Is Yoga Hinduism?


[QUOTE=oak333;36161]Now I can see why Indonesia banned yoga:

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


The official bodies of all religions have rightfuly recognised Yoga is Hinduism. This is because it is, and anybody who has no vested interests realise this.

Like I said as long as there are 1 billion people Hindus the West will not be able to get away with the theft of Yoga from Hinduism. We will keep on reminding the West.

In the end theft is theft. If you love Yoga so much, why don’t you convert to Hinduism? If I loved praying 5 times a day to Allah, I would have converted to Islam. If I loved attending mass at Church and singing hymns to Jesus I would have converted to Christianity.

Why do you want to call yourself Hindu and not add to this religion whose Yoga you are doing? It sounds like you want to just take and not give anything back.


[QUOTE=CityMonk;36171]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?[/QUOTE]

Yoga has largely remained the same. Still the classical form of Yoga is based on Patanjali’s sutras - a Hindu scripture. Still the postures and breathing exercises done in Yoga come from the Upanishads and Hatha Yoga Pradipika - Hindu scriptures.

Why the aversion to being called a Hindu? I don’t understand it.

Do you accept reincarnation?
Do you accept karma?
Do you accept self-realization?
Do you accept that the core of everything is divine?
Do you chant mantras?
Do you practice Yoga?

If you accept most of these you are Hindu.


No your wrong.


[QUOTE=Pawel;36121]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… ;)[/QUOTE]

Namaste Pawel,

A sizable majority of Hindus hold the same views as myself. You can verify it yourself by going to Hindu forums online. Now if you do not want anything to do with Hinduism, will you also have anything to do with Yoga as well? :wink:

We think the entire world should be Hindu. It says very clearly in our Vedas, “Make the whole world Aryan” What we don’t understand, however, is how can any good and noble person oppose that?


Well yes Real Yoga are the many, progressive teachings and practices of Hinduism, taught by qualified Hindus and never for a fee. Yoga and meditation has much to do with India, as the steam engine has to do with Europe.


I found a very interesting article of a debate between Deepak Chopra and a Hindu professor on this issue:

And the dialogue continues! If you’re following along at home wellness superstar Deepak Chopra and Professor Aseem Shuklah have had some words about the origin/”theft” of yoga and its ties to Hinduism. Check out the earlier discussion to catch up. Well, with Deepak all “Yoga isn’t Hindusim, and therefore not in bed with religion” etc etc would you expect The Professor to let that lie in savasana and die? Not a chance.

Aseem responds to DC with this kicker: “Deepak Chopra’s rejoinder to my column on the appropriation of yoga presents a veritable feast of delicious irony.” What an opening line!

He continues…

A prolific writer and gifted communicator, Chopra is perhaps the most prominent exponent of the art of “How to Deconstruct, Repackage and Sell Hindu Philosophy Without Calling it Hindu!” To Larry King, he has described himself as an “Advaita Vedantin”–one of the major philosophical schools of Hinduism. Yet none of the plethora of his book titles, that include several devoted to Jesus and one entire book devoted to the Buddha, even skirt the word “Hindu.” His Web site is devoted to selling products and literature related to yoga, meditation and ayurveda, but Hinduism, of course, bears no mention.

The contention that yoga’s foundation is “in consciousness alone,” thereby preceding Hinduism, is a sad demonstration of the extent Chopra and other Hindu philosophical profiteers will go to disassociate themselves from Hinduism. But Hindus are on to this tactic now. For Hinduism’s most sacred scripture, the Vedas, are deeply believed to be the accumulation and transcription of the existential contemplations, and experiences, of rishis–the primordial yogis. The rishis did not call themselves Hindu, but would Chopra claim that the Vedas they composed are not Hindu? The moniker “Hinduism” is of relatively recent origin, but it is accepted today as a handy substitute for the perhaps more accurate but difficult to pronounce name, Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion. That reality does not separate yoga from Hinduism any more than it separates the Vedas or Bhagawad Gita from Hinduism. The Vedas and yoga are synonymous and as eternal as they are contemporaneous.

War of words indeed! Touch? Professor S. Naturally, DChop took the time to not let Aseem get the last word to respond with gusto (and a slightly sharpened tongue) and to reiterate his original position:

If there is a movement to return yoga to its Hindu roots, it speaks in a whisper. I’ve never encountered it in India. Having loaded his quiver, what target is Shukla firing at? Nobody is stopping Hindus from claiming yoga as their own. Christians can claim prayer as their invention if they want to. It wouldn’t make the claim less false — sensible people accept that prayer is universal.

