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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2011 - 11:08AM #51
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

Feb 11, 2011 -- 2:44AM, Jm8 wrote:


All,

unless you list them, with specific differences from Vedic or other texts, there's nothing to discuss.




 


Well, for starters, my gods do not impress non-violence as the way. 


Let's start with that one.  We can go on from there. 


 


all

Yesterday, in America, 100 million gun owners did nothing.
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2011 - 11:15AM #52
Markezuma
Posts: 289

Feb 11, 2011 -- 2:44AM, Jm8 wrote:

Mark,
> If I am unwilling or unable to test my own perceptions of the divine against those of others, I quickly become far less convinced of those perceptions and may eventually abandon them.

Exactly. This is the way to get beyond subjectivity.



And that is why I'm trying so hard to understand the "unverifiable" part of UPG's. If, I ask myself, something is truly gnosis reflecting eternal truths can't it necessarily be verified though a shared relationship to the experience of those truths? I think you and I would probably answer that it can, but I'm still very interested in why some of the others here might argue that this is not the case.


Feb 11, 2011 -- 2:44AM, Jm8 wrote:


> I was under the impression that Buddhist literature was primarily agnostic. And that the original Buddha claimed no knowledge or concern about gods (or devas).

Many people think like this due to the PR of Theravada Buddhism. See Bhakti Ananda Goswami's series "Pure Land Buddhism as Vaishnavism" linked from

www.veda.harekrsna.cz/connections/Easter...




Thanks for the link. Most of the Buddhists I've known have been practitioners of Zen, since that seems to stem from the Theravada tradition it is easier to see now why they would claim to be atheists (or after pressing them more accurately admit to being agnostics). The notion that Krishna, and Buddha, and Jesus are all incarnations of God is disconcerting to me. I believe each of them had a soul (atma I think), and while they each have a spark of divinity they are no more a part of God (Atman if I'm getting the term correctly) than you or I.


Feb 11, 2011 -- 2:44AM, Jm8 wrote:


> gaining and using money or personal success for the benefit of humanity can in my opinion bring spiritual rewards.

Although quite some Indians claim so (under the influence of monism) it's not supported by Vedic texts. Worship of humans and service to them bring temporary results, just like deva worship and service as per your BG quotes above. So it's very clear that different types of worship bring different results.




I grew up in liberal Protestantism and often heard phrases such as "God helps those who help themselves" and "If it is to be it's up to me." I am still moving slowly away from such egocentric notions and the Gita helps, but I do still at times have a strong attachment to the notion of personal salvation. The idea is that I can remain me and be with God at the same time. I am not completely convinced one way or the other about this belief, but I'm still sympathetic to it and it's corollaries like 'personal progress leads to God.'

"Better a live sparrow than a stuffed eagle" -E. Fitzgerald
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2011 - 12:11PM #53
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,776

Feb 10, 2011 -- 2:10PM, Markezuma wrote:


I just want to say that I value your view of what should and should not be considered sacred texts even if it does not appear to you or I that Jm8 does. Those differences are what I obviously need to explore better or this discussion would have died days ago. That goes for mainecaptain, Sacrificialgoddess, Heretic_for_Christ, and even teilhard as well. I don't mind at all being told I'm wrong so long as the person doing the telling will explain why and perhaps help me get it a little more correct. Thanks.



I too have no argument with you either, so far you have said you believe there is only one, but you are willing to accept that it may or may not be true. You are ready to listen, and you desire to learn, I really appreciate that thank you.

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2011 - 1:36PM #54
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

Feb 11, 2011 -- 11:15AM, Markezuma wrote:


And that is why I'm trying so hard to understand the "unverifiable" part of UPG's. If, I ask myself, something is truly gnosis reflecting eternal truths can't it necessarily be verified though a shared relationship to the experience of those truths? I think you and I would probably answer that it can, but I'm still very interested in why some of the others here might argue that this is not the case.




 


I probably could talk to Cap, or SG, and receive validation for a shared exprience.  I couldn't do so for you though.  It's not a slam on you, it's just the way these things are. 


