Text and Context in Dialogue

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The India Connection

It is a sad fact that many of us who work in Nepal have little experience or understanding of the situation south of the border. A trip to India can be so much hassle that many live here for years without giving it a try. That situation can lead to a profound sense of isolation from all that goes on in that great country. And that is true not just of foreigners but also of Nepalis. Nepal has been fiercely independent for centuries and understandably resents any suggestion that the country is part of India, as we saw when a certain Indian actress dropped that particular clanger a couple of years ago. Riots on the streets of Kathmandu demonstrated loud and clear what Nepalis thought of that off-hand comment. But when we consider Nepali cultural and social history we must recognise the huge impact that India has had, and indeed continues to have. In terms of Christian interaction with Hindus also, India has a much longer, if more chequered, history. We bury our heads in the sand if we do not learn from that history. In this issue of Voice of Bhakti we focus on the life and work of an Indian Roman Catholic, no less "Brahmabandhab Upadhyay" in an article by Madhusudhan Rao. To put Upadhyay's work in perspective, we kick off with a review article of Robin Boyd's fine book, An Introduction to Indian Christian Theology. Keep the letters coming.

Letters to the editor: Voice of Bhakti welcomes interaction with its readers.

Once on my way to Tibet, I stopped at a mountain village. The people in it were very dirty and unwashed. I noticed a boy examining me intently. Then I saw him hold out his hands to compare them with mine. He said nothing, but in a little time he went out, and I saw him washing his hands at a stream. Then he came back and again compared his washed hands with mine. Without any word from me he had been impressed by the cleanness of my hands, and the desire was born in him to have his hands equally clean. In the same way our lives, influenced by our contact with our Heavenly Father, are silently having their effect on the lives of those around. How necessary it is, therefore, that in our lives we should show forth the virtues and glory of our Heavenly Father (Mt 5:16; 1 Pet 2:9).

Sunder Singh, The Spiritual Life

bhakti. bhakti, nom. devotion, love, loyalty