Diocesan Metropolitan of Idukki And Kandanad Diocese, Malankara Orthodox Church


"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary....... And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshdow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God......For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her." (St.Luke 1:26-38)

August 15 is celebrated as the assumption of St. Mary. It is the time of lent and prayers to look through our life in perspective of that of Mother Mary, to search out what type of persons we are? With the introduction of ourself and with submission to Lord, we have a lot of things that we should see in our life and search through to find what type of a person I am. This is a very important question. When we are at prayer, when we are fasting, always our mind should be with the quest to find the answer to this question.

Mary, mother of God conquered the world by humiliating her and submitting her to Lord while uttering the words; let it be I am thy servant. How simple we are while the God Almighty power Jesus is living in our heart? If we are without a continued companionship with Jesus what purpose we have in this life? To each events in our life, we should be with the question, how does it happened to my life? This should be our constant prayer: Search me O' Lord, You know my heart, point out thing which you find to cast away in my life, keep me and lead me to to an everlasting life. Our last destination should be to reach to the everlasting life.

Being a Christian it is dangerous for us to accept everything to our life. Before we accept our path we have to check what are acceptable to us. Certain things we can take, but something to be abandoned. What are the things allowable to our heart? Considering all that we achieved in our life, and what are happening in our life, it should be evident to us what are acceptable to our hearts.

In St. Antony's monastry there was a young nun living in the convent for sixeteen years. She approached St.Antony and said that she is an absolutely unhappy person, in spite of being in the monastry for last sixteen years. She said; 'Even though I had been fasting and chanting the prayers throughout the day and night, my mind is disturbed. I read Old Testament and New Testament several times and by-hearted it, but I am not getting any peace in life.'. Antony told her that he would be asking three simple questions and answer the same with sincerity. Antony asked her the first question. How do you consider poverty and richness, what is acceptable to you? She replied, 'No Father, I can not accept poverty, I always wish to be rich. I am living in the convent for sixteen years with only one meal a day and one hour sleep in the midnight, I donot have any peace. What I was before I joined the convent, now also I am the same. There is no change happened to my life.' Antony told her, it is Ok, tell me how you respond to the blessings from curses. She told I like appreciation and blessings but I do not like people talk bad about me or rudely to me. Antony asked a third simple question. How you consider friends and enemies? She replied, I like friendships but I hate enemies, I donot like anybody who is not good to me. Antony told her, I donot know how long you will take forn a change in your life, so that all these things will come to your mind. To have the ncessary changes in her life for the joy in Christ, he adviced her that she should embrace poorty, be happy with abuses and to start loving the emenmies. Christianity expects a different life from the normal accepted way of it.

While making the verdict in the Orthodox Church dispute, the non-Christian Judge had compared the Christians with a Camel, saying that Christians and Camel both kneel down and embrace the burden in their life. He asked, the Christians who are taking the burden being on their knees, why they are approaching the court to set right the matters. Many of us are still with an indisciplined behaviour which doesnot suit to our call and Christianity. The wisdom given to Nazerenes is not known or not achieved among the Christians today. It is a painful contemporary scenario that after the worshipping, people challenging each other, Bishops, Priests and liety joining and becoming groups and sects disputing and quarelling each other, group by group and sect by sect. We all know apparantly what for we are going to Church. Even the young children know that the Church is the abode of God and not the place for yelling and fighting, but many does not adhere to the basic ethics and disciplines in the Church meetings. St. Mary and her life gives us a model, what type of a person we must be, by submitting ourself as the handmaid of God to be be humiliated and to retract from the current situation. We need to think ourself whether we are with multifaces at different situations. When we go to Church, one face, while praying another face, while contacting with people another face, while in the offcice another face. We have to get transfigured. We should become people who are willing to get transfigured.

There was an old man coming to St.Paul's Cathedral every day noontime. The Gatekeeper one day asked him, why are you going to the Church every day, we never see you praying a single word. All the people are coming to pray for their needs, but you come quiet and never seen uttering a single word of prayer. The old man replied that he is a special type of person, he does not know what to pray, but hear a simple word in his mind that Jim, Jesus is living. One day he met with an accident while going back home. He had severe injuries and admitted to the emergency room. The Doctors told him of the seriousness of his injury and their doubt about his survival. He was quite charm and with great joy. He did not have even a single visitor. Nobody was for him to visit. The Nurses asked him how he could be happy in this situation. The old man replied that a man invisible visits him daily during the noontime and tells him that Jesus is living. None of the people could see his special visitor. Whom he was visiting in St.Paul's Church at every day noontime started visiting him at his bed everyday at the same time. Jesus is living in us when we attain the spirit of God, and the life become a renewed one.

Look through the life of the mother who had been fully submitted to the God, she had the most disadvantageous circumstances possible through out her life. The highly favored of God, most blessed among all women, daughter of the royal family, lineally descended from King David, had the deadly fate of the midnight while her husband was planning to divorce her next day. While Joseph and Mary were in Bethelhem, she had the most fearful midnight while Joseph was roaming with her in the downtown near the notorious Galileian sea shore, searching for a room in an inn, as Mary was great with her child, without getting any help or kindness from any corner. On the day while King Herod was beheading all the male children in Bethelhem, Joseph was fleeing with Mary and the new bron child to a neigbouring country for safty. When we we get frustrated while answers to to our prayers are delayed, look at the life of Mary and her dedication to the Lord.

