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India/western Sociology
[quote name='dhu' date='12 July 2011 - 01:58 AM' timestamp='1310415649' post='112166']

[url="http://www.dailypioneer.com/347473/Balance-sheet-politics.html"]Balance sheet politics[/url]

Sandhya Jain


Postmodernism, Hindu nationalism and `Vedic science'


The mixing up of the mythos of the Vedas with the logos of science must be of great concern not just to the scientific community, but also to the religious people, for it is a distortion of both science and spirituality.

The first part of a two-part article

The Vedas as books of science

IN 1996, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) of the United Kingdom (U.K.) produced a slick looking book, with many well-produced pictures of colourfully dressed men and women performing Hindu ceremonies, accompanied with warm, fuzzy and completely sanitised description of the faith. The book, Explaining Hindu Dharma: A Guide for Teachers, offers "teaching suggestions for introducing Hindu ideas and topics in the classroom" at the middle to high school level in the British schools system. The authors and editors are all card-carrying members of the VHP. The book is now in its second edition and, going by the glowing reviews on the back-cover, it seems to have established itself as a much-used educational resource in the British school system.

What "teaching suggestions" does this Guide offer? It advises British teachers to introduce Hindu dharma as "just another name" for "eternal laws of nature" first discovered by Vedic seers, and subsequently confirmed by modern physics and biological sciences. After giving a false but incredibly smug account of mathematics, physics, astronomy, medicine and evolutionary theory contained in the Vedic texts, the Guide instructs the teachers to present the Vedic scriptures as "not just old religious books, but as books which contain many true scientific facts... these ancient scriptures of the Hindus can be treated as scientific texts" (emphasis added). All that modern science teaches us about the workings of nature can be found in the Vedas, and all that the Vedas teach about the nature of matter, god, and human beings is affirmed by modern science. There is no conflict, there are no contradictions. Modern science and the Vedas are simply "different names for the same truth".

This is the image of Hinduism that the VHP and other Hindutva propagandists want to project around the world. The British case is not an isolated example. Similar initiatives to portray Vedic-Aryan India as the "cradle" of world civilisation and science have been launched in Canada and the United States as well. Many of these initiatives are beneficiaries of the generous and politically correct policies of multicultural education in these countries. Under the worthy cause of presenting the "community's" own views about its culture, many Western governments are inadvertently funding Hindutva's propaganda.


Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi at the inauguration of the Indian Science Congress in New Delhi in 2001. The obsession for finding all kinds of science in all kinds of obscure Hindu doctrines has been dictating the official education policy of the BJP ever since it came to power nearly half a decade ago.

But what concerns us in this article is not the long-distance Hindutva (or "Yankee Hindutva", as some call it), dangerous though it is. This essay is more about the left wing-counterpart of Yankee Hindutva: a set of postmodernist ideas, mostly (but not entirely) exported from the West, which unintentionally ends up supporting Hindutva's propaganda regarding Vedic science. Over the last couple of decades, a set of very fashionable, supposedly "radical" critiques of modern science have dominated the Western universities. These critical theories of science go under the label of "postmodernism" or "social constructivism". These theories see modern science as an essentially Western, masculine and imperialistic way of acquiring knowledge. Intellectuals of Indian origin, many of them living and working in the West, have played a lead role in development of postmodernist critiques of modern science as a source of colonial "violence" against non-Western ways of knowing.

In this two-part essay, I will examine how this postmodernist left has provided philosophical arguments for Hindutva's claim that Vedas are "just another name" for modern science. As we will see, postmodernist attacks on objective and universal knowledge have played straight into Hindu nationalist slogan of all perspectives being equally true - within their own context and at their own level. The result is the loud - but false - claims of finding a tradition of empirical science in the spiritual teachings of the Vedas and Vedanta. Such scientisation of the Vedas does nothing to actually promote an empirical and rational tradition in India, while it does an incalculable harm to the spiritual message of Hinduism's sacred books. The mixing up of the mythos of the Vedas with the logos of science must be of great concern not just to the scientific community, but also to the religious people, for it is a distortion of both science and spirituality.

In order to understand how postmodern critiques of science converge with Hindutva's celebration of Vedas-as-science, let us follow the logic behind VHP's Guide for Teachers.

This Guide claims that the ancient Hindu scriptures contain "many true scientific facts" and therefore "can be treated as scientific texts". Let us see what these "true scientific facts" are. The prime exhibit is the "scientific affirmation" of the theory of guna (Sanskrit for qualities or attributes). Following the essential Vedantic idea that matter and spirit are not separate and distinct entities, but rather the spiritual principle constitutes the very fabric of the material world, the theory of gunas teaches that matter exhibits spiritual/moral qualities. There are three such qualities or gunas which are shared by all matter, living or non-living: the quality or guna of purity and calmness seeking higher knowledge (sattvic), the quality or guna of impurity, darkness, ignorance and inactivity (tamsic) and the quality or guna of activity, curiosity, worldly gain (rajasic). Modern atomic physics, the VHP's Guide claims, has confirmed the presence of these qualities in nature. The evidence? Physics shows that there are three atomic particles bearing positive, negative and neutral charges, which correspond to the three gunas! From this "scientific proof" of the existence of essentially spiritual/moral gunas in atoms, the Guide goes on to triumphantly deduce the "scientific" confirmation of the truths of all those Vedic sciences which use the concept of gunas (for example, Ayurveda). Having "demonstrated" the scientific credentials of Hinduism, the Guide boldly advises British school teachers to instruct their students that there is "no conflict" between the eternal laws of dharma and the laws discovered by modern science.


In Kolkata, astrologers demonstrating against the West Bengal government's decision not to introduce astrology as a subject in the State's universities. A file picture.

One of the most ludicrous mantras of Hindutva propaganda is that there is "no conflict" between modern science and Hinduism. In reality, everything we know about the workings of nature through the methods of modern science radically disconfirms the presence of any morally significant gunas, or shakti, or any other form of consciousness in nature, as taught by the Vedic cosmology which treats nature as a manifestation of divine consciousness. Far from there being "no conflict" between science and Hinduism, a scientific understanding of nature completely and radically negates the "eternal laws" of Hindu dharma which teach an identity between spirit and matter. That is precisely why the Hindutva apologists are so keen to tame modern science by reducing it to "simply another name for the One Truth" - the "one truth" of Absolute Consciousness contained in Hinduism's own classical texts.

If Hindu propagandists can go this far in U.K., imagine their power in India, where they control the Central government and its agencies for media, education and research. This obsession for finding all kinds of science in all kinds of obscure Hindu doctrines has been dictating the official educational policy of the Bharatiya Janata Party ever since it came to power nearly half a decade ago.

Indeed the BJP government can teach a thing or two to the creation scientists in the U.S. Creationists, old and new, are trying to smuggle in Christian dogma into secular schools in the U.S. by redefining science in a way that allows God to be brought in as a cause of natural phenomena. This "theistic science" is meant to serve as the thin-edge of the wedge that will pry open the secular establishment. Unlike the creationists who have to contend with the courts and the legislatures in the U.S., the Indian government itself wields the wedge of Vedic science intended to dismantle the (admittedly half-hearted) secularist education policies. By teaching Vedic Hinduism as "science", the Indian state and elites can portray India as "secular" and "modern", a model of sobriety and responsibility in contrast with those obscurantist Islamic fundamentalists across the border who insist on keeping science out of their madrassas. How useful is this appellation of "science", for it dresses up so much religious indoctrination as "secular education".

Under the kindly patronage of the state, Hindutva's wedge strategy is working wonders. Astrology is flourishing as an academic subject in public and private colleges and universities, and is being put to use in predicting future earthquakes and other natural disasters. Such "sciences" as Vastu Shastra and Vedic mathematics are attracting governmental grants for research and education. While the Ministry of Defence is sponsoring research and development of weapons and devices with magical powers mentioned in the ancient epics, the Health Ministry is investing in research, development and sale of cow urine, sold as a cure for all ailments from the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) to tuberculosis (TB). Faith-healing and priest-craft are other "sciences" receiving public and private funding. In the rest of the culture, miracles and superstitions of all kinds have the blessings of influential public figures, including elected Members of Parliament.

