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Who is Brahmanan

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KRS

Well-known member
Dear Sri Raghy Ji,

Sorry, I needed to be explicit. My reference was not about you. It is about Sri BR Ji calling Prf. Nara Ji as immature. First he called his views as such, which is okay. But the second time he called his person as such, which is a no-no and is clearly not acceptable. That is what I meant.

Regards,
KRS
 

Arthur

Member
Greetings.

Hello, friends.

I never knew that Brahmanan meant Brahmin.

But, what I do know is that their are some people who are unhappy with my appearance.

Nevertheless, I am absolutely determined to conquer all obstacles.

Talk is cheap, my friends. Show me your realization of Love. Do you think that a guru is not to be tested?

Can you stand firm in the midst of a great storm? God is to be seen, and only God do I seek.
 
Dear Nara,

May I add a few thoughts to your post. You have raised a lot of points, so my response is also lengthy. So please be patient in reading it through.
Let me first begin with your description of the Christian/biblical view and provide my comments.

>> jeevas are created by god

Yes, that is the Christian view.

>> these jeevas come with original sin.
>> this original sin comes from Adam and Eve disobeying god
There are slightly differing views of what exactly 'original sin' is and its implications. But the broadly agreed idea is that from the beginning of humanity ('Adam and Eve') has disobeyed God, sinned against God and broke relationship with God etc. Whatever be the implication of 'original sin', one thing for sure is that every human being (with the exception of true God Incarnate) has committed actual sin and are prone to sin and are guilty.
>> Jesus gave his life on the cross for the sake of the jeevas to get moksham (heaven)

The New Testament claims that ceremonial laws, sacrificial systems etc seen before are symbolic and point to ultimate fulfillment in Jesus in various ways. Apart for the sacrifice/atonement, there are many aspects of Jesus - for example giving the highest/advanced moral standards, higher revelation of God, expression of the nature of God/humanity and relationship with God, the promise if help for the sinner, expression of God's utmost concern for the sinner etc.

>> to get to moksham you have to accept that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and accept Jesus as your savior
>> you accept Jesus as your savior through baptism -- there may be some difference here among evangelicals, even so, I think the belief that for moksham you must accept that Jesus gave his life on the cross for your sins is common to all denominations

To get moksham, one has to have openness/desire for moral and philosophical truth of God, acceptance of God's help to overcome sin, seeking of God’s help and desire to correct oneself and be saved, acceptance of the highest stands of morality/doctrine/philosophy/revelation etc (Christian scriptures claim that all this is seen in Jesus). One rejects Moksha by deliberately/knowingly rejects relationship with God, rejects love of God, rejects salvation of God, morality of God, help of God etc.

>> since there is no reincarnation, this mokshopaya is available only till you die, after that you have to wait till judgment day, and then go to heaven or hell depending upon whether you have adopted the mOkshpaya
The approach of Bible/Jesus has been that one should not look out for chances/excuses to postpone correction/truth/morality etc even for a next day - leave alone next life. One has to be on the alert, be open and have desire and seek higher and higher standards of truth/justice/morality etc as revealed or given by God/Jesus.

Now to your questions:

>> When creating the jeevas why does god bestow original sin on the jeeva? After all, he/she did not have anything to do with Adam and Eve.
As I said, we have to be concerned about the actual sin that we commit (while the sin of Adam/Eve may have been the beginning of Humanity's rebellion against God). Whatever be the nature of 'original sin', our actual sins in our life condemns us and makes us guilty.
>> Why are there differences among human beings, some are rich, some are poor, some are born healthy, some are not, etc.?

Nowhere in the bible or Jesus indicated that God necessarily intervenes in a supernatural way to make all poor people well-off or stop a person from squandering his/her money or force a person to work hard to make money etc. God talks as a matter of factly on how we are treat/serve the poor, the diseased, the unfortunate etc. While many have tried to give explanation on why God allows the miseries to exist, the existence of misery does not contradict what we are expected to see in the world as per bible/Jesus. Once again, the focus of Jesus/Bible is on serving the poor rather than why there are poor people.

>> Why would a compassionate god give just one attempt and keep the mokshopaya very hard to believe?

The focus is really on God’s concern/love for the sinner and offer of help/salvation, 'right now'. A good/compassionate God would surely desire that. Beyond that, whether God would be more lenient etc is a matter of idle speculation for those looking out for excuses? Why do you even want to postpone truth/salvation/moral transformation etc to a next life? Why not desire it right now, as if there is no tomorrow? I think that is the attitude God is promoting. Even as a human father, I would like my son/daughter to correct themselves 'right now' - not tomorrow, and certainly not next life.