[Devotional Speech delivered at St. Gregorios Church, Philadelphia]
Back HomeTop
EmailEmail this Link to a Friend FeedbackSend Your Feedback

(Mathew 4:4, Ephesians 5:12)

The word of God is eternal and will never be destroyed even if the world and its contents are wiped out. In the beginning, the world was created by the word of God through which prophets, patriarchs and leaders of the old testaments were taught and trained for the sake of people of Israel until the arrival of the Messiah.

The Word (Logos) is one of many names of our Lord Jesus Christ. This article is intended to meditate and discuss the meaning, power and greatness of our Lord's teaching and commandments and the inspired messages to the bible. The word of God is eternal and will never be destroyed even if the world and its contents are wiped out. In the beginning, the world was created by the word of God through which prophets, patriarchs and leaders of the old testaments were taught and trained for the sake of people of Israel until the arrival of the Messiah. God was partially revealing His will through the wisdom and teachings of good men and women of other nations as well. The good Lord never forgot people of other nations though He was training and disciplining the people of Israel for the arrival of the incarnate word of God, Jesus Christ and the One and only Savior of mankind.

By fulfilling all the prophecies, more than 300, the Logos, the Word, became a man, lived in the midst of us, taught the truth about the kingdom of God and salvation, and was crucified and buried; after the resurrection and assumption, He sent His own spirit to live within us, to teach and remind the meaning and power of the word, and to help us to apply it in daily life for an abundant life here and thereafter. The word of God is the bread, drink and breath of every believer at all times. Without His words, we have no eternal life (John 6:25-70). Those who accept, believe and practice our Lord's teaching, which is the good news of the kingdom of God will have abundant life always and will be able to produce the fruits of spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

The word of God is the absolute plumb line or reference point for every believer to compare and to evaluate all the other teachings, dogmas and doctrines that constantly bombard us in our life on earth. In other words, in order to discern, debate and decide all the teachings and philosophies outside the word of God, we have the absolute standard reference. Those who are founded on the Word are like the house builders who built their homes on the unshakable rock of Christ. The spirit of the Lord is always within us to help, to comfort and counsel every believer to deal with problems of Christian life.

The word of God is a double-edged sword that could cut to where the soul and spirit meet, and to where joints and marrow come together. It judges all the thoughts and desires of human mind and heart (Hebrew 4:12, Ephesians 5:17); it is the weapon our Lord used to defeat the crafty Satan during His temptation. If Adam and Eve had used the commandment of God as the weapon, Satan could have been defeated in their first temptation.

The real enemies of believer's are the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers of the dark and new ages (Ephesians 5:12). The Devil's wicked tricks consists of false teachings, traditions, adherence to ancestries, skillful words of man-made rules and doctrines that could contradict the true teaching of the word of God. Apostle Peter in his second letter (2, Peter 2:1-3) warned against teachings of false teachers whose doctrines confuse and mislead believers. Apostle Paul constantly reminded the Christians through his various letters and sermons about the false doctrines and dangers of dependence of external forms of religion (2, Timothy 3:5) without realizing the real power of the word of God. He wanted us to put all things to the test in the light and power of the word of God and to accept what is good and to avoid every kind of evil and false teaching.

Let the believers boast only on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by means of which we are saved and called to be the citizens of the Kingdom of God and to do good works for the Lord's glory and benefit of our fellow human beings. In order to fight the daily battle with human nature, the world around us and the devil himself, let us nourish ourselves with the breath and food of the word of God, and wear it as the flaming, sharpest and surest weapon of defense against our enemies. Let all the true believers of the Lord memorize, meditate, learn and practice the teaching and commandments embedded in the word of God. The Word is the bread and breath of a dedicated Christian life and it will be our best weapons against all our enemies until we reach the other side for eternity. Amen.

Back HomeTop
EmailEmail this Link to a Friend FeedbackSend Your Feedback



Blessed are those who do not put the blame on others publicly; for they will not antagonize people. Blessed are those who see others and themselves as members of the same body; for they can work together enthusiastically, for the common good. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who stop the argument when any one becomes emotional; for they can avoid hatred and enmity.


31. Blessed are those who do not put the blame on others publicly; for they will not antagonize people.

No one likes to be blamed. Everyone tries to justify what he/she has done. Downright condemnation will cause despair and enmity to those who condemn. We must be patient to understand the real situation in which anyone could commit a mistake. There is a saying, “To know all means, to forgive all”. Blaming is never the way to correct any one or to win his/her love. What we have to do is to have the patience to listen and help the person to correct himself/herself through private conversation. Solomon, the wise, says that rash words are like sword thrusts. (Prov. 12:18).

In trying to justify oneself, some people put the blame on others. Adam put the blame on Eve and Eve on the serpent. (Gen. 3:11-13). Accepting ones own part in sin and seeking forgiveness, is the right way to receive forgiveness of sins.

Prayer:O Lord, help us to correct people privately without blaming them in public.

32. Blessed are those who see others and themselves as members of the same body; for they can work together enthusiastically, for the common good.

St. Paul says, “The eye cannot say to the hands: I have no need of you, nor again the head to the feet: I have no need of you. On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those of the body that we think less honorable, we clothe with great honor and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect, when as our most respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body giving the greater honor to the inferior members, that there may be no division within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it. If one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.” (1 Cor. 12:21-26) Thus all will receive equal dignity.

