Russell Simmons, an American celebrity of sorts, on twitter, liberally quotes from the bhagavad gItA, a Hindu scripture, frequently refers to shrI kR^iShNa, the much loved Hindu deity, and tweets philosophical ideas of Hindu saints and from Hindu canon. Some samples provided here. While certain translations he provides are at best questionable, we won’t dwell upon that in this post.
Now, see this tweet.
Yes, yoga is not religious in the Abrahamic sense. It is not Jewish, Christian or Islamic. But teachings of yoga not Hindu! As per Russell Simmons’s “logic”, the deduction would be that bhagavad gItA, shrI kR^iShNa, paramahaMsa yogAnanda have nothing to do with Hinduism [sic].
In reply to his outrageous tweet mendaciously decoupling yoga from Hinduism, I felt compelled to tweet this to him.
Not surprisingly, there wasn’t any reply.
He did however make this self-serving tweet not too long after.
Among the countless commentaries on truth and its reverence in the Hindu canon, in the taittiriya upaniShad, it is said, satyaM vada . dharmaM chara (speak the truth, practice dharma). Clearly, Mr. Simmons’s idea of truth is very different from the scriptures that he claims he studied for many years. He would do well to know that shrI kR^iShNa, in the bhagavad gItA, taught to learn through humble homage.
The perfidy of the philosophical profiteers and cultural miners is outright repugnant. Their reluctance and even arrogant refusal many a time to acknowledge the very heritage and belief system from whose teachings they make their living and sell their books is only a pointer to how antithetical they are to what they claim to practice and teach. Their self-proclaimed study of scriptures serves only to sell their books and keep their yoga “studios” running. Truly, these self-styled new-age guru-s and “spiritual” “transformationalists” know as much about yoga, karma, dharma or spirituality as the pope about quantum physics.