Is yoga a religion?


Religion is a social-cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements.

So Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, etc, are religions.

Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Saakteism, etc, being in vogue under the name of Hinduism are religions.

However, Yoga is basically a pure SPIRITUAL CONCEPT.

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.

A human can be irreligious/agnostic/religious, but can be SPIRITUAL.

Dr. Paul Brunton, a sceptic, approached Sri Ramana Maharshi and got spiritually elevated.

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