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  1. I suppose you are generally correct in this assessment, but it still isn't for me. Neither are any of the others paradigms provided by mainstream religion. Hinduism and Tantricism have the same problems as all the others. Anyone who doesn't see that is blinded by the insanity of their beliefs. I have no beliefs because I see the outcome of having them, and it's not for me. I'm only interested in breaking the cycle. I don't believe in any of the predictions of any of the mainstream religions, I don't believe in the circular logic they use to defend their irrational behaviors and morals, and I don't believe that I have to give up anything in order to become more. I am the only religion I have. I need no defense, because I make no claims to any morality, righteousness, authenticity or pretense of power concerning myself. I simply AM. If I were to suddenly fade out of existence or if my existence were disproven, it wouldn't affect the rest of the world. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way with hinduism; a lot of people would be devastated if it all turned out to be a big complicated lie, because they've vested their whole identity in it. Faith generally tends to work like that; it's the ultimate dependency infrastructure. Therefore, I am the lowest of the low, and I worship only myself. You say many scriptures have been adulturated but some have not. Some is not good enough. One truth floating in a bed of twenty lies ruins the entire thesis, especially if the one truth is used to justify and validate the twenty lies. Most people can live with that, but I can't. If this stuff works for you, great. Just remember, lies are always defended with the greatest exertion, and are always self-refering. Truth is silent, waiting for all things to seccumb to it's level. All I've seen here is defense and self-reference. Since I have nothing to defend and nothing more to say, I am withdrawing from this discussion forum.
  2. I suppose an apology is in order. I have spent some time considering these things, and have decided to give up my search; the data I've compiled is too conflicting and amorphous for me to come to a conclusion. I've heard three different answers to my inquiry, but have no way of confirming which one is more authentic, or if such a question is even relevant. I suppose that at this point I have no other choice but to assume that your answer regarding Vetala is the "correct" one. As for your beliefs, they are yours and you know them best. However, even if I were to commit myself to such beliefs, I know that I would not be fulfilling my personal place and potential. Aghora is the closest thing to where I am at, and even that is too complicated and would require doing things which go against my nature/sacrificing things which I cannot let go of. I apologize for wasting your time.
  3. I see your point, and acknowledge this. Possession can be partial, but through the obligation of debt (or addiction), can become all-pervasive and requiring intervention. However, with demonic possession, it is doubtful that the demoniac has the ability to distinguish and make the willful deecision to have the demon cast the demon out. This is why the Catholic Church has such a hard time with the subject; it is ultimately up to the victim to change. Even the drug addict undergoing therapy has voiced a desire to be free of his addiction. People enacting an intervention without the consent of the addict or demoniac are in a position to be charged for criminal offenses. This has been amply demonstrated in cases of cult deprogramming in which people have been abducted against their will. Cult deprogramming of this sort is the same as unconsenting cult brainwashing, and therefore criminal. The Church of Scientology sued a cult deprogramming group for kidnapping one it's members in Seattle WA, and they won. People who invoke demons do so with the full knowledge of potential consequences. Who are we to take that right away from them if they have not asked for assistance? I think that's the biggest question of this whole scenario. When does intervention become tyranny and authoritarianism?
  4. Biblical faiths say the same thing. The Vedas were written by men, therefore what you say is ludicrous. Forces may have existed before us, and our knowledge of them may be self evident (which is what I've been saying all along) but how we define and relate to them is our subjective projection. There is nothing you can say to convince me otherwise. Your scriptural theology does not reflect on my self-evident knowledge of the phenomenon you call God, so I can't believe in it. It's as simple as that. End of subject.
