Sadhus condemn Rajnath Singh for claiming the government can’t order Ram Temple to be built – Piyush Srivastava

Narendra Giri

Piyush Srivastava“‘It is a lame excuse of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. The BJP should first get a Bill on the Ram Temple passed in the Lok Sabha before saying that they will not succeed in the Rajya Sabha,’ said Akhara Parishad president Narendra Giri” – Piyush Srivastava

India Home Minister Rajnath SinghWhen it comes to the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, the All India Akhara Parishad doesn’t mince its words.

Even if that means taking on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre, the saints of the Parishad make their point quite bluntly.

And now they are gunning for Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who recently said that the Modi government doesn’t have enough numbers in the Rajya Sabha to make a law in favour of the Ram Temple.

The Parishad has dared the Union home minister to first get a Bill passed in the Lok Sabha on the Ram Temple in Ayodhya before taking refuge to any “excuse”.

“It is a lame excuse of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. The BJP should first get a Bill on the Ram Temple passed in the Lok Sabha before saying that they will not succeed in the Rajya Sabha,” said Akhara Parishad president Narendra Giri.

Two days ago, the Union home minister had also said in Ayodhya that the government should wait for the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Ram Temple case.

But Giri is in no mood to listen.

“Now it is clear that the BJP is betraying the saints of the country. The vote-bank politics of BJP on Ram Temple had helped it last time during the 2014 parliamentary elections.

“The BJP leaders must understand that they would be dumped once and forever in 2019. The Akhara Parishad will meet in Hardwar on May 25 and 26 to take a final decision on this issue,” Giri said.

Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas chairman Nritya Gopal Dal also rejected Rajnath’s statement and said that the BJP government should come out with a solution.

Hashim Ansari“Whatever Rajnath is saying may be his personal view. We don’t accept the excuse because the BJP is in power only to fulfil the wish of the Hindus to build a Ram Temple at the same site in Ayodhya.

“We are hopeful that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take a decision in this regard soon,” he said. Former BJP MP Ram Vilas Vedanti also slammed the party.

“The BJP will be in majority in the Rajya Sabha in 2016. We hope that they will bring a law and construct the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Or else, they will vanish forever.”

But Hashim Ansari, the oldest plaintiff in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case said: “We want the Babri Masjid back, but we hope that this will be done democratically. PM Modi should also strike a balance.” – Mail Online India, 12 May 2015

Dwarka Shankaracharya Swaroopananda Saraswati

Proposed Ram temple in AyodhyaWill build Ram temple in Ayodhya without political help: Dwarka Shankaracharya Swaroopananda – Times of India

Taking a dig at the BJP government, Hindu religious leaders on Tuesday said they will construct Ram temple at the “Lord’s birthplace” in Ayodhya without any political assistance if the Supreme Court gives order in their favour.

The statement came in the wake of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh stating the NDA government can’t bring law on Ram temple without majority in Rajya Sabha.

Addressing the Hindu Dharma Sansad at Ramlila Maidan here on Tuesday, Shankaracharya of Dwarkapeeth Swaroopananda Saraswati asked BJP leaders to stop talking about construction of Ram temple.

“We request you (Singh) with folded hands, don’t talk about Ram Janmabhoomi. We will build Ram temple at the spot,” Shankaracharya said.

Shankaracharya alleged that a section of political class brought in the name of Mughal emperor Babur to gain “political advantage” and said that the court has accepted the fact that Babar had never been to the place. There were remains that proved that it was a place of worship of Hindus, he claimed.

“It is Ram Janmbhoomi and if the Supreme Court gives its verdict soon … because they have agreed it is Ram Janmabhoomi, but some portion has been given to Muslims while their plea has been Sri Ram Lalla Temple, Ayodhyarejected…. If that is decided, then we will … without any political party … the saints, great souls, gentlemen will construct Ram temple at the spot of Lord’s birth.

“And by God’s grace, we won’t need their (politicians) money, people will give us. We will construct temple, you please forgive us. Leave the discussion now,” he added.

The Sansad also passed a resolution in this regard. Amongst other resolutions adopted by the Sansad are for ban on cow slaughter, imparting knowledge of Ramayana and Mahabharata to youngsters at educational institutes, and for imposing ban on alcohol.

Hindu Dharma Sansad is a gathering of various Hindu religious bodies and organizations.

The Sansad also sought to provide relief and help in restoring temples in Nepal which were destroyed in the massive earthquake.

Shankarcharya also said the political class lacked knowledge of Hindu religion.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifting Bhagavad Gita to Japanese emperor Akihito during his visit to the east Asian country in September last year, Shankaracharya quipped that he should rather ensure children across India are taught lessons from the book.

Amongst other demands, the gurus demanded introduction of uniform civil code and abolishing Article 370 of the Constitution which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The two-day meet, which concluded tonight, was attended by heads of 13 akhadas across the country. – Times of India, 13 May 2015

Proposed Ram Temple

Remembering Swami Chinmayananda – Maria Wirth

Maria Wirth“Swami Chinmayanda was an exemplary teacher – clear, convincing and with a lot of humour. On one of his Jnana Yajnas I took notes and wrote a long article for a German magazine. Later I gave its English translation to him. Swami Chinmayananda read through it and acknowledged that I had conveyed the teaching well, “but”, he added gravely and then broke into a smile “your English is very German.” – Maria Wirth

Chinmayananda- SaraswatiSwami Chinmayananda’s 100th birthday is on 8th May. He was born in Ernakulam in Kerala in 1916. Those who had the good fortune to meet the Swami in person, surely treasure his memory. He was a towering personality, who stood up for the Hindu tradition once he had realised its worth. He was a man on a mission – the mission to acquaint his countrymen, especially the English educated class, with the profound insights of the ancient Rishis, which were in danger of being forgotten. He started a revival of Hindu Dharma in independent India by translating the ancient knowledge into a modern idiom and teaching it all over the country and even abroad.

