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In Facebook KERALA YUKTHIVADI SANGHAM Noble Shriman Adithya Carvaka posted

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  • Swamiji
    In Facebook KERALA YUKTHIVADI SANGHAM Noble Shriman Adithya Carvaka pasted his personal discussion with the UK, Dorset Humanist Association President Noble
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 8, 2011
      In Facebook KERALA YUKTHIVADI SANGHAM Noble Shriman Adithya Carvaka pasted his personal discussion with the UK, Dorset Humanist Association President Noble David Warden regarding my conditions and his concepts.

      <http://www.facebook.com/groups/yukthivadi?ap=1>

      Adithya Carvaka
      I had raised the issue of Swami Manavatavadi on one of the posts here some time ago. I had made my responses rather clear. Subsequently Manavatavadi has engaged in trying to garner support for immunity from criticism against his attire and insistence in signing off his comments as swami'JI' .. he had posted his SOS on his wall and there was a comment from a non-Indian rationalist, which I had ignored. Ignored because I did not have the time to explain the intricacies of what the whole façade really means. The person however mailed me direct. Since it was initially posted for public viewing, i am now taking the liberty of posting it here. The reason is to highlight how non-Indians often fail to understand the whole picture. It is for such reasons that people like Teresa of Calcutta managed to grow that big. I egg all those reading this to understand the whole picture before certifying an individual based on certain actions:

      June 21David Warden
      Dear Adithya - please don't abuse Swami Manavatavadi. He is a longstanding friend of humanists in the UK and the US. If you met him you would come to know that he is a sincere rationalist and humanist. He is already being harassed and persecuted by Brahmins in Kurukshetra and he needs our support not further condemnation.
      Thank you
      David Warden
      Chair, Dorset Humanists UK (affiliated to the Britsh Humanist Association)

      June 25 Adithya Carvaka
      David none of what you said, qualifies this chap for immunity against criticism. If you realise the gravity of how his name misleads people you will appreciate what I am trying to do here. He is playing into the stereotypical romantic version of how the western hemisphere view Indians with his absolutely absurd communication skills and his choice of words. Doing good can be done and is being done without such a comic guise. He is not going to command any respect from me for how he projects himself. He is an absolute joker and stands to dilute good work done by other non-religious people in India.

      June 26 David Warden
      Dear Adithya, None of us is immune from criticism. From a modern, urbane perspective Swami Manavatavadi can be criticised for styling himself as a guru but we are all products of time and circumstance and few of us can completely re-invent ourselves. He is partly a product of the Shankaracharya cult which he joined as a child and became a sadhu. Around the age of 16 he became an atheist and re-interpreted being a sadhu in secular terms to mean living an ascetic life and serving his local community as a teacher and humanitarian. He lives in a humanist/ humanitarian mission or ashram which challenges our Western notions of what humanism should look like. He reveres his mentor, a Dr Kohli who lived in Ranchi, and every year they have a commemorative festival to honour his life. For many years he lived in relative isolation and did not even know of the existence of international humanism/rationalism. With the help of his associate, Sadhvi Asha Manav and a student teacher, he is helping to get dozens of kids off the streets and into elementary education. He is challenging religion in a particular corner of a Hindu holy town with great courage and moral fortitude. I would like humanists and rationalists, both in India and abroad, to be tolerant and supportive – not to boost Swami Manavatavadi himself but to support the good that his mission is doing.

      I am dismayed by the violence of your opinions against him but I do want to understand your Indian perspective as best I can. Nevertheless, I also invite you to temper your judgments with knowledge about what he is doing and the journey he has made.

      June 26 Adithya Carvaka
      I am in total support of activities that help the weak and underprivileged .. even if its tinged with religious hues. The Kuwait Fund for instance pumps millions of dollars every year into Africa and despite the fact that it is biased toward Muslims I still think it is a good thing where the poor are helped. Mind u I am only in support of the activity and not the philosophy behind the activity.

      Manatvadi's activities my be lauded but the package the individual brings must not be sidelined. The individual Manatvadi is packaged with symbols that denote a particular philosophy and the excuses he provides are not valid. You may understand the magnitude of its seriousness if u compare it with symbols u know.

      Imagine someone wearing the entire klu klux klan garb with the hood, or a Nazi hand band and insisting that he isn't racist. Irrespective of whether he does good he will be viewed with scepticism for his 'in you face' attire and what it denotes.

      Can't type much now. Please appreciate the larger picture before you extend unconditional support.

      22 hours ago David Warden
      Thank you for your reply. I appreciate your misgivings about Manavatavadi's style of name and dress. What I do not understand, from my Western perspective, is the degree of anger and hostility this causes in the Indian rationalist community. If his name and dress is part of his identity why can you not accept this as something incongruous but of relative unimportance compared to his beliefs and actions? This complaint has been raging for about 20 years and it is extremely tiresome to Western humanists who just accept him as he is whatever the outward packaging. It makes Indian rationalists seem very mean-spirited which is surely not the image you wish to create in the global humanist community.

      a few seconds ago Adithya Carvaka
      ||If his name and dress is part of his identity why can you not accept this as something incongruous but of relative UNIMPORTANCE compared to his beliefs and actions?|| - Well that is just it.. indeed it is incongruous but it is highly important.

      I have tried my best to make you realise the magnitude of what his attire and his ridiculous name implies. Let me try once more. That his name is 'Swami' is acceptable as such a name does exist as a stand alone but when he attaches the 'Ji' the whole meaning changes. For example, Alexander Pope was an English poet.. the name 'Pope' is this regard is acceptable but were the poet to introduce himself as 'His Holiness the Pope', the whole thing changes.. that in effect is what Manvatavadi does by signing off as 'Swamiji'

      His attire too has similar implications. His saffron robes signify a certain stance. You may relate this to someone wearing a Nazi 'Swastika' and insisting that it be overlooked. It cannot be overlooked because it has a meaning and it is string right in your face.

      I dont mean any offence but honestly, the reason you do not understand, these things from your Western perspective is purely due to ignorance. I am trying to give you information for you to reassess your stance. || It makes Indian rationalists seem very mean-spirited which is surely not the image you wish to create in the global humanist community.|| - I am not one to segregate humanists on the lines of east and west. There will be huge swaths of the 'global' humanists who will appreciate the point I make. I suggest you take heed of the issues I have tried to explain with examples of western sensibilities, in order for you to reach a proper conclusion. Considering that you have witnessed this uproar for 20 years now, there has to be some point where you try to understand why.
      15 hours ago ·like You like this.....

      16 hours ago .Swami Manavatavadi In Facebook KERALA YUKTHIVADI SANGHAM:

      Noble Shriman Anand Nair wrote there:

      I have been seeing Swami Manavatavadi's contributions here and elsewhere. I am reasonably certain that he is as much a rationalist as anyone else! If that is so, I see no reason why one should object to the first part of his name, ignoring ...the second part; or to his saffron robes. (Does he wear saffron robes? All his pics at FB show him in white dress)

      Swami Agnivesh too prefixes his name with "Swami" and wears saffron robes. While I would vigorously contest his spiritualism and belief in God, I respect him as a person and a social activist. It is a total distortion of Indian reality to suggest that the prefix "Swami" and "saffrom robes" have connotation similar to the Swastika in Europe!

      I have great respect for Swami Manavatavadi who is not only a social activist, but also a vocal rationalist-- and this is in no way diminished by his choice of name and dress.

      14 hours ago · Like · 1 person You like this..

      Noble Shriman Anand Nair wrote there: However, I must say that I find Swami Manavatavadi's excessive "humility" and "politeness" a bit distracting. But this is obviously due to our cultural differences...
      14 hours ago ·

      I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote there:

      Noble All here, Humblest Greetings=Namaskaram. I feel very happy to see this posting here which had been a personal discussion between Noble Shriman Adithya Ji and Noble David Warden. Surely it is a very good thing that Noble Shriman Adithya Ji is not wanting to keep all his discussions secret. I want to admire his frankness, a markable Rationalist attitude. For my knowledge it is just the continuation of a campaign since 1976 and I realize the sense of focusing of matters with our people. Surely I shall feel happy to participate in this discussion here but I humbly invite every one here to place their phases of opinions on the points Noble Shriman Adithya Ji has abstracted. Expecting All's support in this matter I remain waiting to see more. Kindly excuse me for my flaws and oblige. Cordially, Swamiji
      13 hours ago ·

      Noble Shriman Prashanth Randadath wrote there:
      "Politeness is half good manners and half good lying."

      2 hours ago ·Like · 3 people....

      I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote there:

      Noble Shriman Prashanth Ji, Humblest Greetings-Namaskaram. I had never been a polite person at all. Once before I had wrote about it. But I don't want to be disrespectful. I want to respect them all to whom I need to address. It is no politeness at all. For me Noble is not a polite word rather a Respectful word irrespective of Gender or age or position. I, with all respect from the total human community pray not to attack on me to snatch my simple freedom of respecting the humans of this world. I know I am not backed by any majority or intellectuals or power or position. But as simple species fellow I pray for this amount of mercy from all. It is no philosophy but just a weakest human's humblest prayer from all. I know I have not learnt civilized manners. I don't know whether my language is half mannered or no mannered but I need a merciful favour and support from all to be kind and compassionate enough not to snatch my desire/habit of respecting all humans of this earth. I hope all of you kindly have mercy on me and oblige. Kindly excuse me for my flaws in thinking, expression, language and typing and oblige. Cordially, Swamiji
      46 minutes ago

      16 hours ago In Facebook KERALA YUKTHIVADI SANGHAM Group Noble Shriman Anand Nair Ji wrote:

      Rahul,

      I really feel that we must let SM to choose his own style of talk, dress and name. These do not affect his rationalism or social activism. Then why do we crib about that?

