Explaining How Brahman, Allah, YHWH is the Same One God

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  • #13930
    River Sea
    Participant

    Ashish, I need your help in my fb group, explaining how Brahman, Allah, YHWH is the same only one God. Can you help me  with your knowledge in my fb group, please

    Exodus: Jews from Indus Valley India travel to Israel

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/267580128854014

     

    #13931
    Ashish Dalela
    Keymaster

    It is not necessary to establish that. Just like a king is seen in one way by his wife, in another way by his children, in yet another way by his courtiers, and in a totally different way by the citizens, similarly, God can also be understood in many ways. All these understandings pertain to the same person, and yet they are different understandings of the same person based on how close they are to the person. The important thing is that they love and serve the person. They can love and serve the same person in different ways.

    God is cruel, and God is kind. God is beautiful and God is ugly. God is weak and God is strong. God is sweet and God is bitter. God is big and God is small. Depending on who you are, God will reveal a different facet to you. Others will not see the same aspect. So, there is no need to say that they are all the same.

    The question is: Do you want to see the kind and beautiful side of God? Or do you want to see the harsh and ugly side of God? You have to change yourself accordingly. If you are harsh and ugly, then God is the harshest and ugliest of all. If you are kind, then God is the kindest of all. He is the limit of everything.

    Based on the type of people there are in the world, there are many different conceptions of God. We simply say that Krishna is the most beautiful and kind understanding of God. But it is not that Krishna cannot be harsh and ugly. He can be that too. But He prefers to be beautiful and kind, although our nature forces Him to sometimes become harsh and ugly. So, we have to change our nature. However we can do that, is okay. It is a long journey. As long as we are moving in the right direction, every religion is a good thing.

    #13935
    River Sea
    Participant

    I apricate your response., about what side of God do we want to see.  Can I add your response that it came from you in my fb group and you’re welcome to join too., I’m learning and I do appreciate your knowledge about this, thank you. I allow light in me and in all of us teach me., and as you ask what side of God do I want to see, white light I want to see from within people flood within them outward, whitelight, fire burn in spirit heart, however mostly I only am fed fire burn, I’ve seen white light and that side is true time and that side, would then be side of light in people then, I think that’s where I can come out of my shell., however I don’t know this word Krishna as so far, I learn about Krishna is Moses from Indus valley India if I understand correctly., however I notice others also use this word Krishna online as well you use this word Krishna, are they all and including you saying Moses then? What is this word Krishna? so thinking of it, what I want to see of God is true time a relationship with true time allow to learn from true time

    #13936
    Ashish Dalela
    Keymaster

    Yes, you can post in your group if you like. I don’t like to join groups.

    Krishna means all-attractive. We noted earlier that God is the limit of everything. And now we can say that the limit of everything is also all-attractive. For example, if you love knowledge, then Krishna is the limit of knowledge, and therefore, you can be attracted to Krishna because He knows everything. In this world, if you are interested in knowledge, you admire people who know more than you. You follow those who know more than you. You also want to get to know those you admire. And if they ask you to do something, you will do it willingly for them. Knowledge is the starting point–it is the basis of attraction, but it culminates in proximity and service. God is the limit of knowing. So, if you love knowledge, then you can admire God because He knows everthing. Then, you can come closer to God and serve Him.

    Likewise, if you love power, then Krishna is the limit of power, and therefore, you can be attracted to Krishna because He is the most powerful. In this world, if you are interested in power, you admire people who have a lot of power. But God is the limit of power. So, you can admire God because He is most powerful.

    In this way, there are millions of attributes of God, and because God is the limit of everything, therefore, He is the most attractive. He is the most admirable. He is the most lovable. And He is the most served.

    God is also light, but He is not just light. Light is required to see, but too much light is blinding, under which you cannot see. So, when you see light, you are blinded and cannot see anything else. Hence, seeing light is also seeing God, but seeing God is not seeing light alone. Seeing light is a progressive step toward seeing God. By light you can assess that there is something out there. But what it is, you don’t know yet.

