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mikehk2007
18 March 2006, 10:05 PM
some hindus declare themselves as secular and accept all religions lead on the same path. to me it doesn't sound right. how can two diametrically opposite paths can lead to the same destiny when one path leads to the dead end situation whereas the other path gives diverse routes to choose from to reach the destinations.

the christianity uneqivocally says that this is the only life time for you to either take it or leave it choice. so unless you accept jesus as your saviour, no matter how good or bad you live, you will be burning in hell for ever. on the other hand no matter what you do, if you accept jesus he forgives you and you are assured of 80*60 water front plot for in heaven.

whereas hindu dharma never profess such extreme case scenario of god. one think whateve you do to gratify your ends will definitely lead to karmic rewards. but good deeds and bhakti will lead you to a more spiritually enlightened birth which can ultimately lead you to the abode GOD.

so one religion says that God is going to abandon you for ever and ever if you don't do what a particular teaching says. whereas hindu dharma says not to unduly fear about death and it is only a transition stage of a long journey. every soul will sooner or later will reach the Godhead.
so how some hindus find both lead to the same destiny or same path is intriguing to me.

any way i can never buy that teaching which says god can be good upto a stage and beyond that he is the most unimaginable merciless horrifying entity.

nsrajan

Sudarshan
19 March 2006, 09:23 AM
The "all path valid" secularism is a nonsense.

Vedanta says that the only way to reach the divine is to know the divine. No short cuts. There is exactly one way - Find the way that leads to transcendedal knowledge of God, also termed the aparOxa. There aren't multiple ways nor there are quicker routes.

As most Hindus will agree, leading a disciplined and religeous life, coupled with proper discharge of duties, and constant and true devotion to the supreme God will ultimately lead to the goal. Other ways are not invalid, but probably circuitous ways. If there were short cuts as in Christianity, God could be deemed as partial to some people.

Since each of us and our souls have been present since eternity according to Sanatana Dharma, it should be obvious that moksha is no joke and only obtained through eons of spiritual practice. We still exist in the world because we have not succeeded in obtaining the true knowledge of God in any previous incarnation.

Regarding Christianity's claims on getting salvation by swallowing a pill that lead to moksa -

Does Christianity say that or is it the view of its followers? The bible is very clear that moksha is very rare and true Christians are very rare. Jesus was very consistant in his teachings and is clearly in tune with the vedas. Cant do much for followers interpreting their bible to their whims and fancies - all started by Paul & Co.

Namo Narayana
19 March 2006, 04:13 PM
NSrajan,

I think this way of thinking was introduced by nehruvian form of education. No american i have met agreed that all roads lead to Rome. It is just the indian education system blinded us from the very childhood.

sarabhanga
19 March 2006, 08:13 PM
Namaste Sudarshan,

Every spoke of a wheel leads directly to the one hub, even though it appears that some of them point in completely opposite directions!

Some apparent “spokes” may actually be mere stumps, cut off from the hub and (in effect) useless appendages or discarded fragments from the divine contraption, and if they are followed then the heart of the vortex will not be attained.

And even when following a true spoke, one must be sure to follow it in the correct direction ~ for every single path in reality travels in exactly two completely opposite directions, and only one of these leads to the source.

Apparently opposite paths may lead to exactly the same point in the end.
And just one defined path always ends at two exactly opposite destinations.

There are very many paths, but not all paths actually lead to God; and any true path (incorrectly followed) may equally be the quickest route to rebirth in Hell.

Sudarshan
20 March 2006, 03:54 AM
Yes. Following a "right way" incorrectly could be worse than following the "wrong way".

I am not sure analogies actually help to describe how the access to the summit of truth is. The spoke/wheel example may be incorrect. Some people use some analogy like many roads lead to the same mountain summit or all rivers end in the sea.

These are all based on speculations. We have to see what the scripture says in these matters. If not, one needs to be a jnanin himself to understand the position.

All paths cannot lead to the truth. For example, an atheist who reamains so birth after birth cannot ever know the truth. Similarly. people who deny God in anyway cannot know God as well - it is automatically implied.