Prayer:O Lord, grant us the understanding that all talents and positions are given by You, and help us to work together for the common good.

33. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (St. Matt. 5:10)

Those who suffer for the sake of the righteousness will become the builders for the New Heaven and the New Earth. There is a saying that the blood of martyrs is the seed for the Church. Martyrdom makes the persecutors think and repent. It is said that the martyrdom of Stephen caused the conversion of St. Paul. In the early centuries, Christianity spread through the witness of the martyrs. Selfish people persecute others for benefit, while godly people allow themselves to be persecuted for the welfare of others. It is the self in people that prevents them from martyrdom.

Prayer:O Lord, give us the selflessness and love do that we may accept sufferings for the sake of truth and your kingdom. Also help us to have the firm faith that truth will finally triumph.

34. Blessed are those who stop the argument when any one becomes emotional; for they can avoid hatred and enmity.

Heated arguments make people concentrate more on how best they can prove their own point of view. They only become blind to what the opposite side says. Thus heated arguments are fruitless. Moreover they make people their enemies. There is a saying, “You will the argument, but the bull strikes you”. If we allow the opposite side to speak out all they want, then may begin to listen to what we say.

Prayer:O Lord, help us to understand patiently the point of view of those who differ with us, and present our arguments with respect and calmness.


Back HomeTop
EmailEmail this Link to a Friend FeedbackSend Your Feedback



The aim of this life is life itself that is meant for a different plane; the quality of this cocoon life can either transport us into a land of darkness and silence or a land where we sing Glory to God, together with the angels of light (Mt.13: 43). There is an unimaginably immense amount of sorrows and pains in hell.

The aim of this life is life itself that is meant for a different plane; the quality of this cocoon life can either transport us into a land of darkness and silence or a land where we sing Glory to God, together with the angels of light (Mt.13: 43). It is a hell of a problem to prove that there is really a place called hell, unless we recognize that the unrepentant gloom that we experience here on earth is the onset of hellish life that we are going to suffer in the next life (Mt.10: 28). Our church Fathers have taught us to ruminate over four things at every moment of our life: death, Heaven, hell and the Last Judgement, not the celebrations like birthday, wedding anniversary, silver and golden jubilees of the same and revel thereafter the hilarious and enormous feasts and festivities after the completion of every decade after the age of fifty. Jesus says that hell is a real place, “ where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. For everyone will be salted with fire” (Mk.9: 48-49). Jesus says again, “cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth” (Mt.25: 30). Who knows whether this outer darkness bring home the lake of fire that reflects the universal darkness when the earth and the solar system converges as a single ocean of furnace.

At the end of the day when our life here on earth comes to nought, “ And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had worked the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped its image. These 2 were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulphur (Rev.19: 20). The Beast is the Antichrist, and the false prophet, the third entity in the trinity of the Devil (Rev.16: 13) that run by the spirit of this world, is the latter-day church blessed by the Beast as the spoke person for him. St.Peter and Paul also warns, “....heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up...” (2.Pet.3: 11-16). Just before the birth of ‘a new heaven and earth’ (Rev.21: 1), “Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire”(Rev.20: 14-15).

The religious and Biblical teachings have been that hell is inside the earth, and this is being refuted vehemently by modern theologians and humanists, what to say about even the zealous worshippers of the puritan church. Everybody should agree that the boundary of Heaven or hell is our own mind, but the truth is that the inferno is within the womb of the earth till the earth and this solar system disappear altogether. Their premise is that there can’t have the direction of up or down for the rotating planet in a revolving ocean of everlasting mysteries of apparent contradictions and divergences. The interior parts of our own body is seemingly a synonym of fiery furnace (hell), the inexplicable chemical actions of the same run our physical body, even the attraction or repulsion of individuals depends on such chemical interactions, despite it is being harnessed by the nature of the spirit that dwells in us. “The flaming dart of the evil one” (Eph.6: 16) has a magnetic attraction to our body and its chemicals, as “ my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth” (Ps.139; 15).

The sulphurous element that helps burning is one of the major contents of that land of eternal darkness (Rev.19: 20; 20: 10). There was the element of sulphur in the fire that devastated Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen.19: 24). “ For I am in anguish in this flame of fire” of Hades (Lk.16: 24). Many are the references of this fire and of hell in our literature (Ps.55: 15; Lk.10: 15; 12: 5; Mt.16: 18). We may argue that there will be light if there is fire. In moisture conditions, there is no luminous light but only smoke in that sunless abyss. “...he opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace...’ (Rev.9: 1-6). There are so many references of the scary hell from the beginning of the Patriarchs’ time (Gen.37: 35; 1Sam; 2: 6; Deut.32: 20; Ps.86: 13; Ps.139: 15). Since some of these references reveal that there are different parts of hell, such as outer darkness, lowest part of hell, bottomless Pit, and so on. Like there are different planes of Heaven, there are different areas in that dark world. However, the Lord says that He has the keys of Death and Hades (Rev.1: 18; 20:3).

