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Thread: Mixing East and West

  1. #1

    Mixing East and West

    Hi all, I'm really hoping someone can help me with an issue I've struggled with for a long time.


    Without writing an essay I've recently discovered a practice that works for me (devotion to Krishna and chanting the mahamantra). It's changed my life, I've become a vegetarian, changed careers and I think I'm just becoming an all round better person.


    But... I've always been drawn to Western Traditions such as Druidry and Kaballah. I find them fascinating and believe there is a lot of truth behind them. Where I struggle now is that I'd like to add some Western practices into my spiritual life but I'm not sure how they would partner with the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita and other scriptures.


    I understand that the worship of minor deities is widely practiced and not seen as negative in many traditions but the form of Krishna worship most widely seen in the West (I'm from the uk) strongly frowns upon it.


    I suppose my question is how would communication with spirits and minor deities usually be seen in a Hindu context, and is it something I can reconcile with my current practice which I think could be described as Vaishnava?


    My gut feeling is that I really want to find a way to utilise both practices but I'm a sucker for needing to 'do things right' and I'm concerned a particular dogma is starting to cloud my objectivity.


    I hope this makes sense!


    Best wishes.

  2. #2

    Re: Mixing East and West

    Namaste Kameron Ji,

    Without writing an essay I've recently discovered a practice that works for me (devotion to Krishna and chanting the mahamantra). It's changed my life, I've become a vegetarian, changed careers and I think I'm just becoming an all round better person.
    Great

    But... I've always been drawn to Western Traditions such as Druidry and Kaballah. I find them fascinating and believe there is a lot of truth behind them. Where I struggle now is that I'd like to add some Western practices into my spiritual life but I'm not sure how they would partner with the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita and other scriptures.
    This maybe easy or complicated depending on who is the author of the commentaries and how you construct any type of synthesis. When I have approached these things I found it best to at first stick with the things that they agree, find the similarities and work from there if there is confusion then just leave it aside, it may become clear later. Maybe at a later point what synthesis you have made with Druid and Kabbalah teachings and practices will be just as easy with Bhagavad Gita.

    I understand that the worship of minor deities is widely practiced and not seen as negative in many traditions but the form of Krishna worship most widely seen in the West (I'm from the uk) strongly frowns upon it.
    I am not sure what you mean by lesser Gods, if its in regard to the last part thats spoken of as demi god worship and is seen as inferior may not be seen like this by most Hindus. What most Hindus or followers of sanatana dharma will see is one power of Brahman manifest at certain potency but remains undivided. deva is generally known as light, from div which means to shine and is transcendent, what light they shine or emanate is not two, from deva comes divya jnana~ appearance or illumination of Self knowledge. Try not to see anything as lesser devas are bodies of light, light means only one thing in the Hindu tradition, that which Illuminates Brahman or Brahman illuminates through deva.



    suppose my question is how would communication with spirits and minor deities usually be seen in a Hindu context, and is it something I can reconcile with my current practice which I think could be described as Vaishnava
    The aim of sanatana dharma and Bhagavad Gita is to see Krsna which means concealed and all attractive as the centre of everything as one undivided whole "For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me."

    A good example, one that springs to mind and easy to explain is in original shinto practice, a person was allowed to choose his own object of devotion, istadeva,~personal object of devotion. There was no pressure to choose what that object of devotion was, some would naturally be attracted to a tree, a flower, the sun or moon, maybe a particular deity or image, and each person would see that same spiritual being behind each object of devotion and also non different to their istadeva, each person would respect that persons natural choice and in more maturity they realise that the same essence is within all things, but at the same time would also know that each created form has its own unique power, when its brought into the natural collective in synthesis of a culture the same one whole being is seen as manifesting through all things equally with diverse attributes. I see the culture of sanatana dharma the same as this. Its more beautiful and profound and all pervasive when the superiority game is abandoned.

    My gut feeling is that I really want to find a way to utilise both practices but I'm a sucker for needing to 'do things right' and I'm concerned a particular dogma is starting to cloud my objectivity.

    I would stick with your gut feeling and dismiss any dogma

    There is another side of east and west that is closer to each person and not applicable to location. east and west can be seen as the faculties of consciousness that operate together and when in perfect balance function at the highest potential. West can mean logic, function of the empirical, objective and intellectual, these all play a role and the East can be seen as the lucid, creative which also plays its role. These forces manifest at gross and subtle levels. In the most subtle levels they are the sun and moon dynasties both absolute luminaries devas of that One Brahman or expansions of Brahman.
    Last edited by markandeya 108 dasa; 20 November 2018 at 12:42 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Mixing East and West

    Namaste,

    Quote Originally Posted by Kameron View Post
    I really want to find a way to utilise both practices but I'm a sucker for needing to 'do things right' and I'm concerned a particular dogma is starting to cloud my objectivity.
    Do what gives you peace. With spiritual refinement the fluff will fall by the wayside.
    Forcing yourself to practice what you are not happy with creates negative energy and is counter productive.

    Pranam.

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