The Rebel Spiritual Activist

 

 

Anand Krishna is one of Indonesia’s most popular contemporary writer and publicist. He has published more than 140 books in the past 15 years, many of which are available in English too. We asked this peculiar person who defines himself as a spiritual activist in his ashram in Kuta, Bali about books, scandals, freedom of speech and religion in today’s Indonesia and last but not least about mankind’s spiritual path.

“…spirituality has nothing to do with religion…”

— In one of your most admirable books: ‘The Wisdom of Bali’ you summarise the Balinese cultural heritage as in parallel with the Vedic tradition. How relevant are these ancient traditions in today’s Balinese and Indonesian everyday lives?

— Well, first of all I would like to separate tradition from the values: the values are relevant but traditions sometimes undergo changes. And sometimes these changes are painful because you are used to certain traditions throughout generations. Like in Bali, I have been having a lot of feedback from this book, some people find me very critical, because I have been criticising also. I was trying to make relevant and add the values but traditions sometimes have to be changed like for instance the elaborate rituals here. It might be surprising but we have the highest rate of suicide here in the whole of Indonesia and most of the people are committing suicide because they cannot carry out the ceremonies. For instance young people cannot finance cremation ceremonies for their parents as it can cost 50 to 300 million rupiahs. They simply do not have enough money for that, not even if they sell their land and properties. If they don’t carry out these rituals people soon start telling them they don’t do anything for their fathers and mothers so it becomes a mental burden for them. So either they commit suicide or run away or they convert to Christianity. A lot of Balinese become Christians, we have the highest number of converts here. As far as I am concerned it is absolutely all right to become a Christian from your own liking but not because of monetary problems. So I have been very critical about certain traditions which I think are not relevant and I think they have to be changed.

— And what do the Balinese spiritual leaders say to this?

— Well, we are facing different religions here, there are Hindus, Buddhist, Christians. Whenever one faces such ceremony, one has to face the church. There are certain forward looking priests, who are more open to changes but even they are not courageous enough to state that these traditions are entirely unnecessary. But suicide is not the only problem here, unfortunately. The number of people suffering from HIV is ever increasing; we have the highest number of them in fact. Many of them do not care and there is no government regulation to report such cases of illness for medical check ups. We had a vice governor 3-4 years ago who was very brave and straightforward about this, suggesting that there should be a red light district where prostitution would be available and would be under control. You can imagine how unpopular he was, he was never re elected of course…but I agreed with him absolutely. Of course I am not in favour of prostitution but if you cannot stop it at least you should control it. Had we provided a doctor for them we might have been able to control their health status, checking on them regularly. Now you cannot do anything about it, the disease is spreading.

— Why do you think they disliked this idea?

— Well, some of these girls don’t even think of what they are doing, they are selling their bodies to get some nice branded clothes, they work in hotels, they want to look pretty and attractive. Their needs are increasing. Some don’t even realise that they are prostitutes, they don’t know anything about the risks of their deeds.

 — Does your very own clinic ( L’ Ayurveda Healing Centre) offer medical care for such HIV patients?

— Yes, of course, but again it is often problematic as we cannot disclose their names and so we cannot involve their parents. This issue concerns the whole family not only one person. Other illnesses are also threatening them which could easily be avoided if they followed certain hygienic measures for instance. For HIV and other serious cases, of course we also advice them to be under professional medical supervision.

— So would you say that these poor souls lost the values, and are chased to run away because of the financial burdens of traditionalism?

— Yes, yes, the influx of materialism but I wouldn’t blame it only on that. We need matter, I am not against it, and not against money either, we need that too. Now you might as well have experienced on your journey how Bali is more expensive than Java, where it is easier to find jobs too. There is this certain unbalance in Balinese society as materialism is increasing but living conditions are not increasing that much. My latest campaign for example is against tourism. I am not talking about people like you, who travel on their own and spend good money in Bali. I am in fact talking about all those Korean, Taiwanese, Chinese and Japanese groups who come here through package holidays that are organised by their own countries’ agencies, they also have their own tourist guides here, not to mention their own shopping centres. So if a tourist comes from Korea on 100 dollars only 10 dollars remain here, the rest goes to Korean pockets. This is killing our traditional market. There is the case of Sukawati for instance. It used to be a place to buy handicrafts, even wholesalers went there to buy in bulk: woodcarvings, and the like. You had to go there really early in the morning to get the best bargains, as early as 4 o’clock, say. This was in the beginning of the nineties. Now all that is gone, so I am not surprised if you have not heard about Sukawati at all. Many of the big shopping malls and department stores belong to foreigners, who use their local associate’s name for investment purpose. The money is not remaining here but the expenditure is going up. The other issue of the campaign is to try and explain that spiritual tourism is not only about coming here on a religious purpose, it also involves the eco system. When you want to build something for tourists and you destroy the eco system it is not right. I am very much against the building of golf courses as well and have always said they belong to Scotland, not to Bali. Ok, they can try building them in Papua or some other place, say, where there are not too many tourists. Develop the undeveloped regions, but do not overburden a place like Bali, please….

