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Yoga and Meditation

Quotations and Comments

Etymology and Definition, Aims, Philosophy, Origins and History   |   Self-Realisation, the Divine/God Within   |   Namaste

Eight Limbs of Yoga   |   Paths of Yoga   |   Schools of Yoga   |   Hatha Yoga   |   Kundalini Yoga   |   Asanas (Yogic Postures)

Mantras, Meditation, Mindfulness   |   Difficulties and Dangers of Yoga   |   Christian Yoga   |  
What About?...   |   The Bigger Picture

Hindu Missionaries   |   Salvation   |   Yoga: Articles and Videos   |   Yoga: Associated Terms and Definitions

Yoga: Books and Websites   |   Yoga: Some Scriptures

 


Etymology and Definition / Aims / Philosophy / Origins and History


Dictionary Definitions:


"Sanskrit, literally, yoking, from yunakti: 'he yokes'; akin to Latin jungere: 'to join'. A Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation"
[Miriam Webster Online Dictionary].


"A Mystic and ascetic Hindu discipline for achieving union with the supreme spirit through meditation, prescribed postures, controlled breathing..."
[Webster's New World Dictionary].


"From Sanskrit (yoga, 'yoking, union'), from Proto-Indo-European yewg- ('to join') (whence also English yoke). Any of several Hindu disciplines aimed at training the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquillity; especially a system of exercises practiced to promote control of the body and mind"
[source].


"A Sanskrit term meaning 'to yoke' that is used to describe a process of spiritual discipline or harnessing of physical and mental powers to attain self-control and ultimate enlightenment. Generally 'yoga' means a system of meditation that is essential to Buddhism, the Hindu tradition and Jainism. It shares many associated assumptions, such as a view of karma, dharma and some notion of metempsychosis. The term also refers to one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy that teaches and utilizes the practice of yoga to attain liberation, which is conceived of as a state of perfect isolation"
[Pocket Dictionary of New Religious Movements].


What Yogis Say:


"'Yoga' is a Sanskrit word that comes from the root-word yuj that means 'to join'. Yoga, then, is both union and the means to union. What do we join through yoga? Two eternal beings: God, the Infinite being, and the individual spirit that is finite being. In essence they are one, and according to yogic philosophy all spirits originally dwelt in consciousness (sic) of that oneness"
[Swami Nirmalananda Giri, quoted at: source].


"Yoga is the science that teaches us the method of uniting the individual soul with the Supreme Soul, of merging the individual soul will in the Cosmic Will. ... Real Yoga is the attainment of the highest divine knowledge through conscious communion with God. Yoga transmutes the unregenerate nature of the student and raises him to the highest state of Divine Glory and Splendour"
[Sri Swami Sivananda, Yoga for the West, Publisher's Note, quoted at: source].


"The word literally means 'union'. Similarly, if we examine the English word 'religion', we find that its early Latin derivative is religio, 'to bind again'.  But to bind with what? With God, who is dwelling within. Through ignorance we have forgotten that we possess this divinity within. Hence, it is the purpose of yoga to reveal it to us"
[Swarmi Prabhavananda, Yoga - True and False].


"The simple, immutable fact is that yoga originated from the Vedic or Hindu culture. Its techniques were not adopted by Hinduism, but originated from it. These facts need to be unequivocally stated in light of some of the things being written to the contrary by yoga teachers. The effort to separate yoga from Hinduism must be challenged because it runs counter to the fundamental principles upon which yoga itself is premised, ... Efforts to separate yoga from its spiritual center reveal ignorance of the goal of yoga. ... Yoga ... was intended by the Vedic seers as an instrument which can lead one to apprehend the Absolute, Ultimate reality, called the Brahmin reality, or God. If this attempt to co-opt yoga into their (Western and/or Christian) own tradition continues, in several decades of incessantly spinning the untruth as truth through re-labelings such as 'Christian yoga', who will know that yoga is - or was - part of Hindu culture? The giant tree of yoga ... cannot deny that its roots are located in a specific place Hinduism. Seeking shelter under its vast umbrella does not entitle you to change the tree"
[Professor Subhas Tiwari, Yoga Renamed is Still Hindu, source].


"Literally 'yoking', it refers to union with Brahman. There are several kinds and schools of Yoga, and various techniques, but all have this same ultimate goal of union with the Absolute. The positions and breath control are intended as aids to Eastern meditation, and a means of controlling the body in disciplining oneself to renounce all desires which the body might otherwise impose upon the mind. Yoga is designed specifically to induce a state of trance which supposedly allows the mind to be drawn upward into a yoking with Brahman. It is a means of withdrawal from the world of illusion to seek the one true Reality. If one desires to achieve physical fitness only, exercises designed for that specific purpose ought rather to be chosen. No part of Yoga can be separated from the philosophy behind it"
[Rabi R. Maharaj, Death of a Guru, 1977, p208].


"According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the ultimate aim of Yoga is to reach 'Kaivalya' (emancipation or ultimate freedom). This is the experience of one's innermost being or 'soul' (the Purusa). Then one becomes free of chains of cause and effect (Karma) which tie us to continual reincarnation. ... Yoga is therefore a spiritual quest"
[source].


"The origins of yoga are believed to ... [stem] from the oral traditions of Yogis, where knowledge of Yoga was handed down from Guru (spiritual teacher) to Sisya (spiritual student) all the way back to the originators of Yogis, 'the Rishis', who first began investigation into the nature of reality and man's inner world"
[source].


"[Y]our karma, your births and deaths - all which can be overcome if you enter into the substance of nature by understanding its laws, by becoming cosmic itself in essence. Towards this end, yoga takes us"
[Swami Krishnananda, quoted at: source].


"Hinduism is the soul of yoga 'based as it is on Hindu Scripture and developed by Hindu sages. Yoga opens up new and more refined states of mind, and to understand them one needs to believe in and understand the Hindu way of looking at God'"
[Sannyasin Arumugaswami, Managing Editor of Hinduism Today, quoted at: source].


"I received an e-mail from a staff member of the Classical Yoga Hindu Academy in New Jersey. The staff member wrote, 'Yes, all of yoga is Hinduism. Everyone should be aware of this fact'. This staff member included that she didn't appreciate my 'running down the great Hindu/Yogic religion"
[source].


"As Hindus who live the Yogic lifestyle, we appreciate when others understand that all of Yoga is all about the Hindu religion. Modern so-called 'yoga' is dishonest to Hindus and to all non-Hindus such as the Christians"
[Danda, Yoga instructor at the Classical Yoga Hindu Academy, quoted at: source].


What Others Say:


"Yoga means 'to yoke with' and refers to the union with Brahman. Yoga is a combination of physical exercises and the spiritual. No part of yoga can be separated from the philosophy behind it. If you do the exercises you accept the philosophy"
[Reachout Trust, Influences From the East].


"Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word yug, which means 'to yoke'. ... A yoke is a crossbar that joins two draft animals at the neck so they can work together; the term, therefore, is applied metaphorically to people being joined together or united in a cause. In Hinduism, as in many religions, union is desired with nothing less than God or the Absolute, and yoga is the system that Hindus have developed to achieve that end
[source].


"Yoga cannot be reduced to a mere form of psychophysical therapy. It aims to annihilate human psycho-mental life and anything that can define personhood. Yoga has always been considered a path toward transcendence, a way of rising above the world of illusion and reaching the Ultimate reality. It was and will always be religious and this aspect has never been doubted in the East"
[source].


"Liberation of the soul from its bondage to the material world is a central goal of all orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy, and for each school, some system of yoga is the means to achieving this end"
[source].


"The historic purpose behind yoga, therefore, is to achieve union with the Hindu concept of God. This is the purpose behind virtually all of the Eastern varieties of yoga, including those we encounter in the West. This does not mean it is the purpose of every practitioner of yoga, for many people clearly are not practicing it for spiritual reasons but merely to enhance their physical appearance, ability, or health. ... [However] ... when someone participates in a practice that was developed with a specific purpose in mind by someone else, it is possible and even probable that on subtle levels the participant who does not have the original purpose in mind nonetheless will be moved along in the direction of fulfilling that purpose"
[source].


"Yoga is an ancient practice combining meditation and training the body. It originated in India at least 5,000 years ago. The main paths of yoga, its philosophy and its application to everyday life, are described in the Bhagavad Gita - the Hindu scriptures - written in the sixth century BC. The word itself comes from a Sanskrit word meaning yoke or union. It is about harnessing a person to a discipline, and at the same time unifying the parts of the self - body, mind, spirit - and also unifying the individual self with something greater and transcendent. The term yoga therefore has a broad definition, being a way of living and a way of understanding life. To 'do' yoga in this broad sense is to practice the Hindu religion. Teachers of yoga claim that followers of any religion or belief can practice yoga. This is not surprising as Hinduism will accept a very wide range of beliefs and practices including those from other religions"
{source?}.


"Exercises (physical, mental or spiritual) based on Eastern metaphysical assumptions designed to aid in enlightenment or self-realization. Goals sometimes include altered states of consciousness or uniting the practitioner with the impersonal pantheistic God. ... Yoga philosophy is based on the concept of reincarnation and is drawn from the Upanishads and other Hindu scriptures"
[quoted at: source].


"Yoga was developed to escape this 'unreal' world of time and sense and to reach moksha, the Hindu heaven - or to return to the 'void' of the Buddhist. With its breathing exercises and limbering up positions, yoga is promoted in the West for enhancing health and better living, but in the Far east, where it originated, it is understood to be a way of dying. ... The physical aspects of yoga, however, which attract many Westerners, were, in fact, originally developed and practiced for spiritual goals"
[Dave Hunt, Yoga and the Body of Christ, (2006), p.8].


"All forms of yoga ... spring from beliefs that man can escape his lower or illusory self and experience liberation by uniting with the divine. But is this union, if possible, really liberation? Who or what is the god of yoga? Is the obliteration of your identity into an impersonal energy really liberation?"
[source].


"Yoga's goal is 'Self-exaltation', 'Realizing' ones own 'divinity' and 'yoking with the Universal Consciousness'"
[source].


"The true goal of yoga is to destroy the person (who is only a false self, an illusion) so that the impersonal Brahman (the alleged real self) may be experienced"
[source].


"[T]he yogic path [is] a progressive dismantling of human personality ending in complete abolition. With every step (anga) of Yoga, what we call 'man' is demolished a little more"
[quoted at source].


"The aim of Yoga is to realise liberation from the human condition. To achieve this liberation, various psychological, physical, mental, and mystical (occult) methods have been devised. All those methods are anti-social (sometimes even anti-human) in that Yoga prescribes a way of life which says: 'This mortal life is not worth living'"
[source].


"Yoga wants to get students to the point of complete numbness in their minds. God, on the other hand, wants you to be transformed by the renewing of your mind through his Word"
[source].


"Yoga was introduced by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita as the sure way to Hindu heaven; and Shiva (one of the most feared Hindu deities, known as 'The Destroyer') is addressed as Yogeshwara, Lord of Yoga. One of the most authoritative Hatha Yoga texts, the fifteenth-century Hathayoga-Pradipika by Svatmarama, lists Lord Shiva as the first Hatha Yoga teacher"
[Dave Hunt, Yoga and the Body of Christ, (2006), p.18].


"[Y]oga is sold in the West as science, but it is in truth religion. It is promoted in the West as beneficial to health, but in the East it is a technique for dying. Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means 'yoking' and refers to union with Brahmin, the chief god in Hinduism. Thus, yoga's ultimate goal is to reach moksha, allegedly escaping the world of illusion (maya) of time and sense into liberation from the endless cycle of birth and death and rebirth through reincarnation"
[Dave Hunt, Yoga and the Body of Christ, (2006), pp.157-158].

 

Self-Realisation / The Divine/God Within


"From the yogic perspective, all human beings are 'born divine' and each human being has at core a soul (atman) that dwells eternally in the changeless, infinite, all-pervading reality (brahman). In Patanjali's classic statement of this view, tat tvam asi (thou art that), we already are that which we seek. We are God in disguise. We are already inherently perfect, and we have the potential in each moment to wake up to this true, awake, and enlightened nature. ... In the sophisticated psychology of yoga, avidya, or ignorance of our true nature, is the central problem of the human self and the source of all suffering. In other words, we've simply forgotten who we are. We've forgotten that we're the fantastic dance of energy and consciousness, the divine play (lila) of being and becoming. And what is the source of this alienation? Not sin nor wrongdoing nor psychopathology of any kind. We're simply misidentified"
[Stephen Cote, 'Standing Psychotherapy On Its Head', Yoga Journal, May-June 2001, p104].


"We are all aware that yoga means 'union' and that the practice of yoga unites body, breath, and mind, lower and higher energy centers and, ultimately, self and God, or higher Self. But more broadly, yoga directs our attention to the unity or oneness that underlies our fragmented experiences and equally fragmented world. Family, friends, the Druze guerrilla in Lebanon, the great whale migrating north - all share the same essential [divine] nature"
[Yoga Journal, May-June 1984].


"[Y]oga theory teaches that everything is, in its true inner nature, divine - not only divine but ultimately equal to everything else - everything from God and the devil to the athlete and the AIDS virus"
[source].


"[T]he Hindu concept [is] that god [is] everything, that the Creator and the Creation [are] one and the same. If there [is] only One Reality, then Brahman [is] evil as well as good, death as well as life, hatred as well as love. That [makes] everything meaningless, life an absurdity. It [is] not easy to maintain one's sanity and the view that good and evil, love and hate, life and death [are] One Reality"
[source].


