Om Namah Shivaya – I salute to Shiva with all my aspects
Shiva, the destroyer manifestation of the Brahman – the inner self, one of the Hindu Trinity is considered the Aadi Yogi or the first yogi in the world. He is regarded as the originator and patron of Yoga in yogic culture. Although he is considered the Great God in Hinduism, Yogic culture takes him to be a great yogi who achieved the enlightenment through mysterious practice of yoga which was unknown to human beings for long time.
As the lore goes, Shiva practiced mysterious and powerful physical movements and then the silence that would take him into a state of trance in Mt. Kailash, his abode in the Himalayas, and enjoyed it. He was reluctant to pass this knowledge of ecstatic joy to the human race for ages as he thought human beings were not ready yet to take into the knowledge that brings them to salvation – union with the supreme consciousness. But in course of time, some of the human beings were so dedicated to getting the knowledge that they transformed themselves into capable ones to receive the sacred and secret knowledge and eventually they were graced upon with that knowledge by Shiva. The sacred knowledge of yoga was passed onto the humanity since then and is benefiting still and will benefit infinitely. Those humans who were graced upon by Shiva with the knowledge practiced it with such a dedication in the Himalayas that they were eventually enlightened.
One of those enlightened Yogis after the yoga was transferred to humanity was Maharshi Patanjali who gave the world with the Yoga Sutra and is considered the foundation of the modern day yoga. He is the Maha Rishi or the Great Sage who left a beautiful gift of yoga to the world.
Although Shiva imparted the knowledge of yoga to the humanity, he never gave the philosophical explanation rather he emphasized in practical implementation of it so that humanity could experience the ecstasy of yoga in practical. Later on, Maharshi Patanjali wrote all the philosophical aspects of yoga so that rest of the humanity could easily understand how they should practice yoga to get the salvation and be able to unite with the supreme consciousness. Since then yoga has been transformed and practiced by many yogis in the world and have been benefited a lot.
To honor such a Great Yogi, the First Yogi, who gifted the world with beautiful knowledge of yoga, let’s pray him with the chanting of Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra:
Om Tryambakam Yajamahe
Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat
Om, We worship the third-eyed lord
Who nourishes all beings with his spiritual essence
May he free us from the bondage of Samsara
And liberate us making us realize that we are never separated from our immortal being!