5 ancient and world famous yogis you need to follow
Yoga is a primordial exercise that emphasizes flexibility, strength, and mental well-being. This ancient practice dates back to thousands of years and as with time, various yogis and sages have made vital contributions to it. This blog aims to provide an insight into the forebearers of yoga and simultaneously act as a guiding post if you want to learn about the world famous yogis.
When we speak about Shiva, we not only witness him as the major deity of Hinduism but also as ‘Adiyogi’ which means the founder of yoga. Shiva is the pinnacle of meditation and everything spiritual. Historic accounts state that Lord Shiva initially deciphered the cosmic yogic knowledge to his wife, Parvati.
Shiva’s immense passion for Parvati was so strong that he did not wish to share the secrets of yoga. However, Parvati being the mother of affection, advised Shiva to distribute such knowledge as it would cure many sufferings in the human world. Shiva introduced the human civilization to the huge possibilities of yoga and consequently, he is on our list of world famous yogis.
Upon Parvati’s request, Shiva built a team of 7 people who later came to be known as Saptarishis. Shiva took the role of their teacher and made them acquire 18 Siddhas. From the Saptarishis, the concept of yoga was spread to other humans. Shiva gave the idea that a human being should not be limited by his physical condition. There is a way to evolve and progress further.
Whenever we speak of Krishna, we think of him as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu who is one of the main Gods of Hinduism. Krishna is the pioneer of the Bhagavad Gita and in it, he has highlighted the types and importance of yoga. The Bhagavad Gita is not just a religious book, it provides a deep insight into the spiritual/mental portion of life. Krishna makes it in our list of word famous yogis due to his unique approach towards yoga.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna describes the various types of yoga while simultaneously convincing the prince, Arjuna, to do his duties. Krishna talks about the 3 types of yoga which are:
- Karma Yoga
One should fulfill his duties without acting on personal benefit.
- Jnana Yoga
Through Jnana yoga, one can attain unification with the supreme being and self.
- Bhakti Yoga
People worship the image of Krishna and the huge cycle of birth, death, and suffering comes to an end when you unite with the supreme being.
During your yogic journey, you might have heard about the “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali’. This ancient relic dates back to somewhere between 500 BC to 400 BC. The birth and origin of Patanjali is still a mystery to this very day but his work has been a blessing to humanity. His vital contribution in the field of yoga and Ayurveda has given him a spot in the list of world famous yogis.
The “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” deals with a compilation of 196 Sanskrit sutras on the practical and theoretical aspects of yoga. The book is further divided into 4 chapters which are:
- Samadhi Pada
The author outlines what yoga is and how to attain Samadhi (being one with the supreme entity)
- Sadhana Pada
The author describes two systems of Yoga. They are Ashtanga yoga and Kriya yoga.
- Vibhuti Pada
It deals with the abnormal powers associated with yoga.
- Kaivalya Pada
It deals with achieving liberation through isolation and releasing the ego.
Yoga is generalized as a pillar of Hinduism. We have read various Hindu texts which deal with yoga. Similarly, yoga is found in Buddhism as well. Although it may go by a different name, the concept and ideology are the same. Buddhism is different depending on the country, but the term ‘Buddha’ has no other meaning. Buddha is also one of the world famous yogis that you need to know about.
In Buddhism, yoga is referred to as Dhyana and the person who achieves infinite wisdom is called Buddha. In Nepal, Gautam Buddha is the founder of Buddhism and from him, the concept of Buddhism spread across the globe. The Tripitaka consists of useful knowledge that can be used to attain serenity.
5. Bashista Rishi
The final candidate in our world famous yogis is Bashista Rishi. He is one of the Sapta Rishis and also the sage to receive knowledge directly from Lord Shiva. He is the chief author of the Mandala 7 of Rigveda. His ideas have a great influence on Hindu philosophy. There are many stories concerning Bashista Rishi.
One such story states that he was the owner of Kamdhenu; the magical cow. He is also the teacher of Lord Rama and his brothers. Bashista wrote the book called Vashista Samhita, Vashista dharmasutra, and other many books. The life of this sage is interesting and his contributions to the growth and development of yoga are astounding.