In defense of the Sacred-C I Issacs
In defense of the Sacred -Dr C I Issacs
Invading the Sacred: An Analysis of Hinduism Studies in America. (Eds.) Krishnan Ramaswami, Antonio de Nicolas and Aditi Banerjee. Published by Rupa & Co.
In defense of the Sacred
Using the pretext of the study of religious aspects of Hindus, some elements in the American Academy of Religion [AAR] are now deliberately attempting to tarnish Hinduism’s true image through some so called ‘scholarly productions’. The book ‘Invading the Sacred’ edited by Krishnan Ramaswamy and others gives a thumbnail picture of its depth and intensity. AAR is an important and influential institution of academic studies of religion in USA. “Unlike in India, the academic study of religion in USA is a major discipline involving over 8000 university professors, most of who are members of AAR”1. Therefore this academy’s anti-Hindu researches will represent the Hindu image negatively in America and elsewhere. Moreover these anti-Hinduism academic studies are now the cruel weapon in the hands of Christian churches in USA. Helped by this scholarship they are effectively spreading, through all possible means, the phenomenon of Hindu-phobia, the term coined by Rajiv Malhotra2. Thus the spontaneity and virginity of pagan religion is now subjected to the malicious exercise of the intolerant and hegemonic academic-Church nexus. Under the academic support from the AAR they project Hinduism as a ‘pig-pen of the East and a dirty dignity destroying’ religion3.
The malady is that a set of Indian intelligentsia possessed of Colonial subjectivity in India as well as abroad attests the stance of these spoke-persons of Hindu-phobia. To them secularism is the condemnation of pagan religious convictions in general, and of Hindus in particular. From thepoint of view of the Hindu, secularism is an immaterial concept. In their tradition secularism has been much more than toleration since the days of Vedas and it is the synonym to the recognition of all creeds and ideologies as means to the realization of the Ultimate Truth4. Thus Sanathana Dharma [eternal truth], the core of Hindu life, believes that “All religions are the outcome of the quest of man for God”5. “All the Hindu scriptures have upheld this view. Therefore there was never any room for religious conflict in India”6. On the other hand, secularism of the West has no separate existence from the Semitic/Christian traditions. Religion and state apparatus at present in the West are inseparable entities like Siamese twins7. Above all Anti-Hinduism studies particularly in the West are receiving the patronage of aforesaid class of mentally colonized Indian intellectuals. Similarly studies that attempt to study Hindu religion by using Semitic yard sticks to comprehend Hinduism are yet another paradox. Such studies are, no doubt, heralded by certain pre-conceived notions.
The centre of the faith of Semitic religions, from the Garden of Eden to the pulpit of the day, are premised on non-rational and illogical canons such as sex, animal like sex relations, sinfulness of conjugal relations, castration, the wrath of god, selfish god, human sacrifice, hell, material or worldly enjoyment guarantees to the souls in the heaven, etc. Most of its tenets are self-contradictory. All the above contentions of the Semitic religions are not much debated in the Hindu religious texts or subject to discussion in the Hindu spiritualistic scenario. To a Hindu all these are not a question of debate at all. According to Vedas, the authority of Hindu religious convictions, man is “amruthasya puthraha” [Child of Immortality] and there is non-duality in the relation between the Creator and the Creation. Moreover, there are time tested social mechanisms in the Hindu ways of life to sort-out all such questions raised by the Semitic religions. “The fact that Hinduism was able to resist the onslaught of Islam for over 750 years, and has emerged stronger after over 150 years challenge by Christianity, has now made the West realize that what it had previously considered to be no more than primitive superstitions, held together by strange system of social organization which was termed ‘caste’, must have some inherent values of high significance”8. Caste was not a curse and was an organic mechanism in the traditional Hindu society. Its harmonious utilization maintained the momentum and the un-interrupted continuity of the Hindu social-fabric in the sub-continent9.
