Tag Archives: Hinduism

Brindavana of Sri Vyasatirtha

Brindavana of Sri Vyasatirtha (Rajaguru of Krishnadevaraya) has been destroyed last night by miscreants. Nava Brundavana Kshetra, an island in Tungabhadra river, adjacent to Hampi. Outrageous!


Navabrundaavana (also known as Navavrundhaavana and Navabrindavan) ನವ ಬೃಂದಾವನ is located at Hampi, Karnataka. It contains the Brundaavanas of nine Hindu Acharyas, who belong to Uttaradi Mutt, Sri Raghavendra mutt, Sri Vyasaraja mutt and the Sri SriPadaraja mutt and other prominent Madhwa Mutts. It is located on an island in the Tungabhadra River. The nine Dharmacharyas are:

Shree Padmanabha Tirtha, direct Sishya of Jagadguru Shri Madhvacharya

Shree Kavindra Teertharu

Shree Vageesha Teertharu

Shree Raghuvarya Teertharu

Shree Vyaasa Teertharu or Vyasaraajaru

Shree Sudheendhra Teertharu (Guru of Mantralaya Shri Raghavendra Tirtha)

Shree Srinivaasa Teertharu

Shree Raama Teertharu

Shree Govinda Vodeyaru

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A Rejoinder to Julio Ribeiro – Truth must be upheld

TRUTH MUST BE UPHELD

By Dr Mrs Hilda Raja

March 23, 2015.

Source URL:   http://hvk.org/specialarticles/upheld/upheld.html

 I read Mr Julio Ribeiro’s ‘I feel I am on a hit list’(Indian Express dated 16th March) I did not react immediately because I wanted to let  it sink and see if there was any foundation in what he stated. To me who am 78 the whole accusation of his seems to have no foundation. As with Julio Ribeiro, my ancestry also can be traced to Hinduism. While he agrees on this the question arises why we are Christians today. How did it happen? What kind of inducement-allurement and what strategy of proselytization were used those days for my ancestors to become Christians?

 Unlike Julio Ribeiro I do not feel threatened – neither do I fear that I am on a hit list and I feel very much an Indian no matter who says what. The point to note is that the Catholic Church to which Julio Ribeiro and I belong has a parampara (tradition) of a persecution mania. This is because we have inherited and are born through persecution. Not by the Hindus but by the Dutch, the Portuguese, the French and the English. This is precisely why though Julio Ribeiro acquiescence that his DNA if tested, it will not differ markedly from Mohan Bhagwat’s. The same can be said of our Hindu ancestors. Then what happened down the line.

 We must agree that there was persecution, forced conversion by the conquerors. It was a question of torture and death to which the Hindu ancestors were subjected to. This is not fairy tales but recorded history when thousands of temples were destroyed, houses were ransacked and people were brutalized. Those who indulged in this human rights violations were treated as Saints by the Vatican and raised to Sainthood. But now we raise a hue and cry against ‘ghar Vapsi’. What was good for one is not good for another. It is not though these were in the hoary past. Even today most of the NGOs do indulge in this proselytization. I wish the government of India ban all foreign funds. If China could develop without such NGOs and the foreign funds why should India not?

 I must bring the Vatican’s mind set in this context because it is relevant. When it comes to conversion it will go the extra mile. Look at what it indulged in during the regime of PiusXII. He did not hesitate to join hands with Hitler who attacked Yugoslavia. Hitler partitioned the country into the Catholic Croatia and the Orthodox Serbia.

 Then followed a massive ethnic cleansing. The aryanisation process which separated the Jews, Serbs as undesirables. These were deported to concentration camps. Children were not spared. The ethnic cleansing was done by the open support of the clergy, priests and nuns supervised and Vatican followed the ‘omerta’ and looked the other way. Special death camps were set up for children.

 Several commandants and officers at these death camps were Catholic priests. Francisan monks supervised the mass execution. This ethnic cleansing thus had the blessings of Vatican. There were monetary gains for the Vatican from the Holocaust in Croatia. In the certificate of conversion which was sold for a few hundred of dinars, the Vatican netted millions. Vatican was well informed and yet the Pope maintained silence. In fact not a single member of the clergy was held accountable, though the commandants of the death camps were priests. After the war, Archbishop Stepinak was arrested for war crimes by the Yugoslav government. Puis XII excommunicated everyone who had taken part in the trial. Later the Archbishop was presented as the champion of religious freedom! It is interesting that in 1998 Pope John II traveled to the Republic of Croatia to announce the beatification of Archbishop Stepinak.

