Is Yoga Hinduism?


#1

Namaste,

In order not to derail Asuri’s thread with the discussion that has just restarted between me and Scales, and also with Lotusgirl in another thread, I decided to start a new topic on this matter, where we can deal with this controversial issue once and for all. It will keep cropping up, because it is obvious that not everybody agrees that Yoga is not Hinduism.

My position on this matter is already well known. Yoga is absolutely Hinduism. The word itself is Hinduism in a nutshell: Self-realization. The spiritual practice of uniting the individual soul(us) with the supreme soul or connecting with the absolute reality(Brahman) that underlies all of reality. This is the supreme goal of Hinduism. Just like entering the kingdom of god and being with Jesus is the goal of Christianity. The word Yoga is a Sanskrit word which is the sacred language of Hinduism(like Hebrew is of Judaism) and it is the language of the Vedas. The first mention and description of Yoga is indeed in the Vedas. The most popular Hindu scripture, the Bhagvad Gita, is a treatise on Yoga. The classical text of Yoga, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, is a Hindu scripture. The same goes for the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Shiva Samhita and Yoga Vasistha.

To suggest to a Hindu that Yoga is not Hinduism is as absurd as suggesting that Buddha is not Buddhism and Christ is not Christianity.

Now for the perspective of others:

by Swami Param

Understanding (real) Yoga is Hinduism is the issue. A simple bit of research will uncover that all of (real) Yoga is Hinduism. So, where does that leave the so-called “yoga” of today? In a word, the “yoga” of today is phony. Just imagine “Certified Baptism Teachers” (and non-Christian, at that) opening “Baptism Studios.” “Underwater Therapy: $20 a class.” This ridiculous scene is the phony yoga movement of today.

Real Yoga are the many, progressive teachings and practices of Hinduism; taught by qualified Hindus and never for a fee. Yoga is a Sanskrit/Hindu word meaning, “Yuj Atman Brahman ca;” e.g. "to yoke Atman (individual Soul) and Brahman (Soul Source). The various Yogas constitute the Hindu religion: Karma Yoga (ethics), Bhakti Yoga (devotion), Raja Yoga (meditation/contemplation) and Jnana Yoga (enlightenment). There are several Yogas within these classic Hindu Yogas such as Mantra Yoga (chanting), Japa Yoga (chanting on Hindu prayer beads), Nada Yoga (music) and Hatha Yoga (Hindu devotional postures). This latter Hindu/Yoga is the one most often distorted with one hears the word “yoga.”

Like all the Hindu Yogas, real Hatha Yoga is profound in-depth. Real Hatha Yoga are devotional postures worshiping the Soul within; the elements; nature; the creatures in nature; Hindu teachers and Hindu Spirit Beings. Actually, the recorded evidence of the many Hatha Yoga asanas actually comes much later in Hindu history. And, strikingly, in this Hatha Yoga Pradapika, the student is warned to keep Hatha Yoga secret! Why?

All one has to do is look at the so-called “yoga” today. The Hindu Seers realized that if you give the naive something like Hatha Yoga (which has a strong physical component), they will perverted into that which it is not suppose to be-glorification of the body. Today’s phony yoga and phony teachers revel in the ego-centric characteristics of picture, personality and price tag.

It is not a coincidence that the so-called “modern yoga” has produced numerous sexual and monetary scandals. Actually, the “role models” for this unethical behavior came from India and set upon deluding “star-struck” western devotees. So, what is the solution to this madness? Simply stop pretending to teach this phony Yoga. If interested in real Yoga, prospective students should look to Hindus and Hindu organizations to learn Hinduism and its various Yogas. Perhaps some of these more serious students will do the right thing and formally become a Hindu and then perhaps a teacher. Anything short of what should be a common sense approach to real Yoga, is to perpetuate a delusion.

http://www.helium.com/items/1410745-real-yoga


#2

I think part of the reason for the denial that Yoga is Hinduism stems from religious and political/economic reasons. That is people who love Yoga, but are members of other religions and want to remain loyal to their religions. I can understand how hard it would be for Christian and Muslim practitioners of Yoga to accept they are in fact practicing the Hindu religious practice. Secondly, Yoga is big business today with an estimated turnover of $6 billion in America alone. Obviously if Yoga is marketed as a secular practice then that would mean more people will consume it and this will be good for business. If it was marketed as a Hindu practice, there is bound to be a massive slump in business because many people want to stay away from religion.

It does not change the the fact, however, that Yoga is Hinduism. As long as there are 1 billion Hindus in the world, this fact will be reminded to people again and again. I have now looked at several discussions online on Hindu forums and a vast majority of Hindus share my views exactly.


#3

Hinduism is built on the yoga.

Therefore my friend - Hinduism arose from yoga and not the other way around.

Meaning the entire religion sprung up from the knowledge gained through the practice of yoga, and by Yoga I mean internal yoga, and by internal yoga i specifically mean altered states of consciousness and deep meditation and single pointed concentration.

