Interview COMMENTS
Vivekananda comes across as a Hindu supremacist, and not so much a social reformist


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1/D-50
Jan 12, 2013
03:36 PM

 This interview is pure trash. It only brings out the hatred the author of the book has for Hindus and Hinduism.

bvshenoy
Bangalore, India
2/D-62
Jan 12, 2013
04:21 PM

Caste is inherited, whereas Vivekananda explained Varna.
He also explained these in property/quality terms, not on lineage. Examples were also provided. He was progressive, willing to eat beef when required and moderately flexible while wishing to preserve the best from our past.
Jyotirmay comes from Maonagar. In Maonagar, Vivekananda is a dirty Hindu & Gandhi is the scum of the earth who promoted caste too.
Here, Mao, is a legend and so is 'Marshal' Stalin. They are inclusive figures. Killing your own, shows, of course, that you aren't xenophobic like that father of all evil-Vivekananda.

 

Just Joe King
Gotham, India
3/D-63
Jan 12, 2013
04:25 PM

Forgot to add, economically speaking he was left wing. That is probably the only complaint I have with the Swami. His total economics knowledge amounted to diddly squat!!
The right and the left differ primarily, on economic inequality. The religious right and the irreligious left division, comes later.
Primarily the spectrum is based on who accepts inequality of living standars ie. a heirarchy and various classes of society and who doesn't.
Those who don't, defecate readily on economic and political freedom, looking to create more 'inclusive' growth which they assume has happened in Marx and Venus or some other planet nearby because there are no earthly experiences to base this type of growth on.

Just Joe King
Gotham, India
4/D-67
Jan 12, 2013
04:58 PM

"...about Hindu identity and the myths that we (emphasis mine) have internalised as part of constructing a distorted self-image: the myth of the soft, mild, reasonable, non-violent, non-threatening, non-proselytising, non-converting Hindu."

Who constitute this "we" Mr. Sharma? Could you provide some real examples of these "we" fellows (except politicians and academic-authors) who think themselves as "soft, mild, reasonable, non-violent, non-threatening" people. "Internalized"? Really?

Making these kind of generalizations and linking those with a few lectures of Vivekanda given around 120 years ago is quite a leap of imagination (and scholarship I guess). Also, at that time (late 19th century) what were the myths that "we" had internalized about ourselves? Spineless? Subjugated? Weaklings? Incapable of governing ourselves? Incapable of kicking out a few hundred thousand English guys who reduced this whole country to a miserable mass of wretchedness and left the Hindus and Muslims in perpetual fight against each other?

You need to analyze the context, time, the zeitgeist, the target audience of his lectures and what were his intentions. And he was a Hindu-supremacist at the time when India was at its lowest point in her History? Seriously?

Outlook needs to raise the level of its interviews. It's almost like Chandan Mita interviewing Modi.

Amit Thakur
Tokyo, Japan
5/D-68
Jan 12, 2013
05:02 PM

Vivekanda was dead at the age of 39. May be with experiences he developed his mature philosophy.  Till I think  he awaken political consciousness among Indians which was benifited  to Tilak and Gandhi .We must not  divalue the importance of Vivekananda reading this kind of trash interview

Ramesh Raghuvanshi
Pune, India
6/D-5
Jan 13, 2013
12:22 AM

 Here comes another warrior from the hate Hindu, hate Bharat brigade.

Mehta seems to be the patron saint of anti Hindu zealots.

Pradip Singh
STAFFORD, United Kingdom
7/D-7
Jan 13, 2013
12:26 AM

 Eating beef is a mandatory requirement to qualify as a progressive modernist.

The Central focus of the existence of  McCaulay's children is their visceral hatred for Hinduism.

Pradip Singh
STAFFORD, United Kingdom
8/D-9
Jan 13, 2013
12:57 AM

ha ha ha... idiot :)

Gaurav
Mumbai, India
9/D-76
Jan 13, 2013
02:02 PM

you know even if Punjabi says something serious, other interpret it as comedy. Same applies on this author. he is such a serious thinker... u know.

