Posts Tagged ‘inculturation’

நித்யானந்தாவும், லீலா சாம்ஸனும்: பதவியேற்றம், பதவியிறக்கம் – கலாச்சார-மத சம்பந்தமான நிறுவனங்களில் நியமனங்கள்-சர்ச்சைகள்!

May 2, 2012

நித்யானந்தாவும், லீலா சாம்ஸனும்: பதவியேற்றம், பதவியிறக்கம் – கலாச்சார-மத சம்பந்தமான நிறுவனங்களில் நியமனங்கள்-சர்ச்சைகள்!

கலாச்சார நிறுவனங்களில் அரசு நியமனம்: ஒரு முஸ்லீம் அல்லது கிருத்துவ நிறுவனத்தில் ஒரு இந்து எப்பொழுதும் நிர்வாகியாக, தலைவராக, ஆளுனராக நியமிக்கப்படுவதில்லை. அவ்வாறு நினைப்பதே தவறானது, பாவமானது ஏன் மாபெரும் குற்றமாகக் கருதப் படுகிறது. ஸ்ரீ ஆதிசங்கரர் சமஸ்கிருத பல்கலைகழகத்திற்கு, முஸ்லீம், நாத்திகர், கம்யூனிஸ்ட் என்று பலர் துணைவேந்தர்களாக நியமிக்கப் படுகின்றனர். முஸ்லீம் அல்லது கிருத்துவ சார்புடைய பல்கலைக்கழகத்திற்கு ஒரு இந்து துணைவேந்தராக முடியாது. சோனியா மெய்னோ ஒரு கத்தோலிக்க எதேச்சதிகாரி என்பதால், பல குறிப்பிட்ட பதவிகளில் கிருத்துவர்கள் நியமிக்கப் பட்டுள்ளார்கள் என்பது தெரிந்த விஷயமே. அம்பிகா சோனி என்று வலம் வரும் அமைச்சரே கிருத்துவர் தாம். இது கூட பலருக்கு தெரியாது. மேலும் அவர்கள் “உள்கலாச்சாரமயமாக்கல்” என்ற கொள்கையைப் பின்பற்றுவதால், கிருத்துவர்களாக மாறினாலும், இந்துக்களைப் போலவே பெயர்களை தொடர்ந்து வைத்துக் கொண்டு, உடை-அலங்காரம் செய்துகொண்டு உலா வருகிறார்கள்.

லீலா சாம்ஸன் கலாச்சேத்திரத்தின் இயக்குனராக நியமிக்கப் பட்டார்: லீலா சாம்ஸன் என்ற கிருத்துவ நாடகி கலாச்சேத்திரத்தின் இயக்குனராக 2005ல் நியமிக்கப் பட்டார். அப்பொழுது அவர் கிருத்துவர் என்று யாரும் எண்ணவில்லை. லீலா சாம்ஸன் சந்தேகமில்லாமல் நிச்சயமாக ஒரு திறமைமிக்க நர்த்தகிதான். ஆனால், அவர் கலாசேத்திராவின் இயக்குனராக பதவியேற்றபோது, யாரும் அவரது நடனத்திறமையில் எந்த மாற்று-எதிர்க்கருத்தையோ கொண்டிருக்கவில்லை. ஆனால், சிறிது சிறிதாக அவர் ஏற்படுத்திய மாற்றங்கள் அல்லது மாறுதல்கள், நிச்சயமாக சிலரின் மனங்களில் கேள்விகளை எழுப்பின. இப்பொழுது கூட இந்தியன் எக்ஸ்பிரஸில், லீலா சாம்ஸனை ஆதரித்து இப்படி ஒரு கருத்து மானினி சட்டர்ஜி என்ற பெண்மணியால் பதிவுசெய்யப்பட்டுள்ளது[1].

Attack on Leela SamsonLeela Samson, famous Bharatanatyam dancer and current head of the prestigious Kalakshetra Foundation in Chennai, is the target of a vicious attack this week. According to writer P. Deivamuthu, the Mumbai-based editor of Hindu Voice, Samson “has destroyed the values for which this institution stands for and is still continuing the destruction in a subtle way.

Her alleged crimes include a “disdain” for idol worship, removal of Vinayaka idols for which regular poojas used to be conducted by students, discouragement of prayers within Kalakshetra, and setting up a movie club “which has completely spoilt the gurukulam atmosphere of this traditional institution.” She is also accused of planning to demolish the temple structure of the Kalakshetra Auditorium[2] “under the pretext of modernising it”, removing religious symbols which earlier adorned the certificates issued by the institution, and removing earlier restrictions and “thus encouraging the meeting of boys and girls in any hostel room at any time of the day and night.”

There is no mention of the fact that Leela Samson is herself an illustrious alumnus of the institution[3]. Instead, the author says “members of the performing arts world outside Kalakshetra Foundation and members of the Hindu community should initiate an action immediately to stop the planned destruction of a glorious institution teaching and nurturing the ancient traditions of Sanatana Dharma.”

உபி தேர்தலில் இருந்து ஆரம்பித்து, பி.ஜே.பியின் வரும் தேர்தல் யுக்தி என்று விவரித்து லீலா சாம்ஸனில் வந்து முடிக்கிறார் அந்த பெண்மணி.

ஊடகக்காரர்களின் பாரபட்ச, நடுநிலைமையற்ற கருத்துகள்-எழுத்துகள்: எனவே, இதைப் பற்றி அலச வேண்டியுள்ளது. துரதிருஷ்டவசமாக ஊடகத்துறையில் உள்ளவர்களில் பெரும்பாலானவர்கள் மேற்கத்தைய கலாச்சாரத்தில் ஊன்றியிருக்கிறார்கள் அல்லது சித்தாந்தங்களில் கட்டுண்டுக் கிடக்கிறார்கள். இந்த நாட்டின் கலாச்சாரம், பாரம்பரியம், நாகரிகம், தொன்மை முதலிய விஷயங்களில் உண்மைக்குப் புறம்பான பல கருத்துகளைக் கொண்டிருக்கிறார்கள். குறிப்பாக இந்து மதத்தைப் பற்றி பல தவறுதலான, எதிர்மறையான எண்ணங்களைக் கொண்டிருக்கிறார்கள். அதனால். இந்து மதம், இந்துக்கள் என்றாலே அவர்களுக்கு, அவையெல்லாம் ஏதோ ஆர்.எஸ்.எஸ், பி,ஜே.பி விவகாரங்களைப் போல சித்திரிக்கிறார்கள் அல்லது அவ்வாறே முடிவாக எடுத்துக் கொள்கிறார்கள். மற்றவர்கள் இந்துக்களின் பிரச்சினைகளை அலசினாலோ, விமர்சித்தாலோ, அல்லது இந்துக்களின் உரிமைகள் பற்றி பேசுவது-எழுதுவது செய்தாலோ அவ்வாறே முத்திரைக் குத்துகிறார்கள். இதனால், பல இந்துக்கள், நமக்கேன் இந்த வம்பு என்று சும்மா இருந்துவிடுகிறார்கள்; சில அதிகபிரங்கி இந்துக்கள் மற்றவர்களின் நல்லபெயர் வாங்கிக் கொள்ளவேண்டும் என்பதற்காக இந்து-விரோத கருத்துகளை, விமர்சனங்களையும் செய்து வருகிறார்கள், இரண்டுமே இந்துமதத்திற்கு சாதகமானவை அல்ல என்று அவர்கள் புரிந்து கொள்ள வேண்டும். லீலா சாம்ஸன் விவகாரத்தில் இது அதிகமாகவே வெளிப்பட்டுள்ளன.

லீலா சாம்ஸன் யார்? ஏனிந்த சச்சை? லீலா சாம்ஸன் பெஞ்சமின் அப்ரஹாம் சாம்ஸன் என்ற யூதமத ராணுவ அதிகாரிக்கும், லைலா என்ற இந்திய கத்தோலிக்கப் பெண்மணிக்கும் 1951ல் பிறந்தார். பேட்டிகளில் தனது தந்தையார் இரண்டாயிரம் வருடங்களுக்கு இந்தியாவிற்கு வந்த பெனி-இஸ்ரவேலர்களுடைய பரம்பரையைச் சேர்ந்தர் என்று கூறி பெருமைப் பட்டுக்கொள்கிறார் (My father was part of the Bene-Israelites who came to India two millennia ago[4]). என்னுடைய பெயர் யூதமதத்தினுடையதாக இருக்கிறது, ஆனால் பழக்க-வழக்கங்களில் நானொரு கத்தோலிக்கப் பெண்மணி, இருப்பினும் நடைமுறையில் இந்து என்றும் சொல்லிக் கொள்கிறார் (“I’m Jewish by name. I’m Catholic by habit. I’m Hindu by practice.”). பி.ஏ பட்டம் பெற்று ருக்மணி அருந்தேல் கீழ் பரத நாட்டியம் கற்றார்[5].  ஹில்லரி கிளிண்டன் இந்தியாவிற்கு வந்தபோது, இவரை சந்தித்துள்ளார். மேற்கத்தையபாணியில் அவரது வருகையை இவ்வாறு சித்தரிக்கப் பட்டுள்ளது[6].

அதில் பரதநாட்டியம் ஏதோ கேவலமானது என்றும், அதனை உய்க்கவந்தவர்களே இந்த லீலா தாம்ஸன் போன்றவர்கள் என்று விவரிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது வேடிக்கையாக இருக்கிறது. பரதநாட்டியம் கீழ்த்தரமானது மற்றும் ஆபாசமானது என்றிருந்தபோதுதான், ருக்மணி இதனை குருகுல சம்பிரதாயத்தில் பிரமலமாக்கி, சமூகத்தில் ஏற்புடையதாக்கினார். அதுமட்டுமல்லாது, அருண்டேல் என்ற ஆங்கிலேயரை மணந்து கொண்டு, சம்பிரதாயத்தை உடைத்தெரிந்தார். Interestingly, decades ago, Chennai’s orthodox community shunned this institution that is praised today as an upholder of Tamil art and culture—and where visiting dignitaries are taken to showcase the best of the arts. Its founder Rukmini Devi Arundale faced immense social pressure in the 1930s when she learnt Bharatanatyam, which was considered a lowly and vulgar art form by the upper classes. Despite the opposition, she learnt dance from Devadasi women or temple dancers and set up the Kalakshetra Foundation in 1936, which embraced the gurukul system that allowed students to stay on campus and learn the art form. Arundale, who also broke convention by marrying a Britisher, George Arundale, finally did succeed in making Bharatanatyam socially acceptable.

Rani David laid down facts and demonstrated that Christianity existed along with Bharatanatyam and Sanga Thamizh, but history lost in time has given Christianity a western outlook[7].

