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Sahasranama
26 September 2010, 08:01 AM
Radical Universalism

Does Hinduism Teach That All Religions Are The Same? A Philosophical Critique of Radical Universalism


By Dr. Frank Morales, Ph.D. (Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya)

http://www.dharmacentral.com/universalism.htm

I opened this thread, because the subject is comming up in other discussion. Here's a place to discuss the subject of radical universalism.

Please refrain from personal attacks to people participating in this discussion, don't make this a smear campaign against any acharya and please don't cloud this thread with unrelated posts about other subjects. Try to make yourself clear without belittling anyone participating in the discussion. I hope we can carry on this discussion maturely. If there was any tension between participants, please forget about it and start fresh.

atanu
26 September 2010, 08:29 AM
In this case I'd agree more with David Frawley and Koenraad Elst. But the point in the other threads wasn't to discuss Dr. Morales as a person with all his opinions, the discussion was limited to the concept of Radical Universalism.

Namaste sahasranama

Can you kindly define the term Radical Universalism for me? What you understand by the term? Also kindly educate me (because i am not aware) as to who else other than Frank Morales has used this term to describe Hindu teachers (and to belittle them)?

In advance, I say that the following two statements are not same:

"all religions are the same ----", which is held by Dr. Frank Morales as Radical Universalism that Hindu sages have taught. Morales has created a false impression. No Hindu teacher has taught "all religions are the same ----". (If you disagree on this then show me evidence of any hindu teacher saying ""all religions are the same ----").

vs.

"God is One and His redeeming purpose is universal in scope --", this as per me is held by Veda followers. However, it is against the churchian concept that only Jesus will redeem. That God's redeeming role as teacher/guru is universal is staunchly opposed by political leaders of church.

Om Namah Shivaya

Note: Let us clarify our positions clearly.

atanu
26 September 2010, 08:43 AM
Friends

If one goes deeper, one will find that actually the Universalism of Hinduism, as taught by Kanchi Paramacharya that God redeems universally (which is in contrast to the Christian position that God redeems only those who put their faith on Jesus -- a mere name), is actually vehemently opposed by Churchians.

http://www.banneroftruth.org/pages/articles/article_detail.php?439

Kindly read the article "The Banner of Truth", fully and patiently to differentiate between the inclusive and exclusive views.

The article begins with a question:



it is argued that if God's redeeming purpose is universal in scope, why should we any longer accept Christianity's arrogant claim to be the one true religion?


And ends up with a conclusion as below:




4. BIBLICAL UNIVERSALISM.
In contrast to these erroneous forms of universalism, the Bible teaches a true universalism. It repeatedly states that God's saving purpose is universal in scope in that the 'elect from every nation' are embraced by it. As Geerhardus Vos says in his Biblical Theology, even the particularism of the Old Testament merely serves and leads up to the universalism of the New. Hence John 3.16, both misunderstood and misapplied by Arminians, refers to the truth that God's love for our corrupt world (and not merely for the Jews) is so great that He is willing to save whoever believes on Christ from any and every part of it.


If Christ is only a God of Christians of a limited form sitting on a throne, and not the universal all pervading Brahman, then the above is a dangerous concept.

In contrast, Veda simply says that the Truth is One.

Om Namah Shivaya

Note: I request humbly that let keep away sarcasm.

Sahasranama
26 September 2010, 09:11 AM
Namaste sahasranama

Can you kindly define the term Radical Universalism for me? What you understand by the term? Also kindly educate me (because i am not aware) as to who else other than Frank Morales has used this term to describe Hindu teachers (and to belittle them)?

The term radical universalism refers to the belief that all paths will lead to the same goal. The mountain metaphor has been given by Dr. Morales which was orignally a story from Ramana Maharshi if I am right. Radical Universalist believe that all religions are paths on the same mountain leading to the same goal.

atanu
26 September 2010, 09:25 AM
Deleted

Sahasranama
26 September 2010, 09:34 AM
All religions are the same should be understood in the context of the article, that all religions are worshipping the same god and everyone will also reach the same god if their effort is sincere. How that happens are just details, that's the radical universalist standpoint.

atanu
26 September 2010, 09:39 AM
Deleted

Sahasranama
26 September 2010, 09:44 AM
You have to understand that statement in the context of the article in the sense that all paths will lead to the same goal and everyone is worshipping the same god. This is the point that the article is trying to make.

saidevo
26 September 2010, 11:22 AM
namaste everyone.

I wonder how and why Sahasranama reads his own definition of the term 'Radical Universalism' that

"All religions are the same should be understood in the context of the article, that all religions are worshipping the same god and everyone will also reach the same god if their effort is sincere. How that happens are just details, that's the radical universalist standpoint." (post no.7)

into Frank Morales' proclaimed and clear-cut of definition of Raducal Universalism as "All Religions Are The Same" right from the title throughout the article. It is with this definition that he proceeds to analysize its 'fallacies' in the article, in an effort to equate social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy with the Self-realized sages Ramakrishna and Vivekananda.

As against this definition of Morales, the key phrases 'same god' and 'sincere effort' in Sahasranama's definition above are not at all found in Morales' article! To be more precise, the phrase 'same god', and the words 'sincere' and 'efforts' are not at all mentioned, although the words 'sincerely' and 'efforts' are used in different contexts!

Therefore, it is indisputable, that the definition of RU that Frank Morales takes up for discussion and burdens it on some Hindu gurus as their own teachings is: All Religions Are The Same.

That established, it is shocking to think how lazy and indifferent we Hindus are! Without reading the realized teachings of our gurus which are often in our mother tongue, we take up academic and intellectual interpretations of Western scholars and pass it on to our own children, with the result that the child strays away from Hindu Dharma and becomes easy target for conversion, and worse, blames it on its parents: 'You only taught me that all religions are the same!" (http://anand-vsiyer.blogspot.com/)

Who is the Radical Universalist here, Hindu gurus or careless Hindu parents? In fact, what we should teach our children when such queries about Abrahmic religions come forth is that:

• All religions are not the same, although they all say that God is One.

• Our AchAryas DO NOT teach that all religions are the same as some mischievous people try to make you believe. All they teach is that God is the same, named differently in different religions, and people of all faiths worship only one God, although the names and ways and means differ. God accepts all worship done with sincerity, and grants the material and spiritual desires of people to the extent they aspire for it.

