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satay
14 May 2009, 01:33 PM
Admin Note

Namaskar,
Would anyone be interested in having a logical debate supported by evidence over the following issue?

Does hinduism accept scriptures from other religions as truth or originated from the same source as Vedas? Specifically, Do Bible and Koran the same truth and message as of Hindu scriptures?

I would request Yajvan as the moderator of the discussion after agreeing on some basic discussion rules. Of course, I haven't asked Yajvan if has the time to do this.

Anyone interested in having such a debate?

raghu_001
14 May 2009, 08:27 PM
Admin Note

Namaskar,
Would anyone be interested in having a logical debate supported by evidence over the following issue?

Does hinduism accept scriptures from other religions as truth or originated from the same source as Vedas? Specifically, Do Bible and Koran the same truth and message as of Hindu scriptures?

I would request Yajvan as the moderator of the discussion after agreeing on some basic discussion rules. Of course, I haven't asked Yajvan if has the time to do this.

Anyone interested in having such a debate?

It appears that we are already having that debate in the Abrahamic religions subforum.

Before anyone can even begin to assert that the Bible, Koran, and Vedas all contain the same truth, one should at least know the Bible, the Koran, and the Vedas. Unfortunately many individuals who make this assertion are not familiar with any of the above three, what to speak of all of them.

Then if one agrees to base such a debate on the Bible, the Koran, and the Vedas, then one must agree to discuss the specific evidence within each and whether they are truly compatible or contradictory. Again, my observation is that people who claim that these are all the same truth just ignore the 99% of evidence which contradicts their point of view.

Finally, if there is a debate about the supposed oneness of all religions, debaters need to take these religions *as they are.* They should refrain from inventing some new idea and passing it off as belonging to one of these religions. For example, one poster recently tried to argue that the idea of a "jealous God" in Abrahamic faiths represents an inner vice rather than the characteristic of the God whose teachings are enunciated in the scripture. This is not intellectually honest as it brazenly contradicts what the "jealous God" himself says in the Old Testament.

The most important feature of any debate is to get at the truth. Debate should serve as a crucible where the impurities of false ideas are burned away leaving only a pure product - the truth. Religious debate is not for trying to propagate one's own personal ideas.

Znanna
14 May 2009, 09:00 PM
There are so many debates within religions relative to OneNess ... while compare and contrast across orthodoxies is interesting (yours truly guilty as charged), it's my impression that the general precepts are uniform both within as well as between religions.

So, seems to me that having the Many/One argument within one tradition known well in these environs would likely be more productive than the Many/One argument here, across different POV.

That said, I'd still quite enjoy a hardcore trinitarian/unitarian cross-religion smackdown.


ZN

saidevo
14 May 2009, 10:30 PM
There are at least two good books with perhaps opposite views on the subject:

Christianity, Hinduism: Cosmic Game (Ramanuja Achari)
http://srimatham.com/srimatham/cosmicgame/cosmicgame.pdf

The author of this books says (p 71):

"There are, as I have demonstrated many similar teachings found in both the Bible and the Gita. But the Gita is truly a HOLY Scripture dealing with the nature of the soul, the nature of the Godhead, our relationship with Him and the path of virtue and love. Nowhere in all the sacred revelation of India — the Vedas, the Upanishads or the Gita is there to be found anything comparable to the most appalling and repulsive teachings and injunctions which are found in the Bible."

(As God would have it, the author of this book "one of only two Westerners to be ordained as Priests in the conservative lineage of the Srivaishnava tradition of South India, and the first to have been confirmed as Acharya (Spiritual Preceptor) in 1990 by His Holiness Sri Varada Yatiraja Jiyar Swamigal — the pontiff of the Adi Kesava Perumal Temple in Sriperumbudur, Tamilnadu. He studied Hebrew and Arabic in Israel, Sanskrit.")

The other books is this:
Essential Unity of All Religions By Bhagavan Das
http://books.google.com/books?q=%22essential+unity+of+all+religions%22&btnG=Search+Books

About this book Dr.Rajendra Prasad says:

"This book Essential Unity of All Religions, clearly proves, by more than a thousand quotations of texts from the most honoured scriptures of all the eleven living great Religions of the world, that all these Religions are really identical in their Essential Teachings and Injunctions..."

It could be fruitful to base our discussions on these and other similar books, feeling free to express our own individual opinions on the points of views of the books.

devotee
15 May 2009, 09:54 AM
Namaste all,

I strongly believe that the Truth is ONE & it can never be different for different faith.

The scriptures are guide for pointing to the Truth. The Truth has to be experienced ... mere theoretical knowledge of books doesn't lead you to the Truth. The Truth ... same Truth is there in all scriptures ... but in almost all scriptures there are also things which had their validity within a given time-period, social structure & value system of the society. The Man is continuously evolving ... so, the best way of the that time have lost their meaning in our time. To find the Truth which must always be the Same in all scriptures we must be able to segregate these "time-specific" truth from the Truth.

If someone believes that only Lord Shiva & Lord Krishna are the Truth & Jesus Christ & Allah are not-Truth ... it is because he has yet to experience the Truth ... the Reality. I can't believe that we Hindus who are approximately only 14% of World population have the Truth & all other 86% have Not-Truth. Let's not compare two dissimilar scriptures. If we compare the Q'uran with the
Vedanta then there is simply no comparison. But if we compare the Puranas with Q'uran .... it is saying almost similar things ... there is a creator which has to be worshipped & that particularly named creator is more powerful than any other deities ... if you do good you get heaven & if you bad things you get hell.

We can compare Vedanta with Islamic mysticism which talks about Non-duality in almost similar way. I shall give here a few examples :

Baba Kuhi of Shiriz says :

"In the market, in the cloister--only God I saw.
In the valley and on the mountain--only God I saw.
Him I have seen beside me oft in tribulation;
In favour and in fortune--only God I saw.
In prayer and fasting, in praise and contemplation,
In the religion of the Prophet--only God I saw.
Neither soul nor body, accident nor substance,
Qualities nor causes--only God I saw.
I oped mine eyes and by the light of His face around me
In all the eye discovered--only God I saw.
Like a candle I was melting in His fire:
Amidst the flames outflashing--only God I saw.
Myself with mine own eyes I saw most clearly,
But when I looked with God's eyes--only God I saw.
I passed away into nothingness, I vanished,
And lo, I was the All-living--only God I saw."

Isn't is as pure as the Vedanta ?

This is from Jalaluddin Rumi :

"Look for the moon in the sky, not in the water!
If you desire to rise above mere names and letters,
Make yourself free from self at one stroke.
Become pure from all attributes of self,
That you may see your own bright essence,
Yea, see in your own heart the knowledge of the Prophet,
Without book, without tutor, without preceptor."

And this Ultimate one from Al Mansoor "Hallaz",

" I Am The TRUTH" !

-----------------------------

Many such examples can be quoted but I don't want to flood this post with them.

