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vcindiana
12 September 2008, 06:28 AM
There has been a lot of discussion about Christianity, I am surprised its inclusion in this Hindu forum. I commend the administrator for allowing such thing in the spirit of broadness and openness.

But what I observe mostly it is the hatredness towards the Christianity. I do understand that these are towards some of the missionaries who have stepped on local cultures and customs and claiming that it is only their way. I do not disagree with that.

I know this is Hindu forum; no way I want to put down any of the Hindu beliefs. Coming from a Hindu family I take pride to look at all scriptures and try to learn from them.

For the last several years I have been doing my own way of finding truth in Bible, I often struggle in understanding the meaning of some of its bizarre contents and claims. I guess more I contemplate deeper, more profound meanings I can find and I can apply to my own life.

JC's command to Love God and Love neighbor (Mathew 22: 37-40) is indeed a powerful and universal one, I do not think any one can disagree with that. How we can Love our fellow humans are well summarized in Mathew 25: 35-40. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for
Me.'
This is the ultimate test for me to seek God, it sounds simple but not easy.

Many years ago my sister had a complicated surgery at ChristianMedicalSchool in Vellore, India. Recently I discovered amazing facts about its service in the early part of last century. If you are interested please read the article written by Paul Brand, a missionary orthopedic Surgeon who did make a difference in the many lives of least of his brothers who were afflicted with leprosy. http://www.geocities.com/colosseum/park/9801/brand2.html (http://www.geocities.com/colosseum/park/9801/brand2.html)

Love…………………….VC

yajvan
12 September 2008, 11:29 PM
Hari Om
~~~~~

There has been a lot of discussion about Christianity...
JC's command to Love God and Love neighbor (Mathew 22: 37-40) is indeed a powerful and universal one, I do not think any one can disagree with that.

Namaste VC,
Thank you for your post and your sincerity. Let me offer the following for your consideration. If we look to the Mahābhārata, we will also find similar teachings.

Yudhiṣṭhira (yudhishtrhira) is asking questions of Bhīṣma (Bishma) in the Anusasana Parva section of Mahābhārata.

Yudhiṣṭhira asks a range of questions to Bhīṣma. Yet with a new round of conversation instituted by Yudhiṣṭhira, Bhīṣma tells him, here comes Bṛ́haspáti¹ (Brihaspati or Brahmanaspati, some also write Vrihaspati) none else is better then explaining the matter that you have requested of me, says Bhīṣma.

Yudhiṣṭhira adresses Bṛ́haspáti with questions - this occurs in section CXI of the Anusasana Parva. Yet the one that is the intent of this post comes in section CXIII :

Yudhiṣṭhira asks, ' absence of injury, the observance of yajya, meditation,etc. - which one of these are filled with the greatest merit for the individial? '

Bṛ́haspáti talks of the merits of these virtues, yet says the following: One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one's own self.
Where have we heard this before from a Christian point of view?

He continues and says , this in brief is the rule of dharma.

Just prior to this statement Bṛ́haspáti says, that man who regards all creatures as his own self, and behaves towards them as towards one-self laying aside the rod of chastisement and completely subjugating his wrath, succeeds in attaining to happiness.

VC, you will find the truth in all walks of life - do not be surpised if you find it at your own front door.


pranams


1. bṛ́haspáti बृहस्पति - bṛ́has+ páti - lord of prayer or devotion; he is the chief offerer of prayers and sacrifices ; He is also Guru, the most benefical graha, Jupiter.

vcindiana
13 September 2008, 02:00 PM
Hari Om
~~~~~


Namaste VC,
Thank you for your post and your sincerity. ....
Yudhiṣṭhira asks, ' absence of injury, the observance of yajya, meditation,etc. - which one of these are filled with the greatest merit for the individial? '

Bṛ́haspáti talks of the merits of these virtues, yet says the following: One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one's own self.
Just prior to this statement Bṛ́haspáti says, that man who regards all creatures as his own self, and behaves towards them as towards one-self laying aside the rod of chastisement and completely subjugating his wrath, succeeds in attaining to happiness.



