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Belief in personal God VS Belief in Brahman

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Vaagmi

Well-known member
Dear Mr Vaagmi,
Congratulations on a post that comes across as sincere, and well written. First experience for me, I might add, with you LOL

I understand. You can give only left handed compliments. That is okay I am used to it. By the way, my post was not addressed to you. It was a general post addressed to all the members who have been active in this thread. If you read carefully, you will find that it is so.

The thread started with Mr Prasad saying he believes in Brahman but not in personal god.
You say (or Veda says?) Brahman cannot be put in words (?) and so our forefathers simply said - just worship an idol as if it is god. Understood that Hinduism is open to many kinds of interpretations.

That is an attempt at interpreting my words to reach a wrong conclusion which was not intended by me.
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
This post is not in reply to any post.

There are people who raise some questions as given below. I have tried to answer these questions to the best of my ability.

a) If vedas say Brahman is not definable why are there so many scriptures and sacred books talking about it?? Why even create a name called Brahman. Simply say there is a God and it is in this idol. So something does not add up in your belief or understanding or both

We have bodies in the universe called dark bodies and bloack holes. Our knowledge about these are extremely limited and at best are inferences and hypotheses. These have been keeping the curiosity of human beings alive for several centuries now. From Alwar who sang "சூழ்ந்தகன்றாழ்ந்துயர்ந்த (சூழ்ந்து+அகன்று+ஆழ்ந்து+உயர்ந்து) முடிவில்(முடிவேயில்லாத) பெரும்பாழேயோ (பெரும் பாழ்) (பாழ் can be the most appropriate description of the blackhole in Tamil)....." to the modern day scientist who says anything which enters the black hole will keep moving back and forth like a yoyo with a very high frequency for all time to come.

We know very little and yet we have given the entity a name. We have been trying to draw just the outlines of these bodies. That is the nature of human endeavor. So we have given a name to the God. We have given him a form which resembles our own form-perhaps a reason is there for this. We have tried and failed to enumerate his attributes and so we have called him கல்யாண குணார்ணவம் or அகிலஹேயப்ரத்யனீகன் etc., We are not satisfied yet and so we call him many other names too.

b) God created rapists, serial killers, terrorists and worst of the worst also. You can say it is Karma etc but these people do exist. In fact world has almost equal number of good and bad elements at all levels.

I just want to ask "so what?"
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Blue.


This post is not in reply to any post.

There are people who raise some questions as given below. I have tried to answer these questions to the best of my ability.

a) If vedas say Brahman is not definable why are there so many scriptures and sacred books talking about it?? Why even create a name called Brahman. Simply say there is a God and it is in this idol. So something does not add up in your belief or understanding or both

Becos its very easy to go on and on and on for something that we can NOT provide evidence.

We have bodies in the universe called dark bodies and bloack holes. Our knowledge about these are extremely limited and at best are inferences and hypotheses. These have been keeping the curiosity of human beings alive for several centuries now. From Alwar who sang "சூழ்ந்தகன்றாழ்ந்துயர்ந்த (சூழ்ந்து+அகன்று+ஆழ்ந்து+உயர்ந்து) முடிவில்(முடிவேயில்லாத) பெரும்பாழேயோ (பெரும் பாழ்) (பாழ் can be the most appropriate description of the blackhole in Tamil)....." to the modern day scientist who says anything which enters the black hole will keep moving back and forth like a yoyo with a very high frequency for all time to come.

I just got to know form my son that there is also something called White hole!

So for me its simple...I subscribe to Micheal Jacksons "It don't matter if you're black or white"

We know very little and yet we have given the entity a name. We have been trying to draw just the outlines of these bodies. That is the nature of human endeavor. So we have given a name to the God. We have given him a form which resembles our own form-perhaps a reason is there for this. We have tried and failed to enumerate his attributes and so we have called him கல்யாண குணார்ணவம் or அகிலஹேயப்ரத்யனீகன் etc., We are not satisfied yet and so we call him many other names too.

b) God created rapists, serial killers, terrorists and worst of the worst also. You can say it is Karma etc but these people do exist. In fact world has almost equal number of good and bad elements at all levels.

