April 1, 2020
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Is Yoga a Religion?

Do you know what is the meaning of
the word religion? Re-union,
the meaning of the word religion in English. If you go to its etymological meaning in Latin,
religare means re-union. Union is yoga, reunion. What has happened in the modern world, don’t take it in a critical way, we forgot the true spirit of religion. Yoga is a philosophy. Practically do you know, when people ask me:
“You are a monk from India, you are a Hindu monk?” Do you know, a monk from India it is remember
he is beyond everything, he renounces. He renounces everything. To me all religions are one. To me, no problem. I have gone to church, I have gone to mosque,
I have gone to synagoge, I have no problem. So this is the time which is coming,
people are getting more and more open. Although some people are little bit dogmatic, don’t worry, have confidence “what I am doing is good,
it is good for myself, good for others”. Teach the young teenager to
practise yoga in a positive way. Tell them the spirit of yoga, no problem. So when people think it is religion,
it is religion why can you tell it is not religion? And to me I will conclude to your question. I was in a catholic monastery in Assis for a retreat. So this monastery was run by nuns. They were cooking food for us,
they were taking care of everything. So when we had talks one nun was sitting in the back
and listening because she knew English. Others didn’t speak English. So one day she wanted to talk to me. We sat down. She asked me: “How can I address you? Swami, or taking your name?” I told: “You can address me as your son,
you can tell my son, my child.” She felt little shocked. She is a nun, and nuns are you know unmarried. Dedicated her life for God and Jesus. But however. Then she asked: “You are a monk from India,
you are a Hindu monk.” I smiled. “What do you think of Christianity?”
she asked me. I told… in front of us there was a vase with flowers. Just like a bunch of flowers are there. With different colours. I said: “Just like different flowers, different colours,
all flowers are looking up, similarly one is Christianty, one is Islam,
one is Hinduism, one is Judaism, all are flowers dedicated to God.” It was spontaneous discussion. And she became so happy,
do you know what happened until now? She loves me as her son. I adore her as she is elderly mother,
as my mother. Thing is, we have to bring this
change in attitude in people we all are one. You go to church no problem. One child is going to temple no problem. We all have to follow our own way
but God is one we all belong to one family. That is what is needed. And that is what the spirit of yoga is. Spirit of yoga is to unite all in true or
pure form of love and devotion. We all are one. We are not many. And it is my personal idea or hope. Time is coming there will be more and more openness, more and more understanding,
more and more amity and unity. So this is my personal feeling.
Thank you.

Jean Kelley



  1. Sharayah B. Posted on December 5, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Fascinating. Religion is a word that carries heavily negative connotations. Never knew its Latin roots meant reunion.

  2. Ansuman Mishra Posted on December 6, 2019 at 4:52 am

    Pranam Gurudev