Tag Archives: Hinduism

Islam and the Bhagavad-Gita

In the last 30 years, I have spoken against Islam and Islamic fundamentalism numerous times in my books as well as in in my articles and conferences. Often thus, I have been often branded as an Islamophobe or a hard-line pro-Hindu…

Yet, when I came to India, I was innocent : I did not know the difference between a Muslim and a Hindu. And as a journalist I had the same prejudices and ideas about India as any other Western correspondent. In fact I embraced the same ideas: ‘secularism, the Congress is the only party that can unify India, Hindus too can be fundamentalists’, et cetera…

But then, I started covering Kashmir during the 90s, when separatism bloomed and violence set fire to the Valley. It is there that I saw the first Hindu leaders whom I had interviewed previously, assassinated in the most savage manner, such as doctors, lawyers, or All India radio broadcasters. And then, when Benazir Bhutto gave her famous speech of ‘Azad Kashmir’, every mosque in Srinagar and the Valley repeated that cry, telling Hindus: “Convert or die”. And in a few weeks, 350,000 Kashmiri Pandits left their ancestral houses and land, for no other crime than being Hindus – and that without firing a shot in self-defence – becoming refugees in their own country, a first in the world.

Thus my eyes were opened and I lost my innocence. Since then, covering many other countries, I witnessed the same phenomenon in Bangladesh, Pakistan or Afghanistan, of Hindus being the target of hatred, as Jews have been for centuries. This set me to study Indian history and I quickly realised that great Hindu heroes such as Shivaji Maharaj or Maha Rana Pratap, had been bypassed in Indian history books, to a single paragraph: Shivaji Maharaj who alone with his wits, extraordinary courage and a few hundred men, defeated the most powerful army of the world of his time, is a ‘plunderer’; and Maharana Pratap, is described as a small chieftain, although he is the only Rajput to have fought the Moghols and to have held Akbar’s army at bay the Hadilghati battle. The irony is that tyrants such as Aurangzeb, who were monsters not only towards Hindus but also with their own family – Aurangzeb poisoned his own father, beheaded his brother Dara Shikoh, imprisoned his son – are lauded in history books as ‘firm but just emperors under whom arts flourished’ (Aurangzeb actually banned music at his court, because it was un-Islamic)….

…It happens that my wife and myself are teachers of the pranayama and meditation techniques of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, which we have practicing for the last 25 years and which have changed our lives, giving us energy, enthusiasm and commitment. We do this free, as a sewa, to partake of this great gift to humanity that originates from India.

During the last Shivaratri celebrations, we taught in Sri Sri’s Bangalore ashram a pranayama course to a batch of Iranians. Our group, which had many girls and ladies, some of them who always covered their heads, was reserved at first, but as the course progressed, there grew a bond of affection and warmth between us all. We could perceive so much love and humanity in all of them. And by the end of the course, we all danced and hugged each other.

Now it is not because I have fought Islam that I did no know before this course that Muslims are as much as the others, decent human beings, warm, family oriented, hospitable. I remember when I drove to India by road from Paris, crossing many Muslim countries. My best friend was then a Muslim French Moroccan. He would say “AssalamoAlaikum », and doors would open, smiles were flashed, we would be dined, entertained, respected. This universal brotherhood of Islam does not exist in the Hindu world.

So this set me thinking: Islam was born in Iran and since Khomeini’s takeover, though it has a Shia majority, Iran has an image of a hard-core Islamic nation, where the Sharia reigns supreme and which is ready even to use a nuclear weapon to impose the supremacy of its faith. Yet these people we taught were the opposite and showed values of refinement and love that are today missing in the western Christian world….

