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saidevo
06 December 2006, 11:23 AM
Sita Ram Goel, the great patriot and crusader against the agression of Christian and Islamic zealots says in his book Jesus Christ, An Artifice for Aggression thus:



I have wondered over the years why we Hindus have remained preoccupied with the behaviour patterns of Muslims and Christians and not with the belief systems which create those behaviour patterns. We object to Christian missions, but refuse to discuss Christianity and its God, Jesus. We object to Islamic terrorism, but refuse to have a look at Islam and its prophet, Muhammad. I see no sense or logic in this Hindu habit.


This book was first published in the year 1994, but most Hindus have either not read it or have no knowledge about it. In these days of pseudo-secular and Marxist diven false propaganda, books that carry the truth are effectively shielded from wide public view.

With the Christian missioneries having succeeded widely in their heinous tasks with the tribals and the poor in many parts of India, and starting to look towards the middle and upper classes, this book has become a must read for every Hindu to safeguard his religion, country and Her traditions.

Here I have presented selected passages from the first chapter of the book that seek to explode the historicity of Jesus Christ that the gospels would have us believe. This compilation is indended to serve as a quick reference for Hindus who take their religion seriously, and for the discerning Christian.

The entire book is available for downloading at http://www.hamsa.org/



Jesus of History

(from the book Jesus Christ, An Artifice for Aggression
by Sita Ram Goel - downloadable at http://www.hamsa.org/)

The historicity of Jesus Christ as described in the gospels has been for a long time one of the principal dogmas of all Christian denominations. In India where the history of the search for the Jesus of history remains unknown even to the so-called educated elite, the missionaries continue to hawk this dogma without fear of contradiction. The scene in the modern West, however, has undergone a great change. What we witness over there is that this “solid historical figure” has evaporated into thin air as a result of painstaking Biblical and Christological research undertaken over the last more than two hundred years, mostly by theologians belonging to the Protestant churches.
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The quest of the Jesus of history commenced when Hermann Samuel Reimarus (1694-1768), Professor of Oriental Languages at the University of Hamburg in Germany, subjected the Bible to higher criticism and wrote in secret some 4,000 pages. His work was published in seven fragments by his friend Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, several years after his death. The last fragment, The Aims of Jesus and His Disciples, published in 1778, presented Jesus as a failed Jewish revolutionary whose dead body was stolen from his tomb by his disciples in order to spread the story of his resurrection. A storm of agonised protest blew over the Christian world. But that did not stop the theologians from pressing forward on the path blazed by Reimarus.
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The Jewish Evidence

Christian tradition tells us that Jesus was a Jew who lived in Palestine during the first 30 or 33 years of the era which is supposed to have commenced from the date of his birth. It is, however, strange that Jewish historians who lived and wrote during the same period or a little later, fail to notice him as well as the religion supposed to have been founded by him. Philo (20 BC-54 AD), who wrote a history of the Jews, knows no Jesus Christ and no Christians. So also another historian of the same period, Justus of Tiberius.
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The vast rabbinical literature of the Jews, composed during the first two and a quarter centuries of the Christian era, contains only five authentic references to Jesus. But they “do not conclusively establish his historicity, as none of them is sufficiently early”. Moreover, “they are so vague in their chronology that they differ by as much as 200 years in the dates they assign to him”. None of the five Jesuses fits the Christian scheme of Jesus Christ’s birth or life or death.

The Pagan Evidence

The Greeks and Romans have left to posterity a vast historical and philosophical literature written in or referring to the time-bracket when Jesus is supposed to have lived. But it is unaware of him. Seneca (2 BC-66 AD), Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), Martial (40-102 AD), Plutarch (45-125 AD), Juvenal (55-140 AD), Apuleius (d. 170 AD), Pausanius (d. 185 AD), and Dio Casius (155-240 AD) do not mention any Jesus or Christ. Epictetus (50-100 AD) refers to Galileans starting with Judas the Galilean who led the Jewish revolt against Rome in the first decade of the first century, but not to Jesus of Nazareth who is supposed to have come from Galilee shortly afterwards.

Much has been made by Christian apologists of a few words or stray passages referring to “Chrestus” or his worshippers in Pliny the Younger (60-114 AD), Tacitus (55-120 AD), Suetonius (70-120 AD) and Sulpicius Severus (d. 400 AD). But critical scrutiny has shown that all these references either do not relate to Jesus of Nazareth, or are influenced by Christian tradition, or are clever Christian fabrications. Ian Wilson concludes that “in all this there is scarcely a crumb of information to compel a belief in Jesus’ existence”.4 Paul Johnson comments that fabrications “occur throughout the history of Christianity up to Renaissance and even beyond”.

The word “Chrestus” which occurs in some of these Pagan sources and which has provided grist to the mill of Christian apologetics, did not mean in the ancient world the same as the word “Christus” or “Christos”. This appellation simply meant “good” or “agreeable” and was claimed by characters belonging to several sects which practised initiation by anointment. That alone can explain the attempt by a Christian scribe to scratch the “e” in Chrestus and replace it by an “i” in a manuscript of Tacitus.6 What clinches the argument is that the word “Christian” does not appear in the Christian literature itself before 140 AD. On the other hand, anti-Christian polemics which appears for the first time around 160 AD, starts by questioning the existence of a character called Jesus Christ.
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Gibbon confirms that Christians were little known in the first two centuries of the Christian era, or, if known to some notables in the Roman Empire, were despised as dismal fanatics. ... (He writes about Seneca, Pliny, Tacitus, Plutarch, and so on) "Yet all these sages (it is no less an object of surprise than of concern) overlooked or rejected the perfection of the Christian system... Those among them who condescend to mention the Christians consider them only as obstinate and perverse enthusiasts who exacted an implicit submission to their mysterious doctrines without being able to produce a single argument that could engage the attention of men of sense and learning.

Evidence of the Gospels

All languages which have been influenced by Christianity contain the expression, “gospel truth”. But truth is exactly what we find completely missing from the gospels when it comes to the life and teaching of their hero — Jesus of Nazareth. In fact, the gospels violate one of the Ten Commandments — thou shalt not bear false witness — and can be easily caught in the act.

1. Year of Birth: “Both Matthew and Luke assign Jesus’ birth to ‘the days when Herod was the king of Judea’ — consequently before 3 B.C. Luke, however, describes Jesus as ‘about thirty years old’ when John baptised him ‘in the fifteenth year of 7 Ibid., pp. 35-36. 8 Edward Gibbon, op. cit., p. 442. PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com JESUS OF HISTORY / 7 Tiberius’ i.e., A.D. 29; this would place Christ’s birth in the year 2 B.C. Luke adds that ‘in those days there went out a decree of Caesar Augustus that all world should be taxed... when Quirinius was the governor of Syria.’ Quirinius is known to have been legate in Syria between A.D. 6 and 12; Josephus notes a census by him in Judea but ascribes it to A.D. 6-7. We have no further mention of this census. Tertullian records a census of Judea by Saturninus, Governor of Syria, in 8-7 B.C.; if this is the census Luke had in mind, the birth of Christ would have to be placed before 6 B.C.

John’s gospel states that Jesus was not fifty years old when he died, so that Jesus must have been born around 22-15 BC. Eusebius places his death in 22 AD, which takes his birth to 9 BC if he was 30 when he died, to 12 BC if he was 33, and to 28 BC if he was nearing 50. The year 1 AD as the year of his birth was assumed by the sixth century Roman monk, Dionysius Exiguus, when he worked out the chronology which has prevailed since then.10 It is significant that neither the gospel of Mark nor that of John bothers to mention his birth. They start with his baptism by John the Baptist. Modern scholars think that the nativity stories in the gospel of Matthew and Luke have been added later. The interpolators were either unaware of one another’s doing, or did not care to crosscheck. They contradict one another at several important points.

2. Date of Birth: “We have no knowledge of the specific day of his birth. Clement of Alexandria (ca. 200) reports diverse opinions on the subject in his day, some chronologists dating the birth April 19, some May 10; he himself assigns it to November 17, 3 BC. As far back as the second century the Eastern Christians celebrated the Nativity on January 6. In 354 some Western churches, including those of Rome, commemorated the birth of Christ on December 25; it was already the central festival of Mithraism, the natalis invicti solis, or birthday of the unconquered sun.”

Other sources give other dates. “As for the date of Christmas, the chances are no better than 1 in 365 that Jesus’ birthday fell on 25 December. A number of different dates have contended for the title — including 20 May, 19 April, 17 November, 28 March, 25 March and 6 January — and it took nearly five hundred years before 25 December came to be generally accepted. The reason for the choice of this date owes nothing to historical evidence but a great deal to the influence of other religions. It was no accident that 25 December happened to be the birthday of the ‘Unconquered Sun’ (Sol Invictus), the chief festival of the Mithraic cult, a popular mystery religion of the late Roman Empire which shared quite a number of elements with Christianity, notably its emphasis on rebirth and salvation.”12 Ian “Wilson concludes, “Not only the date but also the year of his birth are unknown, and on present evidence unknowable...”1

3. Place of Birth: “Jesus was born at Bethlehem. Or was he? It is one of the best known ‘facts’ of Christianity, on the strength of which the town of Bethlehem has developed a thriving tourist trade. But is it true? Was Jesus really born in Bethlehem? Unfortunately, even the Christian scriptures disagree among themselves. Matthew and Luke both say yes, while John (7: 41-2) and Mark (1:9 ; 6:1) give the impression of never even having heard of Jesus’ supposed birth at Bethlehem but assume that his birthplace was Nazareth, a small town in the northern region of Galilee, at the opposite end of the country from Bethlehem.”

When we come to details, however, even Matthew and Luke part company. For Matthew, Jesus is conceived and born in Bethlehem straight away. Luke finds his parents in Nazareth at the time of his conception, and drags them to Bethlehem so that they may he counted in a census. Even if we forget the fact that there was no census when Jesus is supposed to have been born, the story does not make sense. Firstly, neither Nazareth nor Bethlehem was under Roman jurisdiction in 1 AD. Secondly, unlike Joseph, Mary did not belong to Bethlehem and there was no reason for her to travel to that town all the way from Nazareth, particularly in a state of advanced pregnancy. The only reason for Bethlehem being presented as Jesus’ place of birth is the prophecy in the Old Testament (Micah 5:2) that the Messiah will be born in that place.

Joan Taylor, a historian from New Zealand, has shown {Christians and the Holy Places, OUP, 1993) that the Nativity Church at Bethlehem was built after demolishing the Pagan temple of an ancient God, Tammuz-Adonis. As Arnheim has shown, the Christians claim to Bethlehem was a fraud from the very beginning.

Nazareth fares no better as the place of Jesus’ birth. There is no positive proof that this place existed at the time when he is supposed to have been born. It does not occur in any Roman maps, records or documents relating to that time. It is not mentioned in the Talmud. It is not associated with Jesus in any of the writings of Paul. Josephus who commanded troops in Galilee does not mention it. It appears for the first time in Jewish records of the seventh century. Scholars of the subject think that Nazareth was brought into existence and became hallowed simply because of a mistake in translating the term “Nazarene” found in the Greek versions of the two gospels as well as in the Jewish literature of that time. The word denoted a Jewish sect to which Jesus is supposed to have belonged. The Quran and early Islamic literature know the Christians as the Nasara, but are not aware that Isa Masih came from the town of Nazareth. But in Latin and other translations “Jesus the Nazarene” became “Jesus of Nazareth”. New translations of the gospels have corrected the mistake but retained the story unchanged.

4. Genealogy and Parentage: Of the four gospels, Matthew and Luke alone provide Jesus’ family tree in an effort to trace him back to King David and even to Abraham and Adam. But there are huge and ir reconcilable differences in the two genealogies, not only in the names of Jesus’ ancestors but also in the number of generations. There are only three names that are common in the two family trees. Even the name of Joseph’s father and Jesus’ grandfather is not the same. Matthew accommodates 28 and Luke 41 generations of Jesus’ ancestors in the same span of time. It seems that the writers of the two gospels share nothing in common except their zeal to prove that Jesus was descended from King David. The biggest puzzle, however, takes shape when both of them announce in the next breath that Jesus was the Only-begotten Son of God born of a virgin! In fact, Matthew (1.23) quotes Isaiah (7.14) from the Old Testament in order to fortify this announcement — “Behold! A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.” Will Durant comments, “The virgin birth is not mentioned by Paul or John, and Matthew and Luke trace Jesus back to David through Joseph by conflicting genealogies; apparently the belief in the virgin birth rose later than in the Davidic descent.”

5. The Virgin Birth: It is the conflicting versions of virgin birth we find in Matthew and Luke, which give away the game. Matthew says that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was betrothed to Joseph but they had not lived together when Joseph discovered that she was pregnant. He was a kind man, and did not want to expose Mary to death by stoning, the standard punishment for adultery under the Jewish law at that time. He, however, made her leave his home. It was then that an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, and informed him that Mary had been impregnated by the Holy Spirit. The angel added that Mary’s son would save his people from their sins, and was to be named Jesus. It is at this point that Matthew quotes the prophecy from Isaiah in order to confirm the angel’s announcement. Joseph awoke, took back Mary into his house, and she gave birth to Jesus. It is only then that Joseph had conjugal relations with her, that is, Mary did not remain a virgin after the birth of Jesus. All this happened in Bethlehem.

Luke, on the other hand, informs us that the angel visited Mary in a waking state, and announced the birth by her of a son whom God would give the throne of David. Mary wondered how that could happen because she was still a virgin. The angel assured her that she would be visited by the Holy Spirit, and that her son would be the Son of God. Luke does not invoke any Old Testament prophecy in support of this assurance by the angel. And he makes all this happen in Nazareth, months before Mary travelled to Bethlehem with Joseph in an advanced state of pregnancy. Nor does he confirm that Mary and Joseph had conjugal relations after Jesus was born at Bethlehem. They were only betrothed when they travelled to that city. “In other words, so far as Luke is concerned, Mary appears to be an ‘unmarried mother’.”

Matthew’s citation from Isaiah can be dismissed straight away as a clumsy attempt at cover up. As a Jew conversant with the Hebrew Bible, he must have known that the word “almah” used by Isaiah did not mean “virgin” but “young woman”, and that the correct Hebrew word for “virgin” was “betulah” which Isaiah had used five times but not in this context. He chose to cite from the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Bible, because there the word “almah” had been wrongly translated as “parthenos”, the Greek word for “virgin”. New translations of the Bible have corrected the mistake. It is only the Catholic Church which continues to stick not only to the dogma of the virgin birth of Jesus but also to the myth of Mary’s permanent virginity, and refuses to face the fact that Matthew, who floated the myth, himself mentions Mary as having conjugal relations with Joseph only a few lines later. Elsewhere in the gospels we find Mary being mentioned as the mother of several children besides Jesus. The Catholic Church, however, has extended the dogma of Mary’s virginity to her and her female ancestors’ immaculate conception ad infinitium. This ridiculous exercise provoked Anatole France to write a story in which a prostitute in Paris kneels before a statue of Virgin Mary and prays, “Holy Mother! You conceived without sinning. Let me sin without conceiving.”

It is also significant that all the four female ancestors of Mary mentioned by Matthew in his genealogy of Jesus happen to be fallen women. “Tamar was a temple prostitute; Rahab was the madam of a brothel; Ruth, the most moral, indulged in some pretty shameless sexual exploitation; and Bathsheba committed adultery with King David. Was the author of the Matthew genealogy implying something about the only other woman mentioned, Mary herself?”17 In any case, a clear reference to the circumstances of Jesus’ birth is found in the gospel of John (8.41) where, in a heated debate between Jesus and the Jews on the Mount of Olives, the latter fling at him the taunt that “we were not born of fornication”.

The real reason for floating the myth of virgin birth seems to be that “there had always been a question mark hanging over Mary’s sexual morality” and that “it was clearly a subject which caused the early Christians acute embarrassment”.18 In fact, there has been a long-standing tradition among the Jews that Jesus was the fruit of an adulterous union between Mary and a Roman soldier named Panthera. The story had also spread to the Pagans in the ancient world. Origen found the Roman philosopher Celsus referring to it in his anti-Christian polemics around AD 178.

Christians have tended to dismiss the story as a malicious piece of invention, suggesting that Panthera may have been a corruption of ‘parthenos’ meaning virgin. “Intriguingly, their interpretation fell a little flat with the discovery at Bingerbruck in Germany of the tombstone of one Tiberius Julius Abdes Panthera, a Roman archer from Sidon in Phoenicia. Although it would be fanciful seriously to suggest that Panthera was Jesus’ real father, the tombstone does happen to date from the appropriate early Roman Imperial period.”

This “unfortunate circumstance” of Jesus’ birth may explain his hostility to his mother and lack of enthusiasm for his brothers. In John (2.3-4) we find him giving short shrift to his mother at the marriage in Cana. In Luke (11.27-28) there is more than a hint that Jesus did not consider his mother among those “who hear the word of God and keep it”. In Matthew (12.46-50), Mark (3.31-35), and Luke (8.19-21) he shows no warmth for Mary and his brothers who come all the way from Nazareth to Capernaum to pay him a visit.

I may comment at this point that as a Hindu I do not consider Jesus’ unconventional birth a reflection on his character as a worthy teacher, assuming that he was one. Marriage is after all only a social convention, and it does not necessarily put the stamp of nobility on those who are born “legitimately”. Nor does birth outside wedlock detract from the moral or spiritual worth of a person. I have discussed the dogma of virgin birth at some length simply because Catholic theologians insist on presenting it as a historical event. It is a different question altogether whether Jesus was endowed with moral and spiritual qualities such as can distinguish him as a great teacher. I shall take up this question at a later stage in this book.

5. Ministry: The gospels tell us very little about the life of Jesus between his birth and his baptism by John the Baptist. Matthew informs us of Joseph’s flight to Egypt along with Mary and Jesus in order to escape the massacre of infants by King Herod, and his return, after Herod’s death, to the land of Israel where he withdrew himself to Nazareth in Galilee. Luke mentions no flight to Egypt. He keeps Jesus in Bethlehem all the time so that he is circumcised when he is eight days old, and taken to the temple at Jerusalem where he is hailed as the saviour by Simeon and Anna the prophetess. ...

Obviously, the gospel writers are interested only in his ministry as the Messiah. But here too the accounts differ. If we leave out the miracles and the parables, the biographical data we are left with is very meagre indeed. The total record of his doings covers only eight days. About the duration of his ministry also there are two traditions. One tradition says that it lasted for three years, another says for one year. The only points which emerge with some prominence are that he preached to some gatherings of people at a few places on his way from Galilee to Jerusalem, was arrested and tried, and crucified along with two bandits.

