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Thread: Hindu Universalism

  1. #11
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    Re: Was Muhammad Enlightened? Part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by atanu View Post
    Namaste Satay,

    How do you you judge personal attack from me?
    That is simple. Instead of replying to the points raised by spriritual seeker you were focusing on him instead as if there is something wrong with him personally.

    I noticed that there hasn't been given any refutation for spiritualseeker's points instead there was yet another attack this time on puranas. Wha ray universalism...


    Is it a case of dost dost nA rahA? I still believe in 'physician heal thyself'.
    Not at all the case. If I weren't a dost, would I have made the post to remind you?

    Happily. But I request you to reciprocate by showing what is a Mleccha and what is Mleccha scripture from authentic scripture/guru.
    Once you show us a quote from an authentic guru who has termed Koran as a revealed scripture.

    See my point is that no authentic guru has done that as you assert. That's because by default only scriptures or religions that have vedas as its source need any comments or further examination. The rest has been ignored by our gurus as maleccha scriptures and thus beneath them. No comment or examination is necessary of the maleccha scriptures.

    This is why you are having hard time finding one name of an authentic guru.
    satay

  2. #12
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    Re: Hindu Universalism

    Pranam Satay and all

    The message that Hindu give is universal, it can not be otherwise Vasudeva kutumbka.
    Vedas respects the fundamental right of an individual to be or not to be, that is why I am wary of Semitic religion it coheres and frightens one in to submission.

    Let us not mistake the universal message, as acceptance of all religions as same, respect yes, but we must learn to discriminate,
    dharma stands on four pillars, Satya(truthfulness),Ahimsa (non violence), pavitrata(purity) and tapasya(austerity) not in any particular order.if these are lacking then we have to make our own judgement.


    Hindus certainly respect all other form of worship and religion but let us not mistake that all path leads to same goal. Certainly no one that follows Vedas are aiming for Muslims or Christians idea of heaven.

    Well the Christmas is upon us, spare a thought for millions of turkeys, gallons of intoxication party and orgy, these are the kind of celebration goes in the name off religion, accept this we will certainly gain enlightenment!

    It is hard enough to follow dharma which is like walking on double edge sward, we certainly do not need distraction of accepting these kind of religion as same as Vedic, even if someone is bound to remind me that this is not true Christianity and I accept that but these are the ground reality.

    Jai Shree Krishna

    Ps. I am going to take a week off, reflect on my own sadhna, I have to check my reasoning does not get transferred in to hate, I certainly do not need that.

    Jai Shree Krishna
    Last edited by Ganeshprasad; 20 December 2009 at 03:24 PM.
    Rig Veda list only 33 devas, they are all propitiated, worthy off our worship, all other names of gods are derivative from this 33 originals,
    Bhagvat Gita; Shree Krishna says Chapter 3.11 devan bhavayatanena te deva bhavayantu vah parasparam bhavayantah sreyah param avapsyatha Chapter 17.4 yajante sattvika devan yaksa-raksamsi rajasah pretan bhuta-ganams canye yajante tamasa janah
    The world disappears in him. He is the peaceful, the good, the one without a second.

  3. #13
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    Re: Hindu Universalism

    Vannakkam: This is from Dr. Morales statement that got this discussion going in 2005.

    Beacons of Hope
    Fortunately, by no means have all present-day Hindu leaders allowed themselves to thoughtlessly succumb to the mind-numbing influence of Radical Universalism. Indeed, in the present generation we have been blessed with the sagacious guidance of many truly authentic traditionalist Hindu gurus and teachers. These gurus, many of whom represent some of the most ancient lineages (sampradayas) of classical Hinduism, have spoken out compellingly and courageously against both Radical Universalism and the neo-Hinduism from which it took birth, and have articulated the urgent need for the restoration of genuine and traditional Hinduism. Among the many Hindu leaders in recent decades who have openly repudiated Radical Universalism and neo-Hinduism can be included Swami Chinmayananda, Pujya Swami Dayananda Sarasvati, Shivaya Subramuniya Swami, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Sri Vamadeva Shastri, Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swami, Sri Rangapriya Swami, among many others. We need to help facilitate the work of such truly genuine Dharma leaders if we wish to witness the renewal of authentic Hinduism.