The Hebrew scriptures unfolds the various parts of hell as Sheol, Gahanna, Hades, bottomless Pit... sheol(Hebrew) and Hades used in the new Testament period means the the place of the dead, whereas Gehenna means the place of retribution for evil deeds. “....the ground under them split open; and earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with all the men that belonged to Korah and all their goods...went down alive into Sheol; and the earth closed over them...” (Num.16: 31-35). In line with Indian narratives, there are 7 planes of Heaven, so also are 7 zones of hell. “ will the Son of Man will be 3 days and nights in the heart of the earth” (Mt.12: 40). Lucifer and his myriads are also chained in the depths of darkness (Jude.6; 2.Pet.2: 4). There were hordes and multitudes at the time Jesus visited them under the earth for the proclamation of the Good news to the chained ones, notably Lucifer and his hosts “ Sheol beneath is stirred up to meet you when you raises from their thrones all who were kings of the earth...’you too have become as weak as we! You have become like us’...Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, the sound of your harps; maggots are the bed beneath you, and worms are your covering...(Is.14: 9-20). “For this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead” (1.Pet.4: 6) by Jesus after His death. The legions of devil also admit that their home is the infernal abyss (Lk.8: 31).

King David consoles, all those who seek his life” shall go down into the depths of the earth” (Ps.63: 9). “.. and darkness was upon the face of the earth” (Gen.1; 2; Ps.18: 9). It is also a fact that all those good people who died before the crucifixion death of Christ were kept under the earth, as Paradise was inaccessible and unconquerable on account of evil angels’ imperial rule of the cosmos and aerial realms, stretching between the earth and Paradise. The wizard said to Saul about the deceased Samuel, “ I see a god coming out of the earth “(1.Sam.28: 12-14). St. Paul also justifies this truth. “In saying, ‘He ascended’, what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things (Eph.4: 8-10). It proves beyond doubt that there were fissures or gulfs to separate between the different planes in hell till before the resurrection and seating of Jesus at the right side of the Father, as it goes in tune with the conversation between Abraham and Lazarus. “Son of man, wail over the multitude of Egypt, and send them down, her and the daughters of majestic nations, to the nether world, to those who have gone down to the Pit....”(Eze.32: 17-32). “....for they are all given over to death, to the nether world among mortal men, with those who down to the Pit”.... You shall be brought down with the trees of Eden to the nether world; you shall lie among the uncircumcised, with those who are slain by the sword”(Eze.31: 14- 18). As the trees of Eden can only go into the earth, not to any other planet, the hell is proved to be located inside this planet.“ Capernaum, you shall be brought down to Hades” Mt. 11: 23). It is likely that all the righteous souls have been planted in Paradise after inducting the robber who had been plucked from the cross by redemption.

Let us look at other writings. “The earth is hollow. The north and south poles are like marshy places that are the gates of hell. There are different continents, mountains and rivers inside hell, also there are beasts and trees that bearing fruits of many kinds. Just as there are different races on earth, there are different kinds of people there, it seems” (Phenomena, by J.Mitchell, pp.72-73). It continues, “ ...In Hades, there are souls of the dead people and people of natural origin also; they continue to have relationship with this world. The struggle between these races forced the peripheral occupants, known as Milesians, drove others to the Hades” (this translation may not be accurately correct since I lost the original English book). “The explorers who traveled into hell certify that the centre of the hollow is not only inexplorable but also is that they are preparing for a warfare with the outside world”(William Reed). It may be assumed that the nations that have the proximity to the gates of hell be made a prey of the dark world first, before they ravage the whole world with their pernicious and atrocious reign.

Everything that started with renaissance that culminated in the Industrial Revolution (high-tech life) is likely to consume the religious and moral life at the time the underlings ravage the earth later, as foretold by prophet Daniel and other visionaries. This period is known as the ferocious iron reign of Antichrist. The coal that supplies electricity, the mother of all other inventions, resembles the colour of the abysmal darkness, which engulfs the whole global technological village with the diabolic gloom in this planet by the use of electricity. The natural fire and warmth of this globe is replaced by the fire of natural gas and the fire of the nether world gloom, the predator of the celestial light that once kindled this planet with luminous light till lately from the beginning of time during the long period of the age of cart which run with different animals. Assumingly, the last age is called the Iron Age (Dan.2: 40) because the element of iron is rich in the belly of the nether world and is on blaze by mixing with other substances. The importation of this coal and iron culture at the culmination of time has hardened everything in this world like iron products, including the conversion of our heart. Plastic is a byproduct of the underworld oil ( so-called tears of the lamenting souls, if said in a light hearted manner), and that again can be made as very hard.

The evil trinity’s first person, the Beast, and the false prophet, the third person, will be dumped into the lake of fire that burns with sulphur (Rev.19: 20) after seven years’ of iron rule. The dragon, the author of Death and the second person of the evil trinity will be hurled into the lake of fire after a 1000 years (Rev.20: 1-3, 14-15), while the first heaven and earth have passed away (Rev.21: 1-4; 2 Pet. 3: 13). This makes one point clear that the limitless lake of fire is inclusive of this planet as well as similar other planets of this solar system.

The nature of life beyond the surface of this planet is out of our control and imagination (1.Cor.13: 12), despite the ferocity of its sufferings is exposed to certain individuals who were transported there. There is an unimaginably immense amount of sorrows and pains in hell (2.Sam.22: 6; Ps.116: 3; pro.27: 20; Lk.10: 28; Mt.23; 33). The eye witness accounts of some people’s temporary transportation to hell is given as follows.

