Case 23-2017: Yoga Beer
Dear Prosecutor, Public Defender, Ambassador and Jury Members of the International Buddhist Ethics Committee (IBEC) and Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights (BTHR), regarding the case 23-2017 Yoga Beer, hereby, on March 2017, it is recorded that the trial of the Ethics Committee has been concluded to analyze the violation of Buddhist Spirituality carried out by the accused party, after voting of 6 members of the Jury, 1 of them issuing the vote of “Insanity” and the other 5 issuing the verdict of “Responsible” for the crimes of SPIRITUAL FRAUD and INTERNATIONAL CRIME AGAINST CULTURAL HERITAGE OF HUMANITY.
The actions of the Yoga Beer movement have broken the Buddhist ethical precepts and the essential spiritual guidelines of True Yoga, by introducing the consumption of a drug into a sacred millennial practice. In addition, as has been demonstrated during the trial, alcohol consumption causes serious damage to physical and mental health, often leading to disease and even death. This has shown that the Yoga Beer movement violates the spiritual ethical precepts of Buddhism and True Yoga because it is basically a Fraud or a Scam jeopardizing bodily well-being, mental health and spiritual integrity. However, the fact that Yoga Beer damages mental health does not necessarily imply that the accused party is “Insane”, which would make it to go unpunished and irresponsible facing the charges. In this sense, as has happened with the Cases Ocampo and Spencer, previously judged by the International Buddhist Ethics Committee, this kind of SPIRITUAL FRAUD is not associated with the psychic structure of Psychosis but rather with that of Perversion, by developing a False system of Yoga that reduces a sacred practice to a mere amusement or consumer good. This mechanism of desecration, which had previously happened in the West by reducing Yoga to a mere gymnastics or sport, in Yoga Beer movement is also accompanied by a mechanism of perversion, which consists in corrupting, depraving, vitiating, contaminating and vilifying the very essence of Yoga.
On the other hand, this case presents the peculiarity that Yoga has recently been declared by UNESCO as Cultural Heritage of Humanity, so that the perversion made by the Yoga Beer movement is undoubtedly a violation of Cultural Human Rights. Faced with this manipulation or attempting to destroy a spiritual cultural heritage, the International Buddhist Ethics Committee has decided to respond immediately with all the resources of Buddhist Law and International Law, sending the message to the world that spiritual disciplines must be purified of all kinds of perversion, distortion or contamination.
Although it could be argued that Yoga is not under the jurisdiction of Buddhism, this is not true, since both traditions are deeply interrelated. Beyond the fact that Master Gautama trained with the main yogic gurus of his time, having learned the best of their ascetic techniques in the study of the jhanas, certainly the Buddhist Ethics of the five precepts has profoundly influenced True Yoga. Therefore, while Buddhism prescribes not to harm living beings, not to steal, not lying, not to sexually abuse and not to take drugs, True Yoga in turn prescribes not to be violent, saying the Truth, not to steal, to moderate impulses and not to covet. In addition, the Sage Patanjali, who in the third century B.C. laid the foundation of contemporary Yoga, was clearly and profoundly influenced by the Noble Eightfold Path created by Gautama. The Gautama’s Noble Eightfold Path is an ethical pathway that rectifies the inner and outer world of the human being by means of eight main factors of Righteousness which are simultaneous and non-hierarchical virtues: righteous understanding (samyak drsti), righteous thinking (samyak samkalpa) , righteous speech (samyak vaca), righteous conduct (samyak karmanta), righteous means of subsistence (samyak ajiva), righteous effort (samyak vyayama), righteous attention (samyak samriti) and righteous concentration (samyak samadhi). Accordingly, the Sage Patanjali also developed an Eightfold Path in Yoga composed of: Yama (moral control), Niyama (self control), Asana (posture control), Pranayama (vital control), Pratyahara (control of perception), Dharana (control of thought), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (concentration). Both in Gautama and in Patanjali, the two Eightfold Paths lead to Awakening or Liberation. This demonstrates that the Sage Patanjali was deeply influenced by the Noble Eightfold Path of Master Gautama, so according to this analysis the tradition of True Yoga would undoubtedly have a Buddhist foundation, entering absolutely within the jurisdiction of the Spiritual Commune (Sangha), in the same way as during the framework of “Case 16-2016 Iran” the International Buddhist Ethics Committee has recognized the Bahai tradition.
In the Mahaparinibbanasutta there is an ancient spiritual story that would revalidate this revolutionary analysis carried out by the International Buddhist Ethics Committee. The story tells that the ascetic wanderer Subhadda was the last apprentice of Master Gautama, who few hours before dying taught that if in a Spirituality there is no Noble Eightfold Path then there will not be Free and Enlightened Beings, yet if in a Spirituality there is Noble Eightfold Path then there will be Free and Enlightened Beings. Therefore, this compassionate wisdom in action allows the Spiritual Commune (Sangha) to decipher the supposed ethical legitimacy of any tradition or the supposed enlightenment of any spiritual master, simply by analyzing whether there is the presence of the Noble Eightfold Path in his/her teachings.
