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Archive for March, 2010

WOMAN, BEHOLD THY SON!


The third word of Christ on the cross, is found in Gospel of John Chapter 19:26 & 27. The words uttered by Christ in the flesh as per the King James’ Version is

26: When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27: Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Since King James’ version was the first Authentic version, let me start with the words of Christ on the cross, with the Kings James’ version. The other important version I’d like to cite here is the New International Version. The same passage runs as follows:-

26When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” 27and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home

The first word on the cross was a prayer to God the Father asking Him to FORGIVE. The second was a PROMISE to one of the bandits who flanked Jesus. The third word on the cross are addressed to two persons: firstly, to His earthly mother and then to his beloved disciple, whom the scholars consider to be John.

The King James’ Version has the words Woman, behold thy son!, which had generated a heated debate between the scholars of the Bible as to how Jesus addressed his earthly mother as “WOMAN”. First, Jesus addresses his mother not as “Mother,” but as “woman,” translated appropriately as “dear woman” by the New International Version. We might sense a coldness in the term as used in our culture, but in Jesus’ culture, it was perfectly proper for a man to address a woman this way —  but still strange for a son to a mother. The reason for this more formal address is probably that Jesus intends his words to be understood as a formal testamentary disposition under Jewish family law.

However a similar situation was cited by Jesus at Matthew chapter 22 which i’d like to read out for greater clarity:-

41While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42“What do you think about the Christd? Whose son is he?”

“The son of David,” they replied.

43He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says,

44“‘The Lord said to my Lord:

“Sit at my right hand

until I put your enemies

under your feet.”’e

45If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?”

The same question is reported in all the synoptic gospels viz. Matthew, Mark and Luke. The point that is not to be lost sight of, is that JESUS was not merely the MESSIAH who was to come to save Israel, the chosen race, but GOD himself who had been with the Father and as Jesus Himself says in the Gospel according to John 8:58:-

Before Abraham was, I am.

The Jews belonging to the generation of Jesus, were under the hope and belief that the MESSIAH would come and save them from the political yoke of the Roman empire. They did not understand JESUS as HE is understood by us. This is borne out by the fact that Salome, the mother of John and James requests Jesus to allot her sons seats to His right and left. Even his own disciples were not able to understand the purpose, as they were too proximate to the happenings and had fixed notions of the MESSIAH.

Therefore Jesus in the flesh calling HIS mother as “WOMAN” need not be viewed as a disrespectful cold statement of a son. It was the ALMIGHTY Jesus who, on the verge of uniting with HIS father, addressed His earthly mother and suggested to her, that she consider John to be her earthly son in his place.

If we further read the other instance where Jesus in the flesh addressed his mother as “woman” it could be found at the wedding at Cana where the first miracle was performed by Jesus. The opening verses of the second chapter of Gospel according to John reads as follows (NIV):

1On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

4“Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied, “My time has not yet come.”

King James’ Version reads as follows:-

1: And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
2: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
3: And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
4: Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

But through the Bible, in the King James’ Version one could find Jesus addressing his mother as WOMAN only in these two instances and I believe that John’s narrative was first hand and was faithfully reported.

The point that should be noted is that Jesus came in the human form to redeem man from the original sin. The mission was commissioned by God the Father, and His only begotten Son was sent as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Yet while doing the WILL OF THE FATHER, Jesus in the flesh, at the time of His departure spared a thought for His earthly mother and her future and entrusted the duty, owed by Him as the first born son, to John, His beloved disciple.

It is that compassion and the concern that Jesus showed even while discharging an important DUTY imposed by the FATHER, which brings out His concern for human beings. He did not get engrossed in His undeserved pain, suffering and insults but saw to it that His earthly mother was provided for and her future secured in His absence in the flesh.

The second part of the third word on the cross is equally important, it was addressed to John: Behold thy mother! As we all know John outlived all the other disciples and by hindsight we as human beings now know that, Jesus, being God, entrusted His duty in the flesh as the first born, to a man who would firstly outlive His earthly mother and secondly who would carry out the command faithfully. The appropriateness of the command to John is accentuated by the fact that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was the sister of John’s mother Salome.

Further, John was called Jesus’ BELOVED disciple and the only disciple who was in the vicinity when Jesus Christ was crucified. The courage shown by the Disciple John, by being present at the scene of crucifixion,  was amply rewarded by Jesus by entrusting one of the most important duties owed by Christ to His earthly mother.

