"I really did, you know!"he went on on, looking slightly uncomfortable ..."What's it all about?"
"One spring afternoon in 1992, a Norwegian friend who was living in
my village for a year whilst he completed a Master of Business
Administration at Bath University dropped over for coffee. After
exchanging the usual set of pleasantries about the weather and a few
comments about the local primary school, he introduced a new topic
into the conversation. Knowing my interest in new religions, he said,
was I aware that some people in the next village were 'giving cool
breezes'? I confessed my ignorance and pressed him for details. One,
a woman called Jane, he continued, had given him a sort of massage
and as a result he had felt a cool breeze on the top of his head."I
really did, you know!"he went on, looking slightly uncomfortable, as
he did not quite believe it himself."What's it all about?"
This book is my attempt, as a sociologist of religion, to answer the question raised by my friend that day. It is about Sahaja Yoga, the new religious movement (NRM) whose member was responsible for the 'cool breezes' which he felt."
Judith Coney, Sahaja Yoga (Introduction page)
About the Author
Judith Coney is a lecturer in the Department of Study of Religions at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Hardcover: 269 pages
Publisher: RoutledgeCurzon; 1 edition (May 24 1999)
The first full-length examination of Sahaja Yoga, a new religious movement led by Sri Mataji Nirmala Devi, which claims up to one hundred thousand members from around the world.
This is the first full-length examination of Sahaja Yoga, a new religious movement led by Sri Mataji Nirmala Devi, which claims up to one hundred thousand members from around the world. The study on which it is founded began as a result of the author's curiosity being aroused when she heard followers of the guru claiming to feel 'cool breezes' on the tops of their heads and on the palms of their hands. Basing her account largely on participant observation with devotees, Judith Coney sets out the experiences of western members of the movement, from the point of first contact to departure. She examines how newcomers adopt new practices and allegiances on becoming full-time members, and how most develop a radically new awareness of 'spiritual vibrations' as a result of the regular meditation suggested by Sri Mataji. To do so, she reflects upon current theories of socialisation, in particular building up understandings about new social worlds than has so far been appreciated. This accessible and informative account is of particular value to scholars working in the study of religions and new religious movements, and of interest to those working on theories of socialisation. However, the book is required reading for anyone who wants to know more about the contemporary religious landscape.
Jeffrey"jleow21" (New Jersey, NJ, USA) - See all my reviews
This book presents the thoughts of at least half the practitioners of Sahaja Yoga in the United States.
I read the book avidly as I recognised many similarities to what I had observed myself.
Judith Coney has obviously found the flaws in SYoga, and has presented a fair representation of the problems in this group. What she did leave out was the amazing capability of the leader to trigger blissful experiences in individuals. These people in turn can set off these feelings in others.
Judith does not investigate this crucial aspect of the group.
I, too, had the pleasure of trying SYoga for several years. After the initial pleasant experiences, I was led into a whirlpool of contradictions and deceit - as many still in the group will confirm privately. Why do they stay? - fear and an inability to resume a normal social life after decades of confinement to a closed community - friends and family forcibly discarded to be a"real"SYogi. However, the ability to trigger intense joy and a tangible peace in thousands of people is inexplicable.
I do still believe that the leader has unique capabilities, but I could never subject my loved ones to the emotional and mental turmoil that many in the group accept.
A good book for those"thinking persons"In SYoga to know that they are not alone. A good start, Judith Coney
The Holy Spirit: Breath of God
By Gordon Robertson
The 700 Club
"Let's start off with the introduction of the Holy Spirit. It's found right in the first chapter of Genesis in the second verse: "The earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, 'Let there be light;' and there was light."At the very beginning of Genesis, you have God's Word, Jesus; you have God the Father; and you have the Holy Spirit: the Trinity all represented in creation.
The interesting part of this is the Hebrew word for spirit. We almost get a little spooky talking about the Holy Ghost, but the Hebrew word behind spirit is ruach, and it means"Air in motion."It is the same word for"breath."It also means"life."By resemblance to breath and air in motion, it means"spirit."That's where we get the translation, and the Hebrew word contains all those different meanings. If we just leave it with our English word"spirit," we're not getting the full attributes of what the Bible is trying to describe. It's trying to describe that there's a breath involved....
Let's take this into the New Testament because we have almost the same thing where Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit. He says," That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:608, NKJV).
Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit, and He's saying it is like wind. When you get into the Greek behind that, the Greek word is pneuma, which again means"A current of air," "Breath," or a"breeze," and again by analogy," a spirit."So both the Hebrew and the Greek word are talking about breath. It's talking about wind.
Back in Creation, back in Genesis, you've got how we were made."And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being" (Genesis 2:6-7, NKJV). Some translations call that"A living soul."It's from the breath of God that we actually get our life. And so now you get the linkage of how we were created. How we were created in the image of God is because of our breath, and it is because of the breath of God coming into us.