THERE are two kinds of claims that feed the notion that the "Vedas are books of science". The first kind declared the entire Vedic corpus as converging with modern science, while the second concentrates on defending such esoteric practices as astrology, vastu, Ayurveda, transcendental meditation and so on as scientific within the Vedic paradigm. The first stream seeks to establish likeness, connections and convergences between radically opposed ideas (guna theory and atomic particles, for example). This stream does not relativise science: it simply grabs whatever theory of physics or biology may be popular with Western scientists at any given time, and claims that Hindu ideas are "like that", or "mean the same" and "therefore" are perfectly modern and rational. The second stream is far more radical, as it defends this "method" of drawing likenesses and correspondences between unlike entities as perfectly rational and "scientific" within the non-dualistic Vedic worldview. The second stream, in other words, relativises scientific method to dominant religious worldviews: it holds that the Hindu style of thinking by analogies and correspondences "directly revealed to the mind's eye" is as scientific within the "holistic" worldview of Vedic Hinduism, as the analytical and experimental methodology of modern science is to the "reductionist" worldview of Semitic religions. The relativist defence of eclecticism as a legitimate scientific method not only provides a cover for the first stream, it also provides a generic defence of such emerging "alternative sciences" as "Vedic physics" and "Vedic creationism", as well as defending such pseudo-sciences as Vedic astrology, palmistry, TM (transcendental meditation) and new-age Ayurveda (Deepak Chopra style).

In what follows, I will examine how postmodernist and social constructivist critiques of science have lent support to both streams of Vedas-as-science literature.

But first, I must clarify what I mean by postmodernism.

Postmodernism is a mood, a disposition. The chief characteristic of the postmodernist disposition is that it is opposed to the Enlightenment, which is taken to be the core of modernism. Of course, there is no simple characterisation of the Enlightenment any more than there is of postmodernism. A rough and ready portrayal might go like this: Enlightenment is a general attitude fostered in the 17th and 18th centuries on the heels of the Scientific Revolution; it aims to replace superstition and authority of traditions and established religions with critical reason represented, above all, by the growth of modern science. The Enlightenment project was based upon a hope that improvement in secular scientific knowledge will lead to an improvement of the human condition, not just materially but also ethically and culturally. While the Enlightenment spirit flourished primarily in Europe and North America, intellectual movements in India, China, Japan, Latin America, Egypt and other parts of West Asia were also influenced by it. However, the combined weight of colonialism and cultural nationalism thwarted the Enlightenment spirit in non-Western societies.

Postmodernists are disillusioned with this triumphalist view of science dispelling ignorance and making the world a better place. Their despair leads them to question the possibility of progress toward some universal truth that everyone, everywhere must accept. Against the Enlightenment's faith in such universal "meta-narratives" advancing to truth, postmodernists prefer local traditions which are not entirely led by rational and instrumental criteria but make room for the sacred, the non-instrumental and even the irrational. Social constructivist theories of science nicely complement postmodernists' angst against science. There are many schools of social constructivism, including the "strong programme" of the Edinburgh (Scotland) school, and the "actor network" programme associated with a school in Paris, France. The many convoluted and abstruse arguments of these programmes do not concern us here. Basically, these programmes assert that modern science, which we take to be moving closer to objective truth about nature, is actually just one culture-bound way to look at nature: no better or worse than all other sciences of other cultures. Not just the agenda, but the content of all knowledge is socially constructed: the supposed "facts" of modern science are "Western" constructions, reflecting dominant interests and cultural biases of Western societies.

Following this logic, Indian critics of science, especially those led by the neo-Gandhians such as Ashis Nandy and Vandana Shiva, have argued for developing local science which is grounded in the civilisational ethos of India. Other well-known public intellectuals, including such stalwarts as Rajni Kothari, Veena Das, Claude Alvares and Shiv Vishwanathan, have thrown their considerable weight behind this civilisational view of knowledge. This perspective also has numerous sympathisers among "patriotic science" and the environmentalist and feminist movements. A defence of local knowledges against rationalisation and secularisation also underlies the fashionable theories of post-colonialism and subaltern studies, which have found a worldwide following through the writings of Partha Chatterjee, Gayatri Spivak, Homi Bhabha, Dipesh Chakrabarty and others. All these intellectuals and movements mentioned here have their roots in movements for social justice, environmental protection and women's rights - all traditional left-wing causes.

Social constructivist and postmodernist attacks on science have proven to be a blessing for all religious zealots, in all major faiths, as they no longer feel compelled to revise their metaphysics in the light of progress in our understanding of nature in relevant fields. But Hinduism displays a special resonance with the relativistic and holistic thought that finds favour among postmodernists. In the rest of this two-part paper, I will examine the general overlap between Hindu apologetics and postmodernist view of hybridity (part I) and alternative sciences (part II).

Postmodern "hybridity" and Hindu eclecticism

THE contemporary Hindu propagandists are inheritors of the 19th century neo-Hindu nationalists who started the tradition of dressing up the spirit-centered metaphysics of orthodox Hinduism in modern scientific clothes. The neo-Hindu intellectuals, in turn, were (consciously or unconsciously) displaying the well-known penchant of generations of Sanskrit pundits for drawing resemblances and correspondences between religious rituals, forces of nature and human destiny.

Postmodernist theories of knowledge have rehabilitated this "method" of drawing equivalences between different and contradictory worldviews and allowing them to "hybridise" across traditions. The postmodernist consensus is that since truth about the real world as-it-is cannot be known, all knowledge systems are equivalent to each other in being social constructions. Because they are all equally arbitrary, and none any more objective than other, they can be mixed and matched in order to serve the needs of human beings to live well in their own cultural universes. From the postmodern perspective, the VHP justification of the guna theory in terms of atomic physics is not anything to worry about: it is merely an example of "hybridity" between two different culturally constructed ways of seeing, a fusion between East and West, tradition and modernity. Indeed, by postmodernist standards, it is not this hybridity that we should worry about, but rather we should oppose the "positivist" and "modernist" hubris that demands that non-Western cultures should give up, or alter, elements of their inherited cosmologies in the light of the growth of knowledge in natural sciences. Let us see how this view of hybridity meshes in with the Hindutva construction of Vedic science.

It is a well-known fact that Hinduism uses its eclectic mantra - "Truth is one, the wise call it by different names" - as an instrument for self-aggrandisement. Abrahamic religions go about converting the Other through persuasion and through the use of physical force. Hinduism, in contrast, absorbs the alien Other by proclaiming its doctrines to be only "different names for the One Truth" contained in Hinduism's own Perennial Wisdom. The teachings of the outsider, the dissenter or the innovator are simply declared to be merely nominally different, a minor and inferior variation of the Absolute and Universal Truth known to Vedic Hindus from time immemorial. Christianity and Islam at least acknowledge the radical otherness and difference of other faiths, even as they attempt to convert them, even at the cost of great violence and mayhem. Hinduism refuses to grant other faiths their distinctiveness and difference, even as it proclaims its great "tolerance". Hinduism's "tolerance" is a mere disguise for its narcissistic obsession with its own greatness.

Whereas classical Hinduism limited this passive-aggressive form of conquest to matters of religious doctrine, neo-Hindu intellectuals have extended this mode of conquest to secular knowledge of modern science as well. The tradition of claiming modern science as "just another name" for the spiritual truths of the Vedas started with the Bengal Renaissance. The contemporary Hindutva follows in the footsteps of this tradition.

The Vedic science movement began in 1893 when Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) addressed the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. In that famous address, he sought to present Hinduism not just as a fulfilment of all other religions, but also as a fulfilment of all of science. Vivekananda claimed that only the spiritual monism of Advaita Vedanta could fulfil the ultimate goal of natural science, which he saw as the search for the ultimate source of the energy that creates and sustains the world.

Vivekananda was followed by another Bengali nationalist-turned-spiritualist, Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950). Aurobindo proposed a divine theory of evolution that treats evolution as the adventures of the World-Spirit finding its own fulfilment through progressively higher levels of consciousness, from matter to man to the yet-to-come harmonious "supermind" of a socialistic collective. Newer theories of Vedic creationism, which propose to replace Darwinian evolution with "devolution" from the original one-ness with Brahman, are now being proposed with utmost seriousness by the Hare Krishnas who, for all their scandals and idiosyncrasies, remain faithful to the spirit of Vaishnava Hinduism.