Semitic religion claims that they are monotheistic. Simultaneously they accept the divine existence of arch-angel and angels. Gabriel and Michael are messengers of the other world of the Semitic religions. The Holy Spirit becomes an instrumental to the Immaculate Conception in Mary. Christianity claims trinity of God and the extraordinary influence of saints before the Father and Son. Such a hierarchical structure of Father, Son, Holy Ghost, angels and saints altogether deactivates the rationale of its monotheistic claims. The pantheon of Hindu is static and constant; on the other hand the frontiers of saints in the Church is an ever expanding phenomenon. The utmost absurdity is that the same Christian Church ridicules Hindus as polytheistic. The wrapping up of the said innate contradictions of the Faith is the main concern of the present-day academic study of religion in USA.
The religion of Hinduism is the only rational and surviving creed. That is why the field of holistic medicine [for instance yoga], and business schools of America are counting it as a source of their hope. In order to negate this growing acceptance of Hindu religion in the West, the Christian backdoor studies on Hinduism overflow with ‘political use of psychology’10. Above all it is an essential condition for the survival of the Church in the new millennium. That is why Christiane Hartnack in her work ‘Psychoanalysis in Colonial India’ [see p 76 of the book] openly claims that “Hindus became psychologically stuck in a dark age, while Europeans had proceeded to psychologically advanced stage” 11.
The present academic and theological exercise going on in the Churches of the West, especially in the USA, is attempting to vulgarize the Hindu pantheons and sages in order to neutralize Hindu morale. The theme of the book “Invading the Sacred” is widely spreading ‘Hindu-phobia’ in USA; and the Christian conspiracy against the sacred structure of Mother India. The apostles of ‘Hindu-phobia’ through their scholastic exercises are attempting to reduce Hinduism as a ‘pig-pen of the East and a dirty dignity destroying’ religion. They are using the space of their scholarship to portray our sages as sexually disturbed and abusively homosexual, their pathological sexual conditions ubjected to the psychoanalysis framework designed by Sigmund Freud. Hindu goddesses as sex maniacs and demonic persons, Lord Ganesha’s trunk signifying a ‘limp phallus’, Tantra as a disguised and deceitful pornography intended to exploit lower jatis, delineation of Siva-Ganaesa combat as the Indian version of classical Oedipal Conflict, etc are some typical examples cited by these theological scholars to reduce Indian mythology as the product of an age-old sexual anarchy12. In order to reduce Hindu religious society as whole into a corpse of anachronistic social entities, they are hiring tools from Sigmund Freud [1856-1939]. All these exercises are happening notwithstanding the fact that “This is the India that is taking shape today in a new setting, the same ancient India but adopting necessary changes. Much dead wood is being cut and removed. This courage to change a Smrti, and that too peacefully, is purely a Hindu heritage. No other religion has shown that courage. In all other religions, their Smrtis are all in all; they cannot be touched, and if any reformer attempts to change them, he is persecuted and killed”13.
It is awfully clear that behind all these misrepresentation and vulgarization of Indian signs of faith through this western scholastic exercise; one cannot ignore India’s colonized intelligentsia’s implicit benediction of this parody. For instance, Sarah Caldwell in her research paper “The Bloodthirsty Tongue and the Self-Feeding Breast: Homosexual Fellatio in a South Indian Ritual Tradition”14 explains the Kali worship of Kerala, which is far from even a trace of either fact or truth. No doubt, the reading of her ‘Kali Cult in Kerala’ has crossed all the limits of modern secular notions of give and take, and mutual respect. Behind Sarah’s application of vulgarity in the Kali worship of Kerala, surely there are some self-contemptuous Indian intelligentsias of Colonial subjectivity involved.
