JANUARY 6, 2016
Yoga tsunami set to swamp Indian educational institutions. Will the Bishops remain impotent accessories to the saffronisation of education?
PM’s push for higher education sector, Yoga teaching
By Samiran Sarangi, New Delhi, New Indian Express, January 5, 2016
Setting the benchmark for higher educational institutions in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his recent interaction with union secretaries, has told them to ensure that steps be taken to bring India’s prestigious institutions among the top 100 in the world.
At the meeting held on New Year’s Eve … in Bangalore on Sunday, the Prime Minister had released three modules on Yoga education for B.Ed., M.Ed., and DEI Ed. (Diploma in Elementary education) developed by the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) in Hindi. The NCTE is seriously working on bringing out specialised courses in Yoga education for Elementary, Secondary, Senior Secondary and University teacher education courses, including B.Ed. and M.Ed. in the near future.
In educating oneself in Yoga, each student will go through theory, practical and internship phases.
As there is a requirement of millions of Yoga teachers in the country, there is also a proposal to create Yoga teachers as a cadre for each State and Union Territory.
Yoga to be mandatory from KG to PG?
Smriti Irani discusses proposal during meet; Ayush and HRD to impart basic and advanced education at primary and university level.
By Rashmi Belur, Bengaluru, New Indian Express, January 5, 2016
Plans are afoot to make yoga a mandatory part of the curriculum from pre-school to post-graduation, and all over the country.
A meeting in Bengaluru on Sunday, chaired by Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani, discussed the proposal in detail.
The minister was in town for an international yoga conference organised by Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-VYASA) University*.
Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik, and University Grants Commission Chairman Ved Prakash were also present at the meeting.
Ayush, which means longevity, is also an acronym for Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and homeopathy.
A highly placed source in the Human Resources Development ministry said, “We discussed a specific curriculum, and the modalities of training for teachers at all levels, from kindergarten to post-graduation.”
Dr. Ramachandra G. Bhat, Vice Chancellor, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana University said, “We had submitted a proposal to the University Grants Commission (UGC) about the importance of Yoga in education. At the meeting on Sunday, we told the authorities we were ready to train teachers.”
Basic and advanced education will be imparted, with the HRD and Ayush departments covering a wide range of yoga perspectives.
“Ayush will take care of it at the primary education level and HRD will be in charge of the University level. Another plan is to train teachers through the National Council for Teachers’ Education,” Bhat explained.
The university, a highly regarded centre for yoga studies, has suggested a curriculum on the lines of the one employed for regular science subjects. An official order is expected in this regard soon, a source said.
Yoga from KG to PG, A Healthy Idea
Editorial, New Indian Express, January 6, 2016
The government is considering whether to make yoga a mandatory part of the curriculum from pre-school to post-graduation, that too all over the country. This ancient science** and India’s most significant export to the world – courtesy Swami Vivekananda – is already very popular across the globe with many westerners being ardent practitioners swearing by its benefits. Yoga, argue many — including medical experts — can improve fitness levels, fight heart diseases, and a variety of other disorders, both physical and mental. The government’s latest move is welcome as it aims to develop healthy children into healthier adults, and by consequence, more responsible citizens.
This move should hopefully unburden the weight dumped on the tender shoulders of school-going children across the country which is stunting their growth. As per the plan, basic and advanced education could be imparted, with the Ministry of HRD and Ayush departments covering a wide range of yoga perspectives. Ayush could take care of it at the primary education level and HRD at the university level. To make trained yoga teachers available, there is a plan is to train teachers through the National Council for Teachers’ Education.
Popularising yoga at home will also be in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intention to extend India’s soft power across the world. The UN has earmarked June 21 as International Yoga Day, due in large measure to his efforts. The government in fact celebrated the International Yoga Day last year by holding the biggest ever mass yoga show. As many as 35,985 participants belonging to 84 nationalities performed asanas, setting a Guinness World record. If yoga is popularised in every part of the country, it could also bring more harmony and connectedness to Gen X that has become gadget and net connected but disconnected from itself and the world. Modi’s pithy observation that yoga is a journey from “I to we and self to universe”, sums up its importance for the citizens of tomorrow.
*Report of August 9/10, 2015 National Meet on Yoga Education Held at Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana University, Bangalore
The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) New Delhi, in collaboration with Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana University (S-VYASA University), Bangalore, organised a two-day National Meet on Yoga Education on August 9-10, 2015 at S-VYASA University Campus (Prashanti Kutiram), for the Deans and Heads of the Departments of Education of different Universities and Directors of SCERTs of different states.
Above 120 delegates participated in the meet (see Appendix 1).
The objectives of the Meet were to orient the participants to (i) the nature and meaning of Yoga, (ii) Yoga Education and its applications in the field of teacher education, especially the development of personality, development of self and for the management of stress; and (iii) to develop a Plan of Action to implement Yoga Education in various teacher education programmes.
