RMF Summary: Week of July 18 - 24, 2011

July 18
Communal Violence Bill
Friends, The Communal Violence Bill is a dangerous, divisive bill. If it becomes law the fall out will be serious. One cannot discuss anything about the...

July 20

Dalit Human Rights Movements in Ayiroor village
The following email was received from someone named Salam: I used to comment regularly around 2003-2005 while you were writing in Sulekha.com on the... 

July 20
Book Review in Kumudam Jyothisham 22/7/11 After persistent efforts f
Srinivasan reports:
"Kumudam Jyothisham, 22.8.2011, a reputed Tamil weekly magazine, has published a half page book review of 'Breaking India'.This magazine has a reach of some one lakh plus subscribers. Many may wonder why a Astrology magazine? The editor of the magazine, Shri A.M.Rajagoplan
over the years, has been writing consistently editorials in national issues..."
This laudable effort attracted a lot of positive feedback.

July 21

The Leela Samson Scandal - Extract from "Breaking India"
  Excerpted with permission from Malhotra, Rajiv and Aravindan Neelakandan, "Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines,"...

The thread below produced a lot of discussion. We will try to cover this in a separate thread.

July 21
On Beliefnet.com: 'Holy Spirit is not the same as Shakti or Kundalini
http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Hinduism/Articles/Holy-Spirit-is-not-the\ -same-as-Shakti-or-Kundalini.aspx?p=1 ...

July 21
Inculturation - a strategy document
I recently came across a document by one Fr Alfred Maravilla. This prompted me to quickly trawl through the thread in this Group on inculturation to see if any...

July 21
Review in Amar Ujala influential Hindu paper
http://tinyurl.com/3vuwd2a <http://tinyurl.com/3vuwd2a> or http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/QOIlTnZobVhCXMvgzIp0vFpdf_ycGtU2f2tVkjB9DGd\ ...
followup link:
Re: Review in Amar Ujala influential Hindu paper - link access issue
Try alternate link below to read the amar ujala article: www.gayatri.info/amarujala.pdf Rajiv: even better, if file gets uploaded to the www.BreakingIndia.com...

July 21

Hillary boosts Leela Sampson
http://www.livemint.com/2011/07/22211910/Kathakali-for-Hillary.html <http://www.livemint.com/2011/07/22211910/Kathakali-for-Hillary.html> Was her visit purely...

July 23
More Money than God
Chitra shares: 
I urge you to read this excellent New York Times book review ( details below) that I hesitate to copy here in its entirety because it runs seven pages long. ...
It is precisely these kinds of books that must be made available in India to mobilize grassroots awareness to counter the growing infestation of missionaries.  They provide invaluable validation to Indian writers saying the same things.
The Victim Brigade that paints opposition to proselytization as originating from unhinged "Hindutvawadis"  will find it harder to counter facts documented by authors named Janet and Jason...
July 24 
{Breaking India} 2005: NY Conf. on Re-imagining Hinduism
Excerpted with permission from Malhotra, Rajiv and Aravindan Neelakandan, "Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines," Amaryllis...

July 24
Soft conversion in the name of rural development in Chattisgarh
Ganesh shares: Christian aid launches solar lighting for the rural poor in Chattisgarh. ...
July 24
Breaking India in Spiritual Discourse
Lecture Title: The Importance of India to Krishna Devotees URL: http://www.bvks.com/2011/07/the-importance-of-india-to-krishna-devotees/ There is a very nice...

RMF Summary: Week of July 11 - 17, 2011

July 11
Interview with Raja Marthanda Verma
'The riches belong to nobody, certainly not to our family' The head of a former royal family...

July 16
Understanding the Existential Threat
Chitra posts: 
Returning to the necessity for purva - paksha that Rajiv often dwells on, there is a need for us to  base our arguments and approach on a proper understanding of the adversary's mindset -- not only on matters of religion,  but on their methods of promoting it. In this context some of you might have noticed that when you do a search for Breaking India on Amazon, there is another book title that pops up right under it.    Only this one is a handbook on church planting, using India as a case study.  What diabolical irony! ...

July 16
Want to be a Doctor? Just 'donate' to Church... Raj Kashyap posts:
"...Rs 50 lakh can buy MBBS seat in God's Own Land

... According to reports, the Dr Somervell Memorial Medical College, run by the Church of South India, at Karakonam near Thiruvananthapuram has admitted at least 45 students in the MBBS course for the academic year after collecting between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 50 lakh as capitation. None of these students would have qualified for admission in any college in the normal course..."

Indira adds:
"This is happening not just in Kerala Christian colleges or just in christian colleges. Also in Tamilnadu private engineering and medical colleges..."

July 17
Kathakali gets appropriated by Catholic Church
http://expressbuzz.com/states/kerala/now-kathakali-gets-a-catholic-expression/294921.html and http://www.deccanherald.com/content/176812/...

July 17
Join the Huffpost discussion started by my video discussion
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joshua-stanton/is-history-centrism-an-ab_b\ _894260.html ...


RMF Summary: Week of November 22-28, 2012

Nov 23 [New Thread]
U-Turn example: Meditation experiences in Buddhism and Catholicism
Chandramouli shares another case of U-Turn:
Becoming a Tibetan Buddhist nun is not a typical life choice for a child of an Italian Catholic police officer from Brooklyn, New York. Nevertheless, in February of 1988 I knelt in front of the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India, as he cut a few locks of my hair (the rest had already been shaved), symbolizing my renunciation of lay life.
I lived in the vows of a Buddhist nun for a year, in the course of spending two years living in Buddhist monasteries in Nepal and India. Including my years of lay practice, I spent twenty years of my adult life practicing Buddhism, before returning to the Catholicism into which I had been born and baptized...
...Over the years, I have found that much of what I learned about and experienced of Buddhist meditation during those years enriches my prayer life as a Christian....

Nov 24
White Hindus - Sarma on Huff Post
Deepak Sarma, Associate Professor at Case Western and list administrator for RISA, has published an article on  Huffington Post entitled "White Hindu Converts: Mimicry or Mockery?"

In addition to the comments below, it occurs to me that he is employing classic techniques of demonization, in an attempt to engender doubt about the validity of an entire swath of Hindu practitioners, both in themselves and in Indian-born
and diaspora Hindus...

