Thursday, April 28, 2011

Enlightenment for Sale

The Chakra (, “the most comprehensive and up-to-date source of worldwide Dharmic-related news,” for April 28th has a piece of the popularization of Indian ideas through the New Age movement. “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.

In response to this diffusion of Indian culture, there has been a move in India, it reports, to patent “nearly 900 yoga asanas (postures), to prevent European and American companies involved in fitness-related activities from claiming them as their own.”

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