Vivekananda and Aurobindo lit the spark that has continued to fire the nationalist imagination, right to the present time. The Neo-Hindu literature of the 19th and early 20th centuries, especially the writings of Dayanand Saraswati, S. Radhakrishnan and the many followers of Vivekananda, is replete with celebration of Hinduism as a "scientific" religion. Even secularists like Jawaharlal Nehru remained captive of this idea that the original teachings of Vedic Hinduism were consonant with modern science, but only corrupted later by the gradual deposits of superstition. Countless gurus and swamis began to teach that the Vedas are simply "another name for science" and that all of science only affirms what the Vedas have taught. This scientistic version of Hinduism has found its way to the West through the numerous ashrams and yoga retreats set up, most prominently, by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his many clones.

ALL these numerous celebrations of "Vedas as science" follow a similar intellectual strategy of finding analogies and equivalences. All invoke extremely speculative theories from modern cosmology, quantum mechanics, vitalistic theories of biology and parapsychology, and other fringe sciences. They read back these sciences into Sanskrit texts chosen at will, and their meaning decided by the whim of the interpreter, and claim that the entities and processes mentioned in Sanskrit texts are "like", "the same thing as", or "another word for" the ideas expressed in modern cosmology, quantum physics or biology. Thus there is a bit of a Brahman here and a bit of quantum mechanics there, the two treated as interchangeable; there are references to "energy", a scientific term with a definite mathematical formulation in physics, which gets to mean "consciousness"; references to Newton's laws of action and reaction are made to stand for the laws of karma and reincarnation; completely discredited "evidence" from parapsychology and "secret life of plants" are upheld as proofs of the presence of different degrees of soul in all matter; "evolution" is taught as the self-manifestation of Brahman and so on. The terms are scientific, but the content is religious. There is no regard for consistency either of scientific concepts, or of religious ideas. Both wholes are broken apart, random connections and correspondences are established and with great smugness, the two modes of knowing are declared to be equivalent, and even inter-changeable. The only driving force, the only idea that gives this whole mish-mash any coherence, is the great anxiety to preserve and protect Hinduism from a rational critique and demystification. Vedic science is motivated by cultural chauvinism, pure and simple.

What does all this have to do with postmodernism, one may legitimately ask. Neo-Hinduism, after all, has a history dating back at least two centuries, and the analogical logic on which claims of Vedic science are based goes back to times immemorial.

Neo-Hinduism did not start with postmodernism, obviously. And neither does Hindutva share the postmodernist urgency to "overcome" and "go beyond" the modernist fascination with progress and development. Far from it. Neo-Hinduism and Hindutva are reactionary modernist movements, intent on harnessing a mindless and even dangerous technological modernisation for the advancement of a traditionalist, deeply anti-secular and illiberal social agenda. Nevertheless, they share a postmodernist philosophy of science that celebrates the kind of contradictory mish-mash of science, spirituality, mysticism and pure superstition that that passes as "Vedic science".

For those modernists who share the Enlightenment's hope for overcoming ignorance and superstition, the value of modern science lies in its objectivity and universality. Modernists see modern science as having developed a critical tradition that insists upon subjecting our hypotheses about nature to the strictest, most demanding empirical tests and rigorously rejecting those hypotheses whose predictions fail to be verified. For the modernist, the success of science in explaining the workings of nature mean that sciences in other cultures have a rational obligation to revise their standards of what kind of evidence is admissible as science, what kind of logic is reasonable, and how to distinguish justified knowledge from mere beliefs. For the modernists, furthermore, modern science has provided a way to explain the workings of nature without any need to bring in supernatural and untestable causes such as a creator God, or an immanent Spirit.

For a postmodernist, however, this modernist faith in science is only a sign of Eurocentrism and cultural imperialism. For a postmodernist, other cultures are under no rational obligation to revise their cosmologies, or adopt new procedures for ascertaining facts to bring them in accord with modern science. Far from producing a uniquely objective and universally valid account of nature, the "facts" of modern science are only one among many other ways of constructing other "facts" about nature, which are equally valid for other cultures. Nature-in-itself cannot be known without imposing classifications and meaning on it which are derived from cultural metaphors and models. All ways of seeing nature are at par because all are equally culture-bound. Modern science has no special claims to truth and to our convictions, for it is as much of a cultural construct of the West as other sciences are of their own cultures.

This view of science is derived from a variety of American and European philosophies of science, associated mostly with such well-known philosophers as Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, W.O Quine, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Michel Foucault. This view of science has been gaining popularity among Indian scholars of science since the infamous "scientific temper" debates in early 1980s when Ashis Nandy, Vandana Shiva and their sympathisers came out in defence of local knowledges and traditions, including astrology, goddess worship as cure for small-pox, taboos against menstruation and (later on) even sati. Over the next two decades, it became a general practice in Indian scholarly writing to treat modern science as just one way to adjudicate belief, no different from any other tradition of sorting out truth from mere group belief. Rationalism became a dirty word and Enlightenment became a stand-in for "epistemic violence" of colonialism.

According to those who subscribe to this relativist philosophy, the cross-cultural encounter between modern science and traditional sciences is not a confrontation between more and less objective knowledge, respectively. Rather it is a confrontation between two different cultural ways of seeing the world, neither of which can claim to represent reality-in-itself. Indeed, many radical feminists and post-colonial critics go even further: they see modern science as having lost its way and turned into a power of oppression and exploitation. They want non-Western people not just to resist science but to reform it by confronting it with their holistic traditional sciences.

What happens when traditional cultures do need to adopt at least some elements of modern knowledge? In such cases, postmodernists recommend exactly the kind of "hybridity" as we have seen in the case of Vedic sciences in which, for example, sub-atomic particles are interpreted as referring to gunas, or where quantum energy is interpreted to be the "same as" shakti, or where karma is interpreted to be a determinant of biology in a "similar manner" as the genetic code and so on. On the postmodern account, there is nothing irrational or unscientific about this "method" of drawing equivalences and correspondences between entirely unlike entities and ideas, even when there may be serious contradictions between the two. On this account, all science is based upon metaphors and analogies that reinforce dominant cultures and social power, and all "facts" of nature are really interpretations of nature through the lens of dominant culture. It is perfectly rational, on this account, for Hindu nationalists to want to reinterpret the "facts" of modern science by drawing analogies with the dominant cultural models supplied by Hinduism. Because no system of knowledge can claim to know reality as it really is, because our best confirmed science is ultimately a cultural construct, all cultures are free to pick and choose and mix various "facts", as long as they do not disrupt their own time-honoured worldviews.

This view of reinterpretation of "Western" science to fit into the tradition-sanctioned, local knowledges of "the people" has been advocated by theories of "critical traditionalism" propounded by Ashis Nandy and Bhiku Parekh in India and by the numerous admirers of Homi Bhabha's obscure writings on "hybridity" abroad. In the West, this view has found great favour among feminists, notably Sandra Harding and Donna Haraway, and among anthropologists of science including Bruno Latour, David Hess and their followers.

To conclude, one finds a convergence between the fashionable left's position with the religious right's position on the science question. The extreme scepticism of postmodern intellectuals toward modern science has landed them in a position where they cannot, if they are to remain true to their beliefs, criticise Hindutva's eclectic take-over of modern science for the glory of the Vedic tradition.

india has a mix sociology ...
Francis Xavier Clooney : Building the Trojan Horse

Dr. Vijaya Rajiva

Quote:Time was when the Jesuits (the Society of Jesus established in 1539 by

St.Ignatius of Loyola) used every method to establish the ascendancy of

Catholic Christianity over the globe. Hindu India will remember the

infamous Goa Inquistion (1560)conducted by the followers of St. Francis

Xavier (said to be among the founders of the Jesuit order) against the

hapless Hindus of Goa. Francis Xavier was also a founding member of the

Society of Jesus and also the initiator of the Inquisition (1545)

Everything ranging from ferocious torture to murder and mayhem were

practiced in Goa (and elsewhere during the Inquisition) all in the name of

the Holy Church. The book Breaking India (2011) by authors Rajiv Malhotra

and Aravindan Neelakandan also writes about the first of the Jesuits in

India, Robert di Nobili (came to Goa in 1605 and settled in Tamil Nadu in

1606) who , in addition to claiming to be a scholar of Tamil, did not

hesitate to fulminate against the paganism of the Hindus. The goal of

Christianity in India has never changed : convert the Hindu pagans, harvest

their souls, as the Pope said publicly in India. His comment was : in the

first millennium Christianity spread to Europe, in the second millennium it

spread to the Americas, and in the third millennium it will complete its

mission in Asia. Since much of south east Asia has become Christianised,

India alone remains unconverted. The present writer believes that this will

remain so thanks to the devotion of the aam admi Hindus to their ancestral

religion and thanks to the spiritual strength of the traditional acharyas,

gurus, maths and so on.

