Aggression is the human race’s biggest failing and it ‘threatens to destroy us all’, Stephen Hawking has said, urging people to be more empathetic.” – Nick Clark | The Independent, UK | Thursday 19 February 2015
We have been taught by our parents, our society, our educational institutions, and lately by the “professional” motivators, law-of-attraction pundits and etcetera to become aggressive.
“When you want to achieve or get something, just focus (meaning, concentrate) on what you want to achieve, what is it that you really want to get and become. Put aside all other things, all other issues, forget the discussion about what is moral and what is immoral. Allow not such things distract you from what you really want. Concentrate…” – this is what those pundits and professionals say.
We have, in our own lifetime, also seen how the “Uncertified” but Great Savants, Great Masters of Yoga get carried away by the wave of consumerism and materialism and become aggressive. In their zeal to promote Yoga for what they at first conceive and perceive as “service to society”, they have actually turned Yogainto a commodity.
In a 2005 interview published in Namarupa magazine, Prashant Iyengar, son of B.K.S. Iyengar, shared a similar view when he said, ‘We cannot expect that millions are practicing real yoga just because millions of people claim to be doing yoga all over the globe. What has spread all over the world is not yoga. It is not even non-yoga; it is un-yoga.’ (Source: Yoga Beyond Asana. www.hafsite.org)
Indeed, greed-motivated practices can only be un-yoga…
Mahatma Gandhi foresaw it decades ago,
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not for every man’s greed.”
My father recalled, “When he came to Sindh and spoke to us, his words were actually, ‘Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not for a single man’s greed.’ He elaborated further that a single man’s greed can result in conflicts, wars, catastrophe, and destruction affecting the whole world.
An aggressive person is essentially a self-centred person, an egoistic individual – who cannot see beyond his personal interest. Now, his persona can include his family, his friends, his company, his institution – but, then that is it. It is all his, his, his, me, mine…. His vision is limited to what he identifies as his.
Yoga advices us to become transpersonal, to go beyond our ego; to widen, to broaden our vision. One of the tenets as expounded by Sage Patanjali, the Maestro who systematised the Yoga Philosophy and Practice, is aparigraha – non-possessiveness.
Alas, even the so-called Yoga “Teachers” have forgotten this very important value of Yoga. They have become enterpreneurs; they are not Yogis, not YogaPractitioners.
Worse still is the situation in the sector of the co-called Yoga Therapy, where “people” are reduced to mere “clients”, not even considered as patients who must be served and cared for in a compassionate manner, not in a business-like manner.
Even Yoga associations are geared to promote Yoga as business, as enterprise, as industry. The basic lessons of Yoga are not understood. Indeed, the opposite of those lessons is being promoted.
If we truly understand that what “seems to belong to us” today did not belong to us yesterday, and may belong to someone else tomorrow; that matter is always changing hands; that we cannot even own this body of ours for all time, lest any other thing; and, that even our relations, our relationships are not permanent – then, we cannot not become non-possessive.
Such realization makes us non-aggressive, and yet dynamic. We shall still be working, and working dynamicaaly, but not for our benefit alone, not for our own welfare alone – but for the benefit, for the welfare of all fellow living beings.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna calls the person who works for his own benefit alone a thief. Offerings made to the Lord implies sharing our blessings with the under-privileged, indeed, with one and all.
Meditation according to the Gita is not sitting in silence, but working dynamically to uphold dharma or righteousness. Not aggressively, but dynamically. Living aggressively is like driving your car recklessly. Whereas, living dynamically is not giving up the speed, but driving responsibly.
Living Dynamically is driving our “Body-Senses-Mind-Intellect Vehicle” with a wider, broader, and more inclusive view. The focus is no longer limited or concentrated, but unlimited and all-encompassing.
Just sharing my thoughts… Many thanks for taking time to read this.
Salutations, Namaskar – I bow to the Divine within each one of us.
The Sanskrit Word Dhyana, the Pali Jhana, Chinese Chang, and Japanese Zen(meaning the same) has been translated as “Meditation” in English for want of a better word.
The Word “Meditation” is derived from the Latin “Meditationem”, meaning to “think over” or “to reflect upon” – hence the expression “to meditate on something”.
