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Eastern Mind
06 May 2012, 10:39 AM
Vannakkam: I was reflecting on this oft stated simplification. I don't know who it is that supposedly said it, but I know it is oft used as justification for universalism.

But have a closer look. What is it really saying? It does not say: Truth is One; Paths to the Truth are Many. It just says Paths are Many. Is that not just saying that humanity is diverse, and we should celebrate that diversity.

There are many paths ... the path of greed, the path of intolerance, the path of materialism, dead-end roads, paths that lead part way up the mountain, paths that lead down the mountain, and more. Some lead only part way up the mountain. I need not go on.

This metaphor of life being a path is all over in everyday common culture:

He took a wrong turn in the road.
Took a turn for the worse.
His friends are leading him a long a dangerous route.

We (Hindus) don't need to think all paths (religions, if you will) are legitimate to have respect for our fellow humans. Some other basic concepts pretty much cover that. Ahimsa, a love for all life, covers it. So does reincarnation, karma, and the belief that everyone will attain moksha.

Just some thoughts on a sunny day.:)

Aum Namasivaya

wundermonk
06 May 2012, 11:04 AM
Good points.

The simplistic interpretation as pointed out by you works only if those following non-Hindu paths accept the validity of Hindu paths. Democracy works only if there are a few basic set of morals and ethics in the population. If not, you will have a theocracy voted in every time.

When non-Hindus feel free to call Yoga demonic, Hindu souls need saving, Hindus worship false Gods, etc. universalism breaks down. Universalism without basic ethics and morals soon leads to theocracy.

It is always funny to notice that universalists operate within secular tolerant societies. Where are the universalists in the Bible Belt in the US or Saudi Arabia? Universalists swarm Hindu message boards, but are absent from Christian/Muslim message boards. Why?

Another oft-repeated line is "Vasudaiva Kutumbakam" - The whole world is one family.

OK. But in a family there are theives, scoundrels, noble folks, boring folks, interesting folks, RIGHT folks and WRONG folks. :dunno:

Eastern Mind
06 May 2012, 11:46 AM
Another oft-repeated line is "Vasudaiva Kutumbakam" - The whole world is one family.

OK. But in a family there are theives, scoundrels, noble folks, boring folks, interesting folks, RIGHT folks and WRONG folks. :dunno:

Vannakkam wundermonk: Nice. I'll remember this one.

Aum Namasivaya

c.smith
07 May 2012, 02:23 PM
Hari Om!

EM, how profound and enlightening! Answers some deep-seated issues I have with universalism and acceptance of all religions.

You state:
We (Hindus) don't need to think all paths (religions, if you will) are legitimate to have respect for our fellow humans.

Don't want to open a can of worms so will leave it at that.

Jai Jai Hanuman!

kallol
07 May 2012, 04:58 PM
I think we are getting it wrong.

Hinduism or the scriptures lay dow the theory of life and creation. It gives the total understanding of the ways of life, design of life, why birth, etc.

It gives explanation of the whole space of existence and non existence. As a theory it encompasses all facets.

It also defines how and why to work towards good life or dharmic life.

Now this does not me the adharmic are outside this theory or by definition non hindu. If that is so hardly there will be hindu.

The TRUTH is one but paths are many. All humans are unique. Ther have their way of understanding, interpretation, ability, etc. The path they will follow will also be unique. No rivers are parallel but all reaches the sea.

No paths treaded by humans will be similar but they are moving towards the same objective. Now some movements are more positive, some less positive, some static, some negative. But the journey is on by design. The cycles of birth rebirth does not stop because one is negative, it goes on.

As hinduism is more about the state of mind, it is more universal.

There different religions and sects of hinduism, are only different options available for choosing. Let people choose which ever suits them.

Having said so, inducing and coercing might bring in reactions which are not conducive for social stability.

Neither we should be defensive nor too offensive. The universality is a magnet which will bring in more "sane" people.

JaiMaaDurga
07 May 2012, 05:13 PM
Namaste,

Good points; I have never been a fan of any school of thought which
promotes either "buffet-style" religion, or fierce zealotry.