Shukla didn’t refute my basic argument, which is that yoga is a practice rooted in consciousness, not proprietary religion. The great seers of India didn’t simply precede the term “Hindu,” as Shukla likes to imagine. They preceded dogmatic religion itself, which is why the ideal of yoga is to leave dogma and ritual behind. In the state of liberation (Moksha), why would anyone feel more tied to Hinduism?

I must repeat, that yoga did not originate in Hinduism. This isn’t a debating point, since no one to my knowledge has ever claimed that Hinduism came before yoga.

He goes on to defend the attacks on his integrity and career, and to extend a twiggy little universal olive branch.

I’m happy that Prof. Shukla isn’t the most strident of fundamentalists. He seems rather bemused where most of his kind are zealous. I forgive the potshots taken at me. Other than bandying about a few rumors, half-truths, and nonsense related to my career, he seems unaware of my deep involvement in reawakening of Vedanta, Ayurveda, and many other aspects of India’s spiritual tradition, or the recognition this has earned me in my homeland.

In the spirit of friendliness, I would like to find common ground with Prof. Shukla in the term Sanatana Dharma-the eternal wisdom of life. Whether he calls it Hinduism or I call it Vedic knowledge, I believe ultimately we are both referencing the same body of universal knowledge that has always stood for benefiting the whole human family. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam -the world is one single family.


it has nothing to do with india.


Deepak is right. As I am.

Anyone who says other wise is a total nincompoop. Absorbed in nationalist secretarian pride . . . or doesn’t know what yoga is.

Yes . . . if you say otherwise your a nincompoop.

Down dog is not friggin yoga.

Loose hamstrings is not friggin yoga.

lying on the ground is not friggin yoga.

Sun Salutations are not friggin yoga.

The Comming and Going breath? Yeah its not yoga.

I don’t need to look up support for my positon. My position is what it is because I know.

Sanatana Dharma. This is good.

Hinduism is butchery. an abomination of sound. The name given to a wonderful religious system by cave dwelling slugs.

The Holy Dharma was revealed by the use of Internal Yoga, altered states of consiousness, single pointed concentration/ meditation.

The entire religion is based on the the findings of the seers.

Not the other way around.

All the subsequent practices developed, wherever they were developed, that many today take to be yoga have nothing to do with REAL YOGA.

To say REAL YOGA is the property of a certain people is sheer buggery.

Yoga is not cow faced posture, or the bow, or the hidden limb.

Yoga is calming the agitations of the mind.
Yoga is single pointed concentration.
Yoga is non doing.


It is clear in this debate it is the Hindu professor that has the upper hand. Deepak Chopra has vested interests in that his audience are people in the West which he cannot alienate. Although the product he sells are all from Hinduism - Yoga, Ayurveda, Vedanta philosophy - he stops from calling it “Hindu” and hides behind the universalism of science.

Now I think many of us agree that Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedanta are scientific and therefore because they correspond to actual realities they are the common property of all humans. Just as the steam engine and the light bulb is the common property of all humans. However, as Hinduism basically is Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedanta, a term which has been used to describe the Vedic tradition, then this means Hinduism in general is the common property of all humans as well. Therefore Hinduism is, as many say, a scientific religion and therefore the worlds only true religion.

If you love the stuff in Hinduism so much I don’t understand why you cannot actually say you are an adherent of it? Western people are taking so much from Hinduism, but they do not give anything back to it. They take its Yoga, its philosophy, its systems, as if it belongs to them and then say “I am not Hindu”

You see what you do not realise if you continue to undermine Hinduism like this the common link that binds all of its sciences will disappear of the face of the planet. In the end everything it teaches will be assimilated but decontexulized and compartmentalized destroying the binding essence. As I said earlier this will be a huge disservice to the creators of Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedanta who have worked very hard to preserve this wisdom. Although you not may intend it, constant efforts to disassocate Yoga from Hinduism will hurt Yoga. Indeed, this is what happend in the West in how Yoga has become nothing more than a physical culture, bereft of its spirituality.