      Moreover, as SM pointed out, are we not tolerant with rationalists who proudly state that using cuss words is in their very nature?

      My point is that in both cases, we need to deal with content rather than form...

      16 hours ago · Like · 1 person Joel Smith likes this..

      I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote:

      So kind of you Noble Joel for liking Noble Shriman Anand Nair's posting.

      11 hours ago · Like 1 person Sps Chandigarh likes this..
      I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote:

      So kind of you Noble Doctor SPS Sahib for you kindly liked my appreciating Noble Joel's liking Noble Shriman Anand Nayarji's posting in KYS.
      10 hours ago · Like · 1 person Leta Bezdecheck likes this..

      Noble Victoria Wakewood wrote: It appears that the physical exterior image holds more importance than one's inner spirit.
      9 hours ago · Like · 1 person You like this..

      I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote:

      Noble Victoria, Humblest Greetings. It depends. Every person has a proportionally varried amount of vision to peep in to the inner and also to physically viewing the outer. An evaluation comes from these proportional amount of existing vision of a person. Kindly excuse me for my flaws and oblige. Cordially, Swamiji
      8 hours ago · Like.

      Noble Victoria Wakewood wrote: Dear Swami Manavtavadi I truly respect your honest and thoughtful reflection.
      2 hours ago ·Like · 1 person....

      I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote: So kind of you Noble Victoria for your encouraging comment here. Thinking is a big thing for a savage forester at my background. But your compasion to keep my morale up is admired and I salute you for this kindness. Many thanks to you for your support.
      18 minutes ago
    • Swamiji
      The issue of Swami Manavatavadi Posted by: bud bud@accessv.com billybobbud Sat Jul 9, 2011 10:10 pm (PDT) =================== ... Manavatavadi has engaged
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 10, 2011
        The issue of Swami Manavatavadi
        Posted by: "bud" bud@... billybobbud
        Sat Jul 9, 2011 10:10 pm (PDT)


        ===================
        ... Manavatavadi has engaged in trying to garner support for immunity from criticism against his attire and insistence in signing off his comments as swami'JI' ...
        ============

        That is funny how people don't like what a person says - so they criticize their mode of dress or speech or appearance or whatever affectations, haircut, nose length, skin colour, etc. Well, probably every parent and teacher hears this from the kids all the time.

        Of course a person creates a persona - and Swamiji is a Wonderful personality. Everyone creates themselves, by growing a moustache or getting a certain haircut, or wearing various clothing. So it is everyone's choice! Years ago, I had long hair past my waist - so I learned how people are jealous and hyper-critical - like monkeys. It is a reflex action, a natural instinct.

        Everyone chooses also their nom de plume - who wants the same name as everyone else? That is why I use Bud. Swami-JI is PERFECT! for a name. Face facts.

        That is like Rosalita instead of Rosa - just a little bit nicer. Chiquita instead of chica. Johnny instead of plain John.

        In an objective sense - to an individual, apparently some people see a name as unpleasant or affected or trying to show off - like when I introduce myself as Johnny Guitar. Some people are instinctively offended. I guess they look for any deviation from conventionality, and start worrying at it.
        ----------------------------

        ================================
        ... Swami Manavatavadi... is a longstanding friend of humanists in the UK and the US. If you met him you would come to know that he is a sincere rationalist and humanist...
        ============

        Oy, but that suit! That haircut! That tie! How can we tolerate such flamboyance?
        --------------

        =================
        ... none of what you said, qualifies this chap for immunity against criticism.
        ==========

        He ugly. He bad.
        ------------------------

        =========================
        If you realise the gravity of how his name misleads people you will appreciate
        what I am trying to do here.
        =====================

        Well, how about Dr Phil? Lady Gaga? Johnny Guitar? Kid Rock? Jay Zee? How about if he named himself Obama?

        What if he were Prime Minister? And still was called Swamiji?
        -----------

        ===========================
        He is playing into the stereotypical romantic version of how the western hemisphere view Indians with his absolutely absurd communication skills and his choice of words... He is an absolute joker and stands to dilute good work done by other non-religious people in India.
        =============

        Do they have lots of Humanist Orphanages then?

        So many that you can't use one more?

        That is comical how, still, after all these years and decades, people's mode of speech and dress are still ridiculed, for lack of anything better to do.

        In fact, Swamiji has an excellent manner of writing English - if I was his Editor, I would clean it up only a little bit - it is very intricate and covers a lot of points, and in a unique, literate manner. The secret of writing, you Need a method. You need an over-reaching Style. You can't be the same as everyone else, yet you must get your meaning expressed in a vivid manner. It has to be written from some point of view. Thus you develop your character, as The StoryTeller. Where you are coming from. To write, you Need a stereotypical, romantic manner - a style.
        -----------------------

        ===================
        None of us is immune from criticism. From a modern, urbane perspective Swami Manavatavadi can be criticised for styling himself as a guru but we are all products of time and circumstance and few of us can completely re-invent ourselves...
        ===========

        Well, we ALL create our personae. Some people lack imagination and originality, but some people develop an interesting, unique character!

        In fact, he IS a guru - he got his Guru Certificate back in 1967 from the Guru Registry.
        --------------

        ===================
        He is partly a product of the Shankaracharya cult which he joined as a child and became a sadhu. Around the age of 16 he became an atheist and re-interpreted being a sadhu in secular terms to mean living an ascetic life and serving his local community as a teacher and humanitarian.
        ==========

        We could use more Swamijis in the world for sure!

        Right, and young people who do not know anything eventually find out about the complete lack of supernatural beings. Some of them do nothing about it - but some redirect their efforts, and steer the ship in a different direction.
        ------------

        ==========
        He lives in a humanist/ humanitarian mission or ashram which challenges our Western notions of what humanism should look like.
        =====

        Ha! If you look at humanists or atheists, you see the more-intelligent section of society, and humanists mostly realize that you have to have some fun. And so, many of us have various eccentricities and affectations, mannerisms, both of appearance and of writing. And we try hard to be different, in a creative and clever way.

        Some of us have fancy moustaches or beards, and try to look like Distinguished Professors. Some of us wear colourful clothing and drive big red cars - to try to stand out from the crowd. It is just what clever, original people do, and Humanism can be a great Theme.

        Swamiji has developed a Very Good persona, theme, style which is clever, original, and effective for its purposes, like helping kids.
        ------------------------------

        ==============
        With the help of his associate, Sadhvi Asha Manav and a student teacher, he is helping to get dozens of kids off
        the streets and into elementary education. He is challenging religion in a particular corner of a Hindu holy town with great courage and moral fortitude.
        ===============

        And we really hope that Deviji is doing well! It is important to get some fresh air and exercise regularly and vigourously.

        And they seem very heroic to me.

        Imagine if you were the orphan.

        -----------

        ======================
        I would like humanists and rationalists, both in India and abroad, to be tolerant and supportive – not to boost Swami Manavatavadi himself but to support the good that his mission is doing.
        ============

        Well, sure, but Swamiji is COOL! He's great! How could anyone ask for more? He is Perfect!
        -------------

        ===================
        I am dismayed by the violence of your opinions against him but I do want to understand your Indian perspective as best I can.
        =============

        Well, sometimes if a person is very young, they don't see a larger picture, where the odd-looking piece fits in extremely well.

        Often, in writing, it is hard to disguise when you have no "point". In spoken words, a child can rhyme off a string of insults and ridicule no problem, "Swamiji is fat, Swamiji is ugly, Swamiji walks funny, Swamiji writes funny, Swamiji dresses funny, etc," but in writing, it is hard to convey.
        --------------------

        =================
        Nevertheless, I also invite you to temper your judgments with knowledge about what he is doing and the journey he has made.
        =========

        I was hoping he could become Prime Minister, but I guess not this year?
        ---------------

        ================
        Manatvadi's activities my be lauded but the package the individual brings must not be sidelined.
        ============

        Actually, it is a separate and supporting effort, amongst many, his character, and quite a package! To develop anything "big", you need a lot of supporting members, meaning separate threads of effort, which unfold over time, and all complement one another, to produce a combined effect which is larger than the sum of the parts.

        That method, if one part is looking weak, some work on another section can shore up and support the entire structure.

        So "the individual", the persona Swamiji is only one part of a larger effort.
        ---------------

        ===========================
        The individual Manatvadi is packaged with symbols that denote a particular philosophy and the excuses he provides are not valid.
        =======

        Well, that philosophy would be Humanism.... it rather doesn't need any excuses - it just is an evolved "spirit" which seizes people. They feel like helping people and spreading knowledge to improve the entire human race. It is more fun than most things. You can bask in glory, when you have helped something get better (in a general sense). It's like an instinct, to want to improve things, on every scale.
        -----------------------------------

        ====================
        You may understand the magnitude of its seriousness if u compare it with symbols u know.

