Isai Jnani Ilayaraja, the Sage of Music, in fact he can be just called a Jnani- a sage of spirituality, in his recent interview cum Q&A event at Google headquarters at the USA, made a very valid point, that the resurrection of Jesus after death, is a very dubious event, whereas the death experience of Ramana Maharishi is more believable.
In the video recording of the event, this comes from 40:00 onward – https://youtu.be/KhCC-LsdmbI
He first sings a Tamil song that he wrote in praise of Sri Ramana Maharishi. He recounts that after penning that song he didn’t feel like penning songs on mere mortal themes. He then talks about realized souls and the resurrection. Here is the gist of what he says in Tamil:
[Paraphrase] It is said that Jesus was resurrected. The very foundation of Christianity rests on this premise. However, many historians have now opined that such an event never happened, as I come to know from the Youtube documentaries that I watched. However, a real resurrection happened when Sri Ramana Maharishi was sixteen and had a near death and out of body experience. He was pronounced dead but came back to life. He transcended the death experience and became liberated. There is no one comparable to Sri Ramana Maharishi. [End paraphrase]
For this, Christian outfits are protesting against him saying he ‘insulted’ Jesus during the Easter season (incidentally Easter falls on the “All Fools Day – April 1st, this year). The media is also projecting this story as if it was an expression of bigotry from the Music Maestro. The protesting groups, who are also very active in proselytizing continuously call Hindu Gods as devils and false all through their propaganda literature, speeches and sermons. And as usual the spineless seculars are silent in their support to his freedoms.
Let us consider some comparisons. I am not getting into the concept of resurrection after death; that I will leave to Neurophysiologists and researchers.
But only comparing what is generally said and believed, logic and history. Let us see which is more viable a resurrection, if such is possible.
|Manner of death||Was supposedly killed by Romans and the Jewish people who held him rebellious and libelous to Jewish traditions.||Voluntarily embraced the experience of death.|
|Reasons for death||Christians present Jesus dying for the sake of sins of humanity,
They hold sex/procreation was Adam and Eve’s original sin, anybody born that way is therefore sinful. And only Jesus not born that way, can save us from that sin.
But I don’t feel I have sinned. And even if so, I don’t want anybody to suffer for me and would feel guilty if someone did so without my knowledge or permission.
So seems the intention is to make people feel an undeserved guilt, using this supposed death
|Ramana Maharishi embraced this death experience, to understand the nature of consciousness, to explore the “I”.
And then he returned, taught this to those who seeked him.
|Impact on the body||Was tortured and mortally wounded, before he died. And life returned to such a damaged body,
So the question arises, why could not the body then just stay alive in the first place?
Did it automatically heal when he resurrected? Then why did not automatically heal during torture?
|He voluntarily chose to embrace the onset of death, stopped breathing, shutting down organs and then he returned to the “undamaged” physical body.
|Aftermath of death||Vanished entirely after the resurrection. Not even remains were found. Supposedly ascended to heaven.||Lived many years on this earth after his death experience. Was physically present to teach and guide many people,|
|Information about the death||The story of his resurrection started making rounds only at least a century after his supposed death, Written by a series of councils to edit, revise and align the stories about Jesus.
|His experience was told by himself, in first person to the people who met him directly, in his own lifetime.|
|Motives of the followers||The people who wrote the story of Jesus, were sponsored by the Eastern Roman Empire to organize a state religion, they had vested interest in the success of their religion and in suppressing of the existing ones||After this experience, he left town and into seclusion for years, was then slowly recognized and still lived in peripheries of social life,
He owned nothing, had nothing but his devotion to Mount Arunachala, which he saw as Shiva.
Taught mostly by silence, established no globe spanning operations. Did not use his resurrection or teachings to convert others.
Did not even publicize or proselytize, only taught to those who came seeking to him.
Again, I do not presume to understand whether such resurrection is possible or achievable. But if I place these 2 events as described side by side, I know what is more believable.