The other areas covered in the Yoga Education Meet were Yoga and Health, Yogic Diet, Application of Yoga Practices in the development of IQ, memory, management of anger, development of creativity and voice culture. The yogic practices involved were a few select Asaanas, Pranayamas, Bandhas, Sat Kriyas.
It may be noted that ‘Yoga Education’ has been made compulsory area of study in the new NCTE Regulations 2014 and the revised Norms and Standards of 15 teacher education programmes recognised by it.
The Meet was inaugurated by Prof. H.R. Nagendra, Chancellor, S-VYASA University, who delivered the Key Note Address, and the inaugural session was presided over by Swami Atmapriyanada, Vice-Chancellor of Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, Belur, West Bengal.
Speaking on the theme of Yoga Education, Prof. Nagendra accentuated the significance of Yoga Education in the lives of teachers and teacher educators, and underlined how yoga education can bring good health, happiness and harmony to the individual, to the society, and to the world at large. He very much appreciated the action of NCTE in introducing Yoga Education at different levels of teacher education. He underlined yoga as a completely scientific area of study like physical sciences and biology whose claims are demonstrable and verifiable at empirical level. It is absolutely secular and humane discipline leading the practitioner gradually to the threshold of spirituality. The values on which it is based are universal and rational in nature and oriented towards justice and care.
In his presidential address, Swami Atmapriyananda delved deep into the very bases of yoga and yoga education and called yoga education as a man-making process. Yoga is a possibility in the realisation of UNESCO’s moto that wars are fought in the minds of men and it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be created. The fears of some individuals that yoga is sectarian are completely unfounded. Yoga positively impacts all facets of human personality and development of human values without which education is relegated to mere literacy or at the most instruction. He reiterated that no process, product, knowledge understanding or skill can be called truly educational unless it is rooted in values, which alone make these worthwhile and hence educational.
Prof. Santosh Panda, Chairperson, NCTE and Director of the Yoga Education Project, when welcoming the special guests, resource persons and participating educators highlighted the backdrop and the raison d’etre of introducing “yoga education” as a compulsory area of study in all the 15 teacher education programmes recognised by NCTE.
He also brought out and underlined how the programme will be executed, and it is for this reason that the Deans/HODs(Education) and Directors of SCERTs have been invited, so that on being so oriented to yoga and its significance they can successfully implement yoga education in the institutions which fall under their ambit. Prof. B.S. Dagar, the Coordinator of Yoga Education Project, highlighted to the participants the essential features of the three yoga modules for D.El.Ed., B.Ed. and M.Ed. developed by the NCTE for facilitating the learners in understanding yoga and its practices. The Vote of Thanks was presented by Shri Juglal Singh, the Member Secretary of the NCTE, who expressed gratitude to the Yoga Education Advisory Committee, the writers and editors of the modules, the resource persons from SVYASA, Kaivalyadham, Iyengar Yogashraya, MDNIY, Bihar School of Yoga, (see Appendix 2), as also most important the participating teacher educators.
During the two-day Meet, there were a total of 8 plenary sessions in which different types of themes on yoga and its applications were deliberated upon and discussed. Most of the sessions remained highly interactive and instructive for all. One of the great achievements of the Meet was that quite a number of misconceptions about the concept of yoga were cleared by the Resource Persons. Further, all the participants activity participated in and practiced various yogic asanas and pranayam techniques. For conducting this programme successfully and more effectively, the NCTE invited all the members of the Expert Advisory Committee which were a guiding force in the development of the 3 yoga modules for B.Ed., M.Ed. and D.El.Ed. The following members of the Expert Committee attended and participated in the Meet, and they chaired different sessions when the resource persons made their presentations.
The Members of the Expert Advisory Committee who could attend and participate in the Meet were: (i) Prof. H.R. Nagendra (Chair of the Committee), Chancellor, S-Vyasa University, Bengaluru. (ii) Swami Atmapriyananda, Vice-Chancellor, Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, Belur, West Bengal. (iii) Swami Mangalteertham, earlier with Bihar School of Yoga, Munger. (iv) Prof. (Dr.) Ishwar Basavaraddi, Director, MDNIY, New Delhi. (v) Dr. Rajvi Mehta, Chief Scientist, Iyengar Yogashraya, Mumbai. (vi) Dr. Subodh Tiwari (Representative of Dr. O.P. Tiwari), Kaivalyadham, Lonavala.
For deliberating upon the significant themes of Yoga education Resource Persons were invited from different parts of the country, and especially from the Prashanti Kutiram. In all the sessions themes were presented citing scientific evidence from research work conducted by resource persons as also by other yoga experts from India and abroad. There were effective discussions, and participating teacher educators also brought in their experiences on implementation of yoga educations to enrich discussions.
A complete session was given to ‘Internship in Yoga Education’ in which the participants chalked out to engage with nearby Yoga institutes for such activity. The participants also learned a lot from the visit of S-VYASA University laboratories.