6. Trial by the Jews: All the four gospels say that Jesus was tried for blasphemy by the Jewish authorities at Jerusalem before he was handed over to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. But they differ materially on details.
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Jewish scholars have examined the gospel accounts in the light of Jewish laws and administration prevailing in Palestine at the time Jesus is supposed to have been tried by the Jewish authorities. They have come to the conclusion that the whole story of Jesus being tried by the Jewish authorities for blasphemy sounds spurious. Firstly, they hold that in terms of the Jewish law it was not blasphemy for any Jew to claim to be the Messiah or the Son of God. Secondly, they point out that sessions of the Sanhedrin could not be held at the times and in the ways mentioned in the three gospels. Finally, they maintain that if Jesus had been found guilty of blasphemy for saying something which is not mentioned in the gospels, the Jewish authorities at Jerusalem were quite competent to get him stoned to death, the penalty prescribed by Jewish law, and were not at all called upon to hand him over to the Roman governor for getting him crucified. The very fact that Jesus was crucified and not stoned to death goes to prove that he must have violated a Roman and not a Jewish law.

Interestingly, the Pontius Pilate of history we meet in authentic Roman accounts is not at all the kind-hearted character we meet in the gospels; he was a cruel and blood-thirsty man who seldom stopped from committing gruesome atrocities.

“All the four gospels,” observes Michael Arnheim, “agree in pinning the blame on the Jews and in exonerating Pontius Pilate, but disagree on practically everything else. In other words, their conclusions agree, but not the evidence adduced in support of those conclusions... In short, it would appear that the gospel writers first reached their conclusion (namely, that Jews were guilty of Jesus’ ‘murder’) and only afterwards put together a story to support this conclusion.”

James P. Mackey remarks, “Finally, we are reminded by more than one exegete that we dare not ignore the increasing apologetic tendency of the gospel writers to shift the blame for the death of Jesus from the Romans, whose empire the Christians by this time were trying to win for the faith, to the Jews. ..."

It is, however, not the historicity of the so-called Jewish trial but the theology to which it gave birth, which invites greater attention. It is because of this spurious story that all through nearly two thousand years of Christian history, Jews have been accused of deicide and subjected in practically all Christian countries to cruel pogroms which culminated in the Nazi Holocaust. The gospel writers can, therefore, he held guilty of committing one of the greatest crimes against humanity in inventing this history. John (8.44) goes to the extent of labeling the Jews as sons of the Devil!

The less said about the ridiculousness of the theology itself, the better. If Jesus was the Son of God who was sent down specifically for the purpose of washing the sins of mankind with his blood by mounting the cross, knowingly and willingly, the Jew should have been glorified for helping the divine plan, even if unknowingly, assuming that they did connive at his death. On the other hand, Pontius Pilate should have been condemned in the strongest language for trying to frustrate what God had himself designed in his supreme wisdom. But what we find in Christian theology is the other way round. The Jews have been painted in the darkest colours, while Pontius Pilate “missed canonization” because “the Edict of Milan (312) made it unnecessary for the Church to have in Pilate a witness that ‘found no guilt in this man”.

7. The Crucifixion: All the four gospels agree that Jesus was awarded a typically Roman punishment, crucifixion. But they differ in details.
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In Matthew and Mark, Jesus cries loudly on the cross, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?” but does not die immediately. In Luke, he cries “Father! Into your hands I commit my spirit,” and expires. In John, he says simply that “it is now completed”, and dies.

The time of Jesus’ death is also different in the two sets of gospels. In Matthew, Mark and Luke, it occurs at three o’clock in the afternoon when darkness falls on the whole land, and it is late in the afternoon when Joseph of Arimathea takes down Jesus’ body from the cross. In John, it is already evening when a Roman soldier is ordered to break Jesus’ legs in order to expedite his death, and finds him already dead.

There are some other details also on which the gospels differ. Some scholars have doubted the whole story of Jesus’ crucifixion. They point to Acts 5.30 and 13.29 which say that Jesus was hanged on and taken down dead from a tree.26 An apocryphal Christian apocalypse, The Ascension of Isaiah composed in stages during the first and second centuries, also says that he was “crucified on the tree”. This is in conformity with the Jewish tradition which tells us that Jesus was first bound to a pillar and scourged, then stoned to death, and finally hanged on a tree.

The Jewish tradition acquires weight when we find that the cross appears quite late as a Christian symbol. The Roman cross on which Jesus is supposed to have been crucified was not at all like the one represented by Christian painters. The Christian cross, in fact, is patterned after the mystic cross which we find in Egyptian hieroglyphics dated to an era long before Jesus is supposed to have been crucified. We do not meet this Christian cross among Christian symbols till Helena, the mother of Constantine, travelled to Jerusalem in 337 and “discovered the true cross”. And it was not until the Council of Constantinople held in 692 AD that the Church pronounced the cross as real and not symbolic. The story that the cross had appeared to Constantine in 312 AD on the eve of the Battle of the Mulvian Bridge is pure fiction.

Joan Taylor to whom we have referred earlier in this chapter, finds that the Holy Cross Church at Jerusalem has been built after demolishing a temple dedicated to Venus, a Pagan Goddess of ancient Greece and Rome. The crime was committed at the behest of Constantine, the Roman emperor who converted to Christianity, simply because his mother, Helena, saw in a dream that Jesus had been crucified at that place. Constantine’s minions had no problem in “unearthing” a cross and claiming the site. We have many instances of such crosses being “unearthed” in South India, particularly at places where St. Thomas is supposed to have built the first seven churches.

8. Resurrection: We are entitled to dismiss the gospel stories of Resurrection like the rest of Jesus’ miracles. We are entitled not to treat it as history at all. But as Resurrection happens to be the core of the Christian creed, we will better see what sort of puerile invention it is. Inventors of falsehood enjoy an advantage over tellers of truth, especially when the inventors become powerful and wield big guns and/or weapons of big propaganda. Tellers of truth are forced to discuss the fictions floated by the inventors of falsehood.

Scholars who date some epistles of Paul as earlier than the gospels regard this man as the first propounder of Resurrection. “Now if Christ is preached,” he wrote to the Corinthians in 49 AD, “as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.”28 The ifs and buts used by Paul in this statement go to show that for him Resurrection was the starting point of a story which had yet to be concocted and that to start with there were few buyers for this starting point.

Some theologians have tried to interpret Paul as saying that the risen Christ was not a being of flesh and blood but a spiritual being. But that would mean dismissing the whole of the New Testament and wellnigh two thousand years of Christian tradition. In fact, Paul himself seems to repeat the gospel accounts when he says earlier in the same epistle that Jesus appeared after his death first to Cephas, then to the twelve disciples, then to more than five hundred people, then to James, then to all the apostles, and lastly to him.

Before we take up the gospel accounts of Resurrection, we may point out that, according to scholars, Jesus’ appearance after his death (16.9-20) formed no part of the original gospel of Mark and has been appended to it later. “This is in itself peculiar. If Jesus had been raised from the dead and had appeared to some of his chief disciples, then surely Mark could not have failed to record it. The fact that this had to be tacked by someone else also indicates that Jesus’ appearance and ascension were not known to Mark, whose Gospel, it is generally agreed, was written about thirty years after Jesus’ death. In other words, the story of a raised Jesus appearing to his disciples and others and then ascending to heaven was only invented a generation or more after the events were supposed to have occurred.”

“There seems even less prospect,” observes James P. Mackey, “of arriving at a concordant account of the details of the appearances of Jesus than there is in the case of the empty tomb stories, when at least Mary Magdalene is consistently a principal character. That has to be recognized at the very outset. Apart from the major discrepancy amongst the gospels as to whether the appearances of Jesus took place in Galilee or in and around Jerusalem, all the appearance stories have different settings, details and messages. ..."

“The embarrassment,” comments Michael Arnheim, “which Jesus’ death occasioned his disciples must have been acute, and it comes through very clearly in Paul’s creed in which he twice specifically links Jesus’ death with Jewish prophecy ‘Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures’ and ‘he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures’ (my emphasis; 1 Cor. 15: 3-4; cf. Acts 13:27-9). Which scriptures is Paul referring to? There is this verse in the prophet Hosea: ‘after two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him’ (Hosea 6:2). But the reference here is not to resurrection at all, but rather to God’s reconciliation with the Jewish people after punishing them. Hosea, it must be stressed, was writing some seven hundred years before the time of Jesus and his prophecy must be understood in terms of the circumstances of his own day, a time when there were still two independent Jewish kingdoms, Judea and Israel, but when their independence was threatened from without by powerful foreign states and, as the prophet saw it, by moral and religious decay from within.”

The Jewish tradition also confirms that Resurrection and Ascension were only stories invented and spread by the disciples. According to this tradition, Judas, the resourceful Jew, who had captured Jesus, the evil magician, and helped the Jewish elders kill and bury him, became suspicious when he saw Jesus’ disciples sitting round the tomb during the night. So he removed the body from the tomb and buried it elsewhere. Next morning the disciples came to the tomb again and, finding it empty, started crying out that Jesus had risen from the dead and ascended unto heaven. Judas produced the body from its hiding place so that it was tied to a horse’s tail and dragged around for some time. But Paul, the apostate disciple of Rabbi Gamaliel, took the false story of Resurrection to Rome and spread it there.

The Jewish tradition is also confirmed by Acts 13.29 which states quite clearly that Jesus’ body was buried by the Jews themselves and not by Joseph of Arimathea who appears like a deus ex machina in the gospels.

9. Character of the Gospels: The writer of John’s gospel declares at the end of his account (21.24) that “This is the disciple who is both witness of these facts and the recorder of these facts; and we know that his testimony is true”. The same claim of being eye-witness accounts is advanced by Christian apologetics on behalf of the other three gospels, though the gospels themselves do not say so. We have, however, seen that the gospels contradict and cancel out each other when it comes to the salient features in the story of Jesus — the date and year and place of his birth, his ancestry and parentage, his ministry, his trial and death, and his resurrection. This claim on behalf the gospels, therefore, falls to the ground.

In fact, this claim was dismissed most forcefully by David Friedrich Strauss who published his two-volume work, The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, in 1835-36. “Because of the discrepancies he found, he cogently argued that none of the gospels could have been by eye-witnesses, but instead must have been the work of writers of a much later generation, freely constructing their material from probably garbled traditions about Jesus in circulation in the early Church.”

Even the names by which the gospels are known today have been found to be later inventions. “Few realize, for instance, that despite the fact that the canonical gospels bear the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, these names are mere attributions, and not necessarily those of their real authors. The earliest writers who referred to the gospels significantly failed to mention names of authors, it being apparent that each gospel, both those surviving and those that have failed to survive, was originally designed as the gospel for a particular community. A canon of the four ‘recognized’ gospels only gradually came with general usage, at the same time acquiring associations with specific names from Christianity’s earliest years, though the connection was not necessarily legitimate.”35 For all we know, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John may be mere names rather than real characters who actually lived and wrote in the remote past.
...

It is significant that Christian writers before 100 AD quote the Old Testament quite often but never the New Testament. Obviously, the material of the New Testament including the gospels was either in a formative stage, or was not deemed authentic enough to enjoy the prestige of scriptural authority. In any case, the existing codices of the gospels do not “take us further back than the days of Jerome and Augustine, still leaving a huge 300-year gap”.38 The original compositions that might have existed at earlier dates were thus “exposed to two centuries of errors in transcriptions, and to possible alterations to suit the theology or aims of the copyist’s sect or time”.39

The gospels cannot, therefore, he accepted as reflecting the time and clime in which Jesus is supposed to have lived and functioned. What they represent are the beliefs held by certain Christian communities in the middle of the third century AD.

There is also plenty of evidence that the gospels have been subjected to considerable editing in course of time. Passages have been interpolated as well as expunged. It is now well known that Mark 16.9-20 referring to Jesus’ appearance after death and the world mission of Christianity, have been added at a later stage. The original gospel comes to an end at 16.8 in the ancient manuscripts.
...

What scholars have come to suspect the most, apart from the miracles, are the Old Testament prophecies which abound in the gospels. Almost every event in Jesus’ life, from birth to death, is presented as fulfillment of some prophecy. Michael Arnheim has devoted a whole chapter (the Sixth) of his book to this subject. “One of the chief concerns — if not the chief concern — of the Gospels is to ‘prove’ that Jesus was the Messiah as prophesied in the Jewish scriptures. There are essentially two ways in which they set about doing this, depending upon the need of the case ... either to bring your story into line with the prophecy or to interpret the prophecy in such a way as to bring it into conformity with the story.”41 He has analysed the various prophecies in order to show which of the two ways has been followed in which case. He has also found instances in which both the ways have been used.
...

Summing Up

This being the character of the gospels, the search for a Jesus of history in them has had to be given up. It may be noted that the search was started and continued not by atheists or anti-Christians of any type but by pious theologians whose aim was to install Jesus on the firm ground of recorded history and thus fortify the fundamental Christian belief that Christianity is a historical and not a mythological faith. They cannot he blamed if the results of Christological research have turned out to be disastrous for Christianity, as we shall see.
...

Coming to the “Results”, he (Albert Schweitzer, the world famous theologian and missionary,) mourns, “There is nothing more negative than the result of the critical study of the Life of Jesus. The Jesus of Nazareth who came forward publicly as the Messiah, who preached the ethic of the Kingdom of God, who founded the Kingdom of Heaven upon earth, and died to give His work its final consecration, never had any existence. This image has not been destroyed from without. It has fallen to pieces, cleft and disintegrated by the concrete historical problems which came to the surface one after another, and in spite of all the artifice, art, artificiality, and violence which was applied to them, refused to be planed down to fit the design on which Jesus of the theology of the last hundred and thirty years had been constructed and were no sooner covered over than they appeared again in a new form..”52 He concludes, “We thought that it was for us to lead our time by the roundabout way through the historical Jesus, as we understood Him, in order to bring it to the Jesus who is a spiritual power in the present. This roundabout way has now been closed by genuine history.”53
...

Pope Leo X had confessed in the early sixteenth century that “It has served us well, this myth of Christ”.55 Now that the myth was getting exploded, Pope Pius X condemned in 1907 the Modernists who “were working within the framework of the Church” and “an anti-Modernist oath was introduced in 1910”.56
...

Pastor J. Kahl pronounced in 1967 that “nothing at all is known of Jesus beyond the bare fact that ‘he existed at a date and place which can be established approximately’ and that both his teaching and manner of death remain unknown so that ‘the name of Jesus is bound to remain cryptic and meaningless, indistinguishable from a myth’.”59
...

G.A. Wells has continued to examine the arguments of those who are still out to prop up a Jesus of history. He has written three challenging books in 1971, 1982 and 1986. In his latest book he concludes that “The existence of strongly divergent Christologies in early Christian times is a strong argument against Jesus’ historicity”, and that “if he had really lived, early Christian literature would not ‘show nearly everywhere churchly and theological conflicts and fierce quarrels between opponents’ nor disagree so radically as to what kind of person he was”.63

satay
07 December 2006, 10:45 AM
Sita Ram Goel, the great patriot and crusader against the agression of Christian and Islamic zealots says in his book Jesus Christ, An Artifice for Aggression thus:


I have read Mr. Goel's book and I agree that this book is a must read for every hindu. Not only just read but we must internalize his thoughts. If he were alive today, I would have dropped to his feet and accepted him as my guru immediately!

satay
07 December 2006, 11:05 AM
Another good book that is must read for every hindu is - Age of Reason by Thomas Paine

"No one will deny or dispute the power of the Almighty to make such a communication if he pleases. But admitting, for the sake of a case, that something has been revealed to a certain person, and not revealed to any other person, it is revelation to that person only. When he tells it to a second person, a second to a third, a third to a fourth, and so on, it ceases to be a revelation to all those persons. It is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other, and, consequently, they are not obliged to believe it.

It is a contradiction in terms and ideas to call anything a revelation that comes to us at second hand, either verbally or in writing. Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication. After this, it is only an account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and though he may find himself obliged to believe it, it cannot be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner, for it was not a revelation made to me, and I have only his word for it that it was made to him."

-Chapter 2
http://www.thomaspaine.org/Archives/AOR1.html

One can find his works at http://www.thomaspaine.org/contents.html

satay
21 January 2007, 02:58 AM
I happen to catch the 'Myths of Mankind' series tonight http://www.onebodymindspirit.com/Myths_Mankind2.htm ; a documentary by channel one body mind spirit.

The series on jesus' myth is quite interesting.

saidevo
21 January 2007, 06:25 AM
Namaste Satay.

Interesting link. Ironically “The Son of God” questions the very historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth, whereas the following text “A Christianity Before Christianity” says that the first followers of Jesus Gnostic christians who "maintained that divinity lies in each of us, and can find our way to God through self-knowledge."

The text also says that "Gnostics saw the life and death of Jesus in metaphorical terms", and that it is " rooted in ancient mystery religions." This throws up some interesting implications: If Jesus was metaphorical, he did not exist. But the image of Jesus should have been modelled on some ancient religious personality, may be a rishi? And the teachings should have been grouped by a set of disciples, and who were they? Who was their guru?

Swami Shyamendra has traced the Hindu origins of names and places throughout the world in his Website http://www.swamishyam.org. Some of his obversations include:

1. A verse of the Mahabharata expresses the same conclusion: "There is a sacred place named Saptcharu in the bank of river Devika, a branch of the Vitasta or Jhelam River which flows in Kashmir, and that is the birthplace of the first rishis." Kashmir was larger in those days and spread from the Arabian Sea to Mount Kailash, from the Punjab to Southern Siberia.

2. From the beginning, Aryans were born in India and have been living there for four million years without interruption (2). The concept of "pre-Aryan" has no meaning. It is like asking "What was pre-creation?" or "What was before God?" They are irrelevant questions. The seeming discrepancy between 4 billion, 2 billion, and 4 million years of civilization is due to the interruptions of natural disasters in the course of the Earth's history, interrupting the course of life, but not annihilating it.

3. When the Lovetrance* race of India migrated to distant countries, the climate printed on their bodies and eventually their genes reformed to give birth to more environmentally suitable appearances. Yet, they carried their ancient culture, including their language, dressing style, religion, policies, rites, ceremonies, and customs with them. Remnants of these are observable throughout the ancient world. Part of this carry-over includes the names of countries and cities on all continents. Many of these are the names of Vedic rishis, or some other Sanskrit word. One example is Atropaten; in pure Sanskrit this word is Atripattan, which means, the abode of the great rishi Atri. Here are a few more:

Syria (Suria) - Sura
Assyria - Asura
Galilee - Gawalaya
Nazareth - Nandrath
Russia - Russiya
( Land of the rishis. The Sanskrit suffix "ia" means: Land of, and was used in countries such as: Siberia, Prussia, Rumania, Bularia, Iberia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania, Austria, Australia, Scanidinvia, Armenia, and Albania.)

