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pineblossom
23 March 2011, 06:43 AM
On another thread about another matter I sustained a rather unfortunate personal attack - presumably because I was a Christian.

While I can understand the source of such attacks it is perhaps necessary for me to spell out some rather obvious, but hitherto, unacknowledged assumptions.

Somewhat like Hindu Dharma, Christianity is multifarious but also somewhat like the hydra - cut off one head and two more appear. So I don't necessarily blame those with personal hate crusades. However, more needs to be said.

Christianity was born in the depths of Hellenist culture - a culture that followed Alexander III as he prowled the world only pulling up at the Indus River because his army wanted to go home.

But Alexander bought with him the Greek idea of doing things including language and the rationalist philosophies which survives within many cultures today. It survives particularly in Christianity - despite most Christians denying as much. Rationalism, as the Greeks knew it, followed the expansion of the West which eventually became driving force of Imperialist Europe which rode to power and dominance on the back Christianity. The two are cosy cousins.

Western Imperialism is dead but American Tea Party Style Imperialism survives on the back of its own deer hunting for Jesus brand of Christianity. 'Those ends times are about to happen so cares what happens to the place in the meantime'.

Technically, as well as spiritually, Christianity is also dead. Many, most perhaps, Christians know this and are concerned but not knowing quite where to turn. So please treat us lost souls as spiritually exiles looking for a new home. Hating is easy - anyone can do that. Listening seems to be more productive.

'That man I love! Who, unto friend and foe
Keeping an equal heart, with equal mind
Bears shame and glory: with an equal peace ...

BhagavadGita XII

devotee
23 March 2011, 07:05 AM
Namaste Pineblossom,

No one hates you, please rest assured. Ther are a number of people here from Chsritian background who are highly respected on this forum.

Sometimes whle discussing, some members may use harsh words to drive their point. That is the problem of that member (I am not excluding myself ... if I did it to anyone) & not of this forum. If you are interested in Hinduism & its wonderful doctrine & respect our scriptures, saints, our customs and our beliefs ... you are most welcome here.

The forum is congregaton of a number of people coming from widely varying background. You can't expect everyone to behave rationally. We have to live in this practical world as it is.

Love to you ....

devotee

Believer
23 March 2011, 09:35 AM
But Alexander bought with him the Greek idea of doing things including language and the rationalist philosophies which survives within many cultures today.
Greeks are a strange bunch, their tour guides are pretty mixed up; they want to keep alive the stories of their old religion to be able to come up with a narrative during long bus rides so as to milk them for tips from tourists, but profess to be loyal to orthodox Xitianity.

It was rather unfortunate for you to have met some unpleasantness in the forum before, but let us push the reset button and start anew. :)

Adhvagat
23 March 2011, 04:59 PM
Lenny, if one behaves like a worm (example, well, perhaps an extreme crack addict that gets high and sleep among the trash? Murdering for drug, not minding living among trash and excrement, is he different from a worm?), then he's wasting his life and if he leaves his body in this mindset, he'll go where HE WANTS, simple as that.

And the waste is the person to blame. Is it really hard to hold a concept of RESPONSIBILITY within spirituality?

The christian mindset of everyone's already saved by a person that died for our sins and we can even live a wreteched life and just repent next to our death bed turned everyone into spiritually spoiled children!

The Vedas have the decency to state that this responsibility starts when we first get this human form. We have great power with it while walking this Earth and with great power comes great responsibility. ;)

So let's compare the philosophies:

A person already died for your sins VS You take responsibility on your own acts

You'll always be a human no matter your mindset VS Your mindset determines your outer shell

The world, animals and everything on this Earth were given by god for human enjoyment VS The world is the great mother, a living being, should be respected and every living thing is an atma.

For me, it's clear that Dharmic life is the way out of this destructive mindset we are experiencing right now in the world.

Om Tat Sat

As posted in another topic. Hope it's of any correlation.

BryonMorrigan
23 March 2011, 05:59 PM
Greeks are a strange bunch. With their extreme rationalist thinking, they turned Zues and Athena and other celestial beings into a laughing stock, and then ended up adopting the orthodox Xitianity. In today's Greece, the tour guides are pretty mixed up; they want to keep alive the stories of their old religion to be able to come up with a narrative during long bus rides so as to milk them for tips from tourists, but profess to be loyal to orthodox Xitianity. By pushing rationalism to the extent of destroying their faith, they are left neither with a rationalist thinking nor a credible faith.

Actually, it was the Greeks who were the last philosophers of pre-Christian religion to be "put to the sword." It was a group of Maniots (Spartans) who were the last Greco-Romans to be conquered by the Christians. They retreated to a mountainous area of Mani which was easily defended, and they fought off armies of Byzantines well into the Middle Ages!

If you read the works of the Hellenistic philosophers and Neoplatonists, it's quite clear that the Greeks were still a very religious people all the way up to the Christian conquest. (There is a lot about Neoplatonism that is very similar to modern Hinduism, by the way...)

In fact, the word "Hellene," (Greek) meant "Pagan" up until the time of the Greek War of Independence. It was only due to the intervention of Westerners like Lord Byron, who were fascinated with pre-Christianity Greece, who ignited the flame of "Greek Pride" among the people...who had long ago started considering themselves simply "Byzantines," and viewed the religion and culture of their past as "evil."

I'd post more...but I have a migraine, which is making my thoughts a bit fuzzy.

