Did Yoga, Meditation Come Only from the East?

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by JerryCT, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. JerryCT Registered Member

    Greetings all!
    When I think of meditation and/or yoga I think of Eastern religions, but what I want to know is this: Were there forms of these practices elsewhere in the world many hundreds of years ago? Practices which arose independently?

    Sorry if this isn't the correct section.
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  3. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Yoga is a term from the vedas. Yoga (coming from the sanskrit root "to connect") is remarkably similar to the english word religion (coming from the latin meaning "to bond") - thus there are different types of yoga - karma yoga, jnana yoga, bhakti yoga (that all lay stress to a particular method of connection to the transcendental absolute) but I think what you are mostly referencing is raja yoga -

    This type of Yoga was "reformed" (note - not established) by a person called patanjali (there are the patanjali sutras - a compilation of the aphorisms of yoga) - You can find heaps of translations on the net - I can't vouch for the accuracy of the english translations however
    chapter 6 of the bhagavad gita deals specifically with this yoga

    Even the most conservative empiricial estimates date these works as 200BC (there is argument that such dates reflect a eurocentric ambition to place indian culture as chronologically dependent on greek culture) - but even if such a dat e is accepted, it is obvious by the nature of the texts that yoga was a commonly performed activity, so the origins of this yoga would seem to be placed even further back in history - The vedic statements declare that pantanjali is actually an avatar and his desent to this world is many thousands of years earlier.

    Sometimes yoga is seen to run parrallel with disciplines like aikido, chi-quong or tai-chi, but this is mostly due to such things being taken up by over stressed white collar workers (in the pursuit of better health they have homogenized these practices)
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  5. JerryCT Registered Member

    Thank you for replying! I did mean Raja Yoga, my apologies for not specifying. Your post was very helpful!
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  7. Mystical Sadhu Registered Member

    Splendid question, JerryCT. As to what you meant, as in systematized methodologies of intuitional science, the most comprehensive, it seems, so far, would be Tantrika practices, with exacting individuations of thresholds in consciousness, nuances of samadhi, and myriad methodologies for attaining the simplest thing in the world: unfettered rapport in the fullness of the Universe.

    Such capabilities have no location, anywhere in the Universe, though humans in particular have the capability, and proclivity, for exploring infinity and their place, our place in the Universe. We have a body that makes us particularly capable of doing such, and with, sincerity, curiosity, a longing for infinity, and the ubiquity of love, we explore the what, why, wherefore and desideratum of all things and our place within and among them. This goes on in every human, every culture, every place, both on Earth and elsewhere in the Universe, among our relative elsewhere in this sublime manifestation.

    In my Architecture of Shamanism module, I show people a fundamental, complete and uncomplicated architecture of mind, how the parts intercourse with each other, and how such continuities are presented in different practices around the world, in what those of a more extroversive disposition would think of as being "different", whereas I show how the various shamanistic and other mystical practices synthesize the same continuities using different languages, different terms and built upon backgrounds of different environments, both natural and human-made, that affect how they go about practicing and how they present their seeming differences -- differences that are only superficial. Through this module people will be able to experience any shamanic practice and be better prepared for both understanding and maximizing the opportunity in an ethical manner for all concerned.

    The differences between "yoga" and "tantra" are that yoga is acheiving the union or reunion, consciously, with the Universe, whereas tantra is the practice of attaining that union.

    Using Tantra as an example, everything about it contains all of the most morally significant attributes as the best demonstrations of science. All the experiments that resulted in the magnificent arena of acheivable experiences demonstrated through Tantra were done through the same trial-and-error methods we know of in science, as well as the world of common sense, and shared among ethical people for further exploration and confirmations - peer review. In fact, when it comes to science, Tantra is among the earliest in human history extant today.

    Tantra predates more than 9,000 years ago, though the characteristics of Tantrika practice can and do occur throughout human life, at its earliest inception on our planet, and elsewhere in the Universe, as the continuties of the Universe are, quite understandably, Universal, and this is what Tantra is based upon.

    The Sanskrit root verb tan literally means "to expand". The word tantra is derived as: tan + trae + d'a. Tra [trae + d'a] means "that which liberates." So Tantra means the science which shows the path for the emancipation of the human entity through psycho-spiritual expansion. In other words, the spirit of Tantra is ever to continue expanding, or vistara in Sanskrit, from which we get the word "vista" in most Western languages.

    Tantra is 98% experiential, whereas religion, as it's typically experienced today, is sectarian, exclusive, pretentious and rooted in the sensual world -- the realm shared by plants and animals -- and doesn't, typically, go beyond that, despite high-sounding platitudes.

    Tantra is functional and relevant, regardless of the trifarious factors of time, place and person.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  8. rcscwc Registered Senior Member


    If you are thinking of the so called xian yoga, then it is only 20-30 old. A plagiarism, designed to wean away xians from true Yoga.

    As for Yoga, it a Philosophy. It is spiritual but not nearly theist.

    Yoga Sutras are old, old; older than even jesus.

    Soubd mind in a sound body, that is Yoga.
  9. kmguru Staff Member

    Because there is a linkage of Aryans to the present day Iran, I think the Yoga part has been around for many thousand years.

    For example Jnana Yoga (Yoga of Knowledge that I practice) is identical to Keter ("Crown" in Hebrew: כתר) in Jewish Kabbalah. I am sure the Iranians had something similar before they all became Muslims.

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