28 June, 2016

'Shirshasana’ With Political Glasses On

All the orthodox systems of Indian philosophy have one goal in view, the liberation of the soul through perfection. The method is by Yoga. Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy—by one, or more, or all of these —and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details.
 – Swami Vivekananda in the preface of Raja Yoga

In Yoga, Shirshasana (Headstand Yoga Pose) is known as the king of all asanas due to its multiple health benefits. It speeds up the blood circulation and ensures that brain receives sufficient well oxygenated blood. Regular practice helps to develop the body, disciplines the mind and widens the horizons of the spirit. It develops a balanced and self-reliant personality.  The position of standing on head is certainly unnatural which makes you see everything upside down, if you really do not do the asana scientifically. If you make a mistake of keeping your eyes open that also withputting politically coloured glasses on, then the asana can lead to disastrous effects. Some people who preferred either to boycott Yoga Day or uproot it from the Bharatiya roots are performing a similar kind of Asana without understanding the side effects.
When the Second International Day of Yoga was witnessing significantly enhanced participation in virtually all member countries of the United Nations partnering with  the leading International Yoga organisations, some people with ‘so-called Secular’ and ‘anti-Modi’ glasses chose to stand on their head in protest. Bihar government distanced itself from the historic day while raising issues from ‘liquor ban’ to music day celebrations, while his competitor in the race for leadership of ‘secular alliance’, Arvind Kejriwal used his usual asana of protest, ‘challenging the Prime Minister’. Interestingly, both the State level leaders are facing a severe challenge in terms of criminalisation on the one hand and corruption charges on the other. Perhaps, promoting Yoga in true sense can help them to govern the states better; unfortunately, their coloured glasses do not allow them to do so.
Another variant of opposition comes from the obvious communist quarter. Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja questioned the use of chants and prayers before public Yoga performance held as part of International Yoga Day at Thiruvananthapuram. Again the logic is Yoga belongs to all but it should be ‘secular yoga’. Can there be Communism without European understanding of class struggle? Can there be global Capitalism without being intrinsically rooted in the American version of neo-liberalism? Similarly, Yoga cannot be separated from Sanskrit and scientific way of chanting and breathing. The Hindu view of life which sees unity in diversity tries to bring healthy way of bringing harmony within and with the outside world. Again the problem is, tainted glasses of Communismwith headstand position, compel them to see everything with divisive and upside-down mindset. 
While proposing the idea of celebrating International Day for Yoga, Prime Minister NarendraModi in his address during the opening of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly, clearly said: “Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action ... a holistic approach [that] is valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.” This was not only endorsed but overwhelmingly supported by the world community.
Unfortunately the people who are politically standing on their heads do not understand that Shirshasana is an unnatural method of combating an unnatural lifestyle, doing that beyond a certain time that also in an unscientific way can lead to many side effects. The ‘secular-communist’ practitioners of Hatha Yoga are not ready to understand that it is neither about BJP nor about Modi, it is purely about Bharat, the cultural tradition of which is inherently Hindu. If they try to uproot that by performing wrong asanas, the only response they will get is their political uprooting. The earlier they understand this, the betterit is for them and for their political health and survival.
By PrafullaKetkar

Courtesy: Organiser

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