 It must be noted that the Vatican abetted and colluded with Mussolini and Hiltler in all their brutality. It stood to gain both in terms of power and money. Yet we often hear the word ‘Fascist’ being thrown against the BJP and the saffron brigade. This is part of the Christian parampara of the Catholic Church to which Julio Ribeiro and I belong to. Yet we are scandalized by the ‘ghar Vapsi. What about the Inquisitions held in India – in Goa. With so much of baggage how can we point a finger to others – to the saffron groups and then pretend that we are being victimized and discriminated? All rapes are abominable and need to be condemned in the strongest terms. But why only the rape of the nun – be it in Orissa and now in W. Bengal be internationalized? Why and how can the Vatican interfere and want to send a delegation?

 In a population of nearly one and a quarter billion- human rights violations and inhuman acts are bound to happen. These need to be severely put down not politicized. It is the NGOs which create a kind of phobia. Foreign funds flow and towards this they organize dharnas and rallies. Any violation and discrimination is being attributed to the Modi’s government. But then these things had not suddenly surfaced. There is a long gestation period of discrimination-of injecting a fear psychosis. The politicians have communalized the communities.

 India is known for its secularism – it is not because the Constitution made it secular. Even before the Constitution the Hindus welcomed all religions. Butchery and compulsion and forced conversion were introduced and followed by the Dutch, the Portuguese, the French and the English. Earlier the basic tenet followed by the inhabitants of this great country was Sanatana Dharma. Even today that is the guide and the dictum.

 I am 78 and thought it is time to speak out. The ordinary people like me are happy and content – feel no persecution or discrimination and are not on the hit list. Even if we are, truth cannot be hidden. In fact it was the Church which had crucified TRUTH and continues to do so. Perhaps there may be aberrations to this. It must not be forgotten that Julio Ribeiro was hounded by a minority community for the alleged human rights violations in Punjab. It was not the Hindus who were behind it.

 So may be JR has some deep seated fear within him. But then to generalize this personal fear into the whole fabric of the Indian populace is too far fetched

I want to appeal to the government of Modi to ban the foreign funds flow into this country. We should be able to manage with what we have. Why take a begging bowl to other countries and disrupt the peace within. If other countries can manage so can we.

 I would like to mention about the good works done and which are being done by nuns. But then they have enormous assets. When the foreign invaders left this country they turned over all their land and houses to the churches. As if these are their grandfathers’ possessions. By all legal rights these should have been turned over to the government of India. So the Churches had at their disposal land and finances to start with. There is no accountability.

Look at the Minority education Institutions which run on their own rules and regulations. Why did the Constitution founders submit to such a request and enshrine it in the Constitution? Is that not discrimination? I have studied from LKG to PG in Minority Institutions. Later I was a faculty in one of the elite colleges in Chennai. I know how they function. The least said about them the better.

 Yes good work they do there is no denying but it has a price. Money flows into Vatican. There is wealth beyond measure in these Church allied institutions and in churches. So when mammon triumphs where is TRUTH. The same lenses must be used to scrutinize Mother Theresa’s work in India.

 Dr Mrs Hilda Raja

VADODARA-

Ethics Of Conversions

As the debate on conversions and Gharwapsi continue, it would be good to recall that this issue is not new. Intellectuals and national leaders from the early 18th century have been drawing our attention to the menace of conversions in India.

Pragnya Bharat had conducted a public discussion on “The Ethics of Religious Conversion”. Speakers included eminent Indologist and Vedacharya Dr. David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri) and Samineni Arulappa Archbishop of Hyderabad.

The article below contains the speech delivered by David Frawley

Sarva Dharma Samabhav?

Hinduism is based upon respecting reach individual and the swadharma of each individual. The highest goal of the Hindu religion is self-realization , not simply knowing God but understanding who we are and the Divine presence within us. It would be a tremendous loss if India gave up Hinduism and became another Christian and Islamic country. We have enough of them already. India has a wealth of spiritual tradition. Westerners come here for this wealth of spiritual knowledge. Infact, you should be exporting your religion.