Mahesh
delhi, India
10/D-93
Jan 13, 2013
06:15 PM

 Swami Vivekananda might appear as the only true modern Vedantist, because others are not known. Vedanta means knowledge of God. People know God, in India, generally, and then realise Advaita Vedanta, where God exists, and people realise God, but don't know, that they have realised God. I mean, no emotion, thought, identity, etc. It appears, after this realisation, one looses perception altogether, even of God, perhaps. Swami Vivekananda is the what many feel is the symbol of Vedanta. It seems, the descendants of Abraham, would find no matter of any issue with Advaita Vedanta. The issue with Hindu's like me is, that I didn't find the Hindu God Rama until I did understand Sri Ramakrishna to be the same Avatar. People generally realise a personal God, in Hinduism, and then they want to realise other ideals in Hinduism, before they try to understand Advaita Vedanta. I realise many Hindu deities as exactly Sri. Ramakrishna. And, I don't have an issue with Advaita Vedanta.

Aditya Mookerjee
Belgaum, India
11/D-15
Jan 14, 2013
09:39 AM

 People feel the Punjabi is in a situation where he is aware he is in a strange behaviour pattern, and he is at ease, so people find him a bit different. I refer mostly to the adherents of the Sikh religion. 

Aditya Mookerjee
Belgaum, India
12/D-83
Jan 14, 2013
01:42 PM

Liberal and progressive Muslims have for a long time been critical of Maulana Maududi for his supremacist and exclusivist views. Now Jyotirmaya Sharma asserts that Swami Vivekananda was a supremacist and an exclusivist too. Vivekananda saw Hinduism to be the universal religion but was willing to grant "sect" status to Christianity and Islam. Today we see this theme pervading Praveen Togadia's tirades against Christianity and Islam, although Togadia's speeches are much more despicable and hateful than Vivekananda's writings. An egalitarian approach seeing religions as being co-equal has been adopted only by a few enlightened religious leaders. However Vivekanada will always be held in high regard for his erudite and accessible Vedantic elucidations.

Anwaar
Dallas, United States
13/D-107
Jan 14, 2013
04:29 PM

I have read The Great Swamiji's writings & was always impressed by the clarity of his thoughts about Supremacy, Vastness & Intellectual Depth of Hinduism......and that's why I adore him, respect him & idolize him. To hell with the liberal, secular, intellectual parrot brigade. I don't need the Parrot Brigade's " Secularism Test Passed" certificate for Swamiji's writings.

Abhijit Kane
Mumbai, India
14/D-123
Jan 14, 2013
07:58 PM

 "So he wasn’t exactly inclusive and generous as his master Ramakrishna taught him to be?"

Again the basic ignorance about both Ramakrishna and Vivekananda. How inclusive was Ramakrishna? To understand this, we can take a political example of Bhagat Singh- a committed communist. The night before he was hanged, he was reading Lenin's State and Revolution. And yet, people like who hate communism to the core have no trouble appreciating Bhagat Singh for his patriotism. In other words, it is possible to admire a man without accepting everything he stands for.

Ramakrishna's relationship with Christianity and Islam has to be seen in a similar way. Accepting Christ as an avatara is not the same as accepting Christianity. And accepting Mohammed as a yogi is not the same as accepting Islam.

Ramakrishna rejected the concept of original sin-the very foundation of Christianity. And consequently , if there is no original sin, there is no saving from it by Jesus. And he said the Bible is full of sin and nothing else and it is not a good thing to think about sin too much. How are these things inclusive? And besides, Ramakrishna prevented Keshab Chandra Sen from converting to Christianity. Sen had a high opinion of Christianity but very little of Hinduism. Due to Ramakrishna's influence, he changed his views and died a hindu. So while Ramakrishna believed Jesus was an incarnation of God -and yet rejected the fundamental tenets of Christianity.

And the same with Islam. What he practiced was not Islam proper but a Sufi variant. He learnt it from a hindu who nevertheless practiced Islam in a way he understood it. And Ramakrishna had a vision of Mohammed merging in the Absolute. All this proves is Mohammed had a yogic experience and that it is possible to have the same experience by worshipping Allah. A point Vivekananda had no trouble with. He called Mohammed an untrained Yogi. 

But beyond that, what do we know about Ramakrishna's view on Islam? Nothing. He did not believe in the exclusive claim of Islam-that Allah is the only God and Mohammed his only Prophet. And without that claim, what is so distinguishable about Islam? As far as I know, he did not express any opinion of Mohammed as a spiritual leader.

People read a few quotes and small booklets on Ramakrishna and then push their own views on him. The author of this new book falls into that category. The questioner in this interview fares no better.

Rakhal
Philadelphia, United States
15/D-125
Jan 14, 2013
08:37 PM

  Forget Islam and Christianity, Vivekananda wasn’t particularly generous towards many sects and schools of thought within Hinduism."

OK. And this is his answer to the very next question.

