Blending of Christianity and Yoga


Why do you followers of yogananda and other eastern traditions pretend to not realize what a fight you have on your hands? I am talking about trying to blend christianity and eastern beliefs. You seem to want to quietly slip these things together and hope no one will notice. My question is why do you think you aren't going to be called out on that by more fudamentalists and theologians?

—Brock, US


Dear Brock,

Why is it you think we aren’t going to be “called out?” Our teachings are hardly a secret. We aren’t interested in fighting. Our guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, called his work in the United States the Second Coming of Christ. I, too, have wondered why he wasn’t “crucified.” In fact, however, he DID encounter scorn, derision, prejudice, and opposition. He just also happened to be a very magnetic and charismatic speaker and teacher and individual with a message that resonates with those who know intuitively that beneath the surface of theological and other differences must surely lie the One Truth and One God!

So, heavens, we aren’t doing anything quietly or slippy at all! Our teacher, Swami Kriyananda, wrote a book that’s quite a “looker” for orthodox Christians: The Revelations of Christ.

It’s more or less so that it does seem, to me, that no one’s quite taken notice of these things. Perhaps we’re just too small to see, or don’t have a specific individual with national recognition saying these things. However, for all of that, don’t think the Catholic Church and some Protestants haven’t noticed. Condemnations there have certainly been; and warnings to the faithful against the practice of yoga and meditation. There’s been plenty of so-called exposes and accusations. Except for an occasional Vatican pronouncement, most seem random and uncoordinated. I’m not completely sure of the name, but I think it was Pat Robertson who had been pretty vocal against Eastern teachings.

We certainly don’t see our teachings and practices as a threat to any of them; indeed, we believe that we offer orthodox faiths the way out of the narrow sectarianism they have erected for themselves. To see the great saints of all faiths as the true custodians of religion, as those whose lives and teachings share a common bond; to to see that the purpose of religion is to help man to know the Creator and to see in his fellow man and in all life, reflections of the Divine; to practice meditation that each individual might personally have contact with God. Religion ought to be, but is not, a force for peace and harmony on this beleaguered planet. Religion ought to be the one activity that offers mutual respect and honor to all sincere efforts to know, love, and serve God in this world.

Blessings, Hriman