 


all



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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2011 - 2:04PM #55
Jm8
Posts: 784


all,

> my gods do not impress non-violence as the way.

you probably heard of ahiMsA and it's usual translation as 'non-violence'. Many people think it means absolute passivity. That's not the real meaning. AhiMsA refers to minimalization of violence as well as violence in harmony with dharma. Othewise how could KRSNa urge Arjuna to fight?
There are many accounts of devas fighting against asuras to protect dharma.


Mark,

I guess the 'unverifiable' refers to a subjective nature of perception. Yet even though I see the same object as you a bit differently, we can still agree that it's the same object.

Zen actually belongs to Mahayana (Northern) tradition.

> The notion that Krishna, and Buddha, and Jesus are all incarnations of God is disconcerting to me. I believe each of them had a soul (atma I think), and while they each have a spark of divinity they are no more a part of God (Atman if I'm getting the term correctly) than you or I.

Vaishnava theology recognizes difference among us, jIvAtmAs, and avatAras. (If you wonder about this Sanskrit transliteration system, it's called Harvard-Kyoto.) As per my earlier link, avatAras are of different categories and gradations.

Gaudiya Vaishnavas consider KRSNA the Svayam BhagavAn, the original form of God, and Buddha and Jesus as avatAras, although there's no unified opinion into which category they fit.

> I grew up in liberal Protestantism and often heard phrases such as "God helps those who help themselves" and "If it is to be it's up to me." I am still moving slowly away from such egocentric notions and the Gita helps, but I do still at times have a strong attachment to the notion of personal salvation. The idea is that I can remain me and be with God at the same time. I am not completely convinced one way or the other about this belief, but I'm still sympathetic to it and it's corollaries like 'personal progress leads to God.'

From the BG pov, this Protestant view is incomplete. BG 18.14 (trans. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami PrabhupAda):

The place of action [the body], the performer, the various senses, the many different kinds of endeavor, and ultimately the Supersoul—these are the five factors of action.


As far as how much effort is needed for salvation, there're are various views among Vaishnava traditions. In our tradition an analogy of a "man in the well" is used. When someone falls into a well, rescuers throw in a rope which he has to grasp to be pulled out. So the result is in the form of a cooperation.

More quotes about devas and KRSNa. My comments in []:

My dear King YudhiSThira, the demigods then approached the Lord [NarasiMha who killed asura HiraNyakaSipu]. They were headed by Lord BrahmA, King Indra and Lord ziva and included great saintly persons and the residents of PitRloka, Siddhaloka, VidyAdhara-loka and the planet of the snakes. The Manus approached, and so did the chiefs of various other planets. The angelic dancers approached, as did the Gandharvas, the CAraNas, the YakSas, the inhabitants of Kinnaraloka, the VetAlas, the inhabitants of KimpuruSa-loka, and the personal servants of ViSNu like Sunanda and Kumuda. All of them came near the Lord, who glowed with intense light. They individually offered their obeisances and prayers, their hands folded at their heads. (BhAgavata PurANa 7.8.37-39, trans. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami PrabhupAda)


The Siddhas, VidyAdharas, KimpuruSas, Kinnaras, CAraNas, YakSas, RAkSasas, SuparNas, the best of serpents, and the followers of the demigods all showered flowers on Aditi's residence [at appearance of avatAra VAmana], covering the entire house, while glorifying and praising the Lord and dancing. (BhAgavata PurANa 8.18.9-10, trans. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami PrabhupAda)

Btw, this type of account is very common in PurANas. Compare with:

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of good will. (Luke 2:13-14, Douay-Rheims)


Hope this helps. Hare Krsna
Your servant, bh. Jan

www.vrindavan-dham.com
www.veda.harekrsna.cz
www.krishna.com

dvaitaM bandhAya mokSAt prAk prApte bodhe manISayA
bhaktyarthaM kalpitam dvaitaM advaitAd api sundaram

"Duality is bondage before moksa and wisdom after realization. The duality accepted for the purpose of bhakti is sweeter than even non-duality." (from mangalacarana to Advaitasiddhi sara sangraha by Madhusudana Sarasvati, former advaitin)

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2011 - 2:37PM #56
Markezuma
Posts: 289

@ mainecaptain: You are certainly welcome. I have heard so my people from so many different schools of thought declare that they have a definitive and final answer. That the notion has lost all credibility with me. It seems only logical to me that either only one is correct in the claim of ownership of the truth or no one owns it. The second case seems much more likely to me and is also less divisive.