    Seeing light is seeing God’s influence, rather than the God’s person itself. Just like in the morning, you can see light coming through the window, but that is not the same as seeing the Sun. Rather, light is an effect of the Sun. Light coming through the window seems to have no form, but the Sun has a form. So when you see the formless, you are seeing an effect. And if you see the form, then you are seeing the cause of that effect.

    Actually even light is not formless. It is very tiny particles each of which has a different form. But we are unable to see those forms. What we see is a collection of a lot of particles, we disregard their individual forms, and we get the impression of formless, which is actually trillions of minute forms. That impression is not reality. But because we can have that impression, therefore, it is said that you can see light.

    Brahman is such a type of light, which is actually infinite number of minute particles with form. When we cannot see the forms of the particles, and we merge all the particles into one big sea of light, that is called seeing light. But Brahman is not a field of light. It is rather infinite number of particles of light. Then, these infinite particles of light are emanating from a Sun–namely, God–as the cause of the effect. So, the first step to seeing God is to go beyond the vision of light field, to the vision of light particles. Then, from the light particles you go to the vision of the cause of the light particles, namely, the source called God.

    #13994
    Sri Vasudeva Das
    Participant

    Hare Krishna Rishiraj prabhuji

    With respect to the above, in approaching God it all seems fine. But especially when we talk about the apara dharma what is the consequence when people follow their own version of religion which is not Vedic. I mean to say that religions like islam do allow for meat eating and as far as I know cow killing also which is very sinful as per Vedic injunctions. What happens to them?

    The matter is further complicated in 5.26.15 of Bhagavatam where Srila Prabhupad writes “An atheist, or nästika, is one who does not believe in the Vedas. However, even if one takes up a different system of religion, according to this verse he must follow the religious principles he has accepted. Whether one is a Hindu, or a Mohammedan or a Christian, he should follow his own religious principles.”

    #14012
    Ashish Dalela
    Keymaster

    There are two ideas of dharma. First, there is an absolute sense of right and wrong, that defines what we must do and not do. Second, many people cannot follow these restrictions, hence, some leeway is given. This leeway is the relative definition of dharma, which is not ideal dharma but a social definition of behaviors.

    • Kshatriyas were permitted animal hunting in the forest, although any unnecessary violence is abhorred. This is because Kshatriyas have violent tendencies. If they don’t exercise it on animals, they will exercise it on humans. So, they are given leeway. That doesn’t make it right. It is known that each person will suffer according to their deeds. But if those deeds are done on animals, then human suffering will be minimized. Hence, if you have violent tendencies, some leeway is given to accomodate them outside human society.
    • Sudras were permitted prostitution. This is also against dharma. However, if someone is addicted to sex, they will either overindulge in sex in their marriage, or try to marry many times although they cannot support the resulting children, or go after chaste women in the mainstream society. All these are worse outcomes than prostitution. Hence, considering the consequences of the alternative, prostitution was permitted to reduce the adverse results.

    These are two examples of how adharma was allowed even in a Vedic society to preempt a worse adharma. That acceptance of adharma doesn’t mean the deed is righteous or the doer is exempted from suffering. He or she has to accept the consequences of their actions. But all other courses of action are worse. Therefore, by the principle of least bad or greatest perfection in a situation, these things were permitted. The rulers who permitted them were not involved in adharma on the principle that (a) the doers bear the consequences, and (b) there is no better course of action. It is dharma for the king because it is the best course of action. It is adharma for the doer, so s/he will suffer, but without it, the situation will be worse.

    As society becomes sinful, many such things are permitted because the alternative is worse. That doesn’t mean they are righteous, or the doers are moral. And yet, forbidding them is worse. For example, Christian priests consume alcohol, but it is forbidden in the Vedic system. Likewise, because Christian priests were forbidden sex, they started molesting children. This is a clear sign that the Church should recognize that rules can make the situation more sinful. In Islam, clerics are allowed four marriages, because it is understood that the alternative is worse.

    Now, you have to understand the two perspectives: (a) that of the person who prescribed such rules, and (b) that of the followers. The person who prescribed these rules realized the fallen state of people and presented some rules as the least bad option for a certain society. Hence, he was following dharma. The person who follows these rules saves himself from worse adharma and can be called following “dharma” although he could suffer in many ways due to his deeds.

