Yoga and its evolution take place in India. It is an ancient ascetic practice that originated in India. Yoga combines physical, mental, and spiritual pursuits to achieve harmony of the body & mind. The earliest Yoga practices are thousands of years old. The practice of Yoga, dating back to around 3000 BC, finds its earliest mention in the Rig Veda. Within this ancient text, a yogic practitioner is described as an ascetic, specializing in the practice of Yoga.
Ascetics are mentioned throughout ancient texts from Vedic times as practitioners who abandon worldly pleasures for spiritual pursuits. Most ascetics, mentioned in Vedic literature, are celibate and renounce all forms of worldly pleasures in favor of practicing austerities. This idea prevails till about 500 BC.
By 500 BC, the concept of asceticism was no longer there, and yogis began using Yoga to achieve spiritual goals. However, the two types of ascetics were not mutually exclusive, for these were regarded as two sections that came under the umbrella term Yogis (disciples).
The Vedic Period:
A more extensive collection of texts was formed during this period by Gautama Buddha, who lived about 563 BC. The Upanishads are a collection of dialogues between various stages of philosophers and Gods or Brahmans. They discuss how to realize a soul’s union with themselves and reach moksha (spiritual enlightenment). The Upanishads were greatly influential in later Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.
The Classical period, known as the Golden Age of India, is characterized by scholasticism and the development of philosophical systems that explore the nature of existence, knowledge, and society. During this period, practitioners developed various forms of yoga, including Hatha Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Raja Yoga. These Yogas have no relation to asceticism or celibacy.
What Is The First-Ever Mention About Yoga?
The first-ever mention of the evolution of yoga can be found in the Rig Veda, dated around 3000 BC. In this text that mentions a yogic practitioner, a specialist in the practice of Yoga is referred to as an ascetic. This means that the practice was not an established tradition in ancient India. The texts only mention the concept of Yoga.
Who Is The Most Famous Teacher And Yogi Of History?
Bhagawan Ramdas is considered the greatest teacher of monastic or austerities in Hinduism and is regarded as a great yogi because of the thoroughness with which he conducted his life and took care of his body by living on alms. The lives of Bhagawan Swami Ramdas and Bhagawan Lokmanju Swami are very famous in ancient and medieval times. Likewise, the life of the yogi Lokmanju Swami is also very famous in modern times.
Where Did The Ancient Yogis Get Their Yoga?
The yogis got their Yoga either through direct contact with the great sages or by reading the Vedas, which contain the principles of philosophy on which Yoga is based. The concept of the union in Yoga is the main essence of Yoga, which requires a practitioner to achieve a state of blissful unity with themself to gain association with the Supreme Being. Therefore, yoga is nothing but the knowledge of how to achieve this state of unity with God.
What Is The Difference Between Yoga And Asceticism?
Ancient texts from Vedic times mention ascetics as practitioners who willingly renounce worldly pleasures in pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. Most ascetics, mentioned in Vedic literature, are celibate and renounce all forms of worldly pleasures in favor of practicing austerities. This idea prevails till about 500 BC. However, by 500 BC, the concept of asceticism was no longer there. The yogis began using Yoga to achieve spiritual goals. Nowadays, practitioners of an intensive form of Yoga are also known as Bhaktas. This evolution of Yoga has led to the emergence of two types of ascetics, but they are not mutually exclusive. Instead, they are regarded as two sections that fall under the umbrella term Yogis.
What Is The Main Objective Of Yoga? Is It Only For Spirituality Or For Physical Fitness Too?
The main objective of Yoga is to bring a person to a state of unity with God and purify themself, both spiritually and physically. Yoga helps cleanse one’s mind, body, and spirit.
Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand, the yoga guru, believes that every human being is destined for God’s grace and can reach this goal by practicing Yoga in its true spirit. In this book, he discusses the main objective of Yoga. He explains why doing Yoga is important and how it helps in purifying the soul. In this article, he talks about the three types of Yoga: Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, and Hatha Yoga.
What Is The Difference Between Raja Yoga And Karma Yoga?
Raja Yoga means union with God or a person’s ego. Therefore, it is the work of yogis who try to bring the individual to a state of unity with themselves or God by intervening in their thoughts and feelings. Through this process, they ultimately reach God and become one with Him through meditation. Raja Yoga is the process of bringing an individual to a state of unity with God through meditation.
Karma Yoga means work or action and is related to Karma, which means the deeds that a person speaks and does. Therefore, Karma Yoga is the practice of Karma as it relates to Yoga or spiritual pursuits. The concept of Karma Yoga emerged in the middle ages, between 500 AD and 1500 AD when many practitioners did not know how to practise Raja Yoga.
What Is The Difference Between Hatha And Ashtanga Yoga?
Hatha yoga (literal translation: force) is a form of Yoga that focuses on physical exercises based on the union between body, mind, and soul.
Ashtanga yoga (literal translation: eight-limbed or eight-directions) is a form of Yoga that consists of eight parts. These are the Yamas, Niyamas, Asanas and Pranayama. The rest of the four parts are Mudras, Bandhas, and Mantras. Its main focus is on physical fitness and creating awareness about Yoga. Pantajali developed Ashtanga Yoga in his book “Yoga Sutras” and deemed it Raja Yoga.
What Is The Difference Between Yogic And Physical Exercise?
As the name suggests, Yogic is an exercise of Yoga. It means several physical activities which combined with mental exercises depending on their wishes, conditions, and aspirations. Yogic exercises primarily focus on breathing and meditation. According to yogis, these are the most important components for living a healthy life and achieving success in any field by leading a spiritual life. On the other hand, physical exercise focuses on strengthening body muscles for better physical health and fitness through different techniques like weight training, aerobics, calisthenics, etc.
Disclaimer: Views expressed are the author’s own.