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Is the the current form in which Yoga is being propounded (stripped of metaphysical aspects) distortion of Patanjali rishi's teachings? If Yes, then is yoga as a physical practice amoral and neutral but can any meaning and function be imported into its form?

Main argument of new age gurus is that Yoga is a technology/phenomenon/natural law etc. Just like gravity cannot restricted to one religion, same is applicable for Yoga. They want to spread yoga as a non-religious scientific tool to enhance human wellbeing.

This is great. But just like Gita is meant for entire mankind, it is still a scripture of Hinduism and distorting its content does not yield benefits.

  • When it comes to Yoga, I gather chanting mantras is an integral component. So is it really called Yoga when mantras are not chanted ?

  • Also from what I gather is that there Asana (which is projected as Yoga) is just one of the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga. Is it ok to assume one may not derive the intended benefits by ignoring the other limbs or for not carrying it out correctly (i.e. by not chanting the mantras) ?

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  • Those who are voting for this to be closed as "opinion based" need to read the post once again, especially the last para where I have asked what do the scriptures say about taking bits and pieces / half hearted approach Feb 28 '20 at 11:13
  • Looks like people on this site don't even care to read the post before voting to close. Like its their favourite thing.
    – Lokesh
    Feb 28 '20 at 16:58
  • The title looks opinion-based and also a dup of Depicting Mahabharata (and other scriptures) misleadingly. Feb 28 '20 at 18:13
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    @sv - I don't think the title is contradicting the body..It does set the context. Apologies for it not being simple enough for you Feb 29 '20 at 1:30
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    Short answer: yes
    – Ikshvaku
    Feb 29 '20 at 2:05
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The questions are:

  • When it comes to Yoga, I gather chanting mantras is an integral component. So is it really called Yoga when mantras are not chanted ?

  • Also from what I gather is that there Asana (which is projected as Yoga) is just one of the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga. Is it ok to assume one may not derive the intended benefits by ignoring the other limbs or for not carrying it out correctly (i.e. by not chanting the mantras) ?


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.

As SPIRITUALITY is for all humans, cutting across the barriers of countries/religions, etc, the way to SPIRITUALITY, ie., Yoga is also has no connection to religions.


  1. Chanting mantras result in concentration and thus, comes under 6th limb of Asthanga Yoga, ie., Dharana - concentration; one-pointed focus.

  2. It is secondary whether one chants mantras or not and whether one does practice asanas or not.

The primary issue is Dhyana, which result in joining the mind with the God, which is called Yoga. A prolonged Dhyana results in Samadhi.


Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, etc, did not do asanas, as advocated by Asthanga Yoga, but yet they reached the highest stage in SPIRITUALITY.

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One will not derive spiritual benefits from doing only asanas and stripping it of spiritual techniques.

Can it be called Yoga?

Strictly speaking the answer is no. However, there is no way of stopping a person from accepting only a little portion of Yoga.

'..Reflecting on this entire teaching, do as you think fit."

Gita 18.63

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