    For example, animal killing leads to wars. It doesn’t matter if you follow Christianity or Islam or Hinduism. If you exhibit cruelty to animals, then other men will kill you in a war. Therefore, obedience to rules and regulations of Christianity or Islam does not prevent frequent wars. Even those who follow a religion thus suffer, which leads to the problem of evil, or theodicy: Why do bad things happen to good people? The answer is that these “good people” are not entirely good; they have performed sinful deeds in the past. However, if they persist in their religion, they will get progressively purified. To encourage their purification, their religion is encouraged.

    Hence, there is dharma to liberate people. There is dharma to make life materially better. And there is dharma to prevent something worse. All these are not on the same level, or equal. In each of these religions, there is some conception of God. However, when religion is meant to prevent something worse, then the conception of God is also harsh and retaliatory. That is because one has to put “the fear of God” in people. But if people are better, then there is a need to put “the love of God” in people. So, a terrifying God and a loving God are different aspects of God.

    These religions are meant for different kinds of people. If someone fears God, then they will have some respect for societal rules and regulations. That fear of God transforms into respect for rules, then it transforms into respect for other individuals, then it transforms into a respect for all life, then it transforms into the respect for the source of life in God, and that respect becomes the love of God. This is the progressive path of God-realization. It begins in fear, then becomes respect, and then becomes love. If we remove fear, then later stages will not appear.

    Hence, all religions are not equal, and yet, all religions are accepted because a certain class of people cannot follow the best path, but removing their current religion will make the situation worse. The goal is progressive advancement. It is not finality, exceptionalism, or exclusivism. This tolerant attitude toward other religions is not secularism, the equality of all religions, or even a disinterest in religion. It is based on the realization that perfection is far, but one has to progress. Therefore, whatever will help people progress, and prevent degradation, is encouraged.

    #14013
    Sri Vasudeva Das
    Participant

    Wonderful explanation. Thank you.

    #14119
    Sri Vasudeva Das
    Participant

    Hare Krishna Rishiraj prabhuji

    I was thinking on the explanation you gave regarding the leeway dharma. But this opens door to further many important questions especially in Kali Yuga. When people are so far from dharma and engaged in such sinful acts that if meat eating was allowed for kshatriya what all should be put in this category of ‘leeway’ dharma.

    Taking into consideration the stands of government on abortion, prostitution and the like, what do you say on this.

    Also within our influence how we should understand and apply this principle of not making things worse. This demands a lot of maturity I feel.

    #14120
    River Sea
    Participant

    I don’t think any laws can separate us from each other or from Brahman, Allah, YHWH, same God only one God

    So keeping laws or not keeping laws can’t separate us spiritually

    What are your thoughts about this?

    I mean can you imagine if a law can actually separate any of us spiritually, what would that actually be then?

    We’re all one spiritually in areas of same spiritual one body to same spiritual one head., and people then created names., how much of this is created by people., these names and stories?

    So is it the creation of that causes this gang to gang we/they? But still even that can’t separate us from each other

    That being said, I understand we can allow and block., but still allow and block can’t separate us spiritually., as we’re all connected and nothing can separate us

    What are your thoughts about this when I associate Brahman, Allah, YHWH is the same only one God

    One thing I would say is I don’t rely on my own abilities., because I’m already connected spiritually so no need for me to perform and try to connect through approval from….

