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05:55 PM on 12/07/2010
Everyone seems to point to a 'liberty of Man' and Americans in particular making points about Caste system in India need to ponder over the following points:
1) Why is that the liberty of man not allowing any native indians to become a president ( not even a governor) of a state/states in US?
2) Why is that the liberty of man being not used for the black prisoners in Lousiana state prison.
3) Where did the liberty of man go when the native red-indians of Americas were killed in the wounded knee massacre and other great mass wipeouts of native americans?
4) Where did the liberty of man go when black people of New-orleans were left to suffer in Katrina.
It is funny sitting in India and seeing these things happening in US and still the americans are thinking India is filled with filth. Our streets may be unclean by our hearts are not - we have allowed ourselves to be looted but have never in history made any attempts at overseas colonies.
What is the use of being a civilized man when 1000s are being carpet bombed in 'precision' operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan? It seems comical that jesus and his message of love are only for religious debate and not for practical use in US..
11:59 PM on 12/07/2010
@Vijay: More than Deepak Chopra or any other critic of the HAF's campaign, you are hurting the image and the entire spirit of the campaign with your unrelated attacks. Please remember that the whole point is to make people more aware of the salient philosophy of ancient Hindu Dharma but not to denounce others unreasonably in the process.
Please no hard feelings my friend because "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" - Mahatma Gandhi.
Aum Shanti!
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01:42 AM on 12/08/2010
@Shivoham: I don't think Vijay is hurting anything. He speaks strongly with conviction and makes
excellent points. Why should he beat around the bush with 'style'? Your point about kurkshetra
being internal is absolutely right...and its wonderful to see that understanding. But I don't think
that Vijay should be admonished about his online behaviour.
06:52 AM on 12/08/2010
@shivohamshivoham -
I accept that 'An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind' - but I have the equal right to point out the shortcomings of other dogmas that are already burdening the western/christian/american world, when people point to dogmas of caste to hinduism.
This is akin to knowledge theft or piracy.
Yoga had helped millions find their perfect health the easiest way and the roots should be acknowledged to hinduism.
If yoga was indeed available previously, why didn't anyone other than hindus were practicing it?
West is saying-'okay, we have known the trick now, but since that it is just a knowledge, you are not supposed to claim anything of it as you have other social problems' -
My whole point was to point out that there are social evils in western/christian/american society that are gross violation of their very religion of christianity but yet, they are not acknowledged -
just pointing to problems in Hinduism alone, but at the same time enjoying the benefits of its knowledge is really showing that such misappropriators are no less than colonizers/assassins/thieves of knowledge.
08:00 PM on 12/06/2010
@Vijay from India: The purpose of the discussions is only to provide a better understanding of ancient Hindu Dharma and clear any misconceptions people have. It does not mean you can offend other people, regions and other religions. Please be polite, patient and tolerant in your tone. No matter how much someone disagrees with you, do not forget that the divine is present in them too.
If you are explaining Hindu Dharma, you should first set an example by following it.
"Ahimsa Paramo Dharma" - Non-Violence by action, thought or speech is the utmost principle to be followed. Peace and Love are the most important, nothing else!!
05:21 AM on 12/07/2010
@shivohamshivoham - Your ideas of 'Ahimsa Paramo Dharma' may be correct for Dharmics - but not for those who are bent on destroying the dharma itslef. The Ahimsa motive depends on who your enemy is - for Gandhi - it was the British, who even after all the looting and cultural misinterpretations, stood for the law they made, that was Dharma - that was when humans were behaving as humans - not in today's scenario, where countries wage wars for no big reason like those in Vietnam, Korea, Gulf, Afghanistan and Cuba. When your enemy is adharmic, speaking of dharma is like trying to make peace with a charging lion. Even in Bhagavadh gita krishna asks humans to protect dharma at all cost - even if it means to fight your own kith and kin. Krishna himself, says that he will be in the side of Dharma 'Dharma samstha panarthaya sambhavami yugae yugae' - I will be born again and again in order to re-establish the authority of Dharma - Krishna says this in the 18th chapter of Bhagavadh Gita - more over, I am not offensive, I was just pointing to the facts of the roots of Christianity - I have links too from BBC's documentaries on 'hidden story of jesus' - just as 'ganglewafre' points to yoga-abode's link for her own assumption of yoga based on stories in the net. Where did this 'Ahimsa Paramo Dharma' go when my dharma & cultural roots were overwritten in history with
empty micro bio
10:46 AM on 12/07/2010
Very good points.
11:34 PM on 12/07/2010
@vijay: As Gandhiji said "Be the change you wish to see", I am requesting you to make your point clearly without name calling. As in India and also in US, you know how much control we have on our government's policies except for voting in elections with limited choices.
What I mean to say is that there are innumerable people in US who are very nice, want peace and happiness for everyone and I had a chance to meet many of them during my stay of a few years here. The view from India may be very different.
Also, my friend please understand the Gita more deeply, the real kurukshetra is within us. Anger, pride, jealousy, lust, greed, ego etc. (arishadvargas) are the kith and kin Krishna is referring to. He is appealing to Arjuna to break the attachment and achieve Moksha. (Liberation). To protect the Dharma means, follow the Dharma. It doesn't need protection externally, it needs protection from the animal instinct (duryodhana) within all of us. This is the essence of Gita and Vedanta.
By attacking and condemning you are only spreading hatred which is nothing like Indian way or Hindu Dharma.
01:55 AM on 12/13/2010
Ahimsa Paramo Dharma is from Mahabharat but those who quote it often and that too to advise us docile Hindus, never to crusading and converting Christians and Jehadi Islamists, either are ignorant or do not want to accept second part of that shloka, which is: "Dharma himsa tathaiva cha" meaning, "so is the righteous violence."
01:39 AM on 12/06/2010
On one hand, the aversion to using the term "Hindu" is not so far from a racist aversion to India in general and to the Hindu civilization specifically. Even Buddhists are contemptuous of Indians, hence every Western tourist beeline to see the Dalai Lama, identifying the rest of their visit with the filth, squalor, and overcrowding they meet on the way from Delhi to Dharamsala. This identification as well as the hoary stereotype of the vaguely lecherous Hindu swami makes it difficult for every Yoga reseller, so for them, it is best to lift Yoga entirely out of its original cultural context (and earthy practice) for its mostly upper middle class Western clientele.

