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Thread: Hallelujah Hindus!

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    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    Vannakkam NetiNeti: This may be true, but what are the reasons? For me personally, it is because of the confusion it causes. Not so much for adults who can see from some sort of higher advaitic level, and practice at the same time, but for the learners, the children.

    Example: Family is on the way to temple.

    Son: Appa, if all religions are the same, as you say, why do we have to drive 20 miles across town to be at the temple. Why can't we just go to the church across the street from home. I noticed a nice looking building closer too. I think its called a mosque. Why can't we go there? It's closer. I won't get so tired.

    What would you say to him?

    Which is it, heaven/hell, or reincarnation? Were animals put on the planet for us to eat like the Christians say, or is it ahimsa?

    What do we say? Son, its up to you to decide?

    I just think it is far less confusing to follow a path, a sampradaya. Kids are too smart and are able to figure things out so quickly. They cognize unclear thinking much faster than anyone might think. Then what happens? They go off into wanderland and begin to think religion of all sorts is just stupid.

    Aum Namasivaya
    You are right in that it is a confusing concept, but when it is finally understood it becomes a beautiful concept. Approaching the universal aspect of Vedanta is a more advanced theory but is key to the philosophy. Hinduism is, in my opinion, the greatest form of spiritual practice on the planet. But, as the Rig Veda says "Reality is one; Sages call it by different names". This illustrates that their are different paths. They may not be equal but they are valid. Vivekananda says that one is led from truth to truth, more specifically lower truth to higher truth. Our Dharma is the higher truth but not the only one. Ramakrishna says that those who practice other faiths with sincerity and love will enter the Mansion of Brahma-but it may be through the backdoor.

    A child or newcomer should stick to the worship of their Ishta-Deva and study of the scriptures. Vedatin Philosophy comes later. One must be steadfast in the Dharma to begin to study advanced concepts, it is like a high school science class delving into cosmological metaphysics. How can one study a black hole when they do not know of space?

    I'm not saying Hindus should worship Jesus or revere the Koran. I'm not even saying one should spend a second upon them if they do not want to. All I am saying is that one should not hate Christians or Muslims because they are filled with the same Atman as us. Some of them are very good people, good enough to please Brahma and therefore should not be judged.

    Christians are made by the same God as me. They eat meat and I do not. Once again, I follow a higher truth, I am not Christian, I am Hindu. There are vegetarian Christians and they follow a higher truth than the carnivorous ones. There are flesh eating Hindus. They believe in the same things I do and therefore are not "wrong", but they are not as advanced as a vegetarian.

    Some people say that by accepting universalism, one becomes less Hindu. I do not believe this to be true.
    May the Supreme Spirit illumine us!

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    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    Yes, confusion is the problem.

    *The vedas say, ekam sad, truth is one.

    *The bible says, there is one god and one way to reach him.

    Universalist will interpret both sayings as having the same meaning. But this neglects the fact that the Christian who wrote down his statement in the bible and all the subsequent Christians who followed those words, had a completely different idea in mind then what is meant in the vedas.

    Through the study of the bible and Christianity it's easy to conclude that it doesn't teach the same concepts and principles as the vedas. We do not have the right to tell the Christians what you are teaching is not really Christianity, you are misinterpretating the bible. The same thing holds true for Christians or Universalist who try to impose Christian values on the words of the vedas and upanishads. It is possible that Christianity, with all its flaws, inspires someone to become a better person. We should not deny that. Atheism, humanism, socialism, feminism are all philosophies that can inspire someone to become a better person, to perform better karmas. That doesn't make those philosophies part of Hinduism.

    What the Hindu scriptures teach is that yes, we are all worshipping the same truth, but the other religions are doing it by the wrong method. They will not reach the ultimate, but they will reach whatever they are worshipping. This means that they might reach the world of ghosts or be born again as a Christian, because Christianity was on their mind. Whatever is on your mind at the moment of your last breath will determine your next birth. These are the teachings off the Bhagavad Gita. Some might say, they will be born again as Hindus. No, not if they do not have the merits to be born as Hindu nor if they remembered Jesus before they died. Eventually, they will be born as Hindus, but don't be suprised if a devout and pious Christian has to go through 640.000 lifeforms, before being born as a human being again. Hindu swamis who chant church songs in temples are also at risk to for being born again as a Christian. Because of their prarabhda karma, they may become Hindu again very soon, svalpamapyasya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayaat, but you can see that accepting Christ is only a hinderance in the path of a Hindu.

