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508PODCAST: Yoga and Institutional Religion

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Jan 5, 2007
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      YOGA AND INSTITUTIONAL RELIGION
      Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
      Recorded January 4, 2006
      3 minutes, 26 seconds

      Click here to listen to the audio Podcast:
      http://www.swamij.com/podcast/070104-yoga-institutional-religion.mp3

      Yoga is in religion, but religion is not in Yoga. The principles of
      Yoga are (in alphabetical order) in Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism,
      Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism, and most of the other religions.
      However, unlike religions, Yoga itself has no deity, worship
      services, rituals, sacred icons, creed, confession, clergy,
      institutions, congregation, membership procedure, or system of
      temples or churches. The word "Yoga" means "union" referring to the
      direct experience of the wholeness of ourselves at all levels. While
      the word "Yoga" comes from traditional Sanskrit language, that union
      is a universal process. The inner calling for that wholeness has also
      been called the "mystic" longing.

      The yogis and mystics seek the esoteric end of the polarity of
      esoteric-exoteric. However, since the world of religions is dominated
      by the exoteric orthodoxy, the mystic and yogi is rarely understood.
      One who has been to the top of the spiritual mountain in direct
      experience may say, when asked what was discovered, "Yahweh; Ehyeh,"
      or "I am that I am." He or she may say, "The father and I are one."
      She or he may say, "Sohum" which is Sanskrit for "I am that." He or
      she may go as far as to say, "I am God," in the spirit that the wave
      and the ocean are one and the same. That direct experience aligns
      with the immanent end of the immanent-transcendent polarity, but not
      being understood, comes across as a threat to the religionists. As if
      that is not enough of a threat, the mystics and yogis seek to trace
      their way back to the original material cause, rather than myopically
      focus on a projected efficient cause.

      Because of their direct experience of the esoteric, immanent, and
      material causes--rather than mere belief--the mystics and yogis who
      are unwilling to renounce that direct experience and pledge loyalty
      to the orthodox religious institutions and their leaders have been
      beaten, hung, shot, crucified, beheaded, burned at the stake, and
      otherwise murdered. They have been outright banished or coerced to
      leave the cities and communities of the fear-filled religionists so
      as to live alone in the deserts, forests, or high mountains. Modern
      religions, cultures, and even religion classes insist on categorizing
      and classifying the mystics and yogis, attempting to force them into
      rigid boxes of institutional religious identity.

      It remains as true today as always, that the mystics and yogis prefer
      to remain invisible, outside of the mainstream view, as they live far
      outside the center of the bell curve called "most people." Yet, the
      number of people with this level of deep longing for direct
      experience rather than mere blind faith is so large that there is an
      increasing need for higher visibility of the authentic mystics and
      yogis. As long as humanity is here, there will continue to be mystics
      and yogis longing for, seeking, and attaining the direct experience
      of the highest truth, self, reality, infinity, god, or whatever term
      one wants to use for that. The realized yogis and mystics drift here
      and there in our world so as to serve those few.

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