With the recent turmoil in Ferguson springing from racist conflicts and civil outrage, I am moved to share some ancient Yoga wisdom on the root cause of the issue .
The dictionary definition of the word ‘racism’ is “The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.’’
WHO AM I ? We need to start thinking beyond black and white, and get to the root cause of the problem which is how we identify ourselves; I am a 30yr old white woman from Texas or I am a 19yr old black man from Fergusson - and proud to be black!
Racism goes both ways, whether its white people against black, or black people against white, or Hawaiian verses so called 'Haoles' - as long as we continue to identify ourselves with our particular color, race, sex, ethnicity or our 'team', racism will continue to be there. However the problem isn't that I’m white and he is black or vice versa, rather the problem is in identifying ourselves as a white person belonging to the white team or a black belonging to the black team. Like riots between opposing football team fans, it is this ‘team spirit’ that separates and divides us, turning man against man, country against county. From bullying in the school yard, to racial conflicts in communities, society and the world at large, it is this ‘team spirit’ which is tearing us to pieces. On a larger scale this same disease is wreaking havoc turning nation against nation, religion against religion and as a byproduct we have so called religious ‘Holy wars’, which are bringing about so much suffering and disharmony to the world.
For the world to be peaceful we need to be peaceful within ourselves. We need to start thinking beyond our colors and race, beyond our religions, beyond our different external labels of man and woman. We need to stop looking with our eyes and start feeling with our hearts. Stop identifying ourselves and others as their bodies and start seeing them as the atma or soul within that body. According to ancient Yoga Texts the self takes on different forms and bodies - sometimes black, sometimes white, sometimes man sometimes woman, but I am not black nor am I white. We need to start seeing the man within those clothes. To see each and every living being as a loved and valued child of God, as our brothers and sisters. This is true equality and the path to world peace.
Yoga is discovering who you are, what your purpose is, and why you exist. Peace begins with me - understanding my own spiritual nature and real identity as an eternal spirit soul and spark of the Supreme Soul. The nature of the soul is shared in the ancient famous Yoga texts of The Bhagavad-Gita :
BG 2.16: Those who are seers of the truth have concluded that of the nonexistent [the material body] there is no endurance and of the eternal [the soul] there is no change. This they have concluded by studying the nature of both.
BG 2.17: That which pervades the entire body you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that imperishable soul.
G 2.22: As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.
BG 2.23: The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.
BG 2.24: This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.
BG 2.25: It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable and immutable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body.
We invite you to find out more about the ancient wisdom of Yoga, and look deeper into the individual nature of the soul, reincarnation and spiritual subject matters. And hope you join us for an evening of kirtan Yoga Meditation, at the Bhakti Yoga Shack very soon. www.bhaktiyogashack.com
What is Kirtan? Kirtan is the music of the heart and the song of yoga. -Radha Kauai