>> Why would a wise god let good people go to eternal hell because they have doubts about the authenticity of the Christian mokshopaya, given the validity of it is so unreasonable?

No one is condemned due to a genuine doubt or for seeking clarification/clarity etc. But one is condemned, if one deliberately rejects what she/he is made known to be truth/good. It is not about what you do not know, but what you do know but deliberately reject (or try to postpone to a 'next life').

>> Would not a compassionate and wise god give as much evidence as possible to the hapless humans, and, punish them so severely as to condemn them to eternity ..

Much of Bible and teachings of Jesus are about God's concern for the sinner and offer of help to transform, offer of salvation etc. Very few references to hell etc, which indicates that God is asking us to focus on correction/change/transformation/salvation etc. As a loving father you want your child to be on the right track (consequences of not doing so, is a different issue, and one would not rather go there at all, whatever be the severity of punishment etc. Even if there is no punishment, we should not want to go against truth, against moral values of God, against relationship with God etc). For example a Christian denomination called seventh day Adventist believe that the rebellious souls are just made to perish (and not exactly a hell fire etc), but that is really besides the point. Why do you even want to be in that position in the first place – that seems to be the message and approach of God/Jesus.

>> all we have are second hand account recorded about 100 years after the event.

What we do have is a tenacious account of the life/message of Jesus as recorded by Jesus' chosen disciples, all written in the first century.

Now, coming to your description of Hinduism – you said: “jeeva take many births due to their own karma during their lives the good and bad that happen to them are not capricious, but result from ones own accumulated karma … When it comes to the means to moksham, … all jeevas will attain mOksham at one time or another.”

A few questions - Who/what is tracking and judging the good/bad of each person? If it is God, where did God tell what constitutes high standards of moral values (like how Jesus told - love neighbor, relationship with God, love your enemies, parable of good samaritan, standards in sexual relationships, forgiveness etc). If you tell that everyone is eventually saved, why should any one bother to be good? Would God or even a human father for that matter say such a thing to his kid - that he/she will have infinite chances and will eventually everything will be fine for both good and the bad? Is it not unfair to punish a person without even the person knowing what crime he/she committed and for how long he will suffer etc? If all suffering is deserved suffering, why should a person, out of love, help others? (to be religious, then, means to approve the well-deserved suffering of others). Is that what God wants us to do – to just look at suffering of others approvingly as well deserved? What according to you is God's help, offer of salvation, concern for the sinner, forgiveness, Gods plan of redemption etc? Is God bothered? If so, how/where did he express it?
I would recommend a couple of links below. The first one is a book commenting on various topics like reincarnation, Astrology, Tantra etc.
http://www.vishalmangalwadi.com/vkmWebSite/files/When_the_New_Age_Gets_Old.pdf
Another link on “Yoga: Five ways of salvation in Hinduism”
http://www.vishalmangalwadi.com/vkmWebSite/files/yoga.pdf
 
S

sapr333

Guest
Dear sapr333 Ji,

I am duty bound to delete your post as you have transgressed our agreement on not to post till certain issues are ironed out. Till then, sir, you just need to live with the consquences of not meeting our requests in a timely fashion.

Regards,
KRS
 
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hariharan1972

Active member
Dear Sri Hariharan,

I am deleting your post, based upon my moderation of Sri sapr333 Ji's post above.

Regards,
KRS
 
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pvraman

Active member
Shri Raghi Ji,

To the start of the thread,

Except Manusmriti, any scriptures defined Varnas. Or Starting of Varnas or only from MS?

Regards
 

pvraman

Active member
Dear Mr Sunil Kumar,

I just read through your post. At the end you have linked two pdf files. I would request you to quote the relevant text instead of attaching a whole pdfs, which will branch out to many other questions. (before clearing the current discussions)

Regards
 
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Raghy

Well-known member
Shri Raghi Ji,

To the start of the thread,

Except Manusmriti, any scriptures defined Varnas. Or Starting of Varnas or only from MS?

Regards

Sri PVR,

Manusmriti is more recent than Mahabharata. Varna system was present in Mahabharata period. So, in my opinion, Varna system may not have started from MS. I have not read MS. So, honestly, I should not be answering your question at all. How ever, Kindly allow me one more day to answer your question, please. (busy at work). Thank you.
 

pvraman

Active member
Sri Raghi Ji

Sri PVR,

How ever, Kindly allow me one more day to answer your question, please. (busy at work). Thank you.


Thanks for your reply. Please take your time. Let me also see if I can learn something in the mean time.