    My personal take is that it started with Vivekenanda's trip to the west.

    Before that time the Europeans had pretty much convinced everyone, including the Hindus themselves, that Hinduism was a primitive pagan-like faith not worthy of consideration of any rational man. So in order to gain any degree of acceptance, the swamis who came to the west had to reconcile water down certain beliefs or they would be chased out of town. This led to this new thing called universalism, or the idea that all religions are equal, and Vedic quotes etc were selectively used to demonstrate the point. But the swamis didn't really take a close look at the western faiths.
    They sort of assumed, because of their own upbringing in a tolerant Hinduism, that these faiths would be of like mind. Of course this idea was dead wrong. The belief in reincarnation versus heaven/hell afterlife is the most dramatic and obvious difference that comes to mind, but there are many many others like vegetarianism, karma, murthi vs idol etc. So now wea re stuck with this tag called universalism, which is basically saying, "I'm a Hindu, but I don't want to be called one." The Ramakrishna Mission, Satya Sai Baba's group, and the Self Realisation fellowship to a lesser degree keep promoting this concept. But when you ask them what they believe, and forget any labels, its clear that they're Hindu. You just don't see many Christians or Muslims joining up.
    Just today I was reading about an encounter with some ashram or another the editor of Hinduism Today had with someone in Australia. They in fact had been debating, "Should we call ourselves Hindu or not?" for quite some time. The editor asked them some of their befiefs, and right away it became abundantly clear they were Hindu. So the anti-Hindu propaganda has worked over history. Personally, I'm very proud to say I'm a Hindu.

    Sorry for the rant.

    Aum Namasivaya

  4. #14

    Re: Hindu Universalism

    For those interested:

    The Sword of Kali
    Reply to "A Philosophical Critique of Radical Universalism"
    http://www.boloji.com/hinduism/101.htm

    A few quotes:
    "Dr. Morales seems to believe that the statement all religions are the same is identical to the statement all religions are exactly the same. But Hinduism does not say that all religions are exactly the same. Hinduism says that all religions speak of the same Reality though they may call this Reality by different names or conceive of It differently. "

    By placing Universalism in opposition to Absolutism, Dr. Morales tries to create the impression that Universalism is a kind of Relativism. But this opposition has no basis to stand on. Universalism is based on absolutes
    There is a Guru in each of us. It is the Atma principle. It is the Eternal Witness functioning as Conscience in everyone. With this Conscience as guide, let all actions be done. (sss20-15)

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    Re: Hindu Universalism

    "Dangers of the Sameness Myth:

    The Myth of Hindu Sameness is leading to the dissolution of Hinduism. Patanjali's Yoga-Sutras are being clicked-and dragged into becoming footnotes to the Gospel of John or some other system of Western thought.

    The Hindu Goddess became the subject of very serious and intense study by many white women in the 1970s when they revolted against the male centric Abrahamic religions. Today, the Hindu Goddess is often used to enhance the historical narrative of Mother Mary or to reinterpret European Goddesses such as Sophia, Diana, etc. Furthermore, Gloria Steinem, one of the pioneers of the women's liberation movement in the US, spent two years in India in the 1960s, and after her return to the US she helped to launch the feminist movement. She writes in her autobiography that it was her experiences with women's empowerment groups in India that inspired her later work in the US.

    Yet, Western scholars and their Indian chelas have started to demonize the Hindu Goddess as vulgar, as a symbol of sexual oppression of Hindu women, and as a cause of violence by upper castes.

    There is a long list of Hindu items being appropriated as Western ornaments to be preserved, modified, celebrated and used by the new owners. The source traditions are seldom acknowledged, and, instead, are burdened with negative images and liabilities to encourage their demise.

    This kind of sameness perpetuates the colonial inferiority complexes, while feeding the cultural and political capital of the dominant culture. The burden to be same is upon the underdog culture in terms of power, i.e., it is Hindus who must prove their sameness to the dominant culture, and not vice versa, because it is the neo-Hindus who uphold sameness and not the other religions. The sameness is therefore on the terms of the dominant West. The West determines how authentic one's mimicry is and which Indians get legitimized to various extents through awards, certificates and brand value given to them. We are only as legitimate as we are similar to them, and they control the judgment on how well we are accomplishing this goal.