The same thing happens when we are born of the Spirit. When we are re-born, it is from the breath of God.
Gordon Robertson, Breath of God
The Christian Broadcasting Network
The Divine Cool Breeze of the Holy Ghost (Ruh/Adi Shakti)
Occasionally the Divine Cool Breeze blows around the Templum Spiritus Sanctus of the Great Adi Shakti. The Kingdom of Sadashiva is saturated with this Divine Wind which permeates the bodies of all the Immortal Ones meditating on Her in the Thousand-Petal Lotus. This Divine Cool Breeze of the Holy Ghost used to buffet the spiritual body of Kash into a divine ecstasy of Nirvikalpa Samadhi devoid of all thoughts or duality.
Kash had on a number of occasions experienced this Cool Wind swirling all around him at home on Earth, although he was sitting in a closed room. Sometimes Kash experienced so much Cool Breeze that it even amazed him, despite his spectacular spiritual experiences. There were a few times when he inquired after meditation if anyone felt any wind blowing in the room; or if any window had been left open. Sometimes, even when told that none were open, he double-checked all windows just to be sure! This Wind of Resurrection was so intense that he himself could not believe its strength. All those actually born of the Spirit through Kundalini awakening will experience this Wind of the Holy Ghost. The Bible foretold two millenniums ago: "The wind blows where it will, and thou hearest its voice, but knowest not whence it comes and where it goes; thus is every one that is born of the Spirit." (John 3:8)
The family members thought that only he was able to experience this phenomenon due to his extraordinary spiritual awareness. About three years later"suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting." (Acts 2:2) This astonishing Wind of the Holy Spirit was felt for the first time by Kash's parents. It was an amazing experience to feel gusts of Wind swirling all around, the surest Divine Sign that the Resurrection is taking place! This Cool Breeze is not the natural draught experienced by human beings but a spiritual manifestation. No pieces of paper are lifted up or clouds of dust produced, but it is there to assure that they are experiencing precisely the manifestations of those born of the Spirit, and one of the Sure Signs of Resurrection that the Bible and Qur'n promised! (This Wind is similar to that daily flowing out of the hands, heads and other parts of the body, but just more intense.
No one in the family knew from where it came from or where it went but the Wind of the Holy Spirit was definitely experienced on that particular day and again on a few rare occasions later. It was part and parcel of the Divine Monsoon, another torrential outburst of the Rain of Revelation.
Shri Adi Shakti: The Kingdom Of God, page 1132
Even So Will The Winds Of Resurrection (Al-Qiyamah) Blow For Those Born Again Of The Spirit
Jesus answered and said unto him,
Verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man born be born again,
He cannot see the Kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him,
How can a man be born again when he is old?
Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Jesus answered: Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man born of water and the Spirit,
He cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.
That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of Spirit is spirit,
Marvel not that I said unto thee: Ye must be born again.
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof,
But cannot tell whence it comes and where it goeth:
So is every one that is born of the Spirit.
It is Allah who sends forth the Winds so that they raise up the Clouds,
And We drive them to a Land that is dead,
And revive the earth therewith after its death:
Even so (will be) the Resurrection!
surah 35:9 Fatir (The Originator of Creation)
Ruach: Hebrew word for God
"One ancient Hebrew word for God, for example, was ruach. Literally, that word meant"Wind," a natural and even an impersonal concept. The wind or ruach was observed not as a being, but as a vitalizing force. It had no boundaries and no recognizing destination. Among the Hebrews the ruach or wind of God was said to have brooded over the chaos in the story of creation in order to bring forth life. Slowly this ruach then evolved and became personalized and was called Spirit. But it is important to note that at its origin ruach was an impersonal life force, an experienced"What," not a"Who."The ruach or wind of God was not external. It rather emerged from within the world and was understood as its very ground, its life-giving reality....
The wind was also assumed by the Jewish mind to have come from God."Thou didst blow with thy wind," said the book of Exodus (15:10), and"There went forth a wind from the Lord," said the book of Numbers (11:31). God might have been defined by these ancient people as a distant, theistic, personal power who lived beyond the sky, but in the very mysterious wind, which the Jews felt on their own faces, they believed they found themselves touched by God here and now." (Bishop J. S. Spong, Why Christianity Must Change or Die)
It is written both in the Qur'n and Bible that during Qiyamah (Resurrection) those who get their Self-Realization will have Cool Breeze or Wind coming out of their hands, head and other parts of the body. The"hands will speak"to inform the individual of any wrong- doing on a particular finger(s) which correspond to certain problems. This experience is part and parcel of the human subtle system which is activated after the Baptism of Allah (Self-Realization).
