Is Yoga Hinduism?


#1461

Patanjali codifies what has come to be called Ashtanga Yoga-also raja yoga. There are two parts here-the philosophy which is dualistic in as much as it envisages “God” and the Seeker as distinctly separate entities.
The Bhagavad Gita is a Vedantic text -often called the 5th Veda. While there are of course dualistic interpretations of the Vedas, the most accepted one is that propounded by Sankaracarya -the non dual or advaitic interpretations. Yoga in Bhagavad Gita has nothing to do with the Ashtanga of Patanjali and is simply the discipline to be followed for self realisation. As in all vedantic texts , words used are highly contextual and the meaning has to be attributed based on the context.
Thus in many places for eg the use of the word Yoga as in all chapter headings in the BG, the term simply means a Chapter. When used in the second and third chapters it means Karma Yoga. In many other places it means Jnana Yoga.

Again though there is a popular interpretation that the BG Yoga means to join (since the root of the word is yuj-meaning join, a little reflection will show that it is a erroneous conclusion. For the Vedantic take is that you are indeed Consciousness itself. And since consciousness is all that exists in the world and the world itself is only different names and forms of consciousness -what will join with what ?

Here the meaning is therefore diagonally opposite - it means to separate -drop the identity with the mortal body and thus reclaim Consciousness as my real nature.

As I said all depends on which tradition you choose to follow. This again depends on what really appeals to you. :slight_smile:


#1463

No, Yoga is Science developed by Hindu saints. “Yoga is not just simple exercise. It is the spiritual elevation with a touch of mystic elements.

I am a yoga student, I am doing [quote=“Surya_Deva, post:1, topic:5786, full:true”]
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
[/quote]

200 hours yoga teacher[quote=“Surya_Deva, post:1, topic:5786, full:true”]
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.

training from Chandra yoga international located in Rishikesh, India. and my yoga teacher Taught me that yoga not only for Hindus or any particular religion. It is for every one who really wants to make healthy and peaceful life.


#1465

There is a difference between practice and becoming a follower. The same can be said about hinduism and its relation with yoga. Though most yogis have hindu religion but that doesn’t mean every yoga practitioner becomes hindu.

A religion is a belief and it cannot be changed with just practicing one part of that religion to stay fit. Just as one doesn’t become a muslim if he practices exercise in the morning.

In the end it all comes to belief and the bst way to go about it is to explore yourself, research what is true and what isn’t and finally, not take everything to heart.


#1466

There is no Yoga without Hinduism and no Hinduism without Yoga


#1468

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.


#1471

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.


#1472

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.


#1473

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.


#1474

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


#1475

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?


#1476

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.


#1477

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.


#1479

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.


#1480

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.


#1481

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


#1482

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.


#1483

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.


#1485

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].


#1486

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.


#1487

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.

Conculsion
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.