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Sita Ram Goel on Jesus

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Most of the Bible is composed of Old Testament writing which don't deal with Jesus or his message in anyway and most of the New Testament is a collection of letters written by the leaders of the new Christians to other new Christians and trying to establish the teachings of Jesus in newly formed communities ect.

 

The Gospels themselves tell stories about the life and teachings of Jesus. What we have the teachings of Christ form the basis of Vaisnavism as pertains to human conduct.

 

Only a most wretched demon would look upon the basic teachings of Christ and decry them.

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Teachings attributed to an author are one thing. Rather or not the attributed is historical or rather or not the attributed represents Vaishnavism or something else is an entirely different matter. Such things might be worthy of discussion among reasonable people. That being said - the teachings of Jesus, the best of which are influenced by Buddhism, are not the issue - the issue now is people like you who arrogantly and viscously attack and lambaste people for having a different point of view and wishing to discuss it.

 

If you want to know what Vaishnavism is, please read the book on Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu written by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. Then read his humble position vis a vis those who would not accept Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Contrast that with your posts in this thread.

 

 

Most of the Bible is composed of Old Testament writing which don't deal with Jesus or his message in anyway and most of the New Testament is a collection of letters written by the leaders of the new Christians to other new Christians and trying to establish the teachings of Jesus in newly formed communities ect.

 

The Gospels themselves tell stories about the life and teachings of Jesus. What we have the teachings of Christ form the basis of Vaisnavism as pertains to human conduct.

 

Only a most wretched demon would look upon the basic teachings of Christ and decry them.

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Even when Jesus Christ stated "no one comes to the Father but through Me", He didn’t say that other religions are ultimately invalid. He just described the universal process of God-realisation through Self-realisation.

 

Precisely.

 

Jesus can bring Krshna.

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What Jesus said was clear - primate has made it seem unclear;

"No one comes to the Father but through Me." That is what was said -

primate then put his own spin on it to 'explain' it. Of course once he is through with

his 'explanation' you are willing to accept exactly the opposite of what Jesus said!

 

Why spin something that is clear? Do you know any Vaishnav guru in India who would dare say a thing like that?

The statement is inconsistent with Sanatana Dharma. It is Christian dogma.

 

 

 

 

Originally Posted by primate:

Even when Jesus Christ stated "no one comes to the Father but through Me", He didn’t say that other religions are ultimately invalid. He just described the universal process of God-realisation through Self-realisation.

 

Precisely.

 

Jesus can bring Krshna.

Edited by Smiley

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John 14:6

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me".

 

That is, no one comes to the Father except through the way.

That is, no one comes to the Father except through the truth.

That is, no one comes to the Father except through the life.

 

Context is always important:

 

7If you really knew me, you would know[b] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." 8Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."

9Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

 

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

 

15"If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

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...

Do you know any Vaishnav guru in India who would dare say a thing like that?

...

 

What could possibly be wrong with this statement!?

 

Even when Jesus Christ said, "no one comes to the Father but through Me", He didn’t say that other religions are ultimately invalid. He just described the universal process of God-realisation through Self-realisation.

 

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What Jesus said was clear - primate has made it seem unclear;

"No one comes to the Father but through Me." That is what was said -

primate then put his own spin on it to 'explain' it. Of course once he is through with

his 'explanation' you are willing to accept exactly the opposite of what Jesus said!

 

Why spin something that is clear? Do you know any Vaishnav guru in India who would dare say a thing like that?

The statement is inconsistent with Sanatana Dharma. It is Christian dogma.

 

When Jesus said "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" , the word "Me" in that statement did not necessarily mean the historical body from Nazreth. Jesus is not the body. He always spoke in parables and also claimed that "those who have eyes will see , those who have ears will hear".

 

Similarly , Bhagvad Gita is the essence of Vedas and Upanishads.

 

This is an essential message for people on both sides of the fence -

 

1. Potentially vulnerable Hindus

fence: =============================================

2. Christians who take the Bible literally, trying to convert the Hindus.

3. Muslim fanatics who take the Kuran literally , out of context and attack Bharat Varsh.

 

 

Finding faults with others' scriptures will not help. It is the individuals who are in error.

