Relationship of Advaita Vedanta to other religions
Vivek Anand Ganesan
v_ganesan at YAHOO.COM
Thu Jul 11 18:30:04 CDT 2002
--- Sri Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:
> of interpreters of the Vedic religion. He allows a
> measure of diversity
> in its' forms but where non-Vedic religions are mentioned
> Jainism and even "Hindu" sects such as Bhagavatas,
> Samkhya/Yoga etc.) it is in a negative way.
I am curious to know more. Is he just criticizing their
views with regards to the Agamas being superior or at least
equal to the Vedas or is he denying the validity of the
Agamas themselves? And, there is another question that has
always bugged me - if the smArthAs are the "real" vaidhIkas
then why are they not called vaidhIkas, why smArthAs?
> Historically, mainstream Christianity has not been too
> kind to those who
> got a little too close to God.
AFAIK, this is not entirely true. Most people, when they
think of Christianity, are only aware of the Western
version ( both Catholic as well as Protestant ). But,
Christianity is an Eastern religion and was rooted in the
East long before it ever came to the West. There is a very
distinct Eastern Christianity which differs from the
Western version in key respects.
One of the ideas of Eastern Christianity is theosis i.e.
to be like God ( literally, to live as Christ did because
Christ was the full expression of God ). They also have
meditation-like practices called heyschachts ( which is a
form of nAma japam ). When the Roman church became powerful
it "outlawed" these ideas and the churches associated with
it ( it is a known fact that the fourth crusade was
with the express intent to wipe out the byzantine church
). Every now and then, there were strong "mystical"
movements within Catholicism itself which was of course
"purged" by the Church, such as those of the Cathari.
The Christian mystics seemed to have a strongly advaitic
vision of the Godhead but the Church has never been
comfartable with such expressions of spirituality.
To me, Meister Eckhart has a strongly advaitic view of God.
However, many mainstream theologians in recent times
have favored Bhagavad rAmAnujar's theology ( for example,
Thomas Merton or Tiehard de Chardin ). Of particular
interest is the notion of shAreera bhAvam which they relate
to as corpus christi or the body of Christ!
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