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Kismet
17 August 2011, 02:31 PM
So, over the past several weeks I have been steadily purging myself of many of my older Abrahamic tendencies, ways of thought, tendencies, etc. It really is amazing how deeply in-grained they have become in me. :( The very idea that I am a sinner and unworthy is something that still, even though my relationship to Christianity was in the long hall tangential, has influenced my thinking in a pretty unusual, medieval-esque sort of way as though I were a serf and God was my king.

Touching, ain't it? Well, it's all guilt, and I'm through with it. This is because it is all lies. I am not unworthy; I am worthy; I am not guilty; I am pure. I am not going to go to some "hell." Hell doesn't exist; neither does heaven. What does exist is the SPIRITUAL WORLD and we can make a heaven or hell of it if we so choose by our actions and idiocy, but the bottom line is KNOWLEDGE not faith, TRUTH not ignorance.

If men and women find faith pleasing, and if it suits them in sentimental ways, and even strong, existential ways, that's FINE! But I have nothing to do with it. Absolutely nothing to do with faith in the Abrahamic sense at all. It is high time that I started realizing this fact fully and embracing that, in truth, only the Absolute exists, and not "God" in our mundane, pathetic conception of Him, (most certainly not the jerk-fool "god" of the OT). This is the highest truth of existence, and I as well as others have to rekindle it within our minds.

Jainarayan
17 August 2011, 03:23 PM
So, over the past several weeks I have been steadily purging myself of many of my older Abrahamic tendencies, ways of thought, tendencies, etc. It really is amazing how deeply in-grained they have become in me. :( The very idea that I am a sinner and unworthy is something that still, even though my relationship to Christianity was in the long hall tangential, has influenced my thinking in a pretty unusual, medieval-esque sort of way as though I were a serf and God was my king.

Those feelings are drummed into us from the time we start Sunday School. If I had a dime for every Saturday afternoon I spent in the confessional confessing to the priest that I did what we know 13 year old boys do, and that I knew I would go straight to Hell if I got run over before getting into the confessional, I'd be living in the lap of luxury, not having to work a day in my life.

Now, when I compare and contrast how I felt before (or didn't feel) in a relationship with God to now, there are billions of light years in distance. Now I'm surrounded by God in all His forms, wrapped up as if I'm in a warm toasty blanket. :)


Touching, ain't it? Well, it's all guilt, and I'm through with it. This is because it is all lies. I am not unworthy; I am worthy; I am not guilty; I am pure. I am not going to go to some "hell." Hell doesn't exist; neither does heaven.

Shedding the guilt really won't take long. I have guilt in my life, but not for anything from Christianity. I'll have to deal with that guilt as best I can. My biggest concern and hope is that I come back as an artichoke, and my sister-in-law makes a dip out of me and gets food poisoning (boy, did I just pee away lots of good karma :eek: :Roll: ).

Eastern Mind
17 August 2011, 04:15 PM
So, over the past several weeks I have been steadily purging myself of many of my older Abrahamic tendencies, ways of thought, tendencies, etc. It really is amazing how deeply in-grained they have become in me.

Vannakkam Kismet: This shows excellent insight. It will take a long long time. I know several converts who have been practising Hinduism regularly for 30 or more years. Still I see hints of their former religion in them. I'm quite sure they don't realise it, but still I see it. (In fact, I know a few who had it so in-grained that after 20 years of Hinduism, they actually went back.) My former 'religion' was no religion, so I'm sure they may see that in me sometimes. This is no overnight switch. You are really correct about the deeply in-grained. The subconscious is like a lump of clay, ready to be remolded into a totally different shape. But its like it is elastic, and keeps bouncing back. You have to be on guard 24-7. Things like dualistic or thinking in opposites are from that system. Its all so subtle.

I don't buy this, "Now I'm a Hindu" stuff. A better perspective is : "I'm still working on this transformation I've decided to embark on." That way when one day you're relaxing on a drive down a country road and see an old Christian Church and some old comforting hymn comes to you, you won't be so disappointed with yourself.

Best wishes on the last (and best) journey for the jiva you are.

Aum Namasivaya

Jainarayan
17 August 2011, 04:38 PM
I don't buy this, "Now I'm a Hindu" stuff. A better perspective is : "I'm still working on this transformation I've decided to embark on." That way when one day you're relaxing on a drive down a country road and see an old Christian Church and some old comforting hymn comes to you, you won't be so disappointed with yourself.


For the most part I agree. For some people it's a passing phase... like teenage girls suddenly deciding they're lesbian or bisexual because it's cool. People do the same with religions and belief systems. Buddhism and Wicca were all the rage in the 80s and 90s.

