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YOGA

Yoga (Sanskrit, Pāli: योग yóga) refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines that originated in India. The word is associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Within Hinduism, it refers to one of the six orthodox (āstika) schools of Hindu philosophy, and to the goal towards which that school directs its practices. In Jainism, yoga is the sum total of all activities — mental, verbal and physical.

Major branches of yoga in Hindu philosophy include Rāja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Hatha Yoga. According to the authoritative Indian philosopher Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, yoga, based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, comprises one of the six main Hindu schools of philosophy (darshanas), together with Kapila's Samkhya, Gautama's Nyaya, Kanada's Vaisheshika, Jaimini's Purva Mimamsa, and Badarayana's Uttara Mimamsa or Vedanta.[10] Many other Hindu texts discuss aspects of yoga, including the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the Shiva Samhita and various Tantras.

The Sanskrit word yoga has many meanings, and is derived from the Sanskrit root "yuj," meaning "to control," "to yoke" or "to unite. Translations include "joining," "uniting," "union," "conjunction," and "means. It is also possible that the word yoga derives from "yujir samadhau," which means "contemplation" or "absorption."] This translation fits better with the dualist Raja Yoga because it is through contemplation that discrimination between prakrti (nature) and purusha (pure consciousness) occurs.

Someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy to a high level of attainment is called a yogi or yogini.

The Vedic Samhitas contain references to ascetics, while ascetic practices ("tapas") are referenced in the Brāhmaṇas (900 to 500 BCE), early commentaries on the Vedas.[18] Several seals discovered at Indus Valley Civilization (c. 3300–1700 BCE) sites in Pakistan depict figures in positions resembling a common yoga or meditation pose, showing "a form of ritual discipline, suggesting a precursor of yoga," according to archaeologist Gregory Possehl. Some type of connection between the Indus Valley seals and later yoga and meditation practices is speculated upon by many scholars, though there is no conclusive evidence.

Techniques for experiencing higher states of consciousness in meditation were developed by the shramanic traditions and in the Upanishadic tradition.

While there is no clear evidence for meditation in pre-Buddhist early Brahminic texts, Wynne argues that formless meditation originated in the Brahminic tradition, based on strong parallels between Upanishadic cosmological statements and the meditative goals of the two teachers of the Buddha as recorded in the early Buddhist texts. He mentions less likely possibilities as well. Having argued that the cosmological statements in the Upanishads also reflect a contemplative tradition, he argues that the Nasadiya Sukta contains evidence for a contemplative tradition, even as early as the late Rg Vedic period.

The Buddhist texts are probably the earliest texts describing meditation techniques. They describe meditative practices and states that existed before the Buddha, as well as those first developed within Buddhism. In Hindu literature, the term "yoga" first occurs in the Katha Upanishad, where it refers to control of the senses and the cessation of mental activity leading to a supreme state.[26] Important textual sources for the evolving concept of Yoga are the middle Upanishads, (ca. 400 BCE), the Mahabharata including the Bhagavad Gita (ca. 200 BCE), and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (150 BCE).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
             
 
             
 
             
 
 
 
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