This new book, “The Wisdom of Jesus and the Yoga Siddhas,” by Marshall Govindan is addressed to Christians who are interested in comparing Eastern spiritual teachings with those of Christianity, and students of spiritual Yoga, otherwise known as Classical Yoga and Tantra, as well as students and practitioners of meditation. Mr. Govindan, himself a yogi of 40 years and devout lover of God for nearly 60, presents us a scholarly book to bridge the gap between the Christian religion and Christ-like spiritual experience.
Christianity speaks of a variety of means to reach God: religion is one, philosophic reflection is another and spiritual realization and experience is a third. While religion and philosophic thought are considered approaches to take, spiritual realization and experience suggests direct entry. Religion has its sacraments, rituals, creeds, theology and prayer. But, religion has too often pushed away spiritual experience and philosophic reflection in favor of dogma, creed, piety and self-prescribed moral conduct.
The overriding theme in this book is, regardless of your religion or philosophy, approach God directly. Jesus spoke about a direct approach to the Kingdom of Heaven, which we can all take. The Siddhas referred to it as Yoga, the goal being samadhi (cognitive absorption) and prescribed the methods of Kundalini Yoga. “Seek not to know about God, now is the time to Seek to know God, through higher states of consciousness.”
According to modern Biblical scholars, the most authentic teachings of Jesus are the “sayings’ and parables passed down orally for two to three decades after the crucifixion of Jesus, before being recorded in the three synoptic Gospels Matthew, Mark and Luke between 65 and 85 AD, as well as in the Gospel of Thomas. Remarkably, this book explores these controversial teachings and compares them with those of the Yoga Masters, the Siddhas. These authentic teachings of Jesus, according to modern scholars were later obscured in the Gospel of John, and the letters of Paul as Christianity developed a religion about Jesus.
This book explores the short, provocative, memorable and often repeated phrases and stories of Jesus and compares them to the short, provocative, memorable and often repeated phrases of the Yoga Siddhas. Truly the similarities are profound and revealing. One of the most interesting revelations may be in seeing "Why the teachings of Jesus are so contrary to ordinary human nature?"
Normally man does not have direct entry into the highest states of consciousness. Man is limited by the wide gulf, which lies between ordinary consciousness and “Christ-like Consciousness.” It is up to each individual to discover the means to move between these levels of consciousness, if we are ever to truly access the realm of the Spirit.
Jesus refers to the obstacles to the realization of the Kingdom of Heaven, in his parables. They draw our attention again and again to man’s ignorance of his divine nature and to the delusion caused by his pride and egoism. Jesus taught through parable, as did the Siddhas, that we all must become spiritually disciplined by living in the world, that we must release attachments to the world wealth and glory, and that we must love unconditionally, caring for all others as the Lord, Himself. Only in this way can we transcend the ordinary egoistic perspective, and experience the realm of the Spirit.
Faith must not ignore what reason uncovers. Through his book, Marshall Govindan opens a Siddha’s door to the soul, for all who have taken the sacred teachings of Jesus into their heart.
By Durga Ahlund