Often the "buffet" people have led comfortable lives; if there are never any
serious material consequences for bad investments of time or resources,
why would such a one feel any real sense of urgency or import regarding
spiritual matters? There may be "universalists" who have arrived at their
view after a long hard life's journey, but the ones I've met tend to be
looking for something that avoids discomfort above all else.

Zealots cannot bear disturbance, either; I am grateful my faith is not
so fragile or flimsy, that the existence of others who do not believe as I
do would demand they either be converted, or seen as less than human.

While it is curious to note how often "the smaller the differences between
two schools of thought are, the more vehement and virulent the
expression of disagreement becomes", where else but in the history of
Sanatana Dharma can be found so many different schools, all valuing
intellectual rigor, philosophical depth, and beauty of expression- and none
valuing the absolute extermination of any competing beliefs as a major goal!

Yet- if some "New-Age-Life-Coach-Let's-Mix-n-Match-Religions-for-$$"
pseudoguru does not care for a frank and blunt assessment of what they
actually have to offer others (as opposed to what they are selling), than
such a one can pitch their tent elsewhere, and should never try chatting
me up ;)

JAI MATA DI

devotee
07 May 2012, 10:50 PM
Namaste EM,

I don't think you are taking out the correct meaning. Hindu Dharma believes that All Paths lead to the same Ultimate Truth.

Yes, there are some paths which go direct to the Truth ... some take longer route and some will be taking a very very long route .... some will be able to make it within this lifetime some will be able to make it in one hundred lifetimes and some in millions of lifetimes ... but they are sure to reach the destination.

There is no being which is not boundby the gati of KAAl (the action of Time). This "gati of Kaal" will make sure that ultimately everyone reaches the same destiny.

OM

Eastern Mind
08 May 2012, 07:12 AM
Vannakkam Devotee: I believe the key here is 'ultimately', and of course we agree on that part. All souls, without exception, are headed for moksha. I think how one sees it also varies on the definition of 'path'.

Aum Namasivaya

Mana
08 May 2012, 11:49 PM
हरिः ओम्


Namaste All,


Truth is but a wordy perspective; that which lays beyond it, is divine ...

A moving target, it has to move as she is time; transient and thus transcendental.
True beauty in appearance, is but a reflection of its self, recognition being
acknowledgement of its ever repeating forms, the Supreme effortlessly recreates.


How can we consider this to be the truth? We can not if it is ever changing, yet we
might still, were we to realise the whole!


These shapes are as yet, unrefined and not yet words; as such by creating their reflection within
words, are we not losing their very essence, temporally?


Not at all dissimilar to definition of the position of an electron.


pranāma

mana


ॐ नमः शिवाय
Aum Namaḥ Śivāya

kallol
09 May 2012, 05:01 AM
हरिः ओम्


Namaste All,


Truth is but a wordy perspective; that which lays beyond it, is divine ...

A moving target, it has to move as she is time; transient and thus transcendental.
True beauty in appearance, is but a reflection of its self, recognition being
acknowledgement of its ever repeating forms, the Supreme effortlessly recreates.


How can we consider this to be the truth? We can not if it is ever changing, yet we
might still, were we to realise the whole!


These shapes are as yet, unrefined and not yet words; as such by creating their reflection within
words, are we not losing their very essence, temporally?


Not at all dissimilar to definition of the position of an electron.


pranāma

mana


ॐ नमः शिवाय
Aum Namaḥ Śivāya

Dear Mana,

After going through your post, I have a feeling that you are distancing God beyond our dreams even. The risk is that the interpretations may be quite different at higher level and lead to conflicts at lower level.

If the TRUTH is changing then the Truth can be decided by anyone having bit of magical practice and good oratory power.

This can be there for lower level understanding where it is ever changing.

But at highest level, my understanding is that TRUTH is one and constant.

Mana
09 May 2012, 12:12 PM
हरिः ओम्


Namaste kallol,



Dear Mana,

After going through your post, I have a feeling that you are distancing God beyond our dreams even. The risk is that the interpretations may be quite different at higher level and lead to conflicts at lower level.


Maybe we need distancing just a little from the Sun?

I am sorry that you feel this way, I don't think that this is the case.


This is the root reason as to why, I love Kashmir Shavism and the translations and explanations of Swami Lakshman Joo ...

God Conciousness must be experienced as well as read about. It feeds our writing it feeds our minds and our hearts; It is that which inspires all creativity.

