Noah Meets Yoga – Are the Bible and Yoga Connected?

CHRISTIANITY AND YOGA ARE CONNECTEDDid you know that today, four decades after man landed on the Moon a quarter of a million miles away, scientists still know little about the seafloor located just a few miles beneath the water’s surface?

This is our world. So much remains for us to learn about so many things right under our noses. 

 

 

Might this include our understanding of the Bible? Beneath the surface, are some of its core beliefs connected with other faiths? Can there be interfaith harmony?

Consider this: In ancient times, cosmology and creation narratives were very important. That’s why “Genesis” is the first book of the Bible. It’s not by mistake. It provided a framework for the books that followed. Similarly, in ancient Yoga, cosmology and creation – called “Sarga” – was the first book. Again, this is not by accident.

In ancient times cosmology was the cornerstone of many of the world’s faiths. Cosmology was a kind of ‘map of the universe’ – a walkthrough of God’s creation. It wasn’t for entertainment but for spiritual purposes. It showed the people a divinely revealed picture of our world, their position in it, and God’s transcending it. In a way, cosmology was THEOLOGY.

Now, compare below the cosmology and creation beliefs of ancient Israelites and Yogis.

 

1. A notable theme of creation in Genesis is of God fluttering over primordial waters. It is here that the cosmic world develops.

Ancient Yoga Literature provides an almost identical description. Why? 

2. Ancient Israelites who lived around the time Genesis was written described our world as consisting of 7 earths and 7 heavens. 

Ancient Yoga Literature gives an almost identical description. Why? 

3. Genesis describes a Global Flood, Ark, and Worldwide Extinction.

Again, ancient Yoga Literature gives an almost identical description. Why?

 

These ancient Yoga texts are as old as the Bible, if not older. Though separated by thousands of miles, both spiritual traditions shared many core beliefs.

 

The Indian Lotus was a symbol of the cosmos in YogaThe total number of correspondences between Biblical and Yoga cosmologies is striking: TWENTY-TWO, with only five minor variations. 

The parallels aren’t all found directly in the Bible (though they are alluded to in the Bible) but in other ancient literature of the Israelites directly connected to the Bible. The central corpus of this literature is called the ‘Torah.’

Traditionally, it is believed by Jews and Christians that God himself gave the Torah to Moses.

He gave it in two forms. One written, the other oral.

In its written form it comprises the first five books of the Bible, beginning with Genesis.

In its oral form it elaborates on events briefly described in the written form. [1]

 

Early Israelites believed it was crucial to know the oral tradition if you wished to understand the Bible’s first five written books better. [2]

The oral elaboration of Genesis was regarded as ancient and authentic by early Israelites and Christians alike. [3]

Later passages regarding rituals and legalities, however, did become an area of contention between the two groups. [4]

 

Dogma hogs religionToday, unfortunately, this oral tradition on cosmology and creation has largely slipped out of view. 

It has been almost completely forgotten. But, for interfaith harmony, it is possibly amongst the best places a spotlight can be shone.

All these twenty-two beliefs about creation were shared by the ancient Israelites, Christians, and Yogis. 

 

WHY ARE THESE CONNECTIONS IMPORTANT FOR INTERFAITH HARMONY?

These twenty-two correspondences are the KEYS to understanding the wider context and meaning of Genesis.

So many connections between the cosmic and creation beliefs of India and Israel cannot occur by accident.

There is little doubt from the 22 connections that the Biblical and ancient Yoga traditions spoke of one and the same fourteen-layered Cosmic Unit. They share an ancient cosmology.

Now, since they share a cosmology, it means they possibly shared a theology. Only their languages are different. In ancient times it seems the Biblical tradition and Yoga were in essence the same Faith. The differences we see today are mostly because of later religious history.

In other words, there is no foundational contradiction between the Bible and Yoga. Additionally, millions of Christians who practice yoga find it not only makes them healthier, it also takes them closer to Jesus. Jewish practitioners find yoga takes them closer to YHWH.

Body StretchUnfortunately, millions of other Christians (and Jews and Moslems) are missing out on these priceless benefits for body, mind, and spirit because they have been told that Yoga is unbiblical or unchristian. It is a sore and sorry mistake. Perhaps, even more unfortunate is the suspicion these inaccuracies sustain between faiths and how deeply they undermine interfaith harmony. 

But the losses do not end here. There is remarkable new evidence that the ancient cosmologies of the Israelites and Yogis is authentic. There are TWENTY ONE connections with modern science without a single contradiction!

But it requires looking at Genesis in a whole new light – in the light of ancient Yoga. In ancient India, Genesis refers to our magnificent Milky Way Galaxy as just one ‘world’ amongst innumerable others in boundless space – having been created after a Big Bang. The Yoga texts describe the Big Bang explicitly in mind-boggling detail. There is little doubt that this was the original context of the Bible, too.

Bible and yoga were one in ancient timesThe Bible is magnificent. All the criticisms of the Bible since Charles Darwin more than 100 years ago are resolved by this simple insight: East and West are one. We are all one.

All this means that our understanding of the Bible can be viewed not only in terms of its correlations with ancient Yoga, but also with modern science. Not only is there a framework for interfaith harmony, but also for harmony with science.

 

Some differences

There are, nevertheless, five places where the Biblical and Yoga descriptions vary slightly. A few variations are to be expected since the ancient Sages and Yogis would naturally have their own cultural traditions. This is described in God Is Real.

 

Everyone has the right to know the truth about science and spiritualityGod belongs to everyone and everything.

God is not narrow, partial, and petty – but truly Universal.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, Jesus and ancient Yogis taught the same spiritual message:

 

“Behold! The Kingdom of God is within you.”

Bible, Luke 17:21

 

Everyone should seek this inner spiritual experience. Spirituality might begin in churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues. But it culminates in the Self.

The Self is God’s most sacred temple, where Divinity resides – call it God, Energy, Higher Consciousness, or whatever you prefer. And there’s objective new evidence. It can help heal our world. Click here.

 

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This new book discusses material from ancient Yogis and other great Teachers rarely heard of in the western world.

This new book discusses material from ancient Yogis and other great Teachers rarely heard of in the western world.

THE YOGA MIRACLE – How Yoga and Meditation Bring You Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Wellness

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Monograph Series and the fine journal

THE SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN – “REALLY LIKED IT … AUTHENTIC.”

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References and notes

[1] Barbara A. Holdrege, Veda and Torah: transcending the textuality of scripture, Sri Satguru Publications, 1996, pp. 12-13.

[2] Hayim Nahman Bialik and Yehoshua Hana Ravnitzky (Editors)The Book of Legends, Sefer Ha-Aggadah, Legends from the Talmud and Midrash, translated by William G. Braude, Schoken Books, New York, 1992, p. xxi & 3

[3] Hayim Nahman Bialik and Yehoshua Hana Ravnitzky (Editors)The Book of Legends, Sefer Ha-Aggadah, Legends from the Talmud and Midrash, translated by William G. Braude, Schoken Books, New York, 1992, p. xix; Angelo S. Rappoport, Myth and Legend of Ancient Israel, vol. 1, KTAV Publishing House, Inc, 1966, p. xiii

[4] Peter Watson, Ideas, New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, p. 170

 

 

 

 

 

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