Date : 12-09-2010, Sunday | 26 Comments
ಏಕಂ ಸತ್ ವಿಪ್ರಾಃ ಬಹುಧಾ ವದಂತಿ!
ಹಾಗಂತ ಋಷಿಮುನಿ ದೀರ್ಘ ತಮಸ್ಸು ವೇದಕಾಲ ದಲ್ಲೇ ಹೇಳಿದ್ದ. ಮಹಾಭಾರತದ ಕಾಲಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದರೆ “ಯಾರ್ಯಾರಿಗೆ ಯಾವ್ಯಾವ ರೂಪಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಶ್ರದ್ಧೆಯಿದೆಯೋ ಅವರಿಗೆ ಆಯಾ ವಿಧಗಳಲ್ಲೇ ಸದ್ಗತಿ ಸಿಗುತ್ತದೆ” ಎಂದು ಭಗವದ್ಗೀತೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕೃಷ್ಣ ಹೇಳುತ್ತಾನೆ. As many are the people, so many may be the religions, ಅಂದರೆ ಯಾವ ಯಾವ ದಾರಿಯಿಂದ ಮನುಷ್ಯನಿಗೆ ತನ್ನಾತ್ಮದ ಸಾಕ್ಷಾತ್ಕಾರ ಆಗುತ್ತದೋ ಆ ದಾರಿಯೇ ಸರಿ, ಅದು ಇಂಥದ್ದೇ ದಾರಿ ಎನ್ನುವ ಹರವಿಲ್ಲ ಎಂದು ಶೃಂಗೇರಿ ಮಠದ ಮೊದಲ ಯತಿಗಳಾದ ಸುರೇಶ್ವರಾಚಾರ್ಯರು ಹೇಳಿದ್ದರು. ಕಾಶ್ಮೀ ರದ ಮಹಾನ್ ವಿದ್ವಾಂಸ ಅಭಿನವ ಗುಪ್ತ, ‘ಇರುವುದೊಂದೇ ಸತ್ಯ, ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಏನೆಂದು ಹೆಸರಿಡಬೇಕೆಂಬುದರಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾತ್ರ ವಿವಾದವಿದೆ’ ಎಂದು 10ನೇ ಶತಮಾನದಲ್ಲೇ ಹೇಳಿದ್ದ. ಮುಂದೆ ಅದನ್ನೇ ‘ದೇವನೊಬ್ಬ ನಾಮ ಹಲವು’ ಎಂದು ಜನಸಾಮಾನ್ಯರಿಗೂ, ಅನಕ್ಷ ರಸ್ಥರಿಗೂ ಅರ್ಥವಾಗುವ ರೀತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹೇಳಲಾಯಿತು. 1893, ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 11ರಂದು ವಿಶ್ವಧರ್ಮ ಸಮ್ಮೇಳನವನ್ನು ಉದ್ದೇಶಿಸಿ ಮಾತನಾಡುತ್ತಾ ವಿವೇಕಾನಂದರು ಹೇಳಿದ್ದೂ ಇದನ್ನೇ.
“ಅಮೆರಿಕದ ಸಹೋದರ, ಸಹೋದರಿಯರೇ,
ನೀವು ನಮಗೆ ನೀಡಿದ ಉತ್ಸಾಹಯುತ ಆದರದ ಸ್ವಾಗತಕ್ಕೆ ಪ್ರತಿಕ್ರಿಯಿಸಲು ಹೊರಟಾಗ ಅನಿರ್ವಚನೀಯ ಆನಂದ ವೊಂದು ನನ್ನ ಹೃದಯವನ್ನು ತುಂಬುತ್ತದೆ. ಪ್ರಪಂಚದ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಪ್ರಾಚೀನವಾದ ಸನ್ಯಾಸಿಗಳ ಸಂಘದ ಪರವಾಗಿ ನಾನು ನಿಮಗೆ ಕೃತಜ್ಞತೆಯನ್ನು ಸಲ್ಲಿಸುತ್ತೇನೆ. ಬೌದ್ಧ, ಜೈನಧರ್ಮಗಳು ಯಾವು ದರ ಶಾಖೆಗಳು ಮಾತ್ರವೋ ಅಂತಹ ಸಕಲ ಧರ್ಮಗಳ ಮಾತೆಯಾದ ಹಿಂದೂಧರ್ಮದ ಪರವಾಗಿ ನಾನು ನಿಮಗೆ ಕೃತಜ್ಞತೆಯನ್ನು ಸಲ್ಲಿಸುತ್ತೇನೆ. ಜಗತ್ತಿಗೆ ಸಹಿಷ್ಣುತೆಯನ್ನೂ, ಸರ್ವಧರ್ಮ ಸ್ವೀಕಾರಭಾವವನ್ನೂ ಬೋಧಿಸಿದ ಧರ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಸೇರಿದವನು ಎಂಬ ಹೆಮ್ಮೆ ನನ್ನದು. ಪ್ರಪಂಚದ ಎಲ್ಲ ಧರ್ಮಗಳ, ಎಲ್ಲ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರಗಳ ಸಂಕಟ ಪೀಡಿತ ನಿರಾಶ್ರಿತರಿಗೂ ಆಶ್ರಯವನ್ನಿತ್ತ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರಕ್ಕೆ ಸೇರಿದವನೆಂಬ ಹೆಮ್ಮೆ ನನ್ನದು. ರೋಮನ್ನರ ದಬ್ಬಾಳಿಕೆಗೆ ಗುರಿಯಾಗಿ ತಮ್ಮ ಪವಿತ್ರ ದೇವಾಲಯ ನುಚ್ಚುನೂರಾದಾಗ ದಕ್ಷಿಣ ಭಾರತಕ್ಕೆ ವಲಸೆ ಬಂದ ಇಸ್ರೇಲಿಯರ ಒಂದು ಗುಂಪನ್ನು ನಮ್ಮ ಮಡಿಲಲ್ಲಿಟ್ಟುಕೊಂಡು ಆಶ್ರಯ ನೀಡಿದ್ದೇವೆ ಎಂದು ಹೇಳಲು ನನಗೆ ಹೆಮ್ಮೆ. ಇರಾನಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಹಿಂಸೆಗೊಳಗಾಗಿ ದೇಶಬಿಟ್ಟು ಓಡಿಬಂದ ಝೋರಾಷ್ಟ್ರಿಯನ್ನರಿಗೆ (ಪಾರ್ಸಿ) ಆಶ್ರಯವಿತ್ತ ಹಾಗೂ ಅವರನ್ನು ಈಗಲೂ ಪೋಷಿಸುತ್ತಿರುವ ಧರ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ನಾನು ಸೇರಿದವನೆಂಬುದು ಹೆಮ್ಮೆ. ನಾವು ಸರ್ವಮತ ಸಹಿಷ್ಣುತೆಯನ್ನು ಒಪ್ಪುತ್ತೇವಷ್ಟೇ ಅಲ್ಲದೆ, ಸಕಲ ಧರ್ಮಗಳೂ ಸತ್ಯವೆಂದು ನಂಬುತ್ತೇವೆ. ಸೋದರರೇ, ನಾನು ಬಾಲ್ಯಾರಂಭದಿಂದ ಪಠಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದ, ಮತ್ತು ಈಗಲೂ ಲಕ್ಷಾಂತರ ಹಿಂದೂಗಳು ಪಠಿಸುವ ಶ್ಲೋಕವೊಂದರ ಕೆಲ ಸಾಲುಗಳನ್ನು ನಿಮಗೆ ಉದ್ಧರಿಸಿ ಹೇಳುತ್ತೇನೆ.
ತ್ರಯೀ ಸಾಂಖ್ಯಂ ಯೋಗಃ ಪಶುಪತಿಮತಂ ವೈಷ್ಣಮತಿ |
ಪ್ರಭಿನ್ನೇ ಪ್ರಸ್ಥಾನೇ ಪರಮಿದಮದಃ ಪಥ್ಯಮಿತಿ ಚ ||
ರುಚೀನಾಂ ವೈಚಿತ್ರ್ಯಾತ್ ಋಜು ಕುಟಿಲ ನಾನಾ ಪಥ ಜುಷಾಂ|
ನೃಣಾಮೇಕೋ ಗಮ್ಯಃ ತ್ವಮಸಿ ಪಯಸಾಂ ಅರ್ಣವ ಇವ ||
ಅಂದರೆ, ‘ಹೇ ಭಗವಂತ, ಭಿನ್ನಭಿನ್ನ ಸ್ಥಾನಗಳಿಂದ ಉದಿಸಿದ ನದಿ ಗಳೆಲ್ಲವೂ ಹರಿಯುತ್ತ ಹೋಗಿ ಕೊನೆಗೆ ಸಾಗರದೊಳಗೆ ಒಂದಾ ಗುವಂತೆ, ಮಾನವರು ತಮ್ಮ ತಮ್ಮ ವಿಭಿನ್ನ ಅಭಿರುಚಿಗಳಿಂದಾಗಿ ಅನುಸರಿಸುವ ಅಂಕುಡೊಂಕಿನ ಬೇರೆ ಬೇರೆ ದಾರಿಗಳೆಲ್ಲವೂ ಕೊನೆಗೆ ನಿನ್ನನ್ನೇ ಬಂದು ಸೇರುತ್ತವೆ.”
ನಮ್ಮ ಋಷಿಮುನಿಗಳು, eನಿಗಳು, ಗುರು-ಹಿರಿಯರು ಕಾಲಾಂತರದಿಂದಲೂ ಹೇಳಿಕೊಂಡು, ಬೋಧಿಸಿಕೊಂಡು ಬಂದ ವಿಚಾರ, 117 ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಹಿಂದೆ ಸ್ವಾಮಿ ವಿವೇಕಾನಂದರು ಹೇಳಿದ Polytheism “ಯುನೈಟೆಡ್ ಸ್ಟೇಟ್ಸ್ ಆಫ್ ಅಮೆರಿಕ”ಕ್ಕೆ ಈಗೀಗ ಅರಿವಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆಯೇ? I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me ಎಂಬ ಜೀಸಸ್ನ ಮಾತುಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ವಿಶ್ವದ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಬಲಿಷ್ಠ ಕ್ರೈಸ್ತ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರವಾದ ಅಮೆರಿಕ ನಂಬಿಕೆ ಕಳೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತಿದೆಯೆ?!
ಅಮೆರಿಕದ ಖ್ಯಾತ ಹಾಲಿವುಡ್ ನಟಿ ಜೂಲಿಯಾ ರಾಬರ್ಟ್ಸ್ ಅವರು “I’m definitely a practising Hindu’ ಎಂದು ಇತ್ತೀಚೆಗೆ ಹೇಳಿರುವುದು ಹಾಗೂ ಅಮೆರಿಕದ ಪ್ರಸಿದ್ಧ ನಿಯಕಕಾಲಿಕೆ ಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದಾದ ‘ನ್ಯೂಸ್ವೀಕ್’ನಲ್ಲಿ ಹಿಂದೊಮ್ಮೆ ಪ್ರಕಟವಾಗಿದ್ದ “”We Are All Hindus Now” ಲೇಖನ ಅಂಥದ್ದೊಂದು ಸಂಕೇತವನ್ನು ನೀಡುತ್ತಿವೆ. ಅಂಕಣಗಾರ್ತಿ ಲೀಸಾ ಮಿಲ್ಲರ್ ಆ ಲೇಖನದಲ್ಲಿ ಏನು ಹೇಳಿದ್ದಾರೆ ಎಂಬುದನ್ನು ಮೊದಲು ಓದಿ…
“ಶೀರ್ಷಿಕೆ: ಈಗ ನಾವೆಲ್ಲರೂ ಹಿಂದುಗಳು!
