HAF Sends LTE to New York Times on yoga and Gita Reference

Minneapolis, MN (April 16, 2012) - HAF submitted the following Letter to the Editor to the New York Times. The letter was not published.
 
Dear Editor,
Lauren Walker eloquently depicts the benefits of yoga experienced by soldiers in, “Upward Facing Soldier.” But her reference to the Bhagavad Gita as the “great Indian treatise on war,” grossly undermines the significance of this essential Hindu scripture.
 
Indeed, the Gita is comprised of the conversation between Lord Krishna and warrior Arjuna on a battlefield, but Hindus view it as a treatise on life. The Gita encapsulates the teachings of the Upanishads (the end of the Vedas), and sheds light on the four yogas or paths of spiritual life -- selfless service, devotion, knowledge, and meditation. It instructs on the interrelation between karma and dharma (righteous duty) and their impact on birth and rebirth and ultimately, moksha (liberation).
 
While Walker’s relating our soldiers and the tensions they face in war to those faced by Arjuna are spot on, the Gita can offer peace well after the battle is done.
 
Suhag Shukla, Esq.
Executive Director/Legal Counsel
HAF