    So I’ve been thinking this through from reading this thread, is it that there’s different spiritual grammar? And it depends on grammar is how the spiritual topic will go, even though all grammars can’t separate us from each other and can’t separate us from God who’s our spiritual head

    I’ve even heard in a youtube video when explaining that God is created., a further topic to explore., how much is God created, in order to design a gang, even a gang within a gang., yet even in this can’t separate us from each other spiritually and can’t separate us from God who’s our head

    So I think I associate the name God is to help me articulate., words to me is to help me articulate

    So what are your thoughts about no laws, keeping laws, not keeping laws, none of this can separate us from God Brahman, Allah, YHWH, same only one God., as there’s only one head God that is of our spiritual head as we’re all of an area of spiritual body that attach to this head

    and keep in mine when I associate head body its just me using these words to help me articulate

    There’s so much in this thread for me to respond to., but I’ll write this so far

    Oh what I love saying and I keep re-learning over and over., I allow God light in me teach me in the midst of my thoughts., even in this whole thread.,

    oh by the way., I gotten rid of my fb group that I shared when beginning this thread., (long story) so now its only this thread that will be this conversation – maybe for the best, because I can focus more on threads instead of being an administrator of a group

    #14121
    Ashish Dalela
    Keymaster

    Taking into consideration the stands of government on abortion, prostitution and the like, what do you say on this.

    As I have said, dharma is always the best thing you can do, subject to constrains of your abilities and opportunities. Our desires play no role in deciding dharma. The “leeway” concerns those desires. When it is understood that people will not control those desires, some such desires are allowed to prevent a worse outcome by a ruler. That doesn’t mean that because the ruler allows it, the people who do those things will go scot free. They will be punished by nature. But the rulers who give some leeway to prevent worse outcomes will not be punished. This is a nuance one must understand.

    As regards abortion, it is equivalent to murder. That too, the murder of the most heinous kind because the child they are murdering is most helpless, and being murdered by its own mother. Now, the question is: What is the side effect of forbidding them? There are a few. One, that people will use more contraception, which is not as bad as murder. Two, women will take risky and illegal abortions putting their life at risk, and the doctors who abort the child may also end up killing the mother. The answer to that kind of problem is that everyone involved, including doctors, mothers, and anyone forcing them, must be severely punished. They are all cooperating parties to murder.

    As regards prostitution, you have to legalize it as a profession if you want to curtail rape.

    There can be “sex education” in schools which teaches how children lower their self-esteem by illicit sex when they engage in fleeting relationships. This applies to both boys and girls. This is emotionally damaging in the short run and socially, intellectually, and spiritually damaging over time. This is not difficult to explain, and it is not very difficult to understand.

    When you educate society about the ill-effects of illicit sex and legalize prostitution, then both will decline. So legalizing prostitution alone is not going to solve the problem. Nor is criminalizing prostitution an answer to the problem. The answer is education of the destructive effects of illicit sex. And I’m not even counting the complications arising out of pregnancies and abortions.

    In classical society, such “sex education” was never dharma, because boys and girls were always separated. But given the horrible condition today, we can say that it has become dharma.

    Also within our influence how we should understand and apply this principle of not making things worse. This demands a lot of maturity I feel.

    The general principle is segregation of society with different values and religions. In the time of Lord Ramachandra, for example, different tribal people were living in Madhya Pradesh, while more civilized people lived in cities like Varanasi, Mathura, Ayodhya, Mithila, etc. When Lord Ramachandra was exiled to the forests, he met all these tribal people. They are all nice people, but they have different culture than the civilized people. All these people were separated.

    Likewise, there were separate places for Huna, Khasa, Kirata, Mleccha, Yavana, etc. They are spoken of peripherally which means their existence was known, but there was no mixing of cultures.

    The problem today is globalization, mixing incompatible people, making everyone equal by fiat rather than qualification, fighting for “rights” rather than for “duties”, creating identity politics around how every group deserves to be “respected”, feeling disrespected by every other group, leading to formation of some superblocs that are out to get each other’s throats, which has no end other than a civil war. In short, what starts as unification ends with a war. Watch out for this carefully. Governments always propagate homogenization. Their argument is more unity, more trade, more opportunity for everyone. And the result will always be opposite of that. People of different cultures, religions, ideologies should not be mixed. This is the ancient peace formula. You can meet occasionally, have trade dealings, exchange some ideas. But don’t live closely.

