5
Jun

Real Yoga

   Posted by: Caleb Motupalli   in Christian Life, Family

The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’, which means: the act of being yoked, harnessed, joined, attached to God and come under His rule.

Jesus to Father God: I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.

All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matthew11:25-30.

You can be yoked by anyone or anything. There are hard yokes (some of them of total control), then there is a Easy Yoke of Freewill (Matt11:29). The former ones are a shadow of what is to come. The later is the real. Which yoke are you carrying today?

Read and understand that with the former yoke, you get possessed by and lose control of yourself, sometimes even unawares, but with the later yoke you “take” it upon yourself and you do God’s bidding voluntarily.

Bro. Peter Daniel brought an important verse to light and wrote:

‘Yoga is to empty the mind and do the exercise. Please refer to Matt 12:43-45–“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”‘

When you empty your mind through the practice of conventional yoga, even evil spirits can yoke you and control you, unawares. But it is Christ alone whose yoke you take upon yourself, voluntarily. That is why i believe in Arminianism (which is about freewill), and NOT in Calvinism, which reduces us to puppets.

Prayer is not only the right posture before God but primarily the right attitude before Him. That is why in Christian culture (for there is such a thing) it is right to kneel before God than to merely sit down. The former speaks of humility before God, and the later, of pride. You know them by their fruit.

If someone obtained something through the back door, then that something is of no value (like black money). It is but rubbish and will soon be discarded, just as the children of Israel discarded even gold & silver as well as man, woman and beast belonging to the Canaanites.

When we embrace the things of the devil/enemies, we become weak before them and are defeated (Joshua 6 & 7).

The only way you can redeem something is when you throw it in the dustbin. It has to die first in order to be raised! But redeeming Yoga itself is like whitewashing tombs with dead men’s bones.

You cannot redeem something that cannot be redeemed. “Yoga is dead,” as Bro. Sujay Thomas alluded, “Jesus has already given and continues to give through simple prayer what Yoga promises to the proud, but can never deliver.” The desire itself of getting yoked under God is good and can be redeemed. It is far better than those who do not want to have, One Nation Under God.

Someone may suggest Ps46:10–“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth”–and use that to support their argument for redeeming yoga.

I can see how “cease striving” of Ps 46:10 is related to Yoga. In prayer, being yoked by Christ, we do cease from striving (trying to attain moksha by self righteousness) by depending on the Holy Spirit who counsels us to do or not to do something (imparted righteousness after imputed righteousness of faith in the work of Christ).

But the lure for Christians to “accept” and “redeem the practice of yoga” can be a die-hard one indeed. The easy route is the truth of the revealed will of God, which is found in the scriptures–the Bible. While we should not outright broad-brush everything like many preachers do, to their own loss, we need to understand the culture we live in and should show yogis the superiority of Jesus, the Good News and everything the easy yoke is about. But let’s not place the heavy yoke of the law of Hindus or Buddhists or Mormons when man has tested these yokes and found them wanting, not just for ease but also for being merely home-made faiths. Jesus came to lift, not just the yoke of the Law of Moses, but every other yoke out there. He gave us the easy one to carry, so that we can let go of all other hard ones. The First Christian Council of Jerusalem, did likewise (Acts15:1-29).

To practice Yoga, in general, is to take upon oneself the yoke of God by means of many asanas/postures. It is the right desire, but the wrong means. You cannot attain to God. To even think we can, is a sin of arrogance. It is He who comes down to us, dead and blind as we are. Simple child-like Prayer of faith/trust/belief, is the right means. And the Yogasana, if you will, is kneeling down. Burdens are truly lifted away in prayer, when we pray, as prescribed by the great physician through His own example (Luke22:41).

Bro. John George correctly pointed out: “So, yoga is not about mental gymnastics. It has a clear purpose of union with the divine. What Yoga promises to deliver is that through the practice of Yoga, the practitioner will be united with God. If that be true, I wonder if Christ died in vain.”

If we want to redeem yogis, we need to affirm this Truth:

Moksha is theoretically possible but practically impossible through Samsara but after Jesus came, He gives it to us on a platter without having to go through the cycle.

