You decide

Whether my Yoga Philosophy class that deals with Guru and Vedantic mysticism is a religion or not depends on what you call religion. Is consciousness a religion? Some say yes, some say no. You decide. What I’m interested in is extraordinary states of consciousness that empower people to do extraordinary things, especially those things that help humanity. Empirical data regarding such states is growing by leaps and bounds. Read the article “The Mind-Body Revolution” in the July-August issue of Psychology Today. Or read the works of Drs. Bernie Siegel and Deepak Chopra. The great Vedantic saint Swami Rama Tirtha (1873-1906), argued that Vedantic spirituality was fully empirical but admitted that the science of his day was too immature to evaluate Vedanta. Now that science is more advanced, there is no shortage of proof of the extraordinary states of consciousness some people have. The mystic welcomes and encourages all scientific and logical scrutiny.

On the other hand, religion, conventionally understood, says “Believe this, believe that because Jesus, the Bible, Muhammad, the Koran, Krishna, etc. tells you to believe.”

What I teach in my class is very similar to Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga. Many of his writings are in the N.I.U. library. Judge for yourself if what I teach is religion or not.

Arthur Shimkus

Siddha Yoga Worker