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Author Topic: Announcement on the Yoga Centres  (Read 2606 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jetavan
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« on: July 16, 2009, 01:50:18 PM »

Quote
The Holy Metropolis of Piraeus on the occasion of the existence of Yoga Centres within her geographic boundaries, informs the Christian Orthodox that Yoga has absolutely no relationship with the Orthodox spirituality.
      Etymologically, Yoga derives from the Sanskrit "yuj" which means "coupling" and "union" of man with the impersonal Absolute One of Hinduism and of the eastern religions.
      Therefore, Yoga is not a simple and innocent method of loosening up (relaxation), it is not a way of getting rid of stress, it is not a method of wellbeing, as it advertizes, but a stage of Hindu consideration connected with the anti-Christian theory of reincarnation.
       At the different schools of Yoga, we confirm the direct dependence of those practicing to a hindu teacher (guru) who guides them and changes their Orthodox Christian name.
       The different techniques of Yoga have no relationship with science; to the contrary they have the characteristics of witchcraft. The occupation with Yoga hides spiritual and physical dangers.
       The "New Age of Aquarius" that fights the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, our Orthodoxy, floods our country with the advertisements of Yoga to deceive with the demonic dogma that all the religions are the same roads that lead to the same purpose.
       We call the Orthodox Christians and especially the youth to resist the ideological commands of the New Order Elements, to become members of their parish and their priests, that they may learn the Orthodox ascesis (practice) and spirituality.
       The occupation with Yoga is for the Orthodox Christians incompatible with the teaching and dogmas of their Faith.

The occupation with Yoga is a denial of the Orthodox Faith and a blasphemy to the Holy Spirit.        

 Shocked

I should point out that some Hindus aim for realization of the 'impersonal' Brahman, but other Hindus (perhaps the majority) venerate/worship a 'personal' Deity.

English and Greek text. If an unwanted pop-up appears on the screen, just click the "back" button and then click the "forward" button to return to the screen.

« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 01:51:26 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2009, 02:01:30 PM »

Quote
The Holy Metropolis of Piraeus on the occasion of the existence of Yoga Centres within her geographic boundaries, informs the Christian Orthodox that Yoga has absolutely no relationship with the Orthodox spirituality.
      Etymologically, Yoga derives from the Sanskrit "yuj" which means "coupling" and "union" of man with the impersonal Absolute One of Hinduism and of the eastern religions.
      Therefore, Yoga is not a simple and innocent method of loosening up (relaxation), it is not a way of getting rid of stress, it is not a method of wellbeing, as it advertizes, but a stage of Hindu consideration connected with the anti-Christian theory of reincarnation.
       At the different schools of Yoga, we confirm the direct dependence of those practicing to a hindu teacher (guru) who guides them and changes their Orthodox Christian name.
       The different techniques of Yoga have no relationship with science; to the contrary they have the characteristics of witchcraft. The occupation with Yoga hides spiritual and physical dangers.
       The "New Age of Aquarius" that fights the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, our Orthodoxy, floods our country with the advertisements of Yoga to deceive with the demonic dogma that all the religions are the same roads that lead to the same purpose.
       We call the Orthodox Christians and especially the youth to resist the ideological commands of the New Order Elements, to become members of their parish and their priests, that they may learn the Orthodox ascesis (practice) and spirituality.
       The occupation with Yoga is for the Orthodox Christians incompatible with the teaching and dogmas of their Faith.

The occupation with Yoga is a denial of the Orthodox Faith and a blasphemy to the Holy Spirit.        

 Shocked

I should point out that some Hindus aim for realization of the 'impersonal' Brahman, but other Hindus (perhaps the majority) venerate/worship a 'personal' Deity.

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What is it exactly you would like to discuss about this?
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2009, 05:04:43 PM »

Grace and Peace,

I honestly have to say that I've done Yoga (Vinyasa Ashtanga) for years. I have a really hard time believing that it makes me less of a Christian.
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2009, 05:30:27 PM »

Quote
The Holy Metropolis of Piraeus on the occasion of the existence of Yoga Centres within her geographic boundaries, informs the Christian Orthodox that Yoga has absolutely no relationship with the Orthodox spirituality.
      Etymologically, Yoga derives from the Sanskrit "yuj" which means "coupling" and "union" of man with the impersonal Absolute One of Hinduism and of the eastern religions.
      Therefore, Yoga is not a simple and innocent method of loosening up (relaxation), it is not a way of getting rid of stress, it is not a method of wellbeing, as it advertizes, but a stage of Hindu consideration connected with the anti-Christian theory of reincarnation.
      
