SECULARISM HAS BEEN COMPLETELY DISTORTED IN INDIA: An Interview with Maria Wirth

Maria Wirth, a German, came to India 38 years ago on a stopover on her way to Australia after finishing her psychology studies at Hamburg University. She visited the Ardha Kumbha Mela in Haridwar in April 1980 where she met Sri Anandamayi Ma and Sri Devaraha Baba, two renowned saints. With their blessing she continued to live in India and never went to Australia. Mesmerized by India’s unique spirituality and culture, she chose India as her home, practicing and preaching one of the most ancient and scientific way of life.

Being born and brought up in Germany to Christian parents, she was taught that God was someone to be feared and ‘Eternal Hell’ was what one was subjected to if one failed to adhere by the religion. This had troubled her since her childhood but in India she learnt that this was not the case with Sanatana Dharma where one had the option to pursue his own path and live a life based on his own learning. In ancient India, debates were an integral part of the education system and one had the right to question a doctrine.

She says that while Christianity and Islam almost forced the followers to believe in the one Supreme God, Sanatana Dharma is all about searching, seeking one’s own path. “The many Gods in Hinduism symbolizes the many facets of life, the ‘Devas’ are energies in various form and meditation and ‘Sadhana’ paved ways to access these energies that are within ourselves, our consciousness…the Brahman,” she says.

Maria says that Sanskrit is the most perfect language as there is a rhythm in the syllables that one cannot miss and no wonder why it is the most scientific language.

She is critical of how the Britishers have robbed the Indians of their language, spirituality and pride. She urges Indians not to go defensive on debates where the natural superiority of India is challenged by the West and by some internal forces in India.

“Today the media make a huge outcry when one Muslim or one Christian comes back to Hinduism. This should not be called ‘conversion’ as they are coming back to where they belong. However, when Hindus are being converted in mass by luring them with money and promises of education and a better life, there is a comfortable silence around it and no one wants to talk about it,” Maria argues.

Maria urges all to live the ‘Sanatana’ way of life which is not only beneficial to the Hindus but to humanity at large. She has written several articles and blogs describing her experiences in India and Sanatana Dharma. She is of the firm view that there is a concerted effort to prevent even Indians (and the world) from knowing how valuable their ancient heritage is.

In the book, “Thank you India – a German woman’s journey to the wisdom of yoga,”she describes her encounters with several Gurus and her experiences in travelling all over India.
Excerpts from the exclusive interview she had with Pradeep Krishnan

How did you get attracted to Hinduism? What was the turning point in your life?

It happened when I came to India on a stopover on my way to Australia andwent to see the Swami Vivekananda Memorial in Kanya Kumari in March 1980. There Ibought thebook ‘Jnana Yoga’, and it impressed me a lot. It felt as if Swami Vivekananda put my vague intuition about what is true into words. Till then, I had read only on Buddhism and about some Indian gurus like Swami Yogananda and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Strangely, I did not associate them with Hinduism. I had heard in school that the main features of Hinduism were caste system and idol worship, and naturally, I was not interested in it. Only when I read Swami Vivekananda and came to know about Vedanta philosophy,which makes so much sense and which is based on the Upanishads, which in turn are part of the ancient Vedas, I realized that there is a big treasure in Hinduism and wanted to discover more about it.

Soon after, I landed up at the Ardh Kumbh Mela in Hardwar and met two outstanding personalities – Devaraha Baba and Sri Anandamayi Ma. Thanks to them I realized that this ancient wisdom of the Oneness of all is meant to be experienced. They inspired me to dosadhana.Sadhana is about removing the veils that hide one’s true Being. This pure, blissful awareness is always there within us, and so close that closer is not possible, but it is clouded by thoughts and emotions. For me Jnana Yoga, the path of knowledge, felt very natural, but Anandamayi Ma stressed the path of Bhakti Yoga, of devotion and love for the Divine. From then on, I had a purpose in life and was clear about it: if I am not what I think I am (a separate person in a big world), then I want to know what I really am. And I kept asking that true Consciousness in me “Please let me know you. Please let me love you”. I was sure that it is present and real.

