Note: This article has been included as a chapter in Prof.Michael Lockwood's anthological book The Unknown Buddha of Christianity. It has also been published in the Science to Sage E-Magazine.

Yogic knowledge had spread far and wide in the ancient world. My research into the Olmec culture of Mesoamerica had revealed that the Olmecs were ardent practitioners of hatha yoga – a set of asanas or postures that balances and aligns the body, mind, and spirit. I had discussed this in a previous article titled "Olmec Yogis with Hindu beliefs: Did they migrate from ancient China?"

Quite unexpectedly, I also came to a startling realization: a large number of religious icons of the Orthodox Christian Church depict Jesus, Mary, and the saints performing hand-gestures which correspond exactly to specific yoga mudras. This suggests that, meditation using yoga mudras may have formed an essential part of the spiritual practices of the early Church.

Before proceeding further, let me briefly explain the concept of yoga mudras. Yoga mudras are generally regarded as a component of hatha yoga. They comprise of a set of hand-gestures performed during meditation. The hand-gestures direct the flow of the vital energy (prana) to the different parts of the body through the energy channels (nadis). This helps to balance the five elements (Pancha Mahabhutas) which constitute the human body, namely - fire, air, ether, earth, and water. In Ayurveda, it is believed that imbalances in these five elements results in various diseases. Yoga mudras not only regulate and strengthen the physiological functions of our body and assist in healing, but also provide a number of mental and spiritual benefits for the practitioner.

The following set of images illustrate the 11 yoga mudras that I was able to identify in Byzantine art. There must be many more mudras waiting to be found out.

1.    Prithvi Mudra

The Prithvi (Earth) Mudra is performed by touching the tip of the ring finger with the tip of the thumb. The mudra is very efficient at strengthening and healing the body. The mudra also activates the root chakra, which promotes a sense of stability and self-assurance. 
Byzantine Icon of Jesus with his hand in the Prithvi Mudra
Fig 1: The Prithvi Mudra

2.    Prana Mudra

Prana Mudra is called the Mudra of Life. It is given immense importance in the yogic practice for it can heal more than a hundred different kinds of diseases and health conditions. 

The Prana (Vital energy) Mudra is formed by touching the tips of the ring finger and little finger with the tip of the thumb. The mudra increases the flow of prana in the body, which strengthens the immune system and gives the body the resilience to heal itself. The mudra activates the root chakra which promotes stability, calmness, and self-confidence. 

Byzantine Icon of Jesus with his hand in the Prana Mudra
Fig 2: The Prana Mudra

3.    Apana Mudra

The Apana (Descending Vital energy) Mudra is formed by touching the tips of the ring finger and middle finger with the tip of the thumb. The mudra regulates the excretory systems of the body. It detoxifies and purifies the body, and also helps in digestion.
Orthodox Icon of Jesus doing the Apana Mudra
Fig 3: The Apana Mudra

4.    Karana Mudra

A variation of the Apana Mudra is called the Karana Mudra, in which the ring finger and middle finger are folded but their tips do not touch the tip of the thumb. Sometimes, the thumb might hold down the middle and ring finger. The Karana Mudra is believed to dispel negativity and obstacles, and ward off the evil eye. 

Although I could not find any representation of the Karana Mudra in Orthodox art, the mudra is still popular in Italy and some Mediterranean countries where it is called the Corna (phonetically very similar to Karana). The Corna has the same function as the Karana Mudra i.e. it wards off bad luck and offers protection in unlucky situations. In popular media, the Corna is sometimes interpreted as a "satanic symbol", which is quite certainly an idea propagated by people with hyperactive imaginations.
Pope Francis doing the Karana Mudra or Corna hand gesture
Fig 4: The Karana Mudra

5.    Shuni Mudra or Akasha Mudra

The Shuni (Saturn) Mudra or Akasha Mudra is performed by touching the tip of the middle finger with the tip of the thumb. The mudra generates awareness of our inner divine self, and promotes living in the present moment. It also encourages compassion, understanding and patience towards others.
Orthodox Icon of Jesus with his hand in the Shuni Mudra
Fig 5: The Shuni Mudra or Akasha Mudra

6.    Dhyana Mudra

The Dhyana (Meditation) Mudra is performed by sitting in a cross-legged position (preferably padmasana or sukhasana) and placing the hands on the lap, one on top of the other, such that the thumbs touch at the tip. This mudra stills the mind and helps one to build the one-pointed focus which is essential for meditation.

This Byzantine icon of Jesus shows him meditating in the Dhyana Mudra posture, seated on a double-lotus under a mustard tree, with a conspicuous protuberance on top of his head. The Buddhist influence in this imagery is palpable. The Buddha is frequently shown seated in Dhyana Mudra on a double-lotus throne. While Jesus is seated under a mustard tree, the Buddha is often shown seated under a Bodhi Tree – the place of his enlightenment. The red protuberance on Jesus’s head corresponds to the topknot on Buddha’s head called ushnisha, which was represented as a crown-jewel radiating rays of light or as a flame signifying the Buddha’s spiritual power and illumination.
Byzantine Icon of Jesus seated on a double lotus with his hands in the Dhyana Mudra
Fig 6:  The Dhyana Mudra

7.    Surya Mudra (Agni Mudra)

The Surya Mudra / Agni Mudra is performed by folding the ring finger and pressing the second phalanx with the base of the thumb. This mudra has a therapeutic effect on digestive disorders, and helps to lower body fat and bad cholesterol.
A Byzantine Fresco depicting the Surya / Agni Mudra
Fig 7:  The Surya Mudra / Agni Mudra

8.    Anjali Mudra

The Anjali Mudra is the “Namaste” gesture. It is formed by bringing the palms together in front of the chest, such that the thumbs rest lightly against the sternum. The mudra brings together the left and right hemispheres of the brain and makes us aware of our divine essence. This releases stress and anxiety, and promotes respect for others.
The Assumption of Mary with hands in the Anjali Mudra
Fig 8:  The Anjali Mudra

9.    Abhaya Mudra

The Abhaya Mudra is performed by raising the hand with the palm facing outwards. This mudra is performed by deities and spiritual masters to dispel fear and afford divine protection to the devotees. The open palms radiate the silent will and vital energy of the spiritual master.
St.Francis of Assisi doing the Abhaya Mudra with his right hand
Fig 9:  The Abhaya Mudra

10.    Varada Mudra

The Varada Mudra is performed by holding out the hand, palm facing outwards, with the fingers pointing downwards. This is a boon-bestowing gesture, and symbolizes the act of bestowing blessings and charity. Like the Abhaya mudra, this mudra is performed by deities and spiritual masters, whose divine energies are directed outwards through the open palms. The Abhaya Mudra and Varada Mudra are often performed together, one with each hand.
Coptic Icon showing Jesus with his hands in the Abhaya Mudra and Varada Mudra
Fig 10:  The Abhaya and Varada Mudra

11.   Ardhapataka Mudra

The final mudra in this list is the Ardha-pataka Mudra, which appears in both Orthodox and Buddhist art. In this mudra, the ring finger and little finger are folded while the others are kept upright. It is believed that performing the mudra enables people to free themselves from the nuisances in their lives. 