 

Srila Prabhupad always said that my family, my community , my nation are all bodily designations, while we are not the body, we are the soul (AtmA).

 

That does not mean Hindustanis should sit tight saying "I am not this body" and let Pakistan snatch Kashmir.

 

It means Hindustanis should look at them as bretheren in seperation from God who do not know what they are doing, to be given knowledge, and if required , set straight.

 

Hindus, Hindustanis, followers of Sanatan Dharma have to be like that 13 year old girl in the video you have posted. Only when required. Not all the time. Overall they should be firm, strong, confident, in knowledge, devoted and ideally always at the Lotus Feet of the Lord.

 

Jai Sri Krishna

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Why do you consider it fault-finding to point out how Christian dogma differs from Vedic principles?

It is not fault-finding to assume that the Bible and Koran say what most Christians and Muslims claim that they say.

It is not fault-finding to agree with Christians and Muslims that their faiths are unique and distinct.

Trying to view them through a Universalist lens is not logically valid. Please reference

the excellent article by By Dr. Frank Morales, Ph.D. (Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya):

 

www.dharmacentral.com/universalism.htm

 

 

Finding faults with others' scriptures will not help. It is the individuals who are in error.

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...

Trying to view them through a Universalist lens is not logically valid. Please reference the excellent article by By Dr. Frank Morales, Ph.D. (Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya):

 

www.dharmacentral.com/universalism.htm

 

 

Three important factors that differentiate the nature of various religions are: a) The Problem, an analysis of the fundamental existential dilemma that human beings face, b) The Solution, the proposed escape from our existential problem, c) The Absolute, the nature of the ultimate Reality.

 

Different religions are clearly aiming at different, most often mutually exclusive, soteriological and theological goals. For the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the human person is seen as a sinner who is in need of repentance, divine forgiveness and renewal. The Absolute for these allied traditions is an omnipotent, anthropomorphically envisioned, monotheistic Godhead.

 

 

For Hinduism, the human existential dilemma is caused by ignorance (avidya) of our true state as permanent spiritual beings (atman), and our illusion (maya) of separation from the Absolute. Liberation (moksha) is achieved by transcending this illusion, and by realizing our inherent union (yoga) with the Absolute. Speaking in the most general of terms, the Absolute in Hinduism is termed Brahman. Brahman is an omnicompetent, non-anthropormorphic panentheistic Godhead.

 

www.dharmacentral.com/universalism.htm

 

 

Dr. Frank Morales, Ph.D. (Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya), speaks here of the Absolute Truth. Since there can only be one Absolute Truth, his assertion that different religions aim for different Absolute Truths is absurd. A specific religion may be a wrong path, but there is only one Truth (or top of the mountain).

 

Most religions are in search of the one Absolute Truth or God. Jesus also referred to this one universal Truth when he states: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also." ( John 14:6-7).

 

I’m quite convinced that the concept of God or Absolute Truth in original Christianity (as rendered in the original Hebrew and Greek texts of the New Testament) also refers to the God or Absolute Truth of Hinduism/Vaishnavism (as rendered in the Vedas). This Absolute Truth is necessary reality. It is personal, eternal and fully independent. It is the one omniscient, omnipotent, panentheistic Godhead; the source and ground of everything. This is the concept of God portrayed in both the Vedas and the Bible. Thus, the Vedas and the Bible are ultimately compatible religious scriptures.

 

If you don’t agree, then just try to imagine what it would mean if it actually is true, i.e., if empirical science would find hard evidence of this universal Truth. Perhaps then you will approach any attempts at unifying Christian doctrine and Hindu doctrine slightly more open minded..

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I agree that there is one Absolute Truth and notwithstanding the fact that Swami Prabhupada said that no Vaishnava can reject Jesus, I absolutely reject any teacher who claims that no man gets to it except through him.

Perhaps from this you may conclude that I am not a Vaishnava - who cares.

I am still a Hindu who worships Sri Vishnu as my ishta-devata.