TheOne
23 March 2011, 08:52 PM
Ah yes, the neoplatonists. They are(along with theosophy) what initially drew me to Vedic thought. They have their philosophy spot on but they have no reference and that made me leads me to believe much of their philosophy they got from India because the teachings of the Upanishads mach up with their concept of "The One" and "The world soul". They along with Gnostics are in my opinion more proof that philosophy CAME OUT of India rather than brought in by some "Aryan Invasion".

Believer
23 March 2011, 09:08 PM
Pineblossom, sorry for hijacking your thread.

Thanks Bryon for all the info.

"The Neoplatonists believed in the principle of reincarnation. Although the most pure and holy souls would dwell in the highest regions, the impure soul would undergo a purification, before descending again, to be reincarnated into a new body, perhaps into animal form. A soul that has returned to the One, achieves union with the cosmic universal soul, and does not descend again, at least, not in this world period."

The Neoplatonist philosophy does sound very much like the Hindu philosophy. Did the Xitian conquest of Manoits result in the obliteration of the ancient Greek philosophy/religion?


They along with Gnostics are in my opinion more proof that philosophy CAME OUT of India rather than brought in by some "Aryan Invasion".

Hush, lest the Xitian pundits/proponents of 'Aryan Invasion Theory' come after you! ;)
-

Sahasranama
23 March 2011, 09:10 PM
In high school I had to read fragments of the epistulae morales of Seneca and sometimes it seemed like reading from the upanishads. The later stoics were influenced by Indian thought from the information that came from the silk road. The earlier stoics and plato were influenced by the cynics who were influenced by the avadhuta philosophy of Indian ascetics. Even before Alexander the great, the epics of Homer show a lot of influence from Valmiki.



The Neoplatonist philosophy does sound very much like the Hindu philosophy. Did the Xitian conquest of Manoits result in the obliteration of the ancient Greek philosophy/religion?I'll wait to hear what Bryon has to say about this, but the Christians did appropiate a lot from the religions that existed in that time.

TheOne
23 March 2011, 09:28 PM
Thank you very much for the info. I believe sometimes I let on that I know a lot more about what I'm talking about than I actually do, it's refreshing to see people with actual knowledge speak about the subject. :)


Namaste

Rationalist
24 March 2011, 12:30 AM
On another thread about another matter I sustained a rather unfortunate personal attack - presumably because I was a Christian.

While I can understand the source of such attacks it is perhaps necessary for me to spell out some rather obvious, but hitherto, unacknowledged assumptions.

Somewhat like Hindu Dharma, Christianity is multifarious but also somewhat like the hydra - cut off one head and two more appear. So I don't necessarily blame those with personal hate crusades. However, more needs to be said.

Christianity was born in the depths of Hellenist culture - a culture that followed Alexander III as he prowled the world only pulling up at the Indus River because his army wanted to go home.

But Alexander bought with him the Greek idea of doing things including language and the rationalist philosophies which survives within many cultures today. It survives particularly in Christianity - despite most Christians denying as much. Rationalism, as the Greeks knew it, followed the expansion of the West which eventually became driving force of Imperialist Europe which rode to power and dominance on the back Christianity. The two are cosy cousins.

Western Imperialism is dead but American Tea Party Style Imperialism survives on the back of its own deer hunting for Jesus brand of Christianity. 'Those ends times are about to happen so cares what happens to the place in the meantime'.

Technically, as well as spiritually, Christianity is also dead. Many, most perhaps, Christians know this and are concerned but not knowing quite where to turn. So please treat us lost souls as spiritually exiles looking for a new home. Hating is easy - anyone can do that. Listening seems to be more productive.

'That man I love! Who, unto friend and foe
Keeping an equal heart, with equal mind
Bears shame and glory: with an equal peace ...

BhagavadGita XII

Lol, no it wasn't born in Hellenistic culture. Does any Christian know their history? Guess not, since believing in their faith requires them to believe that the world was 6000 years old.

Why the respect for Alexander the Great? The guy was a brute, a murderer, and a wanton conquerer. No one likes a barbarian that conquers for the pleasure of it.

No, Greeks did not bring the concept of language, rationalism, and so forth anywhere. They did not bring civilization into other parts of the world. That, my friend, in Eurocentrism. India was long the abode of linguistics and rationalism, evidenced by the numerous philosophical sects that cropped up following the Vedic period. The same tradition can be found in many Eastern cultures/civilizations, most notably China.

Yea, we have no problem accepting you if you let go of your Eurocentrism, your Christian biases against other religions, philosophies, and bias against scientific advancement. In other words, just stop practicing Christianity since it is inherently a supremacist, racist, and intolerant religion.

Imperialism is over, but the effects aren't. The world will never forget the way in which they were wantonly conquered and raped of their wealth, humanity, and culture. The world will never forget the way in which you lost and backwards people continue to take advantage of this in the form of missionary activity, Eurocentrism, and Western supremacy.

You are asking us to forgive you people when you don't deserve it. So just sit back and watch the East rise while the West collapses from its ignorance.

As for the rest of the people on this forum: Don't believe this guy. He is obviously still clinging onto his Christian/white supremacist mindsets and anything he says should be treated with care and caution.

Adhvagat
24 March 2011, 05:20 AM
Rationalist, at least India fascinated Alexander, something that didn't quite go through with other conquerors.

But points like language and philosophy being greek's traits is definitely a correctable statement.

