Video: Η Yoga από τη σκοπιά της Ορθοδοξίας – Δρ. Θανάσης Παπαθανασίου


Η Yoga από τη σκοπιά της Ορθοδοξίας

Δρ. Θανάσης Παπαθανασίου



About Yoga – Journey to Orthodoxy


About Yoga

Journey to Orthodoxy

On Christianity and Yoga from a former adherent of the latter – Dmitry Druzhinin


On Christianity and Yoga from a former adherent of the latter

Dmitry Druzhinin



Walking along the streets of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, Kaluga or any other large city will be enough to get added evidence that today yoga is a popular and widespread phenomenon. Yoga advertising posters, if not signboards of yoga centers, will inevitably catch your eye. Or you can get on the internet instead of going outside. For instance, the Yandex Russian top search engine has as many as 850 million search results for the query “yoga” compared to only 474 million results for the query “Orthodoxy” (that is, half as many results).

As we know, the Soviet Union collapsed, and its godless ideology wasn’t replaced with a new one. On the contrary, the state declared that it wouldn’t support any ideology thenceforth. But that’s not how life works. For the absence of ideology is a kind of an ideology in itself and it has contributed to the unprecedented propagation of the ideas that had been banned and oppressed by the atheist state for decades. The Church came out from the underground too. However, the minds and hearts of the overwhelming majority of the former Soviet citizens were captivated by other phenomena and teachings the representatives of which emerged, made themselves known, and immediately began to “preach” on TV, the internet, in the press and other mass media. These were psychics, sorcerers, astrologers, fortune-tellers, adherents of alternative medicine, and, of course, yogis…

What are the similarities between yoga and materialism?

What attracts people to yoga? In my case, it was a thirst for something mysterious, some teaching that would allow me to develop some superpowers, such as telepathy, breath-holding, etc. I discovered yoga as a primary school student back in the early 1980s thanks to my elder cousin. I would sit in the lotus position at the lessons, and the teacher would rebuke me, telling me “to sit like a human”. And my last mentor was a yoga fitness instructor, under whose guidance between 2008 and 2009 I refreshed my skills in the fundamentals of Ashtanga yoga that I had largely forgotten over the years of my office work. And there were a great number of books, groups, seminars, and teachers between these two “mentors”.

When I was in my thirties, I wanted to comprehend the essence of yoga, and I was more interested in meditative practices than in physical exercises (asanas). The fact is that if someone starts yoga and doesn’t quit it, sooner or Continue reading “On Christianity and Yoga from a former adherent of the latter – Dmitry Druzhinin”

Yoga and other eastern practices – Valery Dukhanin


Yoga and other eastern practices

Valery Dukhanin



In their quest for health, wellbeing, or even the development of esoteric powers, many of our contemporaries are turning their attention to various Eastern practices, particularly yoga.

Yoga is advertised as a method that will help prevent illness, recover from illnesses that have already begun—even those that don’t easily yield to treatment; that will teach one to gain self-control and to influence others; and that will confer an influx of vitality.

The majority of people are attracted to the external (so they think) aspect of yoga that improves health—therapeutic postures, cold baths, cleansing enemas, special breathing techniques and so on. The improvement of the working of one’s internal organs and system—digestion, potency, blood pressure, memory, and other organs—is set as the target. The average person believes that you can ignore yoga’s world-view and at the same time acknowledge its unique system of physical and mental development. Contemporary yoga uses traditional Hindu physical exercises—hatha yoga—similar to the physical exercises of the Chinese and ancient Persians. One also comes across such schools as raja-yoga and mantra-yoga—to which “transcendental meditation” is related, mystical Taoism, the methods of Tibetan Buddhism, breathing techniques and so on.

What, however, does this wisdom of sunny India have in store for us?

Yoga is a component of the philosophical-religious teachings of ancient and medieval India. It is a system of exercises, methods and techniques, the aim of which is not only to control the psychological and physiological processes of one’s system, but also to rise to a special spiritual state. Initially, the goal of yoga’s system of psychophysical exercises was to develop the soul’s independence from the body, so that after the person’s death the soul would avoid reincarnation and would dissolve into the primordial impersonal spiritual substance.