"The project was to create a single, seamless, undifferentiated and monochromatic Hindu unity with caste as the glue that holds this mythical unity together."

How Vivekananda planned to create a single seamless, undifferentiated and monochromatic hindu unity without being generous to many sects and schools of thought within hinduism remains a great mystery.

I have a hard time following the logic here. Either way Vivekananda is damned!!

Rakhal
Philadelphia, United States
16/D-126
Jan 14, 2013
08:44 PM

 "His religious nationalism is the decisive influence behind Hindu nationalism."

Finally I can agree with this author on something. Only he sees hindu nationalism as bad while I see it as a good thing.

Vivekananda's entire life work rested on one thing-that the soul of India lies in religion and that religion is the Sanatana Dharma and any rejuvenation of India cannot happen without rejuvenating Sanatana Dharma. 

Apart from this, I find the discussion over "islam is just a sect for him" a bit ridiculous. In a larger scheme of things, Islam is obviously a sect-because it is exclusive. Sects by definition are exclusive and both Islam and Christianity are exclusive.

Hinduism is inclusive in this sense-it accepts one can achieve salvation by worshipping Jesus or Allah also-they being His different names only. All the while, Hinduism rejects the doctrinal accepts of both religions.

Rakhal
Philadelphia, United States
17/D-149
Jan 14, 2013
11:31 PM

 "You say Vivekananda considered Islam and Christianity as mere sects and the larger ideal all of them merged to was Vedanta. So he wasn’t exactly inclusive and generous as his master Ramakrishna taught him to be?"

I refer the author and the questioner to read Swami Saradananda's The Great Master where he discusses the Master's Islamic sadhana. And he quotes Ramakrishna as saying that in absence of the unity at the Vedantic level, there is little in common between Hindus and muslims.

So there is no contradiction between Ramakrishna and Vivekananda.

Rakhal
Philadelphia, United States
18/D-5
Jan 15, 2013
01:33 AM

If you can take on the icons and pass on views that are contrary to the opinions of millions of people - scholars and non-scholars alike then you can create a media ripple. Mr. Sharma is one of them to score points here.

In addition to the tomes that Swami Vivekananda wrote, tomes have been written about Vivekanda and his works by scholars, disciples and acquaintances for over a hundred years since his untimely death. Volumes of his works as well as writings on him are in Bengali. Several scholars  spent a life time researching on him. I doubt how much of that Sharma has read through. Even an erudite scholar will think several times before making a sweeping generalization about Vivekanda calling him a Hindu supermacist ( and not a reformer) . But then Sharma is seeking the media glare and not the depth of research for his book . The Outlook has obliged him with a cover story and an interview that calls into question the journalistic skill if not the intelllect of the interviewer.

Narendra nath Dutta ( Swami Vivekananda) was not a bramhin unlike his guru Gadadhar Chattopadyay ( Ramkrishna Paramhansa). Even after returning to Calcutta after his famous sojourn to the USA, many Bengali Hindus of those days in Calcutta criticized his authority as a spokesperson of Hinduism citing his non-bramhin caste identity. Like Mr. Sharma we have to believe that Vivekanda himself was as stupid as to endorse a caste system (decided by birth) which would have challenged his own credential as a Hindu religious teacher.

Furthermore, there are anecdotes one can read about Narendra's travel across India after Ramakrishna's death often spending time with the dalits and the untouchables. Some of his magnificient writings criticizing untouchability and wooing the poor, the illiterate and the dalit Indians certainly would  show that he was not a casteist. Read the grand vision of a young man from a poor colonized nation about his own country India while writing from the USA.  He was so impressed by American entrepreneurship that he was asking why fellow Indians were not taking up trade of goods to improve their financial conditions. Like his guru Ramkrishna he used to believe that Jesus and Muhammad were messengers of God. (I wish I had his writings that I read readily available to quote from).  Ramakrishna and Vivekanda believed in basic unison of multiple faith through their interpretation of vedantic philosophy. Only morons conclude that Vedantic unity of religions makes him a Hindu supermacist. I remember seeing a recent newspaper photo of a special prayer at a Ramakrishna Mission temple on christmas.

It makes no sense  to write more to defend Vivekanda as an iconic religious guru and social reformer because when a  politically motivated writing is promoted as a scholarly work, we need to question first the credentials and dubious agenda of the author as well as the agenda of the magazine publicizing it. The secular politics reaches the abyss when it needs to tarnish the well-accepted and well-revered opinion about Swami Vivekananda to discredit Hindutwa politics.  Once again a magazine'to make a cover story touches the gutter - but that is so common in today's India.

