There is a story about the origin of yoga by Maharishi Patanjali and how he gave the knowledge of Yoga to mankind.

What is that story and what is the significance of it?

  • The title of the question and the question are not matching. In the title, you wanted to know the story of origin of Yoga and the question part is restricted to origin of yoga by Maharishi Patanjali. According to some scholars, Yoga predated Patanjali. Please clarify. @Diwesh kumar Aug 11, 2019 at 9:15
  • Yoga means union. But union of what? Union of Atman/Jiva with Parmatman/Ishwar. Gyana, Bhakti, Raja and Karma Yoga are 4 kinds of path of yoga/unions mentioned in Geeta. Patanjali Yoga Sutras comprising of Ashtang Yoga of Asanas, Pranayama etc., is part of Raja/control Yoga.
    – user20089
    Apr 9, 2020 at 12:18

1 Answer 1


The Sanskrit noun योग yoga is derived from the root yuj "to attach, join, harness, yoke".

Rig veda 5.81.1

युञ्जते मन उत युञ्जते धियो विप्रा विप्रस्य बर्हतो विपश्चितः |

वि होत्रा दधे वयुनाविद एक इन मही देवस्य सवितुः परिष्टुतिः ||

The illumined yoke their mind and they yoke their thoughts to the illuminating godhead, to the vast, to the luminous in consciousness;

So Yoga means joining the mind with the God, ie., it indicates pure SPIRITUALITY.

Asanas, Pranayama, etc, which are part of Asthanga Yoga, will aid in joining the mind with the God.

Sri Krishna said in Gita

इमं विवस्वते योगं प्रोक्तवानहमव्ययम्।

विवस्वान् मनवे प्राह मनुरिक्ष्वाकवेऽब्रवीत्।।4.1।।

The Blessed Lord said I taught this imperishable Yoga to Vivasvan; he told it to Manu; Manu proclaimed it to Ikshvaku.

So the SPIRITUAL teachings were transmitted by the Almighty to Vivasvan first, from whom it reached Manu, and so on.

  • Note that in Rig Veda 5.81.1 the word yoga as a noun is not actually used. The word used is yuñjate, from the verb yuj. Sep 8, 2021 at 7:23

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