A Response to Swarayja's "Mission 2020+: Why Hinduism Must Become A Missionary Faith Once More"

On 31 January 2019, Swarajya magazine’s editorial director, R Jagannathan, published an opinion piece entitled “Mission 2020+: Why Hinduism Must Become A Missionary Faith Once More”. I imagine that most who have taken Sri Aurobindo's teachings (as well as those of the Mother and Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet/Thea) to heart will recognize this opinion as representing a counter-productive old-age religious mindset rather than an evolved yogic strategy to restore and uplift the Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Truth/Law) in our new age. One of my colleagues, Jan Shapiro, wrote the following response to the Swarajya editor which I told her I would happily publish on this blog. [I published my own response on 11 January 2020, see: Mission 2020+: Recovering the Lost “Soul of Knowledge” of the Vedic Yajna/Yoga

5 January 2020
Dear Mr. Ragannathan,

Reading your article Mission 2020+: Why Hinduism Must Become A Missionary Faith Once More I was both appalled and saddened.

I understand you are alarmed by a dwindling number of Indians ‘professing’ to be Hindu. But reducing Hinduism to a mere religion whose only hope for survival is engaging in proselytizing activities as defense against a tide of conversions is woefully misguided.

In 2015 Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (also known as ‘Thea’, deceased 2016), then Director of Aeon Centre of Cosmology, wrote an open letter to  V. Anantha Nangeswaran  in response to a cover story  he wrote for Swarajya, May 2015: Enemies atthe Gate. In that open letter, excerpted below, Ms. Norelli-Bachelet reminds us that India’s role in the world is to protect the Sanatana Dharma, or perennial Knowledge, which is periodically updated with the coming of the evolutionary Avatars. She refers to Hinduism as the ‘attire’ the Sanatana Dharma has adopted for itself during this period of time, but that even scholars agree Hinduism does not really fit into the category of ‘religion’.

She writes:
“ . . . This is not a struggle for survival of Hinduism or Islam or Christianity, or whatever. India’s struggle is, and always has been, for survival of its very raison d’être: the Sanatana Dharma, well beyond all religious creeds and the societal structures they have given birth to across the globe. Still of greater importance is the survival of the Earth herself: the Sanatana Dharma is the repository of knowledge (veda = knowledge) that explains the destiny of our very planet because it is the involucrum of the soul of the Earth, its direct expression, as it were; in mythology (the language of the soul), this eternal soul-essence is captured in the Daughter Principle of the hierarchy, better known as Durga, or Bharat Mata herself. 
If we do not understand what lies at the root of these pernicious efforts to undermine the rise and flowering of the Indian soul, we will fail to gain focus and determination in the battles being waged in the external strata – in the political sphere, for example.”
Further on she states:
“... Indeed, when veda is absent, the thrust for survival degenerates into fundamentalism: forces take over, filled with good intentions and zeal, but without a basis in sound knowledge, as contained and preserved in the Sanatana Dharma, the movement is led by those unable to bring to the agenda that wide consciousness which alone is capable of re-establishing the very Dharma they seek to uphold, protect and further. Inflicted as the entire nation is with the fixation of parity, as I call it, lamentably they become reactive, which results in the true character of the Dharma becoming perverted in order to react to the hostile avalanche of abuses, pulling it down to a level where Hinduism does not belong. . ."
The letter in its entirety can be found at www.aeoncentre.com, Archives, Articles by Thea, Open Letter to Swarajyaregarding May 2015 cover story ‘Enemies at the Gate’.

The goal should not be the survival of Hinduism per se, but the understanding of India’s role as protector of the Sanatana Dharma. One necessary step to accomplish that is rectification of the calendar used for observance of the many Hindu festivals. Instead of some 30 odd differing calendars with varying dates for festival observance, the use of ONE calendar, in harmony with the Earth’s movements around Her Sun, is the basis for creating the necessary alignment between the ascending human aspiration and the descending Divine Will. It is that alignment and its resultant impact on world affairs which is India’s duty to attain and manifest.

Do not be sidetracked and pulled into a reaction against the “hostile avalanche of abuses, pulling it down to a level where Hinduism does not belong. . . “

Interested readers can find many more related articles at the above mentioned website as well as at https://puraniccosmologyupdated.blogspot.com.

[Letter by Jan Shapiro]