 

One Absolute Truth yes. But you yourself said that there "may be a wrong path". I think your radical universalism is not valid. I don't think you successfully impeached Dr. Morales' arguments and I do not find yours cogent / valid since your conclusions do not follow from your premises.

 

I’m quite convinced that the concept of God or Absolute Truth in original Christianity (as rendered in the original Hebrew and Greek texts of the New Testament) also refers to the God or Absolute Truth of Hinduism/Vaishnavism (as rendered in the Vedas).

I agree that you are quite convinced of that.

 

This Absolute Truth is necessary reality. It is personal, eternal and fully independent. It is the one omniscient, omnipotent, panentheistic Godhead; the source and ground of everything.

I will stipulate that for the sake of discussion.

 

This is the concept of God portrayed in both the Vedas and the Bible. Thus, the Vedas and the Bible are ultimately compatible religious scriptures.

A non-sequitur. You have not established a connection between Brahman

of the Vedas and the God of the Bible. The only connection I see is your

opinion "I'm quite convinced ...". For instance, some people claim that all those attributes refer to Jesus whereas other Acharyas say that Jesus is a Jiva.

 

Just because the nature of the Absolute Truth is as you described and people attribute that nature to their ishta-devata, doesn't mean that they are correct. Although he hears the prayers of everyone and accepts sincere 'wrong way' worship as worship of himself, Sri Krishna is careful to elucidate differences between himself and the devas or lesser beings. Without such

differences, the word 'Supreme' would have no meaning.

 

So one Absolute Truth - yes. But you yourself said:

"A specific religion may be a wrong path ... "

 

 

 

Dr. Frank Morales, Ph.D. (Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya), speaks here of the Absolute Truth. Since there can only be one Absolute Truth, his assertion that different religions aim for different Absolute Truths is absurd. A specific religion may be a wrong path, but there is only one Truth (or top of the mountain).

 

Most religions are in search of the one Absolute Truth or God. Jesus also referred to this one universal Truth when he states: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also." ( John 14:6-7).

 

I’m quite convinced that the concept of God or Absolute Truth in original Christianity (as rendered in the original Hebrew and Greek texts of the New Testament) also refers to the God or Absolute Truth of Hinduism/Vaishnavism (as rendered in the Vedas). This Absolute Truth is necessary reality. It is personal, eternal and fully independent. It is the one omniscient, omnipotent, panentheistic Godhead; the source and ground of everything. This is the concept of God portrayed in both the Vedas and the Bible. Thus, the Vedas and the Bible are ultimately compatible religious scriptures.

 

If you don’t agree, then just try to imagine what it would mean if it actually is true, i.e., if empirical science would find hard evidence of this universal Truth. Perhaps then you will approach any attempts at unifying Christian doctrine and Hindu doctrine slightly more open minded..

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Why do you consider it fault-finding to point out how Christian dogma differs from Vedic principles?

It is not fault-finding to assume that the Bible and Koran say what most Christians and Muslims claim that they say.

It is not fault-finding to agree with Christians and Muslims that their faiths are unique and distinct.

Trying to view them through a Universalist lens is not logically valid. Please reference

the excellent article by By Dr. Frank Morales, Ph.D. (Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya):

 

www.dharmacentral.com/universalism.htm

 

That statement about others' scriptures was not directed at you personally, it was a very general statement. Just want to let you know. Sorry if i offended you.

 

What Indians are appearantly facing , is not the actual teachings of Jesus Christ or Islam which point to the Truth.

 

My only point was that as long as Hindus realize this, the younger generations can be protected thru' knowledge and discrimination.

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I was not offended. Please tell me how you know what are "the actual teachings of Jesus Christ or Islam which point to the Truth."

 

 

 

That statement about others' scriptures was not directed at you personally, it was a very general statement. Just want to let you know. Sorry if i offended you.

 

What Indians are appearantly facing , is not the actual teachings of Jesus Christ or Islam which point to the Truth.

 

My only point was that as long as Hindus realize this, the younger generations can be protected thru' knowledge and discrimination.

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All these whiz-kid articles by docta this and swami that. I would read something by me or Mahak long before I'd read all that cheating nonsense, where words are compared to words on the synaptic scales of the mental platform.

 

There's a price that has to be paid before one can have an opinion here. These fellows haven't even paid the tuition yet. They know nothing. They don't even know they know nothing. How dumb is that?

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If you are talking about Dr. Morales

I did not quote him because I am trying to help promote him as a

spiritual authority, I just happened to agree with the gist of that one article.

 

Regarding paying dues however, according to his bio

http://www.dharmacentral.com/acharyaji.php

he took formal Brahmana initiation in 1986 and has been practicing

for over 30 years.

 

May I ask if you have an objective way to determine if somebody

has 'paid the price'? Personally, I try to judge people by a combination

of what they say and how they comport themselves.

How do you determine that somebody has 'paid the price'?

 

 

 

All these whiz-kid articles by docta this and swami that. I would read something by me or Mahak long before I'd read all that cheating nonsense, where words are compared to words on the synaptic scales of the mental platform.

 

There's a price that has to be paid before one can have an opinion here. These fellows haven't even paid the tuition yet. They know nothing. They don't even know they know nothing. How dumb is that?

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One Absolute Truth yes. But you yourself said that there "may be a wrong path". I think your radical universalism is not valid. I don't think you successfully impeached Dr. Morales' arguments and I do not find yours cogent / valid since your conclusions do not follow from your premises.

 

Of course in as far as a religion may promote the worship of, e.g., tree spirits or extra terrestrials, it can be said that there are wrong paths. Even a self-contained and complete system of belief such as Buddhism, is obviously a wrong path to knowing God, because it denies the existence of God altogether, which is not to say that the practice of Buddhism doesn’t have spiritual value. It can be argued, however, that if Hinduism/Vaishnavism is the correct path, then it is not reasonable to reject Christianity as a wrong path. I agree that there are some problems (most notably the pagan myth of eternal hell in Christianity), but solely based on the similar concept of God and the similar method of attaining knowledge or consciousness of God through finding Him within the Self, I think it can be said that Vaishnavism and Christianity are compatible religious philosophies.

 

Most importantly, Vaishnavism and Christianity have the doctrine of monistic theism or panentheism in common. All Vaishnava schools are panentheistic and view the universe as part of Krishna or Narayana, but see a plurality of souls and substances within Brahman. Panentheism which includes the concept of a personal God as a universal, omnipotent Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, is prevalent within many other schools of Hinduism as well. And contrary to the claims of Dr. Morales, this also is the Christian position.

 

The Christian position is that God is the self-existent Creator of all things (Gen. 1:1; Isa. 44:24; Acts 14:15; Eph. 3:9). On the basis of biblical witness Christians believe that God is also the self-existent Sustainer and Governor of all things (Acts 14:16-17; 17:24-28). The eternal Son of God, who became incarnate as the Lord Jesus Christ, is described as the One who “upholds all things by the word of His power” (Heb. 1:3) and the One in whom "all things hold together" (Col. 1:17).

 

Taking this one step further, God the Father in Christianity is the all pervading Brahman in Hinduism, and Christ is Krishna, and God incarnate Jesus Christ is at the same level as Krishna avatar. Furthermore, God the Father and Christ the Son are One in Christianity, which is equivalent to Brahman and Vishnu/Krishna being One panentheistic Godhead in Vaishnavism. Finally, this might leave Paramatma as the equivalent of Holy Spirit in Christianity.

 

Now, I’m not in the least suggesting that you should change your ishta-devata from Vishnu or Krishna to Christ. I am just saying that personally I am quite convinced and in fact believe that Christianity and Vaishnavism are compatible philosophies of the nature of Absolute Truth, and that (consequently) both are valid paths to knowledge or consciousness of God.

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You have done a good job in pointing out similarities but you don't give equal weight to the serious differences. Then you take it one step further:

 

Taking this one step further, God the Father in Christianity is the all pervading Brahman in Hinduism and Christ is Krishna, and God incarnate Jesus Christ is at the same level as Krishna avatar. Furthermore, God the Father and Christ the Son are One in Christianity, which is equivalent to Brahman and Vishnu/Krishna being One panentheistic Godhead in Vaishnavism. Finally, this might leave Paramatma as the equivalent of Holy Spirit in Christianity.