When great sages have peformed penance with great devotion for thousands of years and followed this up over many yugas, one needs to understand that spirituality should be taken seriously. The prescribed religeous duties must be performed. Constant devotion and faith are a must and must be nurtered both consciously and unconsciously. There is certainly significant effort involved in the process if the puranas are any proof. There is no doubt that one needs to elevate himself to the level of the greatest sages we read about, before mukti is attained. In this context, it is very important to beleive in the path one is following. Only such a beleif can keep one steadfast. Half baked beleifs only lead to half hearted attempts.

Beleiving "many paths are valid" can lead you to be a little complacent and be less disciplined. If shastras are any evidence, only the person who succeeds in knowing the Brahman can break free the bondage. The interim paths to the truth may be many, but the final path is only one, which in Sri Ramanuja's words is Bhakti Yoga with prapatti. Rest of the ways are just considered as "purificatory" or preliminary processes leading to this path, and goal.

sarabhanga
14 May 2006, 03:10 AM
A Book Review by Yoginder Sikand


Forcing God's Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture and Destruction of Planet Earth
by Grace Halsell [Amana Publications]


Although rarely talked about in the media, Christian fundamentalism has witnessed a frightening expansion in recent years.

Christian fundamentalism is based on the belief that Christianity alone represents the truth. All other religions are alleged to be false and even Satanic and their followers are said to be destined for hell.

Today, Christian fundamentalism is a major power to reckon with in America. President Bush is himself a fervent Christian fundamentalist, as are several of his top advisors and a large number of Republican Party members. Numerous Christian fundamentalist mega-missionary agencies based in America and Europe are working in poverty-stricken countries of the world spreading their literalist, hate-driven version of Christianity and have made considerable headway in gaining converts.

Because of the vast resources at its disposal and its close links with Western (particularly American) officialdom, Christian fundamentalism is a far more menacing form of religious fundamentalism, so this remarkable book argues.

Halsell, a noted American author, an expert on Christian cults, and speech writer for the former American President Lyndon Johnson, insists that Christian evangelist fundamentalists are a major threat to humanity because they actively and aggressively promote a global war that would engulf the entire world and drive it to total destruction.

As their version of Christianity would have it, Jesus is returning soon, but before that terrible events will take place, the like of which the world has never seen before.

The Anti-Christ will rule the world and will seek to destroy Israel. This will be accompanied by massive bloodshed all over the world, followed by the final global war of Armageddon.

Then, Jesus will descend to earth, slay the Anti-Christ and all those who do not believe in Jesus and the monopolistic claims of Christianity, and will sit on a throne in Jerusalem to rule the world forever.

In some versions of the story, just before the global war begins all righteous Christians will be miraculously lifted up to heaven, leaving the rest of humanity to be killed and then to suffer eternal damnation in hell.

Halsell insists that Christian fundamentalism is a call to and appeal for global war. She also talks of the fiercely pro-capitalist thrust of Christian fundamentalists and the racist underpinnings of their theology.

Halsell tells us that advocates of what she calls "Armageddon Theology" are a major section of the American population. More than a quarter of American adults are Christian evangelist fundamentalists, she claims.

These are not simply the 'crazies' one often associates with various American cults. Several American Presidents, including the present one, have been sympathizers or passionate supporters of aggressive Christian fundamentalism.

A central pillar of Christian fundamentalism is the defence of Israel, and Halsell devotes much of her book to this. She argues that consistent American support to Israel and Israeli aggression has much to do with the enormous clout of the Christian right-wing in American policy-making circles.

The US Treasury, she says, is the largest source of funding to extremist Jewish groups like the Gush Emunim and to organizations engaged in the building of illegal Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories.

From 1949 to 1995, US taxpayers gave a total of $ 62.5 billion to Israel as foreign aid. Israel, one of the world's smallest countries, with a population less than that of Hong Kong, receives as much American foreign aid as all the countries of the Caribbean, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa combined, working out to an average of more than $ 14,000 per Israeli.

American Christian Zionist fundamentalists, Halsell tells us, have established very close links with American and Israeli Jewish organizations and with Israeli leaders. This support to Israel and the Zionist agenda has, however, nothing to do with any genuine love for the Jews and does not represent a marked departure from the Church's historical opposition to the Jews. Rather, it all has to do with the bizarre Christian fundamentalist theory of the end of the world.