On the other hand is the more troubling emergence of Hindu nationalism over the last few decades that has significantly shifted the view of Hinduism as a passive religion to one that asserts a narrow macho majoritarian ideal. Deepak understandably does not want to be identified with this movement that echoes other fundamentalisms. At its most petty, you have self-appointed spokespeople for the faith raising the same hue and cry over what they perceive as offensive religious depictions that find amongst other fanatics of other faiths, slights none of which really approach Temple of Doom levels of offensiveness (indeed, one of the most offensive films ever made).
06:20 AM on 12/06/2010
@ ceti - I guess you have not gone into Canada - where 'Hindu' is the offensive term used derogatorily upon all Indians. 'Even buddhists are contemptuous of Indians' - oh yaah - says who - the Dalai Lama? - India and Hindus were the only ones who provided sanctury for the Buddists of Tibet. Buddism still exists as a religion in India even after 2800 years of its arrival, this shows India's acceptance of pluralism, Tibet for centuries did not allow any other countrymen except Indians into their country- until the British occupied it by force. The filth, squalor and overcrowding is still accompanied by peace and calmness, not the gun shootings as in Texas or New Mexico or like the Drug wars of west. People, even though overcrowded have the courtesy to remain united and sharing, unlike west - the filth is what west throws at India in the form of nuclear waste and abandoned ships at the ports of Gujarath. 'Lecherous Hindu Swami' - who asked you to get in touch with them - when you could have done some research and found the correct one at the organized vedantic forums within India. If your search is for LSD, that is what you will find - no need to speak against the swami as lecherous - he is doing his duty of cheating correctly - it is you who gets cheated that needs to know the difference.
06:20 AM on 12/06/2010
@ceti -'upper middle class western clientele' -( wait till they watch the film, ). 'more troubling emergence of Hindu nationalism over the last few decades' - for your information - 'Hindu Nationalism' was there from the time of Ramayana and Mahabharata - and India was always considered one continent by the Hindu identity. This is a continuous trend thats found even during the time of Shaka invasion of India, the Salivahana revolt and great war, the time of Alexander's invasion and Mauriya kingdom, the Gajapathi rajas of East, Manipur kings of north east, Gurkhas of North, the sikhs of west, the vijayanagara kings of deccan and the madurai kings of south have always fought against the attack on their religion, even till the first great war of Independence from British christian missionaries in 1857, so, this is not in some 'decades' but Hinduism as a national identity has been the cornerstone of India since ages. 'narrow macho majoritari­an ideal' -, do you mean to say hindus need to be measley existence - whats the meaning of this word? - Yaa.. Deepak never wanted to be identified with this movement - because he is an advocate of LSD for spiritualism and accuses science of being fundamental and stealing quantum ideas where as he is the great cheat who is stealing and selling Indian ideas for his own money making tactics. He himself says he is a 'PROFIT' guru not a PROPHET guru in a talk show.
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04:26 PM on 12/05/2010
True Christianity as practiced by Christ and his immediate disciples is Yoga.
'Be still and know that I am God' 'Know ye not that ye are gods' 'the kingdom
of God is within you'.
Christ went to repay the visit of the Three Wise Men from the East.
05:33 PM on 12/06/2010
@ Kilantra - these might help in children's fables, arabian nights, voyages of sindbad - but not an organized cult of christianity.
What is the proof that such a travel in east occurred - even if it had, the time would have been just after the invasion of alexander and any westerners travel into the country would have been treated with suspicion.
thirdly, even if your version is true, jesus himself, could have mentioned the word yoga - as it was already present before his time in mahabharata and ramayana period - so, he would have mentioned it ( if at all what he said are published in the vatican's version of bible ).
So, these are baseless ideas, which will bring problems to both sides in acceptance and might be misused by later day cult leaders to justify bringing down indic traditions as products of west.
As we know by the colonizer's cheating theory of 'aryan - dravidian' myth.
06:18 PM on 12/06/2010
More over what is the proof that everything what the bible said had happened?
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08:56 PM on 12/08/2010
@Vijay--take a look:
Aghast at the stupidity and bigotry
01:38 AM on 12/05/2010
Desire for possession, recognition, acknowledgment, whatever proves to me that those waging this debate have failed to gain the wisdom yoga might provide. Lose your ego and simply grow through your practice. it matters not one whit whether Patanjali was Hindu, Mormon or Scientologist.

