Yoga and Martial Arts

In Indian martial arts the first thing is yoga. Indians have so many martial arts and within ten years you will know it, but Indians have a defect or a shortcoming – either they do not want to sell themselves or they do not know how to. India has so many martial arts that your karate will not stand anywhere.

They are such fine arts and so strong that you do not even need any weapon or a stick. These ‘pahalwans’ can make the body so stiff, when you go on beating them with a stick, your stick will break, but not them. Some of them you cannot move at all. They may be 80 to 100 kilos, but if you try to move them they become 500 kilos or maybe a tonne if they lie down. You cannot move them because they have the knack to relate the body with the mind and idea.

We do not use it for self-defence nor do we teach it. If you go to an akhara in the morning anywhere and ask them, “Why are you doing this?” They say, “For physical health.” Then you ask, “Not for self-defence?” They say, “What defence? We do not want to kill.” The approach is different. The Japanese approach is to defend themselves. The purpose of any art should be non-violence, it should not be violence, because it does not pay. What have martial arts done for Japan? The British, Spanish and Portuguese ruled them. What happened to the shoguns, the military rulers? Nothing. They lost everything because man lives by skill and the skill is in the brain not in the hands. The English people ruled the whole empire, the whole world. The sun did not set on the British Empire. How? Brain. It is not martial arts. It is the brain.

The purpose of any martial arts should be to give a healthy standard of body to the young people of the country. They should never be taught that they should defend or that they should kill. That purpose is against the principles of non-violence. A time should come when we stop even arms and weapons. It will be very difficult because the people who are manufacturing them will not want it. The country will lose the revenue. America will become poor in fifteen days if the bid to stop wars. They have big companies with billions and trillions, they will fall down. So we want to stop wars but business people do not. The purpose of martial arts should not be self-defence, but to take man closer to himself.