I just want to ask "so what?"


Here I would quote the Quran:


And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.(5:48)




And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge.(30:22)


And [He has subjected] whatever He multiplied for you on the earth of varying colors. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who remember.(16:13)
 

a-TB

Well-known member
Dear Shri a-TB,

I understand and I do not want to prolong this argument further. I have posed a query in my last post. You are most welcome to give your point of view

Have posed several questions as well in other messages. You are most welcome to answer them

I said the following in response to Mr auh's post:

"There is no answer as to who created the creator .. It is meaningless if creator also created time, then question has no meaning. "

This means we cannot speculate further. Creator who created Time cannot be affected by Time.
 

a-TB

Well-known member
This post is not in reply to any post.

There are people who raise some questions as given below. I have tried to answer these questions to the best of my ability.

a) If vedas say Brahman is not definable why are there so many scriptures and sacred books talking about it?? Why even create a name called Brahman. Simply say there is a God and it is in this idol. So something does not add up in your belief or understanding or both

We have bodies in the universe called dark bodies and bloack holes. Our knowledge about these are extremely limited and at best are inferences and hypotheses. These have been keeping the curiosity of human beings alive for several centuries now. From Alwar who sang "சூழ்ந்தகன்றாழ்ந்துயர்ந்த (சூழ்ந்து+அகன்று+ஆழ்ந்து+உயர்ந்து) முடிவில்(முடிவேயில்லாத) பெரும்பாழேயோ (பெரும் பாழ்) (பாழ் can be the most appropriate description of the blackhole in Tamil)....." to the modern day scientist who says anything which enters the black hole will keep moving back and forth like a yoyo with a very high frequency for all time to come.

We know very little and yet we have given the entity a name. We have been trying to draw just the outlines of these bodies. That is the nature of human endeavor. So we have given a name to the God. We have given him a form which resembles our own form-perhaps a reason is there for this. We have tried and failed to enumerate his attributes and so we have called him கல்யாண குணார்ணவம் or அகிலஹேயப்ரத்யனீகன் etc., We are not satisfied yet and so we call him many other names too.

b) God created rapists, serial killers, terrorists and worst of the worst also. You can say it is Karma etc but these people do exist. In fact world has almost equal number of good and bad elements at all levels.

I just want to ask "so what?"

1. Explanations in Science changes when new data is available. Not so with our Brahman. There is no process to redefine it. Also blackholes may have indirect evidence. There is none for Brahman and everyone can come up with their own views. Then we have to accept all the views.
Therefore, example from Science is not applicable here.
Your oversimplified version cannot be reconciled with voluminous sacred texts written about so many things including I assume about Brahman.

2. So what??? If God did not have 'bad aspects' it is not possible how that entity can enable a world with so much bad things in the world. So defining God is all Good does not make sense. Where did the bad come from. My christian friends believe in Devil made by their god - that makes no sense either. What is the explanation for how bad came about - serial killers, rapists , terrorists, torture etc when God is only Good (and so cannot think of bad)
 

sravna

Well-known member
Have posed several questions as well in other messages. You are most welcome to answer them

I said the following in response to Mr auh's post:

"There is no answer as to who created the creator .. It is meaningless if creator also created time, then question has no meaning. "

This means we cannot speculate further. Creator who created Time cannot be affected by Time.

Yes creator is not affected by time. There is a concept called transcending. To transcend something is being not affected by it. One is at a higher level but can influence the lower level.

Think about it. Everything is finally energy. Experiencing time is experiencing energy. So one can directly experience a higher energy level and so not be experiencing time.

