Today, for the first time I came to know about Swami Beyondananda, the cosmic comic alter ego of writer, humorist, performer and uncommontator Steve Bhaerman.
This Swami, whose favorite yoga pose is ‘tongue-in-cheek‘, is the spokesperson for a new non-religion, FUNdamentalism (accent on “fun”). Sa1ys the Swami, “We are strictly non-dominational.”
By the way, do you know who or what the word ‘uncommontator‘ or the word ‘non-dominational‘ mean? Well, I don’t know, neither does Google.
One day in 1979, while Steve was pursuing a career as a teacher and writer, the name “Swami Beyondananda” flew into his head. As Steve tells it, “I got struck by enlightening during a brainstorm.”
Now, let us tune into the wisdom of Swami Beyondananda:
Whew, my head is spinning with all that hate ! Well, here is a joke to lighten up everyone!
An atheist and an agnostic after dying arrive in what they realize is paradise. When they arrive in Paradise, they are met by this benign, radiant beautiful woman who claims to be God ( or rather Goddess!) who shows the agnostic and atheist around.
They see all these beautiful trees, orchards, meadows, waterfalls and meet with many beautiful people of many different ethnicities with happy-faced children all hugging and loving each other with flowers in their hair singing
“If you’re going to San Francisco,
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair…”
“Who are they?” ask the atheist and the agnostic
“They are the Children of earth, atheists and agnostics like yourself” says the beautiful Goddess. They have come to paradise and obtained what they sought – eternal happiness, peace and harmony among all people” says the beaming Goddess.
Finally, they arrive at the edge of paradise, a vista point where they see this deep, bottom-less huge pit, a cavern the size of the milky way with roaring flames! They see all kinds of people throwing bombs at each other , blowing each other up, hating each other, cursing each other, fighting each other, in other words, one big hate fest!
The atheist and the agnostic ask, “Who are they and what is that cavern with flames?”
“Oh, that is Hell,”says the Goddess. “Those people down there are hateful, intolerant, violent religious extremists, the believers, all the haters from planet earth, extremist Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Jains, Sikhs, Nazis and yes even republicans!!”
“Why are they so angry and hateful?” ask the atheist and the agnostic.
The bemused Goddess says, “Oh, they are just angry because they were lied to by their Gods as to who would be in heaven and hell!!”