An Atheist and an Agnostic in Paradise



By T. V. Antony Raj

Swami Beyondananda.


Recently I came to know about Swami Beyondananda, the cosmic comic alter ego writer, humorist, performer and uncommontator Steve Bhaerman.


Steve Bhaerman alias Swami Beyondananda.


This Swami, whose favourite yoga pose is ‘tongue-in-cheek‘, is the spokesperson for a new non-religion, FUNdamentalism (accent on “fun”). Says 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 to 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!!”

“You’re Only Lonely”

A friend of mine, Joe Napoleon sent me this link to the YouTube:

This song “You’re Only Lonely” by J.D. Souther’ went to #7 in 1979 and is in the same vein as Roy Orbison’s song “Only The Lonely” from 1960. I like the lyrics of this song especially the lines
“And when you’re feeling lonely and small,
You need somebody there to hold you.”


When the world is ready to fall on your little shoulders,
And when you’re feeling lonely and small,
You need somebody there to hold you.
You can call out my name… when you’re only lonely,
Now, don’t you ever be ashamed, you’re only lonely,

When you need somebody around on the nights that try you,
(Remember) I was there when you were a queen,
And I’ll be the last one there beside you.
So you can call out my name… when you’re only lonely.
Now, don’t you ever be ashamed, you’re only lonely,

When the world is ready to fall on your little shoulders,
And when you’re feeling lonely and small,
You need somebody there to hold you.
So don’t you ever be ashamed, you’re only lonely.
Ah, you can call out my name… when you’re only lonely,

When you’re only lonely…
Ah, it’s no crime… darling, we’ve got lots of time.

Ah, there’s nothing wrong with you…
Darling, I get lonely, too.

So if you need me, all you gotta do is call me.
You’re only lonely

The Navels of Adam and Eve


Myself . 

By T. V. Antony Raj

Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1526)
Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1526)


The above painting opened my eyes to the world of art. I am not a connoisseur of art nor do I pretend to be one but do you see anything wrong in this drawing of Adam and Eve?


Explain this - Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1526)
Explain this – Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1526)


I couldn’t but exclaim “What? Adam and Eve with belly buttons? The artist was a dumb idiot!” 

But the artist who painted it was an educated person named Lucas Cranach the Elder, a German Renaissance painter and graphic artist who excelled in portraits and in female nudes. 


Self portrait by Lucas Cranach the Elder
Self-portrait by Lucas Cranach the Elder


Lucas Cranach the Elder was the foremost member of the family of artists by that name active in Saxony during the 16th century.

From about 1501 to 1504 Lucas Cranach lived in Vienna, and his earliest known works date from this period. They include a portrait of the Wife of Dr Johann Stephan Reuss (1503), found in the collection of Staatliche Museen, Berlin and The Crucifixion (1503, Alte Pinakothek, Munich).

In 1505 Cranach became court painter to the electors of Saxony at Wittenberg until 1550. He was a prominent citizen in Wittenberg, received a title, and became mayor in 1537. In 1508 he visited the Netherlands, where he painted portraits of such royalty as Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I and the young prince who succeeded him as Charles V. He painted biblical and mythological scenes with decorative sensual nudes that were new to German painting. These works include many versions of Adam and EveThe Judgment of Paris (1528, Metropolitan Museum, New York), and nearly 20 versions of Venus and Cupid from 1527 to 1545. 

Lucas Cranach was a friend of Martin Luther, and his art expresses much of the spirit and feeling of the German Reformation. Cranach ran a large workshop and worked with great speed, producing hundreds of works. He died in Weimar, on October 15, 1553. Cranach’s sons were both artists, but the only one to achieve distinction was Lucas Cranach the Younger, who was his father’s pupil and often his assistant. His oldest son Hans Cranach was a promising artist but died prematurely.