Keep in mind there are people (yeah, like me), who gave up their old religion fully, a long time before and turned against it. It's like shifting out of gear and going through life in neutral, to the point of even coming to disbelieve in a God, yet wanting to.

Then something creates a spark that causes an explosion. Flames don't always start with kindling and little wisps of smoke. Sometimes that gas leak was always there (I know, my metaphors leave a lot to be desired :rolleyes: ), but it just needed that spark.

Kismet
17 August 2011, 06:14 PM
For the most part I agree. For some people it's a passing phase... like teenage girls suddenly deciding they're lesbian or bisexual because it's cool. People do the same with religions and belief systems. Buddhism and Wicca were all the rage in the 80s and 90s.


For the longest time I played at being a liberal Christian...not realizing just how insidious and wrong-headed that enterprise really was. Christianity is Christianity, and really you can either go straight in and be committed or, your mind gets gradually subverted. Eventually I got to the point where I couldn't kid myself any longer; it starts getting dangerous.

Some of the most disingenuous aspects of any religion, even when it achieves a relatively high caliber of sophistication, is how ultimately either/or and dark it can become in its musings. For instance in Christianity there are two sins you can commit (along with others), namely presumption, where you know for a fact that you're going to heaven, and despair, where you know for a fact that you're damned. From a distance, really, when you are just playing with these ideas, not taking them too seriously, they seem almost quaint. Sooner or later you become drawn into them in an insanely genteel manner, however, and that is where you run the risk of becoming truly lost.

Better to bail when you can instead of getting attached to these, really mad, ideas.

Jainarayan
17 August 2011, 06:58 PM
For the longest time I played at being a liberal Christian...not realizing just how insidious and wrong-headed that enterprise really was. Christianity is Christianity, and really you can either go straight in and be committed or, your mind gets gradually subverted. Eventually I got to the point where I couldn't kid myself any longer; it starts getting dangerous.

Yes, it's "cafeteria Christianity" and it doesn't work in the long run. If for example, you accept only the "better" things Jesus said, then you are just listening to someone who said some wise things, like "Love your neighbor as yourself"; "Love God with all your heart, soul and strength"; "Do unto others..."; etc. But it doesn't end there. At any rate, that's not Christianity, that's taking from those little booklets that have wise sayings in them. So, you are Christian or you are not. At the finish line, I came in dead last as Christian according to me and to other Christians.



Some of the most disingenuous aspects of any religion, even when it achieves a relatively high caliber of sophistication, is how ultimately either/or and dark it can become in its musings. For instance in Christianity there are two sins you can commit (along with others), namely presumption, where you know for a fact that you're going to heaven, and despair, where you know for a fact that you're damned.

Ah yes... "presumption on God's mercy" it's called. Go out, fornicate, steal, kill, go to confession, rinse, repeat, go to Heaven. Or so the thinking goes. How many times I went to Mass on Sunday morning and saw kids from my high school go take communion when I knew the night before that they... well, you get the idea...

And despair... that's why suicide is a sin in Christianity. You've despaired of God's power to solve your problems; you've slapped God in the face. "Off to Hell with ye, I say!" Aw, bullcrap (can I say "bullcrap" here?).


From a distance, really, when you are just playing with these ideas, not taking them too seriously, they seem almost quaint. Sooner or later you become drawn into them in an insanely genteel manner, however, and that is where you run the risk of becoming truly lost.

Better to bail when you can instead of getting attached to these, really mad, ideas.

You have no idea how mad these ideas can become. And maddening. Look for a pm in the very near future. ;)

charitra
17 August 2011, 08:06 PM
If only we can convince EVERYBODY that there is no permanent hell or heaven for after life, then Iam sure the planet will witness no religion based animosity ever in future. Both abrahamic faiths will live in harmony and so will the rest of the humanity :) Namaste.

Eastern Mind
18 August 2011, 04:55 PM
Vannakkam: The subconscious mind is really entrenched, whether we realise it or not. I was reflecting on this. Early childhood samskaras (experiences, and impressions from those experiences) are the hardest to get rid of.

Part of my childhood was the great outdoors. We fished at a local river. To this day, even thought it is an adharmic thought, if I am travelling on pilgrimage to a sacred place in America or elsewhere, if we stop at some small river, I immediately go to, "I wonder what kind of fish are in that river." it seems toatally harmless, yet for me the though violates Yama 1, ahimsa, as ahimsa refers to THOUGHT, WORD, and ACTION.