        Imagine someone wearing the entire klu klux klan garb with the hood, or a Nazi hand band and insisting that he isn't racist. Irrespective of whether he does good he will be viewed with scepticism for his 'in you face' attire and what it denotes.
        ==============

        Hmmmm - there is a psychological condition, where Nazis come creeping out of the woodwork unbidden....

        I think the mind just seizes upon unpleasant symbols, to try to convey the psychological discomfort that the person feels.

        Why do they feel this discomfort? Some sort of obsessive/ compulsive/ cognitive dissonance problem. Even they themselves can't put their finger on why they feel this annoyance. Any reason springs to mind - ALL reasons spring to mind - "Swamiji is fat, Swamiji is ugly, Swamiji walks funny, Swamiji writes funny, Swamiji dresses funny, etc," but just at THAT point in the thought process, the over-seeing mind kicks in, and they reject the more ridiculous reasons, not to put off their listener.
        -----------------

        ==================
        I appreciate your misgivings about Manavatavadi's style of name and dress.
        ==============

        I knew it would come to this - I stopped dressing funny and wearing my hair down to my waist, and now anyone who dresses a bit differently is Shocking!

        What is in a name? Well, you have to pick a Good name, for any "big" effort. Like for my Band - Johnny Guitar and the Kings of the Universe!

        I think Swamiji picked a Perfect set of names. There is the formal name, like "The Humanist Association of Canada", and there is the familiar name, "Skeptics Canada". We have his right royal highness, "The Swami Manavatavadi", plus the down-to-earth, hard-working, practical, friendly and playful, Swamiji!
        --------------------------

        ================
        What I do not understand, from my Western perspective, is the degree of anger and hostility this causes in the Indian rationalist
        community.
        ============

        The religious people say, "God only knows," which means that nobody knows. In a formal and complete manner. In a general sense, it is a facet of human nature, which betrays a deep insecurity.
        -----------------

        ===============
        If his name and dress is part of his identity why can you not accept this as something incongruous but of relative unimportance compared to his beliefs and actions?
        =========

        Well, and take a look at the people in the world - like Lady Gaga! I hope that people don't dislike her because she adopted a funny name and dresses oddly? She is Mega Cool! Original! She has the Name, and the Style she calls her own! Just like Swamiji!

        These people are the avant garde! These people set the styles, that other people copy.

        There can be apparently great jealously, if one monkey tries to "look smarter" than the other monkies, and they start to jeer and cat-call.

        They can see that some strong, Lady Gaga-size monkies are way out in front, and ahead of the pack, and can't be touched, but they try to drag back anyone in the pack near their level who is trying to get up in front and ahead of the pack.
        ----------------

        ========================
        This complaint has been raging for about 20 years and it is extremely tiresome to Western humanists who just accept him as he is whatever the outward packaging...
        ===========================================
        I dont mean any offence but honestly, the reason you do not understand, these things from your Western perspective is purely due to ignorance...
        ========================

        Well, you could say, but there is this "Global Community", which has this "Western perspective", whereby we applaud and celebrate people's diversity, and colour and flash and cleverness and hard work and good-heartedness, etc.

        It is the same with advertising a product or service - if you do it a certain way, you can go World-Wide. You need a Swamiji style! Clever and memorable, focussed on good causes, unique, and anyone would say Pretty Inoffensive to all but a tiny fraction of people who "really know" what "Swami" means!

        In a way, there are interesting parallels in North America also! Over here, we have always called the aboriginal native people "Indians", because the first explorers thought they had sailed around the world to India. But the Americas were in the way.

        So, our "Indians", if one of them tries to exploit his native heritage, sometimes some are jealous! If one puts up a store selling "Genuine Native Art", some might say he was selling out their heritage! Commercializing the sacred heritage.

        If one of our Indians DID open up a native art store, he would also probably choose a Native name for himself - right? Like Joe Running Bear, or Billy White Eagle.

        Of course the other native people would make fun of his invented name!

        But he Needs a persona! He has to develop something bigger than himself, of which he is only one part, and a carefully-crafted part.

        Right, so to anyone not from that part of India, Swamiji seems COOL! Great image! Great brand name! A well-developed package developed to do REAL Humanism. That is the Real Deal. It is amazing how Swamiji and Deviji can help so many young people!

        I keep saying, make a better website and get the Credit Card donations buttons on there, and the orphanage could raise more and more money. And make a GOOD website! It is not that hard - html programming is the easiest, in some ways.

        Just like the persona, the website has to be COOL! It has to develop a narrative, get a story going, a Romantic Picture, in the person's mind, which develops quickly and leads to an expected and pleasurable Story, with plots and characters, etc. So it is a set of hard planning, to develop the website, but colour and flash and fast loading are all good. Certainly themes and motifs and paths to follow that look interesting. The Swami angle is Wonderful. It strikes certain chords. 21st-Century Swami who saves children. That is COOL! - face facts.

        In a way - it is THE COOLEST! That is the secret that Swamiji has, and everyone seeks - what could possibly be more cool than a 21st Century non-religious Indian Swami who saves children by the dozens, including by feeding and educating them, and also protecting them from religious indoctrination? Nothing! It is The Coolest! Until the person gets a little tired with it and looks at The Next thing - but that is how it works - the concept has to Grab people. Then you can have a successful run, and do a lot of good work. There are a lot of people in the world.
        ---------------

        ===========================
        I have been seeing Swami Manavatavadi's contributions here and elsewhere. I am
        reasonably certain that he is as much a rationalist as anyone else! If that is
        so, I see no reason why one should object to the first part of his name,
        ignoring ...the second part; or to his saffron robes. (Does he wear saffron
        robes? All his pics at FB show him in white dress)
        ==========

        I would advise a whole set of different coloured robes. A person doesn't want to get stuck in a rut only wearing one colour. Maybe some people might limit it to 3 or 4 colours, but they should be all nice colours and solid and vivid probably. White is good! I like purple. Bright yellow would be nice. Maybe under-stated is better, less flashy.

        Swamiji is pretty rational! (ist)! He has a very detailed understanding of many things.
        ------------

        ===========
        Swami Agnivesh too prefixes his name with "Swami" and wears saffron robes...
        ==========

        It is GREAT! It is like a brand name, like a symbol, connotes and conveys certain information immediately, and leaves the reader to wonder where all the interesting potential pathways lead to?

        It is like saying, "Here is a NEW, BETTER, UNIQUE, INTERESTING way to do something." It has mystique and cachet.
        ---------------------

        ================
        It is a total distortion of Indian reality to suggest that the prefix "Swami" and "saffrom robes" have connotation similar to
        the Swastika in Europe!
        ===========

        Exceedingly few people could draw any negative connotations from a non-religious 21st-Century Swami who saves dozens of children from a rather rough existence, and helps to educate them to become useful members of society, who also help other people. And then they help more people, and the entire world gets better and better.

        It is a clever angle.
        --------------------------

        =====================
        I have great respect for Swami Manavatavadi who is not only a social activist, but also a vocal rationalist-- and this is in no way diminished by his choice of name and dress.
        ===========

        You get the great, energetic, VERY dedicated and persistent, social activist, and vocal rationalist - PLUS! - he is also a "SWAMI"! But a 21st Century Swami! Modern, non-religious Swami. But still, "Swami" and the robes and the non-ostentatious and selfless lifestyle - it conveys some of the Dedication, of many, many years, and the helpful generous spirit, watching over the children. And this is a Real Live Spirit, only kind that there are, and Swamiji has helped a lot of people. Like, very few people dedicate themselves so completely to helping other people. This is a wonderful thing to do.... Things can get better, when people help and co-operate with other people. It spreads, good will and generosity.

        I think that people who had a rough childhood might be consumed by fears and non-rational hates of people. I would say that they need to eliminate stressors from their lives, and get lots more exercise, and try new things, and vary their surroundings, and try to relax and enjoy the flow.
        -------------------

        ===========================
        However, I must say that I find Swami Manavatavadi's excessive "humility" and "politeness" a bit distracting. But this
        is obviously due to our cultural differences...
        ===============

        Sort of maybe - it is a certain Way, of doing things. Some people have one way, some have another, and this applies to all things. You have to read it and understand it and accept the humility and all, which is all part of the package.

        It makes more sense, or is easier to say something vividly, if you have couched it in a narrative or a setting, locale, venue. It gives the reader additional information, which allows them to follow lines of thought more fully, sooner.

        Writing is not just a matter of "writing", but you need Great writing, and for that, you need the Swamiji method. He constructs a milieu within which people can understand things more fully.
        ---------------

        =============
        "Politeness is half good manners and half good lying."
        ===========

        Well, sort of, but there is another way - where you actually ARE polite.

        Some people strive to be unfailingly polite, All The Way Down. They adopted that way of behaving and thinking. They are polite to the last dot on the last "i", and the last cross on the last "t".

        Why? It can be an effective way of dealing with almost everyone - actually like and respect them, regardless!