அவர் செய்த மாற்றங்கள் என்று விவாதிக்கப்பட்டவை[8]:

  1. கணேசன் / விநாயகரின் விக்கிரகத்தை அகற்றினார்[9].
  2. அதனை மாணவர்கள் வழிபடுவதை தடுத்தார்.
  3. தியோசோபிகல் தத்துவத்தின்படி விக்கிரகங்கள் வழிபடுவதில்லை என்று தனது காரியத்திற்கு அவரே விளக்கம் அளித்துள்ளார்.
  4. கீதகோவிந்தம் என்ற நடத்தில், மாணவர்களுக்கு கொச்சையான சைகைகளை “முத்திரைகள்” என்ற போர்வையில் கற்றுக் கொடுக்கப் படுகின்றன[10].
  5. அவர் ஒரு கிருத்துவர் என்பதனால், இவ்வாறு செய்கிறார்[11].
Kalakshetra never had idols that were worshipped. A lamp was all that was lit in every place we worshipped, according to Theosophical principles and the highest philosophical principles upheld by our elders. However, one of the wardens, now retired, collected on her own and without the instruction from the management, and much after Athai and Sankara Menon’s time, 4 Ganeshas and had them placed outside the dining hall on a pathway, through which all stores and workers pass. It was a place without sanctity. Students were forced to contribute towards pujas and vastrams for the images. All this had to be stopped. It would not have been encouraged nor allowed in Athai’s time. We decided instead, to put each of the Ganeshas, one in each of the hostel blocks, on a pedestal where the students would look after the images.
In 2005, Samson was appointed as the new director of Kalakshetra. In 2006, she provoked a media storm by justifying the elimination of the spiritual roots of Bharata Natyam. Trouble started in 2006 when Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the head of “Art of living” meditation, expressed his concern over the attempt of Leela Sampson to thwart the participation of Kalakshetra students in the inaugural function of a “Health and Bliss” religious course being conducted by him in Chennai. According to Ananda Vikatan, a popular Tamil weekly, the most disturbing aspect was the reason cited by Leela Samson. She explained: “This function is concerned with Hindu religion. So Kalakshetra students need not participate in it[12]. 2006ல் ஆரோக்கியமும், அந்தோஷமும் என்ற நிகழ்ச்சி “ஆர்ட் ஆப் லிவிங்” என்ற அமைப்பின் சார்பில் சென்னையில் நடந்தது. செக்யூலரிஸ போர்வையில் லீலா சாம்ஸன் கலாச்சேத்திர மாணவர்கள் ரவிசங்கர் ஏற்பாடு செய்துள்ள நிகழ்ச்சியில் கலந்து கொள்ளவேண்டாம், ஏனென்றால் அது ஒரு இந்துமத நிகழ்ச்சி என்று விளக்கம் அளித்து தடுத்தது, சர்ச்சையை பெரிதாக்கியது[13].

அதோடல்லாமல், சிலரின் போக்குவரத்தும் அதிகமாகியது. அதாவது கிருத்துவர்கள் வந்து செல்ல ஆரம்பித்தனர். இங்கு பல கிருத்துவர்கள், குறிப்பாக வெளிநாட்டவர் பயின்று வந்தாலும், வித்தியாசமாகப் பார்ப்பதில்லை. ஆனால், சர்ச்சை எழுந்த பின்னர், அவர்கள் போக்குவரத்து வேறுவிதமாகவே பாவிக்கப்பட்டது. இதையறிந்த கலாசேத்திராவின் பாரம்பரிய உறுப்பினர்கள், அக்கரையாளர்கள் வருத்தம் அடைந்தனர். பற்பல நிலைகளில் இதைப் பற்றி சர்ச்சைகளும் ஏற்பட்டு விவாதிக்கப் பட்டன[14]. இவையெல்லாம் “பிரக்ருதி பவுண்டேஷன்” என்ற இணைத்தளத்தில் விவாதிக்கப் பட்டுள்ளன. அங்கு லீலா தாம்ஸனை ஆதரித்து கருத்துகள் இருந்தாலும், அதிலிருந்து பிரச்சினை என்ன என்று அறியமுடிகின்றது. இந்நிலையில் தான் அவர் பதவி விலகினார் என்ற செய்தி வருகிறது.

ராஜினாமா பற்றி முரண்பட்ட செய்திகள்: லீலா தாம்ஸன் ராஜினாமா கடிதம் கொடுத்ததாக முதலில் செய்தி வந்தது. அவருடைய வயது குறித்து விவாதம் வந்ததால் ராஜினாமா செய்ததாக செய்தி. கலாசேத்திரத்தின் தலைவர் கோபால கிருஷ்ண காந்தி, லீலா தாம்ஸனின் ராஜினாமா ஏற்றுக் கொள்ளப்படுவதாகவும், அது அவர் உள்மனதில் இருந்த வந்துள்ள வெளிப்பாடாக தான் எடுத்துக் கொள்வதாகவும், மக்களின் பலதரப்பட்ட விமர்சனங்களின் விளக்கங்களுக்குட்பட்டாத எடுத்துக் கொள்ளவில்லை என்றும், மேலும் கலாச்சார அமைச்சகம் அத்தகைய நியமனங்களை செய்வதால், ராஜினாமாவை ஏற்றுக் கொள்ளப்படுவதைப் பற்றிய முடிவு அங்குதான் உள்ளது என்றும் கூறியுள்ளார்[15]. இருப்பினும் “தி ஹிந்து” இதனை கீழே போட்டு, மேலே அவர் தொடர்வதற்கு அனைவரும் ஆதரவாக உள்ளதாக – “Kalakshetra board members want Leela to continue” செய்தி வெளியிட்டுள்ளது[16].

கிருத்துவரே கிருத்துவரின் மீது வழக்குத் தொடுப்பது: சென்ற ஜூன் 2011ல் சி.எஸ். தாமஸ் என்ற கலாச்சேத்திரத்தின் ஓய்வு பெற்ற ஆசிரியர், 60 வயதைத் தாண்டியும், லீலா சாம்ஸன் பதவியில் இருப்பதைச் சுட்டிக் காட்டி சென்னை உயர்நீதி மன்றத்தில் மனு ஒன்றை தாக்குதல் செய்தார்[17]. இப்படி கிருத்துவரே கிருத்துவரின் மீது வழக்குத் தொடுப்பதை செக்யூலரிஸமாக எடூத்துக் கொள்ளவேண்டாம். இது ராபர்டோ நொபிலி காலத்திலிருந்து பின்பற்றப்பட்டு வரும் யுக்திதான். ஆமாம், அப்பொழுது கிருத்துவர் தான் நொபிலி கிருத்துவத்தை சீர்குலைக்கிறார் என்று குற்றஞ்சாட்டப்பட்டு, தண்டனக்க்குள்ளாக்கபட்டார். 30 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்பு, ஆச்சார்ய பால் என்பவர் மீது ஆர்ச் பிஷப் அருளப்பா வழக்கு தொடர்ந்தார். இப்பொழுது தாமஸ், லீலா தாம்ஸன் மீது வழக்குத் தொடர்ந்துள்ளார்.

பதவி இல்லையென்றாலும், நாட்டியம் உள்ளது: இப்படி கூறி ராஜினாமா செய்துள்ளார். அப்படியென்றால், ஏன் நாட்டியத்தை விட்டு பதவிக்கு வந்தார் என்ற கேள்வி எழுகின்றது. பதவி மீது ஆசையா, இல்லை இன்னும் செய்ய வேண்டிய பணிகள் பாக்கியுள்ளனவா என்று தெரியவில்லை. ஆரம்பத்திலிருந்தே, சர்ச்சைகள் வெளிப்படையாக வந்துவிட்டப் பிறகு, முன்னரே ராஜினாமா செய்து சென்ரிருக்க வேண்டும். அவ்வாறு செல்லாததால்தான், இப்பொழுது கிருத்துவர்களுக்கேயுரித்த வகையில் நீதிமன்றம், வழக்கு என்றெல்லாம் சென்றுள்ளது. உண்மையில் கலைச்சேவைதான் மகேசன் சேவை என்றால், பாரம்பரியப்படி ஆசிரமம் அமைத்து, ஏழை-எளிய மாணவி-மாணவர்களுக்கு நாட்டியம் சொல்லிக் கொடுக்கலாம். இசைக்கல்லூரியின் தலைவராகி சேவை செய்யலாம். ஆனால், அனைத்தையும் விடுத்து, கலாச்சேத்திராவை பிடித்தது தான் விவகாரமாகியுள்ளது.

அமைச்சகம் இது பற்றி கருத்து கேட்டதற்கு, 60 வயது ஆகியிருந்தால், அவர் ஓய்வு பெற்றிருக்கவேண்டும், இருப்பினும் 28-02-2005 அன்று அவரது நியமன ஆணையில் மற்றும் கலாச்சேத்திரா சட்டத்தின் பிரிவுகளில் அவ்வாறு குறிப்பிடப்படவில்லை என்று அதிகாரி விளக்கம் அளித்துள்ளார்[18]. In response, the undersecretary to the government of India had informed him that ” Leela Samson, director, Kalakshetra Foundation should have retired at the age of 60 years even though the age of retirement is not mentioned in the Kalakshetra Foundation Act[19], or in the recruitment rules for the post of director nor in the order of appointment (notification) dated February 28, 2005″.

இப்பிரச்சினை கமிட்டி கூட்டத்தில் ஏப்ரல் 12, 2012 விவாதத்திற்கு அன்று வந்ததால், இப்பொழுது ஊடகங்களில் வர ஆரம்பித்துள்ளன.

வேதபிரகாஷ்

02-05-2012


[5] She is the daughter of Vice-Admiral (Ret) Benjamin Abraham Samson, from the Jewish Bene-Israelite community of India, and Laila, a Roman Catholic Indian. After doing her B.A., she learnt Bharatanatyam at the Kalakshetra under the founder Rukmini Devi Arundale.

http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/sep/11spec.htm

[12] ஆனந்த விகடன், வார இதழ், டிசம்பர் 20, 2006.

