Bhagavadgita Pages, Chapters 1 to 18
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa [RKP] (February 18, 1836 - August 16, 1886) as described by Sister Nivedita (1867-1911), born Margaret Elizabeth Noble in Ireland.
His [RKP] was in fact the most perfect religious culture that the mind can conceive. The doctrine that "different creeds are but different paths to reach God," propounded in a general way, was not new in India. But taught as this man taught it, with his strong contention that it was the actual duty of men to follow their own faith, for the world gained by many-centredness; with his intense conviction "in whatsoever name or form you desire to know God, in that very name and form you will see Him;" with his assurance that rites and ceremonies contain religious experience, as the husk contains the germ; and above all, with that love that said of every faith, "Bow down and adore where others kneel, for where so many have worshipped, the Lord will manifest Himself."--it was unique in the world's history.
As a Hindu by birth and secular upbringing, I try to understand my own natal religion and other religions. My family never celebrated Hindu festivals for the first 24 years of my life; from 24 to 30, I spent life in the USA as a single person. Since marriage at age 30, I just follow my spouse in the celebration of Hindu festivals. What I knew of Hindu festivals in childhood is what I saw other people celebrate. What I knew of Hindu religion was what I picked up here and there. I attended many religious discourses in temple during my college days, though I was very unfamiliar with ritual Hinduism. I visited temples with my uncle and aunts in my childhood, which was more of an outing than a spiritual journey. What I knew of Mahabharata and Ramayana was from friends and relatives and not from books; now I could confidently say that I was very ignorant. Bhagavad-Gita, Vedas and Upanishads were foreign to my being. My high school days were spent in a Christian high school, where I read and learnt Bible. I knew more about Jesus Christ and less about Rama or Krishna. Real in-depth study of Hinduism started at age 62 when I retired. Up until age 62, my mind was a clean slate with no impressions. There was a brief disturbing pause in the tranquil ignorance, when the vivisection of South Asia into India and Pakistan took place with accompanying river of blood. Hinduism was late in coming to my psychic being at age 62. I am a pre-teenager at 72 dabbling in Hinduism. The last ten years have been my formative years. I never heard of Jews or Judaism until I came to USA in 1961.
JANUARY 30, 2013
The Jews of India belong to three communities: the Bene Israel, the Bagdadis, and the Cochinis, all amounting to 70K at the time of vivisection of India. The Jewish population of India is gradually diminishing because of immigration to Israel. The color spectrum of the Indian Jews spans from dark, to brown to white.
"For thousands of years we have marched on parallel causes and have now built bridges of cooperation between the two religions. Jews have lived in India for over 2000 years and have never been discriminated against. This is something unparalleled in human history".
A second Hindu-Jewish summit took place in Jerusalem in February 2008. There, the Jewish delegation accepted that true Hindus accept One Supreme Being and do not think that the representations used in worship are idols. Despite snowy weather in Jerusalem, the Hindu delegation visited and said their prayers at the Kotel, also known as the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites for Jews.
In June 2009, another Hindu-Jewish interfaith meet was held in New York and Washington. The International Hindu-Jewish Leadership Dialogue was hosted by the American Jewish Committee, the Hindu American Foundation, and the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha and was sponsored by the World Council of Religious Leaders. It began with a lunch and presentations amid saffron-robed swamis, dark-suited rabbis, and Hindu lay leaders wearing lapel pins combining the Israeli, Indian, and American flags.
Hindu festivals in Israel
Hindus are able to practice freely in the country. This is notably shown by the celebrations of Krishna Janmashtami, which is celebrated in Israel with fanfare. Plays are staged revolving around stories of Krishna's childhood, besides singing and dancing just like devotees in India. The event is accompanied with a somptous feast of 108 dishes, a number that has come to be identified as pious by the faithful.
Ithamar Theodor, who teaches Indian culture at the Department of Asian Studies of Haifa University, said "there is a general attraction towards Indian culture. It is not just a religious attraction but more of a cultural attraction."
"The process of Americanisation in Israel has left a void which is very well filled by the Indian cultural aspects ranging from its spirituality, philosophy, music and a whole range of other alternatives," he said.
Dancing, singing, reveling, meditating and relaxing their bodies and souls, over 30,000 Israelis gathered for four days at Nitzanim beach on the Mediterranean to celebrate Boombamela, a festival modelled on the Kumbhamela.
The organisers said they were inspired by Kumbh and started the event in Israel three years ago. Many of the visitors at the festival have been to India or are planning to visit. A number of youngsters could be seen taking Yoga classes and attending Hare Krishna lectures. Long queues were to be found outside the Indian ‘dhaba’ serving boiled rice and lentil soup. Middle aged couples, draped in Indian clothes, strolled the beach, young boys and girls drew circles on the soft sand while others surfed the morning sea.
Searching for essence of life in esoteric and mystical philosophies, a number of Israelis get attracted to Indian philosophy and spiritualism like Shirdi Sai Baba and Osho Rajneesh. India has become a popular destination among Israelis and over 25,000 people visit the country every year.
Judaism and Hinduism
Forgotten memory and broken citadels are the only remaining debris of some civilizations, which rose and fell like waves in the cosmic ocean of time. The Jews are one of the gifted races of mankind. Jewish civilization lasted, lasted and lasted for ages because of sheer will to stay at the forefront, irrespective of where the Jews lived and how much they wandered and suffered; the Diaspora held together by the cohesive nature and force of Talmud. Talmud consisting of Mishnah and Gemara, is a compilation of rabbinic laws, traditions, commentaries related to the Torah. Mishnah, the Oral Law given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai; Gemara is commentaries on Mishnah.
They were linear elements starting with postulation of codes, learning and teaching, illustration and discussion, application, commentaries, story-telling and writings. In a way it was Hinduism's smrti (memory, that which is remembered; in Judaism it is that which is repeated; oral law) and Sruti (that which is heard) in Hinduism. Smrti covers the non-revealed scriptures dealing with agriculture, law, history, science, spiritual matters and other human endeavors. It deals with matter and spirit. Each sect has its own sacred scriptures. Sruti on the other hand is what was revealed by the Lord to the Rishis, Munis and Seers many thousands of years ago. Sruti, consisting of Vedas and Agamas, was passed from Seer to Seer by oral tradition and later put down in writing in Sanskrit. As Smrti and Sruti held the Hindus together, Talmud Torah, the Jewish Religious School held the Jews together in disparate countries; that is no small feat. One extraordinary internal and external beauty about Judaism is that the basic aspects of spiritual and secular life of Jew are laid down in clear terms. There is very little ambiguity in the Laws of Moses; Rabbinic scholars are at the ready to apply those laws to modern conditions; in that sense the Laws are eternal.
This piece indicates how close Hinduism and Judaism are in their essential elements.
This is a commentary on the article downloaded from the above site.
The words in Blue indicate concurrence of Judaism with Hinduism. The words in pink indicate Hinduism. The words in Red indicate the contrarian and prevailing view in Hinduism.
Judaism believes that in the beginning G-d created man. But Judaism doesn't say that man was created in the exact image of G-d. The explanation is simple. Judaism teaches that G-d is formless. G-d is incorporeal - (Parabrahman of Hinduism). Maimonides (Rambam; Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon) who lived 1135-1204 C.E. taught that word image or tzelem refers to the 'nature or essence' of. In other words G-d and man are not similar in visible existential form but in nature, attributes. "Rashi explains that we are like G-d (TatTvam Asi = तत् त्वं असि = THAT you are = God you are) in that we have the ability to understand and discern. Maimonides elaborates that by using our intellect, we are able to perceive things without the use of our physical senses, an ability that makes us like G-d, who perceives without having physical sense." http://www.baptist1.com/judaism/human.htm It is important at this point to explain that Judaism does not believe in original sin. In other words Judaism does not believe that you are born in sin. They believe and teach in the existence of sin, but not in the existence of sin as a inherited part of the human nature. (Hinduism believes that the embodied soul is laden with malas or impurities that upon removal leads to liberation of the soul from the cycle of birth and rebirth.) Christianity believes that man is born in sin, or in a separation from God due to the sin in the garden of the first human creations Adam and Eve. Judaism therefore believes that man commits sinful acts, but he (his soul) himself is not sinful, or totally separated from G-d. Judaism teaches that even though man commits sin or acts that are contrary to the teaching of G-d, there is atonement. But in contrast to Christianity in which atonement is gained ultimately believing that Jesus died for your sins and applying that sacrifice to your sins, Judaism teaches that atonement is gained through "works of righteousness, which include, repentance, prayer, and the performing of good deeds." So according to Judaism there is not a need for a personal savior, or a mediator like the person of Jesus Christ as described in Christianity (McDowell,1992: 373-374).
Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamy
The explicator of Monism (Advaitam)
சந்திரசேகரேந்திர சரஸ்வதி சுவாமிகள் (May 20, 1894 – January 8, 1994)
Translation from Tamil by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj
How do we remove the Dhosham (= deficit, defect, fault, handicap)? For us, the dirt comes in the form of a body. What is the cause of the body? Sin is the origin of the body. What implement did we use to incur sin? We used organs like hands, feet, and mind to incur sin. When we have to untie the knot in a rope, we have to reverse the movements that made the knot. We have to use Sat-karyam (= good deeds) to remove Asat-karyam (= bad deeds), and meritorious deeds to remove deeds of sin. The sins committed by the said organs should be removed by the same organs. Satkaryas are charity, duty, Karma Anushtānam, Isvara namoccharanam and Ālaya Dharisanam. These are the means for eradication of sin. By getting rid of sin, and then taking the Jnana margam (Path of Spiritual knowledge), we must become one with limitless wisdom and bliss.
Karma Anushtanam = கர்ம அனுஷ்டானம் = performance of religious austerities and duties.
Isvara namoccharanam = ஈசுவர நாமோச்சாரணம் = Recitation of holy names of God.
Alaya Dharisanam = ஆலய தரிசனம் = offering homage to God in the temple.
There are four Great sayings in Hinduism with regards to God and man: 1) Prajnanam Brahma, 2) Aham Brahma Asmi, 3) Tat Tvam Asi, and 4) Ayam Atma Brahman. = 1) Consciousness is Brahman, 2) I am Brahman, 3) That Thou Art, 4) This Self is Brahman)
(Hinduism generally (Saivism) does not believe that another person can assume or take ownership of your sin or merit, which are yours and only yours, and no one (Jesus Christ in Christianity) can die for your sins. If Jesus Christ died for your sins, what prevents man from committing more sins? This assumption of ownership of sins by Jesus Christ , if applied to people in real life, will be perversion of justice. There are certain believers in Hinduism, who by provoking other people react to their perverse acts and obscenities, can take the merits of the victim. In SriVaishnavism, Sri, the Consort of Vishnu, acts as a mediator on behalf of the devotees, so that Vishnu can expunge Karma to admit the devotee into Paramapadam--heaven.)
The Jewish conception of the soul has changed over time. So to get a firm grasp on what Judaism as a whole says about the soul is almost inconceivable. The main reason for this is due to the interpretation and reinterpretation of the Torah and religious traditions. Having said that it is not impossible to get a general description of what Judaism refers to as "the dual" nature. Like the sin nature in Christianity and triadic nature of Islam, Judaism believes in the duality of human nature. Yetzer (Guna = Mode, behavior) is a term in Jewish thought meaning 'impulse.' This impulse or yetzer explains the actions good or bad of human nature in Judaism. Jewish thought describes to yetzers in the duality of human nature. These are the Yetzer Ra and the Yetzer Tov. The Yetzer Ra defined means evil impulse. The selfish desire for satisfaction of personal needs, which can lead a person to do evil if not restrained by the yetzer tov. But as opposed to the Christian view of the 'sinful' nature the yetzer ra is not corrupt nor does it desire to "do evil." But the yetzer ra (= अहंकार Ahamkara or Ego of Hinduism) is a selfish nature . It's desire is to please self. An explanation of the non-evilness of the yetzer ra is it's desire to satisfy common needs such as housing, food, and sexual gratification. But the desire to have food can lead someone to steal, which is forbidden by Jewish law. So the yetzer ra is not inherently bad as opposed to the Christian view of sinful nature. Yetzer Tov (= सत्त्व = Sattva = Virtue) is defined as good impulse, the moral conscience, which motivates us to follow G-d's law. These impulses or yetzers (गुण = Guṇa = modes, behavior) compete for control over the actions of the body. This is at the base of Jewish teaching. That man was created with the ability to perform both good and bad deeds. Again not that man was created with an evil side and a good side. According to Judaism the human nature is not a Dr. Jekyell and Mr. Hyde complex where there is a beast within.
In Hinduism, man, animals and matter have three qualities, impulses or proclivities (Yetzer): Sattva, Rajas and Tamas (= Goodness and Virtue; Motion and passion; Darkness and or Evil). No one except God is Pure Sattva; men can aim for perfection. With regards to matter: Water is Sattva; Steam is Rajas; Ice is Tamas. People are a combination of the three qualities in certain percentages, all amounting to 100%. The dominant quality is the essence of a person. The percentages may vary in a person depending on circumstances; there is one man with three different dominant qualites as occasion demands: Sattva or Goodness: The man loves his wife and children as husband and father; Rajas or Motion and Passion: the man runs a marathon; Tamas or Darkness: The man kills egregiously. In this said instance, the man is Tamasic because his dominant guna or (Yetzer) is Tamas or evil.
A soldier killing the enemy is Duty and thus becomes Sattva or goodness.
While there are as mentioned above many variations of the soul in Judaism, the following description and definition can be found in contemporary Jewish religious thought. This is only one description. Rachel Elior describes the development of the soul in Judaism as a two-fold phenomenon. One view is that man is a "physcophysical unit, while the other claims a separate metaphysical existence for the soul." The view that man and is (sic ?its) soul is a physocphysical unit founded on the "Biblical world view" leaves the soul ultimately bound to "time and nature existing within the confines of physical reality alone." The latter definition which developed with the influence of Greek ideas of the immortality of the soul and the metaphysical relation of the soul to the world "radiates deep religious significance."
(Even before Greek ideas of the soul, Hinduism advanced the theory of soul, from which all other philosophers borrowed heavily and made (coopted) it their own with some modifications.)
Thusly Jewish contemporary thought on the soul is that man is not ultimately defined by the natural essence of himself, but that the soul and ultimately man "does not…belong the natural world." Man is not ultimately corporeal, but because he was created by G-d and ultimately will return to G-d, therefore he is not essentially physical but metaphysical in his being. This is not to say that man does not have emotions, feelings, desires, and senses, only that this does not make up who man really is.
(The soul takes its origin from God. The soul debilitated by primordial affliction "Ānava Malam" (the condition of the soul, wherein the soul forgets its organic relationship with god and believes it has connection with the empirical body only) takes on the body, the human qualities and restrictions in terms of time7, order8, cognition9, knowledge10 and desire12 (Kancukas = Restrictions or limitations = Kāla7, Niyati8, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11 ) and accumulates by its actions more impurities such as Karma and maya Malas. For detailed explanation go to http://www.bhagavadgitausa.com/TATTVAS-36.htm
The following paragraph reflects Hinduism's concept of the soul and its close proximity to Hindu views..
To quote Elior, "…the soul's existence does not depend upon its physical expression, for it existed before the body and will remain after it. The definition of man is therefore fundamentally metaphysical, belonging to the supernatural order..." This separation of the soul from its physical surroundings is key in understanding who Judaism says we are. The soul in Judaism is not anthropocentrically interested, but it is theocentric in its interest. That is to say the soul in Judaism is concerned with the things of G-d and it's origin from G-d and the latter of where the soul will return to, to G-d. It's important here to note that the anthropocentric view of the soul is to hold that it is man's existence that affects how and what G-d's relationship is with the world. Theocentric concept of the Jewish soul claims that man's only meaning comes from his relationship to G-d. For example; man's soul is on a set of steps. At the bottom of the steps his goal is to step up towards G-d, but to do this he must step away from the physical, his focus becomes metaphysical and thus goes to the next level. So the Jewish soul is in process. As the soul progresses it is by "virtue of the structure and elements of his soul, which reflect the divine reality and endow him with the capacity to conceive G-d (Elior 888.)
The theocentric view of the soul in the Judaism thought of the soul is based on the idea of the perfection, or "shlemut" of man. Because man is other than his physical surroundings, the real is found in the perfection of the soul. Man is considered "ab initio" or being perfected. He is on a sojourning in the physical only to be permanently existing in the metaphysical. It is this process of perfection that man continues to rely on the supernatural realm for his identity (Elior 888.)
The Jewish concept of the soul was transformed by Greek philosophy as being interpreted and reformulated in the middle ages by Moslem and Christian theologians. The new philosophical view of the Jewish soul was to be adapted to the Torah as a way of interpreting life such as ethics, religious piety, prophecy, and how to know G-d. Aristotelianism, Neo-Platonism, and Stoicism all influenced this new philosophy of the Jewish soul in it's relation to the soul and the body. This idea of the soul was associated with the perfection of the soul. In other words the soul's perfection was gained by devekut or cleaving to G-d through devotion and prayer.
McDowell, Josh and Don Stewart. Handbook of Todays Religions. California: Here's Life Publishers, INC. 1992
Elior, Rachel. The Free Press. Contemporary Jewish Religious Thought. New York: Collier Macmillian Publishers, 1972.
Talmud is study and Torah is Knowledge. Mitzva is commandment.
Mishnah: the collection of laws given to Moses orally by god, compiled about C.E.200 by Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi and forming the basic part of the Talmud. It is a six-part compilation, a natural progression in numbers (6) because the sixth part explains the five-part Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy).
· Gemara: (to complete) the section of the Talmud consisting essentially of commentary on the Mishnah. Thirty-eight volumes make Gemara. Common, pithy and dense words and phrases are parsed and analyzed, and put to essays (tractates) around skeletal Mishnah centered on the page with commentaries literally enveloping it and giving it skin, flesh, blood, and life (to Mishnah). I am reminded of short and pithy Brahma Sutras and Siva Sutras with explication in this respect.
(Talmud consists of six sections (Seder or order, six orders of Mishna) and several books (Mesechtos or tracts). The Six Sections are Seeds, Season, Women, Damages, Holy Things, and Purities.) Mishna (the entire body of religious law) is derived from verb shanah, to repeat and thus to learn.
Seeds (Zeraim): agriculture and food laws and blessings.
Season (Moed): laws with regards to Sabbath and festivals.
Women (Nashim): laws regarding vows, Marriage, sexual relations, divorce and related issues.
Damages (Nezikim): laws connected to civil and criminal matters.
Holy things (Kodashim): prescriptive laws concerning slaughter, sacrifice, and holy objects.
Purities (Tohorot): prescriptive laws with regards to ceremonial purity.
Each Seder (order) divides into tractates (essays), chapters and Mishnayot (paragraphs) in a linear manner. The fourth order tractate is Avot or pirke Avot (Ethics of the Fathers), collections, sayings, quotes and maxims from sages and scholars. Mishna also contains points, counterpoints, opinions and discussions among rabbis. I am reminded of Sivagnana Siddhiar (sivagnana_siddhiar_by_arul_nandh, where the inner and outer religions and Saiva philosophy are explored from all angles and perspectives.
Mishnah according to practitioners is a well-laid out prescriptive paths and laws in the life of a person from the first wink upon awakening to the last wink upon sleeping. It is a life manual for life situations. It includes interpretations of parts of the biblical books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy and other legal material. It is considered part of Torah revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai.
Mishneh Torah is The Book of Jewish Law completed by Moses Maimonides in 12th century CE and contains elaborate commentary and discussion of 613 commandments of the Torah, which is central to the life of a Jew in rituals, customs, celebrations, business ethics and social intercourse.
Here are some quotes from the Ethics of the Fathers.
1:2 The world stands upon three things: Torah, Divine Service and Deeds of Loving kindness.
The eternal Truths of Hindu religion are the four Is: Immortality of the Soul, Immanence of God, Impermanence of the world, and Immediacy of Liberation as put succinctly by Swami Sivananda.
1:14 Who will be there for me if I am not for myself? What am I, if I live for myself? If not now, when?
God is immanent in all beings including animals and objects; He is the caretaker; we are only His instruments; doing good to others is your Dharma (duty).
1:17 Silence is superior to being with sages; action is better than explication; plethora of words generates sin.
Bhagavad Gita, 18.51: Endowed with purified Buddhi controlling self with determination, giving up sound, and sense objects, and casting aside likes and dislikes. ("Giving up sound" means getting away for the din, hustle and bustle of daily activity around him and practicing silence --mauna).
Bhagavad Gita, 18.52: Living in solitude, eating lightly, controlling speech, body and mind, engaged all the time in yoga of meditation, having taken refuge in detachment.
Bhagavad Gita, 2.47: You have a right to action and never to its fruits. At no time should your motive be the fruit of your actions. Never should there be any attachment to inaction either.
Bhagavad Gita, 2.42-43: The ignoramuses are immersed in earthly pleasures and think heaven as the supreme goal and argue that there is nothing else (worth pursuing). They indulge in Vedic sophism and play on words and utter flowery speech that recommend all kinds of Vedic rites to obtain opulence which only results in karma and rebirth.
1:18 The universe stands on Judgment, Truth and Peace.
Knowledge, Truth, power, wealth, service and justice are the cornerstones of a society.
2:12 Regard your friend’s possessions as precious as you consider your own. Study Torah and you are not born with the wisdom of Torah. Let Heaven be the Guiding Light of your actions.
Bhagavad Gita,16.1-2: Sri Bhagavan said: Fearlessness, purity of mind, steadiness in yoga of knowledge, charity, self-control, sacrifice, study of scriptures, austerity, rectitude, ahimsa, truthfulness, freedom from anger, renunciation, tranquillity, abstaining from slander, compassion to all creatures, absence of greed, gentleness, modesty, absence of fickleness (absence of agitation), vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, absence of malice, and absence of pride: These are the qualities of the one born of divine nature, O Bharata.
Bhagavad Gita, 6.44: By virtue of previous (yogic) practice (in former life), he is carried forward even against his will. Even though he is only an inquisitive seeker of yoga, he transcends sabda-Brahman. (Hindu religion believes in rebirth of a soul with different bodies. Vasanas, Samskaras, and Karma are transmitted from birth to birth as genes are inherited from parents by a child. In like manner, a Yogi in previous birth, will find it easy to pick up where he left. How do you explain some children with no musical knowledge able to compose or play instruments without prior training in this life? That is what Hinduism calls Vasanas and Samskaras (tendencies and impressions) from previous life.
2:16 Do the best you can though you may not finish your task; your obligation is to act; completion is left to the will of the Lord. You are not at liberty to desist from it entirely. (Action is better than inaction.)
Bhagavad Gita, 2.47: You have a right to action and never to its fruits. At no time should your motive be the fruit of your actions. Never should there be any attachment to inaction either.
3:1 All actions are foreseen by the Lord; yet, you have free will. The universe is judged by good deeds and its preponderance.
Your Karma takes you where you never intended to go; Karma brings the killer and victim together; Karma has a long memory over many births; you cannot cheat karma.
Nothing moves from a blade of grass to Brahma without God's will. Your Free Will is the ticket to good, bad and indifferent karma; What you think, say and do come back to you without fail over many births.
4:1 He who learns from others is wise; he who desists from evil is mighty; he who is content with what he has is rich; he who honors others is the honoree.
4:17 One hour of repentance and good deeds in this world is better than the whole life of the world of becoming; one hour of spiritual bliss in the world of becoming is better than all the life in this world.
5.23: He, who can endure the flood of desire and anger, before he gives up his body, is a Yogin and a happy man. BG5.24: He, who finds happiness, pleasure, and the inner light within his self, is a Yogin and attains Brahman (God) and the bliss of Brahman or beatitude of Brahman. 7.28: The persons who perform pious and virtuous deeds, whose sins have come to an end, are free from the delusion of dualities and worship me firmly fixed in their vows. 2.45: Be free of dualities such as pain and pleasure, steady in goodness (Sattva), free from thoughts of acquisition and preservation, and established in atman (self).
4:20 Pay attention to the content rather than to the container; a new flask may be brimming with old wine; an old flask may not have new wine.
Talmud Soferim 15:7 The Bible is water; the Mishna is wine; the Gemara is liquor.
Hindu saying: Upanishads are the cows; Krishna is the milkman; Arjuna is the calf; Bhagavad Gita is the milk.