    Someone might say, what is the harm in letting Christian doctrines and Christian saints and mesiah enter Hinduism? All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. There is one reason when worshipping Jesus as an avatara wouldn't cause any confliction, that is if you believe the Hindu gods are fictional characters. If that's what you believe, then adding more fictional characters to the pantheon is no big deal. Some people may interpret the gods in that way, but this is not what the Hindu scriptures teach. This is also not the vedanta of Shankara, Ramanuja or other acharyas. Universalist will say that Hinduism is a syncretic religion that has added god upon god, concept upon concept from culture upon culture to result in what is now known as Hinduism. This view is unacceptable for anyone who takes Hindu Dharma seriously. Hinduism has been revealed integrally by our rishis, not fragmentally. Confusion arises, because darshana shastras or philosophy zooms in and specialises in on one of the aspects of Hinduism, but what is forgotten is that this ascept that is studied in the darshanas was already an integral part of Hinduism. This is evident from our scriptures like the Vedas, puranas and the itihasas. Yes, if you already believe that the Hindu Gods are man made lullabies to put us to sleep at night, then you can add Jesus to the pantheon. Otherwise, there's an incongruency.


    I'm not saying Hindus should worship Jesus or revere the Koran. I'm not even saying one should spend a second upon them if they do not want to. All I am saying is that one should not hate Christians or Muslims because they are filled with the same Atman as us. Some of them are very good people, good enough to please Brahma and therefore should not be judged.


    Yes, absolutely. We should not hate on Christians, they are atmans indeed. The point though is that we also do not have to mingle Christianity with Hinduism to please the Christians. We do not hate them nor do we please them. They have the freedom to believe in their religion and we have no right to deny that, but we have to protect our veda dharma very carefully against Christian influences.
    Last edited by Sahasranama; 15 October 2010 at 08:42 PM.

  3. #13
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    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahasranama View Post
    Yes, confusion is the problem.

    *The vedas say, ekam sad, truth is one.

    *The bible says, there is one god and one way to reach him.

    Universalist will interpret both sayings as having the same meaning. But this neglects the fact that the Christian who wrote down his statement in the bible and all the subsequent Christians who followed those words, had a completely different idea in mind then what the rishis had realised through the vedic mantras.

    Through the study of the bible and Christianity it's easy to conclude that it doesn't teach the same concepts and principles as the vedas. We do not have the right to tell the Christians what you are teaching is not really Christianity, you are misinterpretating the bible. The same thing holds true for Christians or Universalist who try to impose Christian values on the words of the vedas and upanishads.

    What the Hindu scriptures teach is that yes, we are all worshipping the same truth, but the other religions are doing it by the wrong method. They will not reach the ultimate, but they will reach whatever they are worshipping. This means that they might reach the world of ghosts or be born again as a Christian, because Christianity was on their mind. Whatever is on your mind at the moment of your last breath will determine your next birth. These are the teachings off the Bhagavad Gita. Some might say, they will be born again as Hindus. No, not if they do not have the merits to be born as Hindu nor if they remembered Jesus before they died.

    It is possible that Christianity, with all its flaws, inspires someone to become a better person. We should not deny that. Atheism, humanism, socialism, feminism are all philosophies that can inspire someone to become a better person, to perform better karmas. That doesn't make those philosophies part of Hinduism.

    Someone might say, what is the harm in letting Christian doctrines and Christian saints and mesiah enter Hinduism? There is one reason when this wouldn't cause any confliction, that is if you believe the Hindu gods are all fictional characters, adding more fictional characters to the pantheon is no big deal. This is not the vedanta of Hinduism or the vedanta of Shankara or Ramanuja and other acharyas. Universalist will say that Hinduism is a syncretic religion that has added god upon god, concept upon concept from culture upon culture to result in what is now known as Hinduism. This view is unacceptable for anyone who takes Hindu Dharma seriously. Yes, if you already believe that the Hindu Gods are man made lullabies to put us to sleep at night, then you can add Jesus to the pantheon. Otherwise, there's a incongruency.


    Namaste Sahasranama,

    This is a very good explanation. This is what I mean by lower truths and higher truths. Christianity has some truth in it, such as charity and kindness. I hope that when they pass away they keep truthful ideals such as this on their mind instead of the idea of Christianity as a whole.

