The History of YogawithDebashish Banerji

debashish banerji


Debashish Banerji, PhD, is former Dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles as well as an adjunct faculty member at Pasadena City College and the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is also the former director of the East West Cultural Center in Los Angeles. He is author of Seven Quartets of Becoming: A Transformative Yoga Psychology Based on the Diaries of Sri Aurobindo and also The Alternate Nation of Abanindranath Tagore, a book about his great grandfather. He edited an anthology about his great uncle, Rabindranath Tagore in the Twenty-First Century.

Here he describes the ancient Indus Valley civilization of India that reached its height about 5,000 years ago. It was a sophisticated, well-organized society that engaged in trade in ancient Sumeria and Egypt. We know from the artwork of this culture that yoga postures were practiced in something of a Tantric or shamanistic manner for the purpose of gaining power over animals and also was involved in the exercise of political power. The written language of this civilization has yet to be understood and translated. The Vedantic philosophers paid attention to the diurnal rhythms of day and night. From this they extrapolated to the notion of reincarnation. Just as we live many days in our life; so we experience many lifetimes in a larger cycle. In the Vedantic period, people were told that they did not need to seek the divine through the mediation of priests – but could enjoy direct access to the truth.

(Recorded on December 19, 2015)

Published on December 28, 2015