The Syro-Malabar Church’s doctrinal commission report stated that Yoga is not a medium to attain divine experience. The report highlighted that the Christians are forced to reread the role of the traditional physical and mental regime in the context of the Sangh Parivar trying to exploit yoga to achieve its political and communal goals. The report emphasized that studies tended to show yoga as prevailing in the pre-Buddhist, Jain and Hindu periods. Though yoga may have originated and grown out of secular traditions in India it later spread under the influence of the Hindu religion under Brahminical dominance. Yoga thus acquired the hues of Hindu religion, the report said.

As reported by TOI, the report stated that “Yoga is not a way to reach the God. It is not right to believe that it will be helpful to experience God or to have a personal encounter with the Almighty. Yoga doesn’t bring about any improvement in any person.” Further, the Church noted, “The laity and Church heads should take care to avoid paying attention to yoga and other spiritual movements, which are totally against the Catholic faith. The yoga and other anti-Christian practices do not encourage the official teachings of the Church. In order to address various health problems, several Christians have been attending yoga sessions. But these practices promote anti-Christian views and culture. Any sensible person should not encourage such practices.”

The report was prepared by the Pala diocese Bishop His Excellency Mar Joseph Kallarangattu. It was approved by the Syro Malabar Church synod recently. The Church, in its Catechism for Youth, placed yoga in the “secretive” category of practices and said that yoga did not go in harmony with the Christian faith. If training regimes that aid the working of the Kingdom of God can be discovered in Indian culture it would be a great asset, said the Commission headed by Joseph Kallarangatt. The report titled ‘Yogayum Katholika Vishvasavum’ (Yoga and Catholic beliefs) is posted in the latest bulletin of the Mananthavady diocese of the Church.

Source: TOI,