    Ironically, one of the most common reasons given by Hindu youths to their parents when they convert to another religion is, “You taught us that all religions are the same, so how does it matter?” It would be okay if the parents and Hindu leaders would simply accept this fine logic and not be concerned. But they are concerned and do get angry. Yet, it has not occurred to the leaders that their own sameness myths have caused the very problems, which they are fighting."

    Rajiv Malhotra (bold emphasis mine)
    Read the whole article here:


    http://rajivmalhotra.com/index.php?o...fied&Itemid=33

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    Re: Was Muhammad Enlightened? Part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by satay View Post
    Namaste atanu,
    My original question was Could you please share the names of the 'authentic' Hindu gurus who have termed Koran as revealed scriptures?
    Which guru has termed Koran as revealed scripture? From what you posted, I don't see anyone that has termed koran as revealed scripture.
    When I was reading your original quote about 'authentic' hindu gurus, I thought you meant shakaracrya, ramnuja or madva. I didn't know you were thinking of contemporary gurus/politician/atheist and calling them authentic hindu gurus. Though I should've guessed.
    Namaste Satay,

    Hmm. Contemporary gurus/politician/atheist? But where is the evidence of mleccha scripture from your authentic gurus?

    From Kanchi Paramacharya
    The Word of God
    We must not distrust the belief that the Vedas are not the work of mere mortals. Followers of other religions too ascribe divine origin to their scriptures. Jesus says that he merely repeats the words of God and, according to Muslims, the prophet speaks the words of Allah. What we call "apauruseya" is revealed text in their case. The word of the Lord has come through the agency of great men to constitute religious texts.
    ---------------
    That Kanchi Pramacharya has not questioned the divine origin of Bible and Koran is enough for me. He has compared "apauruseya" nature of Vedas to the 'Revealed' nature of these. Kanchi Paramacharya has said that "The Truth is One". If one understands this, one would reject anything that is asat as asat -- non-existent.

    That is simple. Instead of replying to the points raised by spriritual seeker you were focusing on him instead as if there is something wrong with him personally.
    If you think this way you are thinking OK. Since, frankly speaking I could not comprehend why a Christian who went into Islam should not first refute the Bible? But I understood it as mere playfulness and what I said was not with ill will. What I said, IMO, was not an attack.

    It is not easy to decipher scripture, if one is situated in the effect of Lord. Why has Soma 29 wives? Why five Pandavas share one wife? Why Aditya is Lord of 11 or 13 wives? Why Shri Krishna married 8 wives and then also married 16000 wives?

    "ekaikasyam dasa dasa
    krsno jijanad atmajan ...." (SBG)

    According to Srimad Bhagavatam, Krishna married with 16,108 wives, of which eight were chiefincluding Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Ngnajit, Klind, Mdr, Mitravind, Bhadr; Of these He bore ten sons each.

    At the hand of a fanatic, this will be enough ammunition for labelling Shri Krishna as a sexual maniac.

    Kanchi Paramacharya has in fact warned not to apply History to scripture. The History is merely the effect of Lord kAla, who has 11 or 13 wives, but history is not Lord kAla.

    Om Namah Shivaya
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

  7. #17
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    Re: Hindu Universalism

    In post #2 of this thread (which was the original OP), Satay has asked us to examine the presence or absence of teachings in our sacred scriptures as to the popular supposition that all religions speak of the same Truth. Let us start with the oft-(mis)quoted Vedic mantra 'ekam sad'.

    ekam sad viprA bahudhA vadanti--RV i.164.46

    "Truth is one; seers call it variously." This Rig Veda mantra, is quoted invariably as the tAraka--saving, mantra that elevates the state of all other religions to that of the Vedic religion of the Hindus, so much that it has become a cliche. Almost every Hindu and non-Hindu quote it to say that Hinduism teaches that all religions are the same, without any idea of--or wilfully ignoring--the context of the mantra within the Rig Veda sUkta 1.164.

