International Yoga Day 2020: Yoga and its connection with Vedas; know what scriptures say about it
As the international yoga day is round the corner we are trying keeping our viewers updated and motivated regarding this event. So far we have talked about benefits of yoga, why it is celebrated on 21st June and how to celebrate the day amid the coronavirus lockdown. Today, in this article we are going to talk about what our sacred scriptures say about yoga and how old is this concept.
Yoga that we all practice today has had a more thoughtful meaning than being only a set of asanas for the body as well as the mind. What is popular worldwide is the dhyana or abhyasa form of Yoga. However, it is believed that the real meaning and purpose of Yoga includes the various aspects of life or the fundamental features of a person's journey on earth.
The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which means join, connect or merge. According to the scholars, yoga was first found mentioned in the Rig Veda. Subsequently, in Upanishads Yoga is mentioned as a method incorporated to control the mind through meditation, regulate the thoughts, and to attain the knowledge of the consciousness (Purusha).
Bringing you the excerpts from Katha Upanishad it says:
Taṁ durdarśaṁ gūḍhamanupraviṣṭaṁ
guhāhitaṁ gahvarēṣṭhaṁ purāṇam.
matvā dhīrō harṣaśōkau jahāti.
Meaning: One attains the knowledge of the existence of God with the spiritual realization (Yoga), the Supreme Being who is infinite and universal. Only those who do away with agonies and ecstasies attain enlightenment.
Whereas, another verse describes Yoga as:
Yada panchaavatishthante gyaanaani manasa sah .
buddhishch na vicheshtate taamaahuh paramaan gatim .
taan yogamiti manyante sthiraamindriyadhaaranaam .
apramattastada bhavati yogo hi prabhavaapyayau
Meaning: When a person can keep the mind and the five senses, intellect in control without letting it waver, he/she has attained the state of realization. This spiritual practice is called Yoga that helps the mind concentrate. Yoga helps in meaningful creation and destruction.
Not just in Rig Veda or Upanishads but also in Bhagavad Gita one can find in innumerable definitions of Yoga. According to the holy book, Yoga includes every aspect of human life. There are eighteen kinds of Yoga, namely, Visadh Yoga, Sankhya Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana (Gyana) Yoga, Karma Vairagya Yoga, Dhyana or Abhyasa Yoga, Paramhamsa Vijnana (Vigyana) Yoga, Aksara Parabrahman Yoga, Raja Vidya Guhya Yoga, Vibhuti Vistara Yoga, Vishwaroopa Darshana Yoga, Bhakti, Kshetra Kshetrejna Vibhaga Yoga.
Various scriptures define Yoga differently, nonetheless, they all highlight on Yoga being a tool or a method of realization. Therefore, the asanas and pranayam that we practice today are one of the many aspects of the broader system called Yoga.