Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hatha Yoga?


haha. No.


Did you know that Hatha Yoga is authorized by Prabhupada?

Of course, lets be sure to understand this in the proper light. It is not to get highly involved in a different type of yoga other than Bhakti. It's purpose is health, and to improve physical facility for engaging in better or more Krishna Consciousness. If it is not used in those ways, than it is a waste of life-airs. With that said:

Tamala Krsna: "He’s been there now, Parivrajakacarya Swami, he’s been there for, I think, two or three years now (Tehran). He’s worked pretty faithfully there. He tricks them. In the guise of teaching a little hatha-yoga, then he teaches bhakti.

Srila Prabhupada: That is preaching."

SP  room conversation, October 9th vrndavana 1977.


"I understand Parivrajakacarya Swami is teaching a course combining both hatha and bhakti yoga to attract people. This is a very good idea. Somehow or other inject the bhakti yoga. That will save them from the degradations of sense gratification."

I hope this meets you in good health.

Your ever well wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami"

Letter to Atreya rsi, December 4, 1974

Not shastra but form devotees who were there:

"Regarding teaching other kinds of yoga, so that we may advertise an 8 or 9 day course for tourists, Srila Prabhupada liked the idea. He said, “That will be very attractive. Other types of yoga are mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita. We can adopt that. Three of four men I can teach how to do it. Then you’ll be able to attract them. I can teach how to sit down, posture, asana, and pranayama, without any difficulty. The yoga system as mentioned in Bhagavad Gita we can take up. That will be bhakti-yoga. Use one, or two of the big rooms in the Gurukula building. I can teach the teachers how to practice.”

Prabhupada’s secretary, Jagadish, writing a report to HH GKG. It is in the Folio.

Nanda Kumar:
Srila Prabhupad was walking in the park in San Diego when he noticed someone doing the headstand pose in the distance... He said... "That is called Sirsasana... it is very good for the health. There are many poses,,, Sirsasana, Yogasana, Padmasana... they are all very good for the health"

One of His GBC disciples, who I knew before we became devotees and who had been a hatha yoga practitioner himself, asked in a sarcastic tone (not toward Srila Prabhupad Himself, more toward hatha yoga, since the nature of new and neophyte devotees is often to reject things and become fanatical)... "So, we should do this every day?"... Srila Prabhupad did not answer right away, and remained quiet for five minutes, until He reached His car, then turned to that person and said in a quiet and reserved way... "It is not necessary." 

My understanding of His answer then and now is based on my own experience as His personal servant in Los Angeles, when He encouraged me to do hatha yoga... 

I had been a hatha yoga practitioner before meeting His Divine Grace and the devotees, and felt that it helped me to eventually come to Him... when I joined the temple, they told me it was maya to pay attention to the body, that our bhakti yoga process was supreme and included the benefits of all the other yoga systems... I didn't agree with that, but surrendered to the fact that there was no time or place to continue doing it, at least at that time... 

When I got to be Srila Prabhupad's cook and personal servant, He lived separately from the temple with just Devananda and myself living with Him.

I had also been into raw and healthy diet before becoming a devotee, and was grateful that I could eat salads and fruits and a more simple diet, since I had my own kitchen and nobody to tell me what to eat.

One day I started doing asanas again in the back yard in the hour before starting to prepare Srila Prabhupad's lunch. On the second day, I decided to ask His Divine Grace about whether it was alright to do yoga. As it was so many times, He knew ahead of time, and when I went into His room to ask, He said... "I see you are doing hatha yoga exercises" since His window opened the view into the back yard... I answered... "Yes, Srila Prabhupad, I was about to ask you if it was alright" and He laughed... He said... "We do not tell devotees in general to do it, although it is very good for the mental and physical health, and is part of our Vedic system, because at the early stages of devotional service, we don't want them to get distracted from the main practice of chanting and bhakti yoga. In your case, you can do it... it is very good and will help you come to the modes of goodness, which is the platform you must reach to become Krishna conscious"...

Not that I was, or am, advanced... just that my body type and mindset is such that I don't get distracted by it.

It was the same with dietary things too... I asked Him about raw and simple diet without sugar and heavy foods and He said... "That is the best diet for Krishna consciousness, but again, many cannot follow it, and since eating is the last sense gratification allowed, we make the restriction that it must be prasadam, and allow devotees to eat more opulent things if they like. Simpler is better, though, as well as controlling the amount you eat. - from Nanda Kumar


Bhavatrini devi dasi: My husband was living in Vrndavana in 1976 when Srila Prabhupada instructed the devotees to do hatha yoga every day for health. He expected it to be implemented into the program but it was never brought up again.

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