Deepavali as a festival of lights is connected to the most ancient symbolism of India, the movement from darkness to light as the essence of our lives. In this regard, there is a famous Vedic prayer: Asato ma sad gamaya Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya Mrtyor ma amritam gamaya Lead us from non-being to being Lead us from darkness to light Lead us from death to immortality This famous Upanishadic chant precedes the special verses that teach Aham Brahmasmi, or “I am Brahman”, expressing the unity of the individual soul with the supreme universal reality – one of the most profound statements of spiritual realisation in the history of the world. Let us try to understand it. Non-being or asat is that which in not enduring, which is transient and ultimately momentary. Sat is that
Often these days in debates on religion and violence, it is not uncommon to hear statements like “all religions are equally bad” (or equally good). I contest this apologetic statement which is designed to reduce pressure from religions to wean themselves away from terrorism and violent value systems. I also propose case that all ‘indic religions’ (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism) have value systems that encourage “seeking” as opposed to “being told” about revealed divine laws — thus inculcating an ability to accept dissent and engage in debate for spiritual growth and learning. This is opposite of how Abrahamic religions’ value systems are designed —they dictate to the individual, revealed inviolate laws of the creator via his prophets and as captured in usually one holy book.
Every quite often i run into debates with Muslims (usually Indian muslims) on FB or Twitter which are about discussing the nature of God / Allah. I run into the same arguments over and over again, and i in return endlessly argue against the same things over and over again. This is a compilation of all the arguments i usually hear about the nature of Allah, and my arguments for a more liberal and unconditionally loving view of the creator. Whether there is a creator or no is beyond the scope of this series of post, and the audience here is not atheists but rather devout Muslims (and even Catholics). I must confirm that some ideas and questions presented here might sound not worthy of a thinking adult to be delving into; but you must understand that every so often i come across Comput...
In Christianity, the title Satan (Hebrew: הַשָּׂטָן ha-Satan), “the opposer”, is a title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Jewish Bible. “Satan” later became the name of the personification of evil. Christian tradition and theology changed “Satan” from an accuser appointed by God to test men’s faith to God’s godlike fallen opponent: “the Devil”, “Shaitan” in Arabic (the term used by Arab Christians and Muslims) Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil_in_Christianity In Islam. Iblis was proud and considered himself superior to Adam, since Adam was made from clay and Iblis from smokeless fire. For this act of disobedience, God cursed him to Jahannam (Hell/Purgatory) for eternity… Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil_%28Islam%
India has its ethos rooted in a rather liberal idea of God. At the root of Hinduism is is an idea of a ‘Brahman’ which cannot be translated to God in English. The idea of Brahman is that of a certain ‘consciousness’ that pervades all that we see manifest in the Universe (and is the cause for all that exists). With this idea it was easy for the Rg Vedic seers to proclaim — “Truth is ONE; Sages call ‘it’ by many names”. Said in other words, “just as all rivers lead to the ocean, all religions lead to the same Creator”. “Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudha Vadanti”: Truth is one, sages call it by various names. This is the central theme based on which has the entire foundation of the Indian civilization, it’s endless religions and sects, and it’s culture been built. This is a “core value” system tha
There are no celestial beings I know of There is no God either Neither heaven nor hell Neither a preserver, nor an owner of this universe Neither a creator, nor a destroyer There is only the law of causality I take responsibility for my actions and their consequences The smallest of creatures have a life-force just like mine May I always have such compassion May I never cause any harm to anybody The truth is multi-faceted And there are many ways to reach it May i find balance in this duality I pray, may my Karma of ignorance be shed May my true self be liberated from the cycle of life and death And attain Moksha! ~ lyrics taken from the movie “Ship of Theseus”. Source: https://medium.com/essays-on-india-and-hinduism/lyrics-of-a-song-from-the-jain-tradition-1b4288bdf84c
“Like the herbage I have sprung up many a time On the banks of flowing rivers. For a hundred thousand years I have lived and worked In every sort of body.” — — — Mansur Al-Hallaj Mansur al-Hallaj was passing a message of ONE-ness of all Life or all creation and the creator. This message has been consistently passed on in India by Yogis over and over again for thousands of years. Aham Brahmasmi (I am Bhrahman). I Am That. I am Allah. I am the Truth. I am God. The same message has been in the Vedas and the Upanishads, and has been passed on by Buddha to Osho and from Adi Shankaracharya to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. In Islamic Iraq, however, Manur al-Hallaj was burnt alive, termed a heretic. Sarmad, had the same message. Aurangzeb had him beheaded. In India and its Dharmic religions (