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"We don't often think of other religions [than Christianity] having missionaries, but the philosophy and practice of yoga have been primary tools of Hindu 'missionaries' to [the West] since 'Indian priest and mystic' Swami Vivekananda introduced yoga to the West at the World's Fair in Chicago. Interestingly, Swami Vivekananda is attributed with the idea of combining the theory of 'evolution of the soul' with his teachings of Hinduism. Instead of working out one's 'karma' by becoming a grasshopper, ant or human in progressive lives, he taught an 'evolution of the soul' whereby the individual continues in an evolutionary process to 'manifest the god within'. Apparently he understood that [westerners] wouldn't buy into the traditional Hindu belief in reincarnation. Not many westerners could imagine they would ever come back as a lower form of life. A higher form of life perhaps, but certainly not a lower one. Have you noticed how many people ... believe in reincarnation? One can just keep coming back until they get it right. Sadly, this false teaching leads people away from the necessity for a Savior. And if we progressively get better with each life, why aren't we all living in Blissville now? Some consider this Hindu belief a theory to be embraced. Interestingly, definitions of 'theory' in Webster's include: 'a speculative plan, conjecture or guess.' Do you remember when evolution used to be called the 'theory of evolution'? It's seldom called a 'theory' any longer outside of Christian circles. Promote a theory long enough and it become the truth? ... Another Hindu Missionary welcomed into elite circles was Paramhansa Yogananda who started the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles. Yogananda cleverly chose to demonstrate that yoga was completely compatible with Christianity. Wearing a cross, he came to America in the 1920s with the Hindu religious text, the Bhagavad Gita, in one hand and the Bible in the other. He reasoned that yoga was the binding force that could connect all religions" [source].
A Massive Missionary Endeavour
"Hindu Gurus from the East, such as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Baba Muktanada, Yogananda, Yogi Bhajan, Vivekananda, and a host of others, were pleased to learn in the late '50s and early '60s, that through the popular use of psychedelic drugs, millions of Westerners were experiencing a nonphysical reality that Western science had long denied existed. They were quick to recognize that a vast market for their teachings had thereby been opened up in the West. ... Yoga, once practiced in the East only by 'holy men', was made available to the masses in the west, and it soon spread everywhere, ... Few, if any, realised that the West had fallen victim to the largest and most successful missionary campaign in history. Missionary campaign? Most Westerners find it difficult to think of these smiling, bowing, obsequious, and supposedly broadminded yogis, swamis, and lamas as missionaries determined to spread their mystic gospel. It comes as a great surprise that the largest missionary organisation in the world is not Christian but Hindu - India's Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP). Of course, that's acceptable to the media and the world - only Christian missionaries are held in contempt and maligned. ... By law, no Christian missionary activity is allowed among Hindus in India, but Hindu missionaries aggressively evangelise the West - and with great success. Among the primary goals listed in VHP's constitution are the following:
Foremost among the 'centres for spiritual and practices of Hinduism' in the West are the ever-multiplying places where yoga is taught. ... The VHP has branches all over the world. ... It has its own website [http://vhp.org/] and carries on its missionary activities in cooperation with various gurus. For example, there is an annual Vivekananda Family Camp at which the typical day begins, 'with yoga and meditation at 7AM'. In 1992, the VHP of America launched 'World Vision 2000' to carry Swami Vivekananda's message based on Vedanta to America [Note from Bayith: please see the article immediately below this extract]" [Dave Hunt, Yoga and the Body of Christ, (2006), pp.12-14].
World Vision 2000 & University Seminars:
Purpose and Scope
"The thunderous echoes of Swami Vivekananda's message in America will finally find its full expression in 1992 and 1993 as we launch WORLD VISION 2000 - a series of programs that will ultimately transform the cultural foundation of this nation. It is a great fortune of the Hindus in the U.S.A. to be part of such a historic mission. But, the most fortunate of all are we, the Hindu youths. Although Swamiji shook the religious and intellectual establishments of 19th century America, at that time there was no effective medium to propagate his message to the nation as a whole. America has witnessed a century of profound changes within its borders ... For example, today, a large segment of the American population believe in the idea of ... rebirth. Millions of people have started practicing Meditation and Yoga. Even the food habits of Americans are changing..."
A Worldwide Deceit
"As part of the most massive missionary effort in history - directly intended to destroy Christianity - every guru who has come to the West (from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh to Baba Muktananda) was sent here [to the West] by his guru specifically to win converts to a Hindu/Buddhist pantheistic faith. Yogananda, for example, came to spread the teachings of his spiritual guru, Sri Babaji. Maharishi was sent to the West by his guru Dev and initiated millions into his TM brand of yoga. Yet the missionaries from the East all protest that they are teaching the science of yoga, health, and higher states of consciousness, not religion - and they are believed and highly honoured for this deceit. We can register no legitimate complaint against those who seek to persuade others of what they sincerely believe to be important truth. However, they should not lie about their product or purpose. And that is exactly what the gurus from the East have done. ... India banned foreign missionaries shortly after it gained independence. At the same time, however, India's missionaries travel the world, converting millions to Hinduism and Buddhism while protesting their tolerance for all religions and denying the religious nature of their mission. The fact that the media promotes such deception should be disturbing to any fair-minded person. ... And yet rarely is an eyebrow raised, because very few know the facts or seem to care. There has been much criticism, some of it no doubt justified, of Western missionaries who have gone to Africa, China, India, and other places, with the gospel of Jesus Christ and have attempted to westernize other cultures. Westernization of any culture cannot be justified and has nothing to do with Christianity, which itself (from Abraham to the Apostle Paul) began in the Middle East. In fairness, however we must ask why there has been little or no criticism of Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim missionaries who have aggressively pushed their religion and their way of life upon a willingly deceived Western world" [Dave Hunt, Yoga and the Body of Christ, (2006), pp.15-16].
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy
laden, and I will give you rest.