Babylonian Talmud consists of rabbinic arguments in the academies of Babylonia (present-day Iraq) on laws and injunctions of daily living, marital and business contracts, kosher slaughter, holidays and other aspects of prescribed and observant life.
Torah: the entire body of Jewish religious literature, law, and teaching as contained chiefly in the Old Testament and the Talmud. The word OLD is objectionable to Judaism.
1. an early Jewish interpretation of or commentary on a Biblical text, clarifying or expounding a point of law or developing or illustrating a moral principle (legends and stories). Midrash is story-telling at its best embellished by the imagination of the story teller to drive home a point.
2. (cap.) a collection of such interpretations or commentaries, esp. those written in the first ten centuries C.E.
Proper stacking of the Sacred Books
Since God's name should not be pronounced according to the Jewish law, he is called G-d or HaShem (The Name). Fearing God is fearing of His name (58You may fear this glorious and awful name, the Lord your God. 59then the Lord will bring on you and your offspring extraordinary afflictions...Deuteronomy 28:58-59). One can meditate on Tetragrammaton but should not pronounce it. Hashem is used as a substitute for the Tetragrammaton.
TaNaKh is the acronym for Torah, Neviim and Kesuvim. See the chart for details. Ontological hierarchy demands that in a pile of books, Torah stays at the top all the time with Neviim below and Kesuvim at the bottom of the pile. The top is the Book of Genesis. Number 24 is auspicious for Jews; there are 12 Tribes of Israel. In Hinduism every number from 0 to 10 and beyond has significance.
Here are some samples of sacredness of numbers and the list is not complete.
1. There is one God (Advaitam)
2. Siva and Sakti, though apparently two, are One.
3. Triads: Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva; Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas.
4. There are four Asramas: Brahmacharya, Grihasthya, Vanaprasthya, and Sannyasa.
Asramas = stages of life: Student, Householder, Forest-dweller and Recluse
There are four Purusharthas: Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksa. The goal of man: Virtue, Wealth, love, and Liberation
There are four castes: Brahmanas, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras.
5. Five functions of Siva: Creation, maintenance, destruction, veiling and Grace.
Pancharatra: Five fold nature of Vasudeva: Narayana, Krishna-Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, and Baladeva.
6. Six Kundalini Chakras: Muladhara, Swadisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Visuddha, and Ajna.
8. Ashtanga Yogam: eight limbs of yoga:
(8A Yama (Don’ts): Practice sexual abstinence, ahimsa (noninjury), no lies, no theft, no greed.
(8B) Niyama (Dos): meditation on Brahman or Isvara; mauna (silence); study of Vedas, Upanishads, and moksa-promoting literature; repeating of mantra OM; ascetic practice; clean body and mind; contentment; God-Pleasing actions.
(8C) Asana: body positions and postures.
(8D) Prānayama: breath control.
(8E) Pratyahara (withdrawal): no contact between senses and objects of senses. This should come natural to him.
(8F) Dharana: concentration and focus of mind on an object or idea.
(8G) Dyana: meditation.
(8H) Samadhi: Convergence, one-pointedness, Subject and object (Yogi) unity.
9. Nine forms of Vishnu: Vasudeva, Samkarshana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, Narayana, Hayagriva, Vishnu, Nrsimha and Varaha.
Nine doors of the body: 2 ears, 2 eyes, 2 nostrils, 1 mouth, 1 genital aperture, and one anus. (females have a distinct urethra separate from vagina.)
10. Dasavatara: 10 avatars of Vishnu: 1. Fish, 2. Tortoise, 3. Boar, 4. Narasimha, 5. Vamana, 6. Parasurama, 7. Ramachandra, 8. Krishna, 9. Buddha, 10. Kalki.
Vaishnava Agamas: Pancharatra Agamas were said to have originated in Kashmir in third Century B.C. and glorifies the fivefold nature of Vasudeva. It glorifies Narayana, Krishna-Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, and Baladeva.
The Pentateuch (five scrolls) is the five books of Moses, known as the Law or Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Pentateuch was put to text over a long period of time. Judaism objects to the use of the phrase Old Testament, because it is neither old nor stale; it is divine, fresh like a new blossom and relevant to the modern day. Torah in a limited sense is pentateuch, the five books of Moses. (See the diagram.) Pentateuch (greek) = penta + teuchos = five + tool or vessel. Torah is also the Pentateuch plus the books of prophets. In its larger context, it is a collection of all books, related to Judaism. The number five has a magical meaning in Judaism as number 9 in the world of maths. One is God; two refers to the tablets; three are the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Joseph; four are the matriarchs, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachael, and Leah; the five refers to the five books of Moses. Elsewhere these personalities are discussed. The number nine auspicious in Hinduism, no matter what you do with it with another whole number, always comes to nine. 9X9=81 = 8+1=9. 9X68=612 = 6+1+2=9. Five is also an auspicious number: Panchabhutas, five great elements, Earth, water, air, fire, and ether; Panchakona, pentagon, five-angled star; Panchakosa, five sheaths of the body; Panchanga, five-limbed almanac, solar days, lunar days, nakshatras (the heavenly bodies), yogas (conjunctions), karanas; Panchatantra, the five tantras, the forerunner of the genre, Aesop's fables; Panchakrityas, five functions of the Lord; Panchasya, five-faced or -headed god; Pandavas, five brothers of Mahabharata.
The number 12 is a sacred for Jews because the sun apparently makes a journey along the imaginary zodiac path of the heavens. Moses in recognition divided the nation into twelve tribes and established 12 cakes (Lev. 24:5) of the showbread and planted 12 stones around the ephod of the pontiffs (SD 1:649)
Birkat Hachama (ברכת החמה, = Blessing of the Sun
According to Jewish tradition sun was formed on the 4th day of creation on March 26, 3760 BCE. NYTimes: "According to the celestial calculations of a Talmudic sage named Shmuel, at the outset of spring every 28 years, the sun moves into the same place in the sky at the same time and on the same day of the week (Wednesday) as it did when God made it. This charged moment provides the occasion for reciting a one-line blessing of God, “who makes the work of creation.” NYTimes.
That day is April 8, 2009; the previous ones are April 8, 1953, April 8, 1981. The next one will occur on April 8, 2037.
Birkat Hachama (ברכת החמה, "Blessing of the Sun") refers to a Jewish blessing that is recited on the Sun once every twenty-eight years, when the vernal equinox as calculated by tradition falls on a Tuesday at sundown. Wikipedia.
It appears that Jews pay homage to the sun once every 28 years, while Hindus pay homage everyday, nay three times a day.
Here is the Gayatri Mantra of the Hindus paying homage to the sun.
Ombhur-bhuvah-svah tatsavitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhīmahi dhiyo yonah prachodayāt
Om, earth, atmosphere, and heaven, we meditate on the adorable glory of the radiant sun; may he inspire our intelligence—translation by Dr. Radhakrishnan.
Notes: Saturday April 4, 2009
Julian Calendar: God's creation. The dates are variable according to Julian or Gregorian calendar and the flaws in calculation.
1st day: Sunday, October 23, 4004 BC. God creates light ("Let there be light!") - the first divine command. The light is divided from the darkness, and "day" and "night" are named.
2nd day: Monday October 24, 4004 B.C. Waters above was separated from waters below.
3rd day: Tuesday October 25, 4004 B.C. Waters below coalesced into seas, so dry land appeared. God commands earth to bring forth grass, plants and fruit-bearing trees. Rivers and Garden of Eden were created.
4th day: Wednesday October 26, 4004 B.C. Sun, Moon and the Stars were created. Years, seasons, light, darkness, days, nights, weeks, months were created.
5th day: Thursday October 27, 4004 B.C. Teeming living creatures, birds, and sea creatures were created.
6th day: Friday October 28, 4004 B.C. More living creatures (beasts, livestock, reptiles) were created. Man and Woman in the form of Adam and Eve were created and were asked to multiply and subdue earth (and not to exploit earth). Man and animals were given plants to eat. (Man is not to eat animals.) Adam was created in His image so he will have knowledge of the divine.
7th day: Saturday October 29, 4004 B.C. God sanctifies the 7th day; it is a day of rest and Sabbath, Friday for Muslims, Saturday for Jews and Sunday for Christians.
Stonehenge, the U.K.’s most famous ancient site, may have been a place of worship some 500 years before the first stone was erected, a research has claimed.
Archaeologists from the universities of Birmingham, Bradford and Vienna claim that the sanctity of Stonehenge’s location may have determined the layout of key aspects of the surrounding sacred landscape.
The research increases the likelihood that the site was originally and primarily associated with sun worship, ‘The Independent’ reported.
The research has also enabled the archaeologists to reconstruct the detailed route of a possible religious congregation or other ritual event which they suspect may have taken place annually to the north of Stonehenge.
In their research, the archaeologists discovered two great pits, one towards the enclosure’s eastern end and the other nearer its western end.
When they modelled the relationship between these newly discovered Cursus pits and Stonehenge on their computer system, they realised that, viewed from the so-called “Heel Stone” at Stonehenge, the pits were aligned with sunrise and sunset on the longest day of the year.
The chances of those two alignments being purely coincidental are extremely low.
The archaeologists then began to speculate as to what sort of ritual or ceremonial activity might have been carried out at and between the two pits. In many areas of the world, ancient religious and other ceremonies sometimes involved ceremonially processing round the perimeters of monuments.
They therefore thought it possible that the prehistoric celebrants at the Cursus might have perambulated between the two pits by processing around the perimeter of the Cursus.
The “eureka moment” came when the computer calculations revealed that the midway point (the noon point) on the route aligned directly with the centre of Stonehenge, which was precisely due south.
This realisation that the sun hovering over the site of Stonehenge at its highest point in the year appears to have been of great importance to prehistoric people, is itself of potential significance.
For it suggests that the site’s association with the veneration of the sun was perhaps even greater than previously realised.
However, the implication of the new evidence is that in a sense, the story may have been the other way round, that the site of Stonehenge was sacred before the Cursus was built, says lead archaeologist Dr. Henry Chapman, who has been modelling the alignments on the computerised reconstructions of the Stonehenge landscape.
Prof. David Shulman, renowned Indologist and Renee Lang Professor of Humanistic Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, first saw the paintings (The Mucukunda Murals) in 1976. He studied the panels on the ceiling of the Devasiriya Mandapam, the vast pillared hall in which the deity rests during festival processions, as an account of the legend of Thyagarajaswamy of the Thanjavur region, the 17th century paintings of the Tiruvarur Thyagarajaswamy Temple's Devasiriya Mandapam, but also as a vivid record of social and religious practices. For years the mandapam was used as a storeroom and workshop. On each recurring visit, Prof. Shulman recalled, he found the paintings had been further damaged by water, bats, nesting birds, beehives, cement dust and neglect. "They were disappearing in front of my eyes, year after year."
Together with the photographer V.K. Rajamani, who lay on his back in the debris to photograph each panel, he began to document the paintings. In 2006, in what Prof. Shulman poignantly described as “an act of despair”, the two came to take what they thought would be the last photographs and to map the sequence of the panels before they were to be whitewashed. “These paintings were on the verge of being lost forever,” said Prof. Shulman, and they wanted at least to record that such masterpieces once existed on the ceiling of the Devasiriya Mandapam. “Then, the miracle happened.”
In The Mucukunda Murals, we find the legend in rich detail. V.K. Rajamani's incomparable photos take us from the Ocean of Milk to the heavens and to Tiruvarur, where devotees sing and dance, under a perpetual rain of heaven-sent flowers, to welcome this smiling, winking god. Thehindu.com
Seven is an auspicious number for Jews. The wheat is planted a day after Passover; the harvest is done 49 days later. Forty-nine (49) is square of 7, the Sabbath day (Saturday) and shows progressive accumulation of holiness over a recurring seven cycles (7 Sabbath Saturdays) in an exponential manner resulting in Shavuot, the day Moses received the Ten Commandments.
As observant Jews study pages of Talmud (study) until all 39 (24) books are completed, observant Hindus also engage in the Hindu version of Daf Yomi (Page a Day) with The Bhagavad-Gita and other Sacred Texts. The noble difference is that Daf Yomi participants are on the same page with everybody else on that day.
Canonization of the Bible implying closing any more additions to the existent text was done around 100 C.E.
Ingrates revile the Jews, though they deserve gratitude for their contributions in all walks of human endeavor. Their faith started as polytheism and animism like many other religions. Progression to Monotheism and Monolatry, excesses of monarchy, spiritual leadership of prophets, exilic shock and despair, and Torah's rejuvenation resulted in the strong affirmation of Yahweh. Though Yahweh cannot be rendered into a graven image, he is anthropomorphic. Hindu Brahman is nameless and formless IT or THAT. Since He is beyond human understanding, you can call him only IT or THAT. Brahman = That beyond all characterization or attributes. Sabdabrahman = Sound Brahman = Clinical Brahman = God in image. He does not care whether you think of him as Pure Consciousness or a stone; He is Pure Consciousness and He is stone; He welcomes both notions; If you want to worship Him, Her or It as an anthropomorphic being, He welcomes that too. (How do I know that? It is in the sacred texts.) You do not have to love him to attain salvation. (This is one major difference between God concept of Hindus and that of other religions.) The Gopis attained liberation (moksa) by love, Kamsa by fear, Sisupala by hatred, Pandavas by friendship, Yadhavas by attachment, Narada by devotion. The key is thinking and remembering the Lord in love, fear, hate, friendship, attachment, devotion or any one of myriad feelings. The Lord seems to say, "Ignore me at your own peril."
Hinduism is like a pyramid; the base is polytheism; the lower part is monotheism; the upper part is metatheism and what is above that is Supratheism. Read elsewhere in the article an explanatory note.
Yahweh is the First Man; his nature is eternal and divine; Adam is a mere first man having the image of Yahweh or Jehovah; Adam is of the earth and lives and dies on earth. Covenant, the agreement between G-d (God) and the ancient Israelites, in which God promised to protect them if they kept His law and were faithful to Him, is the connection between God and the Israelite. There is no covenant between the Hindu God and a Hindu; There is a prescribed code of ethics and conduct apart from Purusharthas, the goal of man. Every human act carries a load of karma which determines reincarnation with its attendant reward and punishment or merger with God. Null or acarpous Karma is the end game which guarantees salvation. The beauty about karma is that every act, though it manages to escape human touch, response, reward or punishment, is recorded in the chronicle of subtle soul, which when it is born again in the body of a man or animal will enjoy or suffer the karma of past deeds. Karma has an unfailing and unflinching memory. The long arm of karma will reach and touch the embodied soul (man, animal or plant) through many births. One can escape man-made laws but not the laws of Karma. On that score, Hitler would be born a zillion times as man or animal and die a painful death every time, though he died an easy death for his atrocities. Count all the hairs of millions of Jews who died at his behest. That is the number of times he will be born to suffer and die. that gives us the magnitude of karmic memory. Other non-karmic religions provide no proportionate response system for the acts of man, when the acts go unrewarded or unpunished. Brahman, the Hindu equivalent of Yahweh is not demanding, jealous, punishing, and covenantal. He is full of love, unconcerned and tolerates many disparate attitudes and acts of man towards him. Bhagavan lets the universal and impartial karma do its job. He conceals Grace until the soul is ripe for salvation; with the ripening of the soul, Grace descends on the devotee and merger of his soul with the Greater Soul of God takes place. A note on obscuration and revelation of Grace. It is like the professor of mathematics concealing his knowledge of higher mathematics and letting his preschooler son struggle with simple additions. Once the youngster is mature, he is ready for higher math. Likewise when the soul is mature, it is ready for Grace. He caters to the Yogi and the snake worshipper in equal measure; they represent two extreme intellectual dimensions, beliefs and accomplishments. He does not assume the sins of man.
The following is mentioned elsewhere.
Love Me once, you are free (liberation/moksa); hate Me once, your are free; ignore Me once, you will fry in hell: that is one among many Hindu views of God.
The Gopis attained liberation (moksa) by love, Kamsa by fear, Sisupala by hatred, Pandavas by friendship, Yadhavas by attachment, Narada by devotion. The key is thinking and remembering the Lord in love, fear, hate, friendship, attachment, devotion or any one of myriad feelings. The Lord seems to say, "Ignore me at your own peril."
Karma, Pharaoh, Jewish babies, plague, the Sea of Reeds
Hinduism's Karma has some reflections in Judaism. If the covenant is broken, the breaker receives punishment; that is Karma, though non-karmic religions may not call it Karma. Moses was born in
; at that time in history, all Hebrew newborns were put to death at the command of pharaoh by drowning them in the Egypt Nile. The mother of Moses hid him for three months and later put him in a bulrush basket and floated him in the Nile. Pharaoh's daughter accidentally found the infant amidst the reeds, took pity on him and raised him as her own and fortuitously, the mother of Moses was the infant's maid and wet nurse. There is a similarity here in the conditions Krishnaand Moses faced under a cruel ruler; of course Krishnais God and Moses was a go-between between God and . Israel Krishnaspoke his words directly to Arjuna, as God to Moses. Krishnawas flesh and blood on earth, while the God of Moses was a voice, a pillar of clouds and fire. When Pharaoh refused to "let my people go" out of , God dispatched ten plagues and other miseries to Egypt , including death of Egyptian first-borns; the first-born of the Pharaoh also died; such was God's wrath. The Ten Plagues are the Yahweh's punishment of Egyptians for taking the Israelites as slaves. The Ten plagues are recited during Pesach Seder (Passover order--ceremonial dinner) beginning on the 15th of Nisan; the noble expression here that not even your enemy should suffer plagues of this nature is to spill one drop of wine from the glass for each plague on to a napkin. Another explanation is that wine-spilling wards off evil. Another noble view: we are all one humanity; if the neighbor suffers, you suffer too; our joy goes down proportional to their misery. That is also a Hindu view. This universe, he, she, it, that and this are One, which is Brahman or God. If any one is hurt, we are all hurt and God is also hurt. Egypt
Haggadah is a book of prayers, festive songs, and ritual recited at Pesach Seder, narrates the story of Exodus from
, explains the import of Seder Plate, and contains the answers to Four Questions, and passages from the Book of Psalms. Every year there is new version; it was first published in Egypt in 1482. Claims are made that the original form existed 2500 years ago. Haggadah reading is in conformity with the commandment (Mitzvah) of God to Israelites that they would tell their children their history. Spain
Four Questions (Mah Nishtanah): This is a Question and Answer Session, questions coming from children and answers coming from learned adults in the evening. A child says, "Why is this night different from all other nights? I have four questions to ask about this.
1. We eat matzah or bread on all other nights. Why is it that we eat only Matza tonight?
Matzah, the unleavened flat cracker, is symbolic of the haste with which the Israelites had to flee from
. Kneading the dough to removal from the oven should take18 minutes or less, indicating the haste. The rich and the poor should partake only this bread of affliction (lechem oni). Matzah ashira (rich man's matzah) containing wine, oil, honey and eggs is eaten on other days. Punctilious Jews eat only Guarded Matzah (Matzah shemura). From harvest of the grains to removal of matzh from the oven is under surveillance in order to assure that water does not come into contact with flour before the making of the dough. For fermentation, moisture is an essential ingredient, which must be avoided by all means. The round Matzot underwent change to square shape because of the speed with which the matzah-making machines can churn out square shapes. Speed and shape do not violate the spirit of Passover and kosher laws. If you see holes in the matzot, they were made intentionally to prevent rising during baking. Observant Jews do not eat matzah for a few days leading to Passover, so that the novelty of eating matzah is not lost on Passover. Egypt
2. Why is it that we eat bitter herbs tonight, while we eat all kinds of Vegetables on all other nights?
Bitter herbs symbolizes bitterness of slavery.
3. We do not dip the food on other night. Why do we dip our food twice tonight?
Dip one: The observant Jews dip bitter herbs in Charoset (apples, nuts and wine). Charoset is the reminder of the clay used to make bricks and hard labor of Jewish slaves. Dip two: Jews dip parsley in the salt water; parsley is reminiscent of spring and new life; the salt water is the reminder of tears of Jewish slaves.
4. We sit and eat on all other nights. Why do we eat in a reclining position tonight?
Free Jews of ancient times sat on the floor propped up by pillows in the back and drink from the four cups of wine. Reclining position symbolizes liberation and exodus of free Israelites from
. Four cups symbolize four phrases of God in relation to release of Israelites from slavery: I shall bring forth; I shall deliver; I shall redeem; I shall take out. The fifth cup is added to commemorate the end of Holocaust and establishment of the State of Israel. The association of red wine with the blood of Jesus has no relevance. Cup of Elijah could as well be the sixth cup, though importance is not any less; Elijah represents the future Messiah. Egypt
Hindus believe that all souls and God are one organism. If one suffers everybody suffers. If you hurt one soul, you hurt God and others. The interesting aspect of the Passover is that the wave of death and destruction passed over (skipped) the Israelite homes--which were marked as such according to the instructions of God to Moses--sparing their (Jewish) sons. Since Israelites did not have time to bake bread, they ate unleavened bread (matzah). All hametz (baked products) are removed before Passover; that includes animals which eat grain products. The problem is what to do with the large amount of chametz, leavened grain products, and liquor stored by the synagogue. An orthodox Jew must not eat leavened bread and not even own them for the duration of Passover. No problem. Find an obliging Chametz goy (a non-Jew who buys the leavened products for a nominal fee and sells them back to the synagogue for the same price at the end of Passover). The goods stay in the Synagogue. Typically the janitor in the Synagogue is the buyer and reseller of the chametz. It is a legal transaction both ways. The New York Times reported on
4/24/2005the transaction. The haul this year, as described on manifests in English and Hebrew tucked into bulging manila envelopes, included anything conceivably related to grain: stock shares in cereal companies, a vending-machine business (the machines sell some grain products, like granola bars), and, of course, the parrots, which, as grain eaters, cannot be owned by a Jew during Passover, according to some interpretations of the law. (A non-Jewish caretaker will adopt them for the week.) Later, the councilman, the Chametz goy took pains to stress that this was no fictional sale. "If you sell somebody the chametz," he said, "he really owns it. I'm under no obligation to sell it back. Theoretically I could come claim it and use it." That is why the Rabbis choose their Chametz goy very carefully.
Seder plate has six compartments and contains six symbolic foods: 1. Maror (bitter herb, horseradish), 2. Zeroa (roasted shank bone), 3. Beitzah (a roasted egg), 4. Charoset/Haroset (apples and nuts mixed with wine), 5. Karpas (celery or parsley), 6. Chazeret (a second vegetable more bitter than karpas.
The bitter herb stands for the bitterness of slavery; roasted shank for offerings in the Temple; roasted egg for new birth, beginnings and freedom; apple-nut-wine for the mortar in making bricks for the Egyptians; celery for hope and spring. It also has a place for salt and or vegetable. The contribution of woman was recognized upon prodding by women by putting an orange on the plate. As each item is passed around, its meaning is explained to the children.
The Zeroa or shankbone is the reminder of paschal lamb eaten on Passover in the distant past in the
. Roasted beef bone or the roasted neck of a fowl can serve as a substitute. (The king of Temple , Artiochus IV Epiphanes persecuted Jews, hellenized and enforced Greek culture-- to the exclusion of Jewish laws and celebrations-- on Jews around 175 BCE and desecrated the temple with the statue of Zeus and sacrificing pigs on the altar. Mattathias killed a fellow an apostate Jew for performing a Greek sacrifice and his Greek enforcer. He organized a guerilla war against the Syrians. See elsewhere for Maccabees.) Syria
Beitzah, the roasted egg, is a wholesome reminder of the sacrifices in the
, cyclical rebirth of spring, and emancipation of Israelites from Jerusalem Temple . The hard-boiled egg reflects the toughness of Jews under fire, which melts everything but not the Jews. To prevent cracking of the eggs in the boiling water, a little hole is made on the wider pole of the egg and vinegar is added to coagulate the leaking white and sealing the hole with the latter. Egypt
Charoset is a reminder of clay made by Israelites for the Egyptian buildings.
Karpas, a green vegetable (celery or parsley) is the arrival of spring and dawning of hope.
Chazeret, the second bitter vegetable has the same significance as the Maror.
The ten plagues are recited during seder: dam (blood), tzefardayah (frog), kinim (bugs and insects), arov (wild beasts), dever (animal disease), shekin (boils), barad (hail), arbeh (locust), hoshekh (darkness), makat bekhorot (death of first-born sons of Egyptians. It is a custom to dip the finger into the wine cup and drip a drop on the napkin for each plague. This is again a magnanimous expression of sorrow for Egyptians, who were devastated by the plague.