"Yoga theory also teaches that in their outer nature, everything is maya, or illusion. ... [O]nly in his inner spirit is man divine; his 'outer nature', of body and personality, are ultimately a delusion that separates him from awareness of his real inner divinity. Thus, another purpose of yoga must be to slowly dismantle the outer personality - man's illusory part - so the supposed impersonal divinity can progressively 'merge' from within his hidden divine consciousness. ... Yoga is, after all, a religious practice seeking to produce 'union' with an impersonal ultimate reality, such as Brahman or Nirvana. If ultimate reality is impersonal, of what value is one's own personality? For a person to achieve true 'union' with Brahman, his 'false' self must be destroyed and replaced with awareness of his true divine nature. That is the specific goal of yoga"
[source].


"The tree of knowledge has indeed yielded much fruit of great variety, sweet, poisonous, bitter, wholesome, according to our use of it. But is it not more imperative than ever that we cultivate the tree, that we nourish its roots?"
[B. Iyengar, The Illustrated Light on Yoga, p.xi].


"...the classical mystical experience that is understood as a union with the divine. ... (1) Feeling of being transported beyond the self to a new realm; (2) Feeling of communion with the 'divine'; (3) Sense of ecstasy and exultation; (4) Heightened state of awareness; (5) Loss of self-object boundaries; (6) Powerful sense of noesis [intellectualism]; (7) Distortion of time-sense, particularly time-distortion; (8) Perceptual changes: Synesthesia and Dampening or heightening; (9) Hallucinations: often more of the visual than the auditory type. A frequently described vision ... is 'the sensation of seeing and being enveloped in "light"' (Buckley)"
[source].


"[It] is an exercise in futility unless innate goodness resides within man at his very core. Here's why: if man has an evil nature, as the Bible teaches, then it's impossible for him to change himself. In other words, if I'm innately evil, I will always be evil because there is nothing within me to enable me to change. But if I'm good within but am experiencing problems of living, then through various psychological methods or techniques, I should be able to tap into, utilize, or realize that goodness and thus remedy the adversities I experience. All the psychotherapeutic selfisms, from self-love to self-esteem to self-image to self-actualization to self-realization - and ultimately to self-deification - are predicated upon the innate goodness of one's nature"
[source].

 

Namaste: The Yogic Greeting


"Namaste, often used in Yoga, is a Hindu mudra and greeting. A mudra is a hand position usually derived from Hindu deities and has spiritual significance"
[source].


"[T]he word 'namaste', often said at the close of yoga classes, means, 'I bow to the god within you'"
[source].


"Namaste means respecting the supersoul (parmatma - The lord [sic]) in myself and in others. Folding both the hands represents that we are paying respect to the Lord residing in others with all our senses (gyanendriyas and karmendriya) including heart and mind (represented by palm)"
[comment at: source].

 

Eight Limbs or Disciplines of Yoga


The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali


"[T]he yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), samadhi (absorption). As we explore these eight limbs, we begin by refining our behaviour in the outer world, and then we focus inwardly until we reach samadhi (liberation, enlightenment)"
[source].


"Yama - Universal ethics: Non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, sexual restraint and non-acquisitiveness  /  Niyama - Principles of self conduct: purity, contentment, intense dedication or austerity, study of self and [vedic] scriptures and self surrender  /  Asana - practice of the postures  /  Pranayama - Breath control  /  Pratyahara - withdrawal and control of the senses  /  Dharana - concentration  /  Dhyana - meditation  /  Samadhi - a state of higher consciousness where the sense of self (ego) dissolves in the object of mediation and the individual self exists in its own pure nature"
[source].


"The eight limbs of yoga involve strict moral, physical, and mental disciplines. They are (1) moral restraint, (2) religious observance, (3) postures (asanas), (4) breath control (pranayama), (5) sense withdrawal, (6) concentration, (7) meditative absorption, and (8) enlightenment (samadhi). A consideration of the limbs quickly reveals that yoga is a demanding autosoteric (salvation based on self-effort) system, similar to original Theravada Buddhism with its eightfold path, which historically preceded Patanjali's yoga system and probably influenced it"
[source].


The eight limbs of yoga "are defined within the context of a basic Hindu worldview (reincarnation, karma, and moksha) and intended to support and reinforce Hindu beliefs. Each 'limb' has a spiritual goal and together they forma unit:  (1) Yama (self-control, restraints, devotion to the gods [e.g. Krishna] or the impersonal God [e.g. Brahman]);  (2) Niyama (religious duties, prohibitions, observances);  (3) Asana (proper postures for yoga practices; these represent the first stage in the isolation of consciousness and are vital components for 'transcending the human condition');  (4) Pranayama (the control and directing of the breath and the alleged divine energy within the human body [prana] to promote health and spiritual [occult] consciousness and evolution);  (5) Prayahara (sensory control or deprivation, i.e., withdrawal of the sense from attachment to external objects);  (6) Dharana (deeper concentration, or mind control);  (7) Dhyana (deep contemplation from occult mediation);  (8) Samadhi (occult enlightenment or 'God' [Brahman] realization, i.e., 'union' of the 'individual' with God. Because the eight steps are interdependent, the steps of 'postures' and 'breathing' cannot logically be separated from the others. Thus, the interdependence of all eight steps reveals why the physical exercises of yoga are designed to prepare the body for the spiritual (occult) changes that will allegedly help one realize godhood status"
[source].

 

Paths of Yoga


"Karma Yoga (spiritual union through correct conduct [or good works]), Bhakti Yoga (spiritual union through devotion to a Guru), Juana Yoga (spiritual union through hidden knowledge), Raja Yoga (spiritual union through mental control), Hatha Yoga (spiritual union through body control/meditation), Kundalini Yoga (spiritual union through focusing inner energy), and Tantra Yoga (spiritual union through sexual practices)"
[quoted at: source].


"Four main paths (Margas), according to the Bhagavad Gita, by which to reach the ultimqte goal of Yoga - 'Kaivalya':  (1) Jnana Marga, the path of Knowledge in which one learns to discriminate between what is real and what is illusory, (2) Karma Marga, the path of selfless work, (3) Bhakti Marga, the path of devotion, (4) Yoga Marga, the path of control of the mind. ... From these have come the various paths of yoga which can be followed:  a) Raja yoga involves mastery of the mind and senses in Samadhi; essentially the advanced aspects of Patanjali's [eight-limbs] astanga yoga, b) Hatha yoga is the yoga of the will which involves cultivating ones energy to arouse kundalini primarily by means of asana and pranayama, c) Mantra yoga involves reciting sacred syllables to reach perfection, d) Laya yoga involves absorption in god to experience ultimate bliss, e) Bhakti yoga requires absolute devotion to god to achieve the ultimate goal, f) Karma yoga achieves this through selfless work without thought of personal reward, g) Jnana yoga is the yoga of knowledge cultivation the discrimination between spiritual reality and the illusion of the material world"
[source].

