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Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…

Sometimes students have written to or asked Swami Veda Bharati, Swami Ritavan Bharati, and other senior teachers in our tradition questions about practice.  This is one such “Question and Answer,” or Q&A.


During my study of four Vedas, I could not find any mantra relating to Yoga as physical Exercise. Can any learned Vedic Scholar guide me to this subject in Vedas? In Patanjali Yoga Shastra relevant reference to Veda mantra is not quoted.

Vedas do refer to maximum life/age of a person up to 300 years if the individual strictly follows Rtam (eternal Laws of God).In Rtam there is no mention of Physical Yogas but if a person assists God in the maintenance of this Grand wondrous Brahmand by ensuring no physical, spiritual or social pollution in Brahmand, a person can live up to 300 years.


Michael Smith and Stephen Parker (Stoma) have answered this question.

From Michael Smith:

I think the mantra that people generally do for health and stamina is Maha-Mrityunjaya Mantra. Swami Veda has said quite a bit on that Maha-mrtyunjaya Mantra. It is primarily a mantra for spiritual well-being and stability . . . and for transitioning.

In the USA, there is so much talk (and advertising) about longevity, health, physical fitness in old age etc.

Anytime anyone says they want to live a long time, I think,

“Why do people want to live a long time?”
“Why do you want to live a long time?”

More pleasure, sex, adventure, drama?

The only good reasons I can think of would be

  1. to have more time to help people or
  2. to expand one’s spiritual awareness.

Swami Veda put it into a nutshell:

“Love others and do your meditation.
The rest is entertainment.”

From Stephen Parker (Stoma):

Swami Veda often said that the practices of yoga, including references to Kundalini and the cakras are there in the Vedic literature but under different terms. Yoga practices are usually referred to under the term tapas. Meditation practices in the heart chakra are described in the Dahara-vidya section of the Chandogya Upanishad. You are correct that there is no reference to yoga as a physical exercise. That is an artifact of the confluence of the physical culture movement and the disciples of Krishnamacharya in the 20th century fueled by American interest in weight loss and physical fitness.

Editor’s Note:

If you have a question about spiritual practice, you can use the "Contact the Spiritual Committee" link on the Ahymsin website to ask it.

Previous columns can be read at “Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…



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