When Moses and Hebrew slaves in flight (600,000 men besides women and children), pursued by Egyptian soldiers, came across the impassable Sea of Reeds, God made the waters part and laid out in front of them a dry seabed passable; Moses and Hebrews escaped followed by the Egyptian soldiers treading the path in the seabed. When the last Hebrew was out on dry land, the sea closed on the soldiers and drowned them. The God of Moses destroyed the enemies of Hebrews, while
Krishnaput all the soldiers of the prison to sleep by his Yogamaya, so much so the soldiers did not know of the escape of Krishna and return of a female baby in His place.
Shavout (weeks) comes 50 days after Passover (Pesach) and is celebrated in the month of Sivan (May-June) commemorating the giving of Ten Commandments and Torah to Moses by God at
Mount Sinai. The month of Sivan (the 9th month of Jewish Calendar) is auspicious to Jews. It goes by various names all pointing to its sacredness and joyousness: Feast of flowers by Persian Jews; Feast of Roses by Italian Jews. This is the time for the first harvest of the fruits of spring.
Sukkot (hut--Sukkah; Soo-COTE): Harvest festival; Festival of Booths; pilgrimage festival; the Feast of Tabernacles; Thanksgiving. It begins on the 15th of Tishrei. It is a commemoration of 40 years of wandering and Thanksgiving pilgrimage to
with offering of first fruits to God. Fruits, vegetables, plants, leaves, branches, and pumpkins decorate the synagogue. The congregants build a sukkah (hut) near the synagogue or in the backyard and decorate it with fruits and vegetables. Sukkah is a reminder of their wandering before their arrival to the Promised Land. Sukkah must have a porous roof made of twigs and branches to let in reams of sunlight and for viewing of the sky and the stars. The hut is a reminder of the sleeping shelter they built on the fields at the time of harvest. Vegetables, fruits, flowers and other ornamental decorations are a feature of Sukkah. The synagogue builds a nice Sukkah where people can eat. The observant and congregants eat milk products because Song of Songs compares Torah to milk. Jerusalem Temple
Pongal is the Harvest Festival in Tamil Nadu India and goes by many other names in other parts of the country. It is honoring the chief of gods, Indra the rain maker, as started by Bhagavan Krishna.
Krishna keeps the Indo-Aryan god Indra in line all the time so that he does not puff up with pride. In one instance, to defy Krishna's supremacy as the Paramatman (Supreme Soul or Universal soul), Indra sends days and days of endless rain. The cowherds, their spouses, children, and animals (cows) face an imminent threat of being washed away in floods. (It was worse than Katrina 2005.) Krishna comes to the rescue and holds up a mountain, so that all the living creatures can take shelter under its cover. They live by grace of Krishna. Indra coming to know of it begs for forgiveness. Krishna authorized celebration of this day every year in mid January in honor of Indra which coincides with the northern passage of the sun. It is a four-day harvest festival in honor of Indra, sun god, farm animals and farm workers and is known as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Makara Sankranti in North India, Onam, Kanumu, Lohri, Bihu, Bhogi, and Hadaga in various parts of India. (Jan 14, 2009)
Manna. The Jews questioned the wisdom of Moses and Aaron to take them out of
to a condition of privation, hunger and thirst in the desert. Moses and Aaron comforted them that God would provide for them. Next day, there was a shower of bread from heaven and double portion before Sabbath so that they do not have to collect bread on the day of Sabbath; that is Manna (the food miraculously supplied to the Israelites in the wilderness. Ex. 16:14-36.) Egypt
Sukkoth festival. The Jews leave the modern home comfort of their well-built houses to the Sukkah with four plants: Lulav (branch of palm tree), Arovot (branch of a willow tree), Hadassim (branch of Myrtle bush), and Etrog (citron from Citrus medica). Lulav, Arvot, Hadassim and Etrog represent the spine, the lips, the eyes, and the heart respectively. This is symbolic of worship of God with all body parts. The Hindus worship God by Sashtanga Namaskaram [8-limbed prostration] with their eight limbs (parts of the body: prostration by touching the floor with eight limbs, two hands, two knees, two shoulders, chest and forehead).
The Jewish 'Castes' by good deeds and learning.
The plants represent four Jewish types: Etrog with taste and fragrance which represent learning and good deeds; the palm tree with taste but no fragrance which represent learning but no good deeds; the myrtle with fragrance but no taste which represent good deeds but no learning; the willow with no taste or fragrance which represent no learning and no good deeds under his belt. On Sukkot, the etrog on the left hand and lulov on the right hand are carried around the synagogue and Sukkah for the congregants to see, smell, hold and appreciate. The intriguing question is whether three branches on the right hand are equal to one citron on the left hand? More admirable note is that all Jews irrespective of learning and good deeds are equal in the eyes of God.
Point and shake the lulav. The holder while holding the etrog on the left hand, points the lulav (one branch of palm, two of willow, and three of myrtle) in the right hand in the direction up and down, east and west, and north and south, and shakes indicating that God is all around us and reciting the blessings, "Praise and glory to you, Adonai, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who made us holy by his commandments and commanded us to take and wave the lulav. Mystical Jews believe that lulav waving wards off evil. The lulav is shaken once or three times in each direction; the holder of lulav moves in a clockwise direction, later in the up direction and last in the down direction. The congregants circumambulate the synagogue with the lulav.
This omnipresence of God is portrayed in Hindu religion by ten directions: East, west, north, south, NE, SE, NW, SW, up and down.
Simchat Torah = Rejoicing in the Law of Torah (the last day of Sukkot).
The last day of Sukkot is called Simchat Torah. Humash /Chumash (five) is Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses. Each portion of weekly reading is in Hebrew with explanations and commentaries in English; all Torah portions starting from Genesis and ending in Deuteronomy are read in a 52-week period (12 months); a new cycle begins. The last reading of Deuteronomy and the first reading of Genesis are done on the same day, so that there is a cyclical and perpetual continuity with unbroken overlap. This is a day of joy, dancing and merriment which are enhanced by liberal use of wine or liquor in the synagogue. On Simchat Torah, all drunkards are considered sober. Drinking wine seems to be an universal practice for the levitation of the spirit.
Pilgrimage Festivals: Passover is freedom from slavery; Shavout, the giving of Torah by God to Moses; and Sukkot, Thanksgiving to God for permitting survival of the Jews.
Saktas and Tantrics in the use of wine
The Five M's, known as Pancha Makaaras (Pancha Makaras)
The Five Ma's are the five words beginning with Sanskrit letter "Ma." These notorious five caused a lot of controversy: Madya (wine), Mamsa (meat), Matsya (Fish), Mudra (grains) and Mithuna (sexual union). For the modern man, these five acts within the confines of marriage are normal. Actually, these acts are actively encouraged for one reason or another: mental health, cardiac health (meat not recommended). On superficial examination, it appears that these five acts are sins of the flesh for the spiritually enlightened individuals in certain sections of
. But in the west, this is the norm. Most of the epicures are guilty of these five acts, if you call the acts guilt. In the ordinary sense, there is no law against these five acts and they are not prosecutable offenses. So what is the problem? Man is drawn to these five in a natural way. In Buddhist icons and sacred texts, depiction of Mithuna or sexual union carries an illustrative import: Enlightenment or Nirvana cannot be attained by wisdom or compassion (right action) alone, but by a combination of both. This union of male compassion and female wisdom produces Nirvana. Saktas believe that proper performance of Mithuna leads an aspirant from the physical to the spiritual awareness. India
Offerings of Truth with Faith to the Lord counts much more than the burnt offerings...
'Suppose,' Janaka asks Yājñavālkya, 'you had no milk or rice or barley to perform the fire-sacrifice, agnihotra, with what would you sacrifice ?' 'With the fruits of trees and whatever herbs there were' 'If there were none?' 'Then with water' 'If there were no water?' 'Then, indeed, there would be nothing here, yet, this would be offered, the truth in faith.' When the heart is fully persuaded, there is little sense of sacrifice. Sacrificial life becomes a natural manifestation of the new spirit. Self-conscious sacrifice, with its burden of self-righteousness and expectation of reward, is not of much use.
The Principal Upanisads Page 112, Dr. S Radhakrishnan
Yāhweh says (Amos V. 21) 'I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not dwell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them, neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs, for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. '
Again Yāhweh speaks (Hosea VI. 6) 'For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings '
17.12: That which is performed for the sake of dambha (showiness), and motivated by expectation of fruits, O best of the Bharatas, know that as sacrifice in Rajasic nature.
September 25, 2013
Tantra says that purification of soul begins by accepting the existence of these desires. Once they are accepted and practiced within the social norms, one by one they must be transmuted or sublimated and eventually eliminated from one's life, if one wants union with the Supreme. Nada (thrill) enjoyed by sexual union is the earthly counterpart of beatitude or Bliss. One needs to supplant the earthly pleasure with spiritual Bliss. By sublimating and conserving sexual energy, it is said that the vital fluid rises to Sahasrara, becomes Soma, the nectar of immortality and spreads through the lymphatic system eventually finding its way to the brain where it becomes Ojas and Tejas (Vigor and splendor), which are essential for obtaining Superconsciousness. This ascent of conserved energy is called Urdhvaretas.
The message is orgasm is for the flesh, beatitude is for the spirit; between the two, beatitude is superior. Physical union is a weak emulation of union of Siva and Sakti.
Sri Ramakrishna Pramahamsa says that sexual bliss is nothing compared to the bliss in the realization of God. In ecstasy, resulting from love of God, all the pores in the skin and the roots of the hair act like sexual organs and in every pore the sadhaka enjoys immense happiness of union with Higher Atman.
Bhagavatam (Canto 11, Chapter 5, Verses 11-13) states the following: 11) Man is naturally inclined towards enjoyment of sexual pleasure, flesh and wine. No rules enjoin them to indulge in them. A certain check is provided over these tendencies (by the Sastra) by permitting sexual commerce with one's wedded wife, meat-eating at the end of animal sacrifice, drinking of wine during SautrAmani sacrifice; the intention is to turn man away from them. 12) They do not understand the pure essence of their religion. Only the smelling of wine is sanctioned and animal sacrifice is allowed for the adoration of the deities and it is not permissible to kill them for meat. 13) Those who are ignorant of this Dharma and, though wicked and haughty, account themselves virtuous kill animals without any feeling of remorse or fear of punishment, and are devoured by those very animals in their next birth. Translation from Sanskrit by C.L.Goswami Shastri.
Drinking wine was prevalent in Satya, Treta, and Dvapara Yugas, but from abuse, its use fell into disuse by laws and convention. Wine's function, it is said, brings latent thoughts to the surface and into the open. One who is immature in Kaula knowledge is a sinner and should not engage in religious practices. Practice without spiritual perfection in Kaula knowledge is drunkenness, rape, and slaughter (of animal), as it applies to wine, marital sex, and prescriptive eating of meat.
If drinking wine leads to spiritual attainment, all drunkards would attain moksa. If meat-eating leads to sojourn or tenure in heaven, all carnivores are righteous claimants to heaven. If sexual intercourse with women is the ticket to liberation, all animals have a right to liberation. Tantrics are of the view that sacrificial killing of approved animals to please forefathers and gods is permitted. Killing and eating for nourishment and enjoyment is proscribed. True devotee's offer of meat and wine to Devi is Anananda (Bliss); they are dear to Devi; they are true Kaulikas. Bhairava inculcates in those who drink wine the knowledge of Kula principles. Wine lights up Atma enveloped in dark Maya. Drinking wine with the utterance of proper mantra and offering it to Guru guarantee a Kaulika not to drink his mother's milk again--no rebirth. (I hear a flippant remark: The Kaulika can take rebirth and drink baby formula instead of mother's milk.) A Kaulika enjoyer, who is a Vira, is Bhairava himself, while the meat he offers is Siva, and Wine is Sakti. Does it remind you of the body and blood of Jesus? This is My body...; this is the cup of My blood... You notice some commonality between Tantrics and Catholics with regard to wine and meat (body of Christ); now you see the catholic rituals are imports from Tantrics. The union of Siva and Sakti from such offering is liberation. Bliss is Brahman; it is present in the body, waiting to be expressed by wine; thus, the aspirants imbibe it. Vira, the embodiment of Tantric virtue, untouched by polar opposites like pain and pleasure, possessed of Kula and Vaidik knowledge, imbibes wine which gives him Bliss and liberation. Mother Kali is the goddess of the Tantrics and Saktas.
Drinking of Soma is prescribed for Brahmanas, as wine is prescribed to Viras. Permitted user of wine, meat, fish, and sex should have thorough knowledge of Kula Sastra, before he uses them. The Sakti of Vira is alive and well, while that of Pasu (unenlightened soul = animal) is at sleep.
Haftarah = conclusion. This is reading of Neviim (Prophets) after the reading of the Torah. Haftarah and Torah readings have relevance to each other. This is read from a bound book, while Torah is read from scrolls.
Karma, Jacob's ill-gotten blessings take a revenge
At forty years of age, Isaac married Rebekah, grandniece of Abraham and his niece (of Isaac) who begot fraternal twins Esau with red skin and profuse hair and Jacob, the foot grabber, who exited the birth canal holding on to the foot of Esau. Esau was an outdoorsman and the favorite of Isaac, while Jacob was a tent dweller, a chef and the favorite of Rebekah. Jacob at an unguarded moment asked a very hungry Esau that he would cook for him a nice meal if he gave up and transfer his primogeniture and its attendant privilege and right (the rights of the firstborn son) to him. Being very hungry, Esau agreed. Years passed by without incident. It is a custom to bless the oldest child, before the father died. Isaac asked Esau to prepare a meal and receive his blessings. Esau went off to bring a game animal for cooking. Rebekah hearing this, conspired with Jacob and asked him to impersonate Esau and receive the blessings of his father before Esau came. Since Isaac had poor eyesight, he was not be able to identify his son by sight. Esau had long body hair. Rebekah gave instructions to Jacob to present himself to his father with his brother’s clothes and goat’s skin to cover the arms. The father felt his hands with the long hair and bestowed blessings on him. As he finished receiving the blessings, Esau walked in and found out Jacob’s cheating and usurpation of his birthright. He even planned to kill Jacob. Rebekah was alarmed and sent Jacob away from Beer-sheba to her brother, Laban, his uncle in
. Jacob over years became a good person and sent his family first to Esau to soften him and make peace with him. Esau received him warmly and hugged him. All was forgiven and forgotten. Haran
Karma has an unfailing memory of Jacob’s cheating and paid a visitation to him. The cheater becomes the cheated.
On the way to
, he met shepherds and saw Rachel, daughter of Laban tending her father's flock. He helped water the sheep by rolling the stone off the mouth of the well. Jacob kissed Rachel, his cousin and identified himself. Rachel ran and told her father, who invited him to his house. He offered to tend the sheep in return for the hand of Rachel the younger sister of Leah. Rachel's eyes were beautiful, while Leah's eyes were weak. After seven years of service, Jacob asked for the hand of Rachel. In the dark evening, Laban brought Leah to Jacob and first thing next morning Jacob found out that it was Leah. The father explained that it is the custom to give the first-born in marriage before the second one. Haran
In the morning...behold it was Leah! (Genesis 29:25). Jacob said to her, “Deceiver and daughter of a deceiver! At night I called you Rachel and you responded to that name.” She replied, “Is there a school without disciples? Did your father not call you Esau, and did you not respond?” (Bereishit Rabbah 70:19).
He served for another seven years before he married Rachel. Jacob loved Rachel and hated Leah. This is karma that cheated Jacob out of his first choice because he impersonated Esau to receive his father's blessing. Jacob's loving of Rachel more than Leah had its own Karmic consequence: Rachel was barren first and Leah was blessed with Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah. (see the diagram below.) After Leah gave birth to Zebulum, Rachel gave birth to Joseph and Benjamin and died near
while giving birth to Benjamin. Zebulum had a fling with Bilhah, the maid of Rachel and the concubine of his father Jacob. As karma would have it, Jacob was deceived by his son Zebulum, son of his wife Leah, whom Jacob did not like much. Bethlehem
As was the custom in those days, Jacob married the maids, Bilhah and Zilpah.
Jacob posed as the first son of Isaac to receive the blessings of his father and married the impersonator, the first daughter Leah, instead of his love Rachel, the second daughter. That is Karma in action.
Twelve sons of Jacob (
) became the 12 tribes of Israel ; Jacob the grandfather adopted his grand children born of Joseph, Mannaseh and Ephraim as his children, who were born in Israel . They were brought to Jacob, their grandfather, who laid his right hand on the head of the younger Ephraim and his left hand on the head of Mannaseh, the exact opposite of what is usual and customary. That displeased Joseph who felt that the older Mannaseh as the first-born had the right to receive blessings from the right hand. Jacob said that Ephraim more than Mannaseh tribe would be greater and more prolific, though he was younger. Jacob received blessings from his father Isaac by impersonating Esau and gave his blessings to the younger Ephraim knowingly. His liking went to his younger wife Rachel and his younger grandson, Ephraim. (Gen 48) Gen 49. Jacob assembled all his sons. Jacob cursed his son Reuben for going to bed with Bilhah, his own (Jacob's) concubine. Simeone and Levi would bear swords, weapons of violence. Egypt
Gen 37. Joseph was the darling of
(Jacob) because he was the son of his old age; that made other brothers jealous of him. Joseph had two dreams: 1. the sheaves of his brothers bowed down to the upright sheaf of his 2. the sun, the moon and the eleven stars bowed down to him (Joseph). All the brothers were upset about the presumed dominion of Joseph over them; his upset father rebuked him. Jacob sent Joseph to find out how the flock and his brothers were doing on the grazing fields. The bothers saw him coming towards them and decided to kill the "dreamer." They wondered what would come of his dreams after his death. Reuben was against any violence to his brother and asked them to cast him in a pit in the wilderness. They stripped him and cast him in a pit. No sooner than they sat down to eat, they saw Ishmaelites to whom they sold Joseph on the recommendation of Israel for 20 shekels of silver, after the brothers pulled him out of the pit. Judah said he found no profit in killing Joseph. Joseph was seventeen years of age then. The traders took him to Judah and sold him to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard. Reuben, unknowing of selling of Joseph into slavery, found the pit empty. They tore, dipped his clothes into sheep's blood, and produced them as evidence of Joseph being devoured by a wild beast. Egypt
One thing about reward and punishment with regards to karma is good acts do not cancel out the bad acts. Every fruit, either reward or punishment, is eaten so that Karma comes to a zero-sum status. If a person has ten merits and five demerits, simple math tells he has five merits over and above five demerits. It is not so in Karma. All ten merits have to be enjoyed and all five demerits have to be suffered before the zero-sum status is attained. This is known as Malaparipakam. Malaparipākam =மலபரிபாகம் = Mala + paripākam = impurity + cooking; maturity; perfection; ripeness; fit condition. Jacob's own son told a lie that his other son (brother), Joseph was killed by a beast, though Joseph was sold into slavery. Jacob, Joseph's father impersonated Esau, told a lie to his father Isaac and received his blessings rightfully due to Esau under false pretence. Karma would have it that Jacob became a victim of lie from his own son.
Heredity, environment and ancestry
Most of the non-karmic religions believe that heredity, environment, and ancestry have nothing to do with one's behavior. Esau was wicked and wanted to kill his twin brother Jacob for cheating. Yes, they were brought up under similar physical conditions and had identical genes. And yet the Samskaras, Vasanas and karma of each individual are poles apart.
Samskaras, Vasanas, and Karma reside in the Svadhisthana Chakra and influence the corresponding brain. That is why some of our actions and reactions to situations are automatic and unexplainable, unless we make a conscious effort to react to it in a conscious manner. This is the root of the unconscious being, instinctive behavior and SVK-driven actions. Samskaras, Vasanas, and Karma form the innate character of a person for better or worse and are the reminders of the past lives.
Vaasanaas: Vasana is fragrance that clings to the clothes. In like manner, the subtle body carries the fragrance of past actions, impressions, and karma in previous life. The example given is the unbaked clay pot carrying the smell of whatever it contained. Another example is the baked pot carrying the smell of smoke. Vasanas are subtle; Samskaras are scars left behind by the above experiences. (VASANA, knowledge derived from memory; an impression remaining unconsciously in the mind from past good or evil actions, and hence producing pleasure or pain.)
Samskaras: Every experience leaves an impress on the mind in the present (and past life) and modulates future behavior. These impressions from former and present life establish a behavior pattern colored by the imprints. Samskr = transform + kr = to make = Samskara = predisposition, inclination. Since predisposition translates into an established behavior, it is like a scar on the psyche and behavior carried from one life to another. Samskara (Sanskrit) Tendencies (both physical and mental), former impressions, former dispositions)
To regard God as the god of one people and not of other people is not a Hindu idea of god. Brahman is not parochial and his products, services and blessings are not franchisable, but available to the deserving without any need for applying for them. Man brings his own reward, punishment, blessing and oneness with God by his own act. He is the God of all people of many disparate religions and faiths, animals, plants or any living being on this universe. One can be a good Muslim, a good Christian, and a good Jew and yet can be a good Hindu. It is an inclusive religion.
God (Siva and Sakti) sends the soul to the world with a body. This soul is contaminated with Anava Mala, Maya Mala and Kanma Mala . Primer in Saiva Siddhanta. Once the impurities are eradicated, the soul merges back with Siva.
Worship of Para Brahman is mental, psychical, and transcendental and does not involve rituals; it is worshipping the Brahman in his formless form. It is the highest form of worship for the Jnana Yogi. Saguna Brahman worship is physical, mental and ritual worship of an idol, Aum, image or anything visible and palpable.
For most of the Hindus, Image worship is the mainstay and can lead to Brahma Kaivalya (moksa or liberation).
There is an interesting story about rationalist Vivekananda becoming a spiritualist and his success in converting a foreign-educated inveterate aniconic (an-iconic) fop to an idolist. Once Vivikananda went visiting with the neo-phobic of Indian values and mores. He was led to a hall of frames where forefathers of the fop's ancestors graced the walls. No later than the host showed his father's portrait with great respect and obeisance, Vivekananda spat on it knowing well that he was an iconoclast. The salivary splatter on the revered portrait drew immediate anger from the host. Keeping his natural cool and composure, Vivekanada questioned its sanctity and whether his father lived in the portrait. The foreign-educated man, intelligent as he was, immediately realized that the idols are as sacred to the votaries as his father's portrait was sacred to him.
Judaism and Idolatry. The following list is in the Maimonides list of 613 Commandments. They may appear harsh for idolaters, who DON'T expect to be attacked by them for your practice of idolatry. They know the value of tolerance.
This list follows the numerical value of the commandment with reference to appropriate Book.
24. Lev.19:4 Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods: I am the Lord your God.
28. Ex. 20:4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
30. Lev19: 4 4"‘Do not turn to idols or make gods of cast metal for yourselves. I am the LORD your God.
31. Ex. 23Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.
32. Ex. 13"Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips.
33. Deut. 13.12-118 12If you hear it said about one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you to live in 13that wicked men have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods you have not known), 14then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, 15you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. 16Gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God. It is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt. 17None of those condemned things shall be found in your hands, so that the LORD will turn from his fierce anger; he will show you mercy, have compassion on you, and increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your forefathers, 18because you obey the LORD your God, keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes.
53. Deut 12:2-5 2Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains and on the hills and under every spreading tree where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods. 3Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places. 4You must not worship the LORD your God in their way. 5But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go;
54-55. Deut 7:25-26 25The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the LORD your God. 26Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Utterly abhor and detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.
56. Deut 7:1-6 1When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you—2and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. 3Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’S anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. 5This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire. 6For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
203 Deut 32: 36-39 36 The LORD will judge his people and have compassion on his servants when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free. 37 He will say: "Now where are their gods, the rock they took refuge in, 38 the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offerings? Let them rise up to help you! Let them give you shelter! 39 "See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.
What is Brahman?
