In Yogic tradition, Shiva is perceived as the Adiyogi or first Yogi, the first Guru.
He is believed to have transmitted the yogic sciences to his seven disciples – the Saptarishis on the banks of Kantisarovar, a lake few kilometers above Kedarnath in the Himalayas. This was the first yoga practice. Scholars are of the view that this occurred 35,000- 60,000 years ago but it is certain that it is said to occur nearly 15,000 years ago.
Adiyogi is significant not just because he attained, but because he made the possibility available to everyone through the methods he created of spreading awareness. He made it possible to approach the ultimate nature of the real self in a scientific manner, exploring numerous dimensions so it became an organized process – a shastra or a science for inner wellbeing.
He deciphered 112 fundamental methods, and from that, myriad combinations have evolved today.
How were the prevalent times when the Adiyogi appeared? As per yogic legend, except when he is sitting down, Adiyogi is known to be in a position to always derive an action. When he first appeared, many people including the seven Saptarishis, gathered out of interest. There definitely must have been some seeking them out to wonder, “You seem to know something that we do not know.”
The longing to reach one’s ultimate nature did not find expression in most parts of the world, but in this culture it did. We need to expand in an unbounded way. We don’t know on what scale, but that realization definitely must have come.
People didn’t gather around him out of fear, they gathered understanding he had something to offer, they were conscious of a higher possibility