If we look at Christianity, the things are too much mixed. The Truth is mixed with the time-specific truths in a more complicated way than in Islam. Somehow, the hard-core clerics of Islam have not allowed mixing of the Duality based religion with Non-duality. In Christianity we don't have a clear-cut divide.

But I shall quote some of the excerpts which indicate that there are many places where the Truth of Vedanta echoes with similar clarity :

1. In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God & the Word was God. ---- John 1.1 (Bible)

===> Please mark these words, " The Word was God" ..... is it different from "OM" ? ( Mandukya Upanishad)

2. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, & that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you ? ----- Corianthians 3.16 (Bible)

====> proclaims the Truth that God has to be found within & also hints that same God dwells in all.

3. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God. ------ John 1.12 (Bible)

====> This passage makes it clear that it was not only Jesus who was Son of God. Anyone can become the Son of God. Read it with what the Son of God said, "I and my father are One".

4. The light of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single thy whole body shall be full of light. ----- Matthew 6.22

====> " If thine eye be single" ----> This points to higher state achieved in meditation.

5. I and my Father are ONE. -----John 10.30

===> Jesus declares attaining the state of Non-duality.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Did all scriptures arise from the same source ? Yes ! Where is the doubt ? The source of all knowledge is the One without a second !

OM

raghu_001
15 May 2009, 05:36 PM
Namaste all,

I strongly believe that the Truth is ONE & it can never be different for different faith.

That is all very nice and good, but are you prepared to submit your beliefs to scrutiny? Because if the conclusion of any debate is that your belief is true, regardless of how much evidence is provided showing the total incompatibility of other religions with Hindu thought, then there is no point of debating now is there?

The Muslims who uprooted paganism in ancient Arabia are no different in their methodologies from the Mulsims who attacked ancient India and attempted to uproot Hinduism. If Islam is true, then there is validity in the evil acts which Muslims did in the name of their religion.

Frankly, my observation has been that those who claim that all religions are true are just crass sentimentalists who do not bother to acquaint themselves with the evidence.

devotee
15 May 2009, 08:27 PM
That is all very nice and good, but are you prepared to submit your beliefs to scrutiny? Because if the conclusion of any debate is that your belief is true, regardless of how much evidence is provided showing the total incompatibility of other religions with Hindu thought, then there is no point of debating now is there?

Namaste Raghu,

What I have seen in your other posts is reflected again here that you first make a pretty strong opinion to the point of not-listening & then come to discuss. Please forget my post, that was not for you.

Instead of posting the above lines if you had posted some proof against what I said, I would have appreciated your approach.


The Muslims who uprooted paganism in ancient Arabia are no different in their methodologies from the Muslims who attacked ancient India and attempted to uproot Hinduism. If Islam is true, then there is validity in the evil acts which Muslims did in the name of their religion.

If you interpret the scriptures wrongly, then similar problems are with all religions including Hinduism. Which Hindu scripture asks you to maim, rape & kill innocents ? But has it not happened whenever riots have broken out ? The sufferers, most of the time, in all such cases are innocents & that is not permitted in any religious scripture.

As far as killing innocent Hindus is concerned, it was not only the aggressors from outside, there were elements here itself in sufficient quantity. please refer to ancient Indian History & find out how many wars were fought for capturing territories by one Hindu king against the others. The
brutal fight between "Shaivites & the Vaishnavas", the "Hindus & the Buddhists" .... was it sanctioned by the scriptures ?

The problem lies not in the scriptures but it lies in wrong interpretation of the scriptures & in the mentality, "Mine is better than yours" & it lies in a closed-mind-set which doesn't leave any scope for listening to the other side. And these factors are present in all civilisations regardless of faiths.


Frankly, my observation has been that those who claim that all religions are true are just crass sentimentalists who do not bother to acquaint themselves with the evidence.

Do you really think you are here for a discussion or branding people with titles as per your "idea" of the Truth ?
OM

raghu_001
16 May 2009, 12:55 AM
Namaste,

I am very sorry that devotee feels that I am egotistical and that I am not listening to him. In fact I have read and analyzed all of his statements very carefully, and have posted counter rebuttals that have largely gone unaddressed (excluding the ad hominem attacks and attacks on my character, possibly motivated by the difficulty answering the inconvenient questions I have posed). The problem here seems to be that while devotee is satisfied quoting evidence from the Koran that backs his point of view, he is still not willing to address the evidence from the Koran which contradicts his point of view.

Surely we can all agree that the soundness of a theory lies in its ability to explain the greatest degree of the available evidence. Claiming that Islam is compatible with Hinduism and then ignoring most of the Koran which is hostile to Hinduism is not convincing.

In response to the evidence I have provided from the Koran inciting Muslims to fight against non-believers and murder non-combatants, "devotee" brings up wars on the Indian subcontinent between rival Hindu kingdoms to bolster his point of view that Islam and Hinduism are similar. Now, let us be crystal clear in our thinking. The point is not that there were no wars in India amongst the Hindus. The point is that Muslims are specifically enjoined to attack non-believers and even to violently suppress non-combatants (Mohammed's own example). This makes Islam incompatible with Hinduism.

However, the wars among rival Hindu kingdoms had nothing to do with religious differences and were fought between armies. We do not find in Indian history a *recurring* trend towards Hindu kings massacering civilians and enforcing conversions from one sampradaya to another by the sword. Indeed, there is no Hindu scriptural precedent for attacking non-combatants and forcing them to change their religious views by violence. But in Islam we see the precedent for this in Mohammed's own example.

I respectfully submit that Devotee is taking the position of an apologist for Islamic atrocities by comparing apples to oranges.

Devotee also implies that I am "interpreting" the Koran incorrectly. However, I have provided the English translations and verse numbers, and have checked context in each case. If Devotee feels I have misinterpreted the Koran, he is certainly welcome to examine the context and explain the correct interpretation of the suras from the Koran so that I can correct my wrong thinking. "Correct interpretation" of the Koran means what its author had meant by those verses - not what someone else wants them to mean. We must deal with the Koran as it is - we cannot claim to speak about Islam and then refer to ideas superimposed upon the Koran to make it more palatable to fans of political correctness.

regards,

Raghu

devotee
16 May 2009, 05:34 AM
Namaste Raghu,



I have read and analyzed all of his statements very carefully, and have posted counter rebuttals that have largely gone unaddressed (excluding the ad hominem attacks and attacks on my character, possibly motivated by the difficulty answering the inconvenient questions I have posed).

Can you cite some or even one of the inconvenient question that remains unanswered ? I can't sit replying your posts the whole time dear ! Wait, the answer will come, that is certain. And there is no attack on you, for your info. I actually believed that you wanted to discuss the issues but when I posted the replies, it was clear to me that it was otherwise. I might be wrong in my assessment but that still has to be proved.


The problem here seems to be that while devotee is satisfied quoting evidence from the Koran that backs his point of view, he is still not willing to address the evidence from the Koran which contradicts his point of view.

Did you quote any verses which say otherwise ?


Claiming that Islam is compatible with Hinduism and then ignoring most of the Koran which is hostile to Hinduism is not convincing.

