In August 2022, I was flying from Khajuraho to Delhi. Khajuraho is a small airport, and the passengers walk to the plane. A woman, walking next to me, pointed to a young Swami near us, “We are so lucky”, she said in a low voice. “The Maharaj of Bageshwar Dham is flying with us. Thousands come to his darshan, and here we are so close.”
I had not heard of Pandit Dhirendra Krishna Shastri and Bageshwar Dham Sarkar till then, but when I came home and showed the photo, which I had taken, to my neighbour, she exclaimed, “you have really a good karma to meet him personally. I love to watch his videos.”
A few months later, the young Swami was in the news for bringing back (= Gharwapsi) around 300 Christians to their original Hindu dharma. While one hardly hears any objections in the media about the lakhs of Hindus who are regularly converted by Christian missionaries, Gharwapsi is usually portrayed as “controversial”, when of course, it should be the other way round.
Soon after, an organisation against blind belief went after Dhirendra Shastri challenging his miraculous powers. They even made a police complaint against him, which was, however, dismissed as unfounded. Media, too, tried to discredit the Swami by misleading headlines and by calling him a ‘self-styled god-man’, even though he sees himself as a devotee (bhakta) of Hanuman, and his powers are those of Hanuman ji only, he says.
When he announced a Hanuman Katha in Bihar in June 2023, the ruling political class from Nitish Kumar to Tejaswi Yadav tried to prevent it and to blacken his character. Yet the reception, which the 27-year-old got in Bihar, was simply unbelievable. A crowd of one million came to hear him. He even asked those present at the large venue, NOT to come in the following days but to give others a chance.
I watched his Katha on TV. Even in front of his hotel the crowds were unmanageable. It must have given shivers to the politicians, who had staunchly opposed him.
What makes him special?
Probably this: Finally, a Swami gives a voice to Hindus whose faith is either intentionally or ignorantly demeaned the world over, including by several Indians with Hindu names. It seems, common Hindus were longing for someone who is solidly rooted in their eternal Dharma, so much so, that he has accessed spiritual powers. They were longing for someone who does not care about political correctness but speaks up for Hinduism – a faith which is no doubt closer to the truth and more beneficial for humanity than the Abrahamic religions.
His supernatural powers to know the details and problems of the persons who come to him before they tell him anything, and the efficacy of his blessing to solve these problems, which he claims is the blessing of Hanuman, surely helped to make him so popular.
On the other hand, he is forthright, “India was, is and will be a Hindu Rashtra (nation)”, he asserts and wants it officially declared. Apart from this, he advocates Gharwapsi (home-coming) of those who had converted to Islam and Christianity, which the foreign invaders had brought with them.
“Don’t just come and listen to the story of Ram and Hanuman. Come home to your ancient tradition,” he urged tribals in Gujarat, where he went after Bihar. The Christian missionaries have made huge inroads there, mostly by giving goodies or frightening them with eternal hellfire.
This appeal makes a lot of sense, but so far, such an appeal has not been made in front of cameras. This is strange, because all those, who are rooted in Hindu Dharma and know the negative sides of the expansionist religions, surely are aware that Hindu Dharma is much preferable for several important reasons, which I described here https://mariawirth.com/coming-home-to-intuition-and-reason-from-blind-belief/ and a Hindu nation is much preferable to Christian or Muslim nations, which I described here https://mariawirth.com/are-christian-and-muslim-nations-ok-and-hindu-nations-not/
Yet, even the famous Swamis with a huge, worldwide following did not make this appeal so far. On the contrary, they sometimes encourage Christians to “become better Christians” and Muslims to “become better Muslims”. They do not realise that a “good” believer in the dogmas of those religions becomes a danger to Hindus, because his religion teaches him to despise them. According to Bible and Quran, Hindus are despicable heathens or kafirs.
Why would Hindu Swamis hesitate to ask converts to come back to their original faith? Is it due to the still colonised Indian mind?
Or is it due to fear that such an appeal could go against secularism and may be illegal?
Unfortunately, after Independence, the politics and the education curriculum were not friendly towards the Hindu tradition but friendly towards the newcomer religions. Convent schools were allowed to teach in independent India. The Hindu administrators probably didn’t even know, that a good Christian teacher despises Hinduism and conveys this in a subtle way to his Hindu students.
There was no discourse, no discussion about what Hinduism stands for. No discussion about the profound philosophy of Vedanta, which claims that the multiplicity in this universe is a temporary appearance on the one eternal Brahman which is pure, blissful awareness.
Vedanta not only inspired Western philosophers, but also the top scientists of quantum physics. Yet Indian students were taught that Hindu Dharma is inferior to the Abrahamic religions. Consequently, massive, fraudulent conversions were tolerated. The great value of Hindu Dharma for humanity was played down, and even forgotten over time, as many Hindus became more and more ignorant about their tradition. They only continued the worship of deities and started to believe, what the Abrahamics claimed, that Hinduism is polytheistic idol-worship and nothing else.
However, in recent times, a change is happening, including among the Hindu youth. They discovered the serious drawbacks of the newcomer religions, which instill a divisive, irrational mindset: ‘Either you believe in our God and in His son/messenger, or you burn for all eternity in hellfire.’
Hindu Dharma instills an inclusive mindset: ‘There are different flowers in God’s Garden and different ways to reach Him/Her. He will not discard anyone for eternity. In fact, all are contained in Him, and all will be given chance after chance, life after life.’
Yet strangely, of all the three religions, Hinduism is singled out for attacks even in India. Christians plan to make India a Christian nation and Muslim organisations plan to make India a Muslim nation.
Why are they so intent to push their religion on Hindus? Because they believe that it’s the command of the Almighty. They claim (without proof) that the Creator wants all to follow what the founder of their religion said, or else He will throw them forever into hell.
This needs to be challenged. Without this unfounded claim those dogmatic religions will collapse.
How could it be possible that our Creator wants to burn billions of us for ever in hellfire and only spare those who believe in a certain book? Moreover, those religions never sorted out WHICH BOOK will save from hellfire – the Bible or the Quran?
India and the world have meanwhile reached a stage, where Hindu Dharma urgently needs to be strengthened to stop the downward spiral of violence and moral degradation and turn it around.
Otherwise, the goal of Islam, Christianity (and of the leftists) – to eliminate Hinduism from the face of the earth –may be achieved, which would be a disaster for humanity. So, the only hope for Hindu India to survive is that those, who converted, lose faith and come back home (Gharwapsi).
The appeal of Dhirendra Krishna for a Hindu Rashtra and for Gharwapsi is therefore timely and comes like a breath of fresh air. There is hope now because at least the goal is defined.
Yet one more issue needs to be tackled. The wisdom of the Rishis needs to reach again the masses. Only when it is clear that Hindu Dharma is indeed superior, those who had converted, will want to come back. Here the Swami of Bageshwar also does his bit, explaining in simple terms how Maya clouds our vision of who we really are in truth.
Great wisdom is contained in the Hindu tradition – especially the liberating wisdom of the oneness of the individual’s Atma (Self) with the infinite, eternal Brahman. Those who try to control humanity, may not want this knowledge to reach the common man. It would liberate him from fear and he could not be easily controlled.
These forces have great power and have mainstream media in their grip. False allegations could be spread against the young Swami. He would not be the first to endure such injustice. Swami Vivekananda, too, had to endure lies being spread about him in America.
Let’s hope, this won’t happen and that with the blessings of Hanuman, Pandit Dhirendra Krishna Shastri will have success in spreading the eternal Hindu Dharma.