Download Session 4 – Yoga and TM

yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the workof artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Document related concepts

Hindu views on evolution wikipedia , lookup

Neo-Vedanta wikipedia , lookup

Rajan Zed prayer protest wikipedia , lookup

Bhagavata Purana wikipedia , lookup

Hindu deities wikipedia , lookup

Buddhism and Hinduism wikipedia , lookup

Om wikipedia , lookup

Paramahansa Yogananda wikipedia , lookup

Yoga wikipedia , lookup

Baba Hari Dass wikipedia , lookup

Hindu philosophy wikipedia , lookup

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali wikipedia , lookup

Yoga Yajnavalkya wikipedia , lookup

Yoga (philosophy) wikipedia , lookup

Session 4 – Yoga and TM
In this session we will discuss the practices
of Yoga and Transcendental Meditation
This methods and practices will be popular
in many Eastern Religions, the most notable
being Hinduism
We will look at the origins, purpose, and
problems with these methods
Statistics on Yoga
Current estimates show us that around 15
million people in the United States
actively practice Yoga
The majority of the participants are women
(around 72%)
The participants range in age quite a bit, but
most (80%) fall between the ages of 18-54
In the U.S. we spend around 27 billion
dollars per/year on Yoga products
When compared to other similar methods,
Yoga is the most popular
Not only is it popular, but it’s increasing in
the number of participants by about
20% each years
And the church isn’t exempt from these
statistics on Yoga
Yoga has become very popular inside the
American Church, many think it’s harmless
and just a good way to stretch/work out
(and many pastors have no problem)
The origins of Yoga
The word “yoga” is a Sanskrit term that
has many meanings. The word itself is
derived from the Sanskrit root yuj –
"to yoke or harness."
In India, one would bring an ox under
control by harnessing it to a wagon. This is
a metaphor used to describe the
process of yoga.
The exact history of Yoga can be confusing
and is debated among scholars
Also understand that Yoga originally is not
the same thing as we know it today
(although it did originate a long time ago)
Yoga originated in India, with the ancient
Hindus. The word yoga was first mentioned
in their oldest text, the Rig Veda. The Vedas
are a collection of mantras, rituals, etc. that
were used by the Brahmans
Eventually the Upanishads are written, the
Upanishads took the idea of ritual sacrifice
from the Vedas and internalized it
The most well known of the Yogic scriptures
is the Bhagavad-Gîtâ, composed
around 500 B.C.
For a while, yoga was a mishmash of various
ideas, beliefs, and techniques and didn’t
always agree with each other
Then comes the individual names Patanjali,
who wrote his Yoga-Sutras, which is the first
systematic presentation of yoga
Traditional Ashtanga Yoga is
the name given to a set of
practices put together by
Patañjali between 200 BCE
to 250 B.C. Ashtanga Yoga
is translated from the
Sanskrit language as:
Eight Limbs of Yoga.
“Simply put, Ashtanga Yoga
Philosophy describes a spiritual discipline or
path that promotes harmony within the
individual self, and creates connection with a
greater universal Self, God, or Ultimate
Reality.” - Ashtanga Yoga Victoria
Over time Yoga develops more into what we
know it as today, which consists of two
different parts (Raja yoga, and Hatha yoga)
In the late 1800s and early 1900s yoga
masters began to travel to the Western
World, and built up quite the following
Yoga in the West continued
to grow slowly, until Indra
Devi opened her yoga
studio in Hollywood in the
year of 1947, at that point
yoga started to grow in
popularity much quicker
Yoga is a philosophical school in Hinduism
(one of the six astika schools, which are
those who accept the Vedas as
source of knowledge)
As a school of philosophy, Yoga is a way of
life for many Hindus. It incorporates its
own epistemology, metaphysics, ethical
practices, etc.
Just understand yoga is a complex
matter historically
“Yoga is a method of spiritual training
whose purpose is to integrate or unite the
self. A physical exercise, its goal is
nonphysical-uniting with God. Yoga teaches
that people should attempt to yoke the
individual spirit to God, to atman-the
individual soul or essence of a person-and
to Brahman.” Kenneth Shouler, Ph.D. and Susai
Anthony, The Everything Hinduism Book
Understand that Yoga is the Hindus way to
achieve their version of salvation
Yoga (as we think of it) is an eight step
process called Ashtanga Yoga (Astanga
means “Eight step in Sanskrit”) By doing the
eight steps, a person can “stop the world
and get off” This is described in the Sanskrit
phrase “Cittevritta-Mrodha” (The stoppage
of the mental and physical)
The first steps of Yoga are called Hatha Yoga
(which are physical disciplines to prepare
yourself for transcendence to the
state of Enlightenment