Siberia - Shibireeya (Region of temporary habitations)
Soviet - Svet (White, as in snow-covered)
Caspian Sea - Kasyap
Budapest - Buddhaprastha (The city of Buddha)
Austria - Astriya (Land of missiles)
Poland - (There is an ancient saying in Poland: Kto poznal India, poznat coly Swiat. "He who sees India has seen the whole world.")
Scandinavia - Skanda-simha
Sweden (Sverige) - Swarge
Norway (Norge) - Narka
Greece (Macedonia) - Maha-Sadaneeya
Italy - Etaly
Rome (Roma) - Rama
Madrid - Madri
France - Pravar
Paris (Parisorium) - Parameswarium
Angul - Angulisthan(Finger-size and length country)
Britain - Brihat-Sthan
London (Londonium) - Nandonium
Stonehenge - Stavankunj
Woodhenge - Vanakunj
Salisbury - Shaileshpury
Ireland - Aryasthan
Iran - Iranam(Salty land)
Arabia (Arbasthan) - Arvasthan
Egypt - Ajapati
(Ajapati is an epithet of Lord Rama of India, born in the Solar Dynasty in the Silver Age. He has stood as the epitome of Kingly rule throughout the Vedic civilization. Egypt is named after Rama, and therefore was of the Solar Dynasty, and named its emperors Ramesis.)

Rhodesia - Rhid-desh (Heart-land)
Guatemala - Guatamalaya
Japan (Nippon) - Nipun (The word "nipun" in Sanskrit means expert or smart.)
Korea - Gauriya
Malaysia - Malaya
Singapore - Simhapur
Manchuria - Manjushri
Bali - Bali
Burma - Bramha(desh)
Australia - Astralaya (Land of missiles; P.N. Oak suggests this might have been a land where nuclear missiles were experimented, leaving larges parts of it a desert.)

*The name given by Shyamendra for the most ancient race of mankind that originated in India and is still found, according to him.

(Source: http://www.swamishyam.org/THOTW%20Online%20Version/THOTWO_1.HTM)

While personal subscriptions to these suggestions might differ, everyone would agree that an intensive research done by Indian scholars and sages would throw new lights on the true History of the World and Mankind and banish the prejudiced history written by the conquerors that circulates today.

satay
21 January 2007, 10:45 PM
on banning:
Yes, just like osho's several books are banned by the vatican. This banning stuff seems to be normal practice unfortunately.

saidevo
25 February 2007, 11:01 PM
Jesus' Resurrection Theory in Question Again



Titanic director tackles Jesus
February 26, 2007 - 8:44AM

(Source: http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&ct=us/0-0&fp=45e2458d7633d480&ei=PzriRdbXHbKusgGpmPBv&url=http%3A//www.theage.com.au/news/film/director-tackles-jesus/2007/02/26/1172338503620.html&cid=1113889362)

Titanic director James Cameron's latest project is a controversial new documentary claiming Jesus was never resurrected, and had a son with Mary Magdalene, according to a US report.

The Canadian filmmaker will unveil three coffins he claims are those of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother Mary and Mary Magdalene at a press conference in New York tomorrow, Time magazine's website said.

It reported that Cameron and colleague Simcha Jacobovici use evidence from DNA tests, archaeological surveys and biblical studies, attempting to show that 10 stone coffins discovered in a Jerusalem suburb in 1980 by Israeli construction workers, belonged to Jesus and his family.

Some 20 years later, archaeologists apparently deciphered some of the names on the tombs in the 2,000-year-old cave as Jesua, son of Joseph, Mary, Mary, Mathew, Jofa and Judah, son of Jesua.

The 90-minute Discovery Channel film is produced by Cameron and directed by Jacobovici.

Builders in the Talpiyot were digging the foundations for a new building in the industrial park when the earth gave way and revealed the cave containing the coffins.

But prominent Jerusalem archaeologist Amos Kloner, who officially oversaw the work at the tomb, dismissed the claims.

"It makes a great story for a TV film," the professor reportedly told The Jerusalem Post.

"But it's impossible. It's nonsense."

Agencies


It seems that Christians may now have a sigh of relief that their prophet and son of God Jesus does have historicity about him, though this new discovery, if accepted as truth, would question the resurrection theory of Jesus Christ, which is a cornerstone of Christian Theology that seeks to establish Jesus as God. Discover Channel gives a picture of the tomb: http://www.discovery.com/tomb

There are other news also in this link:
http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&ie=UTF-8&ncl=1113889362

saidevo
14 March 2009, 11:09 PM
Here is an account of Swami Vivekananda's opinion about the historicity of Jesus Christ. Curiously, he also has 'doubt' about the historicity of Sri Krishna! Besides, he expresses his opinion that the Christian rituals were derived from the Buddhist's which in turn from the Vedic.



"Swami Vivekananda on Historicity of Christ"
From chapter 8 of "Notes of some wanderings with Swami Vivekananda"
By Sister Nivedita
http://www.scribd.com/doc/12902445/Swami-Vivekananda-on-Historicity-of-Jesus-Christ

"At that rate, then, you accept Catholic ritual as Aryan!"

"Yes almost all Christianity is Aryan, I believe. I am inclined to think Christ, never existed. I have doubted that, ever since I had my dream-that dream off Crete!* Indian and Egyptian ideas met at Alexandria, and went forth to the world, tinctured with Judaism and Hellenism, as Christianity.

"The Acts and Epistles, you know, are older than the Gospels, and S. John is spurious. The only figure we can be sure of is S. Paul, and he was not an eye-witness, and according to his own showing was capable of Jesuitry "by all means save souls" isn't it?

"No! Buddha and Mohammed, alone amongst religious teachers, stand out with historic distinctness, having been fortunate enough to have, while they were living, enemies as well as friends. Krishna I doubt; a yogi, and a shepherd, and a great king, have all been amalgamated in one beautiful figure, holding the Gita in his hand.

"Renan’s life of Jesus is mere froth. It does not touch Strauss, the real antiquarian. Two things stand out as personal living touches in the life of Christ, the woman taken in adultery, the most beautiful story in literature, and the woman at the well. How strangely true is this last, to Indian life! A woman, coming to draw water, finds, seated at the well-side, a yellow- clad monk. He asks her for water. Then He teaches her, and does a little mind-reading and so on. Only in an Indian story, when she went to call the villagers, to look and listen, the monk would have taken his chance, and fled to the forest!

"On the whole, I think old Rabbi Hillel is responsible for the teachings of Jesus, and an obscure Jewish sect of Nazarenes a sect of great antiquity suddenly galvanised by S. Paul, furnished the mythic personality, as a centre of worship.

"The Resurrection, of course, is simply spring-cremation. Only the rich Greeks and Romans had had cremation any way, and the new sun-myth would only stop it amongst the few."


*This is the account of Swami's dream:



In travelling from Naples to Port Said, on his way back to India, in January 1897, the Swami had a dream of an old and bearded man, who appeared before him, saying "This is th island of Crete," and showing him a place in the island, that he might afterwards identify. The vision went to say that the religion of Christianity had originated in the island of Crete and in connection with this gave him two European words, one of which was Therapeutae which it declared, were derived from Sanskrit. Therapeutae meant sons (from the Sanskrit putra) of the Theras, or Buddhist monks. From this the Swami was to understand that Christianity had originated in a Buddhist mission. The old man added "The proofs are all here," pointing to the ground. "Dig and you will see!"

As he awoke, feeling that this was no common dream, the Swami rose, and tumbled out on deck. Here he met an officer, turning in from his watch. "What o clock is it?", said the Swami. "Mid-night!" was the answer. "Where are we?" he then said; when, to his astonishment, the answer came back "fifty miles off Crete!"

Our Master used to laugh at himself for the strength of the impression that this dream had made en him. But he could never shake it off. The fact that the second of the two etymologies has been lost is deeply to be regretted. The Swami had to say that before he had had this dream, it had never occurred to him to doubt that the personality of Christ was strictly historic. We must remember, however, that according to Hindu philosophy, it is the completeness of an idea that is important, and not the question of its historical authenticity. The Swami once asked Sri Ramakrishna, when he was a boy, about this very matter. "Don’t you think!" answered his Guru, "that those who could invent such things were themselves that?"

Pretnath
15 March 2009, 03:51 AM
Namaste Satya G and Saideo G,:grouphug:

but err.. sorry I don't understand what kind of thread is this? And for what purpose.:headscratch:

saidevo
15 March 2009, 10:41 AM
Namaste Pretnath.



but err.. sorry I don't understand what kind of thread is this? And for what purpose.


Under the pseudo-secular government ruling India at the Centre and in the States, the conversion activities of Christian missionaries are at their peak, targetting not just the poor and backward caste Hindus but wealthy and educated Hindus too. The net of mAyA they and the western scholars cast is so widespread that many Hindus are led to believe that mainstay popular scriptures like Ramayana and Mahabharata are just mythological stories--not like the Gospel truth of the Bible whose every word about the life of Jesus is true.

This thread is a repository for the discerning Hindu to understand that Jesus Christ, the supposed founder of Christianity himself is not a historical figure as many Indian and Western scholars are discovering with hard evidence. If the Hindus realize that Jesus is not all that he is made out to be in the Christian scriptures and dogma, and they spread this message to their brethren, then this knowledge would serve as an effective weapon against the onslaught of their religion and culture. So you don't have to take offence at the bare opinions and evidential facts laid out in this thread.

Hiwaunis
17 March 2009, 10:33 PM
Namaste Pretnath.



Under the pseudo-secular government ruling India at the Centre and in the States, the conversion activities of Christian missionaries are at their peak, targetting not just the poor and backward caste Hindus but wealthy and educated Hindus too. The net of mAyA they and the western scholars cast is so widespread that many Hindus are led to believe that mainstay popular scriptures like Ramayana and Mahabharata are just mythological stories--not like the Gospel truth of the Bible whose every word about the life of Jesus is true.

This thread is a repository for the discerning Hindu to understand that Jesus Christ, the supposed founder of Christianity himself is not a historical figure as many Indian and Western scholars are discovering with hard evidence. If the Hindus realize that Jesus is not all that he is made out to be in the Christian scriptures and dogma, and they spread this message to their brethren, then this knowledge would serve as an effective weapon against the onslaught of their religion and culture. So you don't have to take offence at the bare opinions and evidential facts laid out in this thread.

Pranam,
To say that Jesus is the founder of Christianity is incorrect. It has been proven that the gospels were written 5 to 10 years after the death of Jesus. The real founder of Christianity is Paul, aka, Saul. The Bible says that Paul/Saul used to persecute Christians. Then one day he saw the light. The Light was Christ and It talked to Paul/Saul.

Jesus was an updated version of Moses who was an updated version of Abraham. Most of what's written in the Bible was taken from other scriptures. It is also a proven fact that the Vedas are the oldest scriptures on Earth.

If you want to educate Indians on the "illusion" of Christianity then research Paul. Oh and don't forget Emperor Constantine as well as King James. Constanine declared Christianity the main religion because he prayed to Jesus (the Prince of Peace)to let him win his war. King James funded the King James version of the Bible which at one time was the most popular. King James as a young man could not wait for the Queen (his own mother)to be beheaded so that he could be King. Not once before or after did he protest the beheading.

You will know a seed by the fruit it produces.

Actually, you don't have to do any research. Just look at what Christianity has become; BIG BUSINESS.

Terrorism, murder, wars (mass murder), rape, manipulation, extortion, lust, greed, slavery, etc, etc are characteristics of asuras. Christianity is the religion of asuras.

Namaste,

atanu
18 March 2009, 12:07 AM
Pranam,
To say that Jesus is the founder of Christianity is incorrect. It has been proven that the gospels were written 5 to 10 years after the death of Jesus. You will know a seed by the fruit it produces.

Actually, you don't have to do any research. Just look at what Christianity has become; BIG BUSINESS.

Terrorism, murder, wars (mass murder), rape, manipulation, extortion, lust, greed, slavery, etc, etc are characteristics of asuras. Christianity is the religion of asuras.

Namaste,

Namaste Hiwaunis,

Although this is an emotional subject, I wish to point out that Jnani is silent and does not write or speak as Advaita. Only using the Prakritic mAyA can be spoken or written. But the Jnani is indeed the controller of mAyA though it is at not apparent to us, who do not even understand how motivations take birth in every heart yet we fight over "I-Me-Mine".

So, a scripture has to be shruti -- the revealed words. And Hindu leaders do not doubt the value of Bible as Shruti. At least I have not heard or read sages such as Shankarcharyas, Shri Ramana, Shri Ramakrishna, Shri Vivekananda or for that matter any known Self Realised Guru to teach that Bible teaches falsehood.

I agree that religion, which has power over the masses, is exploited to the hilt by the powerful (rajasic) for their own benefit. No doubt, most so-called christian rajahs who amassed Christianity are those who passionately killed their so-called beloved Jesus also. No doubt that streaks of the violence that made them kill Jesus also colors their actions. Similarly, Mullahs who wrongly preach violence have violence in their Minds. No doubt about the historical facts that you have listed. I believe that the characteristic of a religion partakes the gunas prevalent therein.


Yet to say that God is unaware or that God has no control over these asuras is little beyond me. An Upanishad says that same scripture given to three classes of beings are understood and acted upon by in different ways. The truth is OM, everywhere and at all times yet, the understanding and the actions are as per the prevailing guna structure.

Om

Regarding historicity of a character, Self realised Gurus say that what exists as knowledge must also exist as gross reality and what exists as gross reality must have its spiritual reality. About time the Jnanis say that Jesus exists now as Vasista exists now.

Om

devotee
18 March 2009, 02:31 AM
Although this is an emotional subject, I wish to point out that Jnani is silent and does not write or speak as Advaita. Only using the Prakritic mAyA can be spoken or written. But the Jnani is indeed the controller of mAyA though it is at not apparent to us, who do not even understand how motivations take birth in every heart yet we fight over "I-Me-Mine".

So, a scripture has to be shruti -- the revealed words. And Hindu leaders do not doubt the value of Bible as Shruti. At least I have not heard or read sages such as Shankarcharyas, Shri Ramana, Shri Ramakrishna, Shri Vivekananda or for that matter any known Self Realised Guru to teach that Bible teaches falsehood.

Regarding historicity of a character, Self realised Gurus say that what exists as knowledge must also exist as gross reality and what exists as gross reality must have its spiritual reality. About time the Jnanis say that Jesus exists now as Vasista exists now.



Excellent Atanu ! I bow to your noble thoughts. My thoughts are similar to yours.

Regards,

OM

saidevo
18 March 2009, 03:30 AM
Namaste Atanu.

My outlook of the Western religions is more of a 'look out' than 'look in'. It does commensurate with my own 'guNas' but the silver lining is that I am aware--though only intellectually--of the extent of my ignorance, perhaps as much as an actor playing an insipid role is aware of it. And I hope that in some future birth I will be given the role of a sage so I can feel, act and speak wisdom. So here is my thinking on some of your points on the subject:



Terrorism, murder, wars (mass murder), rape, manipulation, extortion, lust, greed, slavery, etc, etc are characteristics of asuras. Christianity is the religion of asuras.




Yet to say that God is unaware or that God has no control over these asuras is little beyond me.


I don't think what Hiawaunis has observed amounts to saying "that God is unaware or that God has no control". I don't agree that Christianity is a religion of asuras but I do find some asuric--and a lot of shallow--teachings in Christianity and Islam, which inhibit the 'sAdhana' of their well-meaning followers.

In the earlier three Yugas, devas, asuras and humans were distinct races so it was easy for the humans to recognize them. In this Kali Yuga, however, the devas and asuras are inherent in humans--in fact in everyone of us--with varying degrees.

When some humans of one faith cannot care less for the faith of other humans and seek to destroy their religion and culture, with well-documented quotes from their own scriptures, it is not unwise, impropriety or ignorance to react to it with words and action. If their violence is scripted in God's universal drama, so is our chosen reaction--and chosen inaction. The chosen inaction might be full of wisdom but wisdom is not certainly absent in the chosen reaction, IMO.

There is a story that a Vaishnavite king Vlshnuvardhana, of the Hoysalas was greatly incensed at the doctrine of mAyA taught by the then Sankaracharya of Sringeri. He invited the sage to his palace and let loose an elephant to 'teach the sage a lesson'. Of course, the sage ran for his life as predicted. When the King asked the sage why he ran for his life when the elephant was only an illusion, the sage replied that his running too was an illusion!



No doubt that streaks of the violence that made them kill Jesus also colors their actions. Similarly, Mullahs who wrongly preach violence have violence in their Minds. No doubt about the historical facts that you have listed. I believe that the characteristic of a religion partakes the gunas prevalent therein.


The 'guNas' that sparked violence by the Christians and Muslims are still prevalent, sparking the same violence, overtly and covertly, even now. The people to whom the 'guNas' belong would never change or be allowed to change themselves with the realization that after all the world is a mental illusion so it would be wise to mind their own business and let others mind their own--of seeking the truth in their own way.

If the predominantly 'satvic guNa' in the Hindus gets stained/strained by the Hindu reactions to the religious violence perpetrated on them from all quarters and in all areas of life, it is also a part of the divine play, IMO.

Plainly speaking, when some Christians and Muslims revile our religion and speak and write obnoxious things about Hindu gods, scriptures and sages, there is nothing wrong in finding faults in their religion, specially when it it is done not with the feeling of revulsion but with the genuine intention of educating fellow Hindus and possibly some people of the offensive faiths too.



About time the Jnanis say that Jesus exists now as Vasista exists now.


Although I think that Jesus does not exist historically, I don't mind Jesus existing mythologically or to think that he exists now, but I do believe that he is not the Jesus--just like the God of Reality is not Personal God--portrayed in the Bible. JnAnis would only say as much and it is for us to work out the details.

I have compiled what some of our Hindu sages felt and said on Christianity in a separate post to follow.

saidevo
18 March 2009, 06:37 AM
What some Hindu sages said about Christianity
RamaNa Maharshi

RamaNa Maharshi gave the proper perspective that Christians should have about their religion. How many of them, specially among the clergy, have that perspective or even willing to understand it? And how many Christians who know and understand it care--or dare--to spread the knowledge?

