Hinduism is the Only Dharma in this multiverse comprising of Science & Quantum Physics.
Josh Schrei helped me understand G-O-D (Generator-Operator-Destroyer) concept of the divine that is so pervasive in the Vedic tradition/experience. Quantum Theology by Diarmuid O'Murchu and Josh Schrei article compliments the spiritual implications of the new physics. Thanks so much Josh Schrei.
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Saturday, May 7, 2011
Enlightenment for Sale! All credit cards accepted (except Hindu) By Gia Kerensky
Enlightenment for Sale! All credit cards accepted (except Hindu)
By Gia Kerensky
The popular ‘New Age’ movement of this era is a vast network of individuals, groups, organizations, cults, foundations, etc. who expound and preach a watered-down patchwork of borrowed spiritual beliefs and rituals which present a dazzling array of luring theories and practices, yet somehow fail to capture the depth and intended essence of the esoteric truths that were originally laid down by the ancient civilizations and wisdom traditions of antiquity.
Subsequently today’s new age culture seems to be a superficial masquerade of an erratic blend of these hybrid philosophies, disinformation campaigns, pop rituals and pseudo spiritualists that have stormed the world as the new and extremely successful business ventures of the millennium. Moreover much of the Aquarian beliefs, practices and religions parading the commercial field today can be said to be an ostentatious repackaging if not a distorted rip off and blatant plagiarism of Hinduism’s ancient philosophies. From the concept of oneness to mind-body-spirit unity to Gaia (mother earth) philosophy to integral yoga and meditation to holistic health and spiritual healing to the concept of eternal reality, Karma, Nirvana and self-actualization to practices of spiritual ascension and chakra (energy centre) opening, to the much advanced science of Consciousness, all can be traced back to the early Vedic and post Vedantic literature which forms the foundation of Hinduism’s culture and worldviews.
Modern Transpersonal Psychology, Consciousness Studies, the occult religion of Theosophy, Landmark Education’s The Forum and ‘est’ seminars with more than 700,000 graduates, Filmore’s Unity School of Christianity, occult religion of Eckankar, Scientology and many thousands of new-age schools and philosophies are in fact all crude derivatives and adulterated spin-offs of a mix of ancient Hindu concepts.
More importantly, Madame Helena Blavatsky (founder of Theosophical Society) who has been considered one of the biggest pioneers and the ‘mother’ of new-age thinking has wielded a far reaching influence on occult thinkers and on Western mysticism as a whole. What is not commonly known however is that her magnum opus (book) ‘The Secret Doctrine’ that set the pulse for most of the new-age thinking was in fact inspired by Hindu theories on cosmic evolution and manifestation. She often quotes the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Puranas in her works and is even said to have travelled in India and studied under Brahmin teachers. “The tree of Life and Being”, she says for instance in her book “… is said in the Bhagavad Gita to grow with its roots above and its branches below. The roots represent the Supreme Being… but one has to go beyond those roots to unite oneself with Krishna… its boughs are Hiranyagarbha (Brahma or Brahman in his highest manifestation), the highest Dhyani-Chohans or Devas. The Vedas are its leaves”.
The primary goal of this ever-growing new-age movement today, it is said, is to bring peace to the world and unite humanity under the banner of the ‘newly’ discovered one-world global consciousness or ‘oneness’ of everyone. Hinduism, which is in fact the source of all such concepts on unity and universalism has been on the contrary often isolated and portrayed as an ethnocentric religion with sectarian views that does not apply universally and thus upholding or expounding Hinduism has been considered by many so-called secular contemporaries to be a fundamentalist way of creating boundaries and limitations, which would supposedly lead to intolerance of other religions and worldviews. Many scholars who are in the lucrative business of selling the new-age beliefs have thus gone to the far extent of not only keeping the word Hindu out of their mainstream preaching and practices but completely divorcing Hinduism from its own philosophical progenies and practices such as yoga.
The popular Deepak Chopra (mind-body medicine proponent/author) Eckhart Tolle (spiritual teacher/writer) and small-time Julian Walker (LA based yoga teacher) are classic examples of some of the contemporary new-age power brokers who are living off the Hindu culture, plagiarizing Hinduism, yet failing to give credit where it is due. Julian Walker for instance employs embellished Hindu concepts in his practice, even uses Sanskrit words such as chakra and kundalini but refrains from mentioning the term Hindu. He even goes to the infantile extent of abusing and demeaning India’s most revered Hindu guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba (on his facebook status) with slanderous, malicious and unfounded remarks, while at the same time preaching transformational yoga and writing articles on “mirrors of ‘compassion’”. Eckhart Tolle on the other hand, “is quite liberal in his references to Buddhism, and throughout his book [The New Earth] reinterprets select quotations from the Bible using Advaita logic. But the word Hinduism is cited only a few times” says lawyer for Hindu American Foundation, Suhag Shukla.
