Salvation and Belief

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by muhammad_isa, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

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    Does not idolatry = to have God as discernible? [see with one's eyes]
    I am not in the buying and selling antiques field FYI.

    I meant that a false god idol [aka trinkets etal] embued by whomever with whatever pastiche they choose ie:
    an MS 13 Gang member explains Santa Muerto cigar & tequila offerings
    ---there's an idol and it's in the likeness of "whomever with whatever purpose" is a contrivance.

    But there is ye ol
    There's the roof,
    Here's the steeple,
    open the door,
    and there's the people
     
  2. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

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    The Transcendental Loving Attitude

    “By Me, in My un-manifested form,
    this entire universe is pervaded.
    All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.

    And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me.
    Behold My mystic opulence!
    Although I am the maintainer of all living entities and
    although I am everywhere,

    I am not a part of this cosmic manifestation,
    for My Self
    is the very source of creation.

    Understand that as the mighty wind,
    blowing everywhere,
    rests always in the sky,
    all created beings rest in Me.”


    From the Gita [Chap 9 verse 4 to 6]
    Translated from the Sanskrit by
    A.C. Bhakti-vedanta Swami (1896-1977).

    The following purport of the above verses are
    by A.C. Bhakti-vedanta Swami:

    The Supreme Personality of Godhead is not perceivable
    through the gross material senses. It is said, Lord Shree Krishna’s
    name, fame, pastimes, etc., cannot be understood by material
    senses. Only to one who is engaged in pure devotional service
    under proper guidance is He revealed.

    In the Brahma-samhitaa (5.38) it is stated,
    prema-aïjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilo-chanena
    santah sadaiva hrida-yeshu viloka-yanti …
    one can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
    Govinda, always within himself and outside himself if
    one has developed the transcendental loving
    attitude towards Him.

    Thus for people in general He is not visible.
    Here it is said that although He is all-pervading,
    everywhere present, He is not conceivable by the material
    senses. This is indicated here by the word avyakta-moortinaa.

    But actually, although we cannot see Him, everything is resting
    in Him. As we have discussed in the Seventh Chapter, the
    entire material cosmic manifestation is only a combination
    of His two different energies—the superior, spiritual energy
    and the inferior, material energy. Just as the sunshine is spread
    all over the universe, the energy of the Lord is spread all over
    the creation, and everything is resting in that energy.

    Yet one should not conclude that because He is spread all over
    He has lost His personal existence. To refute such an argument
    the Lord says, “I am everywhere, and everything is in Me, but
    still I am aloof.” For example, a king heads a government which
    is but the manifestation of the king’s energy; the different
    governmental departments are nothing but the energies of the king,
    and each department is resting on the king’s power. But still
    one cannot expect the king to be present in every department
    personally. That is a crude example.

    Similarly, all the manifestationsthat we see and everything that
    exists, both in this material world and in the spiritual world,
    are resting on the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
    The creation takes place by the diffusion of His different energies,
    and, as stated in the Bhagavad-geetaa:
    vishta-bhya-aham idam kritsnam

    He is everywhere present by His personal representation,
    the diffusion of His different energies.

    The Lord says that everything is resting on Him (mat-sthaani
    sarva-bhootaani). This should not be misunderstood. The Lord is not
    directly concerned with the maintenance and sustenance of this
    material manifestation.

    Sometimes we see a picture of Atlas holding the globe on his
    shoulders; he seems to be very tired, holding this great earthly
    planet. Such an image should not be entertained in connection with
    Krishna’s upholding this created universe. He says that although
    everything is resting on Him, He is aloof. The planetary systems
    are floating in space, and this space is the energy of the Supreme
    Lord. But He is different from space. He is differently situated.

    Therefore the Lord says, “Although they are situated on My
    inconceivable energy, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead

    I am aloof from them.” This is the inconceivable opulence of the Lord.

    In the Nirukti Vedic dictionary it is said,
    yuj-yate nena dur-ghate-shu kaarye-shu …

    “The Supreme Lord is performing inconceivably wonderful
    pastimes, displaying His energy.”
    His person is full of different potent energies, and
    His determination is itself actual fact.
    In this way the Personality of Godhead is to be understood.
    We may think of doing something, but there are so many
    impediments, and sometimes it is not possible to do as we like.