In hell, he found himself in dense darkness; “frequent masses of dusky flame suddenly appeared before us, rising as though from a great pit and falling back into it again...As the tongues of flame rose, they were filled with the souls of men which, like sparks flying up with the smoke, were sometimes flung high in the air, and at others dropped backs into the depths as the vapors of the fire died down, furthermore in indescribable stench welled up with these vapors, and filled the whole of this gloomy place...I suddenly heard behind me the sound of a most hideous and desperate lamentation, accompanied by harsh laughter...I saw a throng of wicked spirits dragging with five human souls howling and lamenting into the depths of the darkness while the devils laughed and exulted...Meanwhile, some of the dark spirits emerged from the fiery depths and rushed to surround me, harassing me with their glowing eyes and foul flames issuing from their mouths and nostrils....”

“ The evil spirits took me and began to beat me. They led me down into the earth, which had parted to receive us. I was conducted through narrow entrances and confining, evil smelling cracks. When I reached the very depths of hell, I saw there souls of sinners, confined in eternal darkness. Existence there cannot be called life, for it consists of nothing but suffering, tears that find no comfort, and a gnashing of teeth that can find no description. That place is forever full of the desperate cry: ‘woe, woe! Alas, Alas! It is impossible to describe all the suffering which hell contains, all its torments and pains. The departed groan from the depths of their heart, but no one pities them; they weep, but no one comforts them; they beg, but no one listens to them and delivers them. I too was confined in those dark regions, full of terrible sorrows, and wept and bitterly sobbed for six hours” (The soul After Death, pp.146-148, by Fr.seraphim Rose; Translated into Malayalam under the title: Marana sheksham, pp.128-129 by the author of this article).

Go to hell rather than going Heaven with black despair and bitter melancholy.

Back HomeTop
EmailEmail this Link to a Friend FeedbackSend Your Feedback



Metropolitan Juhanon was the exemplar of many noble virtues. Simplicity was part of his nature. As mentioned earlier, he adopted from his University days the simple khadi clothes following the example of Mahatma Gandhi. Although he became the supreme leader of the Mar Thoma Church he stuck to his humble living.



Those in these Diaspora congregations who want to cling to Malayalam liturgy is not in tune with a fundamental reformation in principle in the ancient Church in Kerala; namely, making the liturgy and worship intelligible to the people. The needs are different in different contexts. The needs of an expatriate community in the Gulf region are not the same as their counterparts in the United States, Europe, Malaysia and Australia. There is a need for a dialogue and emerging needs cannot be swept under the carpet of orthodoxy. Probably the time has come to start thinking about independent provinces of Marthoma Diaspora communities like the Anglican Communion with a significant Episcopal oversight from the mother Church. This sort of transformation is inevitable and it is only a matter of time before it comes to pass.

From 1947 to 1953 the administration of the Church was reinforced by the appointment of two experienced clergy as Diocesan Secretaries: Rev. K.J. Philip for the Southern Diocese and Rev. C.V. John for the Northern Diocese. They gave very valuable service to the Church through out their tenures. During this period it was felt that the burden on the Metropolitan and Bishop Mathews Mar Athanasius was too great and it was decided to consecrate three more Bishops. Three worthy candidates were elected, Rev. M.G. Chandy (later Alexander Marthoma), Rev. P. Thomas (later Suffragan Metropolitan Thomas Mar Athanasius) and Rev. Philip Oommen (later Metropolitan Chrysostum Marthoma). They were consecrated Rambans in 1953 at Quilon church and later consecrated Bishop at Thiruvalla Church under the Episcopal titles, Rev. M.G. Chandy as Alexander Mar Theophilus, Rev. P. Thomas as Thomas Mar Athanasius, and Rev. Philip Oommen as Philipose Mar Chrysostom.

Metropolitan Juhanon was the exemplar of many noble virtues. Simplicity was part of his nature. As mentioned earlier, he adopted from his University days the simple khadi clothes following the example of Mahatma Gandhi. Although he became the supreme leader of the Mar Thoma Church he stuck to his humble living. His bedroom at the Metropolitan’s house, Poolatheen, at Thiruvalla was very sparsely furnished with the austere provisions of a hard bed and ordinary table. At the same time he maintained a disciplined dailly routine in Tiruvalla, getting up early in the morning to have a bath in cold water, summoning all the inmates of the house by a simple bell devised by him, for family prayers in the chapel at 6.30. The inmates including his driver Daniel considered the family prayer a great blessing which, if possible, they never missed. After family prayers he had his private devotion and reading. Mr. Eapen Palampadam, a prominent Jacobite Christian, wrote a moving article in the Tharaka in the eighties about Thirumeni’s ecumenical vision and also about early morning meditations in which Thirumeni used to engage himself in a telepathic travel from one end of Kerala to other places thinking and praying about people whom he knew and cared for.

After this morning meditation, Thirumeni would have his light breakfast. He was not fastidious about food. After breakfast he would attend to the correspondence and meet with the visitors. He did not stand on formalities and did not insist on prior appointments. He would meet with all who wished to see him. If a visitor came even as he was writing, he would set aside his work and meet the visitor. Even in late afternoons he was willing to see visitors, if they arrived. Thirumeni was an attentive listener, which is the hall mark of a people-oriented leader. He responded promptly to letters. One of the things that kept the Mar Thoma Church going all through its turbulent years was this personal relationship between prelates and the members and all levels, and personal correspondence played a major role in this. His Successor Alexander Mar Thoma also continued this tradition till the end of his life. They were all good at interpersonal relationships.

