Or did a patent on yoga ever exist? It certainly didn’t take long for Deepak Chopra to provide his own rebuttal of Aseem Shukla’s lament on the disconnect between the practice of yoga today and its supposed Hindu roots. Here’s the beginning of Mr. Chopra’s counter argument:
First, yoga is a spiritual discipline in India, and always has been. The aim of the practice is liberation. When liberation occurs, the yogi is freed from the religious trappings that enclose Yoga. Those trappings have always been incidental to the deeper aim of enlightenment.
Secondly, yoga did not originate in Hinduism as Prof. Shukla claims. Perhaps he has a fundamentalist agenda in mind, but he must know very well that the rise of Hinduism as a religion came centuries after the foundation of yoga in consciousness and consciousness alone. Religious rites and the worship of gods has always been seen as being in service to a higher cause, knowing the self.
Chopra’s bottom-line: Rather than an exclusive club for only those who practice the Hindu faith, yoga is “a ‘spiritual discipline’ that is open to anyone of any faith.” Find the rest of the story here.