The Language of Yoga

The distinction between “Vedic Sanskrit,” which is anything but pure and precise, is different to the later, refined Classical Sanskrit, which itself has multiple layers. This is the reason why scholars can show how various sections of texts were likely composed and inserted later, as the language used is identifiably different.

Patrick McCartney
5 min readApr 5, 2021


If the reader is curious, here is some of the original “language of Yoga,” which one could apply some sort of intersectional critical deconstructionist literary theory.

Below are portions of three Vedic poems, the translations are provided by Stephanie Jamison and Joel Brereton. The first excerpt is taken from the eleventh poem of the second “book” of the Ṛgveda. It clearly shows the virtues extolled in getting drunk, excited, and tending to a clear culture of “toxic masculinity,” which anticipates accumulating wealth, power, and prestige through success in battle.

Drink and drink the soma, o Indra, our champion! Let the exhilarating soma-pressings exhilarate you. As they fill your cheeks, let them strengthen you.

When properly pressed among the Paura, (the soma) has helped Indra. 2,011.11

We inspired poets have abided by you, Indra. Serving according to the truth, we would gain insight. Seeking your help, we would create for ourselves a proclamation of your praise. On this very day, we would be those to be given wealth by you. 2,011.12

Indra, might we be those of yours who are accompanied by your help, since, seeking your help, we make your nourishment strong. Grant us the most explosive wealth in which we will delight, o god — that consisting of heroic men. 2,011.13

Grant us peaceful dwelling. Grant us alliance. Grant us a Marutian warrior band, o Indra. And they who jointly are finding exhilaration — (those) Winds drink the first offering. 2,011.14