Another old saying that is apt here is this: "You can take the boy from the country, but you can't take the country from the boy."

Turning that principle to some who are on here it goes, "You can take the person out of India, but you can't take the India out of the person."

or ... "You can take the boy out of Christianity, but you can't take the Christian out of the boy."

I personally think there is a ton of truth in it, varying somewhat from individual to individual, of course, along with the strength of those samskaras we all had so long ago.

Aum Namasivaya

Kismet
18 August 2011, 10:46 PM
Currently I am finding the most help by chanting. I feel that if only I continuously do japa I gradually transform and renew my mind such that I overcome my more negative, entrenched, tendencies. The Hare Krsna mantra has been especially beneficial in this regard.

I don't know if this makes sense, but I find it somewhat necessary now to "hate my mind" such that I can knock out those former thoughts and thought-tendencies touching on false religion. I think that if only I can get to a real breaking point I can erase a lot of garbage by burning it up in a sort of release.

Thanks to all for the input.

sm78
19 August 2011, 03:41 AM
Having deeply practiced christianity, changing to Hinduism will be a challange, but we must encourage & support.

I think those westerners who have always been sort of 'drifters' and disconnected from the religion of their society would find it most easy to adapt to hinduism. There are many people who fall in this category, but fortunately or unfortunately they are least interested in any religion, including Hinduism. However, I think in this forum we have a few westerners who were never mentally or emotionally into Christianity, even though it sarrounded them -- and it seems it has been quite easy for them. my observations ofcourse.

But most of the converts to Hinduism or Buddhism are past Chirstians and probably still carrying the hangover. It is a difficult situation for both parties - and perhaves as EM has suggested will take a long and painful period, may be more than one lifetime to be free from past influences.

Eastern Mind
19 August 2011, 08:25 AM
Currently I am finding the most help by chanting. I feel that if only I continuously do japa I gradually transform and renew my mind such that I overcome my more negative, entrenched, tendencies. The Hare Krsna mantra has been especially beneficial in this regard.

I don't know if this makes sense, but I find it somewhat necessary now to "hate my mind" such that I can knock out those former thoughts and thought-tendencies touching on false religion. I think that if only I can get to a real breaking point I can erase a lot of garbage by burning it up in a sort of release.

Thanks to all for the input.

Vannakkam Kismet: Repression and suppression are two different things. 'Hate' works like an affirmation worded negatively. I think if you think in terms of 'hate' (still an Abrahamic concept in itself) it will actually do the opposite.

In my experience, these things dissipate with a new layer of paint, or a cleaning of previous paint. Just put so many positive Hindu experiences over them that eventually its been replaced. I also never underestimate the power of temple. I often think of Lord Siva as 'the great inner eraser' . What is He erasing? If your life was written out in a book, he is erasing all those pages that were non-conducive to spiritual growth. Even if you're not aware of the process, the loving relationship with Guru and Gods does just that. You enter the temple feeling all upset about something, and after a few minutes of being in that environment, you have forgotten totally what it was you were upset about. Such is the secret power of bhakti.

Aum Namasivaya

yajvan
19 August 2011, 11:53 AM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté

I find this thread interesting... if you wish to get rid of this blemish you think you have , it is just best to rid yourself of all mala-s¹. The one you speak of is one of many on a list.

Just as one cultivates the earth and removes the rocks so there is room for growth to occur, we too remove the impediments for the Supreme to dominate in our lives.

I look forward to future posts were the conversation is around purging other limitations you find in your self.

praṇām

1. mala - impurity

bp789
19 August 2011, 01:22 PM
Hmm....I know in this thread everyone talked about converts purging themselves of Abrahamism, but what about native born Hindus that have some Abrahamism? I think this might because of the Hindu sect my family belongs to, but some of the ways we perceive God and karma seem to be influenced by Abrahamic religions.

Granted our religious sect says that we follow the Vishistadvaita philosophy, but I am clueless about what that even means, and my mom just focuses on bhakti and sort of absorbs everything she hears. My dad is more knowledgeable, but I don't really understand some of the stuff he says, and I don't know understand how that matters in my day to day life. So what would you guys suggest for born Hindus like us?

sunyata07
19 August 2011, 01:26 PM
Namaste Kismet,

I understand where you're coming from. Taking the step from Hindu-Christian to full Hindu is not easy when you've been practising your old religion for all of this lifetime. Like EM was saying, a lot of it has to do with samskaras from our early years, when ideas and habits were being formed fully in the mind. If one is submersed in a Christian environment, it can be very difficult to break free of its perverse ideas of spirituality. Concepts like original sin, evil and Satan become deeply entrenched in your mind, and even spreads out into the wider psyche of the culture you're living in.