All conclusions without supporting premises. You keep making leaps

of logic: "Taking this one step further ..." as if simply pointing out similarities

in two concepts of a higher power somehow means that people are talking about the same thing and entitles you to take it "one step further".

 

What you are doing is like pointing out the similarities in two people and then saying that they are therefore the same. To establish equivalency you have to adequately explain the differences. You have not come close to accomplishing that. You have also ignored one of the consistent themes throughout the Bible - the character of 'God'.

 

Clearly idol worshipping is unequivocably condemned all throughout the Bible.

Both Jews and Christians have always taught that the law of God reveals his character. So what to make of the 2nd commandment? It is at the heart of the law of Jehovah and clearly reveals something about his character that is not consonant with Brahman or Sri Vishnu.

 

The jealousy referenced in the 2nd commandment is further elucidated

all throughout the Bible - a consistent theme:

 

"Do not worship any other god, for the LORD,

whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God".

Exodus 34:14 (NIV)

 

"You shall not bow down to them or worship them;

for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God,

punishing the children for the sin of the fathers

to the third and fourth generation of those

who hate me" Exodus 20:5 (NIV)

 

"If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.

 

"If you hear it said about one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you to live in that wicked men have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods you have not known), then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, [a] both its people and its livestock.

 

"Gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God. It is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt. None of those condemned things shall be found in your hands, so that the LORD will turn from his fierce anger; he will show you mercy, have compassion on you, and increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your forefathers, because you obey the LORD your God, keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes". Deuteronomy 13:6-18 (NIV)

 

 

Footnotes:

 

[a] Deuteronomy 13:15

The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things

or persons to the LORD, often by totally destroying them.

 

Deuteronomy 13:17

The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things

or persons to the LORD, often by totally destroying them.

I am just saying that personally I am quite convinced and in fact believe that Christianity and Vaishnavism are compatible philosophies of the nature of Absolute Truth, and that (consequently) both are valid paths to knowledge or consciousness of God.

Yes, I agree that you are personally quite convinced and in fact believe what you have asserted. However I don't think we are going to get anywhere by discussing this philosophically. Instead, let's talk about Vedic authorities. I will say that there are some Acharyas (like Swami Prabhupada) who have taught that it is a great offense to equate a Jiva Tattva with Vishnu Tattva and he considers Jesus on the same level of Mohammed - an empowered preacher but still a Jiva Tattva. What do you think of that?

 

Also, if there are some Vedic authorities which share you opinions about Jesus, please reference them and I will check them out. Thanks.

 

 

 

Of course in as far as a religion may promote the worship of, e.g., tree spirits or extra terrestrials, it can be said that there are wrong paths. Even a self-contained and complete system of belief such as Buddhism, is obviously a wrong path to knowing God, because it denies the existence of God altogether, which is not to say that the practice of Buddhism doesn’t have spiritual value. It can be argued, however, that if Hinduism/Vaishnavism is the correct path, then it is not reasonable to reject Christianity as a wrong path. I agree that there are some problems (most notably the pagan myth of eternal hell in Christianity), but solely based on the similar concept of God and the similar method of attaining knowledge or consciousness of God through finding Him within the Self, I think it can be said that Vaishnavism and Christianity are compatible religious philosophies.

 

Most importantly, Vaishnavism and Christianity have the doctrine of monistic theism or panentheism in common. All Vaishnava schools are panentheistic and view the universe as part of Krishna or Narayana, but see a plurality of souls and substances within Brahman. Panentheism which includes the concept of a personal God as a universal, omnipotent Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, is prevalent within many other schools of Hinduism as well. And contrary to the claims of Dr. Morales, this also is the Christian position.

 

The Christian position is that God is the self-existent Creator of all things (Gen. 1:1; Isa. 44:24; Acts 14:15; Eph. 3:9). On the basis of biblical witness Christians believe that God is also the self-existent Sustainer and Governor of all things (Acts 14:16-17; 17:24-28). The eternal Son of God, who became incarnate as the Lord Jesus Christ, is described as the One who “upholds all things by the word of His power” (Heb. 1:3) and the One in whom "all things hold together" (Col. 1:17).

 

Taking this one step further, God the Father in Christianity is the all pervading Brahman in Hinduism, and Christ is Krishna, and God incarnate Jesus Christ is at the same level as Krishna avatar. Furthermore, God the Father and Christ the Son are One in Christianity, which is equivalent to Brahman and Vishnu/Krishna being One panentheistic Godhead in Vaishnavism. Finally, this might leave Paramatma as the equivalent of Holy Spirit in Christianity.

 

Now, I’m not in the least suggesting that you should change your ishta-devata from Vishnu or Krishna to Christ. I am just saying that personally I am quite convinced and in fact believe that Christianity and Vaishnavism are compatible philosophies of the nature of Absolute Truth, and that (consequently) both are valid paths to knowledge or consciousness of God.

Edited by Smiley

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....It can be argued, however, that if Hinduism/Vaishnavism is the correct path, then it is not reasonable to reject Christianity as a wrong path.

 

What then is the basis for rejecting any path as wrong? Most religions do accept the concept of a creator God. Your argument allows only two kinds of religions - atheistic religions like Buddhism and all other theistic religions (which are all correct).

 

 

I agree that there are some problems (most notably the pagan myth of eternal hell in Christianity),

 

Tattvavada, one of the leading Vedanta (and Vaishnava) doctrines also endorses the concept of eternal hell.

 

 

but solely based on the similar concept of God and the similar method of attaining knowledge or consciousness of God through finding Him within the Self, I think it can be said that Vaishnavism and Christianity are compatible religious philosophies.

 

Then this should also include Islam, Judaism, Shaivism, Shaktism and most other religions in the world. But most Christians, Muslims would disagree with this theory of compatibility. Most Vaishnavas would disagree with accepting Shaivism as a valid path. In summary, your position is rejected by the majority.

 

I take the positon that the mainstream interpretation of any scripture is the correct one. An isolated interpretation only supported by a few and contradicting the mainstream version is usually not a sound interpretation and has other motives behind it - in your case, the reconciliation of two disparate religions for purely sentimental reasons.

 

Cheers

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...

Clearly idol worshipping is unequivocably condemned all throughout the Bible.

Both Jews and Christians have always taught that the law of God reveals his character. So what to make of the 2nd commandment? It is at the heart of the law of Jehovah and clearly reveals something about his character that is not consonant with Brahman or Sri Vishnu.

 

The jealousy referenced in the 2nd commandment is further elucidated

all throughout the Bible - a consistent theme:

...

 

Clearly, idol worship is forbidden when it implies worshipping different gods than the God of Jesus Christ or the Absolute Truth. The Catholic church, for example, allows it's followers to bow down before statues when in prayer. Anyone can walk into a Catholic church and see devotees kneeling before every statue placed within.

 

As far as a ‘jealous’ God is concerned, certainly we learn from Scripture that there is such a thing as a ‘godly jealousy’. We find the Apostle Paul declaring to the Corinthian Church, " For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." (2 Corinthians 11:2) He had an earnest, cautious, anxious concern for their holiness, that the Lord Jesus might be honoured in their lives. Jealousy, like anger, is not evil in itself, or it could never be ascribed to God.

 

Anyway, Christians believe in the new covenant (new testament) that is referenced to in the Old Testament as follows: 31 "Behold, days are coming," declares Yahweh, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares Yahweh. 33 "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares Yahweh, "I will put my Law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 "They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know Yahweh,' for they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares Yahweh, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." (Jer. 31:31-34)

 

In the New Testament, Jesus repeated some of the commandments in Matthew 19:16–19 and condensed them into two general commands: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Mat. 22:34-40)

 

So surely Jesus couldn’t have agreed with the gruesome passages in the Old Testament you quoted and which most certainly are not part of Christianity or representative of God’s character in Christianity. God is nothing but love.

