But how should we classify them, what was their background? At first glance such people could be confused with the original Sramanas and renouncers – but those were never so provocative. If we instead recall the description of the Munis in the Vedas, we can see that these Saivites remind us of the ancient Shamanic-like ascetics: should we see them (or some of them) as monotheistic offshoots of old Shamanic institution? Or did some of these oldest Saivite antinomian cults represent a parallel (maybe non-elite) theistic tradition competing with the ascetic-meditative Ways of Liberation? There is very little historico-sociological research into the origins of these Saivite groups. All we can see is that some of the Saivite cults were involved in yoga discourse and they had many of the trademarks of asceticism. They seem to represent a social group of specialists overlooked within the cultural field of liberation.
Clark in The Dasanami Samnyasis (2004), his historical overview of ascetic Saivite cults, finds them first mentioned in Brahmin literature from about 100 AD. Compared to the Sramanas, like Buddhism and Jainism founded 500-600 years earlier, the Saivite cults are latecomers to the field of liberation. They indicate that monotheistic discourses had entered the field of liberation.
They are new competing symbolic specialists.
Lie over the ball on your back with your arms reaching Yoga poses for 7 year olds behind your head. As you sit up, reach one straight arm for the opposite knee Yoga poses for 7 year olds, stretching the other arm out straight overhead. Repeat 5 times on each side.
78 INTERMEDIATE Incline Ab Crunches with Arms Straight BENEFITS: Strengthens your rectus abdominal muscle without putting strain on your back. Lie on your back on the ball in an incline. Reach your arms straight above your head with your elbows next to your ears and your hands clasped.
Curl up, keeping your shoulders lowered and abs engaged. Release and relax your back.