Another thing is separating western aggressive expansion from christianity conversion crusades... Is it even possible?

And christianity never ceases to amaze me, it's politics with the greatest disguise of religion, yet people buy it, sigh. Pure Kali-yuga!


Technically, as well as spiritually, Christianity is also dead. Many, most perhaps, Christians know this and are concerned but not knowing quite where to turn. So please treat us lost souls as spiritually exiles looking for a new home. Hating is easy - anyone can do that. Listening seems to be more productive.

With all due respect, when was christianity ever spiritually alive if not in the darkness of the middle ages?

It's just that now people are more spiritually mature to see its clear flaws.

Or perhaps you're referring to the ideal times where christianity was purely based upon Christ's teachings alone? Something I never found trace of and perhaps Christ was a more dharmic dissident among the Abrahamic faiths (which he was actually) that was rejected out of prejudice but its spiritual teachings assimilated nonetheless.


'That man I love! Who, unto friend and foe
Keeping an equal heart, with equal mind
Bears shame and glory: with an equal peace ...

BhagavadGita XII

It's also nice to remeber that the whole point of the Gita is to incite Arjuna to carry on with his battle for Dharma with the right mindset.

Arjuna didn't went to the mountains and stood passively while the ruthless conquered everything.

PS: Discussing christianity always makes me scratch my head. Do we even need to dedicate mental time to refute a "religion" that needed councils to grant woman and black people a soul. Is it really necessary? Unfortunately we do.

But discussing historical aspects to shed some light on its origins is a great tool to help people just hop out of it.

pineblossom
24 March 2011, 05:42 AM
With all due respect, when was christianity ever spiritually alive if not in the darkness of the middle ages?

I think there are spiritually alive Christians in ever age. You just don't get to read about them all that often.


It's just that now people are more spiritually mature to see its clear flaws.

I think that is certainly the case.

BryonMorrigan
24 March 2011, 02:44 PM
Ah yes, the neoplatonists. They are(along with theosophy) what initially drew me to Vedic thought. They have their philosophy spot on but they have no reference and that made me leads me to believe much of their philosophy they got from India because the teachings of the Upanishads mach up with their concept of "The One" and "The world soul". They along with Gnostics are in my opinion more proof that philosophy CAME OUT of India rather than brought in by some "Aryan Invasion".

Indeed. It always seems to me that, when you read the actual words of many of the Greek philosophers...(and not just the "major" works by Plato, Aristotle, etc.)...that there are occasional "matter-of-fact" references to Indian philosophy. That tends to make me think that the culture was not so much a "closed system" as many ethnocentric Westerners tend to believe.


Did the Xitian conquest of Manoits result in the obliteration of the ancient Greek philosophy/religion?

I did a research paper on the conquest of the Maniots for part of my Master's Degree in History...but I can't find it right now. You really have to dig for info on them, because it's not a subject typically mentioned by Christian "historians." Essentially, the Maniots were the last people to OPENLY practice the Greek religion. Greek philosophy had, for the most part, either died or gone underground at the beginning of the "Dark Ages." Since anyone who practiced the Greek religion, (or even visited a temple!) could be put to death, there wasn't much of a way for the religion to survive, really. According to some of the modern "Hellenists," there have been isolated instances of people secretly passing on the religion from one generation to the next...but I wouldn't say that such a thing has been proven.

This timeline explains the history of Christian aggression against the Greco-Roman religions (http://ethnikoi.org/persecutions.html). The "Gentile Hellenes of Laconia" mentioned at the end are the Maniots. "Laconia" is the are that used to be called "Sparta," and the Lambda, or "Λ" symbol often depicted on Spartan shields is the Greek letter "L," and stood for "Laconia" (or "Lacedaemon," which was essentially another name for the same place).

The timeline is from the website of the main Greek group working to restore the Greek religion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellenic_Polytheistic_Reconstructionism). Many people do not realize that up until a few years ago, it was a criminal offense to practice their religion! (http://homelands.org/worlds/hellenes.html) A lot of people don't realize that many of the modern symbolic aspects of "Greek-ness" were shunned by the Greek people for centuries. The Olympic Games were a "Pagan" festival, shut down by the Christians as "blasphemous," and "Hellenism," or "Hellenismos," which now has the connotation of essentially, "Someone who appreciates or studies Greek culture," originally meant, "Someone who worships the Greek Gods." It's fascinating, really.

sanjaya
24 March 2011, 03:36 PM
Lol, no it wasn't born in Hellenistic culture. Does any Christian know their history? Guess not, since believing in their faith requires them to believe that the world was 6000 years old.

Actually I'm surprised he said that. Evangelical Christians go to great pains to prove that their religion is essentially a Hebrew/Jewish faith. Most Jews I know will regard this as cultural hijacking, and retort that Christianity is a Greek faith.

I'll give him this: the Christian scriptures were written in Greek, and they have just as much Greek influence as Jewish. What culture the religion was born in...I'll leave to the experts like Byron.

TheOne
24 March 2011, 04:05 PM
The Christian "religion" we know now was born in Rome and Constantinople Resulting in two distinct branches of Christianity.

Rome produced Catholicism
Constantinople produced Orthodoxy


Both of which were united under Catholicism until the 1054 split between East and West.

Between 0 and 1054 Christianity killed non-Christians, destroyed the knowledge of the ancients, caused the destruction of the Roman Empire, and ultimately made Europe to enter in what was righteously caused the Dark Ages because any intellectual light was put out and destroyed non-Christian cultures.