       The occupation with Yoga is for the Orthodox Christians incompatible with the teaching and dogmas of their Faith.
....
The occupation with Yoga is a denial of the Orthodox Faith and a blasphemy to the Holy Spirit.        

 Shocked

I should point out that some Hindus aim for realization of the 'impersonal' Brahman, but other Hindus (perhaps the majority) venerate/worship a 'personal' Deity.

English and Greek text. If an unwanted pop-up appears on the screen, just click the "back" button and then click the "forward" button to return to the screen.


What is it exactly you would like to discuss about this?

Well, it seems pretty debatable to say that practicing yoga (as a physical discipline, free of Indian metaphysical beliefs that contradict Christian doctrine) is "blasphemy".
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 05:33:12 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2009, 07:27:36 PM »

Quote
The Holy Metropolis of Piraeus on the occasion of the existence of Yoga Centres within her geographic boundaries, informs the Christian Orthodox that Yoga has absolutely no relationship with the Orthodox spirituality.
      Etymologically, Yoga derives from the Sanskrit "yuj" which means "coupling" and "union" of man with the impersonal Absolute One of Hinduism and of the eastern religions.
      Therefore, Yoga is not a simple and innocent method of loosening up (relaxation), it is not a way of getting rid of stress, it is not a method of wellbeing, as it advertizes, but a stage of Hindu consideration connected with the anti-Christian theory of reincarnation.
      
       The occupation with Yoga is for the Orthodox Christians incompatible with the teaching and dogmas of their Faith.
....
The occupation with Yoga is a denial of the Orthodox Faith and a blasphemy to the Holy Spirit.        

 Shocked

I should point out that some Hindus aim for realization of the 'impersonal' Brahman, but other Hindus (perhaps the majority) venerate/worship a 'personal' Deity.

English and Greek text. If an unwanted pop-up appears on the screen, just click the "back" button and then click the "forward" button to return to the screen.


What is it exactly you would like to discuss about this?

Well, it seems pretty debatable to say that practicing yoga (as a physical discipline, free of Indian metaphysical beliefs that contradict Christian doctrine) is "blasphemy".
But does not a bishop have the right and the authority to speak to his flock regarding what he sees to be the dangers of yoga, even if some may find the substance of what he says debatable?

I'm still not sure I understand what has you alarmed.  Do you think a bishop should keep silent until he can say something that is totally beyond debate?  Or do you grant the bishop such authority to speak on matters the Church has not dogmatized universally but wish merely to debate the substance of the bishop's announcement?
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2009, 07:37:26 PM »

  If, and only if, yoga is completely disassociated from it's ideological/philosophical/religious connotations; and if, and only if, one has the blessing of his/her priest, should one consider practicing yoga.  Without question, the physical movements accompanied with breathing exercises can most definitely have many benefits on the practitioner.  But most (not all) yoga studios want to incorporate the philosophy behind the movements.  These are the grounds in which the Church steps in, for the protection of the souls of the faithful, and says 'no' to yoga.  People will do whatever they want to do; they always have and they always will.  But it comes down to one thing; whom shall you give obedience to; the Church, with her Apostolic Traditions handed down to us from Christ Jesus and His holy Saints?  Or will we reason and rationalize our minds to fit what we want to do?  

 Don't mean to come off as being judgmental because I don't want to point out splinters while ignoring my own branches.  Undecided  
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2009, 08:01:47 PM »

Quote
The Holy Metropolis of Piraeus on the occasion of the existence of Yoga Centres within her geographic boundaries, informs the Christian Orthodox that Yoga has absolutely no relationship with the Orthodox spirituality.
      Etymologically, Yoga derives from the Sanskrit "yuj" which means "coupling" and "union" of man with the impersonal Absolute One of Hinduism and of the eastern religions.
      Therefore, Yoga is not a simple and innocent method of loosening up (relaxation), it is not a way of getting rid of stress, it is not a method of wellbeing, as it advertizes, but a stage of Hindu consideration connected with the anti-Christian theory of reincarnation.
      
       The occupation with Yoga is for the Orthodox Christians incompatible with the teaching and dogmas of their Faith.
....
The occupation with Yoga is a denial of the Orthodox Faith and a blasphemy to the Holy Spirit.        

