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4 The Origin of the Visual Language

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Chapter Summary

The novel form of religiosity contained in the Yoga Manual, which took mind concentration as a salvific tool leading to enlightenment, has also become the motivating factor and the springboard of the present work. Far from advocating a literal coincidence of text and image, the author believes, nevertheless, that since practicing meditation, in the way written in the manual, was a very serious endeavor for Kuča monastics, it undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the cliff landscape, prompting the creation of numerous meditation cells as well as inspiring some specific decor of the cave interior. The "notion of the body" which recurs over and over again in the Yoga Manual is peculiar in that it indicates that the yogin carries the visions within himself and makes them manifest in the form of emanations; thus, the yogin's body simultaneously contains and releases the images he generates.

Keywords: Kuča monastics; Yoga Manual; yogin



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