Wednesday, July 17, 2013

John the Beloved, Yogi

(This is part 2 of my Yoga of Jesus series. To find them all, just click the tag.)

In The Yoga of Jesus, Paramahansa Yogananda makes a case for Jesus’s teachings bridging East and West. I have to agree with him that Jesus has been awfully westernized by the Christian world. In truth, Jesus was not western, he was born right on the crossroads of East (India, the Orient) and West (then Europe). In fact all the major trade routs passed through Palestine. However, Jesus himself never went west. His apostles later did, but he spent much more time in the East.

To try to understand Jesus the Christ from a purely western perspective requires a lot of stretching and finagling (For example: the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, the prodigal son--these never sit well with capitalists). When you understand Jesus’s teaching from an eastern perspective, they make prefect sense, especially since there is now ample evidence that Christ spent 17 years in India during his “lost years.”

Map of Jesus's possible travel routes in India.

Yogananda’s book is full of both awesome and interesting explanations of Jesus’s hidden yogic teachings of God-realization within the four Christian Gospels. All of the gospels contain some of these hidden treasures, but Yogananda claims that Saint John was perhaps the greatest of the disciples of Jesus. John, in all of his writings, seems to have a superior ability to appreciate and absorb the depth and breadth of his teachings. Yogananda suggest that John’s gospel, though last in order, should be considered first when the true meaning of the life and teachings of Jesus is considered.

I have always loved the writings of Saint John, but when it comes to the Bible there are so many different translations and interpretations. I make it a point to always read the Joseph Smith translation, (which is an inspired translation by a prophet of God) and there are many changes to John in the JST, but so far they all seem to support Yogananda’s claims, that John was super-close with the most private Jesus—and he understood the truths from an intuitive, awakened perspective.

In searching the Book of Mormon and other texts for verity--or in reality just reading along minding my own business, I regularly find corroborating evidence I never noticed before.

For example, in the first book of Nephi, chapter 14, after Nephi sees a vision of the whole world and its end, he is commanded not to write all the things which he saw.

20 And the angel said unto me: Behold one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
 21 Behold, he shall see and write the remainder of these things; yea, and also many things which have been.
 22 And he shall also write concerning the end of the world.
 23 Wherefore, the things which he shall write are just and true; and behold they are written in the book which thou beheld proceeding out of the mouth of the Jew; and at the time they proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, or, at the time the book proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, the things which were written were plain and pure, and most precious and easy to the understanding of all men.
 24 And behold, the things which this apostle of the Lamb shall write are many things which thou hast seen; and behold, the remainder shalt thou see.
 25 But the things which thou shalt see hereafter thou shalt not write; for the Lord God hath ordained the apostle of the Lamb of God that he should write them….
 26 And also others who have been, to them hath he shown all things, and they have written them; and they are sealed up to come forth in their purity, according to the truth which is in the Lamb, in the own due time of the Lord, unto the house of Israel.
27 And I, Nephi, heard and bear record, that the name of the apostle of the Lamb was John, according to the word of the angel. (1 Nephi Chapter 14)

So, while others had been shown the same things, John was the one ordained to write them at the time. This is interesting. From an LDS perspective, we believe that the Bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. We also believe that the Book of Mormon is also the word of God and another testament of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is said to be “the most correct of any book on earth.”  So it is interesting that even though God knew all things and knew there would be two books, God still knew that John was going to be the best one to write the important stuff, even though it might get corrupted somewhat through translations.

Did I mention I really like Saint John?

Also interesting--and what I almost skipped over--is verse 26 which says that others have written these things, but they are sealed and will come for later….. hmmm. When, do you think? Or do you think they have been coming forth already in the discovery of apocryphal texts or yogic texts?

John also gives us more good cause to believe that Jesus was in India, because the Gospel of John opens with a line from the Vedas (the sacred texts that Jesus studied in India and got into trouble for teaching to the peasants.) That famous line is: “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God.” 

Yogananda's comments on "The Word" in original Christianity: 

"Though official church doctrine for centurues has interpreted 'the Word' to be a reference to jesus himself, that was not the understanding oridinally intended by Saint John in this passage....The term Merma (word) is used to describe God's activity in the world." (p.22)

This is totally verified by the Joseph Smith Translation of the that first verse of John which reads: 

"In the begining was the gopsel preached through the Son. And the gospel was the word, and the word was with the Son, and the Son was with God and the Son was of God."(John 1:1, JST)
Also, in D&C 93:6 God mentions that John is his special witness and promises that we will one day get MORE of John's words:
"And John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory and the fulness of John's record is hereafter to be revealed. "
 I for one can't wait. I will write more on Jesus and yoga and John soon. I promise.


  1. When, I don't know, but there is so much truth in the Eastern paradigm of thinking, living and healing. For example, in the Bhagavad Gita (Krishna scriptures)it talks about different levels of heaven and the highest is called Goloka. If you've heard a Krishna pronounce it, it sounds like Kolobo or Kolob. It also teaches not to partake of any addictive substances or illicit sex. Krishna followers also believe that we are on earth to experience pleasure and offer that pleasure to the Supreme God. (Men are that they might have joy.) I could go on, but you get the picture.
    Most Eastern cultures believe in energy healing. And it's pretty effective.

    I'm never sure what to think about Western Culture.

  2. So is it possible that "Gospel" in aramaic (or hebrew, depending on what we're talking about) is actually a mantra that we should be using?