Advaita and Christianity
Sankaran Kartik Jayanarayanan
kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU
Tue Apr 4 13:15:28 CDT 2000
This will be my last posting on this thread.
I only want to re-iterate something I said in a prior posting of mine, and
I only claimed that the *Bible* was strongly leaning towards the
philosophy of advaita *as taught by Ramana*, in the opinion of Ramana
Note: "B" stands for "Bhagavan" and "D" for "Devotee."
When explaining to an American lady, Bhagavan said: "The Self alone is
Real. All else is unreal. The mind and intellect have no existence apart
from you. The Bible says: "Be still and know that I am God." Stillness is
the only thing needed to realize that I am is God."
Later he added: "The whole of VedAnta is contained in the two Biblical
statements `I am that I am' and `Be still and know that I am God'."
D: What is the significance of crucifixion?
B: The body is the cross. Jesus, the son of man, is the ego or
I-am-the-body idea. When the son of man is crucified on the cross, the ego
perishes, and what survives is the Absolute Being. It is the resurrection
of the Glorious Self, of the Christ - the Son of God.
D: But how is crucifixion justified? Is not killing a terrible thing?
B: Everyone is committing suicide. The eternal, blissful, natural state
has been smothered by this ignorant life. In this way, the present life is
due to the killing of the eternal positive existence. Is it not really a
case of suicide?
D: What is yoga?
B: Yoga (union) is necessary for one who is in a state of viyoga
(separation). But really there is only One. If you realize the Self there
will be no difference.
D: Is there any efficacy in bathing in the Ganges?
B: The Ganges is within you. Bathe in this Ganges; it will not make you
shiver with cold.
D: Should we sometimes read the Bhagavad Gita?
D: May we read the Bible?
B: The Bible and the Gita are the same.
D: The Bible teaches that man is born in sin.
B: Man is sin. There is no feeling of being man in deep sleep. The
body-thought brings out the idea of sin. The birth of thought is sin.
D: The Bible says that the human soul may be lost.
B: The "I" thought is the ego and that is lost. The real "I" is "I am that
D: Is it not our duty to be patriots?
B: It is your duty to BE and not be this or that. "I am that I am" sums up
the whole Truth. The method is summarized in "Be still."
"The doctrine of Trinity was explained: God the Father is equivalent to
Ishvara, God the Son to the Guru, and God the Holy Ghost to the Atman.
Ishvaro gururameti muurti bheda vibhaagina vyomavad vyaapta dehaaya
dakshiNaamuurtaye namaH, means that God appears to His devotee in the form
of a Guru (Son of God) and points out to him the immanence of the Holy
spirit. That is to say, that God is Spirit, that this Spirit is immanent
everywhere and the Self must be realized, which is the same as realizing
D: I have been interesting myself in metaphysics for over twenty years,
but I have not gained any novel experiences as so many others claim to. I
have no powers of clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc. I feel locked up in
this body, nothing more.
B: That is all right. Reality is only one and that is the Self. All other
things are mere phenomena in it, of it and by it. Seer, sight and seen are
the Self only. Can anyone see or hear without the Self? What difference
does it make if you see or hear anyone close up or at a great distance?
The organs of sight and hearing are needed in both cases. So is the mind.
None of them can be dispensed with. In either case you are dependent on
them. Why then should there be any clamour about clairvoyance or
clairaudience? Moreover, what is acquired will also be lost in due
course. It can never be permanent. The only permanent things is Reality
and that is the Self. You say: "I am," "I am going," "I am speaking," "I
am working," etc. hyphenate the "I-am" in all of them. Thus: "I-am." That
is the abiding and fundamental Reality. This truth was taught by God to
Moses. "I am that I-am" "Be still and know that I-am God," so "I-am" is
PS: All of the above quotes are from 'Teachings of Ramana Maharshi,' or
`Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge,' by Arthur Osborne.
bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam
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