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  1. I found something else which might interest you, an article that is available on JSTOR. if you have access to JSTOR through your school or public library, you can download the file. Otherwise, you can access up to three articles at a time for free on JSTOR if you register for an account. The article is titled "The Indo-European Prehistory of 'Yoga' ". I will also give you the link. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/20106534?uid=3739832
  2. Here is another (out of copyright) book that has good introductory information on Hinduism. http://books.google.com/books?id=2x0AAAAAQAAJ Other old Indologists you could look up are Monier Monier-Williams, T.W. Rhys Davids, and F. Max Muller. Just to let you know, when you do a search on Google Books, if you go the "search tools" option, you can select what kinds of books you want to search for, such as out of copyright books or books that are for sale.
  3. The thing is, what we know about the gods is based on mythology, although the gods may have briefly appeared before some saints in the past. When you look at many of the ancient cultures, there were mythologies about the gods, for example, the Greeks, the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Celts, the Norse. I just recommend researching this on Google Books if you want to learn more. Look up the book Atlantis and the Cycles of Time by Joscelyn Godwin if you want to be exposed to some alternative ideas about ancient history. If you look at some of this kind of literature, you will see that some say the gods once walked the earth during civilizations before recorded history. The Hindus hold a cyclical view of history and there were supposed to have been ages before the Kali Yuga. You can find a similar idea in Hesiod and Ovid. The Kali Yuga is supposed to be the most degraded age. Just be critical if you read any of that kind of literature, but it is interesting to be exposed to.
  4. You can also look up the book Gnostic Visions by Luke Myers.
  5. There are some books I would recommend reading to get a better idea of Hinduism. The Concept of Rudra Shiva throug the Ages by Mahadev Chakravarti Religious Doctrines in the Mahabharata by Nichols Sutton A History of Indian Literature, Vol. 1 by Moriz Winternitz The Triumph of the Goddess by C. Mackenzie Brown Devi Mahatmya by Thomas Coburn Hindu Goddesses by David Kinsley All of these books are available for sale on Google. The Triumph of the Goddess should be available for sale but some books published by SUNY have been taken off of the Play store but this has been in error. However, it has been a pretty long while and Google has not put them back up for sale yet so I don't know when they will, but I was told by SUNY that this was an error. Studying Hinduism academically will give you a deeper understanding of the religion and these books mentioned above are not that abstract. Also, as someone else mentioned, the use of mind altering substances has been done in ancient cultures and Shamans still do it. You can look up Bhang on Google. Soma used to be used in India but no longer. You can also look up the Ambrosia Society.
  6. Based on some (auto)biographies I read of enlightened Hindu saints, there was a focus on powers they have, mainly healing powers and psychic powers. I have been to see 5 Indian masters and only two of them said anything to me showing psychic vision (maybe three but the third case was kind of unclear). I must also note though that I only met with all of them briefly. I am wondering if anyone has experience with these enlightened saints? It seems to me that the case maybe has been somewhat exaggerated and that they are not as powerful as they have been made out to be. Maybe someone like Neem Karoli Baba, Sai Baba of Shirdi, or Bhagavan Nityananda all had powers, but I don't hear about any modern day saints having these kinds of powers. I would like it if Hindu saints would give an explanation of their powers so that the people who go to see them have an understanding of what to expect and the limitations of what a saint can do. Maybe if anyone knows anything about the Naths, Siddhars, and Aghoris I would be interested to hear more about them too.
  7. You can look at the Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers, although I can not vouch for them.
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