Is Yoga Hinduism?


What exactly is Hinduism? Hinduism is just an umbrella term coined by the Western World to sweep everything Indian into one word. Hinduism from what I’ve learned from my mother is very complex and different for each person or groups. Therefore, what is yoga? What is western yoga that is heavily dominated by ashtanga, iyengar, and other physically focused forms? Those are apparently heavily influenced by British colonialism and the use of yoga with bodybuilding and wrestling to prepare Indians to fight against British rule.


Off course not. But It is also true most of the non-Hindu people are not ready to accept yoga, due to they believe yoga has the historical connection to Hindu.


This is quite the grey area. Although typically thought of as a hindu practice most people have taken it without any other hindu practices of their own. For many people yoga has taken on a life of it’s own completely outside of hinuism.


The term "Hindu" is completely vedic in origin. The term in its unadulterated form appears in Rig Veda (Sapta-Sindhavah). And it has nothing to do with Muslim invaders. The reference of Hindu term is in Avesta - the book of ancient Zoroastrians. They had the practice to pronounce S as H. So Rig vedic "Sindhu" became Hindus. It was the Zoroastrians who first called Indians Hindus not muslims. I think the antiquity of Hindu word is evident in Avesta.


anyone who thinks about religion first before doing anything is failing at first step. Yoga is something one should practice and get the benefit instead of linking any religion to it. Anything that is good for mankind should be followed with no labeling.
We should use electricity and should not think if that is Christian


The credit for invention of electricity is still given to Benjamin Franklin. So why not give credits to ancient religious Hindus who invented Yoga? Why there’s a deliberate attempt to dissociate Yoga, one the primary practices of Hinduism, from Hinduism? Why can’t we accept Yoga as it’s been presented by the authors of Yoga texts? Why to link Yoga with Christianity? Why Christians are claiming copyrights over Indian Yoga asanas?


Isn’t Hinduism about the same things? Purification of Mind and body and total control over them by Ashtanga Yoga or other ways and then the reunion of Atman with Paramatman in Samadhi state. Maybe you’ve a wrong or very poor understanding of Hinduism.


My only view about practices of any kind is to focus on practice instead of getting into who has ownership and which religion it is associated to.
The moment we label anything , we lose true essence of it.

I did not say copyright about asana is good. Tomorrow someone in the world may claim breathing through nose is their copyright. All these take seeker away from practice.

Yoga was initiated by Indians so do others forms such as Qi-gong, Karate, Tai Chi by other people. True seeker should only focus on the practice and true teacher should only teach real essence of it.

Of course all seekers and teachers must give respect to his or her teacher and everyone should give respect to the originator of that practice. But at the end such practices should be open to all.


ofcourse the word ‘hindu’ is a word coined recently for people who live on the other side of the sindhu river. The appropriate term of hinduism is ‘Sanatana Dharma’. Yogasanas is just one of the ways for doing ‘sadhana’ and is part and parcel of sanatana dharma. It has roots in all the vedas,upanishads,puranas and later in Patanjali’s yoga sutras.


All these arguments. All these contradictions. All these thoughts, these beliefs. All so very human that it’s hard not to laugh at the irony of it all.


I don’t think that hinduism belong to any religion. Because every men and women have rights to do yoga.


No one has said Hindus have a monopoly on Yoga. But Yoga is one of the six Darshana-s of Hinduism. Claiming otherwise is far from the reality. But this truth often disturbs those who are inclined towards atheism or other Abrahamic beliefs.

And Hindus can proudly say that their religious practice actually works. This is another reason why some want to separate yoga from Hinduism.


What Hindu word has to do with this discussion? People can exist without names.

And it's not Sanatana Dharma. It's वैदिक Dharma. Adi Shankara used this term for Hinduism.


