Monday, April 27, 2015

To Evangelists anywhere, and in Delhi in particular.

The new ArchBishop of Delhi, per the Wall Street Journal.

The next ArchBishop of Delhi says that "the religious and cultural pluralism within which the Christian community finds itself" is a problem for the Church, and it only gets better from there on.

WSJ: What do you think will be the main challenges you will face as the Archbishop of a diocese which includes a mega city?

Rt. Rev. Couto: The cosmopolitan nature of the Church in Delhi and the consequent multicultural situation of the people I am called to serve will certainly be one of the main challenges.
WSJ: Do you think Catholics are called to evangelize and convert others to Catholicism?

Rt. Rev. Couto: The Church exists to evangelize. She can never run away from the mandate Christ has given to her to proclaim the Good News in season and out of season and to place before all nations the truth of the Kingdom of God.
I also pray that God may give numerous new members to the Church through the sacrament of baptism.

So this is my statement to such people:

We Hindus welcome the news of Jesus as another of the infinite manifestations of the Divine. We think it mistaken to consider Jesus as the only or the most important manifestation of the Divine. As long as they do not fall into this error, there is no objection to Hindus to choose or not choose Jesus as their Ishta-Devata. We Hindus can love Jesus and Jesus can love us Hindus with no intermediaries. We are human, not sheep, and we do not see any value of being the flock of some pastor or church. We think the Church, with its officialdom and bureaucracy is what keeps Christians separate from the Divine, and while recognizing the Church's right to exist as long as some Christians mistakenly think they need it, we consider the Church to be a major error made in ignorance and impediment in the spiritual evolution of Christians in particular and humankind in general. As to missionaries and evangelists, we decry the egotism in their belief that they are instruments to bring God to us Hindus, or that they are doing some kind of good work or doing us a favor. We Hindus visit the Divine every day in our puja and meditations, and He/She/It/That replies to each of us individually and appropriately based on our abilities to receive and understand. We think Jesus will speak to us directly if He thinks it necessary, and so we reject all self-styled messengers, alleged carriers of the Good News, and such, who think that our Hindu relationship with the Divine is inadequate, or false, unless mediated through their good offices, unless we have membership in some Church. We pray that they are led from this Tamasic arrogance into the Light.

Asatomasatgamaya, tamasoma jyothirgamaya, mrityormaamritam gamaya!

I will add Pulikeshi's statement too:

Have you heard the Hindu Good News? – Live mindfully, cherish your land, its flora and fauna, and be kind, seek true knowledge and most of all be free.

The divine manifests itself in infinite ways - Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Zarathustra, Guru Nanak, Mani, Shukracharya, Bharadwaja, Vasistha, and so many were special in their own right. As a Hindu, you have the freedom to really choose any, all, any other or none of these sages to help in your journey of self-realization. Further, as a Hindu, no matter where you live, it is imperative that you stay connected to the land, its flora and fauna in your journey. All of Earth and her creatures are sacred, so give back more than you take from her. This means anyone arguing for exclusion or special status for any land, people or Religion should be viewed with suspicion.

The Church is man made and has often lost its way, every Hindu believes that they are the Temple, Church, Mosque or Gurdwara. Every waking hour is a prayer and every dreamy night is being one with the divine. Hindus do not need devices other than those they freely choose. Hindus detest organized Religion and embrace true knowledge, come rejoice in the quest for it. Spread the word of this Hindu Good News to others. Live free or not at all. May this Hindu Good News spread through you.

Om Shanti, Shanthi, Shanthi!