After 1054 the main battle was now against Islam as is evident when the Byzantines called on the Catholics to help fight the hordes of Muslims invading. Now in typical Catholic fashion they regarded the Orthodox as heretics merely because they didn't accept the authority of the Pope so they decided not only to push back the Muslims but to sack Constantinople while they are at it. They pushed the Muslims all the way back to Jerusalem slaughtering literally anyone in their way. After a couple of centuries of this the crusades ended, and in the 1300's the Byzantine Empire was sacked and Muslims had taken over the remains of it.

From 1300's onward Christianity has been in my opinion in rapid decline not merely because of Muslim conquerors but because Europe was soon to enter an amazing period called the Enlightenment when the Church held less sway and people themselves started to have some degree of control over what religion they practiced.


And that's where we are today.

BryonMorrigan
24 March 2011, 06:50 PM
By the way, if you guys want to watch a movie about the horrific way that Christianity took over the Roman Empire...watch the movie "Agora." It's a big-budget historical epic about the "Pagan" philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria, who was murdered by a Christian mob because she wouldn't convert...in a "not so nice" fashion. Here's what a Christian Historian from the 5th century CE had to say on the matter:

"Some of [the Christians] therefore, hurried away by a fierce and bigoted zeal, whose ringleader was a reader named Peter, waylaid her returning home, and dragging her from her carriage, they took her to the church called Caesareum, where they completely stripped her, and then murdered her with tiles [oyster shells]. After tearing her body in pieces, they took her mangled limbs to a place called Cinaron, and there burnt them." -- Socrates Scholasticus, 450 CE

You can watch the trailer HERE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbuEhwselE0), but it doesn't quite show you just how great the movie is. The director, an Atheist, tries to imply that Hypatia was an Atheist...but PULLS NO PUNCHES in making the Christians the obvious villains of the movie. Here's the scene that shows the Christian mob destroying the Library of Alexandria (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAWZSSGjIvw). The atrocities that they commit in this movie make you think you think of the Taliban.

It took a very long time for the movie to be available in America, because the Christians protested it immensely. (It's a Spanish film...but in English...) The movie is currently available on NetFlix Instant Viewing if you have access, and playing on Showtime. I so wish we could start making movies like this about the history of Hinduism!

TheOne
24 March 2011, 08:07 PM
That movie looks absolutely amazing. The second I can I shall procure a copy of it for myself! This is another example of why I believe that yes, Hindus and Western Atheists certainly don't see eye to eye on a great many things but they are some of the greatest exposers of Christian hypocrisy and the true face of the "Desert God".


Namaste

Adhvagat
25 March 2011, 12:43 AM
Hey Bryon, the trailer looked a little too corny when I first saw last year, but it's Alejandro Amenabar, he's a great director!

I'll check this one. And christians protest history now? LOL

A comment on the trailer page:


Which command of Jesus Christ you hate the most... and why!?True Christians were always persecuted from the day one, Jesus included. Late Christianity and Roman Catholic Church are luciferians. True followers of Christ never killed anyone. They were killed instead. The same is today.
___


I so wish we could start making movies like this about the history of Hinduism!

I missed this bit of your message. That is indeed true.

Ever since I got in contact with the Mahabharata I was amazed from the get go. I could only imagine Mahabharata with LOTR budget. :)

pineblossom
25 March 2011, 06:00 AM
Actually I'm surprised he said that. Evangelical Christians go to great pains to prove that their religion is essentially a Hebrew/Jewish faith. Most Jews I know will regard this as cultural hijacking, and retort that Christianity is a Greek faith.

I'll give him this: the Christian scriptures were written in Greek, and they have just as much Greek influence as Jewish. What culture the religion was born in...I'll leave to the experts like Byron.

And I would argue that both Judaism and Christianity are embedded in Hellenistic culture.

The only Jewish groups that survive the 66-74 war were the Pharisees and the Christians. And it was not called the Greco-Roman Empire for nothing - the Hellenistic influence consequently underpinned rationalistic Western Imperialism.

sanjaya
25 March 2011, 10:43 AM
By the way, if you guys want to watch a movie about the horrific way that Christianity took over the Roman Empire...watch the movie "Agora." It's a big-budget historical epic about the "Pagan" philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria, who was murdered by a Christian mob because she wouldn't convert...in a "not so nice" fashion. Here's what a Christian Historian from the 5th century CE had to say on the matter:

"Some of [the Christians] therefore, hurried away by a fierce and bigoted zeal, whose ringleader was a reader named Peter, waylaid her returning home, and dragging her from her carriage, they took her to the church called Caesareum, where they completely stripped her, and then murdered her with tiles [oyster shells]. After tearing her body in pieces, they took her mangled limbs to a place called Cinaron, and there burnt them." -- Socrates Scholasticus, 450 CE

You can watch the trailer HERE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbuEhwselE0), but it doesn't quite show you just how great the movie is. The director, an Atheist, tries to imply that Hypatia was an Atheist...but PULLS NO PUNCHES in making the Christians the obvious villains of the movie. Here's the scene that shows the Christian mob destroying the Library of Alexandria (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAWZSSGjIvw). The atrocities that they commit in this movie make you think you think of the Taliban.