Thanks
 

Nara

Well-known member
Hello Sunilkumar:

Greetings and welcome! My original post was directed at one Mr. Brahma Rishi. It looks like he has decided to abandon this discussion. It is a lucky coincidence that you have appeared just after his disappearance, and I am glad you have picked up the cudgel he left behind.

Before I start let me once again plead for some formatting courtesy. The youngsters here may pride in your 20/20 vision. But one day you will get there like the rest of us and will realize :) Please, use some of the formatting features.

Christian faith
Let me first summarize your answers. Please feel free to correct me if I get anything wrong in the summary.

  1. jeevas are created by god
  2. broadly speaking, humanity ('Adam and Eve') disobeyed God, sinned against God and are prone to sin and are guilty.
  3. Whatever be the nature of 'original sin', our actual sins in our life condemns us and makes us guilty.
  4. sacrificial systems etc seen before are symbolic and point to ultimate fulfillment in Jesus in various ways.
  5. Apart for the sacrifice/atonement, there are many other aspects of Jesus like the highest/advanced moral standards
  6. No one is condemned due to a genuine doubt or for seeking clarification/clarity etc. But one is condemned, if one deliberately rejects what she/he is made known to be truth/good.
  7. one should not look out for chances/excuses to postpone looking for moksham
  8. Nowhere in the bible or Jesus indicated that God necessarily intervenes in a supernatural way to make all poor people well-off or stop a person from squandering his/her money or force a person to work hard to make money etc.
  9. Why do you even want to postpone truth/salvation/moral transformation etc to a next life?
  10. What we do have is a tenacious account of the life/message of Jesus as recorded by Jesus' chosen disciples, all written in the first century.

Unfortunately, none of the above answers the basic ontological questions satisfactorily.

Original sin and mokshopaya
Given that god creates Jeevas, why should he create them with a proclivity for sin. Adam and Eve were just two jeevas, they are not humanity as a whole. Punishing all the new jeevas by making them prone to sin is a form of collective punishment unworthy of a compassionate god.

Your answer to mokshoupaya is not very clear. Are you saying that a belief in the literal truth of crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus is not required for moksham? Would acceptance of god's help in an abstract way, and not specifically Jesus, alright? For example, accepting Rama's help or Krishna's help sufficient? Please explain.

Your comment about genuine doubt is incomplete. You have not described what constitutes genuine doubt and what happens if the genuine doubts are not satisfactorily answered? It is well known that Christianity requires these "genuine" doubts to be resolved in its favor before one dies. Or else, it is hell fire for eternity, that is the ontological position of Christianity.

Even lack of knowledge is not an excuse. There are many millions who have lived and died without ever becoming aware of Jesus or the Christian theology. In an ontological sense, Christianity sends them all to hell.

Consider the case of an observant Brahmins who is brought up in cloistered environment where they never get the opportunity to get any knowledge of Christian theology. They may have heard of Jesus in passing. But because of the environment into which he/she was born would never get an opportunity to take Jesus as his/her savior. Christian theology condemns such a person also to hell.

Finally, why does this god send the ones who deliberately do not seek him to hell? If my children reject me during their teenage years due to rebelliousness, I don't condemn them for ever. Perhaps for some the first life is like teenage years. But, in as much as there is only one life, they never get to grow out of their rebelliousness but gets sent to eternal hell. Even I, with all my human limitations, am more compassionate towards people who are not even my children compared to this god. So, there is something wrong with Christian theology.


Why only one life?
You have not answered this question at all. All you have to say is why postpone even for a day, let alone for another life.

It is not about why I want to postpone even by a day. The question is about the god's compassion within Christianity. Why would a compassionate god create a jiva, assign sins to him, give him proclivity to sin, give a mpkshopaya that is very hard to believe, and then give him just one opportunity? I would not do any thing remotely like this to my children, why would a god who is supposed to be infinitely compassionate be so unreasonable?


Why are there rich and poor?
You say the focus of Jesus/Bible is on serving the poor rather than why there are poor people.

Then I suppose we can conclude that bible offers no explanation for these differences. In that case, the criticism of Christian god being capricious remains unanswered.

Truth and bible
When you write about truth, I suppose you are talking about the Christian god and what is written in the bible. Why should anybody believe so?

You say god chose the truth to be told in the bible and we must accept it. But why? What is the evidence that the disciples who wrote the bible were actually chosen by Jesus? What is evidence Jesus even existed and not just a fiction imagined by these Peter, Paul, and Mathew? Why can't they be impostors trying to impress a gullible population?

The books included in the bible itself was a political decision made several centuries after they were written. The original books of the bible were not in English. They were translated, translated, and translated further from that translation. Biblical scholars have pointed out lots of discrepancies. So, there is enough reasons to have reasonable doubt.

