Abrahamic religions

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    Akhil Babu

    Hare Krishna Prabhu. This is a question related to your latest article on Abrahamic religions. Can we say that all religions are coming from same source though we cannot treat all of them as equal? When I tried to understand about other world religions what I realised is that there exists a secret order of mystics who always play an important role in the rise of all religions. They are transnational but they all carry same essence. Modern historian may not agree but Jewish mystics say that Kabbalah is thousands of years old and it was given by Abraham. Kabbalah carries Vedic knowledge and is the root of Judaism. Jewish mystics called Essenes were like Brahmins and were priests in Solomon’s temple. A western scholar called Philip Gardiner has talked about the similarities of Jaganath Temple and Solomon’s Temple. Templars were really the warrior monks who guarded the Temple and Masons built it. These three groups served as the Brahmin-Kshatriya-Shudra Varnas in Israel. Mithraism which operated more like a mystic brotherhood than an orthodox religion has many similarities with Kabbalah and Egyptian mystic schools. Also like Bharat Varsha, Jewish mystics used the word Israel for whole world than a small piece of land in middle east and 12 tribes as entire humanity. Mithraism, Gnosticism and Kabbalah are also reflected in the original Christianity which later turned into something else. They all accept reincarnation. It is also said that Jesus and Christ are not same. Jesus is a person who came to Magadha and learnt Sauragama Tantra and then went back to Israel. Christ is the Solar principle or Truth consciousness that Jesus realized. Some say that this knowledge tradition in middle east is as old as Veda Vyasa. They revived it again and again in new forms. Pythagoras was one such person. Mithraic societies are very flexible and adaptive. They can change their religion externally to avoid threats but they secretly practices their own rituals and maintain an oath of secrecy. A group of these mystics were also with Prophet Muhammad and they later adopted the practices of Islam and are now called Sufis. Sufis were not originally Muslims. They existed before Islam and are also responsible for the rise of Islam. They accept reincarnation. It is also said that knowledge given to Prophet is of three types: One he should give to the people, Second one he can decide whether to give or not and third he should not give to anyone and keep as secret. Assasin groups of Persia were a military wing of these mystics who helped the Templars in reviving some ancient knowledge during the time of crusades which also resulted in the revival of medieval masonry. All these mystic groups are related to Far Eastern societies rooted in the belief of Maitreya. Some say Maitreya is same as Maitreya of Vishnu Purana and is also the next Buddha. When I went through all these history I realised that the core teaching of all these groups resonates with the Vedic knowledge though all followers are not aware of these things. So can we say that all these world religions are coming from same source and it is the perversion of original teachings that we are seeing today in the form of violence and other evil things? In my state Kerala, there was a Mawlavi who preached strongly that Hadis is not authentic and Muslims should study deeper meanings of Quran only. Nobody knows what happened to that Mawlavi after that. A group of Muslims invited him for a speech and after that he is missing. It has been 25 years and Court declared that he is dead though his dead body is not yet found. After knowing all these it is difficult for me to say that whether these religions are inherently immoral or is it the perversion and distortion of divine teachings for political aims that resulted in such problems.

    Ashish Dalela

    One of the things I realized by working in a job is that people don’t say what they mean and they don’t mean what they say. For example, when a person joins a company, the HR or the manager will say: “Welcome to the family”. But after a few months or years, they will fire the person from the company by saying: “The quarterly profits are down”.

    A person is family when they want something from him. He or she is nobody when their profits are down. As if a family cannot sustain a little bit of hardship for a short while and help each other in their time of need. Therefore, we have to combine the two events to understand what they really meant when they said “Welcome to the family”. It means that when I need something from you, then I will flatter and appease you. I will make you feel good so that you will work wholeheartedly for me. But if my business is down, then you are nothing. That flattery is not the truth. It is yet another lie.

    We can apply this understanding to everything. We cannot understand or judge anything simply by one or two observations. We have to look at it holistically. When there is an incompatibility between different things, then we try to understand which of these two is the dominant reality and which one is the subordinate reality. For example, if selfishness is the dominant reality then it can lead to sweet words but the intention is deceit. But if selflessness is the dominant reality then it can lead to harsh words but the intention is compassion. In this way, intelligence means being able to find out one reality from many observations, often incompatible with each other.

    With this general background, we have to know that lies are created from the truth by hiding a part of the truth. The truth is Krishna and the hiding is maya. Maya doesn’t cover Krishna. However, She covers our vision of Krishna. Therefore, a lie has a basis in truth, because it is produced by hiding different parts of the truth. What is hidden by maya is also very important. Krishna has both loving and harsh aspects. If we always hide the harsh part, and simply show the loving part, then it is maya, but still, it is not as bad a maya as when we always hide the loving part and only show the harsh part. This is because the loving part is dominant and the harsh part is subordinate in Krishna. If we hide the dominant part of Krishna and show the subordinate part, then it is worse maya than if hide the subordinate part and reveal the dominant part.