I do understand even more now that most Muslims are good, witness the many human right organizations, journalists or intellectuals that fight for their rights as refugees, at the moment Yet the stumbling block remains the Koran, a wonderful scripture, no doubt, but which was written for people and mentalities of 1400 years ago, when realities were harsh, punishments even harsher and survival a matter of life and death. Nobody has read the Koran properly, except the Islamic terrorists of today: it does say that the Infidels should be slayed, that Islam must be the world religion, that women can be stoned if unfaithful, or that being gay is a crime punishable by death. Logic would say that Muslim scholars of international repute should get together and reform the Koran, as Christians have done, so that it becomes adapted to the 21st century world. Problem is that nobody dares touch it or question it for fear of death. Problem is that even within the most moderate, educated and enlightened Muslims, logic and good sense, stops when it comes to the Koran…

Thus, I will continue fighting Islam, in the spirit of the Bhagavad Gita: so many of my brothers and sisters are in the opposite camp. I have come to love them and respect them too… Yet, I know that willingly or unwillingly, consciously or unconsciously, by accident or by karma, they are born in a religion that is harming the world, that is on the side of the anti-human and anti-divine forces. Therefore it must be challenged, even if it is with love in the heart – and not hatred.

Nevertheless, this course also opened my eyes: Sri Sri reminds us that we are one World family, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. Let us not forget that…

François Gautier

LET US COMPILE A LIST OF THE 50 BIGGEST ENEMIES OF HINDUS

Hello boys & girls. I am compiling a LIST OF THE 50 BIGGEST ENEMIES OF HINDUS, dead or alive. I need your inputs: whom do you consider the most harmful enemies of Hindus and two lines explaining why. There should be no hatred, no animosity, no rantings. We should do this in the spirit of the Bhagavad gita: enemies have to be fought, this is the Lila of this world, but they need not be hated. Nevertheless, so far these enemies have got away with slandering, making fun off, harming, belittling , one of the gentlest, most tolerant, most spiritual people on this Planet. We need to take them to task the way Aamir Khan was. Thus, we will Facebook, tweet, blog, mail that list, so that it spreads around the world and these people are known. are you with me? FG

EXPLODING THE MOTHER TERESA MYTH

IT is quite extraordinary that the  icon which is Mother Teresa is being defended by Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, a Hindu at that.

But Mr Kejirwal missed some relevant points, which could be summarized thus:

1) What did Mother Teresa really stand for?

2) Why do some Indians such as Navin Chawla, Prannoy Roy or Arvind Kejriwal, defend her so ardently?

Foremost one should say in defence of Mother Teresa that she certainly did saintly work. After all, there is no denying that it takes a Westerner to pick up dying people in the streets of Calcutta and raise abandoned orphans, a thankless task if there is one. Indians themselves, and particularly the Hindus, even though their religion has taught them compassion for 4000 years, have become very callous towards their less fortunate brethren.

This said, one may wonder: What did Mother Teresa really stand for? Was caring for the dying and orphaned children her only goal? Well, if you have observed her carefully over the years, you will notice that she did not say much. She did speak against contraception and abortion, in a country of more than one billion, where an ever growing population is spiking whatever little economic progress is made, where the masses make life more and more miserable, invading the cities, crowding their streets and polluting the environment; where for 60 years the Indian government has directed a courageous and democratic birth control programme (this must be said, for China has achieved demographic control through autocratic means).

What else did Mother Teresa say: she spoke of the dying in the streets of Calcutta, of course, of the poor of India left unattended, of the misery of the cities. Fair enough, but then it should have been pointed out to her, that she projected – and still projects though she is dead for many years now – to the whole world an image of India which is entirely negative: of poverty beyond humanity, of a society which abandons its children, of dying without dignity. OK, there is some truth in it. But then it may be asked again: did Mother Teresa ever attempt to counterbalance this negative image of India, of whom she was the vector, by a more positive one? After all she had lived here so long that she knew the country as well as any Indian, having even adopted Indian Nationality. Surely, she could have defended her own country? She could for example spoken about India’s infinite spirituality, her exquisite culture, the amazing gentleness of its people, the brilliance of its children…

Unfortunately, Mother Teresa said nothing. For the truth is that she stood for the most orthodox Christian conservatism. There is no doubt that ultimately Mother Teresa’s goal was utterly simple: to convert India to Christianity, the only true religion in her eyes.