by Virag Balogi and Tibor Weiner Sennyey | 27 March 2012

Source: http://www.uyghurpen.org/The_Rebel_Spiritual_Activist.html

Journey to India 22 November 2011

Standing before the Statue of Shiva, I remembered my dear friend WN who is very much devoted to the Lord and wears the Trident as his lucky charm. God bless us allAt Ramakrishna Mission Bglore

 

At Ramakrishna Mission Bglore

A Karma Dialogue

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I just came across Bapak Anand Krishna’s status and found an inspiring dialogue. A “Karma” dialogue. What a coincidence I just finished one of his latest book: Karma Yoga! So, I decide to share this dialogue with all of you.

Special thanks to Bapak Anand Krishna for this inspiring dialogue and also special thanks to my “brother” who initiated the dialogue.

IMHO, for those who want to read the book of Karma Yoga by Bapak Anand Krishna, this dialogue can serve as prologue and also epilogue. So, enjoy it, Bros and Sists!

AK = Anand Krishna
Q = Question

Anand Krishna:

“And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – about all those [one] will be questioned.” (Al Quran, al-Israa 36)

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (the Holy Bible, Galatians 6:7)

“A man is born alone and dies alone; and he experiences the good and bad consequences of his karma alone; and he goes alone to hell or the Supreme abode.” (Chanakya in Niti-Shaastra)

Q:

Karma only happens when there are other parties who had bad or good experiences from us during our current life. Who we were before we are alive today is only an empty illusion. No one remembers who we were before we are alive today. If no one remember about it, why we are responsible for something we don’t even remember?

AK:

Brother, I don’t remember what did I eat 21 days ago, but what I ate then is turning into marrow today, and the quality of my blood entirely depends upon what I ate. Good day!

If we forget what we did 21 days ago that is our fault. But, if we dont know what we did before we were born….then who to blame ? I believe every human being can actively change their destiny while they are still alive, and not affected or determined by something that we cant control before we were born. 🙂

1. O yes. I agree we all can change our destiny. I think even the three quotes above are saying the very same thing.

I define the word “sowing” as an effort to make/change/form – whatever you may like to call it – one’s destiny.

When Chanakya says we experience the consequence of our own actions – he too is emphasizing upon the same thing, “look you can experience good if you work goodness.

And, the Quranic verse emphasizing upon the word “pursue” – brother, God bless you, but can’t you see. Sir, my friend, that all these verses are actually in line with your own belief system 🙂

2. Aha, I know may be you are allergic to the idea of reincarnation. Perhaps, you are being reactive to what you see around you in Bali.

But, whether you believe in reincarnation, or not, as long as you believe in “you make your own destiny, and what you sow you reap” – then we all are speaking the same language.

No Balinese Hindu shall ever try to convert you to believe in what they believe. Faith is very personal. Conversion is a matter of heart, not a matter of changing religions.

I wish you all the best, God bless you

3. PS. As u rightly said, brother, if we didn’t remember what we ate 21 days ago, then it is our fault – absolutely. Very true. So, if we don’t remember what we were before – it is our fault also.

 

We don’t know what we did before we are born this time – as we also don’t remember what we ate 21 days ago – but what we ate then has become our marrow, and that marrow made of that food determines the quality of our blood tomorrow and shall also determine our overall health.

But, once again, you DON’T HAVE to endorse to the concept, or truth of reincarnation.

Just look around, look at innocent children born in famine stricken Somalia and Ethiopia. Look at those born blind or cripple in our own country, look at the autis born in the family of rich. Whose fault it is?

Q :

Nothing is wrong with that. God creates us with all of our plus and minus. I am sure God want to see what should We who were born with many pluses are exposed to the fellows who were born with many minus. That’s the time and place where love has to be in place and applied. Because all of us, alive or death, are belong to God. We can never complain to what He plan. And that”s nothing to do with karma of those poor Somalia and Ethiopia people. Now we can see, who help those poor people, whether for pure humanity or for collecting better karma ( if you still want to use the term “karma”) for their own current and next life purpose.

If you can remember all things you did before you were born as a human being then that how you can proof with to all of the other human being. As no one can confirm what you did is right or not.

AK:

My dear, dear brother, if I may know how can you be so sure of what God wants? It amazes me brother.

Q:

Especially, when you combine with reincarnation concept, you may be non human creature in your past life , right? Suppose you were a cow (sorry for the example only ), how you can remember when people slaughter you during your life as a cow? Things become more complicated and absurd. I believe human being is the highest degree of God creature in the earth. I don’t think God will let us become animal somehow sometime. 🙂

It is a good discussion…. i like to discuss it in more detail 🙂 Thanks 🙂

AK:

Also my dear brother, why would God create crippled and famine stricken children just to prove how are the people born with pluses (using your terminology) going to respond to their condition? Do you think by throwing some food into their begging bowls we can make them happy? Or, make the cripple forget his condition?