Srimad Bhagavatam 3.16.18:
tvattaḥ sanātano dharmo
rakṣyate tanubhis tava
dharmasya paramo guhyo
nirvikāro bhavān mataḥ

Adi Shankaracharya is referring to Vedic school of thought related to Advaitha. Because at his time there were other schools of thought jainism,buddhism,sankhya etc . All these schools of thought is a subset of Sanatana Dharma[now called hinduism].


It says Dharma is eternal.

Vaidika Dharma - Dharma based on Vedic scriptures

No, Jainism and Buddhism are not part of Hinduism though they originated from Hinduism. They are unorthodox Nastika schools. And also Sankhya of classical age influenced by Jainism and Buddhism is not part of Hinduism. It differs from the early Vedic Sankhya which was inclined towards theism (it was not sceptical about God's existence and also it didn't believe in multiplicity of Purusha-s). Sankhya as we know today is an amalgamation of Vedic and non-vedic thoughts, and it was refuted by Adi Shankara. Only the early Sankhya can be accepted in Hinduism.


Is yoga Hinduism?
To get the answer for this question, one must clearly understood what Hinduism and yoga are.

What is yoga?
Yoga is the term derived from the Sanskrit root "Yuj' for 'yoge'.

As per these roots, yoga means either the union of Atman and Paramatman (Self and Supreme Being) or Samadhi. Samadhi happens in the merger of Self and Supreme Being, suggesting the same meaning.

Katha upanishad says 'Yogaam ithi manyanthe sthiraam indirya thaaranaam'. It means that yoga is
the consistent and complete control over senses and organs of senses'. It happens only when the sense of self is destroyed. Sense of self (ego/self consciousness) is destroyed only at the merger of Self and Supreme Being.

All classical scriptures on yoga suggest that yoga is the union of Self and Supreme Being.

What is Hinduism?

Is Hinduism a Religion?.

Of course 'yes', because it is being followed as Religion. But we can say 'No' too, because it is not a single belief system. It accepts various beliefs.

But it uses God as medium for the merger of self and Supreme Being. So it does not believe in one deity. It has no stricter rules. The system can accept 'Jesus' or 'Allah' as God. This is the very basics of Hinduism. Maha vakyas like "Om tat sat", "Aham Brahma Asmi", "Tat Tvam Asi' and "Sarvam Chinmatra Mevahi" suggest one supreme being, the indivisible-one-essence. In this sense, Hinduism is not Region. It is more than that. It is a path towards the union of Self and Supreme Being. Hence Hinduism is yoga.

Hinduism is yoga. Does that mean Yoga is Hinduism? No. Because Yoga is more that. Yoga (I refer the classical meaning) can be achieved without Hinduism. Jainism, Buddhism,Sikhism and other similar religions adopt the path of yoga like Hinduism.
We may conclude that Hinduism is yoga and Yoga is not Hinduism alone.


Sanatana Dharma means 'Eternal Dharma' not the other way around.

The acharyas of vedic shools of thought have refuted non vedic one's, i agree to it. But they are all a part of hinduism. There are schools which do not accept vedas[including charvaka] as ultimate authority but still they are part of hinduism.


Neither, both are trapezoids.


Yoga gurus from India later introduced yoga to the West, following the success of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th and early 20th century. In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise; it has a meditative and spiritual core. One of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism is also called Yoga, which has its own epistemology and metaphysics, and is closely related to Hindu Samkhya philosophy.:grinning:


Bhagwan Osho posts this thread
"yoga is not a religion-remember that. Yoga is not Hindu,
it is not Mohammedan. Yoga is a pure science just like mathematics, physics or chemistry. Physics
is not Christian physics is not Buddhist. If Christians have discovered the laws of physics, then
too physics is not Christian. It is just accidental that Christians have come to discover the laws of
physics. But physics remains just a science. Yoga is a science – it is just an accident that Hindus
discovered it. It is not Hindu. It is a pure mathematics of the inner being. So a Mohammedan can
be a yogi, a Christian can be a yogi, a Jain, a buddha can be a yogi."