What is unique about Hinduism? Why is it different from other religions, particularly Christianity and Islam?

Oh! There is so much uniqueness that it is hard to put it briefly. I consider Vedic knowledge or Sanatana Dharma as the original, most ancient and complete knowledge about what is true regarding us and the universe. It is called today inadequately ‘Hinduism’.An ‘ism’ usually means a fixed doctrine that must bebelieved, and Hinduism is the opposite of that.It allows the greatest freedom to connect with one’s essential Self, gives hints and methods, and does not go against one’s conscience. In contrast, Christianity and Islam put their doctrine above one’s individual conscience. This is wrong and has led to great suffering for humanity.

The religious belief systems,which came later in time, are either limitations or distortions. Offshoots of Hindu dharma, like Buddhism, are limitations of the vast ocean of knowledge, because they demand from the follower to identify with only one of the sages or one set of texts. The Abrahamic religions are distortions because they demand not only blind belief in a Supreme Intelligence (in English called God), but also blind belief in wild claims about this God, which have no foundation in truth and actually are harmful for a harmonious living together.

One more important difference: Hinduism encourages asking intelligent questions and using one’s intelligence to its fullest in the search for truth. Yet Christianity and Islam don’t want their followers to ask any questions or use their intelligence but want them to meekly accept what they are taught as ‘the one and only truth’. This truth was allegedly revealed to only one human being and it divides humanity into those who follow this particular person and those who don’t. Those who don’t are dehumanized as unbelievers or heathen. This blind belief is of course not good for a healthy mindset, and the consequence of such fabricated division can be seen in history and also in the present.

In Hinduism, it matters WHAT is said and whether it makes sense and not so much who said it. Yet in Christianity and Islam it only matters WHO said it. What the religious founder said must not be scrutinized but believed.

Hinduism has incredible knowledge, even now, though a huge amount of it has been destroyed. Millions of texts were burned in Nalanda andVikramshila by people who believed that only ONE book matters. Millions of Hindus were killed, many Brahmins among them, who were seen as the biggest enemy, as they had the knowledge in their heads. The former Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram, Sri ChandrashekharendraSaraswati, said that at the start of Kali Yuga, Veda Vyasa divided the four Vedas into over thousand Shakas, to make it easier for the Brahmins in Kali Yuga to memorize them.Only eight are still preserved in full. Only eight of over one thousand…. What painful loss.

The insights of the Rishis were not ordinary. They shared what they had “seen” in cosmic awareness or in other words, the Vedas were revealed to them. This knowledge is said to be there right at the start of the universe. In contrast, Western historiansclaim that humans were primitive thousands of years ago. The great sages who handed down the Vedas were definitely more advanced, andi wished Indian historians had the courage to stand by their inherited knowledge.

Just one example that completely stuns me: how could the ancient Indians map the sky so absolutely detailed and correctly? How could they know the distance to the sun and the moon, or discern the planets of our solar system from stars? How could they know that the twin stars of Vashisht and Arundhati, hardly visible, move around each other? And even more astonishing, how could they develop astrology, know the qualities of the planets, their influence? It truly needed an intimate connection with cosmic awareness. They must have experienced that the whole cosmos with its planets and stars is alive, is a manifestation of Purusha himself, and they could reach out to it or rather see it within the vast space in themselves.

What were the reasons for you to decide to settle in India?

I didn’t really decide to settle in India. Rather, I just wanted to stay longer, but didn’t know how long. As I said, I was actually on my way to Australia, when I stopped over in India.But then it so happened that I went on an inner journey and the best place for this is clearly India. If you live in India, you may not realize how different the atmosphere here is compared to the west. I prefer it any time. It is spiritually uplifting. The quality of life is definitely higher in India. The West feels empty.

What were the reasons for leaving Christianity and becoming a Hindu?