[15] Chairman of the Kalakshetra board Gopalkrishna Gandhi said: “Leela Samson’s decision to leave her position as director of Kalakshetra was taken in the autonomy of her moral intelligence. Relinquishings such as hers should be taken in the light and echo of her inner voice, not in the script of other people’s vocabularies. We must respect her decision and that of the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry appoints the director, and the Ministry alone can decide on her resignation.”

http://www.thehindu.com/arts/dance/article3367813.ece

[16] The Hindu, Kalakshetra board members want Leela to continue, Chennai edition, April 29, 2012; http://www.thehindu.com/arts/dance/article3367813.ece

[17] In June 2011, C S Thomas, a retired teacher at Kalakshetra, had filed a writ petition in the Madras high court challenging the legality of Samson remaining director of the foundation after the age of 60, the statutory retirement age for Central government employees. After she resigned on April 12, Samson said the issue had come up in a board meeting on April 10 and she saw no reason to stay on in the post if she did not have the support of the ministry, the chairman and the board.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Samson-had-Centres-backing-to-continue/articleshow/12945323.cms

[18] According to the Kalakshetra Act, appointments to the post of director are governed by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Department of Culture, Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai, (Director) Recruitment Rules, 2002. Although the rules specify 55 as the upper age limit for a person to assume the post of director, they do not mention a retirement age.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Samson-had-Centres-backing-to-continue/articleshow/12945323.cms

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“Erotic yoga”, misguided/misguiding western “gurus” and maligning Indian ethos

June 19, 2011

“Erotic yoga”, misguided/misguiding western “gurus” and maligning Indian ethos

Note: Indians know, recognise and appreciate the western contribution to India. Here, only the westerners, who are / have been responsible for the attack on India, Indian tradition, culture, heritage and civilization are criticised and condemned for the degradation brought.

Scapegoat-Indians: Indians unfortunately do not read their scriptures[1], as they have been divided by the ideologists cleverly into many factors like caste, ethnicity, class, tribe, social group and so on. Linguistic fanaticism, which has been added from the beginning, acts regionally to keep the new divisions developed, and it is alive, fomenting aggressive feelings about their own fellow men. However, they believe “others”. That is why, they are simply carried on “others” by what the “others” say about them[2] and of course, about their scriptures also.

Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization with wine and women: After the so-called Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization (herein after mentioned as “LPG”), people started commercializing everything. Particularly, what is freely available in India, is linked with others and sold for price. Guru-Sishya tradition is made degraded[3] and demeaned. Male-female relationship is vandalized and prostitutionalized[4]. The media is used to justify such sins accrued out of immoral activities one way or the other[5]. The cinemas aid and abet such slow demoralizing Indian society[6]. The Christian Orphanages and Children homes have become centres of all sorts of sex abuses – from “simple body massage” to “sophisticated sex-tourism”. Of course resident directors, officers, technical consultants, visiting experts have been taken care of at different levels. Or as huge amounts are spent, they are accounted in their balance sheets under appropriate heads. Ironically, they get all sorts of exemptions from the Government of India itself!

Sins, vices and crimes increased: The LPG has brought not only modern, revised and updated science and technology but also thousands of western men and women of various categories. The MNCs have been their covers and facades. Though, they praise Indian tradition, culture, heritage and civilization through their mouths, they have been engaged in the acts against Indians affecting the same factors by all means. Blue films, pornography, pedophile, hetero-sex, drugs, woman and children trafficking and so many other crimes have increased alarmingly[7].

Inculturation and Yoga[8]: The Christians under the guise of “inculturation” have been building their places of worship like Hindu temples[9], pray their Gods with Sanskrit slokas[10], the Bishops, pastors, priests and others wearing ochre robes, sporting vermillion, kumkum, sandal paste on their foreheads, having Hindu names like Amalorapavadas, Abhishekananda, Nirmalananda etc., Even Jesus is depicted in Yoga posture with all tantric and mantric paraphernalia. Ashrams have also been built but these are “Christian / Catholic” Ashrams[11]. Though, there have been sexual relationships between male and female members – Fathers and Nuns – of the Church, as revealed in many cases, many times, they try to take shelter under “Yoga” or mantra, yantra and tantra practices. With all their basatardisation of Indian, particularly, Hindu practices, they continue to attack, blaspheme and carry out malicious propaganda that Shiva worship is phallic and so on[12].

In-culturation or out-culturation: Under such circumstances, there is nothing surprise that some European sex-yogic practioners, with pornography background, have been booked for the violation of Indian Acts and Rules in Chennai recently, that too, in a posh area just opposite to the Cathedral, Bishop’s House and other Christian institutions situated on the Cathedral Road. Here, it is not the question of violating Indian Acts and Rules, but violating the Indian values with their bastardized thinking, interpretation and in-culturation or out-culturation of yoga!

Can any Indian perform “Eucharist” exactly as has to be done: If any Indian, or a Hindu for that matter can imitate a Christian or Muslim practice in Hindu way or Hinduised way, would the Christians or Muslims accept? Instead of a Christ-body with blood and flesh, if something is substituted, cut and eaten by the new devotees, would the Christians keep quite? If Allah is represented in an Indian / Hindu way and worshipped in temple with all sloka-reciting, drum-beating, dancing etc., would the Muslims keep quite? As Hindus would believe Jesus or Christ or Allah or Mohammed as God, as some of the Christians and Muslims also believe, would such eclectic Indians / Hindus would be allowed? If they also start adopted some syncretic practices, would they accept and allow them? Anyway, before getting answers for these questions, the response of the offenders, i.e, those used “yogic practices” for sex purposes, have come out defending themselves in the internet.

The response of the offenders: Mihai Stoian, who was at Chennai centre has been responding from his blog[13] about the police action taken and the reports appearing in Indian media. Another detailed rebuttal appearing explains their stand[14]. “Tuesday the 7th of June NDTV broadcasts a completely manipulative program showing clips from the Cosmic Spiral Meditation mixed with other clips from other yoga schools from abroad and an unknown couple embracing each other, thus insinuating that acts of intimacy were happening during the Spiral. There is also a fake interview where a reporter seemingly asks if it is true that all the teachers in Satya Yoga have been acting in porn movies and a recorded voice replies “yes yes – it is absolutely correct”. But the amazing fact is that this interview, only supported by still pictures, has never taken place! It is 100% fabricated by the news channel NDTV. Even if this is a criminal act the police was never trying to act against the people that are behind such fraudulent action. Instead a Police Inspector is interviewed saying publicly that the allegations (mixing sex with yoga) against Satya Yoga are found to be true. This statement was shown only one day after the police started the investigation based on a complaint of the fundamentalist movement Hindu Makkal Katchi”. Here, the mention of the Hindu organization that has complained about the activities has been mentioned as “the fundamentalist movement Hindu Makkal Katchi”.

How a Hindu organization, movement or group could become “fundamental” like the Christians, Muslims and others? The choice of words and terminology used point to a mindset, just like, the Indian secularists, atheists and other leftist ideological groups. Of course, incidentally, the present UPA governed Governmental ministers too use such terminology without understanding the meaning of “fundamentalism”. In English, it is very convenient to use any word against anybody colloquially, intentionally, purposely or otherwise to malign, slander and disparage. Thus, ironically the so-called “erotic sex teachers” call the complainant as “fundamentalist” crying against the slander reportedly carried on them. Thus, it is evident that the “western sex tantric preachers” follow the same tactics adopted and adapted by the ideologists as pointed out.

Interestingly, he retorts about the happenings at Auroville as follows:

Another Scandal Against a Spiritual Community with the Same Pattern[15]: Whatever he has written is reproduced without any change:

Since here there are a lot of people reading for an alternative view, i will show more of these cases where one can see the similar patterns and even signs of the occult interventions to discredit various spiritual organizations and even institutions that have in common only their firm stand for certain values and principles in life.

It is today the turn of the amazing project that was started by the followers of the indian renowned guru Sri Aurobindo. After years of defeating the “social gravity”, gathering people from all around the world, Auroville was not always viewed with good eyes by the ones that do not like any alternative to their dream world where individuals have to struggle for their daily food without trying anything more. For these control maniacs a place as Auroville is a threat that can contaminate the mind of many truth searchers today. That is why they try to keep it in a very tight leash.

Here you have a so called report from Auroville that is starting in the manner that reveals exactly the same misleading and manipulative manner that we have been experiencing already from some media. And here we talk about a BBC documentary. They begin with these words the so call report:

Residents are living into an utopian community that spreads around the giant golden sphere (…) But the locals leave in poverty and say their children are the victims of sexual crimes. Welcome to Auroville!

The more the “report” unfolds, the more it becomes clear that it is just a warning given to the Auroville people to play nice and stay in the borders they are given else the things will go bad for them. Nothing new under the sun…even under the indian sun

Foreign erotic yogis find fertile ground in India: By having names like “Satya esoteric” etc., can they suppress their “true erotic” practices? Thus, the newspapers give details like this: There is something similar about No.33, Chokalingam Nagar, Teynampet, Chennai, and Mihai Stoian. At first sight, both are nondescrip; but on close scrutiny, there are many things unusual about them. A board on the two-storey pale building at Chokalingam Nagar reads “Satya Esoteric Integral Yoga”. That could have been just another yoga centre in the city, but for the teachers are foreigners, disciples of the European cult “Movement for Spiritual Integration in Absolute” (MISA), teach yoga here. Well, not just yoga, but tantra too. Tantra, as an ancient philosophy and practice, has different definitions. MISAs controversial supreme guru Gregorian Bivolarus’ unpublished book, “The Secret Tantric Path of Love” has this to say: “Have you ever dreamed of or aspired to make love intensely, profoundly and frantically with your beloved woman for even ten hours in a row”. This book reveals a host of such secret methods in a clear and accessible language, if you allow yourself to be guided by the personal experience of the author.

The controversial sex-guru[16]:  Indians know MISA (Maintenance of Internal Security Act) already, but now a new type of MISA has come from outside! The sex-yogic trainers claim that their guru – Gregorian Bivolaru (59), a Romanian, founded the Movement for Spiritual Integration in Absolute (MISA). Known as Grieg to his followers, Bivolaru, a proponent of tantra and yoga. He was arrested in 1977s by the Romanian Communist government on charges of practising yoga and distributing pornography.  In 1984, he was again arrested on charges of conspiracy. In 1989, he was convicted as a political prisoner and sent to Poiana Mare, a clinic for mental patients. His disciples say he was kept in solitary confinement without even the benefit of having a lawyer. After his release, Bivolaru continued to profess his beliefs and the Romanian government again in 2004 ordered his arrest. Bivolaru was found not guilty by the Sibiu Court of Law in Romania. He sought and got political asylum in Sweden where he is now believed to be living under a pseudonym. Therefore, having such precedence, they cannot fool Indians. Either they should follow their belief system or introduce their innovative methods, just like the export of “technical know-how” or just to follow Indian system, as Indians say. But, they cannot try to become “pseudo-gurus” with their “bastardized” methods. Definitely, one day, they would get exposed, just like what has happened now.


[1] Though Vedas are there, in Tamilnadu, the Hindu believers have been made to hate Vedas, because of the linguistic fanaticism. Interestingly, the unhistorical “Aryan-dravidian” hypotheses still play havoc, as the Dravidian ideologists either believe or use them for the political exploitation.

[2] The outdated hypotheses and theories on India on race, social stratification, etc., are still discussed and debated.

[3] It started with Roberto de Nobili through “Paramartha Guru Kathaikal” (Stories about Paramartha Guru). However, he himself donned a Hindu sanyasi with kudumi and sacred thread. Ironically, in India, no Sanyasi wears sacred thread. However, this cheat had chosen such “fancy-dress” to suit his bastardaized thinking and theology.

