Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati: The saint who resisted Christian missionary menace

We Hindus have only two choice. To resist  Christian evangelization or let them destroy Hinduism. They have commendable record on destruction of non-Christian cultures and religion.  Religion of love in action here

The saint who resisted missionary menace
Posted April 25, 2006

The saga of 35 years of struggle by social reformer Swami Laxmananda Saraswati By Debasis Tripathy

It was a hot noon of May 1970 in Orissa. Suddenly the news spread to every nook and corner of the state that some miscreants had set the idol of Lord Birupakhya at the famous Shiva temple afire. The temple was situated at the small tribal village Chakapad in the Kandhamal district, Orissa. The innocent Hindus were shocked and had one question: Who will rescue us from such religious terrorism? But nobody was there to answer.

When the Hindus of the Kandhamal district and other tribal-dominated districts of Orissa were suffering from the inhuman acts and conversion bids of Christian missionaries, they got a little ray of hope. A saffron-clad saint?Swami Laxmananda Saraswati?reached there as the nemesis of all the missionary activities. Due to his decades-long restless struggle, the social, religious and economic conditions of thousands of tribals have improved. Now they have learnt to lead an independent life free from all the bondages and as such, the conversion bids of the missionaries have been given a goodbye.

The year 1965 witnessed anti-cow-slaughter movement all over India. The whole country stood up against the killing of cows. The news of this movement organised by the RSS reached Rishikesh. When Laxmanandaji heard of this, he could not sit silently. He organised some of his friends and convinced them about the necessity to stop cow-slaughter.

?In Rishikesh, one evening when I was reading the Upanishad on the bank of the Ganges, I came to know about the Goraksha Andolan, launched by RSS. I thought a while and decided to join it. I tried to convince my friends, most of whom agreed,? said Swami Laxmananda.

Swamiji further said taking his saffron-clad sannyasi friends with him, he marched towards Delhi to join the Goraksha Andolan. They staged a protest meet in front of the residence of the then Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi. This protest continued for more than a week. During that time, fortunately he came into contact with Shri Guriji, the then Sarsanghachalak of RSS. The lofty personality of Shri Guruji influenced him a lot. Words of Shri Guruji made him determinant for the service of rashtra, dharma and satya.

?I saw Shri Guruji in Delhi. We were sitting on the same dais. He told me: ‘Swamiji Bharat Mata is calling you’. I was impressed with his powerful words, which are even now echoing in my ears. I refused to return to Rishikesh?, says Laxmanandaji.

During that movement, he was arrested and jailed for 19 days. After his release from the jail, he was sent to Orissa to monitor the goraksha movement. In 1967, he reached Orissa and the goraksha movement took momentum under his strong supervision. In 1968, under his guidance, Vishwa Hindu Parishad took shape in Orissa.

In 1969-70, he arrived at Phulbani district headquarters of Kandhamal district. The Church had chalked out a dangerous plan to finish the Hindus in those areas. The plan?Mission Christ Sthan?was intended to create one separate territory for the Christians. The missionaries were keen to make their programme successful in Koraput, Gajpati, Phulbani, Kalahandi, Bolangir, Bhanjanagar, Daspalla, Khanda-pada, Boudh, Sonapur, Athamallik and Angul districts, says Swamiji. ?Huge funds from Christian countries were flowing into these regions. I got this news from my friend and the eminent Sangh swayamsevak Shri Raghunath Sethi and rushed to Kandhamal to save Hindus from the clutches of missionaries.?

?When I heard about the plan of the pastors to create a Christ Sthan, I decided to visit those areas. Communication was not as good as it is today. I did not have any money even to travel. Hence, I begged alms in places like Khurda and Nayagarh and managed to collect 30 rupees. With this amount in hand, and taking the blessings of Lord Jagannath I reached there,? he said.

Swamiji reached Chakapad, a small tribal village, 30 kms from the Phulbani district headquarters. He established his ashram there in 1969 and dedicated himself to the service of mankind.

Swamiji started his service and reform work, making Chakapad his centre. To promote education, he established a school and a Sanskrit college at Chakapad in 1969. To save the Vanvasis from the clutches of missionaries, he started a unique plan. He inspired the locals to have a kirtan mandali in each village. He started delivering religious preaching among Vanvasis, which proved advantageous in curbing the missionary activities. Swamiji united the Vanvasis of Kandhamal and educated them to be conscious of the missionary activities and to develop their economic and social conditions. As a result, the missionaries had no way but to cancel their ?Christ Sthan? project and to leave Kandhamal.

For his series of social services and his remarkable contribution to the Vanvasi society, he has been conferred with the title of ?Adharma Chakra Vidarak Dakshya Maharath? and Vedanta Kesari by the revered Shankaracharya of Gobardhan Peeth, Puri, Swami Nishchalananda Saraswati and Gajpati, King of Orissa in 1999. For his unique contribution to Vanvasi society, Swamiji was felicitated at the three-day mammoth Vanvasi rally, organised in Chakapad from April 8 to 10, 2006, in which about five lakh people participated.

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