 Shocked

I should point out that some Hindus aim for realization of the 'impersonal' Brahman, but other Hindus (perhaps the majority) venerate/worship a 'personal' Deity.

English and Greek text. If an unwanted pop-up appears on the screen, just click the "back" button and then click the "forward" button to return to the screen.


What is it exactly you would like to discuss about this?

Well, it seems pretty debatable to say that practicing yoga (as a physical discipline, free of Indian metaphysical beliefs that contradict Christian doctrine) is "blasphemy".
Do you think a bishop should keep silent until he can say something that is totally beyond debate? 

I believe bishops should speak out whenever they feel morally obligated to do so. But it might help the bishops' arguments, if they speak accurately about the subject matter at hand.

Now, it appears that the particular yoga centers within the bishop's geographical area, are yoga centers that practice a yoga within a Hindu context, and are yoga centers that are led by a Hindu guru. I can certainly see the bishop warning the Orthodox about yoga in that context.

The bishop is not in America, so the yoga in his country might actually be more tied to Hindu thought, whereas in America, yoga has been adopted by many Christians, as seen in Outstretched and PraiseMoves.

I haven't seen any American bishops give similar warnings regarding yoga, and that might be due to the greater familiarity Americans have with yoga in general.
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2009, 08:07:34 PM »

The bishop is not in America, so the yoga in his country might actually be more tied to Hindu thought, whereas in America, yoga has been adopted by many Christians, as seen in Outstretched and PraiseMoves.
So, because some variants of yoga have been embraced by heterodox Christians, we're supposed to see this as okay? Huh  Nothing against Christians outside of the Orthodox Faith, but are we to take our cues from them?  What authority do they who know not the Tradition of the Church have within the Church?
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 08:12:06 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2009, 09:21:14 PM »

Is it okay to do the stretching part of yoga, but not participate in any of the "spiritual" elements of the practice? Or are they so insidiously intertwined that it is impossible to separate the two?
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2009, 09:32:42 PM »

Is it okay to do the stretching part of yoga, but not participate in any of the "spiritual" elements of the practice? Or are they so insidiously intertwined that it is impossible to separate the two?
Just like with Tai Ch'i, you can separate the spirituality from the actual movements.  Like Jetavan hinted at, this might be looked at differently presented in this way.  But because so often the two are taught together, the Church has wisely spoken.  Having said that, I did a quick search and found at least one Greek Orthodox church in the USA that does offer Yoga classes...  Shocked
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2009, 01:40:48 AM »

Is it okay to do the stretching part of yoga, but not participate in any of the "spiritual" elements of the practice? Or are they so insidiously intertwined that it is impossible to separate the two?

Well, I've been using yoga asanas, the stretching exercises, for my lower back problems.  I am now able to get through Orthos and the Divine Liturgy without having to gulp a handful of Advil afterwards to ease the pain of my lower back.

That being said, there is nothing wrong with exercising, which is all I have really gotten out of 'yoga,' though I think the average yogi would be much offended by the rest of my distinctively non-Ayervetic lifestyle practices... along with being an Orthodox Christian.

In my library, I have three books on the matter:
Yoga and the Jesus Prayer Tradition by Thomas Matus (a good book in certain respects by a RC monk trying to reconcile the contemplative aspects of yoga with Christianity... which obviously is going to have objectionable issues for an Orthodox Christian)
Sadhana, a Way to God by Anthony de Mello SJ (a more troubling book in that he advocates a great deal of imaginative work which is generally frowned upon with good reason by our Tradition).
A Christian Outlook on Yoga by Abraham Oommen (treatise by a Malankara {Syriac Indian} Priest, which I think is one of the most helpful of all the books or articles I have read)

In the last book, the priest argues that Yoga can be effectively divorced from Hinduism and applied strictly as a science of the body, which in turn can be used by Christians in the same way that we use medicine and other technological advances created by pagans.

I am also finishing up The Gurus, the Young Man and Elder Paisios, which is a very good warning thus far on tampering with the occult side of yoga and Hinduism.

Getting to your point, nowhere in any of these books are the asanas physical exercises condemned or seen as dangerous.  Rather, they are preparations.  I've heard the analogy that asanas are to yoga what bread is to the Eucharist: you need bread to have the Eucharist, but not all bread is Eucharistic.  So, I do the exercises and my back is much better, and the only change I've experienced is pain relief.

