Advaita and Christianity

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 27 21:39:26 CST 2000

On Mon, 27 Mar 2000 19:05:07 -0600, Sankaran Kartik Jayanarayanan
<kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU> wrote:

>When Ramana says, "All religions are the same," surely it makes perfect
>sense to you? Or do you ask him whether or not he specifically included
>the Heaven's gate cult when he used the term "all religions"? Does it
>really require so much clarification?

 A sweeping statement such as "All religions are the same" needs to be
 interpreted properly. It is reasonable to interpret this as saying
 that the *objective* of all religions is the same. Generally speaking,
 we may say that all religions have the same objective - the removal of
 suffering and the attainment of lasting happiness. Towards this end,
 all religions set forth various teachings which if followed correctly
 are said to lead to the attainment of the objective. And since the
 objective itself is universally recognized to be a noble one, one
 would be hard pressed to find fault with a particular religion for
 making an attempt towards the objective. Moreover religions in general
 ask their followers to practice some universally held virtues or
 common dharma (sAmAnya dharma) such as speaking the truth, ahiMsA,
 compassion to fellow humans, etc. Nobody can find fault with these
 noble ideals either.

 On the other hand, if the practice of any religion or cult is said to
 have the same effect as the practice of any other that would no doubt be
 correct to the jnAnI who has no use for any religion, but would not
 be correct from a practical (vyAvahArika) viewpoint. Otherwise, why
 would Shankara have taken pains to eliminate dangerous practices of
 various cults and replace them with sAttvika modes of worship? Shankara
 could have very well said "All methods of worship, whether sAttvika
 or not, whether vaidika or not, are the same!" But he did not.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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