Please quote verses, then we shall discuss. If you can't then I can quote quite a number of verses which are bothering you. Just tell me. But I can also quote verses from Hindu Scriptures which justify killings.


In response to the evidence I have provided from the Koran inciting Muslims to fight against non-believers and murder non-combatants,

Isn't it a white lie ? "In response to the evidence" ?? ... which evidence are you talking about, dear ? Please quote your evidence that you have mentioned above in this post. The sad part of your posts is that they are judgemental without any support from anywhere ... you just make a statement without quoting from an authority. This is repeated in all your posts. If you are interested I can cite all your posts where you have passed judgement without giving any logic or quoting any authority.


[quote]"devotee" brings up wars on the Indian subcontinent between rival Hindu kingdoms to bolster his point of view that Islam and Hinduism are similar. Now, let us be crystal clear in our thinking. The point is not that there were no wars in India amongst the Hindus. The point is that Muslims are specifically enjoined to attack non-believers and even to violently suppress non-combatants (Mohammed's own example). This makes Islam incompatible with Hinduism.

You are giving only "your" statements without any proof & also giving "your" verdict.


I respectfully submit that Devotee is taking the position of an apologist for Islamic atrocities by comparing apples to oranges.

This is yet another sentence from you without any supporting evidence from you side. First of all, why should I be apologist for Muslims ? Do you think it is not absurd ?


Devotee also implies that I am "interpreting" the Koran incorrectly. However, I have provided the English translations and verse numbers, and have checked context in each case.

Why should you be reminded that you have not quoted any verse from Q'uran yet, let alone its interpretation etc. ?


If Devotee feels I have misinterpreted the Koran, he is certainly welcome to examine the context and explain the correct interpretation of the suras from the Koran so that I can correct my wrong thinking.

That stage can come only when you quote the specific verses, right ?


"Correct interpretation" of the Koran means what its author had meant by those verses - not what someone else wants them to mean.
... & who will decide who is really aware of what was in the heart of the writer ? Raghu ?


We must deal with the Koran as it is - we cannot claim to speak about Islam and then refer to ideas superimposed upon the Koran to make it more palatable to fans of political correctness.

This is your opinion that I am trying to superimpose my ideas on Q'uran. Please prove what you say, if you feel that your opinion should be accepted & other's opinion should be rejected. I am not forcing you to accept my opinion because mine is again an opinion. Everyone has his right of having an opinion. If you have a different opinion than that of mine, why should there be any problem ?

OM

raghu_001
16 May 2009, 10:22 AM
Did you quote any verses which say otherwise ?

I have already quoted in my previous postings the following:

1) Mohammed's practice of beheading his enemies (even after they had surrendered) and enslaving their women and children. We do not find such a practice among Hindu warriors.

2) The directives from the Koran inciting Muslims to attack and convert non-believers, defined as those who do not follow Allah/Koran.

Please refer to my previous postings from other threads for details.



Please quote verses, then we shall discuss. If you can't then I can quote quite a number of verses which are bothering you. Just tell me. But I can also quote verses from Hindu Scriptures which justify killings.

I am calling your bluff. Show me evidence from Hindu scriptures directing Hindus to attack non-Hindus and convert them by threat of violence. Please show me evidence from Hindu scriptures rationalizing the beheading of captives and the enslaving of their families. Then you will have proven your point and I will concede defeat.

regards,

Raghu

saidevo
16 May 2009, 10:50 AM
Namaste Satay and others.

In order to have a healthy, disciplined and issue-based debate on the subject, let us first avoid personal references such as 'this speaks of your egotism', this could make you a 'crass sentimentalist' and so on.

Satay has asked us to debate on two issues:

• Does hinduism accept scriptures from other religions as truth or originated from the same source as Vedas?

• Do Bible and Koran the same truth and message as of Hindu scriptures?

Let me present some of my impressions:



The scriptures are guide for pointing to the Truth. The Truth has to be experienced ... mere theoretical knowledge of books doesn't lead you to the Truth. The Truth ... same Truth is there in all scriptures ...


The validity of a scientific truth depends on its empiricism. The validity of a spiritual truth found in a religion depends on its practical realization.

"The Truth has to be experienced..." In other words, the Truth has to be presented in such a way that it can be experienced by one and all who are sincere, at all levels of spiritual advancement, by certain rigours of spiritual search (sAdhana) and by initiation by a suitable guru.

Certainly, the Bible and the Quran have not presented the Truth with the same depth and expression as do the Vedas and the Upanishads, or even the Smriti. Nowhere in the Bible and Quran it is presented in clear, explicit and emphatic terms that the Truth can be realized by meditation and yoga sAdhana.

The very term 'upanishad' includes a guru-shiShya relationship: the guru after becoming 'upanishabhya' (perceived) of the Truth imparts it to his eligible disciples, not just by lecturing to them, but by studying the Truth with them by interaction and mutual understanding ('aum sahana vavatu...').

Did Jesus of Nazareth and Mohammed have the same extent of yoga sAdhana that our ancient Rishis had? Did they perceive the Truth to the same extent they did? Did they seek to impart it in clear terms to their close disciples? Then why don't we find such deep, lofty and explicit instructions and expressions in the Western scriptures as in our Vedas and Upanishads?

It is not enough to say, "I and my Father are One" or "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." The poor follower should be taught how to reach that state gradually. All that we find in the Western scriptures by way of teaching are only moral instructions, not yoga sAdhana. There is, of course, the teaching of surrender to God by devotion and love, but the Vedas and Upanishads go far beyond this bhakti path into the path of knowledge, which is the surest way to Self-Realization.

Another point: even the most illiterate Hindu rustic knows that there is only one God, that he worships many forms of it, that the word Aum is sacred, that God resides everywhere and in all beings and that there are many paths to God and so on and so forth.

Why don't the Christian commons and the notables give weightage to the teachings in the Bible that the "The Word was with God & the Word was God", "ye are the temple of God, & that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you", "as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God", "if therefore thine eye be single thy whole body shall be full of light" in their daily religious life? Why are they so much after the 'anachronistic truths' in the Bible and try to subvert/convert/kill people of other faiths basing their belief on those truths? In fact, yoga and meditation are even sought to be banned by some Christian and Islamic sects! On the other hand, we Hindus have given up our Manu Smriti and other anachronistic teachings.

As for the Sufi Muslim poets, many of them turned mystic more under the influence of the Hindu scriptures than under their own. Many of them were initiated by Hindu gurus. And then the question remains: where are the Sufis today? why don't the Muslim commons and clergy appreciate their teachings instead of the Hadith and 'anachronistic truths' of the Quran?

The one God that the Vedas describe is a pantheistic God with polytheistic forms. As against this, the one God of Christianity and Islam is a monotheistic, personal god in a far away heaven who rules his subjects, and casts them to eternal heaven or hell after death.

