Recently International Yoga Day has been declared by U.N. to be celebrated every year on June 21. Lets talk about it a bit..
It would be truly un-Indian to not be proud of this widespread popularity and worldwide acceptance of an Indian Spiritual discipline. Yoga, which qualifies to be called a holistic-evolution-oriented lifestyle, is a discipline in itself. Its amazing to witness the uni-vocal support and admiration of our philosophy from all the nooks and corners of the world as this resolution got the support of 175 nations out of 193 member nations of the United Nations.
The only forgiving and welcoming nation of the world was under attacks from many foreign invaders. In fact India was ruled for centuries by the people who understood its philosophies, culture and language the least. Such ignorant lots of rulers not only tried to do away with all the good which we inherited from our ancestors but also misunderstood it thereby treating most of our practices as superstitions, taboos, unscientific and thought these to be kind of occult. It is surprising that Indian spiritual systems and invaluable philosophies still survived. In fact during those long periods of barbaric suppression of foreign rulers and invaders most of the spiritual teachers and Yogis moved towards Himalayas or deep in to forests.. thus survived our heritage. We are truly fortunate that Yoga has survived despite all the efforts of tarnishing its image by alien rulers.
Today’s Yoga is not authentic!
During the foreign attacks and rules India lost majority of its treasures – the ancient spiritual texts and books. It is a well documented fact that the library of an Indian University (at Nalanda) was set on fire and it continued to muzzle smoke for almost 3 months! The planned eradication of ancient Indian scriptures by foreign invaders was for a purpose and they quite succeeded in it. This is the reason why Yoga, a discipline which was learnt directly from Teachers by seekers of higher truth has been reduced to physical exercises. Also we find that every morning a new brand of Yoga is registered and patented. This is quite a sad state of affairs. In ancient India, Yoga was a subject of teaching in every Gurukulam – having a defined, elaborate syllabus and authentic reference books. But in this age of commercialization the authenticity of teachings is knowingly being compromised by patent-minded-money-hungry pseudo-Yogis. These modern-Yogis are trying to sell Yoga for health reason rather than a life-discipline which ensures evolution of humanity by promoting physical health, holistic mental health and highest level of spiritual & moral health.
India has a role in standardizing Yoga & its reference books!
Some people think that Yoga is meant for a holistic living and raising the practitioner’s mental awareness but it is not true. It is this misplaced belief which has made Modern Yoga Gurus to go all out in trying to establish Yoga as a health capsule. Even disciples – who mostly learn it through TV shows or DVDs think Yoga is just to keep them fit and come as a rescue to all their indulgences in health-spoilers. What a shame that the rulers of India, which is mother of Yogic System is not able to tame these Yoga Branding, money hungry Gurus in its own land who are playing with the life of millions of people. These are the people who have contaminated the system and even go to the extent of making claims to invent some of it. Many such invented kriyas have been patented under some lucrative names and are making people suffer from innumerable negative effects of these unauthentic, against-the-basics, out of turn processes.
Now the time is ripe for all the authentic and moralistic Yoga Masters to join hands and ensure the word Yoga is not exploited any further. It is my conviction that Yoga must be taught only as per authentic ancient syllabus – prescribed in Yogic and Vedic scriptures!This has to be so until few decades of extensive researches oriented atmosphere is made available for conducting elaborate experiments to arrive at some truly pragmatic conclusions. You would believe it beyond doubts that the ancient Masters of Yoga have not tried to make up things for any commercial benefits. Hence no logic whatsoever should deter us from having a grounded belief in the teachings and textual references.
Yoga is ‘the hope’ for unification of Humanity and all faiths!
Yoga is a science. Just like Humanities, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics it is neutral to religious faiths and color of skin. Just like technology (which is the blended outcome of all sciences) has nothing to do with any particular faith or religion the same way yoga works on human body and mind without discrimination. One can be a Zoroastrian or a Jew and practice Yoga, one can be a Muslim and practice Yoga, a Christian can practice Yoga – Yoga doesn’t impose any preconditions of faith or religion upon the practitioners. Yoga is about self-discipline, sharpening intellect, invoking the wisdom, balanced logical faculty and compassion within. It is about expanding your boundaries.. rather to put it correctly I should say that Yoga is about dissolving your personal boundaries by invoking all the positive and humane qualities in the humans apart from giving the ability to see and feel beyond -the road to bliss! Any practitioner of Yoga can not term himself to be a fanatic because he is then able to clearly see the blurred boundaries between faiths.
Just as of now Mars, Sun or Moon, antibiotics, technology, electricity etc. don’t belong to any religion but all in the same way Yoga is a discipline for human race for its own evolution and perfection.
Yoga teaching can never take a ‘Mass-teaching’ route!
Yoga, which has its roots in Vedas, essentially takes into account the individual practitioner’s nature, orientation, body type, capacity and above all the energies. Principles of Ayurveda are interwoven in the Yoga and that is the reason Yoga was never a discipline which could be given remotely. You had to interact with the Master directly, face to face. You had to conduct your practices under Master’s personal guidance. Yoga was never and should never be ‘One pill for all’ approach.
As a rule (depending upon the condition and conditioning of the practitioner) Master chooses the best suited practices for the disciple and guides him/her through them.. closely monitoring the effects and fine-tuning, altering, revisiting them almost instantaneously ensuring progress of the disciple. Also the teacher would know how much to expect from a particular disciple because every individual learns, assimilates and progresses differently and not all can become Master one day – despite all sincere efforts!
Am I implying to a ‘ban’ on TV Gurus? Well.. that could be true because I believe if tomorrow someone starts giving out classes on the TV on ‘how to swim’ or ‘how to read’ you will jump to ask ‘How can you teach swimming without taking someone to the pool?’ then why not ask the same in case of Yoga which prepares for meditation , evolution and samadhi.. something far more important.
It is encouraging to see an idea from Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi win such a thumping majority at a truly diverse forum yet a lot needs to be done to make the best out of it. Are we ready to lead the world?
India and nations united listening?
– Acharya Agyaatdarshan Anand Nath