What About Rama?

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by Silverbackman, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. Agnideva

    Agnideva Member

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    What sect of Hinduism holds this view? Is it Arya Samaj? Just curious to know.

    Don't all branches of Vaishnavism (ISKCON or otherwise) consider Raam and Krishna to be God Himself who incarnated on Earth?
     
  2. prajapati

    prajapati Cosmic Otter

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    all hindus know well that Raam and Krishna to be deified humans. even if the people dont, the scriptures of hinduism itsef says so.


    when you say X was deified, two things become implicit -
    1) that he wasnt god right off the bat
    2) now that he has been deified, he is to be considered god/god incarnate (avatar) or divine or some such.


    since vaishnavites worship Vishnu, the avatars of vishnu are considered god by them, even if the avatars are deified.
    theoritically speaking, vaishnavites then become the only hindus who ought to consider buddha to be god and worship him. dont know if they do.


    fact remains though - what ever they or anyone else considers them to be - Raam and Krishna are deified humans (the deification being done by considering them to be incarnates of vishnu/by assuming vishnu showed up as them).

    thats not a function of what some or the other sect thinks and is not going to change acording to that.
     
  3. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Agnidevi!

    Welcome to the CR forums! and this topic!

    Prajapati:

    Again thanks for your response!

    I suppose the nomenclature may be a bit confusing here.. so please don't take offence.

    We enjoy having good relationships and building understanding and I'm sure we can learn from each other as we respect each other.

    - Art

    :)
     
  4. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    There is some value in discussion and seeking answers by group-think. But there is also value asking when the answer is at hand - and let the time be spent dwelling on the answer rather than on seeking the answer. But you are where you are.

    :) I think you'll see a pleasant amount of individual commentary as things go on, but it will swell and shrink on personal tastes as well as circumstances, within the lines of guidance Baha'is try to follow and learn from. We appreciate that everything has multiple meanings, so often what is said has a main point and many side points: what is said, what isn't said by reflection, what is implied, what derives... albeit never being quite sure of the solid facts because most often we do not know them as well as we would like.
     
  5. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    Perhaps it would be helpful to see an examination of what is meant...

    "Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth is a direct evidence of the revelation within it of the attributes and names of God, inasmuch as within every atom are enshrined the signs that bear eloquent testimony to the revelation of that Most Great Light. Methinks, but for the potency of that revelation, no being could ever exist. How resplendent the luminaries of knowledge that shine in an atom, and how vast the oceans of wisdom that surge within a drop! To a supreme degree is this true of man, who, among all created things, hath been invested with the robe of such gifts, and hath been singled out for the glory of such distinction. For in him are potentially revealed all the attributes and names of God to a degree that no other created being hath excelled or surpassed. All these names and attributes are applicable to him. Even as He hath said: “Man is My mystery, and I am his mystery.” Manifold are the verses that have been repeatedly revealed in all the Heavenly Books and the Holy Scriptures, expressive of this most subtle and lofty theme. Even as He hath revealed: “We will surely show them Our signs in the world and within themselves.” Again He saith: “And also in your own selves: will ye not, then, behold the signs of God?” And yet again He revealeth: “And be ye not like those who forget God, and whom He hath therefore caused to forget their own selves.” In this connection, He Who is the eternal King—may the souls of all that dwell within the mystic Tabernacle be a sacrifice unto Him—hath spoken: “He hath known God who hath known himself.”
    …From that which hath been said it becometh evident that all things, in their inmost reality, testify to the revelation of the names and attributes of God within them. Each according to its capacity, indicateth, and is expressive of, the knowledge of God. So potent and universal is this revelation, that it hath encompassed all things visible and invisible. Thus hath He revealed: “Hath aught else save Thee a power of revelation which is not possessed by Thee, that it could have manifested Thee? Blind is the eye which doth not perceive Thee.” Likewise hath the eternal King spoken: “No thing have I perceived, except that I perceived God within it, God before it, or God after it.” Also in the tradition of Kumayl it is written: “Behold, a light hath shone forth out of the morn of eternity, and lo, its waves have penetrated the inmost reality of all men.” Man, the noblest and most perfect of all created things, excelleth them all in the intensity of this revelation, and is a fuller expression of its glory. And of all men, the most accomplished, the most distinguished, and the most excellent are the Manifestations of the Sun of Truth. Nay, all else besides these Manifestations, live by the operation of Their Will, and move and have their being through the outpourings of Their grace. [[underline added]]"
     
