Wild Rastafari

I am not a Rasta, but a Yogini.  To be clear, I am not Black, but White.

Over the years I have noticed that Rastafari and Yoga share many ideas and values.  The points below are examples where I see similarity (and drawn from those points found on Wikipedia).  If I am mistaken, please kindly let me know.

-Rastafari are monotheists.  Yogis can be, but can also be pantheist and animists, or even agnostic.  However, in every breath, the Yogi experiences Creativity, so that there exists an underlying core that there is only one God and everything emanates from that Center.  Or, Yogis know that all of life is an expression of the divine, each a brilliant facet upon a wondrous diamond.

-Rastafari uphold the Holy Trinity.  Yogis do as well.  There is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer (respectively).  They are the Being, the Thatness, the Holy Spirit of All That Lives.

-Rastafari honor Haile Selassie.  Yogis have gurus, or those that `destroy darkness and dispel spiritual ignorance’.  We know guru as a respected person with saintly qualities who enlightens the mind, or as god manifest.  Our first
guru is our parents.

-Rastafari honor Jesus.  Yogis know him as a child of god and worthy of prayer alongside other noble souls, such as Krishna, Buddha and Haile Selassie.

-Rastafari know Zion to be their promised land.  Yogis understand this as being within; externally, as where they are at the moment.  As to Babylon, Yogis too rebel against corruption.

-Rastafari hold to Life Everliving; Yogis do as well.

-Rastafari are often Afrocentric (with Black Pride).  Yogis orient themselves around Yoga culture, so are Yogacentric.  Because Yogi’s know that all people of all colors can be Yogi’s, I believe this idea is similar.  And where some Rasta
learn Amharic, some Yogis learn Sanskrit.

-Rastafari uphold Scripture; Yogis do as well.  Where Rasta’s (may) look primarily to the New Testament, Yogis mostly uphold the Bhagavad Gita.

-Rastafari have rites, as Yogis have pujas.
–Reasoning.  Yogi’s pray and celebrate god with Ganja.  Our short prayer before smoking is: `Boom Shiva!’
–Groundation.  Yogi’s too have holy days.

-Rastafari know their body to be a temple, as do Yogis.

-Rastafari have sects and subdivisions, as do Yogis.

-Rastafari smoke cannabis, as do Yogis.  We both consider it a sacrament that cleans the body and mind, unwounds the heart and soul, exalts being (consciousness), brings about peace and pleasure, and establishes our relationship with God.

-Rastafari have a unique language, as do Yogis.  Some of the Rasta words mirror Yoga ones; such as:
–Ital / Sattva
–Overstanding / Siddhi
–Irie / Santosha
–Upfulness / Pushti
–Livication / Pranidhana, or Ishvara Pranidhana, `Attentiveness to the Lord’
–Downpression / several words, such as Abhakkh (not eatable, unlawful, forbidden, wrong); Dhigana (wrong, injustice, oppression, force); Zulm (tyranny, oppression).
–I and I / Ahamkara

-Rastafari live Ital, Yogi’s are Vegetarians (Shakahara).  Many Hindus eat meat, whereas those who are more spiritually minded will have a Lacto-Vegetarian diet.  Yogis have a lifestyle of abundance and indulgence in foods from the Source – live foods, raw foods, pure food and water, coupled with clean products for the body and living space.  Likewise, the avoidance of alcohol is central to a Yogi’s lifestyle.

-Rastafari are often identified by their locks.  Not so Yogis in the United States, but certainly in India.  Lord Shiva – the God of Yogi’s – has `locks’, or Jata as they are called (“bunches of hair, compressed hair, long beautiful matted hair, compassionate and jubilant hair, threads.”  Lol .. this latter rhyming with `dreads’).

-Rastafari favor red, gold and green; and Yogi’s tend towards white, yellow and saffron.

-Rastafari have Reggae, and Yogi’s have Mantra, Kirtan and Bhajans.  Additionally, to both (I believe), music is devotional while being a means of raising awareness both externally and internally.

I think these similarities are wonderful, and very telling, for they highlight the loving and generous ways of both groups.  I have encountered Rastas in Little Five Points (a district in Atlanta), and shared likeminded conversation, but know none of them personally.  In all ways, I seek the path of mutual respect, so in no way intend to misappropriate or misrepresent my intent in this blog entry.

What I wish, is to genuinely express “Namaste”, which means “mutual respect“.  It means the “Light of God within me recognizes and honors the Light of God within you.”  It means the place of Love and Integrity, of Wisdom and Peace that is my very being, sees you and knows Rastas as Brother and Sister.  I write these words because I see in Rasta many ideals that I live by as a Yogini.

Shanti and Metta (Peace and Lovingkindness) ..
Yogini Valarie Devi

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chris
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 04:55:40

    really enjoyed that brother. being a rasta myself, and currently getting into yoga, I really foudn this article inspiring and truth-affirming. much love and blessings to ya for the words brother. really appreciate them

    Reply

  2. raven kristin brea
    May 17, 2011 @ 12:39:52

    blessed!
    Very true, very insightful, as this InI is also a vegan, consuming no animal products, or wearing them. It about honor to all sentiment beings…..follow I heart, grow I-crown, walk with Jah!

    Reply

  3. RASTAFARI Free-Man
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 15:53:36

    Ital greetings borothers and sisters,

    InI give thanks for these few words. I would like mention that “Rasta” in Hindi means “The way” or “The Path”.

    On my journey to India I had the pleasure to meet with and receive re-initiation into Kriya Yoga by Yogiray Gurunath Siddhanath who is also a living testamony that His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie 1st DID NOT leave his physical bodily abode in 1976 as the world was lead to beleive. Gurunath met with H.I.M. in a palace in England in 1982 and performed a ceremony and shared Yogic techniques. Please listen to this testamony from the Chapter of his book” “Meeting the Lion of Judah” Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7RmcQEzYho

    I see this as an important event for those who are seeking Self-realization and GOD-realization through the practice of Yog. It is already established that “The Father in His Christ” as the Messiah (Yesus Kristos) is a Kriya Yoga master and now, in His revelation (Rev 5:5) as the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion in the tribe of Judah, He re-affirms the effectiveness of such a Spiritual technique.

    However, the revelation of the new name, the secret name, the preciuose name, which was establised before the creation of the heavens and the earth (Book of Enoch) supreceeds and over powers all techniques, words or mantras, for His name is “The Word, Sound and Power of creation.”

    He is called the “First Power of The Holy Trinity”/Qedamawi Haile Selassie

    Translations/Defenitions:
    Ge’ez = The First/the Free (the origional one language of Genesis 11:1 as “Now the whole earth had one language and one speech.”)

    Rastafari = Head Creator/Head to be Feared

    Ge’ez/Amharic:
    Girmawi Qedamawi Haile Selassie (His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie 1st)

    English:
    His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie 1st (Power of the Holy Trinity first) .. sounds like a call to the First commandement….

    In peace and lovingkindeness,

    Yahson

    Reply

  4. Wild Yogini
    Nov 12, 2011 @ 08:57:38

    Wonderful words .. Chris, Raven, and Yahson! What blessings you have left on my blog! Thank you! _/l\_

    Reply

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