Time and space could not have been created by one who just experiences which is the nirguna brahman concept of advaita. But a logical way out of the problem is that it was created by one who exercised the faculty of thinking which is the saguna brahman concept. A question may be raised if he were thinking he should have existed in time? The answer is unless like we human beings whose thoughts span time, the thoughts of the creator are a unified whole and actions automatically follow. So by the possessing of unified thoughts, he is at a higher energy level and would not experience time.

I will also try to explain the relationship between the one who created the universe and the one in timeless experience

If you want me to clarify anything, in what I have said so far, I would be happy to do so.
 

a-TB

Well-known member
Yes creator is not affected by time. There is a concept called transcending. To transcend something is being not affected by it. One is at a higher level but can influence the lower level.

Think about it. Everything is finally energy. Experiencing time is experiencing energy. So one can directly experience a higher energy level and so not be experiencing time.

Time and space could not have been created by one who just experiences which is the nirguna brahman concept of advaita. But a logical way out of the problem is that it was created by one who exercised the faculty of thinking which is the saguna brahman concept. A question may be raised if he were thinking he should have existed in time? The answer is unless like we human beings whose thoughts span time, the thoughts of the creator are a unified whole and actions automatically follow. So by the possessing of unified thoughts, he is at a higher energy level and would not experience time.

I will also try to explain the relationship between the one who created the universe and the one in timeless experience

If you want me to clarify anything, in what I have said so far, I would be happy to do so.

Dear Mr Sravana:

Thanks for your reply.
The bold part above - All unsubstantiated thinking/ assumptions
Italics part - Confusion and forced fitting with some definitions that has no logical basis

I had a comment to Mr Vaagmi's post

"If God did not have 'bad aspects' it is not possible how that entity can enable a world with so much bad things in the world. So defining God is all Good does not make sense. Where did the bad come from. My christian friends believe in Devil made by their god - that makes no sense either. What is the explanation for how bad came about - serial killers, rapists , terrorists, torture etc when God is only Good (and so cannot think of bad)"

Question is - is the bad aspects created by your saguna brahman?
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
What is bad?

Looking at the given situation from a different angle.

Absence of light is darkness. Absence of good is bad.

Good and bad are not created. World is created and beings are created. Beings have good in them which is natural. When it is absent we call it bad.

About the "pratama prayatnam" I have already written in detail in a post earlier some time back. That is how our scriptures explain the situation. Can find it in archives.
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
What is bad?

Looking at the given situation from a different angle.

Absence of light is darkness. Absence of good is bad.

Good and bad are not created. World is created and beings are created. Beings have good in them which is natural. When it is absent we call it bad.

About the "pratama prayatnam" I have already written in detail in a post earlier some time back. That is how our scriptures explain the situation. Can find it in archives.

Slightly would like to differ here.

If we go by the believe that both bad and good are not created but beings have innate good nature etc...that only acknowledges that bad too has to exists.

That is if a person has innate good that also means bad too can exists when this innate good does not
function due to varied extrinsic and intrinsic factors.

Therefore is it accurate to say a person has innate good when its non function can be the causative factor for bad?

Not really I feel cos such a Jekyll and Hyde situation would only lead to unstable good and bad expressions.

All we can say is a person has a innate discriminative faculty we call Viveka and actions is in accordance with Dharma of time,place and person is termed as "good" and actions not in accordance of Dharma is termed "bad"...its just relatively speaking actually.

So what is the truly within all beings? The Good ..the bad or the Ugly?

Its actually very hard to define becos our thoughts..words and deed are shaped by cultural conditioning..religion..the yuga as in time, law of country and desire.

Going by the understanding that the microcosm mimicks the macrocosm..therefore the exact true nature of a person sans all influences of any kind should only reflect the nature of the Universal Consciousness.

That should be Sat Chit Ananda...Existence..Consciousness..Bliss.

Does it talk about the Duality of Good and Bad or even Dharma for the matter?


Nope!

