Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is well known for his Isha Foundation and his yogic practices.

He came up with a theory, a seemingly new one regarding Lord Shiva and the origin of yoga in India.

According to him:

"When we say “Shiva,” there are two fundamental aspects that we are referring to. The word “Shiva” literally means “that which is not.” On another level, when we say “Shiva,” we are referring to a certain yogi, the Adiyogi or the first yogi, and also the Adi Guru, the first Guru, who is the basis of what we know as the yogic science today.

In the yogic culture, Shiva is not seen as a God. He was a being who walked this land and lived in the Himalayan region. As the very source of the yogic traditions, his contribution in the making of human consciousness is too phenomenal to be ignored. This predates all religion.

Dawn of Yoga:

Over 15,000 years ago, Adiyogi appeared in the upper regions of the Himalayas. No one knew where he came from or what his origins were. He just came and went into intense ecstatic dance upon the mountains.

People saw that he was experiencing something that nobody had known before, something that they were unable to fathom. So they gathered around him wanting to know what it was. But no one had the courage to go near him because he was so intense, like a blazing flame of fire. So they waited, hoping something would happen. Some people waited for months and left and Only seven hardcore seekers stuck on. These seven were insistent that they must learn from him, but Shiva ignored them. They pleaded and begged him, “Please, we want to know what you know.”

At last after 84 years of intense sadhana,he decided to become a Guru. On a full moon day which is known as Guru Pournami because the Adiyogi transformed himself into the Adi Guru – the first Guru was born on that day. He took the seven disciples to Kantisarovar and started a systematic exposition of yoga in a scientific manner. He began propounding the whole mechanics of life to these seven people, not intellectually as a philosophy, but experientially. He explored every nut and bolt of creation with them. He brought forth yoga as a technology with which every human being can evolve himself.

The transmission went on for a long period of time. After many years, when it was complete and had produced seven fully enlightened beings, who are today celebrated as the Sapta Rishis, Adiyogi sent each one of them to different parts of the world. One went to Central Asia. Another went to North Africa and the Middle East, where certain schools exist even today. Another went to South America, and that is one culture that imbibed it in a deep way and made something big out of it. One went to East Asia.

One stayed right there with Adiyogi. Another one came to the lower regions of the Himalayas and started what is known as Kashmiri Shaivism. Another one went south into the Indian Peninsula. This one is very important for us because he is Agastya Muni. Of the seven Sapta Rishis, Agastya Muni has been the most effective in terms of bringing the spiritual process into practical life, not as a teaching, philosophy or a practice, but as life itself. It is the benefit of what he did that the Indian people are still enjoying because he produced hundreds of yogis who were like fireballs." and it goes on.

This is a new look at the beginning of Yogic tradition in India.

What is the basis for this story? Was it taken from some Purana or was it an oral tradition?

Is this a true one or a speculated theory?

If it's a speculated then it adds to more confusion caused by the Puranas.

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    THere is no basis to this theory. Everything about this- the meaning of the word Shiva, the really short timeline for the establishment of the guru relative to the age of the universe , to name two are all wrong. Most things that this so-called guru says are incorrect wrt theory and scripture.
    – user1195
    Mar 8, 2016 at 23:17
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    @moonstar2001 please do scriptural analysis before rejecting in the very first instance. This story is projected by Govt. of India for the 1st ever launch of International day of yoga and it could be found in the Minsitry of external affairs website. mea.gov.in/in-focus-article.htm?25096/… Mar 9, 2016 at 17:50
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    @sv. thanx it was sourced from one of e-books of Isha foundation. i asked it as the same story also appeared in the Ministry of External Affairs, GOI article Yoga its origin history and development by Director of Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga.(which is an institute of international importance by GOI). Mar 9, 2016 at 19:28
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    GOI, MEA and international yoga day are rooted in scripture? I know enough scripture to know this is incorrect, I have also seen enough Jaggi's interviews to conclude he does not know scripture.
    – user1195
    Mar 10, 2016 at 16:04
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    @KIRANKUMAR I have been watching a sadguru videos for a long time, he seems to know something beyond physical, however he always confuses .. ;) regarding shiva what I have read is that it was just an "Title" means there were many shivas.
    – Ritesh.mlk
    Feb 27, 2017 at 6:43

3 Answers 3


The Dakshinamurthy is the adiyogi. His idol is there in all south indian temples facing south.

See this wiki article Dakshinamurthy

It is not new and is there in yogic tradition.But the fact is that the traces of the pure yogic tradition and its essence is more or less destroyed in the north india after years of long invavsion. But the south particularly tamilnadu was free from severe invasion of outsiders.

see this pic with seven sages in one of the old indian temples in madurai. enter image description here

  • 5
    Welcome to Hinduism SE! You can cite authentic Scriptures such as Puranas for your sentence "Dakshinamurty is Adi Yogi " and you can explain it detail.
    – The Destroyer
    Feb 27, 2017 at 8:18
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    @TheDestroyer . Hinduism is the only religion or culture that doesnt go by scriptures. It is through inner experience always. I didnt read enough scriptures to answer your query and shiva is older than all the scriptures. you can see the pashupathi seal in the indus valley.
    – T-Rex
    Feb 28, 2017 at 0:55
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    No. Scriptures make answers more authentic. So, this site lays more emphasis for sources. You can visit this question.
    – The Destroyer
    Feb 28, 2017 at 7:51
  • @TheDestroyer..hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/7896/…
    – T-Rex
    Mar 3, 2017 at 1:35
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    While Scriptures are an important source of confirmation - in Sanatana Dharma we do not have authorized versions of our religious scriptures. Various scholars give varying interpretations. The interpretation of Jaggi Vasudeva is one amongst many. Shiva undoubtedly was the Jagat Guru / Adi Guru - teacher of the world / first teacher. In Valmiki Ramayana Mahatmiyam expounded in Uttara Khanda of Skanda Purana there is reference to this in Naradas dialouge with Sanat Kumaras. आस्ते कृतयुगे विप्रो धर्मकर्मविशारदः || सोमदत्त इति ख्यातो नाम्ना धर्मपरायणः | Sep 12, 2017 at 4:05

Sadhguru in many of his Satsangs told Adiyogi IS Dakshinamurthy He explained hat since Adiyogi sat facing South in Himalayas, people called him Dakshinamurthy.

The Devon ke Dev Maha dev tv series showing Shiva as Adiyogi ( Thats how Parvati calls him in one of her births ) teaching yoga to Parvati. This tv serial as they claim they have taken references from Shiva Purana.

Also i remember reading in Shivapurana that Shiva is Adiyogi.

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    The question is looking for the story. Also you should cite authentic sources. Tv serials aren't considered authentic source.
    – Pandya
    May 21, 2017 at 3:01

enter image description here

Yes what Sadhguru says is true. He is talking about Dakshinamurthy version of Shiva. Many Yogic traditions such as Babaji parampara ,Nath sampradaya , Aghoris and those who follow Dakshinamurthy with yogic perspective consider him as Adinath or Adiyogi.Its interesting how Jain's call their first Tirthankar as "Adinath".What's even more interesting is his name. Which is "Rishabnath" (Lord of bull). Take whatever yogic sampradaya/parampara. Their origin touches Adiyogi/Adinath Shiva. The story of Shiva being Adiyogi is also present on Shiva Rahasya Puran which is based on his teachings as Adiyogi. The text is based on Yoga. Do read it. It contains deepest secrets . The contents from that book is first yoga teachings ever it seems. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shivarahasya_Purana

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