Yoga is not the province of Indians, it is the province of all.

These altered states and deep meditation are not the invention of some specific people. They are the potentiality of all sentient beings . . . in whatever universe across the breadth of infinite time.

Indians did not create this potentiality within sentient beings.

All the various shat karmas, Asanas, and kumbhakas are not required to reach altered states of consciousness and deep meditation. They are friendly supports, but not requirements.

[B]Undoubtedly the precious gurus in india made monumental contributions to the Art. But I highly doubt they would claim it as their own and the province of a specific people. [/B]

Yoga is not Hinduism.

All of the Blue Dudes, and Symbols, and sounds, arose from the yoga - which is the means to know.

[B]Hinduism is cultural.

Yoga is Universal. [/B]

On the Planet Quasar in the second Universe from the left, the quasarians discovered these same things.

The mantras are universal. Sound is universal. The secrets are hidden in plain view.

Ah La La.

How wonderful.


#4

Namaste Scales,

Hinduism/Yoga are old as each other. The first mention and description of Yoga is found in the Vedas which are the source of Hinduism. In fact one cannot talk about them separately because that is creating a false dichotomy.

You seem to have a convoluted understanding of what Hinduism is. I really wonder now what you think Hinduism is? You say Yoga is Universal and Hinduism is cultural. No, Hinduism is universal as well, that is why we call it Santana dharma(Eternal way and eternal religion)

Hinduism is the name of the religion you are refering to which is all about the meditation, mantras, concentration exercises you talk about. However, more than that it is also the theory behind Yoga. Vedanta, Samkhya-Yoga and it is also the practical application of the eternal wisdom one discovers through Yoga.

The various gods and goddesses and rituals are not what define Hinduism. These are all symbols that were created in India. These definitely are cultural, but they do not define Hinduism. Hinduism is defined by the Vedas. The Vedas teach Vedanta-Samkhya-Yoga philosophy.

I think in your head you have associated Hinduism only with the exoteric as in what you you see in terms of the various gods and goddesses and the rituals being practiced in India without realising that it’s the esoteric part that Hinduism is defined by. Hinduism is defined by its philosophy. You can ask any learned Hindu and they will tell you we do not believe in gods and goddesses, but we believe in the one supreme reality - the Atman - the immortal self that is also the supreme reality, Brahman, and that our goal in life is to realise that self and become liberated from the endless cycle of birth and death. Yes that is exactly the goal of Yoga as well. In other words the goal of Hinduism “and” Yoga is the same.

You have created a false dichotomy by separating out Hinduism from Yoga and treating them as if they are separate things.


#5

This has became a Hindu Forum :o


#6

Yes, never disputed that yoga is Hindu. I’ve acknowledged that over and over. Many others have too. Many express gratitude for Hindu’s sharing yoga. Wouldn’t the authors, or author, or the Veda’s be filled with joy knowing so many have used yoga to better themselves and brought about much peace and contentment? I think they would. If the yoga path leads to Hinduism, then it does! Likewise, if the yoga path leads to enlightenment, then it does. Does not matter whether you are Hindu or not.


#7

To be honest there were discussions on Hinduism on this forum before I even joined. It is pretty natural for Hinduism to be discussed on a Yoga forum. As natural as it is for Taoism to be talked about on a Qigong forum.


#8

[QUOTE=omamana;36082]This has became a Hindu Forum :o[/QUOTE]

I think it becomed bit nationalistic rather than Hindu. When I read Hindu texts I’m immersed in reflexion. When I read some posts here I just feel sad and to see so much “ideological violence”. Good its just babbling and not real action - lot of real violence started with such sentiments and views…


#9

Namaste,

I am sure they(the sages) would be very happy that you are practicing their way. However, I am just not sure how you could maintain you are a proper Christian or Muslim if you are practicing a formal Hindu religious practice. I think the author of the above article makes a good point, being a formal Hindu religious practice it is not for monetary gain and it should be taught free to people who are interested in Hinduism. In fact Yoga is taught for free by Hindu organizations such as by Swami Ramdev’s organization.

Another point the author makes which is very pertinent that Yoga has been taken out of context in the West. It would be like a Hindu opening up Baptism therapy outlets and charging $20 a go. I can just imagine the outrage by the Christian community. I don’t think Hindus are flattered that Yoga has been taken up by the West in a major way, because it has been ripped out of its source and spiritual context and commifidied. It seems to be incredibly disrespectful in fact.

I mean if you want to be Hindu then be Hindu, but why pretend to be Muslim, Christian, secular whilst practicing a formal Hindu practice?


#10

no.

I am right.

Hinduism is cultural.

Truth Is Universal.

The means to percieve this Truth has been called ‘yoga’.

The Act of Joining. To bind. Yoke. and so on . . .

[B]THIS ACT OF MEDITATION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH INDIA.

SORRY.[/B]

Anyone who believes otherwise is a nincompoop.