    Here is a compilation of some of the various interpretations of the mantra, whose full text is:

    indraM mitraM varuNam agni mAhuratho divyaH sa suparNo garutmAn |
    ekaM sad viprA bahudhA vadanti agniM yamaM mAtarishvAnamAhuH ||1.164.46||

    • There are four pAdas--quarters, to the mantra:

    indraM mitraM varuNam agnim Ahuh,
    atho divyaH sa suparNo garutmAn |
    ekaM sad viprA bahudhA vadanti,
    agniM yamaM mAtarishvAnam AhuH ||

    They hail Him as Indra, as Mitra, as VaruNa, as Agni,
    also as that divine and noble-winged GarutmAn.
    It is of One Existence that the wise ones speak in diverse ways,
    whether as Agni, or as Yama, or as MAtarishvAn.

    • The Rig Veda sUkta 1.164 is addressed to the vishvedevas--god-forms that guard and rule the universe. The mantra 1.164.46 and 47 are addresssed to Aditya--Sun god. The RShi who discovered this 'shruti mantra' was dIrghatamA auchatya.

    • A look at the names of gods addressed in the mantra gives the proper context of the 'ekam sad' part of the mantra.

    •• Indra is the God of the Mind;
    •• Mitra is the God of Love and Harmony;
    •• VaruNa is the Master of Infinities who canot tolerate restrictive thinking of actions;
    •• Agni is the cosmic power of heat and light and the will-power united with wisdom.
    •• garutmAn is the heavenly bird with beautiful wings, an epithet for the Sun god.
    •• Yama is the charioteer who guides the dharmic restraints.
    •• MAtarishvAn is the hidden fire, identified by SAyaNa as vAyu.

    Thus the message of the Hymn is that just as the Sun God, the one visible form of Brahman to the humans, is spoken of in many names whose essential form is Agni, Brahman who is one, is spoken of by the learned sages in many names.

    The 'eksam sad' part of the mantra refers to the essential unity of all forms of gods. The 'bahudhA vadanti' part refers to the learned sages attributing different names (not prescribing different paths) to that One Reality.

    The 'ekam sad' and 'bahudhA vadanti' stand as two clauses of a sentence, that are connected by the conjunction 'although' or 'despite'. Connecting them by the conjunction 'but then' (or other such phrase) and saying that "Hinduism teaches that all religions are the same", thereby treating as identical the name and concept of the Absolute in the other religions to that of Brahman is nothing but a case of speculation and extrapolation.

    • Among the significant interpretations of this sUkta--hymn, is the paper presented by David Frawley titled 'The Hymns of Dhirgatamas in the Rig Veda', wherein he explains how the mantras deal with the Zodiac and its relation to the Subtle Body. (http://www.scribd.com/doc/12887392/T...David-Frawley-)

    Ralph T.H.Griffith translates the mantra as:

    46. They call him Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni, and he is heavenly nobly-winged Garutman. To what is One, sages give many a title they call it Agni, Yama, Matarisvan.--Tr.

    H.H.Wilson has this explanation:

    46. They have styled (him, the Sun), Indra, Mitra, VaruNa, Agni, and he is the celestial, well-winged Garutmat, for learned persons call one by many names as they speak of Agni, Yama and MAtarishvan.

    Him, the Sun--The Sun is SAyaNa's interpretation: YAska says Agni: but they ar the same, and are the same as all other forms, according to the texts, "ekaiva vA mahAn AtmA devatA sUryaH"--the divine sun is the great spirit; and "agni sarvA devatAH"--Agni is all the divinities.--aitareya brAhmaNa, 2.3.

    Frank Morales, in his essay 'A Philosophical Critique of Radical Universalism' has given a detailed analysis of this statement.

    He takes the view that the statement is absolutely--not just predominantly--ontological in its purport: it talks only about the Unity of the Abosolute Truth and not about the multiplicity of Its names; and that its other and more popular--epistemological and soteriological--interpretations are incorrect and can only be speculative.

    Thus the actual meaning and purport of the statement, according to Dr.Morales is this:

    "Truth/God (sad) [is] One (ekam), [despite] seers (vipra) call (vadanti) [it] variously (bahudha)."