DC
NEW YORK, United States
19/D-16
Jan 15, 2013
03:16 AM

DC,

>> Only morons conclude that Vedantic unity of religions makes him a Hindu supremacist.

Mr. Sharma says that Vivekananda "considered only Hinduism to be worthy of the epithet ‘religion’ and thought of Islam and Christianity to be merely sects." That may qualify him as a supremacist, don't you think?

Anwaar
Dallas, United States
20/D-29
Jan 15, 2013
06:41 AM

With his hacking and parsing of Vivekananda, the author has proved himself to the 'powers' that rule from New Delhi.
He is now eligible to get the highest government of India award from the Madam and the dynasty.
 

Priya Madhavan
Rochester, United States
21/D-118
Jan 15, 2013
09:31 PM

Anwaar: 

'Mr. Sharma says that Vivekananda "considered only Hinduism to be worthy of the epithet ‘religion’ and thought of Islam and Christianity to be merely sects." That may qualify him as a supremacist, don't you think?"

Before reposing total faith in the understanding of Sharma, it is better you read for yourself what Vivekananda said on the subject. His two lectures on Universal religion are in Vol2 of Complete Works. 

If you read carefully, you will find Sharma has either not understood or is deliberately misrepresenting Vivekananda.

Rakhal
Philadelphia, United States
22/D-1
Jan 16, 2013
12:51 AM

Anwaar

Rakhal has responded on my behalf.  Instead of reading such "scholars" who make sweeping generalizations by culling stuff from here and there and arrive at sensational conclusions, do read Vivekananda's lectures and writings to make your conclusion. Vivekananda praised certain ideas of Muslims e.g. universal brotherhood of the adherents and criticized those Muslims in favor of. forcible conversion and the exclusion of the feeling of brotherhood toward the unfaithful.  He criticized caste Hindus for oppressing dalits. Like Ramakrishna he believed in a universal religion and considered the different faiths to be different paths to reach the Almighty. A patriot, Vivekananda wooed his disciples " Say the welfare of India is my welfare" or "Say that all Indians -the illiterate, poor and the chandaal (dalit) Indians are my blood, my brothers". Unlike a recluse Sanyasi seeking spiritual goals , Vivekanda engaged Ramakrishna mission in welfare activities. Ramakrishna Mission since inception served  the poor , the helpless and the downtrodden Indians.

Understandably it is easier to read Sharma than to read volumes of Vivekanda's works to form your opinion.  For your information, even a secular Nehru who disliked religion in the public space and a harsh critic of a two-nation theory was in praise of Vivekananda.

DC
NEW YORK, United States
23/D-9
Jan 16, 2013
03:26 AM

DC and Rakhal,

I have no disagreement with what you say. I would never subscribe to a stark disapprobation of Vivekananda. A Nehru would find pearls of wisdom in the writings of Vivekananda, but many Internet Hindus would use him, and have used him, to stake higher grounds compared to other faiths! I am sure the kind of discussion stimulated by this article will not hurt Vivekananda.

Anwaar
Dallas, United States
24/D-13
Jan 16, 2013
05:46 AM

Vivekananda was not about furthering caste. Vivekananda was not a Brahmin. He was from a Kayasth family. (Usually writers like Sharma accuse the Brahmins of the crime of furthering caste. Now they have extended it to Vivekananda).

If the interviewer and Sharma are arguing over the term religion/sect; it cannot be applied to any of the so called 'modern religions'.

The term religion comes from the Latin word ‘religio’ and it was used initially by the ancient Greeks and Romans, and the term was adopted by the Christian inheritors of the ancient Roman Empire. The Greek and Roman 'religions' revolved around their polis or cities. It consisted of a number of rites and rituals and it included consulting the oracles to ancestor worship and nature rituals, to worship of the sun god, to worship of their rulers. The Christians adopted many aspects of the ‘religio’ of the Romans but used the cohesive monotheism to control what was left of the empire.

In the colonial era, the westerners did try to suppress the local religions in Asia and Africa. The local population under colonial control came up with their own set of defense to fight colonialism. Vivekananda was part of a 19th century reform movement that focused on monism & in the context of the time. And that is a crime in the eyes of 21st century political science writers like Sharma —
 

Priya Madhavan
Rochester, United States
25/D-43
Jan 17, 2013
10:58 AM

This article is an instance of  the old saying that if you spit at the moon , you will only dirty your face. Hindus have too much love, affection and respect for Vivekananda's memory to be affected the least by such petty-minded attacks on him by self-seeking, phony secularists.

