"Salvation" and "Enlightenment"

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RJM

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Can there be a civilization that does not decline ? I think not.
Can a nation pass from barbarism to decline, with hardly an intervening period of civilization, in a little over 200 yrs?
 

Cino

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Not really .. the Bible is not based on folklore.

Well, Jesus is reported as battling demons and administering miracle medicines, for example, and stories analogous to Moses in the reed basket are ubiquitous in other traditions. The accounts in Genesis are strikingly similar to Sumerian and Akkadian accounts of creation and of the great flood. The Song of Songs shares a lot with Babylonian temple hymns. Zoroastrianism was an influence on Exile Jewish thought.

But Christianity is not just the Biblical text, but also the traditions around it, which blend into folklore. Christmas and easter celebrations with Trees and chocolate eggs? Santa Claus? Halloween? Saints who "are good" for certain situations?

Certainly not! The Qur'an is claimed to be "the words of G-d" that were put into the heart/mouth of Muhammad, peace be with him.
It is also not an ancient text. It is only ~1500 years old, which is relatively modern, with reliable historical account.

Is there no folk Islam? Aren't there stories, tales, practices, gestures? Arent the tombs of certain saintly sheikhs held in high esteem? Don't these customs reach back to times before Islam in some cases? It would surprise me if it weren't so.
 

muhammad_isa

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Well, Jesus is reported as battling demons and administering miracle medicines, for example..

Fine .. are the reports genuine? Most of them are, imo.

..But Christianity is not just the Biblical text, but also the traditions around it, which blend into folklore.

Yes .. the same could be said for any religion.
There are 100's of sects in Abrahamic faith .. much of it is cultural.
We are comparing the Vedas and Qur'an, I believe ..

If you don't believe anything, then its all the same. If you seek truth, the spiritual journey could take you through many religions/sects along the way. Hopefully, we continue to gain wisdom about the universe that we live in.
The Qur'an confirms the Bible and is relatively recent. It is the second largest faith worldwide. Currently, It is also has the most converts, despite its "bad name" for political reasons.
The Vedas is an ancient text with no historical reliability. Why would G-d leave us in darkness, if He indeed exists?
 

Bhaktajan II

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The Vedas is an ancient text with no historical reliability.
muhammad_isa, that is a silly statement. It is un-broken history that was sought by all the known world since long before western Abrahamic eras.

You have been in the material world since time immemorial.
As a devote Muslim you may have been a Muslim birth after birth for 1400 years
---and still you have no data on the Vedas.
DYK, that the numerals used in western mathematics are the Sanskrit numerals?

The last world empire of the ancient world was located in Bharata-varsha.
The capitol was named Hastinapura.

Here is a depiction of the Royal Dynasty of those ancient days:

587329-mahabharata.jpg
 

Bhaktajan II

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Let's go to the 15th century for the Avatara of this epoch!

Shree Krishna Chaitanya Maha-prabhu
(18 February 1486 – 14 June 1534),
was a Bengali Hindumystic, saint, and the chief proponent of the Achintya Bheda Abheda and Gaudiya Vaishnavism tradition within Hinduism. He also expounded the Vaishnava school of Bhakti yoga (meaning loving devotion to God), based on Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita.
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Chaitanya (Bengali: চৈতন্য) means '"consciousness"; Maha means "Great" and Prabhu means "Lord" or "Master".

Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna in the mood of a devotee. Caitanya Mahaprabhu popularised the chanting of the chanting of the 'Hare Krishna' (the maha-mantra) and composed the Siksastakam (eight devotional prayers) in Sanskrit. His followers,Gaudiya Vaishnavas, revere him as a Krishna with the mood and complexion of his source of inspiration Radha.
Chaitanya journeyed throughout the length and breadth of India for several years, chanting the divine Names of Krishna constantly 'Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare // Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare' (the maha-mantra).

