What Does the Bible Say About
by Michael Sharif
Yoga is pervasive. Yoga is in the east and the west. Yoga classes are offered
in Central Africa, in Russia, in Australia. Flyers for yoga are on university
bulletin boards, in health food stores, in the elevators of high rise apartment
buildings in downtown Los Angeles, and even as part of some YMCA physical
education programs. Is yoga merely a physical exercise?
Regarding the yoga asanas or physical postures Swami Vivekananda writes
in his book Raja Yoga : "A series of exercises, physical and mental, is
to be gone through every day until certain higher states are reached. Nerve
currents will have to be dispatched and given a new channel. New sorts of
vibrations will begin: the whole constitution will be remodeled, as it were."
In Yoga: The Method of Re-Intergation Alain Danielou, a French scholar on
yoga, writes that the real import of yoga is as "a process of control of the
gross body which aims at freeing the subtle body." The subtle body is regarded
as extremely complex and consisting of 72,000 invisible psychic channels called
nadis corresponding to the physical or gross body. The subtle body and
the physical body are connected at seven primary points or chakras
ranging from the top of the head to the base of the spine.
The charkas are believed to control the consciousness of an individual.
Manipulating the spine through various yoga postures is believed to increase the
energy flow from the subtle body altering the consciousness of the individual.
Kundalini yoga and hatha yoga directly manipulate the charkas through their
various postures and breathing exercises.
In a mind over body relationship mantra yoga also seeks to alter consciousness
of an individual by the repetition of mantras, which Guru Dev, the guru of
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, considered the "favorite names of the gods". Mantras are
repeated silently or audibly up to several hours and produce altered states of
Yoga is bound up in Eastern religious metaphysics and is not an innocent form of
relaxing the body and the mind. The goal of yoga is the same as that of
Hinduism, which is realizing that one is Brahman, the underlying impersonal God
of the Universe in Hinduism. According to Psychic Forces and Occult Shock
(Wilson and Weldon): "The physical exercises of yoga are designed to prepare the
body for the psychospiritual change vital to inculcating this idea (the
realization that one is Brahman) into the consciousness and being of the person.
Hence talk of separating yoga practice from theory is meaningless. From a
Christian perspective, whether the two can safely be divided is doubtful. 'I do
yoga, but Hinduism isn't involved,' is an incorrect statement."
A Spiritual Counterfeits Project (Berkeley, California) publication on "Yoga"
states: "For while it may suit the secular fancy to espouse only that selected
aspect (the physical) of yoga which fits the bourgeois notion of what yoga is
supposed to do (i.e. make a beautiful body), the fact still remains that even
physical yoga is inextricably bound up in the whole of Eastern religious
metaphysics. In fact, it is quite accurate to say that physical yoga and Indian
metaphysics are mutually interdependent; you really can't have one without the
In the Shankara tradition, which pervades most of contemporary Hinduism, the
raindrop is pictured as the symbol of the individual self and the ocean is the
symbol of the universal soul (J.Isamu Yamamoto, SCP Newsletter). "The absorption
of the raindrop into the ocean is symbolic of the absorption of the person into
the impersonal universe. After people attain enlightenment, they lose their
identities and become one with the all. Absorption is the goal of the monist
Hindu" (J.Isamu Yamamoto, SCP Newsletter , March-April 1983).
"The candle flame is a Buddhist image of the individual; it is the light of life
that flickers in the darkness of sorrow. The quest of each ardent Buddhist is to
extinguish their own flame. They seek not merely a physical death but a death
that will deliver them from both the physical and spiritual life. Extinction is
the goal of the traditional Buddhist" (J. Isamu Yamamoto, SCP Newsletter
For this author more persuasive than any authority is the author's personal
experience in mantra yoga, hatha yoga, and kundalini yoga. Definite altered
states of consciousness are produced by yoga. However, these states of
consciousness while initially anesthetic became with constant yoga practice
progressively more oppressive resulting in a disassociation from the external
world. Sensory input was accentuated and produced an overreaction to external
stimuli resulting in anxiety. On intensive asana-meditation courses the author
experienced several blackouts during mantra meditation sessions which lasted up
to an hour and a half. No consciousness of elapsed time and no memory of what
had transpired during the blackout existed after such an experience.
Coping with these altered states of consciousness produced in the author
mounting tension making him easily upset by trifles (slamming of a door, the
screeching of a jet fighter plane, traffic). In many ways the meditation/yoga
experience is the classic experience of anxiety disorder so well documented by
the Australian doctor Claire Weekes in her classic book Hope and Help For
Your Nerves , which also offers the best non clinical approach for curing
anxiety disorder of which panic attacks are common symptoms.
Meditation and yoga in many instances cause anxiety disorder. This
author's experience is that the techniques result in feelings of unreality,
feelings of personality disintegration, and depression. It is the author's
belief that many of the so-called "advanced states of consciousness" are no more
than the result of extreme sensitization, a state in which our nerves react in
an exaggerated way to stress induced by the yoga/meditation techniques,
producing an overshadowing sensory unreality similar to those induced by
consciousness altering drugs.
Yoga is marketed in the guise of an innocent, healthful technique, but it is far
from it. H.Rieker warns: "Yoga is not a trifling jest if we consider that any
misunderstanding in the practice of yoga can mean death or insanity," and that
if the breath is "prematurely exhausted, there is immediate danger of death for
the yogi" (Rieker, The Yoga of Light (Los Angeles: Dawn House) 1974, p.