Here is something that he said about Christianity. In the following passages 'M:' stands for 'Maharshi:' and 'D:' for the 'Devotee:'.

Significance of the Christian faith

From Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
© Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai

6th November, 1935
Talk 86.

The Master gave the true significance of the Christian faith thus:

Christ is the ego.
The Cross is the body.
When the ego is crucified, and it perishes, what survives is the Absolute Being (God), (cf. "I and my Father are one") and this glorious survival is called Resurrection.

**********

Talk 90.
Again, the Trinity was explained:

God the Father represents Isvara
God the Holy Spirit represents Atman
God the Son represents Guru

Isvaro gururatmeti murti bheda vibhagine vyomavad vyapta dehaya dakshinamurtaye namah:

Meaning that God appears to his devotee in the form of a Guru (son of God) and points out to him the immanence of the Holy Spirit. That is to say that God is spirit, that this spirit is immanent everywhere and that the Self must be realised, which is the same as realising God.

**********

Talk 96.
For example, an ordinary Christian will not be satisfied unless he is told that God is somewhere in the far-off Heavens not to be reached by us unaided. Christ alone knew Him and Christ alone can guide us. Worship Christ and be saved. If told the simple truth - “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you” - he is not satisfied and will read complex and far-fetched meanings in such statements. Mature minds alone can grasp the simple Truth in all its nakedness.

**********

A missionary's (wasted) tryst with the Truth

Here is an incident that highlights the wantonly persistent ignorance, and the dogmatically arrogant religious attitude of a Christian Missionary who sought to interview RamaNa Maharshi. The quote is rather long but it does have a point that some people would not only never understand but go to any extent to impose their ignorance on others.

From Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
© Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai

21st March, 1938
Talk 476.

Dr. Stanley Jones, a Christian missionary, visited Maharshi. He writes books and delivers lectures. He has two Asramams under his control in North India. He was accompanied by another gentleman and two ladies. He is at present writing a book On the Indian Road and wants to meet the spiritually great men in India so that he may collect material for the book. He desired to know how the Indian sages have proceeded and what they have found as their experience in divinity. So he asked questions. (This is only a short sketch of his interview).

D.: What is your quest? What is the goal? How far have you progressed?
M.: The goal is the same for all. But tell me why you should be in search of a goal? Why are you not content with the present condition?

D.: Is there then no goal?
M.: Not so. What makes you seek a goal? It is a counter-question to be answered by you.

D.: I have my own ideas of these subjects. I want to know what Maharshi has to say.
M.: Maharshi has no doubts to be cleared.

D.: Well, I consider the goal to be the realisation by the lower mind of the higher mind so that the Kingdom of Heaven might endure here on earth. The lower mind is incomplete and it must be made perfect by realisation of the higher mind.

M.: So then you admit a lower mind which is incomplete and which seeks realisation of the higher so that it may become perfect. Is that lower mind apart from the higher mind? Is it independent of the other?

D.: The Kingdom of Heaven was brought down on Earth by Jesus Christ. I consider Him to be the Kingdom personified. I want everyone to realise the same. He said: "I am hungry with other men's hunger;" and so on. Mutual partnership in pleasure and pain is the Kingdom of Heaven. If that Kingdom is universalised everyone will feel at one with the rest.

M.: You speak of the differences between the lower and the higher minds, pleasures and pains. What becomes of these differences in your sleep?

D.: But I want to be wide awake.
M.: Is this your wide awakened state? It is not. It is only a dream in your long sleep. All are in sleep, dreaming of the world and things and actions.

D.: This is all Vedantic, I have no use for it. The existing differences are not imaginary. They are positive. However, what is that real waking? Can Maharshi tell us what he has found it to be?
M.: Real waking lies beyond the three states of waking, dream and sleep.

D.: I am really awake and know that I am not in sleep.
M.: Real waking lies beyond the plane of differences.
D.: What is the state of the world then?
M.: Does the world come and tell you "I exist"?

D.: No. But the people in the world tell me that the world needs spiritual, social and moral regeneration.
M.: You see the world and the people in it. They are your thoughts. Can the world be apart from you?

D.: I enter into it with love.
M.: Before entering thus do you stand aloof?
D.: I am identified with it and yet remaining apart. Now I came here to ask Maharshi and hear him. Why does he ask me questions?
M.: Maharshi has replied. His reply amounts to this: Real waking does not involve differences.

D.: Can such realisation be universalised?
M.: Where are differences there? There are no individuals in it.
D.: Have you reached the goal?
M.: The goal cannot be anything apart from the Self nor can it be something to be gained afresh. If that were so, such goal cannot be abiding and permanent. What appears anew will also disappear. The goal must be eternal and within. Find it within yourself.

D.: I want to know your experience.
M.: Maharshi does not seek enlightenment. The question is of no use to the questioner. Whether I have realised or not, how does it affect the questioner?

D.: Not so. Each one's experience has a human value in it and can be shared by others.
M.: The problem must be solved by the questioner himself. The question is best directed to oneself.

D.: I know the answer to the question.
M.: Let us have it.
D.: I was shown the Kingdom of Heaven twenty years ago. It was by God's grace only. I made no effort for it. I was happy. I want to universalise, moralise and socialise it. At the same time I want to know Maharshi's experience of the Divine.

Mrs. Jinarajadasa intervened and spoke softly: We all agree that Maharshi has brought the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Why do you press him to answer your questions relating to his realisation? It is for you to seek and gain it. The questioner listened to her, argued slightly and resumed his questions to Maharshi. After one or two light questions, Major Chadwick spoke sternly: "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you," says the Bible.

D.: How shall I realise it? Major Chadwick: Why do you ask Maharshi to realise it for you?
D.: I do not. Major Chadwick: The Kingdom is within you. You should realise it.
D.: It is within only for those who hear it. Major Chadwick: The Bible says within you, and adds no qualifications. The questioner felt his conversation was already too long and so retired after thanking Maharshi and others.

RamaNa on the Bible

Talk 77.
The Master, while referring to the Bible for "Be still and know that I am God", Psalm 46, found in the Ecclesiastes. "There is one alone and there is no second" and "The wise man’s heart is at the right hand and a fool’s heart is at the left."

**********

Talk 164
D.: May we read the Bible?
M.: The Bible and the Gita are the same.

D.: The Bible teaches that Man is born in sin.
M.: The Man is sin. There was no man-sense in deep sleep. The bodythought brings out the idea of sin. The birth of thought is itself sin. To another question the Master said: Everyone sees only the Self. The divine forms are only like bubbles in the ocean of Reality, or like pictures moving on a screen.

D.: The Bible says that the human soul may be lost.
M.: The 'I-thought' is the ego and that is lost. The real 'I' is "I am That I Am."

**********

Talk 188.
The essence of mind is only awareness or consciousness. When the ego, however, dominates it, it functions as the reasoning, thinking or sensing faculty. The cosmic mind being not limited by the ego, has nothing separate from itself and is therefore only aware. This is what the Bible means by "I am that I AM".

**********

Talk 201.
D.: What about bringing down divine consciousness from above?

M.: As if the same is not already in the Heart? “O Arjuna, I am in the expanse of the Heart,” says Sri Krishna “He who is in the sun, is also in this man”, says a mantra in the Upanishads. “The Kingdom of God is within”, says the Bible. All are thus agreed that God is within. What is to be brought down? From where? Who is to bring what, and why?

Realisation is only the removal of obstacles to the recognition of the eternal, immanent Reality. Reality is. It need not be taken from place to place.

**********

Talk 426.
D.: What is meant by taking the name of God? How to reconcile the
following two ideas?

The Bible says: "Do not take the name of God in vain."
The Hindu sastras enjoin taking the name of God all the time.

M.: One should not use the name of God artificially and superficially without feeling. To use the name of God one must call upon Him and surrender to Him unreservedly. After such surrender the name of God is constantly with the man.

**********

Talk 436.
M: In the Bible God says "I AM before Abraham." He does not say "I was" but "I AM."

**********

Talk 591.
D.: But a dog-consciousness is different from my consciousness. I cannot read the Bible to the dog. The tree again does not move whereas I move and act.

M.: Call the tree a standing man; and call the man a moving tree.

**********

Talk 601.
D.: 'I am a man' is so obvious whereas 'I am That' is not understood by us.
M.: You are neither That nor This. The truth is 'I am'. "I AM that I AM" according to the Bible also. Mere Being is alone natural. To limit it to 'being a man' is uncalled for.

D.: (Humorously) If votes be taken the majority will be on my side.
(Laughter)
M.: I cast my vote also on your side (Laughter). I say also 'I am a man': but I am not limited to the body. It is IN ME. That is the difference.

**********

What a great place this world will be if the Christian clergy made sincere efforts to study their own scriptures in the light of the above revelations, instead of harping upon their evangelical Bible quotes!

atanu
18 March 2009, 06:50 AM
Namaste Atanu.

My outlook of the Western religions is more of a 'look out' than 'look in'.

Namaste saidevo ji,

Your outlook is balanced and wise. I try to remember the following to keep myself in reigns but not any other. Often, however, prakritic causes draw in so-called others, with whom some churning takes place.


IV-1: May that Divine Being, who, though Himself colourless, gives rise to various colours in different ways with the help of His own power, for His own inscrutable purpose, and who dissolves the whole world in Himself in the end – may He endow us with good thoughts !Om Namah Shivaya

srivijaya
18 March 2009, 07:22 AM
One of the most important historians of the time was a Jew called Josephus who was involved in a rebellion against the Romans which he documented in his book The Jewish War:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus

He may have briefly mentioned Jesus in passing. If so, it indicates that Jesus was, at the time an insignificant personality:

Josephus includes information about individuals, groups, customs and geographical places. His writings provide a significant, extra-Biblical account of the post-Exilic period of the Maccabees, the Hasmonean dynasty, and the rise of Herod the Great. He makes references to the Sadducees, Jewish High Priests of the time, Pharisees and Essenes, the Herodian Temple, Quirinius' census and the Zealots, and to such figures as Pontius Pilate, Herod the Great, Agrippa I and Agrippa II, John the Baptist, James the brother of Jesus, and a disputed reference to Jesus. He is an important source for studies of immediate post-Temple Judaism (and, thus, the context of early Christianity).

devotee
18 March 2009, 07:35 AM
What some Hindu sages said about Christianity
RamaNa Maharshi


Namaste Saidevoji,

Thanks for posting this nice collection. :)

Regards

saidevo
18 March 2009, 08:57 AM
What some Hindu sages said about Christianity
Ramakrishna Paramahansa

Both RamaNa Maharshi and Ramakrishna Paramahansa were not well educated in the worldly sense. Although both of them were always immersed in the Self, while RamaNa spoke about the limitations of the paths of religions and how to overcome them, to Ramakrishna everything and everyone was right, so long as the goal was God and His name. Yet Ramakrishna condemned bigotry in his own subtle ways when he happened to speak about them.

From The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

Bigotry condemned (pp 20-21)

Sri Ramakrishna was talking to Kali, the Divine Mother of the Universe. He said: "Mother, everyone says, 'My watch alone is right.' The Christians, the Brahmos, the Hindus, the Mussalmans, all say, 'My religion alone is true.' But, Mother, the fact is that nobody's watch is right. Who can truly understand Thee? But if a man prays to Thee with a yearning heart, he can reach Thee, through Thy grace, by any path. Mother, show me some time how the Christians pray to Thee in their churches. But Mother, what will people say if I go in? Suppose they make a fuss! Suppose they don't allow me to enter the Kali temple again! Well then, show me the Christian worship from the door of the church."

**********

page 62:
"I had to practise each religion for a time – Hinduism, Islam, Christianity. Furthermore, I followed the paths of the Saktas, Vaishnavas, and Vedantists. 1 realized that there is only one God toward whom all are travelling; but the paths are different."

**********

page 73:
"Once someone gave me a book of the Christians. I asked him to read it to
me. It talked about nothing but sin. (To Keshab) Sin is the only thing one hears
of at your Brahmo Samaj, too. The wretch who constantly says, 'I am bound, I
am bound' only succeeds in being bound. He who says day and night, 'I am a
sinner, I am a sinner' verily becomes a sinner."

Redeeming power of faith

"One should have such burning faith in God that one can say: 'What? I have repeated the name of God, and can sin still cling to me? How can I be a sinner any more? How can I be in bondage any more?'..."

"Some people indulge in quarrels, saying, 'One cannot attain anything unless one worships our Krishna', or, 'Nothing can be gained without the worship of Kali, our Divine Mother', or, 'One cannot be saved without accepting the Christian religion.' This is pure dogmatism. The dogmatist says, 'My religion alone is true, and the religions of others are false.' This is a bad attitude. God can be reached by different paths.

**********

page 137:
Dogmatism condemned

(To the goswami) "With sincerity and earnestness one can realize God through all religions. The Vaishnavas will realize God, and so will the Saktas, the Vedantists, and the Brahmos. The Mussalmans and Christians will realize Him too. All will certainly realize God if they are earnest and sincere.

**********

atanu
18 March 2009, 10:37 AM
What some Hindu sages said about Christianity
RamaNa Maharshi

A missionary's (wasted) tryst with the Truth
-
D.: What is your quest? What is the goal? How far have you progressed?
M.: The goal is the same for all. But tell me why you should be in search of a goal? Why are you not content with the present condition?

D.: Is there then no goal?
M.: Not so. What makes you seek a goal? It is a counter-question to be answered by you.

D.: I have my own ideas of these subjects. I want to know what Maharshi has to say.
M.: Maharshi has no doubts to be cleared.

D.: Well, I consider the goal to be the realisation by the lower mind of the higher mind so that the Kingdom of Heaven might endure here on earth. The lower mind is incomplete and it must be made perfect by realisation of the higher mind.

M.: So then you admit a lower mind which is incomplete and which seeks realisation of the higher so that it may become perfect. Is that lower mind apart from the higher mind? Is it independent of the other?

D.: The Kingdom of Heaven was brought down on Earth by Jesus Christ. I consider Him to be the Kingdom personified. I want everyone to realise the same. He said: "I am hungry with other men's hunger;" and so on. Mutual partnership in pleasure and pain is the Kingdom of Heaven. If that Kingdom is universalised everyone will feel at one with the rest.

M.: You speak of the differences between the lower and the higher minds, pleasures and pains. What becomes of these differences in your sleep?

D.: But I want to be wide awake.
M.: Is this your wide awakened state? It is not. It is only a dream in your long sleep. All are in sleep, dreaming of the world and things and actions.

D.: This is all Vedantic, I have no use for it. The existing differences are not imaginary. They are positive. However, what is that real waking? Can Maharshi tell us what he has found it to be?
M.: Real waking lies beyond the three states of waking, dream and sleep.

D.: I am really awake and know that I am not in sleep.
M.: Real waking lies beyond the plane of differences.
D.: What is the state of the world then?
M.: Does the world come and tell you "I exist"?

D.: No. But the people in the world tell me that the world needs spiritual, social and moral regeneration.
M.: You see the world and the people in it. They are your thoughts. Can the world be apart from you?

D.: I enter into it with love.
M.: Before entering thus do you stand aloof?
D.: I am identified with it and yet remaining apart. Now I came here to ask Maharshi and hear him. Why does he ask me questions?
M.: Maharshi has replied. His reply amounts to this: Real waking does not involve differences.

D.: Can such realisation be universalised?
M.: Where are differences there? There are no individuals in it.
D.: Have you reached the goal?
M.: The goal cannot be anything apart from the Self nor can it be something to be gained afresh. If that were so, such goal cannot be abiding and permanent. What appears anew will also disappear. The goal must be eternal and within. Find it within yourself.

D.: I want to know your experience.
M.: Maharshi does not seek enlightenment. The question is of no use to the questioner. Whether I have realised or not, how does it affect the questioner?

D.: Not so. Each one's experience has a human value in it and can be shared by others.
M.: The problem must be solved by the questioner himself. The question is best directed to oneself.

D.: I know the answer to the question.
M.: Let us have it.
D.: I was shown the Kingdom of Heaven twenty years ago. It was by God's grace only. I made no effort for it. I was happy. I want to universalise, moralise and socialise it. At the same time I want to know Maharshi's experience of the Divine.

Mrs. Jinarajadasa intervened and spoke softly: We all agree that Maharshi has brought the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Why do you press him to answer your questions relating to his realisation? It is for you to seek and gain it. The questioner listened to her, argued slightly and resumed his questions to Maharshi. After one or two light questions, Major Chadwick spoke sternly: "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you," says the Bible.

D.: How shall I realise it? Major Chadwick: Why do you ask Maharshi to realise it for you?
D.: I do not. Major Chadwick: The Kingdom is within you. You should realise it.
D.: It is within only for those who hear it. Major Chadwick: The Bible says within you, and adds no qualifications. The questioner felt his conversation was already too long and so retired after thanking Maharshi and others.



Namaste All,

This is worth reading a thousand times. Not only to understand the motivations behind the missionary zeal but also as an upadesha of great value.

While I had a discussion with Nirotu, I cited this several times. It is Maharshi Ramana's main teaching that the world does not come and tell anyone that it has a problem. It is the individual who presumes the negativity as per guna make up. Ramana was a perfect living example of contentment that is the untainted and bliss nature of the self. He never had the need to initiate anyone or go out and preach to anyone. However, if any troubled soul came to Him, such a soul returned in solace. And it is surprising that how people from all over the world gathered and still gather at Ramana's feet.

It is nothing short of magic, since, to start with Ramana was in a hill cave and he never moved from Tiruvannamalai. It is magic, since all this seems so destined, as if chalked out in great detail. And often troubled souls would come to unburden some need of them. For example, a gentleman had a great need to write extempore poetry, which he did sitting in front of Ramana. Outside the asrama, his capabilities again vanished but he remained contented. This incident, I found funny, since Ramana kept an attendant at the gate to escort the poet in, telling the attendant in advance that the poet will recite a lot of poetry.

Even great persons such as Rajagopalachari visited Ramana. Rajagopalachari said "Bhagawan I am a believer of Vishitadvaita, what is upadesha for me?". There was no need to pressurise or preach. Ramana said "Complete your pending work".

Every one who has opened up benefits, except of course the likes of the missionary mentioned herein, who think that they alone possess the thing called love and they are hell bent on forcing their love down the throat of others. From the discussion it is clear that they do so because of great discontent in them, which they, due to hardened ego, can never disclose. They are not happy themselves yet they want to make others happy. What can misery do to uproot misery? (Somerset Maughm has fictionalised such a priest who went to transform a street worker and unable to bear the heat and guilt of continuous visions of her breasts that he started getting, He finally commited suicide).