He spent the last 24 years of his life in Puri, Odisha,[13] the great temple city of Jagannath in the Radhakanta Math. The Gajapati king, Prataprudra Dev, regarded Chaitanya as Krishna's avatar and was an enthusiastic patron and devotee of Chaitanya's sankeertan gatherings.[14] It was during these years that Chaitanya is believed by his followers to have sunk deep into various Divine-Love (samādhi) and performed pastimes of divine ecstasy (bhakti).

Vrindavan, the land of Radha Rani, the “City of Temples” has more than 5000 temples to showcase the pastimes of Radha and Krishna, including temples as old as 5500 years.[citation needed] The essence of Vrindavan was lost over time until the 16th century, when it was rediscovered by Chaitanya. In the year 1515, Chaitanya visited Vrindavana, with the purpose of locating the lost holy places associated with Lord Sri Krishna's transcendent pastimes. He wandered through the different sacred forests of Vrindavana in a spiritual trance of divine love. It was believed that by His divine spiritual power, he was able to locate all the important places of Krishna's pastimes in and around Vrindavan including the seven main temples or sapta devalay, which are worshiped by Vaishnavas in the Chaitanya tradition to this day.

There are numerous biographies available from the time giving details of Chaitanya's life, the most prominent ones being the Chaitanya Charitamrita ofKrishnadasa Kaviraja, the earlier Chaitanya Bhagavata of Vrindavana Dasa[27] (both originally written in Bengali but now widely available in English and other languages), and the Chaitanya Mangala, written by "Lochana Dasa".

According to the hagiographies of 16th-century authors, he exhibited his Universal Form identical to that of Krishna on a number of occasions, Gaudiya Vaishnavas consider Chaitanya to be Lord Krishna himself, but appearing in covered form (channa avatar).

Chaitanya has left one written record in Sanskrit called Siksastakam (though, in Vaishnava Padavali it is said: "Chaitanya himself wrote many songs on the Radha-Krishna theme").

Chaitanya's epistemological, theological and ontological teachings are summarized as ten root principles called (dasa mula).[33]

  1. The statements of amnaya (scripture) are the chief proof. By these statements the following nine topics are taught.
  2. Krishna is the Supreme Absolute Truth.
  3. Krishna is endowed with all energies.
  4. Krishna is the source of all rasa- flavor, quality, or spiritual rapture/emotions.[34]
  5. The jivas (individual souls) are all separated parts of the Lord.
  6. In bound state the jivas are under the influence of matter, due to their tatastha nature.
  7. In the liberated state the jivas are free from the influence of matter.
  8. The jivas and the material world are both different from and identical to the Lord.
  9. Pure devotion is the only way to attain liberation.
  10. Pure love of Krishna is the ultimate goal.
Chaitanya is not known to have written anything himself except for a series of verses known as the Siksastaka, or "eight verses of instruction",[35] which he had spoken, and were recorded by one of his close colleagues. The eight verses created by Chaitanya are considered to contain the complete philosophy of Gaudiya Vaishnavism in condensed form.

In the early 17th century Kalachand Vidyalankar, a disciple of Chaitanya, made his preachings popular in Bengal. He traveled throughout India popularizing the gospel of anti-untouchability, social justice and mass education. He probably initiated 'Pankti Bhojon' and Krishna sankirtan in eastern part of Bengal. Several schools (sampradaya) have been practicing it for hundreds of years. Geetashree Chabi Bandyopadhyay and Radharani Devi are among many who achieved fame by singing kirtan. The Dalits in Bengal at that time neglected and underprivileged cast readily accepted his libertarian outlook and embraced the doctrine of Mahaprabhu. His disciples were known as Kalachandi Sampraday who inspired the people to eradicate illiteracy and casteism. Many consider Kalachand as the Father of Rationalism in East Bengal (Purba Banga).

From the very beginning of Chaitanya's bhakti movement in Bengal, Muslims and Hindus by birth, were participants.