The physical exercises developed in yoga, in point of fact, are religious rites that open a person up to meet Hindu “spirituality.” Yoga exercises in their direct application are tied to occult meditations, while various yoga postures identify a person with animals or even objects (for example, “the cobra posture,” “the cow’s head,” “a dog muzzle down,” and others). As a rule, special motions of the body, physical postures, holding the breath, and repetition of Continue reading “Yoga and other eastern practices – Valery Dukhanin”

On how former Krishnaite Ananda Rupa became Olga again – Peter Davydov spoke with Olga Gagushicheva




Peter Davydov, Olga Gagushicheva



One day the following notice appeared on the door of the Krishnaite Ananda Rupa’s astrology office: “The office is closed because of my return to Orthodoxy. I sincerely wish you the same. May Christ save you. Olga.” This talk is about how Olga Gagushicheva, who had been baptized yet was absolutely unenlightened, became a Krishna worshipper and practicing astrologer, why she returned to her paternal home and Christ, and what came of it.

* * *

The days are evil (Eph. 5:15), or an unorthodox “Orthodox life”

—Olga, Did you know anything about Christ before completely falling into the grip of astrology and other spiritual delusions?

—When I was one year old, my parents wanted to have me baptized. According to my mother, on the appointed day the weather was sunny and dry, so the family decided to go and gather berries instead of going to church. During that berry-picking hike I fell seriously ill and the illness lasted three years. I learned this from my mother when I was sixteen. I naturally drew a conclusion that I must go and receive Baptism. You see, I was empty-headed. Many of my relatives joined me. And that was the end of my “Christian living”. Though I also got the “knowledge” of the Church and God in the Soviet school. It was a real mishmash. Of course, I was a Komsomol member. We were warned that in no case should we, Komsomol members, attend any church services on Pascha. But we were curious to see what would happen during the church service, all the more so because we were told: “It is not allowed!” So we forced our way through all the police cordons and Komsomol activists who were wearing their bands. On the following day we were summoned to our director of studies who gave us a good dressing-down and promised to expel all of us from school. Of course, he didn’t keep his promise. I don’t remember how my Baptism took place as it was not a result of my conscious decision. I did it “for no particular reason”. Later, when I got married, it was fashionable to marry in Church, so we did it as well… Our wedding ceremony was arranged for us in a village church near the city of Cherepovets which was opened especially for us. And afterwards we baptized our children. That was all. You see, it was our unorthodox “Orthodox life”.

A big thank you to the press

—How did you develop an interest in astrology? How was it manifested? When did it happen?

—During my school years. I think it was 1985 or 1986.

—The time when the “gates to the West” opened wide…

—Or yawned open, to be more precise.

—And when all those individuals appeared on TV.

—Yes! Now general secretaries were replaced with sorcerers, psychics and other “enlightened” individuals who were goggling their eyes and moving their hands on TV. And not only TV. The most popular magazines, such as Continue reading “On how former Krishnaite Ananda Rupa became Olga again – Peter Davydov spoke with Olga Gagushicheva”

De l’Himalaya jusqu’au Christ: Récit d’une ascension par le moine rassophore Adrien╰⊰¸¸.•¨* French




De l’Himalaya jusqu’au Christ:

Récit d’une ascension par le moine rassophore Adrien

Voici un récit de conversion qui me touche particulièrement, et dont beaucoup de ceux qui ont fini, guidés invisiblement (à n’en pas douter) par la Sainte Providence, par rejoindre la nef de l’Orthodoxie, après avoir (à première vue) erré dans les régions spirituelles de l’Extrême Orient, comme beaucoup à notre époque, à la recherche d’une nourriture vivifiante, peuvent se sentir proches.

Il a été initialement publié dans le n ° 190 du magazine “Orthodox Word” et est paru dans au moins deux sites en voici la traduction en français :

“Lorsque nous apprenons à connaître Dieu comme une personne, nous commençons à voir sa main à l’œuvre non seulement dans les circonstances de nos vies quotidiennes, mais aussi dans les événements de notre passé qui nous ont conduit à l’instant présent. Nous voyons comment des vérités partielles, Il nous a conduit à la plénitude de la Vérité, et comment Il continue à nous guider à l’intérieur d’une réalisation plus profonde de Continue reading “De l’Himalaya jusqu’au Christ: Récit d’une ascension par le moine rassophore Adrien╰⊰¸¸.•¨* French”