Below find several of my responses. I'm sure I'll be contributing more, as I have experienced racism in Nepali temples....

..."Deepak Sarma, who got his Ph.D. under Wendy Doniger, and is the moderator of the RISA-l discussion, chastised Antonio De Nicolas for supporting the petition and sent him warnings to stop further posts that criticized RISA members....

.... see his current and very crude rant against non-Indian Hindus as racist and anti-Hindu, and in the service of a Christian agenda opposing any acceptance of Dharma traditions. The only other possibility that I can imagine for his screed is that he would be in the service of Indian nationalists.

Many, many westerners have embraced Hindu beliefs and practices, and live their lives accordingly.

Manish responds:
"... given that Sarma comes from the Wendy Doninger pack of hyenas, it isn't surprising that he slips in an offensively contrived conclusion, disguised as a question, in the midst of innocuous and sensible-sounding stuff. So, he slips in an insinuation (the text in red) even as he pretends to make saner comments before or after it. 
Thus, in Sarma's warped Doningerised mind, everyone is forever a prisoner of their own religious history..."

Another thread follows up on this HP post:
Two Responses to Sarma's HuffPost "White Hindu Converts: Mimicry or
Two very thoughtful columns have been published in response to Deepak Sarma's Huffington Post article, "White Hindu Converts: Mimicry or Mockery?" The earlier...

The earlier has been written by Amod Lele, entitled "In Defense of White Hindu Converts."

..The second column is "Mimicry, mockery or mumuk&#7779;utva? A response to Deepak Sarma," by Jeffery D. Long, who earlier raised multiple criticisms and questions in the comments section of the HP article,..

November 25
The Kalavantulu of Coastal Andhra Pradesh
Dear Friends,
One of my friends who just completed a course on classical Indian music at IIT Gandhinagar sent me the paper I have attached with this mail, 'Memory and the Recovery of Identity : Living Histories and the Kalavantulu of Coastal Andhra Pradesh' by Davesh Soneji. It forms a part of his book, 'Unfinished Gestures: Devadasis, Memory, and Modernity in South India'. Davesh Soneji is the Associate Professor of South Asian Religions at McGill University ...

... The paper makes for a very informative read and there were several times while reading it when I was reminded of Rajiv ji's work in "Breaking India" with regard to the colonial discrediting of the devadasi culture and it's art forms, and the later purging of Hindu motifs in Bharatnatyam by the likes of Leela Samson....

Here a YT video link [the uploader has prevented embedding, so I can't preview it here, sorry.]

Kavita responds:
"Thank you for sharing this valuable information Sumantgaaru.

Kalavantulu left behind a legacy and this dance form is now called VILASINI NATYAM. It has been painstakingly revived from its death throes (due to the unjust Devadasi Act) by Guru Padmashree Swapnasundari gaaru..."
Sumant comments:
"Thank you so much for your mail !  The videos were brilliant ! The perfect combination of music and dance had such a harmony to it...."
[We take moment to silently remember the victims of the Nov 26 terrorist attack on Mumbai, as well as the many heroes that day revealed. Om Shanti.]
Nov 26
(Mumbai) Evangelical Tycoon Gul Kripalani takes center-stage at 26/11 event 
Ravi comments: *(Mumbai) Evangelical Tycoon Gul Kripalani takes center-stage at 26/11 Memorial Event* See last page of today's Rediff article: ...
More details about Gul Kripalani here:

'Christian businessmen must talk about Jesus' | The Christian ...

Dec 30, 2010 – Gul Kripalani: Talk about Jesus in marketplace. By Pallavi Bhattacharya. IT took Gul Kripalani, a Sindhi businessman, a while to see the hand of...

Nov 26
Life of Pi - lessons for Hindus
Arun posts:
Equal-equal Hindus might feel encouraged by the attention paid to that idea in Ang Lee's visually magnificent movie, "The Life Of Pi". A sampling of Christian reviews of the movie should open their eyes. Here is a fairly comprehensive one.

Here is a quote from the post above, from the Christian Broadcasting Network:
"While Christian audiences will be thrilled with the amount of onscreen time devoted to the cause of Christ and what it means to believe, they will also be quite disappointed as Islam and Hinduism receive equal representation."

You should read the above just to glimpse the Protestant venom against
Catholics! Let alone Hindus.


Venkat presents a passage for the related book:
"I am not sure if the below passage from the book "Life of Pi" is told
in the movie. Its worth reading. v

On Hinduism - from "Life of Pi"

I am currently reading "Life of Pi", a novel by Yann Martel. While
reading it I came across a passage which captures beautifully the
essence of Hinduism and what it means to be a Hindu. I could relate to
it so well that I couldn't resist reproducing it here. So here it

"But religion is more than rite and ritual. There is what the rite and
ritual stand for. Here too I am a Hindu. The universe makes sense to
me through Hindu eyes. There is Brahman, the world soul, the
sustaining frame upon which is woven warp and weft, the cloth of
being, with all its decorative elements of space and time. There is
Brahman nirguna, without qualities, which lies beyond understanding,
beyond approach; with our poor words we sew a suit for it - One,
Truth, Unity, Absolute, Ultimate Reality, Ground of Being - and try to
make it fit, but Brahman nirguna always bursts the seams. We are left
speechless. But there is also the Brahman saguna, with qualities,
where the suit fits. Now we call it Shiva, Krishna, Shakti, Ganesha we
can approach it with some understanding; we can discern certain
attributes - loving, merciful, frightening - and we feel the gentle
pull of relationship..."
Vedam posts a review by a RMF member:
"... In one scene, after Pi barely escapes the tiger's attack, stranded
on a makeshift raft, reasons as only a Hindu would - that the tiger's
nature is to kill and eat - for that is his Karma. Unencumbered by
a philosophy that would put man in charge of all animals (thus in a
position to decide the tiger's fate), Pi proceeds to do the unthinkable
for a vegetarian - catch a fish, and kill it, to feed the tiger, despite
the knowledge that keeping the tiger alive is suicidal for Pi: there could
not be a better implicit message of duty/dharma. His breakdown at killing
a fish is an explicit ode to the Dharmic credo of ahimsa.

The trails and tribulations that follow with forlorn Christian and
Islamic messages are perhaps the author's attempt to seek the divine
from a syncretized viewpoint that is only possible in a Hindu, and
would have monotheists squirming in their seats..." 