Now Hindus believe in Pantheism, that everything is God. So the yoga philosophy may seem as making no distinction between man and God. Pantheism actually affirms the omnipresence of the Holy Spirit. It is wrong only in degree. For the Holy Spirit does not come and reside in the gutters of sinful hearts. Satan is a deceiver who gives half truths and deceives gullible people. He takes what is holy and corrupts it with lies. We are actually playing into Satan’s ploy when we broad-brush the whole concept of pantheism–trying to reach for the moon but ending up going nowhere. Give everything their due. As for self-worship of looking inward, it may seem very good at first glance as it is of the Holy Spirit to do so who comes to indwell us to purify us. 1Cor11:23-34 is all about this introspection. Again, Satan’s ploy is to deceive in the same way, as i said earlier, with half-truths. Self-worship is deceptive. But self-examination is more accurate.

We are to imitate Jesus, who is inclusive of sinners (even yogis, who pride themselves of reaching out to God, the creator of the universe) and yet reject their sin. Dear fellow Indians, let’s acknowledge our poverty and not carry this baggage from our past. When we are even rejecting the very law of Moses on which the Law of Christ/Love is founded, why are we finding it so hard to consider everything as “dung” compared to the knowledge of Jesus Christ?

Mind you, i am not saying the Law of Moses is not perfect. It is weak through the flesh (Rom8:1-3). However, it is this very same Law, which was validated by the rising of Jesus from the dead who kept it.  It is this Law, which needs to be surpassed by Christians (Matt5:20) even as they carry the easy yoke, namely, the Law of Love, particularly of hearing & doing His will.

Why then is there such a proliferation of the false Yoga even among Christians? People do things just for the sake of difference.

It boils down to this: It is the simple lack of humility to enter through the narrow gate. It strikes at the very heart and basic understanding of what it means to be Born Again, that has been misconceived by many. Check out this article and let us get our basics right first: Be Born Again.

But there is a Big Sort going on. So, know this: Real blessedness is not in genealogy but in true yogic spirituality, which is your identity in the Ascended One, who is unseen, not in the Descended One, who is seen (cf. Jn20:29). “For what is seen is temporal, but what is unseen is eternal” ~ Apostle Paul.

In conclusion, people must abandon reaching for their nose by the convoluted way and consider the scripture from Romans 10:5-10:

For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law (such as the old way of Yogasana) shall live by that righteousness [if at all possible]. But the [poor man’s] righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

You see, salvation is from the Lord! It is by grace through faith that we are saved; not of works so that no one can boast (Eph2:8-9).

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2013 at 9:02 PM and is filed under Christian Life, Family. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • selwyn

    Dear Brother

    Kindly consider the following and correct me if I am wrong

    When a believer makes use of the physical exercises / breathing exercises of what the world called yoga asanas – with an intention to keep up the precious gift of his physical body – he does not come under any yoke.

    A believer who kneels for prayer can not pass a judgement that another believer sitting in a different posture for prayer is devilish.

    If I know a person is a believer, I would not think he practices yoga as a means for salvation or to find a substitute in place of the Holy Spirit of God for mind purification.

    Unfair criticisms and playing the role of God by judging others are sins. Doctrinal purity is important; but if my passion for purity leads me to a level where I am far away from fundamental christian principles, such a theoretical purity does not build up kingdom of God nor does it help me anyway.

    With Love

    Selwyn

    • Thank you Bro. Selwyn, for your input! I have made some changes to my post keeping your comment in view.

      But in specifically answering you, i am not saying that someone sitting in a different posture is devilish. On the contrary, i am affirming the good desire to do yoga. But i point out that it was only a shadow of what is to come. For the real is found in Christ.

      But Apostle Paul has something to say about physical exercises that dismisses the former yoga in totality: “Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next” (1 Timothy 4:8 NLT).

      As for your last point: Doctrine is nothing but truth. Truth is the basis for any Decision. And it is the right Decision that takes you in the right Direction. And it is the right Direction that ultimately takes you to the right Destination.

    • Abednego Injeti
  • Prakash

    You say, “The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the sanskrit word ‘Yuj’, which means to be yoked by God and come under His rule.”

    There’s no such meaning in sanskrit. Please cite the references….

    • Check out the meaning of the word Yoga in a sanskrit dictionary.