 

Schools of Yoga


"Various schools or styles of Yoga have grown around each of these paths, which emphasise different aspects of these paths, or a combination of them, ... Iyengar, Astanga, Vini, Ananda, Anusara, Bikram, Integral, Kali Ray Tri, Kripalu, Kundalini and Sivananda. ... 3 of the most popular schools today - Iyengar, Astanga and Vini Yoga - were all developed by students of Sri T. Krishnamacharya. ... It must always be remembered that all these are merely different methods of reaching for the same ultimate goal"
[source].

 

Hatha (aka 'Physical') Yoga


"The purpose of Hatha Yoga is to locate and activate the chakras (centers of energy), thereby raising the kundalini (dominant spiritual power). ... By balancing two streams, often known as ida (mental) and pingala (bodily) currents, the sushumna nadi (current of the Self) is said to rise, opening various chakras (cosmic powerpoints within the body, starting from the base of the spine and ending right above the head) until samadhi is attained"
[source].


"Asanas and pranayama are the two limbs of yoga that exercise the body. They were not originally intended to be isolated from the other limbs of yoga, but that is what has happened to a great extent in the West through the promotion of hatha yoga, which is predominantly comprised of these two limbs (although meditation is often included or encouraged at the end of the session). It should be noted that in the Yoga Sutras one does not find the emphasis on stretching the body into unusual poses that is now associated with yoga, mainly through the influence of hatha yoga. Patanjali's expressed concern was for the practitioner to assume 'steady and easy' postures that would be conducive to meditation"
[source].


"It is also unfortunately true that to a great many people in the West, yoga has come to be identified with what in India we call hatha yoga, which mainly teaches asanas or postures, and pranayama or breathing exercises ... [T]hese are limbs of Patanjali's Yoga; but hatha yoga emphasizes them to the exclusion of everything else"
[Swami Prabhavanada, Yoga - True and False].


"The techniques of Hatha are given so as to prepare a person's consciousness for the subtler metaphysics of Raja Yoga"
[source].


"Having thus solemnly saluted his master, Yogi Svatmarama now presents Hatha Vidya (wisdom) solely and exclusively for the attainment of Raja Yoga. For those who wander in the darkness of conflicting creeds, unable to reach to the heights of Raja Yoga, the merciful Yogi Svatmarama has lit the torch of Hatha wisdom"
[Swami Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, quoted in source].


"[T]he sole purpose of the physical practices of Hatha Yoga is to suppress physical obstacles on the Spiritual or Royal path of Raja Yoga and Hatha yoga is therefore called 'the ladder to Raja Yoga'"
[Alain Danielou, quoted in source].


"The numerous purely physical procedures of yoga [unite] the parts of the body ... with the whole of the mind and spirit, as ... in the pranayama exercises, where prana is both the breath and the universal dynamics of the cosmos ... the elation of the body becomes one with the elation of the spirit. ... Yoga practice is unthinkable, and would also be ineffectual without the ideas on which it is based. It works the physical and the spiritual into one another in an extraordinarily complete way"
[Carl Jung, Psychology and the East (1978), pp.80-81].


"The goal of Hatha Yoga is to attain the final reunion of Shakti with Shiva. Shakti, the self, is located at the base of the spine as the dormant spiritual energy called kundalini. The ascetic practice demanded to awakening kundalini consists in certain physical exercise accompanied by respiratory techniques. ... Given its religious background, Hatha Yoga cannot be a mere physical training. The most important writing of this school, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, clearly states that Hatha Yoga has to be taught only in order to reach the Raja Yoga level (1:2), which means 'the integration of mind in a state where the subject-object duality does not exist' (4:77), or in other words, only in order that the self may merge with the impersonal Ultimate Reality. Therefore, the attention granted to the body has a single purpose: to make it fit for attaining control over the mind and thus liberating the self"
[source].


"[Hatha yoga is] a process of control of the gross body which aims at freeing the subtle body"
[Alain Danielou, quoted in source].


"The typical middle-class Westerner, taking yoga classes ... has little or no idea of the hows and whys of yoga's seeming efficacy. In the traditional understanding, physical yoga has a great deal more to do with the practitioner's invisible 'subtle' body, than it does with the flesh and bones and muscles which encase it. ... This subtle body is extremely complex, but can be superficially described as consisting of 72,000 invisible psychic channels called nadis, which constitute an other dimensional body which directly corresponds to the physical, or gross, body. The subtle body is connected to the gross body at several points, with the seven predominant ones located at distinct points ranging from the base of the spine to the top of the head. These are called chakras, and they are believed to control the various aspects of the consciousness of the individual. Physical yoga finds its most refined expression when it teaches postures which bring various channels within the subtle body into a specific alignment with one another and thus alter the consciousness of the practitioner in a specified way"
[source].


"[W]hat about hatha yoga, the less overtly spiritual form of yoga taught at most gyms? Even in this format ... there are commonly used words and poses antithetical to God's Word. For example, the word 'namaste', often said at the close of yoga classes, means, 'I bow to the god within you'. The sound 'om', chanted in many yoga classes, is meant to bring students into a trance so they can join with the universal mind. And the 'salute to the sun' posture, used at the beginning of most classes, pays homage to the Hindu sun god ... It's impossible to separate Hindu spiritualism from yoga"
[source].


"[W]hatever physical conditioning is involved in any form of yoga, it is but a means to the spiritual objective ... if one is interested in physical fitness, then by all means adopt exercises specifically designed to that end. In contrast, yoga, though parts of it may be physically beneficial, was designed - through its physical positions, stretching, and breathing exercises - to yoke practitioners with the Divine allegedly within us all. One cannot adopt even the physical aspects of yoga without becoming spiritually ensnared. This is a fact rooted in history, which no amount of denial by Western yoga instructors can change"
[Dave Hunt, Yoga and the Body of Christ, (2006), p.38].


"Most Westerners imagine that Hatha Yoga (aka 'physical yoga') has nothing to do with Hinduism or spirituality. ... This is a popular and deeply entrenched delusion deliberately promoted among unsuspecting Westerners.  If Hatha Yoga is purely physical, why has it been handed down from 'spiritual masters' known as yogis? Why is authentic Hatha Yoga always associated with spiritual mediation aimed at 'self- realization' (i.e. to 'realize one's oneness with 'God', as Hinduism teaches)? If there are centers in the West that claim to offer a purely physical Hatha Yoga for health benefits alone, why do they teach the very same breathing exercises and positions that Paramahansa Yogananada brought to the West from India as taught to him by his spiritual guru, Sri Babaji? These techniques were all precisely developed over centuries to induce subtle changes in states of consciousness leading to 'self-realization'. They were not developed primarily for physical benefits. ... If what Western yoga teachers offer merely involves physical stretching and breathing exercises, as they claim, why don't they promote it as such? Why do they persist in calling it 'yoga', while denying any connection to what yoga is? Why this cover-up?"
[Dave Hunt, Yoga and the Body of Christ, (2006), pp.17-19].