It took a very long time for the movie to be available in America, because the Christians protested it immensely. (It's a Spanish film...but in English...) The movie is currently available on NetFlix Instant Viewing if you have access, and playing on Showtime. I so wish we could start making movies like this about the history of Hinduism!

Byron, I just read about this movie and it looks very interesting. I almost want to spend the $10 on iTunes just to watch it tonight.


And I would argue that both Judaism and Christianity are embedded in Hellenistic culture.

The only Jewish groups that survive the 66-74 war were the Pharisees and the Christians. And it was not called the Greco-Roman Empire for nothing - the Hellenistic influence consequently underpinned rationalistic Western Imperialism.

Well I see two problems here. First, from a historical point of view this isn't quite correct; there were other groups to survive Titus' siege of Jerusalem as well as the later Bar Kochba revolt. There are Jews living in India today who emigrated well before these events, as well as communities in Ethiopia. Secondly, to say that Jews are Hellenized because they were occupied by the Roman Empire is much like saying that Hinduism is a British religion due to the British occupation of India. Indeed, India shows that this isn't true, because we are slowly eliminating the influences of Western culture in our religion. Even before the siege of Jerusalem, Jews had successfully staved off the Hellenization of their culture, such as in the Maccabean revolt.

In any case, I don't think that Christianity is a legitimate branch of Judaism alongside Rabbinic Judaism. The latter makes sense in light of other Jewish writings, the former does not.

Ramakrishna
26 March 2011, 12:26 AM
Namaste Bryon,



You can watch the trailer HERE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbuEhwselE0), but it doesn't quite show you just how great the movie is.

Just watched the trailer, and that movie looks awesome! There needs to be more movies and documentaries about that period in history. Or maybe there are, but I just don't hear about them.

Jai Sri Ram

Sahasranama
26 March 2011, 08:00 AM
Bryon, I don't know a lot about Christian history, so the questions may seem silly, but were these people from the movie Greek orthodox's or Roman catholics? I'd really like to hear some trash of the Greek orthodox history. Was there ever a lineage of Christians who opposed themselves to the Bible (the hebrew old testament/ the greek new testament) as we know it today and if so what happened to them? New age christians base their faith on stories of so called "early christians" who didn't believe in the bible, is there any historical basis for this? And what was the real religion of Hypatia if she was not an atheist? I have googled this and most websites mention that her religion was unknown or that she was called pagan, because she was a scientist.

TheOne
26 March 2011, 08:33 AM
Bryon, I don't know a lot about Christian history, so the questions may seem silly, but were these people from the movie Greek orthodox's or Roman catholics? I'd really like to hear some trash of the Greek orthodox history. Was there ever a lineage of Christians who opposed themselves to the Bible (the hebrew old testament/ the greek new testament) as we know it today and if so what happened to them? New age christians base their faith on stories of so called "early christians" who didn't believe in the bible, is there any historical basis for this? And what was the real religion of Hypatia if she was not an atheist? I have googled this and most websites mention that her religion was unknown or that she was called pagan, because she was a scientist.

The people from the movie were to my knowledge lead by Cyril of Alexandria who went on a moral crusades to end so called "heresies" such as Nestorianism among others.

As for whether there was a lineage of Christians opposing the bible that depends on what you call a Christian. If you accept the modern definition of a Christian then no but groups such as Gnostics, Nestorians and Assyrians if you read "heretical" books such as Gospel of Thomas, Matthew, and Judas you will see a lot more teachings that are in line with Dharma.

BryonMorrigan
26 March 2011, 11:18 AM
Bryon, I don't know a lot about Christian history, so the questions may seem silly, but were these people from the movie Greek orthodox's or Roman catholics? I'd really like to hear some trash of the Greek orthodox history. Was there ever a lineage of Christians who opposed themselves to the Bible (the hebrew old testament/ the greek new testament) as we know it today and if so what happened to them? New age christians base their faith on stories of so called "early christians" who didn't believe in the bible, is there any historical basis for this?

Cyril of Alexandria, the leader of the villains, was the "Pope" of Alexandria at the time, and therefore part of the hierarchy of the Roman church. So he was basically "Catholic," though I don't believe they were calling themselves as such just yet.

Well, the Bible was essentially "created" at the Council of Nicaea, by a group of Christians overseen by the Roman Emperor Constantine I. At this council, they decided which books were "worthy" of inclusion in the Bible, and which were not. Many of the "Lost Books" of the Bible, sometimes referred to as "Apocryphal" texts, can be found today. I seem to remember one which has a story of a "Young Jesus" murdering someone out of spite, but I can't recall it off the top of my head. There was also a lot of violence between Christian sects during this time period, as I've mentioned before.


And what was the real religion of Hypatia if she was not an atheist? I have googled this and most websites mention that her religion was unknown or that she was called pagan, because she was a scientist.

For the record, the term "Atheist," was coined by the Greeks to describe the Christians...as the general consensus of Polytheists during the time was that all gods are "universal" to other Polytheist religions...whereas the Christians (and Jews) denied the existence of all gods but their own.

Hypatia would have been a Greco-Egyptian Polytheist, which is what most of the "Pagans" of Egypt were at that time. The Library of Alexandria at that time was also a temple to the god Serapis, who was a syncretic god, combining the Egyptian Osiris/Apis with the Greek Hades, and she would have essentially been part of the religious hierarchy of the temple. Worship of Serapis actually is a major plot point in the movie, with the Christians desecrating his statues and performing clearly-rigged "tricks" to "prove" that their "god" is more powerful. (A common trick used by Christians...) Furthermore, she is often described as a "philosopher," which was a word that essentially meant, "Pagan" at that time period.

