Ever since Smt Sonia Gandhi entered Indian political arena, the foreign Christian missionaries have become emboldened to strut around the country rubbishing Hindu icons and even flouting Indian laws. In this matter, demeaning of the Hindu religion, there is a parallel activity of Islamic terrorism today, but that activity is not in tandem with the Christian missionary game plan.
Our concern here, however, is with the long-term clash of Hindu religion, culture and civilisation with the Christian onslaught through foreign missionaries following the termination of the clash of civilisations.
The clash of civilisation with Islamic terrorism is a medium term conflict that will be decisively won by anti-terrorist coalition including the US, Israel and India, with passive support from China and Russia, and especially once the substitute for crude oil extraction, viz. the hydrogen fuel cell technology, becomes commercially viable.
Thereafter, the Vatican and it'sstorm troopers, the Opus Dei, will go ?hell bent? to launch on a major conversion drive, to enlarge Christian faith the world over, and in Asia, in particular. The Vatican today is alarmed at the rapidly declining adherence to Christianity in Europe, and hence is in search for unsuspecting populations the world over to convert to Christianity. India is an obvious place.
In this activity, Smt Sonia Gandhi if positioned in government even then, will be the patron ?saint?. Even today, she is lending a helping hand to dubious foreign Christian missionaries to pursue unhampered their activities in India.
When Ron Watts, a Christian missionary from USA was ordered to leave the country by the Madras High Court based on a report submitted by the Dharmapuri TN District Magistrate , highlighting on his unacceptable and nefarious activities, Watts landed up in New Delhi and went straight to meet Smt Sonia Gandhi. He then flaunted his photograph with her to all and sundry. Very soon, thereafter, the Dharmapuri DM changed his stand in court, and the Madras High Court order was reversed. Ron Watts was allowed to stay.
Similarly, another dubious foreign Christian preacher from Palestine (domiciled in US), Benny Hinn, came to Bangalore to hold a public congregation. He was given State honours by the then Congress government in Karnataka, allowed to hold his gathering in the restricted area of the Indian Airforce grounds, with the entire Cabinet led by the Chief Minister seated on the chairs before the dias, to seek his blessings. Hinn'smiracle cures of the terminally sick has been now exposed as a fraud by the Bangalore Police in leaks to the media. But Hinn remained unfazed, and concluded his congregation with a public declaration of gratitude to Sonia Gandhi for his state honours and facility.
Foreign Christians have already a plan of action to convert Hindus to their religion. One is Operation Joshua exposed by the Tehelka weekly. This operation is based on a detailed mapping of the Indian population according to the postal PIN code. The other is the gathering of all Christian organisations working abroad that took place in Dallas, Texas, USA on September 19, 2005. On that occasion it was resolved to convert 100 million Hindus within 10 years?cost being no constraint. Any one wanting to build a Rs. 10 crore Church building in a rural area of India, for example, has just to ask.
So how should Hindus respond to this challenge and the implicit clash of religions?
I have already indicated in my earlier columns this clash will be not a hot one, but a cold war of a clash of propaganda and subversion. Hindus have already been through one round of this clash in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when Christian missionaries backed by the Imperial occupying power, mutilated our history books and demeaned our civilisational achievements so that Hindus would lose their already diminished self-esteem?diminished earlier by the atrocities of the rapacious Islamic hordes. They propagated that we are a nation created by invading foreigners, divided by tiers of assimilation such as Aryans, Dravidians, Scthyians, Mongols etc. A community which loses it'sself-esteem and respect for it'spast achievements on imposed ignorance is always a sitting duck for conversion to another faith.
But Hindus survived this onslaught because of preachings of divine sanyasis such as Swami Vivekananda, Maharshi Aurobindo, Swami Dayananda Saraswati and Kanchi Shankaracharya Sri Chandrashekharendra Saraswati. Not more than two per cent of Hindus converted to Christianity despite having been oppressed and enslaved by Imperial Christian power for over a century. Hindus became poor, but for a few, they refused to convert.
Hindus can combat the coming clash of religions by a combination of developing a new mindset of virat Hindutva and by building an armoury of counter arguments to undermine the theological self-assurance of the foreign missionaries. This latter strategy is classic and vintage Hinduism, known as shasthrarthas, by which Hindus won over persons of other religious persuasion by arguments and debate.