ಅಮೆರಿಕ ಕ್ರಿಶ್ಚಿಯನ್ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರವಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೆ ಈ ದೇಶವನ್ನು ನಿರ್ಮಾಣ ಮಾಡಿದವರು ಕ್ರಿಶ್ಚಿಯನ್ನರೇ. ಅಂತೆಯೇ, 2008ರ ಸಮೀಕ್ಷೆಯ ಪ್ರಕಾರ ಶೇ. 76ರಷ್ಟು ಜನ ತಾವು ಕ್ರಿಶ್ಚಿಯನ್ನರೆಂದೇ ಗುರುತಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಹತ್ತು ಲಕ್ಷಕ್ಕೂ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಮಂದಿ ಹಿಂದುಗಳೂ ಅಮೆರಿಕದಲ್ಲಿ ವಾಸಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಇತ್ತೀಚೆಗೆ ನಡೆದ ಸಮೀಕ್ಷೆಯೊಂದರ ಪ್ರಕಾರ ಕ್ರಿಶ್ಚಿಯನ್ನರು, ಕನಿಷ್ಠ ವೈಚಾರಿಕವಾಗಿ, ಕ್ರಮೇಣ ಹಿಂದುಗಳಾಗುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ! ದೇವರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ, ತಮ್ಮ ಬಗ್ಗೆ, ಪರಸ್ಪರರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಮತ್ತು ಅನಂತತೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಚಿಂತಿಸುವ ದೃಷ್ಟಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಅಮೆರಿಕನ್ನರು ಹಿಂದುಗಳಂತಾಗುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ!!
‘ಸತ್ಯ ಒಂದೇ, ಆದರೆ ಋಷಿಮುನಿಗಳು ಅದನ್ನು ಬೇರೆ ಬೇರೆ ಹೆಸರಿನಿಂದ ಕರೆಯುತ್ತಾರೆ’ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತದೆ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಪುರಾತನ ಹಿಂದೂ ಧರ್ಮಶಾಸ್ತ್ರವಾದ ಋಗ್ವೇದ. ದೇವರೆಡೆಗೆ ಸಾಗಲು ಒಂದಲ್ಲ, ನಾನಾ ದಾರಿಗಳಿವೆ ಎಂದು ಹಿಂದೂಗಳು ನಂಬುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ ಜೀಸಸ್ ಒಂದು ಬಗೆ, ಕುರಾನ್ ಮತ್ತೊಂದು ಬಗೆ, ಯೋಗಾಭ್ಯಾಸ ಮೂರನೆಯದು. ಯಾವುದು ಕೂಡ ಒಂದಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಒಂದು ಉತ್ತಮವಲ್ಲ; ಎಲ್ಲವೂ ಸಮಾನ. ಆದರೆ ಸಂಪ್ರದಾಯಬದ್ಧ ಕ್ರಿಶ್ಚಿಯನ್ನರಿಗೆ ಈ ರೀತಿಯಾಗಿ ಚಿಂತಿಸುವುದನ್ನು ಕಲಿಸಿರುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ಅವರು ಸಂಡೇ ಸ್ಕೂಲ್ಗಳಲ್ಲಿ(ಚರ್ಚ್) ಶಿಕ್ಷಣ ಪಡೆಯುತ್ತಾರೆ. ತಮ್ಮ ಧರ್ಮವೊಂದೇ ನಿಜವಾದದ್ದು, ಉಳಿದದ್ದೆಲ್ಲವೂ ಸುಳ್ಳು ಎಂಬುದನ್ನೇ ಅವರು ಕಲಿಯುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಜೀಸಸ್ ಹೀಗೆ ಹೇಳಿದ್ದ: ‘ನಾನೊಬ್ಬನೇ ಮಾರ್ಗ, ನಾನೇ ಸತ್ಯ ಮತ್ತು ಜೀವನ. ನನ್ನ ಮೂಲಕವಾಗಿಯೇ ಪ್ರತಿಯೊಬ್ಬರೂ ದೇವರ ಬಳಿಗೆ ಬರುತ್ತಾರೆ.’
ಆದರೆ ಅಮೆರಿಕನ್ನರು ಈಗ ಈ ಥಿಯರಿಯನ್ನು ಒಪ್ಪುತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ!
‘Pew Forum‘ ಎಂಬ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆ ೨೦೦೮ರಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆಸಿದ ಸಮೀಕ್ಷೆ ಪ್ರಕಾರ ‘ನಮ್ಮನ್ನು ಇತರ ಧರ್ಮಗಳೂ ಶಾಶ್ವತ ಜೀವನದೆಡೆಗೆ ಕೊಂಡೊಯ್ಯಬಲ್ಲವು’ ಎಂದು ಶೇ. 65ರಷ್ಟು ಮಂದಿ ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯಪಟ್ಟಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಇವರಲ್ಲಿ ಶೇ. 37ರಷ್ಟು ಮಂದಿ ಶ್ವೇತವರ್ಣೀಯ ಕ್ರೈಸ್ತ ಧರ್ಮಪ್ರತಿಪಾದಕರೂ ಸೇರಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಮುಕ್ತಿ ಪಡೆಯುವುದೊಂದೇ ತಮ್ಮ ಗುರಿ ಎನ್ನುವುದನ್ನು ಈ ಗುಂಪು ನಂಬುತ್ತದೆ. ಚರ್ಚ್ ಅಥವಾ ಕ್ರೈಸ್ತ ಧರ್ಮದ ಆಚೆಗೂ ಅಧ್ಯಾತ್ಮ ಸತ್ಯವನ್ನು ಕಂಡುಕೊಳ್ಳುವವರ ಸಂಖ್ಯೆ ಹೆಚ್ಚುತ್ತಿದೆ. 2009ರ ‘ನ್ಯೂಸ್ವೀಕ್’ ಸಮೀಕ್ಷೆ ಪ್ರಕಾರ ಶೇ. ೩೦ರಷ್ಟು ಅಮೆರಿಕನ್ನರು ತಮ್ಮನ್ನು ‘ಧಾರ್ಮಿಕರಲ್ಲ, ಅಧ್ಯಾತ್ಮಿಕರು’ ಎಂದು ಕರೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತಾರೆ. 2005ರಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆದ ಸಮೀಕ್ಷೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಶೇ. 24 ಮಂದಿ ಈ ರೀತಿ ಗುರುತಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು. ಈಗ ಆ ಸಂಖ್ಯೆ ಶೇ. 30ಕ್ಕೆ ಏರಿಕೆಯಾಗಿದೆ. ಅಮೆರಿಕನ್ನರ ಧಾರ್ಮಿಕ ತುಡಿತ, ಒಲವನ್ನು ‘ಕೆಫೆಟೇರಿಯಾ ರಿಲಿಜನ್’ ಎಂದು ಕರೆದಿದ್ದ ಬೋಸ್ಟನ್ ವಿಶ್ವವಿದ್ಯಾಲಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಧರ್ಮಶಾಸ್ತ್ರ ಬೋಧಿಸುವ ಪ್ರೊಫೆಸರ್ ಸ್ಟೀಫೆನ್ ಪ್ರೊಥೆರೊ, ‘ನೀವು ಬಹುಮಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ಹಿಂದುತ್ವದ ಚೇತನದಲ್ಲಿದ್ದೀರಿ. ನಾನಾ ಧರ್ಮಗಳಿಂದ ಆರಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಕೆಲಸವನ್ನು ನೀವು ಮಾಡುತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ, ಏಕೆಂದರೆ ಅವೆಲ್ಲವೂ ಒಂದೇ ಆಗಿದೆ’ ಎಂದು ಹೇಳುತ್ತಾರೆ. ‘ಇದು ಸಂಪ್ರದಾಯ ಬದ್ಧತೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಅಲ್ಲ, ಯಾವುದರಿಂದ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯದಾಗುತ್ತದೋ ಅದರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ. ಯೋಗದಿಂದ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ದಾಗುವುದಾದರೆ ಆಗಲಿ, ಕ್ಯಾಥೋಲಿಕ್ಕರ ಸಾಮೂಹಿಕ ಪ್ರಾರ್ಥನೆ ಯಲ್ಲಿ ಪಾಲ್ಗೊಳ್ಳುವುದರಿಂದ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯದಾಗುವುದಾದರೆ ಅದೂ ಓಕೆ, ಯೋಗ-ಪ್ರಾರ್ಥನೆ ಜತೆಗೆ ಬುದ್ಧನ ತತ್ತ್ವಗಳಿಗೆ ಶರಣಾಗುವುದರಿಂದ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯದಾಗುವುದಾದರೆ ಇನ್ನೂ ಓಕೆ’ ಎಂಬ ಮನಸ್ಥಿತಿಯನ್ನು ಅಮೆರಿಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಣಬಹುದಾಗಿದೆ ಎಂದು ವಿವರಿ ಸುತ್ತಾರೆ ಪ್ರೊಥೆರೊ.
ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಮತ್ತೊಂದು ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆ ಇದೆ. ನಾವು ಸತ್ತ ಮೇಲೆ ಏನಾಗುತ್ತದೆ? ಕ್ರಿಶ್ಚಿಯನ್ನರು ಸಾಂಪ್ರದಾಯಿಕವಾಗಿ ನಂಬಿರುವುದೇನೆಂದರೆ, ದೇಹ ಮತ್ತು ಆತ್ಮ ಪವಿತ್ರವಾದದ್ದು. ‘ನಾನು’ ಎನ್ನುವುದು ರೂಪುಗೊಳ್ಳು ವುದೇ ಇವೆರಡರ ಸಮ್ಮಿಲನದಿಂದ. ಅಂತ್ಯ ಕಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಇವೆರಡೂ ಪುನರುತ್ಥಾನದಲ್ಲಿ ಮತ್ತೆ ಸೇರಿಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತವೆ. ನಮಗೆ ಎರಡೂ ಅಗತ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಬೇಕು. ಇನ್ನೊಂದು ರೀತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹೇಳುವುದಾದರೆ ಇವೆರಡೂ ನಮಗೆ ಅತ್ಯಗತ್ಯ. ಆದರೆ ಹಿಂದುಗಳು ಅಂತಹದ್ದರಲ್ಲಿ ನಂಬಿಕೆಯಿಟ್ಟಿಲ್ಲ. ಸತ್ತ ಮೇಲೆ ದೇಹವನ್ನು ಚಿತೆಯ ಮೇಲಿಟ್ಟು ಸುಡುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಆಗ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಯ ಇರುವಿಕೆಗೆ ಕಾರಣವಾದ ಜೀವಾತ್ಮವು ದೇಹದಿಂದ ಬಿಡುಗಡೆಗೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತದೆ. ಹಿಂದುತ್ವದ ಕೇಂದ್ರವಾಗಿರುವ ಪುನರ್ಜನ್ಮದ ಸಮಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಆತ್ಮವು ಮತ್ತೆ ಭೂಮಿಗೆ ಮರಳುತ್ತದೆ. ಮತ್ತೆ ಮತ್ತೆ ಬೇರೆ ಬೇರೆ ಜೀವಿಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ನೆಲೆಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಇತ್ತ ಅಮೆರಿಕನ್ನರು ಪುನರ್ಜನ್ಮದಲ್ಲಿ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಹೆಚ್ಚು ನಂಬಿಕೆ ಉಳ್ಳವರಾಗುತ್ತಿದ್ದು ಈ ಕಾರಣಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಅವರು ಹಿಂದುಗಳಾಗುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ವಿಶ್ವದ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಪುರಾತನ ಹಾಗೂ ಪ್ರತಿಷ್ಠಿತ ಸಮೀಕ್ಷೆಯಾದ ‘ಹ್ಯಾರಿಸ್ ಪೋಲ್’ 2008ರಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆಸಿದ ಸಮೀಕ್ಷೆ ಪ್ರಕಾರ ಶೇ. 24ರಷ್ಟು ಅಮೆರಿಕನ್ನರು ಪುನರ್ಜನ್ಮದಲ್ಲಿ ನಂಬಿಕೆ ಇಟ್ಟುಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಸತ್ತ ಮೇಲೆ ದೇಹ ನಶ್ವರ ಎನ್ನುವ ಹಿಂದುಗಳಂತೆ ಕ್ರಿಶ್ಚಿಯನ್ನರೂ ಕೂಡ ಮೃತ ದೇಹಗಳನ್ನು ಸುಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಉತ್ತರ ಅಮೆರಿಕದಲ್ಲಿರುವ ‘ಕ್ರಿಮೇಶನ್ ಅಸೋಸಿಯೇಶನ್’ನ ಪ್ರಕಾರ ಅಮೆರಿಕದ ಮೂರನೇ ಒಂದು ಭಾಗ ಜನ ಮೃತ ದೇಹಗಳನ್ನು ಸುಡುವುದನ್ನು ಆಯ್ಕೆ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. 1975ರಲ್ಲಿ ಇವರ ಪ್ರಮಾಣ ಶೇ. 6ರಷ್ಟಿತ್ತು. ‘ಧರ್ಮದ ಅಧ್ಯಾತ್ಮಿಕ ಪಾತ್ರ ಹೆಚ್ಚುತ್ತಾ ಹೋದಂತೆ ಪುನರುತ್ಥಾನದ ವ್ಯಾಖ್ಯಾನ ತನ್ನ ಮಹತ್ವವನ್ನು ಕಳೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳುವುದೆಂದು ನನಗನ್ನಿಸುತ್ತಿದೆ’ ಎಂದು ಹಾರ್ವರ್ಡ್ನಲ್ಲಿ ಧರ್ಮಗಳ ತೌಲನಿಕ ಅಧ್ಯಯನ ಪ್ರೊಫೆಸರ್ ಆಗಿರುವ ಡಯಾನಾ ಎಕ್ ಹೇಳುತ್ತಾರೆ.
ಹಾಗಾಗಿ ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ‘ಓಂ’ ಎನ್ನೋಣ…”
ಲೀಸಾ ಮಿಲ್ಲರ್ ಇಂಥದ್ದೊಂದು ಲೇಖನ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದನ್ನು ಮರೆ ಯುವ ಮೊದಲೇ ಜೂಲಿಯಾ ರಾಬರ್ಟ್ಸ್ ಅವರು ನಾನೊಬ್ಬಳು “practicing Hindu=”ಎನ್ನುವ ಮೂಲಕ ಇಡೀ ಅಮೆರಿಕವನ್ನೇ ಅಚ್ಚರಿಗೊಳಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ‘ಪ್ರೆಟಿ ವುಮನ್’, ‘ಮೈ ಬೆಸ್ಟ್ ಫ್ರೆಂಡ್ಸ್ ವೆಡ್ಡಿಂಗ್’, ‘ರನ್ ಅವೇ ಬ್ರೈಡ್’, ‘ಓಶನ್ಸ್ ಇಲೆವೆನ್’ ಮುಂತಾದ ಆಕೆಯ ಚಿತ್ರಗಳನ್ನು ಯಾರು ತಾನೇ ಮರೆಯಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯ? “America’s Sweethearts” ಎಂಬ ಜನಪ್ರಿಯ ಚಿತ್ರದಲ್ಲಿ ನಟಿಸಿದ್ದ ಆಕೆ, “Elle” ಮ್ಯಾಗಝಿನ್ನ ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್(2010) ಸಂಚಿಕೆಗೆ ನೀಡಿದ ಸಂದರ್ಶನದಲ್ಲಿ “ನಾನು ಆಚರಣೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹಿಂದು” ಎಂದಾಗ ಅಮೆರಿಕದ ಪ್ರತಿಷ್ಠಿತ ಪತ್ರಿಕೆ ‘ದಿ ವಾಷಿಂಗ್ಟನ್ ಪೋಸ್ಟ್’ “Is America ready for a Hindu sweetheart?” ಎಂಬ ಶೀರ್ಷಿಕೆಯಡಿ ಸುದ್ದಿ ಪ್ರಕಟಿಸಿತು! ನಾನು, ನನ್ನ ಪತಿ ಮತ್ತು ನಮ್ಮ ಮೂವರು ಮಕ್ಕಳು ಒಟ್ಟಿಗೇ ದೇವಾಲಯಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗಿ ಮಂತ್ರ ಪಠಿಸುತ್ತೇವೆ, ಪ್ರಾರ್ಥಿಸುತ್ತೇವೆ ಎಂದಿದ್ದಾರೆ ಜೂಲಿಯಾ ರಾಬರ್ಟ್ಸ್. ಅಷ್ಟೇ ಅಲ್ಲ, ಹರಿ ಮಂದಿರ್ ಆಶ್ರಮದ ಸ್ವಾಮಿ ಧರಂ ದೇವ್ ಅವರು ಜೂಲಿಯಾ ಮಕ್ಕಳಾದ ಹ್ಯಾಝೆಲ್ಗೆ ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ, ಫಿನಿಯಸ್ಗೆ ಗಣೇಶ್ ಹಾಗೂ ಹೆನ್ರಿಗೆ ಕೃಷ್ಣ್ಬಲರಾಮ್ ಎಂಬ ಹೆಸರಿಟ್ಟಿದ್ದಾರೆ.
ಇವೆಲ್ಲ ಏನನ್ನು ಸೂಚಿಸುತ್ತವೆ?
ಅಮೆರಿಕನ್ನರ ಯೋಚನೆ, ಚಿಂತನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಇಂಥದ್ದೊಂದು ಬದಲಾ ವಣೆ ಕಾಣಲು ಕಾರಣವೇನಿರಬಹುದು? ವಿeನ, ತಂತ್ರeನದ ಪ್ರಗತಿಯಿಂದ ಯಾವುದಾದರೂ ಧರ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಅತಿದೊಡ್ಡ ಹೊಡೆತ ಬಿದ್ದಿದ್ದರೆ ಅದು ಕ್ರಿಶ್ಚಿಯಾನಿಟಿಗೆ. ಭೂಮಿಗೆ ಕೇವಲ ೬ ಸಾವಿರ ವರ್ಷವಷ್ಟೇ ವಯಸ್ಸಾ? ಜೀವಸಂಕುಲಗಳು ಸೃಷ್ಟಿಯಾಗಿ ಕೇವಲ ೬ ಸಾವಿರ ವರ್ಷಗಳಾಗಿದೆಯೇ? ಇಂತಹ ಬೈಬಲ್ ಥಿಯರಿ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ವಿಚಾರವಂತ, ಚಿಂತನಶೀಲ ಮನಸ್ಸುಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಬಲವಾದ ಅನುಮಾನ ಹುಟ್ಟಿ ಎಷ್ಟೋ ಶತಮಾನಗಳೇ ಆಗಿವೆ. ನಿಕೋಲಸ್ ಕೋಪರ್ನಿಕಸ್ನ Heliocentric System,, ಡಾರ್ವಿನ್ನನ Evolution Theory, ಪಳೆಯುಳಿಕೆಗಳ ಕಾಲಘಟ್ಟವನ್ನು ನಿರ್ದಿಷ್ಟವಾಗಿ ತಿಳಿಸುವ Carbon dating ಪದ್ಧತಿಗಳು ಕ್ರಿಶ್ಚಿಯಾನಿಟಿಗೆ ತೀವ್ರ ಹಿನ್ನಡೆಯುಂಟುಮಾಡಿವೆ. ಆದರೆ ಹಿಂದು ಧರ್ಮ ಯಾವತ್ತೂ ವಿeನಕ್ಕಾಗಲಿ, ವಿಕಾಸಕ್ಕಾಗಲಿ ಅಥವಾ ಇತರ ನಂಬಿಕೆಗಳಿಗಾಗಲಿ ಅಡ್ಡವಾಗಿ ನಿಲ್ಲಲಿಲ್ಲ, ನಾನೇ ಸತ್ಯ, ನಾನೇ ನಿತ್ಯ, ನನ್ನಿಂದಲೇ ಎಲ್ಲ ಎಂದು ಪ್ರತಿಪಾದಿಸಲಿಲ್ಲ. “Spiritual in content, scientific in approach and universal in appeal” ಎಂದು ಸ್ವಾಮಿ ವಿವೇಕಾನಂದರು ಬಹಳ ಅರ್ಥಪೂರ್ಣವಾಗಿ ಅದನ್ನು ವರ್ಣಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಯೋಗ ಮಾಡಲು, ಆಯುರ್ವೇದಕ್ಕೆ ಮೊರೆಹೋಗಲು, ಅಧ್ಯಾತ್ಮಿಕ ಮನಶ್ಶಾಂತಿ ಪಡೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಯಾರೂ ಹಿಂದು ಆಗಿ ಮತಾಂತರಗೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕಿಲ್ಲ. ಹಣೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕುಂಕುಮ-ತಿಲಕ, ಕೈಯಲ್ಲಿ ಬಳೆ-ತ್ರಿಶೂಲ, ಮುಡಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಮಲ್ಲಿಗೆ ಇಲ್ಲದೆ ಚಿಂತನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹಿಂದು ಆಗಿರಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯವಿದೆ. ಶ್ರೀ ಶ್ರೀ ರವಿಶಂಕರ್, ಬಾಬಾ ರಾಮ್ದೇವ್, ಮಾತಾ ಅಮೃತಾನಂದಮಯಿ ಮುಂತಾದವರು ಯೋಗ, ಭಕ್ತಿಯ ಮೂಲಕ ಜನರಿಗೆ ಆರೋಗ್ಯದ ಜತೆಗೆ ಮಾನಸಿಕ ಸ್ವಾಸ್ಥ್ಯವನ್ನೂ ದಯಪಾಲಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಎಲ್ಲದರಲ್ಲೂ, ಎಲ್ಲರಲ್ಲೂ ದೈವತ್ವವನ್ನು ಕಾಣುವ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ ನಮ್ಮದು. ಸ್ವಾಮಿ ವಿವೇಕಾನಂದ-ಗಾಂಧೀಜಿಯವರನ್ನು ಹೇಗೆ ಆರಾಧಿಸಿದೆವೋ ಅದೇ ತೀವ್ರತೆಯನ್ನು ಮದರ್ ತೆರೆಸಾ ಅವರ ‘ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ’ ಕಾರ್ಯಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆಯೂ ತೋರಿದ್ದೇವೆ. ಅಷ್ಟಕ್ಕೂ ಸರ್ವೇಜನಾಃ ಸುಖಿನೋಭವಂತು ಎನ್ನುವವರು ನಾವು. ಒಮ್ಮೆ ವಿದೇಶಿ ಕ್ರೈಸ್ತರೊಬ್ಬರು ಹಿಂದು ಧರ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಮತಾಂತರ ಮಾಡಿ ಎಂದು ಚಂದ್ರಶೇಖರ ಭಾರತಿ ಸ್ವಾಮಿಯವರನ್ನು ಕೇಳಿಕೊಂಡಾಗ, ‘ಮೊದಲು ನೀನು ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಕ್ರೈಸ್ತನಾಗು’ ಎಂದು ಸ್ವಾಮೀಜಿ ಹೇಳಿದ್ದರು. ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಕ್ರೈಸ್ತನಾಗುವುದೆಂದರೆ ಏನು ಎಂದು ಮತ್ತೆ ಕೇಳಿದಾಗ, ‘ಅಂದರೆ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಮನುಷ್ಯನಾಗಬೇಕು, ಅದೇ ಹಿಂದುಧರ್ಮದ ಅಂತಃಸತ್ವ. ನೀನೊಬ್ಬ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಕ್ತೈಸ್ತನಾದರೆ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಹಿಂದು ಕೂಡ ಆದಂತೆ. ಮತಾಂತರಗೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕಿಲ್ಲ’ ಎಂದು ಸ್ವಾಮೀಜಿ ವಿವರಿಸಿದ್ದರು. ಪರಧರ್ಮ ಸಹಿಷ್ಣುತೆಯನ್ನು ಜಗತ್ತಿಗೆ ಹೇಳಿಕೊಟ್ಟವರೇ ನಾವು ಹಾಗೂ ನಾವು ಮಾತ್ರ. ವಸುಧೈವ ಕುಟುಂಬಕಂ ಎನ್ನುವ ನಮ್ಮ ಧರ್ಮದ ಹೆಗ್ಗಳಿಕೆಯೇ ಇದು. It is here(India) and here alone, that the Hindu builds mosques for the Mohammedans and churches for the Christians ಎಂದಿದ್ದರು ವೀರಸನ್ಯಾಸಿ ವಿವೇಕಾನಂದ. ಮುಕ್ಕೋಟಿ ದೇವರಲ್ಲೂ ಸತ್ಯವನ್ನು, ಸಾಕ್ಷಿಪ್ರeಯನ್ನು ಕಂಡು ಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಯತ್ನಿಸುವ ನಮಗೆ ಇನ್ನಿಬ್ಬರು (ಅಲ್ಲಾಹು, ಕ್ರಿಸ್ತ) ಖಂಡಿತ ಭಾರವಾಗುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೆ ಅದೇ ಸಹಿಷ್ಣುತೆ ಇತರ ಧರ್ಮೀಯರಿಂದ ನಮಗೆ ದೊರೆಯುತ್ತಿದೆಯೇ?
