Posts Tagged ‘Krishna or Christ’

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

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“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

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