I had a period when this was becoming apparent to me. Not even in a religious sense. I tried picking up a book, watching a film or other and couldn't seem to understand why there was still this pervasive Christian duality underlying it all. I've noticed even some atheists I know aren't free from this unconscious burden of Abrahamic teachings. They are that deeply rooted.

I want to echo EM words on this. Don't blame yourself, or try and "hate" the thoughts out of you. You're setting yourself up a negative thought pattern here; if you fail in this endeavour, there's a chance you could end up blaming yourself even more.

Take EM's advice and replace the negative with something positive. You say chanting mantras has helped. That's great to hear. Keep at it the Hare Krishna mantra consistently and try to make a discipline out of it. This way you're subconsciously teaching yourself to take your new spirituality more seriously. Visiting temples is a great idea, as well as reading more scriptures, educating yourself on what the sages have talked and expounded on.

Think like a Hindu. Talk like a Hindu. Act like a Hindu. It's going to be a gradual process, but I believe this slow and steady nature of finding your home again is something that is ultimately for the best. Unravelling past tendencies and ideas that have shaped your entire life up until now will not be achieved in a matter of moments.

Om namah Shivaya

Eastern Mind
19 August 2011, 02:52 PM
Hmm....I know in this thread everyone talked about converts purging themselves of Abrahamism, but what about native born Hindus that have some Abrahamism? I think this might because of the Hindu sect my family belongs to, but some of the ways we perceive God and karma seem to be influenced by Abrahamic religions.

Granted our religious sect says that we follow the Vishistadvaita philosophy, but I am clueless about what that even means, and my mom just focuses on bhakti and sort of absorbs everything she hears. My dad is more knowledgeable, but I don't really understand some of the stuff he says, and I don't know understand how that matters in my day to day life. So what would you guys suggest for born Hindus like us?

Vannakkam bp: I find this incredibly astute and wise. You have recognised in yourself what I have observed so many unable to recognise. The Christian or Abrahamic programming just sort of sinks in without Hindus catching on. The first step, in my opinion, is what you've just done ... recognised it and admitted it.

Let's take the analogy of an alcoholic. Its a slow process to become a full fledged alcoholic. Many who are simply refuse to admit it, especially at the beginning stages. Sometimes it takes a doctor telling them their liver is pretty much a goner before it comes to them in a real way.

So you've done your soul a great service. Now you can make a vow or pledge to be aware enough to not allow any more to get in. As far as any purging goes, because it wasn't there in any way near the same strength converts talk about, I don't see it as a problem. You can use your childhood experiences (I assume you got samskaras like namakarana, first feeding, and all that) in a positive way. For you, regressing is most likely regressing back to Hinduism. How fortunate!

In my view, the mind has a limited capacity for remembering experiences. If we put so many Hindu experiences in there, there's no room for other stuff!

Aum Namasivaya

shantiseeker
21 August 2011, 11:28 AM
As a born & raised American, it is beyond hard to escape Abrahimistic everything, but quite in particular with Christianity as a whole being the predominant religion most Americans "identify" themselves as. I think something like 22% of the US population is Roman Catholic, but I believe more Americans are Protestant Christians, or call themselves as such. Judaism however is still a presence. Christianity though permeates everything. Even people who don't claim Christianity celebrate Christmas as a holiday. I personally was baptized Roman Catholic, but not raised it. (too long a story as to why); I actually chose to practice it as a teen during my own spiritual quest-so started at the place I was "born into", but by very early adulthood, I was done with it. So we did not attend church as a family, but still-Christmas and Easter were celebrated in the generic sense. We all ended up then attending main line Protestant churches later as adults (again-too long a story on that one as well), but suffice it to say, my parents were hardly "true" believers of Christianity. Doesn't matter, because it permeates the US culture. I have only attended church services in the last 8 years for one reason: funerals. I "technically" am still on the roll books of the Protestant church I last attended for about 1 1/2 years before I found it even more devoid of the previous one I attended. (two different denominations, though not terribly different really). But everyone around me is either some sort of Protestant Christian, Roman Catholic, or Jewish. I can't escape that environment-although I have never agreed with a punitive, vengeful God. And while America may be Abrahamic, just in my area alone, there are several Hindu temples, a Buddhist temple, and an ISKCON one. (these are just the ones I'm personally aware of-there are probably more). So thank goodness there are other options for an American who is besieged with everything else. But I still struggle with the occasional thought that when something bad happens, could it be God punishing me for not being a Christian, or for not being the nicest person in the world at whatever particular time, etc. Then with that thinking, I merge it with kharma and say, well I must deserve this bad circumstance because I was not nice, not right in this behavior, on insert whatever else negative aspect of myself. I still view it as PUNITIVE. So even I who wasn't raised up attending church, STILL have some of this nonsense worry! I am finding chants and mantras very comforting though and starting to feel more purely loved by the Divine.

