Thursday, August 26, 2010

Religious Freedom

On a train from Dheli to Damoh, in between sleeping and whistle stops in small towns, with vendors selling chapati and samosa, we struck up a conversation with a higher caste man, who was traveling on to Jabalpur.

He discovered that we were going to teach at a Bible College and thought it would be good to unburden his mind with complaints he had about Christians. He was most concerned with all the poor people in southern India that were becoming followers of Jesus. The way he described it made it sound like a horrible epidemic.

After unwinding his turban, he explained that too many mission organizations were going down there and teaching people better farming techniques, helping them build wells, setting them up for good business and generally improving their lives in every way. This was leading to people converting to Christianity, and he was not happy about it.

Thinking I could help out all these angry Hindus, I asked why they didn't go down there and do some of the same things. Then maybe the people would be more inclined to stay hinduized instead of wanting to convert. I didn't understand how things worked.

This man explained to me that going to help these people messes up their karma and ruins their chances to live a miserable existence so they can prepare for a better one in the next incarnation. Not only that, but if he went and helped some people that were supposed to be miserable and starving, he would mess up his karma too, since he would have messed it all up for the poor starving miserable untouchables.

1 comment:

The Mission Community said...

It sounds like Americanized karma has it backwards. Real Karma disinclines one from doing good to the weak. What a great religion.