  5. Thank you for your patient response. In response to what you proclaim in this quote, Truth comes from within, not from another person showing me his understanding of truth that has been tainted by other people's accounts. Truth is central, not peripheral. This also applies to God. I recognize the essence of truth in the Bhagavad-gita, but I also recognize the words used to cloud that truth. I see the same thing in the bible, for that matter, or any other "scriptural" account I've read. Anyone who writes scriptures has a political agenda, no matter how much they try to convince you otherwise. Here's an interesting thing: Animism is the recognition that matter is composed of energy (spirit). If matter is spirit, then why are they portrayed as seperate by mainstream religion? Also, why is there the insistence that only Brahmans are Brahman, and not everyone else who acknowledges such a process in their life? After all, that was the original, pre-Vedic concept. Why do only certain people qualify as Avatars if we all embody the same exact process in varying degrees? All existence embodies the principles of devata; we are all an example of the process of entropy exerting influence over energy/matter via the four forces of physics. Even those are illusory, according to string theory. We are all the embodiment of the singularity (the "black hole" theory of infinite compression resulting in infinite implosion/infinite recursion), because according to quantum physics, that is the nature of particulate matter on the most finite level. So how then are we seperate from God, or the "truth", or anything else, if we are all just the continually alternating manifestations of the same energy and data? Lack of awareness does not seperate these functions, or diminish them. The lesser animals are alive, despite their lack of intellect and language that would allow them to define the process of life. A tree still makes a "sound" (sonic vibration) when it falls and there are no animals around to hear it. Wether you know of my existence or not, I still exist. Wether you believe it or not, we both embody a portion of each other on the most intimate and subtle level, and "God" is within you. The only thing I see in mainstream hinduism is a plot to seperate man from God by convincing him that such a thing is possible; that he is already in some way seperate from the process that resulted in his being. I see no such state of seperation, and no difference between me and any of your Avatars, or me and your gurus. By trying to be absolutely precise in defining varying states of manifestation in relation to each other, you've lost yourself in the semantics due to the creeping in of secondary meanings. The Vedas and other scriptural works are nothing more than a projection of a set of values onto our environment, and you have forgotten to keep that in mind; you have become the slaves of the forms you project, or rather, the forms that have been projected for you by dogmatic hierophants. I like to use the analogy of a bunch of people in a cave with their backs to a fire, and a man (the guru, Brahman, rishi, etc.) standing behind them making shadow puppets, telling them to fear and never question the shadow-face they see on the wall. Hinduism isn't your shadow-puppet, it's the puppet of a long line of usurpers bent on making you their slave. They don't want you to turn around and look at the fire that they think they have a monopoly on. Rather than worshipping the fire that could warm your face, you worship the shadow puppet, because you've been tricked into thinking that you chose to, or because you've been dominated into doing so by fear of consequences. This isn't a case of the closed-minded me not listening to you, it's the closed-minded you who is not listening to me. If my heart wasn't open to God as you put it, I wouldn't be making such eloquent clarifications, because I would have no compassion; no desire to assist you in expanding your parameters. What you know is your reflection on what you've read in a book or been told by a guru. What I know is my internal experience of being, which I then find words to define, in as scientific a manner as possible. When the religious rhetoric doesn't measure up to the scope of my personal experience and the science I use to define it, I cast it aside. Faith in the idea that the world is flat doesn't make it so, no matter how many ancient tomes proclaim it. This is all my opinion, based on what I know and have experienced, and that is that. If your opinions differ, then so be it. I'm not saying that you should convert to some other religion; just that you might want to try using examples outside of it's paradigms for inductive comparison, in order to achieve the true synthesis that is knowledge. God and the world does not revolve around India, no more than it revolves around Israel or any other place.