Thus, IMO it is certain that the Bible and Quran do NOT have "the same truth and message as of Hindu scriptures"; even if they be proved to have originated from the Vedas, they would still remain as only imperfect expressions of the Truth.

raghu_001
16 May 2009, 11:14 AM
Satay has asked us to debate on two issues:

Does hinduism accept scriptures from other religions as truth or originated from the same source as Vedas?

Do Bible and Koran the same truth and message as of Hindu scriptures?


The first question relies heavily on determining who or what Hinduism is, and who or what speaks on behalf of Hinduism.

Hinduism is not a single homogenous religion. It is a pluralistic tradition encompassing a variety of different religious doctrines with cultural similarities but significant philosophical differences. Historically, the term "Hinduism" has been used to refer to the religious traditions of the people of the Indian subcontinent which are in turn based (at least in theory) on the Vedas and their supplementary literatures (itihasas and puranas). Thus, "Hinduism" could best be described as any of those religious tradition which bases its teachings at least in theory on these sources.

Now even accepting this definition, there are two broad categories of Hinduism that deserve attention. These are Classical/Traditional Hinduism vs post-colonial/Neo-Hinduism. The methodologies of thinkers from these two groups differ significantly. Specifically, thinkers of classical/traditional Hinduism tend to be more rigorous in their philosphical formulations and respect arguments that are grounded in shAstra. Thinkers belonging to Neo-Hinduism category tend to be highly influenced by Semitic religions, Indian nationalism, and/or liberal humanism, and they tend to make suppositions based on emotional appeal rather than grounding in shAstra. Not surprisingly, it is the leaders from the latter group who are more likely to argue for the oneness/compatibility/similarity of Hinduism with non-Hindu religion. No surprise there.

The question then is do classical Hindu thinkers acknowledge the validity or compatibility of non-Hindu religions? The answer here is almost certainly "no." Classical Hindu polemics are full of intersectarian dialog, such as between Tattvavadis and Advaitins, between Advaitins and Buddhists, between Buddhists and karma-mimamsakas, etc etc. The greatness of Hindu culture is that followers of these different traditions can disagree with each other so strongly and yet live in peace! But the point is that if they did not accept each other's religious traditions as valid, then they almost certainly would not accept Islam or Christianity.

Classical Hindu thinkers, especially Vedantic thinkers, base their religious formulations on apaurusheya-granthas, and since Semitic religions do not consider their scriptures apaurusheya, their religious views would not be ipso facto valid in the eyes of a traditional, Vedantic thinker. Beyond this, there is also the fact that Vedas and Puranas do not explicitly acknowledge these other "religions."

With all this in mind, one would be hard pressed to prove that traditional Hinduism accepts other scriptures as true or based on the Vedas.

Now as far as whether the Bible and Koran are compatible with the Vedas, all one has to do is study the Bible and Koran to get the answer. Superficial quoting will not do. The traditions must be understood within their respective contexts. Within the Bible and Koran we find many elements that make them clearly incompatible with Vedic thinking. These include:

1) The idea that "idolatry" is repulsive and prohibited. Not compatible with Hinduism because icon-worship has been a cardinal feature of traditional Hindu worship for thousands of years.

2) The idea that one can only know God by following this or that prophet - classical Hindu traditions emphasize that one must have a personal guru who is connected to the Vedic tradition. It is not enough to rubber stamp one's self as a follower of this or that leader.

3) Irrational exclusivism: Follows from #2 - you are saved if you follow Jesus or Mohammed. These are central tenets of Christianity and Islam, respectively. This means that both of these religions invalidate each other, and both invalidate Hinduism. Traditional Hindus do not follow Jesus or Mohammed, so they are non-believers in eyes of the followers of both.

4) Examples of "chosen people" and racial favorites. Specifically in the Old Testament, we find that "God" specifically privileges some ethnic groups and directs his wrath at others. The ordinary Egyptians were punished because of the stubborness of pharaoah, even though the enslaving of the Hebrews was a result of the pharaoah's dynasty and not the result of anything the Egyptians had done. While we do see that Sri Krishna gives His support to the righteous (i.e. the Pandavas) over the unrighteous (i.e. the Kauravas), we do not see Him taking sides based on ethnic differences. On the contrary, we see that even He gives His blessings to righteous souls who happen to be born in historically inimical dynasties, such as Vibhishina, Prahlaad, and others.

I could go on and on, but this should hopefully be sufficient for now.

devotee
16 May 2009, 12:17 PM
Namaste Saidevo ji,



Certainly, the Bible and the Quran have not presented the Truth with the same depth and expression as do the Vedas and the Upanishads, or even the Smriti. Nowhere in the Bible and Quran it is presented in clear, explicit and emphatic terms that the Truth can be realized by meditation and yoga sAdhana.

I don't deny what you say. However, we must admit that the level of revelation of Truth must match the readiness of the student or the populace. Both these books have been written ( or revealed ) at a time when these people were fighting for their survival ... Genesis of the Bible ... & the whole life of Prophet Mohammad show this situation. In fact, Mohammad himself fought many wars & can be also blamed for killing of thousands of innocents. But that was the time of war ... the rules change during war-time. This is closely related with other fall-out too. For spirituality to attain its true height, the world around must be conducive.

So, the book is written for those people ... who were fighting for survival ... facing very difficult time .... not having their own homeland. So, the differences are inevitable. However, we can't simply dismiss them as devoid of Truth. Why ? If that was the case, how Islam & Christianity were able to produce great saints ? Though you may be right that the Sufis might be affected by the Hindu Saints but they still kept their unfailing faith in the prophet & the book.

And because there is no Muslim or a Christian here to defend his scripture here, we must give them credit where they deserve. Otherwise, it is very easy to say that We are the Best & our scriptures are the best ! Who is there to oppose us ?

Let's analyse some important points which are inherent in all religions :

a) Helping another person in need is appreciated in scriptures of all religions -- whether we take Hinduism, Islam or the Christianity.

b) The negative tendencies are discouraged equally by all .... like, greed, jealousy, cheating, stealing ... etc.

c) Killing of innocent souls have been prohibited equally in all scriptures.

d) All scriptures talk about reward & punishment by God which are attached with good or bad deeds.

-----------------------------

So, where do we find differences ? The first thing is the Non-duality concept ... which appears almost alien to these religions but as I quoted there are verses which indicate towards it. In fact, Non-duality concept, by all standards, is not for common man & even if it is understood to some vague way by reading, the real knowledge comes only after "experience" & for that a Guru is required. So, it is for the top creamy layer of the spiritual people ... and that layer is not only dependent on the scriptures.

What I want to say that if you compare the theory of duality in those religions with those in Hinduism, there is not much difference. In fact, even those verses/excerpts which earlier bothered me don't bother me any more ... I have realised a different meaning hidden in them.

The following commandment has always bothered me till some time back :

i) Forbidding Idol-Worship, worshipping other gods & the statement, ":For I, Your Lord, am a jealous God".

====> How can God be jealous ? Isn't it a characteristic unbecoming of a God ? But if you interpret it this way that, "God doesn't reveal Himself to You until you devote whole-heartedly to Him alone" ....> this is perfectly true & taught by all Gurus.