So, this god, if compassionate, must either give me more lives to refine my faith, or show himself up and take me on a tour of heaven and hell so that I can be convinced of the consequences of the choice I have to make in just this one life. That is the compassionate thing to do. But the Christian god does not do it. Why?



About Hinduism

Full disclosure -- I am a humanist, not a Hindu. So take my views accordingly.


Summary of your queries (if I have missed any please add)
  1. Where did God tell what constitutes high standards of moral values?
  2. Who/what is tracking and judging the good/bad of each person?
  3. Is it not unfair to punish a person without even the person knowing what crime he/she committed and for how long he will suffer etc?
  4. If all suffering is deserved suffering, why should a person, out of love, help others? (to be religious, then, means to approve the well-deserved suffering of others).
  5. Is God bothered? If so, how/where did he express it?
  6. What according to you is God's help, offer of salvation, concern for the sinner, forgiveness, Gods plan of redemption etc?
  7. If you tell that everyone is eventually saved, why should any one bother to be good?


Moral values. good/bad, punishment
Vedic Hindus believe their version of eternal truths are described in the Vedas and to make these available to common people there are ithihasas and puranas that teach good and bad. In addition there are dharma shasthras. Vedic hinduism does make their version of good and bad very clear.

To the extent of my knowledge, what is right and wrong are very clearly articulated. One may not agree with what is listed as right and wrong, but nobody can say it is not known.

The karma of a jeeva is like an account that is supposed to be attached to it, like an entity attribute. In as much as god is omniscient, he knows the left and the right sides of the karma ledger.

All things good and bad result from one's own karma. Unlike the Christian god who capriciously makes some rich some poor, etc., the Vedic Hindus believe these are related to one's own karma, both papam and punyam.

Any action that is against shashthras is papam. Any action that is prescribed in the Vedas accrue as punyam. This includes such things as being truthful and honest, being righteous, feeding the poor, taking care of the elderly, protecting the environment, animals, etc.

So, for Vedic Hindus, good action is not predicated upon whether or not the suffering of others is deserved or undeserved. Whatever may be the reason, helping a suffering person is punyam, and for that reason one is encouraged to do it.


Does god care?
According to Vedic Hindus, life is either maya (for Advaitees) or leela (for Sri Vaishnavas).

In the case of Advaitees, god caring does not arise. The suffering comes from samsara which is lack of brahmma jnana. Once this jnana is realized, i.e. realization of non-difference, there is moksham.

For Sri Vaishnavas, god is different from jeevas. God does care. He offers opportunities directly or indirectly, based on puNya (this is another reason why one should be good, answer to the next question!) for saranagathi. There is an element of choice here.

In any case, enjoyment or suffering continues in one form or another until moksham from samsara.

Why bother to be good?
While in Samsara the jeeva experiences joy as well as grief. While grief is obviously to be avoided, even the joy that they experience is limited.

Once released from samsara, the jeeva attains moksham and for ever be enjoying ultimate bliss. The means for achieving this moksha is, true jnana of non-difference achieved through bhakthi, say advaithees, and saranagathi say Sri Vaishnavas, etc. This is possible only through good deeds. So there is incentive to be good, as defined in shasthras.

Cheers!
 

pvraman

Active member
Dear Mr Sunilkumar,

Dear Nara,

>> this original sin comes from Adam and Eve disobeying god

I request you to help me with the following to understand better.

1. Bible Says, The god created human Adam and Eve. So all the mankind is the Descenders of adam & Eve?

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."


2. When he multiplies, that means one jeeva becomes many jeevas, where were those many jeevas before. Is a jeeva is capable of creating other jeevas?


Thanks
 
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StudentofVihe

Active member
Dear Sri Justanotherchildofgod Ji,

There is a private message in your mailbox from me. Till you answer it to our satisfaction, your posts will be deleted. If you are going to be a serious poster here, as a member of our community, please answer the Moderarator's concerns - you seem to disregard and ignore those concerns.

Regards,
KRS
 
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Raghy

Well-known member
Shri Raghi Ji,

To the start of the thread,

Except Manusmriti, any scriptures defined Varnas. Or Starting of Varnas or only from MS?

Regards

Sri PVR,

Varna system is mentioned in Rg Veda, in Purusha Suktam. Here it is -
Verse Thirteen
brahmanosya mukhamasit
bahu rajanyah kritaha
uru tadasya yadvaishyaha
padhyagam shudro ajayata


From His face (or the mouth) came the brahmanas. From His two arms came the rajanya (the kshatriyas). From His two thighs came the vaishyas. From His two feet came the shudras.