Did you notice that she never once said a good word about Hinduism, which after all is the religion of 750 million people of the country she says she loved, and has been their religion for 6000 years. This is because deep inside her, Mother Teresa considered, as all good Christians do, particularly the conservative ones, Hinduism a pagan religion which adores a multitude of heathen gods and should be eliminated.

For make no mistakes about it, there has been no changes about the Christians or Protestant designs on India since they arrived with the Portuguese and the British.

Listen to what Lord Hastings, Governor General of India, had to say in 1813: “The Hindoo appears a being limited to mere animal functions…. with no higher intellect than a dog or a monkey”! Mother Teresa was much more clever than Lord. Hastings. She knew that on the eve of the 21st century, it would have looked very bad if she would openly state her true opinion about Hinduism: so she bade her time. But ultimately is not charitable work, whatever its dedication, a roundabout manner to convert people? For without any doubt the people she saved from the streets ultimately became Christians – and if you ask those “elite” Indians who knew her well, such as the photographer Raghu Rai, a great admirer of her, she always came out after some years with: “it’s now time for you to embrace the true religion” (Rai politely declined).

The second point then is: why does India’s intelligentsia, the Vir Sanghvis, Kejriwals, Chawlas and Sunita Sens, all of whom are born Hindus, defend her? These are intelligent, educated people, they must surely have had some inkling of Mother Teresa’s true purpose. Or did they? Do Sanghvi and Sen, or Naveen Chawla, Mother Teresa’s ever admiring biographer, understand what Mother Teresa really stood for? That she was someone basically hostile to their culture, their religion, their way of life? Does Sanghvi know that Hindu society has always been the target of Christians since their coming here? Does he understand that he and a thousand of his peers, who belong to the intellectual elite of India and keep praising Mother Teresa, even after her death, are doing harm to their country and opening it to its enemies? The Christian influence is very strong in India today, specially after the ten years in power of Sonia Gandhi: it shapes the minds of its young people, in a subtle way, through its schools, which many of the children of the rich attend. It moulds the thinking of the tribes it has converted, particularly in the North-East, where the missionaries have always covertly encouraged separatism (see the remarkable book “Indigenous Indians” by the Dutch Scholar Konrad Elst).

But ultimately it must be concluded that the Indian intelligentsia who defend Mother Teresa and are constantly attacking Hinduism, as Sanghvi or Kejriwal do, are a product of three centuries of English and Christian colonialism, which successfully created an Indian elite cut off from its roots and hostile to its own culture. Mother Teresa was an incarnation of Western post- colonialism and the Nobel Prize she got is their endorsement of her work,

As for the Indian government’s stand on Mother Teresa, it is like biting one’s own tail and it seems quite stupid. Why make Mother Teresa a national figure when she represented and still represents today the worst publicity for India at a time when the country is trying to shed its image of poverty and backwardness under Mr Modi’s leadership? Surely Mother Teresa deserves praise for her work. But there are hundreds of other selfless, courageous individuals in India, who do not hog the limelight and go on with their service to the nation in true Christian humility. The deeds of Mother Teresa should be reviewed in their proper perspective. But then, when she died, the Indian government declared 7 days of mourning!

For make no mistake about it, the wonder that is India, its great culture, its philosophy, its inner spiritual genius is today under mortal threat. It is attacked both from within by its minorities – of which the Christian lobby, although not the most visible, is essentially hostile – see how they have cleverly raked up bogus attacks on Delhi churches and managed to put Mr Modi on the back foot, to the point that he had to attend the ‘canonisation’ of two Indian saints – in the process they may make allies with the Muslims, the other monotheist religion, with whom they partake of the same hate for Hinduism. And from without, by hostile neighbours. And what will India become if the Mother Teresas’ of this world, helped unwittingly by Sanghvi and his peers have the last word? It will lose what makes Her unique on this earth, different from all others, above most of them and become another Westernised, Christianised, standardised society, having lost its soul along the way. Thank you Vir Sanghvi , Arvind Kejriwal, Prannoy Roy, Shekhar Gupta, Navin Chawla !