        I would say the Humanist Way is that - you meet someone, you Like them.

        There are always flaws with people, in your perception - so you have to ignore the bad parts, and try to develop the Good parts. And, even the nastiest people have a "good side" usually. They are often shaped by negative experiences that they had with people - so You give them a Good experience! And greet them heartily and sincerely, and listen to them, and be polite. And Like them! Only a very few people are totally anal - most people are quite friendly, under a shell of caution.

        Oh yeah, and Humility! It is so rare that few people have it, understand it, nor appreciate it! Amazing.

        It used to be a quality - well, it still is! with some people - but it will serve you well! Everyone needs quite a bit - why not have a Large helping? Have more! It's free!
        -----------

        ========================
        Kindly excuse me for my flaws in thinking, expression, language and typing and oblige. Cordially, Swamiji
        ===============

        When you read and understand what he has said completely, you will understand that he has a certain "purity of spirit", and he actually IS humble, and actually IS apologizing for what anyone might perceive as a flaw. One person's flaw is another person's diamond. To be complete, you also have to apologize.

        You need to follow the path, in his writing, like keep thinking about it more.
        ---------------------

        ======================
        I really feel that we must let SM to choose his own style of talk, dress and name.
        ============

        No no! We should get him a Pirate Costume!
        -----------------

        ===============
        These do not affect his rationalism or social activism. Then why do we crib about that?
        ============

        It is a psychological condition caused by insecure feelings, which are in turn caused by a worrying childhood oftentimes.
        --------------

        ==================
        Moreover, as SM pointed out, are we not tolerant with rationalists who proudly state that using cuss words is in their very nature?
        =============

        There is a lot to writing, if you want other people to read and understand what you write. Besides written English, a person has modes of spoken English, where Cussing fits right in. But writing is a different story, for anyone who writes for other people to read. There are layers and layers.
        ----------

        ========================

        Noble Victoria Wakewood wrote: It appears that the physical exterior image holds
        more importance than one's inner spirit.
        ========================
        Noble Victoria, Humblest Greetings. It depends. Every person has a
        proportionally varried amount of vision to peep in to the inner and also to
        physically viewing the outer. An evaluation comes from these proportional amount
        of existing vision of a person. Kindly excuse me for my flaws and oblige.
        Cordially, Swamiji
        ========================

        See! He is a perfect Swami!

        You have to think carefully about what he has written. All about it.
        --------------

        ==========================
        Noble Victoria Wakewood wrote: Dear Swami Manavtavadi I truly respect your
        honest and thoughtful reflection.
        ===============================

        See! That is perfect Swamation. When you see it, it becomes obvious. The eyes have to focus at a different distance.
        ----------------

        ==========================
        I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote: So kind of you Noble Victoria for your encouraging
        comment here. Thinking is a big thing for a savage forester at my background.
        ==============

        The narrative gains depth and context and meaning - a person has to get into the larger Story. Each sentence can be contemplated for 10 minutes, productively, and followed up...

        That's the Swamiji Style! It has "magic"! When he says "thinking", he is serious! He thinks in great depth. When a person develops that ability, it is surprising for them! Swamiji has a large landscape that opens up, when he writes, and he can only write what he sees, as much as possible, you might say.

