- Exercise & Fitness
Yoga: Mysteries of Pain Control
Suspending the Body and Jesus' Miracles
Most people by now have heard of yoga, but for most, it is limited to stretching body poses called hatha yoga with all of its asanas. At one time in the west, to do this yoga was enough to get you the name of pretzel bender. There are even contests that pit people in competition to establish who can do the asana positions the best despite the original intent of Patanjali that one competes with only themselves. But yoga in its sources is far more than body positions and stretches. In India where it developed and evolved, yoga was an entire life style where some yogis took the art and practice to unprecedented levels of achievement. There are claims that yogis can voluntarily control and stop pain. There are stories where yogis can pierce themselves through without bleeding or causing themselves pain. Some lie on beds of nails and have heavy weights placed on top of them. Others are able to suspend the breath and control involuntarily bodily functions to the point where they can suspend animation for prolonged periods over hours and days. There is a story where one yogi was buried alive for days in suspended animation to be uncovered days later and revive, walk about and perform as if nothing like being buried alive for days had happened.
This is another possible answer to the concept of resurrection; that is, Jesus was an adept yogi, perfected in the then hidden science of yoga practice. As a perfected yogi, it is possible that he could control pain and suspend his metabolic functions to appear dead. Consider for a moment what modern Surgeons can do in the operating theatre. They can induce a type of deep sleep to cancel pain and can cut a person open in such a way, that if the person were conscious, they would experience the pains of extreme torture and die from the shear shock. Surgery is an amazing modern practice as incredible things can be done to a person under anaesthesia. This is something of a modern miracle and yogis can do this consciously, that is, control pain to such an extent that they can endure modern surgery while conscious without anaesthetics, watching the surgeons perform. In this circumstance, it would require the surgeons to be prepared for such a turn from the usual..
From the Gospel account we are informed by lack of commentary on his life between the ages of twelve and thirty years; an eighteen year gap where there is an absence of information. From his encounter in the temple with the rabbis to the beginning of his ministry with the baptism by John the Baptist, there is almost no commentary unless one looks to the Nag Hammadi and other outside of Biblical sources that are contested by the established churches. There are many books with their own hypothesis on what Jesus did in those years. Some suggest that he went to India to study yoga in all its secrets. Others contend that he went to study Buddhism. It may be possible that he studied both as they are close together in northern India, especially during that era.
As a yogi adept studying and practising over the course of many years, he and other yogis not only learn the poses so familiar to many now, but the other seven branches of yoga are also included, which is not done today. Yoga in its essence, especially if connected with Buddhism would focus on the elimination of suffering and pain in all the branches of yoga. Even today, some yogis can do amazing things. Every year in India where yoga is a lifestyle, there are annual parades and displays where yogis are pierced through with wires and knives and carry various contraptions with weights; yet they do not bleed or feel pain. Others will perform other feats to see who can fit into the smallest space or who can be buried alive for prolonged periods. Yogis in the Himalayan mountains will also expose themselves to extreme sub-zero temperatures and dry wet blankets on their otherwise naked bodies. Others will fast for prolonged periods while in deep meditation. These are just some of the feats. Many of these accomplishments could explain how Jesus was able to fast in a desert for forty days along with other miracles.
We know from the Gospels that Jesus fasted forty days and nights in the desert before being tempted by the devil and yet he resisted temptation to give in even at the very end. Was this an exercise in yoga prowess? And what of the scourging and crucifixion with all the pain associated with that? Was he able to disconnect with the pain as modern yoga adepts can do? Given the known historic brutality of the Romans, it would certainly give him an edge for the ordeal that he went through. We have no way to know for sure as no really meticulous records were kept, or if they were, they were censored. It is also true that anything deemed a threat to the established order would be suppressed by the same brutality that any seditious person was put down who was considered a threat to the imperialist order. History is filled with this kind of manipulation that we call propaganda. We see this as a matter of course in the politic of totalitarianism today and we do not have to look very far in location and history. Much of this at least has been documented and we can connect some dots.
But Jesus got one up on his enemies! He survived the torture put to him and resurrected after three days. He even survived major trauma to his body, possibly through the perfection of yogic practice. Perhaps, he was able to focus as a yogi adept to shut down his body consciously and then reawaken three days later according to his own prognostications and pronouncements. Modern yogis can perform similar feats today. Those around him who were not clued into the achievements possible through the attainment of high yoga would be tricked into believing that he actually died and came back to life. They would see the wounds and him walking as if almost nothing had happened three days earlier, except for those telltale wounds. This would be astonishing and impressive to them to say the very least. We would find it astonishing and impressive today! Certainly, most people around him of Jewish and Roman ethnicity would be stone ignorant of any such possibility. A handful would not, being yogis themselves. When a yogi adept then performs such impossible feats, it would be enough to give birth to a movement that would end up impacting history long thereafter right down to the present day. We still debate what it all means and wars are still fought centred on this belief of lack of belief, at least for the ignorant manipulated into these wars.
Those who are into deep yoga practice, delve into total bodily control. It must commence fairly early in life to be of the greatest value later in life. There are practices today, such as Kundalini yoga that focuses on breath work, called pranayama, even for beginners with the object to raise the kundalini energy from the base of the spine to the top of the head. Exercises exist to focus on specific body centers called chakras. There are specific exercises to eliminate pain such as headaches that anyone can learn. Deeper still, there are dietary programs to follow to change ones energy at will, to increase bodily heat or to tone it down. The practice of the fire breath alone is sufficient to drive up energy levels and warm one up to the point of a sweat on a cold day. There are eight branches to yoga and to become a perfected yogi, it has to involve all and become a central life path. No one should attempt to do the deeper yogic practices without the guidance of an expert and practiced yoga master who has perfected their own practice over a lifetime. The lineage of yoga gurus has extended through the millennia from deep in the past to the present as well, which is why we can still see rather miraculous practice even now. There is one thing that is certain in this analysis and that is that Jesus' philosophical world view and yoga philosophy hold much in common.
Yoga is also connected with Ayurvedic medicine as practised in India, one of the oldest and most successful lines of medicinal practice the world has ever known. Ayurveda practitioners have been and still are, extremely knowledgeable concerning foods and medicine as well as all the effects on the human body. India has long been a trading hub for the west and the Orient and this is why much from their culture has spread around the world. Today, yoga enjoys unparallelled popularity, but it is far from a complete yoga program. As spectacular as hatha yoga is, it is but a small fragment of the total. The abilities of the yogis has had a hidden hand in shaping history.