According to the book “Invading the Sacred”, Hindu-phobia of USA is not an accidental or solitary blossoming of an intellectual-pervert. Paul Courtright on Ganesha, Dr. Patrick Bresnan on Shiva, Stanley Kurtz on non-loving Hindu specific motherhood, Prof. David Gordon White’s ‘Kiss of the Yogini –Tantric Sex in its South Asian Context, Jeffrey Kripal’s findings of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa’s homosexuality, Christiane Hartnack’s Psychoanalysis in Colonial India, the never exhaustible academic search of Wendy Doniger to find fault with Hindu ways, etc are some among the whole host of Hindu-phobic literary creations that are circulating in the contemporary academic circles of USA. Wendy Doniger, by means of her Hindu-phobia, secured acceptance in the elite academic circles of USA. Her recent book ‘The Hindu: An Alternative History’, intended to blemish Hindus and Indians, now included as a text of the Chicago University, is no doubt another spike in her cap. Her contemptuous finding is that Hindus had a canon! [See p 25of the book]. Her readings of Vedas, particularly of beef eating, cow sacrifice, etc are not much differed from the view of JNU historians. This similarity is not at all an accidental coincidence. It is purposeful. Her academic enthusiasm and aesthetic [sadistic] enjoyment is not tired out after such ‘pick and choose’ research but ends with the sketch of ‘Sri Krishna’ sitting in the thigh of nude women on the cover of the book.
In the face of the above highlighted social as well as cultural belittling of Hindus by the Hindu-phobic West under the moral support of the Indian intelligentsia of Colonial Subjectivity; an awakening of the Hindu spirit is inevitable. Thus the words of Anne Besant are relevant: “If Hindus do not maintain Hinduism, who shall save it? If India’s own children do not cling to her faith, who shall guard it? India alone can save India, and India and Hinduism are one”. Thus being a Hindu by Karma, I am forced to answer some of the AAR charges within the ambit of Hindu tradition of recognition of all creeds. The Hindu tradition absolutely differs from the Abrahamic tradition, which fosters “sexism, racism, the intolerance of difference, and the desecration of the natural environment. The Church, throughout much of its history, has demonstrated a disregard for human freedom, dignity and self-determination. It has attempted to control, contain and confine spirituality, the relationship between an individual and God. As a result, Christianity has helped to create a society in which people are alienated not only from each other but also from the divine”15. The result is the fragility of the faith in Europe. On the other hand, one cannot ignore the fact that for more than two thousand years Hinduism as a religion and culture has withstood the assaults and cultural invasions of Abrahamic religions.
Freud was basically a practicing neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis. He coined examples from a Judeo-Christian experience. His target group was patients. Patients do not completely incorporate all the cross-sections of the society. Religion and faith is the core to all societies. Freud being an atheist has ignored this sober aspect of the social equation. Thus the use of his tool to study the Hindu religious transactions is ridiculous and a futile exercise. It is because of this reason that the space, morphology and structure of the Hindu dharma [religion] have not even a trace resemblance to the Semitic religions. Freud evolved his conceptual framework of religion from his Abrahamic religious experience.
The framework of the Freudian paradigm of Oedipal Conflict is conveniently superimposed over Ganesha by the Hindu-phobic study by Courtright in America. Freud borrowed the term Oedipal from Greek mythology and induced as a clinical terminology in the new branch, psychoanalysis. Why did he adopted a terminology from Greek while plenty of appropriate terms are available in the Bible? [Old Testament – Genesis]. What is the hermeneutics at the back of the conflict between Cain and Abel? The book Genesis tells that at the time of this conflict there was in the world only one female and three males. For sure while Cain and Abel attained puberty the question of mating became a serious matter. The only available female as per the bible is Eve; their mother. This question of sharing sex led to the conflict between them and thus ended in the killing of Abel. Adam had already been castrated by Jehovah as a punishment to his sexual relation with Eve. Thus the probability of a sex related feud is very high in the said situation.