  6. Agnideva

    Agnideva Member

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    Thanks Prajapati. As far as I know although many vaishnavites do consider the Buddha an avatar, there is no worship of the Buddha to my knowledge in Vaishnavite temples, but I may be wrong.

    We can start a thread in the Hinduism forum and discuss avatar further.

    Thanks for the welcome, Art :) . Clearly, as you can see there are many different opinions within Hinduism itself about Krishna and the doctrine of avatar. I personally like how you worded the Baha'i perspective on Krishna here. I think there are many Hindus also who see God reflected in Krishna rather than seeing Krishna himself as a descent of God.

    Hindus see the same God reflected in Rama who lived a life of high ideals and self-sacrifice. Clearly the view of the Vaishnavite branch of Hinduism is that both Rama and Krishna are descents of God himself, even if they were once living individuals.

    I am almost certain that all branches of Hinduism claim a Divine Origin especially with regard to the Vedas and Agama texts. Both are considered revealed by God into the minds of the Sages.

    Agnideva.
     
  7. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Thanks Agnideva for your input!

    I learn something new everyday on these forums and elsewhere.

    Pretty good for an old dog!

    - Art :)
     
  8. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    We've had a thread about the Baha'i view of Buddha where such difficulties have also been addressed.

    I would offer that a Baha'i view allows many approaches to what a Manifestation is, but keep them in harmony and relationship, rather than let them go without implication on oneanother. "Were any of the all-embracing Manifestations of God to declare: “I am God,” He, verily, speaketh the truth, and no doubt attacheth thereto. For it hath been repeatedly demonstrated that through their Revelation, their attributes and names, the Revelation of God, His names and His attributes, are made manifest in the world. " And yet "... they have regarded themselves as utter nothingness, and deemed their mention in that Court an act of blasphemy. For the slightest whispering of self within such a Court is an evidence of self-assertion and independent existence. In the eyes of them that have attained unto that Court, such a suggestion is itself a grievous transgression."

    An insight to reconsile such extremes of hearing a Manifestation say "I am God" and noting that mentioning any assertion of self is a heresy is that of "a clear mirror in which the Sun of Reality becomes visible and manifest." That Light says "I am God" and the Mirror shows it and one hears it said. And even so, the Mirror knows it is just a reflection, and whatever station it has, it's meaning and purpose is having turned to God, reflecting His effluence of attributes, even as these same attributes disolve into nothingness before reaching to the Essence of Essences. If one worships the Light in the Mirror, one sees a faithful presentation.

    Another way I have seen it presented is to note that God is above all attributes - even that of self. But sending forth all attributes by emission, as light is not the same as the sun yet emitted by the sun, so does God emit a quality of Self. And the place where that Light shines in its completeness is in the Person of the Manifestation. Thus it is that the Prophets are "the Manifestation of the Self of God amongst men" - and as heaven is attainment to the presence of God, those who are alive in His day, and attain His place on this world and know it, have achieved heaven and keep it as long as they remember it, noting that the expression of that heaven felt Being is dependent on their capacity and condition, even as bathing in that presence has unique qualities and effects such as finally being able to truely love all mankind and the like.
     
  9. prajapati

    prajapati Cosmic Otter

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    I think there are many Hindus also who see God reflected in Krishna

    thats called Avatar.

    rather than seeing Krishna himself as a descent of God.

    thats a prophet.