In promising magical solutions to the problems of life and mind-altering nirvana, most of these individual teachers and groups today set up fancy workshops and programmes which camouflages and even distorts the ancient Hindu teachings (in the name of secularism) by jazzing it up with fancy names, flashy terminologies and charming rhetoric (an age-old business strategy of clever marketing), paving the royal road to enlightenment as they say, which really is the royal road to exploitation, capitalizing on the spiritual needs of the undiscerning masses and deceiving the less informed people into believing that they have discovered something new, the holy grail if you may, that would heal their soul, providing radical transformation and spiritual expansion, however at exorbitant rates and available exclusively through them.
Apart from yoga, they also hijack and sensationalize Hinduism’s sublime teachings of Tantra, the Science of Chakras (energy centers), Kundalini Ascension, etc. by taking it out of the context of its depth philosophy and portraying it in commercially exaggerated forms and cheap, animated ways, which renders the sellers materially successful yet spiritually and morally bankrupt. Moreover most of these new-age teachers today consider themselves as certified experts solely based on equally beguiling qualifications and diplomas such as those in crystal healing, energy cleansing, colour therapy, integral mind-body transformation or other instant enlightenment rendering sessions.
In emphasizing the importance of first being grounded in holistic Hindu philosophy in order to teach or sell Hindu concepts and practices, David Frawley, one of the very rare and authentic scholars on Vedic and Vedantic literature today, says that “some Westerners may want to create their own Yoga paths, mix Yoga with other teachings that may not be in harmony with it, or proclaim themselves as gurus without any traditional sanction. Others may want to physicalize or commercialize Yoga in order to make it more popular or profitable. A more traditional view of Yoga, and one that brings out its living religious basis, brings these efforts into question.”
India has now however rightfully made a move to patent Yoga asanas and will probably patent more of the indigenous Hindu practices in the years to come. Madan Jaira reports through the Hindustan Times that “The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has prepared patent formats of nearly 900 yoga asanas (postures), to prevent European and American companies involved in fitness-related activities from claiming them as their own”.
Using Hinduism’s concepts and practices for personal gain without using the word Hindu forms a wide-spread class of spiritual businessmen. On the other end of the spectrum however, there are so-called experts like Wendy Doniger for instance, who acknowledges Hinduism but uses Judeo-Christian frames of reference and Freudian Psychoanalysis to interpret and denigrate Hinduism thus reducing Eastern Spirituality to Western Materialism, presenting a pornographic and intensely vulgarized perception of Hinduism that is further distorted by her religious conditioning, cultural bias and narrow modes of information processing, an attitude she displays in her own words when she says “the Bhagavad Gita is a dishonest book”. A third category of offenders includes Indian scholars such as Devdutt Pattanaik who support distortionists like Wendy Doniger and dignify her prejudices and overt abuse of Hinduism and its sacred scriptures, further reinforcing the reprehensible thoughts and acts of such miscreants.
Apart from a few genuine and honest teachers who study in-depth and align their practices and teachings with the authentic source that is Hinduism, most use (misuse) it for personal gain and fame. There is nothing really ‘new’ then about the new age culture other than its plastic shamans, narcissistic, pseudo-spiritual leaders and corporate sponsors with their shallow, celebrity mystique and shrewd yet denigrated ways of deception. A large part of the new age movement is in fact more of an unrefined, consumer-driven scam, a money-making market of quackery and an entertainment industry of philosophical/spiritual misguiding.
Dr Aseem Shukla of Hindu American Foundation (HAF) throwing light on Deepak Chopra’s famed yet borrowed spirituality says “Chopra is perhaps the most prominent exponent of the art of “How to Deconstruct, Repackage and Sell Hindu Philosophy Without Calling it Hindu!” To Larry King, he has described himself as an “Advaita Vedantin”–one of the major philosophical schools of Hinduism. Yet none of the plethora of his book titles, that include several devoted to Jesus and one entire book devoted to the Buddha, even skirt the word “Hindu.” His website is devoted to selling products and literature related to yoga, meditation and ayurveda, but Hinduism, of course, bears no mention.”
Also emphasizing on the selective bias of common secular agendas Ranbir Singh of Hindu Human Rights (HHR) UK asserts that “The new age movement appears to give an eclectic mix of anti-Hindu tastes. When it comes to yoga, meditation, vegetarianism, ecological awareness, religious tolerance and even the invention of decimal numbers then it’s not Hindu. But mention sati, dowry abuse, poverty, human trafficking, communal riots and corruption in India then Hinduism suddenly becomes the lowest common denominator of blame”.
