A MUST READ FOR ALL NEW INDIAN ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICE (IAS) OFFICER EXAMINATION CANDIDATES
Saturday, June 20, 2015
YOGA IS A GIFT FOR THE ENTIRE HUMAN RACE, RECOGNIZING ITS ORIGIN IN THE HINDU CULTURE IS NOT TO BE MISINTERPRETED AS CLAIMING OWNERSHIP OF YOGA, YOGA IS INTERNATIONAL AS OF JUNE 21, 2015, THE HUMAN RACE OWNS IT, IT IS INDIA'S GIFT TO HUMAN RACE
How far have we gotten?
From Newsweek/Washington Post to the New York Times
Namaste and welcome to the second of our four part series documenting the history and impact of HAF’s Take Back Yoga Project. This is Day 2 on our trip down memory lane, and the theme of this newsletter is jnana yoga, or the Path of Knowledge.
Love or devotion for our teachings could not be enough to educate the yoga world at large about the Hindu roots of yoga. Careful study of an issue, weighing multiple perspectives, nuancing language, and always being willing to seek out more knowledge have been key ingredients to TBY. The HAF team is fortunate to have life-long students of Hinduism amongst our Executive Council, staff, and Board. We also have had the benefit of drawing from the wisdom of respected swamis, yoga teachers, and scholar-practitioners of religion and ancient Indian history.
The opportunity to test our arguments and refine the language with which we would convey this very obvious, yet forgotten message about yoga came rather quickly. In April of 2010, New Age icon Deepak Chopra tried to deny yoga’s Hindu roots in response to HAF Board member Aseem Shukla’s first introduction of the campaign on Newsweek/Washington Post’s On Faith. A debate ensued, and after the five essay back and forth went viral, it was aptly titled “The Great Yoga Debate: Shukla vs. Chopra.”
After round one on On Faith with Aseem and the front-page headline on the New York Times, Hindu Group Stirs a Debate over Yoga’s Soul on Thanksgiving Day 2010, Dr. Chopra went for round two. Little did he know that HAF’s Senior Director, Sheetal Shah, and Executive Director, Suhag Shukla, were up for the challenge. Armed with the facts and with a one-two punch, Sheetal on Treehugger.com and Suhag on Huffington Post, rebutted his efforts to twist TBY into a fight about ownership, as opposed to one about acknowledging origins. And we stayed the course. Later that year, HAF’s Executive Council member Ramesh Rao wrote It’s Wrong to Deny Yoga’s Hindu Roots in The Guardian.
As the coverage of TBY broadened, we continued to deepen our own knowledge of not only the history, but also the nuances of yoga and its philosophy. But to sustain a campaign, devotion and knowledge require ACTION or as we know it, karma.
So for tomorrow, we’ll cover the next path -- TBY and the Path of Action. If you missed yesterday's leg of the trip, TBY and The Path of Devotion, don't worry. The travel log's should still be in your inbox.
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