Dvai adds:
"My nine year old nephew analyzed pi as follows after having watched the movie --Pi represents the bridge between divinity and the individual soul...the circle representing the universe and the diameter the individual.
It was interesting to see a movie evoke such questioning in one so young.

Personally I found the novel a tad tedious. Also I found the attempts at religious syncretism a bit cliched..."

Carpentier comments:
"The film is a wonderful allegoric epic. The tiger is the ahankara while Pi is the infinite, nameless Brahman that is one with the universe and hence indestructible. The floating island on which he lands is the universe of matter, life giving during the day, deadly at night (prabhava-pralaya) in which the soul is entrapped. The boat is the physical body which takes the Self and its ego across the ocean of Maya-Samsara..."

Western Universalism and Top-N lists
shivadeepa1 posted: Exhibit 1: Foreign Policy magazine came out with a list of top-100 global thinkers recently.  It is an interesting exercise to go thru this list to see who's in and out, and their rank. Thanks to BD, we can start to see patterns. This list is from a western p.o.v, but it implicitly claims to speak for the globe, and most readers are conditioned to accept this at face value ...
... Exhibit 2: TIME came up with its top 100 novels of 'all time' but comes with a specific cut-off date :)

... Exhibit 3: Every school kid in India [at least in the 70s-80s] was indoctrinated with the "Top-7 list of the wonders of the ancient world"

 ...Generations of Indian children were taught that that there were no wonders worth mentioning in ancient India (or in neo-India except the Mughal Taj), or South-east Asia or South America, but remarkably, we all bunched together around the middle-east and Mediterranean...

Rajiv Malhotra responded:
"Rajiv comment: A very important post. People should ponder and add substantive comments. Same also applies to international awards, institutions, laws, aesthetics, etc. WU is normative across civic society, with the exception of pop culture which is not where power resides. See my two videos on lectures at india international center in 2005. I explain the difference between pop culture and deep culture. The latter is where WU resides."

Arun notes:
"...It is our educational system's defect to elevate the ancient Greek list to
something other than a fact about ancient Greece.

As far as I know, we have no surviving travelogues from ancient India, and so we do not have ancient Indian opinion on ancient wonders."

November 27 [Continuing thread from Nov 22]
Request for RigVeda and Shiva translation/interpretation of involuti
Rajiv Malhotra posts:
Rig Veda: Aghamarshana rishi experienced the process of involution and described it in Rig Veda ( X.190.1-X.190.3). These verses speak in a very riddled manner of involution. And then of the movement of descent and ascent (samvatsara) and consequentely the alteration of light and darkness (ahoratrani) ordained by the ruler of Time. Then it speaks of the creation of the sun and moon, heaven, the intermediate world and then the world of svar, the heaven of descending light. Can someone find out a good translation/interpretation that I could cite to show the earliest sources for involution?

Shiv-Sutras: Unmesha and nimesha are the terms used to describe involution and evolution. I need an expert interpretation of the text in this regard.

This concept is the very foundation of Ken Wilber's claim to originality in his Integral Theory. He got this from Sri Aurobindo but denies it. I discovered that Sri Aurobindo got it from Swami Vivekananda 

Kannan responds:
"I can only hint at some pointers which may be pursued and tried.

The concept of involution is very evident in what is called bhuta-shuddhi where the Gross Elements are "dissolved" into the Subtle Elements. Thus prthvi, the grossest, is dissolved into ap (subtler than that), which is next dissolved into tejas, and so on. The Sankhyan order is followed here. Hence after aakaasha, we have successive dissolutions into manas, ahamkaara, mahat (same as buddhi), prakrti (also called mulaprakrti/avyakta/pradhaana). And then finally into purusha/paramapurusha...."

Murthy adds:
"Dear Rajivji, having no immediate time to research fully into the
subject, I just refer you, as others have done, to some pointers.
Adishankara's Panchikarana is a compendium on the subject. The Vedas
detail the subject in the Upanishads; in particular, the
BrihadaaraNyaka and the Chandogya; which are exposited - again - by

Kesava comments:
"..I thought Aghamarshana Suktam is from Krishna Yajurveda - Taittriya. I practice Aghamarshana Suktam during snanacharna, especially in tirtha sthala. I dont know if Yajur vedic suktam is different from that in Rig. Though I do not classify myself in "expert" group, I would like to point out what I understood from the purohita who taught me this suktam..."
Jaideep comments:
"Regarding your question on Rigveda, the best place to look for an authentic interpretation is the Sayana Bhasya, so I am giving below, the Bhaasya on the Aghamarshana Sookta along with my word-to-word translation. Dr. H. N. Bhat, who is a Sanskrit Scholar at IFP (cc'ed), very kindly helped me in the translation.."
Rajiv Malhotra thanks those who responded with concrete help:
"I thank the few persons who provided solid information. This has been very useful..."

Chittaranjan adds:
"..Evolution and involution of the tattvas are the very basis of creation and
dissolution in both Samkhya and Vedanta. The principle on which evolution and involution are based is called `satkaryavada': the doctrine of the pre-existence of the effect in the cause. In the schools of Vedanta that hold Brahman to be the material cause of the universe,..."

Vish posts:
"...RV ( X.190.1-X.190.3) speaks of Cosmic creations  of layers from subtle to gross. (Harvard calls it a Cosmogonic hymn).


Here is a translation that I found on the internet, which literally appears correct:

From blazing Ardor [of Purusha?], Cosmic Order came and Truth; from thence was born
the obscure night; from thence the Ocean with its billowing waves.

This thread below is a really important one because it talks about an event that brings together Rajiv Malhotra and other leaders of various decentralized institutions of Hinduism under one roof to discuss some really critical issues. We plan to cover this thread in-depth in a separate post.
November 28 [continuing from last week]

Very successful Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, Ahmedabad
I just returned from India after attending the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha's 5th Bi-annual Conference in Ahmedabad. I was fortunate to be invited to deliver a...

November 28 [Continuing thread from November 22]
Angana Chatterji hosted at Harvard by Michael Witzel
In Breaking India, Rajiv & Aravindan write about some US academics who produce literature with questionable funding that could aid in the disintegration of...