The Metropolitan ate a simple lunch that included a fruit. After lunch he took some rest but resumed work soon after to be able to post his letters in time for the clearance at 6 P.M. He would hand-write most of the letters. After finishing his daily correspondence he would attend to his garden. Every plant, flower and blade of grass in the garden received his loving attention.

The Metropolitan would resume his reading and writing after the night prayer in the chapel at 8 P.M. and dinner. He would also receive visitors by appointment in the evening to discuss their special problems. The present writer visited him at one such meeting and was surprised at the detailed knowledge Thirumeni had of the family matters of the visitors. It was astonishing and heartening to find that the head of the Church cared to know his Church members so closely and was generous with his fatherly attention and advice. His daily routine never finished before midnight. If and when urged to work less, his reply would invariably be, “It is better to be active till one’s death,” and he remained true to this principle till the end.

He was a father to all around him. Peter, his cook, never traveled with the Metropolitan when he visited parishes as cooks of other bishops used to do. But he faithfully looked after Thirumeni, being profoundly grateful for the fatherly love he received from him. Similarly his driver Daniel was glad to be at his service any time of the day or night because he considered that serving the 'father' was a reward in itself. Kunjumon, another member of his household, used to recount the stories of Thirumeni's affection for those who served him. At the same time they were all subject to the strict paternal discipline as was experienced by the students of the M. T. Seminary where Thirumeni was the boarding superintendent.

Humility was the hallmark of Juhanon Metropolitan’s character. It was experienced by all who came into contact with him. A professor from England who was used to deal with Archbishops in the West had a long conversation with Juhanon Thirumeni once and later remarked, “I want Juhanon Metropolitan to be my Metropolitan because I have not so far met a Prelate who deals with people with so much humility.” Writing in Sabha Tharika, Thirumeni stated that he followed Dean Inge’s dictum: “I must never have a good opinion on myself”. This was the pointer to his great humility.

He showered his love on all including those who opposed him. He was very hurt by the doctrinal disputes in the Church and the formation of the break-away St. Thomas Evangelical Church. But he was never hostile to its leadership or members, which elevated two dissident clergymen- Rev. John Varghese and Rev. K.N. Oommen - as their Bishops. Even while the Daniel court judgement, Thirumeni remained friendly towards Mr. Daniel, often invited him to travel in his car and had heart-to-heart discussion. When Mr. Daniel was bed-ridden in the hospital, Thirumeni visited him, prayed for him and enquired after his welfare.

Similarly, when Thirumeni was taking rest for a few days in Coimbatore, he heard that Bishop John Varghese of the EVANGELICAL Church was ill with cardiac problems at Prakashpuram Ashram. Thirumeni decided to visit him but the Ashram was not approachable by car all the way. So he had to walk a distance and visited the ailing Bishop and prayed for him.The Bishop was in tears by this surprise visit and the affection expressed by Thirumeni. Miss Salomi Philip of the Ashram is reported to have said, “It was a most touching visit which cheered Bishop Varghese immediately.

He was blessed with deep fellow-feeling and compassion. He was particularly concerned about the converts from the Dalits community. He instructed the clergy, especially those who were very loyal to him, to make it a point to celebrate Holy Communion every Sunday where the Dalit Mar Thomites had a place of worship, however humble such a place was. He took care to attend the conference of Dalit Christians at Maramon church and he insisted that their economic backwardness has to be remedied by the Church. He is most remembered in the context of his understanding of the liberal theology for the amelioration of the sufferings of the poor and improvement in their lifestyle irrespective of communal and religious differences. Achutha Menon, an outstanding Communist Chief Minister of Kerala who became a very close friend of the Metropolitan, testified later that the Metropolitan was a great soul whose entire life was devoted to the service of the poor and the downtrodden. It was Metropolitan who introduced the idew of bulding houses for the poor and idea adopted by the government of Kerala many years later. He created three Social funds: the Metropolitan’s Fund for the housing needs of the poor; a marriage aid fund for helping poor parents in arranging the marriages of their children, and finally a relief fund for helping the victims of emergencies and natural disasters.

He was a willing listener to all the problems of the clergy who had to work in difficult conditions, as the Marthoma parishes were not affluent at that time of his reign. He empathized with them in their problems. Once a candidate for ordination visited him at Tiruvalla in December. Thirumeni invited him to stay for the night as he could not get the bus back. The young man went to sleep and he heard a knock on the door and voice “Are you asleep” and the young man answered “No, I was only going to”. “Well, it is a cold night in this exposed room. And so please use this blanket”. There was the supreme head of the Church looking into the details of the welfare of an ordained, like a true shepherd of the flock. Thirumeni had deserving students from poor families stay at his house so that they could attend S.C. Seminary. Some of them have distinguished themselves in public life and in Government service.


[Excerpt from the book 'Glimpses of Marthoma Church History' authored by Zac Vargese Kanisseril and Mathew Kallumpram.]