Τατιάνα Γκορίτσεβα, Ρωσία: Από τη Γιόγκα στο Χριστό


Τατιάνα Γκορίτσεβα, Ρωσία: Από τη Γιόγκα στο Χριστό

Γράφει ἡ Τατιάνα Γκορίτσεβα: «Κουρασμένη, ἔχοντας χάσει σχεδόν κάθε ἐνδιαφέρον ἔκανα τίς ἀσκήσεις μου yoga, τίς mantra. Καταλαβαίνεις, μέχρις ἐκείνη τήν στιγμή, δέν εἶχα ποτέ προσευχηθῆ, δέν ἤξερα καμμιά προσευχή. Καί νά πού ἕνα ἐγχειρίδιο τῆς yoga πρότεινε νά κάνω μιά ἄσκησι μέ τό Πάτερ ἡμῶν, τήν Κυριακή προσευχή. Βάλθηκα νά τήν λέω σάν ἕνα mantra, χωρίς ἔκφρασι, μέ αὐτόματο τρόπο. Ἀφοῦ τήν διάβασα περίπου ἕξι φορές, ξαφνικά ἀναστατώθηκα. ῎Οχι μόνο ἡ κουτή λογική μου, ἀλλά ὁλόκληρο τό εἶναι μου κατάλαβε ὅτι Αὐτός ὑπῆρχε, Αὐτός ὁ ζῶν Θεός, ὁ προσωπικός, πού μέ ἀγαπᾶ, πού ἀγαπᾶ ὁλόκληρη τήν δημιουργία, ὁ Θεός πού δημιούργησε αὐτό τόν κόσμο καί πού ἔγινε ἄνθρωπος ἀπό ἀγάπη, ὁ ἐσταυρωμένος καί ἀναστημένος Θεός. Σ᾽ ἕνα λεπτό τό “μυστήριο” τοῦ χριστιανισμοῦ μοῦ ἀποκαλύφθηκε καθώς καί ἡ ἀληθινή ζωή καί ἡ θέσι μου σ᾽ αὐτή τή ζωή. Πραγματικά σώθηκα.

Τά πάντα μέσα μου ἄλλαξαν Ὁ παλαιός ἄνθρωπος πέθανε. ῎Οχι μόνο ἀπέρριψα κάθε τι πού εἶχε ἀξία γιά μένα, τά ἰδανικά μου, ἀλλά καί ὅλες οἱ παλιές μου συνήθειες καί ἰδιαιτερότητες τοῦ χαρακτῆρα μ᾽ ἐγκατάλειψαν».

«Αὐτό πού τό καλύτερο κήρυγμα δέν θά μποροῦσε νά φέρη σέ πέρας σέ περίοδο εἰρήνης [τή μεταστροφή], τό κάνουν σέ μᾶς ἁπλᾶ ἀντικείμενα. Τό πρῶτο χωρίο τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου τό ὁποῖο βρίσκουμε σ᾽ ἕνα βιβλίο ἀντιθρησκευτικῆς προπαγάνδας εἶναι ἱκανό νά ἀναστατώση τή ζωή μας».

Πολλές φορές ἐμεῖς, οἱ ἄνθρωποι τῆς Ἐκκλησίας, δέν βοηθᾶμε στήν ἱεραποστολή. «Θυμᾶμαι ἕναν ἱερέα σέ μιά ἐκδρομή στή Γερμανία, πού εἶχε ὀργανωθῆ ἀπό μιά ἐνορία χωριοῦ. Κατά τή διάρκεια τῶν δύο ἡμερῶν κατά τίς ὁποῖες διήρκεσε ἡ ἐκδρομή ὁ νέος ἱερέας ἀθλητικός καί χαρούμενος μᾶς μίλησε γιά ὅλα, γιά ἀεροπλάνα καί ποδόσφαιρο, γιά τίς ἐκλογές καί τή διατροφή· γέλασε πολύ, προσπάθησε νά ψυχαγωγήση ὅλο τόν κόσμο. Μέ λίγα λόγια ἦταν σάν ἕνας ὑπεύθυνος ψυχαγωγίας. Ἐνῶ ὁ τόσο ὄμορφος κόσμος πίσω ἀπό τά τζάμια, μέ τίς ἀπότομες πλαγιές του καί τή λάμψι τῶν μπλέ καί μώβ χρωμάτων του μοῦ ἔφερνε στό νοῦ αὐθόρμητα τούς στίχους τῶν ψαλμῶν: “Ὡς ἐμεγαλύνθη τά ἔργα Σου Κύριε! Πάντα ἐν σοφίᾳ ἐποίησας”.

