Christian Science and Hindu Philosophy

The founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, was a student of the Hindu scriptures. Two excerpts from The Bhagavad Gita were included in chapter 7 of her book, Science and Health up through the 33rd edition. This chapter has been omitted from later editions.

Christian Science is a new presentation of truths the Hindus first preached long ago. By emphasizing the power of mind over body, and the dreamlike nature of this phenomenal world, Christian Science has awakened many matter-bound people to the power of the mind.

Hindu teachers agree with the basic principles of Christian Science but express them differently. Instead of saying, as the Christian Scientist does, that matter does not exist, they say that matter is materialized mind-force. While believing fully in the power of the mind to heal physical sickness, they do not reject the healings brought about by certain doctors.

Hindu teachers do not deny the miraculous healings wrought by Christian Science practitioners, but humbly ask them, “Do you know why mind power effects physical healing in certain cases but not in others?”

It takes great preparation to change the mental habits of a person living wholly on the material plane. A man contradicts himself when he talks of the non-existence of matter and the uselessness of medicine but thinks he cannot exist a day without eating. If one believes in food, one necessarily believes in medicine, for both are only combinations of chemicals.

Many have died of disease though they believed in mental healing. Until belief in mind-power is based on scientific knowledge, a person relying on mental healing is in danger of disillusionment, for God’s physical laws operate just as truly as His mental laws. Both come from the Divine Source

To be absolutely sure of mental healing, one must learn how to lift one’s consciousness from the physical to the superconscious plane. The man who, through a long series of self-disciplinary steps, has awakened in God by expanding his consciousness into the world of unchangeable reality — he alone can say that matter has no existence.

Excerpted from East West magazine, 1926

The Essence of Clarity

Sharing the Teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda


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