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Archive for June, 2009

WHY JESUS IS MY HERO & WOULD HAVE BEEN, EVEN IF I HAD NOT BEEN A CHRISTIAN?


LEAVING ASIDE ALL THE BELIEF IN THE DIVINITY OF JESUS, ASSUMING THAT I WAS NOT A CHRISTIAN, HAD I READ THE BIBLE. I AM INDEED SURE THAT JESUS WOULD STILL HAVE BEEN MY HERO.

THE REASONS FOR MY CONCLUSIONS ARE BASED ON MERE LOGIC & NOTHING MORE.

JESUS HAD A STATED AGENDA. A stated agenda is the agenda that which is declared by the individual as the path that he is going to follow. It is a SELF DECLARATION. A declaration of the path, no matter what the hurdles are. Jesus declared that HE WAS THE SON OF GOD and the MESSIAH, which according to the Jewish tradition was to happen. The CHRIST (the Anointed ONE) had to be born. His foster father was from Nazareth and therefore Jesus was thought to be from the region of Galilee, and the Jewish holy books do not predict the advent of the Messiah from that region. He was born into the family headed by a carpenter. Consequently, NO FAMILY SUPPORT OR HELP. It is from this background that JESUS came.

His STATED AGENDA was that He had come down to do the will of the FATHER. That “will” was not DECLARED and consequently none could defy Jesus’ stated purpose. There had been many who claimed to be the Christ before and most of their names have fallen by the wayside in history. But why did he succeed? Many were crucified on the cross for both Blasphemy and Treason, yet they did not leave anything that lasted beyond a few years. But Jesus’ name and His teachings have lasted and is relevant even today. BUT WHY?

JESUS STATED HIS AGENDA AND STUCK TO IT, TILL THE VERY END.

Jesus took on the two most powerful INSTITUTIONS of his time. The ROMAN EMPIRE and THE JEWISH RELIGION. The persons who represented their interest were PONTIUS PILATE and JOSEPH CAIAPHAS respectively. The Governor Pilate had the power to destroy the body and the High Priest Caiaphas could declare that Jesus’ teachings or his life was not in conformity with the Jewish religious texts and therefore could bring accusations of blasphemy and thereby have him executed. So Jesus as a single individual had to withstand the might of the Roman Empire and the Religious leaders of his own times.

It is easy to fight battles get hold of a small kingdom consolidate one’s power and establish one’s rule and then slowly grow, but Jesus had nothing, absolutely nothing. HE HAD SPIRITUAL POWER. The power that was be tested to the very last! He said to his disciples, ” DO U THINK THAT IF I ASKED MY FATHER, HE WOULDN’T SEND ME A LEGION OF ANGELS?” and yet he wouldn’t ask. He believed that he had come to TAKE AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD and therefore HAD TO SACRIFICE HIS SELF AND NOT THWART HIS FATHER’S WILL.

From an outsider’s point of view, it might have looked like a tall claim. Yes it was tall, but when he was taken to Pilate he defied him by saying IF THE POWER WERE NOT TO HAVE BEEN GIVEN FROM ABOVE, U CANNOT HAVE THE POWER THAT U CLAIM U HAVE! That was truly glorifying the FATHER, that except the power be given by the Father u, Pilate, have no power over me. Needs SPIRITUAL COURAGE to say that to the man who had the power. Pilate understands that and realizes the limitations of his TEMPORAL power and washes his hands off the whole issue. But Caiaphas and his religious group cannot. JESUS was making them irrelevant with his teachings, sermons and thru his disciples. They bring in the religious laws and interpret them according to their understanding or convenience. They threaten, they insult, they disparage Him, but JESUS stands SUPREME AND ALONE, despite all the physical limitations! His stated agenda is intact. Will of the father is being done.

Jesus says that he had the power to summon a legion of angels. Whether it was a bluff or not depends on the call. In a game of poker if one is holding a royal flush and the other is holding a Straight flush in the same suit, and if the guy holding a royal flush DECLARES that he has a Royal flush and the other guy has no Ace or King to the suit and the community cards has the Queen , Jack and Ten of the suit declared by the Royal Flush holder on the board and if the other guy has the 9 and 8 of the same suit as pocket cards: HE HAS AN OPTION TO CALL, RAISE or FOLD. Assuming that the Royal flush claimant was Jesus in the flesh, and the  Straight flush holder was Joseph Caiaphas, Caiaphas wanted JESUS to CALL and NOT TO RAISE. Jesus RAISED THE SPIRITUAL BAR. He threw away the Mosaic laws of retribution and brought in COMPASSION and SACRIFICE.