Dear Yajvan:
Thank you for your nice response. I did enjoy it. I made it clear in my earlier post it is not my intent to put any scriptures down. More we start comparing religions more bitter we get towards each other.
Thank you for showing this beautiful passage from Mahabharata. You know the New Testament came after Mahabharata, the Old Testament and possibly others. I have this question what so big about JC and I am still searching. In my own little research I am finding that JC was not trying to abolish the old laws but actually raising the bar and making these completely impossible for us to follow. This point has made me to just act as a human being and become humble and forgiving. It makes me think what I am and not what I should be.
I do not consider there is one generic “Christian POV”. Each one has to look into the scripture. The Bible has lots of metaphors and is subject to different meanings and many times confusing.
I guess JC expanded Brhaspati’s answer (One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one's own self ), in a positive way saying in Mathew 7 :12 "In everything treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the law and the Prophets (Golden rule)
Bṛ́haspáti says, that man who regards all creatures as his own self, and behaves towards them as towards one-self laying aside the rod of chastisement and completely subjugating his wrath, succeeds in attaining to happiness. This is true when some powerful person with rod and wrath is dealing with a weaker person. Brhaspati is saying him to contain himself to find happiness. JC is not disagreeing here, but he is about the weaker section and he is telling in Mathew 5: 39-41...Do not resist an evil person, whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. .. Whoever forces you to one mile, go with him two. I know this does not make any sense to many including me and Christians, but this is exactly what Gandhi followed in fighting the mighty British. This was again followed by M L King during the civil right movement. This is the message I see in JC that there is power in weakness. Could you please find this in any of the Hindu scripture ?

