From about the 6 century AD Siva worship (Saivism) (Siva is the warrior god of destruction) became dominant in nearly all parts of India and was adopted by most royal courts (Sanderson 2009). Many different cults and sects of Tantric Siva worship emerged in this period and had little difficulty in coming under royal protection and support as, ideologically, they legitimised the violent military culture. According to the Tantric specialist A. SandersonB (2006, 2009), rulers were now required, after they had undergone initiation by the Brahmins, to go through further Tantric Saivist rituals. These rituals entrusted the existing socio-religious order to his care and protection. New temples, kings’ residences, palaces and urban centre plans and newly claimed farmland all had to observe Saivist rules and to be initiated by such rituals. There were critically important Saivist rituals and mantras to observe on the eve of wars and others to weaken enemies. As Saivism did not follow caste rules, it allowed powerful local Sudras (i.e. people from newly Brahmanised areas) to rise in power around the king and opened the way for local gods and cults to become acceptable. So Saivism was successful, as it managed to integrate diverse local cultures and strengthened the king. It was an inclusive ideology which never confronted Brahmanism but instead profiled itself as a necessary addition to Brahmin rituals, if they were to work for the king, according to Sanderson (2006). So here we see an example of how state, politics and religion in premodern societies merged into each other – they could not meaningfully be distinguished.
Saivism was initially an ascetic cult promising liberation (atimarga) but developed to include householders (mantramarga). Including the householders meant a significant change. It thereby developed a much wider social base. Here it was adopted by traditional Brahmins and added to their existing rituals. Saivism promised liberation and worldly power and was a discourse, equally thriving in the field of liberation and the religious field. In Saivism the initiation was an extremely important affair, as it gave access to Siva. The initiation practice came to consist of a vast range of ritual observances – mainly mantra based – and meditative disciplines which would liberate the soul.
Lie with your chest and pelvis over the ball, legs Yoga poster 908 poses straight and hip-distance apart, balls of your feet planted firmly into the floor, Yoga poster 908 poses and your hands on the ball in front of your chest. Pull the ball into your pelvis and extend your upper back, lifting your chest off the ball. Lower 83 BEGINNER Prone Upper Back T-Pull BENEFIT: Strengthens and stretches your rhomboids and trapezius muscles. Lie over the ball, knees slightly bent but off the floor, with arms in the T-position at shoulder-level, and neck long. Roll the ball forward straightening your legs as your arms lift and pull back towards your hips. Return to the starting position, and repeat 10 times. BEGINNER Alternate Leg Extensions BENEFITS: Strengthens your hamstring and gluteus muscles; creates definition between your leg and butt. Lie over the ball with your knees bent on the floor; pull the ball into your chest with your arms.
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