Caiaphas did not have the money to match JESUS’ bid. A spiritual bid, way beyond Caiaphas’ means. Caiphas pulled out his revolver and shot HIM dead.

Whom do i support? The killer who did not WANT TO play the game, HE DID NOT HAVE THE ACE AND KING HIMSELF BUT WAS NOT SURE IF JESUS HELD IT AT ALL!

The killer  was afraid of losing MONEY( his position and power as the High Priest)! CAIPHAS BLINKED! Read the following verses from Gospel of John Ch.18:-

19: The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.
20: Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.
21: Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.
22: And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?
23: Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?
24: Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.

THE PERSON WHO HELD HIS OWN AMONGST ALL ODDS AND SACRIFICED AND SET AN EXAMPLE THAT ALL EXISTING POWERS WANT STATUS QUO TO CONTINUE, BUT YOU CAN BRING A CHANGE, IF U STICK TO THE FORMULA, IF YOUR FORMULA IS RIGHT!

HOW CAN I BE WITHOUT FOLLOWING A MAN WHO STOOD HIS GROUND ON HIS CONVICTIONS!(His convictions have become the creed of many fathers of Nations including Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and many others who have drawn inspiration therefrom in their little battles of life with the oppressive authorities!)

(***this blog is not for Christians, but a line of argument for the skeptically  logical)

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EVE & THE SERPENT!


The story of Eve eating the Forbidden Fruit ( whether apple or not, i don’t know), is  a secular story even though, i believe that the origin is from the book of GENESIS from the Bible.

When Eve opened the communications channel with Serpent, Adam was not around.

Secondly, the Serpent just said “……….hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” and my multi-great ancestress says, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”

With this she gave away the precise location of the tree of prohibition and the terrible consequences of  eating the fruit!

The serpent defies the warnings of God and says , “Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

Eve is having a good time , thinking that she’s educating herself for a better life, where she could be more knowledgeable and BE LIKE GOD!!”

Now this is where she missed the point. MERE KNOWLEDGE DOES NOT EMPOWER A PERSON, THERE ARE OTHER THINGS THAT ARE ESSENTIAL TO BECOME A GOD. THE GOD WAS A CREATOR, BUT WHAT SHE ENDED UP INVENTING WAS SKIRTS AND APRONS TO HIDE HIS & HER NAKEDNESS.

KNOWLEDGE SHOULD BE ACQUIRED, BUT WITHIN MANAGEABLE LIMITS.

UNMANAGEABLE KNOWLEDGE REVEALS OUR OWN NAKEDNESS, AND INSTEAD OF DOING SOMETHING FRUITFUL WE GET BUSY HIDING OUR OWN NAKEDNESS THRU FIG LEAVES AND HIDING!!!


OF BULLS & OXEN!


In any organization, there are Bulls and there are Oxen. The functions of the Bulls are very different from those of the Oxen. But before going to the functions of the bulls and oxen, let us look into the structural differences between the two and how the structural differences define the nature of the functions to a very large extent.

BULLS ARE BULLS, BUT OXEN COULD HAVE BEEN BULLS.

Well, that is the first difference. It may look so simple, yet it is not. The farmer knows better. The simple might say that had the oxen not been castrated, they would have also matured into bulls. Yes, physiologically they are right, but the farmer factors in many other considerations which go into the making of the bulls and oxen.

The farmer looks into the pedigree of the bull calf. It has to have been SIRED by a bull that has withstood the onslaught of the cows, and sired calves that are strong if a bull calf and great milch cow if a cow calf and useful for the farmer in his business. So the farmer’s assessment is final, because his business priorities are set by him and they are the rules.

Further in any farm, just like in an Organization, there are more requirements for oxen than bulls.

THE COWS NEED BULLS, BUT THE FARMER NEEDS OXEN.