Here are some of the paintings of Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

Adam and Eve - 01b - Lucas Cranach the ElderAdam and Eve - 16 - Lucas Cranach the ElderAdam and Eve - 19 - Lucas Cranach the Elder

Adam and Eve - 17 - Lucas Cranach the ElderAdam and Eve - 05Adam and Eve - 18 - Lucas Cranach the Elder


Other artists who spent time drawing the navels

Out of curiosity, I searched Google for images of ‘Adam and Eve’ by other artists and I was shocked to find that almost all the painters of the renaissance period including Michelangelo drew gracefully and spent time in drawing meticulously the navels of Adam and Eve.

To prove my point I downloaded many pictures and have posted some of them here. Like most of you, I am just a layman who admires the beautiful forms drawn by them.


The Expulsion - Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone alias Masaccio - c 1425
The fresco painting “The Expulsion” by the Italian Renaissance artist Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone alias Masaccio – c. 1425.


 Three centuries after the fresco was painted, Cosimo III de’ Medici, in line with contemporary ideas of decorum, ordered that fig leaves be added to conceal the genitals of the figures. These were eventually removed in the 1980s when the painting was fully restored and cleaned.


Adam and Eve - 12 - Hugo van der Goes c.1470
The Fall of Adam and Eve by the Flemish painter Hugo van der Goes c.1470.


Adam and Eve - 03
Adam and Eve- Engraving  by the German painter Albrecht Dürer – 1504
Adam and Eve - 20 - Albrecht Dürer - 1507
Adam and Eve – Painting by the German painter Albrecht Dürer – 1507

Albrecht Dürer  (May 21, 1471 – April 6, 1528) born in Nuremberg was a German painter, printmaker, and theorist of the German Renaissance. In his twenties, he established his influence and reputation throughout Europe with his excellent woodcut prints. Dürer was in touch with the major Italian artists of his time, including Giovanni Bellini of the Bellini family of Venetian painters, Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino alias Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci. From 1512 Emperor Maximilian I patronized him.

Adam and Eve - 04
Adam and Eve by the Flemish painter Jan (Mabuse) Gossaert c 1525.


Creation of Adam
The Creation of Adam by the Michelangelo c. 1542-45.


Adam and Eve in the Garden by Michelangelo
The Fall of Man by Michelangelo c. 1542-45.


Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), commonly known as Michelangelo was an Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci.

Michelangelo was considered the greatest living artist in his lifetime, and ever since then, he has been held to be one of the greatest artists of all time. A number of his works in painting, sculpture, and architecture rank among the most famous in existence. His output in every field during his long life was prodigious; when the sheer volume of correspondence, sketches, and reminiscences that survive is also taken into account, he is the best-documented artist of the 16th century. Two of his best-known works, the Pietà and David, were sculpted before he turned thirty. Despite his low opinion of painting, Michelangelo also created two of the most influential works in fresco in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling and The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. As an architect, Michelangelo pioneered the Mannerist style at the Laurentian Library. At 74 he succeeded Antonio da Sangallo the Younger as the architect of St. Peter’s Basilica. Michelangelo transformed the plan, the western end being finished to Michelangelo’s design, the dome being completed after his death with some modification.


Adam and Eve - 21- Frans Floris De Vriendt - c 1547
Adam and Eve by the Flemish painter Frans Floris De Vriendt c. 1547.


Adam and Eve - 06
Adam and Eve, c. 1550. I was not able to get the name of the painter who drew this beautiful painting.


Adam and Eve - 14 - Hendrik Goltzius
Adam and Eve by the Dutch printmaker, draftsman, and painter Hendrik Goltzius c. 1600.


Adam and Eve - 07 - Cornelis Cornelisz Van Haarlem c 1622
Adam and Eve by by the Dutch Golden Age painter and  draftsman Cornelis Corneliszoon van Haarlem c. 1622.


Adam and Eve by Domenichino 1623
Adam and Eve by the Italian Baroque painter of the Bolognese School, or Carracci School, of painters Domenico Zampieri (or Domenichino) c. 1623-25.


Adam and Eve - 09
The Expulsion Of Adam And Eve From The Garden Of Paradise by the French painter Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889]


Adam and Eve - 22 - Hans Thoma (October 2, 1839 – November 7, 1924)
Adam and Eve by the German painter Hans Thoma (October 2, 1839 – November 7, 1924).


