be free, be happy, be peaceful

May all find the teacher within to guide oneself towards unconditional love and peace

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Why Malays cannot do yoga?

One day this search word "Why Malays cannot do yoga?" came to Be Happy's blog. I cannot give an answer to this question "Why Malays cannot do yoga?", you'll have to find out from the one who imposed this idea, because it is not us or the teachings of yoga that saying anything about this, or don't want any Malays to be practicing yoga, but I would like to share my own opinion with whoever interested in this issue... Because our yoga centre (maybe it's the only one) is being legally bound by the conditions of forbidding us from receiving or accepting any Muslims of any origins for all the yoga activities in our yoga centre...

* * * * * * * * * * *

Everyone and anyone also can do yoga, practice yoga, realize yoga, teach yoga, share yoga...

We don't even need any internationally "recognized" or "approved" bodies, organizations, schools, qualifications or certifications to qualify, or to certify, or to allow us to do yoga, practice yoga, realize yoga, teach yoga, share yoga...

Even when we heard something about who and who should not or cannot practice yoga, it won't stop and cannot stop anybody or any beings from doing, or practicing, or realizing, or sharing yoga...

Even Malays or Muslims can practice yoga in Malaysia or in anywhere openly...

There is a lot of Malay yoga practitioners, or yoga teachers, or yoga instructors in Malaysia doing yoga, teaching yoga, practicing yoga, sharing yoga, and realizing yoga, everywhere in Malaysia including Langkawi... Peace and light to all these yoga practitioners who are sincere in their yoga practice and realize the bliss of yoga...

Our yoga centre in Langkawi is being legally bound by the conditions or terms or rules and regulations in our business license stating that "This yoga centre is not allowed to receive or accept any Muslims of any origins, or else the business license will be revoked" - That's all.

We never say, nor think, nor believe, nor propagate that "Muslims cannot practice yoga".

If I'm not wrong, all Malays in Malaysia are born to be Muslims - There's no freedom of choice or opportunity to choose their own beliefs or religion... Please correct me if that is incorrect...

In Malaysia, Muslims or Malays can practice yoga, there is no law binding that they cannot practice yoga, nor there is any legal punishment will be enforced on them if they practice yoga. Muslims and Malays are free to practice yoga, but there was an "advice" from the Malaysian Islamic religion department or the head of the mosque about the yoga practice or the yoga teachings might be contradicting with their religion's teachings, or beliefs, or practice...

I'm not a Muslim, so I cannot say much or comment what are the teachings of Islam. What I know about yoga and its practice, it's to promote peace, harmony, compassion, wisdom, loving kindness, tolerance, accommodation, adjustment, adaptation, respect, humility, morality, truthfulness, honesty, chastity, purity, calmness, self-introspection, self-observation, self-control, self-discipline, selflessness, egolessness and evolve towards purest consciousness, to attain absolute freedom or liberation from suffering, to attain eternal unconditional unlimited peace...

Just like the teachings of Buddhism is similar to the teachings of yoga, but maybe the ways of practice or approaches are not exactly the same, but both are heading towards the same source, the same direction... They are not any contradicting with each other but actually complimenting each other, in my own opinion...

Buddhists won't be angry or object any Buddhists to practice yoga or any other beliefs or religion... Yogis won't be angry or object any yogis to practice Buddhism or any other beliefs or religion...

If Muslims come to our yoga centre and practice yoga, they won't get any troubles or punishments, but we might lose the business license to be legally conducting yoga classes or teaching yoga on Langkawi island... That's all. We still want to teach or share yoga to many other people from around the world who are not under this "ridiculous" restriction, and so, we respect this terms of "For non-Muslim only" on all our yoga classes, workshops and retreats... That doesn't mean that we think or believe or propagate that "Muslims or Malays cannot practice yoga"...

And maybe one day, we will leave Langkawi, or not teaching yoga here anymore... We'll follow wherever the universe want us to be...

There are other people teaching yoga on the island that are not bound by this legal condition, either they do not have a business license or their licenses are not restricted to this condition... Those who "cannot" come to our yoga centre can go to these yoga teachers on the island to practice yoga... Be happy.

Real yoga practice is in the heart, in our life, in every moment of awareness and existence, wherever we go, wherever we are, whatever we do and don't do... Yoga practice and the teachings is not limited in some yoga classes conducted by a yoga teacher, or yoga centre, or yoga school...

Anyway, teaching yoga or sharing yoga is nothing to do with a business license... We don't need a "business license" to be able to share yoga with anyone in the world... But, due to the sensitive issue about yoga in Malaysia especially on this island where more than 90% of the population are Muslims, we decided to apply for a business license to legalize our activities on sharing or teaching yoga with others on this island... It is only the yoga activities in our yoga centre is being bound by legal terms... We are not restricted to share yoga only with certain people and not sharing yoga to certain people... Our Gurus never mentioned that we can only teach yoga to certain people and not to certain people... The teachings of yoga cannot be restricted by any so called "legal law"... The teachings of yoga and the yoga practice is for everybody and anyone...

Yoga is in everyone whether we know about it or not, whether we like it or not...

Whoever is interested in search for the Truth and want to attain liberation, want to be free from ignorance and suffering, want to attain peace, everyone can learn yoga, or practice yoga, or do yoga, or realize yoga, it doesn't matter what are the nationality, sex, race, culture, religion, beliefs, language spoken, personality, characteristic, conditions and abilities, duty, responsibility, behavior, level of consciousness, level of ignorance, and etc...

All can practice yoga and attain yoga...

Unconditional love and peace is yoga... Every beings are entitled with yoga in them since the beginning of existence... Even the most evil being also has unconditional love and peace within, also is entitled with yoga...

There are many other meditation centres in Malaysia are not allowed to receive Muslims too. There are many religious or philosophical books that are not Islamic are not allowed to be read or sold to Muslims. There is a stamp on the book stated "For non-Muslim only"... Please don't be angry with these yoga centres or meditation centres for putting up a sign stating "For non-Muslims only", because it is not their fault, or intention, or will to reject, or offend, or discriminate anyone...

At least for the other people who are non-Muslims in Malaysia, they still have the freedom to read or buy any books that they want in Malaysia (except those books that are banned in Malaysia and you won't see them for sale on the book shelves in the book shops)... They can have the freedom to have any religions or beliefs, or not having any religion or belief... They are free to practice yoga and meditation without being condemned, or criticized, or objected by anybody or any religion followers...

Sometimes in a family or in the society, our parents, or relatives, or friends, or neighbours, or communities, also will try to interfere with, or to control, or to advise us about we should this and shouldn't do that... But, the choice is in us...

Nobody can give us peace and happiness or take away the peace and happiness in us... Peace and happiness is in us all the time, nameless and formless... It is the nature of all.

Nobody can give us freedom or take away our freedom... Freedom is in us, nameless and formless...

May all be free from ignorance...

Om shanti.

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