Hence, the attempt of the Jesuit order to woo the elite of India is another

aspect of their strategy. The days of large scale conquests and violence

are over. The soldiers of Christ are heavily into the phenomenon known as

inculturation, started by Italian Jesuit Roberto di Nobili himself, the

borrowing of native cultural habits and practices and in general

ingratiating themselves into local culture. This inculturation was intended

to subvert the native cultures by stealth. An example would be di Nobili

wearing saffron instead of white and using Hindu words to describe

Christian rituals and so on. And now, Hindu-Christian dialogue (one wonders

what the purpose of this dialogue is).

An important aspect of the Jesuit order which needs to be mentioned : their

commitment to scholarship. Francis Xavier Clooney represents that branch.

He is a Jesuit, an accomplished scholar of comparative religion and has

published several books and articles. He is currently a professor at the

Divinity school at Harvard University (USA). He has impressed many Hindus

by his knowledge of Tamil and the bhakti religious tradition of Tamil

Hindus. Neverthless, as a Jesuit and as a dedicated Christian his innermost

and first priority is the conversion of pagan Hindus to Catholicism.

Needless to say this is never openly talked about. The goal of the

Jesuits(and of Christianity as a proselytizing faith) has never changed,

despite the change in methods. Dr.Clooney is heavily into the process of

inculturation. This is made possible by many intellectual Hindus who have

been drawn into what is called interfaith dialogue.

This was evident in the interfaith dialogue (so called) in which Dr.Clooney

participated, along with author/writer Rajiv Malhotra. This took place at

the University of Massachussetts during the talks on Malhotra’s new book

Being Different(2011) After Shri Malhotra’s talk on his book, which lasted

approximately 30 minutes, Dr.Clooney followed up with an approximately 45

minute talk mainly focused on Malhotra’s book Being Different. This book,

according to the author, is about a game changer. Instead of being the

object of Western scholars, Hindus must now view the West and the Judaeo

Christian tradition from the Hindu dharmic point of view. This is in itself

not a novel idea and whether the contents have been appropriately handled

will remain a question mark.


After Malhotra’s lecture, Clooney took the podium and the spectacle was

extremely illuminating to any discerning viewer. Clooney’s strategy was to

heap high praise( a euphemism for fulsome flattery !) on Malhotra, who

during his own comments on Clooney’s talk, agreed with him ! Clooney as

mentioned above is a well trained scholar and Rajiv Malhotra was no match

for him, in a sense. The range of Clooney’s intellectual cogitation was

impressive both for its subtlety and its delicate handling of contentious


In addition , his manner was courteous, soft spoken and well spoken (beware

of the Greek who comes bearing gifts !).

Some samples of the exchange between the two men are revealing:

Clooney : This is not the first time that Hindus have looked critically at

the West. Swami Dayananda Sarasvati and Swami Vivekaanana did that.

However, Rajiv has updated this in a sophisticated manner (read ‘improved’

on it, with the former being unsophisticated Hindus !).

Rajiv Malhotra was obligingly silent, presumably he agreed with this

remark. He must believe that he is an improvement on Swami Dayananda and

Swami Vivekananda ! Since liberal theorists in India such as Jyotirmaya

Sharma have written sneeringly about them, the least that Malhotra could

have done was to modestly insert some remark about their great contribution

to Hindu nationalism and the ongoing resurgence of Hindu thinking, not to

mention their profound spirituality and writings on Hinduism) But that

would go against Clooney’s agenda. To resume.

Clooney : Authors such as Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goyal have politicized

the Hindu Christian relationship. Rajiv does not do that. He is respectful

of the differences and shows understanding (one can guess at Clooney’s

target : authentic Hindus who resist Christian conversion methods !)

Rajiv Malhotra : I am not interested in ‘ politicization’. I am interested

in knowledge systems (By this time any discerning listener must surely

wonder where he is going with all this ready agreement with Clooney. What

does this remark mean except that it is a hit at Hindu nationalism ? Or at

Hindutva ? The intellectual and spiritual errors involved in this

distancing of himself from both need to be pointed out).

In that one statement Malhotra distanced himself from the aam admi Hindu

and Hindu nationalism. There were also some slighting references to the

ignorance of Hindu gurus regarding Western thought. His eagerness to secure

Francis Clooney’s endorsement for his book Being Different was all too

obvious. It was also clear that the magic of the Jesuit’s flattery was

working on him, slowly but surely.

This raises the question of why the intrepid author of the book Breaking

India (2011) was doing his own version of a u turn. That book clearly

documents the insidious workings of Christian missionaries in India. It

speaks about the first Jesuit Roberto di Nobili’s infamous methods. It

talks about inculturation and so on. It recognizes quite explicitly that

since the time of Max Mueller (the indologist) , the chosen enemy for

Christianity was Hinduism .

Ofcourse, the authenticity and strength of the book Breaking India also

come from the fact that the co author Aravindan Neelakandan is a Tamilian

and is knowledgeable about Tamil history, which constitutes a large part of

the book.

Mr. Malhotra is economically independent and has over a period of time in

the Hindu diaspora in North America done service to the community by

establishing the Infinity Foundation and helping with other Hindu causes.

He is articulate, intelligent and well read. Economic motives, the

acquistion of wealth, cannot be his agenda. Ofcourse, as with any

author/writer he would like to maximize the sales of his books. In his

case, there is also an almost messianic notion of wanting to reach out to

Hindus to empower them. Some would simply call it an ego trip. There is

also the fact that he is an autodidact and therefore his excursions into

Judaeo Christian and Western thought are a novel exercise for him. In this

exhilarating exercise (novel for him !) he lost sight of many things.

Purva Paksha, the method he borrows from ancient Hindu

intellectual/spiritual thought, and claims to use ,becomes simply an

occasion for self advancement. Mr. Malhotra is no Shankara. Purva Paksha is

not simply a ‘gaze’ at the adversary, but is accompanied by a rigorous

unflinching critique of the enemy, as Adi Shankara did, and alas, Rajiv

Malhotra is unable/unwilling to do ! Adi Shankara’s aim was to defeat, not

to accommodate the enemy. As is well known, Shankara’s efforts led not only

to the creation of Advaita Vedanta, but to the clearing of the decks for

the ongoing continuation of Hinduism. In Mr.Malhotra’s hands it becomes a

distortion both of the method and its aims.

Malhotra wants to accommodate the enemy so to speak (although that is not

his conscious agenda or so one hopes) and is therefore, a good candidate

for Francis Xavier Clooney’s agenda. The ripple effect of these many

discussions/debates on Hindu-Christian dialogue are Clooney’s great

opportunity at further inculturation.

And Rajiv Malhtora is entirely unprepared for this unequal balance of

power, whatever his own subjective feelings about the importance of such

events and the impact of his book. By putting forward his work as something

different from what other Hindus are already doing and by a constant

running down of Hindu gurus that they are not prepared to debate with the

West, Malhotra is in effect trying to advance, at the expense of Hindus.

This contradicts his own well meaning efforts at the empowerment of Hindus !

For Hindus, both in the diaspora and in the homeland, the lesson to be

garnered from the Clooney-Malhotra discussions (euphemistically called

Hindu-Christian dialogue) is that the tried and tested strength of Hinduism

will endure. New fangled attempts are just that. They can be a fun read,

but not to be taken seriously. The aam admi Hindu and the traditional

acharyas, gurus, maths, etc. will continue their traditions. There are no

signs that this will give way to what at present looks like the

intellectual equivalent of Wallmart’s attempted entry into Indian retail.

Has Mr. Malhotra set up only a straw man, the non existent uninformed Hindu

of his imagination, in order to demolish this straw man , and thereby

highlight his own albeit limited work ? And is Francis Clooney attempting

the impossible, the destruction of Sanatana Dharma ?

(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university).