The penultimate session on the second day was devoted to feedback from the participants and devising strategies for effective implementation of the Yoga Education programme and making it functional and popular. It was a kind of brainstorming session in which all the participants contributed. The following were the outcomes of this session: i) More such programmes/workshops for VCs, Heads of Education, and for faculty of education in universities, CTEs, IASEs, SCERTs, DIETs should be organised by the NCTE in different regions, which can be managed by the respective Regional Committees/ Regional Directors of NCTE. Swami Vivekananda, Yoga Education and Value Education should be combined together. ii) The participation in such programmes should be open to interested faculty of the Universities/SCERTs/Colleges of Education/DIETs. iii) The duration of each such programme should be of 3 days. iv) More detailed guidelines should be worked out for internship in consultation with different universities/SCERTs/Yoga experts, and the same may be circulated among the different stake holders. Further, resources on Value Educations should be developed. v) The different TEIs be encouraged to invite some adept yoga practitioners/ experts. Such steps can go a long way in motivating the student-teachers and teacher educators to adopt yoga as a way of life. NCTE to put the list of yoga teacher educators on its website. vi) The NCTE (Regional Committees) should ensure that each TEI appoints a faculty who is qualified to guide student teachers in understanding and practising yoga education. vii) Existing teachers and unemployed trained teachers may be provided crash course in Yoga Education with assessment and certification so that they can teach yoga in schools. viii) The yoga education experiments presented by experts from S-VYASA may be compiled in simple as monograph and printed by NCTE for benefit of students teachers and teacher educators. ix) Since yoga as a discipline is non-competitive in nature, no formal competition should be organised; instead, good practitioners from amongst the faculty and student teachers/or from outside should be encouraged/invited to demonstrate some yoga practices or deliver lectures/discussions/organise symposia. Such programmes may motivate the students to develop skill and understanding in yoga. x) Since yoga education is (with guidance from mentors) to be learned in self learning mode, every institution should invite known scholars/practitioners in yoga education at least once a year, who can motivate the faculty and the 4 students and can clear their doubts in both theory and practice of yoga education. xi) Institutions demonstrating recognisable progress (not the individual practitioners) be given some kind of impetus so that others may follow suit. xii) There should be some kind of Regulation for yoga teachers, yoga teacher educators and yoga teacher education institutions. At the end, Prof. K. Subhramanyam, the Pro-Chancellor of S-VYASA University delivered the Valedictory Address, which was most inspiring for all. The Meet ended with a vote of thanks by Prof Dagar to the S-VYASA University authorities, the participants and members of the Expert Advisory Committee for helping the NCTE in organising the Yoga Meet; and to Dr. Revathi Reddy, RD (SRC) and her team who incessantly worked day and night and thus helped in making the Meet a success.
Prof. B.S. Dagar
Project Coordinator, Yoga Education
At least 4 of the 120 participants were Christians:
Dr. Sunita B. John, Head, Department of Physical Education, SHIATS, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh
M: 08005088461 firstname.lastname@example.org. Letter sent: Thu, 7 Jan 2016 13:34:34 +0530
Sri. B. William Dharma Raja, Head I/c, Department of Education, M.S. University, Tirunelveli, Tamilnadu
M: 9443195395 email@example.com
Letter sent: Thu, 7 Jan 2016 13:36:34 +0530
Dr. S. Arockiadoss, Professor, Department of Education, Periyar Maniammai University, Vallam – 613403, Tamilnadu
M: 09443022803 firstname.lastname@example.org
Letter sent (Bounced): Thu, 7 Jan 2016 13:37:37 +0530
Sri. Jim Thingujam, Joint Director, SCERT, Manipur
National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE)
National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) is an Indian government body set up under the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993 (#73, 1993) in 1995 is to formally oversee standards, procedures and processes in the Indian education system.
Each programme curriculum gives importance to Yoga Education, ICT, Inclusive education etc.
All Teacher Education Institutions are requested to celebrate International Yoga Day on 21st June 2015.
**The claim that Yoga is an “ancient science” (see page 2) and therefore deserves to be taught at all levels in our educational institutions is as preposterous, outlandish, and ridiculous (which many devout Hindus too have attested to) as the claims of ancient scientific Vedic achievements in air travel made at the 2015 Indian Science Congress:
The 2015 Indian Science Congress ancient aircraft controversy refers to protests that occurred during the 102nd Indian Science Congress in Mumbai, on 4 January 2015 when a paper claiming to prove that aircraft were invented in the Vedic age was allowed to be presented.
In December 2014, it was announced that Anand J. Bodas and his co-presenter Ameya Jadhav, who claim that aircraft more advanced than today’s versions existed in ancient India, would be allowed to speak at the Indian Science Congress and present a paper on aviation in the Vedic age. During an interview, he said that such aircraft were huge and could fly to other planets. He also said that those planes could fly backwards, left or right, contrary to modern aircraft that can fly only forward.
