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  Millions in India Changing Religion
General Thelema Posted by Martin Hettland on Friday November 09, @02:43AM
from the all-star-caste dept.

I read Mordecai's "God Bless the Child" where he, among other things, wrote: "...despite the dreams of mass-acceptance which lie behind much of Crowley and company's thinking about Thelema, there is no sign at present of such acceptance."

In connection with this, I give two quotes from the "Gospel for Asia" site:

  1. "On November 4 2001 up to a million Dalits (untouchables) were expected to gather in Dheli, declaring their exodus from more than 3000 years of slavery in the caste system an expressing their desire to convert to a different faith."
  2. "For the first time in the history of the nation of India, people are becoming aware of the fact that 300 million Dalits are seeking liberation and new life through any faith of their choice. The nation as a whole is realizing that" these people have the freedom to choose -- and they will."

Some people behind "Gospel for Asia" see this as a chance for mass-converting Hindus to Christianity, but can not this also be a chance for mass-acceptance of Thelema? I mean, if these people were given the chance to choose between Christianity and Thelema, a chance they do not have today.



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    Re: Millions in India Changing Religion
    by Xnoubis on Friday November 09, @10:01AM
    The "Gospel" article tries to put a Christian spin on what was primarily a Buddhist event. See the Reuters story for another angle.

    Re: Millions in India Changing Religion
    by Mordecai on Friday November 09, @11:22AM
    Many of these potential "converts" are illiterate, but those who can read are more likely to read Hindi than English. Is there a Hindi translation of the Book of the Law available?

    • Re: Millions in India Changing Religion
      by Xnoubis on Friday November 09, @11:33AM
      Not at the Translator's Guild page. As a digression, I was excited to see a new modern Hebrew translation.


      • Re: Millions in India Changing Religion
        by Mordecai on Friday November 09, @12:43PM
        I was disappointed to see the translation of "Book of the Law" as Sepher Ha-Chvq rather than the far more accurate (in my opinion) Sepher Ha-Torah. I hope it wasn't done for political reasons (i.e., to keep from offending adherents of Judaism).


        • Re: Millions in India Changing Religion
          by nexist on Friday November 09, @01:00PM
          What does "Sepher Ha-Chvq" translate as?


          • Re: Millions in India Changing Religion
            by Mordecai on Friday November 09, @01:29PM
            "ChVQ" and "TVRH" both mean law, but the former is in the sense of statute or legislative enactment, while the latter has the sense of divine law or teaching or scientific theory. I'm reasonably certain that you (and probably most Thelemites) would agree with me that "TVRH" is the better translation. However, the Pentateuch (the five books of Moses) is called Sepher Ha-Torah in Hebrew; this makes the translation all the more appropriate in my eyes, but it could easily offend many Jews.


            • Re: Millions in India Changing Religion
              by nexist on Saturday November 10, @10:34AM
              This has always annoyed me. While I respect other religions (yadda, yadda) this bending over backwards to accomodate other faiths -- watering down our faith, if you will -- sticks in my craw.

              If for no other reason, the futility of such actions should render them non-existent. Anyone reading the book is going to be offended (especially Xtians, Muslims, "the Indian and the Buddhist, Mongol and Din" -- the din were equated to the Jews if I recall my commentary correctly). So what is the point. People will be offended, if they are determined to be offended -- our only recourse is to be "true" so we can have a firm foundation to stand upon.


      • Re: Millions in India Changing Religion
        by Fra THA;M on Friday November 09, @01:50PM
        What about Klingon, or seriously, Enochian (is it even possible).


    Re: Millions in India Changing Religion
    by Anathema Maranatha on Friday November 09, @07:28PM
    Another angle I think it's important to view this mass conversion from is that all these people didn't necessarily convert because they desired to now be Buddhist, they converted as a way to release them from the stigma of being lowly Dalits.

    I don't see it so much as an act of faith or belief but more so as an act of function done as a means of escaping an oppresive Hindu caste system. It seems to be more of a political (and survival) motivation than a religious one. If these folks were born into a higher Hindu caste for example, would they still have eventually desired to switch religions?

    • Re: Millions in India Changing Religion
      by Mordecai on Saturday November 10, @12:11AM
      This is a good point. Though I'm sure there are some upper caste Hindus whose disgust with the oppressive system leads them away from the religion, the numbers must be far less. One of the underlying tensions in the Indo-Pakistani relationship is the Hindu-fascist's view of all Pakistanis as outcastes because they are basically the descendants of Dalits who embraced Islam as a means of escape.


    • Re: Millions in India Changing Religion
      by XaosMonkY on Friday November 23, @01:14PM
      The funny thing is, all "religious" conversions, or other such movements are primarily socio-political.

      I just purchased and read a book called The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts.

      This book says that archaelogical evidence indicates that the majority of the Hebrew Bible was composed in the 7th Century BCE as way for King Josiah to lay claim to more land. Interestingly enough, monotheism was part of this political action.

      BTW - is there an Arabic Translation of the Book of The Law?


      • Re: Millions in India Changing Religion
        by Mordecai on Monday November 26, @09:14AM
        >is there an Arabic Translation of the Book of The Law?

        The Translators' Guild is working on one, but it wasn't up the last time I checked.


    Re: Millions in India Changing Religion
    by Fra THA;M on Tuesday November 13, @02:23PM
    Perhaps to actively proselytize is integral. "Khabs Am Pekht" seems to actively encourage this.

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