Why Christmas should be celebrated as a Universal festival by people of all religions, like ‘Onam’ in Kerala, for Universal Integration.

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“Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel ! Born is the King of Israel !”

The Israel – Palestine War which is a source of concern for the whole world
presently, because of the massive bloodshed there, brings to my mind this
Carol that is rehearsed and sung every Christmas, in all the Churches around the World!

(A) Though born and raised as a Hindu, my connection with Christianity is very old – in fact, ever since I can remember, as my parents were staying right from the time that my mother was expecting me, just opposite a Roman Catholic Church.Therefore, from the time I gained my senses, the month of Christmas brought joy and brightness in the atmosphere, as much as Diwali to me. For every night in the month of December, every year, in which month, incidentally, my birthday also falls, on the 22nd instant, I had the pleasure of going to sleep, hearing the sweet carols to the sound of the piano and the guitar, besides other musical instruments, right upto the Christmas Day, that is, the Day of Birth of Jesus Christ, viz. 25th December!

Came the time to admit me to school, and I was enrolled in the Convent school attached to the same church, which enabled me to attend all the entertainment programs and films organised by the church, and seeing the beautiful tableaux set up in the Church, of the Sheep shed with Mother Mary holding the Divine infant Jesus in her arms, and Father Joseph looking lovingly upon the two, as also the morning star shining over all of them.

After school graduation,I went forMBBS studies to Christian Medical College, Vellore, in Tamil Nadu. The College, called CMC in short, is an American Protestant Mission College and Hospital(CMCH) set up specially for the service of Indian Women, many of whom used to die in delivery for want of lady doctors, and their hesitation in calling or going to male doctors, due to their traditional background,by the reputed missionary Dr. Ida S. Shudder!

It was a residential college, with many of the College staff staying in
the campus. There, Christmas time was even more fun. All the students from the Hostels, regardless of religion, used to wake up before Dawn, and go from door to door of the Staff Quarters, with candles, and singing carols, waking everyone up. This was followed by a delicious feast of cake and other sweets for breakfast, and a sumptuous lunch thereafter.
In the evenings, we attended the College Chapel, and listened to sermons.

Thus, the Christian religion has come to acquire a place of importance for me, next to Hinduism.

After returning home from the College on finishing studies, and having
had to change my residence after marriage however, I began to miss
the Christmas celebrations that I had become ‘addicted to’ through
my student years.

(B) I therefore wondered if there was any way in which the people of all the religions can be persuaded to view X’ Mas as a festival that holds relevance to the followers of all the religions in India, and in other parts of the World, which can be celebrated by all WITHOUT having to change one’s faith.

An excellent example and precedent for this is, the Harvest festival ‘ONAM’
of Kerala, observed in Honour of the Puranic King Mahabali, in the period between August and September, that is, the Sanskrit month Bhadrapad, which is celebrated with equal enthusiasm and gaiety by all Malyalees irrespective of their faith, though it is originally a Hindu festival.

On the personal level, Some Muslims in Gujarat and Maharashtra also join the Ganesh Chaturthi festival,and even install the Ganpati idol at home, as in Salman Khan’s house! However this individual worship of deities of other faiths is limited to very few households.

The Rationale and Justification for making Christmas or Natale – नाताल, (meaning ‘Birth’), too, a Pan- religious festival for Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, and Parsis, in the interest of UNIVERSAL INTEGRATION can be verified from the belowmentioned facts:-

(1) The Gospel according to St. Matthew: Chapter 2: of the Holy Bible:
“When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the King, behold, there came three wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying,
Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east,and are come to worship him.
When they had met the King, ( who asked them to find and inform him about the whereabouts of the new born, as he wanted to worship him, though really, he wished to slay it), they departed; and Lo, the star which they saw in the East,went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child’ Immanuel’, as Jesus was named at birth, with Mary, his other, and fell down and worshipped him: and they presented unto him gifts; gold,frank- incense,and myrrh.
And being warned by God in a dream that they should not return to Herod
( who wanted to kill the child Jesus), they departed into their own country another way.”
It is said that the three wise men were the priest kings of the Magi (said to be Sun Worshippers, versed in magic and knowledge of the stars), of whom one was from India, one from Persia (Iran), and the third one was from China. They were the priests of the Scythians, known as ‘Devas’, who were the ancestors of many Hindu Indian, Persian and Chinese castes.
If these men went all the way to Bethlehem to see and worship, and to
offer gifts to the infant Jesus, that is good reason for all Indians, including
Hindus to celebrate Christmas, in the Honour of Christ ! That some Hindu texts mention that the life of Jesus bears remarkable similarity with ‘Mitra’,an aspect of the Sun-God, also worshipped as ‘Mithras’ by the
ancient Persians, or the Magi, is another basis for Hindus and those Persians/Iranians who still follow the ‘Cult of Mithras’, to revere Him !
In fact, that may be the reason why the three wise men of the Magi went for getting a glimpse of the child Jesus, whom they might have considered as
an Incarnation of ‘Mithras’!

