By Durgdas Lingham,
Ved Kovid, R.A.P
The ancient bonds of yaugika and ayurvaidika bloodlines run deep in the ancient varna system of India, or the caste-system along which various facets of these systems derive. The ancient kshatriya lineages via Varanasi in ancient times gave us the more rajasika or aggressive approaches as the shalyatantra sampradaya or the lineage of surgical knowledge and the ancient Atreya Brahmin lines gave us the kaya chikitsa or internal medicine lineage which was more sattvika or aimed at doing less harm to the body in a more pure manner, aimed primarily at ahara-vichara chikitsa (impressions of food, mental and also lifestyle therapies).
These were ancient bloodlines. As with many Saints as Sri Ramana Maharishi, they were born into ancient Brahmin lineages, learnt the disciplines within their bloodlines from a young age and also often traced their ancestry back to great yogis or siddha masters. These people were receptive to knowledge first-hand, not simply by reading books and not being guided in the traditional lineages, or ‘forcing’ their knowledge due to emotionalism, social allures or other factors.
We see the same in certain other lineages in India, such as the Nepalese Gurkhas who established the original aggressive hatha yoga system that was aimed at forcefully producing the best of warriors under the tutelage of the yogi Gorakshanatha whom they took the name of their tribe. Other kshatriya families in India are in the bloodlines of the avatars such as Sri Rama and Sri Krishna, or others. Many preserving Dhanurveda or Indian martial arts and fighting in the south of India trace their lineage back to the great vaidika Rishi, Parashurama (Rama Jamadagneya), the son Rishi Jamadagni Bhargava.
Being born in these lineages, and also within the Hindu system or any traditional native system of such a direct bloodline itself is a result of various successive lives and fruitful karmas. Here, the blessing of knowledge is passed on within various lineages as kula-paramparas (familial lineages) and also others outside, as the guru-shishya traditions – the latter of which required historically that one be born with ‘ripe’ or ‘mature’ samskaras as a Hindu. To be born an Indian Hindu is something quite different and comes with a lot of different challenges to the west, such as the Christocentric samskara that permeates western minds with a zeal to proselytise, superimpose, pasteurise and above all, turn into petty Catholic samaritanism (as with ‘sattvas‘) or virtue-signalling and Eurocentric superiority complexes. These issues that remain, but are often not admitted to cognitive and social dissonance are what distance the eastern from the western author.
Of course, there are always a few that are the exception to the rule: Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, Vamadeva Shastri, Arthur Avalon etc. These personalities, however, became rooted in the Indic disciplines and thought with an Indian rather than a western mind. They didn’t have the verbose Anglocentric myopic style that epitomises the mainstream European convert into these systems, that wants to synthesise his Christianity with Hinduism. For such people, there is no compromise – only Shiva alone who is embraced. For them, there is no need to jumble and marry systems, nor to try and be a ‘jack of all trades and master of none‘ that seeks to plagiarise traditional authors in a dissonant entitled Colonialist manner (as is quite often the case, but also often ignored). Dissonant plagiarism and cryptomnesia here we must note, are not the same thing!
Europeans tend to go into everything with a self-entitled ‘God’s chosen people’ mentality that derives from Christianity or with a faux-sympathetic complex towards native people to achieve some kind of ‘possessive’ goal. Elders are dismissed, thrown in homes or discarded like used trash. By contrast, native people and their systems reflect and honour their traditions, revere their masters and teachers and care even for their elders as the first Gurus. In the native system, there is no system of rapid absolution, which the European still wants, even when seeking to comply with native traditions he appropriates.
Thus, in the west, there is a tendency to lean on and adulate Aleister Crowley, Madame Blavatsky, Alain Danielou, Eckhart Tolle, Rudolf Steiner and other Europeans as (white) authorities, fused with neo-Buddhistic quotations amongst western ‘Hindus’. It is a juvenile quasi-mysticism or a culturally appropriated mysticism that was present in the early 19th Century. This shows a Colonialist samskara again of dissonance that cannot accept the authority of native authors, or even honour of them for fear of peer-pressure of their brotherhood of Eurocentric brethren. This “European Hindu” group is reminiscent of the Roman who sought to reform Judaism by appropriating the Bible and then reshaping it as per Rome’s pagan beliefs of the day, subscribing to the Judaic monotheism – a model that was taught later to all Europeans and formed the substratum of Eurocentric vision. It still exists today.
