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 Yoga, Science and Philosophy
 Old caste system
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colours

Sweden
108 Posts

Posted - Dec 14 2016 :  5:08:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hello

I have learned that yoga comes from the same source (veda) as the so called caste system. What is your take on this? I love the practice of yoga and meditation, but I don't like the caste system...

How do you feel doing yoga with this knowledge?

I guess nothing is perfect...

Christi

United Kingdom
4053 Posts

Posted - Dec 14 2016 :  6:32:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Colours,

The Vedas are a vast collection of literature. Some of the texts are of a spiritual nature, whilst others have more to do with the organisation of society and laws, or with magical rites, or with healing herbs. They were written over a large time span. Although they are given one name (Vedas), it is really like talking about "medieval European literature", or "ancient Greek literature".

We know that some of the Vedas were written at a time when the caste system existed, at least to some degree as there are references to it. We also know that some of the earliest yogic texts that we know of date back to the Vedic era. But that does not mean that yoga is related to the caste system. In fact yoga is the very antithesis of the caste system. If you come to know yourself, through yoga, to not be the body, or the mind, then you will also know yourself to not be any caste.

This is held out even today in India. If you go to stay in a yoga ashram, everyone eats together, regardless of caste, and everyone practices yoga together, regardless of caste. I have also never seen an untouchable turned away from a yoga ashram.

Of course, India is a big place and there are many who are still attached to the caste system, so I would not be surprised to hear of isolated incidents of people being discriminated against according to their caste even in a yoga class or a yoga ashram. But in general, yoga is not touched by the caste system and anyone can practice yoga, regardless of caste.

I once heard that it was Gandhi, who practised yoga every day, who referred to the Dalits (untouchables) as Harijans (Sons and daughters of God).


Christi
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colours

Sweden
108 Posts

Posted - Dec 14 2016 :  7:04:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Christi

That is making it more clear, couldn't find very good texts on this on the Internet.

Can I quote your post on to a Swedish forum? You said it better than I could...and I think people are interested. :)

Colours
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Christi

United Kingdom
4053 Posts

Posted - Dec 14 2016 :  7:20:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Colours,

Yes, please do.
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colours

Sweden
108 Posts

Posted - Dec 14 2016 :  8:00:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you, I have made the quote and linked back to this thread.

Here is the page with the quote, in Swedish, and you have to be a member on the site to see all posts: http://andligutveckling.ifokus.se/d...n-en-fd-haxa



More coments on this topic are appreciated.. it's an interesting subject, thanks.

Colours

Edited by - colours on Dec 14 2016 8:12:02 PM
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sunyata

USA
1477 Posts

Posted - Dec 14 2016 :  8:36:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Colors,

Christi has covered it all in his post.

You are on the right track. Dive deep, find out who you truly are then the world becomes your family. Ignorance is the cause of all the suffering in the world.

Here are two quotes from Bhagavad Gita

“He is a perfect yogi, who, by comparison to his own self, sees the true equality of all beings, both in their happiness and distress, O Arjuna!”

“A true yogi; observes Me in all beings, and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized man sees Me everywhere.”



Edited by - sunyata on Dec 14 2016 8:37:42 PM
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Bodhi Tree

2972 Posts

Posted - Dec 14 2016 :  9:16:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bodhi Tree's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Christi

If you come to know yourself, through yoga, to not be the body, or the mind, then you will also know yourself to not be any caste.

And if you progress even further into knowingness, you will come to know yourself to be the body and mind of every caste.

After the witness, eventually comes unity.
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Bodhi Tree

2972 Posts

Posted - Dec 14 2016 :  10:00:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bodhi Tree's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by sunyata

“A true yogi; observes Me in all beings, and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized man sees Me everywhere.”

Great quote.
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Late Bloomer

Canada
22 Posts

Posted - Jan 23 2017 :  8:15:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm just coming across this thread now, but probably around the time this discussion was going on, I came across a Sadhguru video in which he claims that the original caste system was not the discriminatory one we know of today, but only later became that way.

He talks about how it was just a simple system of classification by your work or trade, which was (generally) determined by what family you were born into, because there weren't such things as trade schools or universities to go to in those days. He claims the idea that people of one or another broad vocational category (which is what each caste represented) were somehow of higher or lower value than others was not the intention at all.

I wish I could link the video, but I can't find it now. I have found others talking explaining this, but the one good one I found also delves into a country-to-country comparison that might be too political to be allowed around here. :')
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