The Candid Eye

June 17, 2010

If you are a Swami and a victim, remain silent!

If you are a Swami and a victim, remain silent!

– by Swami Sadyojathah, Jun 10, 2010, 01.50pm
I think 30 years of selfless service has not attracted the eye of our media as much as a bullet. Ironically, the victim had to justify why the bullet was found close to him!

A Swami is expected to remain silent irrespective of the seriousness of offence against him whereas strong voices of support are heard for terrorists and anti-social elements. Corrupt officials are not condemned and the society’s silence implies it is fine with them.

‘Swami’, a title much revered in India in the past only raises eyebrows in suspicion now. Swamis and Sadhus were respected for dedicating and sacrificing their lives for society and now they are being condemned. This shows the unfortunate deterioration of the Indian culture. Is it not a systematic psychological warfare against Swamis?

We also see a section of the media in our country jumping to hasty conclusions especially in matters concerning swamis and spirituality.

‘You have the right to remain silent…’ is usually a warning given to a suspected criminal under arrest. However, paradoxically if you are a Swami or a Guru, you are advised to remain silent even if you are a victim. In spite of being a victim, you are perceived to have done something wrong. The overwhelming undercurrent of prejudice against Hindu swamis and Gurus cannot be underlined enough.

How strange that a culprit can walk away, but the victim is doubted, questioned, harassed and expected to prove his innocence! The Indian Constitution holds that you are innocent until proven guilty, but a swami is necessarily guilty until proven innocent.

This has been the way of the world, which has always demanded from the living legends to prove their innocence. Be it Kabir or Jesus or even Mahatma Gandhi who was called a fraud a number of times. The degradation of society is measured by its attitude towards its spiritual leaders. Is it not Kaliyuga where the onus is on the victim to prove that he is not guilty?

Usually a victim is encouraged to speak up. But if you are a swami, you are counseled to forever hold your peace, even if you are surrounded by white lies.

The other thing isthat it does not pay off in the worldly sense to keep calm and live in knowledge because the gap between the real world and a meditator’s world is far too much. A layman may not understand the world of yogis, where they remain poised, calm and there is not an iota of worry or concern in their expression, even in extenuating circumstances. This is baffling to the common man or in this case of gun shot the investigating cops.

Recently, I was at a function in Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi, where I observed the sheer reluctance of people in interacting with a Swami in saffron robes sitting in the front row of the audience. This was immediately after the scandals of some so-called swamis had hit the headlines in the media. Nobody wanted to look at him, let alone talk to him, as if he were an untouchable. It was appalling to see the prejudice against Hindu swamis. In a way it was beneficial to the swami because he need not care what the world thinks of him, but for an onlooker it looked odd how people were overtly prejudiced.

In Bollywood, in the last 15 to 20 years, since Dawood Ibrahim ostensibly started funding the film industry, a man with a tilak or in saffron robes has been systematically depicted as a villain or part of villain’s team. This portrayal has only added a mass prejudice and overwhelming bias against the swamis of India.

The two main allegations against swamis are sex and money. A true swami will never fall prey to fleeting attractions of sensual pleasures. Without adequate investigation, this kind of blanket generalization is unfortunate and highly deplorable. Every spiritual organization is supposed to do charity and one cannot do charity with an empty bowl. There is no point in taking charity and doing charity. Earning money is not a crime but doing so in a wrong way definitely is.

The idea that all spiritual education should be free, or the notion that spiritual training was free in ancient India is a fallacy. Spirituality is also an education and all education needs to be paid for. Those who know their history know that people in Vedic times had to “invest” far more to get a spiritual education than we do today!
The concept of ”Dakshina” is from the ancient Vedic times.

The vow of poverty is a concept alien to our land. Here, the primordial Guru, Lord Narayana is wedded to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Material progress goes hand in hand with spiritual growth. There are some pseudo intellectuals and historians who argue that only Ramana Maharishi and Mahatma Gandhi were genuine. They praise only the dead and abuse the living. One historian while condemning the appearance of spiritual masters in media went to the extent of saying that Sri Aurobindo never appeared on television, forgetting that there was no television at that time in the first place! Going by the fact that Sri Aurobindo had used the print media so well, I am sure he would have done the same with television had it existed then.

