Yoga in early upnishad
The Upnishads contain many direct and indirect refrence to yoga . In the early vedic religions the emphasis was largely open performing rituals and sacrificial caremonies to establish rapport with god’s and obtain their support and protection.
However , we discern in them a gradual shift in rituals to internal spiritual practice as the idea of liberation (Moksha) took a firm root in the minds of the ancient Indians. Ritual are necessary for the nature and regularity of the world ,peace and happiness , but they would only lead karma and rebirth, liberation is possible only by knowing the self or Brahman. This argument strongly favoured a major shift in emphasis from the ritual knowledge to spiritual knowledge. Yoga is one of the most ancient forms of human development practice which has originated in India.
This practice has been found to be of great reverence in form of holistic pattern of moral ,metal and physical development.ancient Hindu text of yoga called Jatha yoga stated that lord shiva is the first teacher of yoga while the Bhagawad gita ,another scared text of Hindus ,asserts Lord Krishna as a teacher of yoga .A great sage Maharishi Patanjali systemized all yoga practice with the advent of their yoga sutras many sages have contributed greatly to the development of this field using their knowledge, into practices and treatises. The Ancient techniques can be devided into three main categories -
- 1.Pre patanjali period (before 500BC)
- 2.Pantanjali period (500BC to 800AC)
- 3.post Patanjali period(after 800AC)
“Yoga is the journey of the self ,
To the self
Through the self “
In sum, Patanjali suggests that we channels our curiosity and our mental powers into areas of fruitful interest as a means of calming the mind
Pre – Patanjali period (before 500BC)
Provide source of few yoga scripture up to 4500BC .The main sources of yoga at this time are given as Vedas , Upanishads,Buddhism, jainism, Panini, Epics and Puranas. Study yoga in India as in the Upnishads has a different meaning from the other scriptures of pre-pantanjali period. The Upnishads are secret teaching or esoteric doctrine which is a strong proponent of the spiritual, Philosophy of the Vedas. The Upnishads are of the following categories associated with three vedas Rig , Sama and Yajur .
Vedas – One of the important vedas are Rigveda ,Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda .The “Dhira” word yoga in vedas means self realised. Asana , The Pranayama, the mudras , meditation techniques the cleanliness,yama and Niyama Dharanas are explained in vedas as sitting posture.The sun salutation was part of routine activity during that time . The Vedas also explain about the Tapas ,Vestas and the ultimate aim of them are to attain “Moksha”(Liberation).
Upnishades – These are the essences of the Vedas .the important Upnishadas that have explanation about yoga are as follows the Panchakosha theory is explained in Taittariya Upnishads is used in the treatment of diseases through yoga . kathopanishad explain procedure to attain Samadhi .This Upnishads explain qualities of soul.
Smrti – These are the texts,which deals about the discipline that one has to follow in his life.the main smrtis ,which given detail about yoga are ,Manusmriti , Yajnavalkya .Smrti and Harita Smriti according to Smrti , there are four stages of life –
Jainism– yoga is stated in Jainism that the movement of the mind and body towards the soul is called yoga .
Panini – He was a famous grammarian of Sanskrit. He wrote and chapter lesson of grammer Ashadhyayi .The usuage of word yogavis there in his work .
Buddhism – According to buddha body is a fit vehicle to get the tranquility of mind . The method of teaching also elaborate in buddism . According to that there are two types of meditation.
- 1.Suksma Dhyana
- 2.Nirhara Dhyana
Epic – The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are the two main epic that detail of yoga .Ramayana consist 24000slokas ,distributed among 7 chapter . Yoga Vashisht book is written in this time. In Ramayana ,the moral disciplines ,yama and Niyama are explained amd Dharma also. Ok n epic Mahabharata gives detail about yoga . The bhagwad gita is known as jewel of Mahabharat gives the definition of yoga .
Puranas– Among the available Puranas eighteen are important.the bhagwata puran explained Bhakti yoga .Linga Purana gives detail about Yama ,Niyama, pranayam ,vayu Purana gives detail about Pratyahara Dharana and Dhyana .
Patanjali period (500BC-800BC)
The period between 500 Bc and 800 ad is considered as Patanjali period. .Patanjali systemized yoga in the form of sutras . Patanjali was the author 9f classic in three important field . He wrote a treatise on grammer , the Mahabbhasya . He also written a book on Ayurveda . He has credit of compiling yoga sutras . Patanjali yoga sutras consist of 196 sutras it devided into four chapter .
1.Samadhi Pada -It deals with the Nature of samadhi .
2.Sadhana Pada – It deals with the method of refining the body , mind and senses.
3. Vibhuti Pada -The yoga and art of integration through concentration, meditation, absorption. The manifestation of super natural Power is discussed
4.Kaivalya Pada – Patanjali draws the attention of yogi to the soul .
Post Patanjali Period (after 500ac)
The period after Patanjali up to today is known as post Patanjali period . The yoga developed after the period of patanjali. Many classical text about yoga were written during the period. The great personalitiesof yoga and their texts on yoga are as follows-
1.Shankracharya (8th century)-Shree shankracharya proposed the Advaita Philosophy.He has written yoga Taravali ,which tells about Hatha yoga and Saundarya Lahari that explained Kundalini yoga .
2.Bhakti yoga -Bhakti yoga is popular during 12th century to 16th century.Narada Bhakti sutra ,the famous text on Bhakti become popular at that time surdasa , Tulsidasa , Kanka dasa ,Vittala Dasa ,Meerabai were some of the famous Bhakti Yogis.
3. Hatha yoga – The Hatha yoga period is form 9thcentury to 18th century.the development was its peak during the 14 th century.