Thanks again ...Love…………………….VC

yajvan
13 September 2008, 05:14 PM
Hari Om
~~~~~

Dear Yajvan:
Thank you for your nice response. I did enjoy it. I made it clear in my earlier post it is not my intent to put any scriptures down. Could you please find this in any of the Hindu scripture ?



Namaste VC,
Yes, this I know ( not looking to find fault with any scriptures). I thought your post was well intentioned.
I thought it would be of value to compare and contrast other offerings that brought the same wisdom to the reader.

As I find ( or remember where they are at :) ) other simularities you mention, I will bring theme to the forum.
Many of the things you mention are in the Mahābhārata. It is finding them again as it is always good to offer the location of the parable or
śloka so one can read it for themselves.

pranams

atanu
21 September 2008, 09:06 AM
Dear Yajvan:
I guess JC expanded Brhaspati’s answer (One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one's own self ), in a positive way saying in Mathew 7 :12 "In everything treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the law and the Prophets (Golden rule)
Bṛ́haspáti says, that man who regards all creatures as his own self, and behaves towards them as towards one-self laying aside the rod of chastisement and completely subjugating his wrath, succeeds in attaining to happiness. This is true when some powerful person with rod and wrath is dealing with a weaker person. Brhaspati is saying him to contain himself to find happiness. JC is not disagreeing here, but he is about the weaker section and he is telling in Mathew 5: 39-41...Do not resist an evil person, whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. .. Whoever forces you to one mile, go with him two. I know this does not make any sense to many including me and Christians, but this is exactly what Gandhi followed in fighting the mighty British. This was again followed by M L King during the civil right movement. This is the message I see in JC that there is power in weakness. Could you please find this in any of the Hindu scripture ?

Thanks again ...Love…………………….VC



Namaste VC,

Right now the exact particular teaching "Turn the other cheek ----" is not known to me. But you correctly say "I guess JC expanded Brhaspati’s answer ------".

Sanatana dharma is seeped with 'Yagna', which means sacrifice and that does not mean binding an animal to a post and severing its limbs. Vishnu himself is the yagna. Shiva's naked ascetic life is yagna. Shiva drinking the poison to save the Universe, is yagna.

It is funny to realise that the English came and collected harsh taxes from the people who worked on their own land. Just think about it a moment and you will see the monstrosity. It is your land and your work but you pay the oppressors. Sustaining such oppressors with non-violence is yagna. Actually any work done with love is yagna.

In India, a specific injunction to turn the other cheek may not be required, whereas it is the most important requirement for the very individualistic aggressive people who have no inkling of ONE SELF and karma.

"Turning the other cheek----" is comprehensively included in the teaching as below:


1. Om. All this should be covered by the Lord, whatsoever moves on the earth. By such a renunciation protect (thyself). Covet not the wealth of others.
2. By performing karma in this world (as enjoined by the scriptures) should one yearn to live a hundred years. Thus action does not bind thee, the doer. There is no other way than this.
3. Those worlds of Asuras (demons) are enshrouded by blinding gloom. Those who are the slayers of the Self go to them after death.
4. Unmoving, It is one, faster than the mind. The senses cannot reach It, for It proceeds ahead. Remaining static It overtakes others that run. On account of Its presence, Matarsiva (the wind) conducts the activities of beings.
5. It moves; It moves not. It is far; It is near. It is within all; It is without all.
6. He who perceives all beings in the Self alone, and the Self in all beings, does not entertain any hatred on account of that perception.
7. When a man realises that all beings are but the Self, what delusion is there, what grief, to that perceiver of oneness?
8. That (Self) is all-pervading, radiant, bodiless, soreless, without sinews, pure, untainted by sin, the all-seer, the lord of the mind, transcendent and self-existent. That (Self) did allot in proper order to the eternal Prajapatis known as samvalsara (year) their duties.
--------------------------


I have always maintained that adhereing to this demanding teaching, the sadhus of sanatana dharma appear to be very timid and are (as per the worldly view) placed in a disadvantageous position.
I would say that more Hindus than Christians know the bigger picture.


Om

Sudarshan
21 September 2008, 11:31 AM
wow Atanu!

The first principle of Yoga, viz ahiMsa essentially answers VC's question. ahiMsa in its strictest sense is complete non injury. Non injury even when that would cost your life. A sanyAsin of the first order would not even attack an animal inorder to save his life. He bows to the wish of God and stands unarmed and defenceless when faced with any danger.

However Hindus do not formulate one shoe fits all doctrines. They do not formulate the impracticable 'show the other cheek' for all orders of the society. The above is inapplicable to xatriya dharma who is supposed to hit back on both the cheeks of his adversary!!

Let us follow some rules that are practical to every man and not make a show off with rules such as 'show the other cheek'. Tolerate once, the second time hit back - only this will increase the survival coefficient of a nation. If all Hindus begin to follow these 'show the other cheek' rules, we will be back in slavery in no time. Specialized rules cannot become general rule for everybody.

saidevo
21 September 2008, 11:46 AM
Namaste VCIndiana and others.

"One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one's own self." -- BRuhaspati

"In everything treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the law and the Prophets (Golden rule)." -- Jesus Christ

"...that man who regards all creatures as his own self, and behaves towards them as towards one-self laying aside the rod of chastisement and completely subjugating his wrath, succeeds in attaining to happiness." -- -- BRuhaspati

"Do not resist an evil person, whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. .. Whoever forces you to one mile, go with him two." -- Jesus Christ