Do we experience Sat Chit Ananda only when all extrinsic and intrinsic influences are abandoned as in

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah

TRANSLATION
Abandon all varieties of Dharma and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.
 
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sravna

Well-known member
Dear Mr Sravana:

Thanks for your reply.
The bold part above - All unsubstantiated thinking/ assumptions
Italics part - Confusion and forced fitting with some definitions that has no logical basis

I had a comment to Mr Vaagmi's post

"If God did not have 'bad aspects' it is not possible how that entity can enable a world with so much bad things in the world. So defining God is all Good does not make sense. Where did the bad come from. My christian friends believe in Devil made by their god - that makes no sense either. What is the explanation for how bad came about - serial killers, rapists , terrorists, torture etc when God is only Good (and so cannot think of bad)"

Question is - is the bad aspects created by your saguna brahman?

Dear Shri a-TB,

For God, the purpose of creation is lila or to have an orthogonally different experience to his normal blissful experience. For that he projects the physical world.

So physical world being a projection, what is in the spiritual world is what is reflected in the physical world. If spiritual world is a blissful and timeless world, the physical world in totality will reflect that. The universe will tend towards that reality through evolution.

If something evolves, learning is happening. So learning is inevitable in the physical reality. For learning there has to be good and bad, That is the reason bad is also created , to learn and temper oneself.

But from our limited perspective, we are not able to see why bad is created. It seems like a bad design. But the trick is to see from the creator's perspective.

btw, if you are able to find specific flaws in my argument instead of making generic statements like bad logic , you would be adding value to the discussion
 
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thebigthinkg

Active member
'Good' and 'Bad' are extremely relative based on your experience which keeps changing. What looked good yesterday looks bad today. what looks bad yesterday seems to be better today.

Good and Bad are our experiences. Those experiences that give us satisfaction we call them good. Those experiences that give us dis-satisfaction we call them bad. For a serial rapist, raping gives him/her satisfaction. It is good for him/her.

Often our satisfying experience may have a negative impact on the overall evolution of the society. We switch on air-conditioner at home. It is good for us, gives us satisfying experience. But it is bad for the overall society's evolution, as we are polluting the air that is common to everyone.

So what does dharma do..?

Those that are against sustainably evolving the society, dharma (the laws of universe) eliminates them. For eg., it brings in an awareness to people on the side-effects of ACs. Now we may still ignore and keep using it. It brings in more global warming to make inhabitation tough. We may still ignore it. It will create a huge man vs animal/microbes fight where in human beings get destroyed and planet is safe. Let's say we still win over it. It destroys the planet's life completely so that things can start fresh again. This is just my imagination, but could be real.

For eg., if a person becomes too ambitious such that the society gets driven by his/her wills and fancies alone and not by collective intelligence (which is the way to sustainably evolve the society), then dharma creates a lot of opposition for him/her automatically and overwhelms him/her. But let''s say for some reason the opposition to that person is totally eliminated or they cannot overcome the person, then dharma destroys the whole society, as the society cannot sustainably evolve. There are umpteen number of examples in the world and many more will come.

Brahman in my understanding is expansion and evolution. Saguna brahman is this evolving universe in which matter and beings manifest whose hallmark is the preponderance of some guna over other, giving them an aham-kAra, a distinct identity, when they interact with other matter and beings. The ultimate dharma here is to keep evolving sustainably into higher and higher forms of intellect. The fixed laws of Universe, which we perceive as dharma, are manifestations of that sustainable evolution. Whatever sustainably evolves progresses, else perishes.

So at times what we say as 'good' may be against sustainable evolution, against the dharma. At times what we say as 'bad' may be for sustainable evolution. It is tough to find them relating at a personal level. We have to become impersonal, think from a different plane shedding a lot of aham-kAra (which is tough) to figure out what is sustainable and what is not.