Ramakrishna
21 August 2011, 05:07 PM
Namaste all,


Hmm....I know in this thread everyone talked about converts purging themselves of Abrahamism, but what about native born Hindus that have some Abrahamism? I think this might because of the Hindu sect my family belongs to, but some of the ways we perceive God and karma seem to be influenced by Abrahamic religions.

Granted our religious sect says that we follow the Vishistadvaita philosophy, but I am clueless about what that even means, and my mom just focuses on bhakti and sort of absorbs everything she hears. My dad is more knowledgeable, but I don't really understand some of the stuff he says, and I don't know understand how that matters in my day to day life. So what would you guys suggest for born Hindus like us?

Great point, BP. As a "born Hindu" raised in a semi-practicing family in America, I experienced some of the same things. When I first started becoming more religious a few years ago, I took a very universalist view, including the "Jesus was a good teacher" belief. Fortunately, I only really believed this for a few months, before I started learning more and more about the brilliance and beauty of Sanatana Dharma in addition to the diminutive, puny, and hateful views and beliefs of Abrahamism, as well as all of the destruction and harm it has done to humanity, and also that Jesus never actually existed and is just a myth...lol :)


As a born & raised American, it is beyond hard to escape Abrahimistic everything, but quite in particular with Christianity as a whole being the predominant religion most Americans "identify" themselves as. I think something like 22% of the US population is Roman Catholic, but I believe more Americans are Protestant Christians, or call themselves as such. Judaism however is still a presence. Christianity though permeates everything. Even people who don't claim Christianity celebrate Christmas as a holiday. I personally was baptized Roman Catholic, but not raised it. (too long a story as to why); I actually chose to practice it as a teen during my own spiritual quest-so started at the place I was "born into", but by very early adulthood, I was done with it. So we did not attend church as a family, but still-Christmas and Easter were celebrated in the generic sense. We all ended up then attending main line Protestant churches later as adults (again-too long a story on that one as well), but suffice it to say, my parents were hardly "true" believers of Christianity. Doesn't matter, because it permeates the US culture. I have only attended church services in the last 8 years for one reason: funerals. I "technically" am still on the roll books of the Protestant church I last attended for about 1 1/2 years before I found it even more devoid of the previous one I attended. (two different denominations, though not terribly different really). But everyone around me is either some sort of Protestant Christian, Roman Catholic, or Jewish. I can't escape that environment-although I have never agreed with a punitive, vengeful God. And while America may be Abrahamic, just in my area alone, there are several Hindu temples, a Buddhist temple, and an ISKCON one. (these are just the ones I'm personally aware of-there are probably more). So thank goodness there are other options for an American who is besieged with everything else. But I still struggle with the occasional thought that when something bad happens, could it be God punishing me for not being a Christian, or for not being the nicest person in the world at whatever particular time, etc. Then with that thinking, I merge it with kharma and say, well I must deserve this bad circumstance because I was not nice, not right in this behavior, on insert whatever else negative aspect of myself. I still view it as PUNITIVE. So even I who wasn't raised up attending church, STILL have some of this nonsense worry! I am finding chants and mantras very comforting though and starting to feel more purely loved by the Divine.

I completely agree, Shantiseeker. I know several people who have said that they don't actually believe in Jesus or Christianity, but they still call themselves Christian, just to sort of fit in, or because their families are Christian, or other nonsensical reasons like that. :rolleyes:

One of my closest friends was a Catholic but even as he realized that it wasn't true and he doesn't really believe it, he struggled for a long time to "officially" leave Catholicism because he still had the fear that he would go to hell. It's quite sad, really, this kind of hold that Abrahamism can have on people. People who don't even believe in it still hold on to it, just to fit in or because they're scared of burning in hell for all eternity. It can be frustrating, especially when people hold on to Christianity for the former reasons, to fit in or whatever, but it can also be sad and even understandable to some degree, when they still hold on to it for this fear of hell that has been so deeply ingrained in them. Fortunately my friend was finally able to purge himself of this fear, and hopefully many other Abrahamics will as well.

