A solution for ‘The world of conflicts’

via Udhayabhanu Panickar published on December 30, 2005

(Udayabhanu Panickar, familiar face among US Malayalees is associated with various cultural and spiritual organizations in America, stress here the potential of Gurudevan’s teaching in resolving the problems faced by  present day Hindus)  


Most of the conflicts we face all over the world are due to  the forceful propagation of rigid, dogmatic, exclusive and fundamentalist ideologies and religious beliefs, and discrimination based on a verity of social evils. If they are removed, the conflicts will end and the world will be a lot better. Shree Narayana Gurudevan has developed a universal, spiritual, all inclusive and tolerant philosophy that includes prescription for a better life for all. He worked tirelessly to remove the social evils of discrimination and oppression of the downtrodden. Vested interest groups interested in religious conversion often misinterpret Sree Narayan Gurudevan’s philosophy and say that He had sanctioned religious conversions. However this is far from the truth. This seems to be an organized way of justifying their actions to convert Hindus to exploit social and political opportunities and set a stage for conversion. They subtly and wrongfully take the shelter of the philosophy of Gurudevan for their narrow-minded actions and political manipulations. An honest and truthful enquiry into the actions and the teachings of Gurudevan’s stand on conversion and his exemplary services to preserve, promote and protect our spiritual system. The facts will show that the misinterpretation of Gurudevan’s teaching and actions is not justified.   


On the subject of religious conversion, opportunists have intentionally misquoted Gurudevan. Some devotees of Gurudevan also make statements on this subject without a comprehensive study of all the words and deeds of Gurudevan. As in any other aspect of His messages and teachings, we must always explore and understand the circumstances of those remarks and actions. Only then we can explicitly understand the essence of His teaching and well-calculated statements of limited words and actions on this subject.   


Shree Narayana Gurudevan, unlike any other spiritual guide, never imposed his vision upon any one. However, His commanding appearance and honorable and conclusive words were good enough for any one to accept His authority and guidance with out skepticism. His eyes, words, actions and postures were highly effectual and impressive. No one could ever act against His wishes and words. No one could ever oppose to His actions because they were so perfect and timely. The genuineness, truth and sincerity of His words and deeds always can help any one to overcome any doubt about Him and His divinity and intentions.  


On different occasions, Gurudevan had made clear remarks on religious conversions. At several occasions, He or His disciples converted and reconverted people to Hinduism. Let us look at some of those actions taken by Gurudevan based on His own convictions and spiritual conclusions.  


He never believed that voluntary religious conversion for spiritual reasons are in any way a threat to the society, but at the same time He never encouraged any one to leave Hinduism. He very strongly believed that any such conversion must be executed purely on the basis of a person’s belief and only after understanding both the religions. No conversion should be made for any kind of materialistic or temporary benefits, convenience or as an escape route from discrimination and religious persecution. Gurudevan only advocated conversions based on these principles and theory.

During his time, a family of Kannur converted to Christianity for certain benefits, but not out of beliefs. After some time this family desired to convert back to Hinduism. But their old community opposed this re-conversion. Gurudevan when heard about this, he intervened and asked the family members and community leaders, to take them back. Gurudevan’s arguments were so convincing that this was done happily.   


In Neyyatinkara, there were some families who converted to Christianity due to the discrimination existed at that time. But after witnessing the progress made due to the work of Gurudevan and his disciples, those families wanted to convert back to Hinduism. But the community was not ready to accept them back. When approached, He, very happily converted them back.   


In the village of Vazhappalli, near Changanasherry a limited number of families of a community known as Pichanaattu Kuruppanmar lived. They were small in number. This community was in a very difficult situation during Gurudevans time. In some respect they were considered lower in the social spectrum. But at the same time they were allowed entry in to the temples and roads, where a lot of other communities like Ezavas were not allowed. However the communities at the higher spectrum of Hindu religion did not socially accept them. This coupled with the limited number of members in their own community, they had difficulty in functioning socially and they faced isolation. This isolation forced the leader of this group, Mr Krishnan Vaidhyar to make a decision for the whole community to convert to Christianity. This was a conversion of convenience. Mr Mooloor Padmanabha Panicker, a disciple of Gurudevan informed Him of this and requested that the Pichanaattu Kuruppanmar be accepted into the community so this religious conversion of convenience could be rectified. Gurudevan happily accepted the proposal of Mooloor and personally accepted them in to the community. This was done at a public meeting in the presence of a large crowd which included leaders of other religious groups.  


Once a European Christian priest visited Gurudevan and asked Him to convert to Christianity. Gurudevan felt this as a joke. The conversation between Him and the priest went on fairly like this.  


Gurudevan: What is your  age?   


The priest: 30 years.  


Gurudevan: Then I am a Christian even before your birth and how can you convert me? However what is it that we should believe specially to be a christian


The priest: You should believe that Jesus was born to be the Savior of Humanity.  


Gurudevan: That means with his birth all of the humanity was saved? Is it not?    


The priest: Yes that is true. 


Gurudevan: If that is true, if I convert or not I am already saved, is it not?  


The priest: No. To be saved you must be baptized. With out baptism you will not be saved.  


Gurudevan: So you are telling me that some people got saved because of the birth of Christ and some did not?  


The priest: No. Because of the birth of Christ all are saved. 


Gurudevan: If that is true every body has been saved. There is no need for conversion into Christian religion to be saved.  

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