There is a widespread belief in the yoga world that the ancient rishis, the people who gave us the wisdom of the Vedas, of the Upanishads and of Ayurveda were yogis. This could not be any further away from the truth.
According to historical evidence, the people who enlightened us with the science of the Vedas, including the Upanishads and Ayurveda were not yogis.
The rishis or sages of antiquity, were people who wanted humanity to thrive. They wanted to give us as much information as they could so we could in turn make wise decisions avoiding unnecessary pitfalls, or having to reinvent the wheel. In other words, they wanted to teach us through their own experience.
The yogis on the other hand, were a small group of people whose goal was to leave this body, to find union with God, with the cosmic consciousness, in other words, to die. The yogis believed that this body and this mind are an obstacle on the path of union with God and therefore they need to be eliminated.
So they decided to take the knowledge that the rishis were giving and limit its use to their very own specific purpose, that of physical death. Everything that the yogis were teaching had a single ultimate target in mind, and that was the elimination of the human experience.
Whereas, the rishis or sages of the Upanishads just like Charaka, the author of Ayurveda, believed that the greatest way we have to serve our community and honor life is by taking care of our body and our mind.
Either path has its own merits. What has no value is spreading confusion and misinformation.
Namaste kala! Which in Greek means, may we all be well! -Vie and Tim
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