Anyways, syncreticism was very "big" in Pagan Europe. Essentially, it was the idea that all of the pantheons of the different religions were the same gods and goddesses, just worshiped under different names and in different ways. So, to a Greek living in Egypt (like Hypatia), there was no essential difference between the Greek gods, the Egyptian gods, the Roman gods, et cetera. In ancient Greece and Rome, there were temples to many of the Egyptian gods, and vice-versa. We see this most obviously with the similarity between the Greek and Roman pantheon, but it's also there for all of the other "Paganisms." Hypatia was a descendant of the Ptolemaic Greeks who had settled there after Alexander the Great "conquered" Egypt. (In reality, he was greeted as a "liberator," since the Egyptians hated their Persian overlords so much. The Persians didn't even fight.) In many cases, the Egyptian Greeks used hyphenated names to describe most of the syncretic gods, like Zeus-Ammon, but they decided to make up a new name for Hades-Osiris, and called him "Serapis." (Note: Hades did not have the negative connotations that he has in modern society...which is mostly due to the fact that the early Christian bibles were written in Greek and referred to "Satan" as "Hades.")

This concept of syncreticism can also be seen among the Kalash people of northern Pakistan (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/picture_gallery/05/south_asia_kalash_spring_festival/html/1.stm), who consider themselves to be the descendants of soldiers from Alexander the Great's army, and practice a religion that is a syncretic mash-up of Vedic Hinduism and Greek Polytheism.

sanjaya
26 March 2011, 11:49 AM
If I recall correctly, the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches only split in 1054. According to Catholics, the Christians were united under Catholicism before then, and according to the Orthodox it is the Catholics who are the splinter group. It's almost amusing how divisive Christians are, even amongst themselves.

Sahasranama
26 March 2011, 02:48 PM
Interesting Bryon, so these lost gnostic texts are not all they are made out to be by new age Christians. When I have arguments with a jesus lover and talk about the flaws of the Bible, I have heard the following arguments:

1)The translations of the churches are corrupted
2)Not all Christian sects have taken the Bible literally or were violent war mongerers
3)There are gnostic texts which are similar to the upanishads/ dharmic literature

It's good to hear that Hypatia was a pagan worshipping deities. Unfortunately modern atheist like to portray that all science came from people who were not religious at all.

sanjaya
26 March 2011, 07:42 PM
It's good to hear that Hypatia was a pagan worshipping deities. Unfortunately modern atheist like to portray that all science came from people who were not religious at all.

In that case, I wish the atheists good luck in claiming that the Hindu mathematicians and scientists throughout history belong to their crowd!

pineblossom
27 March 2011, 01:46 AM
What one must be aware of when speaking about Christianity is the paramount importance of 'belief'. For Christianity it is a matter of salvation. What one 'believes' is therefore important.

All those splits and murders which took place in the Church were all about 'belief'. Simply stated, if you do not accept the Church's dogma then one is not a Christian.

This puts people like me a situation where for the sake of 'worshipping' I attend a Christian church but do not accept what the Church teaches. But then I am far from alone in this matter.

Sahasranama
27 March 2011, 08:06 AM
I am not going to trash you for going to church, but why go to a group of people you heavily disagree with spiritually to do prayers? A lot of Hindus have their home altar.

pineblossom
27 March 2011, 04:50 PM
I am not going to trash you for going to church, but why go to a group of people you heavily disagree with spiritually to do prayers? A lot of Hindus have their home altar.

Point taken.

Eastern Mind
27 March 2011, 05:31 PM
Vannakkam Pineblossom: Firstly, I apologise for snooping on your location on google. Lucky man you are, it must be quite tropical there. According to the map, there is a couple of Hindu Mandirs in Brisbane, only 3 hours away. I know we have people here in western Canada (with similar such great distances) who drive the 3 hours (some further) once every couple of months. Here's the link to one of them: http://hindusocietyqld.com/

It's just a thought.

Another one is to start a satsang or worship group in your home once a month or in a rented space. I'm sure your town is big enough that it has a few other Hindus in it. Best wishes.

Aum Namasivaya

Rationalist
27 March 2011, 05:54 PM
What one must be aware of when speaking about Christianity is the paramount importance of 'belief'. For Christianity it is a matter of salvation. What one 'believes' is therefore important.

All those splits and murders which took place in the Church were all about 'belief'. Simply stated, if you do not accept the Church's dogma then one is not a Christian.

This puts people like me a situation where for the sake of 'worshipping' I attend a Christian church but do not accept what the Church teaches. But then I am far from alone in this matter.

Any religion that denies the sanctity of all life in favor of other-wordily idealism is no religion at all.

Christianity, Islam, and Judaism have brought nothing but suffering and misery to the world. Thanks to these religions, all other cultures, ideologies, and religions have been degraded beyond belief. Hinduism is no exception (especially regarding the practice of Sati, which Muslims indirectly brought about, and the caste system, which the British virtually revived and adulterated immensely).

Leave Christianity. This religion will do nothing but deprive you of your humanity.

Look within yourself for the answers you seek.

sanjaya
27 March 2011, 07:39 PM
What one must be aware of when speaking about Christianity is the paramount importance of 'belief'. For Christianity it is a matter of salvation. What one 'believes' is therefore important.

