#10: The Trojan Horse of Yoga and Meditation
The Trojan Horse is a tale from the Trojan War about the stratagem that the Greeks used to enter the city of Troy and win the war. The Greeks had sieged the city of Troy for 10 years with no success. Then the Greeks constructed a huge wooden horse, and concealed inside of it an elite force. The Greeks pretended to sail away, and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy. Now the Trojans had received three different warnings not to bring the horse inside the city because it would mean their defeat. But the Trojans didn’t listen, and despite the warnings brought the horse inside the walls of their city. That night the Greek soldiers crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had sailed back to Troy under cover of night. The Greek army entered and wiped out the city of Troy, thereby ending the war.
In the devil’s arsenal of New Age lies and deceptions, yoga and meditation are his Trojan Horse. They seem harmless enough, practices that appear to bring us peace, relaxation and well-being. In reality, these two disciplines are stratagems used by the devil to break down any barriers that protect our mind and body temples.
It’s expected that on this year’s summer solstice on June 21st, 15000 yoga practitioners will show up in New York City to honor the sun. I was shocked the first time I saw the images of New York Times Square filled with yoga practitioners on their mats. When these seekers of mind/body wellness celebrate the sun solstice, do you think they know they’re participating in sun worship, one of the oldest pagan traditions? When they hold their hands in prayer pose, do you think they know which divinity they’re praying to? When they do their sun salutations, do you think they understand that they’re honoring the sun instead of God?
In chapter 8 of the Book of Ezekiel, the prophet Ezekiel was in his home with the elders of the tribe of Judah. Suddenly the Lord appeared before him and took him on a journey in the spirit to the Jerusalem temple. The Lord wanted to show Ezekiel all of the abominations that the Israelites were committing, even the temple priests. The Lord showed Ezekiel three different abominations that God’s people were engaging in, in particular sun worship:
“And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.”
The reason I’m highlighting the summer solstice event in New York City is simply to point out the pagan roots of yoga and some of its unexpected ramifications. It’s very likely that you may practice yoga in the comfort of your home or a yoga studio, with no inclination to worship the sun. Most Westerners who practice yoga do it for the health benefits of greater flexibility, balance, and inner calm, and are not necessarily seeking a spiritual connection. However, the fact remains that yoga is a spiritual discipline that has its roots in Hinduism. In Indian traditions, yoga is much more than physical exercise. Let’s try to understand some of the implications of this.
“Yoga is from the Vedas”
Hinduism contains within it six major schools of thought, of which the two best known in the West are Yoga and Vedanta. The underlying thread between these schools of thought is the acceptance of the Vedas – not the Bible – as the supreme revealed scriptures. Hinduism is based on the belief that multiple paths exist to reach liberation, or oneness with God. In Hindu religion, the divine or supreme being resides within all that exists, which is technically pantheism. Yoga is one of the paths to achieve unity with the divine. The question to ask is: which divinity? The one that resides in the tree? In the cow? In the fire? In the wind? In the earth? In the moon?
Now you might only be interested in is the asanas, the postures, or the vinyasas, the flowing sequence of postures. Well, hatha yoga is the one most closely associated with the physical virtues of yoga, and most scholars admit that hatha yoga comes from the tantric tradition, focused on the prana or energy flow in the body. Tantra in turn is the system by which you liberate or separate the two aspects of consciousness and matter or Shiva and Shakti, two of the three key Hindu deities.
There’s no way around it: yoga is not simply a set of innocent postures designed for the simple purpose of exercising our bodies. Yoga is the entry point into a broader religious system based on a pantheistic concept of God, the worship of multiple divinities.
According to many ancient texts, the ultimate goal of yoga is the kundalini awakening, something even more sinister than oneness with nature spirits. Kundalini awakening is a well-known phenomenon among advanced yoga practitioners. The asanas and pranayama (or postures and breathing) are designed to awaken the “kundalini power”, which is described as a snake coiled around the base of the spine.
When this serpent power is awakened, it will then move up through the body, through the “chakras” (the so-called energy centres) and once it reaches the “crown chakra” (or the top of the head) it will explode into the so-called “thousand-petalled lotus”. This is extremely dangerous, and for many people once this happens it is almost impossible to return to any semblance of normality. The ancient texts actually include a warning about this, but most Western teachers like the ancient Trojans disregard the warning.
An issue of Yoga Journal published a few years ago featured a cover article that asked the question “Is kundalini awakening safe?” Let me read you a quote from this article: “For some, the experience can be blissful and filled with feelings of love and a sense of the interconnectedness of all things. For others, it can feel more like a bad drug trip, or even a psychotic break, where practitioners go through altered sleep cycles, changes in identity, or depression.” (End of quote) The experience of a “psychotic break” as the article calls it is actually very common among practitioners. And a so-called kundalini awakening can happen spontaneously through the energy flows that are set in motion by the breathing and postures without deliberately trying to invoke this experience.
Let’s listen to one testimony:
“One day, whilst being deep in pranayama and meditation, something in my mind exploded, and my conscience turned white. Suddenly, there were beings dressed in white robes at my side (in the corner of my eye only, in my peripheral vision), telling me that they would guide me into a new life if I would only continue with my yoga.” We’ll come back to this ex-yoga practitioner in just a moment.
Do you see the deception here? There is no “serpent power” coiled in your spine. No, what happens is that the assiduous practice of yoga is designed to open certain energy channels that invite these demonic forces into the body, and yoga practitioners who go there find themselves completely under a demonic control that they can’t get rid of.
Let’s conclude therefore on the topic of yoga: Yoga is one of the pillars of the Hindu religion. The asanas or the postures and the breathing techniques called pranayama as well as yoga meditation were all originally developed for overtly spiritual and religious reasons. Like most pagan religions, Hinduism is a polytheistic religion, meaning that they worship many divinities. We Christians believe that the God of Israel is the one and only real and living God. Deuteronomy 6:4 says: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”. This is a very important point that we’ll study in a lot more depth in a future program of this series.
Hinduism is also a pantheistic religion, in that they believe that God and creation are the same thing. Hindus worship the various elements of creation such as celestial bodies, plants and animals because they believe that a god is contained within them. We believe that God is the Creator and as such His creation is submitted to Him. He is distinct from His creation. In the Book of Genesis we read the full account of creation, starting with Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. The elements of nature are not gods that created themselves; therefore we worship Elohim, the Creator, and not His creation.
For all of these reasons, when we practice yoga even only for physical exercise, we’re walking a very fine line where we might be opening doors to the enemy of our souls, giving the devil legal right to enter our bodies through the very energy channels that we have opened through exercises and breathing techniques that were designed for that very purpose. We also tread on very slippery ground and risk breaking the first commandment “Thou shall have no other God before me” by doing sun salutations or cobra poses or other tantric practices that honor other gods. And then there’s always the risk of practicing yoga in a place where incense is being burned to Buddha statues or statues of other divinities, in violation of the second commandment. Therefore it is best to avoid all of these temptations, and to do as the apostle Paul counsels us in Romans 12:1-2:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Almost everyone seems to be doing yoga today. But that doesn’t mean we need to. There are many good alternatives to yoga. I do Pilates now. Pilates probably comes closest to building the kind of long and lean body yoga builds, but good body weight training also provides a great workout. Be persistent in your search and you will be able to engage in the kind of wholesome physical training that does you good while honoring our God.
There are many definitions and styles of meditation. Most of them come to us from Eastern religions. Whether we consider Buddhist, New Age or Transcendental meditation, they are all a daily spiritual practice that seeks to develop the self through the experience of higher states of consciousness and detachment from the physical world. These types of meditation are usually practiced as mindfulness of the body, as thoughtlessness, as the quest for inner silence, or as the silent repetition of a sound called “mantra”. All these techniques help to blank out the mind and release oneself from conscious thinking, sometimes with repetitive chanting or focusing on an object such as a candle flame. Given the popularity of meditation, many Christian groups have joined the fray and are offering “contemplative prayer” as the way to go.
Meditation is claimed to help relieve stress, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and so forth. So what’s wrong with this picture? There are three fundamental problems with meditation.
The detachment pursued, which is one of the stated goals of meditation, produces a lingering dissociation from the physical world, from reality and from the physical body itself. This can have extremely negative consequences on a meditator’s ability to deal with reality, to interact with other people and to think critically. Many meditators have trouble getting out of that “spacey” condition and in fact reach a stage where they never get out of that state at all, resulting in chronic dissociation. Some meditators describe that they feel “de-personalized, as if they were watching themselves on film”.
Something called “heavy de-stressing” happens from prolonged meditation. Meditators can experience physical pain such as severe migraines or extremely traumatic psychological pain and even acquire persistent body tics of large muscle groups such as spasms of the head and neck. Let me share with you some statements from the sworn affidavit of Attorney Anthony D. DeNaro. Mr. DeNaro is a former legal counsel and professor of economics and business law at a US university where the curriculum is heavily based on Transcendental Meditation and other consciousness studies. Frequently students came to him for counseling who complained of “severe and uncontrollable trauma” from meditation. Listen to what he says: “A disturbing denial or avoidance syndrome, and even outright lies and deception, are used to cover-up or sanitize the dangerous reality on campus of very serious nervous breakdowns, episodes of dangerous and bizarre behavior, suicidal and homicidal ideation, threats and attempts, psychotic episodes, crime, depression and manic behavior that often accompanied roundings (intensive group meditations with brainwashing techniques). Euphemisms are employed to describe essentially dangerous, unstable and injurious behavior. “Un-stressing,” for example, “Baking” is another.”