"The 'Soul' purpose of the asanas (yoga poses) is to create a healthy body, calm mind and emotions in order to enter the spirit realms.  It is for this Soul purpose that, of all the Hindu/Yogas, Hatha Yoga was supposed to be kept, relatively, secret.  Sages realized that the immature would emphasize the body, thus completely distorting the spiritual intent.  feeling good at the expense of others is not an ethical choice. Imagine treating Baptism and Communion as an Underwater Therapy and Wine Tasting business.  Envision a Fitness Rabbi, Diet Pope and Gaming Imam!  Picture Hot Baptism (at your local gym), Power Mass and Gentle Genuflecting!  How about a 200 hour Certified Communion teacher greeting students with Hallelujah and denying any Christian connection?  How about marketing Baptism pants to display one's physical accomplishments!  As ridiculous as this seems, this is exactly how callous, absurd and insulting is the New Age Yoga crusade"
[Swami Param, President of the Classical Yoga Hindu Academy, Barnegat, New Jersey, USA, quoted at: source].


"I'd be quite upset if I was of the Hindu faith in a country founded on Hinduism and suddenly this new exercise program started sweeping over my nation that was based on Christianity but without informing anyone of this while it was being taught at schools, dance halls, fitness clubs and every place else under the sun"
[comment at: source].

 

Kundalini Yoga

"Kundalini is the Divine Cosmic Energy in bodies. It is symbolised by a coiled and sleeping serpent in the lowest bodily centre at the base of the spinal column" [B. Iynegar, The Illustrated Light on Yoga, p.66].

"In Hindu mythology and occult anatomy, the goddess Kundalini is thought of as a female serpent lying dormant at the base of the spine. ... She represents the female half of the divine polarity in man. While lying at the base of the spine, she is separated from Shiva, her divine 'lover' and masculine counterpart, who resides in the brain. When aroused by yoga practices, she uncoils, travels up the spine toward her lover, opening up the alleged psychic centers called chakras in the process. When the crown or top chakra is reached, the union of Shiva/Shakti occurs, supposedly leading the practitioner to divine enlightenment and union with Brahman" [source].

"Traditionally [Kundalini] is known as Durga the creatrix, Chandi the fierce and bloodthirsty, and Kali the destroyer. She is also Bhajangi the serpent. As Chandi or Kali she has a garland of skulls around her neck and drinks human blood" [Gopi Krishna, The Awakening of Kundalini, p.13].

"The easiest way to understand kundalini is to acknowledge that there is a universal spirit, sometimes referred to as God. God uncoils him/her/itself. This uncoiling process is known as kundalini" [S. K. Khlasa, KISS Guide to Yoga, p.184].

"When aroused, [the Kundalini] can rise through the chakras, ... creating physical symptoms ranging from sensations of heat and tremors to involuntary laughing or crying, talking in tongues, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, rigidity or limpness, and animal-like movements and sounds" [source].

"Kundalini does not rise only in those who know about it and actively seek to arouse it. A variety of spiritual practices can bring it on, and it has been known to occur in people who have done nothing consciously to awaken it" [source].

"The ascetic practice demanded for awakening kundalini consists in certain physical exercises accompanied by respiratory techniques [Hatha Yoga]. After kundalini awakens, it travels through a spiritual channel (sushumna) of the subtle body, which corresponds physically to the spine, crossing seven important points called chakras ... Once kundalini reaches the last chakra, it returns to its primordial union with the impersonal Ultimate Reality, represented by Shiva" [source].

"The practice of kundalini yoga consists of a number of bodily postures, expressive movements and utterances, characterlogical cultivations, breathing patterns, and degrees of concentration. None of these postures and movements should, according to scholars of Yoga be considered mere stretching exercises or gymnastic exercises" [Quoted in comments section at: source].

"it is true that the yogic asanas (physical positions) can have a dramatic effect upon the body and may even lead to improved health. Likewise, the pranayama (regulation of breathing) may seem to do the same. The ultimate goal of all yoga, however, ... remains the awakening, through the asanas and prananyama, the KUndalini 'divine power', portrayed as a serpent coiled three and a half times when at rest at the base of the spine. Awakened it moves up through the seven chakras along the spine and bursts into the 'thousand-petalled lotus' in the cerebral cortex. At that point, the yogi is flooded with the divine ecstasy of the alleged union of atman (the individual self) with Brahman (the universal self), resulting in the self-realization of 'thou that art'. This could involve tantra, with uncontrollable sexual urges, and other dangers. Thus the ancient texts warn the novice yogi coming into self-realization always to have his guru present for protection from potential disaster. Such is the clear caveat repeated by all of the ancient founders of authentic yoga. tragically, this fact is either not known to, or is deliberately ignored by, most yoga instructors in the west today" [Dave Hunt, Yoga and the Body of Christ, (2006), pp.38-39].

See here for more of the possible dangers of awakening the kundalini.

 

Asanas (Yogic Postures)

"It is usually taught today that Yoga is nothing more than a method of maintaining body fitness, physical vigor and mental health, etc., having nothing in common with religion. This way of defining Yoga has in view primarily the practice of asanas, well known today as an effective way of inducing relaxation. However, ... the purpose of the asanas is to immobilize the body, to bring it under control and to refuse movement in order to help concentration. If the asanas are performed without following the ten moral precepts and not as a step on one's spiritual path toward liberation, they have nothing in common with true Yoga" [source].

"Many asanas are based on postures that honor Hindu deities who manifest themselves in forms such as the sun, the tiger, the tree, the snake, etc.  Asanas were designed to aid in meditation and to strengthen the body for the strenuous mental exercises leading to realization of the true divine self, and eventually to samadhi, union with the divine" [source].

"[A]s Yoga students [practice] the physical positions, they would eventually be ready to investigate the spiritual component which is 'the entire essence of the subject'" [Richard Hittleman, Yoga Journal, May-June 1993, p.68].

"Can one reject the spiritual teachings of yoga but practice the physical movements and positions? ... 'Asanas are a devotional practice ... each asana creates a certain state of mind ... to bring the seeker into closer contact with the Higher Self'" [Swami Sivenanda Radha, Hatha Yoga, quoted in source].

"Through the symbol each posture represents (the locust, the fish, the candle, etc.), it involves a change of personality and is prescribed by the guru according to the spiritual needs of his disciple, so that he may more easily surmount his ignorant condition" [source].

