Do we all pray to the same God?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by mystic, May 10, 2017.

  1. mystic

    mystic New Member

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    Hello guys, I like seeing people of different faiths coming together to pray as I personally believe we are all God's children. I was christened as a child in the Presbyterian faith but since becoming born again 2 years ago I don;t belong to any denomination, I am strictly bible/scripture based.

    Of all the studies I have done so far, one main issue still confuses me. I have talked to Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Native Americans and Buddhists and still don't know if we pray to the one and same God?

    I like listening to other people's views and their beliefs so can anyone chime in here please? For the record, I had spoken to some Hindu philosophers who told me that no, Hindus do not pray to the same God as Christians [The God of Moses].
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    In Person, no. In principle, yes.
     
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  3. mystic

    mystic New Member

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    Thanks for the response Thomas but I am having a hard time understanding your answer, can you elaborate please?
     
  4. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai

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    Hello Mystic and welcome aboard. To answer your question, yes and no. There is but one God. So, in that sense we all pray to the same entity. However, there are many different cultural interpretations of this entity and manifestations thereof. Some real, some imagined. So, in that sense we pray to different Gods. I like the way Krishna puts it in Bhagavad Gita 9:23 "Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kunti, even though they do so in a wrong way.";)
     
  5. mystic

    mystic New Member

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    Thanks for the welcome and response. My dad is Christian and mom Hindu and a lot of close friends who are Muslim so I am always being surrounded by and caught between all three. In response to Krishna's statement, the Jewish God states not to worship any idols which most Hindus do so in the same way would not be worshipping him therefore not praying to him?
     
  6. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai

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    I'm a Christian myself and have been married to a Hindu woman for nearly 30 years. I have some Muslim acquaintances and quite a few close Jewish friends. The idea that Hindu's worship idols is a popular misconception. They do not. They worship the God or manifestation of God that a particular statue or photo represents. They are not worshiping the statue or photo itself. No golden calves here.

    To answer your question, from Krishna's standpoint, you don't have to directly worship him so long as you are worshiping in faith. He still hears your prayers.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
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  7. mystic

    mystic New Member

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    If that is the case, some of those pics are figures with multiple hands and deformed faces e.t.c, not understanding how that would represent God?
     
  8. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai

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    That's one of those cultural interpretations that's hard for a westerner to grasp. Myself included. In my wife's Hindu tradition and there are many besides hers, the multiple hands simply represent different aspects of God and the many attributes God possesses. Sort of like trying to depict the Holy Trinity into a single image. Suddenly God has multiple arms and more than one head.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hi mystic —
    I think NJ is making the same point I am.
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hi again —
    I totally agree with NJ.

    We in the Catholic Tradition get criticised for our apparent 'idolising' of the Blessed Virgin, or praying to statues, etc. We don't ... or we shouldn't, although at times it's difficult to discern between a simple devotion and idolatry.

    The Orthodox get criticised for all the icons on the iconostasis (the wall separating the altar from the body of the church), but icons are not, or should not be, objects of idolatry.

    And likewise the Hindus have their myriad representations of the Deity ... but all these, really, are just a means of focus.

    In the Moslem Tradition, representations of the Prophet are forbidden, but that place has been filled by calligraphy which performs the same function.

    But I refer back to my initial statement and NJ's. It's what's in the heart that matters.

    It's also a fact that most people, indeed dare I say 'normal people', are not much moved by intellectual ideas or abstract expressions. We need images, something we can 'see' in our heads and, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

    Hang around here long enough and you'll see I often refer to concepts such as 'the Absolute' or other metaphysical notions in discussions — these too can become 'idols' as much as any golden calf or other fetish object.

    When the Reformation came into force, the churches were stripped of their images and iconography. Statues, paintings, icons, altars, stained-glass windows, all were removed. All the 'sensible objects' taken away from the people. The result? An upsurge in witchcraft in the Protestant states.

    It wasn't really witchcraft. What happened was, having their 'symbols' taken away, the people resorted to a symbol set of old ... we need our symbols.
     
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  11. mystic

    mystic New Member

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    Yes guys, I can see the purpose of images. In my mind I vision God as being a man with grey hair and long beard, don't know why exactly but as you've stated some of us need an image to identify with.

    Ok so next issue for me, I know people who say they belong to multiple religions, for example my neighbor's kids are both Christian and Hindu, what's your thought's on this please, is this right in God's eyes?
     
  12. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai

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    Thomas and I have butted heads over this issue a few times on the forum. Him being of the more orthodox Christian teachings and me having been described as a Hindu devote of Christ. As I'm sure he will tell you though, each religion is sufficient in it's own right and combining them tends to take something away from each. While I somewhat agree with that, I see no harm in Hindus acknowledging Jesus or Christians acknowledging Krishna or the various manifestations thereof.

    If it is indeed true that both of these religions are viable and sufficient unto themselves, I do not see where God would have a problem with that.
     
  13. mystic

    mystic New Member

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    I myself am more Messianic so I put a lot of stock in both the Gospel and the OT and I am having more than enough struggles just dealing with or rather balancing both so belonging to and practicing 2 or more different religions is not something I would do or encourage.
     
  14. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai

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    Fair enough. It flat out doesn't work for everyone. I personally would neither encourage nor dissuade the practice. The hang up for a lot of people is the thinking that to acknowledge one is to deny the other. I just don't see it that way, but I guess I'm the exception rather than the rule. For me, Hindu teachings have made me a stronger Christian.
     
  15. mystic

    mystic New Member

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    For the kids of parents of different religions you run into issues that's very hard to deal with. As one example, I had this Rabbi I used to discuss with and had asked him one day about the consequences of part-taking in my my mom's Hindu prayers ceremonies and rituals. Rabbi said as a Christian that would be forbidden but my mom doesn't see it that way. I help her with the work involved, cleaning the house, helping with the food prep e.t.c but don't take part in any of the prayers and other ceremonious rituals.
     
  16. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    It isn't G!d who has trouble with this...but man.
     
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  17. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai

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    I was that way for a long time myself. I never took part, I just watched. Little by little though I started noticing parallels. I remember thinking to myself on one occasion, "Hey, we do that too." On another, "Hey, we have a story like that." Next thing you know, I'm holding the copper plate reciting the Lord's Prayer. Now almost 30 years later, there's a Mandir on our property with a photo of Jesus next to one of Krishna.o_O
     
  18. mystic

    mystic New Member

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    That's some story :). I think the ultimate issue for me is I had promised my mom before becoming born again that I would to whatever ritual will be needed whenever she passes. She said this would need to be done so she can get the proper send off into wherever she has to go. I don't know what I will do then when that happens.
     
  19. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I have been in many a Hindu temple with pictures of their gurus on the wall and one of the pictures is Jesus.
     
  20. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai

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    That's easy. Does our scripture not say to honor thy mother and thy father?
     

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