Manish Anand
Delhi, India
26/D-25
Jan 18, 2013
04:55 AM

Vivekananda was much a supremacist as Mevlana Rumi

Aaditya Raghavan
Bangalore, India
27/D-53
Jan 19, 2013
04:41 PM

 Just because the Sky is higher than the Earth or Oceans; it does not become "A Supremacist".  Hinduism and Vedas seek and propagate the good and beneficial of the whole universe (without distinguishing between muslim, christian, tribals, fishes or animals). Please note there is not a single word called "Hindu" in the Vedas.  Hinduism is not a primitive tribal religion that  says magnificient things like "only people following it will reach heaven and the other infidels and kaffirs will go to dark hells"  Most (may be not all) fundamentalist Hindus, even kings like Shivaji treated other religions and their places of worship with respect. Comparatively, even in the "modern" "developed" 20th century Hindus have been openly decimated, destroyed and raped in our neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh or even in Kashmir (places where the "Religion of Peace" reigns), with the media turning a blind eye. From around 20% of the population in these regions, Hindus now constitute a persecuted minority of 1-3%.

Only Vivekananda stood up and openly declared all this 120 years ago.  As for Caste, Swami Vivekananda was not a brahmin like Jyotirmay Sharma and by supporting caste, he only meant to organize and awaken people along those lines --this was the only possible option to organize masses during his times.

It is not surprising to read such "contrarian" and "opportunistic" articles in Outlook as Hindus do not issue fatwas or behead people.  The Outlook culture and that of its founders (who founded and ran Debonair mag) who made money selling nude photos of exploited young women still shows despite their transition to a national news magazine.

It is good to read an iconoclastic mag like "Outlook" --but please do not be iconoclastic just for being iconoclastic.  

Bhagat Singh
Bangalore, India
28/D-67
Jan 19, 2013
05:46 PM

 Just because the Sky is higher than the Earth or Oceans; it does not become "A Supremacist". Hinduism and Vedas seek and propagate the good and beneficial of the whole universe (without distinguishing between muslim, christian, tribals, fishes or animals). Please note there is not a single word called "Hindu" in the Vedas. Hinduism is not a primitive tribal religion that says magnificient things like "only people following it will reach heaven and the other infidels and kaffirs will go to dark hells" Most (may be not all) fundamentalist Hindus, even kings like Shivaji treated other religions and their places of worship with respect. Comparatively, even in the "modern" "developed" 20th century Hindus have been openly decimated, destroyed and raped in our neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh or even in Kashmir (places where the "Religion of Peace" reigns), with the media turning a blind eye. From around 20% of the population in these regions, Hindus now constitute a persecuted minority of 1-3%.

Only Vivekananda stood up and openly declared this 120 years ago. As for Caste, Swami Vivekananda was not a brahmin like Jyotirmay Sharma and by supporting caste, he only meant to organize and awaken people along those lines --this was the only possible option to organize during his times.

Congratulations to the Outlook Magazine for throwing shit on not just a great Hindu but a great Indian on his 150th birth anniversary standing on the back of a nobody like- Jyotirmay Sharma. It is a well known fact that Vivekananda was an inspiration for most of our leaders of the freedom struggle –from Mahatma Gandhi to Chandrashekar Azad to Subash Chandra Bose. Observing the injustice and destruction during the British rule, Swami Vivekananda, though a monk, had once declared that he wished to be publicly shot by the British for opposing them, so that a fire of revolution would light up the entire sleeping nation and unite it in the fight for independence. May be the Secular, Elitist Journalists at Outlook even consider our getting political freedom from the British as not such a good idea –since the British were “Secular,” thought us English (of course), secularly massacred masses at Jallianwalla Bagh etc., secularly destroyed indigenous weaving and other industries, secularly hung every young man who did not bow to them and did such other things in keeping with their highly inclusive secular civilizational values.

It is not surprising to read such "contrarian" and "opportunistic" articles in Outlook as Hindus do not issue fatwas or behead people. The Outlook culture and that of its founders (who founded and ran the Debonair mag) who made money selling nude photos of exploited young women still shows, despite their transition to a national news magazine.

It is good to read an iconoclastic magazine like "Outlook" --but please do not be iconoclastic just for being iconoclastic.

(sorry posted it again, wish there was an edit button for the remarks!)

