Portal:Yoga

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Yoga (/ˈjɡə/; Sanskrit: योग; About this sound pronunciation) is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophical traditions. There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Among the best-known types of yoga are Hatha yoga and Rāja yoga.

The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions; it is mentioned in the Rigveda, but most likely developed around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, in ancient India's ascetic and śramaṇa movements. The chronology of earliest texts describing yoga-practices is unclear, varyingly credited to Upanishads. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali date from the first half of the 1st millennium CE, but only gained prominence in the West in the 20th century. Hatha yoga texts emerged around the 11th century with origins in tantra.

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Drishti (IPA: [ dɽʂʈi ]; Sanskrit: दृष्टि; IAST:dṛṣṭi), or focused gaze, is a means for developing concentrated intention. It relates to the fifth limb of yoga (pratyahara) concerning sense withdrawal,[1] as well as the sixth limb dharana relating to concentration.[2]

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Swami Vivekananda in Chicago, September, 1893. On the left Vivekananda wrote in his own handwriting: "one infinite pure and holy – beyond thought beyond qualities I bow down to thee".
Swami Vivekananda (Bengali pronunciation: About this sound Shāmi Bibekānando ):Bengali pronunciation: [ʃami bibekanɒnɖo]) (12 January 1863–4 July 1902), born Narendra Nath Datta (Bengali pronunciation: [nɔrend̪ro nat̪ʰ d̪ɔt̪t̪o]), was an Indian Hindu monk. He was a key figure in the introduction of Indian philosophies of Vedanta andYoga to the western world and was credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion in the late 19th century. He was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India and contributed to the notion of nationalism in colonial India. He was the chief disciple of the 19th century saint Ramakrishna and the founder of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission.He is perhaps best known for his inspiring speech beginning with "Sisters and Brothers of America,"through which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893.

Born into an aristocratic Bengali family of Calcutta, Swami Vivekananda showed an inclination towards spirituality and God realisation. His guru, Ramakrishna, taught him Advaita Vedanta (non-dualism); that all religions are true and that service to man was the most effective worship of God. After the death of his guru, Vivekananda became a wandering monk, extensively touring the Indian subcontinent and acquiring first-hand knowledge of conditions in India. He later travelled to the United States and represented India as a delegate in the 1893 Parliament of World Religions. He conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating tenets of Hindu philosophy in America, England and Europe. He established the Vedanta societies in America and England.

In America Vivekananda became India's spiritual ambassador. His mission there was the interpretation of India's spiritual culture and heritage. He also tried to enrich the religious consciousness of Americans through the teachings of the Vedanta philosophy. In India Vivekananda is regarded as a patriotic saint of modern India and his birthday is celebrated as National Youth Day.

In Swami Vivekananda's own words, he was "condensed India". William James, the Harvard philosopher, called Vivekananda the "paragon of Vedantists". Rabindranath Tagore's suggestion (to Nobel Laureate Romain Rolland) was– "If you want to know India, study Vivekananda. In him everything is positive and nothing negative."

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