Genesis 17: 9-14 -Answering Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati

Is male circumcision an unnatural commandment?


Those sentences which are colored in orange are from Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati book Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth) and those which are colored in black are Jerry Thomas’s response.

"And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore thou, and thy seed, after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and they seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcise. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in you generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And he uncircumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant." (17:9 – 14.)

C. Now look and at the most unnatural command of God. Had He approved of circumcision, He would not have made the foreskin at all in the beginning of creation. It serves to protect the (delicate structure) beneath just as the eyelids protect the eye-ball. This structure is so extremely delicate that the bite of an ant, or the most insignificant hurt will cause great deal of pain if there were no foreskin. It also serves, to prevent the soiling of clothes after micturition. These are few of its uses. Hence it is wrong to circumcise it. Why don’t' the Christians obey this commandment now? This was an everlasting and not a temporary covenant. Besides, Christ's testimony as to the truth of the Law in the words "one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law" will turn out to be false.

The Christians should seriously think about this matter, and give this question their whole attention.


Answer: Before we actually examine whether circumcision is medically bad as Maharishi makes it to be, let us learn what the Holy Bible teaches about it.

Genesis 17:9-4 clearly shows that this was a covenant sign to Abraham. The prophets knew that this was a shadow of things to come- circumcision of heart.

In Deuteronomy 10:16 Prophet Moses said: “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked.”

And specifically in Deut 30: 6, Prophet Moses said And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your descendants.”

Christians are not under this Old Covenant but under the new covenant where this has been fulfilled in the spiritual sense.

Matthew 26:28 “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Having explained the spiritual significance of circumcision and its fulfillment in the New Testament, let us now find if the male circumcision was medically bad or good.

There are many benefits for male circumcision. The report published by the World Health Organization has actually found that male circumcision is good for the prevention of sexually transmitted disease. (http://www.who.int/hiv/mediacentre/MCrecommendations_en.pdf)

It reports: “A number of observational studies indicate that circumcised men have lower levels of HIV infection than uncircumcised men. On 13 December 2006, the United States of America National Institutes of Health announced that two trials assessing the impact of male circumcision on HIV risk would be stopped on the recommendation of the Data Safety and Monitoring Board. The trials being carried out in Kisumu, Kenya, and Rakai District, Uganda revealed at least a 53% and 51% reduction in risk of acquiring HIV infection, respectively. These results support findings published in 2005 from the South Africa Orange Farm Intervention Trial, sponsored by the French National Agency for Research on AIDS, which demonstrated at least a 60% reduction in HIV infection among men who were circumcised”.

Then it recommends, “Male circumcision should now be recognized as an efficacious intervention for HIV prevention. Promoting male circumcision should be recognized as an additional, important strategy for the prevention of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men.”

Note that while for the Christians, there is no longer any spiritual significance for circumcision; it is not prohibited for medical purpose. The beauty of the New Testament covenant is it gives freedom to human beings on these matters.

However, the Vedic religion of Maharishi seems to be standing against a good medical practice.

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