It may sound strange that the farmer needs oxen more than bulls! But the Truth is strange, as always. If one goes to the veterinary college one could see the STRAWS of eminent bulls. These are cold storaged(!) semen of eminent bulls which have sired the best cows and bulls. Remove the semen and store it for reproduction instead of FEEDING BULLS AND PUTTING UP WITH THEIR TANTRUMS! The cows just wanna get pregnant, they do not insist on the process. They just want to get rid of their ovulation failing which they call out to their farmers incessantly.

WHY AN ORGANIZATION NEEDS MORE OXEN THAN BULLS?

Bulls are a threat to the Management , as the Management itself is DISCHARGING THE PLEASANT FUNCTIONS OF THE BULLS. So who is to do the tasks and chores? Obviously the oxen. The oxen are docile, trained to the yoke, do not run away when whipped, feel guilty when whipped and conform to the expectations of the farmer, and never ever chases COWS.

This behaviour of the OXEN not only suits the priorities of the farmer, but also extracts more income to sustain the lifestyle of the farmer (the management bulls!). But the bull stamps its signature for the future generations!! In an organization, anyone who has the authority to affix his signature and if that signature has authority, then it is the signature of the BULL.

THE ONLY ERROR THAT HAPPENED IN THE LIFE OF AN OX WAS THAT, HE DID NOT RUN AWAY WHEN HE WAS TAKEN FOR CASTRATION!

THE BULL TOLD THE OX, I TOOK TO MY HEELS (HOOVES?) WHEN I FIRST ESPIED A NUTCRACKER & HERE I AM A BULL!!

I CAN BULLSHIT CAN U? THE OX WAS STUNNED.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION!


I happened to watch a TV channel that goes by the name, PEACE, where one Ahmed Deedat was comparing Christianity with Islam. He was contrasting more than comparing.

The fundamental issue is whether one is interested in the comparing / contrast of two different Religions because one is interested in proving the superiority of the one over the other to keep the flock together or to clearly demarcate the parameters and study different religions to make a PERSONAL CHOICE. The second is not possible if one has already made a CHOICE of Religion, as the reasons adduced for supporting a particular religion would outweigh the reasons for supporting the other.

I would have let it pass without a blog, had Deedat not placed absolute reliance on The Koran for the understanding of Jesus.

Firstly he disputes on the grounds, that there are 24000, documents that reflect the life of Jesus and not two documents agree on facts about the life Jesus. The Bible therefore ,according to him, is a document which has many inaccuracies and therefore not entirely reliable on the teachings of Jesus. If one were to accept that line of argument, then the Koran which came into existence -as regards the life of Jesus- should be construed as 24, 001 st document and since the other 24,000 versions pre-date the Koran , there would be no logic in accepting the averments made in respect of Jesus in Koran.

He goes on to cite Gospel of John ch.3, v.16 and takes objection  to the words   ‘…that He gave His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON….’, and says that God cannot BEGET, as the act of begetting is ,’a lower animal function of sex.’ Therefore,  it is tantamount to blasphemy of God.

We as humans are unable to visualize the BEGETTING process except through SEX. The problem is with us. God created the sex organs so that man could reproduce, and if it were only posited with the reproductive purpose, man may not REPLENISH AND FILL THE WORLD. Therefore, IMHO, God had put PLEASURE and the concomitant EMOTIONS, THOUGHTS, IDEAS around sexual functions and gave man a PLEASURABLE REPRODUCTIVE PROCESS. To call that a lower animal function would be a misnomer.

Today, science has improved to such an extent that without a man and woman mating, children could be made. Which means, without the sexual functions put to use, a zygote could be formed and also brought it to maturity.  If this is possible, with MAN, i am sure God could have caused Mary, mother of Jesus, to conceive without the sexual functions so essential for reproduction.

More fundamental is the issue that man and man’s understanding is limited to the FIVE senses and the extensions created thereto thru science. Which means except for SIGHT, SMELL, TOUCH, TASTE and HEARING man is not endowed with any other sense. If we have invented Geiger counter, the tremors which cannot be felt thru the sense of TOUCH, could be felt by the Geiger Counter and therefore an extension of the sense of TOUCH. If we have invented a machine to measure ULTRASOUNDS, it is a machine as an extension to our sense of HEARING; likewise an X-RAY machine with the help of a film enhances our sense of SIGHT, without cutting open a human body. So, we are limited and severely limited to the 5 senses and the extensions invented by us. When such is the case, to believe that IMMACULATE CONCEPTION is possible only through sexual function seems a very narrow view.