"Practising the postures (Yoga Sutra 2:46) is the first stage of physical asceticism. Its aim is to immobilize the body, to bring it under control and refuse movement, with the only goal of helping concentration. Therefore, the purpose or performing asanas is not (as often believed in the West) to confer harmony and health to the body, provide relaxation, etc., but to be a physical support for concentration" [source].

"[C]ontrol of the vital energy (prana) by way of breathing, like also asana, is not merely a physical exercise, but is accompanied by certain psychomental phenomena. ... all techniques falling under the heading of asana and pranayama as, for example, the mudras and bandhas [physical positions or symbolic bodily gestures utilizing pranayama and concentration for physical or spiritual purposes] of Hathayoga, are psychosomatic exercises. This point, unfortunately, is little understood by Western practitioners" [Feuerstein and Miller, quoted in source].

"Gomukasana (Cow Face Yoga Pose): Its form is representative of the face of the sacred cow ... Traditionally, the cow in Indian culture [is] revered as a holy animal, and represents ... embodiment of the sacred. In the Hindu tradition, the cow, Nandi, is the vehicle upon which Lord Shiva rides, and is also a central figure in the life of Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu who is the sustainer of the universe" [source].


Salute to the Sun:

"The Sun Salutation is a 20th century yogic invention of Bhawanrao Pantpritinidhi, the Rajah of Aundh ... Proponents who use [it] as part of the modern yoga tradition prefer to perform it at sunrise, which the orthodox consider to be the most 'spiritually favourable' time of the day" [Wikipedia, quoted at: source].

"[T]he 'salute to the sun' posture, used at the beginning of most classes, pays homage to the Hindu sun god" [source].

"[T]he Sun Salutation is a form of worshipping the Sun God ... the asanas (poses) in the Sun salutation are to be done in a certain order ... They were created and developed over a 5,000 year period. The positions were not created to stretch the muscles or to create relaxation. The unnatural positions were created to force energy up the spine and ultimately into the brain for spiritual unification with Atman ... with Hindu gods" [source].

"Regarding the abomination of saluting the sun and giving reverence to the creation rather than the Creator (Romans 1:18-25), the prophet Ezekiel addressed this issue in his own day (Ezekiel 8). The priests ... were ... bowing down to the sun in the East. ... This was and still is today an expression of contempt for God and is a direct violation of God's command in Deuteronomy 4:19" [source].

 

Pranayama (Breath Control / Breathing Exercises)

"Just as the asanas are not aimed at enhancing physical fitness, but the immobilization of the body, neither is the purpose of breath control (pranayama) to enhance the respiratory flow, but rather to reduce it" [source].

"Pranayama refers to the knowledge and control of prana, or mystical energy, not merely to the control of one's physical breath. Prana is believed to be universal divine energy residing behind the material world. Prana is said to have five forms, and all energy is though to be a manifestation of it. ... Perfect control of prana makes one God. One can have 'infinite knowledge, infinite power, now'" [source].

Prana is "the infinite, omnipresent manifesting power of this universe" [Swami Nikhilananada, Vivekananda - the Yogas and Other Works].

"The control of this force [Prana] is what is aimed at by the Yogins by means of Pranayama. He who conquers this, is not only the conqueror of his own existence on the physical and mental plane, but the conqueror of the whole world. For the Prana is the very essence of cosmic life, that subtle principle which evolved the whole universe into its present form and which is pushing it towards its ultimate goal. To the Yogi the whole universe is his body. The matter which composes his body is the same that evolved the universe. The force which pulsates through his nerves is not different from the force which vibrates through the universe. The conquest over the body does, therefore, mean to him the conquest over the forces of nature" [Simply Vedic Cultural Society, quoted at source].

"Breath control (Yoga Sutra 2:49-51) means the refusal of breath, following the refusal of movement by performing the asanas. ... [J]just as psycho-mental tension affects the rhythm of breath, likewise the action of stilling the breath can contribute to stilling the 'modification of the mind'. Therefore pranayama is an important instrument in attaining a perfect state of concentration. However, Pranayama has a deeper meaning that just controlling breath. It rather represents the control of prana flow through the human body, which is the energy that controls any possible process or movement ... [and] in which any form of physical and mental activity originates. ... [I]t is believed that psycho-mental activity can be slowed down and even stopped by reducing the respiratory inflow of prana" [source].

"It is the Prana that is manifesting as motion; it is the Prana that is manifesting as gravitation, as magnetism. It is the Prana that is manifesting as the actions of the body, as the nerve currents, as thought force. From thought down to the lowest force, everything is but the manifestation of Prana. The sum total of all forces in the universe, mental or physical, when resolved back to their original state, is called Prana" [Vivekananda, The Complete Works, p.148, quoted in source].

"Yoga's breathing techniques may seem stress-relieving, yet they can be an open door to the psychic realm - inhaling and exhaling certain 'energies' for the purpose of relaxation and cleansing" [source].

"Pranayama involves manipulation of so-called life-force energy, and is part of the ... 'plan of salvation' through yoga.  In Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus, he refers to the enemy of our soul as 'the prince of the power of the air ...' (Ephesians 2:2).  'Air' in this instance does not mean the oxygen we breathe.  Rather, Paul is referring to what some call the 'second heaven' or 'psychic arena'.  The first heaven is the atmosphere we can see (planets, sun, moon and stars).  The third heaven is where God dwells (2 Corinthians 12:2).  hence, the 'second heaven' is that realm in-between, an atmosphere wherein angelic and demonic forces dwell (Daniel 10:10-13).  Dabbling in this arena as if it were a playground is certainly not what we ... are called to do.  It can be quite dangerous manipulating 'life force energy'.  Those who do so are moving into the realm of psychism, magic, and witchcraft - where the 'god of this world', as Paul called him, 'hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them' (2 Corinthians 4:4)" [source].

 

Mantras / Meditation / Mindfulness

"Swami Brahmananda taught us this truth: 'When you sit for meditation, try to feel that you are bathed in the presence of God. You have become pure. Think yourself pure'. When I was a young boy, I remember reading in a book that one should repeat to oneself: 'You are pure. You are pure. You are pure.' Sri Ramakrishna used to say that the wretch who says he is a sinner, a sinner he becomes. Of course, we all make mistakes. But chant the name of the Lord and feel that you have become pure; then do not repeat the mistake" [Swami Prabhavanada, Yoga - True and False].

"By study is meant chanting the name of the Lord, repeating your mantra. That is the highest study" [Swami Prabhavanada, Yoga - True and False].

"The Bhagavad Gita speaks of the correct posture for meditation: 'Motionless, with the body, head, and neck held erect...' Swami Vivekananda has pointed out this steadiness of posture comes to one who meditates on the presence of the all-pervading Existence" [Swami Prabhavanada, Yoga - True and False].