Another much-misplaced conception is that a true spiritual person should remain poor and that Gandhi never associated with the rich. They conveniently forget that Mahatma Gandhi has lived and died in Birla House, one of the most affluent people of that time.

Of course, every field will have people who are not genuine. However, that doesn’t warrant every one being painted with the same brush. It is as foolish as saying that because you unearthed a quack one day, we
should shun all doctors.

It was Pandit Nehru who said in the assembly debates, “If I was asked what is the greatest treasure which India possesses and what is her finest heritage, I would answer unhesitatingly—it is the Sanskrit language and literature, and all that it contains. This is a magnificent inheritance, and so long as this endures and influences
the life of our people, so long the basic genius of India will continue”.

It was Babasaheb Ambedkar who had proposed Sanskrit as the first language of India and who had great reverence for sadhus of this country, Kabir being his most favorite. It was Mahatma Gandhi who would read the Bhagawat Gita every day and meditate and do satsang with people from all religions.

The father of our nation is a saint. The architect of the Indian constitution, our first Prime Minister and countless others have sung praises of the spiritual knowledge of our saints. Then, I do believe, a sensitive and responsible Indian should take a proactive role in reinstating these values and arrest the prejudice drive against the swamis and saints of this holy land.

(The author is director, international affairs, The Art Of Living)

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September 24, 2009

Dancing Jesus!!

Filed under: Christianity,Evangelists — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
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Dancing Jesus illustration in The New Community Bible published by The Bombay St. Paul’s Society, 2008, and released by the Catholic Bishops Conference of India. The “Indian Bible” as it is called, contains invented and interpolated phrases such as “he will dance with songs of joy for you” for Zephaniah 3:17, and numerous quotations from the Vedas, Upanishads, and Puranas. The vedic and puranic slokas are described as sourced from “Indian Scriptures”, not Hindu Scriptures.

Dancing Jesus

Dancing Jesus

The newfangled Bible has been strongly condemned by Hindus in India and abroad, and by many Christians in India who regard it as blasphemous. It is designed to subvert and subsume the Hindu scriptures to the Christian scriptures, and assist in the mission of “fulfilling” Hinduism in the “saving truth” of Jesus Christ.

The Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram Sri Jayendra Saraswati made special mention of the Indian Bible to the Vatican’s representative Cardinal Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran at a private interfaith meeting in Mumbai on June 12, 2009. He demanded that the Indian Bible be withdrawn and that the Catholic Church cease and desist from further use and abuse of Hindu dress, scriptures, symbols, and rituals.

He also demanded that the Catholic Church give up its mission to convert Hindus to Christianity, and that a firm commitment to this end be given to Hindus by the Vatican even as a similar commitment to stop evangelizing Jews was given to the Chief Rabbi of Israel by Pope Benedict XVI in Jerusalem on May 12, 2009.

See also these articles from Vigil Online:

Kanchi Acharya at interfaith dialogue with Vatican in Mumbai

Vatican surrenders right to convert Jews

Related articles:

New Indian bible draws fire over Hindu references

August 24, 2009

Conversion attempt by missionaries

Filed under: Christianity,Evangelists,USA — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
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One of my friend’s relative was lured by the missionaries and got converted into Christianity.Now he stopped coming home and demanding other family members also to convert!What a change?This thing might have happened to many.Everyone in his/her lifetime sometime or other might have been approached by these vendors.

A nice video from youtube shows how an young girl, Saraswati handles two of her friends who apparently trying to convert her.Very informative and funny video indeed!

April 22, 2009

Ever wanted to evangelize to a Hindu but don’t know how to do it?

Filed under: Christianity,Evangelists — thecandideye @ 1:57 AM
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I have come across this interesting piece of article on this site by Slavah TebYeah.After the request by one of the readers, I am reproducing the entire article here.

Excerpts starts:

A lot of times while on earth you’ll be faced with many different religions which all deviate the simple truth of the gospel and mainly their doctrine’s concerning Jesus Christ!  Sometimes you may be stuck trying to figure out what the real truth is behind Christianity and how to I get it out to one of my friends that I don’t even understand why they are rejecting it.  Well, if you are interested in possibly changing one of your friends lives who is a Hindu please read on.