Prophet Jesus also preached that those born again of the Spirit will experience the Wind, but will have no idea where it comes from or goes, i.e., this is not the normal wind which humans daily experience but a Divine Wind from within.
The word rh comes from the same root as rahah. It is also related to rîh, which means 'wind', mirwahah, meaning 'fan', and istirwah which means 'respiration'. The term"Spirit"translates the Hebrew word ruah, which, in its primary sense, means 'breath', 'ir', 'wind'. Jesus indeed uses the sensory image of the wind to suggest to Nicodemus the transcendent newness of him who is personally God's breath, the divine Spirit. (Jn 3:3-8)
So this is the thing that is being described in our ancient books, in all the scriptures, even in the Qur'n they are described as Ruh, R,U,H, Ruh."Ruh"means the"cold breeze", the"cool breeze." The cool breeze of the Holy Ghost is described in the Bible also.
You cannot suddenly start a new idea about something. If it is an evolutionary process, if it is a living process it must have its background, its history, and it must culminate into something fruitful. Like every fruit has a tree behind it... If it is a living fruit it has to come out the tree that have existed for thousands and thousands of years, and out of that this tree has to come. It must have a base and this is traditionally called the kundalini awakening process...
Christ has said very clearly that you have to be born again. I mean the whole message of Christ's life is realization ... when Christ came on this Earth to show that you have to become the spirit. By His resurrection He showed that, and this is the message of Christ."
Seeking our Spirit—October 23, 1980
"The Kundalini rises through a very thin line of Brahmanadi. In the beginning only a hair like thing rises, it pierces through. In some people, of course, in a big way it rises also. And then it pierces this fontanel bone area which is a real baptism, real. Today only people felt the cool breeze coming out of their heads. Can you do that by jumping, or by paying money? They felt the cool breeze in the hand. It's written in the Bible, even in the Bible very clearly, that it's the cool breeze. Cool breeze is the sign of the Holy Ghost. You start feeling the cool breeze in your hands and you start feeling the cool breeze on your head. This is the actualization.
Of course, you people don't read other books which are very good, like Adi Shankaracharya. People don't even like the mention of his name who has really and clearly said that it is the cool breeze, the chaitanya, is to be felt like cool breeze in the hands. They do not want that you should know the truth. And this is the truth that when you get your realization, you have to feel the cool breeze in your hands yourself. You have to judge yourself. I'm not going to tell you. It is you who has to see, it is you who has to feel. And then you have to grow and you have to know all and everything - all the secrets of Divine Science. You become the master then, you are the guru.
You are the Spirit, and you should get it. It's your own which is given to you. I have nothing to do about it. I'm just a catalyst."
Maccabean Hall, Australia—March 22, 1981
"Vibrations are the pulsation of the All-Pervading Power within us, which we can feel in the central nervous system. The Spirit doesn't pulsate. It doesn't pulsate. The pulsation exists in the All- Pervading Power. But through Spirit when you get connected, then only the flow starts. And you then start feeling the pulsation on the central nervous system. And this pulsation of the Holy Ghost are the vibrations (Cool Breeze)."
Importance Of Self-Realization, New Delhi, India—February 8, 1983
"Even if you get the glimpses of your Realization you have to at least believe that you are also the Spirit. You go on sticking to that experience and keeping your attention on the fact that you are the Spirit. Tell your intellect not to cheat you anymore. You can turn the face of your intellect by this. Now your intellect will start working for the pursuit of the Spirit. This is what faith means. Faith gives rise to pure intelligence.
Now once you have seen the clouds removed still there are clouds. So you have to use the wind to remove the clouds — Wind of the Holy Ghost. And that you know there are many ways of taking advantage of the Wind. So the Wind comes from the same source, that is, the source of the Holy Ghost — your Kundalini! And also you have in person the Primordial Kundalini before you. Compared to many other seekers who came before you, you are very fortunate."
Paris, France—June 18 1983
"So we must know that it's a new explosion. That's why I call it Blossom Time (of the Last Judgment and Al-Qiyamah), that we are definitely spiritual people. We have got spirituality and that the Divine is working. So the Kali Yuga is finishing. Now it is the Krita Yuga....
Krita Yuga means at the Time when this All-Pervading Power has started acting. Nobody felt the cool vibrations! Can you believe that? They felt the cool but not the vibrations. It was never related to any science. It was never related to physical science especially. So I must say the achievement of Sahaja Yoga is tremendous ... The All-Pervading Power has started acting as I am on this Earth!"
Ipswich, U.K.—August 19, 1990
"Christ said forgive all those because they do not know what they are doing. But suppossing they had done anything against His Mother He would not have forgiven even this much i can tell you, even this much. And in the Bible it is written that nothing will be tolerated against the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost is His own Mother, is the Adi Shakti."
New Delhi, India—February 15, 1977
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