    I do not try and delude Christianity with my own Hindu ideals and try to persuade others not to. Christians believe in heaven and hell and if they say otherwise, they are not Christians, just like a Hindu not believing in reincarnation. Christians do believe in loving their neighbor, so it it is ok for me to say that is a shared belief with Hindus. My hope is that a Christian can, through the truths in their faith, rise above the hatred Christianity can spew and love the formless God. It would be a lot of work, and belonging to the Dharma is easier, but I am sure it has happened before. Ramakrishna says it is good to be born in a church but bad to die in one.This means that one should, through the truths in his faith, love the formless God and transcend all earthly labels and religions. This applies to all faiths, including Hinduism.
    May the Supreme Spirit illumine us!

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    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    My hope is that a Christian can, through the truths in their faith, rise above the hatred Christianity can spew and love the formless God.

    That is what you might want from the Christians, but that is not really what Christianity teaches. This is what is meant with imposing your own belief on someone else's. If you are truly tolerant, you should be tolerant of the fact that Christians do not worship God in the same light as we do as Hindus.

    .This means that one should, through the truths in his faith, love the formless God and transcend all earthly labels and religions. This applies to all faiths, including Hinduism.


    Even Shankaracharya followed the injuction of the vedas and therefore worshipped the vedic and pauranik gods which he regarded as manifestations of brahman and not some fictional character from other religions. We are talking about different things here. One nirguna brahma, second saguna brahma (according Shankara these are Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesha, Devi, Surya and Kartikeya) and thirdly, there are fictional characters known as Moses, Jesus, Abraham, Harry Potter.

    Last edited by Sahasranama; 15 October 2010 at 09:00 PM.

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    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahasranama View Post

    That is what you might want from the Christians, but that is not really what Christianity teaches. This is what is meant with imposing your own belief on someone else's.
    I see your point but I feel the issue here is more linguistic. I do not "impose" this upon Christians because I do not say this is their goal or tell them it should be. I was only stating my wish which is personal and shared on a Hindu Dharma forum. I never stated that Christians believe in an impersonal, all pervading God. I only tried to show an example in which they could elevate to a higher truth.

    Imposing my beliefs on Christianity would be something like twisting the words of Jesus to make it sound like he promoted Vegetarianism or Ahimsa.
    May the Supreme Spirit illumine us!

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    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    Imposing my beliefs on Christianity would be something like twisting the words of Jesus to make it sound like he promoted Vegetarianism or Ahimsa.
    That's true, you have not done that, it's merely wishful thinking. Next time though when you read a book on Hinduism written in the last 150 years, by any swami whose name ends in ...ananda, try to spot the words where Christian values are imposed on Hindu Dharma and vice versa.

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    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahasranama View Post
    That's true, you have not done that, but next time you read an book on Hinduism written in the last 150 years, by any swami whose name ends in ...ananda, try to spot the words where Christian values are imposed on Hindu Dharma and vice versa.
    Please elaborate upon this statement.

    Also, I do not advocate Hindus worshiping what you call "fictional characters". I believe Hinduism to be the highest truth and there is no reason to stray from it.
    May the Supreme Spirit illumine us!

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    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    I would have to go through the books which would take a lot of time. It's just a suggestion, something you can look out for the next time you read a book.


    Also, I do not advocate Hindus worshiping what you call "fictional characters". I believe Hinduism to be the highest truth and there is no reason to stray from it.
    I wasn't talking about you personally, but about any Hindu who will worship Jesus alongside the Hindu gods.

    There are a few reasons to do that:

    *Believe both are equally false, but the worship gives you some emotional value
    *Believe that both are equally right, that Jesus is as much of an incarnation as Krishna. This is pure fantasy which will lead to all sorts of contradictions.
    *Worship one as the truth, regard the other as false, but still worship the other for manipulative reason, like trying to sell your philosophy or for trying to convert, trying to keep peace or for emotional support

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    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    I'll have to read this article in depth later, but I remember seeing the "Christ the Yogi" image several years ago during the Christmas season. For what it's worth, Christ the Yogi annoys the evangelicals about as much as it annoys those of us who take our Hinduism seriously.

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    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    Quote Originally Posted by sanjaya View Post
    I'll have to read this article in depth later, but I remember seeing the "Christ the Yogi" image several years ago during the Christmas season. For what it's worth, Christ the Yogi annoys the evangelicals about as much as it annoys those of us who take our Hinduism seriously.
    Yeah. He didn't do yoga and he didn't travel to India (or if he did he did not pick up the Dharma).
    May the Supreme Spirit illumine us!

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