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The Height of Hypocrisy

Jyoti Marie writes:

Where I work I am particularly disturbed about all this boasting of people becoming "yoga teachers" and still eating animals.

What do you think about the idea of co-writing an article on what I am calling "Faux-ga Teachers"... the blasphemy of all these American-westerners supposedly studying yoga and becoming adorned with the title of "yoga teacher" whilst still consuming animal flesh galore.

The only person I know of who will address this hypocrisy in public is Dr Gabriel Cousens who goes so far as to say --- not only is it an insult to the original Sutras to eat meat and study or teach yoga --- if you eat animals, better NOT to take yoga, because you are putting the death energy further into the :"nadis".

In such an article I would also add the example of meeting a "Green Path Yoga Teacher" who: ate animal flesh, smoked pot, attended group sex parties, and never even heard of eco-scientist Rachel Carson. And he was a very successful yoga teacher with a DVD etc. etc. !!

What do you think?

I would love to see an expose of this utter hypocrisy by so-called "yoga teachers".... That is why I am calling them "Faux-ga teachers"... they are NOT in "union or yoked with - the Divine" !!!

Srila Prabhupada writes in The Path of Perfection: "Yoga does not mean going to some class, paying some money, engaging in gymnastics, and then returning home to drink, smoke, and engage in sex. Such yoga is practiced by societies of the cheaters and the cheated...If one tells you that you can indulge in sex as much as you like and at the same time become a yogi, he is cheating you. If some so-called guru tells you to give him money in exchange for some mantra and that you can go on and engage in all kinds of nonsense, he is just cheating you. Because we want something sublime and yet want it cheaply, we put ourselves in a position to be cheated...if we want perfection in yoga, we have to pay for it by abstaining from sex. Perfection in yoga is not something childish, and Bhagavad-gita instructs us that if we try to make yoga into something childish, we will be cheated. There are many cheaters awaiting us, waiting to take our money, giving us nothing, and then leaving."

Here is some material on the subject, from the Hindu and Buddhist scriptures, taken from Steven Rosen’s 1987 book, Food for the Spirit: Vegetarianism and the World’s Religions: “You must not use your God-given body for killing God’s creatures, whether they are human, animal or whatever.”

---Yajur Veda 12.32
“One should be considered dear, even by the animal kingdom.”

---Atharva Veda 17.1.4
“Those noble souls who practice meditation and other yogic ways, who are ever careful about all beings, who protect all animals, are the ones who are actually serious about spiritual practices.”

---Atharva Veda 19.48.5
“By not killing any living being, one becomes eligible for salvation.”

---Manusmriti 6.60
“The purchaser of flesh performs himsa (violence) by his wealth; he who eats flesh does so by enjoying its taste; the killer does himsa by actually tying and killing the animal. Thus, there are three forms of killing. He who brings flesh or sends for it, he who cuts off the limbs of an animal, and he who purchases, sells, or cooks flesh and eats it—all of these are considered meat-eaters.”

---Mahabharata, Anu. 115.40
“He who desires to augment his own flesh by eating the flesh of other creatures lives in misery in whatever species he may take his birth.”

---Mahabharata, Anu. 115.47
“Ahimsa (nonviolence) is the highest duty.”

---Padma Purana 1.31.27
According to contemporary Hindu scholar Satyaraja dasa (Steven Rosen):

“Ahimsa loosely translates as ‘nonviolence.’ In the Vedic tradition, however, the word possesses a much broader meaning: ‘Having no ill feeling for any living being, in all manners possible and for all times is called ahimsa, and it should be the desired goal of all seekers.’ (Patanjali Yoga Sutras, 2.30)

“The Manusmriti, one of India’s earliest sacred texts, says: ‘Without the killing of living beings, meat cannot be made available, and since killing is contrary to the principles of ahimsa, one must give up eating meat.’

“The Vedas condemn more, however, than just those who eat meat. Equally guilty, they say, is anyone assisting in animal slaughter, sanctioning it, anyone who cuts the flesh, buys, sells, or even serves it. Only those who have not participated in any of these activities can be considered true practitioners of ahimsa.

“Sikhism, founded by Guru Nanak (1469-1538), is an interesting blend of Hindu and Islamic beliefs. Because of the Moslem influence, most branches of the Sikh religion are not strictly vegetarian. Still, according to Sikh scholar Swaran Singh Sanehi of the Academy of Namdhari culture: ‘Sikh scriptures support vegetarianism fully. Sikhs from the period of Guru Nanak had adopted the Hindu tradition and way of living in many ways. Their disliking for flesh-foods was also a part of the same tradition and way of living. Guru Nanak considered meat-eating improper—particularly for those who are trying to meditate.’ Of the ten million Sikhs, the Namdhari sect and Yogi Bhajan’s 3HO Golden temple Movement are strictly vegetarian.”

Satyaraja dasa states further that Mahayana Buddhism, perhaps the most important and widely practiced form of Buddhism today, has many scriptures advocating vegetarianism. Some of the Mahayana sutras are said to contain direct quotes from the Buddha himself. In the Lankavatara, we read:

“For the sake of love of purity, the bodhisattva (enlightened soul) should refrain from eating flesh, which is born from semen, blood, etc. For fear of causing terror to living beings let the bodhisattva, who is disciplining himself to attain compassion, refrain from eating flesh…It is not true that meat is proper food and permissible when the animal was not killed by himself, when he did not order others to kill it, when it was not specifically meant for him…Again, there may be some people in the future who…being under the influence of the taste for meat will string together in various ways many sophisticated arguments to defend meat-eating…But…meat-eating in any form, in any manner, and in any place is unconditionally and once and for all prohibited…Meat-eating, I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit…”

The Surangama Sutra says:

“The reason for practicing dhyana (meditation) and seeking to attain samadhi (mystic perfection) is to escape from the suffering of life. But in seeking to escape from suffering ourselves, why should we inflict it upon others? Unless you can so control your minds that even the thought of brutal unkindness and killing is abhorrent, you will never be able to escape from the bondage of the world’s life…After my parinirvana (supreme enlightenment) in the final kalpa (era) different kinds of ghosts will be encountered everywhere deceiving people and teaching them that they can eat meat and still attain enlightenment…How can a bhikshu (seeker), who hopes to become a deliverer of others, himself be living on the flesh of other sentient beings?”

There are other principles involved in spiritual life besides nonviolence, such as prayer or meditation, sexual restraint, and abstinence from all mind-altering substances. But I agree with you that it is the height of hypocrisy to claim to be spiritual while harming or killing animals.

"Honourable men may honourably disagree about some details of human treatment of the non-human," wrote Stephen Clark in his 1977 book, The Moral Status of Animals, "but vegetarianism is now as necessary a pledge of moral devotion as was the refusal of emperor-worship in the early church." According to Clark, eating animal flesh is "gluttony," and "Those who still eat flesh when they could do otherwise have no claim to be serious moralists."

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