        Bud Skinner


        =================================================

        --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, "Swamiji" <manavatavadi@...> wrote:
        >
        > In Facebook KERALA YUKTHIVADI SANGHAM Noble Shriman Adithya Carvaka pasted his personal discussion with the UK, Dorset Humanist Association President Noble David Warden regarding my conditions and his concepts.
        >
        > <http://www.facebook.com/groups/yukthivadi?ap=1>
        >
        > Adithya Carvaka
        > I had raised the issue of Swami Manavatavadi on one of the posts here some time ago. I had made my responses rather clear. Subsequently Manavatavadi has engaged in trying to garner support for immunity from criticism against his attire and insistence in signing off his comments as swami'JI' .. he had posted his SOS on his wall and there was a comment from a non-Indian rationalist, which I had ignored. Ignored because I did not have the time to explain the intricacies of what the whole façade really means. The person however mailed me direct. Since it was initially posted for public viewing, i am now taking the liberty of posting it here. The reason is to highlight how non-Indians often fail to understand the whole picture. It is for such reasons that people like Teresa of Calcutta managed to grow that big. I egg all those reading this to understand the whole picture before certifying an individual based on certain actions:
        >
        > June 21David Warden
        > Dear Adithya - please don't abuse Swami Manavatavadi. He is a longstanding friend of humanists in the UK and the US. If you met him you would come to know that he is a sincere rationalist and humanist. He is already being harassed and persecuted by Brahmins in Kurukshetra and he needs our support not further condemnation.
        > Thank you
        > David Warden
        > Chair, Dorset Humanists UK (affiliated to the Britsh Humanist Association)
        >
        > June 25 Adithya Carvaka
        > David none of what you said, qualifies this chap for immunity against criticism. If you realise the gravity of how his name misleads people you will appreciate what I am trying to do here. He is playing into the stereotypical romantic version of how the western hemisphere view Indians with his absolutely absurd communication skills and his choice of words. Doing good can be done and is being done without such a comic guise. He is not going to command any respect from me for how he projects himself. He is an absolute joker and stands to dilute good work done by other non-religious people in India.
        >
        > June 26 David Warden
        > Dear Adithya, None of us is immune from criticism. From a modern, urbane perspective Swami Manavatavadi can be criticised for styling himself as a guru but we are all products of time and circumstance and few of us can completely re-invent ourselves. He is partly a product of the Shankaracharya cult which he joined as a child and became a sadhu. Around the age of 16 he became an atheist and re-interpreted being a sadhu in secular terms to mean living an ascetic life and serving his local community as a teacher and humanitarian. He lives in a humanist/ humanitarian mission or ashram which challenges our Western notions of what humanism should look like. He reveres his mentor, a Dr Kohli who lived in Ranchi, and every year they have a commemorative festival to honour his life. For many years he lived in relative isolation and did not even know of the existence of international humanism/rationalism. With the help of his associate, Sadhvi Asha Manav and a student teacher, he is helping to get dozens of kids off the streets and into elementary education. He is challenging religion in a particular corner of a Hindu holy town with great courage and moral fortitude. I would like humanists and rationalists, both in India and abroad, to be tolerant and supportive – not to boost Swami Manavatavadi himself but to support the good that his mission is doing.
        >
        > I am dismayed by the violence of your opinions against him but I do want to understand your Indian perspective as best I can. Nevertheless, I also invite you to temper your judgments with knowledge about what he is doing and the journey he has made.
        >
        > June 26 Adithya Carvaka
        > I am in total support of activities that help the weak and underprivileged .. even if its tinged with religious hues. The Kuwait Fund for instance pumps millions of dollars every year into Africa and despite the fact that it is biased toward Muslims I still think it is a good thing where the poor are helped. Mind u I am only in support of the activity and not the philosophy behind the activity.
        >
        > Manatvadi's activities my be lauded but the package the individual brings must not be sidelined. The individual Manatvadi is packaged with symbols that denote a particular philosophy and the excuses he provides are not valid. You may understand the magnitude of its seriousness if u compare it with symbols u know.
        >
        > Imagine someone wearing the entire klu klux klan garb with the hood, or a Nazi hand band and insisting that he isn't racist. Irrespective of whether he does good he will be viewed with scepticism for his 'in you face' attire and what it denotes.
        >
        > Can't type much now. Please appreciate the larger picture before you extend unconditional support.
        >
        > 22 hours ago David Warden
        > Thank you for your reply. I appreciate your misgivings about Manavatavadi's style of name and dress. What I do not understand, from my Western perspective, is the degree of anger and hostility this causes in the Indian rationalist community. If his name and dress is part of his identity why can you not accept this as something incongruous but of relative unimportance compared to his beliefs and actions? This complaint has been raging for about 20 years and it is extremely tiresome to Western humanists who just accept him as he is whatever the outward packaging. It makes Indian rationalists seem very mean-spirited which is surely not the image you wish to create in the global humanist community.
        >
        > a few seconds ago Adithya Carvaka
        > ||If his name and dress is part of his identity why can you not accept this as something incongruous but of relative UNIMPORTANCE compared to his beliefs and actions?|| - Well that is just it.. indeed it is incongruous but it is highly important.
        >
        > I have tried my best to make you realise the magnitude of what his attire and his ridiculous name implies. Let me try once more. That his name is 'Swami' is acceptable as such a name does exist as a stand alone but when he attaches the 'Ji' the whole meaning changes. For example, Alexander Pope was an English poet.. the name 'Pope' is this regard is acceptable but were the poet to introduce himself as 'His Holiness the Pope', the whole thing changes.. that in effect is what Manvatavadi does by signing off as 'Swamiji'
        >
        > His attire too has similar implications. His saffron robes signify a certain stance. You may relate this to someone wearing a Nazi 'Swastika' and insisting that it be overlooked. It cannot be overlooked because it has a meaning and it is string right in your face.
        >
        > I dont mean any offence but honestly, the reason you do not understand, these things from your Western perspective is purely due to ignorance. I am trying to give you information for you to reassess your stance. || It makes Indian rationalists seem very mean-spirited which is surely not the image you wish to create in the global humanist community.|| - I am not one to segregate humanists on the lines of east and west. There will be huge swaths of the 'global' humanists who will appreciate the point I make. I suggest you take heed of the issues I have tried to explain with examples of western sensibilities, in order for you to reach a proper conclusion. Considering that you have witnessed this uproar for 20 years now, there has to be some point where you try to understand why.
        > 15 hours ago ·like You like this.....
        >
        > 16 hours ago .Swami Manavatavadi In Facebook KERALA YUKTHIVADI SANGHAM:
        >
        > Noble Shriman Anand Nair wrote there:
        >
        > I have been seeing Swami Manavatavadi's contributions here and elsewhere. I am reasonably certain that he is as much a rationalist as anyone else! If that is so, I see no reason why one should object to the first part of his name, ignoring ...the second part; or to his saffron robes. (Does he wear saffron robes? All his pics at FB show him in white dress)
        >
        > Swami Agnivesh too prefixes his name with "Swami" and wears saffron robes. While I would vigorously contest his spiritualism and belief in God, I respect him as a person and a social activist. It is a total distortion of Indian reality to suggest that the prefix "Swami" and "saffrom robes" have connotation similar to the Swastika in Europe!
        >
        > I have great respect for Swami Manavatavadi who is not only a social activist, but also a vocal rationalist-- and this is in no way diminished by his choice of name and dress.
        >
        > 14 hours ago · Like · 1 person You like this..
        >
        > Noble Shriman Anand Nair wrote there: However, I must say that I find Swami Manavatavadi's excessive "humility" and "politeness" a bit distracting. But this is obviously due to our cultural differences...
        > 14 hours ago ·
        >
        > I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote there:
        >
        > Noble All here, Humblest Greetings=Namaskaram. I feel very happy to see this posting here which had been a personal discussion between Noble Shriman Adithya Ji and Noble David Warden. Surely it is a very good thing that Noble Shriman Adithya Ji is not wanting to keep all his discussions secret. I want to admire his frankness, a markable Rationalist attitude. For my knowledge it is just the continuation of a campaign since 1976 and I realize the sense of focusing of matters with our people. Surely I shall feel happy to participate in this discussion here but I humbly invite every one here to place their phases of opinions on the points Noble Shriman Adithya Ji has abstracted. Expecting All's support in this matter I remain waiting to see more. Kindly excuse me for my flaws and oblige. Cordially, Swamiji
        > 13 hours ago ·
        >
        > Noble Shriman Prashanth Randadath wrote there:
        > "Politeness is half good manners and half good lying."
        >
        > 2 hours ago ·Like · 3 people....
        >
        > I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote there:
        >
        > Noble Shriman Prashanth Ji, Humblest Greetings-Namaskaram. I had never been a polite person at all. Once before I had wrote about it. But I don't want to be disrespectful. I want to respect them all to whom I need to address. It is no politeness at all. For me Noble is not a polite word rather a Respectful word irrespective of Gender or age or position. I, with all respect from the total human community pray not to attack on me to snatch my simple freedom of respecting the humans of this world. I know I am not backed by any majority or intellectuals or power or position. But as simple species fellow I pray for this amount of mercy from all. It is no philosophy but just a weakest human's humblest prayer from all. I know I have not learnt civilized manners. I don't know whether my language is half mannered or no mannered but I need a merciful favour and support from all to be kind and compassionate enough not to snatch my desire/habit of respecting all humans of this earth. I hope all of you kindly have mercy on me and oblige. Kindly excuse me for my flaws in thinking, expression, language and typing and oblige. Cordially, Swamiji
        > 46 minutes ago
        >
        > 16 hours ago In Facebook KERALA YUKTHIVADI SANGHAM Group Noble Shriman Anand Nair Ji wrote:
        >
        > Rahul,
        >
        > I really feel that we must let SM to choose his own style of talk, dress and name. These do not affect his rationalism or social activism. Then why do we crib about that?
        >
        > Moreover, as SM pointed out, are we not tolerant with rationalists who proudly state that using cuss words is in their very nature?
        >
        > My point is that in both cases, we need to deal with content rather than form...
        >
        > 16 hours ago · Like · 1 person Joel Smith likes this..
        >
        > I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote:
        >
        > So kind of you Noble Joel for liking Noble Shriman Anand Nair's posting.
        >
        > 11 hours ago · Like 1 person Sps Chandigarh likes this..
        > I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote:
        >
        > So kind of you Noble Doctor SPS Sahib for you kindly liked my appreciating Noble Joel's liking Noble Shriman Anand Nayarji's posting in KYS.
        > 10 hours ago · Like · 1 person Leta Bezdecheck likes this..
        >
        > Noble Victoria Wakewood wrote: It appears that the physical exterior image holds more importance than one's inner spirit.
        > 9 hours ago · Like · 1 person You like this..
        >
        > I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote:
        >
        > Noble Victoria, Humblest Greetings. It depends. Every person has a proportionally varried amount of vision to peep in to the inner and also to physically viewing the outer. An evaluation comes from these proportional amount of existing vision of a person. Kindly excuse me for my flaws and oblige. Cordially, Swamiji
        > 8 hours ago · Like.
        >
        > Noble Victoria Wakewood wrote: Dear Swami Manavtavadi I truly respect your honest and thoughtful reflection.
        > 2 hours ago ·Like · 1 person....
        >
        > I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote: So kind of you Noble Victoria for your encouraging comment here. Thinking is a big thing for a savage forester at my background. But your compasion to keep my morale up is admired and I salute you for this kindness. Many thanks to you for your support.
        > 18 minutes ago
        >
      • Swamiji
        The issue of Swami Manavatavadi Posted by: bud bud@accessv.com billybobbud Sat Jul 9, 2011 10:10 pm (PDT) =================== ... Manavatavadi has engaged
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 10, 2011
          The issue of Swami Manavatavadi
          Posted by: "bud" bud@... billybobbud
          Sat Jul 9, 2011 10:10 pm (PDT)


          ===================
          ... Manavatavadi has engaged in trying to garner support for immunity from criticism against his attire and insistence in signing off his comments as swami'JI' ...
          ============

          That is funny how people don't like what a person says - so they criticize their mode of dress or speech or appearance or whatever affectations, haircut, nose length, skin colour, etc. Well, probably every parent and teacher hears this from the kids all the time.

          Of course a person creates a persona - and Swamiji is a Wonderful personality. Everyone creates themselves, by growing a moustache or getting a certain haircut, or wearing various clothing. So it is everyone's choice! Years ago, I had long hair past my waist - so I learned how people are jealous and hyper-critical - like monkeys. It is a reflex action, a natural instinct.

          Everyone chooses also their nom de plume - who wants the same name as everyone else? That is why I use Bud. Swami-JI is PERFECT! for a name. Face facts.

          That is like Rosalita instead of Rosa - just a little bit nicer. Chiquita instead of chica. Johnny instead of plain John.

          In an objective sense - to an individual, apparently some people see a name as unpleasant or affected or trying to show off - like when I introduce myself as Johnny Guitar. Some people are instinctively offended. I guess they look for any deviation from conventionality, and start worrying at it.
          ----------------------------

          ================================
          ... Swami Manavatavadi... is a longstanding friend of humanists in the UK and the US. If you met him you would come to know that he is a sincere rationalist and humanist...
          ============

          Oy, but that suit! That haircut! That tie! How can we tolerate such flamboyance?
          --------------

          =================
          ... none of what you said, qualifies this chap for immunity against criticism.
          ==========

          He ugly. He bad.
          ------------------------

          =========================
          If you realise the gravity of how his name misleads people you will appreciate
          what I am trying to do here.
          =====================

          Well, how about Dr Phil? Lady Gaga? Johnny Guitar? Kid Rock? Jay Zee? How about if he named himself Obama?

          What if he were Prime Minister? And still was called Swamiji?
          -----------

          ===========================
          He is playing into the stereotypical romantic version of how the western hemisphere view Indians with his absolutely absurd communication skills and his choice of words... He is an absolute joker and stands to dilute good work done by other non-religious people in India.
          =============

          Do they have lots of Humanist Orphanages then?

          So many that you can't use one more?

          That is comical how, still, after all these years and decades, people's mode of speech and dress are still ridiculed, for lack of anything better to do.

          In fact, Swamiji has an excellent manner of writing English - if I was his Editor, I would clean it up only a little bit - it is very intricate and covers a lot of points, and in a unique, literate manner. The secret of writing, you Need a method. You need an over-reaching Style. You can't be the same as everyone else, yet you must get your meaning expressed in a vivid manner. It has to be written from some point of view. Thus you develop your character, as The StoryTeller. Where you are coming from. To write, you Need a stereotypical, romantic manner - a style.
          -----------------------

          ===================
          None of us is immune from criticism. From a modern, urbane perspective Swami Manavatavadi can be criticised for styling himself as a guru but we are all products of time and circumstance and few of us can completely re-invent ourselves...
          ===========

          Well, we ALL create our personae. Some people lack imagination and originality, but some people develop an interesting, unique character!