All those splits and murders which took place in the Church were all about 'belief'. Simply stated, if you do not accept the Church's dogma then one is not a Christian.

This puts people like me a situation where for the sake of 'worshipping' I attend a Christian church but do not accept what the Church teaches. But then I am far from alone in this matter.

Well, certainly do as you like. But I have to say that I've never understood this Christian need to only worship in groups. Hinduism has no prescription to only worship collectively. Many Hindus do not go to temples at all. Even at temples, the only collective worship that happens is during pujas. So when you say that you go to church without believing in any of Christianity, it doesn't make much sense to us.

pineblossom
27 March 2011, 10:38 PM
Vannakkam Pineblossom: Firstly, I apologise for snooping on your location on google. Lucky man you are, it must be quite tropical there. According to the map, there is a couple of Hindu Mandirs in Brisbane, only 3 hours away. I know we have people here in western Canada (with similar such great distances) who drive the 3 hours (some further) once every couple of months. Here's the link to one of them: http://hindusocietyqld.com/

It's just a thought.

Another one is to start a satsang or worship group in your home once a month or in a rented space. I'm sure your town is big enough that it has a few other Hindus in it. Best wishes.

Aum Namasivaya

You are not snooping and I appreciate your comments.

The Hindu Society Qld is a broken link - I have tried this previously.

There is one group with whom I have made contact in Brisbane and I would like to hear your advice. They are associated with Vedanta In Sydney (http://www.vedantasydney.org/index.php) (Aust) and Belur Math in India (http://www.belurmath.org/). What concerns me is those very lifelike statues. I feel one would be worship a person rather than God. Maybe I'm over cautious.

Another sect (?) can be found here, again in Sydney (http://www.dlsaus.org/index.php) with an Indian (http://www.dlshq.org/) connection.

Just wondering if you have some thoughts about both these groups.

You must appreciate that I live in a spiritual desert - apart from Christian churches - nothing. Queensland is about colonial as one can get - although there is some signs of change in the capital of the State, Brisbane. However, we are a community of less than 30,000 people and as yet I have seen no one that remotely looks Hindu about the streets.

But would appreciate your thoughts.

pineblossom
27 March 2011, 10:42 PM
Well, certainly do as you like. But I have to say that I've never understood this Christian need to only worship in groups. Hinduism has no prescription to only worship collectively. Many Hindus do not go to temples at all. Even at temples, the only collective worship that happens is during pujas. So when you say that you go to church without believing in any of Christianity, it doesn't make much sense to us.

It does not make much sense to me either.

Ramakrishna
27 March 2011, 10:59 PM
What one must be aware of when speaking about Christianity is the paramount importance of 'belief'. For Christianity it is a matter of salvation. What one 'believes' is therefore important.

All those splits and murders which took place in the Church were all about 'belief'. Simply stated, if you do not accept the Church's dogma then one is not a Christian.

This puts people like me a situation where for the sake of 'worshipping' I attend a Christian church but do not accept what the Church teaches. But then I am far from alone in this matter.

Namaste Pineblossom,

I am not really sure what you mean by this. Are you saying that you attend a Christian church just so you can worship in a group setting with other people? I suppose that makes sense if you really feel the need to pray around other people and there are no Hindu temples or satsangs around you and you don't feel like starting one. But keep in mind that Hindus are not required to worship with other people or in a group setting. Different people feel different ways and our religion allows them to worship how they see fit. Personally, I don't worship in group settings a lot. I don't go to the temple that often, and sometimes I pray at the family altar with my family. But most of my sadhana takes place at my personal altar by myself. But that is just how I feel. Certainly if you feel some extreme need to pray with other people and there are no Hindu settings around then you can pray at a Christian church, although that does sound a little odd, IMHO. But to each his own.

Jai Sri Ram

Eastern Mind
28 March 2011, 08:01 AM
You must appreciate that I live in a spiritual desert - apart from Christian churches - nothing.

Vannakkam again:

Here is another link to a South Indian style temple in Sydney:
http://www.sydneyatoz.com.au/ch_hindu_murugan_temple.asp

The South Indian style is very non-congregational. You can drop in for a few minutes to pray, then leave, etc.

Regarding life size statues, several groups do this, its not that uncommon. I agree that it is kind of creepy though, like wax statues. But that's just my personal take. Obviously the people in those sampradayas feel differently or they wouldn't do it. In the ones you linked to, its Sivananda so they have a pretty decent reputation, but I'm not sure regarding temples per se.

Brisbane actually had two groups or temples on the google map. if it were me, I'd just drive past or stop at both temples. Not all Hindus are up to date on websites, as populations age, and you need at least one regular member who is internet savvy, and willing to offer some service time.

Another method of finding Hindus is the phone book. Gupta, Sharma, Shiva.., Siva... Krishnan, are but a few common ones. Try the doctor's listings. Other common Hindu names can be found online with a search on it.

In my view, there is no such thing as a spiritual desert. You have internet, your own mind, meditative tools, nature, etc.

Best wishes.

Aum namasivaya

pineblossom
28 March 2011, 07:26 PM
Vannakkam again:

Here is another link to a South Indian style temple in Sydney:
http://www.sydneyatoz.com.au/ch_hindu_murugan_temple.asp

The South Indian style is very non-congregational. You can drop in for a few minutes to pray, then leave, etc.