This mudra generally does not appear in the traditional list of yoga mudras, and its knowledge and practice seems to have been limited. The term Ardha-pataka is used for this mudra in the Indian classical dance, Bharatanatyam. It is possible that this mudra had a different name in the context of yogic practice in the ancient times.

A mosaic of Christ doing the Ardhapataka Mudra
Fig 11:  The Ardhapataka Mudra
Evidently, a large number of yoga mudras are depicted in the religious icons of the Orthodox Christian Church.  It is interesting that the term “Orthodox” means “right belief” and Orthodox Christians consider themselves to be the inheritors of the “true faith and Church” passed on in its purest form. They claim to have maintained the original teachings of the Apostles, and preserved the correct form of worshiping God. 

This implies that meditation using yoga mudras must have formed a core part of the spiritual practices propounded by Jesus and the Apostles. Most of the Orthodox icons were created from the 6th century AD till the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 AD. Therefore, the knowledge of these yoga mudras may have persisted within the Orthodox Church till the 15th century AD. In the present day, however, most scholars do not seem to be aware that these hand-gestures are yoga mudras, and instead refer to them generically as signs of blessing.

The relative abundance of the different yoga mudras in Orthodox art reveals that particular emphasis was placed on two specific yoga mudras – the Prithvi Mudra and the Prana Mudra – for they appear in the largest number of icons. While the Prithvi Mudra strengthens and heals the body, the Prana Mudra strengthens the immune system, which gives the body the resilience to heal itself. Both the mudras also activate the root chakra which promotes a sense of tranquility, stability, and self-assurance.

Since, both the Prithvi Mudra and the Prana Mudra are extremely effective “healing mudras”, it helps us to understand why they have been accorded so much importance in Orthodox art. The Gospel records tell us of the presence of a multitude of sick people in Palestine during the time of Jesus, and how they were brought in great numbers to Jesus to be healed. In fact, healing all manner of sickness and disease was characteristic of Jesus's ministry. It is possible, therefore, not only did Jesus heal the sick people, but he also taught about yoga mudras, so that they would remain healthy and energetic even when he was  gone

This indicates that, in its infancy, the Church did not draw a line between the east and the west, and instead adopted all those religious practices and customs which they felt would help their followers to lead healthy lives, and establish a closer communion with God. This also explains why a number of Christian rituals and customs overlap with those of Buddhism and Hinduism. For instance:
  • The rosary beads of the Church are the same as the japamala used by Hindus and Buddhists.
  • The holy water used by the Church Priest for baptism and blessings correspond to the sanctified water called amrita used for purification in the Hindu-Buddhist faiths.
  • The asceticism, prayer, meditation, fasting, and monastic life of the Eastern Orthodox priests is similar to that of Buddhist monks.
  • Some of the Eastern Orthodox monasteries, perched on the top of hills, are reminiscent of the Buddhist monasteries of the Himalayas.
  • The use of religious icons, and their worship by lighting candles and incense sticks, by the Orthodox Christians is very similar to the Hindu mode of worship.
The Holy Trinity Monastery in Meteora, Greece
Fig 12:  The Holy Trinity Monastery in Meteora, Greece.  Source:
The Buddhist Monastery of Taung Kalat perched on top of Mount Popa in Myanmar (Burma).
Fig 13:  The Buddhist Monastery of Taung Kalat perched on top of Mount Popa in Myanmar (Burma). Source: Wikimedia Commons
The question is, when and how did the Hindu and Buddhist beliefs and customs get incorporated into the Christian religious practices?

While there appears to have been long-standing contacts between the Indians and the Greeks since the time of Pythagoras and Plato, trade and cultural contacts along the Silk Route blossomed on an unprecedented scale after the conquests of Alexander. The Romans traded heavily with South India and Sri Lanka for luxuries, and there are a number of historical accounts of Buddhist monks and Indian philosophers being present in Alexandria and the countries around the Mediterranean, before and after the period of Christ. For instance:
1. In the third century BC, the Indian Emperor Ashoka sent Buddhist missionaries as far as the Greek kings of the Mediterranean. In Rock Edict 13, Ashoka says: “Now it is conquest by Dhamma that Beloved-of-the-Gods considers to be the best conquest. And it has been won here, on the borders, even six hundred yojanas away, where the Greek king Antiochos rules, beyond there where the four kings named Ptolemy, Antigonos, Magas and Alexander rule...”

Interestingly, one of the Buddhist missionaries named Dharmaraksita, who was sent by Ashoka to propagate the faith to the northwestern parts of India, has been described in the Buddhist historical texts, the Dipavamsa and the Mahavamsa, as being a Greek (Pali: “Yona” which means “Ionian”). This shows that the Greeks even took active roles in spreading Buddhism as leading missionaries.[1] 

2. Buddhist gravestones from the Ptolemaic period (305 BC – 30 BC) have been found in Alexandria in Egypt, decorated with depictions of the Dharma wheel, showing that Buddhists were living in Hellenistic Egypt at the time when Christianity began.[2] It was in Alexandria, located at the cross-roads commerce and cultural interactions, that some of the most active centers of Christianity were established. Historian Jerry H. Bentley notes “the possibility that Buddhism influenced the early development of Christianity”.

3. Roman historical accounts describe an embassy sent by the Indian king Porus to Caesar Augustus sometime between 22 BC – 13 AD. One of the members of this delegation was a Sramana (wandering monk of Buddhism / Jainism) who burned himself alive in Athens to demonstrate his faith. The event made a sensation, and was described by the Greek historian Nicolaus of Damascus who met the embassy at Antioch (Turkey) in 13 AD. 

Strabo states that, as per Nicolaus of Damascus, the following was inscribed on the tomb of the Sramana: “Zarmanochegas, an Indian, a native of Bargosa, having immortalized himself according to the custom of his country, here lies.”[3] These accounts indicate that Buddhist / Jain monks were circulating in the Levant during the time of Jesus.