Swami Chinmayananda was the ideal person to do this, as he knew from own experience the mindset of the ‘modern’, English educated Indian who wrongly believes that he has no use for his heritage, mainly because he does not know it.

Balakrishna Menon, as he was called, was born into a pious household, but he himself was not inclined towards religion or spirituality. Nobody guessed that he would become a sannyasi. He was the proverbial left liberal youth, got involved in the freedom struggle and studied literature, law and journalism. His first job was with the National Herald newspaper. He wanted to make a story on the so called holy men in Rishikesh. In 1947, he reached Swami Sivananda’s ashram – not to learn from him, but to find out how these sadhus and swamis manage to bluff people. He planned to expose them.

Swami Sivananda SaraswatiHowever, things took a different turn. Obviously, Balakrishna Menon was greatly impressed by what transpired between Swami Sivananda and him, because two years later on Maha Shivaratri, he was back in Rishikesh and took sannyas. He became Swami Chinmayananda.

From Rishikesh the new sannyasi went to Tapovan Maharaj in Uttarkashi deep in the Himalaya, and studied Vedanta as his disciple.

Discipleship, however, was not always easy, Once he even packed his bags determined to leave. His guru had accused him of having torn his cloth while washing it. Chinmayananda had denied it. Yet from that time onwards, Tapovan Maharaj called him ‘liar’, often in front of others. Chinmayanda felt hurt and decided to leave, never to come back. An older ashramite saw him packing and explained to him that the accusation was just one of the guru’s ways to hit at his ego, which was in his best interest. Chinmayananda got the point and stayed on.

Tapovan MaharajWhen he saw his guru the next time, the guru laughed, “Why are you so touchy when I call you a liar? Aren’t we all liars as long as we don’t know the truth? Do you know the truth already?”

After several years with his teacher, Swami Chinmayananda felt the urge to share his insights into Vedanta – by now convinced that the happiness that all look for cannot be found where it is generally sought. Everyone searches outside in the world among other persons and things, while it is hidden deep inside.

In the early 1950s, he left the Himalayas for the dusty, hot plains and started teaching his fellow countrymen mainly about the Bhagavad-Gita and the Upanishads as even after Independence the education system inexplicably ignored those great Indian texts. The modern Indians had no idea that India once was the cradle of civilisation. Even the most popular of India’s sacred texts, the Bhagavad Gita, was hardly known anymore, nor the Upanishads which form the last part of the sacred Vedas and deal with profound philosophy.

Until his death in August 1993, Swami Chinmayananda hardly took off for a single day from his tight schedule. After reaching a town, that very same evening, he started his weeklong Jnana Yajna, as the camps were called. The Chinmaya Mission that he founded still exists, and trained Vedanta teachers still take classes all over the country.

I attended several of his camps, including a course in his retreat centre in Siddhabari and am grateful for that. Swami Chinmayanda was an exemplary teacher – clear, convincing and with a lot of humour. On one of his Jnana Yajnas (it was his 389th camp in 1983 in Trichy) I took notes and wrote a long article for a German magazine. Later I gave its English translation to him. Swami Chinmayananda read through it and acknowledged that I had conveyed the teaching well, “but”, he added gravely and then broke into a smile “your English is very German.”

Since my memory of that camp in Trichy is still fresh in my mind thanks to this article, I will give here a glimpse of it:

A big tent had been put up for the camp. Chants from the Bhagavad Gita were played in the background from stalls where cassettes and books were sold. About thousand people gathered at dusk, sitting on rugs on the floor.

When Swami Chinmayananda entered the stage, people welcomed him with heartfelt clapping. He looked stately, was tall, had long hair and a long white beard, sparkling and a little mischievous eyes and a roaring laughter. He was completely at ease and made us truly enjoy the class with his great sense of humour.

“Do you know the essence of Vedanta?” he asked in a booming voice and himself gave the answer, “The essence is: Undress and embrace” he thundered. People were nonplussed. He chuckled and explained, “Undress body, mind and intellect. What remains is automatically in intimate embrace with OM, the pure awareness.”

All our suffering stems from identifying with our body, mind and intellect, or in other words, with our thoughts and feelings, he claimed and gave an illustration: “You go and watch a movie. The persons on the screen experience happiness and suffering. You also experience happiness and suffering. Why? Because you identify with those figures. You sit in the theatre and cry into your handkerchief. And you even pay for it!”

It was easy to stay attentive for the two hours. He kept asking us not to believe him but to use our reason and common sense well, and analyse the human situation intelligently. For example ask yourself:

“Man has body, mind and intellect. If he has body, mind and intellect, who is he?” Certainly a good question! Usually a question that we have never asked ourselves. Amazing!

He gave the analogy of electricity: “If you believe only what you see, than each light bulb surely shines all by itself, since some shine brightly and others dimly and some red and some green. Does it not follow that each light bulb has its own, independent light?

Yet whoever inquires more deeply, will laugh at such ignorance. He knows that the one electricity is solely responsible for the light in all bulbs (and even for the sound from loudspeakers). The different colours and forms of the bulbs account for the variety in the lights, yet would there be any light without electricity? No!

Similarly, we should not take the sense perception that we all are ‘obviously’ separate at face value and enquire who we really are. What makes our body, mind and intelligence function? What mysterious power makes us feel alive as the subject, as “I”? Is it the same pure awareness which is responsible for the ‘light’ in all of us?” Yes, it is.

Swami Chinmayananda SaraswatiSwami Chinmayananda, too, like all sages, advised us to direct our attention inwards to that essence that alone is absolutely true. He advised to meditate on that mysterious OM and to develop love for it. He himself must have done it for innumerable hours in those long years in the Himalayan ashram of his guru. And he may have tapped into the source of all energy, love and joy which gave him the strength and enthusiasm to continue till the very end with his mission to make his countrymen see sense.

A bulb won’t be able to discover the electricity in itself, yet we humans can discover pure awareness, as we are already aware. We only need to drop the content of awareness to discover pure awareness which is our real and blissful nature.