Reference - Purusha sukta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It may not be a word to word translation. but, the jist is the same in any translation.

So, we can say that the varna system was really old. But as for the defining the varnas, there are numerous views from many scholars, which, I am sure you would have read from various sources. It does not matter which view is taken, still it is discriminatory. I don't think I have given you all the answers you were looking for; I do not know much at all. When we were reciting 'Purusha Suktham', my wife was asking about this verse quoted above. she did not like it.
 

pvraman

Active member
Dear Sri Raghy Ji,

Sri PVR,

Varna system is mentioned in Rg Veda, in Purusha Suktam. Here it is -
Verse Thirteen
brahmanosya mukhamasit
bahu rajanyah kritaha
uru tadasya yadvaishyaha
padhyagam shudro ajayata



Reference - Purusha sukta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

.

Thanks for this really, i saw Rig Veda: Rig-Veda, Book 10: HYMN XC. Puruṣa., Purusha Sukta -- Page 4 where it is mentioned as "was made" like making from a wastu. Anyway its a surprise. Please check this too, Quotations on Caste System in Ancient India.

Soon, We may find some definition too.

Thanks very much.
 
Dear Nara,

Thanks for your well written response. Please see my response below. This is part-1 of response.

About human ability/proclivity for sin:

If humans are created as free rational moral creates, it implies that humans have the ability to rebel against God and God's moral nature, commandments etc. This ability of humans to sin is not a punishment in itself (including the fact that sin can be tempting/alluring, which is the reason, there is some significance attached to choosing to overcoming sin, in the first place). More so, given that God is offering help/transformation/salvation etc, at least, this cannot be a complaint of those who are genuinely concerned/interested to overcome and to be in loving relationship with God. This is an issue only to those who reject the God's offer of help/transformation/salvation. Remember, there is a human couple's choice involved too in the birth of a child - so if a person wants to blame God for his birth in this sinful and suffering world, he should blame his parents as well, and we should all take the blame to giving birth to children! The possibility of sin/suffering cannot blackmail human couples (and God) into not having children at all. More so, when offer of God's help/transformation/salvation is on the offering on a platter to anyone who can accept.

You asked: " belief in the literal truth of crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus is not required for moksham? Would acceptance of god's help in an abstract way, and not specifically Jesus, alright? For example, accepting Rama's help or Krishna's help sufficient? "

As I said, it is not about what one does not know, but about what one does know (or made known) but deliberately rejects or deliberately be blind and close oneself. I believe that the belief in Rama and Krishna is borne out of a symbolic intuition/need for Incarnation of God for human salvation etc. The intuition as such is legitimate (though I believe that the symbolic intuition is actualized/fulfilled in a historic/true/authoritative/authentic manner in Jesus). A person who has not and could not hear of the life/teachings/doctrine/salvation etc of Jesus cannot of course be blamed. But when one sees/understands the genuinity of the nature of Jesus' incarnation/life/teaching/message/doctrine/salvation etc of Jesus and yet willfully rejects it out of love for sin/religion/tradition/world etc, that is when there can be a blame. Remember, salvation is about a loving relationship with God. If a person who never heard of Jesus, but praying for Rama's help or Krishna's help to overcome sin, for genuine relationship with God, for God's salvation, transformation etc (and not merely asking for material things like physical well being, wealth, health etc), I do not think there is any Christian doctrine that finds fault with it, in itself. However, a Christian doctrine may say that such a person who is already seeking/desiring/looking at symbols of salvation, incarnation, God's help for transformed life etc would find it impossible to resist Jesus - for Jesus represents everything that such a person is symbolically seeking. It is like a man searching for his box of Gold, and when he finds it, he grabs it. Jesus said: "The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field… Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it"
However, it is for God to judge people on a case to case basis - and God's justice is perfect.
However, a Christian doctrine does say that Christ's atoning sacrifice is required for anyone to be saved/forgiven/cleansed/renewed/reconciled. The benefits of Christ's sacrifice may also be applied without one's conscious knowledge of Christ - like the people before Jesus or who do not know etc. (who also can be saved on the basis of Jesus' sacrifice through their response to the information that God had revealed to them; their response to God's self-revelation in nature and conscience etc). I believe that salvation is truly available to all persons at all times. It all depends upon one's free response/acceptance.

About genuine doubt:

A person who is truly seeking/desiring truth, transformation, help/salvation from God etc may have a temporary state of confusion, but will not miss the boat and God will take care to lead the person to truth/salvation. No one needs to worry about that, for God is just. Remember, I also talked about relative importance of the various philosophical questions/issues. After all, one may raise/ask thousands of questions (on peripheral issues) and no human being can claim to know all the answers for all the questions in life (that is a reality/limitation we have to live with). Even mainstream Christian denominations disagree or admit uncertainty or openness about certain peripheral issues/questions. But that is not an excuse to reject that which is important/critical and made clear - like God's moral commandments, God's love/transformation/salvation etc).