There is an immense pleasure in reading, all the different descriptions of the Supreme and experiences of Śiva and those who have attained him.
We might all strive to obtain and know this.
Every attempt to describe this falls just a little short, how do you transfer multidimensional tecnicolour into verse text and script? So this evolves with us with time, as we evolve together as Humans, our conciousness as one.


I see no distance from God at all in this view, it implies a need for closeness; maybe it is my use of English that is disturbing?


I am trying to learn Sanskrit.


I think that my interpretation of the word mokṣa will then be disturbing for you also, but amongst adults, a don't think we need to worry about linguistics causing any fights; or do we?

I quite agree that one must respect the origins of dharma, this is essential. But I also believe that one needs actual experience of God Conciousness. In order to understand Universalism.

As explained in our Kashmir Shavism, any one can experience this for them selves, and we can all strive for this.

Universalism, to my mind, fits Kashmir Shavism perfectly.



pranāma

mana


ॐ नमः शिवाय
Aum Namaḥ Śivāya

kallol
10 May 2012, 10:31 AM
Dear Mana,

There is no iota of doubt in my mind about your understanding. That you are following Kashmir Shaivism also gives me some insight.

Happy journey.

Mana
10 May 2012, 10:57 AM
हरिः ओम्


Namaste kallol,


Thank you for your kind words.
:) might it that Śiva enrich all of our paths with his divine blessings;
bringing equanimity to all of our lives.


pranāma

mana


ॐ नमः शिवाय
Aum Namaḥ Śivāya

devotee
18 May 2012, 10:48 PM
Namaste ANS,



I do not dispute that traditional Hinduism teaches that one must have faith in the Vedas in order to reach liberationóI just don't hold to that myself.

According to Paramhansa Yogananda, the way to reach liberation is through the achievement of nirbikalpa samadhi through meditation, and the working out of all one's physical karma. As far as I understand his teachings, those are the only requirements. Through the technique of Kriya Yoga that he brought to the west, people of all faiths have been able to advance quite far spiritually and even reach full liberation. His paramguru, Lahiri Mahasaya, taught that Kriya Yoga is accessible to all religions and has the power to bring anyone to moksha.

In my opinion, the belief is not the important part. Deep meditation on God will cause one to soon realize the true nature of reality, even if that reality is expressed in different terms than what a Hindu would use. The important part is devotion to God and advancement through meditation, chanting, and other spiritual practices. Slowly we withdraw the energy from the body and mind, and step by step realize God.


The teachings of these Gurus are what the VedAnta says. The Nirvikalpa SamAdhi, meditation and various types of Yogas are all explained in the VedAnta (the last part of the VedAs or the epitome of the teachings of the VedAs).

OM

devotee
19 May 2012, 10:47 PM
Namaste,

Indeed, but one does not need to know the words "nirbikalpa samadhi," "meditation," "karma," etc in order to reach liberation. For a Christian, it might be sufficient to know that one needs to be a good person and to devote oneself to God more and more in whatever way. Hopefully this devotion eventually brings one to inward contemplation/meditation in some way. For instance, there is a Catholic tradition of contemplative prayer, practiced by such saints as Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross that carries them to this same state. Teresa of Avila actually outlined seven interior "castles," corresponding with the chakras, of course, that one progresses through on the way to God union. So the traditions are not so different as you might think. :)

OM

You can reach the destination even without a proper map with someone's guidance. It helps if you have a map and you can find your ways and direction.

OM

Seeker123
21 May 2012, 01:14 PM
Namaste,
According to Paramhansa Yogananda, the way to reach liberation is through the achievement of nirbikalpa samadhi through meditation, and the working out of all one's physical karma. As far as I understand his teachings, those are the only requirements. Through the technique of Kriya Yoga that he brought to the west, people of all faiths have been able to advance quite far spiritually and even reach full liberation.
OM

Nirvikalpa Samadhi (NVS) is an experience. Experience by definition cannot be permanent. The feeling of oneness, intense joy experienced in NVS goes away in a few hours. Then you are back to square one. On the other hand liberation is permanent which is attained by knowledge, having a pure mind (Karma yoga, Bhakth yoga), and steady mind (Meditation helps here). It is the knowledge that "I am consciousness non different from God". That the world is Mithya and only Atma is Real". That knowledge is in the mind 24/7.

