Christianity in Kovvur on the Godavari River (28 Mar 13)

I have started a major program of editing and uploading my photos of my last four pilgrimages to a new Flickr account. Currently I have reached critical mass on my recent pilgrimage, and those photos can be viewed here:

Meher Chowki’s Photostream at Flickr

What I’d like to feature out of that collection is the biggest suprise I’ve ever had in India, i.e., the best Christian devotional art I have ever seen, on the west bank of the Godavari River. Find that collection here:

Meher Chowki’s Christianity in India Set at Flickr

(click image to enlarge)

Above: Mary as the Queen of Heaven, with the Christ Child, with the sacred Godavari River in the background, Neo-Concept Church (under construction) Kovvur, Feb 13

When I started asking questions about this, one gentleman from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, who seemed not to be in particular good graces with the Meher Baba orthodoxy at Kovvur, told me that St. Thomas, of Christ’s twelve apostles, came to Chennai and was murdered there.

I don’t know any of the history underlying how Christianity got to Kovvur, but Chennai is some 150 miles south of Kovvur/Rajahmundry, and still on the east coast of India, not far away, particulary by sea, and I don’t know, but this art just feels to me like the Tamils, very, very sweet. The Tamils are the most abused and under-rated ethnicity in India, and they can really connect with Christ’s suffering.

(click image to enlarge)

This is not only about the mother of Christ, it’s about every Tamil mother who has opened the door in the morning to find her previously tortured and then murdered child lying in the mud. How can you deal with this? I think there’s only two things you can do, either go in rage, or give your poor child to God and go get pregnant with another child this instant, and the latter are the heroic women of Tamil Nadu, I feel. And where they get the strength to do it is from Jesus Christ. These are the Christians who will inherit the earth, no doubt.

This is the best Indian art, and the best Christian art that I have ever seen, because it has the greatest emotional connection to God. If for some wierd reason I wanted to convert back to the religion of my birth, I would go to Kovvur to do it, and I would learn Telegu so that I could communicate with my congregation.

In general, Christianity is better for Asians than any of the Asian religions, including Buddhism, because there’s no political, cultural, or financial advantage for them in it, it’s all about their relationship to God.

And by the same token, Asian religions, and especially Buddhism are better for Americans than Christianity, because there’s no political power, no psychological dominance, and no ideological bullshit in it, Buddhism is purely and simply about Enlightenment for us.

Jai Jai Meher.


5 Responses to Christianity in Kovvur on the Godavari River (28 Mar 13)

  1. bhuvaneswari says:

    I felt like heaven when I stepped into the neo concept church. I heard about the CHURCH FOUNDER”VEERLA.BHASKARARAO “garu an employee in R.T.C,such a great person who does not save his salary for his further future but constructing a church .When I asked him ”what’s this sir” , he replied with a delightful smile’me & my wife thought this to increase the love of god in this place to this people&we are successfull in that ‘how do you manage your salary,job &this church ‘ I asked then he said ”it’s all god’s grace.”NEENU NA KUTUMBAM DEEVUNI SEVA LONE JEEVISTHAM.MARIYU A PRABHUVU SEVA LONE MAA PRANAALU VADHILESTHAM”ANI CHEPPARU.At that moment I gave 5000/-rupees to that god.inka aa devuni koraku,aa church korako yentho cheyalani naa aasha,korika&naa jeevitha lakshyam.

    • Vishveshwar says:

      Thanks for posting this information about this church and its founder, and thanks for contributing to it. When I was there several years ago, the church was still under construction and nobody was there, not even a care-taker. But it already did have that feeling of Christ’s universal love and compassion, and I am sure that that church will grow and flourish.

      I was surprised to find a long-standing and substantial Christian community in south India. It is said to go back to the time of Christ when the Apostle Philip brought Jesus Christ’s message of love and truth to India, and was martyred in Chennai, which I visited more recently. Most Christians in the West know nothing about Christianity in India. The Neo Church’s art is the best Christian devotional art that I have ever encountered. The classic Catholic art of Europe is mostly about the people who funded the work. The depictions of Mary are about the girlfriends and mothers of the artists, and those of Jesus Christ are mostly about their fathers, or the Pope and Bishops of the time.

      But what we see here in this Christian art is actually representations God and His Mother. Mary was the Great Mother of that time and place, and for all time and every place, for that matter. I am sure that many Hindus can look at these images of Mary and see Shree in the form of their choice.

      Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai,

  2. Pingback: Fresh News (July 2014) from Andhra Pradesh | Mehernagar

  3. padma says:

    A spirital feeling with full of holyness and with a delightful smile made me happy and comfortable when i step in the church.thanks jesus ,amen

    • Vishveshwar says:

      Thank You, HALLELUJAH, praise Jesus the previous Avatar of God but one, Who came before Mohammed, may His Revelation live forever, to give His divine grace once again in that time and place, to this planet still full of stinging red dust and five pollutions.

      Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai,

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