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  1. Sannyas is linked directlly to Shankara, even Chaitannya took sannyas in a lineage coming from the mayavadis. And Shankara formed his sannyas on the model of the Buddhist sangha. There were ascetics before as there are sadhus and babajis even now and Buddha was one of them before forming a monastic order, most probably a Jain ascetic (though born in a Hindu family). But the formal Hindu monastic order was developed on the example of Buddhist monasticism. There are a lot of different philosophies within Hinduism and in some less popular Upanishads there are views somewhat similar to Buddhism. Only on the account on that it would not become a separate religion. But we should consider time and again that the Hinduism of the time was not the same as the one we have today, and the one we have today was developed between other things under the influence of Buddhism too and therefore it is probably more compatible now than it was at the time.. after all at the time the very word Hinduism would not have much sense… Of course in this development the modern Vedantic Hinduism often incorporated Buddhism as a part of the theology and mythology but that is somewhat questionable. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p>
  2. Well most probably the Theravada Buddhist tradition is the closest to the original, while others are more influenced by other Hindu, Tantric, Taoistic, Shamanistic and other traditions.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:" /><o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> Yes but there is the difference between astika and nastika. Buddhism rejects Vedas that are accepted at least formally by almost all Hindu sects, rejects the social structure and so on. It accepts reincarnation and karma, but it is a big questions if that is a Brahmanic/Vedic concept or Shramanic (together with ahimsa, asceticism and some other things) that was in time incorporated in Hinduism.<o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> Buddha was not a Hindu monk. He developed a monastic order on his own and later Shankara reformed the sannyas inspired by his order, so it would be more accurate to say that sannyasis are an offspring of Buddhist monasticism.<o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> But again it’s just a meter of perspective. Religion is in a permanent change and interaction so... doesn’t meter really...<o:p></o:p>
  3. But it is not about differences in organizations and religions as much as in the approach. For example Christianity and Vaishnavism as they are both based on a devotional approach will be guided by more similar principles than for example Vaishnavism and Hatha/Kundalini Yoga. Or Buddhism and Jainism or Advaita Vedanta will have more similarities than with devotional religions. So I was talking more about the general approach (jnana/bhakti/raja/hatha and so on) than abut outer religious differences.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:" /><o:p></o:p>
  4. Depends how you define Hinduism. Today's Hinduism most probably is a combination of different influences – Vedic Brahmanism, local cults, Tantrism, Shramana traditions... Buddhism is in its teachings much more linked with Shramana traditions (Jainism for example and some now extinct) that were probably to some extent independent from Vedic ones than to Brahmanic traditions of the time (modern Hinduism was not there at all, it developed with the Vedanta Acharayas). All this influences (including Buddhism and even Islam) affect to some extent the Hinduism of our days, but when Buddhism was founded .. well again you can say that Christianity is an offspring of Judaism and Islam of Judaism and Christianity.. or that they are separate... in a way no religion is completely separate, there are always influences and backgrounds.. so it depends on the perspective, but I don't look on Buddhism as a part of Hinduism. <o:p></o:p> That is if we talk from a historical perspective of course. If we look at it from the scriptural perspective (of a specific religious tradition) and consider them more factual than historical evidence than it is about faith and there is nothing really to discuss about the subject.<o:p></o:p>
  5. <!--[if gte mso 10]> .......> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} ........> <![endif]--> We should also not forget that he is a Buddhist. Different sadhanas have different requirements. It is easier to develop spiritually in bhakti yoga (that is based on surrender and devotion) than in raja/jnana (that is more based on the personal effort) living a grihasta life. Actually bhakti yoga is maybe the only way for a grihasta to reach the goal, in a lot of other spiritual practices it might be even impossible to reach the goal without celibacy. As he is a representative of Buddhism that is very much about renunciation, detachment and so on it is just natural that this form of spirituality very often requires complete (including outer one) renunciation to fulfill itself. In my opinion it is a big mistake to explain one spiritual tradition with the principles and philosophy of another. <o:p></o:p>
  6. Was that not discovered to be a hoax made by the hindutva people during the BJP government?<o:p></o:p>