  6. Fair enough. Good tidings to you.
  7. Christianity (and Judaism before it) makes similar claims about it's "scriptural" pretense. The Jews ripped off YHVH from the Canaanite "Iahu" (the Serpent of the Abyss), and everything in Christianity is contrived from other religions as well, so much so that it is completely alien to the Jewish world view which spawned it. They turned other people's gods into devils, and their own devil into God. This is a practice they learned on their way out of India. The fact that the Jews originally came from India is established fact; Hebrew is a dialect of ancient Aramaic, which branched off from Sanskrit. There are still towns in India with names that were previously thought to be of Hebrew origin, but are Dravidian or Sanskrit in origin. Even their archnemesis Satan comes from proto-Sanskrit. Like Judaism and Christianity, your brand of religion uses the same circular logic to defend itself, and denies earlier examples of religious thought upon which it's concepts and principles are based. For example, the term "chatan" is an alternate spelling of satan. Satan is a monodeistic concept which predates the concept of Brahma. As an example of the subversion I spoke of, it has been turned into a name for a type of demon in general, with the spelling slightly altered so as to distort the original meaning and mislead people from identifying the source; a typical trick of the Brahmans in their attempts to bury the indigenous cultures/beliefs and program new generations with contrived paradigms (gee, kind of like Vetala being turned from a god into a race of malevolent spirits). The mainstream hindu portrayal of Aghora is the same as the Christian portrayal of Satanism, but like Satanism coming before biblical hogwash, Tantra came before Vedism. Before Tantricism came ancestor veneration and animism. Hinduism is a gold veneer over a copper veneer over an iron core. Iron is more useful than gold. If this is the Age of Kali and perversion and travesty are the mainstream, then that makes hinduism a perversion of pre-Kali Yuga beliefs, just like Judaism and Christianity (all three were established as dominant paradigms in the first 5,000 years of the Kali Yuga - doesn't that tell you something about their true nature?). Your religion speaks of the 10,000 good years in this Yuga, but fails to explain that it will only come when people put aside what is now considered mainstream and return to simpler ways. It's why people like me are digging up buried elements of your past; my descendants must have examples to show them that the way of the world as told by "scriptures" is not truly the way of the world. God is the devil, and the devil is God. History proves this. If Columbus didn't really discover America and Satan isn't really the Jewish devil, then why should I believe that the Vedas and Puranas are the real thing?
  8. Thank you for the additional information; I will read the canto you refer to. It still doesn't make sense to me: If Parvati was a human woman who achieved devi status by marrying Siva, and she gave birth to Bhairava and Vetala as well as Ganesha and his brothers as a result of copulating with Siva, wouldn't that then at the very least make Vetala a singular entity, and more properly an avatar (or at the very least an aspect) of Siva? You said Siva has three primary sons; doesn't this imply that he has other "masculine" offspring - other sons? How does a father disowning his own flesh make them not his sons? I understand that your sect might portray Vetala as a race of demonic beings in the present day, and that in some sense this might have validity in respect to your own beliefs, but isn't that a twisting and degeneration of an earlier myth for the purposes of sectarian condescenscion? The etymology of the name betrays such a circumstance: Vetala literally means "weaver in Tala". Paraphrase that and you get weaver of apparitions, weaver of manifestations, and to paraphrase it into romantic English, King of ghosts. It speaks of a process by which a spirit may become an apparition, and in general, the process of utilizing such apparitions for magical purposes. A "god" can be thought of as a concept or process by which one may facilitate manifestation. A possessing spirit is not the weaver; not the "King" (process) which sends it into the corpse. I can deduce by the etymology of the word (which has pre-Sanskrit Dravidian origins) that comparatively speaking, Vetala is "Satan", and the ghosts are the "demons" which he sends to manifest the spells of the magician. The etymology of Vetal would indicate that the earliest usage of such a name was to denote a god of magicians, ghosts and Vampires. I also know that every hindu sect which is devoted to one specific deity concept places that Deva or Devi higher than all others, and even goes so far as to use scriptures placing that deity on top to justify their dogma. Shaivites think Siva is the highest, Brahmans think Brahma is the highest, Vaishnavas place Vishnu as highest, Bhairava devotees think Bhairava is the highest, etc. They all use "scriptural" examples which place their god in a superior position to other aspects of devata. Couldn't that then be an explanation for why I see a Deva in Vetala, and you see a host of malevolent