This also explains forbidding the Idol-worship : As long as you have your focus on anything else worldly, you are going away from God & going away from God is the sin ... the origin of all pains ===> if seen in this way, it is completely valid.

-------------------------------

Whether these scriptures have their origin in the Vedas ? Actually, the true saints have no feeling of separateness & there has always been exchange of ideas between saints from different religions. Moreover, keeping in mind that Vedas are the oldest scriptures available to the mankind, it is nearly impossible that they would not have influenced other scriptures.

However, even for getting influenced there must be receptivity in the first place ... which must come from within ... it is the same Grace which inspired the revelation of the Vedas ... & it must be the same Grace which inspired the revelation of other scriptures. After all, the source of all knowledge is the Same ... "the One without a second".

Regards,

OM

raghu_001
16 May 2009, 03:07 PM
I don't deny what you say. However, we must admit that the level of revelation of Truth must match the readiness of the student or the populace. Both these books have been written ( or revealed ) at a time when these people were fighting for their survival ... Genesis of the Bible ... & the whole life of Prophet Mohammad show this situation.


Excuse me sir, but life of Prophet Mohammed was not about his survival, but rather about his aggressive attempt to spread his religion by force. Arabia at the time was already home to paganism and Judaism. There was no need for Mohammed to capture Mecca simply to preach or propagate Islam. He could have peacefully spread his religion without military campaigning but he instead he insisted on making enemies out of the ruling class of Mecca.



In fact, Mohammad himself fought many wars & can be also blamed for killing of thousands of innocents. But that was the time of war ... the rules change during war-time.

The records indicate that "holy prophet" Mohammed (PBUH) beheaded those enemies of his who surrendered to him and enslaved their women and children. What rules under Hindu scriptures rationalize such behavior? I believe this is at least the second or third time I have brought this up and have yet to receive an answer.



This is closely related with other fall-out too. For spirituality to attain its true height, the world around must be conducive.

So in other words, you are saying that for Islamic spirituality to attain its true height, Muslims had to go to war with and subjugate members of other religions, yes? Because that is what they did in the time of Mohammed, and that is what you are trying to rationalize now.



So, the book is written for those people ... who were fighting for survival ... facing very difficult time .... not having their own homeland. So, the differences are inevitable. However, we can't simply dismiss them as devoid of Truth. Why ? If that was the case, how Islam & Christianity were able to produce great saints ?

Questions of greatness are subjective. Islam and Christianity may have saints who are considered great in their respective traditions, but we as Hindus do not have to explain why. Mohammed would most certainly not have been seen as great by Hindu standards. As far as Jesus is concerned, there is ample doubt among the scholarly community that the mythological Jesus is the same as the historic Jesus.


Let's analyse some important points which are inherent in all religions :

a) Helping another person in need is appreciated in scriptures of all religions -- whether we take Hinduism, Islam or the Christianity.

Big deal. Even an atheist can agree that helping others in need is a good thing. Just saying that one should help others does not make one's religion valid.



b) The negative tendencies are discouraged equally by all .... like, greed, jealousy, cheating, stealing ... etc.

They are not "discouraged equally by all" - Mohammed helped himself to the women and gold of his enemies.



c) Killing of innocent souls have been prohibited equally in all scriptures.

Except in Islam where the suras of the Koran enjoin war against non-believers and in which Mohammed himself killed or enslaved his enemies simply for following different religions. In fact, Mohammed even executed or assasinated poets and writers whose ideas did not match with his. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad



d) All scriptures talk about reward & punishment by God which are attached with good or bad deeds.

Several points:

All scriptures do NOT talk about "reward & punishment by God." Some religions like Buddhism and Jainism do not even deal with the idea of a personal God.

In many Hindu schools of thought, "good" or "bad" deeds are not the point because both are attached to karma which is the cause of further bondage in this world. The sadhaka has to get beyond karma entirely in order to get liberation.

Religions like Islam and Christianity consider salvation to be entry into a paradise where one can partake of heavenly delights which please the senses. For example, in Islam's version of heaven, the faithful Muslim gets 72 virgins at his disposal. In Hindu worldview, places like svarga-loka which have heavenly pleasures are considered temporary and NOT on the same level as moksha.

The fact that different scriptures talk about rewards by "God" still does not prove that they are all talking about the same deity. How do you know that some of their deity concepts are not fictitious?



So, where do we find differences ? The first thing is the Non-duality concept ... which appears almost alien to these religions but as I quoted there are verses which indicate towards it.

So let me see if I understand this correctly. You believe that non-duality of God and the living beings is a fact established in other religions.

Yet, non-duality of God and jiva is not even established in Hinduism. Only one Vedanta school accepts this sort of non-duality while the rest argue against its existence.

Furthermore, Christians and Muslims do not believe they are one with God. Are you telling me you understand Christianity and Islam better than they do?

As I have indicated before, you are not "interpreting" these other religions and their scriptures.

You are just chagning their meanings to bring them more in line with your world view. For centuries Christianity has meant believing in certain things and Islam has meant believing in certain things, but now here you come, not even having studied Bible or Koran, and you are claiming that their scriptures are not properly understood by their respective followers and that you somehow know their deeper meaning.

Now, I know I am going to be get in trouble for saying this. But then again, I'm egotistical, so not much good can be expected from me. Still, the point I want to make is, I do not understand how you can claim to correctly understand the Bible and the Koran when you have never studied the Bible and the Koran. It's strange to me that scholars of the Bible and the Koran who can read them in their original languages have got only at most a superficial understanding, while you without even elementary knowledge of Arabic or Aramaic and without even reading these texts, know them better.

As always, feel free to ignore my skepticism if you find it inconvenient. Sometimes promoting one's own theories is more important than being respectful of the facts.

regards,

Raghu

atanu
16 May 2009, 03:55 PM
In my view such a debate is pointless, for several reasons, the chief reason being that the premise itself is "Ours and Theirs", which is a mental construct. And when already it has been decided that Kanchi Seer or Ramana Maharshi or Ramakrishna do not represent Hinduism.

Shri Krishna says in Gita that the truth is known in samadhi alone.

Namaste to all.

Om

atanu
16 May 2009, 05:25 PM
Admin Note

Namaskar,

Does hinduism accept scriptures from other religions as truth or originated from the same source as Vedas? Specifically, Do Bible and Koran the same truth and message as of Hindu scriptures?

I would request Yajvan as the moderator of the discussion after agreeing on some basic discussion rules. Of course, I haven't asked Yajvan if has the time to do this.

Anyone interested in having such a debate?

Namaste Satay,

Veda is the purest thougt/word of the Self. Self's nature is Veda. Only the sufis/advaitins believe in EKO Atman. Though all knowledge is rooted in Eko Atman, yet can a person who is rooted in "I am this body" or "I have a permanent personality", see the Eko Atman? The paradox is that such a divisive view also rises from/on that Eko Atman.

