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Yoga

Yoga

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Published by Francis Lobo

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Published by: Francis Lobo on Jun 10, 2011
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06/19/2013

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NEW WEBSITE:www.ephesians-511.netMARCH 2007. UPDATEDDECEMBER 2009
 Y O G A
PAGE NOS.CONTENTS
02 - 07 INTRODUCTION02 THE ORIGIN OF YOGA02 PATANJALI’S YOGA / ASHTANGA YOGA03 ASANAS03 PRANAYAMA03 YOGA IS: BECOMING ONE WITH BRAHMAN03 YOGA IS: SALVATION BY WORKS04 HATHA YOGA04 OTHER ASPECTS OF YOGA04 YOGA IS: MEDITATION05 THE LIE OF THE SERPENT05 ‘CHRISTIAN YOGA’?06 THE TRUTH ABOUT YOGA06 YOGA IS: ‘NEW AGE’07 THE VATICAN DOCUMENT ON THE ‘NEW AGE’07 YOGA IS: A HINDU RELIGIOUS PRACTICE08 - 31ICATHOLIC PRIESTS PROPAGATE YOGA / YOGA APPROVED BY BISHOPS32 - 39IIHINDUS DON’T THINK IT’S FUNNY. HINDUS APPLAUD VATICANDOCUMENTS39 - 47IIIITS HINDU!!!!! HINDUS PROTEST. DEFENSE OF YOGA BY HINDUS47 - 61IVTHE DEBATE ON ‘CHRISTIAN YOGA’62 - 75VCATHOLIC LAITY AND MINISTRIES CONDEMN THE HINDU PRACTICEOF YOGA75 - 79VICATHOLIC PRIESTS CONDEMN THE HINDU RELIGIOUS PRACTICE OF YOGA79 - 85
 
VII
 
CATHOLIC
 
BISHOPS CONDEMN THE HINDU RELIGIOUS PRACTICE OF YOGA86 - 105
 
VIIIOTHER CHRISTIANS CONDEMN THE HINDU RELIGIOUS PRACTICE OF YOGA106 FOUR LETTERS RECEIVED BY THIS MINISTRY 107 ff ADDITIONAL INFORMATION110IXRATIONALISTS’ VIEW OF YOGA. YOGA IS: SUPERSTITION
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON YOGA, PLEASE READ:SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR AND THE ‘ART OF LIVING’SEPTEMBER/DECEMBER 2006
 YOGA_A SUMMARY . JANUARY 2007.
SURYA NAMASKAR, GAYATRI MANTRA, PRANAYAMA, YOGA MEDITATION_TO BE MADECOMPULSORY IN INDIAN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS. MARCH/APRIL 2007.
 YOGA IN THE DIOCESE OF MANGALORE.APRIL 2007. UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2007. 
 
SURYA NAMASKAR, PRANAYAMA, YOGA ASANAS AND YOGIC MEDITATION AT ST. PETER’SCOLLEGE, AGRA_ AN ENTIRE CATHOLIC SCHOOL GOES THE YOGA WAY. APRIL 2008.
 YOGA_WHAT DOES THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SAY ABOUT IT?
 
APRIL 4 & 5, 2009.
 YOGAPRIESTS LEAVE THE CHURCH 
Pune-ites inform me about one
Fr. Anthony Lobo
who was teaching yoga in
Poona
diocese; he left theChurch in 2004:
Fr Anthony Lobo is a very senior priest (contemporary of Bishop Valerian D'Souza), who was a proponent of  Yoga. He has been to Germany and other places across the globe and I understand that he is… someonehigh in Yoga. He has left the Priesthood about a year or so ago, got married and has gone abroadsomewhere. He must be around 72 or 73 years old.
 Yoga is Hindu. Hinduism is “soaked into the marrow” of yoga’s bones saysBelgian priest Fr. J.M. DeChanet
, author of books on yoga who also left the Church after priests promoted his work openly in
Bombay
archdiocese.
 Yet our seminarians are compelled to do yoga in their formation, our priestswrite books on yoga and practise yoga, our Bishops approve and encouragethese priests and support yoga programmes in their dioceses. Yoga is rampantin the Church. So, what is this YOGA?THE ORIGIN OF YOGA
 The origin of yoga is found in the ascetic practices of a religious group called the
Vratyas
in the
 Atharva Veda
[ch. XV].
They are the first mentioned to practice the control of breathing and some sexual rituals withthe goal of attaining ecstatic trance states
.
The term ‘yoga’ has its root in the Sanskrit word
yuj 
which means ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’.
In its present meaning it was first used [500 BC] in the
Katha
 
