of 'Invading the Sacred' - A book that matters
Richmond Hill, Queens, NY: July 23, 2007: Religion, being a matter of 'faith', is one of the most controversial issues that have bothered humankind from time immemorial -needless to say it will continue to do so as long as human beings continue to inhabit the planet called Earth. If the humans come across a religion devoid of 'faith,' it can be safely said; perhaps, religion can be rationally and logically tackled. Till that utopia is a reasonable certainty, 'offensive observations about any religion' could only be detrimental to the cause of peace and tranquility of humankind. Thankfully, the animal and plant worlds are saved of this human created unnecessary agony, despite the fact that a few specimens of both these forms of life have been dragged as symbols in the weird faculty of religion - again, by humans. Could it be because, plants blissfully do not think and animals think just up to the existential point? True, it is the 'thought' factor and the 'thinking faculty' that has made humans what they are today, constantly evolving and decoding the mysteries of 'elements of existence.' But then, a cursory look at the history of the humans also points toward the miseries of existence - past, present and potential future - most of them apparently human made - being the outcome of the 'negative thought' leading to 'negative thinking,' by those humans past, present and the imminent future, possessed by 'negative tendencies.' A faith based school of thought like 'religion' is highly vulnerable for exploitation by humans obsessed with 'negative tendencies' replacing 'creative tendencies.'
Now, 'offensive observations' toward any 'religion,' especially the unfounded lot, could provoke even the 'thoughtful' and 'liberal' minded followers of the particular religion that is targeted, casting doubts and apprehensions about the motive of the 'observing' group/s and silent approvers of such 'unfounded observations.' It is at this crucial juncture, system that comprises of such 'observers,' should take charge and do everything that is necessary to dispel the doubts and apprehensions of the followers of the targeted religion, especially when they happen to be liberal, law-abiding, democratic and progressive by natural tendencies. When the followers of the targeted religion are also of the 'high productivity' caliber, contributing significantly to their adopted system, as is present reality, meaning the followers of a certain religion discussed in the book, in fact, it becomes obligatory that the system should pitch forth appropriately and convince them of its democratic and tolerant qualities. It is another matter if such observations are made to any other less tolerant and more vitriolic religion/s, for then, such 'observers' need to protect themselves against possible /imminent 'hate crimes and campaigns.' Such 'observers' are hereby advised to take a glance around the globe and watch the reactions of followers of 'militant religion/s,' even when the 'observations' are by far logical, rational and well founded. The immensely thoughtful book 'Invading the Sacred' indeed mulls and debates the 'offensive remarks about a particular religion,' and hence deserves recognition of every kind. Suffice to say it is just not an outburst from the dogmatic sector, but a scholarly literary work backed up by immaculate research and pragmatic insight. It is sincere and forthright in expressing the anguish and pain of a highly educated sector of American society and wonders about the uncalled for hate campaign that is let loose, apparently without any justified reasons. If social scientists tend to attribute the vicious campaign to sheer 'jealousy,'well, so be it.
'Invading the Sacred' is edited by three distinguished scholars of different backgrounds -an interesting trio of scientist-writer / professor of philosophy-writer / practicing attorney. Krishnan Ramaswamy is a scientist with a background in psychometric research. A researcher in the field of 'major mental and neurological illnesses,' Ramaswamy is an ardent student of Vedas and Sanskrit, with lifelong interests in Vedanta, Panini, and devotion poetry from various regions of India, particularly in Marathi. Antonio T de Nicolas is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the State University of New York. A prolific author with 27 books to his credit; he is currently Director, Biocultural Research Institute. Aditi Banerjee is a B A in International Relations, magna cum laude, Tufts University and J D from Yale Law School. A practicing attorney in New York, she has authored many Hinduism-related books and preservation of knowledge as enunciated in Sanatana Dharma (alternate name for Hinduism) is her eternal interest. The integrity and intellect of the editors is beyond question and being spirited admirers of Hinduism, they present the book with rationality and reasoning of high quality, true to the core tone and spirit of Hinduism. It is a collection of probing essays and research papers of 13 authors from different backgrounds with a common goal of spreading the true message of Hinduism, as enunciated in its rich array of Vedantic philosophy. The emphasis is basically on exploring and explaining the 'the core Hindu thought' and silencing its critics and detractors of unfounded remarks and observations that are derogatory and insulting, ignorance apart. It is a refined intellectual rebuttal to those who are, perhaps, just able to scratch the mighty Hindu concepts of 'God and Godliness.' The treatment is truly intellectual, mesmerizing and challenging to those who dare to challenge.
Professor Roop Persaud, General Secretary, ICC, was remarkably immaculate in his role as emcee of the event. Sizing up the spirit and mood of the audience deftly, he conducted the whole proceedings very professionally, sprinkling his witty and apt remarks wherever necessary. He kept the going in good pace, never losing his sight on the clock. At the end of the nearly three hours everyone was looking introspective yet relaxed. It was an occasion of revelation and time passed on its own.
the Sacred' is published Rupa & Co, New Delhi and interested
persons can visit www.InvadingTheSacred.com
for further information about the enlightening literary work.
G Iyengar can be contacted on (646) - 241 - 4963
What the eminent say about 'Invading the Sacred'
in the volume reignite a debate which has politico historical antecedents.
is a true eye-opener…
is in the spirit of promoting an appreciation of cultures in the pursuit
of a fundamental unity of all peoples…Invading the Sacred stands tall and
honorable against the ethnocentric writings of Indic thought.
and sensitivities of Hindus (should) be considered in the presentation
of Hinduism in scholarship, textbooks and the media. What is remarkable
is that many western academics are so resistant to it.
against minorities has resulted in attacks upon them…Leaders and thinkers
in the UK should invite debates and discussions…in the greater endeavor
to create a truly diverse and pluralistic society.
scholars who do not have enough knowledge about a culture and religion
should not write about it.
is not culture-free, neither is Social Science: so, a work like this might
well advance our trove of knowledge of the real world of ideas and practices,
and also of the biases inherited via the long legacy of EuroModernism.