It is extremely dangerous to empty our minds of conscious thought and to enter into an exploration of these expanded states of consciousness, also known as trances or semi-hypnotic states that are similar to drug-induced states. When we do so, we relinquish control over our mind and body to the demonic powers who populate the ethers. In the Bible Satan is called “the prince of the power of the air”. Dr. DeNaro whom we mentioned earlier describes his own personal experience with meditation: “What happened to me is that in my permanently dissociated state I internalized all transcendental meditation dogma. In particular I internalized the dogma regarding what experiences at “higher levels of consciousness” would be like, and also about demons. I then “had” these “higher” experiences, and also began to experience evil supernatural forces.” (end of quote)
Other demonic effect of this expanded consciousness is what yogis call yogic flying, which is a euphemism for levitation. Levitation is absolutely demonic, it’s a supernatural ability humans do not have but can receive from dark powers.
My own initiation to meditation happened many years ago. I flew from Paris all the way to Southern California to study with a famous New Age writer and teacher. During that course I learned meditation (we’d meditate morning and evening), took my first yoga classes and was introduced to divination using the Viking Runes and the Chinese Yi King.
Two and a half years later I returned to California to do a one-week intense meditation retreat with this same teacher. The course also included daily yoga practice. We were a large group in attendance of at least a hundred people, and were split into two groups. I was in the beginner’s group. The two groups came together during meal breaks and we’d hear the exciting reports of what was going on in the advanced group next door, especially with regard to levitation.
At the time I went to this yoga retreat I was a management consultant at the height of my career. Immediately after the meditation retreat I was scheduled to fly back to Frankfurt, Germany to facilitate a global leadership meeting of a multinational travel company. When I landed in Germany I still hadn’t really landed. I was very much in a dissociated state and my facilitation of that meeting left much to be desired. I could function, but my thinking wasn’t crisp and my normal leadership abilities failed me. I did not perform well on that engagement. So much for an expanded state of consciousness that’s claimed to help you perform better – it certainly did just the opposite for me!
Also after this one week retreat I started to experience astral projections and other supernatural phenomena in my home. It turns out that the famous meditation teacher projected himself into my home one night with evil intent. Around that time I also experienced an apparition floating above my bed as I described in our last program. And some other so-called “entities” started to hang out in my home.
I often used to meditate with a dear American friend of mine who lived in Paris and now lives in Barcelona. She learned meditation at her workplace and has practiced it ever since. Meditation is her only New Age practice. One night she woke up in the middle of the night, sat up in her bed, and started speaking with a distinctly deep and masculine voice. She was terrified because she couldn’t help it. After a few days of this she went to see some healer to help her get rid of this entity and it left.
Make no mistake about it. Like yoga, meditation is another Trojan Horse whereby Satan, the prince of the air, and his fallen angels seek to ensnare innocent people who are going through a spiritual awakening. Any repetitive sound or activity, like a mantra or a chant or even repetitive prayer that puts us into a semi-hypnotic state is to be avoided. What should we do instead? What is God’s will with regard to meditation? Let’s read a few bible verses about meditation.
Joshua 1:8 is the first bible verse that uses the verb ‘to meditate’. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” “The Book of the Law” is referring to the set of laws and ordinances that He gave Israel to keep so that they could be His own special people. Psalm 119:15 confirms that we should meditate on God’s law: “I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.”
I hope you’re starting to notice a trend here. God does NOT want us to empty our mind, because that would definitely put us at the mercy of Satan and his fallen angels. Instead, the Lord wants us to meditate on His word and His law. Further to this point that God doesn’t want an empty mind is Philippians 4:8, a very well-known verse where Paul writes to the Christians at Philippi: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
So meditation in the biblical sense – the only safe and godly form of meditation – means to fill our mind with God’s law and His word, as well as things that are uplifting. Nowhere in the bible does the Lord instruct us to empty our minds of thought.
Setting the Record Straight
The truth in all of this is that yoga and meditation are Satan’s Trojan horse to lure innocent victims into the New Age. We’ve demonstrated how these two apparently benign practices have spiritual roots in pagan religions. They both open doors into other realms of consciousness thereby calling in demonic influences, and demonic entities themselves. They give the devil legal right to come into your home and even into your body. We have heard how yoga practitioners and meditators, who come to these disciplines seeking peace and an expanded awareness, may find themselves trapped in high-anxiety states like a kundalini awakening or a psychotic suicidal condition.
In this stressful and deranged world, only God can bring peace. The Bible says in Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Jesus is called the prince of peace, for only He can overcome the evil author of war and chaos. The Bible also tells us that God is the source of happiness. Anything other than God is a counterfeit happiness. Only God can bring blessings, joy, peace and happiness into our lives. The Trojans didn’t listen, and lost the war. I pray that you will listen.
“Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!” Psalm 144:15
“He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.” Proverbs 16:20