Regarding life size statues, several groups do this, its not that uncommon. I agree that it is kind of creepy though, like wax statues. But that's just my personal take. Obviously the people in those sampradayas feel differently or they wouldn't do it. In the ones you linked to, its Sivananda so they have a pretty devent reputation, but I'm not sure regarding temples per se.

Brisbane actually had two groups or temples on the google map. if it were me, I'd just drive past or stop at both temples. Not all Hindus are up to date on websites, as populations age, and you need at least one regular member who is internet savvy, and willing to offer some service time.

Another method of finding Hindus is the phone book. Gupta, Sharma, Shiva.., Siva... Krishnan, are but a few common ones. Try the doctor's listings. Other common Hindu names can be found online with a search on it.

In my view, there is no such thing as a spiritual desert. You have internet, your own mind, meditative tools, nature, etc.

Best wishes.

Aum namasivaya

Namatse

Thanks for the input and I take your point of the 'spiritual desert' comment.

Could I clarify - as my own ignorance of such matters is something of an embarrassment - when you say "its Sivananda so they have a pretty devent reputation" I am wondering if you mean 'deviant' or 'devout'?

Eastern Mind
28 March 2011, 07:29 PM
Namatse

Thanks for the input and I take your point of the 'spiritual desert' comment.

Could I clarify - as my own ignorance of such matters is something of an embarrassment - when you say "its Sivananda so they have a pretty devent reputation" I am wondering if you mean 'deviant' or 'devout'?

Vannakkam:)
I am a poor keyboarder and worse proofreader. The word I meant was decent. Aum Namasivaya

NayaSurya
28 March 2011, 07:48 PM
From one desert nomad to another...

Be the oasis<3


:p

smaranam
28 March 2011, 09:41 PM
Namaste PineblossomJi

If satsang is your main focus, and which makes sense because Sadhu Sang - association, is a key catalyst on the spiritual path,

Here are two more satsang-oriented Temples:

http://www.iskcon.com.au/ - Sidney
http://www.iskcon.org.au/ - Brisbane

The Sidney Radha-KRushNa Temple has a dear group of enthusiastic devotees from what i see - their ratha yAtras and street sankirtans are a wonder to watch. I happen to know one of them - whose hobby is photography cum writing and brings these lovely moments to us.

Jai Shri KRshNa
praNAm

pineblossom
29 March 2011, 07:50 AM
From one desert nomad to another...

Be the oasis<3


:p

:cool1:

charitra
03 April 2011, 03:14 PM
By the way, if you guys want to watch a movie about the horrific way that Christianity took over the Roman Empire...watch the movie "Agora." It's a big-budget historical epic about the "Pagan" philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria, who was murdered by a Christian mob because she wouldn't convert...in a "not so nice" fashion. Here's what a Christian Historian from the 5th century CE had to say on the matter:

"Some of [the Christians] therefore, hurried away by a fierce and bigoted zeal, whose ringleader was a reader named Peter, waylaid her returning home, and dragging her from her carriage, they took her to the church called Caesareum, where they completely stripped her, and then murdered her with tiles [oyster shells]. After tearing her body in pieces, they took her mangled limbs to a place called Cinaron, and there burnt them." -- Socrates Scholasticus, 450 CE

You can watch the trailer HERE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbuEhwselE0), but it doesn't quite show you just how great the movie is. The director, an Atheist, tries to imply that Hypatia was an Atheist...but PULLS NO PUNCHES in making the Christians the obvious villains of the movie. Here's the scene that shows the Christian mob destroying the Library of Alexandria (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAWZSSGjIvw). The atrocities that they commit in this movie make you think you think of the Taliban.

It took a very long time for the movie to be available in America, because the Christians protested it immensely. (It's a Spanish film...but in English...) The movie is currently available on NetFlix Instant Viewing if you have access, and playing on Showtime. I so wish we could start making movies like this about the history of Hinduism!

Agora was very moving especially killing part of the female scholar
Another new movie, The Borgias, is on showtime today at 8c/9E on, a sordid papal saga yet again.

sanjaya
03 April 2011, 05:18 PM
I just saw Agora the other day. It seems to have a lot of relevance for our time. It often seems that Christians are overruning our culture with their hatred and intolerance. Too bad the film offers us no realistic solutions...

pineblossom
03 April 2011, 07:28 PM
What you might realize is that in 325 CE at Nicaea Christianity moved from the persecuted to the persecutors.

What matters to Christianity is not Jesus but what you believe. Unless you believe what the Church teaches you are not a Christian. And what the Church teaches is not what Jesus taught.

sanjaya
05 April 2011, 10:26 AM
What you might realize is that in 325 CE at Nicaea Christianity moved from the persecuted to the persecutors.

What matters to Christianity is not Jesus but what you believe. Unless you believe what the Church teaches you are not a Christian. And what the Church teaches is not what Jesus taught.

Respectfully, I think it's a bit of a fallacy to say that Christianity has become corrupted because it strayed from the teachings of Jesus. The Bible contains very little of the teachings of Jesus to begin with. The four gospels take up only a small part of the Bible, and even they are largely redundant. Because we're dealing with such a small amount of material, these teachings can really be interpreted however anyone likes. I'm sure Jesus taught great things, but no one bothered to write them down. So even in its purest, Biblical form, I don't see much redeeming value to Christianity.

Adhvagat
05 April 2011, 10:31 AM
Christianity is rotten because of christianity itself. That's the sad part that may be a little hard for a christian to accept.