Invading the Sacred
Ganesh shares: Outlook India had published this article on "Invading the Sacred" in their Jun29, 2007 edition.
This is an article by Sri Rajiv Malhotra titled "Was the US Senate Attack on Hinduism an isolated Instance?"
"... i would still hesitate to club the practised faiths all together, for their substance and essence in an organized frame soon degenerate into a fossilized mass that does not evolve along with human thought and experience. Can I continue to belong to an evolving Humanism unfettered by the prescriptions of any one dictum or dogma. At least I can continue to be my own kind of a Hindu, while you can be yours. i would still cherish my childish experience of Jesus the savior, in my catholic schooling, as i cherish the love trust and comraderie of the Sunni family in the border lands of Iran. The Babaji
of my Sikh Grand Mother, and the Arya Samajic traditions of my parental home. Not to forget the aggressive Atheism of my Husband and the gentle persuasion ....
Western Universalism reigned for a while linked as it was to Greek thought and supported by a positivist methodology. Eastern experience has been intuitive and inner directed, whereas the western was sensory, empirical and outward. The
Dualism plays itself out to coalesce into one unity, in every sphere. Let us patiently wait for that to happen."
Rajiv comment: I see JCP performing an important role in the churning process (the motif on the cover of BD of the churning of the ocean of creativity). Nalini appreciates her own churning sparked by the churning of many persons she names above. By the same token, I dont think we need to be afraid to churn further ourselves. We are endowed with the capacity to do so, unlike in history centric systems where only history can give us access to the truth.
While at the surface level, all the above named systems are ok to practice simultaneously within oneself, upon further churning by her, my prediction is that Nalini will appreciate that there are indeed contradictions amongst them, and that its better at some stage to deal with these. That is the stage at which the process starts where BD begins - appreciating the need to understand differences rather than avoiding them in the name of harmony."
"The only solution I see in order to prevent digestion is to inculcate in Hinduism a conversion right. That is to say if some westerner wants to perform yoga then the yoga teacher asks them to denounce christ as a false god just the
missionaries do when the convert tribal hindus. This could be done by making the christian break christ statue or step on pictures of christ. But then, we wont be much different from them, right. On the other hand we should not forget that only poison can cure poison."
Rajiv comment: I disagree. This crude approach will backfire with the majority and will appeal only to an extreme on the margins. It will cause people to reject dharma and put it in the same image as Islam in many circles.
Instead, I propose the following steps:
1) Teach in yoga class the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali (and then Kapil's Samkhya foundation for advanced students), in which karma is emphasized. And karma is solidly linked with reincarnation.
2) Once karma-reincarnation are established as inseparable from yoga, the next step is to use chapter 2 of BD to contrast history centrism with adhyatma vidya.
3) Once history centrism is rejected, Nicene Creed gets thrown out the window.
I believe that many if not most Judeo-Christians who go to yoga (if taught properly) would be willing to come this far, which is quite a lot. I have tested it on many westerners in yoga over the years and even funded the teaching of Patanjali at such classes.
Its our gurus who gave it away without even trying this approach. Once the Nicene Creed and Jesus's historicity and exclusivity are removed (explained as blockages to advancement in yoga) THEN the student will undergo a cognitive shift with respect to Judeo-Christian affiliation."