[4] The IT industry has proven such condition. In TV channels, sex before marriage is justified openly. The Mangalore-pub episode exposed how the educated, elite and well-off Indian girls behave, talk and become neo-western types exceeding the western counterparts in sex.

[5] The debates carried on the channels on such topics explicitly and openly. Here, “VIJAY TV” carry out such propaganda in vernacular language.

[6] The comedy actors, script-writers, producers, broadcasters and others exceed limits even degrading women in every manner. They always consider the women as “prostitutes” or come with any man just for a bike-ride, hotel-meal or movie.

[7] The Fathers having sex with Nuns regularly or otherwise, murdering non-co-operative nuns, having sex with children, usage of drugs, pornography etc., are found in many cases – Will Heum, Mathews, Trichy, Ooty, Madurai and other Bishops.

[8] Catholics claim the authority of Vatican Council – II and other Christians too carry out such practices to fool Hindus mainly for conversion.

Vatican website can be referred to for their documents. Of course, there have been thousands of books, journals  and papers, which can be read to understand.

[9] Many such Churches can be seen throughout India. But for the practice of Christianity, in every aspect, they are Hindu temples only and ordinary Hindus might mistake by external dubious appearance.

[10] There have been exclusive experimenting centres or theological laboratories to produce and manufacture such forged slokas, rites, rituals etc., e.g, NCBLC, Bangalore, Kerala; Pune;

[11] The books published by “Voice of India” are too well-known to be repeated here.

[12] Though, Swami Vivekananda himself gave a fitting reply to Gustav Oppert at the Paris conference, the mischievous and misguided western writers and speakers continue to carry out such propaganda through their literature and media.

Francis Clooney’s talk on his books at Chennai: A Vaishnavite-Christian dialogue

August 5, 2009

Francis Clooney’s talk on his books at Chennai: A Vaishnavite-Christian dialogue

Vedaprakash

Prof Clooney’s lecture had been arranged at F-50 hall of University of Madras on Tuesday August 4, 2009 at 11.00 am. The lecture program was arranged jointly by the departments of Vaishnavaite Studies[1] and the Christian Studies[2], under the auspices of Narasimhachariar’s Endowment Lecture. Even around 10.50, the hall was empty, as there were only four or five sitting there. Slowly, around 40 persons gathered by 11 am of which 3/4th had been Christians of the Christian Studies department and as well as Clooney’s friends[3]. Of the audience, the Vaishnavites (Iyengars or Hindus sporting Namam on their foreheads) had been elders of age above 60 / 70, whereas the Christians have been young. It is not known as to why the students of Vaishnvite department had not attended the program. Thus, it is evident that the program had been dominated by the Christians.

(Note: To understand the proceedings, interested readers and friends are requested to read the mentioned articles[4], as they have bearing on the present lecture of Prof Clooney).

G. Patrick, Lecturer, Department of Christian Studies: As a post-centenary celebration program of University of Madras, several Endowments were constituted during the year 1984 and Sri Narasimhachariar’s Endowment has been one of them…… He has been a Vaishnavite scholar, visiting professor to Mauritius teaching Hindu Philosophy…….. Thus, under the auspices of the Endowment, Prof Clooney’s lecture has been arranged and we are happy to invite Prof Clooney from the Harvard University………. Proof M. A. Venkatakrishnan has been the HOD of Department of Christian Studies (sic) and we thank him for arranging the program [Here, there was some commotion, as one of audience pointed out, he was HOD of Vaishnavaite Studies. An visibly upset Venkatakrishnan, correcting Patrick by shaking hands]. Oh I am sorry, I mentioned unconsciously……..[a comment from the audience, telling that it could be “consciously” also…………. Prof Clooney was starring at that side, where that comment was coming].  There are many programs to take place and I invite all of you to attend such programs……

Patrick addresses

M. A. Venkatakrishnan[5], HOD, Department of Vaishnavite Studies: Prof Clooney has been author of many books on Vaishavism and his interest in Vaishnavism has been remarkable…….. He has written many books on Vaishnavism and he is an authority…………. He is just like a honeybee collecting nectar from different flowers………..I thank Prof Patrick for helping me to arrange this program. It is a lecture of inter-religious dialogue. The University of Madras itself insists that such type of “dialogue” meetings should be conducted., In fact, there has been a proposal to start a separate department to start for inter-religious dialogue studies. Thus, the inter-religious studies have been forefront gaining importance nowadays…There will be two lectures with a break in between with discussion and questions……..

MAVenkatakrishnan, Narasimhachari, clooney and Raghavan on the dias

M. A. Venkatakrishnan, Narasimhachari, Clooney and Raghavan were on the dias, as Patrick spoken.

Narasimhachari receives purse

MAV, Clooney and Narasimhachari.

Clooney comes to address

Clooney got up to address!

Prof Francis Xavier Clooney: I thank organizers…………I happy to be here on the occasion of celebrations of 25th year of the Christian Studies department (started in 1983)…….I know Prof M. A. Venkatakrishna since 1982, when I first met him at Triplicane, who helped me in many ways………….. He helped me in getting books, materials about my study abut Vaishnavism………..I also thank Dr Bhooma[6], who is a well known scholar here, helped me many ways……..I had opportunity to visit many temples going inside…….and learn bakti……in inter-religious studies one has to learn from others crossing the boundaries……….People may think how a Roman Catholic could learn from Vaishnavism………..or they may think the Christians come here and get information and write books….superficial learning or understanding would not help, as one has to read the books completely for better understanding of other religions. As mentioned, my talk would on two books – The Truth, the Way, the Life and “Beyond Compare: St. Francis de Sales and Vedanta Desika on loving surrender to God”[7].
There have been different types of approaches in the inter-religious studies:

  • Some people create walls built in between them…….We are Christians and we are Vaishnavites and therefore we should not read about others.
  • Allowing others to learn about us, would be a threat to our religion and therefore, we should not allow others to study our religion…but not allowing learning others is also a bad idea.
  • Our religion is complete and therefore, we need not learn from others is also wrong.
  • The attitude that my religion is superior to yours is incorrect in 21st century……….

The definition of “Theology” has been some thousands years old……..it could be simply “faith seeking understanding”………It could be paradox “faith seeking”[8]..being a believer with questions could be also part of such definition…….I went to Katmandu in 1973 and returned in 1975…..in 1984 I became Dr Clooney. But I cannot stop my studies. I continue research and write books, These two books were released last year and I am going to write a book on “Bhagawat Vishyam”.

One may ask why Vedanta Desika should be taken for comparative study. Why not Vanamamalai or Pillai Lokachariyar?….Definitely, I think about a book on them also……..But here, in the context, the study has been about the “Rahasya Traya Saram” – three mantras of the chapters 27, 28 and 29.

Clooney addresses

The so-called “dialogue” of Discussion and questions: After the first lecture was over, questions were invited. K. V. Ramakrishna Rao asked addressing to Prof Clooney and Prof Venkatakrishnan (MAV), “I am K. V. Ramakrishna Rao from Chennai. I had privilege of having discussion with Fr Bede Griffths[9], Fr Ignatius Hrudhayam[10] of Ikkiya Alayam, I hope Prof Clooney must be remembering him and others of course Prof Clooney whom I met twice earlier and my question has been in the context of inter-religious dialogue. Both of you have been professors in the respective studies. Therefore, if each could accept God of others as one’s own God, then the inter-religious issue can be solved”. Patrick objected to it and urged to ask question related to the topic. Rao insisted that it was related to the topic only. Venkatakrishnan interjected to say that Clooney was making comparative study and therefore there is no question of telling my God is superior to yours or inferior etc. Clooney was telling that the question should be related to his book. Then, Rao asked, “Out of the four mantras, why you selected only, “Father, into thy hands, I commend my spirit” comparing with the Divya mantras? But Venkatakrishnan told, “Your time is over”! So the next “questioner” rose to compliment Clooney without asking any question paving way for the second lecture! Thus, in this way, the “dialogue” was conducted!

KVR asks questions

K. V. Ramakrishna Rao, an independent researcher who questioned both professors MAV and Clooney.

In his second lecture, Clooney accepted the fact that when De Sales was living there was religious conflict between Protestants and Roman Catholic Christians killing each other. Thus, it is not known in his Vedanta Desikan period, was there any religious conflict in south India?

My God is your God and Your god is no God: The dialoguers have been in the attitude of “My God is your God and your god is no God”. However, in the inter-religious dialogue and comparative studies, such claims cannot be made. Perhaps, Clooney himself has noted such point in his blogs[11]. The quoted Pope’s speech could be noted, as he reportedly mentioned “God” instead of naming the god[12]. Clooney interpreted, “What he really means, it might be said, is that “God” is “our Jewish, Muslim, Christian God,” not “their God.” Unfortunately, here also, the western religious experts want to exclude the Eastern religions from their purview, obviously with the concept of “al-kitabia”, the people with revealed books / scriptures and without. As mentioned by K. V. Ramakrishna Rao[13], “Theo-centric and theocratic eclectics are dangerous as nuclear, chemical and other warheads. The concept of “My God is your God, but your God is no God” does not foster understanding, co-operation and goodwill.” The concept should be changed to “Your God is my God and my God is your God,” and accepted by all religions”. Therefore, instead of allowing Clooney to respond, Venkatakrishnan has evidently committed a blunder. In fact, as he was stressing for “inter-religious dialogue” during his introductory speech, he should have come forward to respond openly, instead of covering up an important issue. Or if Clooney interprets that such mutuality of understanding is applicable only to the three religions mentioned and not to others, then definitely, MAV has failed in his duty and also prevented Rao from further questioning Clooney. Then, naturally, the fundamental question is raised, why they talk about “dialogue” when they do not want or have no guts to have such “dialogues”?

Section of the audience LHS

Was the program stage-managed by the Christians? The way in which the proceedings were conducted appeared that the Christians had stage-managed the lecture-program exploiting the provisions of University of Madras. The Christians dominated at all levels, in organizing the program, assembling in strength and co-coordinating at all levels, whereas, the so-called department of Vaishnavite Studies and the HOD Venkatakrishnan had simply carried on their wish in arranging the program. It is not known that the University of Madras wants to conduct “inter-religious / faith conferences, seminars and lectures” in this way. The above point raised also questions the very fundamental of “dialogue”, after all, the dialogue of religions cannot be done without their gods!