    #14123
    Ashish Dalela
    Keymaster

    What are your thoughts about this when I associate Brahman, Allah, YHWH is the same only one God

    I have already said that this inter-religious unity is impossible. Different people are at different levels of progression in the spiritual journey. Yes, they are all spiritual beings. But don’t underestimate the material covering of that spirit. It takes many lifetimes to totally remove it. Until then, people should practice their religions, rather than trying to unify into one religion. It does not work. The medicine for one man is the poison for another. And poison for one man is medicine for another.

    In the Vedic system, we accept that there is one God who is understood in many ways. These are all aspects of God. But everyone doesn’t accept that. They think their God is supreme, and everyone else is going to hell. You cannot change such people. It has been tried and it has never worked. The more you try to change them, the more they will get angry and upset, and it will lead to clashes.

    Christians have been unable to create unity among Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodoxy. Muslims have been unable to unify Shias and Sunnis. And you are talking about unifying all of them. It’s a silly idea. You practice according to your understanding, and if you are somewhat open-minded, then accept that they are in their path and you are on your path. As long as the goal is the same, there is no need to put everyone on the same path. In the Vedic system also there are many paths. We recommend the path of devotion, but everyone doesn’t agree. We don’t try to denounce them or force them into the devotional path. We know that it takes lifetimes to accept even that which is the best. One tries and fails, then by the failure one seeks something new and then accepts it.

    I’ve even heard in a youtube video when explaining that God is created., a further topic to explore., how much is God created, in order to design a gang, even a gang within a gang., yet even in this can’t separate us from each other spiritually and can’t separate us from God who’s our head

    The Western understanding of God is very limited. In Vedic philosophy, there are millions of spiritual planets on which devotees of God live and they worship God in different ways. God appears to them differently. This diversity is accepted, along with the idea that something in that diversity is superior to the other things. Something is perfect, and we can even choose the less perfect. As long as there is no fighting and envy, it is accepted. When people don’t understand this diversity, they think that other people have created their God, while their God is the real/only God. Fighting and envy have to be rejected, along with the idea that there is only one understanding of God.

    But it is also true that knowledge of God should not be given to someone who is not ready or prepared for it. When one is inquisitive, or looking for a better understanding, then it should be presented to the extent that one is inquisitive. Don’t force people to swallow and vomit.

    So what are your thoughts about no laws, keeping laws, not keeping laws, none of this can separate us from God Brahman, Allah, YHWH, same only one God., as there’s only one head God that is of our spiritual head as we’re all of an area of spiritual body that attach to this head

    You should go back and read what I wrote to you initially. You have not understood what I said at the beginning. You are trying to be a messiah of a unified religion. But who has asked you to be that messiah? Do you not understand that maybe there are many kinds of people and God has given different religions for them to progress a few steps forward from where they are currently? Why interfere with God’s plan to have different kinds of people come to Him in different ways?

    From all your statements it doesn’t seem like you understand much about God at present. Yes, God is the head. But what is at the shoulder level? What is at the chest level? What is at the navel level? And at which level are you right now? If God is the head, then where are you placed in the rest of the body? Do you know your position? Based on your position, you have a certain type of job, isn’t it? So understand where you are. This is the first step. Then you execute the duties of that part of the body. Otherwise, you are a dysfunctional body part, like the stomach trying to pump blood.

    You are not able to understand that each body part is different. The stomach doesn’t receive motor neuron impulses from the brain. It gets inputs from the amygdala. So, for the stomach, the brain means the amygdala. It doesn’t mean the frontal or prefrontal cortex. The stomach doesn’t know about those parts of the brain concerned with visual or auditory cognition. It sees the brain like the amygdala. Likewise, legs and hands see the brain in a different way. The heart sees it differently. Therefore, the brain is different things for different parts of the body. You find out your position in the body and then you will see the brain differently. But if you don’t understand your position, then you cannot act properly. Then if you are not acting properly, how can you guide anyone?

    #14124
    Bharat Jhunjhunwala
    Participant

    If inter-denominational unity is not possible; then inter-religious unity is also not possible. But just as inter-denominational understanding is possible; then inter-religious understanding is also possible.

