The Dis-ease of Modern Yoga
DETERMINATION AND WILL; OR DEGENERATION AND WILLFUL?
If you are "into" so-called "modern yoga" or "new-age yoga," to one degree or another, you are into something deceitfully vague. The Sanskrit (the language of the Hindus) word Yoga means "union of Atmana (individual Soul) with Brahman (Soul Source)." Real Yoga is all about the properly labeled religious practices of Hinduism; i.e., Karma Yoga (Hindu ethics), Bhakti Yoga (Hindu devotions), Hatha Yoga (Hindu worshipful postures), Raja Yoga (Hindu meditations) and Jnana Yoga (the Hindu understanding of Enlightenment), to name a few. Naturally (as in any other religion), authentic Yoga practices are taught only by qualified Hindus. Similarly (as in any true spiritual/religious intimate teaching), there is never a fee attached to genuine Yoga.
The popular "modern yoga" has seriously degenerated from the religion of Hinduism. This pilfered "yoga" is taught by most anyone of an existentialist bent and generally as an exercise business or vague "spirituality." Being dishonest and unclear, this "modern, new-age yoga" is based on duplicitous generalizations. The degenerative process of divorcing the progressive Yogas from their inseparable Hindu roots has resulted in a general paralysis, so to speak. This type of mental disorder has spawned all manner of lucrative "yoga business, training centers" and cultic personalities. In an Historical context, what is being done to the Hindus/Hinduism and their unique spiritual/religious practices of Yoga is not unlike what arrogant invaders have done to many cultures and religions.
Genuine Hindu/Yoga, on the other hand, is determinedly clear and based on being honestly determined to do the right thing. Real Yoga is based in fact. The Dharma or authentic wisdom of Hindu/Yoga comes from and produces the wisdom of cause and effect or Karma Yoga.Many physical, mental and emotional diseases are avoidable through determinism or understanding Karma Yoga. Indeterminism (viparyaya) comes from false knowledge. If one is positively willing, the disease of "modern yoga" can be corrected. Many however choose what amounts to the philosophy of Indeterminism through a willful and ego-centric force which results in duplicity, at best, and mental/emotional disease at worst. For example, despite the facts of the Hindu/Yoga connection, willful "modern yoga" obstinately and stubbornly chooses to redefine "yoga" to suit one's own selfish desires. Picture, personality and price tag dominate spurious "yoga."
Following a religious path, and in this case the Hindu/Yoga religion or Dharma, leads to heights of true wellness. Though often disguised as wellness and a deceptive "universalism," following the path (ogenic) of the brash ego leads one into the well of the abyss. The immature claim of being "spiritual but not religious" is typical of "new-age." In fact, there is no "spiritual path" but only religious paths to the Spirit. Having never chosen a religious path to the Spirit and/or significantly climbed, "new-age yogis" stand ignorantly at the bottom shouting: "All is One." Understandably, the "n.a.y." is generally coming from the fundamentalist Christian point of view which they wisely reject. However in this total negation, they lump all religion into their only religious experience. Of course there are many other grand religions (such as Hinduism and its many Yogas) that have a much more expanded view.
Merely pretending to be "at the top of the spiritual mountain" is to turn upside down the mountain. The triangular mountain turned upside down turns into the unbalanced pit of despair. Common sense wisdom dictates that one find a path/religion and climb the religious mountain to the Spirit. One should also work within one's religion to purify any inevitable discrepancies or ethically choose to leave the religion. If one chooses not to climb (or not follow a religion), at least one should not dig a hole and go in an opposite and loony direction. If lost in a well of despair, climb out, fill in the hole and journey on.
The following are helpful definitions from Webster's Dictionary:
Determination: From determine, to set limits; bounds. To reach a conclusion or determination or judgment.
Duplicity/Duplicitous: Deception by saying one thing and doing another; double-dealing.
Determinism: Any doctrine that recognizes acts come from causes.
Indeterminism: The philosophical doctrine that the will is free from antecedent causes.
Will: Purpose, choice, intention; determination.
Willful: Governed by will without reason; obstinate; stubborn.
Degeneration: A growing or becoming worse; deterioration.
General paralysis: Insanity caused by degeneration of the brain.
Spiritual: Incorporeal or without body.
Religion: Religio; to link-back [to the Spirit]
Yoga: Yuj; to yoke [to the Spirit]
Wisdom is knowing when to be specific and when to be general. One should, of course, avoid over-generalization which is just as extreme a malady as being too rigid. Failure is not (in not) achieving one's goal but in having no goal. It is truly sad that so many have been deceived about the true nature of Yoga/Hinduism often by errant Hindus themselves. Many who have been duped into a phony "yoga," genuinely feel they are doing something positive. However ignorance is no excuse and even the best of intentions can turn sour if based on fictitious assumptions. The mature process (if interested in spiritual/religious matters) is to find a religious path; recognize other religious paths and climb (in)to the Spirit. Remember the N.A.T. principle: One's religion is not No way (new-age) and not The way (fundamentalism/sectarianism) but A way.
The following is some factual information about the true nature of Yoga; i.e., the many, progressive spiritual/religious disciplines of the Hindu religion. Note: the word "Yoga" and all terms associated with these teachings and practices are of the Sanskrit language.
