Taking The Mystery Out of Yoga

By Gretchen Karros


Yoga and the philosophy of the Yogic path has many different interpretations, explanations and definitions.  This monthly section is intended to enlighten, expand and inform both Yogis and non-Yogis about this very ancient science of well being.


The topic for this month is:  HINDUISM

Hinduism is a monotheistic religion that believes God manifests Himself or Herself in many different forms, unlike many well-known Western religions. There is one similarity, though.  Hindus believes in a “trinity” of Gods – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. This is not too different than the trinity in Christianity except for the meaning of each is entirely different.

Another very different belief in Hinduism is the idea of past lives (reincarnation) and it’s related idea of Karma, a belief that what happens in this life determines one’s fate and can be succinctly stated in “what goes around, comes around.” Unsavory deeds can follow you around for many reincarnations.

If one has an open mind and is interested in learning more about other spiritual practices, especially ones that survived several millennia, Hinduism fulfills this quest.  As David Frawley, the Director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies said “Hindu ‘dharma’ (that which holds together or religion) is a living, vibrant, spiritual tradition that can guide any sincere seeker along the path to the highest Self realization.”  This religion is not only for aspiring Yogis but for anyone who desires to move to this higher level of consciousness, one that is not dualistic.

Modern Hinduism espouses many different versions of this religion, ideas that appeal to the over one billion people in India.  It is not a religion that tries to convert others, it is not one that satisfies the ego, it is not one that has churches where one goes to pray. Prayers (meditations or chanting) are usually done at home, with a guru, in a garden or anywhere!  Even though many people believe that Yoga is a religion usually discover that there are actually nine philosophical schools that have developed over thousands of years and Yoga is a relatively more recent one, the final one being Vedanta, from the word “veda” a term meaning wisdom.  The Vedas were believed to have been dictated by God in the fourth or fifth millennium b.c.e.  Almost all religions in India are based on the Vedas.


Quote of the month;

“True love exists when the heart is so broadly

trained that it can embrace all human beings

and all living creatures.”

Ayya Khema