The more we become aware of our real nature, the less we will be attached to the world. Desires will become less automatically. They simply drop off. The world does not bind anymore. Love and joy are not sought outside anymore. They are felt right here inside. Meditation and bhakti become natural.

Swami Chinmayananda gave again an example in his typical, humorous style, how a drastic change in attitude comes about naturally when the time is ripe:

“One day, the elder brother calls his younger brother, shows him all his toys and tells him, ‘it is all yours. If you don’t want it, throw it away.’ The younger one is convinced that unfortunately his elder brother has gone mad. Yet the elder one is not bothered. He has discovered a better toy, and knows that it is better. The little brother cannot see it as long as he is so small. One day he will understand….”

On the last evening, it became obvious that the Swami had done us a great service. Long queues formed, and slowly and silently moved in an almost sacred atmosphere to the carton boxes that had been put up near the dais for envelopes with donations. We were grateful for the many valuable insights that he had prompted us to have.

Now we only need to take them to heart. If we do, we can live life in a meaningful and fulfilling way – in tune with the eternal Dharma that flourished in India since ancient times. It is through people who live according to Dharma that it flourishes. – Maria Wirth, 4 May 2015

See also

Monetising temple gold: the VHP view – Ashok Chowgule

Ashok Chowgule“An important point in the debate is that there should be a clear recognition that the wealth of the temples is the property of the deity, and not that of the temple management.  It has been provided to the deity out of devotion by the followers, without anyone forcing them to do so.  It has been provided out of the hard-earned money by the followers.”  – Ashok Chowgule

Gold-covering in the Guruvayur Sri Krishna TempleFor the last few years, there has been a talk in the media about monetising the temple gold to help solve some of the economic problems our country is facing.  Such suggestions were made earlier also.  The Vishwa Hindu Parishad would like to provide its views on the subject. 

The debate misses one major issue – namely, a discussion how the country landed itself in the mess it undoubtedly is in.  If we do not do this analysis, then we are not going to find solutions of an enduring nature.  It is also necessary to identify those (whether politicians, the ‘analysts’, etc.) who created the mess.  The objective of this second exercise is to ensure that there is a principle of accountability.  They were entrusted with the task of managing the economy, and the society paid them handsome salaries, well above the average national wage, for it.  Either they should publicly admit their mistake, explain why they made the mistake and ask for forgiveness, or they should be kept outside the system so that they cannot continue to do any more mischief. 

There is the story of a person who was looking for something under the light of an electric post.  When a passer-by asked him what he was looking for, he said it is the keys to the car.  After helping to search for a few minutes, the passer-by asked the other person where he could have lost the keys.  The latter said in the market place.  Surprised, the passer-by asked why is he looking under the electric pole.  The answer was that it is now dark in the market place. 

VishnuAnother important point in the debate is that there should be a clear recognition that the wealth of the temples is the property of the deity, and not that of the temple management.  It has been provided to the deity out of devotion by the followers, without anyone forcing them to do so.  It has been provided out of the hard-earned money by the followers.  

There are some allegations that some of the money is made illegitimately by the follower.  The deity has no way to know this, and it is the task of the concerned government authorities to take suitable action against the follower, by following the due process of the law.  The deity will not put any obstacles in the way of the authorities. 

We will not be letting out a state secret if we state that the economic mess is not the creation of the Hindu Samaj.  In fact, we can clearly state that the mess has been created by those who have an ideological opposition to the Hindu philosophy and civilisation.  They instituted a system of governance and economic management that was alien to the cultural norms of the Hindu civilisation. 

NehruWhat is worse is that when their plans turned out to be a disaster for the nation, they had no qualm of blaming the Hindus.  In the late 1970s, when the planners were asked why India was growing at the rate of 3% from 1947 till then, Prof Raj Krishna, one of the economists who was part of the system that managed the economy, absolved the real culprits and coined the term ‘Hindu Rate of Growth’, so that the blame is apportioned to the Hindus instead.  His ideological colleagues lapped it up, and those occupying the intellectual space, also being of the same ideological disposition, found it to be a rational explanation for the then depressing situation.  If there was even an iota of intellectual honesty amongst these supposed intellectuals, they would have admitted their mistakes.  The Hindus would not have asked them to return the salaries that were paid to them – the Hindus are magnanimous to a fault. 

A letter writer to The Sunday Times of India, R. C. Mody, has nicely put in a few word what Prof Raj Krishna meant.  Shri Mody wrote: “The term was coined … to describe the inability of the Indian economy to grow at more than a modest 3 per cent per annum, through a large part of the planning period, when other economies were growing at a much faster pace. He attributed this to the philosophical temperament of most Indians, their belief in contentment and lack of killer instinct.”  (August 6, 2000) 

No one asked Prof Krishna how did the Hindus who settled abroad, and with minimal financial resources, acquired the necessary killer instinct to do well for themselves.  No one asked him in the 1980s, when there were some feeble attempts to remove the shackles on the Hindu entrepreneurship, how did the same Hindus in India acquire the necessary philosophical temperament to achieve a growth rate of 5%.  

Prof Krishna passed away in early 1990s, so he could not be asked what happened to the Hindus when they decided to grow by 7% and subsequently by 9%.  But then, and importantly, those who accepted the term thoughtlessly never even considered that they should explain to the Hindus, and the nation, why they did not question Prof Krishna’s rationalisation.  Many of them still think that blaming the Hindus for the low growth rate till 1980 is truthful.  

K. R. MalkaniOf course, there were many in the Hindu Right Wing, in particular amongst the activists of many of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh organisations, who did put the issue in the right perspective.  One of them was K. R. Malkani of the BJP.  But, as is happening today, their views were censored by those who controlled the gates of the main stream information flow, for purely ideological reasons.  It would have been most uncomfortable for them to allow the people to know the truth. 