Jehovah hated sex relations. The centre of the Abrahamic faith is the idea of sin behind the sex act. Thus Adam was castrated with the curse of God. “You will have to work hard and sweat to make the soil produce anything, until you go back to the soil from which you were formed” 16. Again there are references to several such castrations in the bible. A last one is the castration of his only begotten son when he incarnated as man. Even though Martha, Miriam of Magdalene, etc all loved him, Jehovah forced him to court the path of crucifixion. The mission of Jehovah in the world cannot be fulfilled without the bloodbath of crucifixion. Why can’t Jehovah prefer the style of functioning of the Hindu incarnations? Really Jehovah was bit jealous of his Son’s marital life, the intrinsic worth of the world, which is a forbidden fruit to him so far. Thus He castrated His Son. Here Jehovah is chronic psychiatric case and to be subjected to Freud’s psychoanalysis. According the gospels Zechariah, the guardian of John the Baptist, was also subjected to castration. Joseph, the guardian of Jesus, was yet another person subjected to ‘divine castration’. In front of Freud, thus, there were sufficient Judeo-Christian occurrences. But why did he search out a paradigm from Greek myth? Either he feared the wrath of the Church or needed to belittle the paganism of the Greeks. The same is the case with Paul Courtright. His observations regarding to Ganesha are derived out of his obsessions. The very foundation of Freud’s scientific theory was derived from a cryptic Judeo-Christian ethos. “Its very structure was church-like, in that psychoanalytic treatments in Freudian practice were modeled after the Catholic confessional”17.
Sarah Caldwell was in search of a novel paradigm from the contemporary Hindu religion to make suitable analysis per the Freudian psychoanalysis framework. Her work “The Bloodthirsty Tongue and the Self-Feeding Breast: Homosexual Fellatio in a South Indian Ritual Tradition” reserves space for the nonexistent Kali worship of Kerala. In the background of Christianity there are enough and more suitable characters for this analysis than Kali of Kerala. But she deliberately concentrates on a character unfamiliar to the West. Why not Mary? Until 16th century Mother Mary was not included in the galaxy of the Christian saints. The reason was because Mary as woman bears the blots of ‘original sin’ opened up by Eve in the Garden of Eden. The miraculous Parthenogenesis theory in relation to Mother Mary was evolved through translation confusion. In Hebrew language meaning of the word “Almah” is a married Jewish lady, aristocratic Jewish lady, virgin, beautiful, etc. The word “Almah” is translated to Greek: ‘Partheno’. Its meaning in Greek is virgin. The Septuagint Bible brought in such a meaning to Almah. That is why Christians began to believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus as virgin.
The castrated Joseph became instrumental to the guardianship of Mary’s first son. Her immaculate conception is clinically not proven, but really Mary was the first ‘mother with a penis’. Otherwise, clinically speaking, Immaculate Conception is impossible. Hence the still persisting doubts over her Immaculate Conception. Sarah Caldwell knows this aspect well. But she wrongly attributes the self-insemination tradition of Christianity onto the goddess Kali. Why can Sarah Caldwell not make a study on the Mary worship [of Kerala specifically, if she is very partial to this State] instead of its Kali worship? Is the worship of Mary not part of the homosexual psychopathology of Christians?
Goddesses are to Hindus much different from Eve or Mother Mary of the Christians. They are representing all powerful and chaste Indian womanhood tradition since the days of Vedas. These female supernatural beings are the celestial representation of Indian femininity. Respect and more-than-equal priority that is enjoyed by Indian women is the centre of Kali worship. Therefore, Sarah’s effort to superimpose a Freudian psychoanalysis paradigm over Kali worship is to vulgarize the Hindu standpoint of womanhood, and no doubt, it is a futile and barren exercise. According to the scriptures of Abrahamic religions woman is only an instrument of reproduction. To them woman is an embodiment of deception. They can ensure salvation only through motherhood18. “As in all the churches of God’s people women should keep quiet in the meetings. They are not allowed to speak; the Jewish Law says, they must not be in charge”19.
The Christians, irrespective of their rites’ difference, consider Christ as the bride groom and the Church as bride. The laity forms the Church. In Neo-Protestants and Catholic charismatic movements of the day at their spiritual assemblages, during the climax of their worship, the women folk really reach a hysteric stage where they are elevating themselves to a mental state which gives them enjoyment of physical wedlock with Jesus. In such assemblages men folk as a whole are subjected to either self-castration or a trickling of homosexual enjoyment. The ultimate goal of each and every nun of the Catholic Church is to share the bridal-chamber with Christ. Is it a phallic worship? It is more vulgar and contemptuous than the Hindu’s linga worship. Are the nuns living in a schizophrenic condition? Really this hierarchical structure of the Church based on “first sin” itself pivots on a certain degree of psychological disorder.