A rapid scan of internet will show how Muslims denigrate Hindu divinities as immoral, as discriminative, as untruthful etc. etc. Do we think that there is any value in those biased opinions, which are born of pure hatred? There was one poster who sneered at the virgin birth of the Jesus. Similarly, you will find christians sneering at Ganesha or Hanuman.

In a recent post "A laugh", it came out that christians/jews themselves do not intepret their scripture in terms of spirit or experience of waking/dreams/deep sleep. They equate 'Dead Sea' (knowledge of which, according to old testament, does not let sun set again) as the physical dead sea. Similarly, Zion, which is said to give birth to nations and children instantaneously, is equated to a land and not to Aditi.

------------------

One who has not overcome the 'body is me' idea, will hardly be able to comprehend the nature and words of one unbroken spirit, which is Atman. The Devas fight Demons in that one spirit. I fight my greed, my jealosy, which are my asuras. With OM devas prevailed. With "I am" devas win. The moment "I am this" arises, asuras begin to prevail. "I am this I am" and "Om" are not different, IMO and also as per most gnostic sages of any hue.

As hinted by ZN, when we cannot agree within Hindus whether Vaisnava and Saiva scripture point to the same truth or not, what chance we have with inter-religion conflicts? This is the eternal conflict.

The supposition of "I", "They", and the "Universe" is the mental construct (sensual pratyaksha), which is natural but not the immutable truth. The natural perception of divided many is the root of all conflicts. Since, this ignorance is not overcome ever by senses/words/mind, the scripture teaches of "Eko Atman that is all pervasive" as the origin of all and substraum of all. Without scripture this will never be known. Further, when names and forms are resoved into samadhi, then the truth is known. And opinion of such a Brahma Jnani who abides in samadhi alone has any value.

If we pre condition the debate by excluding the wisdom of such saints and base our opinion on actions of Osama or such, we will cloud the truth.
OTOH, esoteric gnostics among all religions agree on a single truth.


Om

Eastern Mind
16 May 2009, 07:32 PM
Namaste all:

Ahhh.. the gridded intellect ... where does it lead? I am in no position to enter this debate/discussion/argument. Not a philosopher (intellectualised religion?) at all. Endless circles of intellectual defense counter defense, accusations, stronger and stronger tones eventually turning away from intellect to emotion. How extremely pointless. I'd rather go do some quiet seva. Best wishes to those who choose to continue.

Aum Namasivaya

saidevo
16 May 2009, 10:51 PM
Namaste Devotee.



However, we must admit that the level of revelation of Truth must match the readiness of the student or the populace. Both these books have been written ( or revealed ) at a time when these people were fighting for their survival ... Genesis of the Bible ... & the whole life of Prophet Mohammad show this situation.


This is like saying that a scientist who has discovered a profound scientific truth has not revealed it fully because his colleagues and students were not ready to absorb or appreciate it!

Vedas were 'seen' by the Rishis in every Yuga and composed for presentation to the Hindu public. Even during the times of Rishis, their yajnas and tapas were constantly threatened by the AsurAs and RAkShashas as we read in RamayaNA and other PurANas. And the wonder with the Hindu society was its capability to absorb the truth at all levels and varNas: the AsurAs themselves were great 'tapasvIs', Hindu Kings (like Janaka) were Self-Realized souls and a great soul like Adi Sankara learnt about the omnipresence of Brahman from a ChanDALa! As is the guru so would be the followers.

Whether an ordinary seeker can realize it or not, the Truth and its subset of truths and the ways to reach them must be spelled out in clear terms with scientific empirical precision in a scripture that is worth its name. This is the reason our scriptures were divided into Shruti and Smriti with their own subdivisions too.

As you have said in your first post, the Bible and Quran can be compared to our PurANas, not the Vedas.



And because there is no Muslim or a Christian here to defend his scripture here, we must give them credit where they deserve. Otherwise, it is very easy to say that We are the Best & our scriptures are the best ! Who is there to oppose us ?


There are members here in HDF who are Christians and Muslims at heart although they have professed to follow Sanatana Dharma. The point is that only we Hindus unnecessarily take up and extrapolate the Western scriptures, no Christian or Muslim would do it or even listen to our points. Why are we doing it? To educate the Christians and Muslims or is it due to the vulnerability (of Ahimsa taught by Buddha and Gandhi) in the modern Hindu psyche that unless we say, 'Look, the teachings of your and our religion are essentially the same, so leave us to ourselves"?

Let us be the Arjunas of the MahAbhArata who was taught by none other than Sri Krishna, loudly proclaim the unique truths and the ways to reach them as taught in our Hindu scriptures and leave the followers of Abrahamic religions to their own life.

As to the "important points inherent in all religions" you have given, all the points are moral teachings; not only these, but also the higher teaching of insistence on love, devotion and complete surrender to God is also common to ALL religions. That does not make them equal in stature is another point.

As to the pointers of 'non-duality' in the Abrahamic religious scriptures:

• they are few and far between and generally stand the test of such teaching only when taken out of context and read in isolation.

• we constantly harp on experience to realize the non-duality of the Truth and say that only "the top creamy layer of the spiritual people" have experienced it. Yet even at our level we know about that possibility becoming a practicality because of its reiterative teachings in our scriptures and by our gurus. How many Christian or Islam gurus have realized the non-duality of the Truth and have taught it to their followers?

• As for the edicts against idol-worship in the Bible and Quran, the more we talk about them, the more would the hypocrisy (even ignorance) of those scriptures be exposed. Does any Christian or Muslim worship their God at home or in the godhouse without an idol/icon/symbol--physical or mental?



Moreover, keeping in mind that Vedas are the oldest scriptures available to the mankind, it is nearly impossible that they would not have influenced other scriptures.


The lofty and difficult scientific truths of Relativity, Unified Theory, the Universe being just God's mentalwork, etc. were prevalent since the time of Creation, but only the modern scientists of the 20th/21st centuries have discovered them. Thus science has constantly updated itself, weaning away the obsolete theories. Such evolution has not happened in the Abrahamic Religions: it would be perhaps truer to say that they are getting worse with time.

As against this, the Rishis of our Vedas with scientific rigour studied and perceived the eternal Truth and its subsets and revealed them to the world. This revelation is final and there could be no later 'discoveries' to supersede it.

Even though the Vedas are the oldest scriptures and the Vedic civilization was prevalent the world over in the ancient days, the Christian and Islamic scriptures deliberately chose to discard the loftier truths for reasons best known to everyone. One classic example of this is the theory of karma and reincarnation. This is one of the reasons why their teachings are so hollow, shallow and silly.

This is not to say that there are no learned souls among the Christians and Muslims; only to say that such learned souls have evolved to their position out of their own spiritual thinking and meditation that made use of God's grace, in other words, despite and not because of their scriptures.



...how Islam & Christianity were able to produce great saints? Though you may be right that the Sufis might be affected by the Hindu Saints but they still kept their unfailing faith in the prophet & the book.


If you could name those great saints of Islam and Christianity who rose to their stature without any knowledge about the Hindu scriptures, that is solely by practising the teachings of their own scriptures, we can discuss their accomplishment vis-a-vis those of the Hindu sages.

