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Thread: Truth is One; Paths are Many

  1. #31
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    Re: Truth is One; Paths are Many

    Namaste Spirit Seeker,

    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit Seeker View Post
    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.
    — 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
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  2. #32
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    Re: Truth is One; Paths are Many

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    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
    Last edited by Necromancer; 23 January 2013 at 05:26 AM.

  3. #33
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    Re: Truth is One; Paths are Many

    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.
    Why are you unhappy? Because 99.9 per cent Of everything you think, And of everything you do, Is for yourself —And there isn't one

  4. #34
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    Re: Truth is One; Paths are Many

    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?
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

  5. #35
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    Re: Truth is One; Paths are Many

    Quote Originally Posted by Believer View Post
    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.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

  6. #36
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    Re: Truth is One; Paths are Many

    Namaste Jai,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jainarayan View Post
    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
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  7. #37
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    Re: Truth is One; Paths are Many

    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

  8. #38

    Re: Truth is One; Paths are Many

    Quote Originally Posted by Jainarayan View Post
    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

  9. #39
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    Re: Truth is One; Paths are Many

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