Chapter two in Panchadasi explains what Brahman is. Objects and beings are defined by the genus, the species and the individual. Brahman does not fall into these categories. He is the creator of categories and beyond the categories. He is one without a second (ekam eva advitiyam). He has no parts, names or forms. Only created entities have names, forms, and qualities; He is uncreated. He is like Akasa (ether), partless. Maya is the power that exists in Brahman in a potential form and is the material cause of the universe. Maya is not Brahman but only his power. Before creation, Brahman was darkness enveloped by the darkness of Maya. Maya is not the whole constitution of Brahman, but only a part of it just like clay is only part of earth. When Maya finds expression, Isvara emerges from Brahman. Brahman is Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being, Consciousness and Bliss). Maya conceals only Bliss. Sri Krishna addresses
Arjuna like this: "I support this entire universe with a fraction of Myself or My energy." (10.42 BG). Maya creates this world as a painter would draw objects using different colors on a canvas or wall. The first modification of Maya is Akasa (space or ether) which has the quality of sound which does not exist in Sat (being or existence) portion of Sat, Chit and Ananda. Brahman is more pervasive than Maya which is more pervasive than Akasa, which is more pervasive than air. Maya is beyond perception and only its expressions are perceived.
God is the Soul of souls, all living things included. His body is Superconsciousness. We as human beings get an Amsa of his Soul and a dilute version of his Superconsciousness; thus our soul in its pure state is identical to his and yet when we merge with him, our souls remain separate in association with other souls.
Saiva Siddhantist believes that souls of other religions should excel and achieve the native blessedness of that particular religion; thus, no religion (other Hindu sects included) can give the ultimate release that Saivism gives. When the soul is ripe in its own religion, it will be born in Saivite religion. That is not the end of the road; within Savism there are subdivisions or inner religions; once the soul attains excellence in the inner religion, the soul has to take birth in Saiva Siddhanta. Now the soul has to perform Chariyai, Kriyai, and Yogam before it gets Jnanam. These are set in ascending step-wise pattern to reach Siva. The soul has to excel in Dasamarga, Kriyamarga, Sakhamarga and Sanmarga. The chart (Primer in Saiva Siddhant) illustrates the various Margas, a Sadhaka in Saiva Siddhanta should follow to obtain release. Dasamarga is the path of servant; Kriya Satputramarga, the way of a child; Sakhamarga, the path of friend; Sanmarga-Sadhanamarga, the path of wisdom. The soul has to go through three events before it gets release: Malaparipākam, Iruvinaiyoppu and Sattinipātam (eradication or maturing of Anava Mala, equable resolution of good and bad Karma, and descent of Grace into the soul).
மலபரிபாகம்= Malaparipākam; இருவினையொப்பு = Iruvinaiyoppu; சத்திநிபாதம் = Sattinipātam
Tat Tvam Asi = That Thou art. That = God; Thou = You; Art =are. You are THAT. You are a drop from the ocean; THAT is ocean; so what is the difference between you and THAT. It is not as simple as one going and announcing to the world that he is God. That is rank stupidity. The self in you is the same as the SELF that is God. The self in man is contaminated by Malas (impurities); once the impurities are expunged, then there is no difference between your soul and the Greater Soul; after all the fragment of the soul you have is chip off the Old Block. Another way of putting it is that your soul belongs to him in its purity. If Yahweh, Elohim, Adonoy, Adnai, El Shaddai is your father, you are the son; therefore, there is no difference between you and him in a pure state. We are all Slurry containing traces of gold. God is Pure Gold. We are contaminated or admixed with impurities, which have to be removed, before we become one with god.
Prajnanam Brahma = Consciousness is Brahman. Brahman is not anthropomorphic in his original state; he is Pure Consciousness of divine status; our consciousness is derived from his and it is very dilute version of his. There are 11 entities whose consciousness and power are higher than human consciousness. Animals belong to lower consciousness.
Aham Brahmasmi = I am Brahman.
Ayam Atma Brahman = This Self is Brahman.
Yahweh is said to be an Egyptian world, Yah + Weh = Moon + Renewal.
Moon = the soul, the self, the Ego, the One. Since the moon comes into being after three days of absence, it stands for renewal.
Yahweh = The Being who has the ability to renew himself over and over again (perpetually).
Jīva (individual soul) and Yahweh sound similar. Yah is Soul that renews itself. A connection between Jiva and Yahweh is intriguing. Renewal is different from eternal. In Hindu religion the Great Soul or Pure Consciousness (Brahman) does not renew ITSELF; it is eternal and immutable; It has no beginning, no middle and no end; It neither grows or shrinks; the question of renewal does not arise. Renewal is a mutable quality; there is a suggestion of waxing and waning which are the qualities in the Hindu mind of matter and not of Brahman. Mutability is the property of matter and not of the Spirit. In Judaism, renewal is eternal.
By and large, God presents two forms: Nirguna Brahman and Saguna Brahman. Nirguna Brahman (Nir + Guna = absence + qualities) is the transcendent IT or THAT, which cannot be measured by any human yardstick, instruments or qualities; He is beyond human comprehension. Saguna (having qualities) Brahman is transformation of the attributeless and formless Brahman to One with qualities. Saguna Brahman is also known as Isvara, meaning controller (of the Universe and beings). When Hindus address God, Isvara is the One they are calling by one or many names. Isvara is One and many are his or her names. Take a father; he was a son and grandson before he became a father; he is also a son-in-law, uncle, grandfather, husband...depending upon his absolute, relative and variable locus in the family constellation. He is one and yet he is many. God is One and yet He is many.
Creatio ex nihilo (creation out of nothing) is central to Judaism. Hindus call this phenomenon Avyakta (Unmanifest) and the universe and beings are Vyakta or manifest. It is like saying we enter the Black Hole, disappear, attain singularity and emerge again in the other end. Hindus believe that Isvara uses his energy, Maya, as the source of Tattvas (building blocks) of the universe and beings. TATTVAS-36. Judaism calls it as Light Energy, which is the source of the Tattvas. We have a word for the Light: BINDU. Nada (Sound) and Bindu (Light) are the source of the universe and beings, according to Saivites. This Nada and Bindu come from Siva-Sakti.
Vaishnavites believe in Ramanuja's views: The triad consists of Isvara, prakara (cit and acit); all three are one mass. We are his (Isvara's) body along with matter and other beings. There is nothing that is not the body of Isvara. Isvara is the antaryaamin meaning the inner controller of cit and acit. Cit is life, the sentient world of organisms from ameba to man, and plants. Acit is the world of matter and insentient. Ref to BG C9V10: " Under My supervision, prakrti gives birth to both moving and unmoving (things)". Cit is individual soul. With Brahman / Isvara as the Supreme controller, creation comes into effect by His sheer will. Brahman wills the contact of his intelligent principle to Prakrti, the non-intelligent matter. From this contact, gods to insentient objects come forth. They are cit and acit as said before. Supplement Go to God according to Ramanujachârya. There are gods but only ONE GOD, according to Hindus. The term "god" points to a highly evolved human being in heaven; thus, Isvara is the God of gods, men and everything else.
Polytheism: a plague or Polynomial God. There is nothing wrong in calling God of Abraham Yahweh, Adonoy or Elohim.
A little story explains polytheism, individualized relationship to God and Gods of many religions. An old man was sitting in the living room watching TV. Many children ran into his lap and addressed him, Grandpa. A middle aged man walked in and greeted him as father. An elderly woman walked in and addressed him, "hello, dear." Thus people coming in to his presence addressed him by different names and greetings indicating their special individual relationship with the elderly man, though he has only one name and one body. In like manner, there is only One God and people call him by different and many names, which, when appended to him, do not change his main quality that he is only One Being. A daughter-in-law has a reverential relationship (according to traditional Hindu mindset) to her husband's father. Her relationship to her husband, the son is on a different platform; it is one of mutual love and respect, intimacy, and sexuality as opposed to platonic love and respect towards her father-in-law. That variability in relationship reflects in Hindu's contact with God. One devotee (the slave/servitor) sees God as slave owner and thus, rests all responsibilities on God; one sees him as a husband; one treats him like a father; one regards him as a friend; Kamsa treated him as an enemy; Gopis treated him as lover. What ever you conjure up in your mind, you can act out that relationship with God. Most are praiseworthy; some are abominable and sacrilegious.
Polytheism is not worship of many gods, but worship of One God with many names. Hinduism is monotheism with tolerance and respect for polytheism. Yes, you can have it both ways. You are father, husband, son, brother, uncle, nephew, friend, father-in-law, grandfather...; You are Mono and yet you are Poly. Your relationship with others is complex and tailored to the individual you relate to. Anything your imagination would allow to describe a God is very well documented in Hindu mythology. All human strengths and frailties, good and bad, beauty and ugliness are attributes of God. Lord Krishna says, He is the stealth in the thief. There is nothing God is not.
The dualism of Zoroastrianism (good and bad God) is different from that of Hinduism. Dualism, simply put, addresses two entities: the God and the individual soul. Our origin is God; our soul is a chip of the Old Block; when the individual soul obtains release it goes back to the source, which goes by the name Monism.
Good and bad things happen to people and countries. Good people die unrewarded and bad people die unpunished (example: Hitler). All these inequities are addressed by Karma, which hounds an embodied soul over many births until it reaches a zero-sum status with regards to good and bad karma. BG04.
Judaism does not embrace trinity of Christianity or Hindus: Father, son, and the holy Spirit; Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. Trinity is not an indication of division of an indivisible God. There is one company and three senior positions (CEO, COO, Chairman); One Being holds three positions and therefore carry three different work descriptions and designations. It saves a lot of money for the investors, if one person holds three positions. To a Jew, Jesus Christ is a Rishi Muni or Messiah and nothing more and nothing less. There is one God and many gods; the ubiquitous gods live in heaven and are the liberated human beings, free of karma; God is God of gods and men and all living things.
God rescued the Jews from
, the house of bondage. It is noble to note that God rescues everyone from bondage. Bondage is metaphor, according to Hindus, for Samsara or metempsychosis. The soul is recycled through many bodies in birth-death-and-rebirth cycle until the karma comes to zero-sum status, all impurities (Malams) are eliminated, and Spiritual knowledge enters the soul. Eventually the soul undergoes Oddukkam (ஒடுக்கம் = involution, absorption) into God; that is Mukti or True Liberation from bondage. The bondage of the Jews refers to the slavery and is not the opposite of the liberation of the soul and its merging with God. Egypt
Every Hindu has a personal god of his or her liking (Ishta Devata). What is this all about? There is One God who bears many names: Yahweh, Elohim, Adonoy, Adnai, El Shaddai. Liking is personal preference. Why don't we make a generic car and ask the people of the world to drive that one-model car? Each one us makes a choice as to which car we will buy and drive. It is the same with (one) God with several brand names, models, options, and modifications. One likes Siva and thus Siva is his Ishta Devata; the next one likes
Krishnaand thus is his Ishta Devata. Hinduism caters to will, imagination and liking of a devotee when it comes to the special qualities of God. If good things happen to Jews, they invoke Adonoy and not Elohim or Yahweh, though they are all One Being. It is obvious that good things are associated with Adonoy; thus, Adonoy is the Ishta Devata and not Elohim.
It is not uncommon in devout Hinduism to jive, joust, argue with and call God by names, thief (the One who steals the devotee's heart; Butter thief,
Krishna), vagabond, beggar, crematorium dweller, eater of rotten food (Siva), polygamist.... In like manner, Abraham had his quarrels and peeves, when he did not agree with God. Both religions agree that God's purpose, intentions and acts are beyond human understanding.
Their (Jews) numbers are small, but their contributions are humongous, great and innumerable. The tree of human race has one primary Jewish branch out of which sprouted sturdy outgrowths of Christianity, Islam and Mormons. The Jews, Hindus, Chinese and Egyptians are the only people who played continuous roles in the world stage of civilization; every one else glimpsing on the stage like fireflies has had bit parts. Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma = eternal order) spawned many great religions: Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism; so did the Jewish patriarchs. The Jews thrived in a continuous multicentric civilization in their Diaspora, while the Hindus spawned a continuous civilization in one landmass bound by the Highest mountain ranges and vast oceans. The Jews can boast of their contribution in disparate lands among disparate people with different tongues; the Hindus of many tongues, united by one continuous landmass and people too big for one invasion, one race, one religion, one empire, and one idea to impose its will, gathered around their one Supreme tenet, Sanatana Dharma, which had no patriarch to look up to. Every religion claims a patriarch, but Hindus claim no one person for its father. It is Sanatana Dharma, eternal religion or order based on natural laws and revealed wisdom, polyphonic in its content and expression through sages and seers. It is not of human origin because being human and not being God, one cannot pack such wisdom in the Sacred Texts; and human senses, mind, and intelligence are too circumscribed to enunciate such wisdom. The gods are promulgators of Sanatana Dharma; they are not the originators, but simply a conduit for the Dharma. Siva, Vishnu and Brahma do not claim to be authors of Agamas, Nigamas, Sastras, Vedas, which are older than gods themselves. Sanatana Dharma is eternal order; there is no suggestion that it is a religion. Something close to it is RTA (pronounced as rrita), the cosmic law, such as gravity, magnetism. It is as secular as secular is. Such Eternal Secular Order (ESO) came to be called Hindu religion by practitioners of other religions. Only ESO can conceptualize an order such as Karma, which is the Law of Cause and Effect. Even gods are subject to karma; they enjoy or suffer the fruits of their acts. Karma's hand is beyond the manipulations of man, god, nature, and man-made laws; the latter elements may become the instruments of karma.
Ineffable Jehovah is the God for Jews; Brahman of Hindus is without attributes; therefore Jehovah is Brahman for our purpose. A Jew can choose centripetal action that leads Him to God or centrifugal action that leads him away from Him. The former is Nivrrti of Hindus and the latter is Pravrrti. (There are two paths: Pravrrti and Nivrrti.) Pravrrti is common path and Nivrrti is a hard path. Pravrrti is centrifugal movement of the soul with desires, dualities and bondage. Nivrrti is the method of choice for outright 'renouncer' or hermit. It is a centripetal movement towards God right from the beginning. Tantra declares that it will shape men and women leading animal life of deglutition and defecation, procreation and slumber, fright, fight or flight, change them into productive people, and lead them in the path towards God. Pravrrti is life in the phenomenal world in pursuit of desires. Nivrrti is life, liberty and pursuit of Bliss; in other words it is a life of devotion to God, liberation from the bondage (Pasa) and eventual bliss. Tantra recognizes that man is a sensual animal; it tries to put a prescribed order in his lifestyle, convert him from sensual to a supersensual being and later it leads him to Reality. In this process the aspirant gives up his passion and darkness (Rajas and Tamas) and becomes pure and Sattvic. He strives on the path of Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga and or Bhakti Yoga. For the Pasu (the individual soul) to attain liberation, he should get rid of impurities or Malas.
The Jew says that God holds him responsible for his actions. The Hindu says that actions create Karma with merit and demerit; meritorious karma leads to good life and bad karma to bad life spanning over many births. The best karma is no-load null karma which leads to liberation.
Abraham encountered God Jehovah and the dialogue forms the central tenet of Jewish religion. There was no one god or person who can claim that distinction in Hindu religion; all gods are derivatives of noumenal Brahman. Saivites believe that Siva taught Agamas to his consort Parvati and his son Kartikeya. Nigamas were answers provided to questions posed by Parvati to Siva. Bhagavad Gita was revealed to Arjuna by
Krishnaon Kurushetra battlefield. It is the belief of Hindus that not even God was the formulator of Agamas and Nigamas and Vedas but they were conduits revealing them to humans. They were existent even before gods. God gave Torah on Mount Sinaito Prophet Moses, who gave the law to the Israelites, while Manu gave the Law of Manu to the Hindus. Vedas and Upanishads take precedence over The Laws of Manu, which is not a sacred text. Manu and Manas (mind) come from the Sanskrit word Man, "to think." Thus man is a thinking animal. Manu's laws endorse Varnasrama Dharma, creating castes which according to Mahatma Gandhi are an ugly excrescence on the body of Hinduism. Dr. Ambedkar, who helped write the post-independence Indian Constitution, burnt a copy of The Laws of Manu because the caste system it espouses compartmentalizes people in a mould, out of which there is no escape. He was a Hindu untouchable (Dalit); he changed his religion to Buddhism.
When Babylonians were enjoying the epicurean pleasures, Terah; his son, Abraham; his wife, Sarah; and his son,
Lot; and the nephew Abraham moved out of Babylonia; their patriarch was Noah. They crossed the River Eupharates and thus were called Hebrews: they who crossed. (Hindus are the ones who crossed the river Indus.) Terah dies. Abraham meets God at what is now southern part of , Turkey . Its significance is that of Paul's vision of Jesus Christ on the road to Haran . JHVH is Lord and its transliteration sounds as Jehovah. JHVH sounds like Jiva (if you add the vowels), the individual soul, in Sanskrit. Jiva means life, existence at a human level. But a little imagination could put JHVH at a transcendent level. Damascus
Psychiatrists are of the view that hearing and seeing what is not there are symptoms of essential schizophrenia, a rare, benign and transcendental phenomenon in perfected Yogis. These realized souls are capable of and do experience visions. Some psychologists call this integrated, expanded altered consciousness by an imperfect term " (Transcendental) Essential Schizophrenia", as opposed to the pathological state "Paranoid Schizophrenia." These realized souls are in peace with the world around them. Their visions are most often limited to their own religious background. But Ramakrishna Parmahamsa had visions of Kali, Allah and Jesus Christ. When they return to their waking consciousness, they behave like everyone else. Their altered consciousness – Kaivalya, Samadhi and Turiya – are not drug-induced or pathological. These yogis bring these altered states upon themselves intentionally or otherwise and undergo complete remission upon resurfacing. These yogis receive wisdom or visions or hear voices during their altered conscious states. Ramana MahaRishi, who never had formal religious instructions or teaching of Vedas and Upanishads, received all that wisdom during his altered consciousness and bliss during Turiya state. It is said that instinct matures into reason in man and reason matures into Superconsciousness in the yogi. It is also known as Samadhi. It is said that some acquired imperfect superconsciousness, experienced hallucinations without a full preparation for the state of Yogi and received revealed wisdom with superstitions, according to Vivekananda.
Abraham and Jehovah entered into a covenant (or was it a creation in the mind of Abraham according to psychologists? That is not the thrust of our discussion): "the agreement between God and the ancient Israelites, in which God promised to protect them if they kept His law and were faithful to Him." This covenant transformed into a Will (Hinduism's Iccha = Will) to survive against all odds over millennia. Joseph Campbell explains what a covenant is.
In the Jewish tradition, God has a Covenant with a certain people; no one else is in on this. How does one achieve membership in that group? This was defined in
only a couple of years ago: by birth from a Jewish mother and by honoring the Covenant in one's life. (Myths of Light, page 7-8, by Joseph Campbell.) Jerusalem
For four hundred years, Abraham and his descendants wandered in
Canaan, the promised land. They worshipped a God no one saw or understood. Hindu scriptures say that God sees without eyes, He moves without legs, and He hears without ears. That being so, one needs a superconscious mind (Vijnana) to perceive God. Take for instance a dog whose hyperacute 'supersmell' (highly developed olfactory sense) can detect narcotics, while man with his attenuated olfactory sense cannot accomplish the same, especially when he is down with a cold or nasal allergy.
God abides in the spiritual heart of all beings; knowing that he exists is Jnana (knowledge); conversing with him is Vijnana (Wisdom) which Yogis (Jesus Christ, Abraham and Moses) possess. That being so, it is understandable that no one saw God, while Jesus Christ, Abraham, Moses, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharishi did.
Here is a comparison between Hinduism and Judaism.
THIRTEEN PRINCIPLES OF JEWISH FAITH (MAIMONIDES)
Moses Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon, a Sephardic) 1135-1204 CE is generally regarded as the highest authority of post-talmudic rabbinical wisdom. His 13 principles are taken by many as the essence of Judaism, derived from Judaism's 613 commandments found in the Torah.
Maimonides (1135-1204 CE) was a physician and a scholar with deep knowledge of Talmud and Bible.
The Thirteen Articles of Jewish faith are as follows:
It is the custom of many congregations to recite the Thirteen Articles, in a slightly more poetic form, beginning with the words Ani Maamin - "I believe" - every day after the morning prayers in the synagogue.
In his commentary on the Mishnah (Sanhedrin, chap. 10), Maimonides refers to these thirteen principles of faith as "the fundamental truths of our religion and its very foundations."
1. God exists; may He be praised; His is the most perfect existence; He is the cause and the source of existence of all beings.
Hinduism: Isvara is God who creates, sustains and destroys this universe. He is the creator of Cosmic Law, Rta, which directs the laws of the universe: Gravity, magnetism etc. Sanatana Dharma (eternal order) leads one to Truth. Rta is the Law of Tao from which the heavens, earth, Man's law, and king draw their guidance.
When Moses wondered aloud to God by what authority he could lead Israelites out of
. God said to Moses: "I am who I am, tell them that." Egypt
Torah: The teaching or instruction, and judicial decisions, given by the ancient Hebrew priests as a revelation of the divine Will (Ichha); the Mosaic or Jewish law; hence, a name for the five books of the law, the Pentateuch.
Mount Sinaiwas the site where Prophet Moses received the Law and Justice.
2. God’s unity is unique and indivisible; He does not belong to a Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.
Hinduism: God is One and his names are many. He is One without a second. Jewish Monotheism is the noumenal Nirguna Brahman of the Hindus, who has no attributes.
3. God is incorporeal; He is not subject to any force.
Hinduism: Brahman has no attributes and no form; yet he sees without eyes, he hears without ears, and he walks without legs. He is the origin and purveyor of all forces, the universe and beings.
4. God precedes everything; He is eternal, the First and the Last.
Hinduism: He is the first, the middle, and the last. He has no beginning, no middle and no end. Time resides in Him and not the other way round. He is the First because he creates; he is the last because he dissolves what he creates; he is the middle because he sustains what he creates; thus, the cycle goes on for eons.
5. He is the only One to be worshipped and praised; proclaim your praise and obedience to Him.
Hinduism: There is one God; some have given him names and forms (Saguna Brahman) and some call him nameless, formless Nirguna Brahman. Does He really care what you call Him. What is in a name: Allah, Father in heaven, Yahweh, Brahman....?
Devotees worship him in his Saguna form; Yogis meditate on him in his Nirguna form. Whom one prays to, worships or meditates on, depends on the excellence of the mind. Man relates easily to forms, names, addresses and zip codes; in like manner, man worships God in an image, though God is formless; Yogis can meditate on formless Brahman. True worship is doing what pleases the Lord, according to Hindu scriptures.
Jews believe in Monotheism; others are Pagans, excluding Christians, Jews and Muslims. Pagans include polytheistic believers. Hindus believe that religion is like a pyramid. Saiva Siddhanta calls Supratheism, Camayātītam (Samayatitam), the Supreme Being transcending all religions. Samaya + Atitam = Religion + end = end of religion.
Here is Saiva Siddhanta. Siddhānta = Siddha + Anta = Perfection + end = End of perfection = be all and end all of perfection.
Saiva Siddhanta is beyond the apex of pyramidal structure of all religions that rises majestically from a broad base. Its base is Polytheism; its lower half is Monotheism; its upper half is Metatheism; Siva Siddhanta is Supratheism or Camayātītam (Samayatitam), the Supreme Being transcending all religions. It does not need any support or advocacy; it has no beginning, no middle, no end and no name. Supratheism is a word coined by me to illustrate its position compared to other pyramidal religions; in fact, it is not a religion; it is the Universal Truth. Man can ascend this pyramid to a comfortable or competent level. When he goes beyond the pyramid, there are no icons, Mantra, Tantra, Yantra, disputations between religions and no names. Metatheism is immersion and absorption into the emanating essence of unbranded Being without regard to any particular religion. The generic Being may be worshipped as an icon or a word. The mental and spiritual eyes, ears and perceptions of the worshipper are his organons. Drawing the hidden essence and meaning, registering all visual, auditory and extrasensory vibrations emanating from icons, formulating them in words and phrases and laying down new paths are the essence of inspired religious prose and poetry of Metatheism. Some revealed Truths are beyond words. The object of all these constructs is to attain Moksa. (Author's view).
Meta. a prefix appearing in loanwords from Greek, with the meanings "after," "along with," "beyond," "among," "behind," and productive in English on the Greek model: metacarpus; metagenesis; metalinguistics.
