If a white cloth is received into unclean hands, it cannot but get a tiny bit dirty. If it is then passed on to less clean hands it will lose some more of its whiteness. And if passed further on and on and on, it might turn into a dark something in the end. How much of this might happen to the pure and clean theory cum-practice of yoga? According to mythology, the first yoga teaching was very personal between Lord Shiva and his spouse Parvati. In the Bhagavad Gita, as put down in book form in the 6th Century B.C., after a long oral tradition, four different approaches to the goal of yoga are named, i.e. the paths of Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Raja Yoga and Bhakti Yoga, which, according to one authoritative commentary, would all blend into one with ongoing progress. Only much later around 1400 A.D., Hatha Yoga with its main emphasis on bodily techniques, and as a preparation for Raja Yoga, appeared. As time went on, more and more systems branched out.
Thus, several initially pure white yoga cloths got into circulation. Since they were preserved rather secretively, they were protected from getting handled by too many or very unclean hands. Yet, through the passage of time, soiling has been unavoidable. By now “yoga” has become almost a mass movement, which has also called a kind of yoga market into being, attracting business-minded people with nothing other than commercial qualifications.
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