4. Clement of Alexandria, a Christian theologian and Church Father of the second century AD (c.150 AD), was the first Greek to refer to the Buddha by name: “Among the Indians are those philosophers also who follow the precepts of Boutta (Buddha), whom they honor as a god on account of his extraordinary sanctity.”[4] 

Clement was also aware of the Indian philosophers called gymnosophists (whom Alexander had met in India), and writes that, “the Indian gymnosophists are also in the number, and the other barbarian philosophers. And of these there are two classes, some of them called Sarmanæ (i.e. Sramana) and others Brahmins.”

5.The founder of the Neoplatonic school, Plotinus, was so serious about learning Indian philosophy that he took part in the military expedition against the King of Persia in the hope that it would bring him into the region. According to one tradition, Plotinus went to India in AD 242 expressly to study its philosophy. 

There is, in fact, a strong similarity between Neoplatonism and Vedanta and yoga systems. Neoplatonism also had many points in common with Buddhism, especially abstention from sacrifice and from eating meat. A doctrine similar to Neoplatonism later became part of Christian theology as reflected in the writings of the Egyptian St. Anthony, St. John of the Cross, and Meister Eckhardt, among others.[5] 
6. Scythianus was an Alexandrian religious teacher who visited India around 50 AD from where he brought the “doctrine of the Two Principles”.[6] Epiphanius mentions that Scythianus wrote four books: Mysteries, Treasure, Summaries, and a Gospel. He went to Jerusalem, where he disputed his doctrines with the Apostles. 

The account of Cyril of Jerusalem states that after Scythianus' death, his pupil Terebinthus went to Palestine and Judea, where he presented himself as a “Buddha”. This suggests a link between his philosophy and Buddhism. His books and knowledge were taken over by Mani, and became the foundation of the Manichean doctrine.[7] 
7. There were some contacts between the Gnostics and the Indians. The Syrian gnostic theologian Bar Daisan describes in the 3rd century AD his exchanges with the Indian Sramanas (wandering monks of Buddhism and Jainism), passing through Syria.[8] This has given rise to suggestions by Zacharias P. Thundy that Buddhist tradition may have influenced Gnosticism and hence Christianity.

Thus, there is no dearth of historical evidence that Sramanas i.e. Buddhist and Jain wandering monks were present in Alexandria and in the countries around the Mediterranean during the time when Christianity was in a nascent stage of evolution. This would explain the presence of so many yoga mudras in Orthodox art, as well as the overlaps between Christian theology and religious practices with that of Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism.

Unfortunately, the outlook of modern-day Church Priests towards yoga, and eastern spiritual practices in general, seems to be diametrically opposite to that of the founders of their faith. Every now and then, one hears of Catholic Priests who deem yoga to be “satanic”, a “sham”, “dangerous for the soul”, the “work of the devil”, and much more. It is alarming that such mindsets exist even in the 21st century, especially when yoga has been scientifically proven to confer many health benefits, and is at the forefront of many holistic healing techniques.

Such misgivings appear even more absurd when we realize that yoga mudras must have formed an essential part of the religious practice of the Church since the beginnings of Christianity. Going by the large numbers of Orthodox icons that depict Jesus and the Apostles performing yoga mudras, it would appear that the early Church actively enjoined its followers to practice yoga mudras to heal themselves. The legacy of yoga in Christianity needs to be explored and understood in order to dispel many irrational fears and doubts harbored by the leaders of the Church.

PS: Readers may be interested in an engaging article in The Wire written by my friend Devdan Chaudhuri, where he has discussed the implications of the Ardha-pataka Mudra depicted in Leonardo Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi.

End Notes
[1]"Encyclopaedia of Oriental Philosophy and Religion", ed. N.K.Singh, A.P.Mishra, Vol.8, Buddhism, Global Vision Puslishing House.
[2] W.W. Tarn, The Greeks in Bactria and India, South Asia Books.
[3] Strabo, Geography, Book XV, Chapter 1-73
[4] Clement of Alexandria, Stromata (Miscellanies), Book I, Chapter XV
[5] Susantha Goonatilake, Toward a Global Science: Mining Civilizational Knowledge (Indiana University Press, 1998) 29-31.
[5] Hippolytus (Romanus), 1716, pp. 190-192
[7] Cyril of Jerusalem, Sixth Catechetical Lecture Chapter 22-24
[8] Porphyry, De abstin., iv, 17 [3]
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Bibhu Dev Misra

Independent researcher and writer on ancient mysteries, cultural connections, cosmic wisdom, religion and science. Graduate of IIT and IIM with two decades of work experience in different fields

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  1. Thank you for nice post. The early Etruscan Civilization in Italy, prior to Christianity and Roman Catholicism established was prevailing in Italy. This civilization is similar to Hindu / Vedic Civilization. There are numerous other cultures / subcultures around the globe which are similar to Hindu / Vedic Civilization; eg Yazidi. The Roman Catholics knew that they can't term Vedic Culture, so they used the word Pagan. Paganus in Latin means villager or rustic, where as in Christian Latin it means a person who does not belong to a widely held religion (especially one who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim), a follower of a polytheistic religion, an idol worshiper, a person regarded as lacking culture or moral principles! But, essentially, Vedic influences are found all around the globe! Please read Nita Raina's blog Vedic Café and also Ramani's Blog at Knowledgeable Orthodox Christians knows the Buddhist / Hindu influence on Christianity. Thanks again.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the links. It is true that Hindu / Vedic influences can be seen in many cultures around the world. Many researchers have written about it, and I have a few articles on my blog as well that deal with cultural diffusion brought about by many waves of migrations. Glad to know that you enjoyed the article, and hope you will find time to go through some of my previous posts.

  2. Please read this article, thank you

    Is about mexican prehispanic yoga

    1. Hello, thanks for sharing the link. Its interesting to know that the Mexican version of yoga is called Kinam.
      This is related to an article I had written earlier, regarding the practice of yoga by the ancient Olmecs as well as the Shaft Tomb culture of Western Mexico. I believe that exact correspondences between the postures indicates a Trans-Pacific cultural interaction, as well as a possible migration from Asia.
      Here's a link to that article:

  3. Thank You for this great article. But you probably missed something! To your surprise, there is video on Youtube titled "Jesus was a Buddhist Monk". If you like please see that video which establishes a clear connection between Buddhism & Christianity. Thank You.