    A good example of this fact is Buddhism, when it talks about non-violence. Violence is sometimes necessary to defend dharma. Therefore, it is a subordinate truth. The dominant truth is compassion. However, if we make that dominant truth the only truth, then we get into maya. This happened with Buddhists when they elevated non-violence to the only truth. Their religion has now come under the control of violent communism. However, even then, it is better maya because the dominant principle has been elevated to the sole truth. A religion that makes the subordinate truth the sole truth is worse maya. Hence, we always treat Buddhists with greater respect than any of the Abrahamic faiths. They are in maya of non-violence elevated to the only truth. But it is far superior than the maya of violence being elevated to the exclusive truth.

    Therefore, all maya is not equal. This is described by talking about sattva, rajas, and tamas. Each of these modes hides something from the whole truth. However, sattvic maya hides the subordinate part and reveals the dominant part. But tamasic maya hides the dominant part and shows the subordinate part. But even in the tamasic maya revelation, there is a truth that is coming from Krishna. Therefore, there is no harm in saying that everything has some grain of truth. And yet it is not the best truth.

    However, if we insist that the partial truth is the whole truth, then it becomes a lie. On its own, the partial truth is not a lie. If we can accept that my claim is a partial truth, then it is not a lie. It becomes a lie when we say that the partial truth is the whole truth and there is no other truth or that everyone other than me is false.

    This problem is called exclusivism. Abrahamic faiths are exclusivist. They claim that there is no other truth. They never accept that their claim is a partial truth. In contrast, there is inclusivism. The Vedic tradition is inclusivist. We analyze all the truths and say that there is partial truth in the claim. We also analyze the partial truth in detail and say whether the subordinate or the dominant part of the whole truth is hidden, and accordingly, whether the partial truth is a better or worse truth respectively. Abrahamic faiths don’t do this analysis. They simply say that their truth is the only truth.

    Thus there are two broad problems. First, the dominant part in us may be what is subordinate in Krishna and the subordinate part in us may be what is dominant in Krishna. For example, Krishna has both kindness and harshness. But the kind part in Krishna is dominant and the harsh part is subordinate. Therefore, sometimes Krishna shows harshness but His dominant reality is kindness. But a bad person sometimes shows kindness but his dominant reality is harshness. That kindness could simply be false flattery although we don’t need to generalize this. In this case, the reality has been inverted and by analysis, we can know that it has been inverted. Second, a lower partial truth may be elevated to a higher partial truth, or a lower partial truth may be called the only truth rejecting all other truths. In this case, the claim has become a lie. It wasn’t a lie, to begin with. It became a lie as we called it the exclusive truth.

    We find both these problems in Abrahamic faiths. First, they make the subordinate part of Krishna (e.g., violence) the dominant part and invert the reality. Second, they make the lower partial truth (e.g., that God has no material form therefore we can worship Him formlessly) the exclusive truth and claim that there is no other truth.

    In the article you have mentioned, I have noted my writing of the book Cosmic Theogony and how all religions came out of a pervasive Vedic system of demigod worship. All these demigods are partial truths. The pagan religions were living happily with each other accepting their truth is not the only truth. Thereby, they acknowledge that their truth is a partial truth. They did not claim that they are the exclusive truth. They also tried to keep the dominant part of Krishna dominant and the subordinate part of Krishna subordinate. They did not try to invert the reality. This means, for instance, prioritizing kindness over harshness. But Abrahamic faiths violated both these conditions: (a) they inverted the reality in Krishna, and (b) they called it the exclusive truth. They persecuted people who: (a) had not inverted the reality in Krishna, and (b) who were not calling their partial truth the exclusive or whole truth.

    Thus, by the inversion of dominant-subordinate and by the claim of exclusivity instead of inclusivity, they became evil. Let’s apply this understanding to Christianity. It is a fact that Jesus was killed. It is also a fact that the guru takes the sins of his disciples. Finally, it is a fact that Jesus imparted hundreds of moral teachings. However, his teachings were not the whole truth. They were partial truths. But Christianity inverted reality when it disregarded the dominant part (the teachings of Jesus) and made the subordinate part (his death and guru taking on his disciple’s sins) dominant. Then they further committed a grave mistake when they elevated the subordinate truth to the only truth and denied the presence of any other truth, let alone better truth.

    This is why Christianity is evil: (a) it elevated a minor truth to the major truth, (b) it downgraded the major truth to minor or irrelevant truth, and (c) called the minor truth the sole truth. By inverting Krishna’s nature and then calling it the sole truth and then persecuting the better and more complete truths, Christianity became evil.