The true spirit of the Hindu entrepreneurship in India has been captured by Paul Johnson when he wrote: ‘Under the socialist regime of Jawaharlal Nehru and his family successors the state was intolerant, restrictive and grotesquely bureaucratic. That has largely changed (though much bureaucracy remains), and the natural tolerance of the Hindu mind-set has replaced quasi-Marxist rigidity.’ (‘Want to Prosper? Then be Tolerant’, Forbes, June 21, 2004.) 

John Kenneth GalbraithA similar observation was made by the late Prof John Kenneth Galbraith in the early 1960s, when he said that India is a functioning anarchy.  Though he was criticised for it, he had actually meant it in a positive way.  When, in 2001, he was asked about this term, the professor said: “I wanted to emphasise the point, which would be widely accepted, that the success of India did not depend on the government. It depended on the energy, ingenuity and other qualifications of the Indian people. And the Indian quality to put ideas into practice. I was urging an obvious point that the progress of India did not depend on the government, as important as that might be, but was enormously dependent on the initiative, individual and group – of the Indian people. I feel the same way now (as I did some forty years ago) but I would even emphasise it more. We’ve seen many years of Indian progress, and that is attributable to the energy and genius of the Indian people and the Indian culture.” (Outlook, August 20, 2001) 

It was this spirit of entrepreneurship that enabled the Hindus to make the best us of the opportunities wherever available.  During the socialist regime, it was not just Jawaharlal Nehru and Prof Krishna who were the offenders.  There were others, including the previous prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh.  Those who blamed, and continue to blame, the Hindus for the 3% growth rate till 1980 hail him as a liberaliser.  However, he has never admitted his own role in creating and managing the socialist regime.  And, hence, whatever little he did was not on the basis of conviction but responding to a situation.  Dr Singh was trying to find the keys under the lights of the electric pole and not where they were lost. 

The Hindus have proved their willingness to make sacrifice for the well-being of the nation, and will work hard to utilise the little opportunities to open up the economy.  They will not demand that they should be given the first right over the resources of the nation.  Nor will they blow up even the truly communal attacks against them out of proportion.  The Hindus have the necessary sense of moderation, and know that it is the nation that should come first. 

Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious Charitable Endowments DepartmentBut, if they are continued to be held responsible for the economic mess, the Hindus will speak out – with much politeness but without sacrificing truthfulness.  They will point out that the managements of the temple are in the hands of the politicians who have zero interest of the devotees at heart.  They will point out that even today the cash donations are deposited in government securities, which the state governments are using as a budgetary support, to cover their own financial profligacy.  They will point out that the government control of the temples has been abused by the various political parties, particularly those who wear the badge of secularism proudly on their sleeves, for dispensing favours to their supporters.  They will point out that the politicians have done very little for the temples themselves, barring a few notable examples like what Shri Jagmohan did for the Vaishno Devi Temple in Jammu & Kashmir. 

In 1962 when China attacked India, the Hindus made the sacrifice, even to the extent of some Hindu women donating their mangal sutras to help preserve our nation and hence our civilisation.  They did the same in 1971, when India had to help the people of Bangladesh to overthrow the tyranny that was unleashed on the people of that country.  They will do so even now.  But they want to know what is being done for the real problems that exist. 

Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh & Pranab Mukerjee, P. ChidambaramAgain, it is not a state secret that the previous UPA government, over a period of ten years, was responsible for the present state of the Indian economy.  While all this was happening, ‘analysts’ who today make loud proclamations of the mess, did not raise their voices.  Many of these ‘analysts’ are projecting that monetising of the temple gold will solve the problem.  This is absurd.  Even before thinking about monetising the temple gold, there are many small and simple steps that the government can take.  

The VHP would like the government to initiate these steps.  True reforms are not just relating to opening the economy for foreign investment, going even to the extent of disfavouring the Indian investor. True reforms are removing the shackles that are applied in the day-to-day running of the business.  True reform means to trust the Hindus that they will do good for the nation, rather than forcing them to ask permissions, particularly from those politicians who work hard against the interest of the Hindus. 

NGOThe VHP would like the government to control the five-star activists, who work under the label of NGOs, and receive funds from abroad.  There are many NGOs who are working in a silent manner, receiving support from the Hindus in India and abroad, who are doing yeoman service to the society.  But the ones who are publicity-seeking hounds undertake their activities only for their own pecuniary benefit. 

Bias in the Indian mainstream media.The VHP would like the government to ask the newstraders (we would not go to the extent of calling them prestitutes, though it may not be an inappropriate term) if they want to help the government to work towards improving the society.  Or do they think that it is their dharma to use all sorts of means (even if they are grossly unethical and unprofessional) to try and put political obstacles in the way of the NDA government.  They have to be reminded that they are able to maintain their luxurious life style only by the funds provided by the society, either directly or indirectly.  They have to be told that their loyalty should be to the society and not to their ideology. 

In a recent address to the office-bearers of the VHP, Bhayyaji Joshi, the Sarkaryavah of the RSS, said that India does not seek to be a super power. India would like to be a responsible and contributing power.  The VHP knows that there are many in the present government who have the true interests of the society in their heart.  The VHP would like to be a part of the process which will lead to once again realising the greatness of our civilisation. – Hindu Vivek Kendra, 16 April 2015

» Ashok Chowgule is the Working President (External) of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, India.

UPA Economics Dept

Hedgewar’s actions hold future lessons – Rakesh Sinha

Prof Rakesh Sinha“Nation-building cannot be accomplished by manifestoes or speeches. It demands sacrifice and realisation of the responsibility of living and dying for a larger cause. It is this widening of the self that is known as ‘character-building’ in RSS shakhas. Hankering for power and using larger causes for self-aggrandisement hardly serves any purpose.” – Prof Rakesh Sinha

 Keshav Baliram HedgewarNetaji Subhas Chandra Bose visited RSS founder Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar on June 20, 1940 to solicit his support to re-polarise anti-imperialist forces. Unfortunately, conversation didn’t happen as Hedgewar was on his deathbed—he passed away the next morning. This fact unravels many things that history textbooks have selectively omitted. The reason isn’t complex. Most textbook writers, steeped in communist ideology and hatred for RSS, have made history textbooks uninspiring, boring, ridden with selective facts and manipulated ideas and events.

