The New Thought Movement vs. Ancient Vedic Wisdom

by Aranyakananda

I visited my local Barnes and Noble the other day, and I made a couple of observations on a situation I have been monitoring over the last couple of years. First, they continue to shelve things inconsistently/incorrectly. Judaism, Islam and Mormonism are not “Eastern Religions” but at B&N they keep shifting in and out of this category. I think they think that anything that is not Christianity is “Other” and therefore “Eastern.” Either that or, “wherever there’s room, toss it any-ol’-where.”
And second, speaking of Eastern religions, this section (while padded by the numerous erroneously shelved tomes) continues to shrink. Oddly, it is not shrinking to make room for more Christian books. No, the invaders are from the ever-expanding “New Age” or “New Thought” section. If you are not familiar with this concept, those who would fit into this category are various. Everything from astrology, to psychics (Sylvia Browne), to self-help (Deepak Chopra), countless quasi-Ayurvedic knock-offs, to the modern classic “The Secret”. Etcetera ad infinitum.

The funny thing is, many of these types of books draw heavily on the Vedic wisdom of the Hindu scriptures. For example, when I finally broke down and decided to watch a DVD of “The Secret” I recognized within 10 minutes that it was an extremely diluted/derivative version of what I had already learned from Paramahansa Yogananda, and I turned it off. Yogananda drew from direct knowledge of the scriptures, direct understanding gained from deep, sincere meditation, and Wisdom directly imparted from his Guru-ji, Sriyukteswar Giri. I understand what the New Thought movement is all about, and respect it. It is a modern take – more digestible to modern readers – on ancient, eternal truths. The Sanatana Dharma, The Eternal Path. Don’t get me wrong, I cannot assume that practitioners of the New Thought movement are not drawing from a Divine source. But I still would rather go straight to the original source.  I just wish Barnes and Noble would enlighten its patronage with more of the real thing.

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This entry was posted in Ayurveda, book review, books, Christian, Comparitive Religion, current events, Divine Consciousness, Gita, God, guru, healing, Hinduism, inspiration, Jesus, Judaism, Krishna, life, Mahavatar Babaji, meditation, New Age, New Thought, non-dualism, pantheism, philosophy, Sanatana Dharma, self help, Self-Realization Fellowship, social commentary, Sri Yukteswar Giri, Vaishnavism, Vishnu, yoga, Yogananda and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The New Thought Movement vs. Ancient Vedic Wisdom

  1. Dhrishti says:

    I agree… I also noticed this years ago. It lead me to prefer Borders before it went out of business. I think I haven’t been inside a B&N in the better part of 5 years, if not longer. And i fully agree that their categorization method seems as you have observed.

    For shame.

    As far as pulling from the original source? I go back and forth with my opinion there. One one hand, all this New Age/New Thought stuff DOES seem just watered down. On the other hand, we’re in Kali Yuga …. maybe that’s the best that will work for a while (for the majority)?

  2. Bhismah Arya says:

    Yes Aryank,

    It is really Shameful they are selling Hindu Philosophies by even Not giving any Credit to the Hinduism /Santan Dharma…However in these activities some Money Hungry Indian Gurus are also Involved they are selling Yoga/Hindu Philosphies/Ayurveda etc by removing Hinduim word from it….These fake gurus like Deepak Chopra etc has build there empires in West by selling Hindu Philosophies without even mentioning Hinduism….It is really heartening there are thousands of yoga parlors in west people come there and do Hatt yoga …they start by posing namaste and make different poses different asanas poses which are associated to different devi and devtas of Hindus…Natarajaasana (Lord Shiva) or Hanumanasana (Lord Hanuman) ….They recall hindus by holy cows than Gomukhasana, the notoriously arduous twisting posture…

    Please read the debate Between Crook Buisness men Deepak Chopra and Asim Shukla (managing director of Hinduism American Foundation).. on how buisness men like deepak chopra delinking hinduism from hindu philosphies like yoga and vedanta to build their umpire..
    Please don’t forget to see the comment section….http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/undergod/2010/04/shukla_and_chopra_the_great_yoga_debate.html

  3. jake says:

    A few corrections –

    Judaism would most definitely be considered an Eastern Religion.

    Yukteswar Giri was a firm believer in astrology so I wouldn’t really discredit it as a “New Age” belief. Yes, there has been an increase in the popularity of astrology but not true astrology, more of the gimmicky newspaper horoscopes. This new explosion of interest in regards to astrology is a characteristic of Dwapara Yuga, which is the age we are in. The descending Kali Yuga sandhi (transitional period between Yugas equivalent to 1/10 of the entire Yuga period) ended over 200+ years ago.

    • treadmarkz says:

      Thanks Jake, though you’re assessment of astrology is correct, I think if Judaism is to be considered Eastern then so would Christianity and Islam. If that is so, then are there any Western religions?

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