    Hindus see the same God reflected in Rama who lived a life of high ideals and self-sacrifice. Clearly the view of the Vaishnavite branch of Hinduism is that both Rama and Krishna are descents of God himself, even if they were once living individuals.

    you could be right - vaishnavites are peraps the only type of hindus who think of Raam and Krishna more as prophets (descents of God himself)
    than Avatars (God reflected in them)

    be that as it may, irrespectives of what vaishnavites think, fact remains (ie. as per hindu scripture) - raam and krishna were walking talking human beings who each examplified a certain godly virtue - and hance have been deified/considered Avatars (God reflected in them).



    I am almost certain that all branches of Hinduism claim a Divine Origin especially with regard to the Vedas and Agama texts. Both are considered revealed by God into the minds of the Sages.

    NOPE.

    its an insult to hinduism to state that hinduism's theologies and philosophies were divinely given.

    the "revealed by God into the minds of the Sages." thing you talk about comes from one of the two traditions which led to the Vedas (Ved actually). - that of Smriti (rememberence) and Shruti (that which you hear from your concience after long pondering/meditation).


    i think you refer to the second - shruti - when you say "revealed into the minds of sages".

    well thats just the way in which common man puts the thoughts of the sages on a pedestal - by supposing that the maker himself revealed to them.


    buddha is a classic example.

    the bit of buddhist theology that was adopted from hinduism (eg - the concept of Moksha which was re christined as Nirvana.. many many others) - now that existed before buddha too - so he heard/read it from existing records. thats SMRITI..

    those parts of buddhism that are original and came from buddha himself after he meditated under a tree in gaya (?? i could be wrong about the place) - thats SHRUTI


    of course, devout buddhists are free to believe that it was divinely revealed to buddha by the maker , and that buddha did not come up with (for example) "the 8 fold path" himself, by hearing his conscience after long pondering/meditation.
     
  10. Silverbackman

    Silverbackman Prince Of Truth

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    Perhaps there are three type beings from God;

    1. Actual incarnations of God, who are a God in a man's body (ie Jesus, Krishna by some).

    2. Prophets of God, who God speaks directly to from heaven (ie Mohammed, Moses).

    3. People filled with the knowledge on what God wants but have not ever talked to God directly or not a God themselves. (ie Buddha, Guru Nanak Dev).

    Of course Buddha might be something different. He maybe a man who became a God by reaching Nirvana, although he may hve started out as number 3.
     
  11. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    In the Baha'i Faith all men are mortal and beings that will pass....

    There are men that we call Manifestations because they perfectly reflect the attributes of the central spiritual Sun of the universe;

    Their spiritual nature continues as an Intercessor.

    "And of all men, the most accomplished, the most distinguished, and the most excellent are the Manifestations of the Sun of Truth. Nay, all else besides these Manifestations, live by the operation of their Will, and move and have their being through the outpourings of their grace."

    Gleanings, pp. 177-79.

    So in this category according to the Baha'i teachings we have Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, etc.

    There are lesser prophets who reflect the light from the Manifestations. These could be prominant disciples or those who taught and spread the early Teachings..

    So each Manifestation is compared to a "sun" in the heaven of a given religion and the prophets under His shadow reflect from His light.

    The rest of us are trying to polish the inner mirror of our hearts to catch a reflection from the Manifestation.

    There's much more about this but space here is limited.

    - Art
     
  12. I am free

    I am free And anything is possible

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    Hi Prajapati,

    This is not relevant to the topic, but I was wondering what your objection was to the word "Rama"... is it the English spelling? Would you prefer "Raamaa"? Or it seems that you would remove the ending "aa" sound altogether?

    I feel "Raam" is Hindi and with 18 official languages in India I dont see any reason to say that "Raam" is the only correct pronounciation. The name is "Rama" in the southern languages and as far as I know it is "Rama" in Sanskrit as well (with 'a' pronounced as 'aa').

    W Regards.
     
  13. I am free

    I am free And anything is possible

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    Hi Prajapati,

    You have put forward some interesting points. I appreciate your point of view. They are logical and probably even historically correct.

    But I would agree with Agnideva. Most hindus do consider Rama and Krishna to be divine from birth and not just as "deified humans". Also for Hindus the Vedas (Ved in Hindi?) are revealed texts.