We have many resurrections stories in all cultures. Inanna from Sumer and Osiris from Egypt are couple of examples,
A favorite of mine from Hindu traditions, are these acts of Shaivaite Saints Nayanmars, recounted in comparison,
* ThiruNavukkArasar revived from death, the son of Apoothi Adigal, whose body was available.
* ThiruGnanaSambandar revived from death Poompaavai, whose ashes and bones alone were available. (This is being celebrated this week at Mylapore, called the Phalguni Arubathi Moovar Utasavam)
* Sundarar revived from death, a boy who was eaten by a crocodile years ago, where there was no remains whatsoever and got him back as he would have been, if he had never died, appropriately aged.
Now all these are challenging for empirical science. So are all only a matter of faith.
But how is the faith in Jesus’s resurrection, more valid than faith in Ramana’s resurrection?
One could say that each one can have their own faith and not comment on others. But is that something followed by Christians, that they protest about Ilayaraja?
The whole of Christian indoctrination is entirely about how other gods, gurus and traditions are false, even satanic and only Christianity and Jesus is valid.
But the crux is here.
Assume Ramana’s resurrection never happened, still it would have no impact, because it is his teachings and guidance that matter. They are the greatest miracle, than death or life.
Death does not faze Hindus, either we are reborn or attain moksha, Swarga and Naraka are transient as life itself.
While for Christians, life is a one-shot affair, they die and rot in suspended animation till judgement day, then heaven or hell, as per God’s will. Your deeds are immaterial, but only whether you are a believer in Christ or not.
But assume that Jesus’s resurrection never happened.
Would Christianity survive? There is nothing original as philosophy or ritual in Christianity, it is mostly copied from other traditions. It is entirely dependent on the personality of Jesus, his immaculate conception and resurrection after death. And that those events unique only to him.
* If Ramana Maharishi’s resurrection is proved false, it has insignificant impact on his teachings or Hinduism.
* But if Jesus’s resurrection is proved false, then what is left in Christianity but plagiarized philosophies and appropriated traditions.
* If both are proved true, then again Jesus’ is no more unique and hence Christianity is no more exclusive, so again a false religion.
* If both are proved false, again Ramana Maharishi’s teachings rooted in Shastras and Advaitha holds good, whereas Christianity’s unoriginal teachings do not justify the universal monopoly of faith, it is trying to achieve.
In all cases, Jesus at best would be yet another spiritual teacher and at worst a confidence trick by scam artists of various Christian church denominations.
Given that Christianity is predicated on the uniqueness of Jesus being more than a man, in all of these possibilities, Christianity is on a very shaky ground, hence the ostriches want to raise a sand storm to hide themselves in.
Ad hominem, just by comparing Jesus to another man’s experience, Jesus is reduced to a man – homo, Christians consider that itself as an insult. That is ridiculous in public discourse.
Maestro Ilayaraja had every right to consider these 2 events, and as a spiritual seeker arrive at this own conclusions about them. He is free to express them as he sees fit.
If Christians can’t deal with criticism, they should learn not to criticize others in the first place.
Some commentators are comparing this with lyricist Vairamuthu calling Godha Devi-Aandal as a Devadasi. That is a false equivalence, which does not differentiate between abuse and criticism, between personal attacks and ideological debate.
For example, given the circumstances of Jesus’s birth, he could be called a bastard and Mary an adulteress. That would indeed be an unnecessary abuse, like what Vairamuthu did. Offensive and should not be acceptable in public discourse.
And then Vairamuthu’s citations were found to be false and claims without any provenance.
But to question the concept of resurrection in general or in specific in case of Jesus, questioning the legend that Godha Devi submerged with Vishnu at Sri Rangam, are acceptable debate on theology.
As usual, different standards are being applied by the media and the social narrative, where even abuse of Hindu icons and gods are touted as freedom of expression, while ideological criticism of Christians and Muslims are treated as abuse.
That is the state of Secular India.