Re: TS yoga
Jul 24, 1996 07:54 PM
by Maxim Osinovsky
Just sharing information...
If we agree that practical theosophy is about
making contact with the
Higher Self (and with the Masters via the Self), then search for a yoga
labeled a'TS yoga' may be misguided--any yoga offering means of
contacting the Self will work.
However, it is meaningful to ask whether theosophy offers new and novel
means of making the contact. (For the purposes of this discussion, I will
mean by 'theosophy' any teaching belonging to the same tradition as HPB,
i.e. given out or directly inspired by the Masters.) I think the answer
is "yes." I can see at least two such systems:
1. Agni Yoga, given out by Master M., (14 vols. published by Roerichs) is
an INTENSELY PRACTICAL system. It may be called 'yoga of energy,' or more
exactly 'yoga of mind-controlled energy." These two terms--mind (mental
development) and energy (subtle energies)--are key words of the new yoga.
(Un)fortunately it is so refined compared with other similar systems
(e.g. raja yoga) that most people apparently get in trouble trying to
discern in it some kind of yoga at all.
2. Alice Bailey books--I mean those channeled from Master D.K.--promise
essentially the same way. I say 'promise,' because--unlike Agni
Yoga--AB's books are VERY heavy on theory and contain rather little
'exercises.' But then again, the source of trouble is reader's mentality
and his expectations, since the AB material is very practical in some sense.
Fortunately for those interested, Arcane School founded by AB offers a
complete correspondence course of studies and practice spanning over at
least 10 years.
Other novel approaches along similar lines include:
1. Sri Aurobindo's integral yoga. It is essentially identical with
theosophy. I possess a valuable text on integral yoga which I hope to
post in a few days.
2. Sufi teachings as they have leaked through Gourdjieff.
Less known to a Western seeker are some other systems. Although
not new and novel, they may offer valuable insights to a theosophical seeker:
1. Eastern Christian yoga: Philokalia, Starets Siluan (not translated
into English), hesychasm,...
2. Kashmir Shaivism (see recent books by Mark Dyczkowski, Andre Padoux,
and other SUNY publications). This is pure esoterism offering what may be
called a 'phonetic key to Secret Doctrine.'
3. Tibetan Yoga should be very important to a theosophical seeker, and
this is for several reasons. However, I believe it is unusable by
Westerners, at least as it is offered now by Tibetan lamas. This is
mostly because of a very specific guru-disciple relationship model
imposed by the lamas on their Western students--the model being
completely out of tune with the western mentality.
4. And, of course, such classics as Patanjali's Yoga Sutras,
Bhagavadgita, Shankara, and so forth.
To sum it up, there is some good choice for someone who wants to study
and practice in the spirit of theosophy. Just a reminder: if theosophy is
really a universal Wisdom-Religion, it is OK to freely borrow useful
stuff from all the systems acknowledging spiritual evolution.
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