    1. Hi, I had seen the BBC documentary on Jesus being a Buddhist monk. There have also been a number of books written on Jesus traveling to India during his lost years, and I had read one of those. There's a BBC documentary called "Jesus lived in India" on You Tube as well.
      However, all of these are theories and hypothesis, with little hard evidence. There's supposed to be a scroll in the Hemis Monastery in Ladakh which records the life of Saint Issa (Jesus) in India, but that scroll has not been seen by anyone other than the Russian explorer Nicolas Notovitch who first wrote about it. Unless that scroll is scrutinized by experts, we cannot be certain that it is a valid document.
      While it is quite possible that Jesus traveled to India, and was initiated into Buddhism and Hinduism during his journey, we lack documented historical evidence for that.
      On the other hand, there is sufficient evidence that Buddhist and Jain wandering monks were circulating in the Levant and the countries around the Mediterranean in the centuries before and after Christ. So, Jesus could have, quite easily, been initiated into yogic philosophies and practices by joining a monastic institution close to his homeland.

  4. Greek weddings as seen in movie "Big Fat Greek Wedding" shows the couple would go in circles around the bible. Similar to a Hindu wedding around fire. Just like Sikhs replaced fire with their book, newly converted Greeks probably replaced fire with Bible.

    1. That's an interesting observation...thanks for sharing

    2. Mother Mary is just the transformation body of Avalokithesvara bodhisattva in Buddhism..
      Likewise Jesus and all the other saints..They are here to rescue living beings from samsara (suffering) and save them from falling into lower realms of the animals, hungry ghosts and hell beings. The heaven of the Christians is actually the Trayastrimsaha heaven where Lord Sakra presides as the lord of Gods, it's not a permanent place though but the average life span there is 36 million earth years.It's not for the Christians only, if you have the required positive karma you can be reborn there as well. One level higher from this heaven is the Suyama heaven, the Brahma heavens, the Ministers of Brahma heavens and so forth until the heaven of Neither Thought nor No Thought . The highest heaven would be the heaven of the Demons. (Mara)

    3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts...very interesting.

    4. Daemon - a divinity between God's and humans.

  5. Other similarities include temple bells and skull cap in Christians worn at the same location as Hindu Brahmins Sikha.

    1. The temple bells are similar, yes, but the caps worn by Christian priests are similar to those worn by the Jews and Muslims...Hindu pujaris do not wear caps, and the Sikhs simply cover their heads with a cloth.

  6. Really interesting. I am an orthodox chriatian and I was trully amazed about the similarities, and the fact I have always seen those gestures, but I've never thought about them before I visited India. There other similarities, like for instance the way we draw cross with fingers on our breast, hindu people also touch their body in a similar way; the hindu people kiss the silver alter, very similar to the way we kiss siver icons with orthodox saints; also when we go out from the church, we always face the altar and walk backwards - the same do the hundu people.
    My questions here are: if those are practices of greeks knowing Buddhism, why didn't they start following the Buddhism instead, but had to implement those practices into Christianity? One of the options for me is if the people have been following those practices already, and they more easily turned them to Christianity, by reusing them. The point is that I've never heard about any Buddhism in this region. I know greek mythology and it is much different than the hindu one. Nevertheless, we Bulgarians have other similarities, e.g. the so called 'martenitsa' (please check on internet), we also tie red strings on the wrist for protection (seen as unchristian by the orthodox Church), funny though we are the only nation which shake heads like indians, when agreeing/disagreeing (check as well).

    Other possibility for me is (least possible), if Jesus himself has been aware about those spiritual practices...

    Any comment on that would be appreciated.

    1. Thanks for sharing these interesting observations. Some of the cultural connections that you have mentioned - such as the tying of the red strings or the head shakes - could go back thousands of years, and it may be difficult to trace their origins.
      However, when it comes to the overlaps between the Hindu-Buddhist practices and Christianity, I think it started with Emperor Ashoka of India (c.250 BCE) who sent Buddhist missionaries all the way to Greece. As per the historical records, the Greeks who lived on the Northwest frontiers of India adopted Buddhism and even acted as leading missionaries. Buddhist and Jain monks lived in Alexandria in the centuries before Christ (their tombstones have been found), and they must have converted many to their philosophies and practices.
      Some of these beliefs and practices were probably carried over into Christianity, when the new religion started taking shape. Jesus, himself, may have been initiated into Eastern mysticism by these monks, because many of the things Jesus said can be found in the Hindu-Buddhist philosophies. There are suggestions that Jesus traveled to India and Tibet, which is quite possible as well.
      I must add though, that I am not aware of Hindus kissing the altar; rather they mostly touch the alter with their forehead. I am also not aware of Hindus making a sign on their chest, but they might cross their hands over the chest which is called the Heart mudra (Svabhava mudra).

  7. Have you ever considered the facts that during this journey of our civilization called Humanity various Extra terrestrial races have actually interacted, got incarnated and preached and practiced their beliefs. The fact that Lord Krishna has bluish tinge and his brother called Balarama is actually a snake is quite interesting.I wont be surprised if we find some day that we ourselves are genetically seeded by some Extra Terrestrials.

    1. A number of Indian texts talk of gods mating with humans and producing super heroes. The Pandava brothers and Karna being prime examples. Bhisma was the son of a human and Goddess Ganga. So the idea of extra-terrestrials mating with humans is deeply ingrained in our mythical past, and could very well have some degree of truth in it.

    2. I know of the great Greek Philosoph Ammonios Sakkas coming from India (or at least his wisdom or teaching or teacher) and oft the Thomas-Christians and Thomas-Churches in India, in the tradition of the holy apostle St. Thomas, and having their own Christian Yoga-Tradition and spirituality, some of these Thomas-Christians united with the Roman Catholic Church rejecting Yoga but others united with the Syrian Church practizing their traditional Christian Yoga.

      Developing a Practice of Orthodox Christian Meditation Practice. A Christian Dhyanam from the East. Mission Society of St. Gregorios of India, Madison, Wisconsin (USA).

      Yoga and the Christian Faith | A Russian Orthodox Church Website

      Yoga and the Christian Faith | A Russian Orthodox Church Website
      When I started work on this essay, I decided to test out Déchanet’s recommendations, and practiced some basic yo…

      Esoteric Knowledge Hidden in the Eastern Orthodox Churches

      Esoteric Knowledge Hidden in the Eastern Orthodox Churches
      To someone who wrote asking about some statements I had made regarding the secret esoteric beliefs of many in th…

    3. Thanks for sharing the links. I was not aware of the practice of yoga by the Thomas-Christians of India. It was interesting to read of the practice of dhyana, breath control exercises (pranayama), yoga, chanting of mantras etc. by the Orthodox Christians. It indicates the influence of yoga philosophy and practice on Early Christianity. Its a pity that these essential self-improvement and purification techniques are demonized by the Catholic Church.