Thus they go away from Bhagwan empty handed. But such discontented gurus can be seen everywhere. Among friends, lovers, in husband-wife realtionship, in offices - everywhere. The apparently dominant is usually the needy.

------------
Apparently, even Bhagwan cannot soften such hard egos. Bhagwan then remains silent. Only fearing Major Chadwik's bark, such hardened egos flee.

Missionary activity is fundamentally flawed.

Om Namah Shivaya

atanu
18 March 2009, 10:53 AM
D.: Well, I consider the goal to be the realisation by the lower mind of the higher mind so that the Kingdom of Heaven might endure here on earth. The lower mind is incomplete and it must be made perfect by realisation of the higher mind.

M.: So then you admit a lower mind which is incomplete and which seeks realisation of the higher so that it may become perfect. Is that lower mind apart from the higher mind? Is it independent of the other?

This part is particularly interesting as this is the grouse of all dvaitins who cite the story of two birds of Svetasvtara and Mundka upanishads (originally from Rig Veda's Asiya Vamiya Sukta). They are not willing to even contemplate for a moment that there has to be a common seeing process that enables the higher and lower minds to interact and know each other. And what is common, is called Brahman in Hinduism.

Om Namah Shivaya

atanu
18 March 2009, 12:28 PM
Namaste All,

If one reads "A missionary's (wasted) tryst with the Truth" several times, while contemplating, one will find that contentment is the key. The Self is indescribable but its only expressed nature is pure bliss. Self is called more blissful than the bliss itself. While the Bliss is called greater than the greatest. It is a great mystery that what is our very nature that itself is not known. It is the greatest challenge.

Ajativada has a place in Santana dharma. As per a big section of Sanatana Dharma, God is that whose desires are fulfilled. What need God has to create or rule over others? It is not Param Brahman but desire in nature that creates, enjoys, rules. This desire is called death in Brihadaraynaka Upanishad and resides in every heart as antaryama. Yet antaryama's heart is taintless Self, which Antaryama is destined to meet.

Those in Hinduism who do not yet comprehend ajativada are likely to raise cry. But irrespective of their cry God is aja -- ever unborn. Ajativada recognises that God is aja without beginning. And a large section of Sanatana Dharma intuits this as true. In this light, one may see in correct perspective the story of Chandogya Upanishad without anger. Devakiputra shri Krishna being told by ghora angirasa that he himself is that refuge called death, Shri Krishna is said to have lost all thirst. Lord's role thus may be seen as the Bank. Lord is Death when shrouded with Prakritic raiments but is truly the Self that has only pure bliss as its nature, depending on the knowledge level of the seeker of Lord.

Although Jesus teaches "Be ye perfect as thy father in heaven is" and although Islam teaches unconditional surrender, the votaries therein mostly are derived (as Hiwaunis pointed out correctly) from corruption. The teachings of perfection and absolute surrender get pushed to backburner since the fruit is as the seed. They consider the creation act of God as the Supreme act and cannot see beyond. They are not able to ask why a perfect being have a need to create? Though Christianity has separated out creation to Adam but they still cannot come to believe that the Adam is none other but their own mind. They are brash as are the Hindus who are prejudiced against ajativada on account of guna-karma.

I thus feel that Hindus have some responsibilty.

Om Namah Shivaya

yajvan
18 March 2009, 01:54 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

Namasté


What some Hindu sages said about Christianity

RamaNa Maharshi gave the proper perspective that Christians should have about their religion. How many of them, specially among the clergy, have that perspective or even willing to understand it? And how many Christians who know and understand it care--or dare--to spread the knowledge?
Significance of the Christian faith

Post #15 above also brings another teaching to us, that is:
ṛtaṁbharā tatra prajñā
ṛtam ऋतम्+ bharā भर+ prajñā प्रज्णा= ṛtam (luminous, insightful unalloyed, pure) + bharā ( bearing, bestowing, carrying) + pra (great) + jñā ( to know).

What does this mean ? One perceives only the Truth. Some call this unalloyed, unvarnished great truth and becomes a part of one's daily vision. This is the practical value of knowledge + experience.

This is what Ramaṅa Mahaṛṣi lived. This is the practical side of living in wholeness (samasta). Ones vision is sādhu or straight , not entangled.
That is, one's comprehension of the truth, as Ramaṅa Mahaṛṣi puts his vision (ṛtam) on this matter, only sees the intended truth come of it. Falsehood cannot be perceived. We then as a reader, student, follower, etc. delight in his insights.

This vision is available to all and is the return on ones investment in dedication and time to uncover this level of awareness, of Being. One gains sama, even-ness of vision.


praṇām

srivijaya
19 March 2009, 04:05 AM
they still cannot come to believe that the Adam is none other but their own mind.

Hi atanu,
This is a very good point. The Genesis story is completely misunderstood both by fundamentalists who uphold it as literal truth and modern opinion which dismisses it on this basis.

Namaste

saidevo
19 March 2009, 10:06 AM
Hindu Sages on Christianity: Swami Vivekananda

The contrast between the Guru and the ShiShya is staggering, even puzzling.

The Guru, RamakrishNa Paramahansa, was an 'illiterate' old man, always immersed in 'samAdhi' with his Mother KAli.

The ShiShya, Narendra, who was desparate to meet a person who 'saw God' and was initiated into Self-Realization by this Guru to become Swami Vivekananda, was a young man bubbling with enthusiasm, energy and real knowledge that drove him overseas to America and England, where he met and fought in their own dens the affluent, scholarly and fanatically religious Christian lions and tamed them into reason, made them see the merits of the oldest 'pagan' religion in the world, taught them that the path to spirituality was not in subversion but in realizing the 'kingdom of heaven' within themselves that their own Jesus Christ taught and demonstrated throughout his life.

In the proverbial story, the hare took the lion to a well, 'showed its enemy' and let the lion kill itself in a passionate war with the 'enemy'. In the story of Swami Vivekananda, which is actual, historic and stranger than the fictitious one, the 'sattvic hare from India' took the fanatical Christian lions to the well of their own minds, showed them their farcial face and prodded them to find their real face--the face of Jesus--inside them and live up to it, instead of invading other religions and cultures and creating havoc in the peaceful forests of the world.

If the Guru was a stream of compassion, the ShiShya was the fire of knowledge.

To Swami Vivekananda, Vedanta was the only Religion capable of becoming the Universal Religion. He measured the spirituality of all other religions, including the various sects of Hinduism only inasmuch as they facilitated realization of the Self as Brahman, the Advaitic Unity of the universe and all its creations. While he praised the spiritual aspects he found in Christianity, Islam and other religions with felicity, he criticized their non-spiritual aspects with a forthrightness never seen before (or after) in a Hindu sage of such divine heights.

No wonder, Swami Vivekananda was, still continues to be, and must be the role model for the Hindus, both young and old, in their study, practice and safeguard of their religion, culture and country.

During the time Swami Vivekananda lived, the ancient country of India, from its legendary wealth, health, education and life of dharma had been reduced to a pathetic state of penury, illiteracy and disease, due to the divide and rule policy of the British and European rule (preceded by the earlier centuries of barbaric Islamic rule). Adding to the woes was the state-sponsored, intense conversion activities of the Christian missionaries who sought to destroy the Hindu religion, culture and society and Christianize the whole of India.

It is really sad to see Swamiji pleading his Western audience that what India wanted was not religion but bread. Though a mendicant who sought alms for himself, Swamiji did not beg for the country but fiercely demanded equal facilities due to the Indians under the British rule and challenged their political might and religious authority.

He fought so much against the Christian aggression and in the process taught so much--of their own religion to the Christians and exhorted mankind in general and Hindus specifically to "Awake, arise, and stop not till the goal is eached"--that every Hindu should know him and his teachings as much as he/she knows about Mahatma Gandhi.

I have compiled a lot of Swami Vivekananda's expressions from the 9 volumes of The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, about Christianity, Jesus and the Church. I shall post them here in convenient instalments, so members can read them quickly and discuss their everlasting relevance, specially to the Hindus in the present situation of Christian aggression.

I have read only portions of the Complete Works that I have compiled. Swamiji spoke a lot about the history of Christianity and established that "Ours is the religion of which Buddhism with all its greatness is a rebel child, and of which Christianity is a very patchy imitation." I have not compiled them here.

I believe that most of what Swamiji spoke about Christianity are not only the contextual, but his considered opinions. However, since I have not read the Complete Work in their entirety, I request the members to check the original source on this point.

**************************************************
About Jesus Christ and his disciples
**************************************************
Buddhism, the Fulfilment of Hinduism
26th September, 1893
vol.1, p 21

But our views about Buddha are that he was not understood properly by his disciples. The relation between Hinduism (by Hinduism, I mean the religion of the Vedas) and what is called Buddhism at the present day is nearly the same as between Judaism and Christianity. Jesus Christ was a Jew, and Shakya Muni was a Hindu. The Jews rejected Jesus Christ, nay, crucified him, and the Hindus have accepted Shakya Muni as God and worship him. But the real difference that we Hindus want to show between modern Buddhism and what we should understand as the teachings of Lord Buddha lies principally in this: Shakya Muni came to preach nothing new. He also, like Jesus, came to fulfil and not to destroy.

Only, in the case of Jesus, it was the old people, the Jews, who did not understand him, while in the case of Buddha, it was his own followers who did not realise the import of his teachings. As the Jew did not understand the fulfilment of the Old Testament, so the Buddhist did not understand the fulfilment of the truths of the Hindu religion.

Again, I repeat, Shakya Muni came not to destroy, but he was the fulfilment, the logical conclusion, the logical development of the religion of the Hindus.

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Soul, God and Religion
vol.1, p 260

All the different religions which grew among different nations under varying circumstances and conditions had their origin in Asia, and the Asiatics understand them well. When they came out from the motherland, they got mixed up with errors. The most profound and noble ideas of Christianity were never understood in Europe, because the ideas and images used by the writers of the Bible were foreign to it.

Take for illustration the pictures of the Madonna. Every artist paints his Madonna according to his own pre-conceived ideas. I have been seeing hundreds of pictures of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ, and he is made to sit at a table. Now, Christ never sat at a table; he squatted with others, and they had a bowl in which they dipped bread — not the kind of bread you eat today. It is hard for any nation to understand the unfamiliar customs of other people. How much more difficult was it for Europeans to understand the Jewish customs after centuries of changes and accretions from Greek, Roman, and other sources!

Through all the myths and mythologies by which it is surrounded it is no wonder that the people get very little of the beautiful religion of Jesus, and no wonder that they have made of it a modern shop-keeping religion.

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Teachings of Jesus to be read in context
vol.1, p 262

The different stages of growth are absolutely necessary to the attainment of purity and perfection. The varying systems of religion are at bottom founded on the same ideas. Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is within you. Again he says, "Our father who art in Heaven." How do you reconcile the two sayings? In this way: He was talking to the uneducated masses when he said the latter, the masses who were uneducated in religion. It was necessary to speak to them in their own language.

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Sermon on the Mount
vol.1, p 265-266

Q. Do you believe in Christ's crucifixion?

A. Christ was God incarnate; they could not kill him. That which was crucified was only a semblance, a mirage.

Q. Do you believe Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount?

A. I do believe he did. But in this matter I have to go by the books as others do, and I am aware that mere book testimony is rather shaky ground. But we are all safe in taking the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount as a guide. We have to take what appeals to our inner spirit. Buddha taught five hundred years before Christ, and his words were full of blessings: never a curse came from his lips, nor from his life; never one from Zoroaster, nor from Confucius.

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Reason and Religion
vol.1, p 306

That soul is strong that has become one with the Lord; none else is strong. In your own Bible, what do you think was the cause of that strength of Jesus of Nazareth, that immense, infinite strength which laughed at traitors, and blessed those that were willing to murder him? It was that, "I and my Father are one; it was that prayer, "Father, just as I am one With you, so make them all one with me." That is the worship of the Impersonal God.

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Practical equality
vol.1, p 345

Do you believe what Christ says, "Sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor?"

Practical equality there; no trying to torture the texts, but taking the truth as it is. Do not try to torture texts. I have heard it said that that was preached only to the handful of Jews who listened to Jesus. The same argument will apply to other things also. Do not torture texts; dare to face truth as it is. Even if we cannot reach to it, let us confess our weakness, but let us not destroy the ideal.

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Jesus and KrishNa
vol.1, p 357-358

A few words about the life of Krishna. There is a great deal of similarity between the lives of Jesus and Krishna. A discussion is going on as to which borrowed of the other. There was the tyrannical king in both places. Both were born in a manger. The parents were bound in both cases. Both were saved by angels. In both cases all the boys born in that year were killed. The childhood is the same. ... Again, in the end, both were killed. Krishna was killed by accident; he took the man who killed him to heaven. Christ was killed, and blessed the robber and took him to heaven.

There are a great many similarities in of the New Testament and the Gita. The human thought goes the same way. ... I will find you the answer in the words of Krishna himself: "Whenever virtue subsides and irreligion prevails, I come down. Again and again I come. Therefore, whenever thou seest a great soul struggling to uplift mankind, know that I am come, and worship. ..."(Ibid. IV. 8; X. 41.) At the same time, if he comes as Jesus or as Buddha, why is there so much schism? The preachings must be followed!

A Hindu devotee would say: It is God himself who became Christ and Krishna and Buddha and all these [great teachers]. A Hindu philosopher would say: These are the great souls; they are already free. And though free, they refuse to accept their liberation while the whole world is suffering. They come again and again, take a human embodiment and help mankind. They know from their childhood what they are and what they come for. ... They do not come through bondage like we do. ... They come out of their own free will, and cannot help having tremendous spiritual power. We cannot resist it. The vast mass of mankind is dragged into the whirlpool of spirituality, and the vibration goes on and on because one of these [great souls] gives a push. So it continues until all mankind is liberated and the play of this planet is finished.

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Prophetical religions depend on the historicity of their founders
vol.3, p 157

I have become used to hear all sorts of wonderful claims put forward in favour of every religion under the sun. You have also heard, quite within recent times, the claims put forward by Dr. Barrows, a great friend of mine, that Christianity is the only universal religion. Let me consider this question awhile and lay before you my reasons why I think that it is Vedanta, and Vedanta alone that can become the universal religion of man, and that no other is fitted for the role.

Excepting our own almost all the other great religions in the world are inevitably connected with the life or lives of one or more of their founders. All their theories, their teachings, their doctrines, and their ethics are built round the life of a personal founder, from whom they get their sanction, their authority, and their power; and strangely enough, upon the historicity of the founder's life is built, as it were, all the fabric of such religions.

If there is one blow dealt to the historicity of that life, as has been the case in modern times with the lives of almost all the so-called founders of religion — we know that half of the details of such lives is not now seriously believed in, and that the other half is seriously doubted — if this becomes the case, if that rock of historicity, as they pretend to call it, is shaken and shattered, the whole building tumbles down, broken absolutely, never to regain its lost status.

Every one of the great religions in the world excepting our own, is built upon such historical characters; but ours rests upon principles. There is no man or woman who can claim to have created the Vedas. They are the embodiment of eternal principles; sages discovered them; and now and then the names of these sages are mentioned — just their names; we do not even know who or what they were.

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Historicity creates only man-made religions
vol.3, p 274

I was told once by a Christian missionary that their scriptures have a historical character, and therefore are true, to which I replied, "Mine have no historical character and therefore they are true; yours being historical, they were evidently made by some man the other day. Yours are man-made and mine are not; their nonhistoricity is in their favour." Such is the relation of the Vedas with all the other scriptures at the present day.

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Jesus had no women disciples
vol.7, p 88

Jesus was imperfect because he did not live up fully to his own ideal, and above all because he did not give woman a place equal to man. Women did everything for him, and yet he was so bound by the Jewish custom that not one was made an apostle. Still he was the greatest character next to Buddha, who in his turn was not fully perfect.

Buddha, however, recognised woman's right to an equal place in religion, and his first and one of his greatest disciples was his own wife, who became the head of the whole Buddhistic movement among the women of India. But we ought not to criticise these great ones, we should only look upon them as far above ourselves. Nonetheless we must not pin our faith to any man, however great; we too must become Buddhas and Christs.

No man should be judged by his defects. The great virtues a man has are his especially, his errors are the common weaknesses of humanity and should never be counted in estimating his character.

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Historicity of Jesus in Question
vol.7, p 195

There is a great dispute as to whether there ever was born a man with the name
of Jesus. Of the four books comprising the New Testament, the Book of St.
John has been rejected by some as spurious. As to the remaining three, the
verdict is that they have been copied from some ancient book; and that, too,
long after the date ascribed to Jesus Christ.

Moreover, about the time that Jesus is believed to have been born among the Jews themselves, there were born two historians, Josephus and Philo. They have mentioned even petty sects among the Jews, but not made the least reference to Jesus or the Christians, or that the Roman Judge sentenced him to death on the cross. Josephus' book had a single line about it, which has now been proved to be an interpolation. The Romans used to rule over the Jews at that time, and the Greeks taught all sciences and arts. They have all written a good many things about the Jews, but made no mention of either Jesus or the Christians.

Another difficulty is that the sayings, precepts, or doctrines which the New Testament preaches were already in existence among the Jews before the Christian era, having come from different quarters, and were being preached by Rabbis like Hillel and others. These are what scholars say; but they cannot, with safety to their reputation, give oracular verdicts off-hand on their own religion, as they are wont to do with regard to alien religions. So they proceed slowly. This is what is called Higher Criticism.

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Karma of Jesus
vol. 8, p 119

My own Karma is sufficient explanation of my present state. So in the case of Jesus himself. We know that his father was only a carpenter. We need not go to anybody else to find an explanation of his power. He was the outcome of his own past, all of which was a preparation for that Jesus. Buddha goes back and back to animal bodies and tells us how he ultimately became Buddha. So what is the use of going to stars for explanation?

vol.9, p 420

Religion, like everything else, progresses in waves; and at the summit of each great wave stands an illumined soul, a mighty spiritual leader and teacher of men. Such a one was Jesus of Nazareth.

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Swami Vivekananda At The Los Angeles Home
(New Discoveries, Vol. 5, pp. 218-20.)
[Unity, February (?) 1900]
vol.9, p 729

We had a lecture on Christmas day from the Swami entitled, "Christ's Mission to the World," and a better one on this subject I never heard. No Christian minister could have presented Jesus as a character worthy (of) the greatest reverence more eloquently or more powerfully than did this learned Hindoo, who told us that in this country on account of his dark skin he has been refused admission to hotels, and even barbers have sometimes objected to shave him. Is it any wonder that our "heathen" brethren never fail to make mention of this fact that even "our" Master was an Oriental?