"Consider the case of an observant Brahmins who is brought up in cloistered environment .."

I do not know if you had a chance to read the Gospels. You will see some encounters that Jesus had with highly orthodox/religious Jews. Jesus affirms that the Jewish beliefs are true and of God etc and yet, asks them to follow him (as a higher/advanced level of revelation and fulfillment of what they are symbolically looking forward to with their traditions, symbols etc). Jesus challenged/questioned some of the Jews (who did not accept Jesus) for not properly being what they are supposed to be as per Jewish faith itself, in the right letter and spirit. Jesus actually implies that their rejection/misrepresentation of the truth that they do know (from Jewish faith/symbols etc), is the reason why they are rejecting Jesus as well. I do not know what Jesus would have talked to Brahmins, but I do believe that he would not have outright rejected everything that Brahmins believe (there are many symbols, pointers, systems etc that are very similar), but he would still ask them to be his followers, like he asked the Jews. Coming back to the question about observant Brahmins, I do not think it is not as simplistic as you put it. One has to take into account whether the person in question truly desires/sought truth, God, salvation, transformation etc, whether there is a deliberate attempt to block the truth or to be blind to the truth etc. Ultimately God is the absolutely just Judge.

"why does this god send the ones who deliberately do not seek him to hell?"

God is the locus and source of moral values. God's moral nature is expressed in relation to us in the form of divine commands (revealed through nature, moral conscience, special revelation etc) which constitute our moral duties or obligations and moral accountability. Even rejection of God's natural revelation through moral conscience is a rejection of God. We are morally obligated to worship and love God. It might be even said, as some do, that a deliberate/knowing rejection of God is a sin of infinite gravity and proportion. All of creation reports to God and there can be nothing legitimate that is independent of and against God.

“Why only one life/chance?”

I do not agree with the categorization of a person's life time as amounting to only 'one chance'God can give in a person life, many chances that person rightly/justly needs till God may judge that the persons choice of rejection/separation of God is irrevocable/permanent. There is no point arguing that 1000 years of life might help (a bit like 'multiple lives may help' argument), but God is the best judge of how many chances/years to give. There is no logical problem is assuming that God is the best judge (and can prove it to the person) on how may chances for how long etc is good enough in a persons case is good enough. Even one day may be enough for a person to see truth or a thousand years of life also may not be enough. I have earlier talked about the whole approach/attitude of Bible/Jesus has been to talk consistently, systematically about God's concern for the sinner, offer of help, salvation etc. while the same cannot be said on the treatment of hell. The reason I talked about it to emphasize that each question/issue should be given the kind of treatment/attention that it deserves. The word "heaven" appears in the Bible over 550 times, while the word hell appears hardly a dozen times and some of the translations even avoid the usage of word hell altogether. There are multiple views about hell (you have commented on the most popular view). There is a book by name 'Four views on Hell' by John Walvoord, which presents four views held by mainstream denominations/scholars/theologians (namely 'literal', 'metaphorical', 'purgatorial', and 'conditional' views). There are those who argue for just eventual destruction of the wicked, some talk of further chances in after life and you will even find an odd guy or two arguing even for reincarnation. The point at the end of the day is, God is just (and gives enough chances/years etc) and how God justly executes the punishment is for God to decide. The question is secondary/peripheral - it is like a father is focusing all the time/energy in explaining the son on how to correct, how to transform, how to obtain salvation etc to the son, while the son is only asking father about consequences of bad behavior, extent of punishment etc.

“Problem of pain/suffering”