Had Hedgewar lived on, Bose might not have gone to Germany and Japan to seek an alliance against British imperialism. Three decades later, Jayaprakash Narayan sought RSS support to fight Indira Gandhi’s naked authoritarianism. Notably, both Bose and JP came from the Congress Socialist Party, sharing similar political moorings.

The British weren’t unaware of the Sangh’s hidden agenda behind its military training, camps and indoctrination of young minds. Their military intelligence’s first report on RSS in 1930 stated that “RSS has the potential to become a terrorist organisation”. The immediate objective of RSS was liberation of the country. This was endorsed in a different way two years later when Hedgewar along with hundreds of swayamsevaks joined the Civil Disobedience Movement. This led the intelligence to blame Hedgewar for reviving the dying movement in Central Provinces and Berar.

Hedgewar’s actions were an exposition of the definition of nationalism that need to be part of history textbooks. For him, nationalism excluded any compromise with imperialism for personal or circumstantial reasons. It had to be pure-spirited, with Bal Gangadhar Tilaksacrifice, if needed. Nationalism was his philosophy of action. By 1920, Hedgewar emerged as a young radical inside the Congress. During its 1920 Nagpur session, he opposed Vijayaraghavachariar’s candidature for presidency because of the latter’s presence at the Governor of Madras’ tea party, even as the nation mourned the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Hedgewar’s puritanism challenged politics based on elitism and convenience. Earlier, during WWI, when the British enticed nationalists to cooperate in their war effort, Hedgewar, himself a follower of Lokmanya Tilak, broke ranks with senior leaders, including Dr B. S. Moonje, long considered his mentor. Hedgewar’s views split the Rashtriya Mandal, an organisation of Tilakites; he formed Nagpur National Union which opposed mobilisation for the war. His slogan was ‘Revolution, not Cooperation’. It was this nationalism that led him to form the RSS. He found two maladies to be the bane of Indian life—individualism and conscious amnesia of our civilisational role. Thus, while showing solidarity with the Congress, he widened the horizon of nationalism from anti-imperialism as its beginning to cultural nationalism. The RSS bore the responsibility of resurrecting civilisational values of nationalism.

These core issues have been missing from any discussion on the RSS, particularly among its critics who view it as a power-centric organisation with majoritarian perspective. Hedgewar believed that only cultural nationalism can generate peacetime nationalism and restore the importance of Bharatvarsha.

India MapNation-building cannot be accomplished by manifestoes or speeches. It demands sacrifice and realisation of the responsibility of living and dying for a larger cause. It is this widening of the self that is known as ‘character-building’ in RSS shakhas. Hankering for power and using larger causes for self-aggrandisement hardly serves any purpose. Mahratta, an English daily, in its editorial on June 28, 1940, aptly defined Hedgewar’s personality: “We use the word ‘selflessness’. Dr Hedgewar’s career gives it a reality which few have realized…. Dr Hedgewar was the prophet of Hindu Rashtra. He was no mere dreamer engrossed in flights of imagination, but a man of action who knew how to build lofty structures with human material.”

Hedgewar’s vision and action is not merely a thing of past, but holds exciting possibilities for the present and future. That is why while others’ shadows are shrinking, Hedgewar’s imprint is increasing by the day. The Mahratta’s title of page one news “Dr Hedgewar’s Sangh Still Going Strong” on June 28, 1940, transcends the limit of title. His 125th birth anniversary is the apt occasion to correct the discourse. – The New Indian Express, 23 MArch 2015

» Prof Rakesh Sinha is Hony Director of India Policy Foundation. Email rakeshsinha46@gmail.com

RSS

 

Evangelism abetted by Christian principal in a Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam college – IndiaFacts Staff

Dr M. D. Christopher

SVU College of Arts, Tirupati“Until Hindus take back their temples, it is advisable not to donate to Government-controlled temples. If Hindus really wish to donate, then they will be better served by donating it to a Hindu organization which really cares for Hindu causes and the Hindu community.” – IndiaFacts Staff

The Principal of the Sri Venkateshwara Arts College who goes by the name of Dr M. D. Christopher has been accused by the students of college and various student organizations that he is aiding Christian proselytization. If one looks at the happenings at the SV Arts College in the recent months, there is a strong possibility that this allegation is indeed true.

Evangelist literature is being distributed to students in the college campus. The manner in which the evangelist books are distributed is quite alarming and would not have been possible without the helping hand of the college administration. The students of the hostel are specially targeted for this soul harvest. Evangelical books and other literature arrived in a postal package and were addressed to each student by his name and they were in fact delivered to his room in the hostel. The students say that such distribution of books has happened many times over.

Students allege that complaints about this missionary activity to the Principal  and TTD officials have fallen on deaf ears. The students of the college directly point fingers at the Principal. The Principal has appointed to his staff a person named Rajkumar. Rajkumar is alleged to have given out the names and addresses of the students to the missionary organization distributing the literature. In spite of repeated complaints, no action was taken by the Principal. The Principal is also accused of appointing non-Hindu staff. A complete report (from TV9 Telugu) on this incident can be found here.

SVU College of Arts, TirupatiVandalism at Sri Venkateshwara Arts College

The walls of SV Arts College were painted with portraits of freedom fighters, poets and kings a couple of years back for the World Telugu Conference. The students and the local community over there were maintaining it well and keeping a watch to ensure that there were no posters/bills pasted on them.

However, a couple of days ago, miscreants disfigured these portraits by placing a Christian cross mark on the faces of the luminaries. Even the much celebrated Sri Krishnadeva Raya of the Vijayanagar empire was not spared from this crude expression of superiority of faith.