    The Vedic traditionalists are correct when they say that there is partial truth in everything but they also tell us about the better partial truths and the complete truth. They make a ladder of truths and accept other partial truths. But Abrahamic faiths invert the ladder and then cut off all the other rungs from the ladder. In this way, the lower truth becomes the only truth. The Vedic traditionalists never endorse this.

    Therefore, we can read about lots of good things in other religions, and factually, there are many good things everywhere. But this goodness should not distract us from two other problems: (a) the better things are not dominant; the worse things are, (b) the worse thing is called the only thing; the better thing is destroyed to preserve the worse thing. When these two factors are included in our analysis, then we downgrade all the good things that we were previously appreciating and call the whole thing evil. But in our hearts, we know that there were good things everywhere. If people stop inversion and exclusivism then we are happy to appreciate those good things everywhere.

    There are good people everywhere. As you mention, one person wants to make the better part dominant and the worse part subordinate. Similarly, there are many people who will say that our religion came out of a violent situation but we need not continue that violence now. We can instead try to neglect that and focus on the better parts. Finally, there are many people who can accept that other religions are factually better but they prefer to stick to the religion that they were born in due to various reasons.

    However, all these people who are trying to reject inversion and exclusivism are either marginalized or (in this case that you are talking about) may already be dead. The same thing is true for all Abrahamic faiths. On one hand, Christians say that Jesus was the messenger of love and brotherhood. On the other, they go on killing people. On one hand, the Bible says that it is harder for a rich man to go to heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle. On the other, their focus is on expanding their power and wealth. This is the problem of inversion and exclusivism. They make the rare thing a recurring thing and then make that recurring thing the only thing. But if they are challenged, they will talk about the good thing in their religion when the reality is that they have themselves marginalized that good thing willingly.

    Ultimately, a religion is only as good as the people in it. Since the people are bad, therefore, we criticize them. Otherwise, I appreciate Jesus all the time. But Jesus is not Christianity. The church constructed Christianity in a way that the most important things were downgraded and the least important things were upgraded. Then they went about saying that the lower truth is the only truth. That is factually evil, not good.

    The fact is also that if we do not invert the reality in Krishna, then we can also be exclusivists sometimes although that is rare. For example, sometimes devotees may say: All that is nonsense, and this is the truth. That is exclusivism. But if the reality hasn’t been inverted, then the exclusivism of the Supreme Truth is also allowed. Thus, household duties are good. However, if one can surrender to Krishna, and just serve Him, then the neglect of household duties is not bad. In this way, exclusivism is also sometimes used because the reality in Krishna has not been inverted.

    Srila Prabhupada demonstrated this exclusivism when he took Sannyasa. His family was not in good shape at that time. But he devoted himself exclusively to Krishna. Later on, he would send money to his family and he eventually made a will in which his family will be paid a monthly stipend. In this way, he focused on the Supreme Truth and tried to take care of the lower truth (household duty in this case) as best as he could.

    Therefore, if we remember two terms, namely, exclusivism and inversion, then everything will be clear. The upright truth can be exclusive sometimes, but it is not always forced. The inverted truth can never be exclusive. My criticism of Abrahamic faiths is based on the principle that the inverted truth has become exclusive. This is based on all the above principles. It is not blind faith. It is rationally justified.

    Akhil Babu

    Thankyou so much Prabhu for the detailed reply. Yes, What people do is more important than what they say. Though I found these links between mystic sects of Abrahamic religions and Vedic religions, I don’t see it in practice. The Sufis have played an important role in destroying Hinduism in Kashmir valley.  The followers of these religions will speak about universal brotherhood, love, mercy etc.. but all these things are only for their followers. Not for others. In some cases even the followers will not experience these things. They use this exclusivist, inverted, partial Truth to control human beings and conquer the world. When they realize that these things were already known to other religions, they become extremely worried because then they have nothing new to offer which will stop their religious conversions also. That may be the reason why we are not allowed to learn our religion and culture in schools. That vaccum is manipulated by these forces and it is really unfortunate to see that many Hindus abandon their religion without even studying it. In Kerala strange things are happening where Godless Communists and Radical Islamists (who fought against each other in Afghanisthan) are working together against Hindus. Since most Hindus are unaware of the true history of Abrahamic religions and Communists, they fall for their propaganda.

    Ashish Dalela

    Education is essential to counter false propaganda. We can expose all the cheating of the false propagandists but people are not ready to invest the time in education. There is no vacuum of knowledge. There is never a vacuum. It is only disinterested people. I am giving my whole life to teach for free. But still people are not ready to learn.

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