(2) The Jews and Muslims do not regard or worship Jesus Christ as
the Son of God or their Saviour, as they believe that the real Messiah is
still to come, but they do regard him as a prophet like Moses or ‘Musalman Paigambar’. If they can celebrate the birth of the other prophets, like
The Feast of the Birth Anniversary of John the Baptist, by Jews alongwith Christians on June 24, which matches with the Summer Solistice, or of Mohammed Paigambar, then why not the Birth of ‘Isa Paigambar’, as Jesus is called by Islam, if only as a prophet?

It is heard that Muslims of Indonesia worship Sri Rama, but as ‘Ancestor worship’. Accordingly, every community can celebrate Christmas, in keeping with each one’s own view of Jesus.

(3) Another significant point is that the year of birth of Jesus Christ has been accepted universally as The Line of Division of TIME into the two broad divisions – of the period Before Christ(BC) and that After God (Christ), I.e.’Apres Dieu’ (AD).
Now, some scholars say that Jesus was born 4/6 years before the date reckoned so far, viz. 4/6 BC, but that hardly matters now.
The birthdate of Jesus is also supposed to coincide with the Winter Solistice.

Hence, there is every reason to raise Christmas, hitherto the festival
of Christians alone, to the level of an International, Inter-religious occasion of celebration, for Universal integration of Humanity in the Spirit of Christ! And if singing to the glory of Jesus as the King of Israel, or ‘King of Angels’
is not acceptable to all Non-Christians (though the present War-like conditions in the whole strip of Israel, Gaza,Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere in
the World, do make one wish He would make His ‘promised Second appearance’ soon), they can sing some other song, like the following Popular one :-

“Christmas Time is near, Christmas Time is near ;
Merry Christmas Everyone, Christmas Time is Here.
{Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All The Way;
Santa Claus is coming to Town, Smiling All The Way!” } (2 times)

Amen!

The Principle of Ahimsa ( Non violence) : What Is The Limit and at what/whose cost? Is the Limit of Ahimsa being stretched Too Far and Making its Followers Handicapped and Helpless ?

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MATTER for DEBATE : Long ago, the Buddha propounded and established the policy of ‘Ahimsa’ or Non – Violence for establishment of Peace and Harmony in this world, and to call an end to unnecessary bloodshed.
The same principle is advocated by Jain Tirthankars, who oppose even the killing of harmful creatures such as insects, rodents and rabid animals, though it is known that they are the vectors of deadly diseases like
Rabies and Plague!
There is unwillingness to award the Death Sentence to even to criminals guilty of the most gruesome crimes for the same reason.
Of course, by Ahimsa, they don’ t say that terrorists should be allowed to roam free Without check, of that they should not be arrested or imprisonment, but they support imprisonment to Death Penalty.

The teachings of Jesus Christ too, endorse this ideal, judging from his words,” If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn the other cheek to him”!
In Ireland, a Catholic country, there was a big dispute some years back over the propriety of doing Medical Termination of Pregnancy, for saving the life of a mother, Sarita, who died because of the rigid reservation over MTP.
So TWO lives were lost ultimately in place of one feeble life -of the baby. ‘Penny wise, Pound foolish’, was the attitude of the attending doctors and the hospital! Even after this tragedy, it is not known whether they have become any wiser, or realise that they have committed a bigger Sin by letting the mother die to save a moribund foetus, and disrupted the married life of a young couple. This case is a glaring example of how dogmatic laws result in more loss of lives than any saved.

‘Ahimsa’ in itself is no doubt a very lofty and noble principle, deserving to be followed by all, for smooth interpersonal relationships and social progress.
However, it is felt by many people now that the application of this policy
is stretched to unrealistic, debilitating and nearly suicidal limits by its proponents in the present aggressive times. For to apply the principle to the last letter, the enemy should also be magnanimous, like Chhatrapati Shivaji was supposed to have been, and spare/leave one unhurt if one party shows disinclination to fight, and willingness to make peace, but unfortunately, every enemy is not so large hearted !