ಒಂದು ಕಡೆ ‘ಬೀಟಲ್ಸ್’ ಖ್ಯಾತಿಯ ದಿವಂಗತ ಜಾರ್ಜ್ ಹ್ಯಾರಿಸನ್, ಪತ್ರಕರ್ತರಾದ ಕೊನ್ರಾಡ್ ಎಲ್ಟ್ಸ್, ಫ್ರಾಂಕ್ವಾ ಗೋತಿಯೇ, ಜೂಲಿಯಾ ರಾಬರ್ಟ್ಸ್ ಅವರಂತಹ ಖ್ಯಾತನಾಮರು, ಮೇಧಾವಿಗಳು ಹಿಂದು ಧರ್ಮದ ಹಿರಿಮೆಗೆ ಮಾರುಹೋಗಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಅಮೆರಿಕದಂತಹ ಆಧುನಿಕ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರದ ಚಿಂತನೆ, ಯೋಚನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹಿಂದು ಧರ್ಮದ ಅಂತಃಸತ್ವ ಕಾಣುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಆದರೆ ಇನ್ನೊಂದೆಡೆ ಹಿಂದು ಧರ್ಮದ ತಾಯ್ನಾಡಾದ ಭಾರತದಲ್ಲಿ ಹಣ, ಸವಲತ್ತಿನ ಆಮಿಷ, ರೋಗ ಗುಣಪಡಿಸುವ ಹಸಿ ಸುಳ್ಳು ಹೇಳಿ ಏನೂ ಅರಿಯದವರನ್ನು, ಅನಕ್ಷರಸ್ಥರನ್ನು ಮತಾಂತರ ಮಾಡುವ ಕಾರ್ಯವನ್ನು ಅವ್ಯಾಹತವಾಗಿ ಮಾಡಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಅದರ ಬೆನ್ನಲ್ಲೇ ಕೆಲವರು ಶೌರ್ಯ, ತ್ಯಾಗ, ಬಲಿದಾನದ ಸಂಕೇತವಾದ ‘ಕೇಸರಿ’ಗೆ ಭಯೋತ್ಪಾದನೆ ಅರ್ಥಕೊಡಲು ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ.
ಇದೇನೇ ಇರಲಿ, ಭರತ ಖಂಡದಲ್ಲಿ ನಮ್ಮ ಧರ್ಮವನ್ನು ಉಳಿಸಿ ಕೊಳ್ಳುವುದು ಹೇಗೆ ಎಂದು ಚಿಂತಿತವಾಗಿರುವ ಸಮಯದಲ್ಲೇ ಕ್ರೈಸ್ತ ಧರ್ಮದ ರಕ್ಷಕನಂತಿರುವ ಅಮೆರಿಕದಲ್ಲಿ Hindu ethos, ಹಿಂದು ಧರ್ಮದ ಮೌಲ್ಯಗಳು ನೆಲೆ, ಸ್ವೀಕೃತಿ ಕಂಡುಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತಿವೆ ಎಂಬ ಸಂಗತಿ ಕೊಂಚ ನಿರಾಳತೆ, ಒಂದಿಷ್ಟು ಆಶಾಭಾವವನ್ನು ಕೊಡುತ್ತದೆ. So let us all say “Om” ಎಂದು ಲೀಸಾ ಮಿಲ್ಲರ್ ತಮ್ಮ ಲೇಖನವನ್ನು ಕೊನೆಗೊಳಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ನೀವೂ ಕೂಡ ಸ್ವಾಮಿ ವಿವೇಕಾನಂದರು ಹೇಳಿದಂತೆ, Say it with pride: We are Hindus!
ಗೌರಿ-ಗಣೇಶ ಹಬ್ಬದ ಶುಭಾಶಯಗಳು.
à²¹à²²à³‹ à²ªà³à²°à²¤à²¾à²ªà³ à²…à²µà²°à³‡ à²¨à²¿à²®à³à²® à²…à²‚à²•à²£ à²šà³†à²¨à³à²¨à²¾à²—à²¿ à²®à³‚à²¡à²¿à²¬à²‚à²¦à²¿à²¦à³†.
Infact science flourished in the times of Vedic and Greek period in history of human civilization and then came the medieval era when most religions turned Dogmas and the spirit of enquiry did not find encouragement anywhere in the world.Therefore from the perspective of scientific achievements (both philosophical and technological) we can say that medieval era was rather a Dark Period in human history. Science which was dead for almost 2 millenia got a rebirth during renaissance in Mid 15th century.
One interesting point to know that the rebirth of science took place on Christian Soil with Copernicus!! Not in Hindu or Islamic worlds!!!
What is the reason behind this? Is it because that Christian Nations promoted this? Answer is No.But because of autocratic nature of Christian Institution was far more stronger than other religions. You’ll find in history that whenever our society became unbearable to live and becomes increasingly difficult to pursue truth with freedom gives rise to a kind of rebellion in the society. I think Christian institution’s autocratic nature indirectly helped the cause of rebirth science which was in a kind of hibernation.
Today what we see in India is a blind following of our religious customs. That brings in a kind of dogmatic tendencies among the followers of Hinduism. I think in this light your article is timely in the sense that it throws some light on the ideals on which religions flourished in India. Our culture always allowed for heterodoxy and today most of us are developing increasing intolerance towards other religions, forgeting those lofty ideals on which our civilisation grew!
What do you say?
another good one no great one by u….
Happy Ganesh Chaturti…
Stop slandering India and Hinduism for Christâ€s sake
By: Bandyopadhyay Arindam
Ever since Friedrich Max Mullerâ€™s effort in translating the Vedas, with a desire to “change the fate of India and the growth of millions of soulsâ€™, and an objective of “uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last 3000 yearsâ€™, the western world has relentlessly worked to undermine Indian culture and civilization and continue to do so even today. Starting from the creation of the myth of the nomadic Aryans invading India and writing the Vedas, to the concoction of the Indo-European originality of the Sanskrit language to the current attempts to dissociate yoga from Hinduism and create “Christian yogaâ€™, the colonialists have tried to plagiarize the glories of the Indus â€“ Saraswati civilization. On the other hand, they seldom fail to miss a chance to humiliate or discredit India and Hinduism and will go any length to create an opportunity to do so even when none exist.
As an Indian and specially a Hindu, one feels a sense of disgust at the numerous publications that comes out in western media and even western-owned Indian media, whose main theme seems to be India bashing and Hindu denigration. The western tunnel vision prevents them from thinking, writing or publishing anything different about a country which houses one-sixth of the world population and is the only continuous civilization lasting over 5000 years or about a religion which is the third largest with over 900 million followers worldwide. It does not matter even if it is the largest democracy, a projected economic superpower with the second largest pool of engineers and scientists, a country united despite the diversity of its population, which speaks over 18 major languages and consists of believers of all the world religions. Indians and Hindus have been “complimentedâ€™ before for their poverty, illiteracy, savagery and above all their caste based social system, thanks to the British imperial rule. After all, the British had to give something back for the successful “lootâ€™ of over a trillion dollar (in todayâ€™s value), that transformed India from a producer of about 25 percent of world GDP in 1750, to only 2 percent in 1900 and funded the British Industrial revolution. Those 190 years of “benevolentâ€™ British rule, left India with 20 million famine-related deaths, a literacy rate of 11% (1947) and a life expectancy of 25yrs (1921). (After sixty years of independence, India now has a literacy percentage of 67% and an average life expectancy of 65 years).
None of the imperial gifts from the colonial era, however, compare to the destruction of the social and cultural system of the country, based on their divide and rule principles along the line of religion and caste. One of the favorite topics of western concern is the “plight of lower castesâ€™ in India. For people who care to know, there is ample evidence that the ancient “varnaâ€™ system of the Vedic Hindus (later termed caste by the colonial regime) was once an essential part of the Indian society, based, not by birth but by occupation and vocational skills, that kept the civilization going for over 5000 years. “Caste-ismâ€™ or caste discrimination, as seen over the last few centuries, is acknowledged in India as a degenerated socio-politically motivated system and has been declared illegal in modern India. The ills of contemporary Indian society (poverty, caste, etc.), which were exacerbated in part due to centuries long foreign occupation, exploitation and domination, are conveniently blamed primarily on Hindu religion. It has been used to justify Christian proselytizing and domination over the Indian populace and continues to be the case today. It is the greatest hypocrisy on Godâ€™s earth that the spiritually destitute western civilization, despite its record of slave trade and colonialism, holocaust and apartheid, keeps on trying to civilize and liberate the whole world and promises “equality for allâ€™.
