Archbishop's Message

The human personality is a composite of body and soul, matter and spirit. The material and the physical in the form of wealth may be in abundant supply to us; but the true wisdom to harness the resourcefulness of the physical for the enhancement of the spiritual is a rarity. The needs of the body and of the physical may easily be met: the needs and aspirations of the spiritual may elude one’s attention. The ideals of the spiritual (by means of prayer exercises, methods of meditation, acts of austerity, renunciation and charity, forms of self-discipline, streams of sanyasa) may lead one to moral and ethical excellence as also spiritual experiences. These may bring one closer to the divine, in order to purify and ennoble the human. What is common in these is the balance maintained between the physiological realm of the body with its senses and the mind with its intellect, memory and will, as well as harmony with the spiritual nature of the soul, with its roots in the divine. Balance, equilibrium, harmony, equanimity, integration and holiness in the human person enkindle true wisdom that generates happiness!

In the midst of the noisy, competitive world, craze for power, possession and pleasure and the indiscriminate pursuit of the material, the human person nurtures a hidden desire for silence, goodness and happiness. The orientation of the disciplined mind can ensure the discipline of the body and its senses. When the mind and body are brought into balance, one opens the door to the freedom of the spirit. “Know the truth, truth makes you free” (John 8:32). Truth of mind and body, when explored in the silence of the spirit, lead to wisdom and wealth. Happiness is the inner experience – the enjoyment of the soul, of which there is no comparison.

Yoga as a philosophy, art or science, is an established system of self-purification, renunciation and of healthy and happy relationships. Pranayama which is pivotal to yoga postures, affects the respiratory muscles and nerve centres, further purifying and streamlining the toxins in the body and other imbalances; for prana produces bio-energy that sets the movement in the entire body, at the same time refreshing and renewing the inner vibrations of the “spirit”. This feature brings a sense of healing, well-being and wholeness in a person. Yoga restores and maintains mental hygiene and spiritual rhythm.

Chitta vritti nirodha consists in the unification of the senses, mind and life breath, by which one frees oneself from conflicting thoughts and earthly carvings. In fact, yoga implies the yoking of all powers of the body, mind and soul. yoga as a means of self-discipline, self-purification and right-ordering of life goes beyond the limits of any religion, ideology or belief- system, and if integrated into one’s life helps attain freedom from evil and strength to choose good that ensures happiness of the spiritual soul having God as the source. Divine grace flows into the purified life-breath.

Rev. Fr. John Ferreira has been an ardent follower of yogasana and has developed a Christian way of employing the system within the practice of the message of Christ, who is the Good News to the world and who inspires us to avoid the path of evil and to choose the path of good. The book is the result of his pursuit and practice of over four decades. Early in life as an aspirant of Catholic priesthood, he took to Yogaasana and has personally drawn both physical and spiritual benefits from it. This authentic and personal testimony of his life is spelt out in the pages of this book: Health-Wealth and Happiness Through Yoga.

The practical aspect of the book deals with the physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual well-being of the human person. As a psycho-physical science, yoga contributes a psycho-spiritual prelude to Christian forms of meditation, and helps to focus on Christ’s teachings and actions in the context of alleviating human sufferings. Yoga integrated into the school curriculum will provide a “holistic” approach to education as a science that not only prepares a student for life but provides the art of living well, here and now. Joyful living, drawn from the depths of one’s own rhythm of life according to the goal set by the Creator God is the foundation of health, wealth and happiness.

The book is meant for people of all walks of life.

I congratulate the author and I wish that the practices recommended in the book shall find place in the consideration of those who desire to live the fullness of life.

Albert D’Souza
(Archbishop of Agra)