The third word on the cross, by Jesus brings out that man cannot ignore his filial duties merely because he is busy performing a very important function in the society. However important his other duties might be, man has to shoulder his responsibilities till the very end without ignoring them. The same Jesus who said at Matt 12:50

For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

when it came to the cross, took up His filial duties and entrusted those duties to the disciple who had the courage and capability to perform them.

Let the 3rd word on the cross be a reminder to each one of us, that however important our work might be, let us not fail in performing our duties towards our earthly parents which is one of the commandments given by God thru Moses: HONOUR thy father and they mother (Exodus 20:12). Even the ALMIGHTY CHRIST JESUS PERFORMED IT ON THE CROSS.

WHY I OPPOSE THE WOMEN’S RESERVATION BILL?


In a Democracy, as i understand it, there should be a forum for deliberation where people’s representatives can congregate and put forward their proposals and convince the other members of their point of view. When such a non-violent procedure is adopted, firstly, we have a forum that would freely exchange “Ideas”; secondly based on the “AUTHORITY” & “RECOGNITION” that flow from that forum, LAWS could be put in place.

Based on this in India , we have the Parliament, which is not merely the highest legislative organ but also the highest DELIBERATIVE ORGAN. But the PARLIAMENT is a creature of the CONSTITUTION of India, yet with CONSTITUENT powers to amend any provision of the Constitution. The only check that is imposable on this CONSTITUENT POWER of the PARLIAMENT is the doctrine of “BASIC STRUCTURE” formulated in the Kesvananda Bharti Case and later upheld in THE MINERVA MILLS’ CASE.

This “reservation” to start with, offends the BASIC STRUCTURE of the CONSTITUTION. UNIVERSAL ADULT SUFFRAGE also includes that any “INDIVIDUAL”, who is not otherwise disqualified under the provisions of law, could stand as a candidate in the fray for election as an MP/MLA, irrespective of gender or educational qualification. By reserving a seat on grounds of GENDER, the rights of a person who does not belong to that particular gender stands DISCRIMINATED against.

Do we remember Shanthi Soundarrajan from Pudukkottai, the ASIAD silver medalist in 800mts at Doha, was later declared to be not falling within the description of “woman”! So 33% of persons who claim to be women, are firstly to go thru a gender test to rule out unfair practices in gender claims!!

Further, let us assume that a woman has been representing a constituency for 2 consecutive terms, when the reservation was not in force. But when that constituency is “reserved”, she does not have the handicap of either having to give up or migrate to another unreserved constituency, merely on the grounds that she is a woman. Whereas, if the same were to have been a MAN, then he has to stand out and let a woman  compete. This is a further case of UNFAIRNESS born out of gender discrimination.

Because of the DEPRIVATION of the right to CONTEST and the UNFAIRNESS generated because of the bill, this bill is DISCRIMINATORY on reasons of GENDER only.

Let us also consider the “fall out” of this bill from the point of view of an INDIVIDUAL versus an INSTITUTION. The major political parties like the Congress, Communist parties and BJP have an axe to grind. These political parties are not likely to suffer because of the “rotation” in favour of a woman once in 3 terms. These political parties need to just change the candidate and put a person of the appropriate gender to contest, whereas when an INDIVIDUAL (male) opts to put up a woman candidate after his 2nd term, he cannot  “TRANSFER” the goodwill and the “benefits of efforts” put by him during his previous terms. This “rotational method” based on gender seems to be a BACK ROOM entry by the established political parties to reduce periodically the importance of an INDIVIDUAL. This would ensure that the BASE  has no relevance and the TOP would decide!!After all everyone knows that in a country (where the actual voters are predominantly illiterates), an ELECTION SYMBOL is more important for familiarity and continuity of the goodwill !!

The CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY, consisting of the erudite, socially sensitive veterans and persons who fought off the slavery of the British had applied themselves for close to 2 years incessantly, to give us this MOTHER DOCUMENT called the CONSTITUTION of India, after considering, deliberating and cogitating on every aspect of the rights, justice, fairness & the variegated cultures of India. Compare the CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY members with the present members of the PARLIAMENT. Needless to say, the present members neither have the educational background, nor the experience which the constituent members had. Yet in the RAJYA SABHA within 4 hours of placing the BILL, the HONOURABLE MEMBERS passed it 185 to1!!! Is the RAJYA SABHA not a deliberative organ too? Could they have done justice to a piece of legislation which alters the very fabric of the political structure, by paaing it within 4 hours of  tabling? I guess not.