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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2009, 09:08:19 AM »

Thanks SO much for the helpful posts,everyone! Father, I was interested in yoga because I had my first lesson this week and was completely amazed at how well I felt afterwards (the classes are held for free for cancer patients). It's been one of the few activities which has helped clear my mind of all the negativity which is floating around in it. At the end of the session, there was some sort of brief "spiritual" moment, which made me feel a bit uncomfortable, so I refrained from participating. Otherwise, I was very happy about it.
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2009, 11:17:21 AM »

Thanks SO much for the helpful posts,everyone! Father, I was interested in yoga because I had my first lesson this week and was completely amazed at how well I felt afterwards (the classes are held for free for cancer patients). It's been one of the few activities which has helped clear my mind of all the negativity which is floating around in it. At the end of the session, there was some sort of brief "spiritual" moment, which made me feel a bit uncomfortable, so I refrained from participating. Otherwise, I was very happy about it.

Yes, I would, based on what I've read and experienced, avoid any type of 'chanting' or visualizations suggested by yoga instructors.  There is nothing wrong with praying the Jesus Prayer or any other prayer while in a yoga class, so long as one firmly rejects all that it not of the Trinity.  You may consider praying for protection before the class if you think the teacher really is invoking Hindu deities, and you may want to get another teacher in that case.  There are utterly secular, exercise-only, yoga instructors to be found, particularly around regular gyms.

My solution has been to obtain a rather cheap instruction book (published by one of those weird Hindu outfits in the US) and do the exercises at home.  That way I have been able to build a set of exercises that are helpful for my back problems without having to do other things (like standing on my head) that are not as helpful for my condition.  Once you get the basics, all you need is a floor and you are in business!

God bless you in your struggle.
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« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2009, 02:08:59 PM »

Father bless,

 Thank you Fr. for all the very helpful information you've provided.  Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2009, 05:02:26 PM »

Thank you so much, Fr Giryus, for sharing those words of wisdom and practical advice with us! Your blessing.
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« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2009, 06:54:37 PM »

Yoga is a religion

They're gonna put Yoga lessons in schools in Greece. But I'm not sure yet, I've heard about it in Christian websites only.
Maybe this last year in school will be my chance to testify, haha.

I found something on a quick search, but I didn't read it yet.
http://www.oodegr.com/english/anatolikes/boudismos/yoga_meditation.htm
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« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2009, 11:17:49 AM »

Yoga is a religion

They're gonna put Yoga lessons in schools in Greece. But I'm not sure yet, I've heard about it in Christian websites only.
Maybe this last year in school will be my chance to testify, haha.

I found something on a quick search, but I didn't read it yet.
http://www.oodegr.com/english/anatolikes/boudismos/yoga_meditation.htm
Dear Gamma,

Not that I want to split hairs, but calling yoga a religion depends almost entirely on what you define as 'yoga.'  As with so many things in the US, 'yoga' has come to mean far less about perpetuating Hinduism as it is generally about selling aromatherapy kits, hemp exercise outfits and floor mats.

Yoga has been broken down into three main components here: diet (aka vegetarianism and Ayurvedic health practices), exercise (the asanas, relaxation techniques and finally spiritual exercises (the real yoga).  American commercialized yoga is far less harmful simply because of the American propensity to remove any degree of spirituality from just about anything.  For example, the commericalized American Orthodoxy (popular in many quarters, though not all) involves reading lots of books, growing your hair out and doing almost nothing when it comes to being a more loving and merciful person.  In fact, some interpret Orthodoxy (wrongly and tragically) as the perfect excuse to not not apologize for anything... in the spirit of always being right.

That's not to say that the 'guided visualizations' and chanting are not harmful: that's not up for argument.  What most people are concerned with is if they can use the asanas/exercises to help the body.  I don't think that's a real issue, just as the Holy Fathers borrowed terminology from pagan philosophy to help explain Christian doctrine  in the Early Church.

Obviously, we as Christians reject mechanistic chanting or the idea that physical postures alone can achieve spiritual 'progress.'  While certain notes or practices may be helpful in calming or focusing the mind or body, they are not enough without being totally and completely devoted to the Most Blessed Trinity.