    #14125
    Ashish Dalela
    Keymaster

    But just as inter-denominational understanding is possible; then inter-religious understanding is also possible

    You can only understand things that are similar to your nature. If we tell you things that are contrary to your nature, then you will never understand them. Nature is comprised of opposites like hot and cold, bitter and sweet, left-wing and right-wing. You cannot understand the opposite nature, appreciate it, or recognize its merits. Instead, when you put people of the opposite nature together, they will fight, and try to destroy each other. There will be civil wars or national wars. To avoid these outcomes, people of different natures have traditionally been separated from each other. That separation is based on the understanding that material nature comprises opposites.

    However, in modern science, this dualism of opposites in matter is rejected. It is assumed that matter is the same everywhere, and hence, we can globalize the world. How this idea is false requires someone with a scientific mind to understand how matter itself is comprised of opposites.

    In Vedic philosophy, we say that nature is three modes of nature: sattvarajas, and tamas. Rajas and tamas are mutual opposites, and sattva is neither of these opposites. Thereby nature comprises three opposites (instead of two). When these opposites are put together, there is always a struggle for domination, reversal of the patterns of domination over time, creating cyclical changes.

    So, when I say that convergence is not possible in the materially conditioned state, I’m doing so on the basis of an alternative understanding of matter, space, time, causality, and logic. When you say that convergence is possible, then you are doing so on the basis of modern scientific ideas. You can keep trying to unite, and you will always fail. Unification in this world is a false idea. Unity is possible only when one has become completely purified of all materialistic tendencies.

    Therefore, the spiritual idea of unity and the separation of material tendencies are not incompatible. They are both required, and they are not contradictory. One has to know both matter and spirit to understand these things. Unfortunately, most people don’t know either of these. They don’t know matter because they cannot understand how this world is built out of three opposites. And they don’t know spirit because they cannot grasp how there is variety even when there are no opposites.

    Under ignorance of both matter and spirit, they talk about unity, which generally means that they are impersonalists. They want to destroy variety, strip everything of its qualities, to attain oneness. That unfortunately will never happen. You can try practically and see your failure. And you can understand theoretically why that failure is inevitable. Both options are open for you.

    #14126
    Bharat Jhunjhunwala
    Participant

    All is Brahman according to Vedanta. Where is the duality in my view? I feel you are making an artificial distinction between Western materialism and Vedic Philosophy. Further, I am suggesting “understanding” between religions; not “unity” or “convergence.” Why is understanding not possible?

    #14127
    Ashish Dalela
    Keymaster

    All is Brahman according to Vedanta

    That, actually, is not a Vedānta statement. It is from Chandogya Upanisad 3.14.1. It goes as follows:

    sarvaṃ khalvidaṃ brahma tajjalāniti śānta upāsīta | atha khalu kratumayaḥ puruṣo yathākraturasmim̐lloke puruṣo bhavati tathetaḥ pretya bhavati sa kratuṃ kurvīta || 3.14.1 ||

    sarvaṃ–all; khalu–indeed; idaṃ–this; brahma–Brahman; tajjalān–born from that; iti–thus; śānta–peacefully; upāsīta–worshipped; atha–now; khalu–indeed; kratumayaḥ–imbued with the power; puruṣah–the Supreme Person; yathā–just as; kratura–sacrifice; asmin–in this; lloke–world; puruṣah–the Supreme Person; bhavati–becomes; tatha–in the same way; etaḥ–these; pretya–after the end; bhavati–becomes; sa–Him; kratuṃ–sacrifice; kurvīta–doing.

    All this is indeed Brahman. Thus it was born from that (who is) peacefully worshipped. Now indeed, it is imbued with the power of the Supreme Person. Just as sacrifices in this world become the Supreme Person, in the same way, these (called Brahman), after the end, become Him (the Supreme Person) doing the sacrifice (for Himself). 