I think if you are going to practice the formal Hindu practice and subscribe to its philosophy you should give back to this religion as well by identifying with it and adding to it, protecting it and spreading it. Otherwise, you become nothing more than a taker and Krishna in the Gita says that whoever takes without giving back is a thief and he will definitely take away from them whatever they have taken.

I have already noted that people in the West take Yoga for granted. They do not at all apprecate the work of the Hindu risis and sages and their thousands of years of research in developing this science. This is very unfortunate and basically makes a Hindu lose a lot of respect for the West.


Its not a formal hindu practice.

It belongs to no one. It belongs to all.


We’ve already heard your opinion Scales. You still have not given any argument to justify your opinion. When you do, I will respond.


I have already justified my positon in numerous posts.

Even in this thread.

Try post # 27 in this thread.

Its not opinion. Its fact.


[QUOTE=The Scales;36243]I have already justified my positon in numerous posts.

Even in this thread.

Try post # 27 in this thread.

Its not opinion. Its fact.[/QUOTE]

If it is a fact then please tell me who discovered Yoga then? As all historians are positive that Yoga was discovered in India, the oldest reference to it dating to the Indus valley civilisation. That practiced the earliest form of Hinduism.


[QUOTE=Surya Deva;36183]Yoga has largely remained the same.[/QUOTE]

700 years ago yoga was just for monks and main purpose was self-realization or god-realization. Today these scriptures and knowledge are available to everyone. Some practices are extracted and turned into other separate discipline. Some (like gym yoga) do not have even trace of Hinduism in them.
Another one: Cristian Meditation Center…what is that you would say, Meditation is an buddist tradition…

Regardless of our likes ans dislikes, these things are happening today. And I call it evolution or change. This what is happening today is the part of the process and we can not ignore it. And majority call those practices Yoga even there is nothing from Hinduism but the word itself.

I bet that Christianity was very different when it emerged 2000 years ago somewhere in the Greece. (Have not heard anyone praying in greek in modern Christian church)


Namaste City Monk,

The practice of Yoga has not changed all that much at all. Even today in a modern Yoga studio, such as Iyengar Yoga, they are still doing the same postures, breathing exercises and reading from the same classical Yoga texts that Hindus have been doing and reading for thousands of years.

If they take the practice and change it substantially then we can legitimately call it original. Such as Pilates. However, if you take the practice directly with barely any changes, then it is not original and remains the same Hindu practice. To say it is not and claim it as something else is plagiarism. I think this is the main reason why India has decided to patent Yoga to stop plagiarism of Yoga(such as Hot Yoga)

By the way meditation is older than Buddhism as well. It’s first mentioned in the Hindu scriptures :smiley:


I have sold cookies before, but that doesn’t make me a Girl Scout.


Not, but selling cookies like a Girl Scout would, would make you a Girl scout.

There is an interesting youtube video online I saw a few weeks back where somebody is making the same point as me that Yoga is Hinduism. He deals with an argument that says drinking red wine and eating bread is not a Chrisitian practice, and refutes it beautifully, “No, drinking red wine and eating bread is not a Christian practice, but drinking red wine and eating bread as a Christian does, is a Christian practice”

The fact remains the Yoga that is practiced in the West uses the same classical postures, breathing exercises and meditation methods and is based on exactly the same science and is done for the same reason calmness, health, happiness, unlocking potential. So it is the same formal practice of the Hindu religion.


Hello Everybody!

I was wondering is it necessary to attach everything with religion?


[QUOTE=namasteyoga;36345]Hello Everybody!

I was wondering is it necessary to attach everything with religion?[/QUOTE]

In my personal opinion. No it isn’t.


Yoga and meditation have as much to do with India as the steam engine has to do with STEAM.

choo choo,


[QUOTE=Surya Deva;36226]Namaste Pawel,

A sizable majority of Hindus hold the same views as myself. You can verify it yourself by going to Hindu forums online. Now if you do not want anything to do with Hinduism, will you also have anything to do with Yoga as well? :wink:

We think the entire world should be Hindu. It says very clearly in our Vedas, “Make the whole world Aryan” What we don’t understand, however, is how can any good and noble person oppose that?[/QUOTE]

Namaste Surya,

Its interesting question why any good and noble person may oppose this goal. I think there are many good and noble people here on the forum who feel bit opposed to this idea. It may be little quest for you to find why they have such reaction. To truly get to the roots of the problem (without quick classification), to the source of aversion.