Bodas, who was a principal at a pilot training school in Kerala and Jadhav, currently a lecturer at the Swami Vivekanand International School and Junior College in Mumbai, cited a text called Vaimanika Prakaranam (also called Vaimānika Shāstra) as evidence. He said that modern science rejects anything that it cannot explain. He claimed that of the 500 guidelines described in the text, only 100 to 120 survive today. He attributed this loss to the passage of time, foreign rulers of India and artefacts which had been stolen from India, during that time.
The five-day conference was held at the Kalina Campus of the Mumbai University starting on 3 January 2015. The paper was presented on 4 January, as a part of the larger symposium on “Ancient Sciences Through Sanskrit”. Other papers presented in the symposium were “Engineering applications of Ancient Indian botany”, “Neuro-science of yoga: understanding the process“, “Advances in surgery in Ancient India” and “Scientific principles of Ancient Indian architecture and civil engineering”.
In late December 2014, Ram Prasad Gandhiraman, a scientist at the NASA’s Ames Research Center, started a petition to prevent the paper from being presented at the conference. By 31 December, 220 scientists and academicians had signed the petition. Gandhiraman criticized the paper as pseudo-science and said that mythology should not be mixed with science.
S. M. Deshpande, a professor at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, who has written a paper with four others on aircraft in Sanskrit texts, said that we should not reject such claims as pseudo-science outright but examine them with intellectual curiosity. His paper, however, states that the aircraft described in the Vaimānika Shāstra text would not be capable of flying and the text itself cannot be traced to any date before 1904.
H.S. Mukunda, another professor at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, who was a co-author of the paper, criticized the organizers and said that both sides of the debate should be presented. He asked why had there been no working models if the scientists were wrong.
Roddam Narasimha, director of National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), said that there is no credible evidence that aviation existed in ancient India. He added that the Vaimānika Shāstra text has been studied scientifically and the consensus is that descriptions in the text are unscientific.
Noted Indian astrophysicist and founding director of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Pune, India, Jayant Narlikar reacted to the controversy saying that it was good to be proud of ancient Indian science but scientists should not make claims about things they did not have proof of. He commented, “We can boast of things but it should be restricted to what we have proof of. But we shouldn’t claim things of which there is no evidence or proof as it reduces the credibility of what our scientists have achieved in the past.” He further asserted, “Even the West recognizes the knowledge of mathematics held by Indians. If we start making outlandish claims, the scientific community of world will not look up to us as it does now”.
Economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen commented that some evidence is required in the controversial claims made in the Indian Science Congress regarding the achievements of ancient Indians. He said, “The idea that human beings can fly is known to human beings from birth. The idea that human beings might be able to be on the air has been talked about a lot. If that was true, then we would like to find some evidence.” Further, he elaborated, “As our epics show, Indians have thought about flying for a long time. But it would be fanciful to say that India invented the aeroplane. If ancient India had airfare technology, we would like to see some evidence. I agree there are a lot of claims that have nothing to do with achievements.”
Gauri Mahulikar, the head of the department of Sanskrit at Mumbai University, said that the paper would have been easily dismissed if it had been presented by Sanskrit professors. But, since Bodas was a pilot and Ameya Jadhav had a Master of Technology and Master of Arts in Sanskrit, it cannot be rejected easily.
As we can see, even the secular Indian media did not swallow that one… or the yarns just below!
Narendra Modi was behind the saffronised Indian Science Congress Association (ICSA) programme too.
’40-engine’ planes, ancient surgery overshadows Indian Science Congress, sparks outrage
January 5, 2015
Aeroplanes existed in India 7,000 years ago and they travelled from not just one country to another but also to other planets, or so claimed Captain Anand J Bodas in a controversial session at the Indian Science Congress. The retired principal of a pilot training facility attracted criticism from some scientists who said such claims undermined the primacy of empirical evidence on which the 102-year-old Congress was founded. The lecture was presented on the second day of the Congress under the aegis of Mumbai University as part of a session titled ‘Ancient Sciences through Sanskrit’.
Drawing upon the ancient Vedic texts to support the claim that there was flying technology in ancient India, Bodas said, “There is a reference of ancient aviation in the Rigveda.”
He said Maharishi Bharadwaj spoke 7,000 years ago of “the existence of aeroplanes which travel from one country to another, from one continent to another and from one planet to another. He mentioned 97 reference books for aviation.” “History merely notes that the Wright brothers first flew in 1904,” he said.
Bharadwaj, who authored the book Vimana Samhita, has written about various types of metal alloys used to build an aeroplane, Bodas said, adding, “Now we have to import aeroplane alloys. The young generation should study the alloys mentioned in his book and make them here.”
He also spoke of the “huge” aeroplanes which flew in ancient India. “The basic structure was of 60 by 60 feet and in some cases, over 200 feet. They were jumbo planes,” he said. “The ancient planes had 40 small engines. Today’s aviation does not know even of flexible exhaust system,” he said.