Anyways the first thing that you should remember is that the number 1 problem between Hinduism and Christianity are the absolutes.  In other words if you took away their Ghangas river it would be equivelant to taking away Israel. 

            Another thing that you should keep in mind when trying to evangelize to Hindus are the two types of barriers dealing with evangelizing to them.  These include the Conceptual Barriers and the Theological Barriers.  The Conceptual Barriers would include the following 5 things:

  1. Hindu concept of equality of religions
  2. Hindu terminology – different meanings
  3. Hindu attitude to exclusiveness
  4. Hindu persecution of Christians (true Christians are excluded)
  5. Their concept of Christianity ( they see Christianity as western and as music, etc.  even though it really came from the east)

The Theological Barriers would include:

  1. Karma is incompatible with grace
  2. Brahman is incompatible with God
  3. Man as emanation is incompatible with man as created in the image of God.
  4. Illusory world is incompatible with the real world.
  5. Sin concept is incompatible with Biblical sin.

The next thing that you should keep in mind when trying to evangelize to Hindus are the right ways to evangelize to them and not offend them.  These would include the following:

YOU SHOULD…

         be well versed (know their 4 sacred books)

         practice renunciation (you have t live in their houses.  They have to see that none of the things from the western world you hold onto are not part of your Christianity.

         Define terms carefully (what does god mean… etc.)

         Contrast God with deities (this is what (Paul did in Acts 17)

 Ok so you know a little bit about Hinduism so where do you begin when evangelizing to them?  If I were you I would start right off the bat focusing on these four things in the following order:

 Explain grace not Karma

  1. Face up to absolute truth (motivating them to be intellectually honest)
  2. Focus on gospel not religion
  3. Admit that western forms are expendable

 Finally if your running out of ways to share the gospel with a Hindu you should consider the 10 Commandments For Sharing the Gospel With Hindus.  This would include:

 Make friends (1st, really make them your friends, by showing true friendship.  Be prepared to give and receive help in practical ways(Jn. 4:17)

  1. Be hospitable.  Invite them into your home
  2. Respect their customs and sensitives.  Concerning food and drink, ask beforehand if they are vegetarian…
  3. Be modest in dress and reserved in manner.
  4. Recognize the importance of being a good listener.
  5. Build bridges not barriers (start with common ground)
  6. Avoid debate because they’ll probably win.
  7. Present them with a copy of John or Luke.
  8. Pray with them
  9. Share your own personal testimony.

Excerpts ends:

I have reproduced the same with my comments.It is very intetresting to note how highly skilled the evangelists are in spreading the gospel.Highly remarkable their marketting skills and perseverence are.It seems Evangelisation is primary goal of many christians today if not all.

A lot of times while on earth you’ll be faced with many different religions which all deviate the simple truth of the gospel and mainly their doctrine’s concerning Jesus Christ!  Sometimes you may be stuck trying to figure out what the real truth is behind Christianity and how to I get it out to one of my friends that I don’t even understand why they are rejecting it.  Well, if you are interested in possibly changing one of your friends lives who is a Hindu please read on.

Anyways the first thing that you should remember is that the number 1 problem between Hinduism and Christianity are the absolutes.  In other words if you took away their Ghangas river it would be equivelant to taking away ..Israel. 

            Another thing that you should keep in mind when trying to evangelize to Hindus are the two types of barriers dealing with evangelizing to them.  These include the Conceptual Barriers and the Theological Barriers.  The Conceptual Barriers would include the following 5 things:

  1. Hindu concept of equality of religions
  2. Hindu terminology – different meanings
  3. Hindu attitude to exclusiveness
  4. Hindu persecution of Christians (true Christians are excluded)
  5. Their concept of Christianity ( they see Christianity as western and as music, etc.  even though it really came from the east)(Infact many people know that Jesus lived in Kashmir after resurrection.Christianity has been westernised by Church to suit their needs and now it is being Indianised!!But they want to cling on to the word Christianity.Ridiculous!)