Back HomeTop
EmailEmail this Link to a Friend FeedbackSend Your Feedback



[Late Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios is considered as one of the greatest philosopher, theologian, thinker and religious personaility of the past century after swami vivekananda. The text is based on the Profile of Late Dr. Paulos Mar Gregorios and his speech in Chicago Nov, 1989 at the inaugural address of the centennial of the World Parliament of religions published by Delhi Orthodox Center.]

Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios was invited by Council for a Parliament of The World's Religions to deliver this address at the Inaugural Ceremonies for the Centennial, held at Rockefeller Chapel, Chicago, in November 1989. In this passage Dr.Paulos exhorts the world political, religious and scientific community to work for peace and development. A message which is relevant for all times to come and will stand the best of time.



H.G. Metropolitan Late Paulos Mar Gregorios


Global humanity between the poles:
NOTE: In his original text for the Inaugural Address, Metropolitan Paulose Mar Gregorios included this treatment of transcendal value and earthly reality; for of length, it was omitted from the spoken address, but is included here because of its intrinsic interest and importance.

  • Humanity exists between two poles - its transcendent origin and ground on the one hand, and, on the other, the world with which it is integrally related. The latter point is easier to grasp, though often forgotten. If the sun did not shine, my life on earth could not exist. And that sun is a point in a multi-billion star galaxy of galaxies in which all things are interconnected. The earth, with its oceans and lakes, rivers and wind-systems, mountains and clouds, birds and trees, animals, and other humans is an integral part of my life. My life could not exist if that universe did not sustain and support it. And only one dimension of that vast and complex universe is open to our senses. I become a human being only by interacting with the earth - consciously through work and unconsciously through my breathing and blood circulation, through my food-and-drink intake and elimination systems, and through the thousand other unconscious processes going in my body and mind, as well as around me.

  • Now something has happened to the way we interact with our earth. We came upon a developed science/ technology and the big-machine industrial system only about a century ago. In fact, the World’s Parliament of Religions was convened in connection with the Columbian Exposition of America’s industrial-technological achievements. Electricity came only in 1878, the telephone in 1876, the typewriter in 1873 and the railways and telegraph in 1866. There was an air of excitement about the new technology which revolutionized our interaction with the earth and our environment. Justified excitement, indeed, indeed, but what a mess our industrial system has got us into! Our problem today is that the earth is reacting rather negatively to our high-handed industrial-technological handling of it.

  • In fact, all the three problems we confront today - injustice, war and environmental deterioration - are directly related to our technologically based industrial system. We have been too unrestrained and immature in our greedy handling of the earth and in our relationship with human beings on it. The Western version of the Christian religion bears a large share of the responsibility of bringing humanity to such a predicament. “Hubris” and greed, desire for domination and property, have ruined the human race and its environment, exposing us and all life to the risk of extinction. The religions of the world have now to work together to redeem humanity from its present precarious predicament. We need to liberate humanity from the secular trap in which it has been unconsciously caught.

  • Modern science and the technology based on it, as well as the political economy that undergirds it, have developed in a secular framework where humanity as dominating subject and the world as passive object have been the only two factors that mattered. God or the transcendent has become an unnecessary hypothesis in our science and technology, in our universities and schools, in our political institutions. This is the secular trap from which humanity needs emancipation. It is not simply a question of bringing God in through the window.

  • Philosophical theisms are all too philosophically weak to stand. It is not simply at the intellectual or conceptual level that the Transcendent has to be reaffirmed. The various religions of the world have honored and cherished the experience of the transcendent throughout human history, despite the scathing secular attack. We have done so through our doctrines and practices, through our prayers and rituals, through our mystic quests and experiences, through our compassion for humanity and our devotion to the Source and Ground of all being.

  • Of course, in religion, too, we have made a mess of things. We have made religion an instrument of our greed for political power and for economic advantage. We have allowed the most ungodly and inhuman practices in the name of religion. We have fought wars and destroyed each other in the name of God and religion. We have used our crusades and our “Jihads” to plunder and pilfer the wealth of other peoples. Religion, too, needs emancipation.

  • We as humanity now stand alienated by our own evil practices from both poles of our existence, from the transcendent Source and Ground of our being and from the earth and society in which we have been placed. The two redemptions, the overcoming of the two alienations, i.e., in the two realms of transcendent religion and humanitarian dealing with our earth - the double salvation for which humanity yearns - must become the top concern of the Global Concourse of Religions. The two emancipations can come only as a single package. It is only as our religious cease being negative and exclusive that our science/technology and our political economy can also become more human.

  • To me, this is the vision that beckons. We shall not abandon critical reason, but we shall go beyond it to find a kind of reason that is more compassionate, more humane, more acknowledging of transcendence. We do not abandon our national loyalties, but we shall go beyond them to keep global human interests above our national interests. We do not abandon our own particular religious loyalties; but we shall deepen them in dialogue and concourse with other religions in order to find those deeper roots in each religion which affirm the unity of global humanity and which affirm the transcendent Love in which we all live and move and have our being.

    I humbly inaugurate this opening of the Centenary celebrations; let us also move to common prayer, that all humanity may be brought into a single concourse and all of us acknowledge together in various idioms the Transcendent Love, Wisdom and Power really unites us.


