Thursday, July 9, 2009

Do I Really Want to Yoke Myself to ... Myself?


Comparing Ancient Yoga Text to The Bible:

The Bhagavad Gita (so far in my reading):

Detachment leads to freedom/Nirvana:  "Having made yourself alike in pain and pleasure, profit and loss, victory and defeat, engage in this great battle and you will be freed from sin."

Realizing the divine self to reach Nirvana: "They live in wisdom who see themselves in all and all in themselves."

Unifying consciousness as remedy to anxiety: "When consciousness is unified all vain anxiety is left behind."

Living a life of unselfish service: "never engage in action for the sake of reward"
"They are forever free who renounce all selfish desires and break away from the ego-cage of "I," "me," and "mine" to be united to the lord."and  "Selfish action imprisons the world"

Thoughts and actions filtered thru detachment and selfless yoga are skilled: "Yoga is skill in action"
Finding God(creator):  "All paths lead to me," says Krishna

The Bible:
On detachment from the material world: "I have learned whatever state I am in, to be content: I know how to be abased, and ...how to abound...to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Paul in Philippians 4:11-13.

And: "I count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus... for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him ...through faith... That I may know Him and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to his death, if ,by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead."  (Philippians 3:8-11)

But, according to the Bible, state of detachment doesn't lead to Heaven: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved...whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:9,13) "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast."(Ephesians 2:8) "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) So, salvation comes before perfection.

On our consciousness being unified to the divine self: Christ speaking to God the Father, "...that they (believers) may be one just as We (God and Christ) are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one." (John 16: 22-23) As Christians, we are accepted by God, His spirit resides within ours, then He begins changing us to be more like Him.  But we don't share the same being. "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..."(Romans 12:2) "but we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory." (2Corinthians 3:17-18) "So God created man in His own image." (Genesis 1:27) But "God is not a man." (1 Samuel15:29)

Remedy for anxiety: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6- 7. 
"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts You." (Isaiah 26:3) 

Both agree on unselfish motivations for our good deeds: "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." ( Philippians 2:3-4)
"Whatever you do, do it heartily as if to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord, you will receieve the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ." (Colossians 3:23-24)  But the Bible teaches these good deeds don't lead to eternal freedom/salvation (see above) but do follow it.

Thoughts and actions of believer with indwelling  Spirit of God that is ever-working to perfect also skillful.  Be diligent, a worker who needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2Timothy 2:15)  The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds (wrong beliefs, traditions) casting down arguments,...bringing every thought into captivity to obedience of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." (Galations 5:22-23)
Lots of ways to the Lord? "For wide is the gate and broad is the way which leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life." (Matthew 7:13-14)
"Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth , and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.' " (John 14:6)  

Super long post  ( Paul is a bit more "wordy" than writer of The Gita) but the further I go toward my RYT, the more important it has become for me to have a clear understanding about the two belief systems.  I don't see how they can gel.  One sees the self as the divine creative force in the universe that will eventually work it's way to bliss, the other sees the self as the creation of an individual divine creator, with the free will to choose devotion (and Heaven) or not.       

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