Bhattacharya_S provides a brilliant, and extremely detailed investigative report on the activities of Angana, her husband Shapiro, and Fai over the last decade. We carry only some excerpts here [click the link to the original thread if you are interested in the complete details]:
"...What is most confusing and troubling about the ongoing Angana Chatterji story is the continued backing and support she receives from top levels of U.S. government and academia. However, her relationship with Directorate of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI)/Pakistani government agent Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, as well as Fai’s own bizarre story are instructive in understanding Chatterji's status in such circles.

Chapter 14 of Breaking India describes how Chatterji called for foreign
intervention while providing testimony regarding events in Orissa before a U.S. Congressional committee investigating international human rights in 2008. The Congressional committee was chaired by Congressmen Trent Franks and Joe Pitts. BI identifies Trent Franks as a strong proponent of U.S. intervention in India regarding caste/human rights issues, and as a board member of Dalit Freedom Network (DFN), while Joe Pitts, a Christian fundamentalist, is described as a fierce critic of India’s anti-conversion laws with a pro-Pakistani bent. Congressman Pitts has also worked with Congressman Rick Santorum in promoting DFN, which, as discussed at length in BI, is essentially a front for Christian
evangelical interests...

...Despite U.S. lawmakers claims that they did not know of Fai’s
ISI/Pakistani government links, he was a naturalized U.S. citizen and very much a political ‘insider’ in America. His Washington-based Kashmir American Council (KAC), founded in 1990 and located a few blocks away from the White House, regularly drew Pakistani dignitaries as well as U.S. scholars and powerful Congressmen to its various events, while Fai’s wife (a Chinese Muslim) worked for the U.S. government’s Environmental Protection Agency. In 2005, Fai reportedly received the Republican Senatorial Medal of Freedom, and in
2007 he was given the American Spirit Medal, both from the U.S. National
Republican Senatorial Committee. Fai himself was reportedly frequently invited to United Nations (UN) conferences during this period,..

... in 2004, Joe Pitts introduced a bill before Congress that
supported Pakistani interests in Kashmir, and called for U.S. intervention in the region. Shockingly, the bill was reportedly introduced only a few days after Pitts received a financial contribution from Fai’s KAC. Pitts has long been involved in Pakistani issues, and even traveled to Pakistan to meet personally with president at the time Pervez Musharraf in 2002 (as well as on earlier occasions). Pitts, a self-proclaimed “champion of Pakistan”, has served as Chairman of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus, created to safeguard Pakistani interests (Dan Burton has also held this post). Inexplicably however, Pitts has served simultaneously on both Congressional India and Pakistan caucuses, which some suggest was to help ease passage of pro-Pakistan (and anti-India) legislation...

... The picture that seems to emerge is that the ISI/Pakistani government arranged for Fai to testify before U.S. Congressional committees presided over and/or containing pro-Pakistani members such as Dan Burton. Fai’s ‘expert testimony’ was either directly prepared or approved by the ISI/Pakistan. And in turn, based at least in part on Fai’s testimony (and while they received money from the ISI/Pakistan), Burton, Joe Pitts (and perhaps others) continually
pushed for Pakistani interests in Kashmir at the upper levels of U.S.

...Surprisingly, after investigation and trial, in March 2012, Fai was sentenced to only 2 years in jail, for charges related to his attempts to cover up his association with the ISI/Pakistan and for tax violations. This punishment seems like a slap on the wrist for what appears to be a decades-long infiltration...

... However, her removal from CIIS was not for any connection to Fai, but rather for academic misconduct. Many likely assumed that Chatterji’s dismissal was related to her link to Fai, especially since news of her suspension coincided with details of Fai’s arrest (and his contacts in academia and government) becoming public. However, it now appears that her association with Fai was either ignored, not investigated, or not reported on. And amazingly, she turned up again this year (2012) in March at a U.S. Congressional committee hearing to testify about human rights in South Asia, where she provided predictably biased,
distorted, anti-Hindu/anti-India testimony regarding Kashmir, religious
conversion/Orissa, the 2002 Gujarat riots, and other topics...

... The transcript (and video) of the 2012 hearing contains an almost laughable exchange between Congressman Pitts and Chatterji during which, in the space of a few sentences, they effectively attempt to clear one another of any wrongdoing regarding their associations with Fai and the ISI/Pakistani government...

... Throughout the 2012 Congressional hearing, however, Congressmen Pitts and Franks make no effort to disguise their own pro-Christian and anti-Hindu biases, which are easily detected in the wording of their questions (to Chatterji and others). Chatterji is of course more than willing to indulge...

 .... Noting her consistently anti-Hindu and anti-India stand, and her proximity to Fai, The Hindu American Foundation lodged a complaint against Angana Chatterji's involvement in the March 2012 Congressional hearing, in which the group even cited evidence pointing to her direct contact with Pakistan/ISI ...

... It is astounding that Chatterji continues to be regarded as a credible expert on human rights in India, but this only speaks to the biases of those who purport to ‘investigate’ human rights. She is still apparently in the good graces of the top levels of U.S. government, while in academia, she appears to have gotten some form of a promotion, moving from CIIS to the higher profile (and much wealthier) institution...

.... At the time of their suspension, the two were the only full-time
faculty members in the department in which they were found to have created and cultivated a bizarre, cult-like environment among students. The couple also frequently gave grades to students arbitrarily, based on non-existent work. Importantly, Shapiro himself has also been an invitee/speaker at Fai's Kashmir conferences, and a vocal critic of India's policy in Kashmir...

.... Shapiro and Chatterji's student cult would thus apparently mobilize to actively demonstrate against the Indian government. The shadowy husband and wife duo have no doubt been instrumental in turning CIIS from an institution founded to promote the teachings of Sri Aurobindo to one in which anti-India propaganda and rhetoric is preached (discussed in BI)....

... Chatterji even apparently first met Fai at CIIS in 2003, when she claims he visited the university where she was teaching to give a talk [http://tlhrc.house.gov/docs/transcripts/03-21-2012_South_Asia.pdf , see page 48]...

... In this regard its notable how the whole Fai affair was dramatically downplayed by U.S. media, despite the profound, far-reaching implications of the saga. There are hardly any detailed reports on the internet among top newspapers, and information is always incomplete. For instance, there is little or no mention of the apparently close and long-standing relationship between Fai and the U.N./international human rights community, and it is extremely difficult to find any information about this aspect of his subterfuge...