The following is another article by Rajiva on the same topic (see Dhu's post above first).

Several of the comments to the following are what's interesting.


Quote:Purva Paksha and the Siren Song of Hindu-Christian Dialogue

27/12/2011 02:50:39 Dr. Vijaya Rajiva

Author and writer Rajiv Malhotra has reported that he will be presenting his discussions with Francis Xavier Clooney, Jesuit priest, scholar and professor at the Divinity school at Harvard Universtiy (USA) as a model of interfaith dialogue. The present writer has previously critiqued this event (which took place at Harvard University) in the article ‘Francis Xavier Clooney : Building the Trojan Horse’ (Haindava Keralam 20/12/2011).

The word ‘dialogue’ and the phrase ‘interfaith dialogue’ have a misleading meaning in people’s minds, because they bring to mind visions of peace and co existence. However, the history of the two proselytizing faiths has hardly been one of peace and co existence and Shri Malhotra himself is quite aware of this fact and as well of the current strategy of the Catholic Church to subvert Hinduism by the phenomenon known as inculturation.(See the book Breaking India by him and co author Aravindan Neelakandan). In the above mentioned article the present writer has mentioned some of the reasons why Mr.Malhotra has taken a u turn and has begun to engage in interfaith dialogue, or as Dr. Clooney put it bluntly, in Hindu Christian Dialogue.

At the Harvard event Mr. Malhotra told us that his new book Being Different calls upon the West to understand Hinduism’s different world view on its own terms and not through the categories of the Judaeo Christian and Western thought. He highlights the differences between the two systems and stakes the claim of Hinduism’s own brand of universalism.

For Hindus these are not new insights nor have Hindu thinkers especially since the 19th century been indifferent to the challenges of Western thought. And so Mr. Malhotra’s own arguments are nothing new and in fact they represent , in the writer’s opinion , a type of capitulation to the very adversary that he has encountered in Judaeo Christian and Western thought. He is also seeking an endorsement of his position from the very same adversaries. This is not just the beginning of the slippery slope, it is the slippery slope itself.

This is evident in his use of the ancient Hindu shastra of Tarka (philosophical argument) of which Purva Paksha is the first step. In his thinking Purva Paksha is a sort of ‘gaze’ by which Hindus can look at the West , rather than be looked at, which has been the case till recently. This is a misunderstanding of Purva Paksha as practised by Hindu philosophers, of all schools, whether it is Mimamsa or most notably that of Adi Shankara. With the Hindu philosophers there is a three fold process:

1.Statement of the adversary ‘s position

2.Rigorous refutation of the adversary’s position

3.Statement of one’s own position

The purpose of Purva Paksha was to defeat the adversary. Adi Shankara’s Digvijaya tour of India accomplished just that, as he took on various adversarial schools such as Mimamsa and Buddhism.

Mr Malhotra on the other hand has tried to accommodate the adversary. He has been misled by the word ‘dialogue’. In Western thought it is most associated with Plato. However, here the word ‘dialogue’ does not mean an accommodation. Rather in each and every one of the great and small Platonic dialogues (36 of them) Socrates sets out to defeat the ignorance of his interlocutors through a relentless argumentative process, peeling away their layers of ignorance.There is no accommodation here. Our contemporary understanding (and that of Malhotra’s) of dialogue is neither Purva Paksha nor Platonic. It is a type of wishful thinking. It has its place in certain situations but not in the context of so called Hindu-Christian encounters, where the adversaries’ subterfuges need to be unmasked, not further covered over with meanderings.

Mr. Malhotra is misled (and misleads the audience) into thinking that a friendly accommodation of the adversary’s positions is the same as classical Purva Paksha or Platonic dialectics. He is perfectly entitled to his own adventure of ideas and as an auto didact this novel experience holds him in a certain thralldom. And as with every author/writer he wants to communicate his ideas to as large an audience as he can reach.

But should Hindus take this seriously as an enlightening or useful experience ? Should young Hindu students, who already have been deprived of a first hand experience of their own civilisational and cultural experience by the colonial experience and its camp followers at the various universities, be further distanced from the aam admir Hindu and the traditional acharyas, gurus, maths etc. of India ? Perhaps the ‘gaze’ should now be critically turned towards Mr. Malhotra’s own arguments, especially as the Catholic Church continues to make inroads into the country.

Dr. Clooney’s eager sponsorship of these discussions may seem to be purely intellectual/spiritual/religious forays, but objectively, they are attempts at his own brand of inculturation. He has found a ready ally, a golden opportunity, to facilitate this process. It is not clear to any thinking Hindu as to why there should be a Hindu-Christian dialogue. Or even an interfaith dialogue, especially one that is manipulated by interested parties. The two proselytizing faiths are guilty of dogmatism and exclusivity, not Hinduism. Why then the need for Hindus to engage as if they are also a guilty party ? If there are no mea culpas to be done, why should Hindus do them ? And what is the compulsion to seek the approval of the West ? Mr. Malhotra is entitled to his own adventure of ideas, but he should not take himself seriously as a defender of Hinduism, and nor should we. What do Hindus have to ‘dialogue’ about with a hostile adversary ?

Mr. Malhotra’s statement that he is not interested in politicization is misleading.

From start to finish the phrase Hindu-Christian dialogue is a misnomer. It is a heavily politicized enterprise and the author’s naivety is alarming, if not surprising. It is to be hoped that he will introspect and do a new u turn, and reject the siren call of Hindu-Christian dialogue.

(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university)

[color="#0000FF"]Note[/color] that HK comments tend to be posted in reverse chronological order: latest comments first, so read comments from bottom to top in order to follow along.

Quote:Koenraad Elst

28/12/2011 05:52:12 Purva Paksha

Funny how Malhotra's critics have picked up the term "U-turn" without understanding it. I am not a U-turner at all. I have never been a Hindu nor would-be Hindu in the first place, I am just a friend and well-wisher of the Hindus. If there has ever been a turn, it was from the assumption that there existed a Hindu party eager for Hindu victory, to the insight that most activist Hindus by far have other priorities than victory. Venting their emotions, looking good in front of fellow Hindus who don't notice it's all ineffective posturing, et al. Case in point: interreligious dialogue is an existing battlefield where your declared enemy is making minced meat of most Hindus who venture too close. Someone eager for victory would go there, but first prepare for the battle. But preparation is the last thing I see here. As SR Goel once told me, "most Hindus think they know everything about everything", so you pass haughty judgments on the Christian position largely without understanding it. Yes, in the dialogue forum you are unable to hold your own, because they come prepared and you are too lazy or smug for that. And that is why conversions etc. continue and accelerate. Of course you are free to criticize Malhotra (I have a critique of some central points of his Being Different in mind, forthcoming) but then please take the trouble of showing us a more effective alternative. Whatever it is you have been doing instead of dialogue, it has certainly failed to "stop evangelization and conversion, stop the mushrooming of Christian NGOs" etc., which in fact, as you yourselves admit, have only "increased to an alarming extent".

[color="#800080"](I think Elst above has misunderstood Thamizhchelvan's use of u-turn. The latter - in the comment below - does not appear to be using it in the Malhotra sense - "u-turn from dabbling alien to anti-Hindu alien" - but in the regular everday English sense of making a 180 from a previous held position. I think the two comments made blue further below are what constitute the u-turn that Tamizhchelvan is referring to.)[/color]


28/12/2011 04:50:47 Dear Dr.Elst!

What a surprise Dr.Elst? Wonder on what compulsion you made a u-turn!

Sri.H.Balakrishnan has caught you at the right place with your own writings.

As you are aware, the so-called Interfaith Dialogues have been going on for more than two decades, at various levels, as per your statement.

Pray tell me, if those dialogues were able to

1. Stop evangelization and conversions

2. Stop the mushrooming of Christian NGOs

3. Stop the construction of Prayer Houses & Churches near our Temples

4. Stop the Church from acquiring huge lands and properties

5. Stop the menace of Inculturation

6. Stop the flow of foreign money

In fact, Dr.Elst, all the above things have increased to an alarming extent, ever since the interfaith dialogues have started.