• Our traditional Hindu Dharma is the most comprehensive religion suited for all people with different mental makeup. Here you can worship One Formless God, or his many names and forms--as One God, Many Gods, Male and Female Gods, Gods in the form of Divine Children, one or many of them,--all in different ways and still get your material and spiritual desires granted, provided you follow the Hindu Dharma.

• Our Hindu Dharma and the Abrahamic religions can never be the same because we believe in karma and rebirth, therfore, many lives and deaths for the human soul; whereas they believe in only one life and one death, after which every soul goes to either eternal heaven or eternal hell. Our rebirth concept gives the erring souls repeated chances to correct any misdeeds, reform itself, advance spiritually, and get liberated, whereas in their religions a soul is either liberated or doomed for eternity after one life. Therefore, how can our AchAryas, who always stress these things in their talks, teach that Hindu Dharma and Abrahamic religions are the same?

*****

During the colonial rule in India, Western Indologists closed down our classical education system, corrupted our scriptures and minds with a Christian Agenda. Today, some people under the pretext/notion of spreading Hinduism across the globe,

fervently try to corrupt the teachings of some of our revered and Self-Realized Hindu gurus by superficial interpretation or reckless misinterpretion,

and wean gullible young Hindu minds from the Hindu legacy, culture and tradition.

It is high time that native Hindus and the Hindu diaspora educate themselves and their children about the teachings of traditional Hindu Dharma and be aware of the negative forces that constantly try to besiege us.

Ganeshprasad
26 September 2010, 01:27 PM
Pranam all

I am no universalistic I feel certain so called religion in their present form or inception were born out of violence and knows no other means to talk to the world. They were the cause of misery for thousand year for the follower of Hindu dharma and continue to be, on that back we can understand why so many of us feel the way we do, why give them an inch.

But what language do the Gurus speak if not of love. After all a sadhu should see a dog, dog eater cow and brahmana with equal vision so it is no surprise if asked about other religion they would only see good in it.



The term radical universalism refers to the belief that all paths will lead to the same goal. .




How is this any difference from what lord Krishna says;

ye yatha mam prapadyante
tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
mama vartmanuvartante
manusyah partha sarvasah

All of them--as they surrender unto Me--I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha.4.11

Here is the biggest universalism, so if the guru echoes the same message we should not get perturbed.instead we should use the power of vivek.

Some paths are straight some crooked and some in complete opposite direction, only that eventually all will lead to that eternal truth.
This journey is arduous make no mistake, if I know that, the guru certainly knows if he advocate universal path he only does so for the good of all the jivas, if I am a vegetarian because of my Karuna he certainly is more compensate then I am.


Lord Krishna also says that those who worship him will go to him but those who worship devas will go to them and so on.
He further says,
urdhvam gacchanti sattva-stha
madhye tisthanti rajasah
jaghanya-guna-vrtti-stha
adho gacchanti tamasah
Those situated in the mode of goodness gradually go upward to the higher planets; those in the mode of passion live on the earthly planets; and those in the mode of ignorance go down to the hellish worlds.14.18
 
Are these facts missed on the Gurus who say all path lead to the same God? No because every destination will reveal new truth until the final destination is reached, I have not heard of gurus saying all religions are same but respect off it all, has been misread by many gullible hindus as they are all the same, that fact can not be ignored and should be corrected.

I do not know who Frank Morales is, certainly has no right to malign our traditional gurus if I read Saidevo and Atanu correctly.

Jai Shree Krishna

yajvan
26 September 2010, 01:34 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté

I have read this article by by Dr. Frank Morales, Ph.D, but did not study it. I found there where some interesting points offered that were tangential to the conversation but will leave them for another time.


Overall I have opinions on these various matters given by Dr. Frank Morales, Ph.D but have not formed conclusions except one
that continued in my head while reading this article: A hymn from ṛg (rig) veda I.164.46, and ṛṣi dīrghatamas. He informs us:

indraṃ mitraṃ varuṇamaghnimāhuratho divyaḥ sa suparṇo gharutmān |
ekaṃ sad viprā bahudhā vadantyaghniṃ yamaṃ mātariśvānamāhuḥ ||
If I may let me pick-out the most salient point. The key words here are ekaṃ sad viprā bahudhā. It says, Truth (sad - existence , essence, Brahman) is One ( ekaṃ ), the sages (vipra - ṛṣi-s) call it variously (bahudhā).

The Supreme is so great so encompassing there is no thing that It is not; Hence It is śiva, kṛṣṇa, pārvatī, śakti, maha-viṣṇu, bharava, bharavi, etc. - all of the most high, most adored devatā , Divine and īśvara ( Great Lord) that resides within our community. This Supreme is not exhausted, never constrained, no limits what so ever - perfectly Supreme and independent.
For this you will see multiple views and opinions of one's most adored Lord form many views and religions.

For us humans that wish to parse out this or that, it seems so trifling. How so?
All religions are the same is like saying all cars are the same. When one looks through the lense of 'transportation' then cars are the same , no?
Yet when looks from a different angle, at the individual level, a BMW is not a Toto nor is a Hummer a Volkswagen.
Hence this Radical Universalism perhaps may be a good academic argument , yet IMHO it adds little spiritual value to my understanding.

praṇām

Sahasranama
26 September 2010, 01:50 PM
Our AchAryas DO NOT teach that all religions are the same as some mischievous people try to make you believe. All they teach is that God is the same, named differently in different religions, and people of all faiths worship only one God, although the names and ways and means differ. God accepts all worship done with sincerity, and grants the material and spiritual desires of people to the extent they aspire for it.

"And the Lord, appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. And he lift up his eyes and looked and , lo, three men stood by him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them form the tent door, and bowed himself towards the ground. And said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant . let a little water I pray you, be fetched, and washed your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on; for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, so do, as thou hast said., Make ready quickly there measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man and hasted to dress it. And he took butter and mild, and he calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat."

Here it is clearly stated in the Bible that the biblical god eats calf meat. This cannot be the same God as Krishna. One is gopala and the other is a go mamsa bhakshi. Muslims very sincerly worship Allah by sacrificing cows. According to the vedas this is mahapapam and will definitely not lead to the same result as following Dharma. They may be very sincere, but they are sincerely wrong according to the vedic view of life.


All religions are not the same, although they all say that God is One.

One of the problems of Radical Universalism is that people are imposed to follow a judeo-christian view of world religions. Not all religions say that God is one. European pagans for example believe in many gods. One might argue that such religions have become very rare, but that's only due to the violence of Islam and Christianity. It is not true that all religions say that God is one. Hinduism says that "God is One, but manifests in different forms." God manifest in different forms, but not in imaginary forms made up by the prophets of semetic religions. The semetic religions are not talking about the same entity as the Hindu concept of Ishvara when they are talking about God.