Today, throughout the world, and in the United States, with very little exception, there is no “Sarva Dharma Samabhava” taught in religion. It is something I never encountered in my Christian education in the West. Most of the We were taught that Hinduism was a religion of idolatry.; it was religion of polytheism and superstition and there was no place for Hindus in heaven. The average Christian throughout the world has been taught to believe that only Christians gain salvation. To date, there is no major Christian leader or Moslem leader, in the world. Who is saying that Hinduism is as good as Christianity or Islam.

Some people say all religions teach the same things and they differ in inessentials. Is the Law of Karma and the process of Rebirth something inessential ?

 

Conversion1 Conversion2 Conversion3

Christian claim that their faith alone is enough to save you. This means that a person may be a mass murderer, but if on his death bed he converts to Christianity, he will go to heaven. Another person may live the life of a saint, but if he does not convert to Christianity, there will be no heaven for him. Recently in United State, a woman who had been convicted of murder was converted to Christianity on death-row and the Christian leaders- particular the fundamentalist Christians -asked for the death sentence to be removed because that woman had converted to Christianity and therefore the sin no longer counted.

Conversion activity:

Why is this conversion business so big in India? Because India is the largest country and largest non-Christian country, in the world, where missionaries have the freedom to act and to propagate. Islamic countries- Pakistan, Bangladesh- do not allow this missionaries activities to be conducted. In Saudi Arabia, you cannot even bring a Bible or a picture of Jesus into the country. China, also does not allow missionary conversion activities.

Organized conversion activity is like a trained army invading a country from the outside. This missionary army often goes into communities where there is little organized resistance to it or which may not even be aware of its power or its motives. It will even take advantage of its communities that are tolerant and open minded about the religion and use that to promote a missionary agenda that destroys this tolerance.

Evangelization sounds nicer and more ennobling than conversion. Such evangelical movements have world conversion strategies and programs to target India and Hindu state by state, tribe by tribe , even village by village. They keep track of the numbers o converts and mark them in the win column as gain for Christ.

Missionary activity is like an ideological war. It is quite systematic, motivated and directed. It can even resemble a blitzkrieg using media, money, people and public shows to appeal to the masses in an emotional way.

In fact colonialism has not truly ended but has recently taken a more economic rather than military form, along with the Westernization along economic lines. As Christianity is the dominant Western religion it continues to use the current economic expansion of Western culture to promote its conversion agendas.

Even when it is a question of a Christian minority in a land dominated by a non-Christian religion, the non-Christians are often at a disadvantage in terms of money and media through the Western support that the Christian community has, particularly in regards to its conversion activity. They are using financial and media advantages including mass marketing, to promote their agenda of conversion.

Evangelical missionaries still identify Hinduism with devil worship. Today it is illegal in most countries to promote racial hatred, to call a person of any race inferior or the product of the devil (which white Christians used to call the blacks until recently). Most such Christians have never seriously or open-minded  studied Hinduism. They know little of Yoga and Vedanta or the great traditions of Hindu and Buddhist spirituality. They prefer to highlight the Hindu worship of God even in animal images like Hanuman as a form of superstition or evil.

The Catholic Church is bit more diplomatic thee days. It is now telling Hindus that their religion may have some values but Christianity is even better. This view is a bit more tolerant but cannot be called sincere either. If Catholic no longer believe that Hinduism is a religion of the Devil, as they were promoting until only recently, they ought to apologize to Hindus for their mistaken notion and the problems that these must have caused.

In India Christians claim that by eradicating the caste system they are helping people and raising them up socially. They could do this easier by helping reform Hindu society rather than by trying to destroy or change the religion. Clearly they are using, if not promoting the caste differences as a conversion strategy. Christian cultures still have their class and other social inequalities, particularly in Central and South America but Christians do not see that the religion has to be changed in order to get rid of these.

Changing a person’s religion may not help them in terms of health, education or economics. Social work born of love is hardly to be found in missionary Christianity, though it likes to pretend that this is the motivation.

Conversion and Cults:

In the West there is a cry against cults, which any religious movement out of mainstream Christianity can be called. There is a tendency to regard Hindu based religious movements in the West as cults. Under the guise of being a cult a religious organization can be sued for millions of dollars if even one disgruntled or disappointed former disciple can be found who feels they have taken advantage of. Many Hindu- based and yoga movements in the West have been sued as cults.