According to this thesis, the end of the world is drawing near, and Jesus' second coming is round the corner. But for this to happen, Jews living elsewhere in the world must be settled in Israel, and the dream of Greater Israel, stretching from Egypt to Iraq be made real.

The Jews must rebuild their temple, which allegedly stood on the spot presently occupied by the al-Aqsa mosque. Hence, numerous Christian fundamentalist organizations are generously funding Jewish efforts to settle Jews in Palestine, clearing Palestine of the Arabs, egging on Western governments to attack and destroy Arab countries opposed to Israel and assisting extremist Jewish organizations who advocate the destruction of the Al-Qasa mosque, even though if that were to happen the chances of a Third World War would be immeasurably closer than ever in the past.

Rather than this representing any sort of sincere support for the Jews, Halsell says, it represents a new form of anti-Semitism, because Christian fundamentalists believe that once Jesus returns to the world all Jews, along with all other non-Christians who do not agree to believe in Christianity, would be slain and then sent off to eternal damnation in Hell.

Haslell concludes this remarkable book with a warning that Christian fundamentalism, in league with the American establishment, poses the gravest danger to world peace and even to Christianity itself.

Given the enormous clout of the Christian fundamentalist lobby in America and elsewhere, the media's silence on the global threat that it poses needs to be interrogated as implicit complicity and reflecting a long tradition of Western Christian racism that continues to thrive today in different guises.

The terrorist mission of Jesus stated in the Christian Bible:
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not so send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. [Matthew 10:34-36]

TruthSeeker
14 May 2006, 04:29 AM
These are not actually different from the events described in the Kalki Purana. The Anti Christ (Satan) they describe is called Kali in Kalki Purana. His generals Gog and Magog, are seen in Kalki Purana as Kok and Bikok.

Similarly, Jesus is seen described as riding a white horse and which Hindu can miss the association with Kalki avatar? There are just too many similarities, and anyone reading the Book of Revelations and the Kalki Purana can find out.

To me, Kalki Purana is not just future history but beautifuly describes the Itihasa of Kali Yuga - the transition of a non Yogi into a Yogi, which is the first phase of Self realization.

Singhi Kaya
14 May 2006, 07:10 AM
The cult of kalki seems to be the most accepted theme of hinduism in all religions:) .
Maitreya Budda in buddhism-->predates modern kalki theory of hinduism??
Come back of christ in christianity
Imam mahadi (Mr president of Iran thinks himself as one of mahadi's agents:rolleyes: ) in Shiaah Islam
Not sure if there is any other variants~haven't heard anything in sunni islam.

willie
14 May 2006, 10:24 PM
Seem like everytime things get rough someone drags up this old second comming thing. Well lets look at it.

A lot of fundamental organizations are bankrupt. The leaders are in disfavor and most of the fundamentalists don't really like what the president or his policys.

So I have not noticed any open warfare on jews in america. I have not heard of this oddball idea of paying for jews the go back to isreal and force gods. And the jew I have talked to say that such things are very rare and most could not name anyone who had been approached. Mostly it works in reverse, jews go to israel because it is easier to come to america from there.

Sure israel gets a lot of aid from america because it is a stable governement in area and they share a lot of intelligence with the US.

I have not heard or mount arat splitting, which is suppost to happen on the second comming.

Lots of jews send money to israel to family member there, but so do cubans and most of the illegal mexicans.

This whole idea is a little thin on facts and long or speculation.