spirits? Judaism did a similar thing when it placed it's own monotheistic concept above all other gods, and started calling those other gods "fallen angels". If those other gods (such as Lucifer, Satan, Baal-Zebuth, etc.) prexisted the Hebrew Yahweh (a contrivance of the Canaanite "Iahu"), then doesn't that make Judaism a travesty of earlier beliefs, dsigned to divide and conquer other cultures by way of ridicule? What makes your brand of religious cosmology any different? Ancestor worship is the oldest religion and animism the oldest spiritual belief. Anything which demonizes and subjugates those beliefs is a TRAVESTY. The idea that one must first offer food to some higher mediator before it can be utilized by one's ancestors is an example of this; it's the same as Catholics praying to saints who will then pray to God on one's behalf, or who will then pray for one's ancestors who are waiting in purgatory. It remove people one more step away from the actual process of communion with the divine, thereby disempowering them. As for demonizing ghosts as being "lost souls" in order to justify cremation, that's just plain sick. Vetal (weaver in the earth) was being worshipped before Siva; animist deities always come before theological doctrines. Siva was around before Brahma, and so was Satan (sat + tan = the ALL; the entire process of creation/maintenance/destruction. Entropy is the highest "God"). Satan came before YHVH; and look what the Jews did to Satan to boost their false god Yahweh above all else. Like any anthropologist who has studied this particular subject, I theorize that Vetal came before Siva, came before the Vedas and Puranas, and before all the men calling themselves "Brahmana" and "Aryavansa". I theorize that Vetal was being worshipped before Tantra even had a name, and before Vedic religion was even conceptualized. So who's more right; the Siva worshipper or the Bhairava worshipper? If it's the same god, and Vetala is just one more personalized expression of that concept, then what does it matter? If you are human and tribals in Decca are human, then what gives you the right to subjugate their concept of deity (which is fundamentally the same as yours, and probably much older) to the level of "doorman"? Are they untouchables to you? I thought hinduism didn't really promote caste systems... This will make for a very interesting debate, if you are up to the challenge. Perhaps we can both learn something from this. I guess the real question in all this is, "who stole what icon from who?"
  9. What you're describing isn't really theology (doctrine of creation, God as seperate from his creation which is the Universe and it's beings) but a form of deism (emanation doctrine). The belief you describe is the belief held by the Church of Religious Science; that God is the ALL, and since the ALL is the sum of it's parts, God is continuously becoming, experiencing and dying, ad infinitum. I guess you could think of "God" as the consciousness generated by an infinite number of brains, each acting as single neurons in the larger brain of the life collective. The Mormons come close to this, but they still consider God to be a personal being seperate from his creation, and therefore have a doctrine of theology. Theology allows for moral prohibitions, which they are quite fond of. Deism is amoral, prefering survival ethics as a basis for compassion and cooperation. Deism is also the basic doctrine of Traditional Satanism. Theism is Right Hand Path, and Deism is generally considered Left Hand Path. Unlike theism, deism allows for a belief in personal godhood, ghosts as immortal spiritual beings, Vampires as superhuman evolution, etc. When you say Process theology, are you refering to process in general, or the theology of the Process church?
  10. I posed a Socratic question, not a statement of opinion in this matter. As for wether or not I believe that, I've noticed that there deos seem to be an atmosphere of distrust and intentional misinformation when speaking to foreignors about their personal culture and beliefs. I had that problem awhile back when researching German folklore and mythology: everyone in Gemany knows who "Falada" is in reference to German folktales, but not one of them would give me a straight answer. I happened upon the English translation of the tale of Falada in a book a number of years later, all on my own. The only thing I got from the Germans I spoke to was laughter and tall stories leading me in the wrong direction. It's not even that important of a story; they did it out of cruelty and spite for people who aren't like themselves. The tale of Falada is something they tell their kids in kindergarden. So far, I've seen two contradictory descriptions of Vetala; one based in scriptural and anthropological reference, and one based in what sounds like superstitious folklore coming from hindus. But then again, I guess it's like asking a Christian about the Canaanite origins of YHVH, or the pre-Vedic origins of Satan; the only thing they know is the propaganda of their own religion concerning such things. You know, I'm glad I didn't persue anthropology as a profession; it's like asking a brick wall to describe the process of how it's bricks were made, or the name of the mason who assembled them.