In the 20th century the teachings of Chaitanya were brought to the West by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977), a representative of the Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati branch of Chaitanya's tradition. Prabhupada founded his movement known as The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) to spread Chaitanya's teachings throughout the world.

Chaitanya's influence on the cultural legacy in Bengal and Odisha has been significant,[citation needed] with many residents performing daily worship to him as an avatar of Krishna. Some attribute to him a Renaissance in Bengal,[43] different from the more well known 19th-century Bengal Renaissance. Salimullah Khan (b. 1958), a noted Bangladeshi linguist, maintains, "Sixteenth century is the time of Chaitanya Dev, and it is the beginning of Modernism in Bengal. The concept of 'humanity' that came into fruition is contemporaneous with that of Europe".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaitanya_Mahaprabhu

1024px-Chaitanya_sankirtan.jpg
 
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Cino

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Fine .. are the reports genuine? Most of them are, imo.
If you say they are genuine reports, of Jesus engaging in folklore and folk religious practices, then your strong assertion that the Bible is free of folklore is even more strange to me.

But maybe you don't think that word means what I think it means.

If you don't believe anything, then its all the same. If you seek truth, the spiritual journey could take you through many religions/sects along the way. Hopefully, we continue to gain wisdom about the universe that we live in.

I am atheist, not nihilist. I believe in all kinds of things, but my spiritual journey has not led me to a belief in what religions would present as God. Go ahead and open a thread in the atheism section to explore what atheists believe, if you are interested. I'll be there!

The Qur'an confirms the Bible and is relatively recent. It is the second largest faith worldwide. Currently, It is also has the most converts, despite its "bad name" for political reasons.
The Vedas is an ancient text with no historical reliability. Why would G-d leave us in darkness, if He indeed exists?

Hinduism did not stop to develop with the Vedas, just as Abrahamic religions did not stop with the account of the Gods making mankind out of clay.

If numbers are important, why did the companions abandon the numerically superior faiths of their times?

If the novelty of the text is important, why rule out more recent Abrahamic revelations like the Sikh or Baha'i ones?

Your singling out Hinduism and trying to give it a "bad name" is a bit of a breach of etiquette on an interfaith forum, as various people here have tried to tell you, don't you think?
 

muhammad_isa

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If you say they are genuine reports, of Jesus engaging in folklore and folk religious practices, then your strong assertion that the Bible is free of folklore is even more strange to me.

Your saying that Jesus engaged in "folklore" is just your saying.
The Bible comprises of old and new testament.

The Vedas is a bit like the old testament, and as we go back in time it becomes more difficult to establish authenticity.
The only mechanism that Jews and Hindus have for their faith is their belief that it is accurate.
I'm not saying that the root of Judaism and Hinduism are not based on truth .. I'm saying that they are not reliable and have been corrupted over time.

Your singling out Hinduism and trying to give it a "bad name" is a bit of a breach of etiquette on an interfaith forum, as various people here have tried to tell you, don't you think?

I'm not doing any such thing!
It just so happens that I am replying to a Hindu poster .. no singling out :rolleyes:
 

Cino

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Take a minute, read back how this discussion developed.
 
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CobblersApprentice

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My observation is that most look upon their own faith with different eyes than they look at others. The reasons for doing this are diverse.

Various levels of judgement, slight adjustment of ultimate criteria.

Eagle eyes become eyes of faith as the "scope" adjusts between "I" and "thine".
 

muhammad_isa

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..Eagle eyes become eyes of faith as the "scope" adjusts between "I" and "thine".

..as I say, life is a spiritual journey. We can get stuck in a rut.
There are various reasons for this, as you say.

As an example, imagine Jesus, peace be with him, came back to this world tomorrow.
Over the next few weeks/months, we have to decide if he is genuine.
Some people will believe, and some people won't .. and there we have it :)
 
C

CobblersApprentice

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Some people will believe, and some people won't .. and there we have it :)

The parable of the sheep and the goats is instructive.