Jai Sri Ram

Eastern Mind
21 August 2011, 05:21 PM
Vannakkam: I realised another thing in this 'purging' or remolding process is removal of reminders. For sentimental reasons we may hold on to objects such as old bibles, pictures, candles, and such. They are reminders of who we were. I think its helpful to get rid of them. Any church will accept a bible, and you can donate stuff to second hand stores. For cheap stuff, you can just toss it. The house should be filled to the brim with Hindu imagery, not just in the shrine room. (I've seen shrine rooms hidden away from public view in tiny corners of shelves. They should be apart from the rest of the house for purification reasons, but not hidden out of embarrassment.)

The fact that you're in a Hindu home should be obvious to all who enter.

Aum Namasivaya

bp789
22 August 2011, 01:16 AM
Vannakkam bp: I find this incredibly astute and wise. You have recognised in yourself what I have observed so many unable to recognise. The Christian or Abrahamic programming just sort of sinks in without Hindus catching on. The first step, in my opinion, is what you've just done ... recognised it and admitted it.

Let's take the analogy of an alcoholic. Its a slow process to become a full fledged alcoholic. Many who are simply refuse to admit it, especially at the beginning stages. Sometimes it takes a doctor telling them their liver is pretty much a goner before it comes to them in a real way.

So you've done your soul a great service. Now you can make a vow or pledge to be aware enough to not allow any more to get in. As far as any purging goes, because it wasn't there in any way near the same strength converts talk about, I don't see it as a problem. You can use your childhood experiences (I assume you got samskaras like namakarana, first feeding, and all that) in a positive way. For you, regressing is most likely regressing back to Hinduism. How fortunate!

In my view, the mind has a limited capacity for remembering experiences. If we put so many Hindu experiences in there, there's no room for other stuff!

Aum Namasivaya

Well, not exactly. I was actually born in the United States, and my father was getting his master's degree at the time as my family had recently immigrated, so we never really did the whole traditional thing. I never had a real namakarana, first feeding, or hair shaving ceremony (not sure what it's called). My parents were too busy trying to feed us and earn a decent income and study that they never really taught us much about Hinduism. I mean we prayed and such, but nothing specific. It wasn't until around six years ago that my parents started becoming more religious. I have a bunch of Indian memories from my childhood, but not a lot of Hindu memories though.

shantiseeker
22 August 2011, 08:57 AM
Namaste all,






I completely agree, Shantiseeker. I know several people who have said that they don't actually believe in Jesus or Christianity, but they still call themselves Christian, just to sort of fit in, or because their families are Christian, or other nonsensical reasons like that. :rolleyes:

One of my closest friends was a Catholic but even as he realized that it wasn't true and he doesn't really believe it, he struggled for a long time to "officially" leave Catholicism because he still had the fear that he would go to hell. It's quite sad, really, this kind of hold that Abrahamism can have on people. People who don't even believe in it still hold on to it, just to fit in or because they're scared of burning in hell for all eternity. It can be frustrating, especially when people hold on to Christianity for the former reasons, to fit in or whatever, but it can also be sad and even understandable to some degree, when they still hold on to it for this fear of hell that has been so deeply ingrained in them. Fortunately my friend was finally able to purge himself of this fear, and hopefully many other Abrahamics will as well.

Jai Sri Ram

Indeed! I know I wrote this very thing already on another thread, but I knew a Catholic who hadn't darkened the doors of a church for at least 10 years, and after that, it was probably more like 30 (this was a conversation that took place 20 years ago). but she said, "I can't imagine being anything else."
And I just couldn't help but want to ask her just what BEING Catholic really WAS to her. She had nothing to do with observing her religion, but heaven forbid she "be" anything else. It's treated by some as it's their nationality or something, like being American of German, or Irish or whatever descent. It's not even a true religion for many people-no thought or interest in what it really means, just something they were born into. But it's not something that should work that way. Even many Protestant Christians are just what I call "Catholic lite". Identify as Methodist, Lutheran, etc, but don't bother to participate in church (which is a central aspect of Christianity). And then on Christmas and Easter, all the church parking lots are jammed to capacity with what is known here in America as all the "C & E Christians" going to church. At least I WENT to church and participated in committees, Bible study groups, taught Sunday school, sang in the choir. I gave it a try. I really did. At least I was making the effort-it shows that it wasn't really who I was, because I sit here today with it not really having meant anything spiritually. My intent was-it just wasn't the right place, but where's an American to go, right?? :D SD that is also a way of life and philosophy. I did have myself removed from that church's roll book-sent a letter and all. The other church I just left alone-I'm like, at this point they'll eventually remove me as it's been 8 years and the pastor never has called to try to get us back, even though all of about 30 people attend services weekly (a lot of other extraneous work he must be doing-doesn't even care about congregants who disappear; not even going along with the Christian way of wanting members to be attending church on a regular basis). Hinduism seems so different-those born into it seem to actually THINK! Be that as it may-many Christians I've known to seem to genuinely believe, so it's not every identified Christian, but it's still a lot more I know that just go through the motions than not. Now-let's get me purging of my fears!! :) :) :)