Sahasranama
26 September 2010, 02:03 PM
indraṃ mitraṃ varuṇamaghnimāhuratho divyaḥ sa suparṇo gharutmān |
ekaṃ sad viprā bahudhā vadantyaghniṃ yamaṃ mātariśvānamāhuḥ ||
If I may let me pick-out the most salient point. The key words here are ekaṃ sad viprā bahudhā. It says, Truth (sad - existence , essence, Brahman) is One ( ekaṃ ), the sages (vipra - ṛṣi-s) call it variously (bahudhā).

Namaskar Yajvan ji,

Vipra the rishis, we can exclude Muhammed, Abraham or Jesus from the title rishi, yogi or vipra. They were not vedic seers, therefore Hinduism doesn't accept them as having any kind of authority on spiritual matters. Their delusions cannot define the nature of Ishvara. In my previous post I have given the example of the biblical god coming down and eating calve's meat. This imaginary figure is not a manifestation of Brahman in the same sense as Shiva or Vishnu are manifestations of Brahman.

yajvan
26 September 2010, 02:37 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté sahastanama,



Vipra the rishis, we can exclude Muhammed, Abraham or Jesus from the title rishi, yogi or vipra. They were not vedic seers, therefore Hinduism doesn't accept them as having any kind of authority on spiritual matters.


I am in hopes that you did not see my grouping these people in with our ṛṣi-s correct?

praṇām

Sahasranama
26 September 2010, 02:46 PM
Namaskar Yajvan ji,

That's correct. What I was saying is that if we accepted Allah or Jahweh as manifestations of Brahman, next to Mitra, Varuna, Indra, Agni etc who were revealed by vedic seers, we would be accepting Muhammed, Jesus and Abraham as rishis. They supposedly were the people who propheted this semetic God. But we cannot accept these people as rishis. Therefore this mantra from the rig veda cannot prove that the God from Islam, Christianity or Judaism is the same as the Vedic god.

atanu
26 September 2010, 03:18 PM
Here ends the critique of Frank Morales critique of so-called Radical Universalism from

The Sword of Kali
Reply to "A Philosophical Critique of Radical Universalism"
by Chittaranjan Naik

http://www.boloji.com/hinduism/101.htm

The series is a long one. The interested readers may read it at leisure or it may just be here for record. Shri Naik, IMO, is Masterly.

Om Namah Shivaya

yajvan
26 September 2010, 05:17 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté sahasranama,


What I was saying is that if we accepted Allah or Jahweh as manifestations of Brahman, next to Mitra, Varuna, Indra, Agni etc who were revealed by vedic seers, we would be accepting Muhammed, Jesus and Abraham as rishis.

This is a finer point and I am hopes it does not cause angst or confusion - all this is indeed brahman, say the wise.

It does not discriminate between hindu, christian, jew, etc. Everything seen and unseen , finite and infinite is brahman.
So what is different is how other regions view the truth, their POV, their orientation. What am I to do about this?

I must take my lead from Kṛṣṇa ( some prefer Kṛṣṇ) as he mentions in the bhāgavad gītā - let not the wise create division in the minds of the ignorant, do not find faults, better is death in one's own dharma then in the dharma of another. All these items are part of chapter 3.

What does this say to me ? How am I to try and change the outlook of another who chooses a different religion other then sanātana dharma? How may I convince them of brahman? Even within sanātana dharma there are those that see duality, some see unity, others see a combination of both ( dual-non-dual) views of the Supreme.
One can only be there when asked to explain the truth as one knows to the best of thier ability or as one was taught.
I cannot fault another religion - I also do not have to follow their lead.

praṇām

Sahasranama
26 September 2010, 07:46 PM
It does not discriminate between hindu, christian, jew, etc. Everything seen and unseen , finite and infinite is brahman.
So what is different is how other regions view the truth, their POV, their orientation. What am I to do about this?We have to respect their free choice of religion. The question is "do the vedas teach about the same God as the bible and the koran and will the sadhana from Christianity and Islam lead to the same goal as following Sanatana Dharma?" Is sacrificing a cow to Allah equal to doing a yajna for example, looking at the results if the work is done with sincerity?


I must take my lead from Kṛṣṇa ( some prefer Kṛṣṇ) as he mentions in the bhāgavad gītā - let not the wise create division in the minds of the ignorant, do not find faults, better is death in one's own dharma then in the dharma of another. All these items are part of chapter 3.But who is wise and who is ignorant? If someone uses that as an argument in a discussion for not being open about the truth to someone, that would mean that the person assumes that he is wise and the other person is ignorant. If I am correct, the shloka you are talking about refers to the performance of karma, rather than philosophical discussion.

Let not the wise disrupt the minds of the ignorant who are attached to fruitive action, they should not be encouraged to refrain from work, but to engage in work in the spirit of devotion. (3,26)

yajvan
26 September 2010, 08:45 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté sahasranama,

Let see if I can answer your responses in a reasonable manner.


We have to respect their free choice of religion. The question is "do the vedas teach about the same God as the bible and the koran and will the sadhana from Christianity and Islam lead to the same goal as following Sanatana Dharma?" Is sacrificing a cow to Allah equal to doing a yajna for example, looking at the results if the work is done with sincerity?

Yes, I agree - respect their choices. I can only offer conjecture about suggesting or comparing if the biblical Lord = the vedic Lord. Why do I say this ? Because of the acts one does based upon the scriptures they read. I am no expert on the Islamic or Christian faith so I cannot answer in a comfortable or confident way.

you offer,


But who is wise and who is ignorant? If someone uses that as an argument in a discussion for not being open about the truth to someone, that would mean that the person assumes that he is wise and the other person is ignorant. If I am correct, the shloka you are talking about refers to the performance of karma, rather than philosophical discussion.

We are always open about the truth. I do not comprehend the second part of your point that you make so I will need to think it though.

Let me say this about the offer of kṛṣṇa's words in the bhāgavad gītā.
My point or orientation was that of dharma and actions. Lets say you have a higher sense of the truth, your comprehension and hence your actions are different. Your views of reality may be more advanced then another. This 'other' person is best suited in following his/her dharma says kṛṣṇa. So when it comes to the notion of religion it is best we ( I ) let the Christians follow their path even if we think it's 'lesser in merit'. That was my point.

