Religion for human welfare
by Maria Wirth on 27 May 2016 10 Comments
Being at the Kumbh is a privilege, as well as a responsibility. Since ancient times the Kumbh was an occasion where spiritual personalities guided lay people on the dharmic way of life, and fearlessly and honestly conducted debates about truth. Today, the world is interconnected. It means that the debates on truth need also to take note of the truths that are propagated elsewhere. Sincere questions must be asked and satisfying answers sought also of Christians and Muslims.


Indian philosophy is solid. It makes not only sense but is validated by modern science. Indian wisdom is slowly spreading over the world. But this is not enough. Intellectual sincerity demands that Swamis not only share their tradition with Indians and the world, but also point out dangerous aspects of other traditions, if there. There is no doubt that in the name of Christianity and Islam great misery was brought over mankind, killing millions over the centuries. It is absolutely necessary to find out how this could happen.


Unfortunately, Hindus shy away from this task. Maybe the reason is that they don’t know Christianity and Islam well enough as they are not insiders of those religions. They are told only the good points which are also there.


Another reason may be that Hindus don’t want to say anything negative about other religions, even if it is true, as it may be seen as an insult. This is a weakness. The search for truth must overrule such considerations, and ideally those who are criticised would be happy to discover their flaws. And anyway, others have no such hesitation towards Hinduism which they freely criticise and blatantly condemn as falsehood.


Today, every second child in the world is either Christian or Muslim and is indoctrinated into a fixed doctrine that must not be questioned. The followers of Christianity and Islam account now for more than half of the world population, and if those who can clearly see the dangerous aspects in those doctrines keep quiet, soon there may be no more chance to speak, and we would have failed humanity in a big way.


What contains this fixed doctrine? I for example ‘knew’ already as a child that I am very lucky to be born in a Catholic family, because Catholics alone have the true belief and God loves us, because we love his son Jesus who died for our sins, etc.


A Muslim child is probably told something similar – that she is very lucky that she was born in a Muslim family because Islam is the only true belief and Allah loves those who follow Prophet Mohammed’s instructions.


Each of those two religions makes a terrible but untrue claim: all those who don’t belong to their own religion, will suffer for all eternity in hellfire.


Anybody who is not indoctrinated can see immediately that there is something very dangerous and discriminative in these claims.


Let’s analyze them:

First: It is not possible that there are several Divine Powers. Now if there is only One, is it possible that this inconceivably powerful Being which is the cause for the billions of galaxies insists on one specific way of worship and on one specific name?


Second: Is this great Power really separate from creation, as those religions claim or is it the essence and awareness in all human beings, never mind whether they call the Divine by the name of God, Allah, Bhagwan, Shiva, Pure Mind, Brahman, etc?


Third: the claim that those who don’t convert will burn in hell for all eternity needs to be dismissed outright. It is ridiculous, but unfortunately still widely believed by those who were indoctrinated in fixed doctrines.


The issue is serious. Today’s most pressing problem, Islamic terrorism, has its roots in the claim that infidels are rejected by Allah. ISIS and others don’t see them even as human beings, but rather as sub-human, because then it is easy to kill them. Their foot soldiers consider it a sacred duty to rid the earth of such humans to please their god. Obviously they are convinced that what they were taught is true and they will get paradise for their acts.


Christians see it as their duty to ‘save’ Hindus from hell and in the process uproot them from their tradition and make them look down on it and on their Hindu fellow citizens. Even if they lose faith in Christianity later, it will be almost impossible for them to value again their ancestors and they are likely to become atheists. (Europe is an example).


Hindus are called “idol worshippers”. Idol worship is the worst sin for both Christianity and Islam. This label has done great harm. We need only watch the news to know that it’s true or go back into history.


The term Religion is only about 1000 years old and was used first for the Church and later for Islam. It means ‘to bind’. If religion is for the welfare of people, it must bind oneself to the Divine and not to one book or doctrine.


If religion is for the welfare of people, it must also mean that terror against ‘others’ has absolutely no place in religion. In fact, there should be no ‘others’ (as Hindu Dharma demonstrates).


From this follows that discrimination of persons who worship the Divine in another way cannot be part of a religion. If it is contained in the doctrine of religions, it needs to be put on the table, discussed threadbare and scrapped. 


When it is discussed openly there is a chance that doubt creeps into the mind of “believers” (this applies to many Christians in the west). And once doubt about the doctrine has risen, it is not possible anymore to ‘believe’. One still can pretend (if blasphemy laws are in place), but fanaticism has gone.


If an individual demeans another because of his religion, he is quickly booked under some laws. Yet until now, the far greater abuse of half of the world population by the doctrines of Christianity and Islam themselves has not been called out as unacceptable. Freedom of religion can never include the right to demean those who worship in another way.



The Kumbh Sangams have a tradition of fearlessly enquiring into the truth. I would earnestly request that the UN take up the issue of religious discrimination by the Christian and Islamic doctrines and direct those religions to stop telling their followers and especially their children that those who worship the Supreme in different ways are less human and will suffer eternally unless they convert.


It might be even more effective if the Indian government would coordinate with countries where the majority is neither Christian nor Muslim, like Japan, China, Thailand, etc. and lobby with the UN on this matter. This is about safeguarding their citizens from being unfairly defamed and from hate-crimes which are the natural outcome from such unacceptable discrimination.


It is urgent because indoctrination into disdain and even hatred especially for Hindus is daily happening and efforts are on by Islamic countries to ban any criticism of Islam. Unofficially, many have already imposed a ban on themselves due to political correctness. We need to act before it is too late.