Μόλις ἐπιστρέψαμε, τόν ρώτησα:

—Γιατί δέν μιλήσατε μιά φορά γιά τό Θεό γιά τήν ὀμορφιά τῆς δημιουργίας;

Μοῦ ἀπάντησε:

—῎Αν μιλοῦσα γιά τό Θεό θά ἔχανα τούς ἀνθρώπους μου, θά ἔμενα μόνος.

—Μά ἡ μοναξιά ποτέ δέν ἦταν ἁμαρτία, τοῦ εἶπα σκεπτόμενη ὅτι δέν ἦταν ἀλήθεια, ὅτι θά ἔχανε τούς ἀνθρώπους του. Οἱ χωρικοί πάντα μέ ἄκουγαν εὐχάριστα ὅταν μιλοῦσα γιά τήν Ἐκκλησία, γιά τήν προσευχή. Μοῦ ξαναζητοῦσαν νά πάω νά τούς δῶ».

«Τό ὅτι ὑπάρχει ὁ Θεός, ἐμεῖς τό γνωρίζουμε χωρίς τήν παραμικρή ἀμφιβολία. Πολλοί ἀπό μᾶς ἔγιναν χριστιανοί χωρίς καθόλου νά τό περιμένουν καί δέχθηκαν ἰδιαίτερες ἀποκαλύψεις. ῎Εζησαν τέτοιες καταστάσεις, πού μοιάζουν πολύ μέ ἐκεῖνες τοῦ Ἀποστόλου Παύλου, ὅταν πήγαινε στή Δαμασκό. Δέν ἤμασθαν ἐμεῖς πού ἀναζητούσαμε τό Θεό· ὁ Θεός μᾶς ἀναζητοῦσε καί μᾶς βρῆκε. Αὐτή εἶναι ἡ μεγαλύτερη ἀπό ὅλες τίς ἀλήθειες στή μεταστροφή μας. Αὐτή εἶναι ἡ καλύτερη ἀπόδειξι γιά τήν ὕπαρξι τοῦ Θεοῦ».

«Ἀρκετές φορές μέ βασάνιζε ἡ πλήρης ἀδιαφορία τῶν yogi γιά τά προβλήματα τοῦ πλησίον, σάν νά μήν ὑπῆρχε γι᾽ αὐτούς κανένας ἄλλος, παρά μόνο τό δικό τους “Ἐγώ”. Ὁ μόνος λόγος, γιά τόν ὁποῖο δέν ἔπρεπε κανείς νά ἐξοργίζη τούς ἄλλους ἦταν, διότι ἔτσι σπαταλιόταν πολύτιμη ἐνέργεια. Τήν ἀρνητική συμπεριφορά δέν τήν ἀξιολογοῦσαν ἠθικά, ἀλλά ἀπό τήν ἄποψι τῆς ἐνεργείας. Τελικά μέ ἀποδέσμευσε ἀπό τούς yogi τό ἀκόλουθο σημαντικό περιστατικό.

Ὁ φίλος μου Β. [ὁ ὁποῖος καί τήν ὁδήγησε στή yoga] ἐργαζόταν σ᾽ ἕνα σταθμό Πρώτων Βοηθειῶν. Μιά φορά μοῦ διηγήθηκε, ὅτι στή διάρκεια μιᾶς στοχαστικῆς περισυλλογῆς εἶδε, στήν ὄχθη τῆς λίμνης, ἕνα μεθυσμένο νά πέφτη μέσα καί νά κινδυνεύη νά πνιγῆ. Ὁ Β. σκέφθηκε, ὅτι δέν ἦταν δυνατόν νά διακόψη τό στοχασμό του καί ὁ ἄνθρωπος πνίγηκε.

Ἡ διήγησι αὐτή τοῦ φίλου μου σήμανε τό τέλος τῆς φιλίας μας. Μέ ἔκανε νά φρίξω».


Αρχίμ. Ιωάννου Κωστώφ

Ο Ήχος των Θεϊκών Βημάτων

εκδ. Άγ. Ιωάννης ο Δαμασκηνός

Αθήνα 2011