One of my objectives of comparing the teachings in two or more religions, specially the western religions vis-a-vis Sanatana Dharma, is to see how far they enable THE COMMOND HUMAN to traverse the path of spirituality towards Self-Realization. I would certainly take the Advaita teachings of Sanatana Dharma to offer THE PATH towards complete Self-Realization and compare the other paths offered, even by the other sects and philosophies of Hinduism, as well as the western religions to check how far they match up to the findings of Advaita.

I would reiterate that the PATH should be for the COMMON HUMAN to realize his/her Self in progressive stages.

Now, with the above mentioned teachings of BRuhaspati and Jesus Christ that we consider to be equivalent in their purport, obviously the Christian teachings are far simpler, directly addressing a common man. At the same time, even a rustic, uneducated Hindu would readily comprehend the Hindu teachings better than their Christian equivalents.

My question is: why has Christianity, with its simpler and direct teachings, consistently failed, throughout its history, to implement its teachings of tolerance, faith and non-injury, among the Christian commons as well as the Christian notables (I would even say especially among the notables)?

Whereas, Sanatana Dharma, with its complicated teachings that readily reach the Hindu commons and notables, has never failed to foster them, as its history would show?

In simple words, why is a Hindu more tolerant and faithful towards a universal God than a Christian?

I can think of my own answers to these practical questions, but would like to hear other views first.

vcindiana
01 October 2008, 04:26 AM
Dear Friends;

For me there is so much to learn from different scriptures. Gandhi said I am a Hindu, I am Christian and I am a Moslem. Personally I do not want to carry any such label at all.

The rule “Show the other Cheek” was originated from the historical point, Jews and gentiles at the time of JC were oppressed by the powerful Romans. One of the important teachings of JC was about fighting the men in Power with the weapon of Love. Metaphorically it applies to me whenever I find myself weaker physically or mentally or even spiritually in my life.
The point I made in my previous post was that Gandhi being Geeta follower, also practically applied Sermon on the Mount to fight the British, I think no Christian ever tried that before. ML King Jr who followed Gandhi stated that “the real goal is not to defeat the white man, but to awaken a sense of shame within the oppressor and challenge the false sense of superiority.. the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community. Civil right movement in US made a huge difference in how Blacks and others including Indians were treated. Historically “Show the other cheek “principle was adopted by more and more people as a protest to demand justice. In Philippine, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Bulgaria. Russia, Mongolia, Albania, Nepal, South Africa and Chile more than half a billion people have thrown of the yoke of oppression through this principle. Protesters marched through the streets carrying candles, singing hymns and praying, the walls did come tumbling down.
I need to give credit to my hero MK Gandhi who embraced Geeta as well as JC’s Sermon on the Mount to prove that there is strength in weakness.

Thank you for reading...............Love..................VC

saidevo
01 October 2008, 11:18 PM
Namaste everyone.



Let us follow some rules that are practical to every man and not make a show off with rules such as 'show the other cheek'. Tolerate once, the second time hit back - only this will increase the survival coefficient of a nation. If all Hindus begin to follow these 'show the other cheek' rules, we will be back in slavery in no time. Specialized rules cannot become general rule for everybody.


JC's 'show the other check' precept that Gandhi followed worked in his times because the British, though they were oppressors at heart and aggressors in action, and backed the missionaries, were nevertheless considerably rational, decent and honest, though prejudiced when it came to the white-man vs native situation. In today's situation of cut-throat competition in politics and other walks of life that is nourished by dishonesty, perversity, subjugation and other vices, the 'stoc' principle will hardly work!

Aggression, invasion and perversion of the kind that is even worse than they were during the British rule is happening in India, led by the Christian missionary and Islamic jihAdi adharmic forces, under the covetous support of the pseudo-secular politics of the state and central governments. If we Hindus are not vigilant, our politicians might happily set a price for our popular temples such as at Tirupati, Palani, Madurai, Srirangam, Mathura, Kashi and other places (for the temples are under the governmental control) and surreptiously sell their administration and control to the American and Roman missionary forces, as indicated by the recent happenings at Tirupati and Rama Sethu. Today there is no way, at least in India, "to awaken a sense of shame within the oppressor and challenge the false sense of superiority", because you cannot bring up a quality that is never present in today's oppressors who are not normal humans!

Therefore, as Sudarshan says, a nation must 'hit back', for it is the only language these days the beastly oppressor will understand. Hindu dharma might teach ahimsa and tolerance but it never teaches tolerating adharma; on the other hand, Krishna in Gita teaches effective 'hitting back' for safeguarding our dharma, tradition and culture.



One of the important teachings of JC was about fighting the men in Power with the weapon of Love. Metaphorically it applies to me whenever I find myself weaker physically or mentally or even spiritually in my life.


We are as strong as our mind is, as wise as our buddhi (intellect) guides us and as loving as our heart is steeped in compassion, sympathy and empathy. If we cannot assert ourselves against oppression by love, then the only way is to assert by retaliation, for that is how the oppressor will understand his mistake. This many not be possible at a personal/individual level, but if it is not done at the societal and national level, we could easily lose our dharma, religion, tradition and culture.

Except by the Christian commons, I don't think that JC's teachings are observed in letter and spirit, specially by the Christian clergy (to whom religion is a business) and the Christian governments (to whom religion is an opportunity to expand).