Bhagat Singh
Bangalore, India
29/D-12
Jan 20, 2013
02:15 AM

 Jyotirmaya Sharma splendidly reveals himself as a talentless hack whose only claim to fame are outrageous claims. As others pointed out before, he spectacularly fails in his assertions on Ramakrishna. His blabbering on Vivekananda is equally trite and shallow (whoever conducted this interview shines in incompetence). 

The best riposte to this terrible interview is from the man himself. Fortunately, the speech of Vivekananda in Chicago was recorded. That will live on much longer than these distortions today of whoever is taking Vivekananda's name or fame, in vain. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4Nmvbm4WYM

Kiran
grenoble, France
30/D-49
Jan 31, 2013
11:49 AM

 Mr. Shayamal Barua first of all I would like to know why have you mentioned that Rajagopal Chakravoty was student of Ramakrishina Vivekananda Mission or topped WB Board Exam or IIT Kharagpur because any of these do not prove the authenticity of his book. The phrases "Swamiji received propaganda from Hindu Maharajas" or "received quite luckworm response"  and many others in your comment which are fully contray to the actual fact raises question about the intention of you and the author. The most authentic work on Swami Vivekananda in the west has been done by Marie Luis Bark and Shankari Prasad Basu. Please go through their work.  Please read some authentic biography of Swamiji also.

Anupam Sarkar
Kolkata, India
31/D-78
Mar 03, 2013
06:03 PM

its interesting to see what a magazine edited by a porno mag editor has to offer about Vivekananda ,

all foolish and distorted view , interviewee has not even read Vivekananda , he was not  castiest at all , and never said about Brahmin supremacy ,read his books fool

indian guy
lucknow, India
32/D-9
Sep 10, 2013
02:12 AM

Wendy Doniger distinguishes Hindutva from Hinduism

"I do watch with growing apprehension as the right-wing , Hindutva-driven factions gain increasing power in India, but the responses I've had to my books, in both personal notes and published reviews, have been enormously encouraging. The kind of people whose texts I found throughout the history of Hinduism — open-minded , intellectually omnivorous people, capable of self-irony and generous to views other than their own — are still alive and well and living in India. I do believe that the great strength of Hinduism — its openness to contradictory ideas — will prevail and carry it through this present danger.

"Hindus have generally been very tolerant about ideas; they did not persecute people whose beliefs about the gods were different from their own. This is the source of their quite justifiable pride in Hindu tolerance. But Hindus have not always been tolerant about behaviour — about what people ate, touched, or wore — and this, of course, makes for trouble with Muslims and Sikhs. What worries me most about the Hindutva brigade is that they are just as intolerant of behaviour as Hindus have often been, but now they are also intolerant of ideas, engaging in censorship of a fundamentalist nature that has never infected Hinduism until now."

articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-09-08/all-that-matters/41873144_1_hinduism-caste-system-ideas

Anwaar
Dallas, United States
33/D-63
Oct 22, 2014
01:59 PM

What absolute rot is this interview!
Swami was not a Brahmin. He was quite critical of casteism, and even stated how it made sense for many lower classes to convert to Islam/Christianity given treatment as low caste in Vedic Hinduism. So how could he be for caste, when he himself transgressed and took on the role of another caste? and understood why low castes converted?
As for his criticisms of religion
1. Did he not criticise many Hindu schools of thought past and present? And then did he not champion the reformers – Buddha, nanek, kabir?
2. Swami ji believed that everything should stand to reason – he rejected infallibility of the scriptures. This includes other works, but it also includes his own.
He pointed out perfectly valid criticisms of Abrahamic religions – eternal hellfire, infallibility, clinging to duality, universal brotherhood but only for believers, the idea that there is a final message or messenger, the fact that Abrahamic religions often came with swords.
Can any of you honestly, truthfully say that these are not true and valid criticisms from the standpoint of reason & ethics?
That does not mean swami didn’t also see the good in these religions. He merely pointed out the bad also. He did the same for Hinduism – he pointed out problems with the religion past and present. Does this make him a hindu hater?
Universal brotherhood means I respect you, your life, and your right to religion. It does not mean I pretend like you are perfect, your religion is perfect, and that I will lie down and take shit from you in the name of respect. Swami respected Muslims, he respected Islam as a religion, as with Christianity but what he disliked was that the tolerance and acceptance Hindus &Buddhists often shown in the past was not reciprocated by this children of Abraham in the past– and no, you cannot deny that as historical fact.

Hiccups
oude, Bahrain
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