    You may personally hold different views but to say that "it is an insult to hinduism" to say or hold that hindu texts are divine, is itself an insult I feel.

    w regards.
     
  14. Agnideva

    Agnideva Member

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    Yes I am speaking of the Shruti canon, which includes both Vedas and Agamas in traditional Hinduism (Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Shaktism).

    No Prajapati. This is the traditional Hindu view held in Vaishnavism, Shaktism and Shaivism. You have your own views and you’re entitled to them. What is an insult to Hinduism is to express one’s own rather narrow vision and say that it is THE Hindu view.
     
  15. prajapati

    prajapati Cosmic Otter

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    , fr
    Jesus belongs verily to category 2 - that of prophets.

    Krishna is considered an avatar, as is raam as is buddha - god manifested Himself through them.
     
  16. prajapati

    prajapati Cosmic Otter

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    yes its Rama in south indian languages.

    but Raam is a prince from Ayodhya in whats today Uttar Pradesh, and is from those days when Sanskrit was the language of the whole of india except the 4 southern provinces.

    Also the epic Ramayana, written in sanskrit, never calls him "Rama" - always "Raam". its NEVER Rama in sanskrit or in any of the daughter languages of Sanskrit.
     
  17. prajapati

    prajapati Cosmic Otter

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    its not a question of my view or the collective view of all hindus.

    its just what IS.

    according to hindu scripture, Raam, Krishna and Buddha are deified humans.
    which does not change if people think otherwise.


    Again, whether or not hindus, out of reverence, consider vedas (Ved in sanskrit) to be revealed, does not change the fact that the vedas came from only 2 traditions - Shruti and Smriti (which itself is Shruti that someone noted down and/or passed down).

    no god in the picture.

    and yes its an insult to these two traditions of hinsuism to bring hinduism under the "Revealed" umbrella. also an insult to siddharta Gautama and the degree of wisdom/enlightenment he achieved to say it was revealed to him.

    if it were indeed revealed, then the buddha is not a special person - it could be reaveled to lalloo prasad yadav and then lalloo could preach like an master. buddha wasnt an ordinary person who became wise cos someone smiled upon him !!!

    also if the Veds ar considered revealed, then it means that they (the Ved) was written by a congress of prophets !!!

    which is as un-hindu an idea as can be.
     
  18. prajapati

    prajapati Cosmic Otter

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    historical facts are not democratically decided by weighing the number of views for an against something.

    its NOT my view that vedas come from Shruti and Smriti - its A HISTORIC FACT, that they do, regardless of what my view or the whole country;s view may be.

    true.

    only that i never expressed my "view" here. i stated from the hindu scriptures.

    what you said applies to the hindu "way" - there's no one correct hindu way.

    hindus are not duty bound to believe that the Ved are revealed, nor duty bound to believe that they are not revealed.

    what i want to say, is irrespective of which of these two views they hold, fact remains, that as per hindu scripture (ie the Veds itself, on Vedic tradition), its never for once mentioned that any god revealed stuff to the sages.

    Whats mentioned is that the sages either noted down what they got from their own gurus (Smriti) or noted down the conclusions they arrived at after meditation/ponderation (Shruti).
     
  19. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    You know my friends...

    I used to be a moderator of this Baha'i board and it occurred to me that perhaps some of this discussion might be more properly held in the Hindu board. A good reason to do this is I think that people on the Hindu board would benefit more from the discussion being there, than here... Of course the traffic won't hurt the Baha'i board either but it would probably at this point benefit the Hindu Board more.

    Any way my best to you all and hope you continue enjoying the CR forum!

    - Art
     
  20. Silverbackman

    Silverbackman Prince Of Truth

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    You sure about Jesus being in category 2? Many people think he is the son of God and God as well. We can't say these people are wrong unless there is hard proof but there really isn't;). Also Jesus never got any messages from God directly on Earth, so you know.

    So you put Krishna, Raam, and Buddha in option number 1, right?
     

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