Upanishads
[KU] where Yama, the god of death,explains to a disciple how to attain the perfect knowledge of Brahman and thus merge with it throughrestraining the senses and concentration. Yoga is here defined as the method through which the mind canbridle the wicked senses in order that the self may get off the body and be ‘united’ with Brahman, theUltimate Reality. In the period of the late Upanishads [
Yogatattva
and some 17 others] composed later than500 BC, it was considered that spiritual liberation could not be obtained exclusively by the means of contemplation but had to include certain ascetic techniques. The
Shvetashvatara Upanishad
[SU, 2, 8-15] had already laid down guidelines for body postures, breathingcontrol and focusing the mind exercises for being able to perceive Brahman.In grounding the new yoga school,
Patanjali
, the foremost exponent of yoga, used the technical elements of these Upanishads as a tool for achieving the goal of the liberation of 
 purusha
(spirit) from the bondage of 
 prakriti
(matter). There are two major meanings for yoga in Hindu spirituality. The first designates the specific discipline organized by Patanjali. The second has a broader sense, implying any effort undertaken in order to attain liberation [see below],independent of its meaning. Therefore
any spiritual discipline aimed at liberating the self can becalled yoga
.As a result, the term is used with various meanings [see below] having more or less in common with the
darshana
(philosophical school) of Patanjali who outlined eight distinct steps, for which the method is alsocalled
 Ashtanga yoga
(the yoga of the eight limbs), which if adhered to, would lead one to experience thisunion.
THE YOGAOF PATANJALI:
 ASHTANGA YOGA
 The
 yoga
of Patanjali is described in his treatise called
 YOGA SUTRA
 
[YS].Its purpose is clearly stated from its very beginning [1, 2]:
citta vritti nirodhah,
the inhibition
 of themodifications 
of the mind
”. The normal states of consciousness are the product of 
avidya
(ignorance) whichgenerates the sense of 
asmita
(duality or separatedness) and
abnivesha
(the will to live). The continuous flux of thoughts and mental images induced by such a mindset is termed “the modificationsof the mind”. They perpetuate ignorance and the captivity of 
 purusha
in the world of 
 prakriti
’s manifestations. In order thatliberation may be attained, this consciousness must be extinguished and replaced by a different state of consciousness in which the experience of senses and mind produced by
 prakriti
is replaced by extra-sensoryand extra-rational experience. Therefore the control of the mental states as required in yoga has a dual focus:
 
Both, the external illusion [the false identification of 
 purusha
with the psycho-mental fluctuations] and theinternal source of illusion have to be conquered and destroyed. The yoga technique shows the practical wayin which the entire human potential, both physical and psycho-mental is brought under control [‘yoked’] inorder to attain the liberation of 
 purusha
. 
The ultimate goal of yoga, therefore, is a SPIRITUAL one
.
THE EIGHT STAGES OF YOGA
 The
first two stages
of Patanjali’s yoga, 
 YAMA 
(social discipline/ external control) and 
NIYAMA
 (individual/internal) consist of five restraints and five observances, the don’ts and dos of right living, together known asthe ‘Ten Commandments of the yogi’.
Yama
[YS 2, 30] recommends the observance of 
ahimsa
(non-violence),
satya
(non-lies),
asteya
(non-stealing),
brahmacharya
(non-indulgence in sexual activity) and
aparigriha
(non-attachment).
Niyama
isabout maintaining
shaucha
(purity in body and mind), seeking
santosha
(serenity),
tapas
(austerity),
svadhyaya
(scriptural study) and
Ishvara pranidhana
(imitation of Ishvara). [This is not devotion to god,because Ishvara is nothing more than an impersonal macro-
 purusha
[YS 1, 24] and there cannot exist anypersonal relationship between Ishvara and man.
ASANAS
Stage three
,
 
