Tracing the Origins of Yoga: Insights from Ancient Indian Texts and Archaeological Finds

Yoga, a timeless practice rooted in ancient Indian culture, finds its origins in texts like the Vedas dating back to 1500 BCE, where it’s described as a spiritual discipline uniting individual consciousness with the divine. The Upanishads further develop yoga as a systematic path to spiritual realization, focusing on mastery of the senses and inner peace. Archaeological findings, including Indus Valley seals and structures resembling early yoga studios, suggest yoga’s presence in ancient civilizations like Mohenjo-Daro. Over centuries, yoga evolved, culminating in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali around the 2nd century BCE, which codified yoga into Ashtanga Yoga. Yoga’s journey embodies the quest for spiritual enlightenment and holistic well-being, inspiring lives worldwide.

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The seal of PashupatiNath

Indian tradition roots back too far in history. With passing time, more excavation, more research and little more effort into finding the true knowledge has resulted in unfolding the stories of our origination into mutifolds. One such extravagant and stupendous example is “The Pashupati Seal” The seal resorted back into its full glory now is an archaeological artifact discovered in the ancient Indus Valley civilization. Found at the Mohenjo-daro site, it dates back to around 2500 BCE, it looks like that which must have been used for stamping on cloth like material mostly - possibly as a block printing material.  The seal features a figure seated in a yogic position, surrounded by various animals. The central figure is identified as a deity and is referred to as the figure of Lord Shiva, who is also known as Pashupati, meaning "Lord of Animals." The presumed Pashupatinath figurine (an early form of Lord Shiva), is seated cross-legged with an erect posture. The hands hold objects that some interpret as symbols of ritual significance.

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