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Defining religion - The Observer

Sita Ram Goel ()
22 February 1997

Title : Defining religion Sita Ram Goel answers the questions raised in the
Antaios' special number on Hindutva
Author : Sita Ram Goel
Publication : The Observer
Date : February 22, 1997

Who are you? How do you define yourself?

I am a Hindu, which to me means the inheritor of the oldest and the
highest spiritual culture known to human history. Although I have
been in service and business to earn my living, I define myself as
a writer. I started as a poet, became a novelist, and have ended as
a commentator, on cruel, crude and imperialist ideologies
Christianity, Islam, and Communism.

Could you explain your spiritual and culture background, your

As a young man I was influenced by Vaishnavism, Arya Samaj and
Mahatama Gandhi. In college I was under the spell of Marxism and
became a Communist.

In 1949, Ram Swarup cured me of Communism, and after that I
returned to Hinduism. I have been strongly influenced by the
Mahabharata, discourses of the Buddha, Sri Aurobindo and, Plato.

My masters have been Vyasa, Buddha and Sri Aurobindo, as elucidated
by Ram Swarup.

What does the idea of Paganism mean for you? Are you a Pagan? A
Polytheist? 'Paganism' was a term of contempt invented by
Christianity for people in the countryside who lived close to and
in harmony with Nature, and whose ways of worship were spontaneous
as opposed to the contrived though-categories constructed by
Christianity's city-based manipulators of human minds.

In due course, the term was extended to cover all spiritually
spontaneous culture of the world - Greek, Roman, Iranian, Indian,
Chinese, native American.

It became a respectable term for those who revolted against
Christianity in the modern West. But it has yet to recover its
spiritual dimension which Christianity had eclipsed. For me,
Hinduism preserves ancient Paganism in all its dimensions. In that
sense, I am a Pagan.

The term "Polytheism' comes from Biblical discourse, which has the
term 'theism' as its starting point. I have no use for these terms.
They create confusion.

I dwell in a different universe of discourse which starts with
'know thyself' and ends with the discovery, 'thou art that'.

Could you explain your position towards monotheism and the main
differences between semitic religions and Hindu traditions?

The literal meaning of monotheism, namely, that God is one and not
many does not interest me.

What bothers me is the monotheism known to history Christianity and
Islam, religions which have prompted aggression, massacres,
plunder, pillage, enslavement and the rest. Histories of
Christianity and Islam tell the full story. Honest gangster do all
this in a straightforward manner, "I want your land, your wealth,
your women and children and you yourself as my slaves. Surrender
or I will kW you." Dishonest gangsters have done the same in the
name of the 'only true God'. God is not needed by them except as
an alibi. Communists have done the same in the name of History,
and the Nazis in the name of the Master Race.

Christianity and Islam do not need any supernatural scaffolding for
doing what they have been doing. The mainstay of their monotheism
is gross materialism.

I do not regard Christianity and Islam as semitic. The semites of
west Asia were Pagans with pluralistic religious traditions before
the Biblical God appeared on the scene. I, therefore, call both
Christianity and Islam the Biblical creeds. Both of them have
their source in the Bible.

And as I do not view them as religions at all, I refuse to compare
them with Hinduism. I have found it quite apt to compare
Christianity and Islam with Communism and Nazism.

What about the negative role of Christian missions in India?

Christian missions in India have been the Devil's workshop to use
their own language. I need not tell you about the 'science' of

Christian missionaries had perfected the art of manipulating human
minds quite early in the history of their cult. of their cult. The
amount of mischief they have done defies description.

They have received a help from the Communists. I am not going into
the history of Christian missions and the various mission
strategies for converting Hindu India.

(Muslims were 'spared' because of fear for their lives). Here I am
taking up their role in the present.

As soon as they sensed that the anti-Hindu coalition was cracking
and a Hindu reawakening was around, they became hysterical in their
anti-Hindu tirades. I have in my possession a 400-page script of a
study sponsored by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, which
presents the Hindu movement as Nazi.

We hear the same refrain from the powerful and extensive Christian
media in India and abroad.