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Perhaps Jesus never existed!
vol.9, p 536

"At that rate, then, you accept Catholic ritual as Aryan!"

"Yes, almost all Christianity is Aryan, I believe. I am inclined to think Christ never existed. I have doubted that ever since I had my dream — that dream off Crete!* Indian and Egyptian ideas met at Alexandria and went forth to the world, tinctured with Judaism and Hellenism, as Christianity.

"The Acts and Epistles, you know, are older than the Gospels, and S. John is spurious. The only figure we can be sure of is S. Paul, and he was not an eyewitness, and according to his own showing was capable of Jesuitry — 'by all means save souls' — isn't it?

"No! Buddha and Mohammed, alone amongst religious teachers, stand out with historic distinctness — having been fortunate enough to have, while they were living, enemies as well as friends. Krishna — I doubt; a Yogi, a shepherd, and a great king have all been amalgamated in one beautiful figure, holding the Gita in his hand.

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To follow with Swamiji's views on Christianity and the Bible in the next post. Members may add value with anything else they could find about Swamiji's expressions on Jesus and his men.

saidevo
19 March 2009, 09:57 PM
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About Christianity and the Bible
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Paper On Hinduism
Read at the Parliament on 19th September, 1893
vol.1, p 8

Three religions now stand in the world which have come down to us from time prehistoric — Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Judaism. They have all received tremendous shocks and all of them prove by their survival their internal strength. But while Judaism failed to absorb Christianity and was driven out of its place of birth by its all-conquering daughter, and a handful of Parsees is all that remains to tell the tale of their grand religion, sect after sect arose in India and seemed to shake the religion of the Vedas to its very foundations, but like the waters of the seashore in a tremendous earthquake it receded only for a while, only to return in an all-absorbing flood, a thousand times more vigorous, and when the tumult of the rush was over, these sects were all sucked in, absorbed, and assimilated into the immense body of the mother faith.

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Escaping and regaining Godship
vol.1, p 376

We will understand more clearly if we once get rid of the idea that religion consists in doctrines. One idea of religion has been that the whole world was born because Adam ate the apple, and there is no way of escape. Believe in Jesus Christ — in a certain man's death!

But in India there is quite a different idea. [There] religion means realisation, nothing else. It does not matter whether one approaches the destination in a carriage with four horses, in an electric car, or rolling on the ground. The goal is the same. For the [Christians] the problem is how to escape the wrath of the terrible God. For the Indians it is how to become what they really are, to regain their lost Selfhood. ...

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Worship of a name
vol.2, p 45

Those of you who have studied the older forms of Christianity, those of you who have studied the other religions of the world, perhaps have marked that there is this idea with them all, the worship of a name. A name is said to be very sacred. In the Bible we read that the holy name of God was considered sacred beyond compare, holy beyond everything. It was the holiest of all names, and it was thought that this very Word was God. This is quite true. What is this universe but name and form?

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Christianity founded on Buddhism
vol.2, p 420

But there is more evidence that Christianity is founded in Buddhism. We find it in recently discovered inscriptions from the reign of Emperor Oshoka [Asoka] of India, about 300 B.C., who made treaties with all the Grecian kings, and whose missionaries discriminated [disseminated ?] in those very parts, where, centuries after, Christianity flourished, the principles of the Buddhistic religion.

Thus it is explained, why you have our doctrine of trinity, of incarnation of God, and of our ethics, and why the service in our temples is so much alike to that in your present Catholic churches, from the mass to the chant and benediction. Buddhism had all these long before you.

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Love in Christianity and Hinduism
vol.6, p 105

There is this difference between the love taught by Christianity and that taught
by Hinduism: Christianity teaches us to love our neighbours as we should wish
them to love us; Hinduism asks us to love them as ourselves, in fact to see
ourselves in them.

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Fault with Christianity
vol.6, p 117

The fault with all religions like Christianity is that they have one set of rules for all. But Hindu religion is suited to all grades of religious aspiration and progress. It contains all the ideals in their perfect form.

For example, the ideal of ShAta or blessedness is to be found in Vasishtha; that of love in Krishna; that of duty in Rama and Sita; and that of intellect in Shukadeva. Study the characters of these and of other ideal men. Adopt one which suits you best.

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Christianity is Dvaita
vol.6, p 118

In Advaitism, there is no JivAtmA; it is only a delusion. In Dvaitism, there is Jiva infinitely distinct from God. Both are true. One went to the fountain, another to the tank. Apparently we are all Dvaitists as far as our consciousness goes. But beyond? Beyond that we are Advaitists. In reality, this is the only truth.

According to Advaitism, love every man as your own Self and not as your brother as in Christianity. Brotherhood should be superseded by universal Selfhood. Not universal brotherhood, but universal Selfhood is our motto. Advaitism may include also the "greatest happiness" theory.

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Essence of Christianity in first five verses of John
vol.7, p 6

In the first five verses of John is the whole essence of Christianity: each verse is full of the profoundest philosophy.

The Perfect never becomes imperfect. It is in the darkness, but is not affected by the darkness. God's mercy goes to all, but is not affected by their wickedness. The sun is not affected by any disease of our eyes which may make us see it distorted.

In the twenty-ninth verse, "taketh away the sin of the world" means that Christ would show us the way to become perfect. God became Christ to show man his true nature, that we too are God. We are human coverings over the Divine; but as the divine Man, Christ and we are one.

The Trinitarian Christ is elevated above us; the Unitarian Christ is merely a moral man; neither can help us. The Christ who is the Incarnation of God, who has not forgotten His divinity, that Christ can help us, in Him there is no imperfection.

These Incarnations are always conscious of their own divinity; they know it from their birth. They are like the actors whose play is over, but who, after their work is done, return to please others. These great Ones are untouched by aught of earth; they assume our form and our limitations for a time in order to teach us; but in reality they are never limited, they are ever free. ...

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Books can't substitute a guru
vol.8, p 56

I have read the Bible and all such books; they are wonderful. But the living power you cannot find in the books. The power that can transform life in a moment can be found only in the living illumined souls, those shining lights who appear among us from time to time. They alone are fit to be Gurus. You and I are only hollow talk-talk, not teachers. We are disturbing the world more by talking, making bad vibrations. We hope and pray and struggle on, and the day will come when we shall arrive at the truth, and we shall not have to speak.

vol.8, p 75
All the various practices and trainings, Bibles and Gods, are but the rudiments of religion, the kindergartens of religion.

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Variety by division is the law of nature
vol.8, p 146

Before a small fraction of the world was converted, Christianity was divided into many creeds. That is the law of nature. Why take a single instrument from the great religious orchestra of the earth? Let the grand symphony go on. Be pure. Give up superstition and see the wonderful harmony of nature. Superstition gets the better of religion. All the religions are good, since the essentials are the same. Each man should have the perfect exercise of his individuality, but these individualities form a perfect whole. This marvelous condition is already in existence. Each creed has something to add to the wonderful structure.

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Root of most religions
vol.8, p 187

18. "Sex-love and creation! These are at the root of most religions. And these in India are called Vaishnavism, and in the West Christianity. How few have dared to worship Death or Kali! Let us worship Death! Let us embrace the Terrible, because it is terrible, not asking that it be toned down. Let us take misery for misery's own sake!"

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The body is all
vol.9, p 410

The peculiarity you find is that the Semitic races and the Egyptians try to preserve the dead bodies, while the Aryans try to destroy them. The Greeks, the Germans, the Romans — your ancestors before they became Christians — used to burn the dead. It was only when Charlemagne made you Christians with the sword — and when you refused, [he] cut off a few hundred heads, and the rest jumped into the water — that burying came here. You see at once the metaphysical significance of burning the dead. The burying of the dead (Preserving the dead by the burying of the body.) can only remain when there is no idea of the soul, and the body is all. At best there came the idea later on that this very body will have another lease of life, after so many years — mummies will come out and begin to walk the streets again.

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saidevo
20 March 2009, 11:08 AM
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About Christian Missionary Tactics and Practices
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On the accusation of idolatry
vol.1, p 15

I remember, as a boy, hearing a Christian missionary preach to a crowd in India. Among other sweet things he was telling them was that if he gave a blow to their idol with his stick, what could it do? One of his hearers sharply answered, "If I abuse your God, what can He do?" "You would be punished," said the preacher, "when you die." "So my idol will punish you when you die," retorted the Hindu.

The tree is known by its fruits. When I have seen amongst them that are called idolaters, men, the like of whom in morality and spirituality and love I have never seen anywhere, I stop and ask myself, "Can sin beget holiness?"

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Superstition and bigotry
vol.1, p 16

Superstition is a great enemy of man, but bigotry is worse. Why does a Christian go to church? Why is the cross holy? Why is the face turned toward the sky in prayer? Why are there so many images in the Catholic Church? Why are there so many images in the minds of Protestants when they pray? My brethren, we can no more think about anything without a mental image than we can live without breathing.

By the law of association, the material image calls up the mental idea and vice versa. This is why the Hindu uses an external symbol when he worships. He will tell you, it helps to keep his mind fixed on the Being to whom he prays. He knows as well as you do that the image is not God, is not omnipresent. After all, how much does omnipresence mean to almost the whole world? It stands merely as a word, a symbol. Has God superficial area? If not, when we repeat that word "omnipresent", we think of the extended sky or of space, that is all.

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The Christian aggression
vol.1, p 17

One thing I must tell you. Idolatry in India does not mean anything horrible. It is not the mother of harlots. On the other hand, it is the attempt of undeveloped minds to grasp high spiritual truths.

The Hindus have their faults, they sometimes have their exceptions; but mark this, they are always for punishing their own bodies, and never for cutting the throats of their neighbours. If the Hindu fanatic burns himself on the pyre, he never lights the fire of Inquisition. And even this cannot be laid at the door of his religion any more than the burning of witches can be laid at the door of Christianity.

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Religion not the Crying Need of India
20th September, 1893
vol.1, p 20

Christians must always be ready for good criticism, and I hardly think that you will mind if I make a little criticism. You Christians, who are so fond of sending out missionaries to save the soul of the heathen — why do you not try to save their bodies from starvation?

In India, during the terrible famines, thousands died from hunger, yet you Christians did nothing. You erect churches all through India, but the crying evil in the East is not religion — they have religion enough — but it is bread that the suffering millions of burning India cry out for with parched throats. They ask us for bread, but we give them stones. It is an insult to a starving people to offer them religion; it is an insult to a starving man to teach him metaphysics.

In India a priest that preached for money would lose caste and be spat upon by the people. I came here to seek aid for my impoverished people, and I fully realised how difficult it was to get help for heathens from Christians in a Christian land.

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Address at the Final Session
27th September, 1893
vol.1, p 24

Much has been said of the common ground of religious unity. I am not going just now to venture my own theory. But if any one here hopes that this unity will come by the triumph of any one of the religions and the destruction of the others, to him I say, "Brother, yours is an impossible hope." Do I wish that the Christian would become Hindu? God forbid. Do I wish that the Hindu or Buddhist would become Christian? God forbid.

The seed is put in the ground, and earth and air and water are placed around it. Does the seed become the earth; or the air, or the water? No. It becomes a plant, it develops after the law of its own growth, assimilates the air, the earth, and the water, converts them into plant substance, and grows into a plant.

Similar is the case with religion. The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth.

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How are the Christian nations prosperous?
vol.2, p 85

In this country (England) it is very difficult to become a pessimist. Everyone tells me how wonderfully the world is going on, how progressive; but what he himself is, is his own world. Old questions arise: Christianity must be the only true religion of the world because Christian nations are prosperous! But that assertion contradicts itself, because the prosperity of the Christian nation depends on the misfortune of non-Christian nations. There must be some to prey on. Suppose the whole world were to become Christian, then the Christian nations would become poor, because there would be no non-Christian nations for them to prey upon.

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Dollar-worshipping
vol.2, p 389

Among other subjects which he held up and overhauled were: The Christian missionaries, the zeal of the Presbyterian church and its non-toleration, the dollar-worshipping in this country, and the priests. The latter he said were in the business for the dollars there were in it, and wanted to know how long they would stay in the church if they had to depend on getting their pay from God.

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From Far Off India
(Saginaw Courier-Herald, March 22, 1894)
vol.2, p 392

Seated in the lobby of the Hotel Vincent yesterday evening was a strong and regular featured man of fine presence, whose swarthy skin made more pronounced the pearly whiteness of his even teeth. Under a broad and high forehead his eyes betoken intelligence. This gentleman was Swami Vive Kananda, the Hindoo preacher. Mr. Kananda's conversation is in pure and grammatically constructed English sentences, to which his slightly foreign accent lends piquancy.
...

He said that the Buddhists have no place of future torment for men. In that they differ from the Christians, who will forgive a man for five minutes in this world and condemn him to everlasting punishment in the next. Buddha was the first to teach the universal brotherhood of man. It is a cardinal principle of the Buddhist faith today. The Christian preaches it, but does not practice its own teachings.

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Caste has its advantages
vol.2, p 397

Money has made warfare in the world, and caused Christians to trample on each other's necks. Jealousy, hatred and avariciousness are born of moneygetters. Here it is all work, hustle and bustle.

Caste saves a man from all this. It makes it possible for a man to live with less money, and it brings work to all. The man of caste has time to think of his soul; and that is what we want in the society of India. The Brahmin is born to worship God, and the higher his caste, the greater his social restrictions are. Caste has kept us alive as a nation, and while it has many defects, it has many more advantages.

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The Hindu tenacity
vol.3, p 105

Our ancestors settled here from Southern India, more than two thousand years ago, and brought with them their religion, which was patronised by the Tamil kings of Jaffna; but when their government was displaced by that of the Portuguese and the Dutch, the observance of religious rites was interfered with, public religious worship was prohibited, and the Sacred Temples, including two of the most far-famed Shrines, were razed to the ground by the cruel hand of persecution.

In spite of the persistent attempts of these nations to force upon our forefathers the Christian religion, they clung to their old faith firmly, and have transmitted it to us as the noblest of our heritages.

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At The Parliament Of Religions
(The Dubuque, Iowa, Times, September 39, 1893)
Cantankerous Remarks
vol.3, p 388

Swami Vivekananda, the Hindoo monk, was not so fortunate. He was out of humor, or soon became so, apparently. He wore an orange robe and a pale yellow turban and dashed at once into a savage attack on Christian nations in these words:

"We who have come from the east have sat here day after day and have been told in a patronizing way that we ought to accept Christianity because Christian nations are the most prosperous. We look about us and we see England the most prosperous Christian nation in the world, with her foot on the neck of 250,000,000 Asiatics. We look back into history and see that the prosperity of Christian Europe began with Spain. Spain's prosperity began with the invasion of Mexico. Christianity wins its prosperity by cutting the throats of its fellow men. At such a price the Hindoo will not have prosperity."

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Songs of Solomon
vol.3, p 419
(Detroit Journal)

The Songs of Solomon were cited by the lecturer as the most beautiful portion of the Christian Bible and yet he had heard with deep regret that there was a possibility of their being removed. "In fact," he declared, as a sort clinching argument at the close, "the love of God appears to be based upon a theory of 'What can I get out of it?' Christians are so selfish in their love that they are continually asking God to give them something, including all manner of selfish things. Modern religion is, therefore, nothing but a mere hobby and fashion and people flock to church like a lot of sheep."

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Gurus are unselfish
vol.4, p 123

All the teachers of humanity are unselfish. Suppose Jesus of Nazareth was teaching; and a man came and told him, "What you teach is beautiful. I believe that it is the way to perfection, and I am ready to follow it; but I do not care to worship you as the only begotten Son of God." What would be the answer of Jesus of Nazareth?

"Very well, brother, follow the ideal and advance in your own way. I do not care whether you give me the credit for the teaching or not. I am not a shopkeeper. I do not trade in religion. I only teach truth, and truth is nobody's property. Nobody can patent truth. Truth is God Himself. Go forward."

But what the disciples say nowadays is: "No matter whether you practise the teachings or not, do you give credit to the Man? If you credit the Master, you will be saved; if not, there is no salvation for you."

And thus the whole teaching of the Master is degenerated, and all the struggle and fight is for the personality of the Man. They do not know that in imposing that difference, they are, in a manner, bringing shame to the very Man they want to honour — the very Man that would have shrunk with shame from such an idea.
...

Let us, therefore, find God not only in Jesus of Nazareth, but in all the great Ones that have preceded him, in all that came after him, and all that are yet to come. Our worship is unbounded and free. They are all manifestations of the same Infinite God. They are all pure and unselfish; they struggled and gave up their lives for us, poor human beings. They each and all suffer vicarious atonement for every one of us, and also for all that are to come hereafter.

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Kindergarten religion
vol.4, p 192

You Christians, have you found nothing else in the Bible than working for fellow creatures, building ... hospitals ? ... Here stands a shopkeeper and says how Jesus would have kept the shop! Jesus would neither have kept a saloon, nor a shop, nor have edited a newspaper. That sort of practical religion is good, not bad; but it is just kindergarten religion.

It leads nowhere. ... If you believe in God, if you are Christians and repeat everyday, "Thy will be done", just think what it means! You say every moment, "Thy will be done", really meaning, "My will be done by Thee, O God." The Infinite is working His own plans out. Even He has made mistakes, and you and I are going to remedy that! The Architect of the universe is going to be taught by the carpenters! He has left the world a dirty hole, and you are going to make it a beautiful place!

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Missionaries revile to make money
vol.4, p 282

It is not true that I am against any religion. It is equally untrue that I am hostile to the Christian missionaries in India. But I protest against certain of their methods of raising money in America. What is meant by those pictures in the school-books for children where the Hindu mother is painted as throwing her children to the crocodiles in the Ganga? The mother is black, but the baby is painted white, to arouse more sympathy, and get more money. What is meant by those pictures which paint a man burning his wife at a stake with his own hands, so that she may become a ghost and torment the husband's enemy?

What have the Hindus done to these disciples of Christ that every Christian child is taught to call the Hindus "vile", and "wretches", and the most horrible devils on earth? Part of the Sunday School education for children here consists in teaching them to hate everybody who is not a Christian, and the Hindus especially, so that, from their very childhood they may subscribe their pennies to the missions. If not for truth's sake, for the sake of the morality of their own children, the Christian missionaries ought not to allow such things going on. Is it any wonder that such children grow up to be ruthless and cruel men and women?

Look again at the books published in Madras against the Hindu religion. If a Hindu writes one such line against the Christian religion, the missionaries will cry fire and vengeance.