Plus, the name Hinduism, just makes my belly turn. It’s nauseating.

Sanatana Dharma.

Yoga, meaning mediation, has nothing to do with india.

Sorry.

Its ok. It doesn’t really matter anyway.


#11

Nah, you are not right. If you are right you would be able to formulate an argument that would demonstrate your point.

Yoga and meditation has much to do with India, as the steam engine has to do with Europe. Yes, obviously Yoga and meditation being sciences are universal truths which can be discovered by anybody independently in the universe, but so can the steam engine. The fact still remains though that Yoga and meditation was discovered in India and the steam engine was discovered in Europe.

Edit to add: I understand what you mean by Hinduism being Santana dharma and therefore eternal and not limited to any human group. However, by denying it is Indian, worse denying it is Hindu(the English name for Santana dharma) you take out the essence from Hinduism then Hinduism just becomes an empty shell. If this view were to prevail Hinduism as a religion would cease to exist and would wipe out trace of Santana dharma of this planet. This would be a huge diservice to the ancient sages, who have worked very hard to preserve this wisdom and pass it on from generation to generation.


#12

[QUOTE=The Scales;36099]Plus, the name Hinduism, just makes my belly turn. It’s nauseating. [/QUOTE]

I slowly get the same reaction. I tried to fight it, to remember great Hindu sages and gurus which works I read but I failed. Courtesy of SD I developed pretty clear aversion to Hinduism now. Similar thing happened when I was at Christian forum. There was a guy claiming that Christianity is the only way and was bashing everyone who showed any appreciation to other religions or practices like yoga or meditation. So I got aversion to Christianity for some time. Fortunately, with time those aversions pass. Hinduism is incredible religion and after my aversion goes away I have plans to read and practice some “crazy” stuff :slight_smile: (positively crazy of course - there are so many things that amaze me there)


#13

[QUOTE=Pawel;36092]I think it becomed bit nationalistic rather than Hindu. When I read Hindu texts I’m immersed in reflexion. When I read some posts here I just feel sad and to see so much “ideological violence”. Good its just babbling and not real action - lot of real violence started with such sentiments and views…[/QUOTE]

Good point.

[QUOTE=Pawel;36106]I slowly get the same reaction. I tried to fight it, to remember great Hindu sages and gurus which works I read but I failed. Courtesy of SD I developed pretty clear aversion to Hinduism now. Similar thing happened when I was at Christian forum. There was a guy claiming that Christianity is the only way and was bashing everyone who showed any appreciation to other religions or practices like yoga or meditation. So I got aversion to Christianity for some time. Fortunately, with time those aversions pass. Hinduism is incredible religion and after my aversion goes away I have plans to read and practice some “crazy” stuff :slight_smile: (positively crazy of course - there are so many things that amaze me there)[/QUOTE]

Don’t let one person lead you to developing an aversion to Hinduism! If you do you are generalizing Hinduism as a whole, just as he is generalizing us. One person/ group does not represent a religion. :slight_smile: (thank goodness!)


#14

Is a square a rectangle or is a rectangle a square


#15

[QUOTE=omamana;36108]Don’t let one person lead you to developing an aversion to Hinduism! If you do you are generalizing Hinduism as a whole, just as he is generalizing us. One person/ group does not represent a religion. :slight_smile: (thank goodness!)[/QUOTE]

I wish I could control my emotional reactions! But unfortunately they usually develop without much regard of what I think :wink:

Now I’m thinking, religions, as they are at this moment, are build by individual people. I guess you can find any type of character in each religion. Saying the same things but just with replaced names. Maybe it would be more mature to learn to appreciate things, knowing there are elements making us uncomfortable? Without desire to remove them? (e.g. identyfying Hinduism only with great sages and not “normal”, imperfect people). Hm… that seems to be challenging direction… :wink:


#16

[QUOTE=Surya Deva;36104]Nah, you are not right. If you are right you would be able to formulate an argument that would demonstrate your point.

[/QUOTE]

The point has been made and formulated - numerous times - by myself.

I win.


#17

Hey you all! Stop this stupid argument. Go and meditate now!


#18

[QUOTE=CityMonk;36155]Hey you all! Stop this stupid argument. Go and meditate now![/QUOTE]

I just got done!

It was a good one.

Now I come in here to layeth the smack down on all the Jabronies.


#19

[QUOTE=Surya Deva;36063]Namaste Scales,

Hinduism/Yoga are old as each other. The first mention and description of Yoga is found in the Vedas which are the source of Hinduism.

You have created a false dichotomy by separating out Hinduism from Yoga and treating them as if they are separate things

.[/QUOTE]

Now I can see why Indonesia banned yoga:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7850079.stm

You are doing a great harm to people in the West who like to practise yoga.


#20

Don’t you think that yoga just had evolved over last 700 years? And this popularization and de-hinduism of yoga is just a process of this yoga evolution?