The ancient Indian radar system was called ‘rooparkanrahasya’. “In this system, the shape of the aeroplane was presented to the observer, instead of the mere blip that is seen on modern radar systems,” he said. Bharadwaj’s book mentioned a diet of pilots. It contained of milk of buffalo, cow and sheep for specific periods, Bodas said. The pilot’s clothes came from vegetation grown underwater, he said.
Bodas’ wasn’t the only controversial paper presented at the session. As this Times of India report points out, another paper pointed out that “Indians had developed 20 types of sharp instruments and 101 blunt ones for surgeries, which largely resemble the modern surgical instruments,” while another spoke of how “ancient Indian engineers had adequate knowledge of Indian botany and they effectively used it in their construction.”
The session had courted controversy even ahead of the conference, when Dr. Ram Prasad Gandhiraman, a scientist with the NASA’s Ames Research Centre in California, filed an online petition demanding that the session be cancelled because it fused science with mythology.
“We as scientific community should be seriously concerned about the infiltration of pseudo-science in science curricula with backing of influential political parties. Giving a scientific platform for a pseudo-science talk is worse than a systematic attack that has been carried out by politically powerful pseudo-science propagandists in the recent past. If we scientists remain passive, we are betraying not only the science, but also our children.”
While there was only one such session, its significance was heightened by remarks from ministers in the Modi government at the conference. For instance, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan, told the Congress, “Our scientists discovered the Pythagoras theorem, but we … gave credit to the Greeks. We all know that we knew ‘beejganit’ much before the Arabs, but very selflessly we allowed it to be called Algebra. This is the base the Indian scientific community has maintained.”
“Whether it is related to the solar system, medicine, chemistry or earth science, we have shared all our knowledge very selflessly,” he had added.
In addition to Harsh Vardhan, Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who was chief guest at the event, also commented that “the scientific community gathered at the Congress should pay attention to the source material available in Sanskrit and use it for betterment of humanity,” reports Times of India.
While the claims regarding the value of Sanskrit or the origin of the theorem are not fantastical per se, members from the scientific community were unhappy.
An Indian scientist from the US who attended the session told TOI, “Knowledge always grows, its flow never stops. So if all this knowledge was available in the ancient days, I need to know where it stopped. Why did it fail to grow? Why was there no advancement? When did it stop?”
On Harsh Vardhan’s remarks, one maths professor at Mumbai University was quoted by TOI as saying, “We know Indians have contributed to mathematics to a great extent. However, I was surprised to hear what he said. Maybe the way he thinks about mathematics is different than what we academicians do.”
Interestingly PM Modi will inaugurating the event did not speak about ancient science (unlike the Ganesha and plastic surgery remark at the AIIMS conference in October last year***) and instead stressed the need for “efforts to ensure that science, technology and innovation reach the poorest, the remotest and the most vulnerable person.”
He also said that, “We must restore the pride and prestige of science and scientists in our nation.”
For all the hullabaloo over the ancient India session, it should be noted that the most sessions at the Indian Science Congress Association’s (ISCA) annual event were dedicated to more ‘current’ topics like Mars Missions, Mathematics and computation, Nutrition and Health, Biotechnology, etc. You can view the full schedule here. But as this Hindustan
Times report, points out that this is the first time in the 100 year history of this event that such a session has been held — and the publicity it has garnered has sadly overshadowed the good work of the Indian scientific community and the ISCA, which has a membership strength of more than 30,000 scientists.
Yoga is in fact a spiritual regimen whose religious philosophies are unique to the Hindu religion.
Professor Nagendra, Chancellor of the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana University “underlined yoga as a completely scientific area of study like physical sciences and biology whose claims are demonstrable and verifiable at empirical level. It is absolutely secular and humane discipline leading the practitioner gradually to the threshold of spirituality****.”
It remains an enigma as to how engagement in a scientific or secular procedure can lead the practitioner to ****“gradually to the threshold of spirituality“.
***Sniggering at Modi: Deriding Ganesha remark misses the elephant in the room
By Sandip Roy, October 30, 2014
For Narendra Modi‘s critics the timing could not have been better.
“A pope champions the big bang theory and evolution, a prime minister champions ancient plastic surgery and genetic science,” tweets @DeathEndsFun.
But they could not have been more different. While Pope Francis was behaving as a modern pontiff of scientific temper, the Indian prime minister made headlines for sounding more like Dinanath Batra-II.
“If we think a little more, we realise that Mahabharat says Karna was not born from his mother’s womb. This means that genetic science was present at that time. That is why Karna could be born outside his mother’s womb,” he declared, and then doubled down with his theory of Ganesha’s head. “We worship Lord Ganesh. There must have been some plastic surgeon at that time who got an elephant’s head on the body of a human being and began the practice of plastic surgery.”