Whereas, the Word Dhyana and all its avatars as mentioned above is rightfully used as an adjective. Hence, the Hindi expression to this date, “dhyana se” – eatdhyana se, live dhyana se, work dhyana se, walk dhyana se. It is a colour of life, a style of living, the way we live, we work, and do all other chores.
On the Surface, the difference between the two may not look great. In practice, they are two different things, until the day we all agree that “meditation” is no longer used as a verb, but as an adjective.
Coming Back to the Expression Dhyana Se…. Perhaps it is more appropriate to translate “Living Dhyana Se” or “Living Meditatively” as “Living Attentively”. The next step would be to understand Patanjali, the great advocate of Yoga Philosophy, in a new light. When he speaks of chitta, does he mean manah or mind? Or, something quite different? And, then, if mindfulness and meditation are the same, can there be mindful meditation, is it the same as dhyana, chang, or zen?
What is there in a Name, a terms, a word?! Well, if our understanding is affected by a term or a word abused, or even misused, in the sense “mistakenly used by mistake” – then, it is certainly an issue that we have to ponder upon (not meditate upon 🙂
The 1st International Day of Yoga to be celebrated worldwide on June 21st is being seen as the International Acknowledgement of Yoga by the World Community; as well as an Additional Tool for Marketing Yoga as Commodity. It depends upon our perspective.
Sometime Back, Al-Jazeera aired two shows on Yoga. I am very much surprised as well as disturbed by the comments made by the prominent that Yoga is “this” and also “that”. I believe they are referring to the present, unfortunate state of Yoga, as it is turning into a commodity. There can be no two, no different definitions of medicine or economics or mathematics. The basic definition of each of those and other disciplines is one and the same. It is the same with Yoga.
Unfortunately, Many Who are Engaged in “Selling” Yoga are not even familiar with the texts such as Yoga Sutras (the prime most text), Bhagavad Gita, and Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
I am very much disappointed in THOSE (featured in the Al Jazeera shows) who have become part of the commercialisation of Yoga and meditation. They don’t mean what they are saying. The way they defend the so-called “certified yoga teachers” selling yoga as commodity is unfortunate.
Although, i have a very high regard for them and their achievements, but their stand saddens me. They are forgetting their roots, forgetting the very purpose of Yoga, as defined by Patanjali who systematised it, or as given in the Bhagavad Gita or Hatha Yoga Pradipika. To discard all those texts and given to egoistic notion that one can learn Yoga without referring to them is purely tamasika. It betrays one’s ignorance.
‘Now’ is not only a cognitive illusion but also a mathematical trick, related to how we define space and time quantitatively. One way of seeing this is to recognize that the notion of ‘present,’ as sandwiched between past and future, is simply a useful hoax. After all, if the present is a moment in time without duration, it can’t exist. What does exist is the recent memory of the immediate past and the expectation of the near future. We link past and future through the conceptual notion of a present, of ‘now.’ But all that we have is the accumulated memory of the past—stored in biological or various recording devices—and the expectation of the future.” – Marcelo Gleiser, Appleton Professor of Natural Philosophy and Professor Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College; Author of “The Island of Knowledge”, “The Dancing Universe”, “The Prophet and the Astronomer”, and “A Tear at the Edge of Creation”
Being attentive to “here and now” is being attentive to the slippery nature of all and everything, including this present moment.
As i write these lines, i am already stepping into what was future just a little while ago; and watching the present moment turning into past.
Remember Heraclitus of Ephesus (535 – 475 BC), the Greek philosopher, famous for his following quote…..
You cannot step twice into the same river; for other waters are continually flowing in.”
In other words, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
So, what is “now”? Where is “now” – the present moment? And, what is “here”?
Everything is in constant flux…….” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Meditations of a Solitary Walker
Many of us use the phrase “living in the present moment, here and now” without even understanding its implication, or, whether this is possible at all!
From my “experiments with life”, all that i have been able to do is Living Attentively – Being Attentive about the fleeting, ever changing, decaying, and decomposing nature of this material existence. Then, the past ceases to become a burden, and the future…. just around the corner, now! Its all a continuum….
Many years ago, someone presented my Master with the manuscript of his book and sought his blessings.
The Master read the title of the book, and smiled: “‘Living Here and Now’ – before getting to ‘Here and Now’, you must first ask yourself, ‘Am i living, or life is passing me by?'” Indeed, a question to contemplate and meditate upon….
