Advaita and Christianity

Vivek Anand Ganesan v_ganesan at YAHOO.COM
Fri Mar 24 17:16:01 CST 2000

--- ShrI Sankaran Kartik Jayanarayanan wrote:
> 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.
Thank you for your pointers and to ShrI Sreekanth for his
reply.  I am afraid that we are drifting a bit from the
scope of the list.  So, if anyone is interested we could
continue this thread off-line.
  The movie I saw is called "Stigmata". It refers to a lost
gospel which was found in a place called Nag Hammadi in
Egypt circa. 1945. Current scholarship has placed it around
4th century AD. As I had mentioned before, there was a
vibrant form of Christianity ( Gnostics ) during the early
christian era ( 0-400 AD ).  They considered Jesus to be
a Gnostic ( i.e. knower or seer ) and had a very different
view of christianity than most others.
  During the bloody course of "orthodoxy", they were
persecuted and eventually destroyed. But, there had always
been a Gnostic undercurrent in Christianity.  The Nag
Hammadi find has proven that the Gnostics did in fact
There was a monastery near by which was ordered to be
and most likely these books were buried to preserve them.
  According to this school, "Gnosis" is a form of self-
realization.  One of the books ( titled "Gospel of Thomas"
begins by stating "The Kingdom of God is within you and
all around you.".

> > philosophy, especially since Pythogras had studied in
> > India.
> 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.
  Yes. I am aware of some of these claims. But, there could
be some truth in this statement about Pythogaras. It is
known that he went to Egypt to study. There are accounts
that he went further "East" also. Whether or not, he
in India, he definitely seems to have been influenced by
Indian thought. He learnt Yoga and became a Vegetarian.
He went back and started a school in Southern Italy where
he taught Yoga, some sort of number mysticism and some
philosohpy. It was a very secretive school. The other
called the Pythogoreans "Gymno-sophists" i.e. philosophers
who did gymnastics ( yoga ). The pythogoreans also
"metempsychosis" ( re-birth ).


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