Now if a conversation comes up between you and a Christian do we speak the truth? Of this there is no doubt. Yet one has to find common ground for the conversation to be fruitful as I see it.
There are many different points , 'what if' and caveats to this conversation. I am sure they can be addressed if there's interest - I can think of 2:
1. What if the other person's way is just wrong?
2. What is my obligation to sanātana dharma to change another's POV?

I think this can be left for another time as I choose not to derail ( any more then I have done already) the discussion at hand of radical universalism.

I think your questions have merit and you are thinking clearly about this whole matter - thank you for the rational questions and the time you have spent in this string.

praṇām

BryonMorrigan
26 September 2010, 11:44 PM
A few points:

1. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are not "Western religions." They all come from the Middle East, and specifically the alleged "Holy Land." The only religions that could realistically be called "Western," were largely destroyed by these Middle Eastern religions during the "Dark Ages." (i.e., the Religio Romana and Celtic/Norse/etc. Polytheism...)

2. I ascribe to a kind of "selective" Universalism. See, one statement that I often espouse is "The only false religions are those which believe in the existence of false religions." Therefore, any religion which espouses the idea that only followers of that specific religion are capable of Enlightenment...is therefore promoting a "false" ideology. I think that one can be, say...a Christian or Muslim and avoid that aspect of that ideology, and therefore not be promoting such wickedness. (I know some very nice Christians, for example, who have a much more "intelligent" view of "salvation"...)

In addition, because of my belief in reincarnation...I look at people of other religions as being merely further behind on a path. Perhaps, in this life their faith in Jesus or Allah will lead them to enough understanding in this life that in their next one they become Hindu...or at least begin to seek. In such a way, their path does indeed lead...albeit by a more winding road...to the same place. Essentially, while following Jesus will not lead directly to Moksha...maybe it might prepare you for the journey forward in your next life. Either way, it's your journey--not mine--and I have no business interfering in it.

atanu
26 September 2010, 11:54 PM
A few points:

1. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are not "Western religions." They all come from the Middle East, and specifically the alleged "Holy Land." The only religions that could realistically be called "Western," were largely destroyed by these Middle Eastern religions during the "Dark Ages." (i.e., the Religio Romana and Celtic/Norse/etc. Polytheism...)

2. I ascribe to a kind of "selective" Universalism. See, one statement that I often espouse is "The only false religions are those which believe in the existence of false religions." Therefore, any religion which espouses the idea that only followers of that specific religion are capable of Enlightenment...is therefore promoting a "false" ideology. I think that one can be, say...a Christian or Muslim and avoid that aspect of that ideology, and therefore not be promoting such wickedness. (I know some very nice Christians, for example, who have a much more "intelligent" view of "salvation"...)

In addition, because of my belief in reincarnation...I look at people of other religions as being merely further behind on a path. Perhaps, in this life their faith in Jesus or Allah will lead them to enough understanding in this life that in their next one they become Hindu...or at least begin to seek. In such a way, their path does indeed lead...albeit by a more winding road...to the same place. Essentially, while following Jesus will not lead directly to Moksha...maybe it might prepare you for the journey forward in your next life. Either way, it's your journey--not mine--and I have no business interfering in it.

Namaste

I agree fully. In the context of this thread, I just wish to bullet the points:

Hindus believe in Veda. Not in interpretation of Koran or Bible or internet stories, which some may insist falsifies or opposes Veda (and thus falsely teach that Veda followers should abandon the tenets of Veda). But Hindu teachers at no times have demeaned or lowered any faith, as God is considered as owner of all and resident in all. Nevertheless, Hindu teachers in unison speak against the reformist and zealot like efforts of christians and muslims to impose their views on others.
Belief of Veda is condensed in Upanishads (mainly for renunciates) and explained in Smriti, ItihAsa and darshanas of Hinduism. Shri Krishna teaches that all follow His path only, a very few people follow Him perfectly (Self Realised Gurus and highest sadhakas) but most people follow with some limitation attached -- as per their guna make-up. Guna-makeup is not immutable. It purifies with right karma and thus none is condemned forever. Shiva Mahiman strotram says the same. In the mode of perfect knowledge Shiva/Krishna represent the infinite Atman -- the Self of everyone and everything as transcendental yet all pervading God, which is the controller, permitter, and enjoyer everywhere and at all times, although Atman is timelessly eternal.
Popular sentiment or interpretation of an alien scripture cannot be used to invalidate Veda.Thanks

saidevo
27 September 2010, 12:14 AM
namaste Ganeshprasad.

In the BG 4.11 quote you have given (in post no.15), the phrase 'my path'--mama vartman is interpreted contextually and universally thus:

• The Dharma Central Forum of Frank Morales gives this contextual interpretation:

"What is called ‘My path’ in the Gita are the four yogas of Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Raja Yoga. All of these yogas are exclusive to Hinduism, and are not found in any other religions. Hinduism itself provides many roads, not just one, for liberation in accordance with one’s ability and sincerity."
(http://www.dharmacentral.com/forum/content.php?125-Religious-Universalism)

• Since the title of Chapter 4 where the quote occurs is 'The Renunciation of Action in Knowledge', Shankara gives this universal interpretation:

[The paths characterized by Knowledge and by action (rites and duties).] the path of God who am omnipresent. By 'human beings' are meant those people who become engaged in their respective duties to which they are qualified according to the results they seek.

As you have elaborated quoting BG 14.18, it is the guNa--mode, of an individual person which determines his spiritual destiny.

In the very next verse BG 14.19, shrI KRShNa is clear about what will make one attain liberation:

When the witness sees none other than the guNas--qualities as the agent, and knows that which is superior [i.e. different from.] to the guNas, he attains My nature.

This statement establishes that our Hindu Dharma that teaches only the ultimate liberation of mokSha in all its four paths, cannot be the same as the Abrahamic religions whose spiritual destiny is only eternal heaven or eternal hell.

As you have rightly put, our gurus in their sama-dRShTi, have only love and compassion for all humans, whatever limitations people have, and so they don't teach aggressive or passive differentiation of people on the basis of their religion, although they do highlight the limitations of Abrahamic religions and take exception to the consequent aggressions of their followers in unmistakable terms.

Please have a glance at the various links in the Website http://www.dharmacentral.com/ and you will get an idea of who is Frank Morales and what is his purpose and ambition.

PS: I see that Atanu has nicely summed up in post no.47 what I have struggled to convey in this post.

kallol
27 September 2010, 01:37 AM
Dear All,

The vigour and content in this discussion leads a hindu follower to rejoice the revival of the TRUTH. The transition is taking place through many means and many ways. It brings tears to my eyes. Let us celebrate this transition.

