Friday July 20, 2018

Abraham Lincoln believed in teachings of Yoga: Did the 16th US President had a Hindu past as well?

According to Paramahansa Yogananda, Lincoln had been an advanced yogi in the Himalaya in his past life

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Abraham Lincoln, Wikimedia Commoms
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Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of United States needs no introduction. He has and will always remain an enigma in the eyes of people and his contributions to change the scenario of America’s history cannot be summed up in words. But, what is surprising that there is an uncanny connection between the president of America and Hinduism (that includes yoga as well) is reviewed by Richard Salva (yoga and meditation expert) in ‘Soul Journey: From Lincoln to Lindbergh’.

According to Paramahansa Yogananda, Lincoln was a yogi in the Himalaya in his past life. He died with a wish to unite people and bring racial equality. He incarnated as Abraham Lincoln to fulfil the desire of fighting for humanity and again reincarnated as Aviator Charles Lindbergh. But, Salva is sceptical of the claim.

Never being a church follower Abraham Lincoln argued against church doctrines rather he believed in the deeper teachings of yoga which have the power to give a practical solution to present the problems. Lincoln practised amazing things like lifting boulders, heaving them as a young boy. According to yoga experts, these practices give energy to the body and help to achieve any great tasks.

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Ward Hill Lamon, bodyguard of Lincoln recollected about the prophetic dreams of the President. Dreaming about a funeral in the White House is one of the popular and discussed stories. A great yogi of ancient India taught that perfect self-study makes a person a perfect receiver of the message from Higher Sphere and that prophetic information comes during meditation or when one is in sleep.

Yogi, Wikimedia commons
Yogi, Image source: Wikimedia commons

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Being curious about Psychics and mediums, Abraham Lincoln started visiting fortune tellers in New Orleans just as the Hindu yogis used to visit the astrologers. After his death, his son Willie and his mother continued this practice.

In 1863, Lincoln declared Thanksgiving as an American Holiday. Richard pointed out an interesting similarity between the President and his Hindu link. He said, “The holiday of Thanksgiving has a Hindu origin. I noticed that President Lincoln repeatedly chose Thursdays – the holiest day in the week for Hindus – as national days of prayer, fasting, and thanksgiving.” Among Hindus, Thursday has the reputation of ‘guru day’.

More than one out of five Americans believe in incarnation. It is believed that The parallel of Lincoln and Lindbergh again making people believe in the law of Karma. Through The Great President, people are coming towards the yoga and trusting on how greatness is achieved through spiritual practices.

– by Priyanka Saha of NewsGram. Twitter: @priyanka140490

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  • Richard Dayanand Salva

    There’s also a new book on this subject: The Yoga of Abraham Lincoln. See: https://www.crystalclarity.com/product.php?code=BYAL

  • Jagpreet Kaur Sandhu

    It’s quite unbelievable.. but yes such conspiracies always has the chance to be true!

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Shankaracharya: A remarkable genius that Hinduism produced (Book Review)

The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara's philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.

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He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita
He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita.

Title: Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism’s Greatest Thinker; Author: Pavan K. Varma; Publisher: Tranquebar Press; Pages: 364; Price: Rs 699

This must be one of the greatest tributes ever paid to Shankaracharya, the quintessential “paramarthachintakh”, who wished to search for the ultimate truths behind the mysteries of the universe. His genius lay in building a complete and original philosophical edifice upon the foundational wisdom of the Upanishads.

A gifted writer, Pavan Varma, diplomat-turned-politician and author of several books including one on Lord Krishna, takes us through Shankara’s short but eventful span of life during which, from having been born in what is present-day Kerala, he made unparalleled contributions to Hindu religion that encompassed the entire country. Hinduism has not seen a thinker of his calibre and one with such indefatigable energy, before or since.

Shankara’s real contribution was to cull out a rigorous system of philosophy that was based on the essential thrust of Upanishadic thought but without being constrained by its unstructured presentation and contradictory meanderings.

He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita. He wrote extensive and definitive commentaries on each of them. Of course, the importance he gave to the Mother Goddess, in the form of Shakti or Devi, can be traced to his own attachment to his mother whom he left when he set off, at a young age, in search of a guru and higher learning.

The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara's philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.
Shankara wrote hymns in praise of many deities but his personal preference was the worship of the Mother Goddess.

Against all odds, Shankara created institutions for the preservation and propagation of Vedantic philosophy. He established “mathas” with the specific aim of creating institutions that would develop and project the Advaita doctrine. He spoke against both caste discriminations and social inequality, at a time when large sections of conservative Hindu opinion thought otherwise.

Shankara was both the absolutist Vedantin, uncompromising in his belief in the non-dual Brahman, and a great synthesiser, willing to assimilate within his theoretical canvas several key elements of other schools of philosophy. He revived and restored Hinduism both as a philosophy and a religion that appealed to its followers.

Also Read: Hinduism: The Nine Basic Beliefs that you need to know

Varma rightly says that it must have required great courage of conviction as well as deep spiritual and philosophical insight for Shankaracharya to build on the insights of the Upanishads a structure of thought, over a millennium ago, that saw the universe and our own lives within it with a clairvoyance that is being so amazingly endorsed by science today. The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara’s philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.

Shankara wrote hymns in praise of many deities but his personal preference was the worship of the Mother Goddess. The added value of the book is that it has, in English, a great deal of Shankara’s writings. Unfortunately, most Hindus today are often largely uninformed about the remarkable philosophical foundations of their religion. They are, the author points out, deliberately choosing the shell for the great treasure that lies within. This is indeed a rich book. (IANS)