  8. The buddha taught by expedient means if your familiar on how buddhism started an spread throughout Asia its no suprise that another culture or society would of adapted hindu an buddhist practices. How ever i think there is a line in history some where when the Catholic church demonized an coined the term pagan further research into when and where an how these rules or religious laws came about would explain the reason behind the similarities an artist choices. otherwise its mere speculation I think jesus childhood,teen and young adult years are his prime learning years but the bible as a piece of work alone leads no evidence that i know of that this jesus person was a learnt person of many religions so its possible these various depictions of jesus using mudras had influence from another culture or religion in the general area that they can be found in, that being said buildings an artist also have a history behind them. To me the whole Catholic an Christian nature seems to seek to convert especially back then so is it possible these art pieces where jesus is using mudras could probably be a converting tactic used in the area during that time period to make the converting process more easy on the people

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It is possible, as you mentioned, that the yoga mudra icons may have been produced by the Orthodox Church in order to develop a syncretic religion and thereby gain more followers or converts.
      We do not know, though, to what extent the common people were aware of yoga mudras and had been influenced by such efforts.
      On the other hand, there is substantial evidence that Buddhist monks were sermonizing in the countries around the Mediterranean during the time of Christ, and there is also a very good chance that Jesus had visited India and Tibet during his lost years, and learnt from the Yoga and Buddhist masters. So it could have been a part of Jesus's healing efforts, which found expression in later day art.

    2. El problema que veo en todo esto es una cuestión de fe. Por ejemplo, decir que Jesús aprendió técnicas de sanación, desestima todo el cristianismo. Es decir, Jesús deja de ser Dios.
      Si yo no creo que Cristo es el Alfa & Omega, entonces puedo adherirle a Jesús cuanta práctica y técnica de sanación se me ocurra.
      Me parece más sensato dejar de suponer tanto sobre las prácticas budistas e indues con las cristianas y colocar todo esto como un misterio, porque en el fondo, no tiene sentido. Es decir, o la Biblia y todo el cristianismo es falso, o las prácticas indues son falsas.
      Con todo y sus similitudes, una de las dos debe ser verdadera y plena y la otra, una pre-religión de la verdadera.

  9. Dear Bibhu,

    you made agood job with these slides. I use to guide tourts in India, I'm a writer and a photographer and I do believe influences through history went both sides, can you give a lokk at this?

    best greetings from France
    François-Marie Périer

    1. Hello François-Marie Périer,

      Thanks for sharing the links to your work. I watched the youtube video in English, and I agree with your hypothesis that influences went both sides.
      As I have mentioned in my article, a number of Buddhist and Jain monks were preaching their doctrines in the Mediterranean region during the time of Christ. When these monks would have returned to their monasteries in India, they would have brought back with them a synthesis of eastern and western philosophical thought, which in turn could have influenced certain aspects of Mahayana Buddhism.
      It is well known that the iconography of Gandhara Buddhism was influenced by Hellenic styles, so if certain elements of philosophical thoughts from Alexandria was also brought in, it would not be a surprise.

      Best Wishes,

  10. Thanks to read the blogs of Capt Ajit Vadakayil know more information on Sanathana Dharma. He has travelled extensively and researched a lot around the whole planet. He is topmost blogger the planet has ever had.

  11. Very nice article - thanks for sharing.

  12. Yoga Body thus misses a crucial point many of us have the right to claim, and without having to be criticized for being arrogant or mean-minded: that yoga is primarily a holistic practice, in which the physical body is seen as the first layer of a series of ascending and all-embracing layers of being-from body to mind to spirit. And that ultimately, even the body is the dwelling place of Spirit. In sum, the body is the sacred temple of Spirit. Pháp Luân Đại Pháp

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It is indeed as you say - the soul is divine and of the same essence as the Creator, and the seat of the soul is in the cave of the heart. Thus the heart, and by extension the body, is the sacred temple of Spirit.

  13. First of all, thank you very much for the work you are doing here.

    I had many suspiciouns for some time now that there was Buddhism (or ancient Indian philosophy) influence over Christianity. Seen it in ahimsa, mudras, haloes and nimbi, whatnot. I am impressed by the multitude of mudras that there actually are in Christian iconography.
    Surprisingly, the Sephardim were influenced by the dualism in Taoism and Zoroastrianism to create the kabbalistic system which was afterward burrowed by Catholics.

    Regarding ushnisha, Moses was depicted as having two sort of fire/light horns on his head.
    This is mentioned in the Torah when Moses came with the Ten Commandments the second time. Could be representative of enlightenment through divinity and scripture (cultural advancement, basically).

    It's interesting that these postures are only seen but not mentioned in the New Testament. Might Yeshu's followers not have agreed and changed the philosophy to be more in accordance with the one in the Old Testament?
    Some info about postures in the Old and New Testament:

    A sort of asceticism is mentioned in the Tanakh pertaining the nazirites from which possibly Muhammad and Ali took inspiration from. Periods of fasting are mentioned but in times of need. Speaking of the nazarites, Samson reflects Heracles.

    Churches on top of hills as some Indian temples could be a geographical coincidence.

    Incense sticks were used by the Babylonians as well as Chinese way before 1000BC for religious purposes, Egyptians too. Incense was also used by Aaron's priests in the tabernacle.
    Frankincense was one of the gifts given to Yeshu by the magi (=Zoroastrian priests) which came from the east.

    Moses lit the menorah, not made of candles but of gold and fire was lit on olive oil on the tips of the lampstand's branches.
    Fire is sacred to Zoroastrians. They light it in fire temples and wear mouth masks not to make the fire impure.
    Zarathustra is a sort of mix between Moses and Yeshu. However, it is said this figure lived way before.

    There was a Greco-Buddhist syncretism between the 4th century BC and 5th AD in Bactria. I guess, from there things moved around the Greek occupied world.

    However, a lot of (sort of) pre-Christian things are left unexplained like the Virgin Mary giving birth and basically Yeshu's life before becoming who he was supposed to be.