In the Ayodhya dispute they have joined the Muslim-Marxist brigade
in crying 'wolf', while concealing the fact that thousands of
mosques and hundreds of churches stand on the sites of deliberately
demolished Hindu temples and have been built with temple debris.

It is mostly Christian missionaries who are responsible for the
negative publicity which Hindus have been getting in the West

They have immense financed the media-power in India, and can
mobilise any number of mercenaries and hired hoodlums.

And their men are everywhere in the media and academia of the West.
It was a shocking experience for me to read an article in The New
York Review of Books written about Ayodhya by the South Asia
correspondent of the Time magazine a few years ago.

He had invited me for presenting the Hindu case on Ayodhya.

I had given him documented studies on what happened to Hindu
temples under Muslim rule.

Also a study by Koenraad Elst on Ayodhya. But he ignored
everything in his article and, after quoting from a few books
cooked up by well-known Communist writers hired by the Muslim
lobby, he dismissed the Hindu case as bogus! There are many other
scoundrels like him functioning in the Western media and academia.

The mischief created by Christian missionaries and their
mouthpieces In India and the West has to be known in order to be

Mother Theresa is a part of this gang, presenting India as a
starved, diseased and corrupt country to her Western audiences and
collecting fabulous sums for the missionary machine.

I met her briefly in Calcutta in 1954 or 1955 when she was unknown.

I had gone to see an American journalist who was a friend and had
fallen ill, when she came to his house asking for money for her
charity set-up. The friend went inside to get some cash, leaving
his five or six year old daughter in the drawing room. Teresa told
her, "He is not your real father. Your real father is in heaven."
The girl said, "He is very ill." Theresa commented, "If he dies,
your father does not die. For your real father who is in heaven
never 'dies." The girl was in tears. My friend came back and gave
her the money. She departed. He saw his daughter in tears, and
turned towards me.

I reported the dialogue. He was furious, and said, "Had I known
what sort of a bag she is, I would have thrown her out. I am not a
Christian. I was never baptised. Nor do I care for Christianity.
I was only moved by her appeal in the name of the poor, and gave
her some money. I hope she does not come again, and try to poison
my daughter's mind. "

The closed mind of Mother Teresa was revealed a few years back in
an interview published In India Today, a prestigious fortnightly
which had devoted a special issue to her. One of the questions put
to her was: "Where would you have been between the Church and
Galileo?" Came the reply, "With the Church. " That is a measure of
her intellectual equipment.

But Western establishments have built her up into a colossal myth
with Nobel Prize and all.

Who is your tutelar God/Goddess? Why? I have no use for God. In
fact, the very word stinks in my nostrils. This word abounds in
the Bible and the Quran, and has been responsible for the greatest
crimes in human history.

On the other hand, saints who have used this word in a spiritually
wholesome sense have seldom warned us against its sinister use;
most of the time they have been confused by the criminal use of
this word, and have confused others. I do not feel the same way
about the word 'goddess' because the monotheist who happen to be
male chauvinists, have not used this word for their purposes.

In fact, the only thing which softens me towards Catholicism is the
figure of the Virgin Mother even though theology has not permitted
her to soar up to her highest heights.

Having been a student of Hinduism, I find that our tradition knows
no God or Goddess as the creator and controller of the Cosmos.

The Vedas know no god or goddess in that sense, nor the Upanishads,
nor the six systems of philosophy, nor Buddhism, nor Jainism. It
is the Puranas which speaks for the first time of a paramatman
(Highest Self), or a purushottama (Highest Persona). But that is
not the extra-cosmic and blood-thirsty tyrant of the Bible and the

We do have in Hinduism the concept of ishtadeva, the highest symbol
of a person's spiritual aspiration.

In that sense, I am devoted to Sri Krishna as he figures in the
Mahabharata, and the Goddess Durga, as she reveals herself in the
Devi-Bhagvata Purana. I feel free and shed all fear when I meditate
on them.

They promise to clean up the dross that I carry within me.

They prepare me for battle against forces of darkness and

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