No doubt Freud the father of modern psychoanalysis identified devotion to personal god as sex. Freud in his essay on “Obsessive Actions and Religious Actions” pointing that there is more than a superficial resemblance between the obsessive acts of neurotics and religious observances. This finding, undoubtedly, was derived from the European Christian experience of Freud.
Catholic monasteries and convents are still acquiring more and more notoriety for their homosexuality and pedophilia. When living examples [in the Church] are at the fingertips of Sarah why she is striving to find instances for homosexuality in the Hindu myths? The Hindu-phobic from the Christian world conveniently evades the instances of frequent occurrences of sex related crimes, rape and unwanted pregnancies in the nunneries and the fast spreading epidemic of pedophilia among Catholic priests and evangelical ministers. No doubt certain degree of psychological disorder is now chasing the Church all over in the new millennium. One could not ignore the case of Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy of Milwaukee Archdiocese, Wisconsin state of USA. In the nineties of the last century this catholic priest sexually molested 200 deaf boys20. The church authorities of USA had informed the Vatican for action against Rev. Murphy for his pedophilic activities. It is not a matter of shame or unethical behaviour for the Vatican, because now it is very common. The Vatican, as usual, followed its lukewarm attitude towards the sexually perverted priest, Rev. Murphy. So far no action is reported. The priest died in 1998 with the honourable title of minister intact. The Vatican itself is not free from this vice. Here it is relevant to recall the utterance of Jesus before the Pharisees that “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” 21.
Ninety percent of the bloodbaths in history so far were the contributions of the intolerant Abrahamic religions. Contrary to what many think, Christianity fundamentally is not a religion of peace from its very inception. “Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the world. No, I did not come to bring peace, but a word. I came to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law”22. In Crusades, Inquisition, Reformation and Counter Reformation, anti-Jew holocausts, etc all contains the flavour of the Christian hate and cannibalism. The observance of Holy Mass is an unmitigated persistence of the cannibalism of the Church.
Now the world is under threat of jihad. It is also the other side of the same coin – the Abrahamic religion.
Pope Pius XII justified Hitler’s invasion of Russia in the following words: “Gallant action in the defense of foundation of Christian culture”. Now his soul is proposed to be elevated to sainthood. The only miracle left in his account book was the restoration of a papal country. This miracle was the outcome of his pro-Hitler-Mussolini policies. From the very beginning of the Church, Jews are their targeted groups of proselytism. The Jerusalem Post of 12 May 2009, reports – “Vatican to stop missionizing Jews” [by Abe Selig]. “During his historic journey to Jerusalem last month, Pope Benedict XVI met the chief Sephardic and Ashkenazi rabbis at Heichal Shlomo and agreed that the Catholic Church would cease all missionary activity among Jews”. Now the Church is gearing up to fulfill “The Marvel of God’s Plan in Asia’. On 6th November 1999 Pope John Paul II explained the Marvel of the God in the following words; “Just as in the first millennium the Cross was planted on the soil of Europe, and in the second on that of the Americas and Africa, we can pray that in the Third Christian Millennium a great harvest of faith will be reaped in this vast and vital continent”23.
Through millennia the process of the revitalization Hindu existence has been assured by sages, saints, and incarnations24. This observable fact in the words of Swami Ranganathananda is: “India is ever ageing, but never old; it is because of this adjustment that takes place at particular periods”25. For that reason, in the absence of a Pope or a Patriarch or a prophet or a Caliph, it is still glittering as if still youthful. Therefore it withstands and survives the threat of 700 years of Islamic humiliations and 250 years of disguised Christian proselytizing enterprises. On the other hand Communism flourished well in Persia [Iran], before the Islamic Revolution of Ayatollah Khomeini. Now there is no trace of it. What happened to it? Harsh measures against Communism by intolerant Islamic regime were the reason behind the extinction of communist ideology from Iran.
