Yoga Teacher Training Forum
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April 27, 2015
You're right. I did cross the line of respect and tolerance. But not without first hand experience. Let me explain my case. Religion is a good thing, but people have done more harm to each other in defense of their personal idea of what God wants.
Bhakti is a Sanskrit term meaning "loving devotion to the supreme God." A person who practices bhakti is called bhakta. The love of the bhakta toward the Divine or the guru as a manifestation of the Divine is Bhakti.
This may seem like "old hat" to most of you, but the origin of Bhakti is Hindu. Devotion was spent in praise of a personal God (bhagavan) or Goddess (bhagavati). Now, we have a more universal theme of Bhakti in the west:
All this aside, whenever pure spiritual devotion to God is mentioned, people go "bananas." Extreme views come in many shapes and sizes. Do you really think people with pure spiritual devotion to God will not kill each other?
You can fill in ther blanks with any religion. Mankind always has an excuse for religious wars. Yet every religion claims to be an avenue toward love. Bhakti is fine until an religious leader with extremist opinions says go out and kill all those non-believing _________ because God said so.
This is the reason why Hatha Yoga is so popular in the west. You can have people of 10 different religions in the same class without conflict. This is also the reason why some religious leaders fear Yoga. If the face of a different religion is a friend we know and care about, our vision of that other religion is different. You won't harm a friend even if she is a member of a different religion.
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