Surya Namaskar in a New Light: Unveiling its Yogic Roots in Tantra


Discover the groundbreaking research conducted by Christopher Tompkins, a renowned religious scholar and Sanskrit expert, shedding new light on the significance of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) within the yogic tradition. In this blog post, we explore the evolution of Surya Namaskar, its ancient origins, and its integral connection to the tantric rituals of yoga.

Unraveling the Historical Significance: From Vedic References to Tantric Practices

Throughout the ages, various forms of Surya Namaskar have been practiced, with its earliest mentions found in the sacred texts of the Rigveda. However, these references do not depict the dynamic physical sequence associated with Surya Namaskar in modern times. Christopher Tompkins’ meticulous study, drawing from translated tantric texts, traces the development of Surya Namaskar to its present-day form, originating from the pre-tantric devotees of Shiva known as Pushapatis during the 3rd century. This lineage continued within the tantric tradition, ultimately shaping the Surya Namaskar we know today, with an unbroken thread leading up to the 15th century.

Surya Namaskar and its Yogic Roots: Unveiling the Connection to Tantra

Tompkins’ research brings to light the long-debated association of Surya Namaskar with the broader yogic tradition. It unequivocally reveals that Surya Namaskar evolved as an integral part of the yogic rituals within Tantra. This newfound understanding adds depth to our practice, as we recognize Surya Namaskar’s profound roots in the rich tapestry of tantric wisdom and its transformative power.

Exploring the Contemporary Practice: Honoring the Ancient Roots

With this newfound knowledge, questions arise regarding the authenticity of the various Surya Namaskar practices prevalent in modern yoga traditions. Tompkins’ research invites us to delve deeper into our own practice, discerning the elements that align with the ancient roots of Surya Namaskar. By doing so, we honor the tradition and tap into the transformative potential of this revered sequence.

Illuminating the Path of Surya Namaskar

The research by Christopher Tompkins offers a profound perspective on Surya Namaskar, placing it within the broader context of the yogic tradition and its tantric heritage. As we embrace the ancient roots of Surya Namaskar, we infuse our practice with intention, reverence, and a deep connection to the transformative energy of the sun.

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