Christianity has its own physical disciplines, be they breathing techniques, postures or even exercises (try doing 500 metanias and tell me they aren't exercises!).  Their are dietary restrictions.  The difference is intent.  We as Christians seek union with Jesus Christ.  A Hindu yogi is seeking union with... ?

The difficulty for Greeks is that they live rather sheltered spiritual lives.  Orthodoxy is taken for granted.  Therefore, they are much more susceptible in certain ways to being tricked.  Americans, who are awash in heresy and paganism, have been rather resistant through almost 40 years of hard-core Hindu 'evangelism.'  Despite numerous different approaches, yogis and their cults have only been able to claim the most slender of victories, and even those conquests have been temporary.  Americans, generally speaking, are looking for something far more convenient than living a strict Ayervedic lifestyle.  It is usually a 'phase' for liberal college students right before the materialism bug bites hard and they get tired of sleeping on the floor or couch.

So, it will be interesting to see if Greek schools teach hard-core yoga, replete with Hinduism and all that, or the commercialized American variety involving stretching and funky relaxation music.


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« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2009, 12:05:17 PM »

So, it will be interesting to see if Greek schools teach hard-core yoga, replete with Hinduism and all that, or the commercialized American variety involving stretching and funky relaxation music.

[/size][/font]


One might also distinguish between 'bhakti' yoga from 'hatha' yoga, the latter being yoga with an explicit spiritual purpose of devotion to Hindu notions of Divinity, and the latter being limited to the physical poses, or asanas. Bhakti yoga does exist in America (see the Hare Krishnas, or any Hindu Temple in America), but it's not threatening to overthrow Christianity as the dominant spiritual practice. Likewise, a few Greeks might find bhakti yoga attractive, but I doubt Greeks as a whole will go bhakti 'whole hog' (as we Americans like to say).
« Last Edit: July 20, 2009, 12:05:53 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2009, 05:03:06 PM »

So, it will be interesting to see if Greek schools teach hard-core yoga, replete with Hinduism and all that, or the commercialized American variety involving stretching and funky relaxation music.

[/size][/font]


One might also distinguish between 'bhakti' yoga from 'hatha' yoga, the latter being yoga with an explicit spiritual purpose of devotion to Hindu notions of Divinity, and the latter being limited to the physical poses, or asanas.
Okay, call me dense for getting confused, Embarrassed but do you mean to make a distinction between the former and the latter.
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« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2009, 05:09:45 PM »

So, it will be interesting to see if Greek schools teach hard-core yoga, replete with Hinduism and all that, or the commercialized American variety involving stretching and funky relaxation music.

[/size][/font]


One might also distinguish between 'bhakti' yoga from 'hatha' yoga, the former being yoga with an explicit spiritual purpose of devotion to Hindu notions of Divinity, and the latter being limited to the physical poses, or asanas.
Okay, call me dense for getting confused, Embarrassed but do you mean to make a distinction between the former and the latter.
Oops. My mistake. Duly corrected. Grin
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« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2009, 10:47:47 PM »

Is it okay to do the stretching part of yoga, but not participate in any of the "spiritual" elements of the practice? Or are they so insidiously intertwined that it is impossible to separate the two?
Just like with Tai Ch'i, you can separate the spirituality from the actual movements.  Like Jetavan hinted at, this might be looked at differently presented in this way.  But because so often the two are taught together, the Church has wisely spoken.  Having said that, I did a quick search and found at least one Greek Orthodox church in the USA that does offer Yoga classes...  Shocked

Yes, my own Roman Catholic Parish has Yoga Classes on Thursdays in the morning hours. As I understand it, they are completely devoid of Hindu-Religious teachings and are ultimately "Hatha" Yoga practice (i.e. physical practice) but this is strange because I've read of the early practices of the Hesychists to be very 'eastern' in appearance. I'm shocked that the Eastern Churches don't find kindred practices in Yoga.  Cry
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« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2009, 05:19:06 PM »

Okay, then which kinds of Yoda are the bad ones?

I still find Yoga to be meaningless though and see no reason to practise it.
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« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2009, 10:14:09 PM »

Okay, then which kinds of Yoda are the bad ones?

Well not this one!  He's a good one:



Although he does speak of a vague, ecumenist Force that is probably Antichrist, so perhaps he is a bad one!

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« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2009, 10:51:14 PM »

Okay, then which kinds of Yoda are the bad ones?