    The implied condition 'despite' makes this statement purely ontological; whereas in the popular interpretations, the condition is taken to be 'but then' which gives rise to the speculations.

    SitA rAm goel in his book "Defence of Hindu Society" gives the reference interpretation given at the top in four pAdas--quarters and laments:

    Why do modern Hindus quote only one-fourth and not the whole mantra? Why do they forget or refuse to cite the rest of it, or at least consider three-fourth of it as irrelevant or superfluous? And why do they assign a disproportionate weight to just one word, ekam, out of the five words which comprise what they consider to be the weighty one-fourth?

    A careful reading of the full mantra, particularly in the context of the skta of which it is a part, leaves no doubt that the three-fourth which is ignored is not at all a repetition or paraphrase of the one-fourth which is presented. On the contrary, that three-fourth is as significant, if not more, as the one-fourth when we take into account the spirit of the Veda from which the citation has been selected. In fact, the one-fourth which is flourished so forcefully remains meaningless unless it is read with the rest of the mantra.

    Why do modern Hindus maim in this manner a mantra from what they hold as their most sacred shastra? What do they want to prove by this wanton misrepresentation of an entire and ancient ethos in spirituality, philosophy and culture?

    The answer becomes obvious as soon as we look into the psychology behind the citation.

    Firstly, modern Hindus want to stake a claim for admission to the exclusive club of Monotheism maintained by Christianity and Islam. Hindus here are out to convince the monopolises of monotheism that the earliest Hindu shastra, the Rigveda, also supports and sanctions what is supposed to be the summum bonum of religion according to Christian and Muslim theology, or its apotheosis according to the modern Western “Science” of Comparative Religion. At the same time, there is an almost pathetic appeal to the monopolises of Monotheism that they should not be appalled by the multiplicity of gods and goddesses in the post-Vedic Hindu pantheon, and that they should judge Hinduism in terms of the “original aspiration” rather than in terms of the latter-day “aberration”.

    • Even Swami Nirmalananda Giri of the Atmajyoti Ashram which is identified as part of the evangelical missionary of Christian Priests in Hindu disguise (check http://hamsa.org/ashram.htm), does not agree with the popular interpretation that the mantra teaches that all religions are the same. He says:

    There you have it. The illumined sages of India have called the One Reality, the Ekam Evam Advityam Brahman, by the many names found in the Veda. Even though many names are used, the Reality spoken about in the Vedas is one. There is not a thought of "other" religions. The question of their validity or invalidity just does not come into this matter.

    Certainly there are parts of the Gita that affirm the validity of the various paths by which human beings seek God. But to quote these Vedic words in support of that view is simply indefensible. Satyam Eva Jayate!

    **********

    As Frank Morales states emphatically, only the Neo-Hindus attempt at the pathetic concept of 'Radical Universalism', at the cost of blissful ignorance of the destruction of their own religion and the unjustified identification of Brahman with the Absolutes of other religions. He says:

    • The primary reason why Radical Universalists claim that "all religions are the same" is due to the pretentious assumption that the various individual Absolutes toward which each religion aims is, unbeknownst to them all, really the same conceptual goal. In other words, the members of all other religions are also really seeking Brahman…they are just not intelligent enough to know it!

    • As every religion will vociferously affirm, however, they are not seeking Brahman. Brahman is not Allah; Allah is not Nirvana; Nirvana is not Kevala; Kevala is not polytheistic gods/goddesses; polytheistic gods/goddesses is not Yahweh; Yahweh is not the Ancestors; the Ancestors are not tree spirits, tree spirits are not Brahman.

    • When a religious Muslim tells us that he is worshipping Allah, and not Brahman, we need to take him seriously and respect his choice. When a Buddhist tells us that they want to achieve Nirvana, and not Brahman, we need to take his claim seriously and respect his decision; and so on.

    • To disrespectfully insist that all other religions are really just worshipping Brahman without knowing it, and to do so in the very name of respect and tolerance, is the very height of hypocrisy and intolerance.