-TBT
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
If we go by the believe that both bad and good are not created but beings have innate good nature etc...that only acknowledges that bad too has to exists.
That is if a person has innate good that also means bad too can exists when this innate good does not
function due to varied extrinsic and intrinsic factors.
Therefore is it accurate to say a person has innate good when its non function can be the causative factor for bad?
Not really I feel cos such a Jekyll and Hyde situation would only lead to unstable good and bad expressions.
All we can say is a person has a innate discriminative faculty we call Viveka and actions is in accordance with Dharma of time,place and person is termed as "good" and actions not in accordance of Dharma is termed "bad"...its just relatively speaking actually.

What are the attributes of a Jeevatma?

JnAnatvam,Anandatvam, amalatvam, anutvam are said to be the qualities of a Jeevatma. While speaking about these qualities our ancestors have added the suffix "sathi anutvam" to every quality so that a Jeevatma is distinguished from the ParmAtma. (jnAnatvE sathi anutvam, AnandatvE sathi anutvam etc., etc.,).The reason is that God is vibhu while Jeevan is anu only.

These being the attributes that are natural to jeevAtma, Anukulya and pratikUlya come into the reckoning because of karma phalan.

This is what ancient scriptures say.

This is a very deep and involved topic for discussion and the space and attention span here is not ideal for that discussion. Hence I stop with this.
 

a-TB

Well-known member
What is bad? Looking at the given situation from a different angle. Absence of light is darkness. Absence of good is bad. Good and bad are not created. World is created and beings are created. Beings have good in them which is natural. When it is absent we call it bad. About the "pratama prayatnam" I have already written in detail in a post earlier some time back. That is how our scriptures explain the situation. Can find it in archives.
There are issues of logic in the above. "Absence of good is bad " - makes it look like good is real and bad is non-existence of good (and even benign).

Either both good and bad are real or neither because per Mr TBT that I understand and agree, good and bad is subjective. So it is arbitrary to call one real and the other absence of real. Does not make sense. Also 'bad' is not benign.

When Nirbahaya was getting raped over hours, that is 'bad' and it caused hurt to her and everyone else in a big way. No, bad is not benign (like absence of light is darkness).

I googled 'pratama praytnam' - mostly made up of Vaishnava beliefs and it does not explain 'the situation' The key point is that god allowed THE POSSIBILITY for terrible things to happen in life. For that god has to be mix of both good and bad..Calling God only all good is not logical
 
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a-TB

Well-known member
Dear Shri a-TB,

For God, the purpose of creation is lila or to have an orthogonally different experience to his normal blissful experience. For that he projects the physical world.

So physical world being a projection, what is in the spiritual world is what is reflected in the physical world. If spiritual world is a blissful and timeless world, the physical world in totality will reflect that. The universe will tend towards that reality through evolution.

If something evolves, learning is happening. So learning is inevitable in the physical reality. For learning there has to be good and bad, That is the reason bad is also created , to learn and temper oneself.

But from our limited perspective, we are not able to see why bad is created. It seems like a bad design. But the trick is to see from the creator's perspective.

btw, if you are able to find specific flaws in my argument instead of making generic statements like bad logic , you would be adding value to the discussion

Dear Mr Sravana:

As an example, the bold part above is just an imagination. Nothing more can be said about that. Why should god play lila and create all the POSSIBILITIES of extreme suffering? What the heck is the need for experience when god is above Time? There is no logic in these claims.

A child is born blind and suffers a whole life - what is it learning. How did Brahman become that child?

So these are examples of assumptions.

Regarding what I said about your confusions: Example is Nirguna and Saguna Brahman statements by you. There has to only one Brahman . It cannot be like one package with many parts (like we have body and mind and the two can be at odds with each other). If there are no parts assembled in Brahman it cannot hold completely opposite functions (nirguna and saguna whatever that means). This is confusion

Finally you say "you would be adding value to the discussion" implying that I am not adding value to the discussion. That is your 'ego' speak. You could have simply asked for explanation without a dig .. So much for claims of egoless living LOL
 

a-TB

Well-known member
What are the attributes of a Jeevatma?