These are days when some of the old ‘Kshatriya spirit’ of valiance, for which some of the ancient Indian Kings, like Maharana Pratap, Chhatrapati Shivaji etc. are remembered to this day, need to be revived for strengthening Society, but with the injunction to avoid unnecessary bloodshed or killing of course !

(The great Emperor Ashoka, who had expanded his empire far and wide, from part of Bengal in the East, upto Afghanistan and part of East Persia, and down to the border of Dravida Pradesh, is said to have renounced warfare and embraced the Policy of Non-Violence of Buddhism ,after the Battle with Kalinga, in which many people of Kalinga died trying to save their country, which pierced the heart of Ashoka with pangs of guilt, when he saw the toll of lives his ambition to become a supreme Emperor had taken in the conquered country.
It may be noted however, that King Ashoka had not felt any repentance after his earlier conquests, because the Kings of those regions probably surrendered without fierce fight. The chieftain and people of KALINGA
in contrast, did not give in, and fought until their last breath, which resulted in the massacre of a large number of their army.
The MORAL is that everyone should observe moderation in his love for conquest, or power, and should not be totally unconcerned about the lives of other countrymen. Likewise, he should not start a battle,or inflict violence on anyone except for Self Defence; otherwise, a time may come when he falls in his own eyes.

HOWEVER, that does not mean that a ruler or Government of a country has to abandon the Kshatriyakarma of warfare totally. Otherwise, who would protect the subjects of the nation from attacks by other countries?
King Ashoka’s own empire did not last long after he gave up his Kshatriya dharma! The Buddhist fraternity and philosophy got an ideal and strong patron, but his kingdom lost an excellent King, and crumbled down
soon after !

Perhaps, he could have arrived at a compromise and right balance between his Kshatriya Dharma and his awakened conscience against war and violence by restricting himself thereafter, strictly to the defense of his kingdom as expanded till then, and Refrain from going out to make ANY MORE conquests, as Shri Krishna did, for which he earned the epithet ‘ Ranchhod Rai’!
(Also, he could have let Kalinga keep its freedom, and give them heavy compensation for their loss, and help for rehabilitation. The last step must have been taken by him anyway, as part of his repentance.)

So Warfare, or at least the preparation for it, is an unavoidable Duty and part of Government, and a ruler cannot afford to be so naive or impractical as to renounce it for religious sentiment or wrong ideas of respect for Life. For in a war, if our soldiers don’t kill the enemy who is encroaching upon our land and refuses to budge, he will kill our Armymen, and grab our territory and tyrannise our countrymen. That’s the fact of Life !)

Even Sri Rama and Sri Krishna had to perform the unpleasant duty of killing the Demon Kings Ravana and Kansa respectively, after giving them ample chance to amend their wicked ways of harassing good people, for the latter were smug and unrepentant.

Still, some communities cling on to the ideal of Ahimsa rigidly, like Buddhists and some others who expect to preserve their land and security by passive resistance and appeal to other nations all the time, and land up being slaves or fugitives /refugees of any country which cares to give them shelter!
The National policy of India too favours the principle of Non-violence because of the adoption of it by the Father of The Nation, who indeed, succeeded in winning India it’s freedom by peaceful means!

However, looking to the general upheaval of the tendency towards violence in countries around us, and all over the World, in the present times, it has become imperative to set a pragmatic limit to it – that it should be relaxable, if and when it becomes an impediment for SelfDefense and protection-for it has become too much of a good thing now, of which unscrupulous persons in our Society and neighbourhood are taking unfair advantage, and posing danger to our people!

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was also said to be against the rigid imposition of the policy of Non-Violence on Freedom fighters, as he had seen the extreme torture suffered by some revolutionaries because of their inhibitions regarding countering attacks on the enemies.

Hence, a Moderate and unstifling Policy of Ahimsa, which does not hinder
the steps for self-defense of our nation, needs to be laid down.
Because ‘Fighting for survival’ is the right of all individuals and countries, besides ‘Flight’, and ‘fright’ into accepting subjugation or slavery of others, and no person or ideal has the right to deprive anyone of the use of that defense mechanism when needed, otherwise it would be be tantamount to ‘ sparing the Rod of Violence for wicked persons at the expense of innocent and harmless common citizens!
The Main Principle is that the defense of FIGHT, should be reserved, as far as possible, as the LAST RESORT, ONLY FOR the purpose of DEFENSE,
and Not for revenge or the selfish ambition of conquest and subjugation of others. However, not utilizing the natural defense even for survival, either leads to ruthless bloodshed at the hands of the enemy, or to rueful loss
of status, as happened to the Dravidians, who were the real pioneers of the Indus Valley Civilisation, who became Marginalized to the far South, and became ‘Dasas’ or servants in their own country because of their compliant nature.