Today’s multi-million selling book and DVD ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne is based on the concept of the ‘Law of Attraction’- that you can attract whatever you like into your life. The origin of this popular concept traces its roots back to the book “Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace Wattles who says in the preface of his book that “The monistic theory of the universe… the theory that ‘One is All, and that All is One and that one Substance manifests itself as the seeming many elements of the material world’ is of Hindu origin, and has been gradually winning its way into the thought of the western world for two hundred years. It is the foundation of all the Oriental philosophies, and of those of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, Schopenhauer, Hegel, and Emerson”.
What Wattles was essentially referring to was the fundamental Hindu concept of the ‘one indivisible supreme reality’ that organizes the universe and all its processes and manifestations in ways that are conducive to the ‘whole’. However this concept has now been filtered down to imply that since everything is connected, just by consistently desiring and positively thinking about acquiring 25 Ferraris for instance or pot loads of money will somehow make it manifest in our lives, regardless of whether it serves or acts against the balance of the whole. It also implies that if you have cancer then you “thought” it into existence and if you are a billionaire you manifested that reality with your thought power. Thus it further follows that all people who are raped or victims of terrorist attacks or natural calamities have brought it upon themselves. This is the typical case of cherry picking where Google-search yogis take a concept out of its holistic context and neatly twist it in pretty yet misleading ways that attract many consumers with unfulfilled needs.
Moreover the book and DVD ‘the secret’ uses a spiritual camouflage to encourage self-indulgence and self-centeredness which actually goes against and contradicts the original Hindu concept of the undivided reality and Hinduism’s emphasis on detachment from and transcendence of the mind and its wavering thought-currents.
In the final analysis, it has been known that for over two hundred years India’s material wealth and resources were plundered and drained during the colonial British rule where the East India Company exploited and weakened India’s indigenous industries by buying her raw materials at cheap rates and selling her the manufactured end-products at inflated prices. What is not so obvious is that this trend of well-disguised fraudulency still continues even to this day as the modern-day Robert Clives have found their way back in the guise of self-appointed yogis and scholars who now exploit India’s spiritual wealth, only to dissect it, distort it, recycle/repackage it and sell it back to her people as well as the rest of the world for their self-serving gains, without ever acknowledging the real source.
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Tags: chakra, credit cards, enlightenment, HAF, hindu, Hinduism, holistic, new age, spiritual
10 Responses for “Enlightenment for Sale! All credit cards accepted (except Hindu)”
David Phillips says:
April 28, 2011 at 9:45 pm
This is a Rather than be pleased that ancient wisdom is being applied in this modern age and people are being helped, Gia Kerensky resents that Indian spiritual culture is not being given credit. This kind of attitude makes Hinduism look small and petty.
April 29, 2011 at 4:33 am
If this makes Hinduism looks small David, then i suggest you obliterate your name “David” and your identity from all records on earth. Why would you want an individual identity? After all we are all “one” and connected and not separate from each other. Calling yourself David then really makes you look small and petty. So go ahead, make your wisdom applicable in all situations otherwise you’re no differ from any hypocritical preacher who never practices what he preaches.
April 29, 2011 at 8:10 am
It is high time we Hindis stood up for our rights and dropped our “tolerance” attitude. People like David Phillips love to emotionally blackmail us and force us to put up with this nonsense lest we should appear “petty”. But poeple like him will no more fool us.
Carter Jain says:
April 29, 2011 at 9:25 am
Brilliant article – well written and too the point. As for David Phillips assertion that this makes “Hinduism look small and petty” this is exactly the thinking that we Hindus are slowly fighting against. David I know a lot of these so called New Agers and the only thing on their mind is making money – they prey on the vulnerable and the weak and poor. They grab people when they are most in need of answers… give them a free taste of whatever new age solution they have… use Cult practices to draw them in (peer pressure, feigned kindness etc) and then when the Human feels a bit Better they present a “Nirvana on a Stick” concept that costs 100′s of Dollars, Pounds whatever.
So David why have you not addressed the fact that the underlying issue of this article is that Hindu concepts that have been tried and tested over thousands of years are being adapted and screwed up.
are you, by chance, on the new agers who make money from taking Hindu concepts?
Let me give you a adapted quote from the film Network
“We Hindu’s are mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore!!!”
right I gotta go and cleanse my chakras and lies on my bed of crystals… there’s way to much heavy negativity man around…
April 29, 2011 at 12:21 pm
David if u wanted heart surgery would you go to a quack down the road who just read a few books on heart surgery or would you go to a professional surgeon ? Its the same with these pseudo wannabe urban’ yogis like the Julian Walkers mentioned in this article who read a few books they get from Amazon online and then go around pretending they are Yoga Gurus with a few certificates displayed on the wall ..When people start to recognize these practices of tantra/chakra or yoga ect. are Hindu then they can go to the original sources and come across authentic teachers to benefit themselves spiritually without becoming credit card junkies.for some fake.