Finally, I would like to remind the readers and members that I am not against the Abrahamic Religions, their scriptures, or followers; only against equating them with the Vedas and justifying their methods of propagation of their religion.

raghu_001
17 May 2009, 12:30 AM
In my view such a debate is pointless, for several reasons, the chief reason being that the premise itself is "Ours and Theirs", which is a mental construct.

My individual existence is an empiric fact as is yours and everyone else's.

Saying that the debate is pointless because we do not accept Oneness, when Oneness runs counter to one's experience and is not by any means obvious, seems rather silly. Especially considering that you were willing to discuss and debate before - so long as no one questioned your views.


And when already it has been decided that Kanchi Seer or Ramana Maharshi or Ramakrishna do not represent Hinduism.

Kanchi Seer does not represent "Hinduism." He represents Kanchi Math. Ramana Maharshi does not represent "Hinduism." He represents only his own sect of Hinduism. Ditto for Ramakrishna.

No one acharya represents "Hinduism" because Hinduism is an umbrella term encompassing a wide variety of religious doctrines. Acharyas represent their own sampradayas within the broader Hindu tradition.



Shri Krishna says in Gita that the truth is known in samadhi alone.


So if He really said that, then why was He trying to instruct Arjuna, who was not in samadhi?

And if He really said that, then why do you keep trying to debate your views here?

If truth can only be known in samadhi, then why do you only invoke this principle when someone starts scrutinizing your views on "truth?"

raghu_001
17 May 2009, 12:34 AM
In a recent post "A laugh", it came out that christians/jews themselves do not intepret their scripture in terms of spirit or experience of waking/dreams/deep sleep. They equate 'Dead Sea' (knowledge of which, according to old testament, does not let sun set again) as the physical dead sea. Similarly, Zion, which is said to give birth to nations and children instantaneously, is equated to a land and not to Aditi.

Those silly Christians. Obviously "Dead Sea" does not mean the physical Dead Sea. It means whatever we tell them it means. When are they going to finally realize that in order to know their religion, they have to come to enlightened Hindus like ourselves first?

atanu
17 May 2009, 12:59 AM
My individual existence is an empiric fact as is yours and everyone else's.

True. As empiric as the existence of few moments or few hours or few years.

Om

atanu
17 May 2009, 01:13 AM
Namaste Devotee.

There are members here in HDF who are Christians and Muslims at heart although they have professed to follow Sanatana Dharma. The point is that only we Hindus unnecessarily take up and extrapolate the Western scriptures, no Christian or Muslim would do it or even listen to our points. Why are we doing it? To educate the Christians and Muslims or is it due to the vulnerability (of Ahimsa taught by Buddha and Gandhi) in the modern Hindu psyche that unless we say, 'Look, the teachings of your and our religion are essentially the same, so leave us to ourselves"?.

Namaste saidevoji,

No one does any thing for any other. If it suits one to remember the differences in taste of a green chilly and a lemon and in the process forget or deny the one perceiver, then so be it.

There is no apparatus with ego to perceive anything. It is called fake asura right from the start in Hinduism. Once the Ego that has set the body as the boudary of ME is removed, then 'that other scripture and this scripture' are none but my inner being's consciousness.

This is the ultimate teaching of Sanatana Dharma. But, if we wish to go by what sensual pratayksha dictates, then let it be so. Dvaitins of all hues have always dominated with empirical talk and promise to end crises of the world by empirical ways. But these empirical ways have not solved any problem ever.

Else there would not be the scripture to advice us to inspect beneath the empirical view or to know the Atman.

May be I am talking irrelevant things.

Regards,

Om Namah Shivaya

saidevo
17 May 2009, 08:50 AM
Namaste Atanu.

Your points toward the Atman and Ishvara LIlA are well taken; at the same time, my limitations--or rather the limitations imposed on my part of the Absolute Self--require me to counter your points with these impressions, although these impressions are incorrect and born of ignorance:



No one does any thing for any other. If it suits one to remember the differences in taste of a green chilly and a lemon and in the process forget or deny the one perceiver, then so be it.


If it suits the Self the taste like the green chilly in one part but be more pleasing like lemon in another, and then watch and enjoy the tumultuous interaction of these two kinds of 'jIvas', what can the poor 'jIvas' do but debate against one another, playing the roles the Self has assigned to them?



Once the Ego that has set the body as the boudary of ME is removed, then 'that other scripture and this scripture' are none but my inner being's consciousness.


I can very well see that 'my scripture' facilitates such realization of the limiting Ego in me. How great would the world be if the adherents of 'these other scriptures' could also see on their own, the falsity of Ego, from the teachings of their own scriptures, rather than our having to goad them towards what they can't/don't readily see in their scriptures.

Sage RamakrishNa Paramahansa lived the life of a Christian and a Muslim for a short while as directed in their scriptures and found that he was able to obtain the same peace and bliss from them. But then he could do so, only after living the life of a Hindu, based on our scriptures. We are not even remotely like him, in mind or temperament; yet we know that our scriptures can make us Self-Realized souls if we have the will and the way; at our level, at least we discuss and talk about such provisions in our scriptures.

How many Christians and Muslims do we find in their popular forums on the Net or even here in HDF to talk about the provisions of 'sAdhana' in their scriptures, let alone live them? When such volume of hatred is let loose against the Hindus and Hinduism in their forums, among their clergy and possibly in private homes too, why do we Hindus need to extrapolate their scriptures, when we can learn from them nothing of what our own scriptures do not teach us.

We certainly do not need the Bible or the Quran to supplement/complement our Vedas and Upanishads. We certainly do not need to educate the followers of those religions with our own 'discoveries' in their scriptures, specially when they won't listen. And if we are grounded well in our own scriptures, there is certainly no possibility of our being vulnerable to adharmic influences. Thus it beats me as to why every third or fourth Hindu is involved in extrapolating the Abrahamic scriptures rather than discussing the lofty nuances of our own texts. (In fact, I am rather unhappy that a good percentage of my own repo points have been obtained by my posts on the Abrahamic religions.)



This is the ultimate teaching of Sanatana Dharma. But, if we wish to go by what sensual pratayksha dictates, then let it be so. Dvaitins of all hues have always dominated with empirical talk and promise to end crises of the world by empirical ways. But these empirical ways have not solved any problem ever.


Even as Advaitins at heart, we live most part of our life in Dvaita, and can't help it until we are sufficiently Self-Realized. In a sense, our life itself is empirical; our efforts towards sAdhana are empirical; empirical words and thoughts dominate our walking and dreaming lives; our deep sleep life is getting shorter and shorter because of our daily routine; and we scarcely, if at all, notice the 'turIya' moments in daily life, let alone live in them.

It is difficult for the characters in a play to watch their roles while they are in the play from the POV of the audience. All that is required of the character on the stage is to play his role well, even with the full knowledge that it is only a role.

atanu
17 May 2009, 10:04 AM
Namaste Atanu.

