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Monday, September 26 2022
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Yoga: Greatest and most precious gift of India to world

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Yoga is a way of life which brings our soul and body together. It is the oldest practice introduced by India. We forgot this art for centuries but recently it was revived and promoted. Today the whole world is following yoga.

To give push to this ancient practice, International Day of Yoga Day celebrated on June 21 of every year. It doesn’t mean that we have to do yoga only on that particular day but we have to include Yoga as our daily routine.

If we go through the history of Yoga it is not easy to give definite information because it is beyond the records. Eventhough it emerged thousands of centuries ago unfortunately there is lack of awareness about the same. Yoga is not only a usual exercise it is the path for disciplined life.

 

History of Yoga:

It is believed that Yoga started with the very dawn of civilization. The Science of Yoga has its origin that dates back to thousands of years, long before the first religion or belief systems were born. In the yogic lore, Shiva is seen as the first yogi or Adiyogi, and the first Guru or Adi Guru.

Thousand of years ago, on the banks of the lake Kantisarovar in the Himalayas, Adiyogi poured his profound knowledge into the legendary Saptarishis or “seven sages”. The sages carried this powerful Yogic Science to different parts of the world, including Asia, the Middle East, Northern Africa and South America. Interestingly, modern scholars have noted and marvelled at the close parallels found between ancient cultures across the globe. However, it was in India that the yog6ic system found its fullest expression.

Agastya, one of the Saptarishi who travelled across the Indian subcontinent, crafted this culture as a core yogic way of life. The number of seals and fossil remains of Indus Saraswati valley civilisation with Yogic motives and figures performing Yoga Sadhana suggest the presence of Yoga in ancient India. The phallic symbols, seals of idols of mother Goddess are suggestive of Tantra Yoga. Presence of Yoga is available in folk traditions, Indus valley civilisation, Vedic and Upanishadic heritage, Buddhist and Jain traditions, Darshanas, epics of Mahabharat and Ramayana, theistic traditions of Shaivas, Vaishnavas, and Tantric traditions. In addition, there was a primordial or pure Yoga which has been manifested in mystical traditions of South Asia. It was a part of Upasana and yoga sadhana was inbuilt in their rituals. Sun was given highest importance during the vedic period. The practice of ‘Surya namaskara’ may have been invented later due to this influence. Pranayama was a part of daily ritual and to offer the oblation.

Though Yoga was being practiced in the pre-Vedic period, the great Sage Maharshi Patanjali systematiz6ed and codified the then existing practices of Yoga, its meaning and its related knowledge through his Yoga Sutras. After Patanjali, many Sages and Yoga Masters contributed greatly for the preservation and development of the field through their well documented practices and literature.

The period between 500 BC – 800 A.D. is considered as the Classical period which is also considered as the most fertile and prominent period in the history and development of Yoga.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is very passionate about yoga, his tweet denotes his love towards Yoga

Today, many people across the globe have been benefitted by the practice of Yoga which has been preserved and promoted by the great eminent Yoga Masters from ancient time to this date.

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Raksha Deshpande

The author is a postgraduate in Mass Communication and Journalism from Karnataka University, Dharwad. Her interests range from literature, history, travel to politics, and is keenly interested to write human interest stories and articles relating to literature, travel.

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