[GHHF] Requesting Russian Government to restore sanity by withdrawing the Case against Bhagavad Gita pending in the Court
Honorable Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev,
President of Russia
Mr. Sergey I. KISLYAK,
Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the U.S.
Global Hindu Heritage Foundation wants to express its shock, disappointment, displeasure, indignation and outrage at the prospect of banning “Bhagavad Gita,” the most sacred scripture of Hindus, the most peaceful, highly spiritual, everlastingly serene, overwhelmingly anti-terrorist, abundantly accommodative, amply tolerant of diverse beliefs and profusely nonsectarian book that has ever graced this mother earth.
All over the world, people have commended Bhagavad Gita, adored it, appreciated it, lauded it, applauded, adored it and admired it. Many scholars, poets, writers, Nobel laureates dived deep into the ocean of Bhagavad Gita to gather the pearls of wisdom, enriched their lives by its message, and drank the elixir of the mighty powerful knowledge hidden in it.
It is unfortunate that Christian Orthodox Church has filed a case in the court in the city of Tomsk to ban Bhagavad Gita describing it as "extremist". The prosecutors argue that “The Bhagavad Gita As It Is,” a widely distributed book translated by A.C. Bhaktvedanta Swami Prabhupada, should be included in the Justice Ministry's list of banned extremist literature. Additionally the court asked the so-called university specialists who are not knowledgeable about Hinduism to testify.
We are happy to know that the court has postponed the judgment till December 28. We request the Russian government to examine Bhagavad Gita and appoint global scholars of Nobel laureates’ status and testify at the court. Let the world know the real interest of the people who are behind this case. Any objective evaluation of Gita would come to the assessment reached by Henry David Thoreau who said, “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagvat-Geeta.” Like wise the teachings and philosophy of Bhagavad Gita received admirations from prominent people such as Mahatma Gandhi, Schopenhauer, Aldous Huxley, Einstein, J Robert Oppenheimer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Carl Jung, Heinrich Himmler, Einstein, Herman Hesse and others.
Neither Bhagavad Gita nor any of the Hindu scriptures such as Vedas, Upanishads, Itihasas, etc. advocated the denial of freedom of speech, propagated terrorism, declared Jihad, promoted crusades, engaged in mass killings of non-believers. Hindu scriptures encourage self-development, self-evaluation, spiritual progress, and enlightenment.
The one of the most reputable sons of Russia, Leo Tolstoy, was greatly influenced by the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Tamil Tirukkural and the Indian spiritual literature of his time. Milan Markovitch, author of “Tolstoi et Gandhi,” wrote that: "there is not one of Tolstoy's works written after this period" of his life referred to in the Confessions "which is not inspired, in part, by Hindu thought . . . His was a Christianity underpinned by the great Hindu doctrines." He further adds that Tolstoy also "remains the most striking example, among a great many, of these who sought a cure for the western spirit in India."
Mr. Alexander Shifman, Research scholar of Tolstoy Museum in Moscow, wrote in his article entitled “A Leo Tolstoy and the Indian Epics” published in several papers during Tolstoy centenary celebrations in 1963. "Leo Tolstoy was deeply interested in ancient Indian literature and its great epics. The themes of the Vedas were the first to attract his attention. Appreciating the profundity of the Vedas, Tolstoy gave a particular attention to those cantos which deal with the problem of ethics, a subject in which interested him deeply.”
One of Russia's greatest artists - Nicholas K Roerich - who lived and worked for years in India with his family, had made the Gita an integral part of his life. He had even dedicated many of his paintings to the sacred concepts of Vedic Hindu texts. He was described as painting Lord Krishna with a flute. Roerich in his inspiring book 'Altai Himalaya' proudly states that, "We know thy fragrant essence, India. We know the great Aum which leads to the inexpressible heights. India, we know thy ancient wisdom.”
Naggar Sheru Baba, one of the coordinators at International Roerich Memorial Trust observed, "Roerich had spent most of his life on 'Mission Asia' while exploring all religions. He was deeply influenced by Hindu religion, Lord Krishna and Bhagawad Gita. He has created countless paintings of Krishna. Sanatana Dharma was so close to Roerich's heart that he wished himself to be cremated according to Hindu tradition."
Even before her marriage, young Elena Roerich studied the philosophy and traditions of Hinduism in such books as Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata, and three Vedas.
Because of wide varieties of custom, traditions, and mores, Hindus have developed universal outlook for the human race by emphasizing the freedom of belief, freedom of speech, pluralism, tolerance and peaceful co-existence. It cannot be called an “extreme“ religion because there is no intention of destroying the other cultures for the sake of their religion. It is never an exclusive religion to the extent of demeaning and destroying other faiths.
Since Hinduism is not subscribed to CONVERSION, it has no vested interested in converting other faiths into Hinduism creating dissension, chaos, terror, conflict, and anarchy in the society. No incentives, no allurements, no promises, no deceptions, no manipulation, no terrorist activities, no killings, no transactions of money, no allotment of seats in colleges, and no destruction of sacred places of other religions are ever considered as the mechanisms to convert the people of other faiths into Hinduism. Let the sanity prevail. Hence it was never an extreme religion; it is always a religion of ahimsa - peace.
On behalf of Hindu community across the globe, GHHF requests the Russian Government to take appropriate action to squash the prospects of banning Bhagavad Gita, restore the prospect of peaceful coexistence, allow the freedom of speech and encourage people to practice their respective religions with no intention of destroying the other faiths.
V. V. Prakasa Rao PhD
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