Compared with Bible Meditation
For many years Christian churches have been sending missionaries over to heathen lands to bring the message of Jesus Christ. The tide has turned now, with the heathen lands sending their missionaries into "Christian" countries, bringing with them their personal brand of Hinduism. Many meditation faiths have sprung up and infiltrated our government programs, schools, improvement courses, and even our churches.
At the roots of all these Eastern Religions is basic Hinduism, or Pantheism, that is, the belief that God is the sum of all beings, forces etc., everything present in the Universe. In Hinduism there is no evil, for how can God be evil? Since God is in everything and indeed, is everything, He becomes an "it", an impersonal force.
The believer in Hinduism or one of its forms, is always striving to be in tune with the cosmic force, which is god. This striving for "god-consciousness" is done by practicing a form of meditation. Since this Eastern teaching of an impersonal god-force is not too palatable to the "Christian" countries who are used to a personal Savior who cares for them, a personal God who loves them, some adaptations were needed to make Eastern religion palatable and acceptable to people in the "Christian" countries, many of them nominal Christians. This was accomplished in three ways1. Absorb the existing religion into Hinduism, which is full of endless philosophies anyway, and never ask the interested person to give up the God of their forefathers, or the Jesus of their Sunday School youth. The meditation, it is promised, will draw you closer to your own God, your own religion. "You'll understand Jesus better" is the assurance.
2. Present a Christ-substitute to satisfy the Christian mind. Thus we see Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church being presented as "Lord of the Second Advent". The Guru Maharaj Ji of the Divine Light Mission calls himself "Lord of the Universe", and "Perfect Master". Both are believed by their respective followers to be Christ come again. Meher Baba of Sufism Reoriented, Inc. states, "There is no doubt of my being God personified, I am the Christ." The list goes on.
3. Incorporate Hinduism into seemingly non-religious courses, such as est (Erhard Seminar Trainings), now called The Forum. Similar groups are Lifespring, Assertiveness Training, Personal Growth Seminars etc.
Unsuspecting people now swarm to absorb Hinduism in its various disguises, signing up and paying for "assertiveness" courses, taking Yoga, and tuning out stress with meditation. To understand all of this, we need to look at the "grand-daddy" of all the Hindu deception, Transcendental Meditation.
TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION (T.M.)
Transcendental Meditation began with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who originated the movement in 1958, and moved to the U.S.A. in 1961. He claims to follow his departed leader (master, god) the Guru Dev. Guru Dev's picture adorns TM altars.
DECEPTIVE RECRUITING TECHNIQUES
TM and its successors are always presented as a "technique" and never as a religion. Christians and non- Christians alike are encouraged to practice a form of meditation as a relief from stress, to lower blood pressure, improve mental health, and even improve their sex life. "IT'S NOT A RELIGION" they are repeatedly told, it's a TECHNIQUE that won't interfere with your own beliefs or lack of beliefs, your lifestyle, or your job. It's so beneficial, just a few minutes a day repeating a "mantra" will enable you to "transcend" all your troubles, and you will have peace, joy, good health, etc. Sounds good, so why not?
THE RITUAL OF INITIATION INTO TM
The person is convinced, and finds himself at the ritual of initiation, which he must go through before he receives his promised "mantra". He is taught how to participate, but can't understand a word that's being said as it's all in a foreign language. The English translation is never given, even if the initiate asks. We have an English translation available if you write and request it. The initiate notices an altar with a picture of a Guru on it. The ceremony begins. There are three phases to the ceremony.
1. RECITATION OF NAMES
These are the names of "the apostolic succession through which the holy knowledge of the TM mantras has been passed." All names are considered to be gods and worthy of worship. There are over 20 Hindu gods to acknowledge in this ceremony, and here are some of the attributes given to them. Reverently, and worshipfully, they are called variously, "Redeemer", "Emancipator of the world", "Supreme Teacher full of brilliance", "the Pure", "Adorned with immeasurable glory", etc. etc. These are sufficient to show that titles that should be used for the One God of the Bible are used instead for Hindu gods. The initiate, however, is blissfully unaware of this, since he doesn't understand the language.