ASANA 
(right posture) instructs how the body should be prepared for meditation [YS 2, 46].It is the first stage of physical ascetism. Its aim is to immobilize the body with the only goal of helpingconcentration.
Their purpose is NOT, as is commonly believed, to confer health, fitness and relaxation to thebody but to be a physical support for meditation.
Each
asana
has a fundamental purpose.
Padmasana
(the lotus posture) for instance, ensures that the spiritual cord, the
sushumna
, is in a verticalposition to facilitate the upward movement of the subtle female
kundalini
energies [
shakti
] awakened in the
muladhara
 
chakra
at the base of the spine, through five other psychic energy centres to unite with the malepower centre [
shiva
] located in the forehead
chakra,
climaxing in the
sahasrara
or crown chakra at the top of one’s head in a cosmic orgasm.Each
chakra
[lit. wheel] or spinning energy centre corresponds to a Hindu guardian deity and is associatedwith its mantra and governing cosmogonical element as elaborated here [Chakra/ Guardian deity/ Mantra/Cosmogonical element]:
muladhara
/ Brahma/
lam
/ Earth;
svadishtana
/ Vishnu/
vam
/ Water;
manipura
/ Maharudra/
ram
/ Fire;
anahata
/Ishvara/
 yam
/ Air;
vishuddha
/ Sadashiva/
ham
/ Ether;
ajna
/ Shiva/
om
or
aum
;
sahasrara
or crown
chakra
.Once
kundalini
reaches the last
chakra
, it returns to its primordial union with the impersonal Ultimate Reality.
PRANAYAMA
The fourth stage
 
PRANAYAMA*
 [YS 2, 49-51] means the ‘refusal of breath’ following the ‘refusal of movement’ by performing the
asanas
. Breathing is an involuntary action and pranayama seeks to control itas a voluntary action.Ancient Hindu seers believed that just as psycho-mental tension affects the rhythm of breath, the stilling of breath can contribute to stilling the “modifications of the mind” and that by controlling the activity of breathing, they would also
control the flow of 
 prana
[universal force or subtle energy] thatsupposedly gives life to the human body
.As psycho-mental activity is itself generated by
 prana
, and breathing is the main channel for the influx of 
 prana
into the body, it has to be strictly controlled in order to attain control over the mind.
Prana
(crystallisation),
Vyana
(circulation),
Samana
(assimilation),
Udana
(metabolism) and
 Apana
(elimination) are the five aspects of the
universal prana
, by controlling which the yogis seek to operate froma higher level of consciousness.‘Senses control’ follows ‘breathing control’.
*
Plenty on Pranayama in my report on
“SURYA NAMASKARAND YOGA…”Stage five
is
 
PRATYAHARA
,‘withdrawal of the senses’ from external objects and thoughts and becomingcompletely engrossed within [YS 2, 54-55]. At this stage the senses do not disturb the mind anymore, so itbecomes shut down from all outside impressions.Once this is achieved,
the sixth stage
, 
DHARANA
 or concentration of the mind [YS 3, 1] on one singlepurpose becomes feasible. It is a slowing down of mental activity by focusing it on a particular object of meditation.
YOGA IS: BECOMING ONE WITH BRAHMAN
Sustained
dharana
, unbound by time and space becomes 
DHYANA
,contemplation or meditation, which is an“uninterrupted flow of the mind towards the object of meditation” [YS 3, 2]. This leads to
the final stage
of yoga which is
SAMADHI
,
enstasis, absorption
 
or Self-realisation, therealisation that the self is the Self; the sense of identity of the self is lost, and the yogi has attained a unitive

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