okay, i’ve about had it with the “Athiest 1 – Magick 0” posts that i have been seeing around for the last couple of weeks, in regard to the
athiest rationalist who challenged a “tantrik magician” to kill him on television. it’s wrong thinking from the start, and here are some of the reasons why.
by the way, with the exception of the first, all of these reasons assume a hypothetical person who is able to kill the rationalist by using “magic” powers without actually touching him in any way. whether such a person really exists or not is a subject for another discussion at some other time.
1: because of the fact that this took place on television, there’s a good chance that the station that broadcast it was legally liable if anybody died on their set, regardless of how they died. the probability is extremely high that both the rationalist and the “tantrik magician” knew this, even before accepting an appearance on the show. this was not a challenge, it was an entertainment event, and it was known ahead of time, exactly what the outcome would be.
2: the (hypothetical) person who actually has the power to kill the rationalist isn’t the person who is going to be widely known as a “tantrik magician”. such a person avoids fame, would not actively seek out the spotlight, and, when in the spotlight, would demonstrate that anyone could do the things that they do, and/or to give thanks to God (or whatever you may call it) for the abilities that are being ascribed to them. however, especially if they are widely known, such a person would also be very careful about the words that are used to describe them. any words – such as “tantrik magician” – that imply that their powers are in some way “super natural” will be avoided at all costs, and any violation of this would be swiftly and sternly dealt with.
in fact, just from knowing this much, i can tell you with absolute certainty that the “tantrik magician” failed to kill the rationalist, knowing no further information. by the way, if you haven’t already read the article, the “tantrik magician” – big suprise – failed to kill the rationalist.
3: the rationalist, in accepting a challenge from a “tantrik magician”, knew from the start that he would fail, so this wasn’t really a “challenge” at all. such people don’t know a real saint when they see one, because of their mindset that tells them that such people don’t exist. a real saint could perform any miracle, with as much documentation anybody could ask for, and such a person would find some way to prove that they didn’t actually do it.
4: the (hypothetical) person who actually has the power to kill the rationalist will not respond to challenges to “prove” their powers. such a person would consider the whole subject of responding to a challenge superficial, pointless, and actually deterimental to the actual reason why are on earth.
5: perhaps the most important point of all is that the (hypothetical) person who actually has the power to kill the rationalist will be known as a person of peace, and would never kill another conscious being for capricious reasons or to prove a point. this, if no other reason, is why all challenges like this will be met with silence from the people who could actually do it.
On 3 March 2008, in a popular TV show, Sanal Edamaruku, the president of Rationalist International, challenged India’s most “powerful” tantrik (black magician) to demonstrate his powers on him. That was the beginning of an unprecedented experiment. After all his chanting of mantra (magic words) and ceremonies of tantra failed, the tantrik decided to kill Sanal Edamaruku with the “ultimate destruction ceremony” on live TV. Sanal Edamaruku agreed and sat in the altar of the black magic ritual. India TV observed skyrocketing viewership rates.
Everything started, when Uma Bharati (former chief minister of the state of Madhya Pradesh) accused her political opponents in a public statement of using tantrik powers to inflict damage upon her. In fact, within a few days, the unlucky lady had lost her favorite uncle, hit the door of her car against her head and found her legs covered with wounds and blisters.
India TV, one of India’s major Hindi channels with national outreach, invited Sanal Edamaruku for a discussion on “Tantrik power versus Science”. Pandit Surinder Sharma, who claims to be the tantrik of top politicians and is well known from his TV shows, represented the other side. During the discussion, the tantrik showed a small human shape of wheat flour dough, laid a thread around it like a noose and tightened it. He claimed that he was able to kill any person he wanted within three minutes by using black magic. Sanal challenged him to try and kill him.
The tantrik tried. He chanted his mantras (magic words): “Om lingalingalinalinga, kilikili….” But his efforts did not show any impact on Sanal – not after three minutes, and not after five. The time was extended and extended again. The original discussion program should have ended here, but the “breaking news” of the ongoing great tantra challenge was overrunning all program schedules.
Now the tantrik changed his technique. He started sprinkling water on Sanal and brandishing a knife in front of him. Sometimes he moved the blade all over his body. Sanal did not flinch. Then he touched Sanal’s head with his hand, rubbing and rumpling up his hair, pressing his forehead, laying his hand over his eyes, pressing his fingers against his temples. When he pressed harder and harder, Sanal reminded him that he was supposed to use black magic only, not forceful attacks to bring him down. The tantrik took a new run: water, knife, fingers, mantras. But Sanal kept looking very healthy and even amused.
After nearly two hours, the anchor declared the tantrik’s failure. The tantrik, unwilling to admit defeat, tried the excuse that a very strong god whom Sanal might be worshipping obviously protected him. “No, I am an atheist,” said Sanal Edamaruku. Finally, the disgraced tantrik tried to save his face by claiming that there was a never-failing special black magic for ultimate destruction, which could, however, only been done at night. Bad luck again, he did not get away with this, but was challenged to prove his claim this very night in another “breaking news” live program.
During the next three hours, India TV ran announcements for The Great Tantra Challenge that called several hundred million people to their TV sets.
The encounter took place under the open night sky. The tantrik and his two assistants were kindling a fire and staring into the flames. Sanal was in good humour. Once the ultimate magic was invoked, there wouldn’t be any way back, the tantrik warned. Within two minutes, Sanal would get crazy, and one minute later he would scream in pain and die. Didn’t he want to save his life before it was too late? Sanal laughed, and the countdown begun. The tantriks chanted their “Om lingalingalingalinga, kilikilikili….” followed by ever changing cascades of strange words and sounds. The speed increased hysterically. They threw all kinds of magic ingredients into the flames that produced changing colours, crackling and fizzling sounds and white smoke. While chanting, the tantrik came close to Sanal, moved his hands in front of him and touched him, but was called back by the anchor. After the earlier covert attempts of the tantrik to use force against Sanal, he was warned to keep distance and avoid touching Sanal. But the tantrik “forgot” this rule again and again.
Now the tantrik wrote Sanal’s name on a sheet of paper, tore it into small pieces, dipped them into a pot with boiling butter oil and threw them dramatically into the flames. Nothing happened. Singing and singing, he sprinkled water on Sanal, mopped a bunch of peacock feathers over his head, threw mustard seed into the fire and other outlandish things more. Sanal smiled, nothing happened, and time was running out. Only seven more minutes before midnight, the tantrik decided to use his ultimate weapon: the clod of wheat flour dough. He kneaded it and powdered it with mysterious ingredients, then asked Sanal to touch it. Sanal did so, and the grand magic finale begun. The tantrik pierced blunt nails on the dough, then cut it wildly with a knife and threw them into the fire. That moment, Sanal should have broken down. But he did not. He laughed. Forty more seconds, counted the anchor, twenty, ten, five… it’s over!
Millions of people must have uttered a sigh of relief in front their TVs. Sanal was very much alive. Tantra power had miserably failed. Tantriks are creating such a scaring atmosphere that even people, who know that black magic has no base, can just break down out of fear, commented a scientist during the program. It needs enormous courage and confidence to challenge them by actually putting one’s life at risk, he said. By doing so, Sanal Edamaruku has broken the spell, and has taken away much of the fear of those who witnessed his triumph.
In this night, one of the most dangerous and wide spread superstitions in India suffered a severe blow.
The whole program is video-recorded and is available. If you want a copy, please contact: [email protected]