Section of the audience RHS

“The Vaishnavites” failed in the dialogue? MAV should be held responsible for such a situation, as the suspicion of needle points to him also. That is why, few days back, I warned as follows:

“Let us have dialogue with him: There is no meaning in hiding or keeping quite or crying wolf, when he has been very much here. If the Vaishnavites feel really thyat he has offended their theology through his books, he should be challenged in Chennai itself without mincing words. If any such meeting / lecture is arranged, it should be a dialogue and not monologue. Let him talk for 30 minutes or half-an-hour. Then, a Vaishnavite scholar or anybody should be given an opportunity to counter his propositions or arguments the HOD department of Vaiushnavite Studies department Venkatakrishnan in spite of mentioning about “inter-religious dialogue” and so on, actually knows or does not know about it!”

But none cared and ironically, the “Vaishnavites” have only given platform to Clooney and encouraged such “monologues”. The Pope has been very clear and Clooney cannot do anything beyond:

The Vatican II Declaration on the Relation of the Church to non-Christian Religions (Nostra aetate) says ‘The Catholic Church rejects nothing of true and holy in these religions………yet she proclaims and is duty bound to proclaim without fail, Christ who is the way, the truth and the life (Jn 14:6). Besides, the ‘DECLARATION DOMINUS JESUS’ adds, “the various traditions contain and offer religious element which come from God, and which are part of what ‘the spirit brings about in human hearts and in the history of peoples, in cultures, and religions’” (Art No.21).”

Does MAV aid and abet Nostra aetate and Domininus Jesus? Now, a serious question rises as to how and why knowingly or unknowingly, some Vaishnavites should aid and abet the principles of Vatical Council-II? In a single stroke, Clooney has faithfully fulfilled both the above points:

  • yet she proclaims and is duty bound to proclaim without fail, Christ who is the way, the truth and the life (Jn 14:6): thus, his first lecture revolved around his book: “The Truth, the Way, the Life” So here, he is exposed as, he cannot say that , “Christ who is the way, the truth and the life” is different from his title of the book  “The Truth, the Way, the Life
  • Ironically, it is said, “Francis Clooney’s commentary is explicitly Christian and yet deeply indebted to the classic reading of the mantras by the 14th century theologian Vedanta Desika; it thus exemplifies an interreligious learning appropriate to the 21st century and yet, in the end, still deeply Christian[14]. Then MAV like Vaishnavites act as collaborators of Cloney?
  • Coming to the second point, “the various traditions contain and offer religious element which come from God, and which are part of what ‘the spirit brings about in human hearts and in the history of peoples, in cultures, and religions’” (Art No.21).” Thus, the spirit that Nammazhwar was talking about is only “the spirit” as perceived by the Vatican, the Pope and Clooney.
  • Father, into thy hands, I commend my spirit:” is nothing but equivalent to Sri Narayanaya Namaha and SrimanNarayana-caranau-caranau prapadye and “the spirit” is “Narayana”!.

Only “Narayana” alone could help: Indiuans / Hindus have not understood the implications of inter-religious / faith dialogue and inculturation,. Instead of, they have been in their own world and indulging with the westerners extending all logistic supports. But what is targeted has been thousands of years old culture, tradition, heritage and civilization by the conscious Christians. The present modern world has already demolished their fundamental tenets of Christianity rendering Jesus a myth. Under such circumstances, in stead of safeguarding their belief-system, they have unnecessarily but venomously targeted Hindu religion and trying to confuse all. Actually, the Christianity is going to get negative results by indulging in such unethical “theological” experiments.

It is ironical that MAV like Vaishnavas scholars with all their high qualification could not understand Clooney, as hundreds of his articles prove how he has been rather an agent of Benedict, the present Pope. He takes every opportunity and writers / posts a blog supporting the above Vatican.s agenda of inter-religious dialogue and inculturation under the purview of “Dominus Iesu”[15].

Vedaprakash

05-08-2009


[1] For details, see at: http://www.unom.ac.in/vai.html

[2] For details, see at: http://www.unom.ac.in/chris1.html

[3] After the meeting, Clooney was seen with  groups of Christians talking introducing themselves mentioning that so-and-so met him at so-and-so place and so on.

One American Professor (with ponytail) who was staying at Shantivanam also came, in fact he was one of the four audience by 10.50 am. Shantivanam is the controversial “Inculturation” centre, that created heat discussion during 1980s resulting in the series of books published – Catholic Ashrams, The Hindu-Christian Dialogue etc., by Voice of India. There was many letters appeared in Indian Express  (Madras edition) later forming part of the mentioned books.

[4][4] Vedaprakash, How Catholic Clooney became Vaishnavite Researcher?, dated 31-07-2009.

https://vaticanculturation.wordpress.com/2009/07/31/how-catholic-clooney-became-a-vaishnavite-researcher/

………………, “Beyond Compare” and the Christian-Vaishnavite encounters, https://vaticanculturation.wordpress.com/2009/07/31/beyond-compare-and-christian-vaishnavite-encounters/

………………, An Exploration of Inter-religious Understanding: A Hindu-Christian Perspective, dated 18-07-2009.

………………, Francis Xavier Clooney in Chennai!, dated 17-07-2009

J. K. Bajaj and M. D. Srinivas, Core Issues of Hindu-Christiuan Dialogue, Idol-worshgip, Cow-protection and conversion, may have been issued in 2007 subsequent to the “discussion meeting” held on Wednesday March 14, 2007 at the Centre for Policy Studies.

Dr S. Kalyanaraman,  A Note on Comparative Theology as a dangerous intrusion into sacred space, dated 06-08-2005.

……………………., The Futility of Inter-faith Dialogue – A meeting with Francis X Clooney, dated 10-08-2005.

[5] For details, see at: http://www.unom.ac.in/venvai.html and http://www.srivaishnava.org/talks/mav/

[6] Dr. Bhooma is wife of Dr M. A. Venkatakrishnan married in 1982. An avid companion of her husband in all his religious pursuits, Dr. Bhooma has B.Ed (’83), M.A. (Vaishnavism, ’87) and PhD (’95) degrees to her credit. Her PhD thesis was on the topic “The Contribution of Nanjiyar.” In addition to working as a Part-Time Lecturer in the Department of Vaishnavism, University of Madras, Dr. Bhooma also lectures on Sri Vaishnavism at various locations. Dr. MAV and Dr. Bhooma have one son, Chi. Madhusudhanan, who is a student of BCA at Vaishnav College, Chennai.

[7] Francis X. Clooney, Beyond compare: St. Francis de Sales and Vedanta Desika on loving surrender to God, Georgetown University Press, 2008.

[8] When “faith” is faith, i.e, belief, devotion, commitment, faithfulness, loyalty, dedication etc., there is no question of seeking such faith of one group of “believers” about the belief of other “believers”.

[9] Founder of the controversial “Catholic Ashram” and builder of Hindu-temple like Church and crucified OM there at Tannirpalli (Kulitthalai, Karur District) very near to Sri Ramakrishna Tabhovanam and some 100 kilometres from Sri Rangam! As mentioned, Clooney was camping there.

[10] Founder of another controversial Ashram at Chennai near to Mylapore, where Clooney had stayed several times during his sojourn to Chennai since 1980s.

[11] In Case You Missed It: Pope Benedict’s Most Generous Interreligious Vision Posted at: 2009-06-02 20:58:08.0 Author: Francis X. Clooney, S.J.

http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?blog_id=2&id=98558261-3048-741E-8226182426431865

[12] http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2009/may/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20090511_dialogo-interreligioso_en.html

[13]

[14] http://www.peeters-leuven.be/boekoverz.asp?nr=8407

[15] Francis X. Clooney, SJ: “Interreligious dialogue is here to stay”

“The Pope Speaks – As If Dialogue is Here to Stay”, by Francis X. Clooney, SJ. America April 25, 2008:

http://benedictinamerica.blogspot.com/2008/05/francis-x-clooney-sj-interreligious.html

“Beyond compare” and Christian-Vaishnavite encounters

July 31, 2009

“Beyond compare” and Christian-Vaishnavite encounters

Recently,  the book, “Beyond compare” written by Francis Xavier Clooney, Professor of  Theology, Harvard University appears to have created a lot of heat among the Vaishnavites.

Beyond compare: Wrapper of the book

Beyond compare: Wrapper of the book

About the comparison of Vedanta Desikan and Francis de Sales, they have not only relished, but also raised serious objections.

Beyond Compare is an amazing book. The research is thorough and the appreciation of Sri Vedanta Desika’s thoughts and writings prove beyond doubt that this Harvard Divinity School Professor has imbibed the teachings of our great Teacher in the true spirit of a Srivaishnava. The comparative study of St.Francis de Sales’ Treatise and Swami Desika’s Srimad Rahasyatrayasara makes most interesting reading and invites Srivaishnavas to read about the Catholic saint’s ideas on loving surrender to God. Beyond Compare is truly beyond compare! .”—Anuradha Sridharan, associate editor, Sri Nrsimhapriya

In his commentary, Clooney achieves multiple goals—the book is a contribution to Christian spiritual theology, highlighting for today the beautiful insights into love by St. Francis de Sales (1567-1623), Doctor of the Church. At the same time it points out how even in our world of many religious paths, we can recover and deepen the ancient tradition of loving surrender into God’s hands by opening ourselves to the wisdom of India and one of Hindu India’s most famous traditions of loving God, explained to us by the south Indian Hindu theologian Sri Vedanta Desika (1268-1369). Clooney goes further, offering a comparative study of these classic works in which he self-consciously writes about the process of reading the two works and the impact this approach has on the reader. The good advice found through this deep engagement with these texts offers a deeper insight into how we can most fruitfully and spiritually think about religious pluralism in the 21st century, remaining open in heart and mind while loyal still to our own tradition.

As mentioned elsewhere, some of them have been unhappy the way in which he is being encouraged and promoted by the Vaishnavites of India and abroad.

the preface of the book can be seen here:

http://press.georgetown.edu/pdfs/9781589012110_Preface.pdf

Table of content can be seen here:

http://press.georgetown.edu/pdfs/9781589012110_TOC.pdf

In the process of “inculturation”, no Christian has ever hidden their agenda and therefore, it is quite amusing that these learned Vaishnavite elites would not know Clooney’s motive.

Francis X. Clooney Anand Amaladass

Francis Clooney and Anand Amaladass have brought several books on the subject of “comparative theology”.

Having helped him, as could seen in the reports available as early as 1992, there is no meaning in crying wolf about his activities.

Since 2005, there has been a feeling that Clooney has been going beyond the limits in his methods of “inculturation” involving his friends in such “inter faith dialogues” with or without their knowledge.

M A Venkatakrishnan Anbil Ramaswamy

It is learnt that under the auspices of “Centre for Policy Studies”, Clooney was reportedly invited for a “dialogue” and he was allowed to speak. But later, when discussion time, the attended scholars and others reportedly appreciated him and even honoured him with salvai and all. Only S. Gurumurthy asked one question pointing out that his writings had been addressed to the western audience E for which Clooney replied in affirmative!

S. Gurumurthy Velukkudi Krishnan

How Catholic Clooney became a Vaishnavite researcher!

