Saturday April 20, 2019

Sangeet Natak Akademi gears up for yoga day

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New Delhi: As the Modi government is not leaving any stone unturned in commemorating the International Day of Yoga on June 21, its cultural wings are also going into overdrive to showcase the country’s heritage to the world.Sangeet_Natak_Akademi

Spearheading the events, Sangeet Natak Akademi, a nodal agency of the culture ministry, has planned a week-long ‘Yog Parv’ festival during June 21-27. The festival encompasses over 300 select works of art, dance and music performances, workshops and other presentations by more than 150 artists from across India and overseas.

Elaborating on the plan, Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Secretary, Helen Acharya said that planning Yoga Parv was not an arduous task.

“Last year, the Akademi was asked to prepare a dossier for UNESCO on the intangible cultural heritage of India. We had collected a lot of material in the process. This year, when the ministry asked us to anchor a festival on yoga, it came handy for us. We only had to put together the material we had,” Achrya told IANS.

Divided into three sections, the festival will unfold at three venues.

Yoga Chakra, an exhibition at the Lalit Kala Akademi, will be a multimedia art show featuring over 300 works by 150 artists from across India. The second, Yoga and Performing Arts at the Meghdoot Theatre, will present dance performances, music concerts, theatre shows, lecture demonstrations, discourses and consultations with yoga experts. The third is the Organic and Wellness Stall at the Rabindra Bhawan lawns, with cafes and interactive sessions and an open platform for dialogue and consultancy.

The experts and organisations that will make presentations include Mandakini Trivedi, Masako Ono, Ranjana Gauhar and the Isha Foundation.

The Akademi has roped in other cultural bodies like Lalit Kala Akademi, Sahitya Akademi, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, and the National Museum for the event.

“We have many antiquities selected and sourced from museums around the country as well as fresh commissions created by some contemporary artists. We are getting 50 works from National Museum and a lot of contemporary painting and sculptures from Lalit Kala Akademi. This is the first time we are putting up contemporary and ancient works together,” Sushma Bahl, the curator of the event’s cultural projects, told IANS.

Bahl added that they had also collaborated with many lesser known artists in the country.

“We wrote to many contemporary artists asking for work. The result was amazing. Some of them made new works, which were interactive. Our criteria was whether their works responded to the theme of yoga,” Bahl added.

While prominent names like S.H. Raza, F.N. Souza, G.H. Santhosh, Anupam Sud, Tyeb Mehta, and Seema Kohli make the list in the visual arts, artists like Geeta Chandran grace the performing arts list.

Besides a star-studded artists list, audiences will be treated to many traditional and folk performances from different parts of the country.

Noted classical dancer and choreographer Sonal Mansingh, who will deliver a speech on yoga and dance in the inaugural session, said that she is honoured to be a part of the event.

“I feel happy and proud to be the part of the event. Yoga is one of the great gifts to the world. Dance includes every form of yoga. That is why Lord Shiva has been given the title Natraja by great rishis thousands of years ago,” Mansingh told IANS.

Next Story

Westerners Adopt Indian Practices, Deny Giving Due Credits

There is an argument by some Hindu liberals thinking “what the problem in it”? They think our knowledge is globalized by West in the same way we consume inventions of the West. But it’s a very naïve argument.

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Its time Indians in general and Hindus in particular should be vigilant and should have an academic mind set to respond to such misadventures to protect our own heritage and Dharma. Hindu Council Of Australia

By Shashi Holla (WA) and Surinder Jain

Colonial or a white supremacy mind set may be clever enough to adopt Hindu practices but denies giving credit where it is due. Stealing Hindu Intellectual Property, they do not hesitate to rename and repackage so that they can sell it back to India for immense profits. Off course, they will leave no chance to tell Indians to stop their superstitious ways and to adopt the new scientific knowledge which “they” have “invented”.

Following has been already digested or appropriated by West. Some of the Western academics don’t believe that they belong to India.

Yoga Nidra   AS  Lucid Dreaming

Nadi Shodhana AS Alternate Nostrils Breathing

Vipassana  AS Mindfulness.

The latest addition to this list is

Pranamyam AS Cardiac Coherence Breathing

Several researchers have reported that pranayama techniques are beneficial in treating a range of stress-related disorders.[29] But the latest attempt has taken the appropriation too far. An American magazine “Scientific American” in its article titled “Proper Breathing Brings Better health” termed “Pranayama” as cardiac coherence breathing. (15 January 2019). The article gives us an idea about how West is so sophisticated in stealing knowledge from ancient cultures particularly Hinduism.

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Man doing Yoga. Wikimedia Commons

Prāṇāyāma is mentioned in verse 4.29 of the Bhagavad Gītā.[11] According to Bhagavad-Gītā As It Is, prāṇāyāma is translated to “trance induced by stopping all breathing”, also being made from the two separate Sanskrit words, prāṇa and āyām.[12] Pranayama is the fourth “limb” of the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga mentioned in verse 2.29 in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.[14][15] Patanjali, a Hindu Rishi, discusses his specific approach to pranayama in verses 2.49 through 2.51, and devotes verses 2.52 and 2.53 to explaining the benefits of the practice.[16] Many yoga teachers advise that pranayama should be part of an overall practice that includes the other limbs of Patanjali’s Raja Yoga teachings, especially Yama, Niyama, and Asana.[18]

“Pranayama” a department of Yogic science practiced and documented 5000 years back ( even 15,000 years back) by Rishis is not even acknowledged by the author of the article. If one read the article they vaguely suggest that breathing exercises also existed in China, Hindu and in Greek culture.  This is how appropriation of ancient techniques takes place by West.  As Sankrat Sanu an entrepreneur, researcher and writer put it in his tweet “after erasing the origin they claim it as their own invention, attack original traditions as Superstition”.

As famous Indian American Author Rajiv Malhotra summarizes: “The article standardizes cardiac coherence breathing as Chinese, Hindu, Greek and various traditions as equal origins, and then modern West turns it into science”. Its time Indians in general and Hindus in particular should be vigilant and should have an academic mind set to respond to such misadventures to  protect our own heritage and Dharma.

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The article standardizes cardiac coherence breathing as Chinese, Hindu, Greek and various traditions as equal origins, and then modern West turns it into science”.  Pixabay

There is an argument by some Hindu liberals thinking “what the problem in it”? They think our knowledge is globalized by West in the same way we consume inventions of the West. But it’s a very naïve argument. West has created an eco system and mechanism in which their knowledge system is Well protected and patented by international norms. Unless West does not give a new name and fits into their framework native wisdom is not recognized in academia and media. Whereas Hindus were generous in sharing their health techniques freely from millennium never thought they will struggle in proving things which belong to them. In fact in a westernized framework of Yoga and other techniques Indian scholars, insiders and practitioners are blatantly ignored. So our own knowledge will be repackaged and exported back to us at an extra price and conditions.

Also Read: Climate Change Will Melt Vast Parts of Himalayas: Study

Many of our practices are being called to be Biofeedback systems. According to WikipediaBiofeedback systems have been known in India and some other countries for millennia. Ancient Hindu practices like yoga and Pranayama (breathing techniques) are essentially biofeedback methods. Many yogis and sadhus have been known to exercise control over their physiological processes. In addition to recent research on Yoga, Paul Brunton, the British writer who travelled extensively in India, has written about many cases he has witnessed. (Hindu Council Of Australia)