The Spiritual Deception of Yoga
It is the purpose of this short testimony to show that yoga is a spiritual deception.
If you think that you can use yoga only for physical training and not be affected by its spiritual side, you are wrong. You are wrong if you believe the many websites and teachers in the West who declare that yoga is just a harmless physical exercise.
The Bible warns of such spiritual seduction: “
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” (1 TIMOTHY 4:1).
Speaking from my own experience, I am convinced that yoga is one of the seducing doctrines God expressly warns about in the above scripture. I started yoga at age 16, and practiced every day for 1-2 hours. It seemed to strengthen my body and improve my flexibility. At the age of 18, I dived into it (I was at that time unemployed) and did some 4-6 hours of yoga daily. I was convinced that yoga enlightened my own spiritual intelligence and enhanced my physical fitness. I would have vehemently denied that there is anything religious in yoga or that I was in any way influenced by the spiritual or religious aspects of yoga. The following is why I think differently today.
The Roots of Yoga
Let us take a small look at the roots of the yoga tree - and also have a smell at some of its fruit - for well did Christ say in MATTHEW 7:16 “
Ye shall know them by their fruits.”
It was the Lord Krishna (one of Hindu's many millions of deities), in the Bhagavad Gita, who introduced the ritual of yoga as a way of achieving union with the universe. The Sanskrit word yoga actually means "union" or "yoking", aiming at bringing about the union of the human spirit with the spirit of the universe. But what is more deeply meant is a separation from the physical illusion of life.
A great part of Hindu teaching is that this world and all we see, is nothing more than an illusion.
Ironically, while yoga in the west is, more often than not, promoted as a way to achieve health and a better way of living; in the east, where it originated, it is more openly understood to be a way of dying.
In Hindu and Buddhist writings yoga is described as the only sure way of escaping the endless cycle of reincarnation and the laws of karma, thereby enabling someone to reach the Hindu idea of heaven (named "moksha") – or in the terminology of Buddhist teachings, to return to the buddhistic void (named "Sunyata") - where the idea of it being a way of dying reaches its finality.
Moksha is by most Hindu schools understood to mean the state "which is beyond being", while "Sunyata" means simply emptiness. Both of these accomplishments have, as their finality, the destruction of the self.
In other words, the physical exercises and positions ("asanas"), along with the breathing techniques ("pranayama"), and meditation ("dhyana") were originally developed for VERY spiritual and religious reasons. The Bhagavad Gita testifies of it in over 50 verses, and certainly it would be difficult not to classify the Bhagavad Gita as a guide to Hindu religion.1
How Yoga Became Popular in the West
Although yoga has been known to the West since before Christ, and has been practiced in the East for almost 3000 years, it really only took off in the West in a significant way around the same time of the explosion of the drug culture in the 60’s, and the growth of certain types of music.
Many people involved with psychedelic drugs were (and are still today) attracted to any experience that offered an expansion of conscience, or a change of perceived reality.
It was due to this changing Western (drug) culture that many Hindu missionaries (among other spiritual leaders peddling new religions) slowly began to realise that through the new psychedelic experiences, the West was now entertaining a transcendental experience, or non-physical reality that it had previously been unaware of—or more likely, had simply chosen to ignore. Mind expansion, or altered states of conscience and a search for spirituality, without the constraints of religion were suddenly all the rage, and anything that offered a new experience was sought after with great interest. Very few questions were asked as to the source of these new highs and experiences.
Thus the West was gradually introduced to an ancient Eastern religion through the medium of yoga.
One of the Lies Today
One branch or path of yoga is called Hatha Yoga and this is probably what most people in the West associate with the word "yoga" – believing it is being practised only for mental and physical health.2
Some of the positions in yoga are not quite as harmless as they may appear, but are obviously of occult origin, as in the “cobra”, which is usually followed by “greeting the sun” – and taking the pose of the “mountain”. These are all positions which are designed to welcome Hindu gods.
In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika it mentions the following in chapter one:
“Salutations to Shiva, who taught the science of Hatha Yoga. It is the aspirant’s stairway to the heights of Raja Yoga... Yogi Svatmarama … explains the science of hatha for one reason – Raja Yoga.”
So here we see clearly that Hatha Yoga was specifically designed to lead the practitioner onto Raja Yoga. Raja Yoga, however, is chiefly concerned with the cultivation of the mind through meditation.
Shiva is also known as the Destroyer (of evil) or Yogeshwara (Lord of Yogis). Shiva's consort is Devi, or Kali, the goddess of death.
