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Origin of Yoga and Shiva

Yoga is believed to have been first taught by Hindu God Shiva and it was compiled by Sage Patanjali. Origin of Yoga begins with Shiva’s unhappiness over the world created by Brahma. Legend has it that Shiva was unhappy with the pain and suffering in the world due to Maya. Shiva complained to Brahma about this. But Brahmadev was proud of his creation and sprouted four heads to view it from all sides. He was so proud that a fifth head popped out to watch His creation.

This enraged Shiva who took the terrible form of Bhairava and chopped off the fifth head of Brahma.

Brahma complained that he did not create unhappiness or misery. It is mind which is the result of all misery.

Shiva retorted that it was Brahma who created mind.

Brahma then answered that the mind can be controlled and enlightened. The mind which is the cause of unhappiness, if controlled is the path to bliss.

Shiva soon realized that Maya had overpowered him. He felt remorse for his anger and for the sin committed.

Shiva then went to Avimukta in Kashi and meditated on ways to control the mind.

Finally he came with the secret of Yoga.

All living beings who were frustrated with the materialistic world and sought to attain moksha crowded near Shiva.

Shiva as Dakshinamurti then unraveled the great cosmic truth.

Shiva first explained the main aim of yoga and then taught the physical postures.

Shiva is believed to have showed 8, 40, 000 postures – each representing a bird or animal.

Sage Patanjali compiled the teachings and saved it for the future generation. Today a miniscule part of the original teaching is available.