Leaving Christianity and adopting a Hindu way of life was not connected as I distanced myself already as a teenager from Christianity. I could not believe any longer in its vengeful God who would through me into eternal hellfire if I go against his commands, like not going to Sunday mass, and who, in the same breath, is called very loving. Maybe I got a bit too much of Christianity in aConvent boarding school. It did not bind me closer toit, but made me skeptical.

Becoming a Hindu was gradual after coming to India. I realized that the Hindu way of life was the most natural and ideal way of life.It means acknowledging a supreme intelligence (Brahman/ Ishwar) as the cause and base of everything, including our persons. This made immediately sense to me. Yet on the relative level, there is infinite variety and each person is entitled to his own approach.Hinduism also acknowledges that there are many powers, which are absolutely essential for our existence as humans. Honouringthese powers, like the sun, of course also makes sense, because they are alive.And strangely, it made also sense to me that there are different invisible planes of existence, which are as real as this visible manifestation is. Or should I say which are as ‘unreal’as this visible manifestation? Ultimately, only our essence, Brahman, is true. True in the sense that it is always, in past, present and future, and that it self-evident and self-luminous. Only our consciousness fulfills these conditions. The only thing that we can know for sure is “I am”.

Tell us about your experiences with Gurus. Whom did you like most? What are your views on Gurus?

There are too many experiences with Gurus. I have met famous and unknown gurus from Osho, Devaraha Baba, Anandamayi Ma, Swami Chinmayananda, Babaji of Herakhan, Ramsurat Kumar to the present dayliving gurus, like Amma,Karunamayi, Sri Sri, Baba Ramdev, Sadhguru. To all those gurus I am grateful for giving me direction, but with two gurus I stayed for longer and considered them “my” guru. Satya Sai Baba, with whom I stayed for 7 long years and afterwards with an unknown guru, a coffee planter in Kodagu, with whom I stayed for 5 years. In today’s time, when knowledge can be easily accessed, a guru may not be necessary, but can surely be of great help. Important are one’s own sincerity and the guru’s integrity, which of course is difficult to fathom, especially in the case of gurus with a huge following who cannot easily be approached. It’s good to listen to one’s inner voice and not depend on what others say.

I was very lucky that right at the start, at the Ardh Kumbh Mela in Haridwar, I had met Ananadamayi Ma and Devaraha Baba who undoubtedly were genuine. Devaraha Baba was said to be at least 250 years old, and Ma went only 2 years to a school in Bengal, yet well-known scholars flocked to her to get doubts cleared. Around Ma I learnt to take the presence of Bhagawan for real and to develop love for that inner Being in me. She exhorted us to do japa and keep the name of one’s Ishta deva always on one’s tongue, as there is nothing sweeter than that.“Be 24 hours a day aware of his presence”, she would say. She kindled the desire to really find out who I am.

What is your concept of God?

“What is meant by God?” was an important question for me after I came to India, because “God” had not figured in my vocabulary in Germany during my studies, but here in India, the topic came up often. The concept of God in the Abrahamic religions and in Hindu Dharma is very different. The Hindu concept which is clearly expressed in the four Mahavakyas of the Upanishads– AhamBrahmasmi, Tat TvamAsi, Prajnanam Brahma, andAyamAtma Brahma- makes great sense. The eternal, all-pervading consciousness is the absolute truth and it is the essence in all of this varied manifestation. This is in tune with science and can be experienced. Only in India the absolute level of Truth is also considered – the one without a second, which is without name, form, attributes. Anyone with an open mind will realize that this view comes closest to the absolute truth.

The God of the Abrahamic religions in contrast is on the relative level. He (male) is separate from his creation and biased towards his followers. Actually, he is more on the level of the Hindu devas whom the dogmatic religions so much abhor. Yet even the Hindu devas are not seen as separate. It is made clear in the Upanishads that all devas are expressions of the One and actually one with it.It’s amazing that the majority of Westerners, who consider themselves as rational and intellectual, accept a concept of God which will fall flat on genuine enquiry. How can the omnipotent and omnipresent creator be separate?Where is he?Ifinfinite, he must permeate his creation, too, if all-powerful, then Satan must be also under his control, if all-merciful then he must include all in his mercy, and not single out the majority for terrible, eternal suffering in hell.