  7. Medias sell what people want to buy. I'm not spiking about that. I'm speaking about more people in churches and less in eastern based groups than before. Just my subjective impression of the local situations, nothing more. Christianity has more to do with Hinduism than Druidry and similar superficial attempts to reinstall something we don't know almost anything about any more. Just some children (of any age) playing “spirituality” in their free time. Religions for adolescents and bored housewives. Well, the same segment of population than (often not less superficial) eastern sects tend to attract. Not that many people I would say. Christianity has a fine contemplative tradition in the bhakti yoga path. Just does not make so much fuss about that. And it is more “monastery oriented perhaps” Don't compare yogis with some disinterest formal believers. Compare them to contemplative monastics and I don't see so much difference. And I'm not sure who is right here when the scriptures are demanding certain prerequisites for such practices (yama, nyama (Patanjali) , solitary life, away from the human company (HathaYogaPradipika) etc. But none cares about that, just contract the annal muscles and breath like a dog and you'll get everything philosophy. Besides in all this ears I have not seen an western yogi that has impressed me much. Bhakti yoga is much better for a non-renunciate and in that Christian have nothing to look for in the east that they don't have at home. Personally I have a preference for Indian traditions, basically I grow up in that, but I would advice most of the westerners to be better Christians, why should they change? The Christianity is not just what it was in the east. It hes adjusted to the mentality of local people. Ramakrishna once said that religions are ll basically the same, the difference is in the climate, mentality etc. So it is adjusted for the people in the west. Even people who are interested in the east make their own westernized version of eastern traditions. And I'll mention Ramakrishna again when he witnessed a Yatra and said hat this is the real thing, the sanathan dharma, and all this new organizations just something temporary. You can spread a few Hatha-yoga exercises for models interested in health and weight loss, but more than that on a brother basis I'm not so sure and I don't see the need for that. In my experience (even from the private admitions of some Indian gurus) a lot of this Indian “spiritual marching” on the west has as much economical, national and other not that pure motives. Just look the attitude towards Vivekananda. How big a figure he has become. And why? Just because he become something on the west. If he remained in India no one would care. After many years of repression and unable to impose themselves in other ways they found a way of feeling proud in front of other nations through religion. Like if Vivekananda was some kind of political or military lieder. Funny cause that is exactly the typical dog-mentality Vivekananda so much detested in India. Even now it's enough tat a guru gets a few western disciples to jump in the ranks of the religious market of fairy tales. I would personally have more confidence in a teacher who avoids popularity and westerners. But even if all the world becomes a Hindu, or Christian, or Muslim or anything what would change? A good Christian is no different from a good Hindu. It's jut the outer show. Get real, the world will not be Hindu. It wont be Christian.. and even if it would be who cares. Religion is not a tool to impose one (person, religion, nation, guru, tradition, whatever) on another. That is an immature attitude of children fighting on whose father is the strongest in the world. I don't thing religion should be spread at all. When you go around asking someone to take something you are not a teacher, yo are a seller. And in time you became a beggar. Teachings are for those who ask. And prove them selfs worthy. Otherwise you have just a big prostitution going on and misuse of philosophy and practice. Where have all this rishis and yogis of old gone? This modern red-robed religion-sellers can not compare even to the smallest of the puranic demons. Just makes the contemplative practices look to cheep. It should never had left the ashrams and caves, no good will come from this profanation of religion. It has become like a cheep Chinese shop. Everything very cheep, very available and of very bad quality.
  8. Brahmachari - celibate (non-ordained though some formal wows might be involved) Sannyasi - monk (the sannyasa as we know it today comes from Shankara) also the first and last stage in the varanashrama sistem, the traditional way of ideal dividing the lifetime in 4 stages of brahmacharya (celibate student), grihasta (hausholder). Vanaprastha (recluse, renunciate) and sannyasa (monkshood). But the varanashrama system is almost non existent in the real world today (if it ever was) and sannyasa or brahmacharya are not that much related to one's age. It is not that much different from the western monastic traditions actually.
  9. Yes, but Hindu teachers, preachers and yogis in the west are doing the same regularly calling Christ a yogi (or a Vaishnava), quoting the Bible and explaining it as it suits them etc in the attempt to attract Christians to them. Some even taking some Christian symbols and ways of expression of religious beliefs (Yogananda was one of the first). It might be a genuine believe or an conscious manipulation or something else but it seems to me that Indians actually were the first to use this methods.
