Inculturation, as propounded by the Vatican Council II Documents 1, is the plan of Christians being within the folds of culture, tradition and heritage of any people, posing as faithful devotees and declare the "hidden Christ" at right moment, so that they (dubbed as heathens,Infidels & unbelievers) would become "Christians". Till such time, they have to adapt and adopt their culture and related customs, practices and manners. They even build Temple-like Churches, use Hindu symbols and paraphernalia extensively and the Christian priests roam as Hindu Sanyasis and Sadhus.
By the Vatican Directive Prot. N. 802/69 dated April 25, 1969, Twelve Points of Inculturation were permitted in India. So far, the "Inculturation" activities carried out by the Christian missionaries among the Saivites have been the topics discussed in selected and published books also. The author has come across a Jesuit, who has been carrying out his activities among the Srivaishnavas for around 30 years. He is Professor FX. Clooney from Harvard University's Divinity department, following the steps of Roberto de Nobili .
It is well known as to how Roberto de Nobili, a Jesuit came from Italy claiming as a "Roman Brahmin", donned ochre robes, learned Indian languages, forged "Yasur Veda", was tried by the Ecclesiastical Court and finally died in Chennai itself without any news.
In 2000, after the Popeâ€™s condemnation of practice of Yoga and other Eastern Meditation methods by the Catholic priests and others, some Christians have also started criticizing the Inculturation programmes.
However, the ongoing activities by the Inculturation and Inter-religious / Faith groups / programs clearly prove that they are pursued vigorously with the same old plans. Though, Fr. Bede Griffiths has not openly recorded in his writings, Jesuits like Ignatitius Hrudhayam, Francis X. Clooney, Anand Amaladas and others have revealed that they follow Roberto de Nobili as their role model. (A Robert De Nobili was set up in the precincts of the famous Loyola College,Chennai). Thus, the succeeding Jesuits in India have taken his method of "Inculturation" as a "role model" overtly and covertly. The mushrooming Catholic Ashrams and increasing ochre rob clad Christian priests and preachers amply prove their game-plan.Gullible Hindus & Even more Gullible Hindu Swamis are found often helping Christians in their Inculturation directly and indirectly,knowingly or unknowingly. They simply think that these Christians want to know Hinduism and they are happy that the white skinned foreigners too want to follow their religious practices.
Divide and rule
An example of Academic Iron Curtain Dr. Bettina Baumer, a German is based in Varanasi. She is well versed in Sanskrit. She has studied Kashmir Saivism also. She has ingratiated herself with Hindu Scriptures. About 18 year ago (1991), she arranged a conference in Dehradun. Selected Scholars about twenty in number participated in this closed conference which lasted six days. The theme of the conference was "Mysticism in Christianity and Saivism". The Director of the International Institute of Saiva Siddhantham Research located at Dharmapuram (Tamilnadu), presented a paper on Saivite Mysticism. It was well received. Years later eventually Dr.Betina Baumer, brought in a book form the papers presented. However the paper on Saivite Mysticism did not find a place in the Printed book. When confronted, by the Director of IISSRC, Dharmapuram, She told him that English was so rich, and high, that even Englishmen,were unable to follow it. However the reason given for omission of this paper was, that the paper on Saivite Mysticism, was not received in time. The fact is that the paper was handed over well on the very day, after it was presented and discussed. It was also the best paper,
and appreciated by the participants, When confronted with this fact, she only said "I am really sorry." When elegant papers on Hinduism are presented, Christians in Hindu garb never fail to draw , an iron curtain over them.
Misguided Sri Vaishnavas helped Father FX Clooney The Vatican sees India as the last bastion of the sacred, and hence seeks to infuse that spirit into Christianity in the West. Harvard Professor FX Clooney says, he wants to infuse the inspiration that he has derived from Nammalvar"s "Thiruvaimozhi" into Christianity.
Western values are derived from adventurism, pop music, evangelizations, sports, commerce, politics, technology and humanism; a fact which our policy makers should take note of. Inculturation derived its inspiration from such frontier spirit.
Thomas Paine (1737- 1809) wrote:
"Everything in the Old Testament is perverted and distorted into meanings never intended by the writers. The practice which the writers of the books employ is not more false than it is absurd. They state some trifling case of the person they call Jesus Christ, and then cut out a sentence from some passage of the OT and call it a prophecy of that case. But when the words thus cut out are restored to the places they are taken from, and read with the words before and after them, they give the lie to the New Testament."