    (continued below)

    1. Comments on other replies to your article:
      1. Eastern European weddings are somewhat similar to those of the Parsi.
      2. The saints resemble the tirthankaras of Jainism, while angels the devas of Buddhism. Angels are also present in Zoroastrianism where they are called fravashi which became the Norse valkyries.
      3. Zoroastrianism also comes with heaven, hell, judgement and ressurection of the dead messianism (yes, there is the Buddhist Maitreya too).
      4. The Kabbalah is highly inspired by the Buddhist heaven layers.
      5. About the highest heaven being that of the Mara. From what I understand it's not something in all Buddhist branches. Problem with it is, that it's antithetical to what Buddhist enlightenment should represent. This Mara heaven as most of the ones under it are filled with sensory excitations killing the road to nirvana which is supposed to be one without any vices but a total detachment one.
      6. Zoroastrian priests also wear headdresses resembling those from Judaism and Christianity (note, that Yeshu was not wearing anything like Gautama).
      7. For instance the garbhagriha is an equivalent of the Holy of Holies (Judaism) and the Holy Altar (Christianity).
      8. In the Torah it is mentioned that high priests wore gold bells attached to their robes.
      9. About extraterrestrials, all religious cosmology talk about the sky meeting the earth, things appearing out of nothing and the dualism of evil and good. Since humanity is the only life, not just intelligent one, in the universe, currently, it's possible that those gods mating with humans are not extraterrestrials but come from other planes of existence. Also, some of them resembling animals could be their various incarnations. Moreover, in what Buddhism is concerned, that would be contrary to what Gautama was trying to achieve. What would be the point of returning to the realm you're trying to escape from? Monotheism removed the mating of gods with humanity or blamed it as desecration (see the Book of Enoch on angels). In the Torah, Samson and other figures are empowered by Yahweh directly. Similarly, Yeshu (who is considered God by some Christians and was just the son of God for ancient "sects" or "heretical" movements). For Muhammad, knowledge is transmitted through visions by the archangel Mikhael. Well, there are the vimana but it's not clear if they travelled across planets or just acted under Terra's orbit. If anything, "reality" is more like in the Matrix which was inspired by Indian philosophies and the scientifical Holographic Principle.
      10. Indian Philosophies usually require males as monks and/or to be able to surpass samsara. Similarly, only men were priests in Zoroastrianism, Judaism (no other men than priests were allowed to go into the tabernacle), Christianity and Islam.

      I think you should rename the title to just Christianity because you also used Catholic icons as reference. For instance, St. Francis of Assisi was born after the Great Schism.

      An article on Zoroastrianism as influence on the Abrahamic religions:

      Again, thank you a bunch for sharing knowledge with us lost sheep.

  14. Yoga is eternal part of HINDUISM , Yoga is thousand years older , even when christanity was not invented by misoneries.

  15. Fascinating article- thank you for your research and skilful combining of observations about imagery in these traditions. the Image of Jesus seated under the Mustard Tree is particularly striking for me because of what appears to be the lotus throne as well as the mudra and ushnisha equivalent. I can't find the original blog- could you say more about the source and do you know anything of an estimated date for this image please?

    1. Thanks for leaving your comment. The image of Jesus under the mustard tree is a Byzantine icon, but I dont know when it was created. I found a link for it:

  16. The Byzantine Icon appears to be depicting Surya Ravi mudra, rather than Prithvi mudra. reference:

    1. Not correct. Do a search for Prithvi Mudra and you will find hundreds of yoga websites showing you how to do this mudra. The Surya / Agni Mudra is shown in Fig. 7. It is similar to the Prithvi Mudra, but in this case the ring finger is held down by the thumb.

  17. Very interesting. It's also worth pointing out that similarities among religions does not necessarily suggest that symbolism and ritual were borrowed from one religion to another. It could simply mean that both are building on something even older.

    1. True. Most of our religious rituals have been handed down by the Seven Sages of antiquity who roamed the earth in ancient times and passed on the entire corpus of human wisdom and modes of worship. The Seven Sages have been mentioned in the legends of many ancient cultures. After them, many lineages of sages and rishis carried on these traditions. However, due to the recurrent cataclysms that strike us, especially during the periods of transition between the Yugas, sometimes this knowledge is lost from certain parts of the world, following which the knowledge may again be recovered due to migrations and trade contacts. It seems to me that the knowledge of yoga and yoga mudras may have been forgotten in West Asia, since we dont find any depictions of yoga or mudras in Mesopotamian art. It was recovered again by coming in contact with the Hindu-Buddhist missionaries.

    2. Symbols and rituals can change meaning over time and mean different things in different cultures.

    3. Since we are in a descending cycle of consciousness, the original meanings of the sacred symbols and spiritual practices may be forgotten or misunderstood. However, when you look carefully beneath the prevailing ideas, the original meanings can be recovered.

  18. All religions have a tendency towards divergence and loss, especially at the beginning. Christianity is no different. To say with certainty that something was part of the original Christian religion, there would have to be evidence from the 1st Century. By the 3rd century, too much time has passed. Evidence from the 3rd century would equally suggest that it was part of the original as well as that it could have been added later.

    1. While it is true that all religions have a tendency at divergence and syncretism, such tendencies are generally less at the beginning and increase with time. In Buddhism, for instance, we see the emergence of Mahayana Buddhism nearly 500 years after Buddha, and of Vajrayana Buddhism another 700 years later. Since these Byzantine icons are a part of the Orthodox Church, and the Orthodox Christians claim to have preserved the original teachings of the Apostles in their pristine form, it is very likely that the yoga mudras are a part of the original teachings from the 1st century CE. One cannot state with absolute certainty, of course, but the possibility that they were added later i.e. between the 1st and 3rd centuries, is much less. The icons seem to have been quite popular and were prominently displayed, which suggests that they contained important messages that the Early Church wanted to send out to its followers.

  19. Thank you for this amazing article. I stumbled on your article because I was interested in knowing the relationship between Jesus and mudras.

    As a Christian raised in Africa who meditates, some of these ideas are not very accepted. I was gifted a book lately called "Power Vs Force" and it helped me make sense of a lot. Especially why it seems that there is a yogic influence on Christianity.

    From my studies, I now understand that mudras are energy antennas. The great sages who were vibrating on a higher level were more aware and these mudras a kinesthetic medium to transmit those higher energy fields into human consciousness.

    Jesus Christ who was one of the few people in history who reached these high levels of enlightenment could definitely feel this high energy level and the intuitive kinesthetic urge to transmit this energy into human consciousness as well. Though hard evidence is not provided yet, I do believe that in the lost years he had to travel to find people who could relate to what he was feeling.

