Yoga, which literally means "union," refers to a collection of tangible, psychological, and devotional practices or disciplines that were conceived in early India and strive to regulate (yoke) and still the mind while recognizing a disconnected witness-consciousness unaffected by the mind (Chitta) and banal pain (Dukha). It is among the six Indian philosophical systems (darshans). Its impact can be found in many other systems of Indian thought. Its foundational text is Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.
Yoga is first referenced in the Rigveda and is discussed in several Upanishads. The phrase "yoga" with the same significance as today's common name first appears in the Katha Upanishad, which was most likely written between the fifth and third centuries. Yoga philosophy now is one of Hinduism's six orthodox philosophical schools (Daranas). Hatha yoga texts, which originated in tantra, began to surface between the ninth and eleventh centuries.
This discipline goes by multiple names such as Classical Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, or Raja Yoga. It has the same attributes of yoga that have been highlighted in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. Even though the roots of classical yoga are unknown, new perspectives of the term show up in the Upanishads. Raja Yoga (yoga of kings) initially signified the desired purpose of Yoga - Samadhi (total self-collectedness) but was made popular by Vivekananda as a generic term for Ashtanga Yoga, the eight appendages of which achieve Samadhi as explained in the Yoga Sutras.
Yoga in Advaita Vedanta
Vedanta is a diverse tradition with numerous sub-disciplines and epistemological perspectives. It emphasizes the analysis of the Upanishads and the Brahma Sutras (one of its earliest texts) in hopes of gaining the spiritual wisdom of Brahman: the immovable, absolute reality. Advaita Vedanta, which postulates non-dualistic monism, is one of the oldest and biggest influences among the sub-schools of Vedanta. It emphasizes Jnana yoga (yoga of knowledge), which seeks to realize one's atman (individual consciousness identity) with Brahman (the Absolute consciousness). Adi Shankara, who authored commentaries as well as other works on Jnana yoga, is by far the most prominent intellectual of this discipline. Jnana is acquired in Advaita Vedanta via religious texts, one's guru, and a method of paying attention to (and meditating on) spiritual lessons. Marginalization, relinquishment, tranquility, righteousness, discernment, perseverance, faith, awareness, and a love for learning and liberty are all admirable traits. As per Advaita philosophies, yoga is a meditative practice that deals with the removal of the individual from the universal reality through introspection.
Laya and Kundalini Yoga
Laya yoga (dissolution or merging yoga) focuses on meditative assimilation (laya). Practitioners of this discipline intend to dissolve the microcosm, the mind, in the metaphysical Self-Consciousness, thereby transcending all episodic memory and sensory stimuli." The most common techniques that are used in this discipline of Yoga are attentiveness to one's inner voice (nada), mudras such as Khechari and Shambhavi mudra, and kundalini awakening. Kundalini yoga uses breath and body methods to arouse bodily and cosmic power, blending it with universal consciousness. One of the most common teaching methods of this Yogic practice involves awakening kundalini in the lowest chakra and guiding it through the central channel to join forces with absolute consciousness in the highest chakra at the top of the head.
Q1. According to Hindu traditions, what is the role of Yoga?
Yoga, according to Hindus, is a valuable practice that allows them to be closer to Brahman. The notion is that Hindus can connect with God through yoga, whether as a supernatural deity (called Vaikuntha) or as the God inside of humans (called Antaryami).
Q2. Who is responsible for the formation of Yogic practices?
Although Yoga was prevalent in the Pre-Vedic times, it is believed that Sage Maharishi Patanjali was the one who dogmatized its practices and weaved it into a discipline on its own.
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