The yoga practiced today around the world is no more Hindu than t-bone steak. What is the purpose of this debate? To prove that Hinduism is superior or should be bowed down to?
06:47 AM on 12/05/2010
@ stopcensoringme - 'Lose your ego and simply grow through your practice.' - yaa..try telling it after a heavy meal at any hotel without paying the bill - The problem is not with Yoga practice but the bill that comes with Yoga practice - this free/Secular/Hindu origin yoga that India gave free to the world, is now being patented as 'Christian Yoga' and people like you, who use it need to pay for its use - Having to acknowledge the Hindu origin of Yoga is the start of a long process that people should be educated not to misuse or misappropriate Yoga for their own vice and greed. For your information, Indian government had already put Yoga with all its postures as Intellectual Property Rights for all humanity to benefit - the origin of Yoga is now getting distorted as not Hindu and there by different Yogas with religious tints are now being made - we are fighting against this - not for you to bow down to anyone or any religion. 'The Yoga practiced today around the world is no more Hindu than t-bone steak' - thats the level of Yoga you learnt at the one week to perfections given by bogus yoga teachers. True disciples of Yoga acknowledge the physical as well as the most important spiritual development as India/Hindu/Sanathana Dharma's contribution. Do not dishonor your education's roots - its like cheating on your Mom.
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04:30 PM on 12/05/2010
India is the mother of all religions. The only civilization to study religion as a science. The ancient
rishis figured out how to retrace our footsteps through the spine and get back to God. Greece is considered the birth of Western Civilization. Who do you think the Greeks were looking to and learning from? Alexander had a guru who predicted his demise, and said that 'I will see you later on.' All that science is learning now, the rishis understood long ago. When Western Civilization
begins to embrace the understanding of the Yugas--then a better understanding will take place.
Butterfly M
10:10 AM on 12/05/2010
Western philosophy of "Liberty of Man as a political System" was a great gift of western civilization to the rest of the world. But to deny that that western civilization had anything to do with liberty as a political system by arguing "Lose the ego" is fraudulent and show of ingratitude and ignorance!
08:22 PM on 12/04/2010
Below are a few examples to show the vedic science behind the authentic rituals or customs followed by millions in India.
Sorry for repetition if you’ve already read this as I posted these in other blog too.