Generally in Muslim countries, religion, social relations, and politics are under the tight observation and control of the religion of Islam. Not only in Iran, but also all over the Islamic world the condition of Communism, Christianity, and other non-Islamic faiths is miserable. Even Capitalism also showed flexibility to contain several of the equality concepts of socialism. But in India Communism failed to gain a strong footing. It was not because of the anti-communist measures of the State or Hindu religious institutions. It is just that Hindu society never counts the ideology of Communism as a threat or a safety valve. The religion of the Hindus is sufficient to neutralize or contain the marvel of communism. The cases of Buddhism, Jainism, etc were not too different for the communist experience. Thus in India Capitalism and Communism lost its ground. Don’t forget the fact that the belligerent Communism and Capitalism of the last century posed a great threat to world peace. In front of the Hindu spiritual might of equal recognition to all creeds, the aggressive proselytism endeavours of Christian missions of the pre-independence era miserably failed. In front of the Hindu conviction that all creeds and gods are the means to the realization of the Ultimate Truth, the question of conversion to Christianity turned out to be immaterial.
I am proud of being a Hindu by Karma. Why do you pseudo-secularist try to corner and hunt Hinduism and its custodians? Are you fearing the innate irrefutable nature of this nation? An international conspiracy is going on to disturb or destabilize this nation economically, spiritually and politically. It is one of the surviving youthful pagans in the world. The very foundation of Indian culture and civilization is its religion, Hinduism. It successfully responded to the challenges of various cults and civilizations for the last two millenniums. Hence it is still a force to reckon with in this and future millenniums. It has an inbuilt mechanism to face such intimidation. Therefore the efforts of Christianity, Islam and colonialism to metamorphose Hindu have failed miserably. History teaches us that the destiny of the crypto-Christian designs to malign the Hindu religion through the academic studies will not bear any desired fruits. Thus I humbly advise these academics, “Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you. ………… Why, then, do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, and pay no attention to the long mote in your own eye?”26.
1. Krishnan Ramaswamy and others, Invading the Sacred, New Delhi, 2nd impression, 2007, p 3
2. Ibid, p 3
3. Ibid, p 5
4. Rig Veda, Ch: III, Sukta 164, Mandala I, Varg 22
5. P. Parameswaran, Hindutva Ideology – unique and universal, Chennai, 2000, p 5]
6. Ibid, p 7
7. Krishnan Ramaswamy and others, op cit, ‘the secular’, in European languages, has only one contrast – ‘the sacred’, p 131
8. K. M. Panikkar, Hinduism, p 367
9. S. Gurumurthy, The World Beyond Marx and Market, Chennai, 2007, pp 62 ff
10. Krishnan Ramaswamy and others, op cit, p 138
11. Christiane Hartnack, Psychoanalysis in Colonial India, p 76, Quoted from Krishnan Ramaswamy and others, op cit, p 138
12. Krishnan Ramaswamy and others, op cit, pp 18, 19
13. P. Parameswaran, quotes Swami Ranganathanada, op cit, back cover
14. Krishnan Ramaswamy and others, op cit, pp 43, 44
15. Helen Ellerbe, The Dark Side of Christian History, Morningstar and Lark, Orlando, 1995, p 1
16. Genesis, Ch: III, Verse 19
17. Krishnan Ramaswamy and others, op cit, p 141
18. “ …….. it was the woman who was deceived and broke God’s law. ……… a woman will be saved through having children. ….”, Paul’s first letter to Timothy, Ch. II, Verses 14 &15
19. The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, Ch. XIV, Verse 34
20. The New Indian Express, Kochi, 26th March 2010, quotes New York Times
21. St. John, Ch. VIII, Verse 7
22. St. Mathew, Ch. X, Verses 34 &35
23. Kanayalal M. Talreja, Holy Vedas and Holy Bible, New Delhi, 2000, p 19
24. Bhagavat Gita, Ch: IV, Verse 8
25. Swami Ranganathanada, quoted from P. Parameswaran, Hindutva Ideology – unique and universal, Chennai, 2000, p back cover
26. St. Mathew, Ch.VII, Verses. 1, 2, 3