Many people stop here (especially
Christians) and think that they are fine, and
look at yoga as just stretching
Is that the case though? Is it really just
stretching without any religion or spiritual
aspects to it?
First off, keep in mind whatever you think
yoga is (just exercise) doesn’t change
historically (and still today) what it really is
Yoga is a Hindu practice used to empty ones
mind and unite ones self with God (the
impersonal universe)
The idea that the stretches and physical
aspects of yoga are void of any religious
content is completely wrong
The different poses in yoga (Asanas) are
meant to give offering to certain Hindus
gods (lower “G”) within their massive
pantheon of some 330 million gods
Although some have been added since by
different Yogis or Gurus, the positions taken
were first recorded in the Sutras, long ago,
purely for religious purposes
The web site advertises the
book, “The Heart of the Yogi that lays out
philosophical and spiritual context of hatha
yoga from the Vedas to the Tantra.” It is
described as a “personally relevant
exploration of the whole of the
philosophical tradition as a quest to
connect with the Divine in and through
our life and practice.”
Positions are not without meaning!
What does the Bible say?
Romans 12:1-2: “I beseech you therefore,
brethren, by the mercies of God, that you
present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,
acceptable to God, which is your
reasonable service.”
For Christians the question becomes “why
even go there?” why get involved with
something created to please other gods and
unite yourself with the impersonal Brahman
If they were to find
incredible health
benefits from the
Nazi salute, it’s still
something most of
us would avoid,
There are other
because of it’s
methods of stretching
origins, meaning,
and association with
something we don’t
agree with or believe religion and teaching
“But using it [yoga] for physical practice is no
good, of no use - just a lot of sweating,
pushing, and heavy breathing for nothing.
The spiritual aspect, which is beyond the
physical is the purpose of yoga. When the
nervous system is purified, when your mind
rests in the atman [the Self], then you can
experience the true greatness of yoga.” - Jois
According to their Guru’s, the purpose of
Yoga goes far beyond the physical
You then come to the last steps, Raja Yoga
(although Raja can also refer to the
complete set including physical disciplines)
First step of Raja Yoga is called dharama
(Concentration, introspective focus)
The mind is fixed on a mantra, or one's
breath/navel/tip of tongue/any place, or an
object one wants to observe, or a
concept/idea in one's mind.
Fixing the mind means one-pointed focus,
without drifting of mind, and without
jumping from one topic to another.
Step two, dhyana (Meditation) this is
continual and unbroken thought directed
towards what you’re concentrating on
If the concentration was on one object,
Dhyana is non-judgmental, nonpresumptuous observation of that object.
If the focus was on a concept/idea, Dhyana is
contemplating that concept/idea in all its
aspects, forms and consequences.
One example given is of a yogin in a state
of Concentration on the morning sun may
be aware of its brilliance, color and orbit;
the yogin in dhyana state contemplates on
the sun's orbit alone, without being
interrupted by its color, brilliance or
other related ideas
Third step, Samadhi (absorption) this is
when you achieve unity with the universe
without the sense of individual existence
Samadhi literally means
"putting together,
joining, combining with,
union, harmonious
whole, trance"
You loose your identity
like a drop in the ocean
Gopi Krishna in his article, “The True Aim of
Yoga,” he says: “The aim of yoga, then, is to
achieve the state of unity or oneness with
God, Brahman, [and] spiritual beings....”
The Bible never tells us the clear or empty
our minds and open ourselves up to the
universe like Hinduism teaches
The Bible tells us that we are to meditate
only on God and His Word (The Bible)
Psalm 1:1-3: “How blessed is the man who
does not walk in the counsel of the
wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his
delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His
law he meditates day and night. He will
be like a tree firmly planted by streams of
water. Which yields its fruit in its season
and its leaf does not wither; and in
whatever he does, he prospers.”
Psalm 63:6: “When I remember You on my
bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.”
Psalm 119:15: “I will meditate on Your
precepts and regard Your ways.”
Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatever
is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is
right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is of good repute, if there is any
excellence and if anything worthy of praise,
dwell on these things.”
Clearing our minds and opening ourselves