... The issues discussed in this post may be appreciated in broader contexts of anti-India nexuses and strategies discussed in BI. Figures 11.5, and the various diagrams in Chapters 13 and 14 of BI (as well as the text of these Chapters) are particularly useful in understanding ties between ‘liberal’ left-wing academicians and 'conservative' right-wing Christian evangelical elements, who are seemingly at odds over a variety of issues, but united in their staunch anti-Hindu and anti-India stand.

(Note: I referred to a number of articles on the web in writing this post that I did not mention. If anyone is interested in references, I'll be glad to provide them.) "

Sumant posts: 
I was sent the link below [from 2011] that discusses issues that have come up on this thread, and indeed on many other similar threads in the past. The author of the blog lists "Breaking India" first amongst his favourite sites. Not sure if he is already a member of this forum.
Abhimanyu [Nice name!] adds:
"I am a part of this forum and have learnt quite a lot from the information shared by Mr. Malhotra and others on this forum.  I am thankful to Mr. Malhotra and some of the other Hindu leaders for inspiring youth like me to create blogs exposing the nexus of Indian Communists/Christian Missionaries/Islamists around the world..."


RMF Summary: Week of July 4 - 10, 2011

This first thread involved a lot of discussion, so we will try to summarize this in a separate thread.
July 4
Need advice on how to dialog with an elite who has converted
Now, guys, here is an elite Hindu, educated at leading Management institutes, who has been converted Willing to dialog with me Can we provide arguments to make...

July 4
USCIRF 2011 Annual Report
USCIRF US Commission for International Religious Freedom ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2011 This will come as no great revelation to Rajiv and others in the know, 

July 4
Book Read : The History of Hindus : The Saga of Defeats???
Rajiv Malhotra:
I was at the Indian Institute of World Culture last week to request them to own a copy of 'Breaking India', which they accepted gracefully and have promised to buy one when they order for the next set of books.

I also happened to come across a book titled 'The History of Hindus : The Saga of Defeats'. The author is Dr. Surendra Kumar Sharma, a M.A. (Hindi), Ph. D. (Punjab), M. A. (Sanskrit), Ph. D. (America). Though it seemed that the book was eloquently titled, the veiled hatred in the name lead me to read the book. Whatever the author's credentials, the book is a 'hoi polloi' of Indian history and a antagonistic view of Hindus. 

The author mentions that the "Hindu religion needs a critical re-evaluation from none else but its own adherents. This will bring about reforms in Hindu society which can be done only by Hindus themselves", but the book is a riff-raff, cataloging defeats in wars, maligning Hindu leaders, Hindu society and traditions. The book has 7 chapters and the gist of each is below.
In the first chapter, the writer blames the Hindu religion for all the defeats of Hindus at war...."

Geeta investigates:
"...And most alarming was a Swami Dayanand Saraswati University site where someone says Dr. Surendra Sharma a well respected prof is not the same as the author of Manusmriti, and says we know both these men,  but doesn't reveal this man's identity.

And then his name appears on an "Islamic Literature site also.

It appears he is a fraud with no credentials, and writing to malign the history of India.

It would certainly require more sleuth savvy than I possess to dig out the real identity of this person" 

July 5
Conversions targetting indiian americans
I was there in national mall washingon dc for watching fireworks today. There were a group of evangekists targetting indians and giving them cds in indian...

July 5
Christians now appropriate Dwajastampa
See the picture. http://www.haindavakeralam.com/HKPage.aspx?PageID=14184&SKIN=C A new flag mast has been erected at the National Shrine of Saint Thomas,...
July 6 
Padmanabh Temple Wealth
Food for thought: If the just discovered Padmanabh Hindu Temple of Kerala has a wealth of over Rs. 10,000,000,000,000, imagine the wealth of one time richest..

July 6
Re: Taj Mahal vaults
Leaving P.N. Oak aside, Dr. S.R. Rao who used to be Superintending Archaeologist, Agra Circle has examined the locked room of the Taj. (There are no vaults.) ..

Myth of Sameness
Dear Sir, I wanted to share that a few years back, Dr. Frank Morales (Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya) published an essay which I think echo many of your views...

Rajiv's response:
I know Frank since the 1990s. He interacted with me on this subject after I posted my Sulekha article, "Myth of Hindu sameness". Please see.

... Over the next few years the [IISc] talk was repeated in many places and Sulekha asked to publish it. Please see:
History-Centrism is a term I have coined and developed a whole framework in which the difference can be seen to be NOT RECONCILABLE with adhyatma-vidya.

....In case someone has serious time, then after reading the above two articles, they should also read:

... Ironically, most of my best readers and the ones with the most thoughtful intellectual responses on this issue are Judeo-Christian theologians.

July 7
Islamic soft power and slow conversion
Ganesh shares: 
Just came across this news posted in MSN. India. It's a 3 page report of how revamped courses, nominal fees and job opportunities are luring many a Hindu's..

July 8
Taj Mahal's vaults
Michel Danino comments on the "vaults" of Taj:
Dear Srinivasanji,

I am sorry that many Hindus still swear by PN Oak - this is shooting ourselves in the foot. His Taj Mahal research was no better than his "Roman Empire = founded by Rama" and "Jerusalem = Yadu Shala" theories. The Taj Mahal conspiracy theory can be thrown out on three simple grounds:

1) An architectural style never exists for a single building, and no Hindu temple has a style comparable to the Taj although thousands of them have been studies by architecture and art experts.

2) We have many treatises of Hindu architecture - Manasara and Mayamata are two I have read carefully - and none refers to a style remotely like the Taj's.

3) There is such a thing as Islamic architecture and the Taj shares some of its classical features, as do other Mughal monuments (such as Humanun's tomb).

There will be nothing in the Taj Mahal's vault except old brooms, empty paint pots and plenty of bat droppings. Let PN Oak rest in peace but let his followers wake up to common sense and stop the self-inflicted harm. 

Mishra wonders: "...Islamic architectures on top of Hindu temple foundations?"

Seshadri suggests:
"...misleading to name architecture and other art forms as Islamic - a rigidly organized belief system. This kind of naming is erroneous. Something like Persian or Arabic are some geographical reference makes objective sense to put things in proper.."