    But when Krishna wants to do something, simply by His willing,
    everything is performed so perfectly that one cannot imagine
    how it is being done. The Lord explains this fact: although He
    is the maintainer and sustainer of the entire material manifestation,

    He does not touch this material manifestation. Simply by His
    supreme will, everything is created, everything is sustained,
    everything is maintained, and everything is annihilated. There is
    no difference between His mind and Himself (as there is a
    difference between ourselves and our present material mind)
    because He is absolute spirit. Simultaneously the Lord is present
    in everything; yet the common man cannot understand how He
    is also present personally. He is different from this material
    manifestation, yet everything is resting on Him. This is explained
    here as yogam aish-varam, the mystic power of the Supreme
    Personality of Godhead.

    For the ordinary person it is almost inconceivable how the
    huge material creation is resting in Him. But the Lord is giving
    an example which may help us to understand. The sky may be
    the biggest manifestation we can conceive. And in that sky the
    wind or air is the biggest manifestation in the cosmic world.

    The movement of the air influences the movements of everything.
    But although the wind is great, it is still situated within the sky;
    the wind is not beyond the sky. Similarly, all the wonderful
    cosmic manifestations are existing by the supreme will of God,
    and all of them are subordinate to that supreme will. As we
    generally say, not a blade of grass moves without the will of the
    Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus everything is moving
    under His will: by His will everything is being created,
    everything is being maintained, and everything is being
    annihilated. Still He is aloof from everything, as the sky is
    always aloof from the activities of the wind.

    In the Upanishads it is stated, yad-bheeshaa vaatah pavate
    “It is out of the fear of the Supreme Lord that the wind is blowing.”
    (Taittireeya Upanishad 2.8.1)

    In the Bhriad-aaran-yaka Upanishad (3.8.9) it is stated,
    etasya vaa aksharasya prashaasane gaargi soorya-chandra-masau
    vidhritau tishthata etasya vaa aksh-arasya prasha-asane gaargi
    dyaav-aaphthivyau vidhri-tau tishtha-tah.

    “By the supreme order, under the superintendence of the
    Supreme Personality of Godhead, the moon, the sun, and the
    other great planets are moving.”

    In the Brahma-samhitaa (5.52) also it is stated,
    yac-cakshur esha savitaa sakala-grahaaëaam
    raajaa samasta-sura-moortir ashesha-tejaah
    yasyaajïayaa bhramati sambhrita-kaala-cakro
    govindam aadi-purusham tam aham bhajaami

    This is a description of the movement of the sun. It is said
    that the sun is considered to be one of the eyes of the
    Supreme Lord and that it has immense potency to diffuse
    heat and light. Still it is moving in its prescribed orbit by
    the order and the supreme will of Govinda. So, from the
    Vedic literature we can find evidence that this material
    manifestation, which appears to us to be very wonderful
    and great, is under the complete control of the Supreme
    Personality of Godhead. This will be further explained in
    the later verses of this chapter.
     
  3. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    "It is said that" seems to be a favourite Asian phrase. I hear it in the Muslim Asian community quite often :)
    Never has impressed me .. it holds no authority.

    Anybody could have said it, for any reason :)
     
  4. In my eyes you are being disingenuous. Deliberately so, knowingly so.
     
  5. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    I'm still in the process of studying duality in Islam, but I believe it also resolves the issue of duality too. Here I'll quote the approach of the sixth Imam - Ja'far al-Sadiq:

    "Servitude [yielding and receptivity, mirror, diversity, essence, yin, manifestation, microcosm, subjectivity] is a jewel whose ultimate reality is lordship [acting and activity, light, unity, existence, yang, realization, macrocosm, objectivity]. So what is missing in servitude is found in lordship; what is hidden in lordship is attained in servitude."​

    Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i has apparently produced some heavy commentary on this quote in order to resolve issues of duality. Anyway, here's what one author says about his application of the above thought process:

    Kinda interesting.
     
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  6. And to me it seems that you are content to give your own pass mark to one particular "revelation" and then consider "righteousness" to be following the instructions to the letter. Good luck.

    It does seem barely credible to me that having had what you have called a Christian upbringing and education, that you have then actually molded yourself upon the NT version of the Pharisee. No offence meant. But you choose Law over Mercy and Grace.

