Jesus taught Bhakti-Yoga?

I love the way Yoga teachers give backhanded compliments to Jesus. It's quite skillful really. They come across so open and accepting, even as they undermine. Talk about contortionism! Stephen Knapp gives us some more obvious examples in his article Jesus taught Bhakti-Yoga.

By studying the teachings that are ascribed to Jesus, we can easily recognize that the essence of what Jesus taught was an elementary level of the Vedic process of bhakti-yoga and karma-yoga.

In this way, Jesus taught people the most basic portions of God’s law and gave the most simple commandments … This is a sign of the kind of people Jesus was dealing with. They were very primitive and had to be taught the most basic of spiritual knowledge.

In this way, we can see that the essence of Christianity is the basic teachings of the Vedic philosophy which was developed much earlier and more deeply than that which is presently found within the philosophy of Christianity.

Jesus is embraced, but only as a minor guru with derivative teachings. Of course, anything which is distinctive to Jesus and not derivative is seen as a devolution from Yoga. Jesus is never allowed to actually speak for himself, to be understood within his own context.

5 thoughts on “Jesus taught Bhakti-Yoga?

  1. The twin essences of the Vedic teachings on bhakti-yoga were the necessity of a living guru, and a comprehensive regime of self-discipline in order to re-pattern every aspect of ones body-mind complex to the Divine, and away from gross self-possession.
    Likewise Buddhist teachings at their best, are based on three pillars.
    The Buddha or living teacher, the Dharma or written/spoken instruction of the Teacher, and the Sangha of the community of practitioners who have chosen to live a highly disciplined life.
    You also say that Jesus should speak for himself.
    But how much of the Bible was actually spoken or written by Jesus? A minute fraction.
    All of the rest of it was written or spoken ABOUT Jesus, and mostly (if not all) by people who never met him, and thus never received his personal instruction or Blessing Grace. This includes Paul.
    Plus modern scholarship (with which my Teacher concurs because he has fully considered it all)) tells us that most of the words attributed to Jesus in the New Testament were not spoken by him.
    So how can Jesus possibly speak for himself?
    There are no comprehensive guidelines in the New Testament for the necessary self-discipline that the process of True Religion necessarily requires. To say nothing of any guidelines re how to practice esoteric Spirituality.
    And yes Christianity is mostly about that the Vedas describe as karma yoga (or the yoga of good works), and bhakti yoga (or the yoga of devotion). Very gross level stuff.
    Very much failed case 3rd stage stuff, with gestures towards the 4th stage.
    There is hardly anything at all about Raja or Jnana yoga—5th and 6th stage practices and realization.
    Plus this reference describes the base level qualifications to even begin Spiritual life for real—and the necessary positive dis-illusionment with ALL of the usual “answers”.
    Knapp also mentions the primitive understanding of those whom Jesus taught. That was/is exactly the case now in 1972-2008.
    And even more so. We Westerners have no idea whatsoever about Reality as IT IS.
    Adi Da once quipped that trying to teach Westerners how to practice Spiritual Life was like trying to get cows to jump over the moon.


  2. John, you still have much to learn about the way and teachings of Jesus. As the guru lives in me, hear him through me if you are truly open. True enlightenment comes as a gift. Not through self effort (as if ego could be transcended through egotism) but through the action of that which is beyond self. Good works are not a way to enlightenment, they are a consequence of it. For to act truly selflessly one must already be enlightened. If Adi Da was truly enlightened he would know this.


  3. There’s something else that always bugged me about claims like this. Jesus was a Jew, and during his time, there were plenty of Jewish mystical traditions floating around. It never made sense to me why he would travel clear to India or some similar location when he could have gotten similar teachings from the mystics who lived much closer to home.
    I’ll also admit, though, that I often feel the reverse is just as true. It seems to me that many Christians view other religious traditions through the lens of their Christianity, unable to see or appreciate the difference — except maybe to point out the differences as proof of superiority.


  4. I don’t think Stephen Knapp is showing Jesus as a minor guru. In fact, no other than Supreme God himself can do such an act as Jesus did. So, Jesus must be the incarnation of God himself. By reading other articles of Stephen Knapp, one can easily find that he thinks Jesus Christ as the incarnation of God himself.
    Also, how can there me minor guru and major guru? A guru is a guru, there’s no minor or major. If he is teaching the eternal truth, you cannot call him minor or major guru.


  5. As a Christian who has had a different journey to Matt, but has arrived at many of the same conclusions, I’d have to agree with John’s quote of Adi Da “trying to teach Westerners how to practice Spiritual Life was like trying to get cows to jump over the moon.”! In fact I would probably say the same thing about anybody who is “religious” whether they are Eastern, Western or whatever…
    As Matt mentioned, the uniquenes of living a Jesus-centred life lies in the amazing phenomenon of having Jesus live in me. Words are very limiting sometimes, but it is truth that the spirit of Christ is not just a life-giving, life-creating force, but somehow imminently alive within my being and over my earthly lifetime, I learn more about that and become transformed into the person I was potentialled to be.
    I respect those who live a disciplined life, as there are comparatively precious few in today’s world. There are many Christians, unfortunately, who are extremely undisciplined and live a life as very poor examples of the faith. Even Jesus mentioned that there would be many calling him Lord whom he would have to deny as they really don’t live the Way although they make out they do.
    Also many people who profess Jesus as Lord don’t ask enough questions to journey authentically in the faith. They certainly don’t ask as good questions as John and Jarred have. More’s the pity. And I too have found that often Christians don’t appreciate the good aspects of various religions.
    However, I do hold that in essence, true Christianity is NOT a religion and that there are some unhelpful religious traditions that have stifled the movement over centuries and continue to be a barrier to freedom and abundant life available in and through Jesus Christ. But I don’t let that kind of thing stop me living, moving and being “in Jesus”, and finding others who live with the same revelation and experience! 🙂


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