Ramachandra asks:
"..Dear Michel Danino
While broadly agree with you, the existance of a massive temple in Agra and looting of it by the emperor is a recorded one.  Aurangazeb demolished a great temple at Agra and looted its valuables..."

Carpentier responds:
"Arab and Persian Turkic architecture does generally reflect and express Islamic cosmology. There are various treatises (Okada et al.) on the Taj's symbolic relation with Quranic and Hadith principles and notions about the Throne of God and the Garden of Jannat. It is so clear that the Taj belongs to the Irano-Turkic school of architecture..."
Vishal feels the dates don't match in a prior claim:
"According to this URL, the temple was looted towards the end of the reign of Shah Jehan and beginning of Aurangzeb's reign. This rules out the site of Taj Mahal because the tomb's construction was started more than 15 years before Aurangzeb's reign (and therefore, not exactly 'towards the end of Shah Jehan's reign')."

Sameer comments:
"Just because PN Oak is not credible, we need not throw out the baby with the bathwater. A good analysis of the evidence is given here:

 "The Question of the Taj Mahal" (Itihas Patrika, vol 5, pp. 98-111, 1985) by P. S. Bhat and A. L. Athavale" 

M.Danino responds to Ramachandra:
"... Demolishing a temple is one thing and a well established Islamic practice. Oak's theory has nothing to do with this - the whole Taj Mahal as you see it today (minus perhaps the surface decorations) is a Hindu structure in this thesis. This is grossly absurd, yet thousands of Hindus have been hyptonized by it. That is all I meant. .."

read the original thread for the entire discussion.

July 8
A Dutch parliament motion and Dalit Solidarity Network
The Dutch parliament recently passed a motion against what they call caste discrimination in South Asian countries like India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh. ...

July 9
{Breaking India} Inventing the Aryan Race
Excerpted with permission from Malhotra, Rajiv and Aravindan Neelakandan, "Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines," Amaryllis...

July 10
Global Nexus: Up to 70 million Indian Christians today, growth accel
Important to note what the Western Christian authorities are saying, in congratulating themselves. Charity as conversion strategy, Jesus healing... ...

July 10
Teaching Bhagawad Gita in school is against Secular ideology.
BJP government in Karnataka had recently announced publicly that Bhagavad Gita would be taught in schools. ...


Jesus in India and the Digestion of Hinduism, June 2011

The debate was initiated by Rajiv Malhotra, and this thread provides one of the (many) links between his books 'Breaking India' and 'Being Different' that would come out a few months later. This is among the most important and thought-provoking discussions in the forum so far. Rajiv Malhotra has provided a tremendous amount of feedback in this thread, and the original thread should ideally be read in full to fully grasp the nuances in this debate.  Also, this thread is best read in conjunction with another important debate around the sameness methodology embraced by the Ramakrishna mission.

This discussion was initiated in response to an email that reached Rajiv:
"Dear All,
You can watch my recent film ' The Rozabal Shrine of Srinagar' on the subject of Jesus in India, on You Tube. This film has been made by a follower of Sri Sri Thakur ji and produced by Films Division, Govt. of India. The Link:

`The Rozabal Shrine in Srinagar', India, contains one of the biggest mysteries of the world. It contains the tomb of Yuza Asaf who is supposed to be none other than Jesus Christ ! This fascinating film explores the research works of national and international experts who are convinced of this fact.."

"I dont personally believe in the jesus-in-india thesis. it is entirely speculative and based on one-sided evidence.

But many indians like to believe it. THIS HELPS THE EVANGELISTS AS THE INDIANS TARGETED FEEL THAT JESUS WAS ONE OF THEIR OWN. It facilitates inculturation. In the book "Breaking India" we discus how the myth of St. Thomas being in India gets used to convert Tamils "back to their original faith, i.e. Christianity." This Jesus in India myth serves a similar purpose. Hence even the pseudo-secular govt supports the story.

While many Hindus naively feel this approach assimilates Christianity into Hinduism, in fact the reverse happens, i.e., Hinduism gets digested into Christianity through devices such as Christian Yoga, Christian Centering Prayer (an appropriation from Transcendental Meditation), etc. The reason that Hindu-Christian synthesis results in a bigger, more robust Christianity with Hinduism as a subset is explained in my next book where I introduce the concept of "digestion" of one civ into another. What makes Christianity resilient to being digested into Hinduism is what I refer to as its History-Centrism. .."

Ganesh responds:
"... Found this great site that shows how a lot of Jewish belief's were hijacked and made part of present day Christianity.

The above link is related to the interview with Yashendra on his Rozabal tomb film. His very speculative answer to the very first question gives away the subversive nature and way people with vested political interest have been using Christianity as a religious tool,.."

At this point, a sub-thread talks about Deivanayagam (father-daughter duo peddling dubious theories, noted in Breaking India).

Ammangudi asks:
"Reading the exploits of the unstoppable Deivanayagam in your book, it struck me whether Madras university could be engaged in a discussion about Deivanayagam's thesis about St. Thomas and beyond, how such a thesis was issued despite evidence to the contrary ..."

Vedaprakash provides details:
"1. The "research" on such myths continue and now more than 50 M.Phil and Ph.D are done on the topic.

2. Aravindan knows very well that Baskaradass and three others have already completed their Ph.Ds...

3. The "Christian studies" and "Vaishnava studies" departments of Madras University have been working together to strengthen such myths ...

4. But none does research on christianity and their methods. Ironically, the "Vaishnaa studies" department puts hurdles who come to study the "Vaishnava" religion, philosophy etc..,

Jataayu makes an important point:
"While there are declared Chrisitans studying in the Shaivism
& Vaishnavism departments in the Univ of Madras, there are no Hindu students studying in the dept of Christianity. If Hindu students enroll, the dept is bound to accept them - they can not decline citing religion as the reason. So, at least in theory, nothing stops Hindus from studying in Dept of Christianity and writing research papers like "Impact of Upanishads and Buddhism on the early Judeo-Christian tradition" or
'Prophethood: its benign Indic origins and transformation in the semiitic faiths" or "Contesting St. Thomas visit to India: A historical survey" etc. etc..

The point is, we did not do it, nor are we even thinking about it now. ..."