The position of the pre -Dravidian aborigines or ‘Dasyus’ (slaves) became even more pathetic, who were left with no option but to live in small pockets of the country as Forest tribes, or submit to being used as chattel for menial work of the conquering race, the Aryans, and be reduced to the despicable rank of ‘untouchables’ ! And all because they were peace loving people.
Yeh bhi koi Zindagi hai ? To expect any person or nation to abide uncompromisingly to the ideal of Ahimsa is like binding one’s right hand
And expect the one to survive in the onslaught of a raging bull, when he could easily do so, if allowed to use all his faculties! It is like goading one to commit suicide, as if the life or security of oneself and one’s near and dear ones, or one’s Nation, is so insignificant and dispensable as to sacrifice it to the alter of an impractical ideal!
Going by this Principle, a Nation might as well remove its Army, Police, Air Force and Naval Force, and replace them with religious leaders (like Swami Swaroopananda) to try for a change of heart of the enemies of humanity, like the Talibans, ISI, LeT and their likes, (than of the peaceful Sai Bhaktas)!
If the strategy works, nothing like it, but will it?

Nevertheless, opinions of readers on the subject are welcome !

Did the Mongoloid race including the Chinese and South Eastern Asians descend from the Satanic ‘Dragon’ (Reptilian Alien) as per the Chinese belief ?

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Recently, I came across an interesting article stating that the Chinese and Mongolian races believe that they, the Alpine or bradycephalic
Asian races, especially of South East Asia, including North East India,
are descendants of the ‘Dragon’,their venerated animal, who is also known as the ‘Reptilian Alien’, as the Mongoloid races appeared ‘ Alien’ to the Westerners when they first came into contact with them. ( Who knows, the mysterious Aliens on UFOs in space are also a branch on Mongoloid people.
The Kingdom of Bhutan also calls itself the ‘Land of The Thunder Dragon’, and offers homage to it, by putting posters of it at all public places, and in ‘Jhongs’, as their Buddhist monasteries are called.

Strange as the belief may be to think about, it is not as impossible as it seems, considering that the process of evolution has been from Aquatic creatures like the Fish, which gradually evolved into amphibian forms, which live on land and in water, like reptiles, crocodiles, which resemble the Dragon, and turtles.

These forms progressed further to become Land Mammals, including
the Ape, and Ape-like ancestor of Humankind, known to anthropology as ‘Homo Sapiens’.

However, this theory of evolution applies to all human races, so it is not clear why some authors have mentioned only the Mongoloid races as the descendents of the Dragon and not all humans. It has been explained by
some writers on the basis of the similarity of the narrow and slanting eyes
and puffy upper eyelid of the crocodile and Dragon, or of the ‘ Aliens’, with those of Mongolians, as the basis of the hypothesis !

Another report published some years back suggested that women evolved from dolphins. One person has suggested that Men are from Crocodiles, while women are from Dolphins. I have not been able to know the basis for this proposition, but both the supposed animals of origin- Dragon/Crocodile, and dolphins have one thing in common, in that both of them are aquatic animals.
Perhaps, it is likely that not only women, but all the dolichocephalic races of the Middle East and the West, viz. Australoid and Nordic Caucasoids, Mediterranean and possibly the Negro races might have evolved from different aquatic creatures before turning into a different variety of apes and full- fledged human beings, while the Mongolian races evolved from the crocodile or alligator into the ape-like ancestor.

It seems that there is much more to the process of Evolution than Darwin’s theory, for just recently, I saw a Television feature about ‘ Aliens’ on the History Channel, which suggested that the Aliens may have played some part in evolution, at the point of branching out of the human race into many forms, possibly at the stage of arrival of the Cro-Magnon Men, around 35000 years back, after the Neanderthals, who were quite Different and superior to the Neanderthals.
Prof. D.D. Kosambi, in his book, ‘ An introduction to the Study of Indian History’, has written that “The sudden appearance of a superior type like the Cro- Magnon man, the earliest form of modern tall, erect man in Europe, with a bigger, dolichocephalic skull [(Origin: the name of a hill in Dordogne, France), appearing c.35000 years ago,and associated with the Aurignacian ( relating to the early stages of the Upper Paleolithic culture in Europe and Near East, date to about 34000-29000 years ago . Origin is from Fr. Aurignacien, from Aurignac in SW France, where objects from this culture were found) Flint industry.after nearly 100,000 or more years of the Neanderthal primitive, ape like man] may have been due to a fertile cross” with some superior creature or race (like aliens?)

Points for study !