No you cannot work out all your physical Karmas. Every thought, and every action accumulates new Karma, good or bad. It never ends.

Also we cannot know if a person is liberated. His/her words can give an indication but in this day and age where excellent spiritual quotes are avauilable so easily anyone can fool. You might have heard of Swami Nithyananda.

This is the problem of reading non traditional Hindu Gurus. They do a lot of good, no doubt of getting people interested. But since they dont methodically teach Upanishads it gets confusing - at least that is what I have found. If you are interested in a traditional Guru's work you may want to go to the Sringeri Sarada temple in Stroudsburg, PA and check books of Acharyal.

http://www.svbf.org/home_page.php

Believer
23 May 2012, 10:13 PM
Namaste,

Thread Title: Truth is One; Paths are Many

Hindu Equivalent: gods are many; Path is one - Bhakti

Pranam.

philosoraptor
01 June 2012, 06:56 PM
It might be helpful if we knew what the source of this quote "Truth is One; Paths are Many" was.

Jainarayan
01 June 2012, 08:28 PM
Namaste.


It might be helpful if we knew what the source of this quote "Truth is One; Paths are Many" was.

One source attributes it to Gandhi.

Another source attributes it to Sri Swami Satchidananda:
http://www.lotus.org/docs/paths_are_many.htm



Paths are Many

by H. H. Sri Swami Satchidananda

The purpose of any religion is to educate us about our spiritual unity. Everything that God created belongs to all of us and to our future generations. The entire world belongs to us, to be shared by us as one family of God. Nobody can put a label and say, "This is mine alone." All the resources of the world are given to us for our use, and we have a responsibility as caretakers on this earth.

Truth is one. That is why my motto has always been, "Truth is One, Paths are Many." The great sages and saints have experienced the same truth but only expressed it in different ways. It does not matter what name you give to the nameless Spirit. The only way to eternal peace and joy is to realize that Christhood or Buddhahood or Krishnahood. But when we miss that point, we fight in the name of Spirit.

There are so many things that can separate and divide us. We say, "Iím an American," or "Iím an Australian." "I am white," or "I am black." "I am fat," or "I am thin," "I am a boy," or "I am a girl." "I am Christian," or "Iím Hindu," or "Iím a Jew." My color may be different from your color. Her color may be different from somebody elseís color. We are all of various colors and hues because nature never makes duplicates. There is constant variety throughout the creation. But inside, we all have the same light; we are all made in the image of God. The same light is shining through many different colored lamps.

When we look at the outside alone, we will only see differences. But when we go a little deeper, we see the oneness. Donít we say that "beauty is only skin deep." Scratch less than one millimeter beneath the surface and we all have the same color blood. So, if we see the difference, we are different; we are separate. But if we see the Spirit, we are the same. I am you, you are me; we are not different. We have all the differences and individual distinctions, but we are so much more. These definitions are what you use in order to function in this world. The challenge given to each and every one of us is to remember that oneness behind the outer differences.

God gave each of us a different costume, different makeup, a different role, in order to play our part in the world. But behind all these differences we are all one in Spirit. When we forget that and identify ourselves with the superficial differences, we lose sight of the spiritual oneness. So, religion asks us to get back to that original state. The very meaning of the word "religion" is to "bind back;" to get back to your original oneness.

When we argue about what is the right path and whose religion is best, there is something terribly wrong with our approach. Then, we are looking at the superficial side of religion and forgetting to go deep into its foundation. If we did go deep, we would find that all the religions ultimately talk about the same God, the same Truth; but somehow we ignore that common base and continue to fight over the superficial aspects.

It is time for us to recognize that there is one truth and many approaches. As long as you are a spiritual seeker, follow your spiritual path with your goal in mind. Donít worry about other peopleís paths. Whatever path you choose according to your temperament and taste, stay with that consistently while respecting all other paths. Though God can be approached through any form or name, if you keep changing from one idea of God to another, you wonít progress at all. You canít travel on ten roads at the same time, even if theyíre all going to Rome.

