Why Did the Pope Condemn Yogic Practices?
A few years ago the Pope issued a proclamation telling Catholics, particularly monks and
priests, to avoid yogic practices and mixing Catholicism with
Eastern traditions like the Hindu and Buddhist. In his recent book
he was very critical of the Buddhists as well.
Obviously such actions do
not show an appreciation of yogic traditions and their practices and
does not recognize their importance for the spiritual life. This is
not surprising because orthodox Catholicism, such as the Pope
supports, has not accepted the doctrines of karma, rebirth and
Self-realization that go along with yogic traditions. The church has
even sent out priests to convert the great yogis of India, as if
such people were in need of salvation!
The Pope needs to be
educated more properly as to what the Truth is so that he can
promote a true spiritual tradition and not merely a dogmatic
religious institution that stifles inner inquiry, which is what his
present course appears to be and what Catholicism usually has done.
For this Hindus should try to educate Catholics as to the importance
of yogic and dharmic teachings, particularly individuals, like the
Pope, who have expressed an appreciation of mystical approaches such
as have been extensively developed in India.
Unfortunately when religion
becomes an institution, maintaining that institution blinds us to
the Truth, which transcends all organizations. It causes us to
oppose teachings from outside the organization even if they may be
more true than those within it. Until this organizational mentality
is transcended we will remain trapped in ignorance.