Yoga calendars for 2011 are out and many of these feature dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, and nude women-men demonstrating various yoga asanas (postures).
Their names include: Sacred Form Nude Yoga Calendar, The Body as Temple Calendar, Yoga Dogs, Yoga Kittens, Yoga Puppies, Yoga Cats, etc., and some claim to be “inspiring” and “uplifting”. These vary between color and black-white and prices go up to $24 each. Besides English; these wall, boxed and desktop calendars are available in French and other languages, and some even come with multilingual edition.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that yoga was a revered age old tradition and deserves more seriousness and respect. Some of these calendars were kind of distortion of the esteemed practice for mercantile greed and could be upsetting for the serious and genuine seekers and devotees.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, was one of the six systems of orthodox Hindu philosophy and was highly venerated in Hinduism. It was actually a serious mental and physical discipline by means of which the human-soul (jivatman) united with universal-soul (parmatman).
Rajan Zed points out that some sages have described yoga as the silencing of all mental transformations, which leads to the total realization of the Supreme Self. Some have used yoga attempting to gain liberation by removing all sensory barriers. According to Patanjali, author of the basic text, the Yoga Sutra, yoga is a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.