Me (Status on Google Plus): You may start your #InnerJourney from one point, i may start from another – but, there is no way for us to not meet at the destination, for the Goal is One
The goal is indeed, ‘one’ as one ‘ponders’ these points, one observes ‘one-ness’ and unlike ‘four ‘blind Men & the Elephant’ story (Google it), one is in accord.
Great point this is. Thank You.
Many thanks for your comments.
Greetings. I (one) received the ‘like’ and was about to click back a quick ‘like the like’, in return. It all vanished, so here one is actually writing ‘Thank you’
instead of the flow of Tamas cleverly disguised as quick Rajas, so thank you.
And for all else one is involved with that will help alleviate suffering.
May ALL beings be happy.
Namaste, blessed to know you my dear. Your message is a piece of wisdom, in one line you have described the gunas so very aptly.
Duality is apparent, what is seen on the surface. Unity, or, rather, Oneness is the underlying Truth.
My dear friend BM’s observations in the above conversation are praise-worthy; are, what i would say, based upon the Vedantic Principles. His words are the words of asadhaka, a spiritual seeker, who is ever attempting to go beyond all dualities and access the underlying Truth. He, indeed, represents all of us, walking the same path.
The outside world, even before the present computer technology, is, actually, already based upon the principles of computer. Behind all the superfluous sophistications and equations, there are certain simple formulas, alt, command, delete, like, dislike, and etcetera – all based upon the principles of dualism. Indeed, the computer technology only represents what has already been there in the human brain.
The human brain is always looking for the easy way.
Lazy Tamas, Aggressive Rajas, or Calm Sattva. Like, Dislike, or remain Foolishly Neutral. Attraction, Repulsion, or Torn-in-Between. This is the World of Mind, our present state of mind, a log-like mind, unpolished. This mind “thinks” it is intelligent, but it is not. It works on certain fixed principles. Anyone can hack it and gain control over it, not only on an individual level, but on a collective level. This is how the advertising industry thrives. This is how the power-mongers continue to stay in power.
As long as we are in this world, as long as we have to interact with the outside world, like it or not, we have to talk the same language. That is if we want to be understood by the world. A handful among us may choose to not be understood, or even misunderstood, and keep to their language of Oneness, not complying with the language of duality that the masses speak in. They are the genius among us. The carefree avadhoots, they are not affected by whatever comments the peoples living in delusion pass on them.
So, now, the choice is ours, which language do we want to speak in?
Speak the language of oneness at all times, not compromising with the duality based world; dance to the tune of the worldly; or…… For the intelligent, the awakened, there buddhas, the choices are numerous – and, they have no problem to jump from one language to another in no time.
Ever free, and not caught in the web of maya, of delusion – the intelligent are beyond all duality. The laws of attraction and repulsion do not affect them. Beyond all likes and dislikes, they are ever in the state of true awareness, of true understanding of the nature of things.
My salutations to such Mentors of Humankind.
Anand Ashram @Ubud
Photo: Unknown Visitor to Ashram
Our watchword, then, will be acceptance, and not exclusion. Not only toleration, for so-called toleration is often blasphemy, and I do not believe in it. I believe in acceptance. Why should I tolerate? Toleration means that I think that you are wrong and I am just allowing you to live. Is it not a blasphemy to think that you and I are allowing others to live?
“I accept all religions that were in the past, and worship with them all; I worship God with every one of them, in whatever form they worship Him. I shall go to the mosque of the Mohammedan; I shall enter the Christian’s church and kneel before the crucifix; I shall enter the Buddhistic temple, where I shall take refuge in Buddha and in his Law. I shall go into the forest and sit down in meditation with the Hindu, who is trying to see the Light which enlightens the heart of every one.
“Not only shall I do all these, but I shall keep my heart open for all that may come in the future. Is God’s book finished? Or is it still a continuous revelation going on? It is a marvellous book — these spiritual revelations of the world.
“The Bible, the Vedas, the Koran, and all other sacred books are but so many pages, and an infinite number of pages remain yet to be unfolded. I would leave it open for all of them. We stand in the present, but open ourselves to the infinite future. We take in all that has been in the past, enjoy the light of the present, and open every window of the heart for all that will come in the future. Salutation to all the prophets of the past, to all the great ones of the present, and to all that are to come in the future!”
(Swami Vivekananda, The Complete Works Vol.2)
Photo: Internet, Google Images (Disclaimer: I am not the owner)