  11. Thank you for answering. I've heard this answer before. So then when the Kalika Purana describes Vetala as a son of Parvati/brother of Bhairava, it's not a reference to a deva, in the same manner as Bhairava or Ganesha? I don't understand this. I also know that Vetala can roughly be translated as "weaver in tala", which has creative/deific implications (the one who weaves ghosts into the living). I've also read stuff describing Vetala as the lord of Vitala (2nd loka of tala, the place where the hungry ghosts dwell), lord of spirits, King of ghosts, etc., implying a singular personal concept. I've also read about how villagers have a stone outside their village in which Vetala dwells; this is in some cases described as a single entity seperate from other "Vetalas", whereas in other instances, it's described more like posssession of a multitude of idols by the spirit of the Deva or Devi that those idols represent (i.e., the spirit of Christ occupying all crucifixes). I've also read descriptions of a festival involving Bhairava puja in which offerings of flesh are first sacrificed to Vetala, and in such instances, Vetala is described as a personal concept, in the same manner that all devata are decribed (in this case, as a different aspect of Bhairava, much the way Bhairava is described as an aspect of Siva). Am I to believe that each individual Christian is possessed by a different spirit, all of which call themselves "Jesus Christ" as some sort of species designation, or that one hindu's Brahma is different from another hindu's Brahma; that Brahma is a reference to a species? So which answer is the correct one; the one you give me, or the one I am led to believe by what I have read elsewhere? Is it possible that both definitions are correct in a relative way, that Vetala is both a personal embodiment of Deva and a catch all phrase for possessing spirits in general, depending on which tradition you follow? I can call myself a King, but that doesn't necessarily make it so in the real world. Do you understand what I'm saying? A good example of what I'm talking about is the "Satan" phenomenon: it starts as a name specifying a deific concept, then it comes to generally mean "the enemy" in Hebrew, then it becomes a personal demigod in Christianty, and in today's society, it takes on a secular, literary meaning as a metaphor for a person or thing which opposes you. In other words, it's been relegated to a catch-all phrase by people who do not have a belief in the Christian concept of Satan. Am I supposed to believe that the same chronology of events DIDN'T occur in regards to Vetala? Parvati was a human woman, but she became Devi by marrying Siva. If Vetala was one of her sons, doesn't that make him a specific being with human origins, and a personal embodiment of Deva? I don't understand this. There's a story about how Bhairava cut off Brahma's head or some such thing as being the reason for Kalikas to carry around a Brahman's skull and beg for alms, but there's no stories describing the activities of his brother Vetala, and why present day devotees carry on in a particular manner of worship? If Vetala is not a deva, then why is he mentioned as the brother of Bhairava, born of the same mother? Why is Vetala even mentioned in the personal sense in such a text? I don't understand all this doubletalk or the reasoning behind it. I came back from the dead after getting hit by a car; I'm missing a portion of my brain, but my I.Q. is significantly higher now. So does that make me a Vetala? Am I a "King of ghosts", and the son of Parvati and Siva? I'm trying to identify the force or being who sent me back into my flesh; not the symptom which I have become. It seems that Vetala represents the cause of my condition, but you're telling me that I'M Vetala, and that everyone like me is "a Vetala". This makes no sense. I've never read anything which would authenticate your supposition that Vetala is a reference to an entire race of beings. This sounds to me more like a superstitious degeneration of actual scriptural reference. Please show me an Englich translation of some scriptural reference which authenticates such a belief.