          In fact, he IS a guru - he got his Guru Certificate back in 1967 from the Guru Registry.
          --------------

          ===================
          He is partly a product of the Shankaracharya cult which he joined as a child and became a sadhu. Around the age of 16 he became an atheist and re-interpreted being a sadhu in secular terms to mean living an ascetic life and serving his local community as a teacher and humanitarian.
          ==========

          We could use more Swamijis in the world for sure!

          Right, and young people who do not know anything eventually find out about the complete lack of supernatural beings. Some of them do nothing about it - but some redirect their efforts, and steer the ship in a different direction.
          ------------

          ==========
          He lives in a humanist/ humanitarian mission or ashram which challenges our Western notions of what humanism should look like.
          =====

          Ha! If you look at humanists or atheists, you see the more-intelligent section of society, and humanists mostly realize that you have to have some fun. And so, many of us have various eccentricities and affectations, mannerisms, both of appearance and of writing. And we try hard to be different, in a creative and clever way.

          Some of us have fancy moustaches or beards, and try to look like Distinguished Professors. Some of us wear colourful clothing and drive big red cars - to try to stand out from the crowd. It is just what clever, original people do, and Humanism can be a great Theme.

          Swamiji has developed a Very Good persona, theme, style which is clever, original, and effective for its purposes, like helping kids.
          ------------------------------

          ==============
          With the help of his associate, Sadhvi Asha Manav and a student teacher, he is helping to get dozens of kids off
          the streets and into elementary education. He is challenging religion in a particular corner of a Hindu holy town with great courage and moral fortitude.
          ===============

          And we really hope that Deviji is doing well! It is important to get some fresh air and exercise regularly and vigourously.

          And they seem very heroic to me.

          Imagine if you were the orphan.

          -----------

          ======================
          I would like humanists and rationalists, both in India and abroad, to be tolerant and supportive – not to boost Swami Manavatavadi himself but to support the good that his mission is doing.
          ============

          Well, sure, but Swamiji is COOL! He's great! How could anyone ask for more? He is Perfect!
          -------------

          ===================
          I am dismayed by the violence of your opinions against him but I do want to understand your Indian perspective as best I can.
          =============

          Well, sometimes if a person is very young, they don't see a larger picture, where the odd-looking piece fits in extremely well.

          Often, in writing, it is hard to disguise when you have no "point". In spoken words, a child can rhyme off a string of insults and ridicule no problem, "Swamiji is fat, Swamiji is ugly, Swamiji walks funny, Swamiji writes funny, Swamiji dresses funny, etc," but in writing, it is hard to convey.
          --------------------

          =================
          Nevertheless, I also invite you to temper your judgments with knowledge about what he is doing and the journey he has made.
          =========

          I was hoping he could become Prime Minister, but I guess not this year?
          ---------------

          ================
          Manatvadi's activities my be lauded but the package the individual brings must not be sidelined.
          ============

          Actually, it is a separate and supporting effort, amongst many, his character, and quite a package! To develop anything "big", you need a lot of supporting members, meaning separate threads of effort, which unfold over time, and all complement one another, to produce a combined effect which is larger than the sum of the parts.

          That method, if one part is looking weak, some work on another section can shore up and support the entire structure.

          So "the individual", the persona Swamiji is only one part of a larger effort.
          ---------------

          ===========================
          The individual Manatvadi is packaged with symbols that denote a particular philosophy and the excuses he provides are not valid.
          =======

          Well, that philosophy would be Humanism.... it rather doesn't need any excuses - it just is an evolved "spirit" which seizes people. They feel like helping people and spreading knowledge to improve the entire human race. It is more fun than most things. You can bask in glory, when you have helped something get better (in a general sense). It's like an instinct, to want to improve things, on every scale.
          -----------------------------------

          ====================
          You may understand the magnitude of its seriousness if u compare it with symbols u know.

          Imagine someone wearing the entire klu klux klan garb with the hood, or a Nazi hand band and insisting that he isn't racist. Irrespective of whether he does good he will be viewed with scepticism for his 'in you face' attire and what it denotes.
          ==============

          Hmmmm - there is a psychological condition, where Nazis come creeping out of the woodwork unbidden....

          I think the mind just seizes upon unpleasant symbols, to try to convey the psychological discomfort that the person feels.

          Why do they feel this discomfort? Some sort of obsessive/ compulsive/ cognitive dissonance problem. Even they themselves can't put their finger on why they feel this annoyance. Any reason springs to mind - ALL reasons spring to mind - "Swamiji is fat, Swamiji is ugly, Swamiji walks funny, Swamiji writes funny, Swamiji dresses funny, etc," but just at THAT point in the thought process, the over-seeing mind kicks in, and they reject the more ridiculous reasons, not to put off their listener.
          -----------------

          ==================
          I appreciate your misgivings about Manavatavadi's style of name and dress.
          ==============

          I knew it would come to this - I stopped dressing funny and wearing my hair down to my waist, and now anyone who dresses a bit differently is Shocking!

          What is in a name? Well, you have to pick a Good name, for any "big" effort. Like for my Band - Johnny Guitar and the Kings of the Universe!

          I think Swamiji picked a Perfect set of names. There is the formal name, like "The Humanist Association of Canada", and there is the familiar name, "Skeptics Canada". We have his right royal highness, "The Swami Manavatavadi", plus the down-to-earth, hard-working, practical, friendly and playful, Swamiji!
          --------------------------

          ================
          What I do not understand, from my Western perspective, is the degree of anger and hostility this causes in the Indian rationalist
          community.
          ============

          The religious people say, "God only knows," which means that nobody knows. In a formal and complete manner. In a general sense, it is a facet of human nature, which betrays a deep insecurity.
          -----------------

          ===============
          If his name and dress is part of his identity why can you not accept this as something incongruous but of relative unimportance compared to his beliefs and actions?
          =========

          Well, and take a look at the people in the world - like Lady Gaga! I hope that people don't dislike her because she adopted a funny name and dresses oddly? She is Mega Cool! Original! She has the Name, and the Style she calls her own! Just like Swamiji!

          These people are the avant garde! These people set the styles, that other people copy.

          There can be apparently great jealously, if one monkey tries to "look smarter" than the other monkies, and they start to jeer and cat-call.

          They can see that some strong, Lady Gaga-size monkies are way out in front, and ahead of the pack, and can't be touched, but they try to drag back anyone in the pack near their level who is trying to get up in front and ahead of the pack.
          ----------------

          ========================
          This complaint has been raging for about 20 years and it is extremely tiresome to Western humanists who just accept him as he is whatever the outward packaging...
          ===========================================
          I dont mean any offence but honestly, the reason you do not understand, these things from your Western perspective is purely due to ignorance...
          ========================

          Well, you could say, but there is this "Global Community", which has this "Western perspective", whereby we applaud and celebrate people's diversity, and colour and flash and cleverness and hard work and good-heartedness, etc.

          It is the same with advertising a product or service - if you do it a certain way, you can go World-Wide. You need a Swamiji style! Clever and memorable, focussed on good causes, unique, and anyone would say Pretty Inoffensive to all but a tiny fraction of people who "really know" what "Swami" means!

          In a way, there are interesting parallels in North America also! Over here, we have always called the aboriginal native people "Indians", because the first explorers thought they had sailed around the world to India. But the Americas were in the way.

          So, our "Indians", if one of them tries to exploit his native heritage, sometimes some are jealous! If one puts up a store selling "Genuine Native Art", some might say he was selling out their heritage! Commercializing the sacred heritage.

          If one of our Indians DID open up a native art store, he would also probably choose a Native name for himself - right? Like Joe Running Bear, or Billy White Eagle.

          Of course the other native people would make fun of his invented name!

          But he Needs a persona! He has to develop something bigger than himself, of which he is only one part, and a carefully-crafted part.

          Right, so to anyone not from that part of India, Swamiji seems COOL! Great image! Great brand name! A well-developed package developed to do REAL Humanism. That is the Real Deal. It is amazing how Swamiji and Deviji can help so many young people!

          I keep saying, make a better website and get the Credit Card donations buttons on there, and the orphanage could raise more and more money. And make a GOOD website! It is not that hard - html programming is the easiest, in some ways.

          Just like the persona, the website has to be COOL! It has to develop a narrative, get a story going, a Romantic Picture, in the person's mind, which develops quickly and leads to an expected and pleasurable Story, with plots and characters, etc. So it is a set of hard planning, to develop the website, but colour and flash and fast loading are all good. Certainly themes and motifs and paths to follow that look interesting. The Swami angle is Wonderful. It strikes certain chords. 21st-Century Swami who saves children. That is COOL! - face facts.

          In a way - it is THE COOLEST! That is the secret that Swamiji has, and everyone seeks - what could possibly be more cool than a 21st Century non-religious Indian Swami who saves children by the dozens, including by feeding and educating them, and also protecting them from religious indoctrination? Nothing! It is The Coolest! Until the person gets a little tired with it and looks at The Next thing - but that is how it works - the concept has to Grab people. Then you can have a successful run, and do a lot of good work. There are a lot of people in the world.
          ---------------

          ===========================
          I have been seeing Swami Manavatavadi's contributions here and elsewhere. I am
          reasonably certain that he is as much a rationalist as anyone else! If that is
          so, I see no reason why one should object to the first part of his name,
          ignoring ...the second part; or to his saffron robes. (Does he wear saffron
          robes? All his pics at FB show him in white dress)
          ==========

          I would advise a whole set of different coloured robes. A person doesn't want to get stuck in a rut only wearing one colour. Maybe some people might limit it to 3 or 4 colours, but they should be all nice colours and solid and vivid probably. White is good! I like purple. Bright yellow would be nice. Maybe under-stated is better, less flashy.