  10. But are all Gaudiyas not initiated with the same (Maha) mantra?
  11. I know ISKCON devotees that are not (yet) initiated but are chanting on a mala, in most of the books there are instructions about the process of chanting so obviously ISKCON advocates chanting on the mala for non-initiated devotees. <o:p></o:p> I don’t know about that. Personally I use the same mala for different mantras (but I’m not initiated in any). Why no older devotees want to comment on this? They probably know the what is the opinion in ISKCON or Gaudia maths or other traditions. <o:p></o:p> I’m not talking about wearing them (I’ve seen sannyasins wearing them and those who do not) but about chanting. I suppose they can chant, especially when following a “composite” raja yoga type of sadhana though even than it is sometimes considered to be a lesser form of mantra yoga practice to use a mala for chanting. But I don’t see why would that be a necessity in the jnana yoga process. So my question is if there are some recorded facts or traditional believes about Adi Shankaracharia’s practicing this type of spiritual discipline. <o:p></o:p> As for wearing the malas as I said earlier a lot of sadhus (and non) wear rudraksha for it’s supposed health, material and spiritual benefits.<o:p></o:p>
  12. but then again are feelings of love and attachment notoften stronger when we are separated and longing for the object of love than when we have it near? Platonic love is often the more intense. When you get closer.. and even married it often diminishes (or transforms in a less intensive form) <o:p></o:p>
  13. Yes, I find it strange too, that's why I'm not sure it is the truth.<o:p></o:p> In that case only initiated disciples could chant while I believe that everyone is encouraged to chant even before/without initiation. There are also a lot of “specific” mantras that are not diksha mantras but sometimes chanted for some reason and for a certain period. So I do think that any mantra can be chanted on the mala, bt maybe not on any mala. But I’m not sure what is the ISKON (or Gaudya in general) opinion about this.<o:p></o:p> Hmm that sounds a little sectarian to me. After all Prabhupada himself chanted on non ISKON malas (as all the Vaihnavas before ISKCON). So it might be something connected with internal Iskcon rules but I doubt it has any spiritual, traditional or scriptural explanation.<o:p></o:p> If there is such an rule it is probably a logical attempt to keep the money inside the organization. Iskon devotees make (I suppose), sell and buy the malas so it is a way to support their own organization.<o:p></o:p> Did he use malas at all? Not every sadhu/sannyasi/devotee uses it, more so those inclined to advaita Vedanta I suppose.. (some probably use them only as “decoration” for the benefical influence and spiritual significance, but might not use them for chanting.<o:p></o:p>
  14. I heard that Prabhupada was asked if using rudraksha mala for chanting the maha-mantra was OK and the answer was that it is. And heard also that he used it. But it is a second-hand information and I wouldn't take that seriously unless there is a confirmation in his writings or from a direct witness. <o:p></o:p>
  15. Well I don't know how much truth there is in it but I remember reading Swami Vivekananda stating that Catholic Church has an advantage over other Christian churches in that there is more mysticism there, I don't remember exactly but I think it was about rituals, images etc that are used in the Catholic Church and avoided in some others and he was speaking about that as conductive to spiritual development and mystic experiences even though as a vedantin ultimately probably considered them of secondary importance.<o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> Well I tend to agree wit that because of those ascetic traditions that were at their highest point in the first centuries, but continued to some extent in monastic traditions. And I dot’s think it is for no reason that monastic often have more understanding for the eastern mysticism than the diocesan priests that are often „punditlike“ formalists without a firm practice and often not following their wows (of celibacy etc) either. So though I have some issues with the church in global I do believe that it's monastic traditions were able to keep at least something of real value thru the ages<o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> It should also be taken in consideration that more contemplative the monastic are less probable it is to hear about and from them. Worldly and formalistic people more into the organization than into living their fait are usually the loudest in every church ..<o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> After all some strict orders like the Chartusians once ordained have no contact with the outside world whatsoever besides the family that can visit them for two day a year. So you won't hear much from people spending their entire days in spiritual disciplines and ascetic living, but most of it will came from those that actually should never be considered of any spiritual authority.<o:p></o:p>
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