Thursday, May 6, 2010

My 2 cents

This all started when I read the link posted on metta yoga's page on face book.

"Shukla responds, April 28 : Dr. Chopra, honor thy heritage"

I agree fully with what Mr.Shukla writes in this particular response. I simply can not divide the philosophy/science of yoga with hindu way of living. They are so closely intertwined. Implying that Mr. Shukla has fundamentalist agenda is a huge accusation and to me it did not seem that way at all.

Yoga indeed is for All of the humanity people from all religions. Having said that it does not hurt to acknowledge its origins.

I grew up in India, I never saw my grand mothers practice physical yoga postures at all but they always talked about reincarnation, karma and attaining moksha. To me these are concepts in sanatana dharma. I know that the great seers/sages/rishis in India did not coin the term Hindu but the way of life they prescribed and what was passed down in vedas/upanishads/Geeta/puranas are the roots of yoga philosophy AND that is the path / life style adopted by people who later came to be known as Hindus. They are very Hindu scriptures IMO.

The sages did not claim yoga to be Hindu because it was for all who wanted to practice it.Those seers were not so narrow minded. I can not separate it from teachings that were imbibed in me.

Five thousand years ago, when nationalism did not even exist as a concept, Indian Thought talked of Universalism that transcended all boundaries:

“Ayam nijah paroveti ganana laghuchetasam

Udaracharitanam tu vasudhaiva kutumbakam”

“This is my countryman; that is a foreigner—such a view is entertained only by small-minded people; but to the broad, noble-minded, the whole world is one family

"Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" (The whole universe is my home) OR the prayer that I grew up with

“Sarve Bhavantu Sukhina ,

Sarve Santu Niramaya

Sarve Bhadrani Pashyantu ,

Maa Kaschit Dukha Bhagh Bhavet”

May all be happy;

May all be without disease;

May all have well-being;

May none have misery of any sort.

(you all know this one in the yoga world)"

are considered hindu prayers BUT do they ask happiness for the followers of this path alone? Hell NO.It is a prayer for entire spectrum of living beings not just humans. Something that is and was intended for the universe can't be and should not be tied down to any religion. But, be grateful to where it came from.

Indian govt.has not patented yoga postures in the past but now I hear that they are going to do it. I think they have no choice but to do it . They are driven to that action. Good for them I say.

I remember growing up, reading about some US based company trying to patent turmeric and India won that case in international court. For centuries billions of people are using turmeric in daily cooking knowing its health benefits and then why should they let some foreign company own the knowledge?

I am only thrilled to see so many westerners practicing yoga and reading about it and writing books on yoga. I am trilled because it is a part of my upbringing and heritage. I don't need any royalty from anyone. I just want people to enjoy its abundant benefits without copy writing or trademarking. The knowledge and wisdom in vedas, upanishadas, Geeta is for ALL of us but please dont deny its roots in sanatana dharma.