According to the International Buddhist Ethics Committee, all Yoga teachers in the world should study and follow the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, as this would prevent Yoga from being reduced to mere sport or to be perverted as a form of entertainment, having the duty to prevent damaging the sacredness of this Cultural Heritage of humanity. Even the International Buddhist Ethics Committee prescribes that Buddhists could also learn something from these Sutras, for it is always nourishing to learn the visions of different spiritual masters on the basis of the same perennial ethical foundation. In the Dhammapada, Master Gautama endorses this integrative and reconciling position by affirming that the teaching of all the Awakened Ones (Buddhas) is to abandon evil, do good and purify the mind. This implies that if that essential foundation to abandon evil, do good and purify mind would be taught and practiced by Yoga, then Yoga would definitely follow the Buddhist Path, which is not only the pathway of those who follow Gautama but rather is the Pathway of the followers of all the Awakened Ones (Buddhas) of history.
Buddhism and True Yoga point to the Evanescence of the Ego, sublimating the passions and understanding the illusoriness of the object of Desire. This death of selfish and mundane life is the rebirth of detached and spiritual life in the here and now. In the practices of Buddhism and True Yoga the individual can understand that health is both internal and external, fostering an attitude based on the ethical principles of non-violence (ahimsa), veracity (satya), non-steal (asteya), Sublimation (brahmacharya) and non-greed (aparigraha). In transcending Ego, the mind is freed from the chains of pathological and self-contradictory life, adopting an attitude of serenity toward the whole existence, which allows responding to adversities by means of benevolence and friendship, never clinging to the past and without longing for the future. Buddhism and True Yoga seek the liberation of suffering caused by the evils of attachment, aversion and unconsciousness, by practicing at all times and places a lifestyle based on purity (saucha), humility (santosha), self-discipline (tapas), self-knowledge (svadhyaya) and self-surrender to a higher Purpose (Ishvara-pranidha). Buddhism and True Yoga resort to physical postures and breathing exercises designed to reach the Awakening of consciousness, going much deeper into this aspect as a source of physical health and psychical self-regulation. Buddhism and True Yoga teach complex methods of concentration and meditation, showing the apprentices how to pay full attention (Mindfulness) to their existence, which produces not only a therapeutic effect on the body and mind but also a free and enlightened state of consciousness, since the apprentice can be fully united with his Supreme Purpose (Dharma). Buddhism and True Yoga are lifestyles that make it possible to achieve Health or Cure of suffering, so they have no relation to religious beliefs, but with a thousand-year-old set of spiritual experiences. Buddhism and True Yoga are not ascetical or ritualistic practices, but are a system of daily life open to all human beings, without any discrimination of color, gender, language, economic status, social class, age, political opinion, ethnicity, nationality or any other condition. Buddhism and True Yoga teach the human being to evolve and become a superhuman through the development of Ethics, Health and Awakening.
However, besides the fact of considering concentration (samadhi) as a daily practice and not considering it as a final goal, there is a feature that turns Buddhism into a Supreme Spirituality without any comparison with Yoga, and is precisely the indispensable function of the Spiritual Commune (Sangha), without which Buddhism could be reduced to a philosophy or a psychology. The Spiritual Commune (Sangha) created by Gautama was born as a tribal republic and centuries later it spread throughout Southeast Asia in the form of a Civilization. These social characteristics of Buddhism are based on Buddhist Law, not being a coincidence the fact that Master Gautama very much appreciated his Legal Code (Vinaya). This is because, as Gautama taught, communities pervert themselves and disappear when they do not follow advanced ethical precepts, abandoning the guidance of solidarity and compassionate wisdom (karuna-prajna). In this sense, the International Buddhist Ethics Committee continues with the universal ethical development founded by Gautama, this rectifying function being something indispensable for the discipline of Yoga, since this tradition lacks the righteous guidance of the Legal Code (Vinaya) of the Spiritual Commune (Sangha).
Finally, the wrong ethical behavior of Yoga Beer is part of an international context of superficialization and banalization of the spiritual traditions, which are being manipulated, distorted and perverted by unscrupulous individuals and groups. Yoga Beer is an immoral, perverse and illegal aberration, as if someone trying to create “Buddhism with Marihuana”. As an organization dedicated to ethical and humanitarian teaching, the International Buddhist Ethics Committee offers free advanced training in True Yoga to any subject or group that forms part of the Yoga Beer movement who decides to renounce this perverse and illegal practice.
Following the Path of Master Siddharta Gautama, who has influenced multiple spiritual traditions through his incorruptible Ethic, it is established that the Yoga Beer movement has violated the Buddhist Ethics and Human Rights, having been ruled its “Responsibility” for the charges of SPIRITUAL FRAUDE and INTERNATIONAL CRIME AGAINST CULTURAL HERITAGE OF HUMANITY. The International Buddhist Ethics Committee has the duty to protect Spirituality and the entire humanity, establishing this Judgment as a mode of ethical teaching for the accused.
Always with spirit of reconciliation (maitri),
Master Maitreya Samyaksambuddha
President and Spiritual Judge of the International Buddhist Ethics Committee (IBEC) & Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights (BTHR)