shantiseeker
22 August 2011, 09:42 AM
Vannakkam: I realised another thing in this 'purging' or remolding process is removal of reminders. For sentimental reasons we may hold on to objects such as old bibles, pictures, candles, and such. They are reminders of who we were. I think its helpful to get rid of them. Any church will accept a bible, and you can donate stuff to second hand stores. For cheap stuff, you can just toss it. The house should be filled to the brim with Hindu imagery, not just in the shrine room. (I've seen shrine rooms hidden away from public view in tiny corners of shelves. They should be apart from the rest of the house for purification reasons, but not hidden out of embarrassment.)

The fact that you're in a Hindu home should be obvious to all who enter.

Aum Namasivaya

Good point-but then what of households where one member is following Hinduism, but another isn't? Kind of like even in the US, a mixed Jewish-Christian marriage where kids are raised Jewish if the mother is, but since the dad isn't, a Christmas tree is also put up-both traditions being celebrated. (I know I'm giving an example of two Abrahamistic religions, but their practices are quite different, even if they are related). So the Jewish wife may not adore having a Christian cross in the house or a New Testament, but if that's the husband's tradition, that stuff remains there. But it could just as easily be an American man who decides to start following SD, and you have the wife who maybe isn't a hugely active Roman Catholic, but it's still embedded enough that she wants the Crucifixes on the wall still, or a statue of the Virgin Mary in the yard. That man will still have all of that in his home too-unless he wants a huge fight with his wife. (this is just a possible example as Catholics often have these icons readily visible-this isn't anyone I know). My purging need is mostly something that is due to my own mind and automatic thoughts being the reminder.

Eastern Mind
22 August 2011, 01:36 PM
Good point-but then what of households where one member is following Hinduism, but another isn't? Kind of like even in the US, a mixed Jewish-Christian marriage where kids are raised Jewish if the mother is, but since the dad isn't, a Christmas tree is also put up-both traditions being celebrated. (I know I'm giving an example of two Abrahamistic religions, but their practices are quite different, even if they are related). So the Jewish wife may not adore having a Christian cross in the house or a New Testament, but if that's the husband's tradition, that stuff remains there. But it could just as easily be an American man who decides to start following SD, and you have the wife who maybe isn't a hugely active Roman Catholic, but it's still embedded enough that she wants the Crucifixes on the wall still, or a statue of the Virgin Mary in the yard. That man will still have all of that in his home too-unless he wants a huge fight with his wife. (this is just a possible example as Catholics often have these icons readily visible-this isn't anyone I know). My purging need is mostly something that is due to my own mind and automatic thoughts being the reminder.

Vannakkam Shanti: Indeed mixed religious households are an exception. I'm influenced by my own situation where my wife and I went into Hinduism together. In my experience though, its (mixed marriages) usually not the best idea, especially when one or both are really dedicated. It can work if both are very tolerant, or liberal in approach. Problems often arise as children appear. But alas, I am digressing from the topic.

Wisdom also tells me that it may not be good for marriage if one spouse only wants to convert. Often a divorce is the result. The one not converting can put up the utlimatum: "Its me or the religion." As Hindus, we're certainly mot in the business of breaking up marriages.

You are correct, it is mostly in the mind.

Aum Namasivaya

shantiseeker
23 August 2011, 09:41 AM
EM:
Good points. Mixed marriages vary in terms of tolerance levels for both partners. As I do my path, should I arrive at a point that I can say I am now "Hindu", it will be just me, but I have a quite open-minded spouse who believes in belief and whatever is right for me. My spouse is even going to help me set up a shrine. And who knows-I never say never. But in my case it's not a mixed marriage as no religion has really been followed for years-just free minded dialogue and global concern for all living things. Most of my church going days pre-dated my marriage. My spouse is a seeker also.

sunyata07
28 August 2011, 10:25 AM
Namaste,

Someone linked this onto HDF before in the past, although I can't remember who it was. Might be of use to westerners or non-born Hindus who are still having trouble letting go of some of their old ways of seeing things: http://veda.wikidot.com/vedic-and-abrahamic-thought. If nothing else, it serves as a nice summary of the differences that set Sanatana Dharma and Abrahamism quite distinctly apart.