Some points I would like to put up (do not know whether I will be able to do justice).

1. The TRUTH or the knowledge of SD is rediscovered by humans in every cycle of the creation of humans. The discovery is not through books but through self realisation and the constant practice of it. All the knowledge is within us - it is upto us whether we are able to dig it out.

Most of the known & unknown saints found the knowledge through this means including Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Chaitanya, Ramana, Shankaracharya, Aurobindo, etc, who are the spiritual scientists. The sciptures are also out of the similar spiritual scientists through out the ages. That the TRUTH is same and the road is one has been confirmed again and again.

2. Now the scriptures are a compilation of the collective experience and they help in refining the experience. But it does not mean that experience of the individual saints are wrong. But due to ego and the environmental / societal factors the knowledge might get a bit coloured. The covering or colouring is removed to a great extent by constant practice /digging through sadhana to bring out more knowledge. This is like moving from class KG to college level.

However without anymore sadhana or the constant analysis & further scriptural help, one might get more and more coloured through the ego and societal needs. He gets stuck to class KG or 1 level. He gets bogged down to the time, space and material. Movement is from eka rupam (one God) to bahurupam (God in all - this is where the universalism starts) to arupam (God is one and not different than "I").

The above is true for anyone in the self realisation path anywhere in the world.

3. The levels of knowledge achieved plays a huge role in transforming the society from a closed one to an open one. The way they percieve God, the way they percieve others, the way they perform duties, the way they live, etc.

4. Now with above perspective let us see the development of the religions in the other areas. Whether or not Jesus or Muhammad achieved self realisation is not known. But it is very clear about the level of understanding in each of them. They have not reached the stage of higher class of universalism and they are stuck in that one God level. They are a closed society. This is the lower peak in the quest of the higher peaks.

They had been handicapped as there was no Vedic scriptures for them to guide them further nor there was enough spiritual practice and environment to nurture the knowledge further.

But can I say that they are not on the right path ? NO.

5. So whom should I place the fault with ? Their knowledge ? NO. because, though it might be still in the primary classes but still the essence is there, the path was correct.

The people ? NO. because they are born into it and it takes a long time and several births (for most) to grow out of the primary classes.

6. The packaging of the knowledge varies from sects to sects. This is where the problem lies. Generally the packings are time, space and society dependent. But unfortunately those have become part and parcel of the knowledge. Even in hinduism caste syste, some rituals, etc have become part and parcel of the knowledge. And the knowledge/society suffers from that.

Though we all agree that this is the part we all need to change, but even with the knowledge base of SD, we find it very hard to change that in our society so how do we expect a society with lower level of knowledge to change theirs.

7. Now to the final point.

What is the objective of Frank Morales ? If it is to put Hinduism as a Mother of all religion then we all appreciate that.

The difference of opinion is confined to how that is packaged. In this, do we in the forum have uniform opinion ? I believe - NO.

TRUTH is much above us and is non vulnerable. It is our ego which is vulnerable.

200 years back there was no one in the west taking about Hinduism and today thanks to David Frawley, Frank, et al and other Indian saints, we have societies after societies directly or indirectly getting pulled into the TRUTH.

This is what the exposure to SD does. Now people have choice (earlier they did not) and the scriptures available everywhere.

So let us celebrate the revival of TRUTH and establishement of TRUTH (may be it will take quite few centuries).

My answer to the question "Are all religions same ?" - is YES & NO. It depends on what is the POV.

Love and best wishes

TatTvamAsi
27 September 2010, 03:35 AM
Namaste,

A very engaging discussion to say the least.

I saw the few points noted in the other thread (my re-introduction) regarding Radical Universalism as well.

These are my thoughts on the matter:

Radical Universalism, in and of itself, is a pejorative term. As a matter of fact, being universal in your outlook towards anything really is a euphemistic way of saying, "I don't give a damn about what others do!" This is the only plausible definition as one cannot make a knowledgeable assessment of other paths as that would require lifetimes of penance, experience, and study. This is what I find most strange about Sri Ramakrishna. And, to make a disclaimer, I am not judging him or insulting him in anyway. I respect him immensely and Swami Vivekananda is my favorite modern Hindu guru. Yet, Sri Ramakrishna is supposed to have "tried out" all the other religions, especially christianity & islam and then said "all religions lead to the same goal" or something to that extent. How was he able to deduce the end-goal of those religions in such a short time? I guess those religions are truly garbage that takes a lunch-break to figure out. :rolleyes:

Yet, why would he go to the extent of equating those two abrahamic cults with SD? It doesn't make sense to me; obviously, as I am not a guru or enlightened. This is also echoed by Sri Ramana Maharishi himself and that disturbed me honestly as I dislike abrahamic religions and their followers (if you couldn't tell already :D)! I suppose then, I humbly step down to those gurus who say what they do as they are/were infinitely more knowledgeable than me since they EXPERIENCED SAT-CHIT-ANANDA.

However, for the sake of argument, let me continue:

It is analogous to saying basketball is the best sport (for me) but I am not going to say baseball or football is a waste of time or useless. I am not qualified to make such a remark. Thus, I will say, "Any sport one favors and excels at is the best sport for him." If I have never played baseball or football before, my statement is rather hollow.

This is what I feel about being radically universal in one's outlook on religion. If we, as Hindus, are busy with our duties and are contented, we don't see the need to preach to others and suggest they should change their ways. In other words, we Hindus don't give two hoots about any non-Hindu's spiritual path as it has no significance to us. The only problem that arises is due to conversion efforts by the abrahamic cults.

Radical Universalism is detrimental to Hindus and Hinduism today because it weakens the position of Hindus worldwide. For example, Hinduism is not even on the radar for anything religious in the west. It is very rare if something about it comes up and even more so if it is something positive about Hinduism! Why is this? Part of the reason is that non-Hindus feel that Hindus don't have a 'unique' position on a given matter. Since they think Hindus are okay with whatever people believe and that "all religions are the same", their input is somehow not as important. This is more of a cultural problem rather than a philosophical one.

As Atanu, Saidevo and others have stated, I too agree with the fact that Frank Morales is nobody to be criticizing Vivekananda or Ramakrishna or any Indian/Hindu for that matter. However, he does have a point about modern-day Hindus, especially in the west, having a cultural identity problem for themselves as well as their children.