Rajiv responds:
"The christians are practicing what I called purva-paksha. They study us. We started this tradition long before there was any intellectual traditiion in Christianity at all, in fact before there was christianity. But we lost it.

Notice the uproar when i suggested that we study Mormon university training system which produces 20,000 missionaries to go abroad every year.

I find most gurus are very ignorant of the other side, leading them to the sameness posture. Hence the syndrome of RKM, SRF, J. Krishnamurti and many others"

There was another response, and we return to the original thread.
Carpentier notes:
"The thesis of Jesus coming to India is old and deep rooted! Irrespective of whether it is historicqlly true; it has plausibility and conforms with India's universalistic ideals. There is no point fighting or trying to demolish by research, rather draw and present the right conclusions from it; Jesus was a master within an ancient esoteric tradition which transcended the sectarian Judaism of his day (itself influenced by Zoroastrianism, Egyptian and Babylonian religions) and had roots in India like its contemporary and competitor Mithraism."

Rajiv's response: 

"see my earlier comment on political implications. Its not a
discussion about jesus or about philosophy, but about present day politics of religion. jesus' historicity become a device in this context. "

Ghare adds:
"... Shri.gaNeshajee knowingly or unknowingly has touched on Point to b Noted.
It is well known (but often forgotten) that both "Jesus Christ" and "mohammad" are recognised and described as "shiva_avataara" (Incarnations of Lord Shiva) in "bhavishya puraaNa".
To the best of my Knowledge and Memory, this fact is known to Prof.raajeevajee for more than a decade by now.

("hanumaana" or "maarutee" is another very popular Lord_shiva_rudra Incarnation.
    However, for some unknown reasons, incarnations of Lord_shiva are not as well known and popular as those of Lord_vishNu)..."

Vishal notes:
"...All printed editions of the Bhavishya Mahapurana stem from a single Venkateshwara Press edition (from late 1800s, of which I have a copy). This edition itself was 'put together' by a Pandit of Amritsar. No known manuscripts older than the printed edition have the fables that the Pratisarga Parva of the Bhavishya Purana has, although parts of this Parva are indeed very ancient.
Most of the traceable quotations from the Bhavishya Purana in Dharmashastra Nibandhas can be found in the Braahma Parva of the Purana, and this is clearly the oldest section of the Purana..."

Suresh comments:
"... there is a book -Jesus Lived in India - by a Gernam Chaplain Holger Kirsten. The book gives archeological and other evidences to support the point. he visited India when he was under 12, and opposed animal sacrifices in Yagnas which
is malpractice of the Vedic teaching. The Vedics did not listen him, and he went back. There he survived crucification , and came back secretly to India and became a Bodhisatva, the book says. He had no followers in India at that

Rajiv's response

"there are several such books i have read about jesus in india.
bottom line: since jesus was indian yogi, lets become christian as we lose nothing by doing. Right? Thats the implication and strategy behind it. I hope this is clear.

Ravindra notes:
"Rozbal Shrine in Kashmir was a creation after the conversion of the local population. There is no such statement in Kashmiri literature, and there is a lot of it available. No mention in Neelmat Puraana, no mention in RajaTarangani.
But it starts apperaing when the local Hindu shrines start getting usurped and local Muslims want to show their roots in Arabia. Unfortunately Hindus fall for such myths."

Desh suggests:
"Personally I believe that if we could do something in terms of narrative, then the Jesus in India could be a great way to hit at the evangelists. "

Rajiv Malhotra's response:
"one side is more organized than the other; one side has a
strategy, central institutions, ambitions, etc. while the other side (namely ours) does not. THIS IS WHY THE BRIDGE TO MOVE BOTH WAYS WILL GET MOSTLY TRAFFIC
MOVING FROM HINDU TO CHRISTIAN IDENTITIES. Until this gets solved such a proposal would be dangerous.
ANALOGY: Suppose we have an open border with Pakistan on a similar logic. The fact is that terrorists will infiltrate into india and your call form indians to migrate to pakistan and dominate there will go ingored" 

Raj comments:
"The concept of Avatar is outright blasphemy in the Abrahamic religions, so are ideas like Self-realization, yoga etc. Hence redefining Jesus and Mohammad as a rishi or an avatar shows poor understanding of the "other" system. By trying to upgrade them to the same level as Shiva, Buddha, Shankara et al, we are in fact downgrading our own system. But such notions appeal to the ignorant Hindu and the liberal guilt-stricken White Christian. Both these groups want to simply ignore the vast difference that exists between closed-single-identity-repressive-exclusivism & open-pluralistic-dharmic-inclusivism - the former increases suffering, the latter is its preexisting antidote... "

Karigar has a followup to the previous comment:
"I quite agree with Raj Kashyap ji's persuasive framing of the issue. I'd also go one step further. The reason for Hindus (& other non-Westerners) to know European "enlightenment" thinkers is not quite to show that their thinking is in line with Vedanta or other Indic systems.

Some elements of that may be true, but the primary reason is to look at the HUGE tussle over centuries that took place (& is still taking place) between it & the Judeo-Christian worldview. This will (a) give apathetic Indians pause before absorbing everything from the West as "Progressive Modernity", or as "Christianity", and (b) learn the gory oppression conducted by Christian institutions upon their own European peoples before turning their sights on the rest of the world & lecturing other cultures on their shortcomings.

Also, on purely philosophical grounds, the "Enlightenment" thought comes inextricably linked with both the Industrial Revolution (that's now helping the world turn into a Wasteland, due to it's core Unbalanced principles), and Colonialism (which of course the BI book explains in admirable detail) ..."

Carpentier comments:
"It can be spun both ways. By presenting the tradition about Jesus coming to India as an aspect of the age-old legacy of spirituality which attracted people from all over Asia and Europe to India for millenia, Jesus is seen in his true light as another great wise man; It is not possible to disprove
scientifically that Jesus came to india as we know so little about him as a historical figure ...

...  Unsurprisingly Christan Churches, beginning with the Catholic Church are very opposed to the theory that Jesus came to India as that would make him a student of Hinduism and Buddhism instead of being the Only Son of the Hebrew
God who knew everything from eternity because of his unique divine nature."


