The URANTIA Book In India
booth during the book fair in India.
Encouraged by the response of the Indian people to The URANTIA Book at the 1999 book fair of New Delhi, URANTIA Foundation decided to attend the New Delhi World Book Fair in February 2000. The largest book event of Asia and Africa, the fair occupied nine halls at the Pragati Maidan exhibition center in New Delhi. The majority of the books displayed were in English, with only one of the nine halls being dedicated to Hindi and the other Indian languages.
The educated middle classes of India prefer to use English for intellectual pursuits. Despite the high rate of poverty and illiteracy in India, this emerging, educated, middle classnow an estimated 10 percent of the populationrepresents some 100 million people. The publishing industry has its sights set on this market.
Three distributors agreed to carry The URANTIA Book and signed distribution agreements with the Foundation. One of them is among the largest in India and distributes throughout the entire country. Another specializes in spiritual and religious books and distributes in Kathmandu and Nepal as well as India. The "mega stores" in Kathmandu and Varanassi are considered centers of learning. They specialize in religion and philosophy and are frequented by travelers from all over the world who are searching for spiritual enlightenment.
The Foundation booth at the New Delhi World Book Fair was constantly busy. The Indian people, most of whom have either Hindu or Muslim backgrounds, had a good command of the English language and were very receptive to The URANTIA Book. There was instant recognition of the spiritual and philosophical value of the book. Over 100 books were sold. The Hindus in particular were open to the philosophy of the book and seemed unconcerned by its superhuman origins. Most of the people that visited our booth were either students or professionals; many were schoolteachers. Most of them seemed to be concerned with the social problems of India. Many believe that ignorance is the key factor in keeping the social status quo, and that education is the key to improving their society. It is clear the Hindu religion provides rich soil for the reception of the book and its teachings. A Foundation Representative who assisted at the book fair has placed nearly 1000 copies of The URANTIA Book in Indian libraries since 1997. URANTIA Foundation is continuing to make the book widely available to the people of India. These are the people who will be responsible for transforming their country, and the URANTIA teachings may provide the inspiration.
One of the highlights of the book fair was an agreement made with a leader of a prominent non-profit Christian society, whose purpose is to promote Christian knowledge throughout India. This leader, a reverend, agreed to place The URANTIA Book into the theological college library system in India. The purpose of this non-profit Christian society is to print and distribute anything that promotes the Christian message of Jesus or the brotherhood and unity of mankind. After looking through the table of contents and particular sections of the book, the reverend decided that The URANTIA Book was of great spiritual import and would be of great use to theology students in the Christian colleges. Through his distribution network, he arranged for the immediate placement of over two hundred books into theological colleges throughout India, as well as into church headquarters and other suitable institutions. The reverend also felt that he would like to make The URANTIA Book available to over 1000 English-speaking theology students in India. In a letter received after the book fair, he said, "We hope you would give us an opportunity to be mission partners in the dissemination of His knowledge in this country as we are all working for His kingdom." The Foundation has already received letters of gratitude from librarians and theology students in India.
The URANTIA Book states the following about Hinduism and India:
Its [Hinduism's] great strength lies in the fact that it has proved to be the most adap tive, amorphic religion to appear on Urantia. It is capable of almost unlimited change and possesses an unusual range of flexible adjust ment....
Today, in India, the great need is for the portrayal of the Jesusonian gospel-the Fatherhood of God and the sonship and consequent brotherhood of all men, which is personally realized in loving ministry and social service. In India the philosophical framework is existent, the cult structure is present; all that is needed is the vitalizing spark of the dynamic love portrayed in the original gospel of the Son of Man, divested of the Occidental dogmas and doctrines which have tended to make Michael's life bestowal a white man's religion. (The URANTIA Book, p. 1031, par. 9 and 1032, par. 2)
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