@all...: No offense taken at all. I understand that your perspective of divinity is different from mine and perhaps radically so. As long as neither one of us tries to 'convert' the other to his way of thinking we may both learn something about those differences. And with any luck well also come away with a better understanding of the divine.


@Jm8: I do believe that we are pointing at the same object. And that is in part because of shared experience. But these boards are almost entirely subjective in nature, so I wouldn't go so far as you do to claim because we agree about some things that they must be so. I do appreciate the effort you are putting forth to help me become more educated about Krishna Consciousness.

"Better a live sparrow than a stuffed eagle" -E. Fitzgerald
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2011 - 2:44PM #57
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

Feb 11, 2011 -- 2:04PM, Jm8 wrote:



all,

> my gods do not impress non-violence as the way.

you probably heard of ahiMsA and it's usual translation as 'non-violence'. Many people think it means absolute passivity. That's not the real meaning. AhiMsA refers to minimalization of violence as well as violence in harmony with dharma. Othewise how could KRSNa urge Arjuna to fight?
There are many accounts of devas fighting against asuras to protect dharma.






 


No, I meant the minimization of violence. 


Now, I realize, without me knowing more about your faith, I can't tell you the ways that I feel my faith is different from yours.  However, I'm not the one saying that all faiths are essentially the same.  Why don't you tell ways in which you think (not just are taught, I have a low tolerance for reading religious writings) that our faiths are the same. 


 


all

Yesterday, in America, 100 million gun owners did nothing.
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 12, 2011 - 2:02AM #58
Jm8
Posts: 784

Mark,

I try to avoid making conclusions without enough information since wishful thinking doesn't help.

You're welcome. If you have more questions, just pm me.

> I have heard so my people from so many different schools of thought declare that they have a definitive and final answer. That the notion has lost all credibility with me. It seems only logical to me that either only one is correct in the claim of ownership of the truth or no one owns it. The second case seems much more likely to me and is also less divisive.

This is an interesting topic. Vedic view is that there's one reality revealed to and realized by persons on various levels of advancement so on the surface it looks like various realities.

Just like when we learn math we're first taught in a simplified way, like 'one can't subtract bigger numbers from a smaller ones' but gradually we learn about negative numbers. It's the same math though, just taught according to time, place and person.

When advanced followers of various traditions meet they're immediately 'on the same wave'. So the solution is to go deeper but most people aren't ready or interested (and sometimes even prevented, e.g. in cults) to do that. That's the breeding ground of religious conflicts which are then successfully exploited for political reasons ('divide and rule'). Welcome to 21st century.


all,

> Why don't you tell ways in which you think (not just are taught, I have a low tolerance for reading religious writings) that our faiths are the same.

so far you avoid telling what your faith is. Your profile is restricted. Thus I have a hard time to understand what is your purpose of being on an interfaith board. You only hinted that you consider Odin real so you probably follow Asatru or similar. But I'm not sure.  I don't know if minimization of violence is a no-no in Nordic traditions. Some refs would help.

I often see people asking for personal opinions and refusing to read religious writings. To me it's contradictory since those writings are in a great part personal realizations of various people and if they wouldn't agree with realizations of others, why would they be considered important at all?
One may say that in some traditions there's a degree of forceful persuasion to assure obedience of 'sheeple'. Well, that's a sure way to keep 'sheeple' on the surface or turn it away. That's pretty much the Western history of Christianity and the reason why more and more Western-born people look for knowledge elsewhere.