          Swamiji is pretty rational! (ist)! He has a very detailed understanding of many things.
          ------------

          ===========
          Swami Agnivesh too prefixes his name with "Swami" and wears saffron robes...
          ==========

          It is GREAT! It is like a brand name, like a symbol, connotes and conveys certain information immediately, and leaves the reader to wonder where all the interesting potential pathways lead to?

          It is like saying, "Here is a NEW, BETTER, UNIQUE, INTERESTING way to do something." It has mystique and cachet.
          ---------------------

          ================
          It is a total distortion of Indian reality to suggest that the prefix "Swami" and "saffrom robes" have connotation similar to
          the Swastika in Europe!
          ===========

          Exceedingly few people could draw any negative connotations from a non-religious 21st-Century Swami who saves dozens of children from a rather rough existence, and helps to educate them to become useful members of society, who also help other people. And then they help more people, and the entire world gets better and better.

          It is a clever angle.
          --------------------------

          =====================
          I have great respect for Swami Manavatavadi who is not only a social activist, but also a vocal rationalist-- and this is in no way diminished by his choice of name and dress.
          ===========

          You get the great, energetic, VERY dedicated and persistent, social activist, and vocal rationalist - PLUS! - he is also a "SWAMI"! But a 21st Century Swami! Modern, non-religious Swami. But still, "Swami" and the robes and the non-ostentatious and selfless lifestyle - it conveys some of the Dedication, of many, many years, and the helpful generous spirit, watching over the children. And this is a Real Live Spirit, only kind that there are, and Swamiji has helped a lot of people. Like, very few people dedicate themselves so completely to helping other people. This is a wonderful thing to do.... Things can get better, when people help and co-operate with other people. It spreads, good will and generosity.

          I think that people who had a rough childhood might be consumed by fears and non-rational hates of people. I would say that they need to eliminate stressors from their lives, and get lots more exercise, and try new things, and vary their surroundings, and try to relax and enjoy the flow.
          -------------------

          ===========================
          However, I must say that I find Swami Manavatavadi's excessive "humility" and "politeness" a bit distracting. But this
          is obviously due to our cultural differences...
          ===============

          Sort of maybe - it is a certain Way, of doing things. Some people have one way, some have another, and this applies to all things. You have to read it and understand it and accept the humility and all, which is all part of the package.

          It makes more sense, or is easier to say something vividly, if you have couched it in a narrative or a setting, locale, venue. It gives the reader additional information, which allows them to follow lines of thought more fully, sooner.

          Writing is not just a matter of "writing", but you need Great writing, and for that, you need the Swamiji method. He constructs a milieu within which people can understand things more fully.
          ---------------

          =============
          "Politeness is half good manners and half good lying."
          ===========

          Well, sort of, but there is another way - where you actually ARE polite.

          Some people strive to be unfailingly polite, All The Way Down. They adopted that way of behaving and thinking. They are polite to the last dot on the last "i", and the last cross on the last "t".

          Why? It can be an effective way of dealing with almost everyone - actually like and respect them, regardless!

          I would say the Humanist Way is that - you meet someone, you Like them.

          There are always flaws with people, in your perception - so you have to ignore the bad parts, and try to develop the Good parts. And, even the nastiest people have a "good side" usually. They are often shaped by negative experiences that they had with people - so You give them a Good experience! And greet them heartily and sincerely, and listen to them, and be polite. And Like them! Only a very few people are totally anal - most people are quite friendly, under a shell of caution.

          Oh yeah, and Humility! It is so rare that few people have it, understand it, nor appreciate it! Amazing.

          It used to be a quality - well, it still is! with some people - but it will serve you well! Everyone needs quite a bit - why not have a Large helping? Have more! It's free!
          -----------

          ========================
          Kindly excuse me for my flaws in thinking, expression, language and typing and oblige. Cordially, Swamiji
          ===============

          When you read and understand what he has said completely, you will understand that he has a certain "purity of spirit", and he actually IS humble, and actually IS apologizing for what anyone might perceive as a flaw. One person's flaw is another person's diamond. To be complete, you also have to apologize.

          You need to follow the path, in his writing, like keep thinking about it more.
          ---------------------

          ======================
          I really feel that we must let SM to choose his own style of talk, dress and name.
          ============

          No no! We should get him a Pirate Costume!
          -----------------

          ===============
          These do not affect his rationalism or social activism. Then why do we crib about that?
          ============

          It is a psychological condition caused by insecure feelings, which are in turn caused by a worrying childhood oftentimes.
          --------------

          ==================
          Moreover, as SM pointed out, are we not tolerant with rationalists who proudly state that using cuss words is in their very nature?
          =============

          There is a lot to writing, if you want other people to read and understand what you write. Besides written English, a person has modes of spoken English, where Cussing fits right in. But writing is a different story, for anyone who writes for other people to read. There are layers and layers.
          ----------

          ========================

          Noble Victoria Wakewood wrote: It appears that the physical exterior image holds
          more importance than one's inner spirit.
          ========================
          Noble Victoria, Humblest Greetings. It depends. Every person has a
          proportionally varried amount of vision to peep in to the inner and also to
          physically viewing the outer. An evaluation comes from these proportional amount
          of existing vision of a person. Kindly excuse me for my flaws and oblige.
          Cordially, Swamiji
          ========================

          See! He is a perfect Swami!

          You have to think carefully about what he has written. All about it.
          --------------

          ==========================
          Noble Victoria Wakewood wrote: Dear Swami Manavtavadi I truly respect your
          honest and thoughtful reflection.
          ===============================

          See! That is perfect Swamation. When you see it, it becomes obvious. The eyes have to focus at a different distance.
          ----------------

          ==========================
          I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote: So kind of you Noble Victoria for your encouraging
          comment here. Thinking is a big thing for a savage forester at my background.
          ==============

          The narrative gains depth and context and meaning - a person has to get into the larger Story. Each sentence can be contemplated for 10 minutes, productively, and followed up...

          That's the Swamiji Style! It has "magic"! When he says "thinking", he is serious! He thinks in great depth. When a person develops that ability, it is surprising for them! Swamiji has a large landscape that opens up, when he writes, and he can only write what he sees, as much as possible, you might say.

