Religious Therapeutics

Body and Health in Yoga, Ayurveda, and Tantra

By Gregory P. Fields

Subjects: Asian Studies
Series: SUNY series in Religious Studies
Paperback : 9780791449165, 238 pages, March 2001
Hardcover : 9780791449158, 238 pages, April 2001

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Table of contents

List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgments
Symbols and Notes on Sources
Abbreviations

Introduction
THE IDEA OF RELIGIOUS THERAPEUTICS
Religion and Medicine
A Model of Religious Therapeutics

Chapter One
BODY AND PHILOSOPHIES OF HEALING

Body in Western Philosophy of Medicine
Presuppositions about the Body
Descartes on Body and Medicine
Body in the History of Western Medicine

Iconoclastic Concepts of Body in Yoga, Tantra, and Ayurveda
Traditional Indian Views of Person and Body
Yoga's Use of the Body to Transcend Itself
Tantra's Enlightenable Body
Body as the Ground of Well-being in Ayurveda

Chapter Two
MEANINGS OF HEALTH IN AYURVEDA

Inquiry into Health

Determinants of Health
Biological and Ecological Determinants

 

Life, Development, and Longevity
Equilibrium
Adaptation
Non-susceptibility
Vitality, Endurance, and Relaxation

 

Medical and Psychological Determinants

 

Normality
Freedom from Pain
Wholeness and Integration
Awareness and Mental Clarity

 

Socio-cultural and Aesthetic Determinants

 

Relationality
Creativity
Generativity
Enjoyment

 

Metaphysical and Religious Determinants

 

Self-identity
Freedom

 

Ayurvedic Religious Therapeutics

Chapter Three
CLASSICAL YOGA AS A RELIGIOUS THERAPEUTIC

Meanings and Forms of Yoga
Meanings of 'Yoga' 85
Yoga in the Vedas, Upanisads, and Bhagavadgıta

 

Yoga in the Vedas
Yoga in the Upanisads
Yoga in the Bhagavadgita

 

Traditions of Yoga Practice

A Matrix of Classical Yoga as a Religious Therapeutic
Metaphysical and Epistemic Foundations

 

Yoga's Therapeutic Paradigm
Yoga's Diagnosis of the Human Condition
The Yogic Remedy

 

Soteriology

 

Self-realization by Healing the Af

 

Value Theory and Ethics: Health and the Good in Yoga

 

First Limb: Moral Self-restraints—Yama
Second Limb: Moral Commitments—Niyama

 

Physical Practice: The Soteriological Role of Body and Health in Yoga

 

Third Limb: Postures—Asana
Fourth Limb: Regulation of Vital Energy Through Breath—Pranayama
Fifth Limb: Withdrawal of the Senses—Pratyahara

 

Cultivation of Consciousness: The Polarity of Samadhi and

 

Vyadhi (Illness)
Sixth Limb: Concentration—Dharana
Seventh Limb: Meditation—Dhyana
Eighth Limb: Meditative Trance—Samadhi

 

Liberation as Healing in Classical Yoga
Healing and Yoga's Therapeutic Paradigm
Wholeness and Holiness
Identity and Freedom

Chapter Four
TANTRA AND AESTHETIC THERAPEUTICS

Body and Tantric Yogas

 

Features of Tantric Practice
Sexuality in Tantra
Kundalinı Yoga
Mantra Yoga

 

Aesthetic Therapeutics in Tantra

 

Therapeutic Elements of Tantra
Sacred Music

 

Sacred Music as a Religious Therapeutic

 

How Is Sacred Music Therapeutic?
Breath, Music, and Healing
Body as Instrument of Sacred Music
Elements of Healing in Sanskrit Chant
Healing in Identi
Sound as a Bridge Between Substantial and Non-substantial Being

 

Conclusion
COMMUNITY:
RELATIONALITY IN RELIGIOUS THERAPEUTICS

Notes

Sources

Indices

 

Subject Index
Sanskrit Terms
Index of Names
Sanskrit Texts

Explores the relationship between health and religion based on the model offered by the Hindu traditions of Yoga, Ayurveda, and Tantra.

Description

Religious Therapeutics explores the relationship between psychophysical health and spiritual health and presents a model for interpreting connections between religion and medicine in world traditions. This model emerges from the work's investigation of health and religiousness in classical Yoga, Ayurveda, and Tantra--three Hindu traditions noteworthy for the central role they accord the body. Author Gregory P. Fields compares Anglo-European and Indian philosophies of body and health and uses fifteen determinants of health excavated from texts of ancient Hindu medicine to show that health concerns the person, not the body or body/mind alone. This book elucidates multifaceted views of health, and--in the context of spirituality and healing--explores themes such as mental health, meditation, and music.

Gregory P. Fields is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville.

Reviews

"This book renders the Indian traditions of Ayurveda, Yoga and Tantra with great vividness, in terms that Westerners can understand, yet without concealing the profound foreignness of Indian culture. The work is timely and important. Its massive scholarship presents a forceful case for recognizing the contemporary relevance of Indian religious therapeutics. . ..fascinating and lucid. " -- S. Cromwell Crawford, author of Dilemmas of Life and Death: Hindu Ethics in North American Context