But if, one does not believe, that GOD cannot have a Son or that God cannot be born as a Man limited in SPACE & TIME, then there is a fundamental irreconcilable difference and no common meeting ground.

Probably, the message was given by Mr.Ahmed Deedat  for the followers of Islam and was not meant for me. I just strayed into his lecture and felt that he was a shepherd to the flock to which i not only do not belong, but am fundamentally different from.

The Rope of Life.


While climbing the Rope of Life, i stretched my hand to clutch the next higher grasp. A Hand held my wrist, before i could grasp the rope, and pulled me up.

As i was used to my notions of “climbing”, and as i doubted the intentions of the Hand, i held on to the rope with a firmer grip with the other hand, refusing to let go the rope of SAFETY.

Thereupon i heard a Voice that said, “If you don’t let go of your SECURITY of the Rope and your NOTIONS of how to climb, I cannot lift you straight up, on the ROPE OF LIFE and put you ahead. Therefore TRUST and let go of the other hand. This help, one does not get often. Like as the stirring of the pool near the Sheep Gate at Bethesda, you have to hurry up and give up your clinging. I can tell you this, as I helped a man, near the same pool, who spent 38 years following the procedures (even before my genesis in flesh) with no healing! The place where I will take you, may not be reached by your own efforts and diligence. So TRUST ME and let go of your hand!”

The Compassion of the Voice and the Power of the Words squashed my logic and doubts. The TRUST was not mine, it was the Compassion of the Voice and the POWER of the words, and i slackened my grip and Lo and behold! in the twinkling of an eye, me and the rope were parted and i was darted up and placed up way beyond my knowledge or recognition. My clothes were changed and i was with others far superior to my earlier imagination.

I am still climbing the rope but with a safety belt to my hip and gloves to my hands, with lots of knots at regular intervals on the rope.

One moment of TRUST, and subjecting my DOUBTS to the VOICE and THE WORD has bestowed the Peace ineffable!!

KOEL’S NIGHT CALL!!


Last night, the one that dusks on Fathers once a year- being the Fathers’ Day, a strange thing happened. Whether by coincidence or by cosmic harmony i don’t know.

It was in Bangalore and at about 8 in the evening, a koel started its plaintive call. A call that was strange to my ears not only because of the timbre of the call but also the timing of the call. The koel’s call was a DISTRESS CALL. It was not the joyous one that is heard during the monsoon days.

Reclining on my bed, shut out all music and sounds waiting for the call. A koel calling so late was new to me and my mind sallied to grasp the possible reasons. The LOOSE SALLY OF MY MIND  led to interesting areas. It was FATHERS’ DAY night and what does the koel have to  do with PARENTING? The koel is the bird that fathers but does not PARENT. I had written a blog yesterday, quite trenchant about initiating new practices in the church with reference to FATHERS’ DAY. But a voice similar (to the link below) but high in pitch and reverberating rent the late evening air in the neighbourhood.

http://home.tiscali.nl/jvanderw/malaysia02/sounds/asiankoel.mp3

How appropriate i thought, that it was the Cuckoo’s (another name for koel) day. The koel, as we all know, lays its eggs in the nest of other birds and leaves the parenting to the nest builders. That the smart crow ends up parenting the Koel/cuckoo till the cuckoo starts singing, speaks a lot about the daftness of the crow. But life has its harmonizations after all smartness has to be checked by the Creator!

Was the koel’s distress call , i wondered, because his female had not come to roost for the night?

Was it because, the male koel was anxious that the female had been in some difficulty and calling for locating it?

Was it the call of cuckoldry, that the male was calling and announcing that his mate had found another koel to father her eggs?

Maybe like the Raven of Edgar Allan Poe, the Koel was saying, “NEVERMORE WILL SHE BE MY MATE. SHE’S GONE ASTRAY!”

I do not know, but it is strange that the Koel called plaintively and sonorously on the night of the FATHERS’ DAY!


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