Friday, May 17, 2013

YOGA FROM VEDA

The oldest scriptures in the world are ancient texts of Vedas.  The praise of vedas otherwise praise of knowledge is known as rigveda in Sanskrit. Sanskrit a liturgical language or otherwise known as standard dialect of Indo-Aryan language is often called  vedic Sanskrit that can be traced as early as 1500-2500 BCE.
 A collection of hymns in praise of higher power is nothing but Rig Veda. The knowledge of sacrifice or the rituals we do is compounded in Yajur Veda. The sruthi or the chants depicting knowledge is Sama and  the knowledge of Atharvana is Atharvana Veda. Vedic masters were blessed with a vision of the Supreme Reality who saw the divine power or the Almighty spoke about the marvelous intuitions with these vedic hymns.
Archeologists define period earlier to 3000bc as pre-vedic time. Shiva idols and some of the paintings of this age depicted yoga is ageless and eternal one. This opened the secrets of our life, our breath, the anatomy of our body and functions and the passion that we have to live. The development of Yoga began here around 2000bc which we call as vedic period. The Aryans, a group of Indo-European travelers settle in the heart of the Indus River Valley Region mixing with the local inhabitants brought this finest art. The term Hindu came from Indus Valley civilization. The sages of this time heard divine teachings and illuminations directly from the Almighty on the Nature and way of being. These are the Vedas, first heard in deep meditation and passed on to students (Shruthi text – that which is heard). Over the time, the Vedantha (Veda + antha) came in vogue that which is the end of knowledge.  To have a good grasping of these hymns Brahma Sutras were written. As people could not grasp the Infinite with their limited thinking, the Ithihasa puranas were written viz. Mahabaratha and the Bagwath Geetha. Patanjali Yoga Sutras were attributed to the period around 600bc.  His yoga sutras were sub divided into four padas viz.  Samadhi, Sadhana, Vibhudi and Kaivalya.
During 1200bc the great teacher Rishaba, the nineth avathar of Mahavishnu who was the exponent of the tradition of Janism, emphasized  on efforts dedicated to the liberation of the spirit. It was during this time, that Yoga found its way into Buddhism too; Lord Buddha was the first Buddist to study Yoga. Buddist scriptures lay stress on meditation  and physical postures, which are yogic processes.
In the modern days commencing from 19th century, Sri Sivananda and Sri.Krishnamachrya were instrumental for transmitting Yoga throughout the world making Yoga a household name and practice.  Mr.S.Sridharan who is the Trustee of Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram is writing columns on Yoga regularly, gave an interesting lecture on Yoga and Veda at Raja Veda Kavya Patasala.  You can browse this interesting topic here.