be easier to see the pre-aryan sources in the Jain legacy?
Ironically, we see a strange analog in the modern penetration of English into Hindi (in Indian films at least). The people who left those english traces left no genetic imprint. I won’t hold on to that too strongly, But the objections raised to the plain vanilla AIT aren’t convincing.
The Aryan Invasion holds in all cases from Latin/Romance to Greek, to Persian….We are given to think that India was an exception.
Again it is possible some language such a proto_PIE or PIE emerged in India. But it wouldn’t look at all like Vedic Sanskrit. So the issue is a dead letter. These romantics want a version of sanskrit to be the source of Indian religion in the late Neolithic. That’s likely baloney. It is possible a Neolithic astronomical tradition descended from the Neolithic and was translated into Sanskrit.
As Danielou made obvious and most agreed with AIT in his earlier generation, the real source of the Indic religious legacy is most probably pre-Aryan….That means that the translations will to close examination give themselves away, maybe…
Where did this obsession with OIT come from? Hindutva? As late as the 1980’s Rajneesh is protesting the ‘idiots’ in Hindutva trying to rewrite the AIT into OIT.