The College already facing the brunt of missionaries boiled again with student and religious organizations taking up protests. Whether this was done by mischief mongers or by Christians will perhaps be revealed in an investigation but the blame again has to be placed primarily on the shoulders of the college Principal and TTD for not keeping such vandalism in check especially when this very College with same Principal has been in the eye of storm for the past few months for missionary activities. The complete report (from NTV) on the vandalism at SV Arts College can be viewed here.

YSR taking communion from a Christian priest.TTD: Trojan Horse and a symbol of secular Government tyranny

During the YSR and Kiran Kumar Reddy-led Congress rule in Andhra, the state witnessed evangelism on a massive scale. The TTD too was not spared. There were reports in the Telugu media about the employment of Christians in TTD. Due to public outrage, a Government order was also issued directing the TTD to have only Hindus on its payroll. Swami Paripoornananda of Sri Peetam, Kakinanda had to protest again as the order was never implemented.

A Christian pastor was recently apprehended by the police after making a video of him along with his comrades visiting Tirumala and calling the Hindus as devil worshippers. The TTD staff have repeatedly failed miserably to stop such incidents. On many occasions, missionaries used to distribute evangelist material openly but the TTD was utterly inefficient in stopping this vulturesque preying on Hindus.

First, the TTD should not have hired a Christian principal or any staff it a college run by it. After reports and strong evidence of support for evangelism by this Principal, it should have dismissed the Principal. On the contrary it asked the police to lathi-charge the protesting students.

The reason for this incapacity of the TTD is because it is subject to political influence and appointment of people to positions including the Endowment / Executive Officer are appointed by the ruling party. How can the Hindu community be served if the administration is not seen as a service of the Divine but as a career option?

Many Hindus are not aware of the fact that several prominent temples including TTD which gets thousands of crores as revenue are taken over by various state governments and the most of the revenue goes to the state treasurer. This is the reason one sees many hundis placed all over precincts of Government controlled temples. Many mindless rituals are done just to extract money from the devotees worldwide. The TTD has become a master at selling tickets to various redundant rituals and utsavams.

This Government control of temples is a throwback to the colonial past where the Christian British and Muslims Kingdoms used to take over the revenue generated from temples as tax. It was also a mechanism to hurt the Hindus in terms of demography. Donations made by devotees which would have gone to the development of the poorest of the community went to a foreign colonizer. At the same time, the British government planted several Christian missions across the country which targeted the same poorer section of the Hindu demographic that would have gained benefits from the donations made to temples.

State Institute of Temple AdministrationNearly seven decades after Independence, the pattern has not changed. Secular state governments have taken over several Hindu temples, the Community’s money is looted by the government—money, which is supposed to protect the right to practice and propagate the Hinduism, one of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. Hindus live in an independent and secular country but their fundamental right to freedom is severely curtailed. How is the Hindu community supposed to take care of its poorest when the community’s hard earned money is taken away from it?

The Christian community which has a huge proselytizing mission with massive funds backing it, has extensively benefited in Andhra and elsewhere as they have targeted the poor amongst the Hindus for conversions. They have gained massively in demographics due to this tyranny perpetrated on the Hindus. A foreign religion is being given such massive advantage over a native religion which swears by nationalism and deep-rooted philosophical and spiritual traditions spanning thousands of years. How long will it be before India becomes another Philippines or a South Korea, nothing more than a Christian outpost of the West.

Imagine the number of schools, colleges, hospitals and other institutions Hindus could have built and sustained and how it would have changed the lives of poor Hindus. The secular state governments and the central government have become the biggest roadblocks to the prosperity and safety of Hindus.

Swami Dayananda SaraswatiThe long-term goal for Hindus should be to free Hindu Temples from Government control. There are several organizations working across the country towards this goal.

The Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha already has filed a case in the Supreme Court. In a seminar on temples, I had once heard from Swami Dayananda Saraswati that none of the state governments from the south had answered the questions put forth by HDAS in the honorable Supreme Court. Given the rate at which the judiciary functions, one should expect that Hindus are in a for a long grind and by that time, severe damage would have been done.

It would be better to lobby with a supposedly pro-Hindu central government to remove the Hindu Endowments Act completely from the Constitution. Please contact the various BJP Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assembly and ask them to remove this draconian act that is killing the Hindu community.

Narendra Modi & Rajnath SinghThe silence of the Narendra Modi Government in this regard is disheartening. The Government is aware of the problem, it is also aware of the fact that it is the Hindus that voted them to power. It’s been nine months since the NDA came into power and yet it has not taken any concrete steps to provide equality to Hindus. Hindus need to make their collective voices heard and bring pressure on the Modi Government. If it fails to act despite this, the BJP should be shown its place in the sun.

Many times, Hindus complain that Hindu organisations could have better spokespersons to represent them in the media. However, the travesty is that people donate to a government controlled temple like the TTD in crores but not to a Hindu organization that could protect our Dharma. That should tell us something.

In the end, until Hindus take back their temples, it is advisable not to donate to Government-controlled temples. If Hindus really wish to donate, then they will be better served by donating it to a Hindu organization which really cares for Hindu causes and the community.

Tirumala Tirupathi DevasthanamsThe road ahead

The TTD has taken a token action of ordering an investigation and a criminal case has been registered. But that by itself does not guarantee that such incidents will not recur in the future. Readers are requested to call up the official TTD numbers or email them to immediately dismiss the college principal on the grounds that he happens to be a Christian. Please ask the TTD to remove any non-Hindus from its payroll be it from colleges or from temple administration and all institutions run by it. To get a swift response from the TTD, readers should contact the Executive Officer(EO).

