Higher than prophets?

Discussion in 'Eastern Religions and Philosophies' started by _Z_, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Higher than prophets?


    Someone recently said that prophets are not the highest nature of spirituality of a man, and that there is a class higher than this, do anyone know what that class is and what the difference is?


    thanx

    Z
     
  2. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Hi Z, I just noticed this post of yours. Hope all is well with you. :)

    Since this is in the Eastern Thought section I'm not sure exactly what kind of answer you are looking for. In Christianity prophesy is one among many gifts, all of which are considered of equally great importance. I would be interested in knowing more about the role of prophets in the Eastern religions, and what is meant by a 'class' higher than prophet. Perhaps someone who is has reached Enlightement?

    Who is a Prophet? Well, the one who turns out to be right. We can't really know beforehand, can we. Guess it's one of those things that we hope our discernment leads us correctly in. Martin Luther King Jr. and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were prophets, and their message was certainly unpopular with many people of their day, including people of the same religion. I wonder how many Christians were critical of them for being 'uppity' and not being obedient to the teachings of the Bible. Today there are many people, including many Christians, calling for social justice for homosexuals. Are they the Prophets of this day?

    luna
     
  3. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    What is a prophet?, but a willing man open to the thruthes of God, and a bit of foresight not afforded to the rest of us?

    my thoughts

    v/r

    Q
     
  4. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Z,

    welcome to CR.

    strange question to be asking here. generally speaking, the Eastern traditions don't really have this concept.. for the theistic traditions here, like the Sanatana Dharma and Jain Dharma, there are different terms used to denote beings that have a more solid connection to the Divine.

    in other Eastern traditions like Buddhism and Tao, there is no analog to the idea of a prophet.

    as for classes of being, that is more dependent upon ones religious vehicle than it may seem.

    in Buddhism, we have 33 different realms in which a being takes rebirth, essentially, 33 different classes of beings. humans are in a very favorable rebirth, the best rebirth even. however, that does not mean that they are "higher" than other beings.

    in terms of realizations, for instance, Arhants, Bodhisattvas and Buddhas would be higher classes of beings than prophets, at least from a Buddhist point of view :)

    metta,

    ~v
     
  5. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Hi all! :)

    Hi lunamoth, hope you are fine too!


    I placed this in the eastern section because if refers to a passage i read in a Buddhist book which sited that; Jesus was a prophet as was Mohamed [a few others were mentioned], yet 'the prophet is not the highest spirit body – or something to that effect. This was in relation to another thread at another forum, so i thought i would ask for clarification here.


    Not just that but its an interesting idea in many ways, such as: e.g. I like the way they classify, then place the head of another religion [in this case Jesus and Mohamed etc] in the not quite top division – which i find amusing [not to insult i do hope!].
    Aslo i am too intrigued to know what the higher level is – if there is actually a level higher than Jesus i don't know – nor if he can be classed as merly' a prophet! I mean just because he can vaticinate [make prophecies] this does not mean its his nature – perhaps?


    Quahom, hi



    Hmm this makes my mind ask the question; or is foresight a general gift, that is out there in the mystic ocean for those whom seek?
    Perhaps it is gods gift and there is a synchronicity between the gift and the advancement of the soul! ​


    Vajradhara, hi



    ah i think you have the basis of my inquiry! Someone once said to me that bodhisattvas are kind of an equivelant to christian saints. I was wondering why these are 'higher' not in strictly hierarchical terms, just generally – just out of interest and for comparative purposes i.e. Comparing what one religion considers higher and another lower. ​
     
  6. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    I'd say that the Christian Saints equate more to the arhats (arahants, arhans, lohans, rahats - all roughly equivalent). There is a tendency in exoteric traditions to equate any advanced disciple (bhikku, practitioner) with a certain degree of arhatship, just as the Christian saints can be greater or lesser accomplished (and who decides, after all?).

    Technically, an arhat refers to a very advanced individual ... who in some traditions (esoteric Buddhism, among others) is no longer `human' at all, having already won the "right" to a Nirvana of varying duration (or intensity). The `Bodhisattva,' even in exoteric Buddhism, is a being equally capable, or accomplished, as the Christ of Christianity. In esoteric terms, they can be identical. Still, there are a number of beings of Bodhisattva equivalent, having attained that degree of spiritual realization, who are obviously not identical with the Christ of Christianity.

    The Buddha, whether Shakyamuni, Dipankara, Kashyapa, or other, is technically regarded as a degree of attainment beyond Bodhisattava , even in exoteric Buddhism - this being explicitly the case in esoteric teachings.

    If one were to render all this in terms of the Path of Initiation (taught in Esoteric, or Tantric Buddhism, just as in Hinduism), an arhat would be a 4th degree Initiate, a "realized Master" would be a 5th (Asekha Adept), a Bodhisattva would be a 7th, and a Buddha an Initiate of either the 8th or 9th degree.

    By comparison, the bhikkus and disciples of Shakyamuni ranged from the Srota-apanna ("Stream-Entrant"), or 1st degree initiate, to the arhat, or 4th degree Initiate, although collectively these were often simply called, `the Buddha and His arhats.' Legend has it that He brought ~900 individuals to the stage of arhatship (esoterically considered), although I do not know if this meant in his own lifetime, or was more a reference to the direct impact of his spiritual stimulation over time. Maitreya-Buddha, the next, identical with the Christ of Christianity esoterically, is prophesied to one day bring 9,000 arhats to the Path of Liberation ... but do not ask me for a reference. Thus have I heard ...

    So, Christianity's `saints' seem more or less equivalent to the ranges of Buddhist arhats exoterically considered - although only Jesus of Nazareth and St. Paul spring to my mind as individuals who definitely attained arhatship in that lifetime, esoterically. Undoubtedly, several additional individuals have so attained in the 21 centuries since Jesus' lifetime. As a matter into which I believe I have some insight, I would suggest that of the original 12 Apostles (and a good handful of others who received directly the `Inner Teachings') ... not all have approached arhatship (esoterically), some not even close.

    By no means exegetical, I have attempted to at least make a few comparisons, and point out where exoteric and esoteric indications differ.

    Prophets in the esoteric traditions, btw, can range from advanced disciples (not initiates at all), to the Stream-entrants of Buddhism, to the Advanced Initiates who have given out the Teachings of the past one and a half centuries. These latter, as I have encountered them, are generally termed `Messengers.' Often, since they do much more than simply parrot out the lessons that have been given, but also live them and Teach them to their followers ... they are also called `Teachers,' and this term has been used to refer to arhats, in my experience.

    Namaskar,

    taijasi
     
  7. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    I think foresight is more like an airplane. (passenger jet). Out of 144 seats there are only four that are in line with the wing doors (escape hatches). Before takeoff, the announcement is made that anyone sitting in those four seats that is unable or unwilling to assist with the escape doors over the wings, should vacate their seats and allow another passenger to sit there that is capable and willing to work the doors in case of an emergency.

    I think foresight is like that. Anyone can have it, if they are willing to use it for the good of all.

    v/r

    Q
     
  8. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Hi taijasi,


    very nice reply – exactly what i was looking for and with your usual 'extra detail' to enhance the visualisation – thank you. :)


    Q1, hi



    Yes, you could probably have it and use it for evil too perhaps? This depends upon weather or not the vision is a projection – from a source i.e. God/Satan [although i don't believe Satan exists], or if it is a link between the observer, the aether, spirit, 'god' the akashic and 'time'. I personally believe the latter. I suppose such a thing as man interacting with god and on a daily basis is unacceptable to Christians? Hmm although prayer and meditations are surely a form of interaction with divinity and god? Jus wondrin



     
  9. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    I know a class that is higher than prophet... Stoner. :)
     
  10. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    :D

    ha yes, LSD = higher consciousness. surprisingly or perhaps not, i think this is in a sense actually true for some.
     

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