As with Christianity, hypocrisy often shapes the western forms of spirituality and such doesn’t change when cultural appropriation is at play! Here, the labelling of concepts as asteya (non-stealing) and other forms as ahimsa (non-violence) are topics Europeans chose to lecture on to convince themselves of ‘sattvika piousness‘ (another subliminal Christian samskara that remains in the recesses of their unconsciousness), while, like a true Christian burning the heretic at the stake, fail to apply or cognitise relative to their own behaviours, either directly or retrospectively. When challenged over such as is the eastern model that survives on discussion, proofs and debates based on viabile testimonies and logic (nyaya), the European when questioned thus in traditional Hindu manners will simple resort to the Christian approaches or virtue-signalling, screaming down the opponent or interpolate some faith-based New-Age gibberish or cherry-picked verse out of context, as they have done with the Hebrew Bible in Europe for centuries, or to malign the questioner, as they once did as heathens, heretics, Satanists etc., followed by violent torture, burning at the stake etc. The mindset is the same – the methodology alone has evolved, as it continues to more-so in this cyber-age!
While the westerner thinks of such exotic notions as karma and samsara, he still has his rajasika zeal and approach to liberation (moksha) as if heaven, which he feels entitled to (as with Christianity), within one lifetime alone. The Hindu, however, performs with diligence and utmost resilience his specific sadhanas or spiritual disciplines suited for him in this birth, body, mindset and karmic lifetime – not some generic regime dished out like a buffet food at a diner as many Gurus are doing today! There is no santosha or contentment in the European nor patience, for they wish to be Rishis overnight by little effort, rather than the hundreds, millions or even trillions of years required by many souls to evolve to such a state. A non-evolved soul or further-bound jivatman or individual soul itself craves more the allures of the ahankara (ego) and in false doctrines (mithya-dharmas) that appeal to it over the truth (satya), while they think all karmic atonement derives from merely espousing such superficial views and thoughts – but not in action in such sanctimonious manners.
Here is where the concrete foundations of bloodlines as spiritual DNA of traditional systems and lineages bereft of the Christian samskara compare differently to those who virtue-signal and faith-based / wish their way into such systems, as a result of cultural aggression and emotional hysteria (which is actually what the so-called “spiritual drive” and “drawn to this” actually translates to in reality). Again, samskaras traditionally cannot be forced or appropriated, no matter how hard one tries. One born a ‘female in a male body’ likewise, still remains reproductively, a female. The outer can be changed, but unless the inner is changed and transformed and such testimonies given to substantiate, it is nothing more than self-proclamation and ego-reaffirmation!
This is perhaps the first rule of yoga that goes about saying. If one wishes to embrace the ‘yaugika tenets‘, then one must be prepared not to superimpose one’s culture upon such a dilute it in a Colonialist or elitist manner to suit the ego or one’s inner samskaras. If such is the case, then one is better to remain in one’s own tradition as per their swadharma or karmic aptitude and path of this life alone, not to try and be what one is not to either obscure one’s psychological disorder, emotional needs or fund one’s moral-grandstanding.
Here in closing I quote the words of the acclaimed Swiss Psychology, Carl Jung:
” If the European could turn himself inside out and live as an Oriental, with all the social, moral, religious, intellectual, and aesthetic obligations which such a course would involve, he might be able to benefit by these teachings. But you cannot be a good Christian, either in your faith or in your morality or in your intellectual make-up, and practice genuine yoga at the same time.”
– Carl Jung, Psychology and Religion, Page 534.
“I do not doubt that the Eastern liberation from vices, as well as from virtues, is coupled with detachment in every respect, so that the yogi is translated beyond this world, and quite inoffensive. But I suspect every European attempt at detachment of being mere liberation from moral considerations. Anybody who tries his hand at yoga ought therefore to be conscious of its far reaching consequences, or else his so-called quest will remain a futile pastime.”
– ibid, Page 507.