Wednesday, November 12, 2014

India appoints a Minister of Yoga (audio)

Swami Vivekananda visits USA in 1893, Parliament of World Religions, Chicago (Dziewa/wiki)

Cosmic om, aum (taopunk/
On the left the photograph, Vivekananda wrote: "One infinite, pure and holy -- beyond thought, beyond qualities, I bow down to thee."
Yoga is many things to many people. To some it's just a form of exercise, to others it's about mindfulness and meditation [which is the point and purpose of practicing the first seven limbs to bring about success in the eighth]. Now, in India, it's also a cabinet portfolio.

(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview).
Americans visit Muslim architecture for taste of Indian culture: Taj Mahal (internationalyoga)
Newly elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi just appointed a "yoga minister" to his government on Monday (Nov. 10, 2014), tapping Shripad Yesso Naik to promote the traditional medicines and practices of Ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, and homeopathy.

Modi himself practices yoga daily. He's so passionate about it that he asked the United Nations in September to consider an International Yoga Day. He also discussed the ancient Indian [and possibly Indus Valley Civilization] discipline with Barack Obama during a recent visit to the U.S.
I've always wanted to learn yoga (grokker).
Modi is a follower of Swami Vivekananda, a Hindu monk who played a key role in introducing the Indian philosophies of Vedanta (the best of the Vedas) and yoga to the Western world. He's also credited with bringing Hinduism to the status of the fourth major world religion [behind Catholicism/Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism] during the late 19th century.
Vivekananda first shot to fame at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893. In his speeches, he called for tolerance and the end of religious fanaticism.

[If only PM Modi could have listened to those speeches -- and the teaching of ahimsa, or nonharming, promoted by the Buddha, Mahavira, Gandhi, and yogis throughout India -- he might have avoided pushing nationalist fanaticism that led to atrocities and the deaths of countless Muslims in communal violence in Gujarat he was involved in prior to his election as prime minister as the head of the nationalistic BJP Party.]
"His followers told him to...present Hinduism to the West," says Pravrajika Shuddhatma Prana, another of the swami's followers who lives and works at the Vivekananda Ridgely Retreat in Stone Ridge, New York. "The very first talk he gave at the Parliament of Religions, he got a standing ovation for several minutes because people were so impressed." More

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