Philosophically, as Hindus, we have to accept that all paths are attempts at getting closer to our true Selves. After all, aren't all beings looking for "happiness"? The modes through which one attains happiness, however ephemeral, are innumerable but the culmination of those modes are most definitely the same. The goal, thus, of all religions is the same. And this certainly does NOT make all religions the same!

However, Morales' argument on Radical Universalism gives some insight into the predicament Hindus face today whether it is at school or in the media.

Namaskar.

TatTvamAsi
27 September 2010, 03:37 AM
In addition, because of my belief in reincarnation...I look at people of other religions as being merely further behind on a path. Perhaps, in this life their faith in Jesus or Allah will lead them to enough understanding in this life that in their next one they become Hindu...or at least begin to seek. In such a way, their path does indeed lead...albeit by a more winding road...to the same place. Essentially, while following Jesus will not lead directly to Moksha...maybe it might prepare you for the journey forward in your next life. Either way, it's your journey--not mine--and I have no business interfering in it.

This is highly plausible and makes sense. It is clear that as one progresses spiritually, they eventually come to the path of Sanatana Dharma and attain moksha. The only question, then, is, can someone attain moksha without being a Hindu? This falls into the category of Radical Universalism well.

Sahasranama
27 September 2010, 04:39 AM
Interesting, keep going. I have a lot of studying to do for university, so I won't be able to read all the posted links and do the research necessary to comment on everything. Maybe I'll come back on this another time.

BryonMorrigan
27 September 2010, 08:06 AM
The only question, then, is, can someone attain moksha without being a Hindu? This falls into the category of Radical Universalism well.

Well, since the Abrahamic religions generally do not espouse any real way of "getting" there, I don't see how. I mean, I can see how a Buddhist might achieve moksha...but a Christian? How? All their religion really requires is devotion, which in most cases amounts to lip-service. Some Christian sects, like Catholics, require certain kinds of "meditation-like" acts, like praying the rosary...but they are not done to "enlighten," but rather as punishment for being such a horrible, "sin-filled" person.

There are small mystical trends in each Abrahamic religion, represented by the Gnostic Christians, Sufis, and Kabbalic Jews. I am not that familiar with their teachings, but on the surface those groups seem to be oriented towards finding a kind of moksha, perhaps.

But the rest? I don't see how you could attain something that you aren't even looking for...


It is analogous to saying basketball is the best sport (for me) but I am not going to say baseball or football is a waste of time or useless. I am not qualified to make such a remark. Thus, I will say, "Any sport one favors and excels at is the best sport for him." If I have never played baseball or football before, my statement is rather hollow.

Personally, I'd change the analogy this way: I play soccer. Some people play golf, or are NASCAR drivers. I'm not going to say that soccer is "better" than golf or race-car driving generally, because it is something that I cannot prove to the golfer or race-car driver. What I can say, however, is that playing soccer makes one more physically fit than playing golf or racing cars. In a sense, they are all "sports," but in the end, one can be rather fat and unhealthy and still excel in golf and racing, but a soccer player cannot succeed without becoming physically fit, and it is the inevitable by-product of participation in that sport.

(In case you haven't noticed...I love speaking in analogies...)

Ganeshprasad
27 September 2010, 10:50 AM
Pranam Saidevo

Thanks for your comments

Let me reiterate, contextual interpretations not withstanding, what my understanding is on 4.11 when Bhagvan says manusyah sarvasah he means all human, he can not be excluding anyone of his creation.

I am not suggesting for a minute that the four paths that you mention are in any way similar let alone the same. Anyone who thinks simply because I accept certain person as my saviour and then do any act that my heart fancies or kill in the name of god and expect haven awaiting for me, are deluded to say the least.

So what does Lord Krishna means when he says everyone follows his path only he knows, but I can only speculate,
he is sat chit ananda and every jiva regardless of any denomination seeks that ananda in that search everyone is on that path for that there is no doubt. But without vivek (the power of discrimination) the sat and chit is very elusive. Eventually everyone having explored all the avenues will come to the platform of satva from which the proper enquiry of what this sat chit ananda begins, this is what we know as Sd or Hindu dharma this I say without being pompous, of what value are these tags if path of dharma is not followed?

It is karma and reincarnation as already pointed out that determines our fate. Even a good atheist stands a better chance of a good destination.
So a good Christian or Muslim(if there is any) have an equal chance to progress up the ladder. yes it is an evolution we all have to obey the rules of Dharma chakra.

As lord Krishna says
isvarah sarva-bhutanam
hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati
bhramayan sarva-bhutani
yantrarudhani mayaya

The Lord abides in the heart of all beings, O Arjuna, causing all beings to act (or work out their Karma) by His power of Maya as if they are (puppets of Karma) mounted on a machine. (18.61)

It is dharma that we follow, it is not a religion or an institute, it a way of life. A path that eventually leads us to the higher dimension. And what is this dharma?

tasmac chastram pramanam te
karyakarya-vyavasthitau
jnatva sastra-vidhanoktam
karma kartum iharhasi
One should understand what is duty and what is not duty by the regulations of the scriptures. Knowing such rules and regulations, one should act so that he may gradually be elevated.16.24

This is very dear to me what Atanu ji has brought below;

The Varnashrama of Sanatana Dharma is not something to be ashamed of. It is the Eternal Truth of Nature, the axle on which the Wheel of Dharma revolves. We are heirs to the greatest Truth on earth and to the greatest Way given to humankind. This Gift comes with a responsibility that we Hindus cannot simply shrug ourselves of.
Glorify eternal truth, but the proof of it is to Put your creed into your deeds
And practice truth in your action.
(Rg.Veda.III.4.7)

Jai Shree Krishna

saidevo
27 September 2010, 09:22 PM
namaste everyone.

I just finished reading 'The Sword of KALI' by shrI Chittaranjan Naik. What an amazingly dazzling, wholesomely comprehensive and rightfully convincing gem of a masterpiece that reads so well and enlightens intellect! Although it is a convincing rebuttal to Frank Morales' paper, you soon forget Morales as Naik expounds the Universality of Hindu Dharma covering all its radiant facets and explains what Hindu sages actually mean when they say that all religions are the same. Only in the end, when Naik reminds us of what Morales' call of abandoning the legacy of Hindu Universalism can do, you pick up Morale again and find what his paper has done to Hindu minds, intentionally or ignorantly. I shall make an attempt to paraphrase the main points of the article, but I am afraid it can come nowhere near the spirit of the brilliant, original article.

