Vedas the origin of yoga

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Talk given at the National Seminar on "Vedas as source of all sciences" at the SASTRA University Thanjavur

Talk given at the National Seminar on "Vedas as source of all sciences" at the SASTRA University Thanjavur

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  • 1. VEDAS THE ORIGIN OF YOGA S SRIDHARAN TRUSTEE KRISHNAMACHARYA YOGA MANDIRAM CHENNAI
  • 2. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • OF ALL THE SASTRAS WHICH TRACE THEIR ORIGIN TO VEDAS, YOGA HAS A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP
    • VEDAS ARE THE ORIGIN OF YOGA AND YOGA IS THE ORIGIN OF VEDAS
  • 3. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • VEDAS ARE ‘ANAADI’ AND THUS NO BEGINNING AND END. THEY EXIST ALWAYS IRRESPECTIVE OF EVEN THE DELUGE OF THE UNIVERSE
    • VEDAS ARE BROUGHT TO THE HUMANITY BY ‘RISHIS’ WHO ARE CALLED AS ‘MANTRA DRASTA’
  • 4. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • VEDAS ARE CALLED ‘SRUTI’ AND AS SUCH ARE ‘HEARD’
    • IT IS THE ‘RISHIS’ WHO ‘HEAR’ THE VEDAS AND THUS PASS IT ON BY ORAL COMMUNICATION TO THE GENERATIONS
  • 5. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • RISHIS ARE DISTINGUISHED AS THEY HAVE SPECIAL CAPABILITIES OF ‘SEEING’, ‘HEARING’ AND ‘KNOWING’
    • RISHIS ACQUIRE THIS POWER BY ‘TAPAS’-PRACTICE OF ‘YOGA’
  • 6. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • THE DIVINE HEARING POWER OR THE POWER TO HEAR DIVINE SOUNDS (VEDAS) ARE ACQUIRED BY THE RISHIS BY DOING ‘SAMYAMA’ ON THE RELATIONSHIP (SAMBANDA) BETWEEN THE ‘SENSE OF HEARING’ (SROTRA) AND ‘SPACE’ (AKASA)
    • “ srotrakasayoho sambhandha samyamAt divyam srotram ” (Yoga Sutra-3.41)
  • 7. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • SAMYAMA, ACCORDING TO YOGA SUTRA IS THE APPLICATION OF ‘DHARNA’ (FOCUSSING) ‘DHYANA’ (MEDITATION) AND ‘SAMADHI’ (TOTAL ABSORPTION), THE THREE BEING THE LAST OF THE ASTANGA YOGA
  • 8. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • THE WORD ‘YOGA’ HAS A NUMBER OF MEANINGS AND DEFINITIONS
    • THE MEANING DERIVED FROM ITS ROOT ‘YUJIR’ IS ‘UNION’
    • THERE ARE A NUMBER OF REFERENCES TO THE WORD YOGA IN THE VEDAS WITH THIS MEANING
  • 9. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • YOGA-YUJIR-UNION
    • ‘ EKASMIN YOGE BHURANA SAMANE PARI VAAM SAPTA SRAVATO RATHO GAAT | NA VAAYANTI SUMVO DEVAYUKTAA YE VAAM DHURSHU TARANAYO VAHANTI – RG VEDA VII.67.8
  • 10. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • Rishi Vasihsta inquires to Asvins - In a single act of harnessing, Yoga, your chariot, O Asvins, went around the seven streams. Being well fed and yoked by the gods these speedy horses, who are carrying you do not get tired
    • ( Rg Veda VII.67.8)
  • 11. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • This is in the context of yoking horses to chariot. Chariots are supposed to been used by gods and goddesses as well as humans. Yoking of horses to them is therefore a matter of frequent references in the Samhitas.
  • 12. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • YOGA-YUJIR-UNION
    • There are references in the Vedas to the word “Yoga” in the sense of “union” which has closer link to the technical sense of Yoga.
    • ‘ agnirasmijanmanaa jaatavedaaghametam me chakshuramrutam aasan | airkasvidhaatu rajaso vimaanojaraso dharmaa havirasmi naama
    • (Rg Veda III.26.7)
  • 13. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • Visvamitra experiences himself as Agni from his very birth and as such to have been responsible for measuring the entire span of creation.
