A long-time friend of the monastery, Deva Magdalena, today brought a Catholic Father to visit us. This is Padre Enedir Moreira, from Bauru, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
He was very, very happy to meet Bodhinatha. “I need the blessings of a Guru to properly meditate,” he said. Bodhinatha put vibhuti on his forehead and shared wonderful advice. He explained that religions have different things to offer. The priest listened attentively. He said he wants to take one year of sabbatical to go to India, explaining, “I feel very close to the Siddha Yoga Saivites of North India.” He asked us to convey a message to TAKA readers: “God is one.”
He attended the puja and then had a nice chat with the monks. One of his many duties in the Catholic church is inter-faith dialogue, which led him to studying Hinduism and Buddhism in depth. After 25 years of priesthood, he longs for deeper experiences, and thought that meditation would help him with it, so he contacted the kriya Yoga group founded by Swami Hariharananda.
Padre Enedir explained, to our surprise, that the church is supportive of his efforts. “The Catholic church is much more advanced nowadays in talking to other faiths about God,” he said. One of our monks reminded us that Catholicism in South America is more liberal than the one practiced in the US. Padre Enedir even invited some Hindus to speak to the faithful at his diocese.
In Patanjali's comments on the niyamas he speaks on religious action, kriya, bringing about samadhi and attenuating the kleshas. We think we have to be detached from that which we are attracted to but we also need to overcome aversion. It's easier to be finite, to have a past and a future than to be infinite, without past and future, so, we're clinging to life. The kleshas are the root source of karma. Quiet mental activity produced by the kleshas through meditation and achieve santosha, peace of mind. "Men of discrimination see sorrow in all experience."