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  Journey of the Self, through the Self, to the Self  (BG:13-24)



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Rishi Yoga

The ancient Rishis (seers) who were themselves the embodiment of all the Vedas and schools of Indian Philosophy, were the researchers and developers of that time, and can be called scientists.

They were dedicated to the practice and study of the Vedic wisdom (vedic yoga). this study takes the individual to the highest state of equilibrium.

This same knowledge developed and codified and passed down to the Guru-s for safe keeping and dissemination. Hence another name for this ultimate wisdom is known as Rishi Yoga.

One important point to remember is that these great rishis all addressed the subject of yoga to the mind, to the control of the mind. Only with control over the mind can anyone transcend the mind. The discussions amongst these Rishis were to remove the diseases of the mind.

This bring up a definition of yoga.

The study of yoga is a journey of the self, through the self, to the self.

The wide spread use of postures was emerged within the last two centuries and should not be confused with Rishi Yoga.

There were seven original rishis, each were proponent of one aspect of the great wisdom of the vedas, although fully knowledgeable in all the other vedas. Although this information can be very technical in-so-far as the given ages. In this present age the seven rishis are, according to

The Satapata Brahmana and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (2.2.4) acknowledge the names of seven rishis (or Saptarshis) as: Atri, Bharadvaja, Gautam, Jamadagni, Kashyapa, Vasishta, Vishwamitra

Krishna Yajurveda in the Sandhya-Vandana Mantras has it as: Angirasa, Atri ,Bhrigu, Gautam , Kasyapa ,Kutsa , Vasishtha .

Other accounts lists them with one or two differences.

However, what is noteworthy is that these rishi-seers revealed, bundled and delivered to the later deserving students, the universal wisdom which included Yoga long before the time of Sri Krishna, let alone to speak of the much later Maharishi Patanjali, the codifier or the Eight-Fold path of Yoga- Ashtanga Yoga. 

This revealed knowledge is called sruti in the sanskrit language (sanskrit is the oldest surviving language or the proto-indo-european or proto-indo-aryan group of languages).  Patanjali systematized in a very scientific graduated approach, a series of steps that brings the diligent student to the platform wherefrom he can attain 'sruti'.

Ashtanga Yoga the eight-fold path should not be confused with the popular new age 'Ashtanga Yoga' that promotes combinations of postures in series calling it primary series, secondary series, etc.

This promotion of postures can only take an individual only so far as to euphoria. Euphoria is derived from a physical stimulus. Beyond euphoria is eupsychia (pronounced u-psychia ), which at the higher fringe of euphoria and extends to the fringe of the spiritual.

These arrangement of the extremities will not and cannot take anyone to the knowledge of sruti or to enlightenment for that matter.

The ancient philosophy, alongside with the practice of these teachings is known as Gyana-Vigyana Yoga. This Gyana-Vigyana Yoga was taught in the battlefield by Sri Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita as a point when he (Arjuna) was experiencing mental conflicts and became unable to administer his duties as a soldier/warrior.