    Thus, there are three things discussed in this verse: (a) The Supreme Person, (b) His power, and (c) Brahman. Brahman is produced from the Supreme Person, given the power of the Supreme Person, and when the power is withdrawn, then Brahman goes back into the Supreme Person. Brahman refers to the individual soul; it is produced from the Supreme Person. However, that soul cannot do anything on its own. Hence, it is given the power of the Supreme Person in the form of the material world. Then, when the material world is withdrawn, then the soul also goes back to the Supreme Person. It is like you give a child some toys to play with and the child forgets the parent. Then when the parent takes away the toys, then the child cries and goes back to the parent in distress. Those toys are not actually the soul’s. They are God’s. He enjoys watching you play with His toys. But after some time, He gets bored of seeing you think that you own the toys. Then He takes them away. Then you realize that it was never your toy, to begin with. Now, you surrender to God.

    This process is described differently in Vedanta Sutra 1.2.29 as follows:

    abhivyakterityasmarathyah  || 1.2.29 ||

    abhivyakteḥ—due to expression; iti—so; āśmarathyaḥ—Āśmarathya.

    On account of the expression, so says Āśmarathya.

    The world is created as the expression of the Supreme Person. Like an artist, poet, or musician produces a painting, poetry, or music, in the same way, the Supreme Person creates the world and enjoys His creation (like one may listen to their own music, read their own poetry, or see their own art), and when the power that produced this poetry, music, or art is withdrawn, the world goes back in. This, however, pertains only to the material creation (idam or this–referring to this world).

    Where is the duality in my view?

    The power by which the Supreme Person creates the world is dualistic. What is duality? It is the separation of things. This means that hot is not cold, bitter is not sweet, heavy is not light. The fact is that we cannot define these opposites without the other opposite. The opposites are always defined mutually. Either they coexist, or neither of them exists. Hence, hot is necessary for cold to be defined. And yet, hot is the opposite of cold. If you define X based on not-X, then X assumes not-X, and not-X assumes X. This results in a logical contradiction. This problem is solved in Vedic philosophy by saying that the opposites are hidden inside each other. In simple words, hot is hidden inside cold, bitter is hidden inside sweet, and heavy is hidden inside light. By the hiding, it seems that hot is not cold. But it depends on cold. Hence, duality is sometimes called an illusion. Then, it is sometimes called unreal. It is sometimes called false. And yet it is always apparent.

    Similarly, in non-duality, there is variety, and yet, the opposite is not hidden. This means that opposites are tied together in a mutual relationship. Since they cannot be defined independently, therefore, they exist simultaneously, and yet, are not in the same thing. And yet, each opposite is visible inside the other thing. That internal presence of X in not-X is like two persons tied in mutual affection, such that both persons are inside the other’s consciousness, and yet they are outside, they are bound together in a relationship, and hence they are distinct and yet inseparable.

    I feel you are making an artificial distinction between Western materialism and Vedic Philosophy.

    That may be because you understand neither Western materialism nor Vedic philosophy. Western materialism is the idea that each thing is a thing-in-itself, such things are separate from each other, without being defined by mutual opposition. And Vedic philosophy is based on the idea that two things are defined by a mutual relationship, such that two things are inside each other, and yet outside each other, bound together into a relationship, and thus inseparable from each other.

    In the material world, duality appears as two opposites competing for superiority. In the spiritual world, non-duality appears as two opposites strengthening and reinforcing each other. Hence, when opposites are put together in this world, there is always a clash. But when opposites are put together in the spiritual world, there is always a strong attraction, eternal relationship, and binding love.

    You may have heard of two phrases: “opposites attract” and “opposites clash”. They are two kinds of varieties, one that is cooperative, reinforcing, and loving, and the other that is clashing, minimizing, and competing. The non-dualistic variety is understood after the dualistic variety disappears. This means unless a person is completely purified of material covering, they keep clashing. Even if there is an initial attraction between opposites in the material world, over time, it turns into hatred.

    Further, I am suggesting “understanding” between religions; not “unity” or “convergence.” Why is understanding not possible?

    It is not possible because your mind and intelligence are also conditioned by one aspect of duality. You cannot understand unless you assimilate. If your mind is imbued by X, and I teach you not-X, and X is the opposite of not-X, then you cannot assimilate both X and not-X simultaneously. This is because they are logically contradictory. People cannot live under an internal contradiction.

