Reproduced with permission from the author
I happened to see your interview with Rajiv Malhotra and was surprised to see the contents. I hope you saw the full interview where he showed the veracity of your statements taken from the Holy Yoga site itself (in the second part link is given below )
What is so surprising, is what you call Physical Asanas in Yoga. It requires a preparation of ’10 rules’ of Yama and Niyama.
Yama (5 rules)
1) Ahimsa – Non-violence
2) Satya – Truthfulness
3) Asteya – Non-stealing
4) Brahmacharya – Sexual responsibility
5) Aparigraha – Abstention from greed
Niyama (5 rules)
1) Sauca – cleanliness
2) Santosa – contentment
3) Tapa – austerity
4) Svadhyaya – Self-study
5) Isvaraparidhana – Surrender of the self to God (acknowledging higher principle, whatever name you call it)
As I see, you are building a foundation violating most of these preparatory principles and hope to teach Yoga. What has Yoga got to do exclusively with Jesus and Christianity? Yoga is universal, it can be practised by Hindus as ‘Aatman’, Christians as ‘Christ consciousness’, Buddhists as “Buddha consciousness” and even Muslims as ‘Allah’.
While West patents its developments, India does not patent it. That is not a reason for stealing and appropriating it.
The great spiritual masters of today like Eckhart Tolle (when Oprah had a show in 2009, 30-35 million saw or downloaded it). Michael Singer and others are teaching that what we as human beings are searching is universal consciousness; one can call that by any name. What world needs today is to unite people and bring this universal consciousness, not archaic, institutionalized form of appropriation and exclusivity that resulted in the enormous destruction of humanity, environment and the brutality to animals.
Yoga is a science, a mind/body science that was developed by the spiritual masters of India, just as America has developed physical sciences in the outside world. It is open for everyone to use, as the fruits of research and technology from the US is open to everyone. As and when we use the science and technology, we attribute to the founders and developers. Yoga is a science that developed in India and needs to be attributed to India and its ancient heritage. The roots are based on Hinduism (or ‘Sanatana Dharma’) which were built over 10,000 or more years. While West patents its developments, India does not patent it. That is not a reason for stealing and appropriating it.
It is bizarre to see the major teaching programs and slick presentations on your website all built within the premises of falsehood and violation of the very preparatory steps of Yama/Niyama (truthfulness, non-stealing, abstention from greed, contentment etc) for practising yoga and expecting it to improve the lives of the people. What are you trying to do?
Yoga teaches a Christian to be a better Christian, a Buddhist to be a better Buddhist, a Hindu to be a better Hindu. But the church and its Organization feels Yoga is a threat and using their enormous resources to appropriate it, just as Easter, Thanksgiving day and other festivals of the so-called ‘pagans’ are appropriated with little original significance. Below are some quotes of Mahatma Gandhi on the Church activity. It is important to note that the only picture of God that Gandhi had in his Ashram was that of Jesus and his views on church activities are something we all need to reflect on.
1) I regard Jesus as a great teacher of humanity, but I do not regard him as the only begotten son of God. That epithet in its material interpretation is quite unacceptable. Metaphorically we are all sons of God, but for each of us, there may be different sons of God in a special sense. Thus for me, Chaitanya may be the only begotten son of God … God cannot be the exclusive Father and I cannot ascribe exclusive divinity to Jesus. (Mahatma Gandhi, Harijan: June 3, 1937)
2) I consider western Christianity in its practical working a negation of Christ’s Christianity. I cannot conceive Jesus, if he was living in flesh in our midst, approving of modern Christian organizations, public worship, or ministry. (Mahatma Gandhi, Young India: September 22, 1921)
3) It is my firm opinion that Europe (and the United States) does not represent the spirit of God or Christianity but the spirit of Satan. And Satan’s successes are the greatest when appears with the name of God on their lips. (Mahatma Gandhi, Young India: September 8, 1920)
Last week, National Geographic had a program on the disappearance of great amazon civilizations and mentioned how the Spanish crusaders with Christian missionaries destroyed the most thriving civilizations. The civilizations which now believed to have actually created the Amazon forests!
Christian missionaries destroyed the world’s civilizations and caused enormous destruction not only to those who did not convert but also to Christians themselves. Around nine million women were believed to be burnt alive for heresy and now, we see all women group propagating the same with falsehoods. Children of the so-called pagans (natives) were taken away from their parents in the name of purifying evil, from Canada to Africa to Australia. Millions of Christian children were sexually abused by clergy with little accountability.
Kenyan Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta captured the essence of what was done to Africa when he said, ‘When the missionaries arrived, the Africans had the land and the missionaries had the Bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible’. Now they are spreading all kinds of falsities about Hindus & India, even went so far as saying Yoga came from Christianity so that they can convert India too! What a shame?
I hope the world recognizes the falsehoods based on which you are building an empire. It’s time to reinstate yoga for all human beings, no matter what religion, caste, creed they belong to. Enough is enough. Purify thyself, before you teach others.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
Source: Yoga Appropriation by “Holy Yoga” – Letter To Founder Brooke Boon – WordPress blog