World over Hindu philosophy is gaining wider acceptance. However, in India, teaching/ studying Hindu philosophy and its sacred texts are considered anti-secular. Your comments?

The word secular has been completely distorted in India. It is a shame that teaching Hindu philosophy is considered anti-secular, and fostering Christianity and Islam by granting them privileges, is considered secular. It should be exactly the other way round. Secularization in the west curtailed the power of the Church, including taking away their landed property. Why? Because the Church demands blind belief in its dogmas and had used state power to enforce this belief. You may not know that Christian lands had also blasphemy laws. Well, just look to Goa what terrible things happened there during Portuguese rule.

When scientific knowledge mainly from India (partly via the Arabs), reached Europe, the Church at first forbade such knowledge, even such basic issues that the earth is not flat and that the sun does not go around the earth. Itpersecuted scientists who did not budge from their (true) view. But in the end the Church could not prevent the knowledge taking root and lost its influence in state affairs. So a secular state is guided by reason and not by blind belief in unbelievable dogmas.

The different schools of Hindu philosophy are guided by reason and should definitely be taught in schools. Logical debate was highly valued in ancient India. The Upanishads are often in the form of question and answers. These are a treasure of highest knowledge. I really hope this absurdity of fostering irrational belief systems over the rational, profound insights of the Rishis will end soon.

While Indian philosophy, culture and life style are getting more and more aceeptance in the West, we Indians are busy aping the West. Your comments?

I gave once an analogy for this unfortunate situation: Indians are sitting on a box of puregold without knowing it and are eager to get artificial jewelry from the West. It is plain foolish. However, meanwhile many Indians realized that the West is not what they had imagined, that it is not as cultured and actually morally highly degraded. Even science which the west is so proud of, has its foundation in Indian knowledge. Indians had discovered a way to express extremely huge and extremely tiny numbers, which the Arabs and the Church considered foolish at that time. Not anymore… Yet there is so much more. Every field of knowledge had its origin in India, but even Indians don’t know it. They learn that Copernicus discovered some 500 years ago that the earth goes around the sun… How wrong! It’s mentioned already in the Vedas.

In India, particularly in my home state Kerala, Christians, Muslims and Marxists are very active in converting Hindus to their fold. Your views on proselytization and checking conversion from Hinduism?

Those three forces, Christianity, Islam and Communism, are very dangerous for Hindu Dharma because they have wiped out all ancient cultures on the earth. Just look around. In South America, Christianity vanquished Inkas, Mayas, Aztecs, in Middle East, Islam took over Egypt, Babylon, Persia. Ancient Indian culture, the cradle of civilization, is still alive but greatly diminished due to mainly Islam, but also to the other two forces. It pains me that many Hindus can’t see the dangeryet. Those three don’t get along with each other, they are narrow-minded and demand that only their own view must rule the world, but they become allies in trying to wipe out the last great culture, the Hindu culture.

Hindus believe in VasudhaivaKutumbakam, a beautiful idea, but this applies only to well-meaning human beings. Enemies, who want to defeat you, must not be treated as family. All three want Hindu Dharma to disappear. Christianity and Islam are open about it. It’s no secret. Yet even a leader like Mahatma Gandhi seemed to have been ignorant about the goal of Islam and supported the Khilafat movement. Hindus especially in Kerala paid a heavy price for his support.

Hindus are in all likelihood the most good-natured people on earth. They have a highly refined culture. Yet, if they do not learn to analyze their enemies and keep allowing conversions to continue, they will be doomed. Instead of facilitating conversions, de-conversions should happen in a big way. There should be debates about the tenets of the different religions. It would become obvious that Hindu Dharma is the best option, greatly superior to the blind and divisive belief in strange dogmas. Vicious propaganda against Hindus and especially Brahmins is spread through media to make Hindus feel defensive and apologetic about their tradition. They have no reason to feel apologetic. Yet Muslims and Christians have every reason to feel apologetic. So far, Hindus did not challenge them. I wonder why.