          Bud Skinner


          ====================================

          --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, "Swamiji" <manavatavadi@...> wrote:
          >
          > In Facebook KERALA YUKTHIVADI SANGHAM Noble Shriman Adithya Carvaka pasted his personal discussion with the UK, Dorset Humanist Association President Noble David Warden regarding my conditions and his concepts.
          >
          > <http://www.facebook.com/groups/yukthivadi?ap=1>
          >
          > Adithya Carvaka
          > I had raised the issue of Swami Manavatavadi on one of the posts here some time ago. I had made my responses rather clear. Subsequently Manavatavadi has engaged in trying to garner support for immunity from criticism against his attire and insistence in signing off his comments as swami'JI' .. he had posted his SOS on his wall and there was a comment from a non-Indian rationalist, which I had ignored. Ignored because I did not have the time to explain the intricacies of what the whole façade really means. The person however mailed me direct. Since it was initially posted for public viewing, i am now taking the liberty of posting it here. The reason is to highlight how non-Indians often fail to understand the whole picture. It is for such reasons that people like Teresa of Calcutta managed to grow that big. I egg all those reading this to understand the whole picture before certifying an individual based on certain actions:
          >
          > June 21David Warden
          > Dear Adithya - please don't abuse Swami Manavatavadi. He is a longstanding friend of humanists in the UK and the US. If you met him you would come to know that he is a sincere rationalist and humanist. He is already being harassed and persecuted by Brahmins in Kurukshetra and he needs our support not further condemnation.
          > Thank you
          > David Warden
          > Chair, Dorset Humanists UK (affiliated to the Britsh Humanist Association)
          >
          > June 25 Adithya Carvaka
          > David none of what you said, qualifies this chap for immunity against criticism. If you realise the gravity of how his name misleads people you will appreciate what I am trying to do here. He is playing into the stereotypical romantic version of how the western hemisphere view Indians with his absolutely absurd communication skills and his choice of words. Doing good can be done and is being done without such a comic guise. He is not going to command any respect from me for how he projects himself. He is an absolute joker and stands to dilute good work done by other non-religious people in India.
          >
          > June 26 David Warden
          > Dear Adithya, None of us is immune from criticism. From a modern, urbane perspective Swami Manavatavadi can be criticised for styling himself as a guru but we are all products of time and circumstance and few of us can completely re-invent ourselves. He is partly a product of the Shankaracharya cult which he joined as a child and became a sadhu. Around the age of 16 he became an atheist and re-interpreted being a sadhu in secular terms to mean living an ascetic life and serving his local community as a teacher and humanitarian. He lives in a humanist/ humanitarian mission or ashram which challenges our Western notions of what humanism should look like. He reveres his mentor, a Dr Kohli who lived in Ranchi, and every year they have a commemorative festival to honour his life. For many years he lived in relative isolation and did not even know of the existence of international humanism/rationalism. With the help of his associate, Sadhvi Asha Manav and a student teacher, he is helping to get dozens of kids off the streets and into elementary education. He is challenging religion in a particular corner of a Hindu holy town with great courage and moral fortitude. I would like humanists and rationalists, both in India and abroad, to be tolerant and supportive – not to boost Swami Manavatavadi himself but to support the good that his mission is doing.
          >
          > I am dismayed by the violence of your opinions against him but I do want to understand your Indian perspective as best I can. Nevertheless, I also invite you to temper your judgments with knowledge about what he is doing and the journey he has made.
          >
          > June 26 Adithya Carvaka
          > I am in total support of activities that help the weak and underprivileged .. even if its tinged with religious hues. The Kuwait Fund for instance pumps millions of dollars every year into Africa and despite the fact that it is biased toward Muslims I still think it is a good thing where the poor are helped. Mind u I am only in support of the activity and not the philosophy behind the activity.
          >
          > Manatvadi's activities my be lauded but the package the individual brings must not be sidelined. The individual Manatvadi is packaged with symbols that denote a particular philosophy and the excuses he provides are not valid. You may understand the magnitude of its seriousness if u compare it with symbols u know.
          >
          > Imagine someone wearing the entire klu klux klan garb with the hood, or a Nazi hand band and insisting that he isn't racist. Irrespective of whether he does good he will be viewed with scepticism for his 'in you face' attire and what it denotes.
          >
          > Can't type much now. Please appreciate the larger picture before you extend unconditional support.
          >
          > 22 hours ago David Warden
          > Thank you for your reply. I appreciate your misgivings about Manavatavadi's style of name and dress. What I do not understand, from my Western perspective, is the degree of anger and hostility this causes in the Indian rationalist community. If his name and dress is part of his identity why can you not accept this as something incongruous but of relative unimportance compared to his beliefs and actions? This complaint has been raging for about 20 years and it is extremely tiresome to Western humanists who just accept him as he is whatever the outward packaging. It makes Indian rationalists seem very mean-spirited which is surely not the image you wish to create in the global humanist community.
          >
          > a few seconds ago Adithya Carvaka
          > ||If his name and dress is part of his identity why can you not accept this as something incongruous but of relative UNIMPORTANCE compared to his beliefs and actions?|| - Well that is just it.. indeed it is incongruous but it is highly important.
          >
          > I have tried my best to make you realise the magnitude of what his attire and his ridiculous name implies. Let me try once more. That his name is 'Swami' is acceptable as such a name does exist as a stand alone but when he attaches the 'Ji' the whole meaning changes. For example, Alexander Pope was an English poet.. the name 'Pope' is this regard is acceptable but were the poet to introduce himself as 'His Holiness the Pope', the whole thing changes.. that in effect is what Manvatavadi does by signing off as 'Swamiji'
          >
          > His attire too has similar implications. His saffron robes signify a certain stance. You may relate this to someone wearing a Nazi 'Swastika' and insisting that it be overlooked. It cannot be overlooked because it has a meaning and it is string right in your face.
          >
          > I dont mean any offence but honestly, the reason you do not understand, these things from your Western perspective is purely due to ignorance. I am trying to give you information for you to reassess your stance. || It makes Indian rationalists seem very mean-spirited which is surely not the image you wish to create in the global humanist community.|| - I am not one to segregate humanists on the lines of east and west. There will be huge swaths of the 'global' humanists who will appreciate the point I make. I suggest you take heed of the issues I have tried to explain with examples of western sensibilities, in order for you to reach a proper conclusion. Considering that you have witnessed this uproar for 20 years now, there has to be some point where you try to understand why.
          > 15 hours ago ·like You like this.....
          >
          > 16 hours ago .Swami Manavatavadi In Facebook KERALA YUKTHIVADI SANGHAM:
          >
          > Noble Shriman Anand Nair wrote there:
          >
          > I have been seeing Swami Manavatavadi's contributions here and elsewhere. I am reasonably certain that he is as much a rationalist as anyone else! If that is so, I see no reason why one should object to the first part of his name, ignoring ...the second part; or to his saffron robes. (Does he wear saffron robes? All his pics at FB show him in white dress)
          >
          > Swami Agnivesh too prefixes his name with "Swami" and wears saffron robes. While I would vigorously contest his spiritualism and belief in God, I respect him as a person and a social activist. It is a total distortion of Indian reality to suggest that the prefix "Swami" and "saffrom robes" have connotation similar to the Swastika in Europe!
          >
          > I have great respect for Swami Manavatavadi who is not only a social activist, but also a vocal rationalist-- and this is in no way diminished by his choice of name and dress.
          >
          > 14 hours ago · Like · 1 person You like this..
          >
          > Noble Shriman Anand Nair wrote there: However, I must say that I find Swami Manavatavadi's excessive "humility" and "politeness" a bit distracting. But this is obviously due to our cultural differences...
          > 14 hours ago ·
          >
          > I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote there:
          >
          > Noble All here, Humblest Greetings=Namaskaram. I feel very happy to see this posting here which had been a personal discussion between Noble Shriman Adithya Ji and Noble David Warden. Surely it is a very good thing that Noble Shriman Adithya Ji is not wanting to keep all his discussions secret. I want to admire his frankness, a markable Rationalist attitude. For my knowledge it is just the continuation of a campaign since 1976 and I realize the sense of focusing of matters with our people. Surely I shall feel happy to participate in this discussion here but I humbly invite every one here to place their phases of opinions on the points Noble Shriman Adithya Ji has abstracted. Expecting All's support in this matter I remain waiting to see more. Kindly excuse me for my flaws and oblige. Cordially, Swamiji
          > 13 hours ago ·
          >
          > Noble Shriman Prashanth Randadath wrote there:
          > "Politeness is half good manners and half good lying."
          >
          > 2 hours ago ·Like · 3 people....
          >
          > I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote there:
          >
          > Noble Shriman Prashanth Ji, Humblest Greetings-Namaskaram. I had never been a polite person at all. Once before I had wrote about it. But I don't want to be disrespectful. I want to respect them all to whom I need to address. It is no politeness at all. For me Noble is not a polite word rather a Respectful word irrespective of Gender or age or position. I, with all respect from the total human community pray not to attack on me to snatch my simple freedom of respecting the humans of this world. I know I am not backed by any majority or intellectuals or power or position. But as simple species fellow I pray for this amount of mercy from all. It is no philosophy but just a weakest human's humblest prayer from all. I know I have not learnt civilized manners. I don't know whether my language is half mannered or no mannered but I need a merciful favour and support from all to be kind and compassionate enough not to snatch my desire/habit of respecting all humans of this earth. I hope all of you kindly have mercy on me and oblige. Kindly excuse me for my flaws in thinking, expression, language and typing and oblige. Cordially, Swamiji
          > 46 minutes ago
          >
          > 16 hours ago In Facebook KERALA YUKTHIVADI SANGHAM Group Noble Shriman Anand Nair Ji wrote:
          >
          > Rahul,
          >
          > I really feel that we must let SM to choose his own style of talk, dress and name. These do not affect his rationalism or social activism. Then why do we crib about that?
          >
          > Moreover, as SM pointed out, are we not tolerant with rationalists who proudly state that using cuss words is in their very nature?
          >
          > My point is that in both cases, we need to deal with content rather than form...
          >
          > 16 hours ago · Like · 1 person Joel Smith likes this..
          >
          > I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote:
          >
          > So kind of you Noble Joel for liking Noble Shriman Anand Nair's posting.
          >
          > 11 hours ago · Like 1 person Sps Chandigarh likes this..
          > I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote:
          >
          > So kind of you Noble Doctor SPS Sahib for you kindly liked my appreciating Noble Joel's liking Noble Shriman Anand Nayarji's posting in KYS.
          > 10 hours ago · Like · 1 person Leta Bezdecheck likes this..
          >
          > Noble Victoria Wakewood wrote: It appears that the physical exterior image holds more importance than one's inner spirit.
          > 9 hours ago · Like · 1 person You like this..
          >
          > I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote:
          >
          > Noble Victoria, Humblest Greetings. It depends. Every person has a proportionally varried amount of vision to peep in to the inner and also to physically viewing the outer. An evaluation comes from these proportional amount of existing vision of a person. Kindly excuse me for my flaws and oblige. Cordially, Swamiji
          > 8 hours ago · Like.
          >
          > Noble Victoria Wakewood wrote: Dear Swami Manavtavadi I truly respect your honest and thoughtful reflection.
          > 2 hours ago ·Like · 1 person....
          >
          > I (Swami Manavatavadi) wrote: So kind of you Noble Victoria for your encouraging comment here. Thinking is a big thing for a savage forester at my background. But your compasion to keep my morale up is admired and I salute you for this kindness. Many thanks to you for your support.
          > 18 minutes ago
          >
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