He actually made, as @VidyaKrishnan notes, identical remarks at a Global Healthcare Summit in Ahmedabad in January 2014. But he was not PM then and few noticed or took them seriously.
Modi might well have been joking but now the remark has become a gotcha moment for a man who wants to project himself as Mr. Development. “‘Ganesha had plastic surgery done’. Is Narendra Modi body-shaming a Hindu god?” quipped @AListRap.
In fact, the PM did no one any favours, including his own people. The clumsy rush to claim ancient credit suggests that we are a civilization of fools who managed to misplace pretty much every scrap of valuable ancient knowledge – from plastic surgery to aeroplanes. Forget the Great Flood, in this version of history, we apparently suffered a bout of the Great Amnesia that swept our cultural memory clean.
“I’m sure the prime minister doesn’t take this seriously, but if he does I would be worried,” says Subhas Lakhotia, a Banaras Hindu University biologist researching the scientific principles underlying the Ayurveda according to The Telegraph. He says it’s puzzling that Modi tried to dress up a magical story out of mythology as science when he could have talked about the sixth century surgeon Sushruta’s well-documented surgical practices.
Modi’s great charisma relies greatly on his ability to appeal to Indian pride and self-esteem. His Ganesha comment is clearly part of that strategy. At a time when we are accustomed to think that all advances, especially scientific ones came to us via the West, Modi wants to remind his audience that we do not come from nothing. That was why Mangalyaan struck such an emotive chord in India. And that’s also why the New York Times
Mangalyaan cartoon of the turbaned man with cow at the door of the Elite Space Club made Indians bristle.
But this pride can come across as braggadocio as well – anything you can do, India does better (and did it first) like an old sketch from the British comedy series Goodness Gracious Me. Aeroplanes? Lord Rama flew them. Stem cell research?
That’s how the hundred Kauravas were born outside Gandhari’s womb.
Just sniggering about Modi or a Batra, or Ganesha as the first plastic surgery patient ignores the other elephant in the room … It matters little if Ganesha’s head was stuck on by plastic surgery, Fevicol or purely the power of imagination. The Golden Bird the PM likes to talk about will only fly if our future contributions to the sum of human knowledge amount to more than empty boasts about the mythological past.
Why would we allow a yoga-takeover of the nation by a bunch of religious fanatics that spout such drivel?
Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana S-VYASA Deemed University
Below is a selection of images from their other web pages.
AYUSH will be heading the yoga brigade. What is this organization?
The Ministry of AYUSH was formed in 9th November 2014 for providing more healthcare to the public. The Department of Indian Medicine and Homeopathy (ISM&H) was created in March 1995 and renamed as Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) in November 2003, with a view to providing focused attention to development of Education and Research in Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy systems.
Ministry of AYUSH
GPO Complex, INA
New Delhi – 110 023
AYUSH is now a full-fledged MINISTRY of the Government of India. Its formation took place under the government of the Bharatiya Janata Party after its Narendra Modi became Prime Minister of India on May 26. It was one of his early decisions.
The AYUSH Minister of State with Independent charge is Shripad Yesso Naik.
Their “National Policy” is set out in
One can learn about their programs in the individual (New Age) alternative therapies like Ayurveda and homoeopathy as well as Yoga (which is an eastern meditation) at
The concepts and practices of Yoga originated in India about several thousand years ago. Its founders were great Saints and Sages. The great Yogis presented rational interpretation of their experiences of Yoga and brought about a practical and scientifically sound method within every one’s reach. Yoga today, is no longer restricted to hermits, saints, and sages; it has entered into our everyday lives and has aroused a worldwide awakening and acceptance in the last few decades. The science of Yoga and its techniques have now been reoriented to suit modern sociological needs and lifestyles. Experts of various branches of medicine including modern medical sciences are realising the role of these techniques in the prevention and mitigation of diseases and promotion of health.
Yoga is one of the six systems of Vedic philosophy. Maharishi Patanjali, rightly called “The Father of Yoga” compiled and refined various aspects of Yoga systematically in his “Yoga Sutras” (aphorisms). He advocated the eight folds path of Yoga, popularly known as “Ashtanga Yoga” for all-round development of human beings. They are: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. These components advocate certain restraints and observances, physical discipline, breath regulations, restraining the sense organs, contemplation, meditation and samadhi. These steps are believed to have a potential for improvement of physical health by enhancing circulation of oxygenated blood in the body, retraining the sense organs thereby inducing tranquility and serenity of mind. The practice of Yoga prevents psychosomatic disorders and improves an individual’s resistance and ability to endure stressful situations.
Yoga is a discipline to improve or develop one’s inherent power in a balanced manner. It offers the means to attain complete self-realisation. The literal meaning of the Sanskrit word Yoga is ‘Yoke’. Yoga can therefore be defined as a means of uniting the individual spirit with the universal spirit of God. According to Maharishi Patanjali, Yoga is the suppression of modifications of the mind.
