Hindus have commended Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) for organizing “Yoga White Party” to “Celebrate the Holidays” on December 30.
“Get centered before the New Year begins. Learn about the time-honored practice of yoga through meditative exercises, yoga postures, and breathing techniques among the beauty of the Museum’s collection”, Museum announcement says. Asking the patrons to “wear white” for this “peaceful stretch”, Museum is also making “Henna tattoos” available at the event. In another current exhibition, PMA is showcasing images of and related to Hindu deity Krishna.
The PMA, in a building owned by City of Philadelphia, is supported in part by state and federal grants. Trustees Ex Officio include Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, termed it as a step in the positive direction to make yoga available to Museum patrons. Yoga (usually referred as “a living fossil” whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization), although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse for everybody to share and benefit from, Zed added.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged major art museums of the world; including Musee du Louvre and Musee d’Orsay of Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Los Angeles Getty Center, Uffizi Gallery of Florence (Italy), Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern of London, Prado Museum of Madrid, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, etc.; to also launch yoga on their premises.
Rajan Zed pointed out that yoga was a mental and physical discipline to be utilized by all. According to Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.
According to US National Institutes of Health, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. According to an estimate, about 21 million Americans, including many celebrities, now practice yoga. Yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Zed noted.
PMA, which began as a legacy of the great Centennial Exhibition of 1876, claims to have “world-renowned collection” and to inspire the visitors “to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone”. Timothy Rub, Gail Harrity and Constance H. Williams are Director, President and Trustees Chair respectively.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.