"[F]ix the mind on some divine form outside or inside the body - whichever is simplest. If you begin to think of Him outside, gradually bring Him inside" [Swami Prabhavanada, Yoga - True and False].

"There also exists another dangerously false idea about yoga. Some teachers have recently been speaking about meditation, which, of course, is the very core and central truth of spiritual life. Real meditation is real yoga. But the kind of meditation to which these teachers refer has no real basis, but is, more than anything, pure confusion. They point out meditation to be simple and easy, demanding hardly any sacrifice or self-restraint. Continue to live as you have been living, they tell us, it doesn't really matter. Is it any wonder then they have attracted a large number of followers!" [Swami Prabhavanada, Yoga - True and False].

"Sense withdrawal, concentration, and meditative absorption are the mental exercises of yoga. To develop the desired pure state of consciousness it is necessary to withdraw from the input of one's senses and to develop one's powers of concentration. To achieve this one might practice concentrating on a sound (e.g. one's own chanting of a mantra, such as the name of a Hindu god or the sacred syllable om, which Patanjali says is the voice of God [1:27]), on an image (e.g., the tip of one's nose or a symbolic religious image known as a mandala), or on one's own breathing. The purpose, however, is to so focus on an object that the object itself disappears and a state of pure (i.e., thoughtless) consciousness is attained. Through these mental exercises and techniques, meditative absorption is achieved, where the practitioner begins to lose the distinction between subject and object (i.e., self and not-self), to experience the cosmic consciousness (i.e., the sense that one's own mind is merging into a larger, Universal Mind), and to feel one with the Universe or God" [source].

"Very much a part of yoga is the chanting of 'Om', a breathing sound that instructors often ask their students to use to quiet them down, focus their energies, and help 'get themselves centered'. Yet they are seldom told that 'Om' (pronounced 'Aauum') is believed by the yogis in the East to be the basic sound of the universe underlying all 'Being' and that chanting it is designed to unite one with the 'universal deity' ... that chanting 'Om' is a form of surrender to the basic force pervading the universe" [Dave Hunt, Yoga and the Body of Christ, (2006), p.35].

"'The purpose of chanting is only to soften the palate and to open up the channels to the body', said one instructor, although she didn't indicate how this 'opening up' process was expected to take place, nor why her students would need to 'soften their palates' when, presumably, they were not involved in voice lessons. 'Open the channels to the body' for what? Obviously not for food and drink, so it must mean for something non-physical - something 'spiritual'." [Jacintha Jones, 'Yoga, Religion Work Hand in Hand', Naples (Florida) Daily News, 23:08:2003, quoted in Dave Hunt, Yoga and the Body of Christ, (2006), p.36].

"Christian meditation ... involves an active rather than a passive mental state. Meditation according to the Bible is filled with content, such as the works, Word, and attributes of God (see e.g., Psalm 1:2; 77:12; 119:15,27,148; 145:5). It never creates a mental void, into which spiritual forces that are not of God can rush - as does yoga. The two forms of meditation could not be more different, seeking, as they do, such radically different conceptions of union with such radically different conceptions of God" [source].

 

Difficulties and Dangers of Yoga

Please see here and here for comments, quotations, and articles examining some of the harmful aspects of practising yoga.

 

Christian Yoga

"'Christian yoga' is an oxymoron. Yoga is rooted in Hinduism and cannot be separated from it. ... There's nothing wrong with stretching and calming down one's breathing. But yoga isn't really about that; it's aimed at transforming human consciousness to experience the Hindu god" [quoted at: source].

"When investigating a Christian yoga class, be on the lookout for: (1) Sanskrit Language - Many words commonly used in yoga pay homage to Hindu deities; (2) Metaphysical Jargon - Phrases such as 'breathing in positive energy and breathing out negative energy', 'focusing on the third eye', and 'getting in touch with the divinity within you' have New Age implications; (3) Projection - Beware being told to empty your mind or to step outside your body; (4) Feelings of Discomfort - Pay attention to those feelings. Even if you can't pinpoint why you're uncomfortable, this may be the Holy Spirit's way of letting you know the class isn't for you" [source].

"A Christian trying to adapt these practices will likely disrupt their own Christian beliefs" [Sannyasin Arumugaswami, Managing Editor of Hinduism Today, quoted at: source].

"Is Yoga a religion that denies Jesus Christ? Yes. Just as Christianity denies the Hindu Maha Devas such as Siva, Vishnu, Durga and Krishna, to name a few, Hinduism and its many Yogas have nothing to do with God and Jesus (though we do respect that others believe in this way). As Hindus who live the Yogic lifestyle, we appreciate when others understand that all of Yoga is all about the Hindu religion. Modern so-called 'yoga' is dishonest to Hindus and to all non-Hindus such as the Christians" [Danda, Yoga instructor at the Classical Yoga Hindu Academy, quoted at: source].  

 

What About?...


Pilates:

"Our research has shown a significant link between Pilates and yoga.  In fact, according to the Pilates Method Alliance, the founder, Joseph Pilates, based his exercise program on 'over 20 years of self-study and apprenticeship in yoga, Zen and ancient Greek and Roman physical regimens.'  Because of this Yoga/Hindu connection to Pilates, we cannot recommend this particular exercise program to Christians" [quoted at: source].


Tai Chi:

"Whenever you see the words prana (Hinduism), chi (Chinese, Tai Chi), ki (Japanese, martial arts), or mana (Hawaiian Huna religion), they are all referring to the same thing.  Like yoga, Tai Chi and traditional martial arts involve similar manipulation of life force energy, thus opening the door to deceptive spiritual influences. One sees falsehood even in the symbolism of Tai Chi and yin-yang. In its simplest sense, yin-yang illustrates the belief that 'there's a little good in evil and a little evil in good.'  This is false and leads to confusion, but 'God is not the author of confusion' (1 Corinthians 14:33) and 'Every good gift and every perfect gift ... cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning' (James 1:17)" [source].


Transcendental Meditation:

"A few years ago a chiropractor recommended that I attend TM classes for relaxation. At the first class the teacher said each student would be required to bring fruit and flowers and lay them in front of a large photo of the Maharishi each week. ... at which point I politely told him I was interested in learning relaxation techniques, but I could not in good conscience offer fruit and flowers before the photo of the Maharishi. The teacher grew visibly angry and his eyes widened as he stared hard at me. I knew right then another spirit was involved in this and I left, never to return" [comment at: source].

 

The Bigger Picture


New Age Spirituality

"The term 'New Age' is an informal term derived from astrology, which indicates that this earth, is not the cosmos, is on the verge of an evolutionary transition from the Piscean Age of rationality to the Aquarian Age of spirituality, bliss, and harmony of all things" [source].