Yoga is universal in character for practice and application irrespective of culture, nationality, race, caste, creed, sex, age and physical condition. Neither by reading the texts nor by wearing the garb of an ascetic, one can become an accomplished Yogi. Without practice, no one can experience the utility of Yogic techniques nor can realise of its inherent potential. Only regular practice (sadhana) creates a pattern in body and mind to uplift them. It requires keen desire on the part of the practitioner to experience the higher states of consciousness through training the mind and refining the gross consciousness.
Yoga is an evolutionary process in the development of human consciousness. Evolution of total consciousness does not necessarily begin in any particular man rather it begins only if one chooses it to begin. The vices like use of alcohol and drugs, working exhaustively, indulging too much in sex and other stimulation is to seek oblivion, a return to unconsciousness. Indian yogis begin from the point where western psychology end. If Fraud’s (sic!) psychology is the psychology of disease and Maslow’s psychology is the psychology of the healthy man then Indian psychology is the psychology of enlightenment. In Yoga, it is not a question of psychology of man rather it is a question of higher consciousness. It is not also the question of mental health, rather, it is question of spiritual growth.
All paths of Yoga (Japa, Karma, Bhakti etc.) have healing potential to shelter out the effects of pains. However, one especially needs proper guidance from an accomplished exponent, who has already treaded the same track to reach the ultimate goal. The particular path is to be chosen very cautiously in view of his aptitude either with the help of a competent counselor or consulting an accomplished Yogi.
I am selecting just one of the eight forms of Yoga listed on that page:
Kundalini Yoga is a part of Tantric Tradition. Since the dawn of creation, the Tantrics and yogis have realised that in this physical body, there is a potential force residing in Muladhara Chakra, the first of seven Chakras. The seat of Kundalini is a small gland at the base of the spinal cord. In the masculine body it is in the perineum between the urinary and excretory organs. In the female body its location is at the root of the uterus in the cervix. Those people who have awakened this supernatural force have been called Rishis, Prophets, Yogis, Siddhas and other names according to the time, tradition and culture.
To awaken the Kundalini, you must prepare yourself through yogic techniques such as Shatkriya, Asana, Pranayama, Bandha, Mudra and Meditation. Awakening of Kundalini results in an explosion in the brain as the dormant or sleeping areas start blossoming like flowers.
I would like to know where the science is in any of the above AYUSH pages selected by me.
Can we expect the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) to protect the interests of Catholics in their minority-run educational institutions when yoga is compulsorily introduced?
I don’t think so.
There are powerful lobbies, organizations and priests in the Indian Church that endorse and promote yoga.
I have submitted reports on many of them. Please check out the list that follows.
Many priests have written books on the philosophy and practice of yoga. These books are printed, published and sold by the Catholic press.
Yoga is taught in a large number of seminaries; future priests are indoctrinated during their very first year.
Many, many Catholic schools and colleges have included yoga (and the martial arts and other New Age stuff) in their curricula.
Quite a few Bishops are in favour of yoga; I understand that a number of them do yoga and believe it to be aspiritual and harmless.
A senior Bishop, a former Chairman of the Doctrinal Commission recently went on social media to defend yoga when Narendra Modi was advocating the International Yoga Day or World Day of Yoga.
Catholic retreat centres, priests who run these centres, and lay leaders/preachers in public ministry in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal know for sure that yoga is a Hindu meditation system but will not speak out in order to be politically correct.
Neither will they print anything against yoga in their magazines or on their web site.
God save us all.
Letter sent by email, January 7, 2015, to three of the four Christian participants (see page 4):
Why are you active in the yoga programme, since you are a Christian?
Isn’t yoga incompatible with Christianity?
