Yoga is an american Cultural Phenomenon: US Court

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by afako, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. afako

    afako Regular Member

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    Yoga enthusiasts in the US got a big boost this week when a California judge ruled that the practice which originated in India is now a ''distinctly American cultural phenomenon,'' while dismissing complaints from some parents that teaching it to school children amounted to ''an unconstitutional promotion of Eastern religions.''

    Weeks of testimony from yoga practitioners and opponents, including live demonstration in courtroom of poses taught to children, came to a convoluted finale on Monday when Judge John Mayer agreed that yoga ''at its roots is religious,'' but pronounced that the kind introduced by a school district near San Diego, which was the subject of the litigation, passed the test of secularism. "A reasonable student would not objectively perceive that Encinitas School District yoga does advance or promote religion," he said.

    Parents of some children had sued to stop the school district from teaching yoga maintaining it is a religious practice that surreptitiously promoted Hinduism. Funded with $533,000 from the K.Pattabhi Jois Foundation, which is backed by Jois acolytes, hedge-fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones II and his wife Sonia, the school district introduced a three-year pilot yoga program in 2011, with twice a week classes in addition to regular physical education.

    While some 30 families pulled their children out of the classes, saying teaching of yoga in schools blurred the line between church and state and "represents a serious breach of the public trust," many parents backed the program, which the school said was also aimed at curbing aggressive behavior and bullying. School authorities said in court that they had removed all religious elements from what was taught to the students, including the use of the word Namaste and substituting Sanskrit name of asanas with English ones. For instance, Padmasana, usually called lotus pose in English, became ''criss cross apple sauce'' in Americanese to appeal to children.

    In fact, Judge Meyer, who had told the court early in the case that he himself had taken Bikram yoga classes, went so far as to observe that the yoga taught in Encinitas schools was no different from exercise programs like dodgeball. He was also irritated that some of the plaintiffs were not really informed about yoga as taught in the Encinitas schools and had simply got their information from dubious sources on the internet. ''It's almost like a trial by Wikipedia, which isn't what this court does,'' he observed.

    The petitioners have said they will appeal against the court's ruling, but for now, yoga enthusiasts are celebrating the victory because it sets an important legal precedent for expanding yoga in school programs. In fact, some observers seemed pleased at the judge's seeming cultural appropriation of yoga while observing that it was as American as apple pie, noting that yoga came to the US more than a century ago with the arrival of the first Indian mystics and spiritual figures.

    Paramahamsa Yogananda lived in the US in the 1920s, and is in fact, thought to be the first Indian pubic figure to be entertained at the White House in 1927 - by President Calvin Coolidge.

    Yoga passes secularism test in US - The Times of India
     
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  3. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Wow ! these losers took Yoga to the courts, last time it was Bhagavad Gita.
     
  4. WMD

    WMD Regular Member

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    I guess when it comes to people(and politicians) US is not all that better from India.
     
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  5. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    :rofl:
    Anti Hindu propaganda thrives on dubious sources, maintained by copy paste masters who intentionally deny to accept grass root facts about Hinduism but never fails to twists them with word craft chicanery.
     
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  6. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Absolutely ridiculous, bordering on idiocy.
     
  7. Dovah

    Dovah Untermensch Senior Member

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    :wat: It seems a sensible decision by the US court.
     
  8. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    Actually aren't you guys happy that the courts did the right thing.

    Also if you are talking about the Bhagavad Gita case in Russia, then you should know that it was not the Bhagavad Gita they were trying to get banned, but the "Bhagavad Gita As It Is" which is ISKCON's translation with commentary on the BG. Also the Russian courts dismissed the case (BGAII was not banned).

    Also @afako do read the last line in the original post and make the necessary correction.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  9. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yes, court decision is ok, but the fact that some insane folks got so worked up by something as harmless as Yoga, that they went to the courts, is something that gets my goat.
     
  10. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    They did a favour unto themselves. Nothing to be excited about.
     
  11. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    Well, I tend to get happy when justice prevails. :)
     
  12. Dovah

    Dovah Untermensch Senior Member

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    They thought Yoga was detrimental to their Christian faith which is understandable owing to the cultural difference.

    Plus, they took the legal route, so no harm done.
     
  13. Dovah

    Dovah Untermensch Senior Member

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    Not really, they took schools including Yoga in the curriculum to court as they thought it was a religious practice.
     
  14. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    What do you mean by You Guys.

    The question is not about the verdict, the question is why both were dragged into courts. What will the reaction of 'You guys' if tomorrow someone will drag Islam or Christianity to Indian courts for any stupid reason.

    The verdicts is great BTW.
     
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  15. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Before I write more on your post please elaborate your point and what do you mean by 'not really'.
     
  16. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    By "you guys" I meant, hit&run and Truespirit. That's why I quoted.

    Well, if somebody has a grievance or thinks that something wrong is/has being/been done, then they do have the right to take it to court, no matter how stupid it may seem. That's what they did, and justice prevailed.
     
  17. Dovah

    Dovah Untermensch Senior Member

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    You wrote:

    I was merely commenting on the fact that it was not the practice of Yoga itself rather its inclusion in the school curriculum that was objected to by the parents. I think these are two different things.

    Edit: This is different to the case in Russia where the book (BGAII) itself was considered extremist by some people.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  18. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    People who can read between lines and are not that naive can see the clear message coming out of it.

    Dragging it to the courts tells about their conviction and resolve on how much an ordinary work out has cramped their religious liabilities.

    They have attacked Yoga because it is associated with Hindu religion or culture. How it should make any difference to me if they have used any mean to attack it. It has given a clear insight about their intolerance towards Hinduism.

    I hope you are not playing devil's advocate here because when they dragged it to the courts they were rather more forthcoming with their reasoning of opposing it. Go read it again.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  19. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    They would also have taken Jesus to the court if he reappeared anywhere in USA .....

    They would jail him at Gauntanamo because Jesus would oppose multinational monopolies
     
  20. Dovah

    Dovah Untermensch Senior Member

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    Yes, this correct to an extent, but you can not hold it against them for their religious beliefs, a large number of Catholics believe that Yoga has spiritual/religious aspects and they being devout Christians have to avoid it. This is not so much about a conspiracy against Hinduism rather the dogmatic nature of their own faith.
     
  21. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    I never said it is a conspiracy, rather I am saying they are quite open about their intentions, that what makes me more indignant.

    Hindus do need to be defensive or compromising if 'they are like that' or 'not like that'.

    Hindus are sizable community in USA and these Catholics or any lics are the same people who intervenes, feels the pain and heat if any thing happens to Christian in India or else where.
     

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