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Switch to Forum Live View The teacher and the King
5 years ago  ::  Dec 25, 2008 - 8:35PM #1
HinduGuy
Posts: 373
In the olden days when Kings ruled the land, if a person was called before the king, he would be very scared not knowing what might befall him. Once before the King, he would fall on his knees and shake with fear. He had no defense as the King was Judge and Jury. He could have him killed for no reason at all! The King issues commands, laws and passed judgements. To a King, keeping his throne was of the utmost importance. To this end he rewarded loyalty and killed and abused those who he deemed disloyal, even if they were good people. A King could not afford to spare even children and babies! This is the Abrahamic "god"! God made in the image of a King. Their "god" runs a segregated heaven open to only the faithful (loyal) and gives hell to those who do not toe the line. For these people simply going to heaven is not enough, those who pray to others must be punished. In some of their popular books, christians get to go to a flesh-happy heaven and the rest are left on earth to endure drought, pestilence and violent storms. But this is what a King would do to those who are not loyal to him.

A Gandhi is shown the door while a pedophile is let in. In the bible there are stories of how "god" urges his minions to kill all, not to spare even women, children and babies. He rules with threats and fear, on judgement day, lots of killing. Hitler only killed 6 million, but this king would kill billions because they are not christians. Christians proudly call themselves christian soldiers, again the reference to an army and a ruler. King Worshippers, worshipping a King and calling him God.

The Hindu/Buddhist version of God is more akin to a Parent or Teacher. To Hindus/Buddhists the ultimate goal is not a flesh-happy heaven but Moksha or Enlightenment. God is our teacher in this journey towards enlightenment. It may take several lives for us to reach the level of a Buddha. In each life the ups and downs we face are God's teachings. Our God does not pass laws or judgements. A Hindu/Buddhist should never, never, never fear God.

A teacher wants his students to ask questions, explore fresh & different ideas, respect others' ideas, be open-minded and learn constantly. It is no surprise to me that Hindu India is a shining democracy whereas Muslim Pakistan lurches from one despot to another. A king has no use for democracy, those who follow King religions closest see democracy take flight. Even western nations found democracy only after seperating church from state. In India the opposite is true, India will always remain a democracy as long as it remains a Hindu nation.

Some changes that we need to make is not to use the word Lord when referencing God. That word denotes him as a ruler not a teacher. Also Hindus/Buddhists should stop kneeling in front of the murti. A subject/slave kneels before his master or King. We are devotees/children of God not his slaves/subjects. I believe that God wants devotees, she does not want a slave quaking in fear. God is above us but be clear that we are not below God.

To me the idea of Hell is a western import, I know that some sastras do talk about hell but I am very uncomfortable with a God who tortures people, bad people they may be. This is a human idea that somehow says that inflicting physical pain will make them better people, unfortunately we know that is not true. I do believe that Karma and Rebirth do away with a torture God. With Karma and Rebirth, a bad person will learn God's lessons anew in his new life. Let's realize that a bad person is not going to be tortured in his new life but simply will be made to realize his errors and reform and lead a better life. Besides isn't it much more fun to lead several lives, one as a teacher, the next a famous actor, the next a surgeon? or would you rather be one-and-done? Who cares about flesh-happy heaven anyway?
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5 years ago  ::  Dec 27, 2008 - 11:43PM #2
HinduGuy
Posts: 373
sorry forgot to ask the question: Is your version of God a King (usually male) or a Teacher?
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2009 - 8:09AM #3
Kevinponeill
Posts: 802
Hi HinduGuy,

My God is both.  Some sociologists of religion and theologians believe religion is addressing our ultimate concerns.  Those things we do not have control over.  The image of a power outside of our control makes sense to most.  (if you vist  my Journal you will see more about my particular point of view)

Most modern religionists would reject the view of God as a dictator in the sky (who is unprincipled in Her/His actions).

Most still believe a view of God, whose actions do not always serve our personal ends, makes sense, given how much of the world is out of our control.

I hope you are right about India.  I do think your statement about democracy is not fully developed.  Democractic institutions were imposed on India, and the intrigration of the principles were encouraged by broad economic development through International trade.

I believe religion had little influence on democratic development (in any country), but democracy has had a major impact on relgion.

I believe the lack of democratic structures in Islam has more to do with economics, and other social factors.
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