    1. Thanks for leaving your thoughtful response. The "higher energy fields" that you mentioned is called "prana" or cosmic energy in yogic parlance. The mudras increase and direct the flow of prana throughout the body, specifically the chakra points, to elevate our consciousness and heal bodily ailments. As per the text preserved in the Hemis monastery in Ladakh, India, (and translated by Nicolas Notovitch) Jesus had traveled throughout India and the Himalayas during his lost years, where he had learnt from the yogic masters and attained high states of realization.

    2. What Nicolas Notovitch wrote is considered a hoax by most scholars. So, I wouldn't be so sure that Jesus actually went there rather than missionaries from India coming to the Levant since there is archeological evidence of that.

    3. Swami Adbhedananda, a senior monk of the Ramakrishna Mission had also gone to the Hemis monastery after Notovitch's writings were published. Adbhedananda had written in Bengali about the life of Saint Issa in India, and his account matches with that of Notovitch's. I find it difficult to believe that such a senior and well-respected monk - a direct disciple of Ramakrishna - who was the President of the Vedanta Society of New York, would publish any false account or popularize a hoax. Its far easier to believe that most western scholars do no want to link Jesus with India or Hinduism/Buddhism and have consciously decided to reject these accounts.

    4. Max Müller, a German philologist with a passion for Hinduism, asked the lama of the monastery through a letter about any visits from westerners there and of any such text and the lama replied there was no such text and that there was no visit from any westerner for at least 15 years. Mind you, Max Müller was accused of being an anti-Christian, so it's also hard to say that this text you chat about actually existed since not all westerners were Christianity apologetical.

  20. Hi!
    What about this...?
    "Spontaneous origins of yoga"

  21. hi!

    It seems amrita is no "sanctified water"...

  22. Here I would also like to add, as a Bulgarian woman who knows very well the ancient language we speak, that if you don't know, we had a cultural influence on the construction of the Hindu civilization. I'm talking about thousands of years before Christ! And these are facts, historical facts and confirmed ones by scientists. There are many books on the matter, but you should read the not falsified "official theory" about us Bulgarians we was Thracians and from the Arians.
    And it was the Arians who built Buddhism in India. This is not an Indian ideology but an Aryan culture. Some iranian culture. Aryans are a tribe that lived around Nepal, near Bukhara, and then settled in the northern part of India to influence the writing of this language "Samskrta" and the emergence of Buddhism.
    I mentioned that we know each other's language well. The meaning of Buddha, his name and what it means is easily explained in Bulgarian language. We have many derived words from this word and not only, in our modern language. As in all Slavic languages (I exclude Greek, Turkish and Western) - Our modern language is very similar to the ancient sacred language Samskrit - it is the holy language, not of Indian origin. Due to the fact that we are the first civilization in Europe and it is proven that we have since at least 8000 years ago. developed agriculture, we were also the first spreaders of Orthodox Christianity and the first spreaders of the new script - the Cyrillic alphabet, which is incorrectly called that - it's a very old Bulgarian alphabet, but while we were under the rule of Romans, Byzantines and after Turks and all sorts, all they want to destroy our culture and identity. Untill now, they say that we are from turks origin, but we prove with DNA that we are arians, europeans and form indo-european-iranian-arian origin..
    We are still proving what we are and how ancient we are. Constantly our invasions destroyed and burned all the artifacts so that we would have no history and the rulers would appropriate the glory.
    Chekruk is our word for the weel, as indian Chakra. because Kruk - in bulgarian means Circle. Che-Kruk = Cha-Kra - it is the same. Waved line - but in circle. We know what its mean
    Also like example -. Krishna - is because he dance and are very wayvy - Krish - is a bulgarian word for like to brake dance- to make brake in the pelvis the pelvis is Krust- as Cros.
    Kursha se - means to make waving siluete as you dance. In our langiage we can explain all sort of worlds gods, religions. like Egiptian too, because we was conected with egiptian history also.
    Our word for people are Hora, Ora - its like the god Hor from egiptian mitology. Osiris, is like the Grain -O-rise Rise- Rice - Because the legend is that it was burried in the gound- as death, and after it go Resurrects from ground - like grains do, when they sprout again they have life - and go up to the sun.

  23. 02-
    All the working stuff entered Europe thanks to us from Old Great Bulgaria. Look on the map where it was our country before - in the same place, where after has start "The Migration Period, also known as the Barbarian Invasions, after this great migration, was fall of the Roman Imperia.
    The western Europeans havent no concept of such a simple tools as how to dig ground, they wasnt a shepherd, or agricultures. After a lot of thousands years, they start to develop agriculture, even now, they are lasy- the westerns, do not want to work! And again wait our peoples from east europe, to go there and to work on their lands!
    We have been together with the Macedonians, who are Bulgarians, the first ploughmens, the sowers and the farmers of the Balkans. It was some miration to europe, not recently, but long time ago- before maybe 20 000 or maybe 40 000 years!
    After comes the secont wave.. and so on.. The Greeks came much later on this continent, from Africa and Phoenicia. They are merchants, they are cunning, fishermen, they are not a people to work the land. Even they don't have a word or an expression like "I dig". but they have "Dig!" in command form - which speaks of how they were at the time towards the local conquered population - i.e. us.
    The Greeks colonized a lot - and the Balkans, and reached all costals area from black sea, to today's Ukraine, and reached also Italy and all the islands in Mediteranea sea, even before the Roman Empire. The Romans shared their influence - with the Western Holy Roman Empire and the Eastern - which was Byzantium.
    The Bulgarians constantly fought with them - to liberate the local population. But after so many battles, our strength has weakened. They make genocide of our nation, as turks.. We never make such enocide to nobody! We always was fighting for free our teritories with our peoples.
    We are creators of culture and spreaders of writing and reading. No other nation in Europe can boast of this and such a work - on a scale. Which says that our nation influences other nations culturally, through enlightenment, not through violence.