Since this bill, “WOMEN’S RESERVATION BILL” deprives the RIGHTS of a man, alters the status of an INDIVIDUAL vis-a-vis ESTABLISHED POLITICAL PARTIES ,and has not been thoroughly deliberated upon, i for one cannot be in agreement with the passage of this bill.

I fervently hope that there would be enough members in the LOK SABHA who would lay these issues for deliberation and let the treasury benches and their new found cohorts explain logically how my rights as an INDIAN are not taken away.

LONG LIVE INDIA. LONG LIVE THAMIZH (the software that runs me).

JESUS & the Canaanite woman.


One of the passages of the Bible which had troubled me a lot during early adult years, was the passage found in Matthew chapter 15 verse 26. We as Christians are fed with a lot of  nice epithets like ‘loving’, ‘compassionate’, ‘non-judgmental’, ‘forgiving’  JESUS and suddenly the verse, “It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs”  hits an Indian Christian. Was Jesus truly sent for the lost sheep of Israel and not for the salvation of “MANKIND” as suggested by the disciples  after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus? I reproduce the passage for better appreciation of the episode:-

21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. 27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Years of scrutiny has led me to the conclusion that THIS IS THE ONLY MIRACLE OF JESUS (WHILE IN FLESH) THAT TOOK PLACE IN WHICH, HIS WILL DID NOT COINCIDE WITH THE RELIEF SOUGHT AND OBTAINED. IF ONE ADVERTS TO THE MIRACLE, WHERE THE WOMAN WITH BLEEDING for 18 YEARS  GOT CURED, JESUS KNEW OF THE PASSAGE OF POWER THROUGH HIM. HE WAS UNAWARE TILL THEN that the woman touched the hem of his garment with the faith and intention to get cured.THEREFORE, THAT EPISODE SHOULD BE INTERPRETED AS THE ONE IN WHICH JESUS WAS NEUTRAL, BUT IN THE EPISODE OF THE CANAANITE WOMAN, HE WAS NOT MERELY RELUCTANT, HE WAS DOWNRIGHT AGAINST “WILLING” IN FAVOUR OF THE WOMAN’S REQUEST.

The beauty of this passage is that Jesus relents, as He knew that it is/was/will be HIS FATHER’S WILL, to be compassionate to the afflicted and grant relief, when fervently asked for,  even by the undeserving. Jesus says: O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.

Jesus does not tell the leper whom he cured “be it unto thee even as thou wilt”, instead Jesus said,”I will; be thou clean!”( Mark 1:41)”. The difference is apparent and clear, in the case of the leper, he had lost his “faith” and needed the help of Jesus to restore that by “willing” for him, whereas in this episode, the Canaanite woman had a “faith” that amazed even Jesus. There is another miracle of Jesus in the episode of the Centurion’s servant  where Jesus was amazed, as excerpted below:-

Luke 7:1-10

Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.2 And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. 3 And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. 4 And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: 5 For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. 6 Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: 7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. 8 For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 10 And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.

In the Centurion’s case Jesus was on His way to the Centurion’s house and he had obtained a good report from the elders of the Jewish synagogue, whereas, this Canaanite woman was a CANAANITE and starts off with an inherent disadvantage and is almost like Naaman, the Syrian, coming to Elisha (II Kings 5th chapter)  for cure of his leprosy. Yet her FAITH breaks the barrier of the Jewish mind that a Canaanite was a “dog”, and Jesus by this miracle breaks the barrier set by the Jews that the NON-JEWS (gentiles) were not to be a part of the SALVATION, to be  inducted by the MESSIAH.

IT IS THROUGH THIS MIRACLE THAT JESUS PROVES THAT,  FAITH MOVES MOUNTAINS and FAITH was beyond THE NORMAL PRINCIPLES OF SALVATION .

FAITH IS CAPABLE OF ALTERING THE VERY PRINCIPLES, THAT STOOD AS BARRIERS TO SALVATION.