So, let us resolve not to fight in the name of religion. When the understanding comes that essentially we are one appearing as many, then all the other problemsóphysical and materialówill be solved. Until then, they will never be solved because the basic cause for all the world problems is the lack of understanding of this spiritual unity. Wherever you go say, "We look different, but we are all one in Spirit. Hello, brother; hello sister." No religion is superior and no religion is inferior. We are all doing Godís work. We should learn to live together and work toward one goal: to share and care, love and give.

philosoraptor
10 June 2012, 04:55 PM
Namaste.



One source attributes it to Gandhi.

Another source attributes it to Sri Swami Satchidananda:
http://www.lotus.org/docs/paths_are_many.htm


So, in other words, there is nothing in shruti/smRiti/purANa/itihAsa? Just a couple of post-modern Hindu thinkers?

Jainarayan
10 June 2012, 05:06 PM
So, in other words, there is nothing in shruti/smRiti/purANa/itihAsa? Just a couple of post-modern Hindu thinkers?

You asked where the quote came from, and I gave the source. That's all that needs be said.

Believer
10 June 2012, 05:25 PM
Namaste,

Many times we read something - a story or a quote - and it reflects our current thinking. So, whether it is right or wrong, or it is per the Hindu shashras or not, we accept it and start repeating it as a fact. It behooves us to bring to the forum only the things that are in line with the Hindu theology and Hindu way of thinking. Things outside of that create unnecessary friction and turmoil. I am sure there are many other websites/forums which are Universalistic/New Age in nature and accept everyone's thinking as valid, since they are not scripture based. All good intentioned HDF members, with their love/devotion/heart rooted in Hinduism may meditate on that and spare the room any conflagration; unless of course, the only thing that makes our day is verbal sparring through our posts.

Pranam.

TatTvamAsi
10 June 2012, 07:31 PM
You asked where the quote came from, and I gave the source. That's all that needs be said.

you should read Being Different by Rajiv Malhotra. your touchy-feely salad-bar idea of religion is not only idiotic, it is highly dangerous.

Malhotra's upcoming "U-Turn" book will beautifully unravel the treacherous vermin who claimed to be Hindu and Buddhist and then only turned around to denigrate Hinduism/Buddhism/India.

satay
11 June 2012, 01:57 PM
Admin Note

Just a reminder that you are on a Hindu Forum. Please keep it focused on Hinduism or else you are wasting everyone's time.

Thanks,

Jogesh
21 January 2013, 07:27 PM
एकम् सत् विप्राः बहुधा वदन्ति
Ekam Sat Viprāha Bahudhā Vadanti
"Truth is One, though the Sages know it by many names.
— Rig Veda (Book I, Hymn CLXIV, Verse 46)

Omkara
21 January 2013, 07:53 PM
No one who does not know the Vedas understands this great all-experiencing atman, understanding of whom is the way to liberation (Taittriya Aranyaka 3.12.9.17)

There you go. It is clear from shruti that understanding the Vedas alone leads to liberation. Not the Koran, or the Bible, or any of the book that belong to Abrahamic nut-cults.

Omkara
21 January 2013, 08:45 PM
एकम् सत् विप्राः बहुधा वदन्ति
Ekam Sat Viprāha Bahudhā Vadanti
"Truth is One, though the Sages know it by many names.
ó Rig Veda (Book I, Hymn CLXIV, Verse 46)

Ekam Sat means Brahman,as seen in the Chandogya Upanishad. This verse thus simply says that Brahman is given various name by the Vipras. Note that the word vipra can mean only someone from the Vedic tradition, so it is idiotic to argue that Allah or Yahveh are alternatives to the Vedic names of God.

Believer
22 January 2013, 09:49 AM
Namaste,

एकम् सत् विप्राः बहुधा वदन्ति
Ekam Sat Viprāha Bahudhā Vadanti
"Truth is One, though the Sages know it by many names.
— Rig Veda (Book I, Hymn CLXIV, Verse 46)
This is exactly the reason why one needs the interpretation of a swami/guru and not that of a Sanskrit scholar to learn about our religion. The word for word translation fails to convey the essence of the shlokas, and people make up their own interpretation and run with it. That does not do anyone any good.