Supra. a prefix meaning "above, over" (supraorbital) or "beyond the limits of, outside of "
Organon. 1. an instrument of thought or knowledge. 2. Philos. a system of rules or principles of demonstration or investigation. (Random House Dictionary)
6. I believe in prophets and their prophecy.
Hinduism: Prophecy as such does not exist in the same context mentioned in Judaism. There is no record of any prophecy in Hinduism as to history, joy and jubilation, pain, exile and suffering, coming of Messiah.... Vaishnavites believe in incarnation of Vishnu in the form of Kalkin in the future. God's words are Agamas, Nigamas and Sastras. There is no Higher Truth. Seers and Rishis received their Brahma Vidya (Received knowledge, Brahman Knowledge, Supreme Knowledge) as flashes during their meditation, which they revealed to the world in Vedas, Agamas, and Nigamas. Saivites are of the belief that Agamas came out of Siva's mouth. Bhagavat Gita came out of the mouth of
Krishna. The Seers found the connection between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul (Atman, Brahman, Jehovah). They declared that association in four Mahavakyas, the Great Sayings:
Prajnanam Brahma = Consciousness is Brahman.
Aham Brahma Asmi: I am Brahman.
Tat Twam Asi: That Thou Art.
Ayam Atma Brahman: This Self is Brahman (without gender identification).
As you see there is no religious accretion in these Great Sayings. Here is the Supreme Being in its most generic flavor.
Tat Twam Asi is the most important Mahavakya. Brahman transforms into Isvara, who pervades this universe, beings, and matter which collectively make the body of the Lord. We are all part of his body; thus That (Isvara, Jehovah) Thou (you) Art (are).
Our human consciousness is a dilute version of the Pure Consciousness of Brahman (or Jehovah). The Superconsciousness of Yogi is one notch closer to the Pure Consciousness of the Lord. Human consciousness is inadequate for a transcendental vision of Jehovah which Moses saw with his Superconscious state of Mind, also known as Turiya, which is the fourth state of consciousness (other states are wakefulness, dream sleep, and deep sleep.) Jewish theology does not address (??) the nature, quality and character of consciousness of Moses at the time he communed with his God. Yogis call that state 4th state (Turiya) and one beyond the 4th state (Turiyatita).
All their words are true = Brahma Vidya or Brahma Jnana
God is one without gender. Since It has no attributes, Brahman is addressed It or That. Once attributes, appellations and genders are assigned, Brahman transforms into Isvara or Isvari. Consider this:
To the Jew, God is One, both female and male blended in One but He or She comes with many names and
flavors. He invokes and thanks Lord Adonai for Her kindness; he invokes God Elohim for being harsh (justice) on him. Simply,
Feminine Lord Adonai becomes Masculine God Elohim depending upon dispensation. To him Female Lord Adonai and
Male God Elohim are parents--though one-- keeping the children in line first by giving soft love and then some tough love.
Brahman with Maya is Isvara or Isvari; Brahman with ignorance is the individual soul. Remember that Jiva's (soul) consciousness is diluted and so is without the knowledge of Brahman (Brahma Vidya). Sects worship Isvara or Isvari (the Goddess). Saktas worship the Mother Goddess, who is no other than transformed genderless Brahman with Maya in female form. Transformation of Brahman with the addition of attributes is compared to milk turning into yogurt. The inert Brahman becomes active with the transformation. It is Maya that creates multiplicity of forms and names, which could be objects or a neighbor, father, mother, son, spouse; we came from Maya and thus we are all related to one another. According to Saktas, Mother Goddess is the mother of the universe and beings. Vaishnavas regard Visnu as the Supreme God who is father of all beings and universe; for Saivites, Siva is the Supreme God. Ultimately all gods and goddesses are the many names and forms of transformed Brahman with Maya; that Brahman before names and forms is Nirguna Brahman. Isvara and Isvari are Saguna Brahman (with attributes). Maya creates this world stage; Samsara is drama of life enacted on the world stage, where actors play the role of father, son, mother, friend; once they leave the stage, appellations disappear and they come back to their own selves. He, who has risen above names and forms though living in the mayik body and attains Brahma Vidya (Brahman knowledge), becomes one with Para Brahman. All beings, power (sakti) and matter come from Brahman and at dissolution go back to Brahman; the entire cycle repeats itself. Brahman is putative entity (not a He or a She) of all gods and goddesses who eventually dissolve in it. Saktas believe in Mother Goddess (Brahmamayi or Devi), originating from attributeless Brahman. Vaishnavas believe in Vishnu originating from attributeless Brahman; Saivaites believe in Siva originating from attributeless Brahman. There is One God; many are his forms and names. Hindus include Jehovah as God, originating from Brahman. Saktas are of the view that the earthly Mother nourishes them for "10 months and 10 days" in the womb and father is only a secondary contributor, a puny (though important) one at best. Furthermore, Mother nurses them for a long time; father's contribution ends the moment it begins. The Great Womb of the Mother Goddess issues forth all gods, goddesses, celestials, humans, beings, and matter and she takes them back at dissolution; She has Sakti, (power) which she doles out to Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva and others. These are mentioned in Tantric Texts which are revealed wisdom.
7. Moses is the father of all prophets who preceded and succeeded him. I believe in his prophecy.
Hinduism: There are no prophets in Hinduism; Seers play the same role; Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharishi played similar roles. Hindus consider
Krishna, Jesus Christ, Moses as Great Yogis. Krishnaand Siva, each is considered by the sects as Yogi of Yogis and Gods.
8. Torah, as given to Moses and in our hands, is the word of God.
Hinduism: His law is Rta and Sanatana Dharma. Rta is the Cosmic Law: Magnetism, Gravity, etc. Sanatana Dharma, eternal religion, is worldly counterpart of Rta. It is also called Vaidik Dharma or Vedic Religion. To be a Hindu is believing in Vedas, whether he knows it or not. The basic teaching of Hinduism relate to Purushartha, the purpose of man: Dharma, Artha,
Kama, and Moksa (righteous living, accumulation of wealth, love or enjoyment, and liberation.
Hinduism's Purushartha is the Jewish Talmud, Christian Bible, and Muslim Sharia.
16.1: Sri Bhagavan said:
Fearlessness, purity of mind, steadiness in yoga of knowledge, charity, self-control, sacrifice, study of scriptures, austerity, rectitude,
16.2: Ahimsa, truthfulness, freedom from anger, renunciation, tranquillity, abstaining from slander, compassion to all creatures, absence of greed, gentleness, modesty, absence of fickleness (absence of agitation),
16.3: vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, absence of malice, and absence of pride: These are the qualities of the one born of divine nature, O Bharata.
Garuda Purana (1.113.37) states that there are five cleaning substances: truth, pure mind, control of sense organs, feeling for all living beings, and water.
For more go to BG Chapter 16 The Divine and the Demon
Krodha (anger), Kama (passion), Sahaja Pranaya (natural love or friendship), Bhiti (fear), Vatsalya (parental affection), Moha (delusion), Guru Gaurava (reverence to Guru), Sevya Bhavaih (proneness to service), Sancintya (meditation) are the feelings entertained towards the Lord; all these feelings liberate the soul but the road to liberation is different for each one of the aspirants.
God says: Love Me once, you are free (liberation/moksa); hate Me once, your are free; ignore Me once, you will fry in hell. (Because of man's hatred to God, He destroys and liberates him.)
The Gopis attained liberation (moksa) by love, Kamsa by fear, Sisupala by hatred, Pandavas by friendship, Yadhavas by attachment, Narada by devotion. The key is thinking and remembering the Lord in love, fear, hatred, friendship, attachment, devotion or any one of myriad feelings. The Lord seems to say, "Ignore me at your own peril."
9. Torah as given to Moses is the final word of God subject to no change.
Hinduism: Samsara (earthly life) is conditioned by Karma. Those who engage in good karma enjoy good life in this or next life; those who engage in bad acts (bad karma) will suffer in this or next life. Karma chooses heredity, ancestry and environment for every living entity. God is a resident Witness in the spiritual heart and can erase the sins and confer Grace. Karmic law, once written by the Lord, is very rarely broken by God; in his Avataras, he submits himself to karmic consequences. Just think of Rama's exile in the wilderness and the abduction of his consort by Ravana. Just think of the death of Lord Krishna (by an arrow) at the hands of a hunter. All this is Karma. Deeds are of two kinds: Sakama karma and Niskama karma; the former deed is done with self-interest and latter is done without self-interest and earns liberation. Niskama Karma, though it is action, is not considered action because there is no expectation of reward.
10. God knows our deeds.
Hinduism and Upanishads: From Brahma to a blade of grass, nothings moves without his consent.
11. God rewards those who obey and punishes those who violate the commands of Torah. (The belief in divine reward and retribution.)
Reward and punishment are deed-dependant and can range over many births; good and bad deeds bring respective results. No-load karma is the best karma, resulting in liberation of the soul and its merger with God. Karma is self-made; thus, the individual alone determines his destiny. Disobedience of God is action that has demerit, which carries consequences. Karma brings victory and the king together; karma brings the victim and the killer together: this is one essential point in Kurushetra war. The subtle soul is the chronicler of karma and carries historical notes of the individual soul from birth to birth. Karma is a dogged pursuer of the soul over many births during its passage in bodies (animal, man, worm); it is the ever vigilant dispenser of fair justice over and above the law of man. Consequential rewards and punishments are dispensed by men. Hindu religion goes beyond dependence on men to dispense justice. What happens if Law is literally blind (no physical sight) and does not see the perpetrator? What happens when the victim does not come forward? What happens if justice is skewed and lets the guilty go free? That is where karma comes. Whatever that is aberrant in and missed by man's law and justice is pursued relentlessly for better or worse by dogged internatal (birth to birth) karma with unfailing memory.
Saivites believe that they can expunge karma by Chariya, Kriya, Yoga, and Jnana (worship of God, Agamic rites and ceremonies, mental worship of Siva, and path of Wisdom.) Hitler escaped punishment on earth; his karma will follow him until it comes to a zero-sum status. From the information available in Hindu texts, I assume that he will suffer in hell for many years, equal to the number of hairs of all the people who died on account of his pogrom.
12. I believe in the coming of Messiah. I will wait regardless how long the wait is. (The belief in the arrival of the Messiah and the messianic era.)
Hinduism: Messiahs as such are not sent, but he comes as Avatars (incarnations) or sends others with his Amsa (fragment of Himself): Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ,
Krishna, Buddha. Is Messiah an avatar? To a Hindu the short answer is yes. Vishnava sect believes in Avatars of Lord Vishnu. Krishnais Purna Avatar with full potency. Hindus consider the whole universe of beings as one people; thus, it is not strange that they embrace Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ, Mohammad, Krishnaand Buddha as Avatars; they erase all artificial demarcations like geography, race, ethnicity, creed, gender and so on.
13. God will resurrect the dead.
Physical resurrection of the dead is open to controversy among the "informed" on either side of the issue. Some say it is spiritual resurrection; some say it is a physical resurrection; both positions have their advocates and supporters. It is claimed that Tanakh is ambiguous on this issue of resurrection. If physical resurrection takes place it is a miracle. Maimonides says that God does not violate the Laws of Nature, known in Hinduism as RTA (Cosmic Law from which physical and other laws came into being).
Creation, preservation and dissolution; also Moksa, Salvation.
Creation, Guidance: past, present and future
Creation, sustenance, and salvation
God is unity
There is only one God
God is Consciousness
No body, no name, no attributes
There is one God
God is the beginning, the middle and the end
The First and the last. The past, the present and the future.
I am the Lord; that is my name
God is the object of prayer
God is the object of prayer
God is the object of prayer
Rishis carry God’s words
Prophets carry God’s words
Christ spoke God’s words
No prophets but Acharyas
Moses is principal prophet
Son of God
From Brahma to a blade grass, nothing moves without his knowledge. The Eternal Soul is the paramount Witness.
His attention, and heed encompasses every act and every deed of every human being.
He is the seed and womb of all beings.
He wills that all men shall be His children
Jehovah is immortal and thus he does not resurrect, though he wanes, disappears and waxes again like the moon. His disappearance is only an illusion as the New Moon also is an illusion; its impact is real in that the night is bathed in darkness. Hindus believe in reincarnation and hierarchy of gods, while Jews don't. There cannot be hierarchy if there is only one God who is the Para Brahman of Hindus and Jehovah of Jews. When gods' merit runs out, they descend from heaven to earth as men. Lesser gods include liberated divine men living in heaven; in Judeo-Christian context, they are Moses, Abraham, Jesus Christ (son of God). They may make one appearance on earth, never to return or may come down many times as ordained by God.
Let me explain the difference between God and god according to Hindus. There is ONE GOD and many gods. God is the Head Honcho of a company; gods are godly men and women working for him; thus, they advance His and the company's motto, principles and goods. Being gods means that they all have their individual responsibility which they carry out in the interest of the company under the direction of God. In order to work for God, all gods must march in a lockstep fashion. It is not rigidity; it is acknowledgment that God knows best. There are promotions, demotions, warnings, opprobiums, and lay-offs. But no one can become a GOD. Men and gods with merit can merge with him but cannot take his place. You cannot simply lay Him off and take His job; He is God for eternity. An office boy (man or woman), belonging to non-executive branch in the company, may become qualified to assume the role of a god. A demoted and or laid-off god becomes the office boy and will be born as man on earth. The (
Krishna) Head Honcho lives in an exclusive gated palatial house or penthouse (Goloka), The lesser gods live in mere heaven. They don't have bodies and live as spirits enjoying all luxuries of heaven. They see without eyes, hear without ears, move without legs and so on. The trees there are in bloom and bear fruits at the same time all year round. There are celestial lakes one can wade and swim in. They transport themselves by aerial cars that run on thought (no gas, no pollution); they travel just by thought; there are no taxes, no death and no hassles of city life. Hailing cabs was the thing of the past. What you eat is ambrosia or anything that you wish. No cooking and cleaning. Now you have an idea what heaven is like.
Heads of the thousand-headed
Satyaloka– Brahma's abode (Brahmaloka), Sankarsana. Brahma lives on the eyebrow. The creation is a play of the eyebrows of the Supreme Lord. Sarasvati, Consort of Brahma.
Brahma-randhra (Anterior Fontanel area on the crown)
The exit point for the soul from the body. In addition, it is the entry point of the soul.
Tapoloka, Vairagins' heaven
Janaloka: Sri, Bhu, Siva (Rudra), Sanatkumara
Maharloka: Bhrigu, Prajapati. Escapes sublation of three lower worlds. Above the Polar star.
Svarloka: Indra’s heaven, gods. Situated between sun and polar region
Avyaktam or The Unmanifest or Primordial matter
Indra's heaven, also god of righteousness
Ksatriyas' origin, also gods
Bhuvarloka Space between the earth and the sun (Munis and Siddhas)
Loins or Hips
Bhurloka, men, others animals–the Earth's crust
Buttocks or Thighs
Atala or Vitalaloka, Vaishyas's origin. Subterranean locus (-2) Demon Bala, the son Maya lives here. Here, women make any men sexually potent by administering Hātaka elixir—ingredients not identified in Bhagavata Purana Book five, Chapter 24 Verse 16.
Sutalaloka - Subterranean locus (-3)
Balilives here with Lord Visnu as the doorkeeper.
Talātala - Subterranean locus (-5) Siva has given refuge to Maya in this location.
Mahātala - Subterranean locus (-6) A snake pit—a region of serpents
Dorsum of the feet
Rasātala - Subterranean locus (-4). Daityas, Dānavas and Panis live here. They are demons opposed to gods and stole Ambrosia from Dhanvantari, the attending physician of gods.
Soles of the Feet
Pātāla - Subterranean locus (-7) The
, the serpent king. kingdomof Vāsuki
The Moon was born of His mind
The Eyelids (apt locations and metaphor for day and night)
The day and the night
Indira and Agni (Fire) came out
Asvinikumaras―The physicians of the gods
The Sky was born
Indra and the subsidiary gods
The Vayu (Wind) was born
The middle space was born
His Two feet
The earth evolved
Crown of the head (Brahma-randhra)
Vedas, Exit point for the departing soul
Yama, the god of death
Show of affection
Lord of water, Varuna
Rasah, the essence of any
Infinite, unending creation
Adharma - Unrighteousness
Genital - Phallus
Ka = Who, What and which. Prajapati, Brahma
Gods Mitra and Varuna (Sustainer of all created beings and water) Common meaning of Mitra is “friend”
Abdominal Cavity (Kukshi)
The hills and mountains
Blood vessels (Nadyah)
The continuous flow of gunas as in creation and the created
His hair on the head
The water-laden clouds
The abode of Brahma
Night and day
The Sun and the Moon
The Quarters, directions
The nares (nasal openings)
Greed and modesty
His front teeth
Death, the great equalizer
Māyā, illusion or māyā energy
The Infinite power of air
The formation of the birds in flight
Siddhas and celestial artists
The apparel or Raiment
Mahim or Cosmic Intelligence or Maha-tattva
Ego of the Universal Soul
The horse, the mule, the camel and the elephant
His Hips and Loins
The deer and other animals
Manujah -Sons of Manu
A perfected man, when he dies, becomes god. That is why all cultures identify some men and women as divine, meaning they are closer to god than other men. Unconsciously by using such expressions, monotheists express their underlying polytheistic view. Now you know truth comes out in unguarded moments and statements. Polytheism is the base of all religions (which we forget very often), on which are built Monotheism and Metatheism. Supratheism is belief that He, It, or THAT does not need any support from the pyramidal structure. That is Parabrahman of Hinduism.
(Yahweh is said to be an Egyptian world, Yah + Weh = Moon + Renewal.)
Moon = the soul, the self, the Ego, the One. Since the moon comes into being after three days of absence, it stands for renewal.
Yahweh = The Being who has the ability to renew himself over and over again (perpetually).
Parabrahman is THAT; the lesser Hindu gods are known for internecine (mythological) wars, while the one and only Jehovah remains in peace with himself. Jehovah is genderless, formless, and nameless as Para Brahman is.
ParaBrahman = Supreme Brahman. Saguna Brahman is the derivative of Para Brahman and sports many names and forms ranging from plants, animals, chimera (composite being of animal and man), and anthropomorphic figures. The reason why God is a plant, a stone and the rest is because they would not exist without him; therefore, Brahman is stone; When the priest consecrates the stone, Saguna Brahman's divinity comes alive in that stone. He pervades everything. Jehovah is Spirit and therefore asexual, but he allows sexual reproduction among Jews. They don't believe in Grecian excess of the past or total abstinence. Proliferation as commanded by Jehovah was followed a little in excess by the Jewish Patriarchs who had Pagan handmaidens doing chores and sharing their tents. Hindu gods have many wives, some in the thousands. Extramarital relationship is not uncommon; adultery is not uncommon as the Fire god is known for it.
9.11 Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in
is the gathering place of true believers. There is no one Zion in Hindu belief system. There are several and some habitats are for the exclusive use of God and his near and dear. Goloka, Vaikuntha, Satyaloka, Tapoloka, Janaloka and Svarloka are listed below with their respective occupants. Their habitats are graded according to their merit. People live in shacks, huts, houses, bungalows, mansions, and palaces, depending upon their financial worth. The inhabitants of the higher worlds occupy their respective habitats based on their spiritual worth and merit. Zion
9.17 The wicked shall depart to Sheol, all the nations that forget God.
and sheol remain at several levels on the body of the Lord himself. He is heaven and hell in one body. According to Hindus, all entities are his body; there is nothing that is not his body. zion
The table shows some overlaps to reflect different sources.
The Body of the Lord
The many worlds and their residents
The Most Supreme Abode
Krishna, Radha, Sridama ( Krishna's friend)
The Supreme Abode
Vaikuntha, Abode of Lord Narāyana or
Krishnaor Vishnu, Devotees of Lord Krishna; Kamala Consort of Narayana;
Table: The Lord’s body parts, the universe, and the functions
Hair on body
Vegetation, trees especially those used in sacrifices
Hair on the head and face
Generates electricity. Boulders and iron ore deposits
Fields for gods
Shelter for upper, lower and heavenly planets
Water, Vital Generative Fluid, Rain
The abode of the deity of death
Anus and Rectum
Abode of violence, ruin, death
Ignorance, frustration, adharma
The materially devastated beings
Subtle material bodies
Duty, Justice, and four bachelors: Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanatkumara and Sanandana, Also Sattva and Vijnāna -Goodness and wisdom
All beings, past, present and future
Occupy one Vitastim, distance between the tip of extended thumb to the tip of the fifth finger. – 9 inches or 12 angulams
Modesty, bashfulness (Vrida)
Longing, eager desire (Lobhah)
Mitra and Varuna uphold and rule the earth and sky, protect the world, and preserve religious rites: guardians of truth and light. Punish sinners.
Waist (back of it)
The elephant, camel, horse, and mule. All four-legged animals
The march of Time
Guna pravahah―reactions and consequences of modes of behavior and nature
Rudra - later known as “Siva Face”
Idols, artifacts, images,
, Tabernacle.... Ark
is a chest containing the two stone tablets inscribed with the ten commandments carried by the Israelites in their wandering in the desert after the exodus: the most sacred object of the tabernacle and the Ark in Temple , where it was kept in the holy of holies.--RHD. Jerusalem
During the wandering, the daytime guide was the pillar of clouds; the nighttime guide was the pillar of fire.
proceeded further ahead in the wandering, shooting two jets of flame from its underside destroying thorns, scorpions and snakes. Ark
, clouds, and fire are the physical manifestation of God's presence on earth (the shekhina). In the same spirit, the consecrated Hindu idols are infused with holiness, worthy of worship. The High Priest creates a veiling cloud of incense to obscure the sight of shekhina in its effulgent glory, when he goes to the Ark on Yom Kippur, asking for forgiveness for himself and the nation of Ark . Direct sight of Israel brings death to the viewer. The abode of the original Ark is not known. Ark
Hindu God (Brahman, the progenitor of all) lives in the trees (
), clouds (Indira), fire (Agni), stone, all elements, men, animals, plants and insentient objects. That covers everything under the sun and beyond. Shekhina is the physical manifestation of Elohim or Yahweh. The whole universe and beings are physical manifestation of Isvara, and consists of Cit, Acit and Isvara according to Ramanuja. Cit =Sentient; Acit =insentient; Isvara = Master Controller. Ark
The Babylonians put the First Temple to torch in 586 B.C.E.; the Romans torched the Second Temple in 70 C.E. Jews believe that the acts were punishments from God for not following his precepts contained in the Two Tablets. Idolatry (prohibited by the First Tablet) by Jews was the sin that brought on the wrath of God in the form of fire from the Babylonians. Mitzvos (Dos and Don'ts) recommends the following with regard to idols.
N3 Do not make an idol (even for others) to worship; N5 Do not bow down to an idol; N6 Do not worship idols. N10 Do not study idolatrous practices; N25 Do not augment wealth from anything related to idolatry; N26 Do not prophesy in the name of an idol; N27 Do not prophesy falsely; N28 Do not listen to the prophesy made in the name of an idol; P185 Destroy all idol worship.
Lashon ha-ra: Bad tongue; Gossip. According to Torah bad-mouthing is as bad as the three sins: idolatry, adultery and murder. Jews are to give up their life rather than commit any one of these sins.
Mitzvah: pl mitzvos. any of the collection of 613 commandments or precepts in the Bible and additional ones of rabbinic origin that relate chiefly to the religious and moral conduct of Jews.
It is the belief that the feuds and hatred between Jews breaking the tenets of the Second Tablet precipitated the wrath of God who punished the Jews by sending the Romans to torch the
, which precipitated the loss of the spirit of prophecy to mankind and the closing of the Canon or Sacred Books. Second Temple
God of Abraham with many names:
Elohim means, "Those who from Heaven to Earth came." in Annunaki. Elohim created Adam in his image. Adam = "in the image of Elohim created He him."
Adonoy: Hebrew. a title of reverence for God, serving also as a substitute pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton.
Tet·ra·gram·ma·ton (four letters)
the Hebrew word for God, consisting of the four letters yod, he, vav, and he, transliterated consonantally usually as YHVH, now pronounced as Adonai or Elohim in substitution for the original pronunciation forbidden since the 2nd or 3rd century B.C. Cf. Yahweh.
In daily life, Jews invoke Adonoy (God or Sadasiva revealing and showing Grace according to Hindus) when their son or daughter gets admitted into a medical school.
When something bad happens to a Jewish person, he or she invokes Elohim (Mahesvara who conceals Grace from his devotees according to Hindu belief--Isvara Tattva).
