|The Culture of Dharma
This, however, does not mean that it is wrong for us to adapt some of
the cultural or outer forms of yoga. Outer aspects of the teaching like
the diet or the style of art may be relevant for enhancing our lives.
While we need not look or dress or act like Hindus we need not go to
the other extreme and reject the culture of Yoga so as not to appear
different than our neighbors. Wearing white, for example, can elevate
and purify the mind.
To use such practices may not be a blind
adaptation of a foreign culture but based on an understanding of the spiritual reason beyond the
cultural form. As such it will serve to universalize our culture, not to limit
it. As its foundation Hinduism possesses a broad and complete cultural matrix. It has its own
language, poetry, drama, dance, art, sculpture, science, mathematics and medicine.
Christianity relies upon primarily a Greco-Roman influence for the
intellectual or secular part of its culture, like art and philosophy.
Islam relies to a great extent on ancient Greek and Persian sources.
Buddhism relies primarily on other sources in the same way; the Tibetans taking much of Hindu
culture like art and medicine, as did the Indian Buddhists, the Chinese
Buddhists following the earlier Taoist and Chinese culture.