  12. In any case, possession is voluntary. If the people in the show claimed to be oppressed by the demons and wanted free of them, and then acted as if they had something inside them during the rites, it's pure charlatanism and confabulation. The Catholic Church defines authentic demonic possession as a person willfully allowing a demon to enter them and internally control/manipulate them. Demonic obsession is defined as a demon externally manipulating a person against their knowing will (assuming that they are conscious of such manipulations). The church does not officially condone or promote exorcism of the demonically possessed, because that would be interfering with the free will of the demoniac; they are possessed because they choose to be. Those dmonically obsessed can pray for deliverance/protection, as exorcism would be unnecessary in such cases; exorcism is only used to cast demons out of a person or place, not prevent them from tempting the weakminded. As for other beings possessing the willing, this is a common facet of most religions. Giving one's life to Jesus Christ is a form of divine possession, as is being moved by the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, etc. Therianthropy is another example (i.e., werewolves being possessed by wolf spirits, living Vampires being possessed by bat spirits, etc.). Pseudochristian propagandists try to make it out to be something obligatory and against a person's will, but that's not the case; a person converting from Satanism to Christianity does not have to undergo exorcism to drive out any demons, and demons are not in a position to possess practicing Christians. According to Christian doctrine, a demon canot enter a person without their consent, and a demon cannot enter a place where the Holy Spirit is indwelling; i.e., a practicing Christian or a church in which they congregate. The idea that one can be possessed by malevolent spirits against one's will is borrowed from eastern religions and has no real place in Christianity. The media comes up with docudramas of this sort for the purpose of scaring peole with false propaganda, and creating an atmosphere of confabulation. Based on the principle that people imitate art, more or less. More money in the pockets of charlatans posing as "exorcists", and more sensationalism for reporters to investigate.
  13. I tried that, and although there are a few peripheral references to Vetala in relation to Bhairava veneration, there are no pictures of Vetala to be found, and no description of any scriptural stories of Vetala. I'm looking for some confirmation of who Vetala is and what he represents in relation to other deity concepts and in relation to humanity. What is the story of Vetala, and what is to be learned from such examples? Is Vetala just another aspect of Siva like Bhairava is, and if so, what are the characteristics and attributes? Knowing a person's name is not enough to understand their history or function; there has to be a story. The same applies to a deity. I know about Bhairava devotees, their skulls and beggar lifestyle and what Bhairava represents to them, but I don't know half as much about Vetala; I only know the name and who he's related to in scriptural reference. Why is there a complete lack of access to any stories about Vetala? Are Indians trying to hide something from Americans, under some pretense of manipulation? If I wanted political headspin and religious brainwashing, I'd turn on the t.v. and watch televangelists and political campaign debates. Why are you all so hush-hush about Vetala? Is Vetala the Hindu version of the Christian Satan? I'm not interested in folkloric descriptions invented by westerners in support of vampiric or superstitious speculations regarding Indian tribals. I want to know what Vetala represents in scriptures so I can determine what the moral of such stories is. Reading the Baital Pachisi isn't going to tell me who Vetala is/what he represents. I need answers from somebody, and I need them now. I'm not going to find them on a webpage, so someone needs to open up. If sites like this are devoted to spreading greater understanding of Indian culture and religion, then why are there only a few deities listed? What about the thousands of other demi-gods that Indians worship? What about Vetala? And why is it that no one can tell me which Indian god has the bat as it's symbol? Would that be Vetala, or some other Deva/Devi? What is Vetala's animal form or symbol? Why can't I get any straight answers? My perspective is an anthropological one; I'm not interested in worshipping your gods in heaven or your demons in the underworld. I just want a more complete history so I can place it all into an educated perspective. Trying to sell us sugar when we want meat isn't a good formula for foreign relations. If I wanted to buy a trained bird in the marketplace to let go free, I'd go to Thailand. I'm not in the mood to learn Sanskrit just so I can read a few obscure texts, or moving there and becoming a citezen so I can hang out with the tribals who worship Vetala. I just want a straight answer from someone.
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