"Despite its popularity, the New Age concept is impossible to fit into a tidy package simply because it is an umbrella term used to group wide and varied practices under one simple heading. It is a fusion of differing systems of beliefs with no central organization, no common set of beliefs, and no absolute authority. Because New Agers combine elements that appeal to them from a variety of sources, the path each one follows is both subjective and highly individualistic. Different New Age groups will give prominence to different aspects of belief" [source].

"This secular, multi-culti, multi-religious fusion usually rejects traditional religious doctrine and dogman, but draws inspiration from Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, plus other ancient religious traditions such as native American spirituality. ... The vast majority of New Age beliefs and practices are modern (i.e. Western) re-interpretations of ancient teachings and practices" [source].


Ecological Spirituality: Gaia and Mother Earth

"Because everything is part of God, New Agers usually show a great respect for the environment and are usually interested in ecological issues of all kinds. In fact, some believe that the Earth is a living organism called Gaia... a goddess with maternal (thus feminine) attributes. In Greek mythology, Gaia was the primal Greek Mother Goddess; creator and giver of birth to the Earth and all the Universe" [source].

"The Gaia hypothesis was eagerly accepted by the emerging new age movement in the 1970s as it combines neatly with eastern mysticism and neopagan theology, but 'science' was needed to convince biologists. For these people, Gaia was made palatable by Lovelock's Daisyworld model, a mathematical and scientific theory designed to refute the criticisms of Darwinism. Just as  evolution eliminates the need for a divine creator, the Daisyworld model provided a theory of evolving life on earth that incorporates natural selection with a sentient lifeforce. It eliminates a personal yet separate God, and makes humans a part of the divine spirit that is Gaia" [source].

"The fate of mankind, as well as of religion, depends upon the emergence of a new faith in the future. Armed with such a faith, we might find it possible to resanctify the earth" [Al Gore, Earth in the Balance, quoted at: source].

"The earth is literally our mother, not only because we depend on her for nurture and shelter but even more because the human species has been shaped by her in the womb of evolution... Our salvation depends upon our ability to create a religion of nature" [Rene Dubos, board member, Planetary Citizens, quoted at: source].

"Nature is my god. To me, nature is sacred; trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals" [Mikhail Gorbachev, Green Cross International, quoted at: source].

"[T]he basic premise behind many of these green transformation groups is that 'modern humans' [have] rebelled and become separated from Nature, and we must return and once again become part of the 'great commonwealth of Gaia' (to use [James] Lovelock's words). To many promoting the green agenda this is their religion. It is not about science or environmental protection - it is about implementing their form of New Age religion" [source].

"Little by little a planetary prayer book is thus being composed by an increasingly united humanity seeking its oneness. Once again, but this time on a universal scale, humankind is seeking no less than its reunion with 'divine', its transcendence into higher forms of life. Hindus call our earth Brahma, or God, for they ... see no difference between our earth and the divine. This ancient simple truth is slowly dawning again upon humanity, as we are about to enter our cosmic age and become what we were always meant to be: the planet of god" [Robert Muller, former UN Assistant Secretary General and Chancellor of the UN University for Peace, quoted at source].

"The feminist movement has also warmly embraced the concept of a Gaia Goddess. For many of these proponents, an integral part of Goddess worship is its prevalent theme of anti-masculine, anti-male statements. In this philosophical world-view, since Goddess worship is good, then by necessity, any use of masculine terminology in reference to God or any prominence of men in culture or society is generally discouraged" [source].

"The Earth Charter stresses that man is his own saviour. By saving 'Mother Earth' we will once again return to an idyllic Garden of Eden and redeem our tarnished souls. But instead of worshipping the true Creator, the Global Green Agenda seeks to plunge us headlong into an earth-worship new world religion. They are only waiting for 'the right crisis' after which they surmise that humanity will gladly sell their souls for the kind of world that the Earth Charter promises" [source].

"Gaians claim that 'we are part of Nature and Nature is part of us, therefore God is part of us, and God is everywhere, and everything is God'. In reality Gaia is actually a revival of the 'Earth-goddess' found in many ancient pagan religions. The current Gaia Cult is a cunning mixture of science, paganism, eastern mysticism, wicca and feminism. While researching this subject I have been astounded by how many prominent environmental leaders, politicians, scientists, and religious leaders profess a literal belief in Gaia. Gaians appear to have infiltrated every level of power at the United Nations and risen to prominent positions in many Governments. I strongly believe that they are the most dangerous and devious cult on the face of the planet" [source].

"Gaia worship is at the very heart of the Global Green Agenda. Sustainable Development, Agenda 21, the Earth Charter, and the Global Warming theory are all part of the Gaians' mission to save 'Mother Earth' from her human infestation. Gaians have succeeded in uniting the environmental movement, the new age movement, Eastern religions, the United Nations and even the leaders of many Christian denominations behind this vile new form of paganism" [source].

For more on Ecology and Environmentalism see here and here.

For more on the replacement of Patriarchy (Father God) with Matriarchy (Mother Earth/Gaia) see the sections on Feminism here and here.

 

Hindu Missionaries

Please see here for comments, quotations, and articles on this topic.

 

Salvation

"A consideration of the [eight] limbs quickly reveals that yoga is a demanding autosoteric (salvation based on self-effort) system" [source].

"Who needs a Savior God if we ourselves are 'saturated with the divine' rather than saturated with sin? A radically different diagnosis of the human problem (ignorance rather than sin) results in a radically different solution (embracing ourselves rather than embracing a transcendent God and His gift of salvation)" [source].

"In contrast to the relaxation exercises of yoga, which are specifically designed to empty the mind, the desire of the true God, Creator of the universe, is to bring us into a willing, understanding, and conscious relationship with Himself - a relationship based not upon mystical states of mind but upon truth and love. Speaking through His prophet Jeremiah, God declared: 'But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgement, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight' (Jeremiah 9:24). Notice that 'understanding' is placed first and is the foundation of 'knowing'" [Dave Hunt, Yoga and the Body of Christ, p.36].

"Could it be that liberation is through a person and not a system? Jesus also had something to say about yoking, but it is not a union with an impersonal force, but a resting in Christ through trust in Him as the Son of God (Matthew 11:28-30). We can lay our burdens on Christ because of what He has done on the cross, instead of endlessly labouring on yoga path that leads only to more bondage" [source].

 

 

 

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
(Matthew 11:28-30)

 

 

 

Please note that the inclusion of any quotation or item on this page does not imply we would necessarily endorse the source from which the extract is taken; neither can we necessarily vouch for any other materials by the same authors, or any groups or ministries or websites with which they may associated, or any periodicals to which they may contribute, or the beliefs of whatever kind they may hold, or any other aspect of their work or ministry or position.

Elizabeth McDonald     http://www.bayith.org     bayith@blueyonder.co.uk