I read with great consternation the article How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body in the NYT, and then Yoga and Sex Scandals…
I watched with great trepidation the alarm, the mis-information, the fear and the Broadly distorted and Black views they have needlessly spread.
The articles display a callous and a reckless lack of information and understanding about Yoga by the chief protagonists. Nearly all the comments and reactions by rightly concerned people—both for and against—fare no better. They remind me of air hockey players commentating on professional hockey and foosball players giving their expert comments on professional football. Simon-ey and Shoo-ster, the proclaimed publishers, should Broad-ly stop spreading shit and Black-out such sensationalism!
But that is not possible as they are probably providing and pandering to the pubic palate. Oops, I meant public palate providential and proven produces profits. But Blacking-out broads, oops I meant Broad will probably make profits plummet—and that is not palatable!
Iconic newspapers like the NYT should prohibit and proscribe such pusillanimous write ups instead of publicizing and prescribing them. The write-up reads like the Da Vinci Code, a skilful weaving of untruths, half truths and truths to give you a glossy fabric that is neither here nor there!
The trio of the pen-pusher, The paper and the publisher could have been passed over and laughed off as The Three Stooges, instead, with their publicity-seeking, they have managed to identify themselves publicly as the three-fold pain pointed out by Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
The writer has attempted to denigrate and defame Yoga, and to deny it its rightful place, by putting an unwarranted emphasis on its roots. By doing so, the writer has shown a total non-understanding of both Yoga and Tantra. He has misrepresented both yoga and Tantra to the point of cheap sensationalism. He should know that, in any system, there is an obvious, superficial interpretation of any practice (mantra vaani) and a deeper, beneficial interpretation (maatra vaani). It is the maatra vaani which is to strive for to really benefit from the practice, and so is the case with Yoga. This can only be achieved with the working in tandem of both abhyasa (constant, devoted, diligent practice) and vairagya (detachment).
He asserts that the roots of Yoga are steeped in sexual and fertility rites, and forms that as the basis of his ridiculing Yoga. So what? Chemistry stemmed from man’s greed and has its roots in alchemy. Do you ridicule chemistry? Why not? Philosophy and even physics to an extent can trace their roots to mythology. Is philosophy or physics any the less for it? Why not? Modern medicine has its roots in mumbo-jumbo and witchcraft. Do you denigrate medicine and refuse to take your medication because of that? Why not?
The answer in all cases is a resounding no. The roots of any system—any ‘ism’ relevant to us—have their basis in fertility rites. Why have the roots been ignored? Simply put, the roots of any system stay under the surface—and serve a limited purpose—to enable a system to flourish and bear life giving fruit. You accept that roots of the lotus are in muck, yet you accept that the lotus is pure and pristine. Why?
Sometimes things will go downwards, in order for other things to grow upwards.
When you eat something natural, do you focus on the grain/vegetable/fruit or the manure in which they grew? No. Why not? When you take in the beauty and aroma of a flower, do you think of muck of the fertilizer it has been grown in? No. Why not? The root cannot and should not be confused with the fruit. The principal players in this shameless display of this POP (Profits over People) culture should be taught the SUMO (Shut Up, Move On) technique!
By the presentation of his convoluted logic, the pen-pusher is denigrating his parents, his siblings, himself, as also the whole natural world since does not the whole natural world have its roots in sex? Can he deny that he is not born from a sexual act? No way. He has to accept that. The last time a Virgin Birth took place was 2012 years ago in a manger in a small city in Arabia!
The author conveniently suffers from selective amnesia—by not listing Popes who contracted venereal diseases (obviously from conducting healing prayers). Some people proclaim the Pope of Popes probably produced a progeny! The pubic parts—the penis and the pussy providing pleasure in plenty to publicly praised pontiffs! He forgets to list promiscuous prelates, pedophile priests and pastors, pregnant nuns, philandering presidents, raunchy rabbis and indiscrete imams—the list could be very lengthy!
Stop the abuse. You dare not. End the cover up. You dare not. Prey, you do, as you are a predator and not a pray-dator! Possibly pray, ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.’ The author has an orgasmic fixation on asanas, yoga and sex (pun and fun intended).
It is an undisputed fact that Yoga enhances the quality of life by the sadhaka developing a healthier body and a calmer mind. Sex is an integral part of life and hence, obviously, the quality of sex is going to improve in the short term. In the long term, the sadhaka is going to drop all sensual pleasures and go beyond them.
The steady light of thousands of flames of enlightened yogins burning brightly over thousands of years is not going to be diminished by the apparent flickering of a few flames. On the contrary, the apparent few flickering flames only serve to highlight the steadiness and luminosity of the enlightened yogins.
Mr. Broad and those of his ilk are strongly advised to read the sage Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and not give a blatantly erroneous spiel to the origins, aims and effects of Yoga. Sadly, for the voyeuristic author (who is captivated by lycra-clad bodies…remember), Yoga has been trivialized into ‘thinking off’ (a euphemism for getting it off and/or jerking off), rather than a restraining of ‘thinking of.’
Yoga is a philosophy. Yoga is a perpetual persevering personal research program. Yoga is a shift from the external, gross, sensuous internet, to the internal, subtle, non-sensuous inner-net!
All problems regarding Yoga trace their roots to a partial understanding and a painted presentation of Yoga. Preachers and practitioners think they can practice Yoga every morning or evening for a few minutes or for a couple hours and then forget all about it. Yoga has to become like your breath—always with you!
The fault lies in the half-baked teachers with 200/500 hour Certifications and those half-cocked authors who have given an erroneous twist and spin to the original teachings. The fault is not in the teachings of the sages.
People are entitled to the privilege of airing their views, but some people plainly abuse the privilege.
I believe that the Western people have a love-hate relationship with both sex and Yoga. They love sex but hate everything that causes it. They love Yoga but hate youthful yogins!
Yoga will continue to thrive for thousands of years more, in spite of misinformation campaigns based solely on vested interests for the sake of sensationalism.
Yoga for all reasons, in all seasons. NYT—know you titillate and know Yoga transforms. NYT—not your time; Yoga, now’s your time, more than ever!
Ramanjit Garewal is a Master of yoga and has been teaching classical, traditional and the art of Hatha yoga for more than 20 years. He presently teaches at The Yoga House, a destination for the health conscious in Mumbai, India. His teachers have been: Life, Nature and the Universal Self present in all of us. Thirst, hunger, longing, to know the Self, to realize the Divine, by attaining kaivalya (liberation) have pulled him to yoga.
Prepared by Soumyajeet Chattaraj/Edited by Tanya L. Markul
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