    Back HomeTop
    EmailEmail this Link to a Friend FeedbackSend Your Feedback


    (A summary of the speech made at the Malayalam Society of America in Houston on Aug 5, 2004)
    Reported By: JOHN KUNNATHU

    [After being a professor of English at the St. Stephen’s college in Delhi for 30 years, now he serves in the minority commission for the second term. Among the 11 books he has authored, “Aids in Asia” is the most well-known. Harvest of Hate is the latest book. He is well-known in India as a theologian and a human rights activist.]

    Man has been defined in so many ways such as rational animal and tool-making animal. Humanity is like a river. It needs to flow. If it stops flowing, then it is no more a river. Dynamism or creativity is our nature just like flowing is a nature of river. The function of religion is to help us attain the full humanity.

    Who is man?
    Man has been defined in so many ways such as rational animal and tool-making animal. I like to define man as creative animal. I believe that creativity is the quintessence of Humanity.

    What is creativity?
    It is the opposite of making ourselves a machine that works repeatedly in the same way. Animals are mostly mechanistic -they work in the same way. Animals can see only the manifest reality. However, we humans see beyond it. A drop of water is nothing but a drop of water for an animal. But as G.M. Hopkins says, we are able to see the universe in a drop of water. There should be creativity in whatever we do.

    Jesus is the most creative person I have seen. Examine his sayings. Or look at the miracles he has performed. He never repeats the same pattern. He did each miracle in a different way. Holy Spirit is the spirit of creativity. Five loaves of bread and two fish is nothing much. But in the hands of a creative person it transforms.

    Jesus compared the kingdom of God to a hidden treasure - a treasure for which people would spend anything. Our creativity hidden within us is the treasure with immense possibilities. Our creativity is the candle under the bushel.

    Humanity is like a river. It needs to flow. If it stops flowing, then it is no more a river. Dynamism or creativity is our nature just like flowing is a nature of river. In an event in the gospels, sick people wait at a pool waiting for an angel of God to stir the water in order to jump into it to be healed. See what it symbolizes. Stagnant water is dead and corrupted. Only moving water has the power to heal.

    God created man by breathing the breath of life. Breathing symbolizes an inward and outward flow of life. Life won’t exist without that flow.

    We are given talents. Let us make use of the talents creatively rather than complain about it. If we are faithful with one talent we are given, we will be given more opportunities. We need to have a positive approach toward life. We can’t be human without it. Negativism is a universal epidemic.

    According to Darwin, we have evolved from animals. But I believe that we have not become humans yet. We need further evolution to become human. The call of Jesus is to become perfect, not to make the world perfect.

    The Function of Religion
    The function of religion is to help us attain the full humanity. Religion’s function is not to help us go to heaven. If we live as human beings with creativity, heaven will come in search of us.

    Salvation is humanization. How do we know if someone is saved or not? The only proof is this: see if he/she is human or not?

    In the book of Revelation we read that there is no temple in the city of God. Religion is not needed there because it has no purpose to serve there. The presence of religion denotes that we are not in God’s city.

    I would define sickness as a state of being less than perfect health. Measuring with this standard, the humanity is sick. Religion’s purpose is to help us attain our health. As Jesus said, “Only a sick person needs the doctor”.

    We are all spiritually orphans and homeless. We have lost the garden - the life of perfection. And we are all seeking it in various ways.

    Celebration goes along with creativity. God wants human life to be a celebration. Jesus didn’t miss a celebration. People noticed that Jesus was different from John the baptizer in this aspect. Jesus celebrated life, and so people called him a sinner.

    Jesus based his actions not on blind faith but on responsible skepticism.

    However, we see people losing humanity because of religion. This has been the case from the beginning. Look at the story of Cain and Abel. Cain killed Abel in the name of religion. Jesus looked the religious of people of his days and said, “Prostitutes will enter the kingdom of God before you!” When I see the hatred in our churches, I believe that this is true. Even among prostitutes we don’t see such bitter hatred as we see among us, the church-going Christians.

    We see people skipping on the surface of superficiality. They are not willing to go to the depth. Materialism is the religion of superficiality. If we are willing to go deep down into the depth, we will experience ecstasy as I have often experienced.

    It is sad that all religions have gone crazy today. They all have a terminal illness, and are close to death. They make us hate each other. Almost all the bloodshed in the world was caused by religion.

    People are in three different states of awareness as exemplified in Luke chapter 15. The lost coin stands for those who are unaware that they are lost. The lost sheep stands for those who are aware they are lost, but can’t do anything without external help. The lost son stands for those who can be empowered to be redeemed.

    The religious leadership has never been creative. We should not expect any good from them (including me). They are the ones who crucified Jesus. If Jesus comes today, he will immediately be crucified by the church here. A revival has ever happened only by the initiative of lay people. Remember, Jesus was a lay person. He was not a priest or bishop. Later when he was accepted by people, then the religious authorities made him an object of worship, still not willing to follow his teachings.

    There is the interesting incident in the Old Testament. Balaam, a prophet, acts like a donkey and his donkey speaks. If a prophet becomes a donkey, then a donkey has to become a prophet. If the shepherds lose vision and act like sheep, then some sheep have to assume the place of shepherds.

    My advice to you, lay people, is this: don’t look for leadership from the priests. They are the ones who crucified Christ. They are looking for opportunities to crucify you as well. Nor should you expect them to do anything good. You need to take initiative. Use the talents God has given you, and be creative.

    Back HomeTop
    EmailEmail this Link to a Friend FeedbackSend Your Feedback