Hope this helps. Hare Krsna
Your servant, bh. Jan

www.vrindavan-dham.com
www.veda.harekrsna.cz
www.krishna.com

dvaitaM bandhAya mokSAt prAk prApte bodhe manISayA
bhaktyarthaM kalpitam dvaitaM advaitAd api sundaram

"Duality is bondage before moksa and wisdom after realization. The duality accepted for the purpose of bhakti is sweeter than even non-duality." (from mangalacarana to Advaitasiddhi sara sangraha by Madhusudana Sarasvati, former advaitin)

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 12, 2011 - 12:05PM #59
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

Feb 12, 2011 -- 2:02AM, Jm8 wrote:


all,

> Why don't you tell ways in which you think (not just are taught, I have a low tolerance for reading religious writings) that our faiths are the same.

so far you avoid telling what your faith is. Your profile is restricted. Thus I have a hard time to understand what is your purpose of being on an interfaith board. You only hinted that you consider Odin real so you probably follow Asatru or similar. But I'm not sure.  I don't know if minimization of violence is a no-no in Nordic traditions. Some refs would help.



 


I would be more than happy to offer more information, if you had not already asserted that all gods were in fact facets of one god.  Obviously you must have a reason for stating as such. 


Feb 12, 2011 -- 2:02AM, Jm8 wrote:


I often see people asking for personal opinions and refusing to read religious writings. To me it's contradictory since those writings are in a great part personal realizations of various people and if they wouldn't agree with realizations of others, why would they be considered important at all?



 


Because when they ask for personal opinion, they mean your personal opinion, and not the personal opinions of people who have long since died, and aren't in the conversation to defend those views. 


In my perspective, religion is a highly personal thing.  A thing that each person must explore, and adopt as they see fit.  If all one does is offer quotes of "authorities" in their tradition, and has no thoughts of their own on the matter, it does no good to talk to them.  I am capable of seeking out the religious writings of various faiths myself, and could skip the middle man, if so interested. 


Feb 12, 2011 -- 2:02AM, Jm8 wrote:


One may say that in some traditions there's a degree of forceful persuasion to assure obedience of 'sheeple'. Well, that's a sure way to keep 'sheeple' on the surface or turn it away. That's pretty much the Western history of Christianity and the reason why more and more Western-born people look for knowledge elsewhere.




 


I think it's just because the traditions that people turn away from aren't offering them whatever it is that they are looking for. 


 


all

Yesterday, in America, 100 million gun owners did nothing.
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 13, 2011 - 1:03AM #60
Jm8
Posts: 784

all,

> I would be more than happy to offer more information, if you had not already asserted that all gods were in fact facets of one god.  Obviously you must have a reason for stating as such.

I didn't say 'facets' but quoted RV:

>> "He is the Only One who bears the names of all gods" (Rig Veda samhita 10.82.3). Ditto VedAnta sUtra 1.4.28.

and later mentioned my comparative study agreeing with it so far. Wherever there's a good enough description of devas (names, forms, qualities, activities) available (in some places records were destroyed or don't exist), they are shown as identical with already known ones. Part of our website is an intro to these connections.

> In my perspective, religion is a highly personal thing.  A thing that each person must explore, and adopt as they see fit.  If all one does is offer quotes of "authorities" in their tradition, and has no thoughts of their own on the matter, it does no good to talk to them.  I am capable of seeking out the religious writings of various faiths myself, and could skip the middle man, if so interested.

"if they wouldn't agree with realizations of others, why would they be considered important at all?" It's a common thing in both scholarly and nonscholarly circles to quote others, living or dead, to support one's own views.

Spiritual realization is definitely personal but can be also shared to a large extent. This sharing enriches one's understanding of one's own realizations.

You may be capable of seeking them out but to know which ones they're and to understand them you'll need a help. Even while learning the language of those writings you can't skip the middle man, either in the person of a living teacher and/or an author of coursebooks and dictionaries. Without teachers (parents) we can't even learn the basics of human life as seen from the cases of children growing up with wild animals.


Hope this helps. Hare Krsna
Your servant, bh. Jan

www.vrindavan-dham.com
www.veda.harekrsna.cz
www.krishna.com

dvaitaM bandhAya mokSAt prAk prApte bodhe manISayA
bhaktyarthaM kalpitam dvaitaM advaitAd api sundaram

"Duality is bondage before moksa and wisdom after realization. The duality accepted for the purpose of bhakti is sweeter than even non-duality." (from mangalacarana to Advaitasiddhi sara sangraha by Madhusudana Sarasvati, former advaitin)

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