  24. 03
    Our language is directly related to Sanskrit language.
    Which says a lot about what we've been like since prehistoric times.
    Buddha in our language is "to wake up" - we say like this, when "I wake up" from sleep.
    Normal word for waking up in the morning after sleep. but we also have a lot of words from Buda -(its no matter with double dd or h - the important is the meaning of the word, and sounding!) So - Pro-Bujdam Pro-Budda - is to be Awaiken - like Enlighten, in mind. becuae "Pro"- is like for "More" "in fromt" and many others - related to Buddha as a root word.
    Buda -has meaning for "To be" we say "Da Budda" we have also - "Budnini" - it is the future life- infront, days in the future. Also Future tense - as a grammatical tense, we say Budeshte- is from the root Budd. In our language "Buditel" - a people's awakener, is a national hero, that we remember permanently as god, a person who was fighth for the rights of the peoples and awakens the people from a deep sleep, because the people are always used by the authorities and oppressed or used as sheeps for milking and shearing.
    This waker is like our Budda, - it is an spreader of the thrught, informer, teacher, and saiver of the nation from some slavery etc.. and he risk his life, of being killed by the authorities.
    Most of our "Buddas" as we call our heroes - as Bud-iteli - as Awaikeners of the pepoles, Helpers of the peoples, and Heroes, ofcours where sacrified their life in battles for the liberation of the people.
    If you want to learn the ancient truths, you should read really many hidden ancient books and you will get to the truth.

  25. 04
    the earliest writing in the whole world was invented not in Mesopotamia, or the land of the pyramids - Egypt, but here, on our territory (Bulgaria ).
    The signs on ceramics from Gradeshnitsa, Karanovo, Hotnitsa and other places predate Sumerian cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphs by about 1000-2000 years

    You yourself can think of where the culture of the world comes from - at least that of Europe, the Near Egyret, and the Near East.
    By the way, I even found many words in our language - which correspond in sound and meaning not only in some persian , or samskrit, or even hindy, but inJapanese words too!!!
    so nothing is accidental! And the languages are soo interesting to esplore!
    In my opinion - the ancient people traveled everywhere!
    And we are all connected culturally and fisicaly! because we are all one , but separated in the world :)

  26. 05
    so much historically has been staked on us this slavery, millennial slavery! constant conquest of our lands and people, that in our language we have a whole branch with the root "Buda" - and "bud"
    the very word as "to be" - as I repeat is not only in the meaning of to be, but it makes a lot more sense
    to stay "da preBUDA u BUDeshteto"
    to exist forward - PreBUDvam
    to be free - being -"SvoBODA" Bod=bud
    the being is a free creation of the world
    existence equals freedom - there is no unfree existence (creatures are all free)
    to be alive- is to be "Buda"
    to be not only alive, but vibrant - an energetic, lively person, happy, enjoying life
    we have when comces new year, we put one old wood - in the fire - and have to keep this fire all night, untill the morning - this holy night is BUDni vecher its mean "Budni" Evening.
    it is before christmas. Its like Awaikening evening, to be in the future, to go and pass on the futre,
    to continue to exist in next year. like this such simbolic meaning have. Thats why have to keep all night the fire- the light - like simbol of beeing, to go on... the wood is "Budnik", the evening is "Budni" evening. Look also the sity in Hungary - it is Buda and Pesht! Hung are from Huns, and Atila, and they where close relatives tribes with us, we are from one big family with hungarians nation.

    that's what To Be means to us. - not just to be present boringly and pointlessly, but to actively live, create and enjoy life, and if you can help your neighbors.
    Therefore, our Awakeners our Heroes, are like in asia waiting for the new Buddha,
    For us it makes sense that these awakeners will fix and help the nation, as some christian waits his god to come down from up..
    - and the lasy nations, are always waiting for them as some kind of messiahs, as ready-made saviors... always waiting for someone to save them..
    But the people don't want to help themselves and wake up.- as to be theis own Buddas to themself.

    Even Orthodox - the problem of Christianity is that it gives the idea to the people - to the population, to always wait for someone from somewhere outside to save them! And not just to help yourself, alone, to brace yourself, to have courage, determination, strength, self-belief, to unite and rise up against tyranny, or against slavery, or against all kinds of problems from the authorities.
    The meaning of the Buda is just to be alone awake of yourself, to be brave, conect all peoples, and be more self defencive.
    It is easy to understand, but peoples are lasy, and they do not wanna fight for their freedom. thats why they will constantly belive in some religions, or to wait someone else some Budda some God, some Angel, or some do their job..
    The power is inside everyone -inside the body in the SPIRIT.

  27. In Orthodox have meaning of the 3 spirit, god and son, but in Chatolic, they deny to have 3 different things, they deny the Spirit! Why you will ask? Simply- because this religion is invented to control the humanity
    It was at the very beginning -part of the executive power in the state, state government.
    it has no such power now, as before... but it used to have. before taxes was paid to the church, as taxes to the state are at present.
    even in Germany now they have a church tax of 10% tithe is still paid, they say whoever wants it, it is probably not mandatory - I don't have exact data.
    That is why the concept of "spirit" - inner strength, free will, vitality, energy - has been deleted from the Catholicism in general. But in Orthodox still exist the idea of Spirit, and the 3 things Spirit, God, and Son are conected in one, but they are not one.
    Because catolics wanted to control the peoples, and to not have peoples Spirit. to do not have free will - to erase the thinkng, but just to beliving!
    Because only instinct - your inner strength lifts you up - not to wait some god...
    In the very first christianyti, the god, the spirit, the strenght - is represented not somewhere out there.. but inside the humans - chisus say that he is inside everyone... not to search him outside, or in some temples, or in some churches... So this is the original idea of the Chesus christ..
    Otherwise, you remain a Sheep - and you wait for the Lord, your shepherd, to lead you.
    (as it is explained the idea in ofitial catolic Islam too)
    These mono-theistic religions are purposefully such, not by chance, but invented in order to rule the people and the state through them - they are religions of the ruling controlling one-person power - as a one-person deity - with the image of a man. Especially in Islam, it is a very unbalanced religion towards masculinity and femininity and do not have balance and harmony.
    There the man is supreme, while the woman is oppressed and humiliated and depersonalized. Therefore, this religion is not balanced and out of balance as male energy predominates and as we can see men mainly make wars and conflicts while women are the ones who resolve conflicts.
    Women makes life, give birth, rise children, they give peace to the world.. this is the women energy
    Humanity will be fine when "official" religions are abolished, because the most religious are peoples, they are the most stupid, the most illiterate and do not learn anything about enlightenment or read books other than religious ones. This makes them the most mentally and intellectually retarded. And as such stupid masses, are most easily governed by religion.
    Religions must be practiced, only by desire, and whoever wants it, without imposing it on anyone else as an idea.
    Until now, both Islam and Christianity have been imposed by violence! which is not normal!
    But in those days, religion was Power - They ruled - the priests were in power.