    • The uncomplicated fact is that, regardless of how sincerely we may wish that all religions desired the same Absolute that we Hindus wish to achieve, other religions simply do not. They, and we, are attempting to climb categorically different mountains. We need to accept and live with this concrete theological fact.

    **********

    In the light of knowledge gained above, we need to check out the quotes from our Shruti, SmRti and the three Great Kali Yuga AchAryAs about the uniqueness and greatness of Hinduism, spread it and feel proud about it, instead of cringing and crooning to the supposed authority of the Abrahamic Religions.
    रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
    ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

    To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.

    --viShNu purANam

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    Re: Hindu Universalism

    Namaste,

    I think it is not fair having almost all members of this forum on one side & only two on the other ! I hope we will be able to cruise along safely !!

    We cannot deny that God is one & whether we call Him Allah, God, Ishwar, Brahman or whatever ... the Reality remains the same. Ramkrishna Paramhans proved that we all reach the same goal even if we adopt various different paths. He attained the Ultimate ont only through Hindu Path but also through Christian & Islam. So, I have no doubts on the validity of paths.

    However, Ramkrishna didn't follow each & every word written in Quran when he was practising Islam ... nor do the Sufis do ... similarly he didn't follow everything contained in the Bible while practising Christianity.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Hindu Universalism

    Quote Originally Posted by saidevo View Post
    In post #2 of this thread (which was the original OP), Satay has asked us to examine the presence or absence of teachings in our sacred scriptures as to the popular supposition that all religions speak of the same Truth. Let us start with the oft-(mis)quoted Vedic mantra 'ekam sad'.

    ekam sad viprA bahudhA vadanti--RV i.164.46

    • Even Swami Nirmalananda Giri of the Atmajyoti Ashram which is identified as part of the evangelical missionary of Christian Priests in Hindu disguise (check http://hamsa.org/ashram.htm), does not agree with the popular interpretation that the mantra teaches that all religions are the same. He says:
    namaste saidevoji,

    True. Not all things are same and not all religions same. But the substratum underlying all these different things is same. This understanding can occur in all things.

    As Frank Morales states emphatically,

    • As every religion will vociferously affirm, however, they are not seeking Brahman. Brahman is not Allah; Allah is not Nirvana; Nirvana is not Kevala; Kevala is not polytheistic gods/goddesses; polytheistic gods/goddesses is not Yahweh; Yahweh is not the Ancestors; the Ancestors are not tree spirits, tree spirits are not Brahman.
    Only partly true. Why is Dr. Morales not completing the idea? Brahman is a name to represent the Truth, apart from which nothing else exists. The truth is One means that the truth of the 'tree spirits' and 'the acestors' is the single Truth, which only IS and which is indivisible.

    24. Brahman is the oblation; Brahman is the melted butter (ghee); by Brahman is the oblation poured into the fire of Brahman; Brahman verily shall be reached by him who always sees Brahman in action.

    Not all can see Brahman in action, but born Hindus are eminently suited. At the same time not all mlecchas can be barred from seeing God acting in every process and thing, since truly it is God that constitutes the Heart everywhere, without exception.


    From Kanchi Paramacharya
    The Word of God

    We must not distrust the belief that the Vedas are not the work of mere mortals. Followers of other religions too ascribe divine origin to their scriptures. Jesus says that he merely repeats the words of God and, according to Muslims, the prophet speaks the words of Allah. What we call "apauruseya" is revealed text in their case. The word of the Lord has come through the agency of great men to constitute religious texts.

    ----"Each great man, like each great work, speaks about a particular system, a particular path. Which of these is to be followed? " such a question arises in the minds of people.
    Whatever system or path you follow, follow it with faith. Do not give it up midway. In the end it will lead you to the Paramatman. In the beginning the paths may seem different but all of them take you to the same goal.
    ---
    It is this spirit of catholicism that Englishmen exclaim: "Jevhovah, Jove or Lord!". Jehovah is the Semitic God of the region of Israel, the home of the Bible. Jove is another name of Jupiter. The word "Lord" applies to the God of any faith; it is common to all religions. Realised people in the West also speak that the one Being is the same, call him by any name you like.