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Marketing Terms


Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

Well if you are novice to marketing then let us look at these usual and useful scenarios at a party and understand the terms used in this field :

Direct Marketing

Party - Direct Marketing (152x224)

You walk up to a lady and say “How about having a nightcap with me?”


Party - Telemarketing (224x149)

You walk up to a lady and get her telephone number. The next day you telephone her and say “How about having dinner tonight with me?”


Party - Advertising (149x224)

Ask one of your friends to walk up to a girl and ask him to point at you and say “Hi, you see that gentleman over there. He is very rich. How about having a ride tonight with him?”

Public Relations

Party - Public Relations (224x173)

On seeing this lady you adjust your tie and walk up to her, pour her a drink, pick up her purse when she drops it, offer her a ride and  then say “How about having a nightcap with me?”

Brand Recognition

Party - Brand Recognition (197x224)

A lady walks up to you and says “I know that you are very rich! Will you marry me?”

Customer Feedback

Party - Customer Feedback (224x148)

You walk up to a lady and say “You are so lovely. How about having a nightcap with me?” She slaps you on your face.

Demand and Supply

Party - Demand and Supply (224x128)

You walk up to a lady and say “Hi, how about having a nightcap with me?” She taps the shoulder of the person standing next to her and introduces him as her husband.

Market Competition

Party - Market Competition - 2 (207x224)

You walk up to a girl and before you could utter a word, another person budges in and says “Hi, how about having a nightcap with me?”

New Market Restriction

Party - New Market Restriction (224x149)

You walk up to a girl offer her a drink and before you could say “Hi, … ” your wife stares at you and the girl.

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Peeping Tom

I know a lady who lives on the 3rd floor of a nearby apartment. This is a fairly good neighborhood; but of late she has been having trouble with a ‘peeping tom’ living in an adjoining apartment. Every time she goes out to her bathroom, she removes her clothes and steps into the bathtub, this peeping tom looks through her bathroom louvers and stares at her.

She complained to the old caretaker of the building about this peeping tom, and the old man wanted positive proof before he could take any action.

FINALLY the lady got a picture of him from her balcony while he was staring at her…

Scroll Down

Down arrow[3]

Down arrow

Down arrow

Peeping Tom


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Johnny, Johnny …


Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

My former student Chandru Ganapathy has shared Amey Rane‘s post on Facebook. It is a transmutation of the nursery rhyme “Johnny, Johnny …” I hope novices and veterans in the IT field will chant it as their daily mantra. Here it is:

Johnny, Johnny … Yes Papa!

Job in IT … Yes Papa!

Too much work … Yes Papa!

Lot of tension … Yes Papa!

Family Life … No Papa!

Personal life … Lost Papa!

BP, Sugar … High Papa!

Yearly Bonus … Joke Papa!

Annual pay … Low Papa!

Promotion, Incentive … HA! HA! HA!

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Consecration of Bishop Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Fernando

I thank my nephew Tyron Devotta for sending me a copy of this article penned by Mr. Francis D’ Almeida and published in Sri Lanka’s premier Newspaper “The Island” on February 3, 2012.

History in the Making

by Francis D’ Almeida

February 3, 2012, 7:25 pm

Viewed from any angle the feat is remarkable. Engineer Xavier Bastian Fernando and his beloved wife, with a flamboyant name, Gnanasorubi did beget eight children of whom four they gave to be consecrated to God’s service.

Thus, Joe of the Diocese of Jaffna and Emmanuel of the Colombo Archdiocese became priests whilst the girls in between joined the Apostolic Carmalite Congregation. More was in store for the Fernando Family who made Kotahena their cherished abode. Years later on 11th of February 2012 Emmanuel will be called to reach the fullness of priesthood – Sacerdotal Plenitude. Henceforth, he will be known as His Lordship Most Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Fernando and will don the Royal Purple. One wonders how this humble servant of God will bear the weight of grave title undoubtedly, the new Bishop will dedicate himself to serve God’s people with renewed vigour and a burning passion.