Simultaneously, those indulging in interfaith dialogues from the Hindu side, both spiritualists & intellectuals, have only improved a lot in their “status” and nothing beneficial has happened to the Hindu Samaj. These spiritualists and intellectuals could not stop the construction of even one Church; could not prevent the harvest of even one soul; could not put a full stop to the acquiring of even one inch of land by the Church; could not take even one Christian NGO to task; could not block the flow foreign money even to one Church or NGO.

Dear Dr.Elst, you are held in high esteem by Hindu activists like us, here in India. Please don’t make us change our opinion by supporting self-aggrandizing interfaith businessmen. Thanks.

Dr.Vijaya Rajiva

28/12/2011 02:09:15 To Critics of my article

It is important to remember that Adi Shankara intended to defeat the adversary not to appease him/her as RM seeks to do, and did in his talk at Harvard university.It is not an accident that Clooney has been active sponsoring these discussions because they are to his advantage, or so he thinks.When one tampers with Bharat's age old civilisation, its aam admi Hindu and its traditional acharyas, gurus and maths, then one must have a good motive. Fortunately, as some of the comments below indicate, many readers of my article are wise to Clooney's efforts at chipping away at this (with the help of some Hindus). It is surprising that someone as astute as Koenraad Elst has not seen this. In a comment to my earlier article George Thundiparambil put it succintly : the danger is when the rules of tarka are not observed.

Koenraad Elst may find this irrelevant, but some of us still revere Adi Shankara and are not prepared to adopt new fangled methods, no matter how attractive they may seem superficially. Therefore, it is important that Hindu youth are not also beguiled by siren calls.

The answer is not interfaith dialogue which only serves the purposes of inculturation, but to continue steadily to bring back Hindu youth to their moorings. This is being done by the Sangh Parivar organisations and others with those who have left the Hindu fold. A similar process can take place with our college educated youth.

Listening to the siren call of interfaith dialogue is not the way to go. It must be robustly exposed and defeated.


27/12/2011 19:30:50 willful ignorance

Not sure what the author is actually griping about. Rajiv in his book and talks has clearly mentioned the motive of his dialogues/purva-paksha. It is actually aimed at the Hindu fence sitters to bring them out of the sameness myth by highlighting irreconcilable differences which the opponent has to endorse without a choice.

Radha Rajan

27/12/2011 19:34:42 Hindus as Losers?!

Hindus are losing the war against the predatory church not because we dont speak good english when we meet them across the table or because we dont know the Old Testament. We are losing today because this war is waged with money that is used at one end of the Hindu spectrum and the legitimacy which the Abrahamic cults are being given in respectable quarters and sacred Hindu spaces by idiot and villanous English-educated Hindus at the other end of the spectrum. No matter how much you dialogue, you cannot explain away genocide of entire nations, peoples and faiths carried out and still being carried out by the Generic Church with its imaginative and new weapons of war and the more effective and result-guaranteed old weapons of war. To even assume that Malhotra is peeling away layers of Christian ignorance is laughable because there si netiher ignorance nor innocence within the Abrahamic religions and their leaders. This inter-religious interaction is a fun-thing to do in the US universities and in Europe but when the same is done on this soil,it is no longer fun-thing, it is war by other means and no matter how some intellectuals may run down and abuse those who speak out against inter-religious dialogue, this war will be fought as ferociously as merited.

Radha Rajan

27/12/2011 18:53:43 Plump pumpkin in a spoonful of rice

Dr. Rajiva's caution about the siren's call is well-timed. All facts are by nature embryonic. The embryo cited by Dr. Rajiva is the Second Vatican Call to inter-religious dialogue notwithstanding the ducument Ad Gentes whoch asserts the missionary nature of the church. Redemptoris Missio is only the tree from this embryo. I am surprised at Dr. Elst's dismissal of Dr. Rajiva's caution as being a plump misstatement. It is the insistence that the war strategy called inter-religious dialogue initiated from the war office called PCID which is a plump pumpkin which RM (rajiv malhotra, not redemptoris missio) and Dr. Elst is seeking to hide inside a spoonful of rice.


27/12/2011 07:31:16 Rajiv Malhotra's U-Turn

Dr. Rajiva, appreciate your raising the alarm about Rajiv Malhotra's interaction with Dr. looney. It might even help Rajiv make a few course corrections. But I think we should wait till Rajiv comes out with the full complement of his promised 7 books on this issue before we pass judgement on the alleged U-Turn. "Being Different" is just the first book. Interestingly, I believe Rajiv's second book is going to be titled "U-Turn". Whatever Rajiv Malhotra does in the future, we have to appreciate what he has done this past decade - create an awareness among lay Hindus (among whom I count myself), that unless drastic action is taken by the Hindu collective, Hindu thought, consciousness, and civilization is headed down a path to take its appointed place in a museum somewhere alongside other extinct civilizations.


27/12/2011 06:09:45 Inter-faith Dialogue

On the so-called 'inter-faith dialogue', the Belgium scholar, Dr.Koenraad Elst, wrote in his his doctoral thesis - "De-Colonising the Hindu Mind"(2001) : " A Vatican document of 1990, 'Redemptoris Missio'[RM] - (The Redeemer's Mission) confirms that 'dialogue' is still a means of conversion rather than a meeting between equals. Winand Callewaert, a prominent Catholic Indologist, summarised RM as thus: 'The Church is by definition missionary - - - For our subject, it is important to note that RM strongly emphasizes the need for missionary activity in Asia. For this reason 'dialogue' and 'inculturation' are recommended as the best strategies.The challenge consists in turning that dialogue to the primordial goal, viz. 'evangelization'. After all RM declares: 'the obvious road to salvation is the Church, which alone is entrusted with the fulness of the instruments of salvation - - RM continues to assert that 'Christ is the only redeemer of all men' - the only mediator between God and man" (pp-282). Beware the 'Harvester of Souls'!![/color]

C S Sundaresha

27/12/2011 06:51:20 Inter faith dialouge

Dear Dr. Vijaya Rajiva,

You are absolutely correct. what is the use of inter faith dialogue? It will yield nothing. Christian and Muslim religious leaders don't have the intellectual honesty. We can never force a change in them by discussing with them. Inter faith discussion with Muslims and Christians is like cow discussing with hyena to make it make it vegetarian!!

[color="#0000FF"]Koenraad Elst

27/12/2011 04:45:07 purva paksha

Painful to read such a plump misstatement of the issues in interreligious dialogue in an otherwise meritorious publication like Haindava Keralam. The smaller cannot contain the greater, and clearly Vijaya Rajiva's understanding of the matter is too embryonic to grasp Rajiv Malhotra's well-researched insights. Whereas Rajiva does not go beyond rote-learning and parrotting a scriptural definition of Purva-Paksha, Malhotra shows his mastery by actually putting this concept into practice.

As for Rajiva's assumption that dialogue is necessarily detrimental to the Hindu side and must therefore be shunned: Hindu-Christian interaction or dialogue is taking place at many levels anyway, and as Trotsky said about politics: though you may choose to stay away from it, it will not stay away from you. Numerous Christian assumptions, ideas and habits are penetrating the Hindu world from all sides, finding it defenceless. If Hindus come out as losers most of the time in these de facto interactions as well as in formal debates, it is because they have lazily (or haughtily, as in Rajiva's case) refused to do their preparatory study of the other side, i.e. their Purva-Paksha. By contrast, Malhotra does a good job in his dialogue with Christian interlocutors, effectively "peeling away their layers of ignorance".[/color]

These "interfaith dialogue" overtures from the christians toward the Hindus bring to mind that chapter in history wherein the christians who invaded the US went about hounding the native Americans in order to hold "treaty" peace talks with them: something about a "mutual dialogue", to come to some sort of "arrangement", an "agreement" of ... "co-existence".

And then, once the meetings were at last arranged and the naive indigenous were roped into thinking the farce was genuine enough to be worth partaking in, the invading foreign "settlers" drew up their treaties and some native American representatives signed them - signed them as authority for all the represented native nations.

And time's shown how well all those arrangements worked out.

And now, here's an opportunity for Hindus to take part in a similar historical occasion of "dialoguing" "peacefully" with christianism. As if the many earlier dialogues with christianism - e.g. illustrated with documentation in SR Goel's History of Hindu-Christian encounters - achieved anything useful other than to teach the enemy more about us. No dialogue even delayed their onslaught. And the current christians overtures to "dialogue" serve as a screen for christianism to conceal its full-scale programme in India, including the murder/neutralisation (via the "Hindu terror" concoction and character assassination) of Hindu swamis and other key Hindus on the christian hitlist. Swami Lakshmananda, to the imprisoned Swami Aseemananda and Dara Singh, to the Kanchi Shankaracharya.

Of course, it turns out that Jayalalitha (who greenlighted christianism's framing of the Kanchi Swami) is a christian also - though no one wants to say it, presumably since Indians are still too sensitive to fingerpoint christianism - being a regular christian witness to catholic mass no less. From memory/my understanding, one needs to be baptised into the christian faith plus have received the sacrament of the Eucharist in order to attend catholic mass. That means that Jayalalitha has to be christian and a practising catholic if she's allowed at mass. Also:


Quote:A state of grace simply means that they do not have any unconfessed mortal sin. When a baby is baptized, he comes into a state of grace. He stays in that state until he commits a mortal sin, which is a very serious sin. Then he doesn't get back into grace until he has confessed that sin.

It is not a mortal sin to miss Communion; deliberately missing Mass is a mortal sin
The quoteblocks in the above post are the important bit. Not this post.

Related to the above.

It's interesting how people think - and would lead others into thinking - that a dialog with christianism will actually achieve anything. The possibility of a victory? Really? After all the years of "dialogue" documented by SR Goel, when christians repeatedly found themselves grow silent unable to respond to the Hindu side, and went away only to return for more when they were better prepared? And when all dialoguing ceases - when christianism finds that circumstances are such that these are not necessary anymore - perhaps that's when people will realise that they were just deluding themselves into thinking there was anything to be gained from it.

For christianism such dialoguing with a targeted heathen population works as a handy means to distract those among the heathens who think they are intellectuals, as well as a way to gather more information about the workings of the heathen and their views. Note that dialogue is only employed when the heathens still have (some) power: they're still in majority in India and circumstances are still such that the Hindus can't easily be mowed over by christianism.

What heathens need is not dialogue - the GrecoRomans who took the challenge did not dialogue, they wrote "polemical" literature: attacked christianism. Because unlike the "intellectual" Indians, the (actually) intellectual Hellenes didn't pretend to want to co-exist with christianism, they knew it must be exterminated since it was death to Hellenismos and the world at large. But, as RSmith explains, even polemic literature was not considered by the Hellenes to be the main prong of their attack on christianism:

Quote:A modern writer has borrowed a lucid metaphor from Julian's own lips to capture the horror he felt: 'He saw, with a clarity bred of hatred, one blatant feature of his age - Christianity rising like a damp-stain on the wall of his beloved Hellenic culture.'109 Julian was not so self-deceiving as to think that the damp-stain could be checked by one more polemic against Christians. But he could do more than that: the gods had made him Emperor.110

The only invitation for "dialogue" from Hellenismos' end in Julian's "Against the Galilaeans" (what remains of it) was actually a challenge issued: he asked christians for documented proof of their jeebus, knowing full well they had none. But Emperor Julian was an expert on christianism after all. So his challenge was not an invitation for dialogue after all, but merely stating that they can't even respond to him because they lack proof for their fundamental premise.

Julian, it was stated, also wrote a 7-volume attack on christianism (and not merely a 3 volume series as claimed by a more popular memory). But *that* was of actual meaning. What remains of it is still of meaning. Including in how it shows the difference between the would-be Indian "intellectuals" facing off against christianism in a "dialogue" now versus what the Hellenistic heathen did: attack christianism where it hurts (and remain heathen throughout).

Hindus have not the creature who is going to out-think him. He knew christianism expertly - and as a youth, the christians already thought his scriptural knowledge was promising for his christian future (but he didn't become a pontifex of christianism) -

and he was a Hellene from the ground up. As the Heathen's Heathen and as a man who belonged to his Gods (and consequently worked for his fellow Hellenes) first, he is entirely to be trusted. He IS one of their kind and therefore speaks as a true representative. It was his own religion=Gods he was batting for. Which is why his arguments are so inoffensive to heathens - something that can't be said for any "defence" mounted by the would-be defence squads of Hindu-ism.

Hindus need heathen representatives - and even dead Roman ones serve them better than living unrepresentative Indians.

I think I may have a battery charge sufficient to parrot this forever - it is from the pen of the 4th century Roman Emperor Julian:


Quote:It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind

the reasons by which I was convinced that

the fabrication of the Galilaeans

is a fiction of men composed by wickedness.


Quote:«... ών [εκ τών ανδρών, Ιησούς Παύλος, Κορνήλιος, Σέργιος Παύλος, κά.] είς εάν φανή τών τη­νι­καύ­τα γνωριζομένων επιμνησθείς -επί Τιβερίου γάρ ήτοι Κλαυδίου ταύτα εγί­νε­το-, περί πάν­των ότι ψεύδο­μαι νομίζετε.».

"But if you can show me that one of these men [Jesus, Paul, Cornelius, Sergius Paulus, etc.] is mentioned by the well known writers of that time, -these events happened in the reign of Tiberius or Claudius-, then you may consider that I speak falsely about all matters."

(Loeb's Translation)
What else is there to say on christianism? This is all there needs to be said. To christianism. On christianism.

It is both an offensive against christianism and the whole truth - the truth circumvented by the Indians eager to "dialogue", since they dare not pronounce that Christianism Is An Evil Lie. But in that truth lies the first - and immediately implacable - of all differences between heathenism and christianism/related diseases.

One of the comments of the HK piece stated:

Quote:(RM's book Being Different) is actually aimed at the Hindu fence sitters to bring them out of the sameness myth by highlighting irreconcilable differences which the opponent has to endorse without a choice.

1. RM writing about Hindus' heathenism is weird in itself in that he's not representative of actual Hindu heathenism. (IIRC, he listed the stuff he tried as Buddhist Vipassana + ISKCON + and was it Transcendental Levitation/Meditation/whatever + declared/threatened a clinical interest in "Tantra", as if this was going to be the next hobby. Sounds typically new-age Indian. In any case, not at all a representative of heathen Hindoos (who know what they're doing). I'm not going to apologise for this statement - chalk it up as my "opinion" if you like - was obviously thinking it all along. Merely stated it now.)

Plus he regularly adds digs against actually heathen Hindoos - especially anything established - wishing they were more like him/what he wished they were, often admonishing them to the degree they are not. Yet they're not the ones who wandered off at some tangent; *they're* still heathen (a.o.t. new age).

That makes him one of the (many) last Indians who ought to be writing about what is and isn't Hindu-ism altogether and why therefore it differs from christianism.

2. The "sameness myth" can be dispelled and the "irreconcilable differences" between christianism and Hinduism highlighted to a Hindu fence-sitting audience if the would-be Hindu defence squad was for once just honest enough to say what Julian said unashamedly in the quoteblocks above. But then there's that difference between the Hellenes - heathen as they were - and today's vocalists on the Hindu side. The difference is one of heathenism. The Hellenes fought like heathens and for their heathenism.

You'd be hard-pressed today to get Hindus to say anything more in favour of their kind's way than to speak of "culture" and "civilisation". The word religion (i.e. Gods) sticks in their throat. The very defining characteristic of what christianism calls its number 1 enemy is the one thing you will never hear an English-language vocalist for Hindus speak on unapologetically. It must be alien to them.

I like this oft-parroted statement also, because it clearly underlines motivation:

Quote:Gibbon's verdict, though, was studiedly ambiguous, and when he wished to convey the heart of the man he looked elsewhere: 'A devout and sincere attachment for the gods of Athens and Rome constituted the ruling passion of Julian.'19 In my view, that judgement deserves to stand.
That spells out why there was no half-hearted, weak defence. And so Julian's defence (or offensive, rather) cut right into christianism because he was a full embodiment of its exact nemesis - the so-called "paganism" being the identified nemesis of christianism.

Hindus don't have that kind of representation in the English language. One of your Own kind to speak for you.

You don't have a heathen Hindu (i.e. Hindoo) representative.

What you have instead is... let's say, nothing to write home about.

No. There was a bright exception:

I actually like the Kanchi Swami's response to the christian invitation to dialogue: demanding an initial set of terms from christianism that need to be satisfied before they can even speak of dialogue again. (Though I wish he'd simply told them to Get Lost For All Time, but I suppose that's not his style: he's probably one of the all too many goody-two-shoes heathens and is unlikely to tell anyone to Rot Op.)