up can be a very dangerous thing
Ephesians 6:12: “For we do not wrestle
against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the
rulers of the darkness of this age, against
spiritual hosts of wickedness in the
heavenly places.”
People use yoga to open themselves up to
the “spirit world” in the New Age group
No amount of chanting, breathing,
visualizing, or physical contortions will take
away the sin that separates us from the God
of the universe, no matter how "peaceful"
these practices may feel.
Paul warns that "Satan himself
masquerades as an angel of light" (2 Cor.
11:14). "Pleasant" experiences may be
portals to peril. Yoga teachers even say it
can open you up to the spiritual world
Transcendental Meditation is a veiled form
of Hindu yoga, though it claims to be a
religiously neutral method of relaxation
and rejuvenation.
The Transcendental Meditation (TM)
movement routinely claims scientific
validation for the benefits of its
meditation program.
Let’s just say their definition of science is
quite different than most
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, leader of the
Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement,
contends that Harvard Medical School,
Princeton University, University of Chicago,
University of California at Berkeley, and
other prominent universities have verified
TM’s benefits and that their studies
published in Science, Lancet, Scientific
American, and other prestigious journals
prove Maharishi’s claims concerning TM.
He states “These studies have utilized the
most advanced and rigorous research
designs in statistical methodologies.” The
“Maharishi Effect,” “Extended Maharishi
Effect,” and “Global Maharishi Effect,” he
claims, “have been more extensively
documented and thoroughly established
than any other phenomenon in the field of
scientific research.”
From the way they make it sound, TM will
probably be the reason for world peace
Michael A. Persinger, coordinator of the
behavioral neuroscience program at
Laurentian University, noted, “Frankly, the
reported effects of TM upon human
behavior are trivial. Considering the alleged
potency of the TM procedure, the changes
in physiological and behavioral measures
are conspicuously minute.”
Several independent investigators confirm
numerous problems with the results
Such study problems include “allegations of
suppression of negative evidence, of fraud
and of ‘gross scientific incompetence,’ lack of
double-blind controls, refusal to submit raw
data, failure to control for set effects, failure
to control for expectancy of relief, failure to
control for placebo/suggestible-prone
subjects, and others.”
Many people have come out from the TM
movement and exposed the problems
TM-EX, which is a group of former TM
practitioners has said that: “Maharishi
affiliated researchers consistently use
selection bias in collecting their research
data…selecting only data that is favorable
to the movement claims.”
The former dean of faculty and chairman of
the physics department at Maharishi
University of Management said there were
tons of problems with their studies
Nobel Prize winner Melvin Calvin of the
University of California (Berkeley) concludes:
“Maharishi’s principle business is collecting
money from new acolytes. He doesn’t know
anything about science; but does know that
cloaking his dogma in scientific jargon is the
only way to gain legitimacy.”
We will stop there discussing the “scientific”
evidence for TM, for more information (Christian Research Journal) has a
detailed article discussing it
TM promoters claim the practice is
“perfectly safe,” but this is not the case:
“Warnings have been issued about the
dangers of TM by the German government,
the Vatican, the Cult Awareness Network,
the Task Force on Missionaries and Cults, the
Interfaith Coalition of Concern about Cults
and various professional organizations.
TM is focused on mantras and meditation
(much like yoga)
The dangers of TM are very similar to the
dangers of yoga, although they also include
problems with the organization etc.
The rituals are taken from Hindu teachings,
and are dedicated to the Hindu gods
What Maharishi knows and what TM
teachers don’t tell the initiate is that their
worship of Maharishi’s dead master Guru
Dev in the initiation ceremony is literally
devotion to Shiva and other Hindu gods.
It is disturbing the number of Christians who
have decided to get involved with yoga and
TM, and the number of churches that openly
support and promote yoga
The message of both practices is clear, you
can achieve “salvation” on your own, you
can achieve inner peace and become one
with god through works, which is completely
opposed to what the Bible say
Memory Verse
Romans 12:1-2: “I beseech you therefore,
brethren, by the mercies of God, that you
present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,
acceptable to God, which is your
reasonable service.”