Therefore, the idea that Hatha Yoga is "purely physical" is very much once again a distortion of the truth (in other words, an outright lie) and indeed begs the question "Why the cover up or confusion?"
Of course, it could be asked whether something purely physical can have any spiritual implications. One needs only look at such practices as Ouija boards, Tarot cards, Astrology signs and symbols may all seem harmless to some, but like yoga, they have an idea attached to them that is the problem.
A further example that shows how something physical can have spiritual implications is to be found in the account of the Garden of Eden. For in Genesis chapter 3 we have an introduction to the enemy of God and mankind, making the suggestion to Adam’s wife, Eve, that by doing something purely physical (i.e. eating from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) she would not only receive a mighty spiritual blessing, but would indeed live forever, and become as a god.
The real result of this action was Adam and Eve being cast out from Eden and the Fall of Man. Ever since then, man has been trying to sneak back into paradise by jumping over the hedge as it were (using drugs and mysticism).
Karma & Reincarnation
Yoga was specifically designed as a way to escape the constant and never-ending deaths and rebirths of reincarnation - ("...the fire of yoga burns all Karmas", Kundalini Yoga, by Sri Swami Sivananda).
There is much discussion amongst the various Hindu branches concerning karma itself. It is variously claimed that it is not so strict, that it does not always come to pass in this life, it may not come to pass for a few lives, and some consider Karma to be a very just law, as it demands equal in repayment (very much a black eye for a black eye). In any case, as a "law" it is very impersonal, and knows no pity neither does it accept any extenuating circumstances.
If it is a law that demands equal in repayment, then the following sequence of events must occur:
If I steal from someone - I will have something stolen from me, in this life or a next. This means that someone else will have to take the role of thief (#2). Which means that thief #2 will have something stolen from him, in this life or a next. This means that someone else will have to take the role of thief (#3)….And so the wheel turns continually.
Does one remember what one did wrong? Believers in reincarnation will respond with "in the sub-conscience" but how may I change if it is locked away in my sub-conscience? How can I learn from it?
Reincarnation, which was designed to help us work off bad karma, can be upwards or downwards - meaning I could be reborn as an animal or even a vegetable (of course, the various branches of Hindu disagree on this also).
Basically I am being given countless chances, in order to reach a heaven where my personality is then destroyed.
To further investigate this, we shall take an example of such a person as Pol Pot (leader of the Cambodian communist movement known as the Khmer Rouge) - responsible for the deaths of 1.7 to 2.5 million persons.
In order to work off his bad karma, he would have to participate in a minimum of - let’s say a conservative 1.5 million - reincarnations (that's ignoring the tortured victims whose lives he also destroyed).
The idea of karma however goes so far that some believers will not help people - as you may inadvertently be helping someone who is in trouble due to bad karma, and who is supposed to be working it off - and so by helping them you actually take away their chance to work it off.
This all stands of course in total opposition to the Word of God - as stated in HEBREWS 9:27 - "
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"
Is it not a strange situation that in India, where the teaching of karma and reincarnation has been alive for longer than anywhere else in the world, that the economic progress there only breeds social injustice and that poverty, starvation and terrible suffering just continue to increase?
Personal Result of Yoga - Awakening Kundalini
It may be true that the asanas (positions) and even perhaps the pranayama (breathing) can have health benefits, but the ultimate goal in yoga is something much more sinister. Very few Western yoga teachers actually touch upon this aspect of yoga – but according to the ancient texts, it is indeed the main aim - the asanas and the pranayama really intend to produce the awakening of what is known as "kundalini power", which is taught as being a snake coiled around the base of the spine.
When this serpent is awakened, it will then move up through the body, through the "chakras" (the so-called life-force centres) and once it reaches the "crown chakra" (or the top of the head) it will explode into the so called "thousand-petalled lotus".
This is when the danger really starts, and for many people from this point onwards it is almost impossible to return to any semblance of normality. The ancient texts actually include a warning about this, but most Western teachers are either ignorant of it, being too aware of the vast revenues that yoga can bring in, or are indeed themselves deceived and are willingly leading people down a very dangerous path.
Swiss occultist Carl Jung, in his book “The Collected Works of CG Jung" - termed it "a deliberately induced psychotic state". Now, in most societies, deliberately inducing a psychotic state in oneself would lead to various sections of the Mental Health Act being quoted whilst having oneself bundled into a white van by some police officers.
I myself came very close to this stage. After I practiced yoga intensively (4-6 hours a day) for about a year, I began to be very depressed and nervous, but as I was unaware of the cause of this depression, I continued to use yoga as a way of filling my day.
