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Friday, 26 August 2016

Blavatsky's influence on modern Yoga

According to Yoga and Tantra scholar David Gordon White, Blavatsky played a seminal role in the development of modern Yoga:
“As for “Classic” or “Raja” yoga, this “ancient tradition” is really only about 150 years old. As White has shown, the main promulgator of Raja Yoga, Swami Vivekananda, was strongly influenced by the spiritualism of groups like the Theosophical Society, which was co-founded by the Russian-born Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Blavatsky believed that the Yoga Sūtras, which had been largely forgotten in India by the 19th century, would lead one on a contemplative path to the supreme self, or god-self within, itself part of a mysterious universal “oversoul”. Vivekananda first introduced his concept of “Raja Yoga” to the Occidental world at the 1892 World Parliament of Religions at Chicago and he found such success in the West that he stayed in America until his death in 1902.”

Ayuverdic writer David Frawley on Annie Besant's influence on India:
“Annie Besant, who followed Blavatsky, was the most prominent of the Western Theosophical leaders in India. She served as the head of the Theosophical Society from 1907 up to her death in in 1933. Of Irish origin, she was a visionary and social reformer, claimed clairvoyant powers, was a prolific author, charismatic speaker, and staunch proponent of women's rights.

Hollywood journalist mentions importance of Blavatsky in modern Yoga:
“Theosophy had a Hindu bent, with a large nod to Yoga. It was big in Europe, the United States and India. India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, as well as Ghandi and such assorted personages as Oscar Wilde and W.B. Yeats, were influenced by Theosophy. Ghandi credited Blavatsky with making him study his own Hinduism.”

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