Friday, May 18, 2007

Yoga does not belong to an individual

Yoga does not belong to an individual
17 May, 2007 l 1218 hrs ISTl

Source: Times of India
by Yogi Ashwini

As a Yogi I do not get sad at the misfortunes of the modern day man, nor do I get overjoyed at his fortunes. Everything that happens is for a purpose and part of the divine plan.

I am drawing readers’ attention to the present debate that has started on patenting of yoga. I see it as a redundant exercise from a legal point of view, for my legal expert says that there is a WTO agreement which provides that the cultural heritage and the medicinal plants of a country are out of the purview of patenting. And everyone agrees that yoga originated in India and is considered part of the culture of India.

From the point of view of yoga (which is my subject) let me assure all human kind that yoga is not the domain of a region. Yoga means a union with yourself (divinity unrealised). Yoga does not and cannot belong to an individual. Yoga is for a yogi and a yogi is beyond the scope of a religion or country.

Ashtanga Yog ( yama niyama , asana , pranayama , pratyahara , dharana, dhyan and Samadhi ) is an eight-limbed yoga and not an eight-step yoga, with one limb missing it is incomplete.

In the present debate we are talking about only asana which is just a limb. A person who thinks asana is yoga and who is patenting asanas and is thinking he is patenting yoga needs to go back to the kindergarten of yoga.

This debate would at least tell the whole world what yoga is and would save many from being cheated by these unscrupulous business men in the garb of yogis, whose only purpose is to make money at the cost of the gullible.

(The author heads the Dhyan Foundation in Delhi)

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