I always thought that ‘Gandhian principles’ was the most successful form of plagiarism I had ever seen. I remember once in school, when I had an argument with another girl about the origin of the so-called Gandhian principles, I was told that the Bible must have copied Gandhi’s ideas. The Bible, whether you believe its contents or not, has been available and studied for centuries before Gandhi made his appearance on the planet. Yet, it was hard for this girl to accept that ‘turning the other cheek’ had not originated in India. Over the years, I have heard many claims about Christ’s identity and whereabouts. In that course of time I have also heard Indians claim virtually everything as having originated in India. Let’s not get carried away. India is a great country and there are many things that did originate here, but not everything. With the republishing of an obscure book by Ganesh Damodar Savarkar (brother of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar – one of the founders of the RSS), claims of Christ having been Indian have been re-made. The book, titled ‘Christ Parichay’, was first released in 1946 and claims that Christ was Tamil, a yogi and survived crucifixion after which he spent 3 years worshiping Shiva. After this, he supposedly attained samadhi.
I get it. Christ is a pretty enigmatic and charismatic figure. I don’t blame the RSS for wanting to claim him as one of their own. My questions is merely this: Now that you have claimed Christ, can you live up to his expectations? Just to enlighten you, here are some of the things Christ did. I hope you will follow these examples now:
When Christ came across a woman who was going to be stoned to death by a mob for being a adulteress, Christ stopped the crowd and said, “Let him without sin cast the first stone.”
When Jesus entered the temple and saw that people were buying and selling, turning religion into a business, he overturned the money changers carts and those of the people who were selling animals there.
His story about the Good Samaritan showed that he believed goodness doesn’t belong to a certain sect or certain group of people. The Samaritans were despised by the Jews but Jesus included them in his teachings.
Jesus instructed people to not be limited in compassion and helpfulness. He told the people to love their neighbors. When someone asked him who he should consider his neighbor, Jesus’ parable stated that everyone was everyone’s neighbor.
Christ did not display a big ego. He rode in on a donkey to Jerusalem, he washed his disciples feet and instructed them to do the same for others. He exemplified a life lived to help others, not harm them.
Jesus preached non-violence. He taught people to try and not make a bad situation worse. He said, “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.”
“This is in short the life history of Christ. To remind the Christian world that they have snatched away Christ’s Hinduness and to repay the debt of Christ to us that he gave by hurling the flag of Hinduism beyond India, I have done this work and I am satisfied with it. Let this literary worship of Christ or Keshao the Krishna reach his divine feet.”
It is laughable that the one doing the snatching is accusing the ‘Christian world’ of snatching away Christ’s Hinduness. My firm reply to those who claim that Christ was Hindu and that he should be worshiped as such is to say: Try and follow his teachings then.
If Christ is yours, let’s see it in your actions.