**********

Cathedral on head and Bible on top of it!
vol.7, p 35

The Church tries to fit Christ into it, not the Church into Christ; so only those writings were preserved that suited the purpose in hand. Thus the books are not to be depended upon and book-worship is the worst kind of idolatry to bind our feet. All has to conform to the book — science, religion, philosophy; it is the most horrible tyranny, this tyranny of the Protestant Bible. Every man in Christian countries has a huge cathedral on his head and on top of that a book, and yet man lives and grows! Does not this prove that man is God?

vol.7, p 50

In all religions the superconscious state is identical. Hindus, Christians, Mohammedans, Buddhists, and even those of no creed, all have the very same experience when they transcend the body. ...

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Bigotry in translations of ancient works
vol.7, p 190

Maspero, a great savant and a highly reputed author on Egyptology, has written a voluminous history of the Egyptians and Babylonians entitled Histoire Ancienne Orientale. A few years ago I read an English translation of the book by an English archaeologist.

This time, on my asking a Librarian of the British Museum about certain books on Egypt and Babylon, Maspero's book was mentioned. And when he learnt that I had with me an English translation of the book, he said that it would not do, for the translator was a rather bigoted Christian, and wherever Maspero's researches hit Christianity in any way, he (the translator) had managed to twist and torture those passages!

He recommended me to read the book in original French. And on reading I found it was just as he had said — a terrible problem indeed! You know very well what a queer thing religious bigotry is; it makes a mess of truth and untruth. Thenceforth my faith in the translations of those research works has been greatly shaken.

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Every Christian can have Christ's power, not just bishops
vol.8, p 52

Upon these free souls depends the spiritual growth of mankind. They are like the first lamps from which other lamps are lighted. True, the light is in everyone, but in most men it is hidden. The great souls are shining lights from the beginning. Those who come in contact with them have as it were their own lamps lighted. By this the first lamp does not lose anything; yet it communicates its light to other lamps.

A million lamps are lighted; but the first lamp goes on shining with undiminished light. The first lamp is the Guru, and the lamp that is lighted from it is the disciple. The second in turn becomes the Guru, and so on. These great ones whom you call Incarnations of God are mighty spiritual giants. They come and set in motion a tremendous spiritual current by transmitting their power to their immediate disciples and through them to generation after generation of disciples.

A bishop in the Christian Church, by the laying on of hands, claims to transmit the power which he is supposed to have received from the preceding bishops. The bishop says that Jesus Christ transmitted his power to his immediate disciples and they to others, and that that is how the Christ's power has come to him. We hold that every one of us, not bishops only, ought to have such power. There is no reason why each of you cannot be a vehicle of the mighty current of spirituality.

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What is true baptism?
vol.8, p 55

Some years ago one of your Christian teachers, a friend of mine, said, "You believe in Christ?" "Yes," I answered, "but perhaps with a little more reverence." "Then why don't you be baptised?" How could I be baptised? By whom? Where is the man who can give true baptism? What is baptism? Is it sprinkling some water over you, or dipping you in water, while muttering formulas?

Baptism is the direct introduction into the life of the spirit. If you receive the real baptism, you know you are not the body but the spirit. Give me that baptism if you can. If not, you are not Christians. Even after the so-called baptism which you received, you have remained the same. What is the sense of merely saying you have been baptised in the name of the Christ? Mere talk, talk — ever disturbing the world with your foolishness! "Ever steeped in the darkness of ignorance, yet considering themselves wise and learned, the fools go round and round, staggering to and fro like the blind led by the blind." (Katha Upanishad, I.ii.5) Therefore do not say you are Christians, do not brag about baptism and things of that sort.

Of course there is true baptism — there was baptism in the beginning when the Christ came to the earth and taught. The illumined souls, the great ones that come to the earth from time to time, have the power to reveal the Supernal Vision to us. This is true baptism. You see, before the formulas and ceremonies of every religion, there exists the germ of universal truth. In course of time this truth becomes forgotten; it becomes as it were strangled by forms and ceremonies. The forms remain — we find there the casket with the spirit all gone. You have the form of baptism, but few can evoke the living spirit of baptism. The form will not suffice. If we want to gain the living knowledge of the living truth, we have to be truly initiated into it. That is the ideal.

The Guru must teach me and lead me into light, make me a link in that chain of which he himself is a link. The man in the street cannot claim to be a Guru. The Guru must be a man who has known, has actually realised the Divine truth, has perceived himself as the spirit. A mere talker cannot be the Guru. A talkative fool like me can talk much, but cannot be the Guru. A true Guru will tell the disciple, "Go and sin no more"; and no more can he sin, no more has the person the power to sin.

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A Preface To 'The Imitation Of Christ'
vol.8, p 89

How startling the divergence between their profession and practice! Here stands the Christian missionary preaching: "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Take no thought for the morrow" — and then busy soon after, making his pile and framing his budget for ten years in advance! There he says that he follows him who "hath not where to lay his head", glibly talking of the glorious sacrifice and burning renunciation of the Master, but in practice going about like a gay bridegroom fully enjoying all the comforts the world can bestow! Look where we may, a true Christian nowhere do we see.

The ugly impression left on our mind by the ultra-luxurious, insolent, despotic, baroucheand- brougham-driving Christians of the Protestant sects will be completely removed if we but once read this great book with the attention it deserves.

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If all India stands up...
vol.8, p 144

And whenever your ministers criticise us, let them remember this: If all India stands up and takes all the mud that is at the bottom of the Indian Ocean and throws it up against the Western countries, it will not be doing an infinitesimal part of that which you are doing to us.

And what for? Did we ever send one missionary to convert anybody in the world? We say to you, "Welcome to your religion, but allow me to have mine." You call yours an aggressive religion. You are aggressive, but how many have you taken? Every sixth man in the world is a Chinese subject, a Buddhist; then there are Japan, Tibet, and Russia, and Siberia, and Burma, and Siam; and it may not be palatable, but this Christian morality, the Catholic Church, is all derived from them.

Well, and how was this done? Without the shedding of one drop of blood! With all your brags and boastings, where has your Christianity succeeded without the sword? Show me one place in the whole world. One, I say, throughout the history of the Christian religion — one; I do not want two. I know how your forefathers were converted. They had to be converted or killed; that was all. What can you do better than Mohammedanism, with all your bragging?

"We are the only one!" And why? "Because we can kill others." The Arabs said that; they bragged. And where is the Arab now? He is the bedouin. The Romans used to say that, and where are they now? Blessed are the peacemakers; they shall enjoy the earth. Such things tumble down; it is built upon sands; it cannot remain long.

Everything that has selfishness for its basis, competition as its right hand, and enjoyment as its goal, must die sooner or later. Such things must die. Let me tell you, brethren, if you want to live, if you really want your nation to live, go back to Christ. You are not Christians. No, as a nation you are not. Go back to Christ. Go back to him who had nowhere to lay his head. "The birds have their nests and the beasts their lairs, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."

Yours is religion preached in the name of luxury. What an irony of fate! Reverse this if you want to live, reverse this. It is all hypocrisy that I have heard in this country. If this nation is going to live, let it go back to him. You cannot serve God and Mammon at the same time. All this prosperity, all this from Christ! Christ would have denied all such heresies. All prosperity which comes with Mammon is transient, is only for a moment. Real permanence is in Him. If you can join these two, this wonderful prosperity with the ideal of Christ, it is well. But if you cannot, better go back to him and give this up. Better be ready to live in rags with Christ than to live in palaces without him.

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Conversion is dangerous
vol.9, p 659

As far as converting India to christianity is concerned, there is no hope. If it were possible it ought not to be done. It would be dangerous; it would mark the destruction of all religions. If the whole universe should come to have the same temperament, physical or mental, destruction would immediately result.

Why couldn't you convert the Jew? Why couldn't you make the Persians christians? Why is it that to every African who becomes a christian 100 become followers of Mohammed? Why can't you make an impression on India and China, and Japan? Because oneness of mental temperament all over the world would be death. Nature is too wise to allow such things.

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The Hindu Idea of Life
vol.9, p 595

The Hindu Ideal of life is "Nivarti" [Nivritti]. Nivarti means subjugation and conquest of evil passions, of Tamasa nature of lust, revenge and avarice. It does not mean conquest of all desire. It means only the annihilation of gross desires. Every man is bound to love and sympathize with his fellowcreatures. [A] Sanyasi is one who has vanquished all his selfish passions and vowed to devote his life for the good of others. He loves all. "Pravirti" [Pravritti] means love of God and all his creatures.

Sanyasis ought to be fed. They are not like the Christian bishops and Archbishops who must be paid to do their work with thousands of pounds per annum; all whose earnings are spent upon their own luxury — their wife and children. [The] Sanyasi wants only a morsel of food, and then he places all his knowledge and services at the disposal of the public. He is a wandering missionary.

Individuals and society have to work themselves up from "brute through man, into divine". Even the lowest of the Hindus, the Pariah, has less of the brute in him than a Briton in a similar social status. This is the result of an old and excellent religious civilization. This evolution to a higher spiritual state is possible only through discipline and education.

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The Parliament of Religions
[The Indian Mirror (from The Daily Chronicle), November 28, 1893]

"You come," he cried, with the Bible in one hand and the conqueror's sword in the other — you, with your religion of yesterday, to us, who were taught thousands of years ago by our Rishis precepts as noble and lives as holy as your Christ's. You trample on us and treat us like the dust beneath your feet. You destroy precious life in animals. You are carnivores. You degrade our people with drink. You insult our women. You scorn our religion — in many points like yours, only better, because more humane.

And then you wonder why Christianity makes such slow progress in India. I tell you it is because you are not like your Christ, whom we could honour and reverence. Do you think, if you came to our doors like him, meek and lowly, with a message of love, living and working and suffering for others, as he did, we should turn a deaf ear? Oh no! We should receive him and listen to him, and as we have done our own inspired Rishis (teachers). ...

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Religion Not The Crying Need Of India
[Chicago Inter Ocean, September 21, 1893]
vol.9, p 630

Christian brethren of America, you are so fond of sending out missionaries to save the souls of heathens. I ask you what have you done and are doing to save their bodies from starvation? (Applause).

In India, there are 300,000,000 men and women living on an average of a little more than 50 cents a month. I have seen them living for years upon wild flowers. Whenever there was a little famine hundreds of thousands died of starvation. Christian missionaries come and offer life but only on condition that the Hindoos become Christians, abandoning the faith of their fathers and forefathers. Is it right?

There are hundreds of asylums, but if the Mohammedans or the Hindoos go there they would be kicked out. There are thousands of asylums erected by Hindoos where anybody would be received. There are hundreds of churches that have been erected with the assistance of the Hindoos, but no Hindoo temples for which a Christian has given a penny.

Brethren of America, the crying evil of the East is not religion. We have more than religion enough; what they want is bread, but they are given a stone. (Applause).

It is an insult to a suffering man dying of hunger to preach to him metaphysics. Therefore, if you wish to illustrate the meaning of "brotherhood" treat the Hindoo more kindly, even though he be a Hindoo and is faithful to his religion. Send missionaries to them to teach them how better to earn a better piece of bread and not to teach them metaphysical nonsense. (Great applause).

The paper just read says something about the miserable and ignorant priest. The same may be said of India. I am one of those monks who have been described as beggarly. That is the pride of my life. (Applause).

I am proud in that sense to be Christ-like. I eat what I have today and think not of tomorrow. "Behold the lilies of the field; they toil not, neither do they spin." The Hindoo carries that out literally. Many gentlemen present in Chicago sitting on this platform can testify that for the last twelve years I never knew whence my next meal was coming. I am proud to be a beggar for the sake of the Lord.

The idea in the east is [that] to preach or teach anything for the sake of money is low and vulgar, but to teach the name of the Lord for pay is such a degradation as would cause the priest to lose caste and be spat upon.

There is one suggestion in the paper that is true: If the priests of China and India were organized there is an enormous amount of potential energy which could be used for regeneration of society and humanity. I endeavored to organize it in India, but failed for lack of money. It may be I shall get the help I want in America. But we know it is very hard for a heathen to get any help from
"Christian people". (Great applause).

I have heard so much of this land of freedom, of liberty and freedom of thought that I am not discouraged. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen.
=====

And then the popular visitor bowed gracefully and sought to retire with a graceful smile, but the audience cried to him to proceed. Mr. Vivekananda, fairly bubbling with an expression of good nature, then explained the Hindoo theory of [re]incarnation.

At the close of the address Dr. Momerie [a delegate from England] said that he now understood why the newspapers had well called this parliament an approach to the millennium. . . .

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All Religions Are True: Such Is The Message Brought From India
[Daily Iowa Capitol, November 28, 1893]

The speaker was not favorably impressed with the efforts to make Hindu converts — perverts he calls them — to Christianity, nor the converse. All religions being true, such perversions serve no good end. The Hindu religion the speaker claimed is not disposed to antagonize any belief; it absorbs them. As for tolerating different beliefs, the language of the Hindu has no word corresponding with the English word "intolerance". That language had a word for religion and one for sect. The former embraced all beliefs. The conception of the latter the speaker illustrated by telling the story of the frog, who had no idea there was any world outside the well in which he had always lived.

The speaker urged his hearers to cultivate the divine within them and to discard the "nonsense" of sects.

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A Message from India
[Iowa State Register, November 28, 1893]

The people of Des Moines had a glimpse of Oriental life and thought at its best yesterday, from the lips of the famous Hindoo monk, Swami Vive Kananda.

Yesterday afternoon he met a large number of the brightest women in Des Moines, members of the various literary clubs, at the invitation of Mrs. H. O. Breeden, at her home, 1318 Woodland avenue, (An informal talk of which there is no verbatim transcript available.) and he talked to them for two or three hours about his religion, his view of Christianity, in which he heartily concurs, and of the manners and customs of his people.

The thing which Vive Kananda most strongly insists upon is that the Hindoo religion is not to be blamed for all that is bad in India any more than Christianity is to be blamed for all that is bad in America. And he insists that it is absurd to give Christianity credit for all the marvelous undertakings and achievements of the people who cherish it. He joins in the praise of the sublime things in the bible [sic], but says that when Moses undertook to speak of the creation of the world, he was merely Moses, the Jew and nothing more.

This view from the other side, and a sympathetic side at that, is a most helpful and instructive and intensely interesting one. Vive Kananda uses the purest English, for he was well educated in the English university, Calcutta.

He praises the American women most enthusiastically.

"I do not know what would have become of me if it had not been for your women," he said to a reporter for The Register last night. "They took me up and took care of me and made all necessary arrangements for me. They are the best women in the world. They have been so kind to me," [the Swami said] with a grateful smile.

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Filled the world with bloodshed
vol.9, p 660

The christian nations have filled the world with bloodshed and tyranny. It is their day now. You kill and murder and bring drunkenness and disease in our country, and then add insult to injury by preaching Christ and Him crucified. What christian voice goes through the land protesting against such horrors? I have never heard any. You drink the idea in your mothers' milk that you are angels and we are devils. It is not enough that there be sunlight; you must have the eyes to see it. It is not only necessary that there be goodness in people; you must have the appreciation of goodness within yourselves in order to distinguish it. This is in every heart until it has been murdered by superstition and hideous blasphemy.

Much has been said about the ladies of India, and of their faults and condition. There are faults; God help us to make them right. We are thankful for your criticism of our women. But while you are speaking of them I will say that I should be glad to see a dozen spiritual women in America. Nice dress, wealth, brilliant society, operas, novels — . Even intellectuality is not all that there is for a man or woman. There should be also spirituality, but that side is entirely absent from christian countries. They live in India.

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In Any Bible
vol.9, p 677

Swami Vivekananda did not fail to inform the audience in English words which could not be misunderstood, that the effort to raise his people by teaching them the Christian religion was a thankless task. He said:

We have seen the Greek and the Persian come to us — we have seen the Spaniard with guns come to make us Christians, still we are Hindoos and thus we shall remain.

Had Vivekananda used all the power of his flashing eyes and his expressive voice it would have been a most dramatic speech when he said:

I dare here in America to say that we of India shall stand by our religion.

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saidevo
20 March 2009, 08:58 PM
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Advice to the Christians
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The star arose in the East
vol.1, p 19

May He who is the Brahman of the Hindus, the Ahura-Mazda of the Zoroastrians, the Buddha of the Buddhists, the Jehovah of the Jews, the Father in Heaven of the Christians, give strength to you to carry out your noble idea! The star arose in the East; it travelled steadily towards the West, sometimes dimmed and sometimes effulgent, till it made a circuit of the world; and now it is again rising on the very horizon of the East, the borders of the Sanpo, a thousandfold more effulgent than it ever was before.

Note:
from Bansi Pandit's book Hindu Dharma
http://ikashmir.net/hindudharma/19.html

Sanpo is a Tibetan name for the Brahamaputra River, India. According to the World's Parliament of Religions (Chicago: The Parliament Publishing Company, 1893), Vol. II, pp. 978, the word is "Tasifu." Marie Louise Burke in her book Swami Vivekćnanda in the West: New Discoveries: His Prophetic Mission (Mayavati: Advaita Ashram, 1983), Vol. I, pp. 143-44, opines that the word should be "Pacific."

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Hell-fire
vol.1, p 265

Q. A man in the audience said, "If ministers stop preaching hell-fire, they will have no control over their people."

A. They had better lose it then. The man who is frightened into religion has no religion at all. Better teach him of his divine nature than of his animal.

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Worshipping Christ
vol.4, p 28

The great strength of Christ is not in His miracles or His healing. Any fool could do those things. Fools can heal others, devils can heal others. I have seen horrible demoniacal men do wonderful miracles. ... The other is the spiritual power of Christ which will live and always has lived - an almighty, gigantic love, and the words of truth which He preached. The action of healing men at a glance is forgotten, but His saying, "Blessed are the pure in heart", that lives today. These words are a gigantic magazine of power — inexhaustible. So long as the human mind lasts, so long as the name of God is not forgotten, these words will roll on and on and never cease to be. These are the powers Jesus taught, and the powers He had. The power of purity; it is a definite power.

So in worshipping Christ, in praying to Him, we must always remember what we are seeking. Not those foolish things of miraculous display, but the wonderful powers of the Spirit, which make man free, give him control over the whole of nature, take from him the badge of slavery, and show God unto him.

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A congregational religion can never be
vol.4, p 49

We see then that a congregational religion can never be. The real work of religion must be one's own concern. I have an idea of my own, I must keep it sacred and secret, because I know that it need not be your idea. ...

