Monday, October 19, 2009

Christ vs. Krishna: Smack Down in Delhi

I spend much of my time participating in interfaith gatherings where the vast majority of participants accept the premise presented in the Hindu Rig Veda: “Truth is one. Different people call it by different names.” Most of us understand that religions and the gods they cherish are human inventions seeking to articulate what is at heart ineffable.

As the Tao te Ching reminds us, “The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao.” Any god you can institutionalize, any god you can theologize about, any god you can sell to your neighbor, just isn’t God. The true God is found in silence, stillness, and compassion. This doesn’t mean that religions have nothing to offer. On the contrary, our lives would be much poorer without them. It only means that they should realize their own limitations and be humble.

Of course this never happens. No matter how much we learn about the nature of religion, religion never seems to grow up. Case in point: the new push by Catholics to bring the Good News of Christ to the Bad News Brahmins of India.

Fifteen hundred Catholics attended the Indian Mission Congress in Mumbai last week to fire themselves up about sharing the light of Christ in the dark land of Krishna. Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, Apostolic Nuncio to India, said that Christians have an obligation to spread the Gospel in India as that nation falls ever more deeply into the depravity of illicit sexuality, drug abuse, poverty, and violence.

When I read this I thought, “Finally, someone is going to clean up the moral cesspool that is India! And who better to do it than Catholics?” I mean the Catholic Church is all about goodness, and ending poverty and violence. Just look at the lives of people in predominately Catholic countries such as Mexico (95% Catholic) and Columbia (91.90% Catholic). These good people under the guidance of the Catholic Church all live peaceful lives of financial sobriety and security, free from violence, drugs, and sexual perversion. And who could possibly suspect the Church and its priests of sexual immorality?

So I say, “Go get ‘em, Jesus!” This is exactly what India and the world needs, more religious strife.

Not that Catholicism doesn’t have much to offer the world; it does. But if the Church wants to share its light the best way to do it would be to create ideal societies in the countries that are already Catholic. Show us how it’s done, Papa. This is hard work, of course. It is much easier to go out and convert others to your faith than it is to actually live that faith yourselves.

Here is my best-case scenario for the Catholic Mission in India. First, they offer such a clear alternative to the caste system that Hindus worldwide finally free themselves of that oppressive idea. Second, they discover that Jesus was an incarnation of Vishnu, and realize that Hindus, too, are speaking the Truth, they are just doing so using their own names. I doubt either of these things will happen, of course. But I can dream, can’t I?


Maggid said...

yep. You make me giggle - but, you also let me know I'm not alone - (Thank you.)

Unknown said...

I'm a Christian whom a lot of Christians would say isn't one, and I agree: the best way to evangelize is to lead by example, not to cram religiosity down people's throats. You attract more flies with honey than with vinegar, my grandmother used to say.

And I agree that all religions have the truth, and we just call it by different names. In which case, we should leave each other in peace.

dtedac said...

Some Catholics and other Christians see evangelization as a sort of religious throwdown: us against them. They don't see other faiths as valid and make the presentation of Jesus and his way a confrontation. Some, like me, see evangelization as living out the message above all. I see truth in all faiths and would present Jesus and his way by trying to live it out myself. This, in a nutshell, is the dichotomy that Christianity in general must face and sort out.


twiley said...

Why don't they just leave the Hindus alone? With the exception of the Hare Krishnas in the 1960s you don't see much Hindu influence with the goal of conversion in the US, do you? Live and let live, I say.

Patti said...

If we are only concerned with eternal salvation and belt notching; why would we care about the day to day lives of those we evangelize? Christian evangelism is about seeing difference, demanding likeness and patting oneself on the back for supposed courage.

It is not godly, compassionate or loving. If we want to help others, for the mere reason that we are able and they are needy, then we are on to something.

magda888 said...

recently there has been much arguing going on in the circles of
religious ''chief executives'' mainly just to keep their position of power
safe and a centuries aged battle bettween eastern and western world whose
generals of religious aristocracy have been trying really hard to establish
christian supremacy over hindus or followers blinded by ritualistic hoopla,
completely ignorant and spiritually deaf to the message of goodwill coming
from the other side

do not make one more theatre like politics, for you will suffer
yourself the most for misguiding the people who trust you instead of
preaching the message of universal love

who has eyes let him see
who has ears let him hear
no more there should be division between religions
for the only begotten son of god brahma creates the world during first three ages
in kali yuga shiva does the creation, his creation is that of destruction
therefore he is named satan, and brahma comes as christ
while brahma creates shiva helps to realize the truth
while shiva destroys brahma helps to realize the truth
both of them are ultimate devotees of krishna
while vishnu just maintains that what is going on therefore he is named god
brahmas body is spirit
shivas body is ego
vishnus body is supersoul in each heart
if your consciousness is egoistic, destructive suffering from satan will come on you
if your consciousness is spiritual, creative mercy from christ will come on you
if you realize your true nature, which is soul, eternal liberation from god will come on you
there is no end coming now - just one big love

you - priests and acharyas - stop the war at once

there is no mode of being more reasonable than love
from love comes life, peace, beauty and harmony

in the name of father vishnu, son brahma and holy ghost krishna - be love, be happy and be free