Nowadays spiritual leaders, particularly Hindu saints, make it a point to state that all religions are the same. However, Christina and Muslim leaders/ scholars assert that ‘salvation’ is possible only through their chosen path. What are your comments?

I have written a lot about this issue, as I probably can see clearer that Christianity and Islam will never say that all religions are the same. They will never respect Hinduism. In fact, my strong conviction on this issue lead toan unfortunate discord with Rajiv Malhotra, who seems to believe that those religions can see sense. Yes, their leaders may even see sense, as they can’t be so stupid, but they won’t admit it because it would be the end of their empires. The foundation of these two institutionalized religions isthe claim that the Supreme God has ‘revealed’ the full truth only to Jesus or Mohammed respectively, and he wantsall human beings to follow their teaching. Once they back down from this obviously false claim, they lose their identity. They collapse.

Of course, this would be the best thing that could happen, but they won’t do it voluntarily. Hindus need to needle them, need to expose the incongruences, need to have genuine debates, not the fake Interfaith Dialogues where Hindus are not asking any probing questions of them but just affirm how great all religions are. This is very dangerous. Time is running out. Now, with social media around, we can debate even in the virtual space. And it has already an effect. More Hindus realize the value of their tradition, and many Christians and also Muslims lost faith and say it openly. There was a hashtag on Twitter some time ago “Awesome without Allah”. This wouldn’t have been possible even 5 years ago.

But the pushback of those religions is very strong. Recently, when some Tablighis exposed their goal of wanting to exterminate Hindu Kafirs, the image of Islam was hit badly. Immediately, a massive propaganda exercise tried to paint the atrocious conduct of Tablighi Corona patients as fake news and instead vilifiedas usual RSS in a big way, hoping that attacking RSS will take away the focus from Islamists. Unfortunately, western media bought since long into the bogey that RSS is fascist. In my view, the RSS is almost too good-natured and maybe naïve, in the sense that they believe that Indian Muslims and Christians still have a connection with their tradition and will come back if they realize the goodness and truth of Hindu Dharma. Yes, some may have a connection, but my experience with Indian Christians shows that most are more indoctrinated and rigid than European Christians. They need to be challenged if, what they believe, can possibly be true.

How do you view the caste system and its resultant discrimination meted out to the downtrodden masses of India?

In my view, the caste system is unfairly misused to demonize India and Hinduism. A study of history would show that it hasbeen misrepresented, probably with the agenda to convince Hindus and the world that their tradition needs to be replaced with the “true religion”. All over the world children hear in school that the core of Hinduism is a terrible caste system, which of course is not true. I also heard it already in primary school, long before I knew that Germans had systematically killed 6 million Jews not long before I was born.

When I came to India, I started wondering why Indian society is so much condemned for ’not being equal’, as if other societies are equal, and why Hinduism is blamed for it. Are people not aware that the caste system is abolished since Independence andthat the lower castes were given many privileges – so much so that sometimes a higher caste even demanded to get downgraded on the social ladder? In which other country does this happen? Are people not aware that insulting a Dalit results in immediate arrest? That India’s President is a Dalit? That a former President, Chief Justice and Chief Minister were Dalits? Don’t they know about the reservations in government jobs and educational institutes? Dalit students even need lower marks to get entry. It has reached a point where it has become reverse discrimination.

In other societies the present generation is not held accountable for the sins of their ancestors, like Germans for the terrible holocaust of Jews. Why is this attitude not extended to Hindus? Unfortunately, too many Hindus flog themselves for the alleged ‘atrocities’ which their forefathers are accused of. There is a good chance that those atrocities never happened, certainly not the type of atrocities for which Islamic groups are infamous, and which intriguingly are generously overlooked.

The traditional structure of Indian society in the Vedas was not based on birth but on inclination and profession. That children usually took up the profession of their parents happened all over the world in earlier times, but even Manu Smriti says that one’s varna (caste is nowhere mentioned) can be changed by consistent conduct which fits another varna.

