Yoga is of Indian Origin. Its history dates back to the Pre-Vedic Era. The four Vedas are the most ancient texts of India. Yoga was found mentioned in the Vedas implying that its history is older than Vedas. In those days, it was an aid for spiritual upliftment. On scrutiny of the earlier yogic treatises, yogic kriyas (techniques) were used for Self-improvement and not for health improvement.
Yoga is practised world-wide now. It is being used as a system of physical exercise. To address psychosomatic diseases like stress, depression, hypertension and other health-related diseases, yogic kriyas are being used. While categorising the websites, we find yoga being a sub-category under the category of Health and Fitness. It is clear that it became a health-related topic. But it is not a health-related subject. Its dimension is more. To understand that dimension and to get the maximum benefits of yogic kriyas, one should learn it from the perspective of ancient yoga treatises. For this very purpose, one should learn classical yoga treatises.
Yoga was taught by Gurus of ancient India without accepting any consideration or with a meagre consideration which was affordable to students of those times. An amount affordable to the student was accepted by Gurus. The amount or Guru Thatchana (the amount given by the student) was decided by the student and not by Gurus. Money was not the motive in those days.
The system of Guru-Sysya (Teacher-disciple) has been tampered with now. It has become a lucrative business nowadays. Yoga has been institutionalised which was not the case earlier. The leader of the institute is the Guru and he won’t ever pass down the knowledge that he has. He will employ some teachers who have the partial mastery of the subject. So the students will not get the full knowledge. Hence the real knowledge has been stuck up with someone who will not transfer it down for some reason or other.
The origin of any yoga is yoga treatises. The modern Guru select one or some of the techniques from the ancient yogic treatises and modify slightly and give a new name. He will use that name for a patent. This is how there are so many yoga brands available and so many institutes are marketing those brands. The knowledge belongs to the sages of the yore and the yoga institutes are selling it as their product.
If you are ready to put some efforts to gain that knowledge through learning of those treatises of ancient time, you can well avoid these middlemen. No contemporary Guru get his knowledge from his own research. If at all he does any research, that findings are related to the benefits doing a kriya of the earlier time. There are thousands and thousands of yoga techniques available in the scriptures. One’s lifetime is not enough to learn and practice them all. By learning them through scriptures, we could understand them, identify them with the yoga brands available and practice a few of them which are suitable for us. Hence the study of the scriptures is required for anybody who is planning for yoga practice.
Now we clearly know that the study of yogic scriptures will give us two major benefits.
- We can understand yoga in a wider dimension to get comprehensive benefits.
- We learn yoga directly from scriptures without middlemen.