Your points toward the Atman and Ishvara LIlA are well taken; at the same time, my limitations--or rather the limitations imposed on my part of the Absolute Self--require me to counter your points with these impressions, although these impressions are incorrect and born of ignorance:

Namaste saidevoji,

Salutations. You speak of wisdom.


If it suits the Self the taste like the green chilly in one part but be more pleasing like lemon in another, and then watch and enjoy the tumultuous interaction of these two kinds of 'jIvas', what can the poor 'jIvas' do but debate against one another, playing the roles the Self has assigned to them?

You are correct that the burning of chilly is very real and one is bound to react. At the same time, Gita offers us: "---same in heat and cold ---". This however, does not preclude the right action.


I can very well see that 'my scripture' facilitates such realization of the limiting Ego in me. How great would the world be if the adherents of 'these other scriptures' could also see on their own, the falsity of Ego, from the teachings of their own scriptures, rather than our having to goad them towards what they can't/don't readily see in their scriptures.

This was my original point however. On death, the Jiva transforms to a new incarnation and on dissolution of ego, the Jiva attains its own nature, wherein the 'adherents of the other scripture' is known as a face of one's own Pragnya, which we know as infinite Sarvesvara.

IMO, we should not forget this highest teaching in the heat of burning of chilly on the tongue. If we forget it, the roles may be worse in the coming times.


Sage RamakrishNa Paramahansa lived the life of a Christian and a Muslim for a short while as directed in their scriptures and found that he was able to obtain the same peace and bliss from them. But then he could do so, only after living the life of a Hindu, based on our scriptures. We are not even remotely like him, in mind or temperament; yet we know that our scriptures can make us Self-Realized souls if we have the will and the way; at our level, at least we discuss and talk about such provisions in our scriptures.

How many Christians and Muslims do we find in their popular forums on the Net or even here in HDF to talk about the provisions of 'sAdhana' in their scriptures, let alone live them? When such volume of hatred is let loose against the Hindus and Hinduism in their forums, among their clergy and possibly in private homes too, why do we Hindus need to extrapolate their scriptures, when we can learn from them nothing of what our own scriptures do not teach us.

Agree fully.


We certainly do not need the Bible or the Quran to supplement/complement our Vedas and Upanishads. We certainly do not need to educate the followers of those religions with our own 'discoveries' in their scriptures, specially when they won't listen. And if we are grounded well in our own scriptures, there is certainly no possibility of our being vulnerable to adharmic influences. Thus it beats me as to why every third or fourth Hindu is involved in extrapolating the Abrahamic scriptures rather than discussing the lofty nuances of our own texts. (In fact, I am rather unhappy that a good percentage of my own repo points have been obtained by my posts on the Abrahamic religions.)

I agree fully, especially the highlighted part.


Even as Advaitins at heart, we live most part of our life in Dvaita, and can't help it until we are sufficiently Self-Realized. In a sense, our life itself is empirical; our efforts towards sAdhana are empirical; empirical words and thoughts dominate our walking and dreaming lives; our deep sleep life is getting shorter and shorter because of our daily routine; and we scarcely, if at all, notice the 'turIya' moments in daily life, let alone live in them.

It is difficult for the characters in a play to watch their roles while they are in the play from the POV of the audience. All that is required of the character on the stage is to play his role well, even with the full knowledge that it is only a role.

It is taught by the advaita master to begin by discriminating the real from the temporary. One Upanishad teaches: "It is grave danger if one fails to attain Brahman in this life".

Striving to attain Brahman, when it is burning chilly all around and the fragrant lemons have all but vanished, appears to be illogical and impractical. But the burning of the chilly may just be a test imposed to screen us for the next role?

That said, i agree "All that is required of the character on the stage is to play his role well, even with the full knowledge that it is only a role.", and having taken birth as a Hindu, preserving its tenets of goodness and helping to spread its fragrance is a valuable role.

Regards

Om Namah Shivaya

Znanna
17 May 2009, 04:32 PM
My individual existence is an empiric fact as is yours and everyone else's.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empirical

Emipiric fact is somewhat an oxymoron, IMO.

Thousands of "experiments" have led me to the opposite conclusion. How else to explain how I have witnessed events in multiple locations at the same time, or in multiple times at the same location? How else to explain being in more than one body at the same time, hearing seeing and feeling another?

The meatsack as a boundary is an illusion, an artifact of mind. It isn't necessary to support consciousness. To me, that's a fact.


...why do you keep trying to debate your views here?

If truth can only be known in samadhi, then why do you only invoke this principle when someone starts scrutinizing your views on "truth?"

Because knowledge (as opposed to truth) can be obtained by debate with this esteemed community, and knowledge allows for expansion of mind to make "truth" more approachable.

OM.


ZN


The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and goodwill shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. Ezekiel 25:17

raghu_001
17 May 2009, 10:36 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empirical

Emipiric fact is somewhat an oxymoron, IMO.

Thousands of "experiments" have led me to the opposite conclusion. How else to explain how I have witnessed events in multiple locations at the same time, or in multiple times at the same location? How else to explain being in more than one body at the same time, hearing seeing and feeling another?

Whatever you say, friend....

saidevo
17 May 2009, 10:45 PM
Namaste Atanu.

You have gracefully agreed to many of my observations here and elsewhere, although (as I know) they might be tinged with the colors of Ego and GuNas.



This was my original point however. On death, the Jiva transforms to a new incarnation and on dissolution of ego, the Jiva attains its own nature, wherein the 'adherents of the other scripture' is known as a face of one's own Pragnya, which we know as infinite Sarvesvara.


There is a law about the negotiable instruments in banking: "Once a bearer, always a bearer." That is, if it is the intention of the payee of a cheque that it should be paid to any bearer (holder) of it (by not crossing out the bearer clause in the cheque and by typically underlining and placing a tick mark after it), it always remains in that status so that any lawful holder of the check can encash it and the paying banker is discharged of his obligations towards the instrument."

Sub-section 2 to Section 85 of the Negotiable Instrument Act reads "Where a cheque is originally expressed to be payable to bearer, the drawee is discharged by payment in due course to the bearer thereof, notwithstanding any endorsement whether in full or blank appearing thereon and notwithstanding any such endorsement purports to restrict or exclude further negotiation."

Theosophy also loudly proclaims, "Once a man, always a man (in subsequent births)."

On these lines, I presumed, "Once a Hindu, always a Hindu (in subsequent births)." Now I know from your observation that even a Hindu needs to be careful in his perception lest he/she should suffer from ceasing to be a Hindu in later births.

In other words, 'the character' of a play on stage should not 'overact' his role!

atanu
22 May 2009, 01:15 AM
Namaste Friends,

Today morning, I had a longish discussion with a gentleman on the meaning of Sanatana Dharma. What he said struck a logical note. Sanatana Dharma is unoriginated, not bound to a particular time, place or personality. It is the immutable, which is mother of all other religious thoughts and religious gurus (personalities). It assimilates all but remains unchanged in essence.

Om Namah Shivaya