135). Blackouts, strange trance states, or insanity are listed from even "the
slightest mistake…" of practicing yoga. Swami Prabhavananda's Yoga and
Mysticism lists brain injury, incurable disease, and insanity as potential
hazards of wrong yoga practice.
If one is experiencing stress and needs to relax there are many ways to do this
such as going for a walk, a picture show, playing sports, going out for dinner,
taking a vacation than pursuing yoga. To strengthen one's body you can lift
weights, run, swim etc… rather than doing yoga postures.
In Psychic Forces and Occult Shock Wilson and Weldon state, "Yoga is
really pure occultism, as any number of yoga and occult texts prove (R.S
Mishra's Yoga Sutras and Fundamentals of Yoga , J. Brennan's
Astral Doorways and H. Chaudhuri's Philosophy of Meditation are
footnoted). Occult abilities are very common from yoga practice, and the
numerous dangers of occultism are evident from many studies (K. Koch's
Christian Counseling and Occultism is footnoted). The yoga scholar and
Sanskrit authority, Mishra, states: 'In conclusion, it may be said that behind
every psychic investigation, behind mysticism, occultism, etc., knowingly or
unknowingly, the yoga system is present. (Mishra, op.cit.)'" Kurt Koch in his
various excellent books correlates delving with the occult with subsequent
experiences of anxiety and depression sometimes resulting in suicide.
The Bible informs us that God created Adam of the dust of the earth and breathed
into his nostrils the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). Man is a created, separate
being. Man can have a relationship with the Living God by accepting His Son,
God's physical incarnation, Jesus Christ. The Bible does not teach that through
yoga man can attain progressive higher levels of consciousness so that man will
realize he is one with God and merge with Brahman as Hinduism teaches or that
man's personality can be extinguished as a flame is extinguished as Buddhism
teaches. The Bible does not mention or recognize yoga or any system where man
can become one with God.
God is so far above man that man cannot work his way up to God through his own
actions. Because of the original sin of Adam and Eve man is fatally flawed. He
is born in sin. But God so loved man that he provided a plan of redemption. God
Himself became man (John 1:14) to provide the perfect sacrifice to atone for
man's sin. The perfect sacrifice had to be God Himself as only God is without
sin. Accepting God's provision for sin, his Son, gives man an eternal life in
God's presence. The earthly body is shed and replaced with an eternal body at
death. Man does not become nor does he merge with God. Salvation is a free gift
given by grace, and not something which has to be worked for.
Both Hinduism and Buddhism believe in reincarnation, the transmigration of souls
from one body to the next over time. One reincarnates to overcome one's karma or
one's attachment to the material world and the recurring patterns which bind one
to the material world. Only by elevating one's consciousness through yoga and
piercing the "veil of illusion," which is the material world, can one transcend
and merge with Brahman or snuff out one's flame and attain Nirvana.
The Bible teaches that man lives once and then comes judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
For those who have accepted Christ there is no judgment as the decision has been
made to spend eternity with the source of all goodness, joy, and purity, the
personal God of the Universe. For those who never knew Christ God will judge
with absolute fairness, but for those who have rejected Christ eternity will be
spent in a horrible place where God does not exist, a place to which Jesus
referred to more than anyone else in the Bible, a place of eternal agony … hell
Yoga is not a panacea, it is a system where man tries to work his way to God.
Yoga is not necessary and all of man's works are nothing but dirty rags before
the righteousness of God. Why spend one's life in bondage chasing a mirage,
spending countless hours doing yoga exercises and meditating, hoping to pull
oneself off samsara, the wheel of reincarnation. Man can never become God.
Because of the sin of Adam man dies. What mortal man can compare to even an
angel of God? Daniel saw the angel Gabriel and here is his awesome description:
"I looked up and suddenly there before me stood a person robed in linen
garments, with a belt of purest gold around his waist, and glowing lustrous
skin! From his face came blinding flashes like lightning, and his eyes were
pools of fire; his arms and feet shone like polished brass, and his voice was
like the roaring of a vast multitude of people. I, Daniel, alone saw this great
vision; the men with me saw nothing, but they were suddenly filled with
unreasoning terror and ran to hide and I was left alone. When I saw this
frightening vision my strength left me, and I grew pale and weak with fright.
(Daniel 10: 5-8, Living Bible)."
Man doesn't have to become God. God stretches forth His hand (Revelation 3:20)
and all you have to do is take it by making a conscious decision to accept Jesus
Christ. Ask him humbly to take charge of your life in simple words. Then the
Holy Spirit will indwell you and you will have peace, joy, and certainty. Only
then will you shed your old cocoon and experience God's metamorphosis.
Michael Sherif practiced
mantra yoga (meditated silently on a supposedly "meaningless" sound which was
really the vehicle that drew him into a "Hindu" deity or really a demon from our
Christian perspective). He was in bondage to this, in combination with hatha
yoga for six years. According to his testimony this was a horrible experience
for him. Yoga involvement is really an exercise in a demonic activity which is
portrayed as "fun" and "healthy" that can lead to demonic possession. He
experienced different states of sensory consciousness which were dark and
sterile until Jesus set him free. You may read other articles that deal with
witchcraft and New Age bondage at his website: