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Everything posted by mystic_seeker

  1. You have almost answered it for yourself. A Saivite like Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami would probably say call it Siva consciousness if you like. Some Christians might say Christ consciousness. Some people get caught up in names and words, but the important thing is that one must live life in devotion to the Supreme Lord. gHari put it best: We have three things forever, eternally and they are: 1 ..... Our self, 2 ..... God, 3 ..... Our devotion to God. These three we have forever. Everything else is inconsequential, not eternal.
  2. Beautifully put! Seek God with all your heart and all the rest will work itself out.
  3. Does anyone happen to know a place that sells this resin Dancing Siva (Natraj), see image below. It was on ebay but I missed it; perhaps one of you have see a store that has this particular one? Thanks
  4. Dear Murali_Mohan_das, You really must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed today. I and gHari both disagree with Dawkins' atheism. I like gHari. I only, kindly I might add, pointed out to him that he should not say things about Mr. Dawkins if he is not sure they are true. He agreed. The conversation was always nice and civil. I even gave him the benefit of the doubt that it might have been only sloppy language on his part rather than an intent to misrepresent Dawkins. Nevertheless, we should be careful when we write because we don't want to accidently misrepresent someone. I am stunned that you cannot see the importance of not misrepresenting the other side in a debate. That was my only point to gHari, and it is an important point because satya (truthfulness) is a yama. God bless you, and have a nice day.
  5. Dear Murali_Mohan_das, gHari has already admitted he should not have written that sentence, so why continue to protest? It is wrong for a person to write: "Dr. Dawkins says he doesn't accept quantum mechanics" when that person is unsure what Dawkins' personal opinion on quantum mechanics is. Truthfulness (satya) is important in life. How would you like it if someone put your name "Murali_Mohan_das" in sentence about science or scripture that you felt inaccurately reflected your opinion? You would probably protest: "Hey, that sentence is untrue, I don't believe that!" And you would be right to protest...
  6. First, I hope you are not lumping me in with shvu; I already agreed with one of your other points earlier in this thread. Second, I hope you are not suggesting I am an idiot. Quantum mechanics is a very difficult topic. Many scientists disagree about how to interpret the experiments. Among scientists the Copenhagen interpretation is popular, but other scientists disagree with that interpretation. Third, if you wanted to say that a man (for example Dawkins) who has not experienced the things of the Spiritual life should not attack what he has not experienced, then say that. The way you put it gives the false impression that Dawkins rejects quantum mechanics: Debate suffers when warring parties misrepresent each other. Even though I happen to think that Dawkins is arrogant and is quite pathetic when he tries to do philosophy, I would never try to misrepresent his views. Ahimsa and Satya are yamas for a reason. Anyway, I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you just wanted to make a point (and didn't express it well) rather than misrepresent him.
  7. Listen, man, I dislike Dawkins too, but don't you think its wrong to attribute something to him that he did not say?
  8. gHari, you are correct. In fact, many scientists do not really understand the nature of science. Many of them are lab people who have never bothered to study "philosophy of science," which is the discipline that deals with the nature of science. By the way could you tell me in what book/article/webpage does Dawkins say he does not accept quantum theory?
  9. Cbrahma, is totally correct. Materialism is a philosophical view not scientific view. In addition, it is an assumption. How would someone go about proving that in "all of reality" there is not even one non-material being? Most humans have only experienced a very small part of reality. The only hope atheists have would be to demonstrate that the notion of a non-material being is contradictory (like a square-circle). Contradictory items cannot exist. However, the notion of a non-material being is not contradictory so the atheists should take the humble route and admit "they don't really know."
  10. The word soul (psyche, in Greek, the same Greek word that Plato and Aristotle used for soul) occurrs 58 times in the Bible. See the image below.
  11. This is a joke, correct? You are not seriously suggesting that Moses did not know Hebrew, right? Because he knew Hebrew....
  12. Dear Suchandra, I agree that Paul has had a tremendous influence on most Christians, probably more than Jesus (at least in some ways).... and that is troubling in my opinion. I often find myself disagreeing with some of Paul's teachings though there are others I agree with. I certainly think that if Jesus returned today and examined all the division and different teachings in the various Christian churches he would not be happy. I do feel much of what Jesus truly taught has been lost or misunderstood. But on one point I disagree with you. I do think Jesus came for everyone to draw them all back to God:
  13. Well I don't presume to know the exact significance/meaning of the event. However, based on my own experiences and information that has been revealed to me, I'll try to shed some light on it. Feel free to disagree, of course. By chanting the names of the Lord you invited Him into your life. A combination of your meditational focus and His divine grace made you vibrate at a higher level. This allowed you to take a brief glimpse into the higher realms and thus you saw things that ordinary people do not see (golden lights). You also activated your crown chakra, which explains the upward pull you felt on the top of your head. These type of experiences are good. Many humans are stuck in a materialist type of consciousness. But now that you have experienced what you described above, you know that the materialist view only gives an incomplete picture of reality. Because these experiences are wonderful it is natural for you to desire more. However, it is best, in my view, to simply Love the Lord and surrender to Him. If it is good for more experiences to be given to you, they will be given to you (don't worry). But to seek out these experiences selfishly is not the way to go. (I only mention this because it is easy to get caught up in the selfish route, though I am not suggesting that you are caught in it.) Ultimately, the Lord will transform you by His Grace if you surrender to Him. Namaste.
  14. Dear Shvu, Thanks for the book recommendation! Perhaps now you realize I am not as dense as I appear!
  15. With all due respect Shvu, your comments display your misunderstanding of me. Your comment is totally irrelevant. The point I made is that logically we have to accept at least 3 paradoxical conclusions if we accept Sankara. You, because you do not fully understand me, have said a mixture of truth and falsity here. I use the word 'God' as a synonym for 'Brahman' so you are wrong to say that there would be no God. You assumed that the word 'God' as used by me meant something different from 'Brahman' but that is your mistake. Second, you prove my point because if, as you say, there is no you (bob) that is a reductio ad absurdum. It is not nice to talk "down" to people. Your view makes no sense and you obviously did not read my post above about levels of reality (levels of being). If, as you say, "The world is unreal only when the real nature of everything is perceived and not until then" then, logically, the world would pass out of existence when "the real nature of everything is perceived." But something already has to exist in order to pass out of existence--and if something besides Brahman already exists then the non-dual view is wrong. Well, since you know more than me why don't you recommend some books for me to read? You underestimate my level of understanding. I, of course, know that Mahva and Ramanuja have their disagreements but they agree in that they reject Sankara's non-dualism. That was my main point. I can work out later which of the two (Ramanuja or Madhva) I think is better. I am still waiting for you to suggest some books...
  16. This is a very good but difficult (and frustrating question). Human society is the interplay of many factors. I am a westerner but I was told that prior to marriage in India the Bride and the Groom must go through days or weeks of marriage preparation and counciling so that they will be ready for marriage. Perhaps this is no longer required, and thus divorce has risen? Or is it that like Western secular societies India is starting to embrace (what I consider false) views about autonomy and individual freedom? If this is the case then it will be an uphill battle in the government and the courts. Look at what is happening in the West: (1) Mother and Father are no longer considered necessary for the child (single parents, gay marriage), (2) some have said that religious instruction of son or daughter is child abuse (Richard Dawkins), (3) Women feel they have an absolute right to murder their babies if they don't want them (abortion), (4) Some in america want the age of sexual consent to be lowered to 13 years of age (ACLU). And it goes on and on. These are the abuses of a false understanding of autonomy and individual freedom, which is usually refered to as liberalism. Liberalism is killing the traditional values of the Western culture and if India is not careful Liberalism, like a plauge of locusts, will slowly destroy its culture. In this age of the Kali Yuga I don't know if it can be stopped. I wish I had a simple solution but there is not one. Theocracy is not the answer, but I think on some level a government has got to recognize certain Spiritual truths. If it does not it will almost inexorably go down the path of secular liberalism and devolve in to coutnries like the Netherlands. I am praying for Divine help:
