New Delhi, Dec 1, 2016: In what is being seen as a diplomatic triumph for India, the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has inscribed yoga in Unesco’s Representative List as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, a senior official said on Thursday.
“This declaration of yoga as a ‘human Treasure’ enjoyed the unanimous support of the 24-member Intergovernmental Committee which overturned the decision of an evaluation body of technical experts, seeking to defer the case to the next session of the committee in 2017,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in his weekly media briefing here.
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“The inscription and classification as a ‘human treasure’ brings immense recognition to yoga, clearing as it has rigorous criteria set out by Unesco , the only UN body mandated to capture the intangible aspects of culture,” he said.
“It emphasises yoga’s role as a social practice, an oral tradition and a system of ancient and scientific knowledge facilitating an enhanced harmony and peace across caste, creed, gender, age and nationality.”
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It may be mentioned that following a proposal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the UN General Assembly in December 2014 declared June 21 every year as International Yoga Day.
Swarup said that the inscription in the Unesco list has enabled “a bottoms-up empowerment, as it directs the spotlight towards the numerous institutions and communities in India disseminating this ancient tradition”.
“As well, it can potentially foment a dialogue on the ideas of peace and tolerance, how these can be extended to meet the goals of sustainable development and where India can play a leading role in this global dialogue on intercultural relations,” he added. (IANS)
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.
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. 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.
Prāṇāyāma is mentioned in verse 4.29 of the Bhagavad Gītā. 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. Pranayama is the fourth “limb” of the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga mentioned in verse 2.29 in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. 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. 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.
“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.
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.
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)