I don’t know about you, but I get this stuff all the time – the latest New Age hyper-sell to land in my inbox is the Home Enlightenment and Self Realization Program by Sri Sutrananda which uses a combination of Jnana, Raja, Bhakti, Karma, Hathaa and Kunda yoga to take users on a journey of “spiritual discovery and self realization.”
The 10 DVD set costs $175 and will help you “become enlightened” so that you will no longer try to run your life all by yourself, but enable you to discover that “the entire universe moves through you.”
You’ll also come to realize that “you are a being of light having a human experience” and will learn to develop and use your psychic abilities in order to make your life easier.
This course is being taught by Yoga Master Sutrananda’s who claims his divine intention is to share his wisdom and knowledge with others, so they can “remember who they really are.”
Sri Sutrananda believes every human being knows what their purpose is in life but has either forgotten it, chooses to ignore it, or is influenced away from it by external sources. “The key is to quiet your mind so that you can remember,” he suggests. “Your soul acts as a radar, registering bits and pieces of information that resonate within you, reminding you what you came here to do.”
These divine signals can be spotted by their “tingling” and can come from television, the radio, a dream, even his website. However, many people ignore this tingle and follow what he calls the “prototype of humanity” such as the man who settles down to start a family rather than following his dream of traveling the world and making movies. Sutrananda says people get caught up in these illusions – which are called “Maya” – and become miserable.
“But the reality is that you do not have to do anything that you do not want to do.”
He also offers courses to become a Master like himself, courses that include teaching people to see and identify auras and “the different energy patterns and the meaning of these patterns.”
They’ll also learn the law of attraction (also known as The Secret) as well as joyous sexual expression. “We are born out of sex, we are sex, sex is a celebration of life, by celebrating sex we can easily move from sex to super-consciousness,” he writes.
Elsewhere on his site, where he lists the “Ten Illusions,” he quotes from the book “Conversations with God” by New Age author Neale Donald Walsch. (More about him in tomorrow’s blog.)
While Mr. Sutrananda has every right to believe and sell whatever he wants, this New Age e-mail offer makes for a great teaching moment for those who are honing their discernment skills!
Mr. Sutrananda’s program is definitely New Age and appears to be a yoga-human potential movement combo.
The following are a few lessons we can learn from his literature:
1) “ . . . Sri Sutrananda . . . uses a combination of Jnana, Raja, Bhakti, Karma, Hathaa and Kunda yoga . . .”
Yoga is a Hindu practice designed to unite a person to Brahman (a false god) and is not compatible with Christianity (not even “Christian yoga” – see /?p=67)
Some of the yoga forms used in this program are described in more detail in Johnnette’s book, The New Age Counterfeit. For instance, Hatha Yoga is based on the notion that we can achieve salvation through physical exercises. The physical manipulation of one’s body is aimed at creating an altered state of consciousness which occurs as a result of the effect of the exercise on the central nervous system.
Kundalini yoga is based on the teaching that a dormant “Kundalini Shakti” (Serpent Power) lies at the base of the spine. Once awakened, it can travel up the spine, through six psychic centers called “chakras”, causing psychic experiences and powers.
2) “ . . . you are a being of light having a human experience”
Christians do not believe that humans are “beings of light.” We believe that creatures are created in the image and likeness of God and consist of both a physical body and a soul.
3) “ . . . will learn to develop and use your psychic abilities in order to make your life easier.”
What kind of psychic abilities? Clairvoyance? Channeling spiritual entities? The use of psychic abilities, which are sourced in the occult, constitutes the sin of sorcery (See No. 2117 in the Catechism).
4) “ . . every human being knows what their purpose is in life but has either forgotten it, chooses to ignore it, or is influenced away from it by external sources. . . .”
Our purpose is not hidden somewhere within us, but is found in the will of our Creator. Eliminating the need for God in order to discover His purpose for our lives is to elevate the human to a divine level. While most of us think the sin of idolatry means worshiping false gods, it consists in divinizing anything that is not God – even ourselves!
5) “Your soul acts as a radar, registering bits and pieces of information that resonate within you, reminding you what you came here to do.”
To suggest that our soul act as a radar picking up bits of information that “resonate” and “remind” us of what we came here to do suggests the existence of some power other than God which may constitute the sin of idolatry (See No. 2112 in the Catechism)
6) “. . . but the reality is that you do not have to do anything that you do not want to do.”
Teaching people that they “don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do” means there is no moral order, no sin, no need of a Redeemer – another distinctly New Age feature.
7) “ . . .we are sex, sex is a celebration of life, by celebrating sex we can easily move from sex to super-consciousness . . .”
This is a complete distortion of the purpose of human sexuality that is not only unchristian but dehumanizing as well. Sexuality goes a lot further than just the body but affects all aspects of a human person in their body and soul. It especially concerns one’s capacity to love and to procreate. In fact, the harmony of all of society depends in part upon the acknowledgment and acceptance of our sexuality as male and female and in the way our complementarity, needs and mutual support are lived out in the world. (see No. 2331-2333 in the Catechism)
I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. Use discernment when reading your e-mail – and never let a good teaching moment pass you by!
For a copy of Johnnette’s book, click on the “New Age Resources” button on the navigation bar above.
Send your New Age questions to firstname.lastname@example.org