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Monday, July 29, 2013

Yoga, India, Indian, Hinduism?

Some good yogis think and feel that 'yoga' is being manipulated. They want to protect the lineage of ‘authentic yoga’. They insist that yoga belongs to India, or Indians, or Hinduism. I respect what they think and believe - according to history the practice of 'yoga' did start in India, and was rooted in Hinduism.

But even though the practice of yoga originated in India, it doesn’t mean that yoga belongs to India, or Indians, or Hindus. Yoga is for all humanity. It exists in the universe for all beings to transform the modification of the ignorant egoistic mind, to be liberated from ignorance and suffering.

Being in India, or being an Indian, or being a Hindu, it doesn't guarantee peace and compassion or enlightenment in anyone. If it did, then every Indian, or Hindu, or anyone in India, would know yoga and have attained self-realization, there wouldn’t be any ignorant beings, and suffering would not exist in India, or for Indians, or for Hindus.


If yoga belongs to India and Hinduism, then no one else but only Indians and Hindus can be 'allowed' or 'qualified' or 'authorized' to realize yoga of selflessness, or compassion and unconditional peace, to be free from suffering, while all the others who are not Indian or Hindu will never realize yoga, or be selfless, compassionate and peaceful, or be free from suffering. But, yoga doesn't belong to anyone or anywhere with a particular quality of name and form. All and everyone are subject to the suffering of impermanence and selflessness, and anyone also can realize selflessness and be free from suffering upon liberation from ignorance. Just like, if 'God' exist, 'God' doesn't belong to anyone.

Although we all live in different regions in the world, have different nationalities, or skin colour, features, or cultures, or languages, or beliefs and religious influences, all and everything exist being supported by the same source.

How can we limit and condition yoga to a certain region, race and religion when the basic teachings of yoga is oneness or non-separateness? What is the difference between this religion and that religion, or being religion-less? What is the difference between this nationality and that nationality on this tiny little earth compared to all the other planets in the universe? Even though we all have different beliefs, religions (or not), characteristics, personalities and appearances, we are all living beings sharing the same space in the universe, dependent on the elements of fire, wind, water, earth and space to exist. Beyond the different names and forms the nature of all and everything is the same. We are not different nor separated from one another. Discrimination of different qualities is void in nature.

Yoga exists in all beings regardless of where we are, who we are, what we are, or how we are. All are eligible for realizing yoga, depending on one's correct understanding, effort, perseverance and determination.

The teachings of yoga and Buddhism are all about selflessness, non-dualism, oneness, attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness. Even though the many practices might be different from one another, the end of the practice is not different from each other.
If this is not what yoga is - oneness or non-separateness, then I don't want to practice 'this yoga' or share 'this yoga' with other beings. Those who think 'yoga' belongs to them can keep their 'yoga' for themselves.
 
When the Buddha attained enlightenment, he never claimed that he founded Buddhism, neither the teachings and practice of Buddhism belong to any particular race, sect or caste, gender, nationality, or religion, or being. It always existed in all beings regardless of the differences of names and forms, regardless of whether beings are separated by time, space and causation, and whether we realize Dhamma, or not. The Dhamma, or the teachings of Buddhism, existed before Buddha realized the truth and became enlightened. Buddha didn't own the teachings of Buddhism or Dhamma. Dhamma doesn't belong to anyone or any place. Anyone and everyone, even the most ignorant beings, or the most evil beings in the universe, can realize Dhamma and attain enlightenment. It is within every being and beyond time, space and causation. Other beings in other regions of the world attained enlightenment before and after Buddha.

Even though the Buddha came from the region of India, attained enlightenment in India, and taught Buddhism in India, Dhamma didn't originate from India and wasn't limited only within India. Dhamma does not come from a geographical region or era - it is beyond time and space. Dhamma does not belong to anyone or anywhere.

Om shanti.

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Know thyself. Everything is impermanent and selfless. There is no 'I'. There is no 'I am selfless'/'I am not selfless'. There is no 'I am hurt'/'I need to be healed from hurt'. Be free, be peaceful, be happy.

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