Devibhakta
18 May 2006, 11:51 AM
I'm coming in a little late to this thread, but just wanted to comment on something that was offered above, the "all roads lead to Rome" or "all religions are basically the same." My own belief is that all religions tend towards the same center, but what brings one closer and closer to the center is reincarnation. Obviously, Christianity cannot act like a train, dropping their faithful off at the moksha station. The Christians have to transfer to other trains that take them farther along the path, doing so repeatedly until they arrive there. So, if I am going by train from NewYork to Los Angeles, at some point my whole intention might be just to get to Philadelphia, then my main interest would be to get to St. Louis, and so on until Los Angeles is in sight.

vedic_kings
18 May 2006, 03:18 PM
I'm coming in a little late to this thread, but just wanted to comment on something that was offered above, the "all roads lead to Rome" or "all religions are basically the same." My own belief is that all religions tend towards the same center, but what brings one closer and closer to the center is reincarnation. Obviously, Christianity cannot act like a train, dropping their faithful off at the moksha station. The Christians have to transfer to other trains that take them farther along the path, doing so repeatedly until they arrive there. So, if I am going by train from NewYork to Los Angeles, at some point my whole intention might be just to get to Philadelphia, then my main interest would be to get to St. Louis, and so on until Los Angeles is in sight.
This is my view as well.

Christianity is like the beginning or basic, which is faith, and is very much a dead end religion in it self.

So I feel Chirstianity is un-complete, and has really nothing to offer other then a simple belief in a person called Jesus.

The one thing that is a turnoff for me, is that christianity has no tools, I like to call it, to understand oneself, like yoga.

Gill Harley
20 May 2006, 07:20 PM
I'd just like to share something here that I'm hope others will find relevant to this subject.

When I was two years old, the Queen of England was crowned and to celebrate it, all young toddlers in Britain, like myself were presented with a maroon leather New Testament. My mother, not being overtly religious but also not wanting to throw something away that had been given to her by the Queen, put it in her bedside cabinet. Of course, as a two-year old, I didn't know anything about it.

I used to be put to bed in my mother's bed, and then carried into my own bed several hours later, when I'd fallen asleep. One day, when I was about seven years old, I couldn't get to sleep and so I rummaged around and - lo and behold! - found this book.

I didn't know what it was, or even that it was mine. I assumed it was my mother's. But I just wanted something to read and so I started reading it, from the beginning and very quickly realised that I found the stories about this Jesus fellow absolutely fascinating, especially those in Luke for some reason. So I used to fall asleep with Jesus's teachings swirling around my head, and I used to think and dream to myself how wonderful it would be to know such a man and to be so close to this loving God the Father he always talked about.

I started going to the Christian church soon after that, but I very quickly became disillusioned with it for all the obvious reasons. So for many years, I rejected all thoughts of God and religion until luckily, the Sixties came along and the Beatles, who I adored, went to India and started practising meditation. I immediately thought that this was a very good idea, and by the time I was 20, I had my own Indian guru.

The story takes many twists and turns from then on, but - long story short - I now have another guru (Sathya Sai Baba) and I feel well on the way to God realisation.

Anyway, a few months ago someone asked me how I first got interested in God, and I then remembered about the maroon leather New Testament. A few days later, I asked my mother about it. I said "Do you remember that maroon leather New Testament you used to have?"

She said that she still had it, and went to her bedroom and rummaged around a bit, and then came out and handed it to me.

It was then that I opened it and saw, for the first time, what was written on the flyleaf. It said "Presented to Gillian Evans by the Parish and People of Dunton Green to mark the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2nd June 1953. "

That was the first I knew that that New Testament had been presented to me, and that it was mine and not my mother's.

When I got home, I put it on my altar to Sai Baba. Then I cried... with joy and relief as the realisation washed over me like a shower of Grace that even when I was two years old, God was making sure that I was getting the sort of input to instill in me the correct desire, so that one day, I would find the right path to him.

I'm telling this story because this whole lila that was played out with me, over a space of 50 years, taught me that my journey to God was in-hand all along, even when I was two years old, and that so long as my intentions were sincere, I would be led in the correct direction.

I'm so grateful for that! :)

elijah115
06 June 2006, 04:33 PM
You story was quite interested and reminds me how impossible it is fathom how or why God works the way He does. I also felt sorry when you said you got disillusioned from going to church. I go to church because I want to worship God, be reminded what I have forgotten or ignored, and to learn about social activities I can help with. At the moment, I couldn't envisage not going to church because I have friends there, help out secondary school kids with tutoring there, have people around who inspire me to continuously want to be better and want more for others, and because I am reminded why the world is so screwed up sometimes. I am also planning to start helping them out with prison ministry, helping the poor, networking with other charities, praying more and expand the amount of mentoring I do with younger people. What has been your experience with the church? Would ever like to take on some of the activities I mentioned I am interested in? Personally speaking, I go to church to get a to do list for the following week. I don't always meet or recall these targets, but it's a slow and onward struggle.