2. OFFERINGS IN THE TM CEREMONY
There are seventeen different items offered in turn. Here the initiate puts three of these objects (a handkerchief, flowers, and fruit) on the altar at the proper time--an offering to the Hindu gods just named, as personified by the guru pictured. One would expect that some Sunday School lesson might come into the initiate's mind about idolatry and offerings to idols, but few make the connection at this point.
3. HYMN OF PRAISE AND ADORATION
This hymn is offered to Guru Dev in his status as deity, as recognized by classical Hinduism, (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, with Shiva being evil).
The initiate is then invited to follow in his teacher's example and bow down before the Guru Dev. This is a bit much for some initiates who were told it wasn't a religion, so if they hesitate, they are not forced to bow. The offerings must be made, however. Now the initiate prepares to receive his secret "mantra".
WHAT IS THE "MANTRA"?
The mantra is a word or series of words that the initiate must repeat over and over again until he really "enters in" and "transcends" into a trance-like state. His teacher stays with him until he is sure this stage is reached. Eventually, the sound of the mantra and his thoughts cease, and the initiate "transcends" into a new dimension, ready for new "spiritual experiences".
What an initiate does not know, is this mantra that he is repeating over and over again, is really the name of one of the millions of gods of Hinduism. As the initiate takes up this practice, he will, in time, be visited by a "spirit-guide", often bearing the name he has been calling. As he is now proficient at making his mind blank and empty, the spirit-guide urges him to yield to his influence. What began in bliss may end up in a nightmare of demon-possession, mind control and torment.
LINK-UP WITH DRUGS AND MEDITATION
It is an interesting fact that those practicing Eastern Meditation often meet the same spirit-guides as those who do no meditation, but take mind-altering drugs. This is no surprise to Bible students, for they recognize these spirit-guides for what they are--manifestations of demons.
The whole TM ceremony can be summed up in one Biblical term, Idolatry. (Leviticus 26:1) Do not be deceived, TM is a religion and not just a technique.
IS ALL MEDITATION TO BE AVOIDED
While Eastern-type meditation involving mantras is to be avoided, true Bible-type meditation is to be encouraged.
According to scripture, the true meditation done God's way, results in our being taught of God, and filled with gladness, joy and peace. There are several identifying marks of mediation that is pleasing to God.
OUR MEDITATION MUST BE ACCEPTABLE TO GOD
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." (Psalms 19:14).
WE NEED THE WORD OF GOD IN OUR HEARTS
BEFORE WE CAN MEDITATE
"I will meditate on Thy precepts, and regard Thy ways. I shall delight in Thy statutes; I shall not forget Thy Word." (Psalms 119:15,16).
MEDITATION IS THE TIME TO REVIEW
WHAT OUR MINDS HAVE BEEN TAUGHT
"This book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it, for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success." (Joshua 1:8).
If Bible meditation sounds nothing like TM, you are right. Bible meditation is a filling of the mind with the things of God. Transcendental meditation is an emptying of the mind, allowing for control by "spirit-guides". TM may offer some relief from anxiety, but it is a temporary "escape", much like taking an aspirin every day for a headache, which is in reality caused by a brain tumor. The root cause of the problem is not dealt with. So too, TM treats the symptoms of the human problem with "band-aid" solutions, but never deals with the root cause, namely sin and separation from God.
TM practicers do have a measure of peace while meditating, but it is not the peace of God. Jesus Christ said in John 14:27,
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you."
The Bible plainly speaks in 1 Timothy 2:5,
"For there is ONE GOD, and ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, the Man CHRIST JESUS, who gave Himself a ransom for all."
You cannot "meditate" your way into a relationship with God, but you must approach God HIS way, through belief and acceptance of Jesus Christ.
Why settle for counterfeit, temporary, peace, when you can have the real peace of God. Write to us if we can help you further.