The criticism against cults is that they are outside the cultural religious norm, that they are intolerant of majority religions, that they divide families and turn individuals against their upbringing.  Precisely the same charges can be leveled against missionaries all over the world

People in India may believe that , in America, all religions are treated equally. Certainly the law requires that but this is not the fact of life. For example, it is still very difficult for Hindus to build temples in the United States, particularly in areas in which fundamentalist Christians are strong. To put it in perspective, one would say that it is over 10 times harder in America to build a temple than it is to build a Church. In many areas, temples must not outwardly look like a temple, but should look like a school or church or the local governments would not approve of them.

Most Americans believe that Hinduism is a religion of cults. Organized Christian cult busting legal groups, with dozens of lawyers and budgets in man millions go around systematically encouraging suits against Hindus for Indian religious groups such as ISKON , TM Anand (a Yogananda group), The Himalayan Institute, Rajneesh and Sikhs under Yogi Bhajan to mention a few.

Any Hindu-based teacher in America, particularly pone wo is working with general American public or bringing people rom Christianity to Hindu-based teachings, remain under a severe legal threat.

The legal secularism of the West still hides much religious prejudice. We also note that the West politically will defend Christian interest overseas and criticize alleged discrimination against Christians. Recently the Russians criticized the Mormons, an evangelical American Christian group, as a cult. The American government lodged a protest to protect the Mormons and their missionary activity in Russia. No Indian Government so far has made any such protest to protect Hindu groups in the West.

David Frawley

Source: “The Ethics of Religious conversion” book., written based on a public discussion conducted on the above topic . The speaker is an eminent Indologist  Dr. David Frawley.

Imbalance in public discourse – Wendy Doniger Syndrome

Summary of talk by Sandeep Balakrishna

By Aradhana

Sandeep-Balakrishna

There are three groups that exert influence on the way public think- Media, Academia, Intellectuals. These sections decide what the public should think.

Wendy Doniger’s book- “The Hindus -An alternative history” was first published in 2009 by “Penguin” publishers. Sri Dinanath Batra filed a case against the publisher. As a part of the settlement, “Penguin” withdrew the book voluntarily.

On the withdrawal of the book, Wendy says that it was violation of her freedom of expression. Some intellectuals from west and unsurprisingly from India too support her. Below are few points that are noteworthy.

1. The book was not banned but the publisher Penguin withdrew the book

2.The issue is not at all about freedom of speech but it is about distortion of Hindu scriptures

3.The outrage of the intellectuals is not a real outrage but a manufactured one.

4.It was debated on TV shows that banning/ withdrawing from publishing is not the right way of expressing the disagreement but writing a critic about the book would have been . Nevertheless, eminent authors and scholars such as Swami Tyagananda, Rajiv Malhotra, Madan Lal Goel have written a detailed critique on the book but unfortunately the same have been buried by a biased media.

5. She frequently mistranslated certain words. For example, the ‘Kamasaktha’ word is used for Dasharatha. ‘Kama’ according to her is just sexual desire whereas ‘Kama’ does not necessarily mean sexual desire in our scriptures. ‘Kama’ is passion or desire.

6. She refers to Kamasutra for understanding arts, science and architecture of India.

7. She refuses to have discussion about the book with other scholars labeling them as Hindutva forces.

Why is Wendy Doniger powerful?

Wendy Doniger is a professor at University of Chicago and heads American Academy of Religion, AAR . The Indian students studying in USA and doing research cannot go against her.

How is Hindutva targeted?

1. Christianity is taught by a Christian, Islam by a Muslim but Hinduism in Universities is not taught by Hindus.

2.We Hindus are being told by outsiders, ‘who we are’ for almost 200 yrs.

3.Scholars and intellectuals from other countries come to India, learn Sanskrit and translate our books in their own way. These intellectuals call their gurus who taught them Sanskrit as “Native informers”

Some questions to Media

1.The media or intellectuals did not talk when other books were banned

2.Many books that were written against Nehru dynasty were banned. A book by Salman Rushdie (The Moor’s Last Sigh (1995)) was banned just because he named a dog in his book as “Jawaharlal”

3.”The Red Saree” book is banned in India and the media did not raise its voice against the ban.

4.Media did not support Tasleema Nasreen when her book was banned and on the contrary she was attacked.