, the contained tablets, cloud and fire are sacred and physical manifestations of God, Yahweh, the idols, images, paintings are also physical manifestation of Hindu God who is not any different from Yahweh, Adonoy or Elohim. Adonay is Goddess. In Hindu religion, Brahman, a transcendental version of God or Goddess is IT or THAT; it has no gender. Since Ark , Tablets, Cloud and Fire are infused with the power of God, they are sacred. If that is so, why should the idols elicit disapproval from non-Hindus? No one in his right mind would break the Ark or the tablets. In like manner, idols should not be broken. Why did Abram break the idols while the Ark and Tablets remain (with justification) sacred? When Idols are consecrated, they are sacred and carries the power (Tejas) of God. Worshipping such an idol, Ark and tablets is justified. Ark
Elohim (God in Hebrew) entered into exclusive covenantal relationship with the Hebrews that in exchange for protection of Hebrews they would give their undying obedience to Elohim. Receiving protection for true devotion is a common theme in Hindu worship. The relationship between God and man has more choices in Hindu religion: Love, devotion, obedience, fear, hate, friendship, attachment, spousal affinity, father-son affinity, mother-son affinity.
Love Me once, you are free (liberation/moksa); hate Me once, your are free; ignore Me once, you will fry in hell.
The Gopis attained liberation (moksa) by love, Kamsa by fear, Sisupala by hatred, Pandavas by friendship, Yadhavas by attachment, Narada by devotion. The key is thinking and remembering the Lord in love, fear, hate, friendship, attachment, devotion or any one of myriad feelings. The Lord seems to say, "Ignore me at your own peril."
A question was asked of Jung by a Hindu: What gives liberation faster and ends incarnation or rebirth: love of God or hatred? The thrust of the question is that hatred as a stronger emotion makes man think of the hated object more intensely and more often than love would, and that intense and constant hatred of God guarantees liberation (faster) in fewer incarnations than love would. Because God destroys the evil-doers and gives them liberation, the hater of God gets liberated more quickly than a devotee.
This concept of hate (The Conciliator) of God as a liberator is strange to the western mind, but not to the Hindu mind. Hate of God is a sign of of his acceptance in the supremacy of God. Hitler's man-to-man hatred of Jews is pathological and it has no place in the relationship between man and God. According to Hindu precepts of inferno, Hitler fries in hell but is alive so that he suffers pangs of the deep fry. The number of years he would stay in hell and suffer is equal to the aggregate number of hairs of all the people he killed. This estimate is based on parallels in Hinduism. His bad Karma has put him there. He did escape man's justice but his Karma, long on memory, pursues him all the time, dispensing justice.
Afterlife; birth, death and rebirth; liberation are important part of Hindu theology. Karma is the chain-link in life before and after birth. Once the karmic chain is broken the soul is liberated for ever to merge with God. In Judaism, history forced the Hebrews to accept the concept that the deferred justice has to bear fruit at least in another world. Afterlife is a world of reward and punishment for the Hebrews. Before the Exile, innocence lived comfortably in the Hebrew psyche of here and now and this-world. Afterlife was out of question then. After the exilic shock and hardships, a concept of a world of good and a world of evil took birth in the mind of Hebrews. All good is on the side of Yahweh and all evil on the side of principle of evil. This explained the exile, hardships, duality, polarity, and opposites of the world. In Hindu religion good and evil are as old as creation, because the gods and demons are half brothers.
Sheol, kareit, Olam Ha-Ba, Gan Eden, Gehinnom....
Sheol is the first place to go to after death; it may the way station to other places or a final destination before the souls disappear. Sins bear fruit of spiritual excision (kareit) from his people in afterlife, which was devised to address the question of bad people going unpunished and the virtuous going unrewarded. While the evil ones are excised from their virtuous near and dear, the virtuous ones join the other virtuous. The virtuous go to a place similar to Christian heaven. They may undergo many incarnations or wait there until resurrection at the coming of messiah. Reincarnation is considered a virtue in Judaism, while it is not necessarily so in Hindu religion. Good or bad karma is the cause of reincarnation; the bliss state is null karma when the soul finds liberation from cycle of births and deaths and merges with God. God is the home base for the soul; birth of a soul in a body on earth is a karmic event. Judaism believes that some souls want to return to the earth to complete their unfinished business. Virtuous people (Spiritually virtuous) do descend to earth at the specific command of God, according to Hindus. Judaism: The wicked people by their acts create demons of equal or more wickedness and suffer at their hands and eventually their souls are destroyed. Hindu belief is that the individual soul and the Greater Soul (God) are indestructible and eternal. Sadducees did not believe in afterlife and coming of the Messiah.
Olam Ha-Ba, the World to come, is part after-life and part resurrection of the virtuous dead, who come to enjoy a perfect world, while their counterparts lay dead. The good ones come back to earth again and again to perform tikkum olam, mending of the world. Every Jewish soul at one time or more has touched the soil of Sinai and agreed to abide by the covenant. The righteous of all nations and people can earn a place in Olam ha-Ba; that is a very commendable generosity of the Jewish faith to the world. The very virtuous go straight to the place of spiritual perfection, Gan Eden (the Garden of Eden), not the
and Eve. Others go to Gehinnom or Sheol for punishment and or purification for a period of up to 12 months and thereafter proceed to Olam Ha-Ba. Gehinnom may be the Jewish equivalent of Christian Hell. The most wicked souls undergo destruction at the end of 12 months or may live a life of remorse for ever. Gardenof Adam
Eschatology and Apocalypticism
At the end of time, good and evil fight and good prevails over evil and unrighteousness. The Hindu view is that Time has no end; it has no beginning, middle or end on its own merit; it is an endless cycle; it will go on after this universe comes to an end. There are other universes keeping Time; there are countless universes more than the number of all sand grains on all the seashores. The One that is superior to Time and has the Time in Him is Brahman, who manifests as Vishnu or Siva. This universe in a constant state of flex. To read more about Time, dissolution and creation go to BG Chapter 8 Brahman The Imperishable.
Deliverer or messiah is he who delivers Hebrews, and protects the precepts and tenets of Jewish faith. There is no one messiah as such in Hindu religion. Incarnations are known. They serve the same purpose.
Fathered at age
After progeny, life in years
Died at age
Others: sons & daughters
Ham and Japheth
Shem was a contemporary of Abraham, nine generations down the line.
Isaac, the son of Abraham, was to become the holocaust to God. It was a common practice then to offer human sacrifice to God. Isaac knew and accepted the sacrifice; at the last moment, the holocaust was stopped by an angel dispatched by God and Isaac was released from the binding to the altar (Akeidah). God prompted Abraham to sacrifice Isaac and promptly stopped it at the nick of time, having tested his devotion and obedience to God.
Human sacrifices were common in other countries even until recently to appease gods and goblins. Human sacrifice to Kali was stopped a few decades ago in India. Animal sacrifice continues to this day.
Isaac had two sons, fraternal twins, Jacob (Ya'akov) and Esau by his wife Rebecca (Rivka). Jacob, the favorite of Rebecca, was spiritually oriented and Esau, the favorite of his father, was a hunter. Jacob left home to live with his uncle, married the sisters Leah and Rachel and their maids Bilhah and Zilphah and fathered 12 sons and one daughter. After an interlude of many years, Jacob went to see Esau and on the way was waylaid by a man who turned out to be an angel (that is the face of God), who gave him the name Israel (Yisrael), the one who wrestled with God and prevailed. God disabled his thigh by touching the hollow of his thigh in order to put him at a disadvantage and terminate the fight. Since then the Jewish people are known as children of Israel, who claim lineage from Jacob. Easu received his brother with open arms.
Jacob was born holding on to the heel of Esau, the first of the twin, and thus was named so. Jacob fell in love the Rachel, whose father, Laban made Jacob work for him for seven years before he would agree for marriage. And yet fate would have it that Laban stealthily gave Leah as Jacob's bride. He had to work another seven years before he married Rachel.
Joseph was one of the 12 children of Jacob who was the father of two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim. Joseph was a religious man and received visions from God, which made his older brothers jealous, sell Joseph into slavery, and lie to their father that he was dead. The slave made his way to the Egyptian court of the Pharaoh for his ability to interpret visions.
The details are as follows:
Gen 37. Joseph the 11th son of Jacob was the darling of Israel (Jacob) because he was the son of his old age; that made other brothers jealous of him. Joseph had two dreams: 1. the sheaves of his brothers bowed down to the upright sheaf of his. 2. the sun, the moon and the eleven stars bowed down to him (Joseph). All the brothers were upset about the presumed dominion of Joseph over them; his upset father rebuked him. The brothers were grazing the sheep. Jacob sent Joseph to find out how the flock and his brothers were doing on the grazing fields. The bothers saw him coming towards them and decided to kill the "dreamer." They wondered what would come of his dreams after his death. Reuben was against any violence to his brother and asked them to cast him in a pit in the wilderness. They stripped him and cast him in a pit. No sooner than they sat down to eat, they saw Ishmaelites to whom they sold Joseph on the recommendation of Judah for 20 shekels of silver, after the bothers pulled him out of the pit. Judah said he found no profit in killing Joseph. Joseph was seventeen years of age then. The traders took him to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard. Reuben, unknowing of selling of Joseph into slavery, found the pit empty. They tore, dipped his clothes into sheep's blood, and produced them as evidence of Joseph being devoured by a wild beast.
Joseph was working in the kitchen of Pharaoh under the supervision of Potiphar, whose wife tried to seduce him, turned around and slandered him. Potiphar put him in jail. Soon he became a model prisoner and put in charge of other prisoners and the kitchen staff of pharaoh. The butler and baker had dreams which Jacob interpreted: Butler would get his job back and the baker would meet his death on the order of Pharaoh. His predictions came true three days later. A few years later he interpreted the dreams of the Pharaoh and prevented famine by accumulating grains during the first seven years of plenty for the next seven years of famine. Pharaoh gave Joseph his ring, gave him an Egyptian name, Zaphenath-paneah, elevated him to the post of the Prime Minister and arranged his marriage to Asenath, meaning "gift of the sun-god", daughter of Potipherah, the priest. Asenath was the mother of Manasseh and Ephraim.
Famine struck Canaan and Jacob sent his 10 oldest sons to Egypt to obtain food. They ended up in the presence of Joseph who pretended not to know them, heard their story and told them that they have to bring Benjamin to prove what they were telling was true. Jacob refused to send Benajamin to Egypt. The grains were depleted and famine struck; Jacob consented to sending Benjamin in the custody of Judah. The brothers came to Egypt, still not knowing that Joseph was their once enslaved brother. Joseph recognized Benjamin and was happy to see him. He gave them grains, asked a servant to stuff in Benjamin's bag a silver goblet, and sent them back home. Benjamin was caught with the alleged loot, which was really a gift. They were brought back and Joseph said that he would accept Benjamin as his slave for "stealing" the silver goblet. Judah pleaded with Joseph that he promised his father Jacob to bring Benjamin back to Canaan. Joseph sent his servants away and told his brothers that he was their brother, Joseph.
Joseph and Pharaoh agreed to receive Jacob and his family to Egypt and house them in the town of Goshen. Upon their return to Canaan, Jacob did not at first believe that Joseph was alive and well. Having been convinced by the riches and wagons sent by Joseph, he set out to Egypt at age 130 with a retinue of 70 family members to escape the famine. Since they were shepherds, the Pharaoh put them in charge of livestock and housed them in Rameses.
The famine continued and the grains ran out. Jacob family gave their animals in exchange for grains. They ran out of livestock. The Pharaoh and Joseph nationalized all arable lands, gave the farmers seeds and ordered them to give the pharaoh one-fifth of their crops.
Jacob died and according to his wish he was embalmed and buried in the cave of Machpelah, probably in the ancient city of Hebron, where Abraham, Sarah, Rebekah, Isaac, Jacob, and Leah were buried.
Joseph accompanied his brothers to Canaan for the burial with a many Egyptian dignitaries. The brothers were afraid that Joseph would seek revenge for having been sold a slave. Joseph told that it was God's will and that he would not harm them. They all lived in Egypt. Joseph lived for 110 years and received a promise from his brothers that his bones would be taken to the promised land.
(When the Jews left Egypt, Moses took Joseph's bones for burial in Shechem. Joseph's two sons were the tribes of Israel and the northern Israelite kingdom went by the name of House of Joseph.)
Joseph and his extended family thrived in Egypt along with other Jews in Goshen. After the death of Joseph, their luck ran out and the period of affliction started. They multiplied in numbers, which made the Egyptians worry and despise them. The rule of Egypt changed hands to a new king, Seti, who did not know Joseph and wanted to oppress them and thereby reduce their numbers. They were rendered into slavery and began building cities, temples and palaces. Hardship and slavery did not deter the Israelites who multiplied and grew. Continued with Moses.
The king entered into a compact with the midwives that the latter would kill all male Israelite newborns. The midwives in their long tradition of good secular service did not honor their compact with the king. The Jews proliferated beyond expectations. The king declared an edict to the public to cast all Hebrew male children into the river. This brought alarm to a particular Hebrew family, the Kohathites with wife Jochebed and two children Miriam, 15 and Aaron 3 living in Memphis, the Capital City. When the edict was in effect a male child was born of the Kohathites in 1571 BCE. Jochebed made an ark of bullrush, put the three month old and floated him in the river at a spot commonly used by the princess for bathing. The princess saw the crying child floating by the river bank, called Miriam to bring her maid Jochebed and ordered her to nurse the child for a fee. The plan worked and the child stayed in the family. Thus the child named Moses was thus brought into the loving hands of his own mother.
Once weaning took place, the child was taken into the palace as the adopted son of the princess with his biological mother still caring for him. He was learned in "all the wisdom of Egyptians." He spent his adult life as a military General and his fame skyrocketed when he earned a brilliant victory over Ethiopia. Moses killed an Egyptian who abused an Israelite. Jews did not realize his worth and potential. The killing of Egyptian reaching the ears of Pharaoh (Rameses II) who wanted to kill Moses for his act, precipitated his fleeing to Midian (southern part of the peninsula of Sinai) where he lived like a foreigner, settled down and had two sons.
Moses married Zipporah, the daughter of the priest of Midian and had one son, Gershom. Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, near the mountain of Horeb and witnessed a burning bush and yet the flames did not consume the bush. When he approached to investigate this anomaly, God called out to Him from inside the Bush and told him that he commissioned as the leader of Israelites and he should rescue the children of Israel from Pharoah's oppression and take them out of Egypt in the name of God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. God told Moses that the king of Egypt would let go of the Hebrews because of the pressure He would exert on the king and the wonders he would perform. He further advised Moses to let the women gather as much riches as possible from the Egyptians and leave for the land of Canaan. In order to convince Moses that He is with him all the way, God morphed the staff into a snake from which Moses ran. God advised him to pick up the snake by the tail, which he did and it turned into a staff. On his way to the king, Moses met with Aaron and the elders of Israel. The king would not "let my people go." The divine anger sends ten plagues upon Egypt. The king relents and let the Israelites leave Egypt. They cross the Sea of Reeds when the waters part. The pursuing Egyptian army suffers death by the engulfing sea. Moses composes a song praising the Lord and the rescue of Israelites (Ex 15). His family joins him in the wilderness. With his father-in-law serving as his advisor, Moses instituted a system of government. Moses goes up Mount Sinai, comes down with Ten Commandments, the five Books and the Oral Law and finds out that his people were participating in orgy and worshipping the Golden Calf. He admonished them for it.
Shiva Assar be-Tammuz (the Fast of the Seventeenth of Tammuz) is a minor fast on the 17th of Tammuz (June-July) commemorating the Five Catastrophes that happened on that day: 1. Moses broke the Tablets, 2. the suspension of Tamid, 3. the walls of Jerusalem suffered breaching by enemies of Israel 4. Apostomos burns Torah, 5. He constructs an idol in the sanctuary.
1. Moses broke the Tablets (Ten commandments) upon returning from epiphany on Mount Sinai and seeing the worship of Golden Calf by the Israelites.
2. The suspension of Tamid (Perpetual offering) from the time of breakage of the Tablets. This reminds me of the Tantrics who offer meat, fish, grains and wine with incense to their Ishtadevata (god of their liking).
Exodus 29:38-46: 38"This is what you are to offer on the altar regularly each day: two lambs a year old. 39Offer one in the morning and the other at twilight. 40With the first lamb offer a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a quarter of a hin of oil from pressed olives, and a quarter of a hin of wine as a drink offering. 41Sacrifice the other lamb at twilight with the same grain offering and its drink offering as in the morning—a pleasing aroma, an offering made to the LORD by fire. (ephah = a bushel; hin = 1 1/2 gallon = 5.7 liters.
42"For the generations to come this burnt offering is to be made regularly at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting before the LORD. There I will meet you and speak to you; 43there also I will meet with the Israelites, and the place will be consecrated by my glory.
44"So I will consecrate the Tent of Meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. 45Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. 46They will know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.
In the time of sacrificial practice of the First and Second Temples, two lambs were offered one in the morning and one in the afternoon with flour, oil, wine and incense of pleasing aroma at the altar of the Tabernacle. God says, "there I will meet you and speak to you; there also I will meet with the Israelites, and the place will be consecrated by my glory." Now the sacrificial worship is replaced with Shacharit and Mincha (Minhah). Maariv has nothing to do with the ancient practice and is a later addition.
Nowadays, a public service is held if there is a quorum of ten adults (minyan) in the synagogue. Ten is an auspicious number because Moses sent ten spies to scout Canaan. Jews worship three times a day at home or in the synagogue just like observant Hindus do Sandhyavandhanam three times a day. Abraham mandated three daily prayers: Shacharit, Mincha (Minhah), and Maariv (little morning; mincha = gift, afternoon; and evening).
Psalms 55:16 But I call to God, and the LORD saves me. 17 Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. 18 He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me.
Sandya (junctional [transitional time zones] prayers—sunrise, and sunset) is performed three times a day. A simple Sandhyavandanam Pranayama is performed as follows: block the right nostril by the right thumb, breathe in with the left nostril for the duration it takes to mentally say the Gayatri. Block both nostrils, hold the breath and say the Gayatri; breathe out through the right nostril as you block the left nostril for the duration it takes to chant 24-syllable Gayatri.
Om Bhur Bhuvah Suvah =
Om, world, atmosphere and heaven (Vyahrtis)
Line one: Tat Savitur Vareniyam = THAT Light (sun) adore
Tat Sa vi tur Va re ni yam = 8 syllables
Second line: Bhargo Devasya Dhīmahi = Splendor divine meditate
Bhar go De va sya Dhī ma hi = 8 syllables
Third line: Dhiyo yonah pracodayāt = Intelligence who our inspires
Om , earth, atmosphere, and heaven,
We meditate on the adorable glory of the radiant sun;
May he inspire our intelligence.
The presiding deity of deities, Gayatri is Supreme Brahman (Paramatma), Devi, Vishnu, the Sun, or Saguna Brahman. It is suitable for all asramas. The seven Rishis, Visvamitra, Jamadagni, Bharadvaja, Gautama, Atri, Vasistha, and Kasyapa are the seers of the seven rhythms or vyāhrtis. Vyahrtis: mystic utterances. In relation to Gayatri, Bhur, Bhuvah and Svah (earth, atmosphere, and heaven--the cosmic space between the sun and the polar star.) are three of the seven Vyahritis or Lokas (worlds) of the cosmos. (The Vyahritis are Bhur, Bhuvah, Svah, Mahar, Janar, Tapar and Satya.) The presiding lesser deities are Agni (Fire god), Vayu (Wind god), Savitr (sun god), Brhaspati (the celestial Guru), Varuna (the god of waters), Indra (the chief of gods), and Visva deva (the Cosmic Deity). The seven lines in the following invocation depict the seven worlds and planes of existence with their respective presiding deities, all of whom are under one Supreme Diety, the Cosmic Purusa. The deities are invoked to help us attain the higher spiritual worlds in their domain and realization.
3. The breaching of the walls of Jerusalem by the Romans and the destruction of the Second Temple.
There are numerous episodes of destruction of Hindu temples by Muslim invaders.
The First Temple was destroyed by Babylonians and were exiled to Babylonia where they could not follow the sacrificial rituals. The Second Temple was built 70 years later and the sacrificial rituals and prayers were put back in place. The Romans destroyed the Second Temple in 70 CE. The priests dismissed the Service of the Altar and instituted the Service of the Heart (prayers). Gradual evolution took place and the synagogue became a place for prayer, assembly and study (Bet Tefila, Knesset, and Midrash). The Holy Ark (Aron Kodesh) is the centerpiece and the spiritual heart of the Synagogue and is placed along its eastern wall. Parochet (Curtain) hangs in front of it.
Exo 40:17So the tabernacle was set up on the first day of the first month in the second year. 18When Moses set up the tabernacle, he put the bases in place, erected the frames, inserted the crossbars and set up the posts. 19Then he spread the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering over the tent, as the LORD commanded him.
20He took the Testimony and placed it in the ark, attached the poles to the ark and put the atonement cover over it. 21Then he brought the ark into the tabernacle and hung the shielding curtain and shielded the ark of the Testimony, as the LORD commanded him.
22Moses placed the table in the Tent of Meeting on the north side of the tabernacle outside the curtain 23and set out the bread on it before the LORD, as the LORD commanded him.
24He placed the lampstand in the Tent of Meeting opposite the table on the south side of the tabernacle 25and set up the lamps before the LORD, as the LORD commanded him.
26Moses placed the gold altar in the Tent of Meeting in front of the curtain 27and burned fragrant incense on it, as the LORD commanded him. 28Then he put up the curtain at the entrance to the tabernacle.
29He set the altar of burnt offering near the entrance to the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, and offered on it burnt offerings and grain offerings, as the LORD commanded him.
The Synagogue has more than one Torah in the Ark. The Menora, the centerpiece of the Tabernacle had seven branches in the Original Two Temples. Once they were destroyed number seven was retired permanently. Any number other than seven is acceptable now. Ner Tamid (the Eternal Light) overhangs the Ark. The ninth candle of the Temple Menorah, the Shamash is in the very center and slightly above the rest and serves as the eternal Light and the Light of lights.
4. The fourth occurrence was the burning of the Torah by Apostomos, one of the ministers of Rome.
Jewish people regard the breaking of the Tablets and the burning of the Torah are two sides of the coin of spiritual destruction. The suspension of the daily sacrifice and the installation of idol in the Temple are the twin cognate catastrophes against the worship of one Monistic God.
Commemoration of these events is a resolve to repair what went wrong with the Jewish tradition and restore faith to its pristine state. The body, heart, mind and soul of Jews turn to Israel, Jerusalem, the Temple, and Holy of the Holies.
5. Apostomos builds and installs an idol in the Temple.
The other Fives are as follows:
On the 9th of Av:
1) God of Abraham told Moses that the ancestors of Israel would not be allowed to enter Promised Land for breaching the faith and word of God by Moses.
2) The 1st Mikdash was destroyed
3) The 2nd Mikdash was destroyed
4) Beitar was conquered
5) The city was plowed under
The sin of Moses
Once the people were running out of water and blamed Moses for bringing them to the desert where there was no water for them and the livestock. There were no grain, figs, grapevines or pomegranates. After hearing an earful of complaints, Moses and Aaron fell face down. God appeared to them and said to Moses to gather all the people, take the staff, and speak to the rock before their eyes and water would gush out of the rocks for the people and the livestock.
He took his stick and instead talking to the rock to yield water, struck it twice bringing a gush of water. God was angry that he smote the rock instead of talking to it to give the water. That was the reason why angry God did not allow Moses and the community to enter Israel. There are several purported reasons for the anger of God. Moses performed the miracle as if it was his own miracle; but it would not have been a miracle if it were not for God. By striking the rock Moses showed anger and a lack of faith, a sin by itself. Twelve Israeli spies came back from Canaan and ten of them except Caleb and Joshua reported that the Hebrews would not be able to conquer Canaan. Moses and Aaron were very disheartened and had doubts on the world of God. Caleb and Joshua said otherwise and spoke words of encouragement to the Israelites. That was the reason why God said only Caleb and Joshua would enter the promised land and not others. This lack of faith in the word of God and the sending of the spies in Canaan for forty days for scouting drew the ire of God who made the Israelites spend 40 years in the wilderness.
Genesis: Beginning of the world, man, the Hebrew nation and Israelite settlement in Egypt. The fathers of Israel form an
Num 14:33Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies
lies in the desert. 34For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know
what it is like to have me against you.’ 35I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community,
which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this desert; here they will die."
Moses dies at age 120 in 2488 BCE.
God said to Moses, "Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land
I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. 50There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be gathered to your
people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. 51This is because both of you broke faith with me in the
presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the
Israelites. 52Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel." DEU 32.
