December 07, 2011

Video of my conversation with Mark Tully (BBC correspondent) on my book BEING DIFFERENT

The above video is a truly remarkable and unusual one.

Noted BBC correspondent, Mark Tully, and I recent held a conversation on my new book.Among all the videos made during my recent India tour, this is my favorite one, because it brings out many deep issues that are seldom discussed in the public.

Mark is extremely open minded, candid, and is highly appreciated by Indians as a great admirer of India and Hinduism. Both sides very courageously discuss key differences between his Christian faith and my Hindu faith.

Throughout the 1.5 hour conversation/debate, he strives to show the similarity between the two faiths. But I continue to present examples of differences in some very specific articles of faith, and by the end it becomes clear that the following three items are irreconcilable:

  1. Jesus' historical uniqueness on the Christian side and the multiplicity of avatars on the Hindu side cannot be reconciled. This is a key Christian incompatibility with Vaishnavism. (It is also an incompatible with Shaivite and Shakta notions of our direct access of divinity without recourse to any historical event.)
  2. Shakti cannot be equated with Christianity's notion of Holy Spirit. If Christianity were to accept shakti in the genuine Hindu sense as being the same thing as Holy Spirit, that would lead to the Christian acceptance of all Hindu deities, and hence pose "the threat of polytheism" to Christianity.
  3. The Hindu notion of self as sat-chit-ananda is not acceptable to Christianity as it would violate the separation of God/souls and the relationship between them.

While popular rhetorec likes to equate these, a serious examination of philosophy shows that they are best kept separate.

There are many other irreducible differences also, but these three come out clearly in this intense discussion, despite sincere attempts by Mark to accommodate one worldview into the other without distortion.

This outcome supports the thesis of my book that differences are not to be wished away but rather respected. Just as the cosmos is built on differences of all kinds, so also diverse civilizations have different faiths that need to engage one another with mutual respect. My book elaborate these points in detail and shows that discomfort with difference is a problem that leads to conflict and homogeneity.

IMMEDIATE SHIPMENT OF THE BOOK IS AVAILABLE: Many people are writing that they have not received the book which they have ordered. The problem is that Amazon has numerous third party sellers of the book who DO NOT HAVE IT IN STOCK IN USA. Infinity Foundation has several thousand copies in stock in New jersey with same day shipment. So please place your order by visiting: We have recently discounted it to $19.

No comments: