Hindus are disappointed over a church in United Kingdom (UK) banning yoga in its premises. According to reports, Bridge Methodist Church in Radcliffe, near Manchester (UK), banned an over-50s yoga group which has paid £60 a week for the last about ten years and met there twice a week, fearing its classes could be spiritually confusing.
Group founder member Iris Turner said: This is an insult…we are offended…yoga helped the group’s health. She invited the church minister to take part in a class “to allay her fears”. Currently this group of about 30, which has members up to 82 years old, is homeless. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that although the church had every right to use its premises as it wanted, but yoga, though founded by Hinduism and whose traces went back to around 2000 BCE, was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse and anyone could enjoy its benefits.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, was a mental and physical discipline. For Patanjali, author of the basic text, the *Yoga Sutra*, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.
Rajan Zed pointed out that yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche. About 16 million Americans, including many celebrities, were said to practice yoga. Yoga never had any formal organization and yoga practice had been handed down from one guru to the next.
Zed argued that turning this yoga group of older people away from the church resulting in it becoming homeless was simply “un-Christian”. Love and compassion for the helpless was the hallmark of Christian ethics. Jesus Christ clearly told the world to help the helpless, defenseless and downtrodden and love them and he showed the way also. Church authorities should act like a shepherd to this flock as Jesus Himself said that he had sheep from other pastures.
Rajan Zed quoted from The Bible: “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36)”. “The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel (Psalm 147:2)”. “For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast (Jeremiah 30:17)”. “Whoever says, ‘I am in the light’, while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness (First Epistle of John 2: 9).”
“…Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another (Gospel According to John 13: 34).”