Spiritual leader Jaggi Vasudev ‘Sadhguru’ is the Guru behind Isha Foundation, a non-religious, non-profit ashram near Coimbatore which runs yoga classes in the US, UK, China, Malaysia, Australia and many other countries. Sadhguru spoke to Satish Padmanabhan of India’s Outlook magazine about the forthcoming World Yoga Day (2015 ). In the interview he said:
“The word Hindu comes from a geographical location. The people who lived within the Himalayas and the Indian Ocean or the Hindu Sagara were called Hindu. Anything born in this region is Hindu. An earthworm born here is Hindu, as an elephant born in Africa is African. If yoga is Hindu, then gravity is Christian.”
Yet whatever the word ‘Hindu’ is has come to be associated with the oldest surviving civilisation, and ancient culture which encompasses many belief systems. That includes yoga. Westerners are drawn to something explicit in this regard, often through yoga itself, and they have no shame about it.
But a whole industry has grown up in the name of ‘secularism’, ‘progress’ and ironically ‘tolerance’ to disassociate yoga from being Hindu. In this warped universe, Hinduism and the term Hindu only gets associated with Sati, caste, rape, human sacrifice and other ‘savagery’.
On the other hand anything ‘’ is deemed non-Hindu. Naive Gurus and Hindus fall for it without thinking that they are opening the door to Pandora’s box, and allowing the modern day offspring of Robert Clive to dismember their quarry by emphasising different into conflicting sects, castes regional identities which are then open to more exploitation politically and above all for conversion.
The sad fate of other indigenous peoples around the world should serve as a lesson to us. Native Americans and Australian were subject up until the last twentieth century to forcible dislocation form their cultural and religious roots, often by the very Christian missionaries which claimed to be looking after them.
In return for losing their ancestral lands and associated sacred sites to a Malthusian tsunami of a Europe wracked by puritanical and uncompromising monotheistic cannibalism, including mineral wealth now used to benefit their exploiters and oppressors, they received a sacred text they could not understand complete with physical beatings, sexual abuse, prohibition to speak their own language, often snatched from their still living parents, all in the name of ‘civilisation’.
The behemoth just discussed is far from dead. Hence the unhealthy interest which similar outfits show in the ‘welfare’ of tribal groups, Dalits, orphans and the poor in India. They know when to stop a good bargain. Yoga, Ayurveda, meditation and a plethora of other spiritual treasures poses a threat to this determined juggernaut. Hence why it is essential that Yoga somehow be made non-Hindu by public relations spin that chews up billions of pounds, and generates handsome rewards.
The concept of gravity is credited to seventeenth century scientist Isaac Newton. Interestingly enough Newton was a devout Christian, who believed that science would uncover the mysteries of a universe created by a God who was found in the Bible. To this extent he scientifically predicted that Jesus would return to earth in the year 1948. But does this make gravity a Christian idea?
The ancient Greeks had no concept of gravity. Instead Aristotle attributed the motions of the stars, in a universe which he believed was geocentric, to the ambiguous ‘Prime Mover’. The Church later took the Prime Mover to mean God. Newton lived at a time when these assumptions were under attack.
Copernicus had proved that the solar system was in fact heliocentric, and so even this set of planets, let alone the cosmos, did not revolve around the rock we inhabit. Of course this disjointed God’s image, that of man as created in Genesis, the central role in creation.
It was in this intellectual ferment that Newton formulated the idea of gravity. Devout he may have been but in doing so he laid the foundations of deism, that of a clockwork god who sets the universe in motion but then refrains from interference in its workings.
The next step beyond deism was of course to dispense with this creator being altogether. As the nineteenth century dawned, Napoleon asked physicist Laplace where god fitted into his concept of the universe. “I have no use for that hypothesis of which you speak” was the latter’s reply. From being central to the cosmos itself, this god became nothing more than a ‘hypothesis’, and a redundant one at that.
It is true that the Church helped establish universities. Paris, Oxford, Cambridge and other institutions date from the Middle Ages. However what really spurred scientific progress was the use of decimal numbers and above all a number which the ancient Greeks had rejected for its irrational properties: zero.
Without zero the calculations so essential to the work of not just Newton, but Copernicus, Galileo, Laplace and a host of others would not have been possible. Without these basic elements of what we now accept as the core tools of mathematics, Newton would not have been able to outline the ideas he expounded in his famous work Prinicipa. Besides Christian is not a geographic concept.
The idea of Christendom, and the Christian West is more of a quaint hangover from a past laid to rest by the Thirty Years War, industrialisation and the social upheavals of war and revolution.
Jaggi Vasudev ‘Sadhguru’ is in effect referring to a geographic concept which has long past its sell-by date. While gravity may have been formulated by a seventeenth century English gentleman with a firm believe that his Messiah would return in 1948, the basis of his science were Hindu concepts.
Long before Copernicus and Galileo India had Aryabhata. Long before the universities of Oxford and Paris, there was Nalanda using intellectual tools that the Greek ancestors of western civilisation, along with the Church which succeeded them, had deliberately rejected as somehow ‘irrational’.
The universities were began in the same vein as the scientific enquiry which began at the dawn of modern Europe. They were institutions founded and supported by the Church to propagate the true faith. Hence they were far removed from the secular, liberal and open atmosphere we now associate with such places.
They were an extension of the monasteries which had kept learning alive in the Dark Ages. Hence they were not founded as places for objective study and secular respect for all faiths. The pattern repeats itself with missionary schools in India.
Ostensibly founded for charitable purposes to help tackle illiteracy, their main purpose is conversion to make up for numbers lost by the secularisation set in motion inadvertently by Newton and Copernicus, and more deliberately by Laplace and the laicism of that physicist’s native France.So not only Yoga is Hindu but the tools to understanding Gravity also comes from the Hindus .
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