Robert L. Johnson wrote in "The Bibleâ€™s Ungodly Origins".
"Many rank and file Christians sincerely believe the Bible is a direct communication from God to man. I know I used to believe it was when I was a Christian. And from recent conversations with many sincere Christians I know this is currently true for many believers. Once it is proven to our God-given reason that the Bible is strictly a man-made collection of mythology the mind loses yet another shackle of "revelation" and is soon on its way to full freedom and progress.
VOTED FOR BIBLE
The Bible was not handed to mankind by God, nor was it dictated to human stenographers by God. It has nothing to do with God. In actuality, the Bible was VOTED to be the word of God by a group of men during the 4th century. "
Thomas Paine (1737- 1809) in his work titled The Age of Reason noted that the very basis upon which Christianity was raised, on "flawed methodologies," For example the taking of alleged Old Testament prophecies and claiming that they referred to Christ who was born some 700 to 500 years after they had been uttered by the Hebrew prophets.
H.G Wells in the world famous, The Outline of History, Vol. I, pages 462-463, wrote: "It (the Council of Nicaea) marks the definite entry upon the stage of human affairs of the Christian Church and of Christianity as it is generally understood in the world to-day. It marks the exact definition of Christian teaching by the Nicene Creed."
Constantine ordered and financed 50 parchment copies of the new "holy scriptures". It seems with the financial element added to the picture, the Church fathers were able to overcome their differences and finally agree which "holy" books would stay and which would go and following its true tradition theIndian Bible has been written with over one hundred quotations from Hindu scriptures incorporated.
Late major Vedantam, who pioneered the investigation of Christian missionaries in India over thirty years ago, wrote:"Theo centric and theocratic eclectics are dangerous as nuclear, chemical and other warheads. The concept of "My God is your God, but your God is No God" does not foster understanding,Â co-operation and goodwill." The concept should be changed to "Your God is my God and my God is your God" and accepted by all religions. According to Professor John Crossan of Biblical Studies at DePaul University, USA.
"The Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (274-337 CE), who was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity, needed a single canon to be agreed upon by the Christian leaders to help him unify the remains of the Roman Empire. Until this time the various Christian leaders could not decide which books would be considered "holy" and thus "the word of God" and which ones would be excluded and not considered the word of God.
"Emperor Constantine, who was Roman Emperor from 306 CE until his death in 337 CE, used what motivates many to action - MONEY! He offered the various Church leaders money to agree upon a single canon that would be used by all Christians as the word of God. The Church leaders gathered together at the Council of Nicaea and voted the "word of God" into existence. (I wish to thank Brian Show for pointing out in his rebuttal to this article that the final version of the Christian Bible was not voted on at the Council of Nicaea, per se. The Church leaders didn"t finish editing the "holy" scriptures until the Council of Trent when the Catholic Church pronounced the Canon closed.
However, it seems the real approving editor of the Bible was not God but Constantine! and the Holy Bible has been once again tampered with, in 2008 Edition - only this time with additions from Hindu Scriptures.
PLAGIARISM OF HINDU SCRIPTURES
Why would Christian Church copy Hindu Scriptures?
The answer is here. "Such, indeed, is the exuberance and flexibility of this language (Sanskrit) and its power of compounding words, and when it has been, so to speak, baptized, and thoroughly, penetrated with the spirit of Christianity, it will probably be found, next to Hebrew and Greek, the most expressive vehicle of Christian Truth." - M. Monier - Williams (1861:54)
When we hear that at least a hundred quotation from Vedas, Yogasutra and Upanishads have been incorporated into the Indian Bible published in 2008. We are worried. We are also shocked when we hear the cross behind the Jesus has been removed about which a leading archaeologist commented "this is tribanga pose of Sri Krishna and also resembles the Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in ecstacy". The pain and trauma in face of Jesus has been erased and to be replaced with the picture of Joy found in Krishna, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu or Nataraja.. The transformation is not yet complete, and the words "he is dancing with joy has been interpolated in the adjacent page".
Hindu musical instruments used in religious Bhajans like Tambura is on the right side , Tabla is on the left side and a violin is on the upper left, dangles in the air, and there are twinkling stars all around in the space. A pair of cymbals (jalra) is found at the Right foot of Jesus. He has been adorned with a long Yahnopavitham, which extends up to the left ankle, instead of the traditional one that stops at the waist. We Hindus are legitimately worried at the blatant plagiarism.
Whenever we hear the name "Golden Temple", we tend to think of the beautiful Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar. There is another Golden Temple in South India - the great Nataraja temple at Chidambaram in Tamilnadu that is associated with the cosmic dance of Nataraja. These are sacred cultural and religious symbols of Bharat and of great importance and immense sacrifices have been made by both Sikhs and Hindus respectively to save and protect their holy symbols and sacred places.
Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai, an Institution established for promoting Hindu Dance forms, is used for inculturation by its Jew-Christian Director. She has removed the Nataraja and Ganesh statues from its premises, which is certainly a matter of concern for Hindus (Hindu Voice, Sept. 2007).
UPROOTING OF DANCE TRADITIONS
The classic Bharat Natyam cannot be serrated from Hinduism by Vatican ideologues in India, as they have found it a useful tool of evangelizations.
"(Christian) inculturation is cultural plagiarism (and) cultural vandalism, with the idea of ultimate conquest says " Swami Devananda .He says "We must be beware of Christians with their flattery and money, taking over our sacred art forms such as Bharathanatyam, even as they did to those of ancient Greece and Rome, and calling them their own".
SWAMI DEVANANDA WARNS HINDUS
Drawing from his four decades of dealing with Christian Missionaries, he gave this ominous warning to Hindus "Christianity is a parasitical religion, which attaches itself to a host culture and feeds off it, absorbing its spirit and lifeblood into itself until the host culture dies and become Christian." This was articulated by Art of Living fame Sri Sri Ravishankarji "How can you separate Bharata Natyam & Hinduism?" and again echoed by Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswathy,
"Dance is Sacred, You cannot think of Dance without Nataraja", and now Hindus have the double duty to defend their fellow religious people and also their texts from poachers. (Hindu Voice, Sept. 2007).
INNER SIGNIFICANCE OF HINDU DANCE FORMS
"To understand the Hindu Concept of Cosmic Nataraja we have to understand the Hindu Concept of dance itself. When it comes to Natya the greatest inimitable exponent, Balasaraswathy had stated that Bharat Natyam is nothing but "Natya yoga". Bharat Natya originated with Tapas and Nataraja himself is the supreme teacher of Natya and codified by Bharatha Muni in his Natya Sastra. Bharat Natya is the Supreme cultural Symbol of Perfection in dance form.
DANGERS OF COPYING RELIGIOUS SYMBOLS
When the most revered cultural symbol of Sikhs was threatened as happened some months ago when the blue attire of their most revered Guru Govind Singh was copied by Dera Sacha Sauda founder Baba Ram Rahim, the entire Sikh community of Punjab and Haryana were outraged.
They came to streets, and the two states came to a stand still. it was a war like situation. This incident was an eye-opener, as to what the consequences will be if religious sacred religious symbols and traditions of one section of the population are misappropriated illegitimately.
NEED FOR LEGISLATIONS
In the absence of any law whatsoever in India to protect the original indigenous Cultures, heritage and knowledge- the entire gamut of Hindu is under threat of unholy poachers. Its heritage and dominant concepts and Ideas, Icons, Scriptural lore and Philosophical heritage. It is well known that Basmati, Neem, Turmeric, Yoga and Bharat Natyam have has now become endangered, and now it is the very Vedas, Yoga Sutras, having been plagiarized and hence the crying need to enact strict legislations.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS OF HINDUS NEED TO BE PROTECTED
Food Items like Basmati, Neem and Turmeric have since been protected after stiff legal battles in international courts. Now it is the turn for the other rich symbols of Hindus, Buddhist, Sikh and Jaina literature in books, sacred objects, icons, temples, sacred forests, mountains, caves, rivers, religious spaces like bathing ghats, sacred trees , groves, passages, ashrams, mutts, properties, lands endowed to them, unique customs, leadership , sampradhayams, follower ship, rituals, practices, worship methods, mantras, tantras, yantras, associated with these traditions, padarthas, aushadas, pathways, places, religious, cultural icons, art, architecture, music, dance, folk art, instruments, dress, jewellery, festivals, methods, stories and organizations, sanctity, even food and gastronomic effects, need urgent documentation and immediate protection from our authorities. We need acts like intellectual property rights , and copy right provisions must be extended for Cultural objects and the Religious knowledge and Religious space of Hindus must be protected as holy sanctuaries; but before that Hindus have to be sensitized for the great work that lies before them.
By Mohan Gupta