Conversion to Christianity does not seem to eradicate caste prejudice in India any more than it eliminates racial separation in the US as evidenced by the need for English-speaking African-Americans and Hispanics of Christian faith to maintain separate places of worship? The Dalit (a term coined during the British era) Christians, who account for over 70% of the 25 million Christians in India, have been largely converted by exploitation, coercion and the false hopes of egalitarian status but still suffer from the same segregation, oppression and discrimination, only now at the hands of their fellow Christians of the upper castes. Conversion into the new faith has not redeemed them from the stigma of untouchablity. Indian society understands its responsibility of bringing the lower castes and Dalits back into mainstream and have thus approved the reservation for Dalits, overriding the principle of â€œequality of opportunityâ€ enshrined in the Constitution to recognize and compensate the Dalits for their earlier oppression. Despite a slower than desirable progress again due to sociopolitical reasons, in sixty years of independence, democratic India has already had a Dalit person as President and Chief Justice. It is worth remembering that such charitable disposition is rare to be shown by the white Christians towards the nonwhite Christians in America. The money, manpower and effort spent by the western world, in the sinister design of dividing the Dalits and uprooting them from their age old religious and social traditions, may better be spent in their own land to uplift their own people.
Within the Indian Christian community, it is the usual practice that a Dalit Christian has minimal say in the leadership and control, has minimal access to education (despite a wide network of Christian missionary schools and colleges), job opportunities and entrepreneurship development. Even in the local church communities, controlled by Christians of the “upper castesâ€™, Dalit Christians often have separate entries, separate place to sit, separate cups at the Eucharistic celebration, separate communion rails, and even separate cemeteries. Thus ends the Christian promise of equality, human dignity and egalitarian status through conversion.
Mahatma Gandhi once compared the book, “Mother Indiaâ€™ by Katherine Mayo (1927) to a “drain inspectors reportâ€™ because of the filthy representation of India. Todayâ€™s western experts on India and Hindu society, true to their imperial heritage, continue to produce more editions, on the same theme, oblivious to the truth and their own dirty hands. Interestingly, such a view of India has never been shared by the towering icons of American civilization – Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman or the giants of science such as Einstein or Oppenheimer. William Durant, American philosopher, historian and writer wrote a century ago, â€œIt is true that even across the Himalayan barrier India has sent to us such unquestionable gifts as grammar and logic, philosophy and fables, hypnotism and chess, and above all our numerals and our decimal system. But these are not the essence of her spirit; they are trifles compared to what we may learn from her in the future.â€
While Christianityâ€™s popularity seems to wane in the west and while the Pope frantically calls to re-Christianize Europe and evangelize Asia, it is noticeable that Hindu beliefs and spiritual practice are silently attracting more and more people worldwide without ever an attempt of proselytization. Despite the denial to acknowledge their Hindu origin, concepts of ahimsa, yoga, meditation, pranayam, karmaand reincarnation are common topics of discussion and practice in the west today. Indians and Hindus over centuries have been known to be pluralistic, tolerant and peace loving and have given shelter to the Syrian Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians centuries ago and to the Buddhist Dalai Lama in recent times. In todayâ€™s world, endangered geopolitically from the ongoing clashes of religions and faiths, Hinduism”s ancient wisdom of “Vasudhev Kutumbkamâ€™, that the whole world is a family and that in spite of diversity, all life is sacred and all souls, irrespective of the sinners and the believers, are part of the one “Brahmanâ€™, may be the need of the day. In this context it is worth reminding the words of Arnold Toynbee, the British historian, “it is already becoming clear that a chapter which had a western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in the self-destruction of the human raceâ€¦.in the 21st century, as religion captures the place of technology, it is possible that India, the conquered, will conquer its conquerors.â€
dayavittu hindu dharmada unnatigagi shramisida mahaniyara sandeshavannu tilisi.
JAI SHREE RAM
Hi Pratap anna
Super Article no one can challenge u…….
its a pure blood of indian jai sri ram.
I always pay a great respect to Mother Teresa.I am astonished to see that you have put single quotes for the word OLLEYA, while speaking about her work.(à²¸à³à²µà²¾à²®à²¿ à²µà²¿à²µà³‡à²•à²¾à²¨à²‚à²¦-à²—à²¾à²‚à²§à³€à²œà²¿à²¯à²µà²°à²¨à³à²¨à³ à²¹à³‡à²—à³† à²†à²°à²¾à²§à²¿à²¸à²¿à²¦à³†à²µà³‹ à²…à²¦à³‡ à²¤à³€à²µà³à²°à²¤à³†à²¯à²¨à³à²¨à³ à²®à²¦à²°à³ à²¤à³†à²°à³†à²¸à²¾ à²…à²µà²° â€˜à²’à²³à³à²³à³†à²¯â€™ à²•à²¾à²°à³à²¯à²—à²³ à²¬à²—à³à²—à³†à²¯à³‚ à²¤à³‹à²°à²¿à²¦à³à²¦à³‡à²µà³†.) May I know the reason behind this?
Namma janakke buddi baralla, buddi barohottige bhoomiya mele avara kaala agihogiruttade.
Ella Dharamagalallu avaravara shaale galalli dharma vanna teach maadyttare,
adre ,so called congress ruled India dalli ivella “Komuvadakke” serida paddathi galaguttave.
Janare dayavittu ecchettukolli , yochane nimage hana beko illa nimmado, nimma apthara hena beko….
As I expected, you have written about “Julia Roberts”.
I have seen the below quote of christ in mysore outside the church from many
years. Really it is very strange ,unaccepable & great joke, even a averge child
studying 7th Std cannot accept the so called christ saying. It is only for people
who are psycholgically & emotionally weak.
“à²¨à²¾à²¨à³Šà²¬à³à²¬à²¨à³‡ à²®à²¾à²°à³à²—, à²¨à²¾à²¨à³‡ à²¸à²¤à³à²¯ à²®à²¤à³à²¤à³ à²œà³€à²µà²¨. à²¨à²¨à³à²¨ à²®à³‚à²²à²•à²µà²¾à²—à²¿à²¯à³‡ à²ªà³à²°à²¤à²¿à²¯à³Šà²¬à³à²¬à²°à³‚ à²¦à³‡à²µà²° à²¬à²³à²¿à²—à³† à²¬à²°à³à²¤à³à²¤à²¾à²°à³†.â€™”
If the people believe this quote, I feel they are not enough matured to understand
Any way I pray christ to bless them.
Hinduism is a culture which has grown naturally from past many years from many
thousands of saints, rishi’s. Thats why we are having more than 3 crores gods.
Hinduism is not a theory of one person & It is not limited to one book, It has
thousands of guru’s, purana’s , shasthra’s etc.
as usual very good article pratap guruji.
Very good information & interpretation you have given in your comment. Really we
appreciate your knowledge & your view.
brother i have been reading your articles since my 1st PU ……. You have been role model for me … i like to meet you bhai…. 2 years back you wrote an article about communists i lost that from my collection … could you mail that for me
A timely article. The reply from Sri Thomas is also very informative
Hinduism rokz…….let us pronounce BHARATHA r HINDUSTAN rather dan INDIA
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à²¹à²¾à²—à³†à²¯à³‡ à²®à²¦à²°à³ à²¤à³†à²°à³†à²¸à²¾ à²†à²¦à²¿à²¯à²¾à²—à²¿ à²‡à²¤à²° à²•à³à²°à²¿à²¶à³à²¸à²¿à²¯à²¨à³ à²®à²¶à²¿à²¨à²°à²¿à²—à²³ à²‡à²¨à³à²¨à³Šà²‚à²¦à³ à²®à³à²–à²¦ à²…à²¨à²¾à²µà²°à²£ à²®à²¾à²¡à³à²µà³à²¦à²° à²®à³‚à²²à²• à²¨à²®à³à²® à²¹à²¿à²‚à²¦à³‚ à²¬à²¾oà²¦à²µà²°à²¿à²—à³† à²¸à²¤à³à²¯ à²¦à²°à³à²¶à²¨ à²®à²¾à²¡à²¿à²¸à³à²µà³à²¦à³‚ à²…à²¤à³à²¯à²—à²¤à³à²¯. à²‡à²²à³à²²à²µà²¾à²¦à²²à³à²²à²¿ à²¶à²¿à²µ à²¶à³à²°à³€ à²¨à²¾à²—à³‡à²‚à²¦à³à²° à²°à²‚à²¤à²µà²°à²²à³à²²à²¿ à²œà²¿à²œà³à²¨à³à²¯à²¾à²¸à³†à²—à²³à³ à²‰à²‚à²Ÿà²¾à²—à²¿ à²ªà³à²°à²¶à³à²¨à³† à²•à³‡à²³à³à²¤à³à²¤à²²à³‡ à²‡à²°à³à²¤à³à²¤à²¾à²°à³†.
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MOTHER TERESA : WHERE ARE HER MILLIONS?
The Angel of the poor died a year ago. Donations still flow in to her Missionaries of Charity like to no other cause. But the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize vowed to live in poverty. What then, happened to so much money?
If there is a heaven, then she is surely there: Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu from Skopje in Macedonia, better known as Mother Teresa. She came to Calcutta on the 6th of Januray 1929 as an 18 year old sister of the Order of Loreto. 68 years later luminaries from all over the world assembled in Calcutta in order to honour her with a state funeral. In these 68 years she had founded the most successful order in the history of the Catholic church, received the Nobel Peace Prize and became the most famous Catholic of our time.
Are doubts permitted, regarding this “monument”?
In Calcutta, one meets many doubters.
For example, Samity, a man of around 30 with no teeth, who lives in the slums. He is one of the “poorest of the poor” to whom Mother Teresa was supposed to have dedicated her life. With a plastic bag in hand, he stands in a kilometre long queue in Calcutta’s Park Street. The poor wait patiently, until the helpers shovel some rice and lentils into their bags. But Samity does not get his grub from Mother Teresa’s institution, but instead from the Assembly of God, an American charity, that serves 18000 meals here daily.
“Mother Teresa?”says Samity, “We have not received anything from her here. Ask in the slums — who has received anything from the sisters here — you will find hardly anybody.”
Pannalal Manik also has doubts. “I don’t understand why you educated people in the West have made this woman into such a goddess!” Manik was born some 56 years ago in the Rambagan slum, which at about 300 years of age, is Calcutta’s oldest. What Manik has achieved, can well be called a “miracle”. He has built 16 apartment buildings in the midst of the slum — living space for 4000 people. Money for the building materials — equivalent to DM 10000 per apartment building — was begged for by Manik from the Ramakrishna Mission [a Indian/Hindu charity], the largest assistance-organisation in India. The slum-dwellers built the buildings themselves. It has become a model for the whole of India. But what about Mother Teresa? “I went to her place 3 times,” said Manik. “She did not even listen to what I had to say. Everyone on earth knows that the sisters have a lot of money. But no one knows what they do with it!”
