Namaskara and Jaya Shri Krishna,
"The Future of Christian-Hindu Conflict: The Theology of Conversion" is a just-published working paper posted at http://samprajna.org/sites/default/files/christian-hindu-conflict.pdf There are three other parts are to follow. The abstract is printed below.
Yours faithfully, Krishna Kirti Das
ABSTRACT - The Future of Christian-Hindu Conflict
Regarding the historic interfaith dialog between Christians and Hindus in India, Mumbai, Swami Chidananda Saraswati is quoted as saying, “Apni apni bhakti, parantu sabse badhkar rashtra bhakti.” (Let us love and follow our respective faiths, but keep love of the nation above all.) - (Indian Express). What is interesting about this remark is the emphasis it places on matters of this world rather than matters of the next world, or of moksha.
This article by Amit Raj Dhawan highlights misrepresentations of Hinduism as found in the Encyclopedia Britannica. His article is posted here with his permission in the accompaning attached PDF file.
Namaskara and Hare Krishna.
This is the debut of the Samprajña Institute’s first newsletter. In this issue, we report some of the important milestones passed in the Institute’s first year. Just a few days ago, the Samprajña Institute has made its first major press release, which was very successful in reporting our review and analysis of a book that has been very important to the Hindu community in the U.S. The details of our press release are reported below.
In September of this year, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service granted the Samprajña Institute its 501(c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt status. Special thanks and appreciation is given to one of the Samprajña Institute’s supporters, and coming projects and our business model is also described.
Getting to where we are now has been hard but enjoyable, and we hope to share with you our future successes throughout the coming years.
With warm regards,
Krishna Kirti Das
The Samprajña Institute
The Samprajña Institute has just published a review of the book Invading the Sacred, which documents a decade-long controversy surrounding the misrepresentation of Hinduism by scholars connected with the American Academy of Religions (AAR) and its branch known as Religions in South Asia (RISA). The Samprajña Institute review, titled “Understanding and Misunderstanding Hindu Tradition,” explains why this book signals a new intellectual movement within Hinduism and some of the challenges this new movement will likely face.
- Invading the Sacred is important because it signals a new intellectual movement that is effectively creating a new Hindu self-identity. “Expatriate Hindus are a minority in their host countries,” says Samprajña Institute President, Krishna Kirti Das, “so they cannot afford to ignore the negative things said about them in the halls of higher education. Furthermore, because they are trying to preserve their identities as Hindus outside of India, doing so necessarily implies understanding what it means to be ‘Hindu’ separate from Indian nationalism and politics. Our review explores the implications of this new search for self-identity. If this new intellectual movement carries over to India, it could eventually change Indian politics and culture in significant ways.”
- The book, Invading the Sacred (editors: Krishnan Ramaswamy, Antonio de Nicolas, and Aditi Banerjee; published by Rupa & Co, India; 545 pages), describes how a number of American scholars have portrayed Hinduism in a plainly derogatory way, a way that few practicing Hindus could ever have imagined possible. Examples as found in the book describe how American scholars have
- Called the Bhagavad Gita “a dishonest book,”
- Declared Ganesa’s trunk as a “limp phallus,”
- Described Devi as the “mother with a penis,”
- Portrayed Shiva as “a notorious womanizer” who incites violence in India.
- The book further documents how the Hindu community in America responded to these negative characterizations as well as how American academics and the media reacted to the American Hindu community’s dissent.
The Samprajña Institute’s “A Review of Invading the Sacred: Understanding and Misunderstanding Hindu Tradition” is available free of charge to the public in both English and Hindi at http://publications.samprajna.org
With his controversial movie “The Love Guru,” Anglo commedian Mike Myers provoked an international protest from the Hindu community. However, some of the negative stereotypes of Hindus portrayed in “The Love Guru” are often unintentionally repeated in television, radio, and the press by journalists, who often times know little about Hindus and their community. In order to correct unintentional media bias against Hindus, the Samprajña Institute is preparing to launch the Hindu Media Relations Project, which aims to achieve the following objectives:
Welcome to the Samprajña Institute. We are dedicated to the research and development of public policy in areas as diverse as multi-cultural relations, marriage, and defense. We also have special expertise in areas concerning South Asian culture and policy. For more information about our activities, please see the About Us page. Also please visit our Officers and Staff page for a glance at our team members.
For more information about projects currently underway, please visit our Projects page. We have three exciting projects presently under development: the Hindu Media Relations Project, the Vivahah Project (about marriage), and the Humanistic Sciences Evaluation Project.
The Samprajña Institute has also applied to the IRS for a 501(c)(3) charitable status. Our projects depend on your help for their success.
Krishna Kirti Das