Saturday, November 28, 2009

God is Indian, more precisely, Hindu

AoL claims to embrace all religions. It is true, however, once you join, you are slowly converted to Hinduism under cover.

Everything that is western was discouraged and labeled as bad, negative, not that evolved, low prana. "Every culture has its strengths", SSRS would say. Every culture has its specializations: Switzerland watches, Holland cheese, Japan technology, USA marketing, India enlightened gurus and human values. Are these objective observations? Is it fair to say that only through Vedic knowledge one can attain human values, spirituality, enlightenment? Within a short period of time, even Westerners regarded Indians as being more evolved! One Indian person went as far as telling me once: “to be born Indian is better karma, only Indians can attain enlightenment.”

I don’t know what is sadder: the statement or that some “white people” actually thought that way because his/her guru was Indian!

By stating Indian culture and people have higher moral values and are more evolved it insinuates Indian gurus and Vedic scriptures are the only way to salvation. It is perhaps just as bad as religious extremists declaring Heaven is available only to those who follow their faith, or the KKK claiming Caucasians are superior to African-Americans, or Nazis regarding Arians as superior to the Jews. Such views are the roots of racial discrimination, wars, genocide - “us/they.”

Needless to mention, Indian teachers were treated better than non-Indian teachers. So far, swamis and rishis are all Indians. However, one must not forget it is the non-Indians who started and made the organization happen. In fact, it was the donation and the dedication of Westerners that allowed Him to have what He has today.
Although we sold breathing and meditation techniques, and world peace (of course), without realizing, we were silently being converted and converting others into Hinduism. Pujas, yagyas, sanksrit words as part of our daily language, singing mantras, dressing in saris, dotis and salvar kamis, bindis, etc. In a few years or less, one was praying to Ganesh, Laxmi, Krishna, Shiva, and definitely to SSRS, as per his instructions.

Rumours were SSRS was the reincarnation of Shiva, Vyasa, Krishna, Adi Shankara , Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, Jesus Christ. As you see, a good Hindu himself, he despised Muslims too.

His stories about the miracles of the tsunami were, “ it destroyed everything, except the Hindu temples and the Art of Living centers. Everything else was destroyed by the tsunami.”

Bottom line: if you want to be saved, you need to be Hindu, or else, a devotee of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the only one on earth God favors.


Anonymous said...

This post is slightly funny to me. Sri Sri is Indian! He enjoys being Indian and embraces Hindu traditions! People who follow him enjoy the chanting, singing etc. If they choose to follow him, and to do what he says, I'm sure they notice on first glance that he happens to be Indian and a proponent of Hindu traditions. Even in that statement you gave, He doesn't say that ONLY India has enlightenment and human values, just that they have had a historic and well documented interest in these topics. That is true. In India there is a slot and cultural respect for yogis and swami and seekers. In America they respect commerce more, and people like say, Bill Gates. Those that seek a religious life in the US or other european nations find themselves living on the fringes of society. The major spiritual 'leaders' in America are all, in my opinion, experts at marketing and wealth building and none of them seem particularly enlightened to me. Anyway, there are lots of songs they sing from all religions that they sing at AOL. I don't see it as such a big deal.

That an Indian guru favors other Indians who choose to follow him is also nothing scandalous. It's the way of the world amongst most ethnic groups and religions. Especially the Western ones that proclaim theirs the 'one true faith' and themselves 'the chosen people'.

By the way, there's no such thing as Hinduism, nor is there 'conversion' to Hinduism the way there is in other religions. Hinduism is a term Western historians imposed on a group of people who followed a way of life they called "Sanatana dharma' . The Indian culture is vast an complex and very old and certain simplifications that Westerners have imposed on it are simply not true.

That westerners who left AOL think they were being converted to Hinduism without their knowledge is pretty hilarious. Hinduism is inclusive. It allows you to pray to certain divine attributes and 'qualities' in relatable forms like Durga or Jesus or Vishnu or Shiva or yourself. You can follow Vedanta and examine yourself rigorously without the need for prayer or meditation. As J Krishnamurti says "Truth is a pathless land' and there are many paths and religious traditions in India.

What you were being converted to was SriSri-ism.

How do you pray to Hindu deities and all of a sudden regard them with suspicion one day. What did they ever do to you? I've never heard of anyone being hurt by Hindu chanting either. Generally, I found that the westerners who follow gurus either have an affinity for Indian culture and enjoy the various foods/traditions/atmosphere/people, or else they are hell bent on 'attaining enlightenment' or else they are deeply psychologically wounded and need a place to try to fit in and feel special. Those that are in the second and third categories are usually the ones that go deep into the organization and enter the heirarchy by becoming teachers. They often are attracted to showy, marketing major gurus that most regular Indians wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.

Within Hindu scriptures there are even lengthy passages about the qualities a true guru must have and how important it is to test your guru using your discernment before you decide if they are worthy of being followed. Can you say the same about most other world religions? I have found that in most Western religions, blind obedience is required amongst followers and questioning is not allowed. Maybe that's why a lot of westerners are succeptible to rule-making gurus, superimpose the limitations of their previous religions onto their new one, and misunderstand the foreign traditions they chose to follow.

somaie said...

the post is telling the truth, but isn't this what we get in the end when we go after human gods...

Anonymous said...

Hmm.. It shows u re a sponsored Westener who hates Indian religion..

So which christian organisation sponsoring you?

P Naik said...

Wow! Anonymous, that's an excellent post and I agree with you 100%. I hope this post gets some upfront time. The key word, I guess for both Eastern and Western guru-seekers is "Discernment."