E-mail Ids:

Executive Officer: eo@tirumala.org

Joint Executive Officer, Tirumala: jeotml@tirumala.org

Joint Executive Officer, Tirupati: jeotpt@tirumala.org

Chief Vigilance & Security Officer: cvso@tirumala.org

Public Relations Officer: pro@tirumala.org

Phone Numbers of TTD Officials:

Executive Officer: 0877-2264160(c), 4977(o), 4393(o)

JEO Tirupati: 0877-2264877(c), 4231(o)

PA to the Executive Officer: 0877-2264545

Public Relations Officer: 0877-2264392

Central Reception Officer: 0877-2263922

Chief Accounts Officer: 0877-2264752,4213

Chief Vigilance & Security: 0877-2264390

Devasthanam Law officer: 0877-2264317

Dev. Educational Officer: 0877-2264396

Dharma Prachara Parishad: 0877-2264490,92,93,94

Overseas Temple: 0877-2277718

Complaints/Suggestions: 18004254141

Article Source: IndiaFacts, 22 February 2015

 

Tribals are Hindus, Hindus are Pagans – Koenraad Elst

Bada Dev (Bara Dev)

Dr Koenraad ElstAt the 5th Gathering of the Elders (Mysore, 1-4 February 2015), I was originally only present as an observer. But when a Hindu lady speaker had addressed the social philosophy of the Gond tribe, I felt it necessary to give a fitting reply, as it was contrary to the whole aim and spirit of the conference. To my good fortune, the next speaker failed to show up, so the chair asked me if I could improvise a lecture. – Dr Koenraad Elst

How deep the Christian missionary influence has penetrated the Hindu psyche, was shown by this rendering of the Gondi worldview. The first aim of the missionaries is to convince the tribals that they are not Hindus. (After that, they will tell them that their religion is very close to Christianity, and that their self-acknowledgment as Hindus would constitute a “conversion” while their baptism would only constitute a “fulfilment” of their natural religion.) So, the lecture on the Gonds taught us that their religion is the very opposite of Hinduism because:

  1. They worship Barâ Dev while Hindus worship Ishwar;
  2. They consider the North auspicious; Hindus, the South;
  3. They bury their dead; Hindus cremate them;
  4. They believe in service to others (“jai seva!”), Hindus only in their own Liberation;
  5. They believe the world is real, Hindus believe it is Maya (illusion).
  6. They are divided in 12 exogamous phratries, Hindus in endogamous castes.

Against this, we notice that:

  1. Barâ Dev [or Bada Dev], “great god”, is modern Indo-Aryan for Sanskrit Mahadeva, same meaning and a name for Shiva (“the benefactor”, which itself is a flattering name for the fearsome god Rudra, “furious”), for whom another name is Ishwar (“lord”). Within Hinduism, it is perfectly normal for a god to have different names, and for different divine personalities to overlap. There is simply no opposition between Barâ Dev and Mahadeva.
  2. In Vastu Shatra, a front-door should not be built in the south, as it is deemed inauspicious, which is the same valuation of the south as among the Gonds. (For now, I take the speaker’s word for what exactly constitutes Gondi culture.) Even if it was different, it wouldn’t constitute a meaningful contrast: in China, the local habitat edology (fengshui) holds the south as positive and as the correct location of the front-door, due to a different climate: In the cold Yellow River valley, warmth was welcome, so the sunny south was good, whereas in hot India, men shield themselves against the sun. Yet, nobody derives therefrom a meaningful contrast between Indian and Chinese traditions, least of all the missionaries. Whether Chanakya or Confucius, all non-Christians are going to hell.
  3. Hindus since Vedic times have known both cremation and burial. Infants and saints are still buried. In some corners, Hindu burials persist, e.g. among the Gonds.
  4. Hindu society has always believed in social responsibility (Dharma, ca. “taking up your role as a specific part of the whole”), including the need for Seva, “service”, a genuine and ancient Sanskrit word (in contrast with Adivasi, “aboriginal”, which is a neologism devised by the missionaries in the colonial period). This was not put in the centre, and rightly so, but it was fully accepted. This duty was not discharged by clerics, as in Christianity, where hospitals were traditionally manned by nuns, but by laymen, mostly in the extended family. Ascetics, by contrast, were freed from social duty because they had taken up another duty, viz. pursuing Liberation, which to the laymen is mostly but a theoretical goal which they don’t actively pursue. Liberation is not “selfish” but impersonal, and requires a great deal of self-abnegation, even more than Seva.
  5. Only a small percentage of the Hindus even know about Mayavad, the doctrine that the world is a fata morgana created by the magic power of the gods. It is a specific philosophy of Shankara, conditioned by his struggle against Buddhist idealism (Shunyavad, “doctrine of Emptiness”), which in turn is also not the whole of Buddhism (indeed, the Buddha himself would not have recognized it as his own teaching). Shankara is widely appreciated as a great debater and as the founder of the ascetic Dashanami order, but his philosophy has few takers. Gonds too are free to follow , nothing prohibits that, but they too would by and large accept the world as real. And anyway, even if there were a difference in worldview pitting all Gonds against all Hindus, that would not save them: as long as they don’t believe in Jesus, they are all going to hell.
  6. The Gonds are, like most tribes, an endogamous group, and this group is internally divided in twelve exogamous groups, which anthropologists have called phratries. Hindu castes are by definition endogamous groups, Jati-s or “castes”, and are divided in exogamous groups called Gotra-s. If you consider each caste separately, you could, by this logic, start saying that they “don’t have caste”, because internally they are not divided in endogamous groups, only in exogamous groups. So, the situation among the Gonds is exactly like in Hindu castes. Tribals are just as endogamy-conscious as Hindus. When a Flemish Jesuit in Chotanagpur ca. 1890 wanted to put his converts to the test, he had them sit together across tribal lines for a joint meal, a very small matter compared to intermarriage, and even this they found scandalous, so that most invitees did not show up and 7000 converts in the region defected. It is one of the many myths professed by the secularists to spite the Hindus that tribals are “noble savages” practising Ur-communism and not afflicted by social divides like caste.

