The scriptures legitimised themselves as being revelations’ . They would typically commence: this and this guru was told by this and this god that â(and then the treatise would begin). They were ideological devices giving themselves strong authority, as they challenged existing knowledge and cultural fields . As a part of this discourse strategy they would typically construct complex hierarchical cosmologies, where earlier traditions’ cosmologies and gods were given a lower ranking. This also often happened to yoga. Rituals, mantras and Gnosis were often seen as far superior to yoga – often yoga was at best tolerated as a minor ritual of preparation. This indicates to us that new categorisation and valuation were taking place within the overall cultural field of liberation ; as for cultural fields, a typical struggle for position and ability to define the field was under way.
However, this should not let us believe that the yoga sign and the ascetic-wisdom discourses had disappeared. During the Tantric period there were still many scriptures produced within the established genres in the field of liberation. There emerged numerous writings carrying in their title the notion Upanishad, writings which consciously and deliberately signalled that they belonged to the orthodox Brahmin Vedic discourse. The period became a melting pot of conflicting new and old discourses. This resulted in momentous changes to the yoga sign: both the practices (the referent’) and the meaning (the signified’) were re-constructed and re-valued.
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