    But fear not. Amida is there to pick up the pieces. As Shinran observed so profoundly:-

    Even the good person attains birth in the Pure Land, how much moreso the evil person
     
  7. Thank you for posting this. Beyond me in many ways, and one Dogen (or his ilk) is enough for me. But good to know that the "pursuit" of clarity can be found in all Faiths
     
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  8. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    By the way, for anybody looking for more, I highly recommend a paper called "The Cosmological Journey of Neo: An Islamic Matrix." It compares Shaykh Ahmad's philosophy to the philosophy behind a famous science fiction movie: The Matrix. Pretty interesting discussion about choice and determinism there.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  9. It seems we are "in the dark" if we do not subscribe to an authorised declaration of an incomprehensible Deity, wholly other, who nevertheless deems to give voice to a set of commandments that we must follow to become, in His eyes, righteous. He need not do so, in fact has no need to do much at all, yet choses to act in such manner.

    Obviously, many words in there in need of clarity. Which have been the subject of various threads......what "authority" being one, and just who declares it to be authentic. Opinions differ!

    Well, I prefer the "darkness" of creation itself. I concur with John Keats, who said that he had never been able to conceive how anything can be known for truth by consecutive reasoning.

    Some might ask....who is John Keats, ask again what authority he has, dismiss him as he has none. So be it. For me he is/was a human being much like myself, and I will consider his words.

    Creation for me is the ultimate revelation. The earth itself is fertile, and brings forth fruits of itself. Our Cosmos is always and everywhere potentially displaying "the liberative qualities of spatiality and temporality." It has a natural healing power, and thus no human being need wait for a missionary carrying a book to know the fullness of God, His mercy or His Grace.
     
  10. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    Not really .. I give the "pass-mark" to the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospel & particularly the Qur'an.
    The Qur'an is the latest reliable revelation which confirms the truth of the previous ones.

    As regards following it to the letter, I would like to, but alas am not a saint :)
    Furthermore, whilst it contains the most important parts of law etc, it is NOT intended to make us into characterless robots.
    G-d has endowed us with intelligence, and He knows we have to make decisions every day .. from world leaders to the pauper.
    Some people follow 1000's of hadiths as if they were Qur'an .. they are not :)
     
  11. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    I agree with you that the universe could be said to be "a revelation", in as much that it has many signs that we can acknowledge as wonderful, beautiful, perfectly formed etc, and we can learn from nature itself .. so yes :)

    ..you have still ignored my point about nations and civilizations all over the world with differing values and opinons .. now, and throughout time.
    How can we know which values are right? If we just follow nature, for example, we could behave like snakes, lions or hawks :)
     
  12. OK, you give the passmark to a particular series of revelation. Which really changes little given what I posted. In effect you pick and choose, apparently excluding much that would, in my eyes, point towards Grace and Mercy as being fundamental. Yet in doing this you yet appeal to an outside authority that legitimizes your choices.

    No, we are not talking about robots.
     
  13. And as I see it you continually ignore virtually every point I make, picking and choosing, avoiding......

    Your point:- many scholars seek the underlying realities of the various nations and civilisations. And make a good job of it in my opinion. Joseph Campbell for instance. In doing so they find a fundamental unity beyond any particular "revelation". And also, in my opinion, how to "fulfill" that unity. Which is not by seeking the "righteousness" of obedience to specific instructions, however successful we consider ourselves to be.
     
  14. I would distinguish between "values" and specific instructions, such as how many times to pray each day. "Values" to me are often found to be very similar across various civilisations - the so called "Golden Rule" for instance. Often other values such as mercy and forgiveness are found in many places, many texts. My reading of history is that much mischief has been caused by those unable to differentiate in the way I am doing here.

    I have delved into the genesis of various texts. I have always been unable to shift the wheat from the chaff. Applying various criteria, all the texts can be questioned as to authenticity in much the same way. You have managed to sort the wheat from the chaff, the words of mere mortals from the words given direct by the Almighty. You seek to fulfill them. Good.
     
  15. We are led to Believe a Lie
    When we see not Thro the Eye......
    God Appears and God is Light
    To those poor Souls who dwell in Night
    But does a Human Form Display
    To those who Dwell in Realms of day.

    (William Blake, from "Auguries of Innocence" - Blake's capitals)
     
  16. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    Yes .. an "outside" authority .. mankind can't be trusted :)
     
  17. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    Agreed .. the golden rule is very important indeed.
    In Islam .. "Nobody will have a complete faith unless he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself" :)

    That has little to do with religion, and more to do with mankind's shortcomings.
     
  18. I have to smile. :)
     
  19. IMO, True "religion" begins when we seek to fulfill the Golden Rule. And recognise our failure.
     
  20. You miss the point...........again.
     

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