I would request all members and readers to take the time and read the article to find out what is involved in Hindu Dharma. I am sure that in the end everyone will find him/her to be a better aspiring Hindu. Here is a search link for the author's other articles:
http://www.google.com/search?client=opera&rls=en&q=%22Chittaranjan+Naik%22&sourceid=opera&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

saidevo
27 September 2010, 11:12 PM
namaste TTA and BryonMorrigan.

BM said in post no.46:
In addition, because of my belief in reincarnation...I look at people of other religions as being merely further behind on a path. Perhaps, in this life their faith in Jesus or Allah will lead them to enough understanding in this life that in their next one they become Hindu...or at least begin to seek. In such a way, their path does indeed lead...albeit by a more winding road...to the same place. Essentially, while following Jesus will not lead directly to Moksha...maybe it might prepare you for the journey forward in your next life. Either way, it's your journey--not mine--and I have no business interfering in it.

TTA said in post no.51:
This is highly plausible and makes sense. It is clear that as one progresses spiritually, they eventually come to the path of Sanatana Dharma and attain moksha. The only question, then, is, can someone attain moksha without being a Hindu? This falls into the category of Radical Universalism well.
=====

Hindu Dharma, as you know, speaks of many kinds of mukti/moKSha. Only Advaita posits the ultimate moKSha of merging with Brahman losing all identities. Other traditions of Hindu Dharma posit a mokSha of residence in the world of the adored deity in various states of proximity, which is certainly the next best remedy against reincarnation.

If this is a Universal Truth, as every truth of Hindu Dharma is, then why doubt that Muslims and Christians who surrender to their Gods and measure up to the tenets of Hindu Dharma, attain the mokSha of proximity to the God that their religions teach/reach? Although I am not familiar with their scriptures or with Abrahamic mysticism, going by what the Sufis and Gnostic Christians (who don't seek to proselytize) found in them, there must certainly be scope for real salvation in those religions.

The question that we Hindus must ask ourselves is, how many of us can attain the freedom of the states of mokSha that Hindu Dharma offers us? Many discerning Christians and Muslims who have had darshan of Hindu sages like KAnchi ParamAchArya, RamaNa MaharShi, RAmakRShNa ParamahaMsa, Sai Baba and many others, have said that they saw their God in these sages. How many of us see our Gods in our gurus? Until we do so, where is the scope for the grace of guru and God for attaining our mukti?

kallol
27 September 2010, 11:26 PM
The higher seekers will always slowly veer towards SD, wherever they are. The other religions are school level knowledge mostly meant for creating the base of bhakti and a sense of God (not God knowledge).

Once people grow beyond that, their questions remain unanswerd. This is where the spread of SD knowledge through different means enable people to reach to the knowledge encyclopedia of TRUTH.

SD is not limited to India. It belongs to the world. It belongs to the eternity.

Again the TRUTH cannot be covered for long and it has been proven again and again.

The purity of Ramakrisha (who belongs to the masses) is so high that no one can sully him. Rather the trier get sullied himself.

Love and best wishes

kd gupta
28 September 2010, 12:15 AM
Radical Universalism

Does Hinduism Teach That All Religions Are The Same? A Philosophical Critique of Radical Universalism


By Dr. Frank Morales, Ph.D. (Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya)

http://www.dharmacentral.com/universalism.htm

I opened this thread, because the subject is comming up in other discussion. Here's a place to discuss the subject of radical universalism.

Please refrain from personal attacks to people participating in this discussion, don't make this a smear campaign against any acharya and please don't cloud this thread with unrelated posts about other subjects. Try to make yourself clear without belittling anyone participating in the discussion. I hope we can carry on this discussion maturely. If there was any tension between participants, please forget about it and start fresh.
39/164/mndlm 1 rig , mantra says that vedic scripture is oldest in the earth and directly heard by Rishis therefore called shruti . These vedmantras are root for discipline of knowledge . This knowledge is obtained directly as sun rays and indirectly as moon rays and differs in properties as phosphorescence and fluorescence . Gita shlokas 24/8 and 25/8 state for these two knowledge and hint for liberation [moksha] and bondage[rebirth] .
Any dharm transplanted on vedic root gives it’s own properties therefore differs radically .
Hindu dharm is the same as vedic tree so it does not teach that all religions are same .

The point of mountain is taken from vedmantra and hence does not tell any new idea .

saidevo
28 September 2010, 01:56 PM
namaste everyone.

Yes, both modern Hindu sages and traditional Hindu Dharma teach:
'All religions are the same.'

Not in the sense
'All religions are exactly/identically the same' which is what Frank Morales assumes and attempts to prove wrong,

but in the sense
'All religions are essentially the same', which is the real meaning and message of Hindu Universalism.

The paper presented by Frank Morales and its rebuttal titled 'The Sword of KALI' by Chittaranjan Naik can be read in the links below. It is worth to save both the essays for reading and reference:

http://www.boloji.com/hinduism/091.htm
http://www.boloji.com/hinduism/101.htm

Interestingly, Morales' paper which was originally prominent in the pages of the Website Dharma Central is no longer seen there. Instead, the link http://www.dharmacentral.com/universalism.htm redirects to a book published by Frank Morales, whose link is: http://www.dharmacentral.com/dharmastore.php#firstlevel

My purpose here is to attempt a paraphrase of Naik's essay, adding my points thereto, in order that we can have right perspective of the Hindu Universalism of Hindu Dharma.

• How do you decide on the sameness and difference of two or more things?

Suppose there are two apples, both red in color, one bigger than the other, then we won't hesitate in the least to say that both are same, that is, apples. How do we find out the sameness of these two fruits? If by its color, what about a green apple? If by its taste, what about a sour apple?

• Yes, you got it. We ascertain the sameness of two or more things by their name, apple in this case. That's right, but how did the name arise for the fruit in the first place? We are not talking about etymology here, because an apple is an apple in all the languages, so it is futile to trace the origin of the name.

• This is where the Hindu philosophical concept of nAma-rUpa comes about. nAma is name and rUpa is form. This mental concept is reduced to pada-artha, word and meaning, in vAk--speech. The Hindu Science of Logic, called 'NyAya shAstra', as an upAnga--subsidiary arm, of the Vedas, is the study of such padArtha.

• So, apple is a name, and its meaning is: that fruit which has 'appleness' as its essence. It is this internal essence of appleness that decides the sameness of all the apples whatever their external attributive features.

• In Hindu parlance, sameness is sAmAnya, and difference is visheSha. Thus, all apples are apples because of their sAmAnya and are different from each other because of their external visheSha--attributes.