Bharatha Community

The Fernandos hailing from the parish of Vembar tucked in a corner of South East India, belonged to the Diocese of Tuticorin. Their community known as Bharathas were the converts of the Jesuits in the 16th century whose faith was enkindled by St. Francis Xavier. Through thick and thin, they cherished their faith even as they spread their wings to distant shores, to reach Mannar, Negombo, Colombo and beyond. They were astute business people who dominated petrol outlets, liquor business and textile trade in Ceylon, as our Country was then known.

Jesuit Trained

The Jesuits in South India with their incomparable educational institutions drew many Bharatha lads to pursue academic careers as well as excel in sports. Hockey and Soccer became the trade mark of the Bharatha Youth.

La Sallian Guidance

In our Country they chose St. Benedict’s College as their prime educational institution as many Bharatha educationists had already become La Sallion Brothers. (then known as Christian Brothers) The Bharatha community helped the Catholic Church in various Dioceses in Sri Lanka with immeasurable generosity and at time facing nasty back lashes from anti-Catholic elements of the ruling regime who after the school take-over crisis-took over the lucratic dry fish trade then dominated by them. Amidst this background there were also members of the community who became professionals in diverse fields. The Senior Fernando was one of them though coming from a different educational background in Jaffna – St Patrick’s College and Guindy Engineering College, Madras, India.

Boys of St. Benedicts’ College

The Fernando *boys Joe, John and Emmanuel studied at St. Benedicts College and the girls Assumpta and Michelins at Good Shepherd Convent, Kotahena. The ‘Cathedral parish was their spiritual nursery that helped them mature to consecrated life.

Young Emmanuel (born in Jaffna) was a Colombo boy through and through and a Benedictine to the core. Guided by the noble La Sallians of the caliber of Brother Francis and Paul he matured spiritually well enough to join St. John Berchman’s Society of Altar Servers of the Cathedral Church. The Burmese friar simply known as “Brother James” a legend in his time was the moderator. He groomed the Altar Servers not only in Latin and the rubrics of the complex liturgical services but also drilled them in rigorous discipline. In many ways, Brother James’ training surpassed even what was provided in a minor seminary, so much so, there was hardly any substantial difference between ‘this and that.’ As the teenage Emmanuel entered St. Aloysius Seminary post Ordinary Level, another, product of the La Sallian Brothers – Mallcolm Ranjith who recently became Sri Lanka’s Second Cardinal, to joined the institution.6After a short stint in the Borella Seminary under the guidance of the great visionary Fr. Frank Marcus, who subsequently became the Bishop of Chilaw, Emmanuel joined the Ampitiya Major Seminary. In those tumultous days of 1966, the Seminary was in the hands of some brilliant OMI (Oblates) priests led by very Rev. Fr. Dalston Forbes who was a multi-talented formator.

Propaganda Fide – Rome

The late Cardinal Thomas Cooray had the keen sense of spotting seminarians just right to be sent to Propaganda Fide Seminary in Rome. Incidentally, Cardinal Cooray also had the knack of spotting water deep underground by a magnetic sensation he felt by the dangling metal clock on a chain.

Ordained by Pope Paul VI

Years swiftly passed by from the time Bro. Emmanuel became a priest ordained in Rome by Pope Paul VI. He soon gained experience in the parish apostolate and later taught at the National Seminary, Ampitiya. He continued his studies at the prestigious Catholic University of America for the Doctorate in Moral Theology. Few years after resuming his teaching post in the Ampitiya Seminary, he took charge the Institution as its Rector.

Rectors of Seminaries, it now seems are ear-marked to become Bishops. The list includes the late Bishop Frank Marcus, emeritus Archbishop Nicholas Marcus, Bishops Marius Peiris, Valence Mendis and now Mgr. Emmanuel Fernando.

What was special over and above all other high attributes, this hardworking priest Fr. Emmanuel who is currently holding the ecclesiastical office of Episcopal Vicar, was assigned to minister to the Spiritual needs of Tamil Catholic community in the Archdiocese.