My gratitude to you too brother, nice knowing you. God bless you, brother

Q:

I am sure you hear what your heart say when you know and see the poor people asking for help. I believe that inner voice is from our Creator. 🙂

What do you think you can do to help those poor Somalian? Teach them to meditate and accept their conditions as part of their karma, and then just wait the time to die? And pray and hope to be re-born in a rich familiy after they die? 🙂

AK:

This is where ur entire understanding of Lord Jesus’ mssg of “you reap what you sow” as delivered by Paul, stands to be corrected. Acceptance of the Law of Sowing and Reaping encourages us to sow, and sow, and sow.

I am trying to do what I can for the destitute around me first. Remember Lord Jesus’ testatement, indeed His Greatest Testament, “Love your neighbour”. I am trying to follow that first before loving my neighbour’s neighbour, as per my capacity.

My dear brother, I feel, living in Bali, you have not been able to understand the culture and the spirituality of the Balinese. I am so sorry that you have got a totally biased view and perception of the entire Karma theory.

Perhaps you despise it since the language sanskrit is foreign to you. Let us change it to Latin, or English “cause and affect”, or the language of physics, “action and reaction”, or the language of the Holy Bible, “sowing and reaping”

Ambassador of Parliament of World Religions 2009

Anand Krishna has been a 2009 Ambassador since August of 2009, and in that time he has spoken to over 10,000 people about the work of the Council and the 2009 Parliament. An Indonesian national of Indian descent, Anand is an author, educator and spiritual leader seeking to explore and expand the role meditation plays in the world’s great faiths and religions. He has written over 110 books within last 10 years with more than half a million copies sold all over Indonesia.

As a 2009 Ambassador, Anand Krishna has actively promoted the Council and the 2009 Parliament through the use of the Ambassador toolkit resources in hosting Pre-Parliament events, writing and responding to blogs, facebook messages and forwading email blasts to oer 2,000 recipients. Through his Anand Ashram Foundation, Anand has organized an exuberant series of events in promotion of the Melbourne Parliament of Religions. The events took place in Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Bali and included peace campaigns, interfaith harmony meetings and expositions. . Anand describes of his role as a 2009 Ambassador as being “a fulfillment of a dream.”

Anand Krishna has also published an opinion piece in the Jakarta Post, which is Indonesia’s largest English-language newspaper. The argument jumps right into the dilemmas posed by religious radicalism and terrorism and calls on the Melbourne Parliament of Religions to encourage real progress and interreligious harmony.

JAKARTA

  • Exposition in Jakarta, September 1, 2009, attended by more than 600 participants, with General (ret.) Hendropriyono former chief of national intelligence as Guest of Honor. Also attending the event were the Director General of Immigration, veteran artist Selamet Raharjo and others. 
  • Peace Campaign at National Monument Grounds,September 5, 2009, attended by about 5000 participants. 
  • Interfaith Harmony Meetings, Every fortnight on Saturday evenings. Attendance is usually 120 – 150. 
  • Peace Campaigns,, Every fortnight on Sunday mornings. Attendance is usually 4000 – 5000.

YOGYAKARTA

  • Interfaith Harmony Meetings, Every fortnight on Saturday evenings. Attendance is usually 120 – 150. 
  • Peace Campaigns, Every fortnight on Sunday mornings. Attendance is usually 800 – 1000.

BALI

  • Exposition in Bali, September 21, 2009, attended by about 200 participants. 
  • Interfaith Harmony Meetings, Every fortnight on Saturday evenings. Attendance is usually 120 – 150. 
  • Peace Campaigns, Every fortnight on Sunday mornings. Attendance is usually 1000 – 1500.


Also visit http://worlds-religions-parliament.blogspot.com/

Spiritualist Anand Krishna’s Speech on Sufi Night – Nov 15, 2009 in IBMF 2009

On Sufi Night in International Bali Meditator’s Festival (IBMF) 2009 — 15th of November 2009 — , at Bale Banjar, Ubud-Bali, Spiritualist Anand Krishna explained that Sufis had been running away from life because of trauma that had occurred after Mansyur Al-Hallaj was prosecuted in Baghdad, in 922 M.

Unlike his fellows, Al-Hallaj was Sufi master who shared his vision of God with the masses in his writings and through his teachings. Sometimes, by occasions, Al-Hallaj would fall into traces, which one of the traces, he would utterred “Ana-l-Haqq” (meaning : I am The Truth). Since Al-Haqq (The Truth) was one of the Ninety Nine Names of Allah, he was accused to claim to be God. His controversial statement led him to gallows, and death.
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I am sorry

I apologize for my inability to be a good host to foreigners living in my country. I am sorry that I could still find time to say my prayers before rushing to the scene or to the hospital where the wounded were being treated. I realize now, that I was being insensitive to the cries and tears of the bereaved family members of the deceased and the injured victims in the hospital.
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