JnAnatvam,Anandatvam, amalatvam, anutvam are said to be the qualities of a Jeevatma. While speaking about these qualities our ancestors have added the suffix "sathi anutvam" to every quality so that a Jeevatma is distinguished from the ParmAtma. (jnAnatvE sathi anutvam, AnandatvE sathi anutvam etc., etc.,).The reason is that God is vibhu while Jeevan is anu only.

These being the attributes that are natural to jeevAtma, Anukulya and pratikUlya come into the reckoning because of karma phalan.

This is what ancient scriptures say.

This is a very deep and involved topic for discussion and the space and attention span here is not ideal for that discussion. Hence I stop with this.

Bold part: Throw some buzz words and hide behind them as logical statements with expertise in scriptures .. That is how it comes across. LOL
 
OP
OP
prasad1

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
Vaagmiji's point is purely a Dwita view, and that is contrary to the OP, which is based on Advaita.

A-TBji,

Without getting into high philosophy, let me bring my POV.
The simile may not be perfect but has to do, as nothing is similar to Brahman.
A steel ingot does not care as to what shape it is made into, it could a sword, needle, scalpel, etc.
Similarly, Brahman is not differentiating between goodness and badness. It is the basis of everything. (that is the hypothesis).

The qualities are an attribute and Temporary. (may not be for the sufferer).
Buddha did not say that he can take away the suffering of people in this life. But he showed a path to ultimate relief from suffering. Again suffering at body level is different than the suffering soul goes through.

No religion or philosophy has a cure for suffering in this life. They all want to give you hope for future only. It may not be enough for some.
 

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Shri a-TB,

You have not read my post properly. I have mentioned why God choose to create. It is to have a totally different experience to that of his harmonious blissful experience. This lila gives him an experience which is marked by tension and uncertainty.

In this world there is interaction between the opposites .There is both suffering and joy. The suffering and the joy we experience are the experiences of god since we are in essence God. The sufferings and joy are because the souls are veiled. This is gradually removed. So in essence it is a hide and seek game of God. Contrast this to the harmonious timeless experience of God. Then the purpose of lila would make sense.
 

zebra16

Well-known member
The key point is that god allowed THE POSSIBILITY for terrible things to happen in life.

This brings in the key belief. If you believe that God allowed the possibility of terrible things to happen, it presumes that there is an entity called "God". So let us get the relevant scenarios :

First possibility (a) An entity called God exists; it is brahman for some, inert etc. and a personal God for some others for whom He is active and saguna etc. and for yet others, He/She/It is ultimate reality.

Second possibility (b) The existence of God itself in is question; there is no creator God per se and things evolve themselves because of innate intelligence. There is no active evidence of God in the happenings in the universe or multiverses.

Sri Sravana, Sri Vagmi etc. seem to be arguing on the lines of the first possibility; whereas Sri Auh seems be adducing points in support of the second possibility.

It is not clear to me as to whether your belief is situated in the first possibility or in the second possibility, so it would be better if you could clarify whether you subscribe to the first or second possibility.

It has to be stated upfront that those who are arguing for existence of God, as per my understanding, are based on scriptural exhortations, as no one is claiming to have seen God (the best they have stated is that they have "FELT" God or seen his will executed through actions of others (mostly humans and in some cases other living being things and even inanimate things).

So replying to your queries would depend upon your premise of whether God exists. For example, there would be no gain in extolling the virtues of omnipotence, omniscience etc. in brahman (especially when he is inert) if your BELIEF is that existence of God is in doubt.
 
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Vaagmi

Well-known member
Post #76: Bold part: Throw some buzz words and hide behind them as logical statements with expertise in scriptures .. That is how it comes across. LOL

I prefer to ignore this and move on as the source from which the post has come is obnoxious and myopic. Period.
 
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