Recently, in the times of Corona Virus, I hinted in a tweet that untouchability may have had its origin in hygiene. My tweet provoked furious reactions from all sides, much to my astonishment. It was clearly an overreaction, as hygiene might indeed have been the reason. There are rules even within a family, for example somebody, who has not yet taken his bath, must not touch the one who has already finished his. It seems that ‘social distancing’ was the greatest fault the British could find with Hindus, and so they made it look really bad.

Caste is still a highly emotive issue, yet it is basically redundant in today’s times where nobody knows the caste of the person who sits next to him in the bus or plane. Jobs like cleaning the sewers need also to be done and we all need to be grateful to those who do it, and definitely not look down on them. This looking down on those who have a lower status in societyis unfortunately a human traitwhich needs to be overcome. It is there in all societies, and has nothing to do with Hinduism, on the contrary. Only Hindu Dharma claims that the essence in all, Brahman, is the same. Moreover, in one’s next life, the roleone plays is likely to be different, depending on one’s karma.

The continued attacks on the caste system may have one more reason. Like the joint family, the castealso, apart from imparting skills and knowledge, provides a sense of belonging and security. Western society has become very lonely. Single households are common. I hope that Indian society won’t become as lonesome and individualized as the West. Attempts to break the Indian society are surely on.

We have been continuously destroying our planet earth by our actions? What is the solution? Even though we worship the river Ganga, at several places it has been completely polluted. Why this paradox; while Hindus worship the rivers/mountains/tress, we indiscriminately act against our mother nature. What is the solution?

The solution may have just come in the form of the Corona Virus. Half of the world is under lockdown and air and water have a chance to get purified. Prime Minister Modi put it aptly at the recent G20 Summit via video conferencing. Humanity has to become the focus again, not business. If this is the outcome of this crises, if we realize that we don’t need so many material things, that happiness doesn’t come from outside,if we would develop compassion and stop killing millions of animals daily for meat… the crisis would have a positive outcome, in spite of a downturn in the economy. I feel it is a chance for India. India has the knowledge how to live a fulfilled life. India has a huge population that still is connected to its traditional values and knowledge. There is a good chance that Bharat Mata becomes again the Jagadguru, as she was in ancient times. It would be a great chance missed, if we went back to our old ways of exploiting nature after the crisis is over.

What can we do to build a strong, united and culturally vibrant Bharat?

In my view, we need to bring the huge part of the population, which has converted out of Hinduism during the long, oppressive foreign rule, back to follow their own conscience and not blindly believe in a doctrine, which wants India’s ancient tradition dead. It is probably the single most important issue to achieve a united, strong and culturally vibrant Bharat.

During my studies in Germany I was not at all interested in religion. I had lost faith in Christianity and many of my friends, too, and we felt, religion was on its way out. But when I came to India, I slowly realized what huge role religions play in dividing the country. And with ‘religion’, I don’t mean Hindu Dharma but Islam and Christianity, which the invaders brought to India and which were pushed down the throat of many Indians.

Intriguingly, Hindu Dharma is constantly accused of being ‘divisive’, which ismischiveous, because out of the three, only Hindu Dharma is all-inclusive. I suspect that this false accusation is meant to keep Hindus perpetually on the defensive and not let them realize that it’s actually Christianity and Islam which divide.

India cannot afford to have some 300 million Muslims and Christians, who are taught thatHindus are inferior. Both dogmatic religions claim that their God rejects non-Christians respectively non-Muslims(called ‘heathen’ or ‘kafirs’)and will throw them into hellfire. Now if you believe that your God doesn’t like certain people, will you respect them? Of course not. You can respect them only as brothers and sisters when you lose this blind belief and start reasoning that the one great Creator of this vast universe cannot possibly reject a huge chunk of humanity because they do not follow what one person said a long time ago. This reasoning needs to be fostered. If not, it is becoming again very dangerous for Hindus, because this arrogant mindset “God loves only us” can even lead to genocide without feeling any guilt. Millions of Hindus were killed just for being Hindus.