We should, therefore, now prepare this armoury of counter arguments for fighting the coming clash of religions. The core weapon for Hindus is the new research by scholars, who are Christian foreigners, about Christianity.
In a nut shell, this research suggests that, prima facie, the Bible especially the New Testament, represents the biggest cover-up in history. In particular, this research suggests that Jesus Christ was not a ?Christian? as defined by the Epistles of Saint Paul and the New Testament in the Bible. Christ preached what is akin to Hindu theology.
We, Hindus, do not necessarily have to take this as established truth but instead demand from the Christians that they rebut these findings about their religion before preaching it to the Indian masses. In other words, let us put the missionaries on the defensive.
There are, in fact, plenty of leads which suggest that Jesus Christ may have indeed been a Mahayana Buddhist, i.e., defacto Hindu. There is some evidence that during his lifetime, Jesus Christ preached sarvadharma sama bhava, antodaya, aparigraha, and vasudeva kutumbukam. These preachings are not found in the Bible, and are not fundamentally Christian but Hindu. What have the Christian missionaries have to say to that?
These researches are to a large extent summarised by a Christian theologian, Holger Kersten, in his book: Jesus Lived in India, which was published in 1986 by Element Inc., a publisher in Boston, Massachusetts (USA).
Kersten book picks up from the 1887 research of a Russian historian and orientalist, Nicolai Notovitch who had extensively travelled in Kashmir, especially in Laddakh. He found documents referring to Isha, a white foreigner, a Bodhisattva (saviour) and published all these facts he learnt in the Hemis monastry near Laddakh, in a book. He also refers to Nath Yogis (or Gorakhnath) who have recorded in Sutra format in Natha Namavali the visit of a 14-year old Isha Nath who came from abroad to learn to be a sanyasi. After mastering Mahayana Buddhism, Isha Nath returned to educate the Yehudis (Jews) but was cruxified. However, thanks to the yogic powers he had acquired in India, he escaped and came back to Kashmir. Both the chronicles of King Shalivahana (48 AD) and King Gopaldatta (78 AD) mention the presence of a Jesus-like person in their courts. Bhavisya Purana (verses 17-32) mention Isha Masiha, Hindu name for Jesus, and many in Puri in Orissa and Kanchi in Tamil Nadu still believe that Jesus had come there.
Jesus was not considered divinity by the Church till 325 AD but a holiness, i.e., a sadhu. Over the years, the Epistles of Saint Paul became the core of Christianity. St. Paul interpolated and fabricated at will, till Bible ceased to resemble what Jesus had taught. For his purposes, St. Paul deified Jesus, but debunked his wife, Mary Magadalen, as a prostitute. Jesus taught what we Hindus believe?that God can be seen in this life (darshan). St. Paul, however, preached that in Christianity a darshan of God was possible only after one'sdeath.
Hersten'sresearch led him to believe that after surviving the cruxification, Jesus returned to Srinagar where he lived to be 80 years old, and died of natural causes during the reign of King Kanishka. Kersten claims that there is evidence that Jesus was then buried in Khaniyar quarter of Srinagar, in an area called Anzimar which tomb can be seen in a building called Rozabal.
Biblical records show that as a child, Jesus and his family fled to Egypt to escape Herod'spersecution. Hersten suggests that Jesus? first exposure to Mahayana Buddhism may have been in the Buddhist schools known to exist then in Alexandria.
For a century we Hindus have been struggling against a concocted history of India, which Max Muller and the East India Company foisted on us to brain wash us and then make us of slave mentality. Muller openly wrote that India was ripe for total conversion to Christianity.
Now the shoe is on the other foot. Let us in the coming clash of religions not be defensive, but take the war of theology to the Christian camp. Let them be on the defensive and answer all these researches including the Da Vinci Code of their own co-religionists, and leave us in peace.
The virat Hindu has to have a clear mindset about Indian Christians: that they have to accept with pride that their ancestors are Hindus, and that if they believe in Jesus Christ, then they must believe in Hinduism, unless they come up convincing answers as to why researches of Dan Brown, Notovich and Kersten should not be believed.