In Calcutta there are about 200 charitable organisations helping the poor. Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity are not amongst the biggest helpers: that contradicts the image of the organisation. The name “Mother Teresa” was and is tied to the city of Calcutta. All over the world admirers and supporters of the Nobel Prize winner believe that it must be there that her organisation is particularly active in the fight against poverty. “All lies,” says . The doctor who lives in London was born and brought up in Calcutta. Chatterjee who has been working for years on a book on the myth of Mother Teresa, speaks to the poor in the slums of Calcutta, or combs through the speeches of the Nobel Prize winner. “No matter where I search, I only find lies. For example the lies about schools. Mother T has often stated that she runs a school in Calcutta for more than 5000 children. 5000 children! — that would have to be a huge school, one of the biggest in all of India. But where is this school? I have never found it, nor do I know anybody who has seen it!” says Chatterjee.
Compared to other charitable organisations in Calcutta, the nuns with the 3 blue stripes are ahead in two respects: they are world famous, and, they have the most money. But how much exactly, has always been a closely guarded secret of the organisation. Indian law requires charitable organisations to publish their accounts. Mother Teresa’s organisation ignores this prescription! It is not known if the Finance Ministry in Delhi who would be responsible for charities’ accounts, have the actual figures. Upon STERN’s inquiry, the Ministry informed us that this particular query was listed as “classified information”.
The organisation has 6 branches in Germany. Here too financial matters are a strict secret. “It’s nobody’s business how much money we have, I mean to say how little we have,” says Sr Pauline, head of the German operations. Maria Tingelhoff had had handled the organisation’s book-keeping on a voluntary basis until 1981. “We did see 3 million a year,” she remembers. But Mother Teresa never quite trusted the worldly helpers completely. So the sisters took over the financial management themselves in 1981. “Of course I don’t know how much money went in, in the years after that, but it must be many multiples of 3 million,” estimates Mrs Tingelhoff. “Mother was always very pleased with the Germans.”
Perhaps the most lucrative branch of the organisation is the “Holy Ghost” House in New York’s Bronx. Susan Shields served the order there for a total of nine and a half years as Sister Virgin. “We spent a large part of each day writing thank you letters and processing cheques,” she says. “Every night around 25 sisters had to spend many hours preparing receipts for donations. It was a conveyor belt process: some sisters typed, others made lists of the amounts, stuffed letters into envelopes, or sorted the cheques. Values were between $5 and $100.000. Donors often dropped their envelopes filled with money at the door. Before Christmas the flow of donations was often totally out of control. The postman brought sackfuls of letters — cheques for $50000 were no rarity.” Sister Virgin remebers that one year there was about $50 million in a New York bank account. $50 million in one year! — in a predominantly non-Catholic country. How much then, were they collecting in Europe or the world? It is estimated that worldwide they collected at least $100 million per year — and that has been going on for many many years.
While the income is utter secret, the expenditures are equally mysterious. The order is hardly able to spend large amounts. The establishments supported by the nuns are so tiny (inconspicuous) that even the locals have difficulty tracing them. Often “Mother Teresa’s Home” means just a living accomodation for the sisters, with no charitable funstion. Conspicuous or useful assistance cannot be provided there. The order often receives huge donations in kind, in addition to the monetary munificence. Boxes of medicines land at Indian airports. Donated foograins and powdered milk arrive in containers at Calcutta port. Clothing donations from Europe and the US arrive in unimaginable quantities. On Calcutta’s pavement stalls, traders can be seen sellin used western labels for 25 rupees (DM1) apiece. Numerous traders call out, “Shirts from Mother, trousers from Mother.”
Unlike with other charities, the Missionaries of Charity spend very little on their own management, since the organisation is run at practically no cost. The approximately 4000 sisters in 150 countries form the most treasured workforce of all global multi-million dollar operations. Having taken vows of poverty and obedience, they work for no pay, supported by 300,000 good citizen helpers.
By their own admission, Mother Teresa’s organisation has about 500 locations worldwide. But for purchase or rent of property, the sisters do not need to touch their bank accounts. “Mother always said, we don’t spend for that,” remembers Sunita Kumar, one the richest women in Calcutta and supposedly Mother T’s closest associate outside the order. “If Mother needed a house, she went straight to the owner, whether it was the State or a private person, and worked on him for so long that she eventually got it free.”
Her method was also successful in Germany.In March the “Bethlehem House” was dedicated in Hamburg, a shelter for homeless women. Four sisters work there. The archtecturally conspicuous building cost DM2.5 million. The fortunes of the order have not spent a penny toward the amount. The money was collected by a Christian association in Hamburg. With Mother T as figure head it was naturally short work to collect the millions.
Mother Teresa saw it as as her God given right never to have to pay anyone for anything. Once she bought food for her nuns in London for GBÂ£500. When she was told she’d have to pay at the till, the diminutive seemingly harmless nun showed her Balkan temper and shouted, “This is for the work of God!” She raged so loud and so long that eventually a businessman waiting in the queue paid up on her behalf.
England is one of the few countries where the sisters allow the authorities at least a quick glance at their accounts. Here the order took in DM5.3 million in 1991. And expenses (including charitable expenses)? — around DM360,000 or less than 7%. Whatever happened to the rest of the money? Sister Teresina, the head for England, defensively states, “Sorry we can’t tell you that.” Every year, according to the returns filed with the British authorities, a portion of the fortune is sent to accounts of the order in other countries. How much to which countries is not declared. One of the recipients is however, always Rome. The fortune of this famous charitable organistaion is controlled from Rome, — from an account at the Vatican bank. And what happens with monies at the Vatican Bank is so secret that even God is not allowed to know about it. One thing is sure however — Mother’s outlets in poor countries do not benefit from largesse of the rich countries. The official biographer of Mother Teresa, Kathryn Spink, writes, “As soon as the sisters became established in a certain country, Mother normally withdrew all financial support.” Branches in very needy countries therefore only receive start-up assistance. Most of the money remains in the Vatican Bank.
STERN asked the Missionaries of Charity numerous times for information about location of the donations, both in writing as well in person during a visit to Mother Teresa’s house in Calcutta. The order has never answered.
“You should visit the House in New York, then you’ll understand what happens to donations,” sayssays Eva Kolodziej. The Polish lady was a Missionary of Charity for 5 years. “In the cellar of the homeless shelter there are valuable books, jewellery and gold. What happens to them? — The sisters receive them with smiles, and keep them. Most of these lie around uselessly forever.”
The millions that are donated to the order have a similar fate. Susan Shields (formerly Sr Virgin) says, “The money was not misused, but the largest part of it wasn’t used at all. When there was a famine in Ethiopia, many cheques arrived marked ‘for the hungry in Ethiopia’. Once I asked the sister who was in charge of accounts if I should add up all those very many cheques and send the total to Ethiopia. The sister answered, ‘No, we don’t send money to Africa.’ But I continued to make receipts to the donors, ‘For Ethiopia’.”
By the accounts of former sisters, the finances are a one way street. “We were always told, the fact that we receive more than other orders, shows that God loves Mother Teresa more. ,” says Susan Shields. Donations and hefty bank balances are a measure of God’s love. Taking is holier than giving.
The sufferers are the ones for whom the donations were originally intended. The nuns run a soup kitchen in New York’s Bronx. Or, to put in straight, they have it run for them, since volunteer helpers organise everything, including food. The sisters might distribute it. Once, Shields remembers, the helpers made an organisational mistake, so they could not deliver bread with their meals. The sisters asked their superior if they could buy the bread. “Out of the question — we are a poor organisation.” came the reply. “In the end, the poor did not get their bread,” says Shields. Shields has experienced countless such incidents. One girl from communion class did not appear for her first communion because her mothet could not buy her a white communion dress. So she had to wait another year; but as that particular Sunday approached, she had the same problem again. Shields (Sr Virgin) asked the superior if the order could buy the girl a white dress. Again, she was turned down — gruffly. The girl never had her first communion.
Because of the tightfistedness of the rich order, the “poorest of the poor” — orphans in India — suffer the most. The nuns run a home in Delhi, in which the orphans wait to be adopted by, in many cases, by foreigners. As usual, the costs of running the home are borne not by the order, but by the future adoptive parents. In Germany the organisation called Pro Infante has the monopoly of mediation role for these children. The head, Carla Wiedeking, a personal friend of Mother Teresa’s, wrote a letter to Donors, Supporters and Friends which ran:
“On my September vist I had to witness 2 or 3 children lying in the same cot, in totally overcrowded rooms with not a square inch of playing space. The behavioural problems arising as a result cannot be overlooked.” Mrs Wiedeking appeals to the generosity of supporters in view of her powerlessness in the face of the children’s great needs. Powerlessness?! In an organisation with a billion-fortune, which has 3 times as much money available to it as UNICEF is able to spend in all of India? The Missionaries of Charity has have the means to buy cots and build orphanages, — with playgrounds. And they have enoungh money not only for a handful orphans in Delhi but for many thousand orphans who struggle for survival in the streets of Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta.
Saving, in Mother Teresa’s philosophy, was a central value in itself. All very well, but as her poor organisation quickly grew into a rich one, what did she do with her pictures, jewels, inherited houses, cheques or suitcases full of money? If she wished to she could now cater to people not by obsessively indulging in saving, but instead through well thought-out spending. But the Nobel Prize winner did not want an efficient organisation that helped people efficiently. Full of pride, she called the Missionaries of Charity the “most disorganised organisation in the world”. Computers, typewriters, photocopiers are not allowed. Even when they are donated, they are not allowed to be installed. For book-keeping the sisters use school notebooks, in which they write in cramped pencilled figures. Until they are full. Then everything is erased and the notebook used again. All in order to save.
For a sustainable charitable system, it would have been sensible to train the nuns to become nurses, teachers or managers. But a Missionary of Charity nun is never trained for anything further.
Fueklled by her desire for un-professionalism, Mother Teresa decisions from year to year became even more bizarre. Once, says Susan Shields, the order bought am empty building from the City of New York in order to look after AIDS patients. Purchase price: 1 dollar. But since handicapped people would also be using the house, NY City management insisted on the installation of a lift (elevator). The offer of the lift was declined: to Mother they were a sign of wealth. Finally the nuns gave the building back to the City of New York.
While the Missionaries of Charity have already witheld help from the starving in Ethiopia or the orphans in India — despite having received donations in their names — there are others who are being actively harmed by the organisation’s ideology of disorganisation. In 1994, Robin Fox, editor of the prestigious medical journal Lancet, in a commentary on the catastrophic conditions prevailing in Mother Teresa’s homes, shocked the professional world by saying that any systematic operation was foreign to the running of the homes in India: TB patients were not isolated, and syringes were washed in lukewarm water before being used again. Even patients in unbearable pain were refused strong painkillers, not because the order did not have them, but on principle. “The most beautiful gift for a person is that he can participate in the suffering of Christ,” said Mother Teresa. Once she had tried to comfort a screaming sufferer, “You are suffering, that means Jesus is kissing you.” The sufferer screamed back, furious, “Then tell your Jesus to stop kissing me.”
The English doctor Jack Preger once worked in the home for the dying. He says, “If one wants to give love, understanding and care, one uses sterile needles. This is probably the richest order in the world. Many of the dying there do not have to be dying in a strictly medical sense.” The British newspaper Guardian described the hospice as an “organised form of neglectful assistance”.