Lord Hanuman (Monkey God) represents our mind and he is the son of Wind God (Pavan Putra), anyone with knowledge of Pranayama knows how the breath(air­) and mind are related.
Elephant God (Ganesha) represents our buddhi or intellect which should always control his vehicle, the mouse of desire.
Food is considered as God (Annam Brahma) because we are what we eat, including our thoughts hence the concept of Ayurveda.
Indian women wear bangles and toe rings because of principles of Acupressur­e and Nadis.
In Indian weddings a mixture of jaggery and cumin is put on top of head as the main custom (like 'I do') because of Sahasrara Chakra.
The bindi (red dot) put on forehead by Hindus is symbolic to Ajna Chakra or third eye.
Holy Basil or Tulsi is kept in every house and worshipped because it purifies the air and being around it even for some time is very good for health. You will find it in holy water given in temples.
The concept of fasting on festivals is now well known to everyone as detox.
08:31 PM on 12/04/2010

Lamps lit with cow ghee in homes and temples purify the air and fill it Prana Shakthi which is a boon for health.
The meaning of 'Namaste' is that I bow to the Divine in you.
The symbol of AUM or Pranava represents the three stages of consciousn­ess and sleep with the top crescent being the enlightene­d state of Turiya.
Coconuts are offered in temples as hard outer shell represents our ego/mind which needs to be broken.
Mother of all Goddesses, Sri Lalitha Devi represents the Kundalini Shakti in the Muladhara (Base) Chakra. All the chakras and their attributes are mentioned in the Lalitha Sahasranam­am Mantra recited by millions in India everyday.

The goal of Yogis is to awaken this Kundalini Shakti and unite with Shiva (Conscious­ness) in the Sahasrara Chakra through the Sushumna Nadi in spinal cord.
If you keenly observe the healthcare symbol, you will see that the two snakes represent Ida and Pingala Nadi (Left and right nostrils) and the center column is the spinal cord with Sahasrara Chakra (thousand petal lotus) on the top.

All the mantras and vedic rites performed in temples have profound meaning relating to spirituality and the cosmos.