Rajiv Malhotra's response:
"The predominance of the above view is precisely why I write, "Myth of Hindu Sameness" many years ago. I request those holding such ideas please read it at: [previous link]

Come [Carpentier] is mixed up between dharma's universalism and sameness. The above article will convince him otherwise. As for the damage this has caused, I restate the following: After you read my forthcoming book (expected this fall), you will appreciate my arguments as to why the appropriation of Hindu elements into Christianity is leading to the demise of Hinduism. ...
...Hinduism becomes redundant, everything considered useful becoming a subset of Christianity. The husk left over is the "caste, cows, curry" stereotypes, and these end up in museums as exotic, primitive stuff.

Because the foolish swamis of RK Mission who succeeded Swami Vivekananda never understood this big picture, they facilitated this assimilation.

That is why in USA where RK Mission started big time, it has faded away, becoming redundant. Westerners were once drawn to it in very large numbers to learn meditation. But since the churches appropriated and started to teach the
same meditation, RKM no longer attracts young westerners....It is like another church, nothing unique to offer. Hence it is a second tier appendage to American Christianity for the most part. I do not recognize RKM swamis as legitimate representatives of Hinduism in America. Their effect on our identity is counter productive."

Harihara shares:
".. I remember listening a lecture (taped version) of Rev. Swami Ranganathanandaji of Ramakrishna Math & Mission, delivered to audiences in either Australia or New Zealand. At the end of the lecture session, Swami was asked a question, what is the future of Christianity? He sharply replies, they have to accept vedanta into their system and survive. ..." 

Rajiv's response was already part of the response to Carpentier.

Rajiv Malhotra adds:
"Besides RKM, Self-Realization Fellowship is also entirely Christianized.  Parmahansa Yogananda espoused sameness to bring his American Christian audiences closer to Hinduism, making it seem more approachable in Christian terms. But a few generations later, the state of affairs is that: inside American Christianity SRF is very very fringe, whereras in India it is a huge movement that HAS SECULARIZED THE HINDU FOLLOWERS.

Try discussing our issues with a typical SRF member and he will shy away calling you a hindu fanatic and other names. Ditto for RKM. They dont want to think of themselves as hindu except where the audience is such that it suits them to do so.

I am exposing this sameness lot big time in a future book. I do not accept them as voices for hindu dharma. They have their own agenda."

Manas comments:
 >> They dont want to think of themselves as hindu...<<
This aversion for a Hindu identity is among other factors, largely a result of the Nehruvian policies of negating dharmic values from the Indian public and education system. This coupled with Indira Gandhi's patronization of the Marxists history engineers, aided by her education minister Nurun Hasan, resulted in textbooks that have not only brushed aside dharmic values, but in recent years have actually started demeaning them..."
Come Carpentier responds to Rajiv's prior comment:
"Rajivji may also be misunderstanding what I said. I merely pointed out that rather than arguing endlessly that Jesus Christ could not possibly have come to India (futilely in my opinion as we will not change people's minds when they are made up, just like most people continue to believe that the apostle
Thomas visited India, irrespective of historical doubts); we should lend and propagate the right interpretation to tha story. Christianity borrowed from both Vedanrta and Buddhism as is made obvious by some of the early Christian neo-platonic and patristic writings. Tthe modern Chrsitan Churches will continue to try to absorb Hinduism whether or not JC came to India but many if not most people will draw the logical conclusio: it makes sense to go back to the source and bring Christianty back into the Dharma.

Rajiv's response:

I disagree with the last sentence. That is precisely what all
the sameness gurus think they are doing.

You must study the impact of following a strategy before advocating it. SRF and RK Mission are two prominent examples. Go to their gatherings and see if they have any interest in the kinds of issues being discussed in this egroup...

...The result of trying to "bring Christianity into dharma" has not led to mainstream Christians becoming any less history-centric. (That is the key stumbling block, and the Nicene Creed is the bedrock of this. See this discussed in detail in my next book.) These history-centric Christians will digest whatever element of dharma can fit into the exclusivist Christianity, hence Christian Yoga, Christian Bharat Natyam, etc.

In my book, I also present the right solution to this syndrome, a solution based on interviewing hundreds of westerners who did U-Turns back to Judeo-Christianity after a lifetime immersed in dharma. Why do they do this, what forces are at work, and what would prevent this? These are some research question i have pursued for over a decade quite systematically. "

Rakesh is succinct:
"A Hindu proselytization approach, such as SRF and RKM, will only achieve apologist status and end up beoming 'acceptable' to christians, in the US and Europe, when they turn christian".

Manas comments:
"It is quite interesting how because of socio-political circumstances over decades (discussed here), quite often without even realizing, many Hindus (?) have developed a tendency to go overboard with the "sameness" idiocy (probably in most cases, just in case someone throws adjectives like communal, fascistic, fanatic, Hindutvavaadi, etc.). While non-Dharmics keep propounding totalitarian, supremacist ethos and are still labelled secular by the self-styled secular-liberal brigade..."

Carpentier responds to Rajiv:
"Except that christianity is losing steam and breaking up into many sects which are not even really Christian."

Rajiv responds and has the last word, which we include fully here, given that this is a very, very important debate about a topic that has ramifications for people both India and the West in terms of their people continuing to learn the genuine and complete message of Hinduism and Dharma and not a mangled, diluted, and digested form achieved by giving History-Centric Christianity a superficial makeover:
"This is a common mis interpretation. Chaos in the other side
does not prevent them from causing harm to others. They are undergoing a reinvention of christianity to include science as well as dharma as proper subsets.

1) Science is being assimilated under the new Judeo-Christian doctrine of Intelligence Design - itself an appropriation of dharmic principles.

2) Vedanta is assimilated into a new kind of Christian non-dualism

3) Meditation is now Christian Centering Prayer, said to have been originated in Christian mysticism.

4) Yoga is Christian Yoga

5) Hindu ethics of environment is reformulated as sacredness of God's creation - opposite of the materialistic attitude for centuries.

6) Shakti and Kundalini are Holy Spirit that was always there but now we understand it better.

7) Bharat Natyam is Christ Natyam


Bottom line: By converting from hindu to christian you lose nothing. But gain a lot - freedom from caste, cows, curry stereotypes; and most of all the love of Jesus as ONLY his birth made salvation possible.

X becomes a subset of Y. X is hence redundant and not worth fighting for.

This is why I regard most Hindu leaders to be confused morons, having failed to study the opponents in the manner called for by our purva-paksha tradition."