Letter to the editor – Spiritual Renaissance of the Indian Church!
Note: This is the first time some one calls me “Achan” (in Malayalam, “priest” I guess!). I am no ‘Achan’ just “james” in the lower case only! Just a human among all humans, a brother, elder or younger to others, depending on age, I am running 86, so you decide.
This is because I am, and I try and want to be a follower of JESUS, a Jew who never became even a Christian but prided to call himself SON OF MAN 85 times in the gospels, to unite himself with the whole of humanity.
We are brothers Only!
He also expressly told his followers not to call themselves Rabbi, Father, Teacher, since you are all brothers only, the greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.(Mt. 23, 8-13)
I sign myself always as “james” in the lower case and once again I request humbly all to call me ‘james’ only. Besides I am not a member or promoter of any organized religion or divisive churches, In fact I am in a herculean effort to wipe out this divisive development! What impressed me most in Jesus is his ‘foot-washing ministry’. He thus places himself below the last and least to preach by example.
No Bowing to Titles!
Besides I do not recognize or pay homage to titles like “Swamji, Sachidanda, Snehananda” etc. The title, Sachidanda (Sat+ Chit+ Ananda), is the thought provoking reference to God, if there is one. I refuse to bow to anyone who parades himself as god or godly. Such persons are ‘mental aberations’ according to my understanding.
No offense is implied to any one who thinks other wise! Each one has a right to hold on to his/her views, Recall Voltire’s statement for writers. So kindly exclude me from all such heavenly or other-worldly appellations. Of course each one has the freedom to parade oneself with impressive or comic titles, he chooses fit.
Now all my friends please!
The letter is addressed to me and my friends. It is now your turn, you all CCV readers and all who consider themselves my friends. Please carry on the discussion, as the spirit within prompts you. james
please read below Swamiji’s letter!
Swami Sachidananda Bharathi April 10, 2020
My dear Achan and friends,
May the peace and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Today is 'Good Friday', the Friday on which our Lord Jesus Christ revealed to the world the true nature of God our Heavenly Parent as forgiving, enduring and self-sacrificing love. Let us pray for the divine grace to live by this truth.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it a call and mission from the Heavenly Parent to liberate ourself from sectarian divisive worldviews and develop a unitive spiritual consciousness that will enable us to see the unity of all life and the interdependent organic nature of creation. This is essentially a spiritual mission. We urgently need to reorient our own spiritual lives accordingly.
This calls for a three-fold mission for the spiritual unity, liberation and regeneration of the Indian Church from sectarian and divisive worldviews and a spiritual awakening of disciples of Christ in India based on such a unitive spiritual consciousness. This is the divine mission entrusted to us by the Holy Spirit in the post-pandemic world. We will refer to this mission as the Spiritual Renaissance of the Indian Church.
We will need a concrete agenda for this divine mission of the millennium. I suggest the following five-point agenda:
1. An unwavering faith in the one true God who is the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Supreme Spirit in whom we live, move and have our being.
2. Accepting and presenting Lord Jesus Christ as the incarnation of this one true God in human history.
3. Adopting and promoting the cross of Christ, which is the path of forgiving, enduring and self-sacrificing love, as the way, the truth and the life in human quest for God and His kingdom on earth.
4. Making prayers and spiritual exercises personal and family-centered as it was done by the early disciples of Christ. This will liberate the Christians in India from priestly domination and hierarchical control.
5. Managing the funds and properties of the local church honestly, diligently and transparently by the local community through a 7-member team of unanimously elected representatives as it was done in the early Christian communities. This will make them the real owners of the church funds and properties which have come from their own contributions.
Please give me your valuable suggestions and comments on this five-point agenda for the spiritual unity, liberation and regeneration of the Indian Church in the post -pandemic era.
Also please let me know how will you like to be part of this movement of love following the cross of Christ.
God willing we hope to initiate an ecumenical movement for the Spiritual Renaissance of the Indian Church on the first post-pandemic Pentecost based on such a common minimum agenda with this Ashram as its training and coordinating center.
Looking forward to your response at your earliest.
With much love. Swamij