San’skrit n. The ancient language of the Hindus ... [From: Webster’s Dictionary]
yo’ga n. [Sanskrit lit. union] Hinduism ... [From Webster’s]
yo’ga: oneness of Atman and Brahman. [From: A Dictionary of Sanskrit Names] This is the true definition of the Sanskrit word "yoga."
at’man n. (Skr. atman breath, self) Hinduism ... [From Webster’s]
Brah’ma n. Hindu Religion ... [From Webster’s]
Yoga (yo’ga) (Skt.,=union) general term for spiritual disciplines in Hinduism ... [From Columbia Encyclopedia Sixth Edition 2000]
yoga: a Hindu system ... [The Oxford American Dictionary]
yoga: a system of Hindu religious philosophy ... [Thorndike Barnhardt Comprehensive Desk Dictionary]
yoga: a Hindu discipline ... [The American Heritage Dictionary]
The Yoga System: One of the Six Acceptable Systems of Hindu Philosophy [From a secular book on comparative religions: Religions of Man Macmillan Co., 1969, 202-203.]
The first recorded evidence of the word "yoga" is found in the Vedas: "Seers of the vast illumined Seer yogically control their minds and intelligence." Rig Veda V.81.
Ve’da n. (Skr. knowledge, sacred lore.) The most ancient sacred literature of the Hindus. [From: Webster]
"Hinduism speaks of many different methods or paths to reach the Divine. Of them four are considered major paths: (1) Bhakti Yoga--the path of devotion, (2) Jnana Yoga--the path of rational inquiry, (3) Raja Yoga--the path of mental concentration, and (4) Karma Yoga--the path of right action." (Bhaskarananda, Swami, The Essentials of Hinduism, Washington, Viveka Press, 1994, 115.)
Hatha Yoga is, of course, no exception to the indisputable fact of the Yoga/Hindu connection. Many of the postures are worshipful poses (asanas) only to the Hindu Deities such as: Matsyendrasana, Krounchasana, Surya Namaskar and Hanumanasana dedicated to the Hindu Spiritual Beings Siva, Muruga, Vishnu and Hanuman, respectively. The popular Aum chant is fully described in the Hindu scriptures and is synonymous with the Hindu Deity Ganesha.
In an effort to instill common sense and respect for the specific spiritual practices of the many great religions of the world, it is a fact that there is not one mention of the word "yoga" in the Torah, Bible or Koran. Of course, all aspects of Yoga are fully detailed in the numerous Hindu scriptures and taught within Hindu Temples and organizations by qualified teachers. The historical, extremist terrorism against Hindus/Hinduism is well documented. Unfortunately these incursions (in various forms) are as alive today as they were 2,000 years ago.
Since all of Yoga is Hinduism, it is only common sense and a sign of respect that the genuine teacher of any aspect of yoga be a qualified Hindu (Buddhists, Jains and in some cases Sikhs, all sects of Hinduism, may also ethically teach). Also since all of Yoga is about the spiritual/religious teachings and practices of the Hindu religion, it is highly unethical to charge money for any form of Yoga service. No religion charges money for its basic spiritual/religious services.
HISTORICAL TERRORISM OF HINDUS/HINDUISM & THE YOGA TEACHINGS
The following is a very brief summation of the many terrorist attacks on Hindus and against the Hindu/Yogic religion. These attacks continue in many forms to this day. Along with continued attacks by Muslim and Christian extremists against Hinduism, there is the concerted effort to completely divorce; i.e., steal the many sacred Yoga teachings from Hinduism and the Hindus. With this simple overview, one may come to realize why the Classical Yoga Hindu Academy is so firm in challenging all those who are participating in the unethical and insulting practice of misrepresenting the Yoga/Hindu teachings, teachers, practices and rituals. The sad history of killing and stealing from others their land, cultures and religions is well-documented and unfortunately continues to this very day. Of course, a similar timetable could be detailed concerning many indigenous cultures around the world who have been prey to arrogant invaders. (reference source: A Hindu Timetable published by "Hinduism Today.")
b.c.e.(b.c.)300 ~ Alexander the Greek invades North India.c.e. (a.d.) 450 ~ Hephtalite (Chinese) invade North India.565 ~ Turks and Persians invade North India.712 ~ Muslim invasions into India begin.1017 ~ Muslims take over Mathura (reported birthplace of Krishna) and build a Mosque.1024 ~ Muslims kill 50,000 Hindus at Somanath Siva Temple and build a Mosque.1185 ~ Muslims conquer the Punjab & Lahore.1193 ~ Muslims conquer Delhi.1200 ~ By this time, Muslims have taken over the whole of North India destroying at least 60,000 Hindu Temples and erecting approx. 3,000 Mosques.1296 ~ Muslim invaders move into South India.1300 ~ By this time, Muslim invaders have conquered all the way to the tip of South India (Cape Comorin) and build a Mosque.1510 ~ Portuguese Catholics invade Goa (SW India).1528 ~ Muslims destroy Lord Rama's birthplace at Ayodhya and erect a shrine (Masjid).1619 ~ Catholic Christians invade Jaffna in Sri Lanka and destroy many Hindu Temples.1761 ~ 200,000 Hindus are killed by Afghan Muslim extremists.1764 ~ The British (under the Anglican Church) invade India defeating Muslims in Bengal.1803 ~ British capture Delhi and subsequently take control of all India.1837-1917 ~ British institute a form of slavery in the indentured servant system where Hindus were sent to do manual labor in the British colonies.1906 ~ Dutch Christians invade and kill many Hindus in Bali.
1947~India finally gains independence from its British/Christian masters though Christian missionaries still actively seek to convert Hindus in India and around the world.
circa 1960's ~ So-called "yoga" (divorced from its Hindu roots and taken out of its classic context of the many, progressive forms of yoga) is made popular in the Western world.
2000 ~ By this time, so-called "yoga" becomes a mainstream "American exercise business." Spurious "certifications" are sold and "Yoga personalities" emerge (complete with sexual and financial scandals). Hindus teaching and practicing yoga are suppressed (and often ridiculed) by the media and those in the (often lucrative) "yoga business."
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