The whole world knows that India is the center of spirituality. Here’s the evolution of more than 150 religious traditions. The names of three of these religious traditions are prominent, Hindu, Buddhist and Jain. These three religious traditions have considered to be the oldest religious traditions of India. These three have a deep connection with yoga.
Three main religions which have a deep connection to the Yoga
As in my article ‘Buddhism is the path of truth. World’s best Dharma‘, I have tried to elaborate on the theme of the origin of Buddhism. This religion is a spiritual ideology originate from the ancient Indian religious tradition which, with the influence of Mahatma Buddha it developed into the form of Buddhism. Yog is also similarly an ideology originate from the Indian spiritual tradition which is famous as Yoga philosophy. In fact, these two have a deep connection with each other because of their same origin source.
As you all know that meditation has very much importance in Buddhist religious culture. Buddhism has known as various names in China and Japan as the form of meditation. It is popular in China as Chan Buddhism and Jain Buddhism in Japan and many other Northeastern countries. In fact, meditation is the soul of Jain Buddhism and Chan Buddhism. The meditation has used in Buddhism as an important part of the yogic ideology, or it can be assumed that this form of Buddhism has completely influenced by samadhi and meditation.
Buddha the first yogi?
It is appropriate to call Mahatma Buddha the first yogi or ascetic of Buddhism. Some scholars also believe that the state of meditation in Yog is the ideology of the Sannyasa Ashram, which had come after becoming a sannyasi of Mahatma Buddha. But this fact can not be considered in any way right because Shakyamuni had the full knowledge of meditation and samadhi before becoming Buddha. From this, it is known that Yogic practice is the ancient ideology of before Buddha.
Information about yoga practice or philosophy founds in many texts of Buddhism such as Anguttaranikaya P.63, Samadhi Marg (Dharmand Kaushambi) P.15 etc. Buddhism has adopted the yogic practice as meditation completely while acknowledging the soul and consciousness as transient. To say this is to say that Yoga and Buddhism have a very deep connection between each other.
The origin of Jainism has considered as under Shramana ideology which is the same as Buddhism. But Jainism is ancient from Buddhism. This religious tradition came from the ancient Indian Sanatan Dharma culture which is also the origin source of Buddha Dharma. Jain Dharma is also believed to be against the Vedic ideology like Buddhism, but this religion clearly shows the greater effect of Hindu Dharma on itself, whereas the influence of Hindu religion on Buddhism is very little than Jainism. It is true that these two religious ideologies were born as against to the ancient Hindu Vedic religion system, not against the Indian Hindu Dharma culture. This may have been the reason that the impact of Hindu culture on both religious traditions is clearly visible.
Proofs of Yoga connection to Jain Darshana
Yoga tradition or philosophy has a deep influence on Jainism. Prior to Patanjali, Hiranyagrbh (Rishabhdev) is considere as Yoga originator in some Hindu texts. It is also everyone knows that the founder of Jain religion is Tirthankara Rishabhdev Ji (Hiranyagrbha). It is therefore very easy to understand that there is very much deep connection between Jainism and Yoga because the first Tirthankra of Jainism is the originator of yoga.
the jog word has been used many times in the last voice of Lord Mahavira ‘Uttaradhyayana Sutra’. Like- Jog Sancharana Jog Visohe. (जोग संचरण जोग विसोहेइ।)
Yog has also used in Jain book Tattvarthasutra (6/ 1-2). Here this word has been used as meditation, restraint, Saadhana. So like these, there are many Jain texts mention yoga tradition.
As you all know, the method of practice in Jainism has considered as the path of liberation (Moksha), in the form of Ratnatriya (three gems) samyak philosophy, samyak knowledge, samyak character. This religion shows the Yog or Sadhana as the form of Meditation, Tapoyoga, Samvar Yog and Bhavana Yog. Thus, there is the widespread significance of yoga tradition in the Jain religion which has based on the principle of Anekantavada and Syadvada.
As mentioned earlier, the word Yoga has derived from the ancient Hindu texts of the Vedic period and the texts of the Aryan period. Such as Gita, Mahabharata, Patanjal Yoga Sutra etc. In all the texts related to yog, the meaning and feeling of the word yoga have been used in the context of the spiritual meditation path, the tenacity, and sannyas path.
The tradition of yogic practice have considered to be completely related to Sanatan Hindu religion, because the origins of yoga religion or yoga philosophy have arisen under the ancient Sanatan Dharma culture. The Patanjal Yoga Sutra’s author Patanjali was the monk or yogi of the Indian Sanatan Hindu culture. The credit goes to the Patanjali for bringing Yoga in front of society in a broader way. Yoga is an integral part of Hindu culture and tradition. Yog Philosophy is the result of the dedication and hard work of Thousands of saints and Yoga teachers of Sanatan Hindu culture. The credit goes to all these saints for reaching it to the masses. It is the biggest contribution of the Indian spiritual tradition to the whole world.
Therefore, I believe that it would not be wrong to say that Yoga is the best spiritual wellness full medium of the salvation of every human life.
Ultimately, the conclusion is that the yoga is not related to any one religion. Rather the connection of yoga with all the major religious traditions of India is visible in some form. The reason for this is that yoga was present in India as a spiritual tradition before the emergence of all these religious traditions.
Therefore it would be fair to say that yoga is a lifestyle related to ancient Indian spiritual and religious culture, which is present in all the religious traditions that flourish in India. The three religious traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism are paramount among them.