This Ishta should be kept secret, it is between you and God. All theoretical portions of religion can be preached in public and made congregational, but higher religion cannot be made public. I cannot get ready my religious feelings at a moment's notice. What is the result of this mummery and mockery? It is making a joke of religion, the worst of blasphemy.

The result is what you find in the churches of the present day. How can human beings stand this religious drilling? It is like soldiers in a barrack. Shoulder arms, kneel down, take a book, all regulated exactly. Five minutes of feeling, five minutes of reason, five minutes of prayer, all arranged beforehand. These mummeries have driven out religion.

Let the churches preach doctrines, theories, philosophies to their hearts' content, but when it comes to worship, the real practical part of religion, it should be as Jesus says, "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret"

This is the theory of Ishta. It is the only way to make religion meet practically the necessities of different constitutions, to avoid quarrelling with others, and to make real practical progress in spiritual life.

But I must warn you that you do not misconstrue my words into the formation of secret societies. If there were a devil, I would look for him within a secret society — as the invention of secret societies. They are diabolical schemes. The Ishta is sacred, not secret. But in what sense? Why should I not speak of my Ishta to others? Because it is my own most holy thing.

There are no such secret societies in India. Such things are purely Western in idea, and merely foisted upon India. We never knew anything about them. Why indeed should there be secret societies in India? In Europe, people were not allowed to talk a word about religion that did not agree with the views of the Church. So they were forced to go about amongst the mountains in hiding and form secret societies, that they might follow their own kind of worship. There was never a time in India when a man was persecuted for holding his own views on religion.

All these secret societies and humbugs make men and women impure, weak and narrow; and the weak have no will, and can never work. Therefore have nothing to do with them. All this false love of mystery should be knocked on the head the first time it comes into your mind.

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'Leaf-counting'
vol.4, p 22

Religion is the highest aim of man, the highest glory, but it does not require "leaf-counting". If you want to be a Christian, it is not necessary to know whether Christ was born in Jerusalem or Bethlehem or just the exact date on which he pronounced the Sermon on the Mount; you only require to feel the Sermon on the Mount. It is not necessary to read two thousand words on when it was delivered. All that is for the enjoyment of the learned. Let them have it; say amen to that. Let us eat the mangoes.

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Christianity must become tolerant
vol.5, p 338

Christianity must become tolerant before the world will be willing to unite with the Christian Church in a common charity. God has not left Himself without a witness in any heart, and men, especially men who follow Jesus Christ, should be willing to admit this. In fact, Jesus Christ was willing to admit every good man to the family of God. It is not the man who believes a certain something, but the man who does the will of the Father in heaven, who is right. On this basis — being right and doing right — the whole world can unite.

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Spreading Vedanta
Interview to The Hindu, Madras, February 1897
vol.5, p 263

"What prospects have you, Swamiji, for the spread of your mission in England?"

"There is every prospect. Before many years elapse a vast majority of the English people will be Vedantins. There is a greater prospect of this in England than there is in America. You see, Americans make a fanfaronade of everything, which is not the case with Englishmen. Even Christians cannot understand their New Testament, without understanding the Vedanta. The Vedanta is the rationale of all religions. Without the Vedanta every religion is superstition; with it everything becomes religion."

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Religion is not just doctrines
vol.6, p 96

Religion is the realisation of Spirit as Spirit; not Spirit as matter.

Religion is a growth. Each one must experience it himself. The Christians believe that Jesus Christ died to save man. With you it is belief in a doctrine, and this belief constitutes your salvation. With us doctrine has nothing whatever to do with salvation. Each one may believe in whatever doctrine he likes; or in no doctrine. What difference does it make to you whether Jesus Christ lived at a certain time or not? What has it to do with you that Moses saw God in the burning bush? The fact that Moses saw God in the burning bush does not constitute your seeing Him, does it? If it does, then the fact that Moses ate is enough for you; you ought to stop eating. One is just as sensible as the other.

Records of great spiritual men of the past do us no good whatever except that they urge us onward to do the same, to experience religion ourselves. Whatever Christ or Moses or anybody else did does not help us in the least, except to urge us on.

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Christs and Buddhas are but waves
vol.7, p 90

It is blasphemy to think that if Jesus had never been born, humanity would not have been saved. It is horrible to forget thus the divinity in human nature, a divinity that must come out. Never forget the glory of human nature. We are the greatest God that ever was or ever will be. Christs and Buddhas are but waves on the boundless ocean which I am. Bow down to nothing but your own higher Self. Until you know that you are that very God of gods, there will never be any freedom for you.

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Worship is not begging
vol.8, p 136

Christians are always wanting God to give them something. They appear as beggars before the throne of the Almighty. A story is told of a beggar who applied to an emperor for alms. While he was waiting, it was time for the emperor to offer up prayers. The emperor prayed, "O God, give me more wealth; give me more power; give me a greater empire." The beggar started to leave. The emperor turned and asked him, "Why are you going?" "I do not beg of beggars", was the reply.

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Sayings and Utterances of Swami Vivekananda
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vol.9, from page 556

3. An extract from a prayer Swami Vivekananda delivered at the Chicago World's Parliament of Religions:

"Thou art He that beareth the burdens of the universe; help me to bear the little burden of this life." (ND 2: 32)

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5. From Mary T. Wright's journal entry dated Saturday, May 12, 1894:

"When we are fanatical", he said, "we torture ourselves, we throw ourselves under huge cars, we cut our throats, we lie on spiked beds; but when you are fanatical you cut other people's throats, you torture them by fire and put them on spiked beds! You take very good care of your own skins!" (ND 2: 58-59)

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6. An 1894 extract from the Greenacre Voice, quoting one of the Swami's teachings delivered at Greenacre, Maine:

"You and I and everything in the universe are that Absolute, not parts, but the whole. You are the whole of that Absolute." (ND 2: 150)

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8. From John Henry Wright's March 27, 1896 letter to Mary Tappan Wright, in which Swami Vivekananda stated that England is just like India with its castes:

"I had to have separate classes for the two castes. For the high caste people — Lady This and Lady That, Honourable This and Honourable That — I had classes in the morning; for the low caste people, who came pell-mell, I had classes in the evening." (ND 4: 73)

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9. While Swami Vivekananda was offering flowers at the feet of the Virgin Mary in a small chapel in Switzerland in the summer of 1896, he said:

"For she also is the Mother." (ND 4: 276)

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16. During an evening talk with Swami Saradananda in the spring of 1899:

"Men should be taught to be practical, physically strong. A dozen such lions will conquer the world, not millions of sheep. Men should not be taught to imitate a personal ideal, however great." (ND 5: 17)

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17. From Mrs. Mary C. Funke's reminiscences of her August 1899 voyage to America with Swamis Vivekananda and Turiyananda:

"And if all this Maya is so beautiful, think of the wondrous beauty of the Reality behind it!" (ND 5: 76)

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18. In Miss Josephine MacLeod's September 3, 1899 letter to Mrs. Ole Bull:

"In one's greatest hour of need one stands alone." (ND 5: 122)

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19. From Sister Nivedita's October 27, 1899 diary entry at Ridgely Manor, in which Swami Vivekananda expressed his concern for Olea Bull Vaughn:

"Nightmares always begin pleasantly — only at the worst point [the] dream is broken — so death breaks [the] dream of life. Love death." (ND 5: 138)

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24. Mrs. Alice Hansbrough's record of Swami Vivekananda's explanation of God to seventeen-year-old Ralph Wyckoff:

"Can you see your own eyes? God is like that. He is as close as your own eyes. He is your own, even though you can't see Him." (ND 5: 254)

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26. Mrs. Alice Hansbrough's reminiscences of a picnic in Pasadena, California when a Christian Science woman suggested to Swami Vivekananda that one should teach people to be good:

"Why should I desire to be 'good'? All this is His handiwork [waving his hand to indicate the trees and the countryside]. Shall I apologize for His handiwork? If you want to reform John Doe, go and live with him; don't try to reform him. If you have any of the Divine Fire, he will catch it." (ND 5: 257)

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29. From Mr. Frank Rhodehamel's notes taken during a March 1900 lecture in Oakland, California:

Oh, if you only knew yourselves! You are souls; you are gods. If ever I feel [that I am] blaspheming, it is when I call you man." (ND 5: 362)

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30. An excerpt from Mr. Thomas J. Allan's reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda's March 1900 San Francisco lecture series on India:

"Send us mechanics to teach us how to use our hands, and we will send you missionaries to teach you spirituality." (ND 5: 365)

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34. From Mr. Thomas J. Allan's reminiscences of a private talk with Swami Vivekananda in San Francisco, California, 1900:

"We do not progress from error to truth, but from truth to truth. Thus we must see that none can be blamed for what they are doing, because they are, at this time, doing the best they can. If a child has an open razor, don't try to take it from him, but give him a red apple or a brilliant toy, and he will drop the razor. But he who puts his hand in the fire will be burned; we learn only from experience." (ND 6: 42)

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36. From Mrs. Alice Hansbrough's reminiscences in San Francisco, 1900 — referring to Swami Vivekananda's great heart:

"I may have to be born again because I have fallen in love with man." (ND 6: 79)

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37. From Mrs. George Roorbach's reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda at Camp Taylor, California, in May 1900:

"In my first speech in this country, in Chicago, I addressed that audience as 'Sisters and Brothers of America', and you know that they all rose to their feet. You may wonder what made them do this, you may wonder if I had some strange power. Let me tell you that I did have a power and this is it — never once in my life did I allow myself to have even one sexual thought. I trained my mind, my thinking, and the powers that man usually uses along that line I put into a higher channel, and it developed a force so strong that nothing could resist it." (ND 6: 155)

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39. In a July 1902 Prabuddha Bharata eulogy, "a Western disciple" wrote:

The Swami had but scant sympathy with iconoclasts, for as he wisely remarked, "The true philosopher strives to destroy nothing, but to help all". (VIN: 638)

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41. Swami Vivekananda's luncheon remarks to Mrs. Ole Bull, recorded by Sister Nivedita in an October 18, 1899 letter to Miss Josephine MacLeod:

"You see, there is one thing called love, and there is another thing called union. And union is greater than love.

"I do not love religion. I have become identified with it. It is my life. So no man loves that thing in which his life has been spent, in which he really has accomplished something. That which we love is not yet ourself. Your husband did not love music for which he had always stood. He loved engineering in which as yet he knew comparatively little. This is the difference between Bhakti and Jnana; and this is why Jnana is greater than Bhakti." (LSN I: 216)

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43. Sister Nivedita's reminiscences in a November 5, 1904 letter to Alberta Sturges (Lady Sandwich) of Swami Vivekananda's talk on renunciation while he was staying at Ridgely Manor:

"In India we never say that you should renounce a higher thing for a lower. It is better to be absorbed in music or in literature than in comfort or pleasure, and we never say otherwise." (LSN II: 690)

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45. Swami Vivekananda's reminiscences of Shri Ramakrishna, recorded in Sister Nivedita's July 6, 1910 letter to Dr. T. K. Cheyne:

"He could not imagine himself the teacher of anyone. He was like a man playing with balls of many colours, and leaving it to others to select which they would for themselves." (LSN II: 1110)

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50. Sister Nivedita wrote:

He touched on the question of his own position as a wandering teacher and expressed the Indian diffidence with regard to religious organization or, as someone expresses it, "with regard to a faith that ends in a church". "We believe", he said, "that organization always breeds new evils".

He prophesied that certain religious developments then much in vogue in the West would speedily die, owing to love of money. And he declared that "Man proceeds from truth to truth, and not from error to truth". (CWSN 1: 19-20)

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51. "The universe is like a cobweb and minds are the spiders; for mind is one as well as many." (CWSN 1: 21)

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53. Swami Vivekananda was elucidating to what heights of selflessness the path of love leads and how it draws out the very best faculties of the soul:

"Suppose there were a baby in the path of the tiger! Where would your place be then? At his mouth — any one of you — I am sure of it." (CWSN 1: 24)

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55. Concerning Swami Vivekananda's attitude toward religion:

Religion was a matter of the growth of the individual, "a question always of being and becoming". (CWSN 1: 28)

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58. To a small group, including Sister Nivedita, after a lecture:

"I have a superstition — it is nothing, you know, but a personal superstition! — that the same soul who came once as Buddha came afterwards as Christ." (CWSN 1: 35)

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62. As years went by, the Swami dared less and less to make determinate plans or dogmatize about the unknown:

"After all, what do we know? Mother uses it all. But we are only fumbling about." (CWSN 1: 44)

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63. Quoting Swami Vivekananda, Sister Nivedita remembered:

Love was not love, it was insisted, unless it was "without a reason" or without a "motive" . . . . (CWSN 1: 52)

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71. After teaching Sister Nivedita the worship of Shiva, Swami Vivekananda then culminated it in an offering of flowers at the feet of the Buddha. He said, as if addressing each soul that would ever come to him for guidance:

"Go thou and follow Him, who was born and gave His life for others five hundred times before He attained the vision of the Buddha!" (CWSN 1: 114)

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73. Sister Nivedita's reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda's words heard long before:

"The Impersonal God seen through the mists of sense is personal." (CWSN 1: 120)

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75. Swami Vivekananda said:
"The whole of life is only a swan song! Never forget those lines:

The lion, when stricken to the heart,
gives out his mightiest roar.
When smitten on the head, the cobra lifts its hood.
And the majesty of the soul comes forth,
only when a man is wounded to his depths."

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78. While speaking on the true spirit of a Sannyasin, Swami Vivekananda said:

"I saw many great men in Hrishikesh. One case that I remember was that of a man who seemed to be mad. He was coming nude down the street, with boys pursuing and throwing stones at him. The whole man was bubbling over with laughter while blood was streaming down his face and neck. I took him and bathed the wound, putting ashes on it to stop the bleeding. And all the time with peals of laughter he told me of the fun the boys and he had been having, throwing the stones. 'So the Father plays', he said.

"Sometimes the thing comes upon them in a flash. There was a boy, for instance, who used to come to read the Upanishads with Abhedananda. One day he turned and said, 'Sir, is all this really true?'

"'Oh yes!' said Abhedananda, 'It may be difficult to realize, but it is certainly true'.

"And next day, that boy was a silent Sannyasin, nude, on his way to Kedarnath!

"What happened to him? you ask. He became silent!

"But the Sannyasin needs no longer to worship or to go on pilgrimage or perform austerities. What then is the motive of all this going from pilgrimage to pilgrimage, shrine to shrine, and austerity to austerity? He is acquiring merit and giving it to the world!" (CWSN 1: 133)

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79. Referring to the story of Shibi Rana:

"Ah yes! These are the stories that are deep in our nation's heart! Never forget that the Sannyasin takes two vows: one to realize the truth and one to help the world — and that the most stringent of stringent requirements is that he should renounce any thought of heaven!" (CWSN 1: 134)

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80. To Sister Nivedita:
"The Gitā says that there are three kinds of charity: the Tāmasic, the Rājasic and the Sāttvic. Tamasic charity is performed on an impulse. It is always making mistakes. The doer thinks of nothing but his own impulse to be kind. Rajasic charity is what a man does for his own glory. And Sattvic charity is that which is given to the right person, in the right way, and at the proper time. ...

"When it comes to the Sattvic, I think more and more of a certain great Western woman in whom I have seen that quiet giving, always to the right person in the right way, at the right time, and never making a mistake.

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85. Commenting on the dungeon-cages of mediaeval prisoners on Mont- Saint-Michel:

"What a wonderful place for meditation!" (CWSN 1: 154)

"Oh, I know I have wandered over the whole earth, but in India I have looked for nothing save the cave in which to meditate!" (Ibid.)

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87. Swami Vivekananda said of himself before he left for America in 1893:

"I go forth to preach a religion of which Buddhism is nothing but a rebel child and Christianity, with all her pretensions, only a distant echo!" (CWSN 1: 161)

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93. Considering reincarnation a "scientific speculation" rather than an article of faith:

"Why, one life in the body is like a million years of confinement, and they want to wake up the memory of many lives! Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof! ... Yes! Buddhism must be right! Reincarnation is only a mirage! But this vision is to be reached by the path of Advaita alone!" (CWSN 1: 180-81)

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96. On the necessity of restraint in a disciple's life:

"Struggle to realize yourself without a trace of emotion! . . . Watch the fall of the leaves, but gather the sentiment of the sight from within at some later time!" (CWSN 1: 207)

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98. Describing the Indian ideal of Brahmacharya in the student's life, Swami Vivekananda said:

"Brahmacharya should be like a burning fire within the veins!" (CWSN 1: 216)

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102. Concerning the Hindu and Buddhist monastic and non-monastic ideals:

"The glory of Hinduism lies in the fact that while it has defined ideals, it has never dared to say that any one of these alone was the one true way. In this it differs from Buddhism, which exalts monasticism above all others as the path that must be taken by all souls to reach perfection. The story given in the Mahābhārata of the young saint who was made to seek enlightenment, first from a married woman and then from a butcher, is sufficient to show this. 'By doing my duty', said each one of these when asked, 'by doing my duty in my own station, have I attained this knowledge'. There is no career then which might not be the path to God. The question of attainment depends only, in the last resort, on the thirst of the soul." (CWSN 1: 223)

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104. "The highest truth is always the simplest." (CWSN 1: 226)

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106. On Western and Eastern views of a person as a body or a soul:

"Western languages declare that man is a body and has a soul; Eastern languages declare that he is a soul and has a body." (CWSN 1: 236-37)

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111. In Kashmir after an illness, Swami Vivekananda said as he lifted a couple of pebbles:

"Whenever death approaches me, all weakness vanishes. I have neither fear, nor doubt, nor thought of the external. I simply busy myself making ready to die. I am as hard as that [the pebbles struck one another in his hand] — for I have touched the feet of God!" (CWSN 1: 262)

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TatTvamAsi
28 March 2009, 09:37 PM
Namaste Saidevo,

Those excerpts are really great to read, especially coming from a true Hindu like Vivekananda who never minced words and always adhered to Truth!

This limp method nowadays of saying 'all religions are equal/good' is total nonsense and cowardice. Vivekananda knew that action is of utmost importance. He also stressed religious tolerance while christian missionaries were continuing, and are even to this day, with their libelous and slanderous misinformation about Hinduism and India.

After all, it is Vivekananda who said, "Arise, awake; and stop not till the goal is reached!"

He is the real leader of all Hindus! The kindness that Gandhi showed is often mistaken for weakness by the enemies of Hinduism/India. There needs to be a strong revival of Hinduism and self-identity amongst Hindus around the world, but especially in India!

JAI HIND!

Namaskar.