Om namah Shivaya

Eastern Mind
28 August 2011, 10:42 AM
Vannakkam Sunyata: Yes, that is an awesome link. I think it should be required reading for the searchers who frequent us. Its just the right length. Thanks for relinking it.

Aum Namasivaya

Ramakrishna
28 August 2011, 07:36 PM
Namaste Sunyata,


Namaste,

Someone linked this onto HDF before in the past, although I can't remember who it was. Might be of use to westerners or non-born Hindus who are still having trouble letting go of some of their old ways of seeing things: http://veda.wikidot.com/vedic-and-abrahamic-thought. If nothing else, it serves as a nice summary of the differences that set Sanatana Dharma and Abrahamism quite distinctly apart.

Om namah Shivaya

Thanks for re-posting that link. I also remember running across it a while back. It is a truly invaluable resource to show the differences between the Dharmic and Abrahamic worldviews.

Jai Sri Ram

R Gitananda
01 September 2011, 03:35 AM
Namaste

Sometimes it helps to read the stories of others who have or are still struggling to purge themselves of Abrahamism. I don't have a ready resource for former Jews or Muslims but there is an excellent site for former Christians where they share (often with great eloquence) their struggles past and present: http://www.exchristian.net

Aum Shanti

shantiseeker
03 September 2011, 05:30 PM
I'll have to take a look at the ex-Christian site. Thanks for the link!
I may still have my struggles, but I am at much more peace. I just dealt with finding a new job, when I put it up to the Lord, seeking Ganesha's help, just offering myself up to the right one, it was answered, and I am confident and happy that the Divine did that. Had this been before I was moving toward SD, I wouldn't quite have seen this from such a spiritual point of view. My soon to be new job is quite clearly where I need to be.

Eastern Mind
04 September 2011, 12:48 PM
Namaste

Sometimes it helps to read the stories of others who have or are still struggling to purge themselves of Abrahamism. I don't have a ready resource for former Jews or Muslims but there is an excellent site for former Christians where they share (often with great eloquence) their struggles past and present: http://www.exchristian.net

Aum Shanti

Vannakkam Gitananda: I took a fairly quick look at that site. They have done a remarkable job with graphics, looks etc. I really like the disclaimer section. All the words like 'trolls' were explained incredibly well. The peoples' stories were well written and right to the point. But it was incredibly huge. My heart goes out to all the pained embodied jivas and I pray for their healing.

Some of those testimonials should be required reading for would be missionaries trying to convert others to that.

Aum Namasivaya

R Gitananda
12 September 2011, 02:20 AM
Namaste

I think another thing to keep in mind is that the way the Bible or Koran
are presented often allows it to bury itself deep in the subconscious.
Just seeing them presented in a different light may be helpful.

The Bible: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com (http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/)

The Quran: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/index.htm

Book of Mormon: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/BOM/index.htm

Aum Shanti

shantiseeker
12 September 2011, 05:58 PM
Namaste

I think another thing to keep in mind is that the way the Bible or Koran
are presented often allows it to bury itself deep in the subconscious.
Just seeing them presented in a different light may be helpful.

The Bible: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com (http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/)

The Quran: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/index.htm

Book of Mormon: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/BOM/index.htm

Aum Shanti

Awesome! I took a glance at the Bible one and that's perfect how it shows the horrors that I know are there but don't have off the tip of my tongue. Shows all the contradictions too-a loving God and then in 1 Peter talking about how people are pre-destined to damnation or salvation. As if God is a God that treats us as toys who he hand picks. So a nasty judgmental hater of others Christian who wouldn't recognize the Christ he worships gets eternal bliss over the person who is kind and compassionate? That's not MY God.

Tikkun Olam
08 October 2011, 08:37 AM
Awesome! I took a glance at the Bible one and that's perfect how it shows the horrors that I know are there but don't have off the tip of my tongue. Shows all the contradictions too-a loving God and then in 1 Peter talking about how people are pre-destined to damnation or salvation. As if God is a God that treats us as toys who he hand picks. So a nasty judgmental hater of others Christian who wouldn't recognize the Christ he worships gets eternal bliss over the person who is kind and compassionate? That's not MY God.

Well, I must say that's not my God either.

I think it's cowardly to tell someone you will go to Hell if you don't believe what they do. Eternal damnation is something you can't be shown wrong about. It happens in a far away plane of existence that no one can see. Jews believe that the good and evil are rewarded and punished right here on earth, in their daily lives, for all to see. I think that takes a bit more chutzpah to say, because it leaves you exposed for people to look at if it worked against you.