"Not all those who cry Lord, Lord! " etc etc

And the implied surprise of those who had indeed "praised the Lord" without knowing it. I love that element of surprise! Not feigned. It speaks volumes.
 
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CobblersApprentice

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Just on the edges of my mind, something from the old Thomas Merton thread, the "beautiful paradox", post 25 on that thread.

Relevant here:- "The Shakers remain as witnesses to the fact that only humility keeps man in communion with truth, and first of all with his own inner truth. This one must know without knowing it, as they did. For as soon as a man becomes aware of "his truth" he lets go of it and embraces an illusion. "

(But as Merton says elsewhere, we can never be humble enough)
 

A Cup Of Tea

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What do you mean by "a true religion"?
"True Religion" may very well be the wrong term here, it is they way I read your posts.
Why is it that people all over the world have become Muslims and Christians?
Why is it that Sikhism and Hinduism haven't become internationally acknowledged as being "the truth"?
Interesting point .. I assume that religions that don't encourage people towards "the truth" are not then concerned about the plight of others
It is what it is .. as I say, people often prefer to follow folklore rather than seek truth.
These three posts points to your value of "the truth". Always a problematic concept in my eyes which is often spoken of in the most diffuse way.
You also separate Muslims and Christians from Sikhism and Hinduism, where the former religions are "the truth" while latter is not. Acknowledged by themselves I'm guessing, while I'm sure Sikhs and Hindu acknowledge themselves the same way. Whether it is measured geographically, numerically or loudest is besides the point for me.
My assumption was 'truth = true religion' but my own analysis isn't as relevant here as yours.
While it is natural to assume ones own beliefs are truer than others, stating 'my religion is better than yours' is generally avoided here since it doesn't really lead anywhere. Stating that religions contain less truth or are less inclined to truth is a really stinky way to express yourself in this context. And doing it in such a manner-of-fact way as if the other posters here would unquestioningly agree with that statement. Which of course a lot of non-muslim and non-christian don't. I'm sure even a few Christians and Muslims would reject such a statement.

So, there it is. Not trying to pick a fight with you, we just occupy different parts of a spectrum, and we will hopefully disagree with each other for many years to come.
 

Bhaktajan II

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Why is it that Sikhism and Hinduism haven't become internationally acknowledged as being "the truth"?
After the Greeks, Huns, Tatars, Monghol, Moghals, Ottoman, British and having lost half their land mass while celebrating Independence for the past 72 years, they're getting round to it in Indian-Standard Time.
 
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Bhaktajan II

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You heard this from me:
If you read the oldest known literary Epic book on earth, the Mahabharata [Great-Bharata]...

It immediately becomes evident that it filled with the most Haughty Macho Righteous Type-A martial arts masters.

Especially spectacularly acted in Bollywood videos. Good luck they all got English sub-titles ---soon those videos will be Hong Kong Cinema quality!
 

Bhaktajan II

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How about the Ancients of Europe, the Greeks and Romans? lots of scripture, still very influential. Separate family.

And the Chinese Classics? Another independent tradition.

Just before Kali-yuga began 3120 BCE the Vedic scriptures were put into writing for the first time --for before then, such scriptural knowledge was "Perfectly Remembered" by anyone. Folks had finer mental acumen.

The literary Incarnation of God, the sage known as Vyasadeva was the scribe.

1st he put into writing the 4-Vedas [Rg, sama, yajur etc]
2nd he wrote the Vedanta-sutra [commentary of the Vedas]
3rd he wrote the Upanishads [expositions on the impersonal creation etc]
4th he wrote the Puranas [Histories of the cosmos et al]
5th he wrote the Mahabharata [contains the Bhagavad-gita chapters]
6th he wrote the Bhagavata-purana.

A Divisions of the Vedas:
1114
 
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