    God is One.
    The sense of religious toleration is not a modern conception. It can be traced to very ancient times. The Kural proclaimed that all teachings referred only to one Porul or Object. Sri Sankara and Sri Sambandar saw the same God worshipped in the six systems to which they referred. Arhat, the name by which Jains call the Supreme Being, is a Vedic name identified with Siva. Other religions also speak of one God.

    All troubles in this world start only when attempts are made to wean away people from their native religion to convert them to a new faith, -----It is the duty of every person to follow the religion of his ancestors.
    Whether the seeker sees many conflicting varities or the One Truth is important. Whether one sees the antagonistic variety as also from the One Truth is important.

    I will request that Frank Morales should not be accorded more credence than Swami Vivekananda or Kanchi Seer. That is effectively killing the shining branches of Sanatana Dharma. What motivation Frank Morales and others, sitting in USA and other foreign countries, can have in indirectly indicating that sages of modern India are all NEOs and do not know the Vedas? This is very painful. This way we destroy all sages of modern India, who have rejuvenated Hinduism after a long dark hiatus.

    To avoid further confusion and potential animosity among friends, i will stop here.

    Regards

    Om Namah Shivaya
    Last edited by atanu; 21 December 2009 at 01:37 AM.
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

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    Re: Hindu Universalism

    namaste Atanu.

    I am rather disappointed with your stringing discrete quotes from KAnchi ParamAchArya as if he uttered them in a single context successively, as his endorsements of the identity of the Absolute as revealed in other religions to that of Brahman.

    Your quote under the caption 'The Word of God' is from the opening paragraph of chapter 11 of the same title under Part 5 titled 'The Vedas', of the compilation of his speeches about the 'Hindu Dharma'. To have an idea of the context of his words, we need to look at what goes before and after this chapter 11 (emphasis added):

    • In Chapter 1, the AchArya talks about the Basic Texts of Hinduism. He says that the followers of each religion has one book showing them "the way to their spiritual uplift. Such books are believed to enshrine the utterances and commandments of God conveyed through the founders of the respective faiths. For this reason they are called the revealed texts. We call the same "apauruseya". The AchArya goes on to say that the one sacred text of other religions is taught in their schools, and Hindus under the secular government of India, have no such facility, hence the common Hindu does not know much about the Vedas as the one authentic book of Hinduism.

    • In Chapter 2, the AchArya talks about the Dharma Shastras as the scriptures of common man's dharmic life.

    • In Chapter 3, he gives the names of 14 Hindu Texts that have the authority as the 4 Vedas, 6 VedAngas, MimAmsa, NyAya, PurANas and Dharma Shastras.

    • In Chapter 4, he says, "The fourteen branches of learning were taught in our country from the remote past until the inception of British rule."

    • In Chapter 5, he cites the four Vedas as the "first four of the pramanas (authoritative texts) of our religion and also the most important."

    • In Chapter 6, he makes an important comparison between the 'revealed texts' of other religions and the Vedas, with a view to prove that the Vedas "anAdi" and "it means that nothing existed before it." The AchArya says this in comparision of this eternity of the Vedas with the other 'revealed texts':

    "The Old Testament contains the sayings of several Prophets. The New Testament contains the story of Jesus Christ as well as his sermons. The Qu'ran incorporates the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed. The founders of such religions are historical personalities and their teachings did not exist before then. Are the Vedas similarly the work of one or more teachers?"

    • In Chapter 7, the AchArya reveals that the Vedas are eternal because they are "shabda pramANa" and that their mantras that are vibratory in nature were obtained by the Vedic Rishis by shruti--listening to the revelations (not thinking about them and composing).

    • In Chapter 8, the AchArya evaluates how the Western research of the Vedas failed to discover that "Our scriptures are meant to be a living reality of our speech and action"; with their limited and unsympathetic understanding the Western Indologists consigned the Vedas "to the libraries, in the form of books, (is) like keeping living animals in the museum instead of in the zoo."

    • In Chapter 9, the AchArya examines the absurdity of the Western claims as to the date of the Vedas.

    • In Chapter 10, the AchArya explains how the oral traidition of preserving the Vedas.