• When two things are identical, their differences are destroyed. When two things are the same, their differences can yet be preserved, because the sameness is only in their essence, and so there can be differences in their attributes. Incidentally, A ≡ B (A identical to B) is possible only in Mathematics, for, in the real world no two things are identical.

• The sAmAnya of an apple is universal. The fundamental and inviolable truth of a thing is that it is same with itself. This means that a thing, like the apple, does not derive its identity of being an apple by the redness, roundness, sweetness, that describes it, or by a combination of these, but only by the sAmAnya, appleness in this case, that inheres in it. This means, in short, that apples can be different among themselves, yet they would be the same, united by their inherent appleness.

• The most important thing we need to understand in this pristine logic is that sAmAnya never manifests itself as sAmAnya. The manifestation of the universal--sAmAnya, is always a particular--visheSha, an instance of itself, with external attributes added to it, such as its color, weight, appearance, etc.

• Now, if we extend the apple analogy, we can easily understand the sAmAnya--universal, of an apple and an orange, because of their fruitness. We can include a vegetable, say a pumpkin and say that an apple and orange and pumpkin are the same in their sAmAnya of being agricultural produce.

• Can we say that a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water are the same? What sAmAnya unites them? KRShNa ParamAtma in GItA 9.26 says that in bhakti--devotion, these varied offerings unite as the same to him.

• In this way, even two mutually opposite things such as a square and a circle can be united when they both are attributes of tables. Suppose we say, 'He is the same Devadatta', what we mean is that he might have grown and changed, passing through differences manifested in time, but as a person he is the same man with the name Devadatta.

• Heraclitus, the Byzantine emperor, thought you couldn't step into the same river twice, since the river was always in a state of flux, and yet the truth is that the river Ganga remains the same since her hoary descent into BhAratavarSha, because of her sacred Ganganess.

• One God, Brahman, in the Brahmanness of Sat-Chit-Ananda is the substratum of both the sentient and insentient universe. Most if not all religions have understood that there is only One God, athough they they try to teach/reach him with differnt attributes.

• There is only one mountain viewpoint, Brahman, in Hindu Universalism, but different religious philosophies scale its height differently, with sincere belief of having scaled to the summit. Hindu Universalism, not only scales the mountain and sits at the summit with its universal view, but also understands that the true intent of other religions is also to scale the mountain and reach the top, although their equipments and methods may be different and inadequate.

• Naik's essay must be read in full to understand how this view of Hindu Universalism exists right from the Rg vedic statement "Reality is One, sages call it various names", through the UpaniShads, ItihAsa-PurANa and Dharma Shastras and how this universal Hinduness of our Hindu Dharma, which bears the name SanAtana Dharma, has percolated down to our modern sages, who have not only had witnessed it in their samAdhi, but cannot teach anything contrary to it, since in their sama-dRShTi of love and compassion, they are one with the Universal Consciousness. It is for us to understand our gurus' teachings in proper perspective and equip ourselves towards its realization.

**********

The ethical dimension of why the followers of Abrahamic religions are exhorted to be aggresive by their modern teachers in the very name of their religions is not covered in this brief paraphrase. Naik has dealt with it beautifully under the section 'Universal Dharma – The Ethical Dimension', and concludes that there is only one solution for the Hindus, which is to live their life according to one's svadharma.

Please take time to read the essay in full for elaboration of the points in this paraphrase. Ultimately, the only thing that remains for us is to ponder the extent we Hindus measure up to Hindu Dharma in our own life. When the followers of Abrahamic religions by and large adhere to whatever concepts of dharma given in their religions, we Hindus have by and large forsaken it, so, according to Naik, this is the root cause of all our troubles.

satay
28 September 2010, 02:19 PM
Admin Note

Namaskar,

Please keep the thread on topic. The topic of the thread is to discuss 'Radical Universalism'. It is not to attack the western hindus, or author of the article personally.

Please check your ego and superiority complex at the door. If someone doesn't agree with the teachings of learned hindu gurus, it is not appropriate to attack them personally. Please report the posts that you think are breaking the forum rules.

Please do not dump large copy and paste texts where a link would suffice. Large dumps of texts is considered spam.

If you have been emotionally disturbed because some western author insulted your guru, then please do not feel forced to keep posting irrelevant posts. Stop your emotional bleeding by ignoring posts and posters.

Thank you for your patience.

PS: Please do not reply to my admin post. Replies to my admin note is irrelevant to the topic of the thread. The 'administration' is not the subject of this thread. Please keep it on topic. Please make posts only if you have something to say about the subject of the thread which in this case is 'Radical Universalism'. Thank you!

NetiNeti
15 October 2010, 01:24 PM
People speak of "Western Hindus" as though it is a new caste. I am a Hindu, no western attached.

Universalism must be understood for what it is. Allowing room for all faith does not make one less Hindu. I, of course, love the Santana Dharma in the highest but do not try and state that it is the only truth. Since God is everything, as illustrated in The Universal Form of Krishna, no thing can be separate from the Brahma I love.

to qoute Ramakrishna,

"God can be realized through all paths. All religions are true. The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by a bamboo pole."

"Truth is one; only It is called by different names. All people are seeking the same Truth; the variance is due to climate, temperament, and name. A lake has many ghats. From one ghat the Hindus take water in jars and call it 'jal'. From another ghat the Mussalmāns take water in leather bags and call it 'pāni'. From a third the Christians take the same thing and call it 'water'. Suppose someone says that the thing is not 'jal' but 'pāni', or that it is not 'pāni' but 'water', or that it is not 'water' but 'jal', It would indeed be ridiculous. But this very thing is at the root of the friction among sects, their misunderstandings and quarrels. This is why people injure and kill one another, and shed blood, in the name of religion. But this is not good. Everyone is going toward God. They will all realize Him if they have sincerity and longing of hear"

Big River
25 October 2012, 04:56 PM
Lets say there is 1 all powerful god God. Would it not be fair to say that people of all the different faiths who worship God are worshiping that God? Yes, there are differences in the stories that we tell about creation and about the nature of God and everything else that gets put into all the various religions, but that is because all the religious literature out there has been written by Man. Even if a man claims to have taken dictation directly from God, how can this be verified? Have there not been different accounts of people receiving direct knowledge from God about the nature of God from the multitudes of various faiths? The explanations from each one cannot all be right can they?

As far as I'm concerned, the Vedic God = the Abrahamic God. Men from both regions (and everywhere else religion exists) felt and saw the presence of God and thus sought out a ways to describe that presence. How does one say who got it right?