    Here is one example of this contradiction. In Abrahamic religions, there is no karma or reincarnation. You live once, and after death, you are put into some sleeping state, until the day of judgment (which is why people use the term “rest in peace” after death). On the day of judgment, all these sleeping souls are woken up and sent to eternal hell or heaven. In all Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism) there is no “rest in peace”. The soul is reborn. So, if you want to teach Western religions karma and reincarnation, then they must give up the following: (a) rest in peace, (b) day of judgment, and (c) eternal hell and heaven.

    This is not a simple thing to give up. It means rejecting their entire religion, culture, and scripture. They will never do that. Instead, if you try to force it on them, they will fight with you. If they cannot criticize the idea of karma and reincarnation, then they will try to attack something else. For example, they will draw a caricature of your religion calling you “polytheistic”, “pagan worshippers”, etc.

    Violence is deeply enmeshed in some religions because they have been violent from the start. The dictum “Love thy neighbor” is not practiced. It is just preached. Similarly, “Thou shalt not kill” is not practiced. It is just preached. You have to know the difference between preaching and practicing. Superficially, it seems that they are saying “Love thy neighbor” and “Thou shalt not kill”. So, what is the problem? We can all be loving neighbors and never kill each other? That is not reality.

    Secularism was invented in Europe because Catholics and Protestants could not reconcile after centuries of fighting. They agreed on Bible as the sole scripture, Jesus as the only savior/messiah, eternal hell and heaven, judgment day, the entire history from Adam and Eve, and dozens of other things. They just disagreed on one thing: The power of the Pope to pass religious decrees. They could not accept a simple thing: Let some people follow the Pope and others not follow him. Let some people worship the virgin Mary and others not. They could not agree on such things.

    There is a reason for that, namely, that many of these religions have been crafted over centuries after making a lot of adjustments and changes. The whole structure of arguments is very fragile, such that if you change one small thing, the whole thing comes down like a pack of cards. If you really want to know the details, you have to study each religion deeply. Superficial handwaving doesn’t work.

    You also need to know the difference between possible and probable. It is possible that the world ends tonight. It is not probable. Likewise, it is possible that all religions will unite. It is not probable. This distinction is paramount.

    Finally, I’ll say a thing or two about Advaita. I have a lecture on this on Youtube you can find and view it. Advaita is not a classical Vedic system and was introduced 1200 years ago. It also has the weakest internal structure, and it collapses by just one or two questions: (a) How was the world created? (b) Why is variety an illusion? (c) How can suffering in this world be an illusion? (d) How can there be happiness without desire and its fulfillment? If you study the history of Advaita, you will see how its arguments have been changing. Shankaracharya for example stated that the world is an illusion. But since that idea came under severe attack, it has been revised in many ways. One such way is to say that the world is not an illusion, but is temporary. Sure. Does it mean that what is temporary has no eternal truth? If so, the world is temporary, the Vedas are in the world, and hence there is no truth in them. There is not a single self-consistent argument in Advaita. But since people are generally ignorant, uneducated, and unwilling to study things deeply, it prospers.

    Advaita was totally dead around 500 years ago due to the Bhakti movement. And it was revived in the 20th century by Bengali “renaissance intellectuals”, given credence by the British because only Bengalis spoke English, and because they wanted brown sahibs who followed a harmless philosophy under which the British were Brahman for Indians while Indians were heathens for the British.

    In classical Indian society, the West was designated as Yavana, Mleccha, etc. But Bengali intellectuals made everyone Brahman, including the British, so they posed no threat to the British. They weren’t trying to be superior. They were just expecting some respect and recognition from the British. In that process, Indians completely forgot the numerous criticisms of Advaita advanced over the centuries after Advaita was introduced. They forgot the entire history of the Bhakti movement which had destroyed Advaita even in Varanasi. They reveled in the newfound Western recognition. They are still looking for it at present. This is called Pavlovian mouse training. If the mouse does X, give it a shock. And if the mouse does Y, then give it a treat. By giving shocks and treats you can train anyone into submission.

    So, try to understand things in depth, by devoting time to study. Understanding all the arguments for and against, not just one idea and ignoring all that has been said against it.

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