    • (Rg Veda III.26.7)
    • Prayer to Agni is indicated as the means to come into ‘union’ with that God and the prayer here is regarded as the Yoga of Agni.
  • 14. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • Yoga’ is generally understood and regarded as a ‘practice’ resulting in the control of mind and senses and thus leading to ‘liberation’. The practice of yoga was taught by a teacher to a disciple and mostly in ‘private’. The intention was to pass on an experience intimately in a way suitable to the disciple. Those practices were put down as ‘teachings’ in textual form by the disciples and these have to come to stay as ‘yogic texts’. Thus the practice of yoga and the knowledge underlying them precedes the texts.
  • 15. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • HIRANYAGARBHA
    • “ Kapila the teacher of Samkhya is said to be Supreme Rishi. Hiranyagarbha is the original knower of Yoga. There is no one else more ancient.”
    • Mahabharatha-Shanti Parva (349.65)
  • 16. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • “ As the brilliant Hiranyagarbha, who is lauded in the verse of the Veda-s, ever worshipped by Yoga so I am also remembered in the world.” – LORD KRISHNA
    • Mahabharatha-Shanti Parva (342.95-96)
  • 17. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • YOGA-MEANS OF SELF REALISATION
    • The following mantra finds mention in not only Rg Veda Samhita (V.81.1) and Yajur Veda Aranyaka (VII.2) but in the Svetasvatara Upanisad :
    • “ yunjate mana uta yunjate dhiyo| viprA viprasya brahato vipaschitaha|vi hotrA dadhe vayunAvideka| inmahI devasya savituhu parishtutihi||”
    • “ Great is the glory of the Immanent Soul who is all pervading, all knowing, infinite and self-luminous. Only those rare few who know, undergo the necessary discipline and spiritual practices. The wise do, indeed, control the activities of the intellect and practise meditation and concentration .”
  • 18. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • KATHA UPANISAD
    • DEFINITION FOR THE WORD ‘YOGA’
    • “ tAm yogamiti manyante sthirAm indriya dhAranAm| apramattastadA bhavati yogO hi prabhavApyayou||
    • “ That state is considered as Yoga where the senses are under control. That state elevates one to self realisation. However the state of Yoga is subject to rise and fall.”(2.3.11)
  • 19. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • YOGA IN SMRITI-S
    • Ayam tu paramo dharma yadyogenAtmadarsanam
    • “ this is the highest dharma seeing atma through yoga
    • Yajnavalkya Smriti 1.8
  • 20. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • YOGA IN SMRITI-S
    • sUkshmatAm sampasyet yogena paramAtmanah
    • The subtleness of the Supreme Self may be realised through Yoga
    • Manu Smriti VI.65
  • 21. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • YOGA IN ‘ITIHASAS’-
    • RAMAYANA-YOGA VASHISTA
    • MAHABHARATHA-BHAGAVAD GITA-YOGA SHASTRA-EXPOUNDED BY GOD HIMSELF
  • 22. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • YOGA IN THE PURANAS
    • SRIMAD BHAGAVADA PURNA
    • ASTANGA YOGA EXPLAINED
    • “ yogasya lakshanam vakshye sabIjasya nripAtmaje…..I shall tell you O Princess the character of Yoga….(III.28)
  • 23. VEDAS-THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
    • PATANJALI YOGA SUTRA
    • ONE OF THE ‘VAIDIKA DARSHANAS’
    • ‘ATHA YOGA ANUSASANAM’- ‘NOW YOGA IS EXPOUNDED’ (1.1)
    • COMMENTATORS CONSIDER THE MEANING OF THIS SUTRA AS GIVING CONTINUITY TO THE VEDAS