From Faith To Freedom

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From Faith To Freedom
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Editor Acarya Abhidevananda Avadhuta
Author Avery Newman
Language English
Subject An introduction to the essential principles of Neohumanism
Genre Neohumanism
Published 1983
Location in Sarkarverse
SVmap Adherents.png

From Faith To Freedom is Abhidevananda's exposition of Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar's philosophy of Neohumanism, analyzed on the backdrop of Western religion (in particular, Judaism and Christianity. Perhaps due to the explosive nature of the content, the book is written under a pen name, "Avery Newman".[1]

Content

At the very beginning of the first chapter, Abhidevananda cites an ancient Indian aphorism:

Yuktiyuktamupádeyaḿ vacanaḿ bálakádapi anyatrńamiva tyajyamapyuktaḿ padmajanmaná

[Even if a young boy says something logical it should be accepted; and even if the lotus-born Brahma' (the mythological creator of this universe) says something illogical, it should be rejected like a straw.][1]

After stressing the importance of rationality, the rest of the book goes on to analyze the lives and alleged teachings of the main preceptors of Jewish and Christian thought. The author also examines the often negative impact of Western religious dogma. He also exposes the Biblical roots of dominant social theories like Capitalism and Communism.[1]

History

Everyone should and, ultimately, must repudiate all religious dogma. I am confident that, in the near future, the people of this planet will, by and large, do so. Nevertheless, if today some persons choose not to accept Neohumanism, if they prefer to remain imprisoned in the dark recesses of dogma, that is their right. Here I have tried only to break some chains and throw open some closely guarded doors so that those who wish may emerge from their prison cells and enjoy the clear light of a brilliant new day.[1]

In 1982, Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar's seminal work on Neohumanism, Liberation of Intellect: Neo-Humanism was published. Abhidevananda spent the next year studying that book and trying to amplify all of the key concepts contained therein. The result of that effort, carried out often throughout the night and based on research culled from libraries around Europe, was From Faith To Freedom.[1]

The first edition of From Faith To Freedom was published in Kolkata, India in 1983. Soon after the initial 1,000 books were printed, they were all confiscated and left to rot in the AMPS Central Publications warehouse. The book was deemed to be too controversial to distribute. However, somehow some copies of the book did circulate, and the book became popular among free-thinkers. Within 20 years, the book was openly available on various websites. The most recent publication of From Faith To Freedom may be found on Amazon.[1]

Critiques and controversy

From Faith To Freedom stirred up considerable controversy within Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha. Many felt (and still feel) that it is inappropriate to criticize any religion. That opinion persists and is widely held to this day, both within and without Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha. This opinion informs most of the critiques of From Faith To Freedom. In contrast, those who appreciate the book are of the opinion that all dogma must be exposed and overcome. Similarly, those who appreciate the book argue that the main proponents of dogma (regardless of any godlike status) must also be exposed and their harmful influence eliminated.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Avery Newman (2011) Abhidevananda Avadhuta, ed. From Faith To Freedom ASIN B005FG2HYQ