It seems that the medical care of the orphans is hardly any better. In 1991 the head of Pro Infante in Germany sent a newsletter to adoptive parents:”Please check the validity of the vaccinations of your children. We assume that in some case they have been vaccinated with expired vaccines, or with vaccines that had been rendered useless by improper strotage conditions.” All this points to one thing, something that Mother Teresa reiterated very frequently in her speeches and addresses — that she far more concerened with life after death than the mortal life.
Mother Teresa’s business was : Money for a good conscience. The donors benefitted the most from this. The poor hardly. Whosoever believed that Mother Teresa wanted to cahnge the world, eliminate suffering or fight poverty, simply wanted to believe it for their own sakes. Such people did not listen to her. To be poor, to suffer was a goal, almost an ambition or an achievement for her and she imposed this goal upon those under her wings; her actual ordained goal was the hereafter.
With growing fame, the founder of the order became somewhat conscious of the misconceptioons on which the Mother Teresa phenomenon was based. She wrote a few words and hung them outside Mother House:
“Tell them we are not here for work, we are here for Jesus. We are religious above all else. We are not social workers, not teachers, not doctors. We are nuns.”
One question then remains: For what, in that case, do nuns need so much money?
What’s Mother Teresa Got to Do with It?
Monica says she’s proof of a miracle by the late nun; her husband begs to differ
Domestic bliss has fled the household of Seiku Murmu and his wife Monica Besra â€” and it’s all Mother Teresa’s fault. Monica is a celebrity in the small village of Dangram, 460 miles northeast of Calcutta, because she is the beneficiary of what many Catholics believe is the first posthumous miracle of Mother Teresa, founder of the Missionaries of Charity. On Sept. 5, 1998, the first anniversary of the nun’s death, Monica was suffering abdominal pain caused, she believed, by a tumor. But the purported tumor vanished when Monica applied a medallion with an image of the late Albanian nun to the site of her pain. In August 2001, Monica’s miracle was supplied to the Vatican as part of the fast-tracking of Mother Teresa’s canonization. Two weeks ago, the Vatican recognized the 1998 miracle, beginning the process of Mother Teresa’s beatification, a major step toward sainthood.
All this irritates Monica’s husband Seiku. “It is much ado about nothing,” he says. “My wife was cured by the doctors and not by any miracle.” He is peeved at his wife’s fame, in part because the press is constantly at his doorstep. “I want to stop this jamboree, people coming with cameras every few hours or so.” He concedes that the locket is part of the story of Monica’s ordeal but says no one should suppose there was a cause-and-effect relationship between it and the cure. “My wife did feel less pain one night when she used the locket, but her pain had been coming and going. Then she went to the doctors, and they cured her.” Monica still believes in the miracle but admits that she did go to see doctors at the state-run Balurghat Hospital. “I took the medicines they gave me, but,” she insists, “the locket gave me complete relief from the pain.”
Dr. Tarun Kumar Biswas and Dr. Ranjan Mustafi, who treated Monica over several months, say their patient indeed had a lump in her abdomen, but it was not a full-grown tumor. “She responded to our treatment steadily,” says Mustafi. Monica’s medical records contain sonograms, prescriptions and physicians’ notes that could conceivably help prove whether science or the icon worked the cure. But the records are missing. Monica says Sister Betta of the Missionaries of Charity took them away two years ago. “It’s all with her,” says Monica. A call to Sister Betta, who has been reassigned to another post of the Charity, produced a “no comment.” Balurghat Hospital officials say the Catholic order has been pressuring them to say Monica’s cure was miraculous. Calls to the office of Sister Nirmala, Mother Teresa’s successor as head of the order, produced no comment as well.
The vacuum created by that silence is being filled by conspiracy theorists who see the Missionaries of Charity overeagerly producing proof that their founder is within the gates of heaven. That chorus is amplified by vociferous debunkers, among them Prabir Ghosh, head of the Science and Rationalist Association of India. Ghosh, who is based in Calcutta, has deflated the claims of many of India’s self-proclaimed Hindu holy men and miracle workers. He doesn’t believe that Mother Teresa’s miracle should be exempt from scrutiny. He says he has no complaint “if she is declared a saint for all the great work she has done among poor people. But,” he adds, “she is not capable of any miracle. It is indeed an insult to Mother Teresa to make her sainthood dependent on some stupid miracles.” Ghosh tells Time that he will shut down his association and turn over its 2 million rupees ($40,000) to the Catholic order if the sisters will put the medallion to the test and have it cure another tumor.
Back in the village of Dangram, Seiku Murmu and Monica Besra sit at home and try to live with their legacy from Mother Teresa. Seiku grumbles, “This miracle is a hoax.” His honor is at stake, he says, so he has to make it clear where he stands with the facts. “We are not liars.” Monica quietly tends to her five children and does not appear to take issue with his use of the first person plural. All she knows is that she has been healed.
The saint business
It requires only a slight change in perspective to understand the whole rationale behind the M Teresa sainthood circus, which will culminate in a major song and dance on October 19th. That perspective is: the Vatican is the world’s oldest, largest and richest multinational corporation. And perhaps the most rapacious. Microsoft, eat your heart out!
As such, it runs on sound business principles: brand building, competition, promotion, strategic alliances. The saint business is a perfect example of promotion and brand building: it gets enormous free publicity (that money cannot buy) for the overall Vatican brand, and by positioning a particular individual forcefully, it allows for brand extension/new product development, opening up new customer bases.
The current Pope understands this basic fact. His is clearly a keen business brain. He also believes more is better, for he has manufactured more saints in his tenure than all his many predecessors put together! So much so that an 85-year-old Italian cardinal, Silvio Oddi, was moved to criticize what he called the ‘saint factory’ in his memoirs. (http://www.christusrex.org/www1/news-old/4-96/es4-14-96.html )
Between 1978 and 1999, the Pope created (http://www.atheists.org/flash.line/vatican4.htm ) 283 saints plus 819 beatifications, a near-world record already. As of now, he has improved this to 477 saints plus 1,318 beatifications, ‘more indeed than all previous Popes combined’! (‘Pope turns Vatican into saint factory,’ Indian Express/Reuters, October 14, 2003). An astonishing record!
Some of his most dubious choices: Friar Savanarola, who terrorized people during the Inquisition, and who was hanged to death ‘on account of the enormous crimes of which [he] had been convicted'( http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13490a.htm ); and Josemaria de Balaguer, founder of the shadowy Opus Dei group that leads the Vatican’s most reactionary culture war agendas, including opposing birth control, and which reports directly to the Pope.
This Pope is much more than the average godman, obviously, for he has also pulverized the opposition: he practically did a hostile takeover of his main competition, Marxism, or at the very least decimated it, some say partly by forming a tactical alliance with the CIA. Even Rupert Murdoch would be impressed.
Speaking of media barons, the Pope handles the mass media brilliantly. In India, many Catholic priests regularly join journalism school. Result? News hurtful to the Catholic image, for example the widespread sex and pedophilia scandals in the US or the indictment of Catholic nuns for crimes against humanity in Rwanda are hardly mentioned in the Indian media.
Terrific image management, really. Top ad agencies couldn’t possibly do any better.
I have for years thought of religion as equivalent to the marketing of soap powder, but the Vatican is especially clever at it. I think it has something to do with the so-called Enlightenment in Europe. After the Vatican lost its brute-force hold on the people of Europe (and not coincidentally, they began thereafter to make intellectual progress), it was forced to market itself as a kinder and gentler version of what it was before.
But the Vatican now faces savvy American competition: charismatic evangelists like Mormons, Pentecostals and Baptists. They are making inroads into Catholic strongholds such as Latin America. In a statement pregnant with unintended irony, the Pope complained that they were ‘preying upon his flock like wolves’ (Houston Chronicle, October 13, 1992). This, when the godman himself traveled to India and declared boldly that all of Asia was going to be colonized by his sect in this millennium. Good for the goose, etc.?
The Vatican utilizes its vast infrastructure, money power, and network of propaganda contacts in such subtle ways that its victims almost never recognize they are being taken for a ride. Interestingly enough, it was through a damning Malayalam short story that I read years ago that I first understood the subtleties of the saint business.
That short story was Vazhthappetta Kochappi (The Beatified Kochappi), written, if I am not mistaken, by lapsed Catholic Ponkunnam Varki, who often got into trouble with the faithful for letting the cat out of the bag, so to speak. The ‘beatified’ refers to the state just before sainthood is conferred, the waiting period. It is the story of one Kochappi who, based on certain alleged miracles, is beatified and on the high road to sainthood.
Kochappi is one of those wild eyed religious madmen, who go around shouting, “Repent, ye sinners! For the end is nigh!”, and “Ye children of serpents, ye shall fry in hell,” or words to that effect, in this case in Malayalam. The locals tolerate this eccentric.
Then one day, Kochappi dies; and thereafter, miracles take place regularly at his grave. The blind begin to see; lepers are cured; the lame start to walk; infertile couples return bearing gurgling babies. The usual media limelight. Kochappi’s case is referred to the Vatican, and he is, like M Teresa, fast tracked. He gets beatified.
The pilgrim traffic is tremendous; tens of thousands come every week; and hoteliers, restaurateurs and vendors of mementos in the vicinity enjoy their windfall. Apparently the way to get the great man’s blessings is to consume daily a little soil from around his grave. There is great demand for the soil at Rs 100 per scoop, and every night many loads of earth are trucked in to replenish what is removed during the day by the pious. Local landowners make a nice living out of their value added soil. All’s well with the world.
And then one night, horror of horrors, Kochappi reappears, with his trademark, “Ye children of serpents!” Apparently, he, the-about-to-be-sainted one, had not died, but just wandered off somewhere.
Now ask yourself, what’s a businessman to do? Faced with the wholly unwelcome prospect of losing considerable revenue, not to mention prestige, the good folks there (including, if I remember right, the padres and other godmen) do what every self respecting capitalist would do: they beat Kochappi to death and bury him without further ado!
This cutting story, in my opinion, exposes the humbug of the religion business better than anything else I have ever read. I have looked at saints with skepticism ever since.
That skepticism has been bolstered by the facts around three of the saints manufactured in India (for some reason, they are all white people, and not mere brown locals):
St Thomas the Apostle
St Francis Xavier of Goa
St M Teresa (nee Agnes Bojaxhiou) of Calcutta
There is considerable mystery surrounding the Apostle St Thomas. The conventional story that the faithful believe is that he arrived in Kerala in 52 CE, converted seven Namboothiri Brahmins, and set up a number of churches. Then he went to Madras, where he is said to have been killed with a spear by Brahmins near St Thomas Mount. His skeleton was ‘discovered’ in 1523 CE in a tomb on the premises of the Kapaleeshwar temple, along with the spearhead that had allegedly killed him.