Michael Prabhu, Chennai
28 YOGA REPORTS
BANGALORE DELIVERANCE MINISTRY LEADER OBJECTS TO PRIEST’S CRITICISM OF YOGA-ENDORSING BISHOP THOMAS DABRE
BISHOP THOMAS DABRE BRAZENLY LIES IN PRINT AND INTERNET MEDIA ABOUT THE CHURCH POSITION ON YOGA
BRAHMA KUMARIS WORLD SPIRITUAL UNIVERSITY
CARDINAL OSWALD GRACIAS ENDORSES YOGA FOR CATHOLICS
CATHOLIC YOGA HAS ARRIVED
CHURCH MOUTHPIECE THE EXAMINER ACCUSED OF PROMOTING HERESY
DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-05
EXORCISTS WARN AGAINST USE OF YOGA MANTRAS
FORMER YOGI REJECTS A CHRISTIAN ALTERNATIVE TO YOGA
FR ADRIAN MASCARENHAS-YOGA AT ST PATRICK’S CHURCH BANGALORE
FR JOE PEREIRA-KRIPA FOUNDATION-NEW AGE ENDORSED BY THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOMBAY AND THE CBCI
FR JOE PEREIRA-KRIPA FOUNDATION-WORLD COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIAN MEDITATION
FR JOE PEREIRA-KRIPA FOUNDATION-WORLD COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIAN MEDITATION-LETTERS TO THE BISHOPS AND THEIR RESPONSES
FR JOE PEREIRA SUPPORTED BY HIS BISHOPS CONTINUES TO MOCK AT CATHOLICS
FR JOHN FERREIRA-YOGA, SURYANAMASKAR AT ST. PETER’S COLLEGE, AGRA
FR JOHN VALDARIS-NEW AGE CURES FOR CANCER
INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY
IS BISHOP DABRE FORMER CHAIRMAN DOCTRINAL COMMISSION A PROPONENT OF YOGA
NARENDRA MODI SEEKS TO INTRODUCE YOGA IN UNIVERSITIES
NEW AGE GURUS 01-SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR-THE ‘ART OF LIVING’
PAPAL CANDIDATE OSWALD CARDINAL GRACIAS ENDORSES YOGA
U.S. CATHOLIC MAGAZINE ENDORSES NEW AGE-REIKI, YOGA AND ZEN
VISHAL JAGRITI MAGAZINE PULLS YOGA SERIES OF FR FRANCIS CLOONEY
YOGA IN THE DIOCESE OF MANGALORE
YOGA, SURYANAMASKAR, GAYATRI MANTRA, PRANAYAMA TO BE MADE COMPULSORY IN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
27 YOGA ARTICLES/COLLATIONS
AYUSH-THE NEW AGE DANGERS OF
A CATHOLIC ALTERNATIVE TO YOGA-PIETRA FITNESS
AN INDIAN CATHOLIC’S PROBLEMS WITH THE CONDEMNATION OF YOGA ARE ADDRESSED
AUM SHINRIKYO YOGA CULT
AYURVEDA AND YOGA-DR EDWIN A NOYES
DEATH OF A GURU
MANTRAS YOGA WCCM CHRISTIAN MEDITATION ETC-EDDIE RUSSELL
REIKI YOGA AND CENTERING PRAYER
ROME WARNS CATHOLICS ABOUT YOGA AND ZEN MEDITATION SYSTEMS
TRUTH, LIES AND YOGA-ERROL FERNANDES
WAS JESUS A YOGI? SYNCRETISM AND INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE-ERROL FERNANDES
YOGA AND CHRISTIANITY-ARE THEY COMPATIBLE?
YOGA AND DELIVERANCE
YOGA IS SATANIC-EXORCIST FR GABRIELE AMORTH
YOGA-A PATH TO GOD-FR LOUIS HUGHES
YOGA-BRO IGNATIUS MARY
YOGA-FR EZRA SULLIVAN
YOGA-THE DECEPTION-FR CONRAD SALDANHA
YOGA-WHAT DOES THE CATHOLIC CATECHISM SAY ABOUT IT
YOGA-WHAT DOES THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SAY ABOUT IT?
2 YOGA DOCUMENTS
LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON SOME ASPECTS OF CHRISTIAN MEDITATION CDF/CARDINAL JOSEPH RATZINGER OCTOBER 15, 1989
JESUS CHRIST THE BEARER OF THE WATER OF LIFE, A CHRISTIAN REFLECTION ON THE NEW AGE COMBINED VATICAN DICASTERIES FEBRUARY 3, 2003
21 YOGA TESTIMONIES
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-01
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-02
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-03
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-04
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-05
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-06
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-07
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-08
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-09
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-10
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-11
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-12
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-13
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-14 VIRGO HANDOJO
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-15 PURVI
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-16
PRISCILLA DE GEORGE
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-17
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-18
BRANDY BORDEN SMITH
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-19
CONNIE J. FAIT
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-20
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-21
FR. PARESH PARMAR
HOLISTIC HEALTH CENTRE BANGALORE-HOMOEOPATHY AND YOGA
3 HOMOEOPATHY REPORTS
HOMOEOPATHY CONTROVERSY AND FR RUFUS PEREIRA
HOMOEOPATHY INSTITUTIONALIZED IN THE INDIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
INSTITUTIONALIZED NEW AGE IN BOMBAY ARCHDIOCESE-HOMOEOPATHY, YOGA AND KRIPA FOUNDATION
7 HOMOEOPATHY ARTICLES/COLLATIONS
HOMOEOPATHY-AN UNSCIENTIFIC NEW AGE FRAUD
HOMOEOPATHY-AN UNSCIENTIFIC NEW AGE FRAUD 02
HOMOEOPATHY-DR EDWIN A NOYES
HOMOEOPATHY-FR CLEMENS PILAR 10
HOMOEOPATHY-WHAT’S THE HARM IN IT?
1 HOMOEOPATHY TESTIMONY
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER HOMOEOPATHY PRACTITIONER-01 EMILIA VLCKOVA