Corporate religions

The following information really amused as such swamijis living outside India try to create a corporate Hinduism denying the Hindu reality in India.  As the present generation is fast losing their interest and respect for swamijis and (traditional) gurus the concluding point by this Satguru will further chase them away from them:

Ethics must be established among the presidents and chairmen and executive directors of the religions. Then these holy personages will command the members to reach out and seek new members in a most enlightened way.

Such statements by these kinds of Corporate Swamijis never reflect the Hindu reality in India.  And such demand for some kind of.’Organized Hinduism’ is emerging since past few decades.  But the Hindu reality is that no Swamiji or Guruji can create such power and authority in the present context in India.  At least in the past when the monarchy was there at least in theory some kind of sociological authority was sanctioned to the religious heads as we read in the case of Sringeri matha.  But in the present context no religious head can have such authority or exercise on their own.

Considering the present trend of politicizing the religion and communalizing the politics, even a sincere Swamiji cannot exercise any spiritual authority over his followers.  Above all the present young generation is running away from swamijis and sannyasis because of their association with (muscle-money) power and authority.  Of course huge crowed will gather and follow such swamijis and sannyasis as long as they serve their purpose but will never have any spiritual authority over anyone, unless they live a life according to their dharma as a sannyasi with simplicity and poverty keeping away from the forces who try to politicize the religion and communalize the politics..

Dayanand Bharati.

August 21, 2013.

Hinduism Today’s founder, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, addressed this issue in his book, How to Become a Hindu, available on-line here.

He said in reply to a question:

Devotee: Are there ethics and scruples controlling conversion from one religion to another, such as corporations have in moving a top executive from one company to another?

Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami: Doctors and lawyers have ethical guidelines concerning their patients and clients. Corporate officers have codes of conduct, too. The best among them have a cultured protocol and respect for one another. This is not always true among religionists. They can and often do disdain one another.

The religions and their leaders should not and must not be unscrupulous, for that will be harmful to their constituency in the future. Religious leaders should rise at least to the level of corporate managers. For our part, we can suggest this as a solution to the problems of conversion.

Why should someone be ripped away from his born and raised religion to another and “better one” like a piece of merchandise snatched from the supermarket shelf, sold, redistributed and wholesaled to a foreign market? In India today the problems of forced or deceitful conversions are so prevalent that the government is trying to pass a law to prohibit such tactics, like the laws that already exist in Nepal. We hope such legislation is passed, not only in India but wherever similar problems exist.

Ethics must be established among all the religionists of the world. They must nurture an appreciation for each other, not merely a tolerance. Religious leaders, above all, must remain fair, despite their enthusiasm. We are not marketing a product. We are not competing for customers. The values and tenets we are offering must go into knowledgeable and willing hands. They cannot be forced upon the weak or foisted upon the unwary. A doctor would hate and then undermine another who stole his patients and slandered his name to effect the deed. An advocate would feel justifiably injured if clients were bribed to leave him for the services of a fellow attorney. The king of a country is riled at the loss of his lands, and religionists become antagonistic one to another when their fences are cut and their flocks taken elsewhere. Yes, a certain protocol must be established. Permission must be granted from one’s religious leaders, making for a graceful exit from one and entrance into another, just as a citizen formally changes his loyalty from one nation to another, legally and ethically. When war commences, warlords gather, and their nations decide on the ethics of torture, cruelty and needless slaughter. How much more essential is it, then, for religious leaders to come to fair agreements and rules of conduct in their handling of souls?

All religions are not the same. There are eleven major ones, and a multitude of faiths form a twelfth. A oneness of ethics must exist among the religionists, priests, ministers, pandits, aadheenakartars, Shankaracharyas and others in the higher echelons, at the corporate level, for religion today is not unlike the great corporations which produce and distribute their products and services, supplying the world with food and plenty. Ethics must be established among the presidents and chairmen and executive directors of the religions. Then these holy personages will command the members to reach out and seek new members in a most enlightened way.

May 15, 2006: The Christian website, URL above, posted this item: