Polytheism and Hinduism

Discussion in 'Hinduism' started by iBrian, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Oscar, I sent you a private message. The short of it is that you simply dumped lots of copy/pasted material on here, across various threads, and that's seen as bad form.
     
  2. oscar

    oscar New Member

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    The copy/pasted material was written by me. In your private message you add you find incoherence in my posting. That was the reason of erasing without warning anything. You're a moderator not a judge for everybody's point of view. Allow the other participants discuss what THEY consider coherent or incoherent and then the dialogue among US would be fluent and the doubts would be eventually clarified. Now, if you're gonna erase evrything you dislike something, the whole purpose of a forum falls down like castle made of sand. Thanks for the kidness of explaining after you delated me.
    Of course, as a "moderator" you're gonna feel free to add the final word of "authority". Let it come.
     
  3. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    For what it's worth and at the risk of seeming judgmental, Oscar, I've found your posts in this thread tangential at best. I've had an extremely difficult time making sense of them. :( Sorry.
     
  4. Avinash

    Avinash New Member

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    Your plea was the most coherent posting so far. When postings are incoherent and full of URL's, I don't feel much desire to read them any further.

    Andrew
     
  5. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    I did actually send you a message, but you continued posting regardless.

    At the end of the day, it's not the point of view that is important as much as how someone carries themselves here. You made no attempt to engage any member in a direct discussion - you simply dumped information in threads, including more than 30 links in this thread alone - covering a somewhat bewildering range of topics, none of which appeared particularly linked.

    Every allowance is made to see a wide expression of opinions here - a multi-faith forum demands that. But at some point, somebody somewhere has to take responsibility for the overall administration of this forum. And those decisions are never going to be acceptable for every person who comes by.

    Anyway, time to return to Polytheism and Hinduism, I think. :)
     
  6. oscar

    oscar New Member

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    The name of this forum is comparative-religion and I was comparing. Shall I continue without fearing Mr. Moderator will erase what he dislikes? Thank you very much indeed:
    Supernatural or magical bedtricksters in myths can often be identified not by any constant criterion, such as their lack of a shadow, but, rather, by things that they do at certain moments--such as, for instance, the moment of making love. Bedtrick myths abound in literal projections: a god or demon projects from his mind, like a beam of light from a film projector (or what, in my childhood, we still called a "magic lantern"), an illusion that envelops the mind of his victim. Such a trickster is, however, compelled to take his (more rarely her) own true form when he loses mental control and hence inadvertently turns off the current from the magic projector in his head. When the king in a Sanskrit play asks, "How can you find a deity who has concealed herself by her magic powers?" the jester replies, "Sometimes they fail to conjure up the concealment" (Tapati-Samvaranam: The Sun God's Daughter and King Samvarana). This happens, according to various texts, when the trickster sleeps, dies, eats, laughs; gets drunk, angry, frightened, very happy; or, in the case of a demoness, gives birth. It also happens when the trickster makes love, when sexual passion strips away the disguise and reveals the true identity. This cluster of beliefs centers upon the intuition that the truth is encased in the subconscious--in sleep, in dream, in bed, in sex.
    Hindu demons inadvertently resume their own forms when they shed their seed in lust. The Buddha is said to have claimed that there are two occasions when a naga (a cobra-god, frequently a snake lover) will reveal his true form, presumably after assuming a human form: when he engages in sexual intercourse with a female of his own species and when he sleeps thinking he is safe from detection. The specification of a female of his own species suggests that it is not just the power of sexuality but the pull toward the form corresponding to that of his partner--toward sameness, away from difference--that draws this bedtrickster back to his true self from his masquerading self. Supernatural creatures are well aware of the fact that they may be unmasked by sex. A Hindu bedtrickster in a Sanskrit text from c. 700 CE knows that he may reveal his true form when he makes love, and so he takes precautions:
    A celestial courtesan fell in love with a Brahmin and begged him to stay with her, but he rejected her, saying, "Don't touch me! Go to some other man who is like you." He went away, and a demigod who was in love with the courtesan and had been rejected by her observed her now and reasoned, "She is in love with a human. If I take on his form, she will suspect nothing and will make love with me." Disguised as the Brahmin, the demigod approached her and said, "You must not look at me during the time of our shared sexual enjoyment, but close your eyes and unite with me." She agreed, and when they made love, and her eyes were tightly closed, she thought, because of his hot energy, it was the form of the [Brahmin] suffused with the sacrificial fire. Then, after a while, she conceived an embryo, who came from the demigod's semen and from (her) thinking about the Brahmin's form. The demigod went away, still in the form of the Brahmin. (Markandeya Purana)
    The demigod's "hot energy," or semen, is heated by his lust, not (as the nymph imagines) by his sacrificial power. Her belief that she is making love with the Brahmin (never dispelled in this episode--the trickster leaves before he is unmasked) gives the child the Brahmin's form, through parental imprinting: the belief that, if a woman thinks of someone other than her actual partner during the sexual act, the child she conceives may resemble not the actual partner but the imagined partner. So, I said it before it's the same story of Samael or Semael in Hebrew and Sumerian myths, the cherub who had sex with Eve but disguised in many ways.
    As his spiritual body evolves, the Sufi feels as if he is rising up from within a well and, nearing its mouth, he gradually perceives the emerald light of the heavenly Earth, the "eighth clime" in the cosmic north, said to be "halfway between heaven" and our physical earth. This region answers in description to the Mshunia Kushta of the Mandean Gnostics, the intermediate world peopled by a divine race of purified humans. They are the descendants of the hidden Adam and Eve, and among them every earthly human has his own Twin of Light. The Mandeans believe this ideal Earth is also in the north, separated from our world by a high and icy mountain (Corbin, pp. 57-8).
    The people of India had schemes of time which far exceed any other people on this earth. Brahma was the source of all existence, earthly and divine. From him flowed the spiritual and material creations. His equivalent in Judeo-Christian belief is God the Father.
    In the mythologies of the Hindus Brahma lived one hundred days and nights. Each night saw the dissolution of the world; each day saw the renewal of creation. One day and night of Brahma was equal to 1,000 periods, and each period had 12,000 divine years. Each divine year was equal to 360 human years. Therefore, one day and night of Brahma was equal to 4,320,000,000 human years. One hundred days and nights of Brahma were equal to 432 billion human years.
    (Curiously, The Urantia Papers describe Michael of Nebadon as beginning his organization of this local universe about 400 billion years ago, page 1309.) Every period of 12,000 divine years was divided into four ages. The age of Krita was equal to 4,000 divine years with additional 400 divine years each of morning and evening twilight. The age of Krita was followed by the age of Treta with 3,000 divine years and morning and evening twilight of 300 years. This was followed by the age of Dvapara with 2,000 divine years and 200 years each of morning and evening. Lastly came the age of Kali with 1,000 years and 100 years each of morning and evening. In the first age men were noble and spiritual. They held to the four virtues of truthfulness, kindness, devotion, and charity. They were contented, kind, amiable, mild and possessed self-control and forgiveness. In that age there was no buying or selling; the fruits of the earth were obtained merely for the taking. There was no disease and no decline of the body through aging. There was no malice, deceit, weeping, pride, contention, hatred, cruelty, fear, affliction, jealousy or envy. The Hindu paradise version....

    Each age experienced a decline from the previous until this last age. Only one fourth of the virtues remain, and even this small quantity disappears as vices rapidly increase. Men are wicked, unkind, quarrelsome, deceptive, idle, slothful, full of malice. They highly prize what is low and degraded. Women become shameless, overbold, and lascivious. Cities are filled with thieves and vicious men. Merchants are low and deceitful. Kings become oppressive. Droughts and floods devastate crops; wars and famines depopulate the earth. The earth becomes so depraved wise men pray for the arrival of Kalki, the Destroyer. We now live in that age.

    The four ages were characterized by colors: white, red, yellow and black respectively. According to the Puranas this age will witness Vishnu, the Creator god, who will appear as Kalki, "an armed warrior mounted on a white horse with wings and adorned with jewels, waving over his head with one hand the sword of destruction and holding in the other a disc." In the Bhagbata we are told that the "age of destruction is so horrible that during it the clouds never fall on the earth as drops of rain for one hundred years. The people find no food to eat and being terribly oppressed by hunger they are compelled to eat one another."
    In other places a universal cataclysm is predicted in vivid detail. "After a drought lasting for many years seven blazing suns will appear in the firmament; they will drink up all the waters. Then wind-driven fire will sweep over the earth, consuming all things . . . Afterwards many colored and brilliant clouds will collect in the sky looking like herds of elephants decked in wreaths of lightning. Suddenly they will burst asunder, and rains will fall incessantly for twelve years until the whole world with its mountains and forests is covered with water . . .." To me that's a twisted version about races, languages and times and the number are codes. The same happens in Genesis account when the genealogist changes the names of parents with children or alters some Hebrew letters-numbers or even repeats names like Enoch, Lamec, Jared-Iared, or play games with 77 and 777 in two different Lamechs, etc.
    Mahabharata : In this and similar Hindu traditions, the motive
    for the human fall lies with the gods, who grew jealous of people and
    desired to keep them out of heaven. Compare with Genesis 3:22, 23 and 11:6,7.
    This compares with the jealousy of the angels in the Qur'anic and biblical accounts of the fall.
    Mahabharata 3.181.11-20: Philosophical Hinduism explains evil by the
    doctrines of karma and reincarna- tion, but logically, karma itself must
    have an origin. This passage allows how, though the Creator be good,
    the chain of evil karma could begin. Laws of Manu 1.81-86: This is the
    Hindu doctrine of the Four Ages (Yugas), which together make up a
    complete world-cycle. We now live in the Kali Age, which is said to
    have begun with the death of Krishna shortly after the Mahabharata war
    (1500-1000 b.c.e.). Cf. Vishnu Purana 4.24, pp. 1092, 1106f; Linga Purana 1.40.72-83, p. 1115; Bhagavad Gita 8.17-21, p. 122.
    "Who is Manitou?" an Algonquin chant asks. "He that goeth with the Serpent"--the god who lives with and tames the lower self. The widespread use of such terms as Manitou, Mana and Manna to indicate a spirit power in man and things is indicative of much. The words connote "magical power" as believed to be possessed by every tribal medicine-man. The probability is that the term is of kindred root with the word "man" itself, and Manas (Sanskrit), "mind." For mind constitutes man what he is, and it is the mind principle in man that was sent precisely for the purpose of charming the animal propensities into culture. A "mantram" is a Vedic word for a magical incantation. When we talk about the serpent, it’s not just Kundalini, it’s a universal law with many sublayers inside others, like DNA double helix shape and hides truth in many levels.
    Does it have more sense or coherence, now, Andreas? If not please explain why to communicate each other in a better way. Until your response I won't add more...
     
  7. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste oscar,


    you say:

    "The Buddha is said to have claimed that there are two occasions when a naga (a cobra-god, frequently a snake lover) will reveal his true form, presumably after assuming a human form: when he engages in sexual intercourse with a female of his own species and when he sleeps thinking he is safe from detection."

    to which i reply:

    source please.


    you then say:

    "Philosophical Hinduism explains evil by the doctrines of karma and reincarna- tion, but logically, karma itself must have an origin."

    which philsophical school are you referring to? further, karma is not required to have an origin. please explore the traditional Indian view of the world for a more complete understanding of how this concept came about and it's implications in a cyclic existence.
     
  8. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Just as a point of note, oscar actually made 2 posts before post #13, each of which was simply a rail against andreas and myself - both were remoevd.

    However, I left his longer post up because rather than attacking other people, he actually expressed something of his ideas. I'm afraid he won't be replying, though - I have no time for people who walk in here and then demand this entire community revolve around themselves.
     
  9. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Brian,

    oh.. fair enough :)
     
  10. Pet Zepi

    Pet Zepi Dog Star Dissident

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    People are letting their literal interpretations of the texts confuse
    the insight that the symbolic nature in which they were written
    was intended to provide.

    I think people need to first remember that most of what has ever been written about the nature of God refers to events concerning/forces governing ..celestial bodies. Planets and stars.

    This is true whether it be a story from Vedic script, the King James rule on the true interpretation of Greek papyrus ..or a Navajo legend passed on to children by firelight.

    The name Sinai itself refers to the Semetic moon God, Sin.. Father of all creation. That's a stone cold fact.

    And, if you're standing on the moon.. well, then, of course, your whole perspective has changed and everything may just as well be revolving around you.

    You can't prove it or disprove it. Nobody can. Reality itself.. is relative. Point A to point B. We accept what is true based on our own particular perspectives, usually influenced by whoever is governing whichever pile of rocks we are personally defending.

    We need to agree on a point A.... for this discussion to produce any positive results.

    How about this?:
    If God is Love then God is God. No matter what name God goes by.

    [​IMG]


    Proper.
     
  11. StrangeQuark

    StrangeQuark Wannabe Scholar

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    Henotheism

    I'm very curious about this. I've checked the link on henotheism and found it informative. I must confess that these terms are new to me. I am familiar with monotheism, polytheism, pantheism, and panentheism form a limited study of philosophy and mythology, so I guess I need read more.

    Since--other than a very abridged English translation of the *Mahabharata*--the only information I've received concerning Hinduism is hearsay, I can't say it's very reliable. Until reading this thread, howver, I was under the impression that Hinduism was pantheistic.

    Again, I think I'll need to study more. The links above, posted by several members, should be helpful?

    Thank you all for your enlightening posts!

    Peace be with you always
     
  12. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste StrangeQuark,

    thank you for the post.

    hopefully, you'll find some of them to be of value in your exploration of the tradition.

    by the by... isn't the definition of "quark" "strange"? ;) LOL
     
  13. hinduwoman

    hinduwoman New Member

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    The Vedas speak of distinct gods or rather elements are personified as gods. The concept of all gods being part of one god starts later. The Tenth Mandala of Rig Veda speaks of Purusha being the source of creation, but not about all gods being one. The last verse of Rig Veda explicitly speaks of old gods and new gods sharing the feast together. It is in Upanishads that we have a greater discussion about the nature of God.
     
  14. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Thanks for the comments, hinduwoman. :)
     
  15. tatvamasi

    tatvamasi idol worshipping advaitin

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    Hi Brian,

    Yes.

    The Upanishads deal mainly with this.

    God is saguna(with infinite attributes) Brahman.

    Brahman is Nirguna(no attributes).

    Note: Brahman-absolute truth(REALITY).

    Hinduism has not just 'argued' about "oneness of God". It is concerned about One-without-a-second.

    In the saguna sense, i will go to heaven(or otherwise) to either merge with the Supersoul(God) or just stay close to God forever.

    In the nirguna sense, i.e., in the absolute sense, I AM already that(Brahman).
     
  16. tatvamasi

    tatvamasi idol worshipping advaitin

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    What you are saying is partially true.

    From the original texts, many ancient sanskrit scholars have concluded that the Vedas' and Upanishads' ultimate teaching is not-two.

    Monotheism means belief in One God.

    A very important school in Hinduism, advaita, which bases its authority on the Vedas and Upanishads, teaches 'Mono', where 'theism' is a means to the end.

    Ultimately, there is no God and devotee, subject and object.

    There is only ONE, and not two.
     
  17. tatvamasi

    tatvamasi idol worshipping advaitin

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    This is what the Rig Veda(the oldest of the four Vedas) has to say:

    Book 10, Hymn 129:

    1. THEN was not non-existent nor existent: there was no realm of air, no sky beyond it.
    What covered in, and where? and what gave shelter? Was water there, unfathomed depth of water?
    2 Death was not then, nor was there aught immortal: no sign was there, the day's and night's divider.
    That One Thing, breathless, breathed by its own nature: apart from it was nothing whatsoever.
    3 Darkness there was: at first concealed in darkness this All was indiscriminated chaos.
    All that existed then was void and form less: by the great power of Warmth was born that Unit.
    4 Thereafter rose Desire in the beginning, Desire, the primal seed and germ of Spirit.
    Sages who searched with their heart's thought discovered the existent's kinship in the non-existent.
    5 Transversely was their severing line extended: what was above it then, and what below it?
    There were begetters, there were mighty forces, free action here and energy up yonder
    6 Who verily knows and who can here declare it, whence it was born and whence comes this creation?
    The Gods are later than this world's production. Who knows then whence it first came into being?
    7 He, the first origin of this creation, whether he formed it all or did not form it,
    Whose eye controls this world in highest heaven, he verily knows it, or perhaps he knows not.


    We can interpret anything from this, science(void, chaos, warmth[heat]), monotheism(Only He knows), atheism(perhaps He knows not), agnosticism(Only He knows, or perhaps He knows not), Buddhism(not non-existent, nor existent, void), mythology(desire is the primal seed).

    That is one of the reasons why Sanatana Dharma does not deny any interpretation, because after all, interpretations are just interpretations and are not going to affect ABSOLUTE TRUTH in any way.
     
  18. tatvamasi

    tatvamasi idol worshipping advaitin

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    Re: Idol worship and Monotheism

    I am sorry but Shri Shri Anandamurti is off the mark by many a mile.

    If idol worship was started by the lowest of the lowest form of Tantra, then God worship should have started by a much lower form of Tantra.

    When I am worshipping the idol, I am not worshipping the manifest, but the underlying unmanifest.

    From a logical point of view, belief in One God is not much different as belief in His attributes.

    Those who haven't understood the concept behind deity-worship will try their utmost to mislead people into believing that Hinduism is all about monotheism(One God and not two or more Gods).

    Hinduism is about "One and not two or more". Adding God and Gods to the statement is optional.
     
  19. tatvamasi

    tatvamasi idol worshipping advaitin

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    First of all, the Aryan(Causcasian) Invasion(Migration) theory was formulated by Max Mueller who had a tough time accepting the fact that the world was indeed not created in 4004 B.C.

    This selfsame theory is starting to shake at its foundations.

    And the Indus Valley Civilization is being considered as Saraswati Valley Civilization among historians.

    Yajnashalas(sacrificial places) have been excavated in the so-called non-Vedic Indus sites.

    Vedas are shruti, revealed scriptures. Different points of view have been existing in India(atleast the geographical region which is called India today) from a very long time.

    And whichever point of view that denied the veracity of the Vedas was never persecuted but still they died a natural death.
     
  20. tatvamasi

    tatvamasi idol worshipping advaitin

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    Re: some thoughts

    There is more logic in believing that Jesus came to Kashmir during his 'missing years' and learned under the Upanishadic and Buddhist sages.

    That is why he says Upanishadic words:

    1.My Father is greater than I

    2.I am in the Father and the Father is in me.

    3.I and the Father are one.

    And Hindus believe the world is millions of years old. What do the Old Testament believers believe. 6000 years old? :D
     

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