Jesuits Offer ‘Ignatian Yoga’ to Combat COVID

News: World News
by Jules Gomes  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  September 15, 2021   

Society of Jesus unapologetically touts syncretism rooted in Hinduism

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ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Society of Jesus, blasted for vaccine coercion after passing draconian decrees to punish unvaccinated Jesuits by exclusion, is promoting "Ignatian yoga" to fight the China virus. 

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Several churches are getting rid of pews to host yoga sessions

An official list of Jesuit colleges and universities mandating the COVID-19 jab for students, faculty and staff is recommending Ignatian yoga and providing a collection of 40 videos to facilitate the practice, which is inextricably rooted in Hinduism.  

Jesuits are defending their hijacking of the ancient Hindu practice despite accusations of "cultural appropriation" from Hindu yogis and religious leaders who are slamming Christians for "plagiarizing and mutilating yoga to suit the Christian agenda."

Prominent homosexualist Fr. James Martin, S.J. unapologetically confesses to the Jesuit usurpation of yoga and its subsequent repackaging as "Ignatian yoga," calling it "one of the great ideas in the Society [of Jesus]" that is "explicitly bringing people to Jesus."  

Jesuit outfits like the Ignatian Volunteer Corps, schools, societies, institutions like Fordham University, the Jesuit General Curia Communications Office and the Society of Jesus' left-wing magazine America are also promoting Ignatian yoga to "combat anxiety" related to COVID-19.  

The Ignatian video collection endorses Hindu practices including the "Surya Namaskar" or the "Salutation to the Sun" which involves 12 asanas (yogic positions) dedicated to the solar deity Surya with Hindu mantras (chants), each preceded by the Hindu primeval sound "Om." 

The goal of yoga is to unite one's transitory self, 'jiva,' with the infinite 'Brahman' — the Hindu concept of God.

The instructor prays, fusing biblical verses with Hindu monistic theology: "My body is the temple of the Divine Spirit. My body is the temple where Divine Consciousness abides," ending with "the divine in me greets the divine in you."  

He also invokes the well-known "Pavamana Abhyaroha" (all-purifying holy chant) from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad: "Lead me from unreality to reality, from darkness to light, from death to immortality," stressing the centrality of the "Divine Sun."  


The "Surya Namaskar" video instructor disingenuously refers to "Indian scriptures" and "Indian philosophical texts" while never mentioning the texts are "Hindu" and never once naming God the Father, Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit. 

Yoga: 'Evil' Act of Worship

Eminent Vatican exorcist Fr. Gabriele Amorth earlier denounced yoga as "evil" and "satanic," warning that "seemingly harmless oriental practices such as yoga are subtle and dangerous" and "lead to Hinduism" even if done for purposes of relaxation. 

Indian priest Fr. James Manjackal laments "many Catholics are losing trust in the great spiritualities and mysticisms for prayer and discipline handed over to them by great saints like Ignatius of Loyola, Francis of Assisi, Francis of Sales, Teresa of Ávila, etc., and are now going after Eastern spiritualities and mysticisms coming from Hinduism and Buddhism." 

Yoga is not an exercise but an act of worship.

Manjackal explains:

Yoga means "union." The goal of yoga is to unite one's transitory self, "jiva," with the infinite "Brahman" — the Hindu concept of God ... Yoga has its roots in the Hindu Upanishads. ... In A.D. 150, the yogi Patanjali explained the eight ways that lead the yoga practices from ignorance to enlightenment.

Postures and breathing exercises, often considered to be the whole of yoga in the West, are steps 3 and 4 towards union with Brahman! Yoga is not only an elaborate system of physical exercises; it is a spiritual discipline, purporting to lead the soul to samadhi, total union with the divine being.

Last year, the Orthodox Church of Greece proscribed yoga as "absolutely incompatible" with Christianity and not a "kind of exercise" since "yoga is a fundamental part of the religion of Hinduism."


 

"Yoga is not an exercise but an act of worship," declared Metropolitan Nektarios of Argolis of the Greek Orthodox Church in September 2019.

'Cultural Appropriation?

Meanwhile, Hindu scholars like Rajiv Malhotra, author of Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism, are excoriating "Christian yoga" as an "oxymoron," "reductionist" and "unhelpful to both yoga and Christianity." 

While Abrahamic religions posit a gap between God and the cosmos caused by sin and bridged only through prophetic revelations, "yoga, by contrast, has a non-dual cosmology in which God is everything and permeates everything, and is at the same time also transcendent," Malhotra explains

St. Ignatius states ... use what helps reach your goal and avoid what doesn't.

"The yogic path of embodied knowing seeks to dissolve the historical ego, both individual and collective, as false. It sees the Christian fixations on history and the associated guilt as bondage and illusions to be erased through spiritual practice," Malhotra emphasizes.

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Yogis practice the Hindu discipline around the church's altar

Academics like Shreena Gandhi and Lilli Wolff blast the "cultural appropriation of yoga" as a "continuation of white supremacy and colonialism, maintaining the pattern of white people consuming the stuff of culture that is convenient and portable while ignoring the well-being and liberation of Indian people."

However, the pioneer of Ignatian yoga, Bobby Karle, S.J., rejects the charge of cultural appropriation because it was Indian yogis who brought yoga to the West and allowed Westerners to "use this in so much as it helps."

Karle falsely claims that yoga is "Indian but not necessarily Hindu" and Buddhists and Jains have also practiced yoga. "Ultimately, the goal of yoga is to calm the mind in order to experience greater awareness and connection to God."

"St. Ignatius states in the Principle and Foundation of the Spiritual Exercises, use what helps reach your goal and avoid what doesn't. Yoga for me has been one such practice that helps me move towards my goal — life fully alive and in relationship with God," Karle maintains.

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