Published On: Mon, Dec 2nd, 2013

Inculturation – The art of deceit

By Harish Krishnan

‘Inculturation’ may not be a term, most of us Hindus would be most familiar with; but it is a term that poses one of the greatest external threats to Hinduism and the Hindu way of life in India. Wikipedia defines inculturation as “adaptation of the way Church teachings are presented to non-Christian cultures, and to the influence of those cultures on the evolution of these teachings.” Now let us look at this diabolical and conniving technique perfected over many thousands of years by Christian missionaries and what it means for us Hindus.

If you travel in Southern India, the Christian influence to it put mildly is all pervasive. Apart from government statistics one would be hard pressed to identify Christians and Christian institutions as minorities in any walk of life. Christian institutions dominate most forms of public life including political discourse, media, educational institutions, hospitals and foreign money pouring into India. Aggressive evangelism, supported with vast sums of foreign money pouring into NGO’s, hand in glove with pliable local governments have worked systematically to uproot the Hindu way of life.

Christianity has followed a policy of ‘inculturation’ for many hundreds of years. This Church sanctioned policy allows missionaries to adopt pagan elements in christianized form to pave the way for transition from Paganism to Christianity. Pagan gods became Christian saints and pagan festivals became Christian festivals. In this process of inculturation, the Christian Church subsumed old forms to its new message, making sure that the pagan foundation was digested into Christian doctrine

In India, specifically this time tested technique amongst others is used to help minimize the culture shock of Hindus who are being forced into Christianity. This involves the systematic appropriation of Hindu symbols, language, dance forms, dressing, food etc. This allows for the initial converts to feel at home in their new religion; the interesting part being that Christian missionaries use the very same Hindu cultural motifs to denigrate Hinduism.

Examples abound all over the place; for example In Gunadala, near Vijayawada there is a Church on a hill and people offer hair just as Hindus do in Tirupati. Recently in Rajahmundry, a small city in East Godavari District in AP, the local Church, organized what they called "Abhisheka Kutami". This may come as a huge surprise to many since there is no word or idea or philosophy even close enough to Abhishekam in Christianity! The dark humor becomes even more evident since Christianity denounces idol worship and it is their most important claim to being better than other religions especially Hinduism. Most of the recent converts readily engage in this form of appropriation. The newly converted pastors are most vocal in adopting Hindu customs in Christianity, not in least because there is money to be made based on conversions all along.

A typical conversation between a naïve gullible Hindu and a Christian would go like this

"I think there are so many similarities between Hinduism and Christianity.
Birth of Krishna and Birth of Christ are very similar. Akashavani was heard by Kamsa. Similar story is in Bible. Like what is there as Akshaya Patra, Christ too could make wine out of nothing!". All the while, Hindus keep saying "yes, you are right".

Comparisons equating Jesus as Krishna abound in Christian literature espoused by evangelists in India. Many Hindus also naively do so. Of course if Krishna is the same as Jesus and everything that is venerated in Hinduism is just as same in Christianity, then why follow Hinduism? you might as well convert right.. so it seems goes the logic. Here you can see Jesus replacing Krishna in the classic scene from Bhagavad Gita in a public square in IndiaHarish1

Here are churches in India..sorry temples that house jesus! Please note that if not for the cross, this would be an exact replica of a traditional south Indian Hindu temple architecture. Of course why go to temple and worship your shiva if you can come to a temple like Church and worship Jesus.

If that was not cunning enough, now we have Sanskrit versions of Jesus Suprabhatam, Kristu bhujangam etc in Sanskrit (no less) available in parts of India, and of course there is Christian yoga, Jesus (in) Bharatanatyam

Dr. Koenraad Elst in his work, “Hindu influence on Christianity  “ said, In 1999, Pope Johan Paul II had stated that the mission of the Vatican was to plant the Cross in Asia in the third millennium to facilitate the Christianizing of the world, which alone would cause the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The Pope must tell us the rationale for the First Coming of Jesus Christ when there was no Christianity or the Church to undertake the mission to Christianize the world.”

The Niyogi Commission report on Madhya Pradesh, 1956, noted: “Robert De Nobili (a Catholic Jesuit priest) appeared in Madura in 1607, clad in the saffron robes of a Sadhu with sandal paste on his forehead and the sacred thread on his body…….. he was only restoring to Hindus one of their lost sacred books, namely the 5th Veda, called Yeshurveda (Jesus Veda). It passed for a genuine work until the Protestant Missionaries exposed the fraud about the year 1840. This Brahmin Sannyasi of the ‘Roman Gotra,’ Father De Nobili, worked for 40 years…. It is said that he had converted about a lakh of people,

There are more than fifty Christian ashrams in India, which are described as “experiments in cross-cultural communication,” or as “contemplative hermitages that revolve around both Christian and Hindu ideals.”  The Christian temples are set to deceive.  The courtyard shrine is for Saint Paul and that “puja” is actually, a daily Mass, complete with incense, lamps, flower offerings and prasadam. Finally, one meets the “swami,” who happens to be a Christian “sannyasin.”harish2

This is the situation the Hindu finds himself in today. Christian missionaries have adopted Hindu ways of life, Hindu religious symbols, architecture, worship forms, and even declare themselves as Swamis. A Catholic priest who calls himself “swami” instantly attains the status and authority of a holy man in Hindu society, which he can use to convert individuals. By using Sanskrit terminology in his sermons, he implies a close relationship of Hindu theology to Catholic theology, a relationship which does not really exist. Such missionaries speak authoritatively on Hindu scriptures and argue that their [Christian] teachings are consonant with everything Hindu, but add a finishing touch, a “fullness” to the traditional faith.

It is high time Hindus wake up to what is happening around us. We need to urgently stop Christian evangelists usurping our Hindu ideas and symbols with the intent of cheating us. The words Vedas, Sanyasis, yoga, ashrams have deep and unique religious, spiritual and emotional significance to practicing Hindus which should not be allowed to trampled upon.  As Hindus we don’t have the luxury of taking all our knowledge, and art forms or our culture for granted. Our vigilance in this matter is of utmost importance and building public opinion and educating the public in this matter is the most powerful weapon we have to defend Hinduism against the practitioners of deceit.


References :-


Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>