Irrespecti­ve of country or religion, every human has these chakras and subtle forces acting in the body. Everyone has the opportunit­y to tap in to these energies with the help of Yoga and Meditation­. Let's not waste this chance by our prejudice and predicaments which are purely creations of our ego.
08:20 PM on 12/04/2010
@ Shukla ji: This is an interesting article which makes it clear that the debate is not about ownership of Yoga (as falsely portrayed) but more about clearing the misunderstanding and assumptions about Hinduism. It's good that you mentioned the reason why this campaign was started in the first place after the episode with Yoga Journal where they purposefully were averting the H-word.
Well, If I understand it right, I think this campaign is not about imposing anyone to use the H-word but to make everyone aware that there is no reason to avert it and the baggage which Yoga Journal refers to is grossly exaggerated.
The caste system was formed just to group people in to Warriors, Priests, Businessmen and Workers, so that the society is organized just like we have teams in corporations. But everyone was equal until some selfish people started to pollute it by classifying as high and low caste etc.
05:45 PM on 12/04/2010
Do Yoga to be healthy, wealthy and wise
05:42 PM on 12/04/2010
Do Yoga to be healthy, wealthy and wise.
A Humanist and investigative journalist
03:02 PM on 12/04/2010
Hinduism as such, you rightly pointed out, is recent connotation of people living in this subcontinent. In Arab world, even today they call us "Hindi", mark spelling carefully. Not "Hindu" irrespectively. Even Muslims in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are "Hindi" to them.

If Christians do not want deliberately to learn, it is misfortune but the roots goes back to colonialism. I have written a long column elsewhere this morning only on this subject and may be publish one on my own. It is gross injustice.

Unfortunately and with my all due respects, Abrahamic religions are very recent and competing in this fierce "God Market" of number game relentlessly. That is where the problem lies. On this blog, I regularly comment but these columns did not come to my notice earlier.

I have one request to you in HAF too. Please do not use the misleading terms like "Take back..." It only gives another scope to the opponents who want to pick on you and do not want to learn.

Hence I would change the head even to explain. I certainly wish that this controversy is laid to rest.
But I also know that it won't due to deep vested interests. No need to draw swords but must resist fully any deliberate misadventure mentally. Better organise seminars and meetings with genuine people to explain. Even on World Religion Forum, I have my comments on this subject.
God bless
Dr. O. P. Sudrania
07:32 PM on 12/04/2010
@Sudrania ji: Well said about changing the title of campaign from "Take Back...".
If anyone from HAF or Shukla ji reads this, I hope they will consider changing the title to something which reflects that the campaign is more about clearing the misconceptions about Hindu Dharma (Hinduism) with the help of Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedic Astrology which are central to Hindu way of life.
empty micro bio
07:43 PM on 12/04/2010
As Suhag says, "Take Back...." is only half of the slogan. The full slogan is "Take Back Yoga -- Bringing to Light Yoga's Hindu Roots,"
A Humanist and investigative journalist
02:28 PM on 12/04/2010
I am amazed to see this reckless controversy on a one of the most finest subject in the history of mankind. It is difficult to even summarise here a subject as vast as the oceans. There is no confusion about Buddhism and so called Hinduism. Suhag, I have read your article carefully and now realise the raging controversy. The Buddhist Noble Eight fold Path with Four Noble Truths is the essence of Buddhism, completely different from the Eight fold Path (Limbs) of Patanjali Yoga Sutra. Patanjali lived long back and before Buddha or Mahabir.
The Patanjali Yoga Sutra is a completely different system altogether and compiled in a compendium of Sanskritic Verses. The "Aasanas" part is the third limb in Patanjali Yoga Sutra. Yama, Niyama, Aasanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. These are Sanskritic names in seriatum. It is a vast subject.

I have read your views about Dr Deepak Chopra where he calls himself Advaita Vedantin. So what? He and you are both correct. It is just a small misunderstanding. Indian Philosophy has six branches and Patanjali belongs to the Sankhya branch and propounds the Advait Branch. Off hand, I do not remember details but
I did long time ago some course in Bombay University on this subject. contd...
empty micro bio
07:34 PM on 12/04/2010
Indian Philosophy has more than six branches, it is the philosophies that are called "orthodox" that have six. Apart from orthodox, Indian Philosophies have the "heterodox" philosophies too.