I did not say that Jesus/Bible did not offer any explanations about suffering in the world, but just that the systematic focus is on our moral duties towards the poor, how we are to serve etc. Of course you would know that tonnes of books are written on the subject of so-called 'problem of pain/suffering" by Christian theologians. There are multiple reasons offered. For example human free-will implies that one can hurt oneself and others, be lazy, cheat people, get oneself arrested, lose everything in gambling etc. The terrible human evils in the world are testimony to man's depravity in this state of spiritual alienation from God. The chief purpose of life is not material happiness or merely avoidance of physical suffering, but the knowledge/relationship with God, which will ultimately bring true and everlasting human fulfillment. Many sufferings that occur in life may seem to us as pointless with respect to the goal of producing physical happiness, but they may not be unjustified with respect to producing the knowledge of God (and hence ultimately a higher purpose). We may not always be in a good position to assess the probability of whether God has morally sufficient reason for allowing a particular suffering, but the transcendent and sovereign God sees the end from the beginning and providentially. God/Jesus only promised ultimate justice - not merely relief from temporary physical pain. In the afterlife God will reward those who have borne their suffering in courage and trust with an eternal life of unspeakable joy. The weight of glory is so great that it is literally beyond comparison with the suffering. Paul called it "a slight and momentary affliction" - simply overwhelmed by the ocean of divine eternity and joy which God lavishes in salvation. Dr. William Lane Craig writes : "To know God, the source of infinite goodness and love, is an incomparable good, the fulfillment of human existence. The sufferings of this life cannot even be compared to it. Thus, the person who knows God, no matter what he suffers, no matter how awful his pain, can still say, "God is good to me," simply by virtue of the fact that he knows God, an incomparable good". There is no contradiction between existence of a just/compassionate/sovereign/omnipotent God and the reality of physical suffering.
 
(Part 2 of the post)
Dear Nara,

You asked, "What is the evidence that the disciples who wrote the bible were actually chosen by Jesus? What is evidence Jesus even existed and not just a fiction imagined by these Peter, Paul, and Mathew? Why can't they be impostors trying to impress a gullible population?"

There is a continuity of history, early contemporary writing, eye witnesses accounts, copies made and distributed while eye witnesses are still alive, multiple authors, disciples who were willing to die for the faith of what they wrote as people who lived with Jesus etc. The interval of time between the events themselves and recording of them in the gospels is too short for legendary influences. The Jewish transmission of sacred traditions was highly developed and reliable. The historical narratives include names of kings, officials, places, how they travelled, where the disciples established churches etc which overlaps significantly with secular history and what we know to be true - And so on. Except for an extreme odd man or two (who are considered outside of historical/scholarly mainstream), even the most skeptical of historians would not doubt what you are asking above.

“The books included in the bible itself was a political decision made several centuries after they were written. … Biblical scholars have pointed out lots of discrepancies"

The gospels for example are chosen based on criteria such as apostolic authority (actual disciples or close associates, approved/affirmed/sanctioned by apostles), early/contemporary/eye-witness accounts etc. You may find presentation on the choice of Gospels useful: http://www.netfilehost.com/wscal/GuestLectures/bauckham.07.11.14.mp3 . About the discrepancies too, when there are hundreds of handwritten copies made by several people, one would expect to see minor copying errors etc made by some. Through a process called 'textual criticism', such copy errors are generally easily identified. Dr. William Lane Craig writes ".. The text of the New Testament is .. about 99.9% established. That means that when you pick up a (Greek) New Testament today, you can be confident that you are reading the text as it was originally written. Moreover, that .1% that remains uncertain has to do with trivial words on which nothing of importance hangs"

"So, this god, if compassionate, must either give me more lives to refine my faith"

You can be rest assured that God/Jesus is absolutely just/compassionate to give you as many chances as should be rightly/justly given. While these arguments etc would help, ultimately God will reveal to you the truth if you humble yourself and open yourself to the truth of God and seek in prayer. If you truly desire truth and humbly seek God for truth (and be willing to go wherever God/Truth leads you to), you cannot be far away from truth. God will ensure that you cannot miss the boat in that case. It is not about the number years of life given to you - even an hour is enough to open up yourself to Gods love).

You said "I am a humanist, not a Hindu. So take my views accordingly"

If you are a humanist I would like to debate on that. My humanism is based on life/message/teachings/doctrine/salvation etc of Jesus. If you explain your views as a humanist, I can offer my criticism on the relative merits/demerits etc.

" god is omniscient, he knows the left and the right sides of the karma ledger. Any action that is against shashthras is papam. Any action that is prescribed in the Vedas accrue as punyam. This includes such things as being truthful and honest, being righteous, feeding the poor, taking care of the elderly, protecting the environment, animals, etc"