Yogi Mat says:
April 29, 2011 at 5:12 pm
Being accused of being “small and petty” by those that want to claim that in re-inventing the wheel also gives them the rights also to rewrite the history of the wheel is a bit rich don’t you think David? Whether you like it or not, modern practices like the types of fitness yoga that are now so popular many no longer be coterminous with Sanatana Dharma, because of the determination of the wellness, well-being and media sectors but they all certainly owe a huge debt of gratitude to those traditions that have not tried to “unlink” themselves from it. The tail does NOT and should not wag the dog and no amount of saying otherwise will change that fact. Due credit where credit is due is not too much to ask and that I think is what authentic practitioners are demanding from contemporary developers like Chopra that persistently seem to skirt around awkward issues like this for reasons that might only ever be known by themselves.
April 30, 2011 at 8:51 am
Umm, Why dont we just thank David for his views and stop attacking him personally.
April 30, 2011 at 9:33 am
@David : Your statement resembles the attitude of those christian missionaries who don’t have a life or spirituality, but take orders from the vatican to spread lies to demean hinduism.
Dr.O. P. Sudrania says:
April 30, 2011 at 5:44 pm
New Age culture or vulture; is a new propaganda machinery. I have said it earlier, the current “Religion” is being used to promote their brand of “God Market” like a fashion, which after using for a couple of years or so gets boring and needs changing. But how much can you change? Hence the old styles get recycled. This God market is even worst. Example is “monotheism V polytheism” – a needless boring story cooked up on “no knowledge or nescience”. If one study the Vedas deeply, we can appreciate the meaning in what I am meaning. India is full of Deepak Chopras – politics, TV/Print media, scholastic elites who pretend hard to project themselves as (pseudoseculars) and so on. We are coping with them everyday through the scams after scams, from materialism to spiritualism – just a fraction of game.
Apart from human baby, have you any knowledge of another species whose new born infant cries? I have not been able to find one! Meaning that as we always say and accept that the worst species is “Homo Sapiens” who can not be trusted, howsoever you serve him/her. This species is worst than a snake. It can never be tamed or trusted.
Deepak Chopra’s psychology may be to enroll himself in the big list of western pseudo-seculars to make money by creating his clout by wrong means. He may call himself Advaita vedantin but he is demeaning himself. This only lends discredit to his writtings as valid and authentic. But there is a lot of junk sold in the literary market, hence let him prefer himself to enlist in that junk group. It certainly has helped him enlist in a powerful list recently. He has been rewarded for his work in the west.
In fact it amuses me when and wherever I find “Hinduism” being defiled. Since it signifies its high stature. As Abraham Lincoln had said, “Dogs bark at the Moon till it shines”. This same problem applied to the groups who have been propped up to defame Satya Sai Baba. Baba has grown so tall recently that it had become a worry to some cults who feared Baba superseding them. It resulted in an obvious loss of footfalls as well as fall in their donations. Amazingly Baba’s funeral had a far wider TV coverage than any even royal functions and He was given an unusual state honour which the western media enviously wrote their columns without fail adding, “he has been involved in sexual abuses, molestations and blah blah”. At the same time, they cautiously add, “Charges that are not proven” adulterating His main theme. What a felonious journalism? There was not a single medium which did not use this dirty trick.
Indians are morons. Consider their mad race for the english royal wedding. Yet CSM wrote an article that may be perused alongwith my comment on this following site with an opening para to arouse your interest:
“Consider this statement from Mark Oppenheimer in Slate:
“Of all the annoying things about the royal wedding – the crass materialism, the outrageous invasion of a young couple’s privacy, the bad TV – none is more troubling than the occasion this event gives for the non-English to transform themselves into besotted Anglophilic wusses.”
Harsh words, but they raise an interesting question. Why are we, the republican colonialists who rejected monarchy, now riveted by this wedding?” The link is:
However I finish with a cautionery note that Hinduism also needs some intense reformation in the practices because it has become obsolete on several counts and attempts are on as the realisation is donning on. Having said so, I have some feeling that there is going to be a revolution that no one has contemplated so far and Hinduism or Vedism – whatever you may like to epitomise it, will emerge supreme. Some people may get alarmed but it is a time to introspect in stead to react.
Dr.O. P. Sudrania says:
April 30, 2011 at 6:02 pm
I come back to add that it is an excellent, well researched article by Gia Kerensky who deserve all accolades. Keep it up. The problem with the Indians in olden days was that they never indulged in self-praise. This has resulted in paucity of historical records. Whatever was written, was the bare most important information or the religious texts. At the same time, we must not forget that those were days when the d
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