But the Kanchi Shankaracharya's response doesn't count in the Wannabe defence squad, because it's not a wannabe: it's an actual heathen. (Just like actual practising Hindus' responses on matters pertaining to Vedam wouldn't count, and only Talageri/Elst/etc type arguments are ever admissable).

Quote:showing us a more effective alternative.
(There is no "us".)

A more effective alternative - it has nothing to do with victory, but at least is guaranteed not to compromise Hindus further by introducing new errors (foot-in-mouth errors are all that has been achieved so far) is for the vocalist would-be defenders to Shut Up altogether.

If there's no 1. competent 2. representation to take the battle to the enemy (a decisive battle*) instead of "living with the enemy" (on any terms), then Hindus' best bet is to shut up. And just parrot Julian and the Hellenismos FAQ at the Ysee.gr site in the meantime. Could do much worse.

* Certainly Nothing in the form of a "dialogue" - no parleying, not even any talking with genocidal manias. Why would anyone contemplate talking to a sociopathic religion that manufactures psychos.
I was wrong again. About this:

Quote:Buddhist Vipassana + ISKCON + and was it Transcendental Levitation/Meditation/whatever +

It was not ISKCON that Rajiv Malhotra counts in his list, but Deepak Chopra:

Quote:I (Rajeev Malhotra) had previously learned and practiced meditation techniques from multiple sources for over 30 years, including: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Yogi Amrit Desai (who certified me as a teacher), Deepak Chopra, Vipassana, and more.
Not even going to find out who this "Amrit Desai" person could be, considering the rest in the list.

Though the most ... memorable bit in the very same article that the quoteblock above was stolen from was where Malhotra asked - and proceeded to lecture about - whether "Tantra" is a part of "Hinduism".

[Even when I first read it, I almost expected his next questions to be "Are Hindu Gods a part of Hindu religion?" and "Are the Vedas a part of Hindu religion?" etc. Well, ya never know with some people.]

Concerning the debile question described in the post above (#207).

When writing #207, was additionally going to post the line:

Quote:(* And in this context: IIRC, several Hindu Tantra texts state repeatedly they're of the Vedic religion and constitute an extension to the Vedam.)
(Note, am obviously only speaking of *Hindu* Tantra scriptures, not any others.) Removed the statement from the post since I didn't want to be wrong yet again, and decided to confirm first.

The above statement holds, as it's confirmed in [color="#0000FF"]the following wherein my lips are obviously not moving[/color]:

Quote:The Tantra is regarded as a Shruti or Agama [...] It is thus classed with the Vedas. It is usually defined as "shrutishAkhAvisheShaH", a particular branch of the Vedas. This claim is strongly maintained not only by the later Tantras, but also by the earlier ones. One of the oldest Tantras available in manuscript, NS, holds that the Tantra is the culmination of the esoteric science of the vedAnta and the sAMkhya. In fact, it combines with the ultimate reality of Brahman or Shiva the validity of the world as an expression of His Shakti. The consort of Shiva therefore is first taught the vedAnta, then the 25 sAMkhyas [saamkhya categories], and after that the Shiva Tantra. P, which is an equally old tAntric text, says, 'The Tantra, first communicated by Shiva, came down through tradition. It is Agama with the characteristics of chandas (Vedas).'

The later Tantras reiterate the same claim. The K Tantra says (II. 140-41) that kuladharma is based on, and inspired by, the truth of the Vedas. In the same place, Shiva cites passages from the shruti in support of His doctrine. P2 and other Tantras cite vaidika-mahAvAkyas and mantras; and as mantras are a part of the Vedas, the M Tantra says that the Tantra is a part of the Vedas. The N Tantra calls the Tantra the fifth Veda, and kulAchAra the fifth Ashrama, which follows all the others. The MSM-tantra says that the disciple must be pure of soul and a knower of the Vedas. He who is devoid of vaidikakriyA is disqualified. The GT says that the tAntric sAdhaka must be a believer in the Vedas, ever attached to Brahman, living in Brahman and taking shelter with Brahman. The K Tantra says that there is no knowledge higher than that of the Vedas and no doctrine equal to the kaula.

I hate having to do this. Having to quote from books - and not even particularly the kind I want to be quoting from, but some things are easier to reach than others and can go in public, besides I just wanted no more than some backing support for my statement anyway, and that's served with the above -

The sentence again: hate having to quote books on matters that are stuff that Hindus should know (this Is your religion, right). In order to this, Hindus don't need to know by rote what Hindu scripture said what - am pleased and proud of you if ya do, since I don't - but people need to at least be able to recognise things that are part of their religion. [And practically speaking, several Hindu practises (incl. mantras) that derive from Hindu Tantra manuals are followed by even younger generations of Hindus, though the older Hindoos perform all such things more knowledgeably, consciously and thoroughly. But they know what they're doing.]

"Is [Hindu] tantra a part of Hinduism" indeed.


You're as good as those you allow to 1. lecture you on your religion and 2. speak on your behalf to others (though they shouldn't ever be dialoguing with deadly enemies - which is a separate problem altogether). If you would never of your own choice have elected them to the position, you *need* to ask them to Stand Down.

Plus Sharan's earliest (bottom-most) comment to it.

The scary excerpt (bold and blue bit):

Quote:Rajiv Malhotra’s endorsement of Hindu-Christian dialogue – Vijaya Rajiva

Posted on January 3, 2012 by IS

“The present writer believes that the way to go is to reinforce the aam admi Hindu, the traditional acharyas, gurus and maths, rather than undermining them by subtle methods and often openly downgrading them in various ways.” – Dr. Vijaya Rajiva

In an article in Huffington Post, author and writer Rajiv Malhotra repeats his interpretation of the ancient Hindu method of Purva Paksha as looking at various religions,especially

Christianity and Western thought with respect, while maintaining differences [color="#0000FF"](“Difference With Mutual Respect: A New Kind of Hindu-Christian Dialogue”)[/color]. While religious leaders have traditionally maintained the posture that all religions are similar, Mr. Malhotra argues for the differences, while maintaining respect for each other’s world view. As one continues to read the article the reader realises that Malhotra is not actually saying anything new. In fact, his concluding statement is that there is a Divine One and its various manifestations are “lila.” This well written, charming essay is worth a first read, if only so that Hindus can understand where the author is going with his claims of a new kind of Hindu-Christian dialogue.

Respect for christianism??? Translates to respect for institutionalised genocide and paedophilia.

Wouldn't everyone who's still sane and humane rather blow out their brains first?

Christianism threatens to wipe Hindu religion (hence Hindus) from the face of Bharatam and consequently the planet. And yet Hindus are supposed to have ... respect for christianism? Whose side is Malhotra on again? I actually can't work it out, considering also that:

1. Malhotra apparently behaves pleasantly toward the catholic Clooney.

2. Meanwhile he's made digs at established Hindoo Swamis. Plus gets annoyed at the masses of Hindoos for being Hindoos instead of falling in line with his vision for them. (Drat the heathens. They're Still not dead.)

Anyway, the comment by Ishwar Sharan that is relevant in general:

Quote:Undermining the traditional acharyas and flattering the amateur interlocutor is one of the tried and true tactics of Jesuit interfaith dialoguers. Unfortunately Malhotra’s own egotism blinds him to the trap he has got caught in.

It is also true that the aam admi are the people that count in Hindu India. As Rome christianised in the first centuries CE, the upper classes converted because it served their social and political interests to do so (the emperors, starting with Constantine, had already converted). But the Pagan deities continued to be worshipped by the peasants and farmers up to the 10th century within a 100 kms of Christian Rome.
Yes, the Loyal Laity. Never a nice ending for them. (Top-down missionising strategies were ever a nightmare to the heathen masses.)

Poor Hindoo laity too: considering that creepy people - who typically don't really even like Hindoos for being stubborn heathens - constantly attempt to hijack "lead" them (and tend to/would subvert them in the process. Speaking even more generally, Hindoos really should cut themselves off from all gangrene...)

But in the comparison between laities, at least the Hellenes for a time had Julian - who looked after the interests of his own kind (being one of them). Sigh. "If wishes were horses...." Still, there's the memory of him. Which is definitely something profoundly helpful in itself, not least because it shows what should be.

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