  17. Dear Tackleberry (is that like Police Academy Tackleberry? :-), Sorry you lost your post. That happened to me once, but I hit back on my browser (opera) and fortunately regained my post. Thanks for your explainations. I pretty much understand what Sankara and the Advaitins are saying--that is not the problem. The problem is determining if their view is true or false. There are a few ways to argue for falsity. One way to argue for falsity is the reductio ad absurdum argument which I have employed above. However, Advaitins would probably respond that although some of their conclusions seem "absurd" they are true nonetheless. Another way to argue for falsity is to show that there is a contradiction in the Advaita view. Since contradictions are always false this would be a serious problem for Sankara and the non-dual view. I tried to use the Sun/Mirror analogy to show that there is a contradiction in Sankara's view. The contradiction is that if the mirror has zero reality (does not exist) there cannot be a reflection, but Advaitins say a reflection exists. Thus the mirror must have some reality. But if the mirror has some reality it must be different from Brahman (otherwise it could not reflect Him) and this contradicts their non-dual view. So either way there is a contradiction, which is a serious problem for Sankara and the Advaitins. Ultimately, the problem is one of metaphysics (philosophy of being) and it is trans-cultural. In the West the philosopher Parmenides said something similar to Sankara. Parmenides said "being was one" (there is only 1 being) and multiplicity and change was an illusion (non-being). The problem with this view, however, is that it reduces human beings, stones, flowers, cats, laughter, etc to having zero reality. To have zero reality means that they do not exist at all. This seems to me to be very hard to maintain. In contrast, many philosophers argue that there are levels of being. God is being in its highest sense, Spiritual beings are real but lower than God, and Physical beings are real too but are the lowest level of being. Similar things have been said by Madhva who maintains that both God and the devotee have real being but are different from each other. In other words, Madhva does not deny that the multiplicty exists (is real). So in the end I do not think the Advaita philosophy is true. It is too stark--everything is either God or illusion--there is no in between. The real Bob is God and the illusory Bob has zero reality. Of course, Sankara was no fool so I think there are many insights from the Advaitin view that can be kept. Here are two: (1) Since God is infinite and we humans and flowers are finite there is a huge chasm between what the word Being means for God and what the word being means for humans and flowers. Compared to God we are similar to a dream (a lesser reality). However Sankara went too far by saying that instead of being lesser reality, flowers are zero reality. (2) In meditation the devotee can come to feel that he is so "one" with God that they are the same (non-dual). Even some Christian mystics have claimed this. However, just because it feels like you are absolutely one with God during these meditative states does not mean that you are, in fact, absolutely identical with God. Let me give an analogy. Fire gives light and heat. If you put a rod of metal into the fire and let it stay there long enough the metal will begin to glow and give off light and heat. The metal will look very much like the fire and will be hot to the touch like the fire. The metal seems transformed into fire as much as that is possible. But the truth is that it is still metal. Similarly when the Devotee becomes one with God during meditation the Devotee "glows" and participates as fully as possible in God's life and thus the Devotee gets a taste of what it is to be God even though, like the metal, the Devotee is not God. Because this experience is so awesome and overwhelming I think Sankara went a bit too far and claimed absolute identity: the non-dual view.
  18. Thank you Avinash. I appreciate you taking the time to understand my point, and I am glad we agree "the real nature of Bob ... is Brahman." But Avinash, don't you find the Advaita Vedanta hard to accept? To accept it a person must maintain at least 3 paradoxical conclusions: (1) In your case you, Avinash, must accept that your real nature is Brahman, so in a sense you are God. (I personally feel that God is superior to me and that I am God's child.) (2) The human body is unreal, so when a woman is raped it is not true she was raped because the body is unreal and illusion--but that is absurd. (I just cannot see how there is no reality to the physical world. Is the physical world a lesser reality as compared to the spiritual, yes. But does the physical world have zero reality?--very hard to accept this.) (3) The real nature of the human guy who raped her is Brahman so if the rape is considered real we would have to say Brahman raped her, but that is absurd. For all of these and other reasons I disagree with Sankara and am sympathetic to Ramanuja and Madhva. The closest I can come to Advaita is to acknowledge, as Ramanuja does, that my existence as Bob is dependent on God's existence but God's existence is not dependent on my existence. This means that Bob participates in God's existence and that God continually sustains Bob in existence: I think the Sun/Mirror analogy supports my view more than Sankara's non-dual view. Because God is my cause and sustainer I resemble God (the effect always resembles cause) just like the image of the Sun in the mirror resembles the actual Sun. And the image of the sun in the mirror is dependent on the Sun for its existence, but as you correctly add "saying that a reflection is the same as the Sun is wrong." This explains why the devotee is not identical with Brahman. The problem for sankara is either (1) the mirror is unreal, in which case there can be no reflection and the existence of Bob is an illusion--Bob or Avinash does not exist, which is absurd, or (2) the mirror is real, in which case Sankara would have to hold there is a difference between the mirror and Brahman--but this is what his non-dual view denies. So either way the analogy seems to support my view more than Sankara's view. I do very much thank you for your help, Avinash. I am not trying to be difficult. I am merely searching for the truth with all my heart.
  19. Dear Avinash, The Advaita interpretation says that the only thing that has reality is Brahman. Therefore everything else is illusion, unreal. Here is a quote from Sankara: So if the only reality is Brahman, then Bob (Jiva) only has reality to the extent that he is identical with Brahman. And this was my basic conclusion when I said in my first post: "that Advaita Vedanta logically implies that a human person, like me (Bob), would be identical with God." True, I could have added the qualification that my physical body is not God only my self is, but that is a trivial qualification in my opinion. It is trivial because the end result is that my self is still identical with Brahman. Sankara admits this:
  20. I hate to say it, but secular government usually leads to a more liberal society, which almost certainly leads to moral decay.
  21. I am concerned but how do the rates compare to other countries?
  22. Dear suchandra, You are confusing two topics which are very different: immortality and reincarnation. A religion can have a doctrine of immortality without a doctrine of reincarnation. The doctrine of immortality for Christians just states that the soul, once created, will always exist. They also believe that a person's soul will live out its immortality in either heaven or hell. Reincarnation is a different topic than immortality even though some kind of immortality is necessary for reincarnation. In reincarnation after you die in this earthly life you come back to Earth in a different physical body. Perhaps you are confusing reincarnation with resurrection. Again, resurrection is a different topic. Resurrection means you get a new glorified (non-physical) body which you will use to live in Heaven not on the Earth. It is not nice to call another religion's doctrine a "joke" when you do not understand it. For example, your quote above implies that immortality in Christiantiy is a joke because Christians don't teach the evolution of the soul. But again, you are confusing 2 different topics: immortality and evolution.
  23. Dear suchandra, Jehovah's witnesses have about 16.5 million members worldwide. They represent less than 1 percent (only 0.0078 %) of the 2.1 billion Christians, if they should be counted with Christians at all. They are certainly not representative of the general Christian population. http://www.adherents.com/adh_rb.html http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html Also even if you are correct about the bible not explicitly saying the soul is immortal (though I think that is implied by the scripture I cited), the situation is more complex. For example, for Roman Catholics, who represent over 1.1 billion Christians, the "Word of God" is not the Bible alone but the Bible plus Sacred Tradition: Sacred Tradition has held for thousands of years that the soul is immortal. Thus, for atleast 1.1 billion Christians, the immortality of the soul is a genuine, indisputable Christian doctrine.
  24. Dear Suchandra, I already replied to these points here, but you never commented on them: http://www.indiadivine.org/audarya/spiritual-discussions/444231-why-way.html Yes, of course Christian views of the soul are influenced by Greek philosophy--the new testament is written in Greek and hearkens back to Greek philosophy with terms such as logos. But despite this, the Bible at the very least implies, if not states, there is a soul distinct from the body, that the soul (or spirit) is immortal and will spend eternity either in heaven or hell, as the following Scripture makes clear: 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Saint Paul says: "May the God of peace himself make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Matthew 10:28, Jesus says: "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul." Galatians: 6:7-8, Saint Paul says: "Don't delude yourself: God is not to be fooled; whatever someone sows, that is what he will reap. If his sowing is in the field of self-indulgence, then his harvest from it will be corruption; if his sowing is in the Spirit, then his harvest from the Spirit will be eternal life. Matthew 6:19-20, Jesus says: "Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moth and woodworm destroy them and thieves can break in and steal. But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor woodworm destroys them and thieves cannot break in and steal." Matthew 22:23-33: "That day some Sadducees-who deny that there is a resurrection-approached him [Jesus] and they put this question to him, 'Master, Moses said that if a man dies childless, his brother is to marry the widow, his sister-in-law, to raise children for his brother. Now we had a case involving seven brothers; the first married and then died without children, leaving his wife to his brother; the same thing happened with the second and third and so on to the seventh, and then last of all the woman herself died. Now at the resurrection, whose wife among the seven will she be, since she had been married to them all?' Jesus answered them, 'You are wrong, because you understand neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For at the resurrection men and women do not marry; no, they are like the angels in heaven. (Christians believe in Heaven our soul continues to exist but is given a glorified body that is not corruptible like the fleshly human body we have on planet earth. To be resurrected is to be given a new body not a new soul, the soul is immortal.) Matthew 25: 31-46: "When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All nations will be assembled before him and he will separate people one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right hand, "Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me." Then the upright will say to him in reply, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you? When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?" And the King will answer, "In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me." Then he will say to those on his left hand, "Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food, I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink, I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, lacking clothes and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me." Then it will be their turn to ask, "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or lacking clothes, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?" Then he will answer, "In truth I tell you, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me." And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the upright to eternal life.' Although most Christians do not believe in reincarnation, it appears to be in the Bible anyway. The 2 most quoted texts are: Matthew: 11:11-15: "There has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist ... And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. He who has ears, let him hear." John 9:1-3: "And as he was passing by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who has sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?" Jesus answered, "Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents, but the works of God were to be made manifest in him.'" For more see here: http://www.near-death.com/experiences/origen03.html
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