As has been aptly pointed out, 'many names' refers to names within the confines of Hinduism. Let us all remember that, while arguing about alien names from other cultures, unless of course, the intent is to 'look' more educated/enlightened than the rest or to incite a riot in the forum.

Pranam.

philosoraptor
22 January 2013, 10:07 AM
More specifically, it refers to names from the Vedas. But the point is otherwise well taken - please do not misinterpret these mantras as somehow indicating the validity of Jehova, Allah, or other non-Vedic deities.

Spirit Seeker
22 January 2013, 12:16 PM
What do hindus in general view the existence of Gods and Deities outside their own culture? I follow a Few African Religions and I personally believe that these same energies manifested differently to different parts of the world, and the people in those regions had their own interpretations for these energies.. So I believe a Lot of Gods fit "archetypes" having many facets, some can share 'identitys'.

Although I do agree the Abrahamic God is an exception in this case, I also believe negative entity's can be mistakenly worshiped taking advantage of our perceptual limitations and claim to be "God" or "Higher Power" etc

devotee
22 January 2013, 10:46 PM
Namaste Spirit Seeker,


What do hindus in general view the existence of Gods and Deities outside their own culture? I follow a Few African Religions and I personally believe that these same energies manifested differently to different parts of the world, and the people in those regions had their own interpretations for these energies.. So I believe a Lot of Gods fit "archetypes" having many facets, some can share 'identitys'.

Although I do agree the Abrahamic God is an exception in this case, I also believe negative entity's can be mistakenly worshiped taking advantage of our perceptual limitations and claim to be "God" or "Higher Power" etc

The answer will vary from one Hindu to the other as people have widely varying views on this. Some Hindus, like ISKCONites, accept only Krishna as God and don't accept even Shiva, Mother Goddess etc. which are considered God by other sects of Hindus. The Rig Veda sloka "Ekam Sat Viprāha Bahudhā Vadanti "Truth is One, though the Sages know it by many names.
ó Rig Veda (Book I, Hymn CLXIV, Verse 46) does accept various names for the same Truth or God. However, some will argue that it refers only to Vedic Devas as Rig Veda talks about only specific forms/names of God and not God as worshiped in other religions.

However, there are liberal Hindus who feel that God worshiped by people in any name and form by people of any religion is the same God and I will say that such Hindus are in majority. I believe that God becomes what he is worshiped as ... "Ref : Mudgala Upanishad)". So, it is you who creates a specific form and name and characteristics of God. The power lies in your devotion. If you have the devotion, God would come to you in the name and form that you worship.

OM

Necromancer
23 January 2013, 05:15 AM
Vannakkam: I was reflecting on this oft stated simplification. I don't know who it is that supposedly said it, but I know it is oft used as justification for universalism.

But have a closer look. What is it really saying? It does not say: Truth is One; Paths to the Truth are Many. It just says Paths are Many. Is that not just saying that humanity is diverse, and we should celebrate that diversity.

There are many paths ... the path of greed, the path of intolerance, the path of materialism, dead-end roads, paths that lead part way up the mountain, paths that lead down the mountain, and more. Some lead only part way up the mountain. I need not go on.

This metaphor of life being a path is all over in everyday common culture:

He took a wrong turn in the road.
Took a turn for the worse.
His friends are leading him a long a dangerous route.

We (Hindus) don't need to think all paths (religions, if you will) are legitimate to have respect for our fellow humans. Some other basic concepts pretty much cover that. Ahimsa, a love for all life, covers it. So does reincarnation, karma, and the belief that everyone will attain moksha.

Just some thoughts on a sunny day.:)

Aum Namasivaya
Namaste. Very nicely said.

I was never a great Sai Baba devotee, but I had a lot of time and respect for those who were because of three simple words: "Sabka Malik Ek".

At heart, I am a 'Universalist' not because 'all paths lead to the Source', but because 'all paths emanate from the Source'. There's a subtle difference there and there has to be a total opposite of Empiric Rationalism and Solipsism once one has totally exhausted that 'Path'.