The Theological Barriers would include:

  1. Karma is incompatible with grace (It’s a wonder how Christianity has accepted the concept of Karma!But this knowledge on Karma is welcome.Only Master’s grace can eliminate bondage of the Karma.There are two types of Karma.Prarabhda Karma  which can not be changed in this life time and Sanchitha Karma which can be changed thru spritual practices & Satsang.In India there were/are enlightened masters who can do this.Lord Jesus, an enlightened soul is no exception to this ability.)
  2. Brahman is incompatible with God(Brahman,God,Guru,Jesus,Krishna,Buddha,Allah are all same.The supreme being is being referred by different names.It is very naive to say that God and Brahman are different.There is no question of compatibility here.You are talking about compatibility wherea as Hinduism says they are all ONE.)
  3. Man as emanation is incompatible with man as created in the image of God.(Every living creature itself is divine infact.Jesus taught people to love their neighbours because they could not understand the reality that the other person also God.So HE said Love thy neighbours.Hindus throughout the ages have been worshipping their parents,Teachers,Other living beings as GODS.Worshipping is nothing but sign of love that Lord Jesus preached.)
  4. Illusory world is incompatible with the real world.(Illusions and realities are our perceptions.To get clear perception one have to do the meditation.Thats why even Jesus did meditation during his unknown period of his history.Infact the reality is only one.The truth is only one.Confusion arises only when there is no clarity in the mind for which meditation, invented in the East,practised by Lord Jesus is best remedy )
  5. Sin concept is incompatible with Biblical sin.(You are born out of Sin.This sin concept is needed for Church to survive and they have been doing that remarkably well for the past 2000 years.Infact Lust is sin and not Love.Lust is sin because you treat the other person as an object for your satisfaction.Love treats other person as God.Lust demands whereas Love offers.Lust tries to control other person whereas Love surrenders to other person.That is why Lust is called sin.Between a husband and wife exists Love and not Lust.Then why do they say You are born out of Sin??Is it lust to control the entire humanity? )

The next thing that you should keep in mind when trying to evangelize to Hindus are the right ways to evangelize to them and not offend them.  These would include the following:

YOU SHOULD…

         be well versed (know their 4 sacred books)(Hinduism does not value scholarly lecture of someone about the vedas unless until he/she lives by that.)

         practice renunciation (you have to live in their houses.  They have to see that none of the things from the western world you hold onto are not part of your Christianity.)The very fact you are saying this shows how tolerant and lovable Hindus are.Is this not what Jesus preached?

         Define terms carefully (what does god mean… etc.)(By carefully talking like this, you are losing your credibility as Honest Intelluctual.Crooked intelligence is nowhere accepted)

         Contrast God with deities (this is what (Paul did in Acts 17) (Hindus don’t worship deities.They worship GOD thru deities.Like you do with Jesus on a cross)

Ok so you know a little bit about Hinduism so where do you begin when evangelizing to them?  If I were you I would start right off the bat focusing on these four things in the following order: 

  1. Explain grace not Karma.(Grace is known to many Hindus.They believe Jesus as an avatar and His presence is still there.Presence is nothing but the soul.The very concept of Hinduism)
  2. Face up to absolute truth (motivating them to be intellectually honest)(When you know absolute truth,you will come to know that people are already intellectually honest.You will accept people as they are.)
  3. Focus on gospel not religion(Hinduism has been doing for past 7000 years.Infact it goes one step further and says “Focus on experiencial level of understanding and not only gospel.It also says gospel is useless unless you experience it yourself.)
  4. Admit that western forms are expendable.(Extensibilty is core concept of Hinduism.You are welcome to do that.Extensibility means you accept people,their customs,their traditions,their belief,their worshipping,their Gods – the whole thing as it is.Anything less than this is mere hypocrisy.)

Finally if your running out of ways to share the gospel with a Hindu you should consider the 10 Commandments For Sharing the Gospel With Hindus.  This would include: 

  1. Make friends (1st, really make them your friends, by showing true friendship.  Be prepared to give and receive help in practical ways(Jn. 4:17)
  2. Be hospitable.  Invite them into your home
  3. Respect their customs and sensitives.  Concerning food and drink, ask beforehand if they are vegetarian…
  4. Be modest in dress and reserved in manner.
  5. Recognize the importance of being a good listener.
  6. Build bridges not barriers (start with common ground)
  7. Avoid debate because they’ll probably win.
  8. Present them with a copy of John or Luke.
  9. Pray with them
  10. Share your own personal testimony.

What is use of all these actions if your intentions are different?Jesus tells us to maintain integrity and be faithful.

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