One day, whilst being deep in pranayama and meditation, something in my mind exploded, and my conscience turned white. Suddenly, there were beings dressed in white robes at my side (in the corner of my eye only, in my peripheral vision), telling me that they would guide me into a new life if I would only continue with my yoga.
I did not like that too much, and did not understand what was happening; neither had any of the books I had been reading mentioned anything about this manifestation, so I stopped. I was left in a sort of semi-aware state at that point (similar to the point one would reach just before or after the peak of an LSD trip), and I was also very much aware of what I could only describe as a rent in the fabric of this reality.
I went back into my asanas / pranayama the next day again, and within minutes these spiritual beings were back, with the same advice. They were insistent that I listen to them. There was a palpable anger now also given off by them, as I had consciously rejected them by stopping the day before.
I stopped again, and never returned to it. But I was always aware that these spirit-beings were angry with me, and I had no peace at all from then on. Only in drunken oblivion or drugs could I find any peace.
What Do You Do about It?
Things may not have become as bad as that for you, but be aware anyway – if you practice yoga, you practice Hinduism; and the more you do it, the more you open yourself up to the spiritual side of it. Thousands of others have experienced very similar things while practising yoga. Not all have been as fortunate as I in being set free from this – many have become insane, or indeed been driven to suicide.3
It was at the point in my life when things really got out of control that I met a Christian and I started going to Christian meetings (more for the very decent food than anything else). On the second meeting I was offered the opportunity to really find and experience God.
I received the Holy Spirit within seconds through the laying on of hands, as described in the Acts of the Apostles. As soon as I had received this freely given gift from God, a real peace came; the voices and pressures left, and joy and realisation came almost instantly. The blackness that had followed me around (the "rent in the fabric of this reality") was also gone.
My life has changed drastically since then. Instead of constantly focusing on myself I try to focus on other people. Instead of trying to find self-fulfillment through yoga, I found true peace. Yoga is a very selfish way of life, yet it doesn’t produce the results hoped for. Instead it is a lie and brings only destruction. How true are Christ’s words in MATTHEW 16:25 “
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
So many try to “save their lives” (fill the void in their lives) through all sorts of things, including yoga, but the void will never be filled – they will end up losing their eternal soul.
We live only once, and while here in this life, we are to follow the example of Jesus Christ as presented in the Bible. When we die, "
we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" - 2 CORINTHIANS 5:10. Those who were born-again through receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit and by full submersion baptism, and who have given their lives in following Christ, may enter the eternal paradise of the soul where only love, joy and peace abide, in personal fellowship with Jesus Christ. The sinner and rebel against God will be removed from His presence after this judgment, and placed into a place of eternal torment.
You have to make a choice: Do you want to follow Shiva (who taught the “science” of Hatha Yoga) who is also named the Destroyer - or Christ, who came to heal and save, and who has proved by His life, death and resurrection that He is Lord and that He loves us without us having done anything to deserve it.
Yoga is not just a harmless physical exercise, it opens the door to demonic control. On which side do you ultimately want to stand? The devil’s or Christ’s? The consequences are more serious than you might realise.
JOHN 10:10 - "
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
And how is this abundant life given by Jesus Christ?
JOHN 3:5 - "
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
by William Downs, Newburgh, Scotland, Wednesday, April 21, 2010
- 1. One need only read the writing of E.A Wilder-Smith (The Cause and Cure of the Drug Epidemic and The Drug Users) or Charles T. Tart, 'The End of Materialism - How Evidence of the Paranormal is Bringing Science and Spirit Together or Altered States of Consciousness' to more clearly understand this relationship.
That the drug culture explosion in the 60's was very much a carefully controlled operation is not generally known. This statement itself may be the topic for hours of discussion and may unfortunately belong to the genre of "conspiracy theory" - however, most people who have any sort of interest in these topics are aware of the LSD experiments carried out by certain US Government agencies - starting in the 1950's with Project MKULTRA. (The Search for the Manchurian Candidate: The CIA and Mind Control, by John Marks, and also Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond, by Martin A. Lee)
- 2. Hatha Yoga basically describes any of the physical practices of yoga. Yoga has eight limbs, only one of which, asana, involves doing yoga poses. When you do lyengar, this is hatha yoga; when you do ashtanga, this is hatha yoga also. Therefore, “Hatha yoga” can be used interchangeably with simply “yoga”.
- 3. Watch for example the film “Gods of the New Age” which includes testimonies of yoga teachers who describe in detail that which I described above.