Lord Shiva was first yogi, 7 sages spread Yoga to Africa, Middle East, South America
New Delhi: The Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoepathy) in its Yoga Protocol booklet distributed to participants in India and abroad has attributed the origin of Yoga to Lord Shiva, the third of the Trinity in the Hindu pantheon.
Says the protocol: "Brief history and development of Yoga: The science of Yoga has its origin thousands of years ago, long before the first religion or belief systems were born.
"'According to Yogic lore, Shiva has seen (sic) as the first yogi or aadiyogi and the first guru or aadiguru. Several thousand years ago, on the banks of lake Kantisarovar in the Himalayas, aadiyogi poured his profound knowledge (sic) into the legendary saptarshis or 'seven sages'.
'These sages carried this powerful Yogic science to different parts of the world including Asia, the Middle East, northern Africa and South America. Interestingly, modern scholars have noted and marvelled at the close parallels found between ancient cultures across the globe. However, it was in India that the Yogic system found its fullest expression.
""Ágastya, the saptarishi who travelled across the Indian subcontinent, crafted this culture around a core Yogic way of life.
'"Yoga is widely considered as an ""immortal cultural outcome"" of the Indus Saraswati Valley Civilisation - dating back to 2700 BC - and has proven itself (sic) to cater to both material and spiritual uplift of humanity.
""A number of seals and fossil remains of Indus Saraswati valley civilisation with Yogic motifs and figures performing Yoga saadhana suggest the present of Yoga in ancient India. The seals and idols of mother Goddess are suggestive of Tantra Yoga.
""The presence of Yoga is also available in folk traditions, Vedic and Upanishadic heritage, Buddhist and Jain traditions, Darshanas, epics of Mahabharata including Bhagawadagita and Ramayana, theistic traditions of Shaivas, Vaishnavas and Tantric traditions.
""Though Yoga was being practised in the pre-Vedic period, the great sage Maharishi Patanjali systemalised and codified the then existing Yogic practices, its meaning and its related knowledge through Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.
""After Patanjali, many sages and Yoga masters contributed greatly for the preservation and development of the field through well-documented practices and literature. Yoga has spread all over the world by the teachings of eminent Yoga masters from ancient times to the present date. ""