This may sound very gloomy, but knowing one of these predator religions, as they are rightly called, as an insider, I may be able to see the danger clearer. Hindus are very good-natured. They cannot believe that others can be so unreasonable that they want Hindus subdued if not wiped out, only because they worship the Supreme Intelligence under a different name. But it is officially their doctrine: Islam has the goal to make the whole world accept Islam and Christianity has the goal to make all Christians.

I had suggested since 2016 in articles and at the UjjanVichar Kumbh, to petition the United Nations to ban the dehumanization of Hindus as heathen and kafirs as a blatant violation of their dignity and equality. Not because I have trust in the UN, which I don’t have, but to internationalize the issue and make it clear that indoctrinating children into hate for Kafirs and disdain for Heathen is absolutely unacceptable, yet it happens on a daily basis in religious class world over.

Since no Hindu organization took it up, I drafted a petition myself and sent it to PM Modi and also contacted several Hindu organizations which all were in favour of it. I hope something comes out of it. Pakistan keeps petitioning the UN, to ban Islamophobia. In contrast to Pakistan’s petitions, India’s concern is genuine and urgent.

Maybe now, after the Tablighisdemonstrated how ‘good’ Muslims are meant to treat Kafirs, Hindus have finally woken up.If this is the case, there would be at least some positive outcome of their vicious conduct in trying to spread the virus.

Most Christians in Europe, except for the clergy, don’t believe any longer that Hindus are rejected by God and will burn in hell unless they convert. That means, it is possible to get out of early childhood brainwashing. I am also an example. We Hindus need to tell the followers of these two religons: ‘you have every right to worship the Supreme Creator by whatever name you want. But you have no right to claim that He loves only you and hates me, when you don’t have any proof except that one person allegedly said it many centuries ago’.

God has given us intelligence. Truth is self-evident. Nobody needs to be threatened to believe in what is true. Only untruth needs threat and violence and blasphemy laws, which both Christianityand Islam made terrible use of.

Moreover, we have samplesin Pakistan and in the ‘Christian West’ what the outcome is, when their religion dominates. These societies certainly are not ideal.

If Indians followagain Dharma, reason, intuition and take the help of the profound insights of the Rishis, I am convinced that Bharat will quickly become strong, united and culturally vibrant. Hindus owe it to their forefathers who have left them such precious knowledge in so many fields that they honour it and defend it, if need be.

Your message to the Indian youth?

You are so lucky that you were born in India. Be proud of your identity, not in the sense of being arrogant, but holding your head high. You belong to the most ancient civilization that has given maximum knowledge to the world. Without the amazing knowledge of your ancestors, “western science” would not exist.

A few days ago I saw a video of a young, modern looking Muslim woman talking about Kalonji seeds and how they are helpful against Corona infection. She expressed awe that Prophet Mohamed knew about these seeds and the comment section was full of praise that their religion has such precious knowledge.

Now compare this with the vast knowledge that is there only in Ayurveda for example. The benefits of Kalonji seeds are also mentioned and probably the knowledge travelled to Arabia… yet many Indians are not proud of their heritage and their amazing history and the high culture that was there already during Ramayana and Mahabharata times. Or maybe they don’t know about it?

My message would be: you are the torchbearers for a better future for humanity. Do not copy the West. It went down on a wrong path. Many Westerners realised it and turn to India’s wisdom. Learn about the wisdom of your forefathers, know about the richness of your land, for example the amazing temples which hold many secrets and do sadhana, in whatever way it suits you.Do not abuse your body by eating junk food or even taking drugs. Try to discover your true essence that is Satchitananda. Make the Divine in whatever form you prefer, your best friend. Remind yourself that Bhagawan is REALLY present. This makes life worthwhile and fulfilling. Nothing in this world can compare with the bliss and love that is your own already, waiting to be discovered in the depth of your Self.

Pradeep Krishnan


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