Even in the Upanishads, it states that ultimately, the many Gods of Hinduism are all 'One' and even if that is called "Ishwara" it is still 'One'. The Abrahamic Religions believe in a 'Nameless God' whom, if you actually heard that Name, you'd either become enlightened, go insane, die (or all three). Hindus believe that Name to be 'Aum'. Christians believe it to be 'The Word' whilst Taoists believe whatever it is, it's just definitely not the Tao:



The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
The named is the mother of myriad things
Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence
Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations
These two emerge together but differ in name
The unity is said to be the mystery
Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders
- Lao Tsu

So, I believe in whatever all these people believe in, no matter what religion that is. I just call it 'Lord Shiva' and go...

Aum Namah Shivaya

Twilightdance
23 January 2013, 07:28 AM
One thing may be said in various ways, but various sayings may not be talking about the same one thing. Not sure why this sloka causes so much confusion and justification of universalism.

Viraja
23 January 2013, 09:41 AM
I support Universalism because karma and its effects are universal. Diseases, untimely deaths, divorces, and other sufferings of the mankind are Universal and this shows to me there is same underlying principle that runs through mankind, no matter who is chosen as the devata of worship. If the principle and the rules are the same, why not the deity governing them be the same?

Viraja
23 January 2013, 12:41 PM
Namaste,

Are we in the process of turning SD into a collection of 'I believes' and 'I thinks'? Without a shastric backup, all random 'I believes' are just that - personal beliefs, and meaningless to a conversation which should be based on shastras. Did our ancient seers see the Abrahamic religions coming up later to include them in their thinking of 'one god, many paths'?

People unable to divest themselves of their past affiliations often rant about the lack of recognition of theology of other faiths on the part of Hindus as cultural superiority complex among Hindus. But when Hindus themselves join that chorus, it is shameful.

Pranam.

Sorry, Believer ji. Sometimes in an effort to express our innate thoughts, we get (I get) over-excited. I'll avoid such 'I believes' next time.

devotee
23 January 2013, 09:58 PM
Namaste Jai,



I think this is a pretty good take on it, especially the commentaries: http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-04-11.html

Yes, I too see the verse in the same way. However, people may refuse to accept it. :)

When you read Vedas/PurANa, you find that one deva is praised as a partuclar characteristics of that deva i.e. not as Brahman in one place but in other places the same deva is praised as the Supreme i.e. Brahman. For an example, Sun is worshiped as one of the many gods i.e. as one of the sons of Aditi but the same Sun has also been praised as Brahman. Similarly, Vishnu has been praised as one of the gods in some places and also as Brahman in other places.

So, it becomes evident that bhAvanA of devotee is what matters. It matters how he sees his chosen deity. If he sees the deity as one of the devatas (gods) then it acts as that ... however, when the devotee wholeheartedly sees the same deity as Brahman, the deity "becomes" Brahman, the Supreme. We should remember that VAlmiki (who wrote RAmAyaNa) attained RAmA by doing japa of MArA. So, RAmA became MArA for Valmiki.

OM

Necromancer
23 January 2013, 10:28 PM
Namaste. Since returning to Hinduism and sharing my beliefs and experiences openly and honestly, I have been called these things: "Neo-Advaitist", "New-Age Yogi", "Bulls*** Artist"...

Honestly, I don't know how Advaita can be any 'age' and how the teachings of the Shankaracharyas and/or Patanjali have a 'time limit' put on them as such knowledge is timeless by nature.

I am definitely not a 'Saint' because I still have human needs and desires, I still have a lot to learn about humans.

One thing I have learned is how some people have certain 'expectations' of others and not only of others, but of the whole Religion and the experience thereof. They believe whatever they will, and if you disagree with them or even mention the term 'Bhakti', you are immediately a 'fraud'.

I don't know who they are trying to convince of my 'fraudulence', me...themselves...other people...

All I know, is that if they are trying to convince me, they are wasting their time. If they are trying to convince themselves, why mention it? and if they are trying to convince other people, they are not giving other people any credit for having an opinion of their own.

When viewed in this way, It makes no difference whatsoever.

Aum Namah Shivaya

dogra
24 January 2013, 07:07 AM
I THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD.

Indeed, whatever name is each individuals choice, as we are not born robots.
as stated already:


They have called him Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni,
And the divine fine-winged Garuda;
They speak of Indra, Yama, Matrarisvan:
The One Being sages call by many names.
Hinduism. Rig Veda 1.164.46

satay
24 January 2013, 03:44 PM
Admin Note
Closed for review