I respect the moral messages that are affirmed in the Shashthras etc, but I have to ask a few questions: What is the logical/philosophical basis on which the Shashthras claim something as good and something as evil? Is it just an arbitrary whim or intuition of the author? What is the authority of the author? Are they writing the will of God (like how Christianity claims)? Is this dictate of good/bad in law of karma, something that is superior/higher than even the God/gods/goddesses and are they subject to it?
I also think the suggestion of good/bad deeds being like a ledger is problematic. Good is something one is supposed to and obliged/commanded to do anyway. Not even a human court can accept the idea of ledger of good/bad. One cannot for example give free education to thousands of poor girl children and sexually exploit a few of them in return and claim that it is balanced. Many wicked people in this world will be more than happy to do that. And what about the concept of a loving relationship with God? Can there be a relationship with God with such a person who merely maintains a balance sheet of good/bad and continues to sin unabated and unrepented? Should not a person who commits sin have to repent/seek forgiveness, seek correction, transformation etc (regardless of other good deeds he may do)? You haven't answered about the unfairness of punishing a person without even the person knowing what crime he/she committed and for how long he should suffer etc. Even others seeing the suffering does not know for what sin he is suffering (his culpability then becomes just an allegation, and the poor mans dignity is lost further). It appears to me that this amounts to ripping a poor/suffering man of his dignity by adding salt to his wounds by saying that it is befitting that he should suffer due to this evil past etc. I think we should desist/reconsider such a proclamation unless the cause-effect relation between a man's suffering and his evil past is proved beyond a shadow of a doubt. And there is no way of showing/proving that cause-effect relationship.


You said : "So, for Vedic Hindus, good action is not predicated upon whether or not the suffering of others is deserved or undeserved. Whatever may be the reason, helping a suffering person is punyam, and for that reason one is encouraged to do it"

But you have already declared/concluded that a poor man deserved to be poor and deserves to suffer etc condemned by God into that physical suffering due to his evil past. You are declaring that this is the sole confirmed reason for his suffering. If you already know that God is rightly giving a befitting punishment to a culpable evil person who must serve his sentence, on what basis can God again ask to help the criminal? It is like a government giving you a philanthropic award for breaking open a government jail and releasing prisoners! That is not philanthropy, that is violating the known justice/will of God. That would be a logical contradiction. Also, if the suffering person has to anyway suffer, what use it is to help him? It only prolongs the tenure of suffering or shifts to another day. Nothing is gained for the sufferer. On the other hand, if you admit for example, that the free-will of some wicked people can cause an unjust suffering to others, there is a reason to fight against that injustice and help the exploited poor people.


You said: "While in Samsara the jeeva experiences joy as well as grief. While grief is obviously to be avoided, even the joy that they experience is limited"

Why should anyone bother to agree to this statement that "joy is limited" etc? As long as one knows that there are infinite years of life and everything will be alright at the end, why bother, one can easily take chances. And moreover one can even cancel off bad deed with some charity etc! A wicked man can have a field day! I think this is highly misleading. The urgency of transformation/correction/salvation, and expression of God's love/help that Bible/Jesus presented seems to me, the right/genuine approach or attitude.
 
Dear Padmanaban Venkataraman,

You asked "Bible Says, The god created human Adam and Eve. So all the mankind is the Descenders of adam & Eve?"

Yes, that is what it is, (though, some would interpret some of the stories associated with creation and adam/eve as allegorical/symbolic etc).

You asked, "When he multiplies, that means one jeeva becomes many jeevas, where were those many jeevas before. Is a jeeva is capable of creating other jeevas?"

As per the Christian doctrine, jeevas begin to exist at the time of conception. So a human soul does have a beginning. In an ultimate sense, all Jeevas are said to be Gods creation (though there is the element of ‘collaboration’, so to speak, with human couple).
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
From His face came the brahmanas. From His two arms came the kshatriyas. From His two thighs came the vaishyas. From His two feet came the shudras.


The meaning of Verse 13 in Purusha Suktam should not be taken in the literal sense.
The message of the Varnic Garment woven by multicoloured threads should be analysed deeply.

When we think: we use our brain ---- anatomical location(head)
When we defend/fight: we use arms ---- anatomical location(upper limbs)
When we move about for a living: we mainly use our Quadriceps Femoris muscle--- anatomical location(thigh)
When we support ourselves:we stand on feet----anatomical location(lower limbs)

Its just a practical division of the human society based on functions for the perfect synchronization of the Cosmic Orchestra both at the microcosmic and macrocosmic level.

It does not denotes superiority.It just like a doll made of sugar.Every part of the doll whether the head, arms, thighs and feet is verily made of the same ingredient hence tastes sweet.
We cant say that the Head of the Supreme Purusha is more full in terms of divinity in comparison to the Feet isnt it?
Every part is Full(suffused with Divinity)

That is Full, This is Full
Full arises from Full
When Full is taken out from Full,
What remains is also Full.

Om Purnamadah Purnamidam
Purnat Purnamudachayte
Purnasya Purnamadhaya
Purnamevaavashisyate
 
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Nara

Well-known member
"Bible Says, The god created human Adam and Eve. So all the mankind is the Descenders of adam & Eve?"

This raises some uncomfortable questions with regard to incest, unless these are only allegorical. But most Christians view biblical stories are true in their entirety.
 
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