Miriam also died before reaching the promised land.
The origin of Yahweh
This two-syllable word are Egyptian as the name Moses is. Yahweh = Yah + weh = The Moon + Renewal.
Yah refers to the Moon Deity as in Hinduism SOMA is identified with the Moon. Renewal is characteristic of the Moon because it appears again
on the third day of absence. People die and never return, while Moon alone reappears. The ancients in Egypt named their God neter meaning
perpetual renewal. Neter is a Being
who has the power and ability to create objects in a cyclical fashion.
Yahweh = Yah + weh = The soul (the self, the One, the ego) + Renewal.
The Hebrew texts in Old Testament identify God by the terms Elohim and El Shaddai (God Almighty).
Renewal cycles in Hinduism
Hinduism talks in terms of Kalpas and Kalpal cycles. Below is a sample of Kalpas. Brahma is the creator of the universe and beings under the
direction of Vishnu.
Brahma lives and dies, while Vishnu lives for ever in perpetuity.
When Brahma dies another Brahma is created by Vishnu to run the show for 311.04 trillion years in human time frame. Brahma is the creator;
Vishnu is the
preserver; Siva is the destroyer; all three are essential to complete the cycle.
Table: The Kalpas
4,320,000,000 (4.32 Billion)
Day and Night
8,640,000,000 (8.64 Billion)
259,200,000,000 (259.2 Billion)
3,110,400,000,000 (3.1104 Trillion)
311,040,000,000,000 (311.04 Trillion)
According to this calendar, Brahma is past middle age now.
Bhagavad-Gita forms the core of Hindu religion in the form of sacred songs of Lord Krishna. Tantrics (those who
Ganapatiyas, and Vaishnavas; they are the worshippers of Devi, Siva, Sun, and Ganapati (or Ganesa), and Vishnu. Adi-Sankara
saw innumerable cults on the Hindu religious landscape. He brought them under six categories mentioned above. All these gods
are manifestations of one single entity known as Brahman, who has no attributes, and generally called IT or THAT.
The Pentateuch (five scrolls) is the five books of Moses, known as the Law or Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus,
Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Pentateuch was put to text over a long period of time.
important part of Genesis, ranging from Abram, Isaac, his twin sons Esau and Jacob and Joseph. Evil followed with no respite even after the flood. God chose Abram and entered into a covenant with him with rights, obligations and privileges. Abram underwent ten tests to check his mettle. One was to leave home in exchange for a great nation, blessings, and protection
from curses. He moved with Sarai and Lot his nephew from Haran, to Canaan (passed through Shechem) to Negeb. He built altars on his way to the Lord who promised him Canaan. Soon there was famine; Abram took his wife to Egypt. He feared for his life because the Egyptians would kill him and let his beautiful wife stay alive. Abram asked her to tell the Egyptians that she was his sister. The Egyptians took the beautiful "sister" to the Pharaoh, who took Sarai as his wife. They both managed to live in Egypt by this arrangement. Abram received sheep, oxen, donkeys, slaves and camels in exchange for his "sister" to the Pharaoh. Because of Pharaoh's dalliance with Sarai, God sent plague to Pharaoh. Having found out Abram and Sarai's arrangement, Pharaoh sent away both with their belongings. They were back in Negeb; soon Lot goes his way because of conflict between their herders. Abraham settled in Canaan and Lot in Sodom. Lot was taken captive; Abram rescues him and makes peace with the King of Sodom.
God appeared in his vision and said that for four generations his offspring would live in
and later God would give them a Egypt
land from the
to the Riverof Egypt . Abram was childless and on persuasion from Sarai, he had Ishmael through riverof Euphrates
Hagar, Sarai's maid. Abram was 86 year old proud father of his first son Ishmael.
A well-known Sudra of Mahabharata was Vidura, born of Vyasadeva and a palace maid and was known to have mastered
Brahma-knowledge. There were several instances of such apparently profligate liaisons in Hinduism conducted by gods and men
When Abram was 99 years of age, God appeared to him and said that he would make him fruitful and that he and his offspring
would enter into a covenant by which he (God) would offer all the land of Canaan for permanent ownership and that he would be
their God. The conditions of covenant are Circumcision of all males in the household at eight days of age, 90 year old Sarai
would be renamed Sarah who will become the mother of future kings, he would be renamed Abraham, Ishmael would become
the father of 12 princes with nation, and Isaac would be born next year. All the males in the household including the sons of slaves
were circumcised; Abraham was included.
When God appeared in front of Abraham, he offered water to wash his feet, milk, curd and meat to eat. This ceremonial
ablutions and offering of food are very common rituals performed in Hindu homes and temples. The Lord said that Sarah would
bear a child by the next corresponding season. Sarah could not suppress her laugh at this suggestion. Sarah gave birth right on
time and the child was circumcised and named Isaac. When he was playing with Ishmael, Sara could not bear the sight of a slave
boy playing with Isaac. Her main worry was Isaac sharing the inheritance with the slave-son Ishmael. Upon pressure from Sarah,
Abraham cast his maid Hager and their son Ishmael away into the wilderness of Beth-sheba with a piece of bread and water.
When the supplies ran out, she put her son under a bush and sat a bow shot away from and facing him. Hager and Ishmael were
crying and in tears. The angels heard and immediately Hagar saw a well of water; she filled her container with the water and gave
it to her son. This might be another episode in Jewish and Muslim history that may have cast animosity between Jews and
Muslims. It is a continuing pain for Jews and Muslims that they are still fighting over their inheritance. He grew up in the wilderness
of Paran to be an expert bowman and his mother arranged marriage with a girl from Egypt. The Great God of the Jews kept his
word with Sara and Abraham and did help Hagar and Ishmael.
Mahabharata and Ramayana: In a game of dice, the Pandavas lost, and were sent into the wilderness for many years by
their cousins, the Kurus. Rama was sent into the wilderness because his step mother wanted her son to be the king. Humanity is
the same all over the world; the names change but the drama remains the same.
God ordered Abraham to offer his precious son as holocaust (burnt offering). Abraham tied him to the firewood and was
about to plunge his knife into him, God yelled out to stop the sacrifice. Abraham instead offered a ram from nearby as the holocaust.
Sarah died at age 127 near today's Hebron in Canaan. Abraham paid Ephron, a Hittite 400 shekels of silver to bury his wife in a
cave of Mechpelah. Infanticide was common during the life and times of Abraham. God to express his disapproval of infanticide
as sacrifice to Pagan Gods put Abraham through the paces and stop it at the nick of time. Isaac married Rebekah with providential help.
Rebekah means to bind. She accepted to bind herself to Isaac who was once bound to the wood on the altar for holocaust
sacrifice. Abraham married again to Keturah and had Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.
Abraham had concubines whose sons, he dispatched to East Country out of Isaac's land. Abraham died at age 175 and Ishmael
and Isaac meet and bury their father in the cave of Machpelah besides Sarah.
What does God look like?
Judaism is of the belief that God created man in his image. Brahman, being IT or That, can morph into any being. Vishnu took
avatars as Fish, Boar, Tortoise, and Chimera (man-Lion, Nara-Simha). It is hard to imagine that God has only anthropomorphic
features. God having immeasurable capabilities can morph into anything he wants or occasion demands.
Man, his soul and its passage
Every soul takes a birth in a body from inorganic entities to the highest earthly human being 8,400,000 times. One, then, would
consider that human body is the most difficult to come by. It is mind-boggling to think that we as human beings have gone through
possibly around 8.4 million births before we got to this stage. This is the evolution of the soul from the lowliest of 8,400,000
organisms to the highest--human. Devas are intermediate between Isvara, the inner controller and human beings. Gods and
goddesses take birth among humans: Avatars, Parvati and the rest. Our birth history:
Inorganic births: 3 million births (30 lakhs, 1 lakh = 100,000)
wrigglers (worms): 1 million births (10 lakhs)
Birds: 1.1 million births (11 lakhs)
Beasts: 2.4 million births (24 lakhs)
Human beings: 400,000 births ( 4 lakhs)
Anal man, Genital man, Thinking man, Sattvic man,
Intuitional man and the Yogi. Yogi is man with godly
qualities and when he dies he becomes a god, a status
above human being and yet below God or Brahman.
Tantra recognizes three kinds of men: Pasu, Vira and Divya (animal, Hero, and Divine). Please go to The Saktas.
Adamah (Adam): Genesis 2.7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;
and man became a living soul.
Thus Adam was created from the earth. The Saiva view says that man is made of Tattvas, one of which is earth. TATTVAS-36.
Prana is breath.
Our physical body is made of earth (minerals), water, fire (body heat), air, and ether. The Tattvas (building blocks)
proceed from Siva-Sakti. The Tattvas by themselves cannot become a living person. A fragment of the Lord or his glancing according to
Vaishnavaites is necessary as the quickening fillip. Between the soul and the body, the soul takes the precedence. Body is only a sheath
(Kosa); the eternal soul changes the body as a man
changes his shirt. Once the soul becomes pure it merges with God. Man is lower than angels who in Hinduism are the lesser gods, whose status
the liberated human souls enjoy upon release. When the physical body dies, the ingredients go back to their respective sources. Soul is not the
exclusive property of man; it is in all fauna and flora including inanimate objects. This concept is in opposition to Judeo-Christian belief that
only man has soul. God's body is mountain, river, man, animals and everything else. Therefore, all products have souls. Did you try to show
an anatomical soul to a non-believer? The soul is in every atom. Inanimate objects and animals do not have the same kind of sentience that
man has; that does not preclude the existence of soul in others.
In Hinduism, Nandisvara, the Bull Mount of Siva is sacred.
Joseph Campbell explains the meaning of Bull, Moon, snake and sun. In the mythologies of the world, the horns of the moon and
the bull are equated. The celestial moon wanes and dies and waxes and resurrects; the power of life over death shows in the waxing
of the moon. Moonlight gives sap to the plants according to Hindu Myth. The bull represents the conquest of life over death. Students
of Siva and Nandi (Bull) say that the Bull is the theriomorphic form of Lord Siva. Snake has the same power of life over death in that
death comes in the form of slough and life comes when the snakes emerges from the slough; thus the bull and the moon and the snake
are equated. Its amphibious life in water and on earth indicates its ease of movement; its flicking tongue is fire and heat; the earth and
water, its habitat, are essential elements in life, providing nourishment.
Clean body (apart from mind and soul) is very essential in Hinduism and Judaism before worship of the God. For
Tantrics, purification is an elaborate affair.
Sequence of events in worship and prayer
Sanctification by Mantra "acupressure"
Sanctification by deifying body parts
Pujari, the surrogate of Goddess (or Siva)
Consecration of sacraments, vessels and worship site
Water for ritual ablution of feet of the deity
Water for Acamana (Sipping while uttering certain mantras a little water three times from the palm of the right hand.)
Worshipping the conch with flowers
Worship of pots and water, bull, door,
Worship of Ganesa, the dispenser and remover of obstacles, and other gods.
Bathing of the Goddess, (Linga or Ishta-devata)
Hillel, Palestinian rabbi, president of the Sanhedrin and interpreter of Biblical law, first to formulate definitive hermeneutic
principles, the first Century sage and scholar is a strong believer of external and internal purity.
The centrifugal and centripetal force
Creation and evolution is a centrifugal force, by which man, matter and universe are created. This force takes man away
from God. Man is put on earth for the ripening of soul and shedding of Malas (impurities of the soul); later Grace descends
on the soul with the advent of spiritual knowledge. Once this happens, a centripetal force takes the soul to God; that is
known as involution or Oddukkam. Evolution and involution purify and later integrate the soul with God. Go to TANTRA
for more details. There is agreement between Hinduism and Judaism on the score that body and soul are to be kept pure.
Amsa, the Fragment in all of us
Amsa, a fragment of the Lord is in each one of us; that is the considered view of Judaism. Hindus call IT Paramatman
(Supreme Atman or Soul with a BIG S; we are the souls, with a small s). Both Isms believe in the eternity of the Soul and
Since we have only an Amsa of Bhagavan (Lord) incorporated in the body and soul, we are limited by the size of that
fragment. It is simply foolish to assume that we have the intelligence of God; not even lesser gods can be equal to him.
Tat Tvam Asi = THAT THOU ART. Ramanuja interprets Tat Tvam Asi in the following manner: Tat is Isvara, who resides in
the Universe. Tvam is the same Isvara who is immanent in Jiva and so He resides in all the Jivas who are His body too.
R's Isvara permeates the universe and the Jivas. And they are His body. This is the central theme- Sarira - Sariri
( Body-Soul). The relation between the prakara and Isvara. Isvara never suffers from karma. It is the Jivas who suffer from
Karma. Karma originates from Prakriti. And yet Isvara is free from it. It is like the heat from the sun. Heat originates from
the sun, but yet the sun doesn't enjoy or suffer from the heat. So all so Isvara doesn't suffer from karma. In Sankara's
monistic view, Tat Tvam Asi promises our likeness to God, oneness with Him, and eventual merger when you attain Brahma
Jnana (Spiritual wisdom).
Adam And Eve (Chavah): Who came first?
Judeo-Christian view on this is,
"Whilst Adam slept, Eve from his side arose:
Strange his first sleep should be his last repost."
Students of Hinduism (Saktas) regard the Sanctum Sanctorum as the Womb of the universe (Garbha Graham) and the
passage that exits from the Sanctum is analogous to birth passage. The whole universe proceeds from the Womb and
passage. This is especially true in the portrayal of Mother Goddess. Hebrew Chavah is the Mother of all living things,
(which must include animals, birds, bees, worms, ameba. The Hebrew Rechem is the Hinduism's Grabhagraha. The
derivative world, Rechamim connotes kindness.
The following piece is not intended to assault anybody's belief system. It makes you think that analysis is the basis of
Tantrics and Saktas, who do not want anyone to accept anything including God on face value.
In the western primitive thought when there was no concept of biology, man always thought that woman possessed a
magical autonomous ability to give birth to a live infant without any contribution from the partner. Seminal ideas about
human reproductive biology and man's contribution to fertilization came very much later, though the primitive man did
not stop and think about the utility of his effusion. He deified the female for surviving every lunar blood loss. Parturition
and surviving the monthly hemorrhage were reason enough to call her the Cosmic Being who also had more geometric
features than he had. He drew in caves geometric forms to glorify the female. Ancient Indians thought the coming together
of red blood (Red Bindu) and vital fluid (White Bindu) formed the fetus. He drew diagrams in the deification of the Female
became the Mandalas glorifying the goddess. The Mandala specifically emphasizes the union of Siva and India
Sakti in triangles. The female pudendum and escutcheon are the inverted triangle representing the Great Goddess, while
the upright triangle became the Purusa or God. The Red Bindu occupies the true center of the overlapping triangles and
the Mandala itself, thereby confirming the overwhelming exclusive right and privilege of the Goddess to bring forth beings
and universe. Science may offer some help here. The Y chromosome is the copy of X chromosome and underwent some
changes and acquired some new genes to be called Y. Thus the Famous X is the Origin of Y; Female is the origin of male.
Eve first, Adam later. When the Y was in the process of transformation, the being was androgynous, half female and half
male. Goddess first, Androgyny second, and God later. Woman first, Androgyny second and man later. To put it in Hindu
belief system: Kali first, Androgynous Nataraja second and Siva later. Androgyny (hermaphrodism) occurs in modern times
in humans as an evolutionary leftover causing distress to the patient. It is like the flower having stamen and pistil (female
part) in the same inflorescence. There is one blue print, variations of which are seen in living things. Another leftover
evolutionary vestige is the tail that some times some infants are born with.
The Jewish proverb, "Without man, man is only half a man, incomplete" is very well thought of in Hinduism and Siva is
portrayed as an androgyne.
The left side is female and right side is male. Take the genotype of man; he is XY, half female and half male. The female is
XX genotype, a complete female.
What determines your birth, life and death?
Karma determines our ancestry, environment, and heredity. Karma as a parallel to genes will help explain it. If none of your
relatives going back generations have blue eyes, it is a virtual certainty that you won't have blue eyes. Inherited blue-eye
genes give blue eyes to you; in like manner, your karmas are heritable as a rider on the soul, which gets the body from
parents, you did not choose; the choice was made by karma. Then where you are born, where you live, study, work and raise
a family are determined by prarabdha karma to a certain extent. Those conscious decisions you make to break out of the
mould has a hand of karma in it, though you think you shaped your future. Thought, word and deed make karma; soul
carries the book of your karma. Your rewards and punishments depend on the merit of your karma, which has an unfailing
memory over many births. Go to BG02.
Being born in this world for most of the people is a ticket to attain liberation; some are born many times. That means
they haven't attained null-karma. Coming to the world for betterment of the world (Tikun olam) is the fortune, privilege and
grace of God. You cannot compare me to Moses, Abraham or Jesus Christ who really made a change for the better in this
world; they were the messengers of God. Most of us are imperfect souls trying to shed our imperfections and karma and
attain liberation. The perfect souls as listed above came because of a mandate from God.
The Tablets and the Decalog (Ten Commandments)
I am the Lord your God who took you out of the Land of Egypt, the house of Bondage.
God's Grace releases the soul from bondage (for union with Him or Her), which is birth and rebirth in this world. Bondage to someone or to some country is bad enough, but bondage birth after birth indicates unresolved karma. Expunging the karma and obtaining salvation are the ultima Thule.
9.13: O Partha, but the great souls (Mahā-Ātma), who are of divine nature (Daiva Prakriti), worship me with the mind fixed only on Me, know Me as the cause of creation, and imperishable.
18.65: Think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me, and offer your obeisance to Me. Certainly you will come to Me. I truly promise to you that you are dear to Me.
You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make unto yourself a graven image, nor any manner of likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is in the earth below or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down unto them nor serve them.
There are no such restrictions. Idols, images and natural outcrops are all sacred. Anything you perceive with your senses or instruments is sacred, because they are all His products and energy. Hindus, as Jews, consider the Tablets sacred, though Tablets are inanimate objects and yet contain God's words. Hindus consider them and the idols as sanctified objects.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
There is agreement here. But God tolerates disparate attitudes towards Him.
In Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavan says,
6.31: Knowing that I exist in all beings, and firmly established in oneness, the yogi, who worships me, will always abide in me completely.
16.18: Dependent on their ego, strength, pride, lust, and anger, these envious and indignant people hate Me residing in their own and others' bodies.
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
The noble idea behind Sabbath is that time is reserved for prayer, meditation, reflection upon God.
Bhagavad Gita states that between action and inaction, He chooses action.
3.22: O Partha, in all three worlds, I have no assigned duty to perform. There is nothing I need to gain that I have not gained before (has not been gained), yet I am engaged in action.
3.23: If I ever do not perform my duties with great care and attention, O Partha, all men would follow my path in all respects.
3.24: If I do not perform my karma, all these worlds will come to ruin. I will be the creator of death, disorder, and destruction of these people.
Honor your father and mother so that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God gives you.
Though some Jewish scholars wonder why the first tablet talks about parents (human beings) since it is dedicated only to the Lord. The answer given is that parents are creators on earth. Hindus do have a opinion on this. Mātā, Pitā, Guru Daivam: Mother, Father, Guru are gods. Among Tantrics and Saktas, human Guru comes first and later the Mother Goddess. Human Guru is God or Goddess in disguise.
You shall not murder.
You shall not murder.
16.19: I cast the cruel haters and the vilest of men again and again into the ocean of Samsāra and the inauspicious and the demonic wombs.
16.20: Fallen into the demonic wombs birth after birth, the foolish never attain me, O Kaunteya, and thereafter go to the lowest state.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not steal.
16.12: Bound by hundreds of fetters of hope, taking refuge in lust and anger, they strive to accumulate illegal wealth for the gratification of their desires.
16.16: Disorientated by many thoughts, (caught up or) tangled up in the net of delusion, and addicted to sense gratification, they fall into unclean naraka (hell).
16.21: Three kinds of hell, the destructive gates of atma (Jeevatma) are lust, anger and greed, and therefore one must give up these three.
16.24: Therefore, let sāstra be your authority in knowing the difference between proper and improper action. Know the declared scriptural precepts and do your work (in this world).
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not bear false witness against anybody.
You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, not his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor's.
Covetousness is considered as sin and disgrace in Hinduism; if the perpetrator escapes punishment, karma will pursue him to the end of the world and beyond to impose justice. If someone steals other's wealth and gives part of it as charity, the merit goes to the victim and not to the donor, according to Hinduism
Siva stood as a Fiery Column. Brahma and Vishnu wondered what it could be. Brahma flew on his bird of flight to find the
top of the column, while Vishnu burrowed into the earth to find the lower end. Both could not find either the top or the bottom.
Vishnu came back exhausted and told Siva that he did not find the lower end of the fiery column. Brahma, not finding the upper
end asked Ketaki flower to bear false witness to his reaching the top. Siva in His divine wisdom found out the lie and sliced off
one of his five heads.
The moral of the story is even the god of creation is not immune from false statements. Charity and zedakah: it is not just giving
but to whom.
God encompasses all qualities of man, nature and beyond, which proceed from him and yet he is above those
qualities. He is like the sun; we feel the heat and see the light and yet he does not suffer from or enjoy them. Where do love and
hate come from? Where do creation and destruction come from?
Where do charity and stinginess come from? They all proceed from God. Man has a choice to pursue the ideal or go against it.
Bhagavadgita, 10.4-5: Intelligence, knowledge, freedom from delusion, patience, truth, self-restraint, calmness, happiness,
sadness, birth, death, fear, fearlessness, and ahimsa (non-violence), equanimity, contentment, austerity, charity, fame and infamy –
these different natures of living beings come from Me only.
Charity is not simply giving but also zedakah (duteous giving) in Hebrew tradition; it is giving from a sense of obligation. Judaism
recommends giving ten percent of one's earnings for the poor.
Duteous Charity (zedakah) has some modifications in Hinduism. Bhagavan in The Bhagavad Gita states,
17.20: Charity given to the deserving, who can make no return, in a proper place and time and to a worthy person, is regarded
as sattvic (virtue and goodness).
17.21: Charity given in return for services rendered, in anticipation of fruits, and unwillingly is regarded as Rajasic (motion and
16.22: Charity given at the wrong place and time to an unworthy person (the undeserving) without respect and with contempt is
said to be Tamasic (darkness, sloth and sluggishness).
Hindu Dharma and Judaism's Law and Order
God demands from a Jew and judges him on the basis of honesty, integrity, Torah study, raising a family, and his contribution to
the redemption of the world. Coming to the world for betterment of the world (Tikun olam) is the fortune, privilege and grace of
In Hinduism, every thought, word, or deed carries a karmic load, good, bad or indifferent. The subtle soul of every human being
carries a chronicle or book of karma. Karma is mostly autonomous and God does not usually interfere with its function and
prosecution. It is law unto itself with an unfailing memory. Bad karma results in the casting of the soul in an evil womb. There are
exceptions. The Bhagavad Gita 9.32: O son of Partha, those who take refuge in me, though they born of women with wombs of
sin, Vaisyas, and also Sudras, attain the supreme goal.
4.21: With no desire, and controlled body, mind and senses, giving up sense of ownership and allowing only bodily functions, he
does not incur any guilt or sin.
A person, who says that this belongs to him and that belongs to him, does not belong to himself: He lost his own ownership,
because the objects he desires own him. If he loses himself or his own ownership, how could it be possible that he owns
something else? A man, who thinks he is a fool but knows this, is wise and a man who thinks he is wise but does not know this
is a fool indeed. For a man who does his dharma, allowing only the bodily functions, there is no bondage and therefore no sin.
The following verses depicts Dharma (righteous conduct) and those who break it accumulate bad karma. Sattva, Rajas, and
Tamas define the man.
Sattva = Virtue and goodness.
Rajas = motion and passion.
Tamas = darkness, sloth and sluggishness.
7.15: The evildoers, the ignorant, and the lowest among men, who are robbed of their knowledge by māyā, are of demonic nature
and do not seek refuge in me.
9.13: O Partha, but the great souls (Mahā-Ātma), who are of divine nature (Daiva Prakriti), worship me with the mind fixed only
on Me, know Me as the cause of creation, and imperishable.
18.20: That knowledge by which "One" Being is seen in all beings as the Imperishable, and the Undivided (in the divided). Know
that knowledge is Sattva.
Rajasic knowledge sees manifold divisions among all creatures due to separate and distinct nature, and diverse condition.