The point HAF is making is Deepak and others refusing to use the word Hinduism in connection with Yoga and other contributions from Hindu culture (civilization).
A Humanist and investigative journalist
01:50 PM on 12/05/2010
The point should not be what Dr Deepak Chopra thinks but the impact it is having on the Children and the society at large with a negative perception cast and created by a select group of vested interests in some sections who are more interested in personal comforts than the interests and uplift of the society they represent.
God bless
Dr. O. P. Sudrania
02:56 PM on 12/05/2010
"Had a powerful meditation just now -- caused an earthquake in Southern California," Chopra wrote to his nearly 179,000 Twitter followers shortly after the mexicalli quake that killed 4 qand left hundreds injured and homeless.

And then, to clarify: "Was meditating on Shiva mantra & earth began to shake," he tweeted. "Sorry about that."

"Was meditating on Shiva mantra"
The Hindu God Shiva? or proto Shiva?

At least he (like the Christian God after the floods) promised he won't do it again.
"Won't do it again -- promise." -Deepak
01:38 PM on 12/04/2010

Yoga owns us veda owns us God owns us gravity owns us we are servants to ourselves
Butterfly M
12:28 PM on 12/04/2010
I don't understand why cannot just call it stretching and excercise classes instead of "Yoga" which is a Hindu term.
empty micro bio
01:57 PM on 12/04/2010
Good question. My speculation or guess is the word "yoga" offers something different or exotic to Western audience. But I doubt this is unique to West, it is human nature to find interest in foreign concepts. Be it Karate, Kung-Fu, Yoga, Karma, Tai Chi etc probably conjure vibrant thoughts in people's mind. I again speculate it might be because, humans sub-consciously evaluate and conclude if these foreign concepts have traveled centuries and countless shores, then there must be "something" in them. Be it Hollywood movies, Pizza or Coke if it finds acceptance in a region it is easier for them to be accepted elsewhere.
songs of the shamans...
11:06 AM on 12/04/2010
While the Vedantic and Yogic approaches within Hinduism are being accepted in the West, there is still a whole lot of misinformation about the role of ritual in Hinduism. Joseph Campbell taught the West about the power of ritual, and many were intrigued but the way of ritual has been lost in the West. When Westerners look at Hindu ritual, they are enculturated to see "idol worship" or "nature worship", and this is also seen as "polytheism". All these different focal points of ritual, and all these different forms of ritual look bewildering to an outsider, especially if the way of ritual has been destroyed due to an excessive focus on rationality. Thus the West looks upon Hinduism and sees the "irrational", rather than properly seeing the 'arational' approach sitting peacefully alongside the rational approach.

In Hinduism, approaches to knowledge are diverse and include knowledge by reason (Rationality), knowledge by participation (Ritual) and knowledge by identity (Samadhi). The West finds this broad epistemic approach foreign, and is still coming to grips with it. There is much work to do in making bridges.

I find Ananda Coomaraswamy's writings the best on this subject. Here's a link to an article by him:
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11:49 PM on 12/03/2010
Interesting article Suhag. I don't know if it matters whether or not the westerners who practice asanas have any idea of the origins of yoga. They are doing one branch of yoga and for most of them that is probably all they will ever do. I am guessing that the vast majority of them would stop altogether if they fully understood the Hindu origins and full objective of what they are doing. As a Hindu myself, I used to have the same feeling about everyone else claiming yoga and then it hit me. Wishing for recognition to be given to Hinduism as the founding religion of yoga is just another form of attachment and ego feeding pride. Who cares who thinks they own it? If I try to own it, my own sense of ownership will just own me back. Let them say what they will about who owns it. Meanwhile they are getting a nice stretch and that's pretty much all they're going to get without Bhakti, Jnana, Raja and so forth. In truth that is all they want this time around. there is plenty more time for them. :)
08:20 PM on 12/04/2010
It isn't about ownership, but about origins. It is about stating the facts of origin of yoga as it is. There is no element of ownership involved.

They cannot claim ownership for something they dont' own. It's as simple as that.