July 31, 2009

How Catholic Clooney became a Vaishnavite researcher!

Vedaprakash

As the interview given by Clooney to “Frontline” and the write-up appeared in 2006, the following interview of Clooney appeared in Kumudham dated 05-11-1992 has also been revealing. Therefore, I have decoded to translate and post for the benefit of all:

What is Saranagathi? The debate between Catholic priest Clooney and Agnihotram Ramanujachariyar!

Agnihotram Ramanujachariyar, an expert in the Tamil associated with Vaishnavism and Sanskrit literature and Francis Clomney, an American Christian priest, who had come to India to research into Vaishnavism had met and debated. Cloooney had already come to him few years ago (1990-91?) and learned Mimamsam from him. The dialogue had been as followsd:

Clooney: The Vaishnavite scripture has emphasized only the “Saranagathi tatva”, which I would like to know from you.

Agni: It is very simple, the “Saranagathi tatva” means total surrender and it is common to all. Instead of sacrificing body, physical entity and soul separately, the total and complete surrender of all has been the real “Saranagathi tatva”. “Namaha” means the total surrender. “ma” means, “mine”; “na” means “not”; thus, that is nothing to me and thus surrendering totally has been the real meaning.

Clooney: I have read in Pasurams, “I have entered below your feet”. Does this status resembles exactly the Sanskrit word “Saranagathi” or not?

Agni: “Saranagathi” means not exactly “falling at the feet” or as described. Without any way or path, (when man) “falling at feet” only has been the “Saranagathi”.

What Vedas have taught has been a kind of Bakti. The popular Bakti has been that of what is followed Nammazhgvar. This has been the category of approaching God with right.

Clooney: You have explained very nicely (about the “Saranagathi tatva”). I am very happy to have met you today.

Bama Gopalan’s interview with Clooney:

“My native place is New York. I was born in 1950 and my father, mother, sisters (elder and younger) are there. I have no (younger) brother. My father has been a retired Police Officer after serving for thirty years.

“I got B. A. degree in Fordham University. Completed  Master’s degree thereafter. Did Ph.D in Sanskrit.

“I desired to become a priest at the age of 15 itself. Every week, when I used to go to church, I used to ask myself, “Should I become doctor, lawyer or engineer?”, addressing to God. The voice of God told him, “You should become a priest”!

“I learned Tamil at the University of Chicago from the alphabet stage. I learned both reading and writing of Tamil. I had understood the Tamil grammar well. I started reading small stories in Tamil – At my 29th age, I read many village-stories (folk-tales) and stories of spirituality, then, Sangam literature, Periya Puranam, Kamba Ramayanam, Tiruvacakam – and like this I read many.  I got interest in literature. The liking that I could not explain.

“I lost my mind in the Pasurams / poems of Tirumazhiyisai Azhwar, Peyazhwar and Andal. I like Nammazhwar most, as his Pasurams are simple, sweet, beautiful and attracting my mind Thus, I developed interest to read more and more of Nammazhwar’s Pasurams.

“I came to India only for the purpose of researching into Nalayira Divya Prabhantham. I went to the house of Tiruverngadam, the Vaishnava College Professor at Nepal and learned Nammazhwar’s Pasurams daily.

“Prof. Sampathkumar, Head of Logic department of Vivekananda College has been from the tradition of Manavalsa Mamunigal.  Prof. S. Ramanujachariyar, editor of “Tirumal” and Prof. Sampathkumar taught me Tiruvazhmozi Vyakyanam every Sunday. For this, I used to come to Madras for months together and even years together.

“As I have been Associate Professor of Theology at the Boston University, I am coming here on vocations to learn and then return (to attend to my duties).

“I used to get up at 5.30 in the morning; do Puja; go to Church and do Puja (prayer) in Tamil; after doing japam and dyanam, I used to listen to Tiriuvazhmozhi on cassettes for 10-15 minutes. Then, I take food.

“We should not see movies in the months of August, September and October. So, I see in other months. When I used to watch for Tamil movies, I used to take anyone as company, because, when somebody explains in Tamil only, I am able to understand (the movie).

“Generally, Sangam style (pani) – Nalayira Divya Prabhantham has been very nice. Though, the Pasurams have been with complications, thery have been with the usage of beautiful Tamil expressions. Particularly, I like the following two Pasuras of Nammazhawar:

[A free translation of the cited poems is given as follows (I just translate freely so as to test myself about my understanding):

  1. You helped this slave, when I am ignorant; because of such ignorance – without knowing your “ma-mayai” (the Great Secret), Mavali (Mahabali) donated the three-feet land to you; you thus cheated him demanding but measuring (the three Worlds) merging in my soul.
  1. I cannot give anything in gratitude back as it has been merged with my spirit; I gave my spirit into you and disappeared and there is no way to escape; as you drink the seven oceans, my spirit merged with you; what / where is my spirit? And who am I? You give and take away this body”]

Bama Gopalan: Can you write in Tamil? Why can’t you write 10 sentences in Tamil?

Clooney: Yes, I write (he writes with his left-hand. Clooney has been left-hand practicing person. What he wrote appeared on the front page of Kumudhamn dated 05-11-1992).

The translation has been as follows:

I read Divya Prabhandam, here in Chennai this year, because they attracted me most. Daily, I read Tiruvazhmozhi – in original and commentary. I would be very much happy, when I read these Pasurams or think about them. To know my Christanity, Nammazhar has been helping me a lot.                   Francis Clooney, S.J

This was published with the following comments: “The American Christian priest has come in search of Azwar”

Bama Gopalan describes the room where Clooney was staying:

“An American has been researching into Nalayira Divya Prabhantham composed by Azhwars.

“He is a Roman Catholic priest.

“Dialogue Centre” board is there on the building at “Ikkiya Alayam” situated on the Santhome High Road. Foreigners have been coming here staying and researching into many subjects.

“Francis Clooney has been one of them. He is about 5 feet 6 inches; his hair is reddish;  his beard has also been of the same (colour); lean body structure with spectacle; wearing dhoti

“His room, where he is staying has been rectangular. On the table at corner, there is a novel written by “Lakshmi”. Dinamani of the day and a copy of “Tirumal” magazine (are also there).

“There is another steel almirah without doors; Andal picture was on the top panel; then there are Dasavatara dolls (purchased at Mada veedhi, Mylapore during Navarathri).

“On the top panel, there is a cross made of palm-leaf”.

Clooney’s Father (name not mentioned)– : My father worked in the Police department for 27 years and retired now. He is 73 and has been giving counselling to youth of both sexes for their problems. However, he is not a trained psychologist. He would not talk in high pitch. He does not smoke and drink.

Clooney’s Mother – Zareen: She has immaculate and kind mind. She does not talk much. But raises her voice, when required. I became a priest, when I completed 18 years and 5 days. My mother blessed me and sent for priesthood.

Vedaprakash

31-07-2009

“The Myth of St. Thomas in India” – the greatest historical fraud in the world

July 27, 2009
“The Myth of St. Thomas in India” – the greatest historical fraud in the world
Published on November 25th, 2007 In Uncategorized, Blogging, Philosophy | Views 1095 <!– by Vedaprakash –>

“The myth of St. Thomas in India” has been the greatest historical fraud in India and the world also and the historians have been shameless even to question such myth. Instead, they go on promote such myth aiding and abetting, as is evident from appearing so-called “research papers” in the proceedings of South indian History Congress, Tamilnadu history congress, textboks etc. It is a blot on historians, whenever, that fraud is perpetuated, nurtured or quoted in the name of history.

So I post the following article of K. P. Sunil appeared in 1987, which has bearing on the subject matter.

Archbishop Arulappa Makes History 1

By K.P. Sunil

Ganesh Iyer, Sri Rangam

Ganesh Iyer, Sri Rangam

The case has been closed. And the dramatis personae prefer to maintain a studied silence. For fear that a post-mortem would reveal hidden cadavers in their cupboards. For even a superficial examination of the fraud that shook the foundations of the Catholic Church in Madras in the late seventies and early eighties indicates that a lot of embarrassing details have been swept under the mat.

Reverend Dr. R. Arulappa, former archbishop of the Madras diocese, who claims to have been duped by one Acharya Paul, also known as Ganesh Iyer, is ill. Incapacitated by serious cardiac problems. In fact, it is his ill-health that forced him to retire from his post as head of the diocese. So the infamous scandal had to be pieced together from court records, police files and the ramblings of the main character-Ganesh Iyer.

It all began in the early seventies. Ganesh Iyer, who had adopted the Christian faith and was a self-styled Bible preacher known as John Ganesh, went to Tiruchi in the course of his evangelical journeys and met a Catholic priest Father Michael of the Tamil Illakiya Kazhagam (Tamil Literary Society). He is reported to have presented himself to the priest as Dr. John Ganesh, professor of philosophy and comparative religions at the Banaras university, and recently returned from Jammu and Kashmir where he was involved in research on Christianity in India. Michael put him on to another priest, Father Mariadas of Sriviliputhur.

John Ganesh impressed Mariadas with his mastery over Christian theology. He showed him copies of notices extolling him as a speaker. He reportedly produced letters written to him by various scholars in the fields of education and religion. He is also reported to have shown Mariadas photographs of palm leaf writings and copper plate inscriptions several centuries old.

These documents, he reportedly claimed, traced the origins and development of the Christian faith in India. Since further research on the subject required money which John Ganesh claimed not to have, Mariadas took upon himself the task of locating funds for the project the successful completion of which, he felt, would provide a shot in the arm for Christianity in India.

Mariadas gave John Ganesh something in the range of Rs. 22,000 toward the research. And as his own funds were depleted, he introduced the researcher to the head of the Catholic Church in Madras, R. Arulappa.

thomas-myth-manufacturers-Ganesh Iyer etc

Arulappa was a Tamil scholar who also had the reputation of being a researcher. He had translated the New Testament into Tamil and set to tune the Book of Psalms. He had also rendered in Tamil the life of Christ, Ulagin Uyir ( A The Life of the World ). He had learned Sanskrit and translated several Christian tenets into that language. He had also done extensive research on Tirukkural, the creation of the Tamil bard, Tiruvalluvar.

Tiruvalluvar is known to modern generations through his immortal literature. The exact time of his existence is lost in the mists of the hoary past. Some historians believe Tiruvalluvar to be a product of the early Sangam period in Tamil literature, several centuries before Christ. The Tamil Nadu government bases its calendar on the year of his birth. For this purpose, it is assumed that Tiruvalluvar was born exactly 2018 years ago, i.e. in the first century before Christ. Some literary experts place Tiruvalluvar in the first century after Christ, others date him 300 years after.

