Not all religions are the same

published on December 14, 2014

This is Sabarimala season again. During this time I visit the Ayyappa temple near my house every day. As usual, after my darshan of the Lord, I keep myself busy helping the staff to facilitate the Kettunira of hundreds of devotees departing to Sabarimala. It gives me immense satisfaction as I get the opportunity to spend a lot of time in the temple premises and enjoy it’s spiritually vibrant atmosphere. This is one of the 40 odd Ayyappan temples in this city outside Kerala.

There is Annadanam (free food distribution) everyday throughout the season. Many people from the neighbourhoods come for this. Couple of hundreds of people from the nearby slum also participate in this and feel blessed by the Lord Ayyappa. I have seen many who come to participate in the Annadanam proudly flaunting rosaries with cross on them on their necks, suggesting that they are practicing Christians. Seeing them anybody can make out the large scale conversions happening in those slums. Yet, as individuals they don’t seem to feel any distance from native traditions like Sabarimala.
The devotees of this temple are not surprised to see a Muslim proudly wearing his skull cap, entering the temple premises, going directly to the office, collecting a key and going out. He is the watch man of the school which is managed by the temple. He visits the temple office everyday morning to collect the key of the school building and comes back in the evening to deposit it. He has been serving the school for over a decade.
One of the two watchmen of the temple is a Christian. The school also has few Christian staff. Nobody in the management of the school or of the temple, or any devotee sees anything special in this. The previous watchman of the temple also was a Christian who expired couple of years back. Hindus never discriminate such people based on their beliefs. They don’t even care about such things. Sarva Dharmma Sama Bhavam comes naturally to us and it is part of our Dharmma and practice. It is neither a policy nor a tactic for us.

Manjama (name changed) is a lady in her mid fifties who is employed as a temporary helper during the pilgrimage season. Basically she is there to clean the premises and vessels. She is sincere and appears to enjoy her work as she takes this work as her seva to Lord and his devotees. Occasionally she gets small amounts too as dakshina from the devotees. Everyday she takes with great devotion the prasadam offered to Lord Ayyappa as part of her lunch.

Now comes the interesting part of this incident which opened my eyes to some hard realities. One day when I met her during the Annadanam time, she happily pointed to another woman in her thirties sitting in one corner and said in Tamil. “This is my daughter and the two kids next to her are my grand children”. I am not very fluent in Tamil. But I can understand a little bit. I understood what she said. Then to a question from my friend who can speak in Tamil fluently, whether they had food, what she said shocked me. Manjamma said, “No, she is a Christian”. We said “that’s ok and there are many from the slum who take food here”. Then she started to explain the reason which I didn’t understand quite well. It triggered many questions in my mind. I could not ask because of my language barrier. But my friend who also was in the same state of mind decided to get to the root of this. After waiting there for about 30 minutes, at around 2 ‘o clock she along with her daughter and grand children left. They must have been hungry and apparently even the kids didn’t have food. They had come to the temple premises to go home along with Manjamma.

The next day, my friend got a chance to talk to the lady. She said, her daughter was married off to a Christian. (I believe theirs is a cast like Nadar community in which many members have already accepted the church as their religion) You can see many fence sitters among such communities who under the influence of their close ones, keep Christian symbols also in their pooja rooms. I thought, may be this guy’s family was one such crypto Christian. Manjamma said, before the marriage in fact the boy’s family had promised not to force the girl to convert or impose their religion on her. What happened after a period was just the opposite. The husband’s family forced this girl to convert. When she got two kids, they were also converted to Christianity. Now her husband’s family has given strict instructions to her not to visit temples or eat anything like prasadam given from temples or poojas. That is why she didn’t accept the food though she and her kids were hungry. Manjamma said, in fact her daughter wanted to take prasadam, but she was scared of the consequences if the kids reported it to her in-laws. This is a typical dilemma the followers of Abrahamic cults go through. Once trapped, they are forced to live a life betraying their consciences.

This shows the extent to which the viruses of predator religions have infected Hindu society. And how arrogant and hollow these imported religions are. They grow just on cheating, falsehood, threats and exploitation. The indoctrinated among them are ready to sell their consciences for the sake of their religion. They know very well that, if they give their followers the freedom to think and choose, not many are going to stay back inside the pale. These dry and monotonous religions don’t have anything to offer to humanity who are attracted to the natural organic cultures like Hinduism. I used to wonder why Gandhiji had described religious conversion as one of the worst kind of violence. Now I realize fully the rift, tension and mental pain such religious predators sow in families. How their conversion business rip families apart and break communities.

It is interesting to see now the hue and cry raised by the self styled secularists like Congress, Communists and caste parties like BSP and SP. They are up against the ‘forced’ conversions and conversions using allurement by Hindus ! It was the same ‘seculars’ who were vehemently opposing the bills introduced in the Parliament to ban ‘forced and induced conversions’ ! That time the religious conversion was an one-way traffic ! These hypocrites didn’t imagine even in their dreams that one day Hindus will wake up and turn the table against them. How many of us remember news paper reports about the vehement opposition staged against the proposed bills recommending a ban on forced conversions ? The protesters were the seculars whom we Hindus blindly voted and elected. Congress, Communists and all other self styled seculars were one in supporting the unquestioned conversion of Hindus into other folds.

This issue of conversion has to be tackled psychologically. As we know, almost 100% of the minorities in India are converted Hindus. Naturally they can not be happy and satisfied away from their ancestral home. They are staying back just for the sake of the fake ‘social security’ they imagine to enjoy currently. All these years it was the political patronage and money power which helped these foreign religious camps to run their show. But now on with a decisive political power for Hindus at, non Hindus will start coming closer to Hindu society. We need to hold our grounds and our numbers till this reverse flow becomes full fledged.

BJP leaders should be cautious and shoul focus on good governance. They should stay away from issues which can be exploited by anti Hindu forces to create fear psychosis among minorities. Once social justice and economic progress sets in, people will not stay under the clutches of religious bigots. That is what is seen now in developed countries like US and Europe. Now Christianity’s main stay is Latin American and Asian countries. It is an old trick of Communists to create street riots near the polling booths where they face a certain defeat. Enemies of Hindu society is desperately looking for opportunities to create havoc to defeat Hindu upsurge. They know that such a situation will atleast temporarily stop the home coming of our converted brothers. So we need to be very careful and alert in next one or two decades. It is the duty of the common people, not political leaders to address the issues like conversion. Only common people can handle this menace effectively. Social organizations should empower Hindu society to embrace those who come back. We should be in a position to offer them knowledge and a dignified life. We need more social leaders, religious thinkers and acharyas to guide people in the practice of Dharmic life.

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