Well not this one!  He's a good one:
....
Although he does speak of a vague, ecumenist Force that is probably Antichrist, so perhaps he is a bad one!
Yoda belongs to an heretical church.
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« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2009, 06:04:25 PM »

LOL... Yoda.

Anyway, here is an interesting quote from Paulos Mar Gregorios of the Indian Orthodox:

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“The main tenet of the Orthodox faith is the belief that salvation is by being united with Christ who is Isvara incarnate. By being united with Him, we are to grow into God's image by becoming more and more god-like in character, in love, in goodness and in wisdom. This process of transformation is called theosis or divinisation. This is very close to certain schools of Hindu thinking about salvation by yoga or union with Brahama.”
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« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2009, 10:04:15 PM »

LOL... Yoda.

Anyway, here is an interesting quote from Paulos Mar Gregorios of the Indian Orthodox:

Quote
“The main tenet of the Orthodox faith is the belief that salvation is by being united with Christ who is Isvara incarnate. By being united with Him, we are to grow into God's image by becoming more and more god-like in character, in love, in goodness and in wisdom. This process of transformation is called theosis or divinisation. This is very close to certain schools of Hindu thinking about salvation by yoga or union with Brahama.”
But can he tell us HOW Orthodox doctrine on theosis is very close to these schools of Hindu thinking?
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« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2009, 02:10:55 PM »

LOL... Yoda.

Anyway, here is an interesting quote from Paulos Mar Gregorios of the Indian Orthodox:

Quote
“The main tenet of the Orthodox faith is the belief that salvation is by being united with Christ who is Isvara incarnate. By being united with Him, we are to grow into God's image by becoming more and more god-like in character, in love, in goodness and in wisdom. This process of transformation is called theosis or divinisation. This is very close to certain schools of Hindu thinking about salvation by yoga or union with Brahama.”
But can he tell us HOW Orthodox doctrine on theosis is very close to these schools of Hindu thinking?

Here's a summary of theosis, from Orthowiki:

Quote
The statement by St. Athanasius of Alexandria, "The Son of God became man, that we might become God", indicates the concept beautifully. II Peter 1:4 says that we have become " . . . partakers of divine nature." Athanasius amplifies the meaning of this verse when he says theosis is "becoming by grace what God is by nature" (De Incarnatione, I). What would otherwise seem absurd, that fallen, sinful man may become holy as God is holy, has been made possible through Jesus Christ, who is God incarnate. Naturally, the crucial Christian assertion, that God is One, sets an absolute limit on the meaning of theosis - it is not possible for any created being to become, ontologically, God or even another god.

Compare that description of theosis with the teachings of a particular tradition within the Hindu family of faiths. Sri Ramanuja, who lived in the 1100s, taught "qualified non-dualism", and his teachings on the relationship between the soul and God have some interesting parallels with theosis:

Quote
Emancipation or Passing into Paradise

According to Ramanuja, Moksha means the soul’s passing from the troubles of mundane life into a kind of heaven or paradise (Vaikuntha) where it will remain forever in undisturbed personal bliss in the presence of God. The liberated soul attains to the nature of God. It never becomes identical with Him. It lives in fellowship with the Lord, either serving Him or meditating on Him. It never loses its individuality.

Just to note some parallels between theosis and qualified non-dualism, I would point out that both maintain a distinction between God and soul, while at the same time teaching that God and the soul are able to share their lives in some ways. In the Ramanuja quote above, it is stated that the liberated soul attains the "nature" of God without becoming "identical" to God. This is somewhat similar to the theosis teaching that man can become God by means of God's energies without sharing God's essence.

(The Ramanuja quote uses and defines the word "nature" in a way differently than the way the theosis quote uses and defines the word "nature". They both use the word "nature" but not with the same definition. The Ramanuja quote's "nature" corresponds to the theosis quote's "by grace"; and the Ramanuja quote's "identical" corresponds to the theosis quote's "by nature".)

I would end by proposing that two ideas that look "very close" to one another, can still be universes apart. angel
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 02:16:10 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2009, 07:04:12 PM »

A new book on theosis:

Fellow Workers With God: Orthodox Thinking on Theosis, by Norman Russell
Quote
This is highly to be commended [Russell] has managed an enviable feat for a writer hitting a marvelous literary style and tone of approach....making high theology understandable. --Fr. John McGuckin -Professor of Early Church History - Union Theological Seminary
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If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
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