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 Yoga into 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 Yoga Practitioners.
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.