Much Expectations

Although there was much expectations about the appointment of Auxiliary Bishops to, assist the heavily burdened Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Fr. Emmanuel seemed to lead the list. The confirmation did come on the 28th November 2011 when the appointment came with the titular title “Bishop of Orta”.

Seventh from the Community

Thus His Lordship Bishop Emmanuel Fernando became the seventh Bishop from the Bharatha Community who they consider themselves to be the children of St. Francis Xavier. Incidentally the first Latin rite Bishop of India was the Bharatha Bishop Tiburtious Roche who too was a Benedictine. Bishop Thomas Fernando succeeding him as the head of the Tuticorine Diocese was the second. His family also produced two priests and a Bishop. The other Bishops are His Grace Peter Fernando, Bishop Leon Dharmaraj, Bishop Thomas Aquinas, Bishop Anthony Devotta and Bishop Emmanuel is the first Bishop of the Bharatha Community in Sri Lanka.

La Sallian Brothers

The list of La Sallian Bishops in Sri Lanka includes the late Bishops Roche (Tuticorin) Beckmaeyer, Emelianus Pillai, Archbishop Emiratus Oswald Gomis, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Bishops Marius Peiris, Winston Fernando and Valence Mendis. Indeed the vision of St. John Baptist De La Salle continues to become brighter at a time and place far from his own era and society.

Te Deum Laudamus

So on the morning of 11th February 2012 as the chimes of the bells of St Lucia’s Cathedral resound to announce that one of its sons has been elevated to the office of Sacerdos Magnus we shall pray together with the vastly expanded Fernando family with glowing hearts “Te Deum Laudamus”- “We Thank you O Lord”. Indeed the Lord of history has his own strange ways to choose his leaders to the church forward, in an exceedingly complex world.

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Cooing, Crooning, Bawling and Hollering

Read downwards.

This what you would hear from a couple cooing and crooning behind the bushes. Obviously before marriage:

He:  Yes. I have been waiting all these days for this only.
She: Will you think of leaving me?
He:  No. Never. I will not even dream of it.
She: Do you love me?
He:  Yes. Today and forever.
She: Will you cheat on me?
He:  I would ratherI die.
She: Will you kiss me?
He:  Surely. What a happy instance this would be!
She: Will you scold me?
He:  Never. Don’t ever think of it?
She: Will you hold my hand and walk with me till the end?

Read upwards.
This is the same conversation that we heard afore, But now it has metamorphosed into a conversation after marriage.

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Sweet and Cryptic Words used by Women.


Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

I came across this caboodle of sweet and cryptic words used by women penned by an anonymous author under a different title.

1. Fine:  Word used to end an argument when she is right and you need to shut up.

2. Five Minutes:  If she is getting dressed, this means ‘half an hour’. Five minutes are only 5 minute given to you to watch the game on TV before helping around the house.

3. Nothing:  This is the calm before the storm hits you. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that generate ‘nothing’ usually ends in ‘fine’ (see #1 above) .

4. Go Ahead:  This is a dare, not permission. So, don’t do it.

5. Loud Sigh:  This is actually a word –  a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks that you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing there and arguing with you about nothing.  (See #3 above for the meaning of ‘nothing’) .

6. That’s Okay:  This is one of the most dangerous cryptic statement uttered by a woman. ‘That’s Okay’ means that she want to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will realize and pay for your mistake.

7. Thanks:  Do not faint or question if she thanks you. Your response should be “you’re welcome.”  This ‘Thanks’ seems to be true unless she says ‘Thanks a lot’, which by the way is pure sarcasm and is not thanking you at all. In this case do not respond with “you’re welcome” that will result in a ‘Whatever’ (See #8 below).

8. Whatever:  It’s a woman’s way of saying f*** you.

9. Don’t worry about it, I got it.:  Beware. This a dangerous statement meaning that she had told you to do something several times before and is doing it herself now. You will now be asking “What’s wrong” to which her response would be ‘nothing’ ((See #3 above for the meaning of ‘nothing’) .

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of what comes to my mind.

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