On a spring day a long time ago, a hunter killed one of a pair of birds while in their courtship dance. Such cruelty said the sage Valmiki can only mean one thing. We are now bereft of values and social and ecological disaster looms for future generations. “Is there no one that is upright anymore?”, he asked. it is then that he visioned the Ramayana.
Wisdom dictates that desires be subservient to something greater, that they do not subvert Rta, the order of things, do not transgress what our moral awareness is always telling us. Yoga is for inner development, to calm the fires of the mind by seeing the truth of how things are, which if not seen lead to putting oneself before others.
Anti-Yoga is then the taking of the mind towards desires, unrealistic, unfulfillable, unsustainable desires which will destroy everything if not checked. If Yoga becomes the narcissistic desire for the body beautiful, requires clothing made in sweatshops sold in branded stores, advert-torialised in Yoga Journals, then it has been made into Anti-Yoga.
Anti-Yoga, rather than taking one towards Ananda, that high state of inner contentment that Yoga points to, is instead the path towards “the promised bliss of one’s own narcissism!” (thanks Sri Louise, quoted).
There is a lot more to say. We need our own magazines and Journals, not those co-opted by Anti-Yoga. And they are coming…
By Writer and Film Maker Pankaj Seth
Sutra Journal is a free, monthly online magazine, with its first edition due out in a few weeks. Featured articles will include in depth information on topics such as Yoga, Vedanta, Tantra and Buddhism from a Dharmic point of view. Regular features will include Indology, key Sanskrit words/concepts contextualized and explained from the Dharmic point of view, summaries of classical texts, Ayurveda for self-care… and more.