Just as little is known about Tiruvalluvar”s origins, his religious beliefs are also shrouded in some mystery. Attempts have been made, going by the precepts contained in his verse, to speculate about his religion. While he is widely believed to have been a Hindu and the Tirukkural considered a revered Hindu scripture, other religions too have staked a claim on him. Since the Tirukkural enshrines the ideals of ahimsa , dharma and asceticism, many experts consider Tiruvalluvar to have been considerably influenced by Jain thought.

A recent paper presented by Dr. S. Padmanabhan makes Tiruvalluvar out to be a Hindu chieftain from the Kanyakumari district. Archbishop Arulappa felt that the Tirukkural was so profound and filled with compassionate sentiments that it must have been influenced by early Christian missionaries who came to South India in the first century after Christ, notably St. Thomas, one of the apostles of Christ.

The Christian Church of India, considered to be amongst the oldest in the world, is believed to have been founded by St. Thomas in 52 A.D. Arulappa held the view that St. Thomas, before his martyrdom on a hill near Madras, now called St. Thomas Mount, met Tiruvalluvar and influenced the bard to the extent of converting him to the nascent faith. The theory had been propounded. What remained to be obtained was proof of such an occurrence.

It was this that Ganesh Iyer, posing as John Ganesh, reportedly promised to unearth for the archbishop.

Since this suited the archbishop”s scheme and since Arulappa was convinced that Ganesh was in a position to ferret out the evidence necessary to prove his pet theory, he engaged him to take up the research. The archbishop was apparently lulled into complacency by Ganesh”s mastery of Christian theology and his apparent sincerity of purpose. As if establishing a nexus between St. Thomas and Tiruvalluvar were not enough, John Ganesh also informed the archbishop that he could bring evidence that the three wise men from the East who prophesied the birth of Christ were none other than the epic Hindu sages, Vasistha, Viswamithra and Agasthya.

In 1975-76, John Ganesh began his research. And the archbishop started funding the same.

Ganesh produced photographs of palm leaf writings and copper plate inscriptions at periodic intervals. When the archbishop asked to see the originals, he was informed that they were stashed away in the safe custody of the archaeological departments and museums all over the country. It would therefore, not be possible to persuade these agencies to part with the priceless documents. He, however, promised to get his photographs authenticated by the respective agencies themselves. Thereafter, all photographs produced by Ganesh Iyer before the archbishop bore seals of the museums and departments from which he claimed to have obtained them.

Using the funds provided by the archbishop, Ganesh Iyer made a pretence of travelling extensively. It was a well-orchestrated programme. He would first inform the archbishop that he was going to Kashmir in connection with his research.

Next, the archbishop would receive letters from some Christian and Hindu religious heads in Kashmir informing him that they had come across Ganesh Iyer or, as he now called himself, Acharya Paul. The letters spoke in superlative terms about his sincerity of purpose and his noble research.

Whatever doubts the archbishop may have entertained about his researcher vanished in the face of these letters from eminent personages. More money changed hands. Though he was quite poor when he first met the archbishop, by the time he was through, Iyer had his own house in Srirangam. He owned two cars. He had purchased considerable gold jewellery for his wife and daughters. He had substantial deposits in banks in his name.

Most of the funds for the research had come from individuals and organisations abroad. If Iyer is to be believed, the archbishop even made out his personal car in Iyer”s name for a nominal Rs. 25,000. .i.Iyer;Iyer himself claims that he had not paid anything.

Questions were being asked around this time about the large sums of money being given to Acharya Paul for his research. The sceptics demanded proof that something tangible, that would benefit Christianity in the long run, had indeed been achieved. Only the archbishop”s pre-eminence prevented a direct confrontation.

Ganesh Iyer met Pope at Vatican

In 1976, Iyer obtained a passport in the name of Acharya Paul. In 1977, accompanied by the archbishop, he went abroad. To the Vatican, among other places, where he had a lengthy audience with Pope Paul VI. The duo then visited several religious congregations and spoke about comparative religions. Everywhere he went, he spoke about the origins of Christianity in India and about his A monumental research while the archbishop displayed the evidence. Money was collected for funding further research.

Ganesh Iyer met Pope at Vatican.Arulappa took him

During their absence from India, individuals inimical to John Ganesh had organised themselves into a powerful force. Even as he was relaxing in his home in Srirangam after his return, the archbishop was pressurised to file a complaint with the police. That he had been duped by Ganesh Iyer who had claimed to be a bachelor, but was in reality a married man. That he had defrauded the archbishop to the tune of around Rs. 14 lakhs in the name of research into Christianity.

Investigations into the sordid episode began. The police, led initially by Inspector Seshadri and later by Inspector Chandraya-perumal, searched Iyer”s residence. They unearthed the A originals of all the photographs produced by Iyer as proof of his research-writings on strips of brown paper cut to resemble medieval palm frond writings, pasted on sheets of white paper. The police learnt that the photographs had been taken at a studio in Tiruchi and this led to the seizure of all the relevant negatives.

The police discovered how the photographs had been authenticated by various institutions-seals and rubber stamps of all the concerned institutions were lying in Iyer”s home. Letter-heads bearing the names of various Hindu and Christian scholars were recovered. The letters purported to have been received by Iyer from these personages, which he allegedly used to dupe Mariadas and later the archbishop, were declared to be clever forgeries by the state handwriting expert Srinivasan. The writing on these and the writing on the brown paper, though cleverly disguised, compared favourably with Iyer”s specimen. Account books showing details of amounts received from the archbishop and the amounts spent by him were recovered.

Iyer”s antecendents were thoroughly investigated and it was proved that he was a middle school dropout, not having studied beyond standard seven. Further confirmation was obtained from the Banares university that they did not have Dr. John Ganesh on their staff either teaching or doing research into philosophy and comparative religions.

The police case was complete. On April 29, 1980, Iyer was arrested and placed under remand, while prosecution proceedings were instituted under sections 419 (cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 473 (making and possessing counterfeit seals with intent to commit forgery) of the Indian Penal Code and under section 12-B of the Indian Passports Act (obtaining a passport supplying false information).

Archbishop Arulappa testified against Iyer before the court. Iyer initially pleaded innocence, but later admitted to the fraud on all counts. He prayed that in view of his advancing age and critical family circumstances, he be shown leniency.

Arulappa vs Ganesh Iyer

On February 6, 1986, P. Aruvudayappan, second metropolitan magistrate, Madras, delivered his judgment in case number 100087/82: A Taking advantage of the soft attitudes of public witnesses 2 and 3 (Father Mariadas and Father Arulappa), he averred, A the defendant (Ganesh Iyer) had taken from them about Rs. 13.5 lakhs between 1975 and 1980. This has been clearly established. Taking into consideration the nature of the offences, the defendant is being held guilty under various sections of the I.P.C. and has to undergo 10 months imprisonment and 5 month”s rigorous imprisonment under section 12-B of the Indian Passports Act. These sentences are to run concurrently. He had been arrested on April 29, 1980 and let off on bail on June 27, 1980. These 59 days of imprisonment are to be deducted from the total sentence as required under section 428 of the code of criminal procedure.

The magistrate”s judgment notwithstanding, doubts still linger. Why were the archbishop”s suspicions not aroused until he had handed over a whopping Rs. 13,49,250 (according to records, though Iyer claims to have received far in excess of that sum) on a spurious research project? Why had the archbishop not bothered to verify the authenticity of the A documents produced by Iyer with the museums and other institutions concerned, directly? Why did he not bother to accompany Iyer to the actual site of his A research when he had found time to accompany him to Rome, the Vatican, Germany, France, Spain, the United States?

With the archbishop still indisposed, answers to these questions are not forthcoming.

What is even more curious is that even as criminal proceedings against Iyer were in progress in the magistrate”s court, a civil suit for a compromise had been filed in the Madras high court. The compromise decree was taken up immediately after the conclusion of the criminal case. Since Iyer had admitted the offence, his jail term was reduced to a mere two months imprisonment. And since he had already served 59 days of remand, this period was adjusted against the sentence.

r-arulappa-biodata

In other words, Iyer, who had defrauded the archbishop to the tune of about Rs. 14 lakhs, was let off without any further punishment. He was ordered to forfeit all claim on the money given to him by the archbishop. Accordingly, the ornaments and money seized from him by the police were returned to the archbishop. As part of the compromise, Iyer was allowed to retain the large bungalow he had purchased with the archbishop”s money.

A I agreed to this compromise because there was nothing else I could do, says Iyer. His viewpoint in understandable. For, going by the lower court”s verdict, he would have not only had to serve 5 months of rigorous imprisonment, but would have automatically had to forfeit all his properties including the house. Why the archbishop agreed to the compromise is not understandable.

Today Ganesh Iyer lives on the first floor of his house in Srirangam—the lower portion is let out on rent, enabling him to receive a monthly income. He is by no means affluent, but is certainly a far cry from the penury to which his family and he would have been consigned, if it were not for the compromise. Father Arulappa is convalescing, recovering from a major surgery. He has handed over the mantle of archbishop to Reverend G. Casimir on A health grounds .

And the case, though officially closed, remains in many minds, an unsolved mystery.

[1] Originally published under the title “Hoax!” in The Illustrated Weekly of India, April 26 – May 2, 1987, Bombay.

VEDAPRAKASH
25-11-2007

Jesus trail in India: A Hollywood movie for Indians!

July 27, 2009
Jesus trail in India: A Hollywood movie for Indians!
Published on November 22nd, 2007 In Blogging, Philosophy, Politics |  Views 933
 

Jesus trail in India: A Hollywood movie for Indians!

Jesus married to Mary Magdalene, raised children and died in Kashmir! Perhaps, no true Christian would believe in such stories. Yet, “The Hindu” carries such myths under the guise of “history, theory….” and so on!

Jesus trail in India, The Hindu 20-11-2007

It has to be noted that “The Hindu” has been involved in spreading the “Thomas myth” in India, in one way or the other and now, it lends its promotion to spread the “myth of Jesus in India”! Therefore, the Christian or Catholic hold on the “Mount Road Maha  Vishnu” [as Karunanidhi used to mention] is intriguing.

Producer Anil Kumar Urmil with Associate Producer for India Sanjay Shetye at the Rozabal Tomb where filming took place in war-torn Kashmir

Producer Anil Kumar Urmil with Associate Producer for India Sanjay Shetye at the Rozabal Tomb where filming took place in war-torn Kashmir

Date:20/11/2007 http://www.thehindu.com/2007/11/20/stories/2007112058852200.htm

By Randeep Ramesh (The Hindu 20-11-2007)

Film to cover the years left out of the New Testament

Coming up in 2009: The Aquarian Gospel

Action adventure account of Jesus’ lifeNew Delhi: Hollywood is to fill in Jesus’ “missing years” in the Bible with a story about him as a wandering mystic who travelled across India, living in Buddhist monasteries and speaking out against the caste system.

Film producers have delved into revisionist scholarship to piece together what they say was Jesus’ life between the ages of 13 and 30, a period untouched by the gospels.