There were instances where Jesus willed the cure of the afflicted (the leper who asked Jesus to will his cure), there were instances where Jesus agreed  with the request of the afflicted (water to wine, the blind man of Bartimaeus), there were instances where Jesus was moved with compassion (Widow of Nain’s dead son, the man with a legion of demons), there were instances where Jesus was moved by the request made by someone on behalf of  the afflicted (dead Lazarus, man with palsy sent thru opening the roof), there is at least one instance where Jesus was unaware till the cure was obtained by faith ( the woman with issue for 18 years) BUT this story of the CANAANITE woman is the only instance that this blogger knows of, where JESUS  accedes reluctantly to the woman’s request by saying:”be it unto thee even as thou wilt.”

THIS IS THE PASSAGE THAT SHOULD EMBOLDEN A NON-JEW (the so called “gentiles”) TO BELIEVE THAT FAITH IN JESUS IS SUFFICIENT, EVEN IF ALL THE OLD TESTAMENT PRINCIPLES WERE RANGED AGAINST GENTILES. EVEN JESUS HAD TO RELENT WHEN HE SAW THE FAITH OF THE UNDESERVING GENTILE CANAANITE WOMAN.

PAUL WAS RIGHT AFTER ALL!!

Climate change and Al Gore.


I am an avid follower of the tweets of  Al Gore, the former Vice President of the USA. I used to wonder as to how Al Gore had the foresight to find a space for himself in Climate Change issues. Rather did the ISSUE need a politician? Now i am convinced that Al Gore is not only right, but also the RIGHT person. The following is the contents of the link posted as a tweet in one of Al Gore’s tweets:-

Pledge to call your Senators

Will you pledge to call your Senators this week and join tens of thousands asking the Senate to support a strong clean energy and climate bill that will create more jobs and less pollution?

On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported:

“Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has instructed Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to produce a revamped climate bill as soon as possible, according to sources, a task Kerry intends to accomplish within two weeks.”

But lobbyists from Big Oil and Coal are already lining up to do whatever they can to gut critical provisions.

That’s why Repower America is launching its biggest calling campaign ever with an ambitious goal of 20,000 calls from supporters like you.

Take the pledge by signing the form on the right and on Tuesday, we’ll send you talking points and calling information that will connect you with your Senators.

This blogger had written https://movid.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/individual-institutions/ showing how the INDIVIDUAL’S liberties are curtailed gradually by the Institutions. The oil and coal companies which started the process of industrialization have become functus officio and are no longer required, their functions which aided the progress of Human beings is drawing to a close. But they wouldn’t understand. The OPECs, COAL companies, oil refining companies etc. are all rattled by the prospect that they may not merely lose business, but might become extinct. They know that the INEVITABLE has to happen, but are attempting to delay the INEVITABLE. They are showing the anxiety shown by the horse traders just after the advent of automobile. These INSTITUTIONS have all built up their muscle and network over a period of time, and their arms are long and their pockets deep. It is not easy to fight these polluting energy producers FROM  the individual level.

WE NEED AN INSTITUTION. But the INSTITUTION to counter the polluting energy producing INSTITUTIONS is yet to be born. The face is AL GORE. He is the right person as he could withstand the pressure of these mafias and attempt to mobilize public support and get the right legislation in place.

Al Gore’s doomsday warnings are nothing but tools to get the fearful into the fold of the purveyors of ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION. That the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035, Florida would disappear under the rising seas, humanity would be extinct are all the catch phrases to huddle in the masses to create volume to the ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. One should read SUPERFREAKONOMICS by Steven & Stephen. Especially the chapter titled ” WHAT DO AL GORE AND MOUNT PINATUBO HAVE IN COMMON?”, where the authors discuss environmental issues and what steps are being taken by the scientific community to overcome the aspect of GLOBAL WARMING. I am more inclined to believe the authors of this book than the Al Gore types.

Yet we need an institution to counter another INSTITUTION. One INDIVIDUAL cannot fight an INSTITUTION. An INSTITUTION has permanance which an INDIVIDUAL cannot have. Therefore an IMPERSONAL INSTITUTION is more essential. To fill in this gap comes our Al Gore with his new religion. The solution to the phenomenon of global warming is being worked out by some of the best brains in the world. Yet for the geo-engineering to succeed one needs governmental funding and public support and this cannot come until a POLITICIAN like Gore popularizes the fear and drives the citizens to awareness and compliance to the new environmental laws.

AL GORE SEEMS TO BE THE NEW MESSIAH, GOADING THE SKEPTICS WITH A LOT FEAR, SHOWING A GLIMPSE OF THE HEAVEN TO THE FAITHFUL AND IN THE MEANWHILE BUILDING THE CHURCH FOR PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT.

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