Late last December 2015, a news item caught my attention: Dalit Christians had filed a complaint with the United Nations against the Vatican because of caste based discrimination of the Catholic Church in India. The complaint was filed with the UN Information Centre at New Delhi.


In the Bible, Mathew (13: 49/50) states:

“This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” The Quran gives similar details in Quran 22:19-22.


Hindus generally have no malice towards other faiths and don’t expect others to have malice towards their own faith. They readily pay respect to Bible and Christianity or to Quran and Islam without knowing what they contain. Usually they don’t even notice that their respect is not reciprocated.


The gravity of the situation needs to sink in: every second child in the world is taught that Hindus (and others) are not equal in the eyes of the Supreme God, and the child is likely to believe it. In fact, the child is taught that the Supreme hates those others so much that they will burn for all eternity in hellfire if they don’t mend their ways and join the believers on the right path.


People need to become aware that prophesizing eternal hell was a strategy to frighten own followers into submission and justify using force to convert or wipe out those who ‘insult the Supreme Power and don’t accept the only truth’. This claim of “hell for unbelievers” is about power and influence and has nothing to do with eternal truth or morality.


Is one allowed to call this claim nonsense – in the age of quantum physics where it is known that ultimately all is connected and nothing is separate?


The Church had once to give in to protests: it lost the power to punish heretics and even had to allow Christians to leave the Church. Ever since, the Church lost many of its flock and the west came out of the Dark Age, but the damage was done: arrogance and a feeling of superiority was already ingrained in the people and Nature divested of its sacredness and still is treated as a slave to be exploited.


The dogmatic religions uprooted people from their pagan societies and made them arrogant, self-righteous and convinced that they are meant to rule the world in the name of their god. Would colonialism in its brutal form have been possible without the mindset that Christians are superior to the native heathen? Would Muslim invasions have been so cruel without the mindset that Allah wants them to smite the necks of infidels till all worship is only for Allah?


Today’s most pressing problem, Islamic terrorism, has its roots in the claim that infidels are rejected by Allah. ISIS, Boko Haram and others consider it their sacred duty to rid the earth of such scum.


Christianity stopped killing heathen but still does great harm in so called ‘unreached areas’ for example in India, where it deceives, threatens and lures people away from their tolerant, inclusive tradition into an arrogant, divisive mindset.


Some followers of Islam still kill. They are called Islamists instead of Muslims. But as long as the Quran contains verses that seem to be exhortations to kill infidels, and no official correction is made that these verses refer only to history, there is insincerity in the claim that they are not Muslims. On one hand we condemn those youth in the strongest terms and on the other, we revere the scripture which they claim to follow.


When Donald Trump declares that he won’t allow Muslims into the USA if he becomes President, he may cater to a populist sentiment among Americans but this is no solution. A better strategy would be to make Muslims disown certain passages in the Quran. At the same time, Christians must be made to disown certain passages in the Bible. Blind belief that the Supreme has revealed the truth only to Jesus or Mohammed must be allowed to be questioned without putting one’s life in danger.


The Pope said recently in Africa “Christians and Muslims are brothers”. It sounded more like “Let’s live and let live”. Yet when the Pope was in India, he didn’t make such conciliatory statement. He said “we will plant the cross in Asia”. Why?


Christianity does not have the better truth. The supremacy that the Church claims has no basis except in blind belief. Similarly, the supremacy that Islam claims has no basis except in blind belief. Both faiths can’t challenge each other. A debate between Christianity and Islam would go like this:


Christianity: “We alone have the full truth”


Islam: “We alone have the full truth.”


Christianity: “God has revealed the full truth through his son Jesus”


Islam: “Allah has revealed the final truth through Prophet Mohammed.”


Christianity: “All have to worship God, the father, via his son.”


Islam: “All have to worship Allah.”


However, in one point both agree: “Heathen and infidels need to disappear from the earth.”


In contrast, ‘Hinduism seeks to propagate the collective wisdom and inspiration of centuries and has room for all forms of beliefs’ (according to the Supreme Court). It offers a profound philosophy. It can bring to the table the wisdom of the ancient Rishis that has never been disproven. This wisdom points to the absolute truth, which dogmatic religions are ignorant of: Truth is not a belief based on thoughts. It is what we all truly are – thought free, blissful awareness.


One would expect that humanity in the 21st century has outgrown blasphemy laws. This is not the case. Not only is there no pressure on countries that have blasphemy laws to abandon them, but – unbelievable, but true – there are attempts by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to bring the whole world under a blasphemy law.


Several nations, like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, have petitioned the UN to make defamation of Islam a crime. And even President Obama and Hillary Clinton supported a resolution (Istanbul Process 16/18) to curb ‘Islamophobia’. Efforts to go further and ban criticism of Islam are surely still on.


Nations that have a majority Hindu, Buddhist or Atheist population like India, China, Japan, Thailand, etc. could join and not only throw a spammer into these efforts but actively weaken their case by demanding a stop to unacceptable claims.


It is high time Hindus woke up. Filing a petition with the UN might make even Christians and Muslims aware that these claims are truly unacceptable and that Hindus have a right to exist.


UNICEF also should be petitioned that brainwashing of children into hatred for others is made a crime. The video of a child in ISIS land cutting the throat of his teddy bear as practice is horrendous. Christianity and Islam must not get away with discrediting Hindu Dharma. Let there be a public discourse on which worldview is closer to the truth, and which religion has a better philosophical basis.


Actually it is so obvious even at a first glance: the choice is between brotherhood of all without any preconditions and fighting each other till all become uniform ‘believers’.


Let’s choose brotherhood of all. And please also include animals… 

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