 

If that first [Old] covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second (Heb. 8:7). He [Jesus] is the mediator of the new testament (Heb. 9:15). Jesus [is] the mediator of the new covenant (Heb. 12:24).

 

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His [Jesus’] commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous (1 Jn. 5:2-3).

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What then is the basis for rejecting any path as wrong? Most religions do accept the concept of a creator God. Your argument allows only two kinds of religions - atheistic religions like Buddhism and all other theistic religions (which are all correct).

 

As I said, a panentheistic concept of God should be the most important criterion. I.e., God must be one with his creation. That is, of course, if it is accepted that Vaishnavism is a correct path.

 

 

Then this should also include Islam, Judaism, Shaivism, Shaktism and most other religions in the world. But most Christians, Muslims would disagree with this theory of compatibility. Most Vaishnavas would disagree with accepting Shaivism as a valid path. In summary, your position is rejected by the majority.

 

I am not sure about, for example, Islam. Islam seems to adhere to a strictly deistic doctrine in which the creation and the creator cannot be equal. Such dualism between God and His creation is definitely not a part of the panentheistic doctrine of Vaishnavism and Christianity.

 

 

I take the positon that the mainstream interpretation of any scripture is the correct one. An isolated interpretation only supported by a few and contradicting the mainstream version is usually not a sound interpretation and has other motives behind it - in your case, the reconciliation of two disparate religions for purely sentimental reasons.

 

That could lead to a kind of religious anarchy. Original scriptures define a religion, not any pagan interpretation like eternal hell and other misconceptions and/or mistranslations. By the way, my reading of Christian scripture actually is the mainstream interpretation among Christians, just as my interpretation of Vaishnavism represents the mainstream interpretation. And this has nothing to do with sentimentality. It's just facts and information. Only a bigot would misrepresent Christianity for his own sentimental reasons..

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Original scriptures define a religion, not any ... misconceptions and/or mistranslations.

Doesn't Exodus 20:4-5 in the original Hebrew clearly and unequivocably forbid the bowing before statues?

What Biblical basis do you have for adding this idea of "when"? (For clarity, I've added the emphasis to your quote.):

 

Clearly, idol worship is forbidden when it implies worshipping different gods than the God of Jesus Christ or the Absolute Truth. www.indiadivine.org/audarya/spiritual-discussions/454921-sita-ram-goel-jesus-2.html#post1152276

Long before Christianity, every prophet in Judaism seemed to think that the original Hebrew forbid using images or statues to worship Jehovah or YHWH. Notwithstanding that, Catholics choose the practice for their own reasons.

 

By the way, my reading of Christian scripture actually is the mainstream interpretation among Christians ...

If by "Christians" you mean Catholics. Obviously most Protestants do not agree with the Catholic practice of bowing before statues.

 

Only a bigot would misrepresent Christianity for his own sentimental reasons..

Yes, I agree.

 

 

 

Original scriptures define a religion, not any pagan interpretation like eternal hell and other misconceptions and/or mistranslations. By the way, my reading of Christian scripture actually is the mainstream interpretation among Christians, just as my interpretation of Vaishnavism represents the mainstream interpretation. And this has nothing to do with sentimentality. It's just facts and information. Only a bigot would misrepresent Christianity for his own sentimental reasons..
Edited by Smiley

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First of all let me say that I believe the Supreme dwells equally in everyone as paramatma. Since he is all-pervading he hears the prayers of everyone.

 

That being said, I think the Bhagavad Gita is the highest and best revelation

of that Supreme Being. Of course that is my shradda which is based upon my karma among other things. If I equate other scriptures with that which I believe was spoken directly by Sri Vishnu himself, then the Bhagavad Gita is no longer special. If I equate other names by which people choose to call their conception of a higher power with the 1,000 names of Vishnu, then the names Hari, Krishna and Rama are no longer special.

 

In India they have this idea that a persons religion is like their mother. Everyone has the right to think that their mother is the best in the world. If they don't tell me that my mother is the same as theirs then we can live peacefully as brothers. If they don't tell me to disown my mother in order to embrace theirs, then we can live peacefully as brothers. OM SHANTI

 

 

 

Then what is your concept of God..?

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