Gill Harley
06 June 2006, 06:04 PM
hello Elijah

It's very kind of you, but there's no need to be sorry or sad about my disillusionment with church. I learnt a valuable life lesson from all this - and that is that it doesn't matter whether we belong to a church, a mosque, a temple or a synagoge or none of those. What matters is that we come to know and Love God and serve and love him through all other human beings.

The other thing that I was trying to get over by sharing that story about my early life was that I realised, when I recently received my New Testament which was first given to me when I was two years old, that God had been taking care of my spiritual progress all along, even to the extent that He arranged for a book of wonderful stories about Him to be the last thing I read at night as soon as I was old enough to read, despite the fact that I'd been born into a family of atheists.

My belief is that if we think that it's entirely up to us to get ourselves to God realisation, it is just our egos telling us that. And the egos are the things that have separated us from God in the first place - well, that and the extraneous trappings and various priestly hierarchies of a myriad of religions who want to act as our middlemen. We don't need any middlemen. That's my experience anyway.

But thank you for your interest. :)

elijah115
07 June 2006, 10:51 AM
hello Elijah

It's very kind of you, but there's no need to be sorry or sad about my disillusionment with church. I learnt a valuable life lesson from all this - and that is that it doesn't matter whether we belong to a church, a mosque, a temple or a synagoge or none of those. What matters is that we come to know and Love God and serve and love him through all other human beings.

The other thing that I was trying to get over by sharing that story about my early life was that I realised, when I recently received my New Testament which was first given to me when I was two years old, that God had been taking care of my spiritual progress all along, even to the extent that He arranged for a book of wonderful stories about Him to be the last thing I read at night as soon as I was old enough to read, despite the fact that I'd been born into a family of atheists.

My belief is that if we think that it's entirely up to us to get ourselves to God realisation, it is just our egos telling us that. And the egos are the things that have separated us from God in the first place - well, that and the extraneous trappings and various priestly hierarchies of a myriad of religions who want to act as our middlemen. We don't need any middlemen. That's my experience anyway.

But thank you for your interest. :)

I happen to agree, although I don't know any priests (E.O.), vicars (Anglican), fathers (Catholic) or elders (Penecostal or evangelical), who want to or claim ot be middlemen. Just my experience. Though it doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Gill Harley
14 June 2006, 09:12 AM
I happen to agree, although I don't know any priests (E.O.), vicars (Anglican), fathers (Catholic) or elders (Penecostal or evangelical), who want to or claim ot be middlemen. Just my experience. Though it doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

That's interesting. My view is based on Christian clerics that I've known, or known about. But of the ones you know, Elijah, how do you think they see their roles?

Znanna
14 June 2006, 08:52 PM
John 14:10 (http://www.htmlbible.com/kjv30/B43C014.htm#V10)Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
John 14:20 (http://www.htmlbible.com/kjv30/B43C014.htm#V20)At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.



Namaste,
ZN

satay
14 June 2006, 09:50 PM
Namaste,
ZN

namaste,
gospel of John makes Jesus sounds like a confirmed advaitan! Most fundamentalist christians do not read john as we hindu do.

saidevo
06 September 2006, 07:35 AM
Namaste.

To have an idea of the reach of tentacles of the missionary activities visit this link:
http://www.worldmap.org/

The very URL of the site is sinuous: the world is all theirs! A warning and a lesson to us Hindus, I think.

Sudarshan
07 September 2006, 10:09 AM
Namaste.

To have an idea of the reach of tentacles of the missionary activities visit this link:
http://www.worldmap.org/

The very URL of the site is sinuous: the world is all theirs! A warning and a lesson to us Hindus, I think.

That is indeed very good. The whole world is a family, and this is a good move.:)

The only problem with this family is that I need to believe in a myth to be a member, and must have the capability to make others believe in the myth.;)