A Rejoinder to the New York Times – “Yoga and Sex Scandals: No Surprise Here”

To,

The Editor (Attn: letters@nytimes.com )
New York Times, New York City, NY

Subject: Protest against the recent stupid article on Yoga your newspaper published – “Yoga and Sex Scandals: No Surprise Here”

Link below:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/28/health/nutrition/yoga-fans-sexual-flames-and-predictably-plenty-of-scandal.html?_r=1&ref=general&src=me&pagewanted=all

Namaste,

I am a regular reader of New York Times online edition. A week ago I came across the Yoga article published on your newspaper which makes every effort to link Yoga with „Sex Scandals‟. I am a Hindu by practice and student of Hinduism and was extremely disappointed when I saw the vulgar display in the way a path of Yoga practice „Hatya Yoga‟ was projected and the low subconscious of the author, reviewer and approver of this article in publishing this faith based subject. New York Times is a renowned newspaper which has global readers and is a newspaper which serves as role model to world in depicting cultures, traditions, practices and religions across the world in most respectful and dignified way.

After reading the „Yoga‟ article it seems that some editors and article contributors are moving away from being taking an aesthetic approach to the immoral approach ( „ few scandals highlight ‟ and „ ignorance w.r.t understanding whole picture ‟ „linking scientific research to thousand year old tradition‟) to attract fake fame, attention, controversy, which leads to increase in subscriptions. This approach which is also called as „Tamshik‟ approach (social acts done with an expectation of returns) is not only condemned in Hinduism, but also in other religions. After reading the article it seems like the knowledge of the author and editor who approved this article is very limited and has multiple „ignorance gaps‟, moreover their subconscious is so low as the focus is more towards „sex‟ „sexual organs‟ and „materialistic / physical pleasures‟ „ sexual controversy‟ in reading, writing or publishing articles on culture, faith and literature pertinent to Yoga.

Look like a bunch of article contributors and editors don‟t want to appreciate the beauty of other cultures, traditions and practices in realizing the goal to unite with God which in Hinduism is also known as salvation. In United States there are approx 2 million Hindus and most of them are educated and they do practice Hinduism in forms of Yoga, Meditation, and Deity worship at temples etc. Your article seems to question validity and veracity of Yoga which is not only practiced by Hindus but Christians, Muslims and people of other faith and religions. Millions of people have benefitted from Yoga in terms physical, mental, emotional and spiritual way (references and testimonials can be provided upon request)
I want your editor and the team who wish to write culture/faith based articles to refer good books „Original Texts‟ and literature to get enlightened and remove ignorance.

For your education

Yoga means to unite with God, where an individual soul progresses on the path of spiritual progress towards the realization of the supreme. This supreme may be „Shiva‟, „Brahma‟ or „Shakti „ or a symbol “OM” for Hindus or may be other gods and divine beings for people of other religions and faith.

There are four paths of spiritual progress under Yoga practice: – Jnana yoga (Knowledge); Karma Yoga (Action ritual and Practice, Performance); Bhakti yoga (Path of devotion; Raja yoga (Meditation). These are the major paths which you can see in Yoga schools worldwide.

All these yoga paths have been assimilated in the different philosophies and the religions to suit their needs. In this process of adoption, the „yoga‟ paths attain the „brandings‟ specific to the schools in to which they are absorbed. For example „Hatha-yoga‟ absorbed in to the Shakti-religious faith (there are six faith based practices in Hinduism). „Shakti‟ tradition‟ is one of them (Hindus who worship Goddess Shakti or Durga) which has great number of books called „tantras‟ mentions the method of employing the various sounds („mantras‟) for the interaction with the cosmos and for spiritual progress.

Tantric spiritual practices and rituals thus aim to bring about an inner realization of the truth; the term tantra and the notion of superlative sex are erroneously linked. Here under Shakti tradition the fusion of Shiva and Shakti (spaciousness and energy), the goal here is not physical pleasure but true self realization and infinite knowledge. This is important for team to understand that the term „Ananda‟ mentioned in many Hindu sacred texts doesn‟t mean „sexual pleasure‟ but „spiritual pleasure‟. I recommend before writing articles on faith / culture/ practices refer to original texts and genuine books, for example to get insight into Hinduism you need to have basic Sanskrit (if not Vedic Sanskrit) as English language can‟t translate the „correct‟ meaning of Vedic Texts and has words that don‟t match with Sanskrit words.

Your mentioning “The rites of Tantric cults, while often steeped in symbolism, could also include group and individual sex.” is an act of blasphemy and religious bigotry towards millions of Hindus under Shakti based Tantra faith tradition.

Now looking from scientific point of view: Your mention of „Hatha yoga‟ where your article say it „fuse male and female aspect‟ „charge was that practitioners indulged in sexual debauchery under the pretext of spirituality‟ – I want to ask you one question, aren‟t you born as a result of fusion of your father sperm and mother ovum which was a result of intercourse, which common people classify under as „sex‟ (let me go scientific here). Infact not only you, every object in this universe is formed as a result of fusion between spaciousness and energy. Why today‟s 21st science is not able to create Human or any living species in labs, why? No answer. Because you need to accept the laws and rules of Divine and Supreme Being for me that can be „Goddess Shakti‟ for others it may be Gods and sacred beings of their religion.

“Because there were so many violations going on in California” „or “sexual molestation”– Want to mention here that these acts are more of an individual acts which no way relates to a particular practice, tradition or faith. Still on a daily basis you can read news in prominent media about teachers getting suspended for having sex with student or women getting molested, do all such subjects practice Yoga – No. There are around thousands of Yoga teachers and hundreds of schools alone in U.S. – if a bunch of them involve in „bad acts‟ You can‟t generalize all or say that “ because Yoga results in „result in bursts of brainwaves‟ „foster autoerotic bliss‟ „ greater joy and happiness‟ it‟s promoting „sex scandals‟ or driving the Yoga guru and student towards sex‟. What about hundreds of examples where student and teachers involve in sex don‟t do Yoga? Any answer. Try to introspect on this.

On request I can provide you tens of literature evidence to challenge your article. Your article which tries to justify some scientific studies in depicting Hatya Yoga as „sexual‟ practice is absurd and doesn‟t hold ground and lacks true factual integrity. Because of space limitation on letter standards, I end here with a request.

I want to request you to appoint the editors, article contributors and approvers who have knowledge, insight and connections with authentic and verified Hindu Tanks, Hindu scholars and organizations to refer, take guidance before publishing such disgusting and stupid articles in such a prominent newspaper. If required I can help you link your „culture/religion/faith‟ department with such genuine scholars and groups in U.S.

Also such ignorant article contributors and approving editors should realize that it‟s not the era of 18th and early 19th century when skills and tools require publishing such literature with „Racist western colonial ignorant mindset‟ was a result of freedom of speech that is prevalent in the West is often misused against Hinduism, in this 21st century followers of faith tradition, practices are very proactive in reading, discussing, sharing, publishing authentic and genuine literature, they have tools and resources to defend such acts of blasphemy and bigotry. In this information technology era such stupid literature and the „hidden immoral „agenda is doomed to fail.

You can reach me by phone or email for question or reply.

Best Regards

Rahul Chandra

Houston, TX
s.chandra.rahul@gmail.com

 

Posted in: Media

Leave a Comment

Are you human? *