Advaita and Christianity
Sankaran Kartik Jayanarayanan
kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU
Thu Mar 23 18:31:32 CST 2000
On Thu, 23 Mar 2000, Vivek Anand Ganesan wrote:
> In a different thread,
> "Can iishvara pull out a jiiva from bondage?",
> ShrI Cowart wrote:
> > There is a strong non-dual tradition in Christianity
> > (Eckhardt and
> > others).
> Hello :
> I have been wondering about this for a while. I would
> to learn more. I have given a few bits of knowledge that
> I have culled. Any corrections and/or comments are
> I. Gnosis and Pistis
> Since Early Christian theology was mostly influenced by
> Greek philosophy most Christian terms are Greek. I have
> specifically come across two that have caught my attention.
> Gnosis = Realization = Jnana ( Is it so? )
The words "GYAna" (Sanskrit), "Gnosis" (greek), "gnosko" (Latin), "know"
(English), "kennen" (German), etc. are all related, being words of
But the word "gnosis" in Greek philosophy doesn't have anything to do with
mystical realization, in the advaitic sense or otherwise. It's simply a
referent to knowledge in the philosophical context.
> Pistis = Faith ( I don't know the Sanskrit equivalent ).
> It is possible that there was some Indian influence on
> philosophy, especially since Pythogras had studied in
This is most probably not accurate. There are stories about Plato, Jesus,
etc. visiting India to learn philosophy/religion, and not one of them is
taken seriously by historians.
> Only recently did I learn about the Gnostic school of
> Christianity ( from a Hollywood movie, no less ). It seems
> that this school was quite popular in the early days but
> later persecuted by the doyens of orthodoxy. They
> inner-realization ( Gnosis ).It also seems that a papal
> was passed that outlawed Gnosis and established only
Interesting! What's the name of this movie?
> II. Dogma and Kerygma
> These are two more terms which might have some
> with Indian thought. Specifically, Is
> Dogma = Dharma and Kerygma = Karma?
You can consult dictionary.com, a pretty good resource.
AFAIK, the word "dharma" means "to hold firm" and has its counterpart in
the Latin "firmus." Whereas the word "Dogma" is derived from "Dek" meaning
"to accept." I don't think they are related.
"Kerygma" means "to preach" -- not sure how it can be connected to Karma.
> Thanks in advance,
bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam
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