The History of Yoga with Debashish Banerji

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Debashish Banerji, PhD, is former Dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles as well as an adjunct faculty member at Pasadena City College and the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is also the former director of the East West Cultural Center in Los Angeles. He is author of Seven Quartets of Becoming: A Transformative Yoga Psychology Based on the Diaries of Sri Aurobindo and also The Alternate Nation of Abanindranath Tagore, a book about his great grandfather. He edited an anthology about his great uncle, Rabindranath Tagore in the Twenty-First Century.

Here he describes the ancient Indus Valley civilization of India that reached its height about 5,000 years ago. It was a sophisticated, well-organized society that engaged in trade in ancient Sumeria and Egypt. We know from the artwork of this culture that yoga postures were practiced in something of a Tantric or shamanistic manner for the purpose of gaining power over animals and also was involved in the exercise of political power. The written language of this civilization has yet to be understood and translated. The Vedantic philosophers paid attention to the diurnal rhythms of day and night. From this they extrapolated to the notion of reincarnation. Just as we live many days in our life; so we experience many lifetimes in a larger cycle. In the Vedantic period, people were told that they did not need to seek the divine through the mediation of priests – but could enjoy direct access to the truth.

New Thinking Allowed host, Jeffrey Mishlove, PhD, is author of The Roots of Consciousness, Psi Development Systems, and The PK Man. Between 1986 and 2002 he hosted and co-produced the original Thinking Allowed public television series. He is the recipient of the only doctoral diploma in “parapsychology” ever awarded by an accredited university (University of California, Berkeley, 1980). He serves as dean of transformational psychology at the University of Philosophical Research. He teaches parapsychology for ministers in training with the Centers for Spiritual Living through the Holmes Institute. He has served as vice-president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, and is the recipient of its Pathfinder Award for outstanding contributions to the field of human consciousness. He is also past-president of the non-profit Intuition Network, an organization dedicated to creating a world in which all people are encouraged to cultivate and apply their inner, intuitive abilities.

(Recorded on December 19, 2015)
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