The result is The Aquarian Gospel, a $20-million movie which portrays Jesus as a holy man and teacher inspired by a myriad of eastern religions in India. The movie takes its name from a century-old book that examined Christianity’s eastern roots and is in its 53rd reprint.

Casting begins

The film’s producers say the movie will be shot using actors and computer animation like 300, the retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae, and will follow the travels of Yeshua, believed to be the name for Jesus in Aramaic, from West Asia to India. Casting for Bollywood and
Hollywood actors has begun.

“The Bible devotes just seven words to the most formative years of Yeshua’s life saying: ‘The boy grew in wisdom and stature’. The [film] will follow Christ’s journey to the east where he encounters other traditions, and discovers the principles that are the bedrock of all the world’s great religions,” said Drew Heriot, the director, whose credits include the cult hit The Secret.

The film, due for release in 2009, sets out to be a fantasy action adventure account of Jesus’ life with the three wise men as his mentors. Although the producers say the film will feature a “young and beautiful” princess, it is not clear whether Jesus in the movie is to have a love interest.

The producers say they are hoping for commercial and spiritual gains. “We think that Indian religions and Buddhism, especially with the idea of meditation, played a big part in Christ’s thinking. In the film we are looking beyond the canonised gospels to the ‘lost’ gospels,” said William Sees Keenan, the producer, who is currently making Lindsay Lohan’s Poor Things. “We are looking at new themes. In our story Jesus was loyal to the untouchables and he defended them with his life by saying that everyone could read the Vedas,” said Mr. Keenan.

The myth-makers and gullible swamis

The myth-makers and gullible swamis

Earlier book

The theory that Jesus’ teachings had roots in Indian traditions has been around for more than a century. In 1894, a Russian doctor, Nicholas Notovitch, published a book The Unknown Life of Christ, in which he claimed that while recovering from a broken leg in a Tibetan monastery in the Ladakh region, close to Kashmir, he had been shown evidence of Christ’s Indian wanderings. He said he was shown a scroll recording a visit by Jesus to
India and to the Tibetan region as a young man. Indian experts claim that documentary proof remains of this visit.

“I have seen the scrolls which show Buddhist monks talking about Jesus’ visits. There are also coins from that period which show Yuzu or have the legend Issa on them, referring to Jesus from that period,” said Fida Hassnain, former director of archaeology at the University of Srinagar.Mr. Hassnain, who has written books on the legend of Jesus in India, says there was extensive traffic between the Mediterranean and India around the time of Jesus’ life. The academic pointed out that in Srinagar a tomb of Issa is still venerated. “It is the Catholic Church which has closed its mind on the subject. Historians have not.”

More dramatic are the claims that Buddhism had prompted the move from the “eye for an eye” ideology of the Old Testament to “love thy neighbour” in the New Testament.

In 1995 a German religious expert, Holger Kersten, claimed that Jesus had been schooled by Buddhist monks to believe in non-violence and to challenge the priesthood. Mr. Kersten’s book is a bestseller in India.

Church’s view

The Catholic Church in India dismisses the film as just “Hollywood filmmakers in search of a new audience rather than the truth.” Aware that religious passions are easily inflamed, after the Da Vinci Code film sparked protests among Indian Christians, its spokesman said that a movie about Jesus in India was “fantasy and fiction.”

“I have personally investigated many of these claims and they remain what they first seem: fiction,” said John Dayal, president of the All India Catholic Union. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2007

E xperts for the dubious film

E xperts for the dubious film

Comments:     The Christians give one more opportunity to read and understand the Bible to find out the myths, forgeries and manipulations in making of Christianity. As for as Christianity and Islam is concerned Indians and rather Hindus go by what others say about these non-Hindu, non-Indian religions. As Christians and Muslims have studied, researched and handled Hindu religion, scriptures and Hindus, the Hindus never studied, researched and handled Christianity and Islam. Even at elite, secular or atheist level, an impression has been formed that such study should not or need not be there. Most of the Indians do not know about the “Jesus Myth” – http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/

  • Hollywood can fill in Jesus’ “missing years” or anything in the Bible with a story about him as a wandering mystic or adventurer or revolutionist, but it has no business to spread myths and lies as such motive raise other questions.
  • Indians have to be told clearly that there had never been any historical Jesus and while dealing with mythical Jesus and connected so-called fabricated bibles, there have been many such fables making him to travel to Egypt  and so on, but to bring him to India is totally unimaginable even for Christian mind.
  • To say or claim that he “travelled across India, living in Buddhist monasteries and speaking out against the caste system” etc., as mention clearly expose that the film-makers have other political and social manipulative agenda under the guise of film and myth-making .
  • Film producers with revisionist or any scholarship with $20-million or more can produce any movie, as Indians or Hindus have no match for such sophistication and trickery and they can never produce any counter-movie.
  • It can be a fantasy action adventure account of Jesus’ life with the “three wise men” as his mentors, but such exigency exposes the aiding and abetting the frauds and forgers of many scholars who have been notorious enough to indulging in such shameless act. The Madras Archbishop Arulappa did it with just Rs. 14 lakhs in 1980s, but got red-handed as his accomplice got exposed for his spurious research on the same subject matter!
  • Although the producers say the film will feature a “young and beautiful” princess, it is not clear whether Jesus in the movie is to have a love interest. So what, Mary Magdalene was there according to them!
  • William Sees Keenan, the producer has made another point: “In our story Jesus was loyal to the untouchables and he defended them with his life by saying that everyone could read the Vedas,”! So, he is going to defend the cause of Dalits! All Christians go to take the movie and use for their evangelical activities as a part of their “Liberation Theology”! Pope Gregory, who is very often blamed for nurturing “Caste system” in Indian Christianity for the issue of the Bull would be exonerated as Jesus himself supported the Dalits that to he had been very loyal to them! An Indians or Hindus would hope that William Sees Keenan would print Vedas and circulate everywhere as anyone can read Vedas!
  • From where they got such wonderful and fantastic ideas? It is answered: The theory that Jesus’ teachings had roots in Indian traditions has been around for more than a century. In 1894, a Russian doctor, Nicholas Notovitch, published a book The Unknown Life of Christ, in which he claimed that while recovering from a broken leg in a Tibetan monastery in the Ladakh region, close to Kashmir, he had been shown evidence of Christ’s Indian wanderings. He said he was shown a scroll recording a visit by Jesus to India and to the Tibetan region as a young man. Indian experts claim that documentary proof remains of this visit. And what about the veracity and authenticity of such scrolls?
  • Russian journalist Nicholas Notovitch’s 1894 The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ more modestly claimed to be based on scrolls in a Tibetan lamasery ‘proving” that Christ studied the Veda in India before mastering the Buddhist Scriptures in Kashmir and Tibet. That tale is debunked in The Issa Tale That Will Not Die, Nicholas Notovitch and His Fraudulent Gospel (Lanham: Rowman ” Littlefield 2003) by Louis Fader. http://www.caslon.com.au/forgeryprofile3.htm
  • Just another reference: “A number of religious books–perhaps a dozen or more–mostly written within the last hundred years and purporting to add to the revelation of the Bible. They claim to be based upon genuine documents of Christian antiquity, but every one has been shown by scholars to be a hoax..The Unknown Life of Christ, published in 1894, and written by a Russian named Nicolas Notovitch, on the basis of information he said he received from the chief lama of a Tibetan monastery. It is claimed that Jesus spent the years between thirteen and twenty-nine in India,Tibet, and Persia, and then returned to Palestine. The monks at Tibet denied ever seeing Notovitch or knowing anything about the ancient manuscript about Christ they allegedly showed to him…(Concerning this view of the young adult life of Jesus I have the following questions: (1) Why didn”t the people in Jesus” own hometown know about such supposed travels? Mark 6:2-3 (2) Why did the Son of God need to go to India? To learn?).. The Lost Books of the Bible. This book, published in 1926, is claimed by the publishers to include religious books deliberately kept out of the NT by the early bishops of the Church..It is actually nothing more than a reprint of an edition of the apocryphal NT which had been published in 1820, and an edition of the Apostolic Fathers which had appeared in 1737.” (Zond. Ency. pp. 213-214) This entire article can be seen here: http://www.lincolnavenue.org/grapevine /beavertonLostBooksOfTheNT.html
  • Fida Hassnain, former director of archaeology at the University of Srinagar claims, “I have seen the scrolls which show Buddhist monks talking about Jesus’ visits. There are also coins from that period which show Yuzu or have the legend Issa on them, referring to Jesus from that period”. Mr. Hassnain, who has written books on the legend of Jesus in India, says there was extensive traffic between the Mediterranean and India around the time of Jesus’ life. The academic pointed out that in Srinagar a tomb of Issa is still venerated. “It is the Catholic Church which has closed its mind on the subject. Historians have not.” However, why he has not mentioned the full story that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, begot children and died there like men. Note, all these narrations would go against the basic tenets of Christianity, as crucifixion, resurrection, ascension etc., are totally denied here. We do not know as to whether Fida Hassnain has made such comments as Muslim, believer of Quaran or otherwise, as Quaran says Jesus was taken to an elevated place, where waters were flowing and he was survived thereafter. That is he was not crucified! Anyway, it would be interesting for Indians to watch the movie with a lot of romantic theology at the cost of Hollywood!
  • John Dayal, president of the All India Catholic Union claims that “I have personally investigated many of these claims and they remain what they first seem: fiction,” but he has never questioned such frauds already taken place in India!
  • The Catholic Church in India could dismiss the film as just “Hollywood filmmakers in search of a new audience rather than the truth.” Aware that religious passions are easily inflamed, after the Da Vinci Code film sparked protests among Indian Christians, its spokesman said that a movie about Jesus in India was “fantasy and fiction.” But, they cannot be double-speak as in the case of “Inculturation”, “Inter-faith / religious dialogue” etc.
  • Hope Hindus, secular Indians and others have wonderful enjoyment after “Da Vinci Code”! As one Pope claimed, “The Jesus Myth always serve the purpose”!

Meanwhile, we can consult Romila Thapar about the truth as she has already recorded that the biographies of Jesus, Mohammed etc., have been well accepted and so on in “The Hindu” and “Economic and Political Weekly”. We can consult Karunanidhi also so that he would ask so many questions:

  1. How he came to India?
  2. How many days, he took?
  3. How he took Mary Magdalene with him?
  4. In which route he came?
  5. Which vehicle he used?
  6. By cart, bus or plane?
  7. Whether he purchased ticket or not?
  8. Who was the driver and conductor?
  9. Whether they knew driving or not?
  10. Whether they had licence to drive and carry Jesus?
  11. The 17 years period is not a joke. How he spent the time?
  12. He may compose a poem also about his sojourn!

VEDAPRAKASH

22-11-2007