    • The Chapter 11 starts and ends with the AchArya's concern that some Hindus mistrust the notion that the Vedas are revealed (due to the Western scholarship he examined in detail in the earlier chapters) and that the Vedas can be preserved by oral tradition instead of writing them down. It is in this context that he says the words Atanu has quoted:

    "We must not distrust the belief that the Vedas are not the work of mere mortals."

    --this line only expresses the AchArya's concern for the ignorance of the Hindus about the eternity of their Vedas.

    "Followers of other religions too ascribe divine origin to their scriptures. Jesus says that he merely repeats the words of God and, according to Muslims, the prophet speaks the words of Allah. What we call "apauruseya" is revealed text in their case."

    --Obvriously, the AchArya only says that "Jesus says", "prophet speaks"; it is an error to say that by these words the AchArya 'admits' that the revelation of other scriptures is identical to that of the Vedas, specially when he earlier talked in detail about the 'shabda pramANa' nature of the Vedas.

    Chapter 11 ends with the AchArya's concern for the skeptical Hindus:

    "A professor told me that the Theory of Relativity occurred to Einstein in a flash, that he knew it intuitively. If we accept such claims, how can we dismiss the belief that Vedas are not the work of mortals, that they revealed themselves to the seers in their heart-space, seers who were inwardly pure?"

    • In Chapter 12, the AchArya explains how the 'shabda pramANa' nature of revelation of the Vedas is the knowledge of this 'shabda prapancha' and how even the Rishis were not revealed of all the shAkas--branches of the Vedas.

    **********

    Your second quote "Each great man, ... name you like." is from Chapter 11 titled 'Many paths to the One Goal' under Part 14 of the same name.

    After talking about the Oneness of Hindu gods in Chapter 10, the AchArya in Chapter 11, shows as to how there are 'Many paths to the One Goal'.

    In the beginning of this chapter the AchArya explains how each sect of Hinduism has either a devotional or a philosophical form of God as their deity. TirumUlar, on the other hand "he does not deal so much with God, devotion, etc, as he does with aspects of yoga like pranayama, dhyana, dharana and samadhi."

    It is after this line that the AchArya says:

    "Each great man, like each great work, speaks about a particular system, a particular path. Which of these is to be followed? " such a question arises in the minds of people. Whatever system or path you follow, follow it with faith. Do not give it up midway. In the end it will lead you to the Paramatman. In the beginning the paths may seem different but all of them take you to the same goal.

    The context is clearly an address to the Hindus and the paths he speaks about as rivers leading to the same ocean are not the paths of Abrahamic religions.

    Then he quotes a hymn from the "Sivamahimna-stotra": "Trayi(the three Vedas), Sankhya(philosophical inquiry), yoga, the Pasupata system, Vaisnavism- people follow any of them according to their different dispositions. Like the rivers merging in the ocean all these paths have one meeting point, the Paramatman."

    Thus the AchArya's earlier statement about rivers and ocean is only an echo of this statement about the Hindu paths.

    Then comes the passage that Atanu quotes (emphasis added):

    "It is this spirit of catholicism that Englishmen exclaim: "Jevhovah, Jove or Lord!". Jehovah is the Semitic God of the region of Israel, the home of the Bible. Jove is another name of Jupiter. The word "Lord" applies to the God of any faith; it is common to all religions. Realised people in the West also speak that the one Being is the same, call him by any name you like."

    AchArya's emphasis in this passage is that even Western religions have many names for their God, so why the Hindus should feel shy about having many names of God and worshipping them under different forms. He gives only an analogy, subtly implying that even the Western religions that speak of One God, speak about Him under many name; all he admits here is that the names of Western gods too are forms of Brahman--not that all those form are identical to Brahman, to each other or to the Hindu gods.

    Had KAnchi ParamAchArya really felt that the Gods of the Bible and Quran are identical with the NirguNa Brahman of the Vedas, or the SaguNa Brahman of the SmRtis, he would have certainly quoted passages from them. So let us not attempt to read out of context the words of a staunch disciple of Adi Shankara who debated and defeated the gurus of the other Indian religions to establish the supremacy of Hinduism.
    रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
    ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

    To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.

    --viShNu purANam

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