Lord Jagannath in the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Puri Jagannath TempleThe whole discourse on tribals is warped by the Aryan invasion theory. As a consequence of the hypothesis that speakers of proto-Sanskrit entered India ca. 1500 BC, the American situation is projected onto India: in both cases, a European population came to dominate the natives. Then, just like the European conquerors of America were considered civilized and Christian, while the Amerindians counted as tribal and Pagan, this cultural equation was projected onto India: the Vedic conquerors were non-tribal and non-Pagan, while the natives count as tribal and Pagan. So, working inside this paradigm, the missionaries tell the scheduled tribes to maximize their differences with the Vedic backbone of Hinduism, and the secularists have written a few times that Hindus cannot count as Pagans and that tribals who get “sanskritized” into the Vedic mainstream are “converts to Hinduism”.

The picture becomes very different when, as all evidence indicates, the Vedic Aryans were native to India. This implies that there simply were different tribes, including the Veda-composing Paurava tribe, some of which became more “civilized” than others, e.g. some became literate, others only later, yet others not until the modern state foisted literacy upon them; or some developed business acumen while others remained economically naïve. This is a normal development found on all inhabited continents.

Yagna in progress.That is why many features deemed tribal and contrasting with the image a foreigner gets of Hinduism when the taxi brings him from the airport to his hotel in the metropolis, also appear in Vedic tradition when you go and see it in the countryside, or when you study how it was in the past. Thus, worship in the open air is not a tribal feature contrasting with Hindu temple worship: in Vedic society, worship was equally in the open air. The tribal feature of aniconic nature worship, always contrasted with the Hindu worship of idols, was just as much in evidence in Vedic society and is still seen in the “primitive” layers of Hinduism, where you find snake worship, tree worship, sun worship, etc.

Yet, even if there had been an Aryan invasion, that would not have made the Vedic Hindus any less Pagan. We have heard testimonies here from Latvian and Lithuanian Pagans, who take pride in their language being closely akin to Sanskrit. They are not Indian, yet they are just as much Pagan. If the Vedic Aryans had contrasted with the native Indian tribals, if they had been different in all objects and practical details of worship and of mores, that would still not have saved either the one or the other from hellfire. For that is ultimately the criterion for being Pagan or not, regardless of all the distinctions invented to confuse matters. You are a Pagan if you do not partake of Christian salvation, i.e. if you go to hell. And that is where they belong: being to a smaller or larger extent fire-worshippers, Pagans must feel most at home in the endless fires of hell. – Koenraad Elst Blog, 4 February 2015

Tribals from various states of India hold placards during a protest against Christian missionaries in New Delhi yesterday. The demonstrators appealed to authorities to protect the culture of indigenous people, claiming that evangelical Christian missionaries are forcing them to convert to Christianity.Photo: AFP September 7, 2011

See also

The march to fulfil India’s destiny begins – Anirban Ganguly

Dr Anirban Ganguly“What is most striking, is the civilisational continuum of this land and its civilisational goal. Vivekananda saw this ‘current of national life flowing at times slow and half-conscious, at others, strong and awakened,’ moving towards fulfilling a glorious destiny for ‘my motherland.'” – Dr Anirban Ganguly

Flag of IndiaThe observance of Republic Day is often an occasion for looking back and for national stock-taking. An assessment of the national trajectory is something that the occasion offers. In the oath that he administered on January 26, 1930, Mahatma Gandhi spoke unsparingly of the “inalienable right of the Indian people to enjoy the fruits of their toil and have the necessities of life, so that they may have full opportunities of growth.”

Gandhi’s oath of January 26 also spoke of how subjection and alien rule had “ruined India economically, politically, culturally and spiritually”, and how only “purna swaraj” was the way out and towards salvation. Years earlier, Sri Aurobindo, then in his active revolutionary phase, had given a similar call—of complete independence.

While defining the dimensions of his “swaraj”, Gandhi noted on another occasion that his “swaraj” would keep “intact the genius of our civilisation”. “I want to write many new things,” noted Gandhi, “but they must all be written on the Indian slate.” The general trend and national atmosphere today point to this effort to write many new things on the Indian civilisational state—an effort that must be made with an unapologetic and bold spirit.

Gandhi’s January 26 declaration also spoke about how “culturally, the system of education (had) torn us from our moorings”, one of his most forceful advocacy was for realising the intellectual and spiritual devastation caused by this deracination and to work towards a completely new education vision and direction.

Sri AurobindoSri Aurobindo, in his days as one of the originators of the national education movement, strove to evolve a national system of education for India, a true education that would essentially express and give space to the manifestations of the civilisational dimension.

At least, the present liberated atmosphere allows and encourages a free discussion on the need to examine our educational framework and to evolve a fresh vision for a new India, accepting that such a vision ought to be inspired and initiated by our civilisational memory of a rich educational past.

Discussing Indian culture and external influence, about a century ago, Sri Aurobindo proffered a crucial national direction and challenge when he noted the necessity of living “in one’s self, determining one’s self-expression from one’s own centre of being in accordance  with one’s own law of being, swadharma”. An inability to do this, argued Sri Aurobindo, would mean collectively, “languor, weakness, inefficiency” with the danger of being “overborne” and “oppressed by environing forces”. A “fidelity to our own spirit, nature, ideals” was required, but it had to be supplemented with a capacity for a “strong and masterful dealing with external circumstances”. The recognition of the need to create with foundations going deep into our civilisational root is a realisation that is increasingly governing the ship of the state.

One can almost hear the echoes of Swami Vivekananda’s call to make “this, our great Mother India, our keynote” and to dedicate and focus ourselves in the next five decades to making her great, prosperous, high-seated in the comity of nations. It is in this call that is Swami Vivekanandablended Sri Aurobindo’s advice to workers for the nation, to “work that she (India) may prosper, (to) suffer that she (India) may rejoice”.

What is most striking, is the civilisational continuum of this land and its civilisational goal. Vivekananda saw this “current of national life flowing at times slow and half-conscious, at others, strong and awakened”, moving towards fulfilling a glorious destiny for “my motherland”.

The essential task then is to ride and guide that national current towards realising that destiny—such a march has now begun. – The New Indian Express, 1 February 2015

»  Dr Anirban Ganguly is Director of the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi. Follow him on Twitter @anirbanganguly.

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