François Gautier

THE BIG, HUGE, MASSIVE HYPOCRISY ABOUT #CONVERSIONBATTLE

We are witnessing all that Media and political hype about a handful of Christians being reconverted to #Hinduism. What a HUGE hypocrisy! Let us think rationally: there may have been a thousand no more, Christians reconverted – but how many #Hindus do you think were converted by sheer violence, most of the time, to #Islam in 10 centuries? FIFTY MILLION at least. And how many Hindus have been converted to #Christianity in the last 4 centuries? TWO MILLION??? After the Tsunami, I have seen with my own eyes, how the Christian groups within hours of the catastrophe were in every village, proposing food, money, clothes. Within days, they had offered new boats, houses, interest free loans. It is my estimate that 2% of the fishermen of the Tamil coast, from Chennai to Kanyakumari, were subsequently converted to Christianity – that’s a 300.000 people at a conservative estimate. So what’s the hullabaloo about #Bhajrang Dal, #VHP, reconversions?

As usual, because of the long colonization of India, we see that its intellectual elite, its journalists, some of its #Congress (and #BJP) politicians have kept up Macaulay’s spirit: bash up the Hindus whenever you get a chance and turn a blind eye on what the Christians and the Muslims do.

Wake-up O Hindus, you are an ancient Knowledge that has not only survived in spite of so many extremely violent assaults, but every persecuted religion has found refuge in India’s Bosom, thanks to the Hindus, from the Parsis, to the Jews, to the Tibetans today. So why should you allow yourselves to be persecuted now? Stand-up Hindus, you are the children of Vyasa, of Kalidasa, of the great Shankacharya, of Swami Vivekananda, of Sri Aurobindo. The time of India’s Renaissance has come, but it can only happen if you let go of your colonized mind , and you inferiority complex. You are great, generous, tolerant, you possess the last Knowledge in the world: “who am I, what happens after death? What is Karma? What is Dhama? What is Adharma”? Rise O Hindus, your time has come and don’t let the Bharka Dutt @Bdutt,  @Sardesairajdeep; @ShekharGupta’s of this nation brainwash you with their small, western borrowed, hollow & adharmic opinions.

 

Happy New Year India

Francois Gautier

SHIVAJI MAHARAJ MUSEUM OF INDIAN HISTORY, PUNE

Dear friends, as I mentioned earlier, I am building in Pune a Museum of true Indian History, dedicated to the great Shivaji Maharaj, who was a Vibhuti, and who does not even have a proper status in India’s History books (forget about the West, where he is totally unknown). The Museum whose address is: Ahead of Marathwada Institute. Vadgaon Shinde road. Wadgaon. Pune 41, is OPEN every day from 9am to 6pm and entrance is FREE. There are now five buildings, each housing a unique exhibitions, such as the one on Aurangzeb, based on his own firmans, or on Maharana Pratap, the only Rajput who actually fought the Moghols and won in Haldighati. Please tell your friends about it. We also have a beautiful temple, dedicated to Shivaji Maharaj and Mata Bhavani, where daily aarti happens every morning at 9.30am

This is a noble, but VERY difficult project, for many reasons. One, there is no tradition of private museums in India, as there is in the West. Two, as soon as you touch at Indian history, it becomes very sensitive and tricky; and three, most philanthropists in India donate to education and health care, but recoil as soon as you mention the subject of Indian History.
But this is a Museum for ALL Indians, particularly dedicated to the Knowledge that stands behind Hinduism & which is the foundation of Indian culture and spirituality.

Thus, I need YOUR help. I am building this Museum on a shoestring budget and bills keep pouring in, while donations are very scant.
FACT is a registered Trust with Indian & UK, US tax exemption. If you would like to help, you could make a donation to: FACT, Account No: 04071450000237, IFCS code: HDFC0000407. We will mail you back your tax exemption certificate and we will honor all our donors.
Please pass this plea on to your friends

François Gautier