There are only a few things wrong this story:
There is absolutely no evidence that St Thomas went to India, as in the Indian Union of today. The word ‘India’ in those days meant anything from Ethiopia to Persia, indeed anything east of Palestine
Most scholars believe the Thomas fable is a later Portuguese/missionary fabrication, deliberately confusing the apostle with a relatively verifiable historical figure, one Thomas of Cana, a Syrian merchant who went to Kerala to escape religious persecution in 345 CE. For details, see The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple at hamsa.org
There were no Namboothiri Brahmins in Kerala at the time, when it was entirely Buddhist and Jain. Namboothiris arrived in Kerala some 500 or 600 years later and this is on authority of E M S Namboothiripad, veteran Marxist leader, himself
Certified by the Vatican itself, St Thomas’ skeleton has been preserved at Ortona in Spain since 1258 CE; now it would be truly miraculous if Thomas possessed two skeletons
The plain truth appears to be that the St Thomas tale was concocted in order to give Christianity in India the impression of being very old and practically native. This would have been a tactic in conversion attempts, another tactic being the demolition of Hindu temples and the building of churches over them. The ancient Kapaleeshwar temple itself was demolished circa 1550 CE and converted to the San Thome Basilica (yes, dedicated to the same St Thomas) by the Portuguese.
Now, on to the good deeds of St Francis Xavier. Here is an extract from The Empire of the Soul by Paul William Roberts (Harper Collins, 1999):
‘Xavier embodies and exemplifies the bewildering contradictions of [the Jesuits]. The Goans of the time saw the best side of Xavier in what little of him they saw. They knew nothing of the part he had played in Portugal’s Inquisition, nor did they know he had pleaded with his monarch, Dom Joao, to ‘order the establishment of the Inquisition in Goa.’ Most of Xavier’s mass conversions — during which he Christianized entire villages in a stroke — were performed in Kerala.”
‘Set up as a kind of tribunal, the Inquisition was headed up by a judge dispatched from Portugal& The palace in which these holy terrorists ensconced themselves was known locally as Vodlem Gor — the Big House. It became a symbol of fear. Children were flogged and slowly dismembered in front of their parents, whose eyelids had been sliced off to make sure they missed nothing. Extremities were amputated carefully, so that a person could remain conscious even when all that remained was a torso and head. Male genitals were removed and burned in front of wives, breasts hacked off and vaginas penetrated by swords while husbands were forced to watch.’
‘So notorious was the Inquisition in Portuguese India that word of its horrors even reached home. The archbishop of Evora, in Portugal, eventually wrote, “If everywhere the Inquisition was an infamous court, the infamy, however base, however vile, however corrupt and determined by worldly interests, it was never more so than in Goa.” And it went on for two hundred years.’
In Xavier’s ‘defense’, Roberts says, ‘Xavier was undoubtedly not the only one to request the Inquisition — and he didn’t live long enough to help supervise the fun himself.’ Small mercies, indeed.
And finally, to our heroine M Teresa. Now MT, it appears, was an ordinary, garden variety missionary godwoman prone to uttering pious homilies. The good citizens of Calcutta welcomed her when she showed up there and announced her intention to do ‘good works,’ whatever that meant.
MT toiled in well-deserved obscurity for years until she got a huge lucky break. Malcolm Muggeridge, a British newspaperman who got religion in his old age, stumbled upon her and induced the BBC to do a feature on her. The rest, as they say, is history. Christopher Hitchens recounts her rise and rise in his savagely witty The Ghoul of Calcutta (http://are.berkeley.edu/~atanu/Teresa/hitchens_nov1992.html ), quoting Dante, that ‘The Pope is still fornicating with the Emperor,’ that is, ostentatious religiosity flirting with secular power.
There’s a lot of fascinating stuff out there that is ignored amidst the unrelenting hagiography. For instance, an interview with Hitchens after MT’s death (http://are.berkeley.edu/~atanu/Teresa/hitchens_interview.html ), and a review of Hitchens’ The Missionary Position (http://www.ffrf.org/fttoday/august96/hakeem.html ). Hitchens summarizes the real MT as ‘a religious fundamentalist, a political operative, a primitive sermonizer and an accomplice of worldly secular powers.’ By the miracle of propaganda, this scheming godwoman has now been elevated to the rarefied realms of sainthood.
Lest you think Hitchens is on a monomaniacal trip to besmirch a poor old woman, here is an article by Sunanda K Datta Ray (http://are.berkeley.edu/~atanu/Teresa/sunanda_dattaray.html ) and finally, a review of Aroup Chatterjee’s ‘Mother Teresa: the Final Verdict,’ a rather comprehensive report (http://are.berkeley.edu/~atanu/Jarts/teresa.html ).
The picture that emerges is a little less than flattering. MT makes great copy, though, for the Vatican’s brand-building. Indian taxpayers paid for a grand state funeral for her, unaware that she single-handedly set back India’s own brand image by ten years by projecting a picture of a prone, impoverished and criminally negligent country that needed a white missionary to help its destitute. Since both the Marxists of Calcutta and MT needed to perpetuate poverty for their own agendas, was there a little tactical alliance between the Vatican and the Marxists on this front?
There is also the question of the large amounts of money — untold millions of dollars — that were donated by the credulous, and which disappeared into the coffers of MT’s organization, never to reappear. Or perhaps, to reappear discreetly as part of the Vatican’s conversion efforts?
And then there is the small matter of the unseemly hurry to fast-track the godwoman to sainthood. It appears that the Vatican broke all its guidelines about ‘miracle’ verification and waiting periods in its haste to get the deed done. It took Joan of Arc 500 years to be sainted, but MT made it in six. Clearly, we are living in ‘Internet time.’
Apparently the guidelines call for two genuine ‘miracles.’ In MT’s case, here are the ‘miracles:’
A woman named Monica Besra (a non Catholic at that!) who had a tumor in her stomach, prayed to MT. Lo and behold, the cancer disappeared. Only one slight problem: Monica’s husband, and the doctors who attended to her, say the tumor was treated. Said the doctor: ‘It is not a miracle when there is definitive clinical evidence of her taking tubercular drugs for nine months and the tumor disappearing.’ But who cares about these minor technical details?
A film cameraman shot footage of MT, and lo! she was well lit, obviously with her divine light, even though there was little ambient light. Only one slight problem: the cameraman acknowledged that he was using unfamiliar film for the first time, and he probably overexposed it.
So if these are the Vatican’s ‘saints,’ we must really hope we are spared the Vatican’s ‘sinners.’ And now we understand the reason for the unseemly haste: they had better get the deed done, sealed and delivered, before further questions crop up about the ‘miracles.’
After all, the Vatican is very unhappy that the Pope did not get the Nobel Prize this year. They made their complaint public, much the same way a businessman took out full page ads in American newspapers complaining that his role in the invention of the MRI had been overlooked. This must be another marketing tactic, intended to make the Nobel Committee think twice next year about awarding the prize to the Pope, thus adding a final marketing triumph to his resume before he goes on to the Great White Cathedral in the Sky.
The saint business is absolutely brilliant, whoever invented it was a marketing genius: you get enormous publicity, the gullible pay gigantic amounts of money, and you can attribute it all to selfless service. The Beatified Kochappi’s friends would approve.
à²®à²¾à²¨à³à²¯à²°à³† à²¨à²¿à²®à³à²® à²²à³‡à²–à²¨à²—à²³à²¨à³à²¨à³ à²¨à²¾à²¨à³ à²¤à²ªà³à²ªà²¦à³† à²“à²¦à³à²¤à³à²¤à²¿à²¦à³à²¦à³‡à²¨à³†. à³€ à²²à³‡à²–à²¨ à²¬à²¹à²³ à²šà³†à²¨à³à²¨à²¾à²—à²¿ à²®à³‚à²¡à²¿ à²¬à²‚à²¦à²¿à²¦à³†. à²¨à²¿à²®à³à²® à²šà²¿à²‚à²¤à²¨à³†à²—à²³à³ à²¹à²¾à²—à³‚ à²¨à²¿à²®à³à²® à²¬à²°à²¹à²¦ à²¶à³ˆà²²à²¿ à²¤à³à²‚à²¬à²¾ à²šà³†à²¨à³à²¨à²¾à²—à²¿à²°à³à²¤à³à²¤à²¦à³†. à²¶à²¿à²•à²¾à²°à²¿à²ªà³à²°à²¦à²²à³à²²à²¿ à²¸à²‚à²¯à³à²•à³à²¤ à²•à²°à³à²¨à²¾à²Ÿà²• à²¦à²¿à²¨ à²ªà²¤à³à²°à²¿à²•à³†à²¯ à²µà²°à²¦à²¿à²—à²¾à²°à²¨à²¾à²—à²¿ à²•à²¾à²°à³à²¯ à²¨à²¿à²°à³à²µà²¹à²¸à²¿à²¸à³à²¤à³à²¤à²¿à²¦à³à²¦à³‡à²¨à³†.
Thank you !
Live & Let Live… that is the dharma, Hindu.
Hats of to you…… Good one.
Sir, Nimma article na nanu thumba varsha dinda odtha bandidini..ondakintha ondu chennagi barthide..ige nimma gnana bandaravannu hanchutha iri
Who is a ‘Hindu’?
#à²¯à²¾à²°à³â€à²¯à²¾à²°à²¿à²—à³† à²¯à²¾à²µà³à²¯à²¾à²µ à²°à³‚à²ªà²—à²³à²²à³à²²à²¿ à²¶à³à²°à²¦à³à²§à³†à²¯à²¿à²¦à³†à²¯à³‹ à²…à²µà²°à²¿à²—à³† à²†à²¯à²¾ à²µà²¿à²§à²—à²³à²²à³à²²à³‡ à²¸à²¦à³à²—à²¤à²¿ à²¸à²¿à²—à³à²¤à³à²¤à²¦à³†â€ à²Žà²‚à²¦à³ à²à²—à²µà²¦à³à²—à³€à²¤à³†à²¯à²²à³à²²à²¿ à²•à³ƒà²·à³à²£ à²¹à³‡à²³à³à²¤à³à²¤à²¾à²¨à³†.
I think the translation of this verse as “As many are the people, so many may be the religions” is not correct as far as I know. There is a small correction. If you read the full Bhagavad-gita, you will understand the above verse correctly and can come into the conclusion. The meaning of this is what type of results (talking about good results here) you get will be as per the beleif you have. Here is the verse that gives more info (also talk about bad results):
Those who worship the demigods (not all gods we worship are demigods; there are exception. Shiva, Durga, Ayappa, etc cannot be considered demigods) will take birth among the demigods (swargaloka or other loka); those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors (pithru-loka); those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings (ghostly planets or become ghosts); and those who worship Me will live with Me.
moulya viruva dharama yendhu aliya laradhu sir
Eshtu chennagi dharmadha bagge vivirage needidhira…. thumba santhoshavayithu…
Eshtu chennagi dharmadha bagge vivirane needidhira..
yaru ene bomb hakidharu, convert madidharu hindu dharma shashwatha… sathyakke savilla…
I bellieve everything wrote was very logical.
But, what about this? suppose you added a little information?
I ain’t saying your information isn’t good, butt what if you added a title to possibly get a
person’s attention? I mean à²Žà²²à³à²²à²°à³‚ â€˜à²“à²‚â€™ à²Žà²¨à³à²¨à³‹à²£, à²…à²®à³†à²°à²¿à²•à²¦ à²…à²‚à²¬à³‹à²£?
| Pratap Simha is a little vanilla. You ought
to glance at Yahoo’s front page and see hoow they create post titles
to grab viewers to open the links. You might add a related video or a pic or
two to grab people interested about everything’ve written.
In my opinion, it could make your website a little bit more interesting.