Prthaktvena: due to separateness or distinct nature. Nānā-bhāvan: diverse conditions. Prthakvidhān: manifold divisions or types.
A Rajasic person is the one who sees diversity in unity, due to natural distinction and individuality among living beings. He does
not see the pervasiveness of the Lord or Brahman running through all living beings like a thread running through the beads in a chain.
He notices the differences but does not see the Oneness of Brahman in all living beings.
18.22: That which holds on to a single result as if it were the whole, without rationality and understanding of the Reality, is
insignificant and is said to be the mode of Tamas.
18.23: That action which is performed as duty or obligation, without attachment to its fruits, without love, hatred or desire, is
18.24: The action which is performed with an extraordinary effort and a desire to enjoy the fruits and which is induced by ego is
considered to be Rajasic.
18.25: Work that is undertaken with attachment and delusion, and with disregard to loss, injury and ability, is said to be Tamasic.
18.26: The doer or agent, who is unattached, not egoistic in speech, endowed with determination and enthusiasm, and unaffected
by success or failure, is said to be sattvic.
18.27: The doer, who is passionate and desires fruits of actions, who is greedy, of injurious nature, impure, and subject to joy and
sorrow, is said to be Rajasic.
18.28: The doer who is not devout, uncultivated, obstinate, deceitful, dishonest, lazy, despondent, and procrastinating is said to
18.30: The Buddhi, by which one knows action and non-action (renunciation), what should be done and what should not be done,
fear and fearlessness, bondage and liberation, O Partha, is sattvic. Buddhi = intellect.
18.31: The buddhi, by which it knows imperfectly dharmam and adharmam, what should be done and what should not be done is
Rajasic, O Partha. Dharmam = righteous ness; adharmam = unrighteousness.
18.32: Buddhi, covered by ignorance thinks Adharmam as Dharmam, and perverts all things, O Partha, is Tamasic.
18.33: The unswerving determination, by which one controls and steadies the mind, the life-breaths, and the activities of the senses
by yoga (meditation), O Partha, is sattvic.
18.34: The determination, by which one holds fast to Dharma,
Kāma, and Artha with attachment to desires of fruit O Partha, is
Kāma= desire, sexual love; Artha = wealth.
18.35: The determination by which a fool never gives up (too much) sleep, fear, grief, despondence, and conceit or arrogance,
O Partha, is Tamasic.
The one who desires long sleep is tamasic.
18.38: The happiness, which comes from the contact of objects of senses with the senses, is nectar at the beginning and poison
at the end, and is known as Rajasic.
18.39: That happiness, which deludes the atman in the beginning and at the end and which comes from sleep, laziness, and
negligence, is said to be Tamasic.
18.46: He from whom all beings arise, by whom all this is pervaded. By doing his own duties and worshipping Him, man attains
18.56: While performing all activities all the time, he, who takes refuge in Me, attains the eternal imperishable abode by My grace.
Joseph Campbell on separation of castes and internal segregation within a group, Myths of Light, page 103-104.
Joseph Campbell says, that Hinduism and Judaism are ethnic religions as opposed to creedal religions, Christianity, Buddhism,
and Islam. Creedal religions span across geography and race and are founded by a single persona. By and large the ethnic
religions come under ritual laws, while creedal religions come under ethical laws.
There are Jews who differ with Joseph Campbell. They point to conversions, racially diverse Jews, Jewish laws, deeds, legends,
and ethics. Judaism's faith is rooted in righteous deeds. They assert that their deeds speak louder than the creeds of other
religions: fairness, charity and zedakah, righteous living, righteous speech, righteous business practices, rejecting bribes, turning
deaf ear to infamy, shutting one's eyes against looking at evil, donating food, tending the sick, being a participant in helping the
needy and the distressed instead of being a bystander. They put their money on deeds rather than on promises and belief.
Judaism is of the opinion that God is more concerned about what you DO than what you say. That belief in Jesus Christ leads
to salvation is not accepted by Jews because belief without deserving deeds for salvation is empty; then where is the need for
righteousness in deeds?
Judaism believes that people have the ability to discriminate between right and wrong, good and bad, virtue and vice without
the need for God or creed. And yet we need God. God gave the laws for our own good and not to promote his suzerainty. He
sets the ethical standards by which people live and are judged. What is legal in one country though immoral and unethical is illegal
in another country. What is outright cruelty is tolerated and promoted by the ruling elite. What is right? What is wrong? That is
where God's laws come in.
Gandhi's seven social sins:
1) Politics without principles
2) Wealth without work
3) Pleasure without conscience
4) Knowledge without character
5) Commerce without morality
6) Science without humanity
7) Worship without sacrifice
Laws of Manu has some chukim (Laws whose purposes are not understood and which are regarded as unreasonable) in them.
Find me a religion without chukim and we will all convert. The word Manu is derived from the Sanskrit word 'man,' to think; thus,
man is a thinking animal. He wrote that men are divided into four castes: Brahmanas, the priestly class; Ksatriyas, warrior class;
Vaisyas, agriculturist; and Sudras, the servant for the other three classes.
Krishnasays that men are divided according to their
qualities. Manu's Law so offended Dr. Ambedkar, who is below the four classes of people and was the writer of post-independence
constitution, that he burned the book, Laws of Manu. Jewish dietary Law prohibits eating of pork, not because it carried India
Trichinosis but because that was his commandment; it is supra-rational (beyond reason and rationality) and indisputable. Many
Hindus do not eat any animal product. Prohibition of eating of beef among Hindus is a case in point. Several reasons are given:
1) all its products are used in the worship of God and sacrificial offerings. 2) its pacific nature and utility. 3) the cow and bull
originated from the churning of the
. 4) Surabhi is a cow of plenty; Nandi, the Bull Mount of Siva is the son of Surabhi Milk Ocean
and Kasyapa. 5) Nandini, the cow of plenty, owned by Sage Vasishtha was the daughter of Surabhi.
The rituals, fast and feast
In Hindu religion rituals are important. Agamic rites are practiced daily in temples and homes. The ascetics, the Avadhutas, and
the recluses do not perform Pujas; they transcended from sagunabrahman to Parabrahman. Sagunabrahman is the clinical god in
his many forms and names in the temples and homes; worship is offered to the idols and images with established rites and rituals.
Parabrahman is the nameless, formless and attributeless transcendent God who cannot be contacted by rituals, sacrifices and
ablutions. One has to be a Yogi to transcend the three states of consciousness (awakening, dream sleep and deep sleep) and go
in to Turiya (4th) and Turiyatita (end of the 4th) states of Superconsciousness. In this state, the Yogi literally loses his body
awareness and his mind merges with Brahman so much so that he is not aware of his environment. This reversible union with the
Transcendent God is also known as Samadhi. SAMADHI = abstract meditation; perfect absorption of thought into the Supreme
Spirit, -- the highest and last stage of yoga.
Drinking of wine in moderation every Friday to usher in Sabbath is one of the laws of Judaism. In early Vedic period, the Hindu
priests and gods drank Soma, a hallucinogen and intoxicant. It is a plant juice, whose presumed strength is its ability to preserve
the body and prevent decay and death. No one really knows what it came from. The guess is that it is a mushroom (Amanita
muscaria) and its juice, which induce the experience similar to what is described with regards to Soma. A glass of wine a day
keeps the plaques away and the physical and spiritual heart in good health.
Wine in excess (include Soma too), according to Jewish legend makes the imbiber feel innocent first like a lamb and later strong
like a lion, still later look like pig and eventually behave like a monkey.
Sri Krishna in Bhagavad Gita makes the following statements.
2.42-43: The ignoramuses are immersed in earthly pleasures and think heaven as the supreme goal and argue that there is nothing
else (worth pursuing). They indulge in Vedic sophism and play on words and utter flowery speech that recommend all kinds of
Vedic rites to obtain opulence which only results in karma and rebirth.
When Brahmanism was rampant in
, the religion was centered around rites, rituals, and sacrifices; they have no value in India
obtaining Moksa (liberation or salvation). Hindu Heaven is a way station to onward journey to merge with God or a return back
to the miseries of earth. Merger with God rather than heaven in Hinduism is ultima Thule, which is the true spirit of Monism that
Man and God are one in man's pure state.
3.9: Except for the work done in the spirit (for the sake) of sacrifice (yajna), all other work done in this world is bound by karma.
O Kaunteya - Arjuna, the son of Kunti, you perform your actions without attachment in good faith for the sake of sacrifice.
6.41: Having attained the world of those who performed pious activities and living there for many years, the unrealized or fallen
yogi is born in the house of the ritually pure, the pious and the prosperous.
3.13: The virtuous, who eat what is left after the food was offered in sacrifice, will be released from all sins, but the sinners who prepare food to
sustain their own bodies, eat sin.
6.16: Yoga is not for him, who either eats too much, or eats too little. It is not for him, who either sleeps too much or stays awake too long, O Arjuna.
6.17: Yoga destroys sorrows in a man who is moderate in eating, recreation, sleep and wakefulness, and restrained in action.
7.20: Those, whose wisdom was dispelled by desires, surrender to other gods, and perform various rites, compelled by their own
Genesis: two views
Genesis1:31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Creation proceeded in a methodical fashion according to Hinduism. Creation consists of two parts: Sarga and Visarga. Sarga: Primary creation.
First, all the building elements that cover physical, chemical, psychical elements necessary to make a man, a mountain and everything in between are put in place by
Vishnu. This stage covers all the Laws of the physical and biological universe. Visarga: Secondary creation. Later Brahma goes into action putting all the ingredients
together to create beings or matter.
Bhagavatam contains the views on creation in question-answer sessions.
There are ten features: Sarga, Visarga, Vrrti, Raksā, Manvantra, Vamsas, Vamsānucharita, Samsthā, Hetu, and Apāsraya.
Sarga and Visarga = Genesis. Exodus of the Jews from
has no Parallel in Hindusim, unless you think that the Aryan invasion caused Egypt
the exodus of native Dravidians out of the
Indusvalley. Leviticus is book of instructions of service and sacrifices. It takes after Levi, the Temple
son of Jacob and Leah from one of the twelve tribes of
. Hinduism's Agamas and Nigamas are the Leviticus of Judaism. The Hindu temple Israel
services are based on Mantras, Tantras, and Yantras described in Agamas and Nigamas. Numbers has no equivalent book in Hinduism. Massive
conversion of Hindus by Buddhists and Jains was the wilderness for Hinduism, from which it recovered with the advent of Acharyas, Ramanuja
and Sankara, who reestablished the supremacy of Brahman and Isvara, Vedas and Upanishads. The Acharyas, the Alvars, and the Nayanars gave
the Hinduism's equivalent of Deuteronomy (second law) by their devotional poetry, sacred texts and war of words to defeat the alien religions.
These writings interpreted the ancient sacred Hindu texts.
Sarga is primary elemental creation. Another descriptive name for it is subtle creation. The principal product is Maha-tattva, the Great Principle also
known as Cosmic Intelligence, created by the disturbance in the equilibrium of Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas, the three modes of matter or Prakrti. This
is the first part of the primary creation; the will (Iccha) of the Lord provides the fillip. In all, Mahat, Ahankara, five tanmatras, five gross elements, five
janendriyas, Sattva, Rajas, Tamas, ten presiding deities of five motor and five sensory functions, mind and its presiding deity, moon, and Time make sarga.
These 33 elements form the building blocks for launching the secondary creation (Visarga).
Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas: Virtue and goodness, motion and passion, darkness and sluggishness. Matter and beings have these three qualities in
varying proportions. Fire is hot and thus it has Rajas Guna.
From the Cosmic Intelligence proceeds Aham or ego, the second element, in a downstream fashion. The third is the
evolution of Bhūta sarga (matter). The fourth is the evolution of knowledge and work (Sarga – jnāna and kriya). The
fifth is the appearance of divinities in the mode of Sattva (goodness), and the mind. The sixth is the assertion of
Tamas (darkness) of ego, resulting in abuddhi (lack of judgment).
Visarga: This secondary creation is an act of Brahma under the direction of the Lord of lords, Nārāyana or Vishnu,
who created all the elements and the mind in primary creation. Brahma’s other name is Virat (manifestation) Purusa.
In reality, Virat Purusa is the Lord himself in the form of Brahma. Brahma’s assignment is to assemble the elements
with the help of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, which help the elements undergo combination, recombination, mutation,
and permutation in so many ways that the whole universe appears as many objects and beings. Another name for it
is gross creation. “Internatal” (from birth to birth) Karma clinging to the subtle body is the invisible entity that gives
form, character, and destiny to living beings. Neither Brahma nor the Lord of the lords normally interferes with Karma
or Time, though the Lord of the lords can expunge karma by His grace.
This list covers creation in a linear fashion from the beginning and includes Sarga and Visarga.
The first creation is Mahat, cosmic Intellect from Brahman himself. The second creation is Bhuta sarga, the subtle
elements (Tanmatras). The third creation is Vaikarika sarga (transformational creation). It is also known as
Aindriyaka sarga (creation of sense organs). These three preceding creations are called Prakrta sarga (elemental
natural, or original creation – building blocks). The fourth creation is Mukhya sarga (chief or principal creation).
Insentients and immobile objects belong to this category. The fifth creation is Tiryak-yonasyah or Triyaksrotas.
(Tiryak=oblique, horizontal + yonasyah=womb) = animals. (Tiryak=oblique, horizontal + srotas=canal) = animals,
whose propulsion of nutrients go horizontally or have horizontal canals (intestines). Srotas means canal and therefore,
it is natural to think that they (birds and beasts) have intestines that run parallel to the ground in their standing
position. Some other explanations are offered. They are called Tiryaksrotas, not because their bodies move obliquely
but because their nature is full of ignorance (Ajnabahula) and ego and their ways are wrong. The sixth creation is
Urdhvasrotas, the gods who have canals going up or whose nutrients go upwards. The seventh creation is Arvaksrotas,
the human beings whose flow of nutrients goes downwards. Though the literal meaning says that their canal and
nutrients go downward, another explanation is given: They live below the heaven; they are full of brilliance, but are
contaminated with darkness (Tamas) and stimulated by Rajas. They are enlightened both inside and outside. The
seventh creation includes plants and trees, which have feeling of touch but are wanting in mental function. The
eighth creation is Anugraha sarga, meaning creation of mental conditions like Sattva and Tamasa gunas. It is of
four types: Viparyaya, Sakti, Siddha, and Mukhya. The immobile creation such as mountain is viparyaya, meaning it
is unconscious. The eighth includes the creation of animals and birds. The last five creations from the fourth to the
eighth are called Vaikrta sarga, transformational creation. Vaikrta sarga is a product of meditation by Brahma. The
ninth creation is Kaumara, belonging to both Prakrta and Vaikrta creations.
It is the creation of humankind (Nri or
Nuri). Here all the living beings come to life out of elements made by the Supreme Purusa in the primary creation.
According to Sākta-Sānkhya theory, the Parā Sakti (the Supreme Power) of the Lord MahāVisnu is the force behind
creation. The power has three components: Prakrti, Purusa, and Kāla (Time). When the equilibrium of Prakrti becomes
unstable from glance of Time-Spirit, a cascade of events and products takes place in a linear fashion, where the
preceding product is the substrate for the next substance or entity: Prakrti, Mahat, Ahamkāra, Tanmātras, Mahā
Bhūtas, Ākāsa (Ether), Vāyu (Air), Agni (Fire), Jala (Water), and Bhūmi (Earth). Once the basic elements are in place,
Brahma goes to work using guna, which is of three types: Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. Tamoguna (darkness, delusion,
and ignorance) becomes the basic quality of the winged creatures like insects and birds, quadrupeds, and worms.
Sattvaguna (Virtue and Truthfulness) is the basic quality of the gods. Rajoguna (motion and passion) is the basic
quality of the bipeds (humans). Progenitors, created by Brahma, populated the world and contributed in increasing the
According to Kurma Purana Book two, chapter three, Kāla manifests from the union of Purusa with Pradhāna, matter
or Prakrti. Brahman is the repository of Purusa, Pradhāna and Time, which have no beginning or end. Time is the
begetter and the destroyer of living beings. Siva admits that he owns Tamasi (also known as Time), the annihilator of
the world, having taken the form of Rudra. No one controls Time except Brahman, who owns it, and is beyond its
effects. Time controls all animate and inanimate, mobile and immobile entities, and all products of Mahat including
mind, matter, moods, and modes. Brahman is an entity, claimed by both Vaisnavites and Sivites. Brahman accordingly
manifests as a personal God in the form of Narayana and Siva for the respective sects. That is his Maya (illusion)
Vrtti or Sthana: Mode of life, and means of sustaining life. The ontological hierarchy is described. This describes the
various planets and its inhabitants.
Raksā: Protection and preservation. This depicts all the descents and incarnations of the Lord for the benefit of
humanity, including sinners. It talks about the eternal and endless grace of the Lord.
Manvantara: The reign of the Manus, and the life and times of gods, rishis, and sages are discussed with reference
to the benefit they offered to all living creatures.
Vamsa: Genealogy or lineage. Brahma and the saptarishis (seven sages) and their disciples, the royalty and the
genealogy tree starting from Brahma are described along with their achievements and service to humanity.
Vamsānucharita (Vamsa + Charita means genealogy or dynastic history of the pious kings and rulers who served God
and their subjects.
Asceticism, Hinduism, Purushartha, and Judaism
Asceticism is strong in Hinduism while in Judaism it is considered lacking merit and amounting to sin itself. Karo,
a Spanish Rabbi records in his mystical diary (Maggid mesharim (1646; "Preacher of Righteousness") in which he
documents the nocturnal visitations of an angel, the personification of the Mishna (Jewish Oral Law). The angel
encouraged him to perform righteous acts, observe asceticism, and study Kabbala and reproved moral lapses. Thus
asceticism is not strange to Judaism.
Hinduism offers many choices and nobody is forced to embrace Sannyasa. There are four paths or asramas:
Brahmacharya (student), Grihasthya (householder), Vanaprasthya (forest dweller, hermit), and Sannyasa (renouncer).
Most of us go through the first two asramas; the willing souls can go to the third and even the fourth.
Tantrics consider sexual bliss is a prelude and sampler to transcendental Bliss, provided the aspirant follows the strict
rules under the guidance of a Guru. Go to TANTRA. Artha (possessions)
Kāma(desire, sexual love), and Dharma
(duty, righteous living) and Moksa (salvation) are the four Purusharthas, the purpose of man. As you notice there is no mention of
renunciation as one of the purusharthas.
Christianity has many instances of perfected souls renouncing the world and living in isolation and meditation. These are the
Avadhutas of the Christian kind. Avadhuta. Hebrews celebrate living and consider death an unavoidable incident. The Kohanim
(priests) do not come into contact with the dead for they would rather deal with the living than to dabble with the world of the
dead. What matters to Judaism is to live for here and now and not concern itself while living with what happens at and after death.
Yom Kippur: a Jewish high holy day observed on the 10th day of the month of Tishri by abstinence from food and drink and
the daylong recitation of prayers of repentance in the synagogue. Also called Day of Atonement. Tishri = the first month of the
Jewish calendar. Bible says Yom Kippur is a "day of affliction" and so to keep proper respect and suspend luxury, traditional
Jews wear slippers or sneakers and avoid the luxury of shoes. Breast-beating (tapping) over the left side of the chest with the right
hand over the heart is performed as Al Chet (Al Het / ahl HATE) and Ashamnu prayers are recited. This act is to ask for
forgiveness for all the sins committed during the previous year. The congregation says the Al Het sotto voce or loudly, indicating
a collective responsibility for the sins. Ashamnu meaning "we have sinned" is reciting sins in an alphabetical order: A for abuse;
B for betrayal; C for cruelty. This heart-felt repentance, teshuvah, involves identification of one's sin, its target, its damage,
repairing the damage, and repentance. The Jews ask their near and dear for forgiveness for anything they did to one another by
way of word or deed in the past year. In Hinduism, religious poetry dwells on sins and asking for forgiveness from Bhagavan
(Lord). Hinduism believes in prevention of sins. Once sins are committed, Karma takes over the individual's destiny by dispensing
equitable justice in this and or next life. Hinduism does not allow someone to accumulate sins and pass them on to somebody else.
The sins and merits belong to the doer and are not transferable as depicted in Christianity where Jesus Christ assumes the sins of
his flock. Avinu Malkeinu (our Father, our King) is High Holiday Prayer asking for Grace and answer for prayers, though they
might have been remiss in their observances. The phrase Avinu Malkeinu is uttered at the beginning of each prayer line. Vidui
(confession) is a confessional prayer recited at Yom Kippur declaring the sins. It is also recited at the deathbed on behalf of the
dying. Yizkor (May He remember) is a special memorial prayer for the deceased in the family and Holocaust victims. Children
of living parents leave the synagogue when Yizkor prayers are recited for obvious reasons. Neilah (shutting, locking, closing) is
the last prayer service on Yom Kippur. It depicts the House of Forgiveness with gates. Those whose received forgiveness from
God through sincere repentance, charity and devout prayer enter the Gates of redemption and forgiveness and enter the House of
Forgiveness. God looks for (kavanah) sincerity, attention and intensity in the prayers; the Gates are shut on those who lack
kavanah. The Book of Life contains the names of those who entered the Gates of Forgiveness. Yom Kippur ends by the happy
long blast of the Shofur.
(In Hinduism, atonement is a must for all the wrongs done; in the absence of atonement, the wrongful action begets suitable fruits
for consumption, meaning that the perpetrator suffers the consequences. No action perishes, though unnoticed by a human, even
after millions of years. Brahmanda Purana (Lalita Mahatmya6.35...) says five kinds of actions (violence, Killing, stealing, drinking,
and illicit sexual relations) constitute sin.
Yom Kippur day is the day for stories. Here is a story of Jonah and the big fish. The lesson is that God's mercy and forgiveness
are universal and He does not discriminate on the basis of external differences.
Jonah lived in
700 years before Christ. Israel was at loggerheads with Israel Assyriawith its capital at (the present-day Nineveh ). Iraq
One day God told Jonah to go to
to tell them about the impending catastrophe unless they repent their evil ways and Nineveh
change. Jonah being the enemy of
did not want to save its people; instead, he boarded a ship to Nineveh (known at that Spain
time as Tarshish). Wind, storm, hurricane, giant waves, lightning, and thunder threatened the ship and intense prayers made them
worse. Jonah knew that he was the reason for God’s wrath, told the sailors so and begged them to throw him overboard to save
the ship and the occupants. After deliberation and hesitation, a cloud of fear enveloped and prompted them to throw him
God sent a giant fish to swallow Jonah; soon enough he was inside the stinking slimy entrails of the great fish among
small fish and seaweed which wrapped around his neck choking him. Jonah realized his errant behavior of not following orders
from God and prayed earnestly to deliver him from the stomach of the great fish. The prayers went on for three days and nights.
The fish became very ill, beached itself on the shorefront and vomited Jonah out of its stomach. He staggered out of the beach on
to dry land, changed his clothes, headed to
, and warned its people that God would destroy the city and its people in forty Nineveh
The king and his people became very worried, repented, changed their ways and received forgiveness and blessings
from God. The king, the city and its people were saved; Jonah was angry that God forgave them. Jonah told God in a mood of
frustration that he was made to look like a fool because his prophesy did not come true. God told him that he (Jonah) had no right
to be angry, 120,000 people of
were his children and He took pity on them since they repented, changed their ways, and Nineveh
asked for forgiveness.
Jonah was sitting down on a hot day when the merciless sun was scorching him. God sprouted a plant by his side with large
leaves to give him the shade from the sun. Jonah was pleased to see that God gave him the shade from the sun and went to sleep.
A worm came along at the behest of God and nibbled and ate the whole plant. Upon awakening and seeing the withered plant,
he was angry with God. God told him that a person, who sought protection from the scorching sun, should have equal mercy and
forgiveness for the 120,000 people and their livestock. He wondered why he was angry with Him for forgiving the people.
Kitel (gown) is the long white linen robe wear for important occasions: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, marriage. Rabbis and
people wear them. Grooms and brides wear them as the symbol of purity. Some observant Jews like to be buried in the kitel they wore
during their lifetime.
Ashtanga yogam (eight-step Yogam) has Dos and Don'ts. There are some items here not favored by Judaism: solitude, sexual
abstinence, ahimsa (noninjury) with particular reference to slaughter for food. Judaism believes in ahimsa to a fellow human being.
Animals as Kosher food have no relevance here. Sex, thirst, hunger (and sleep) are four strong biological forces, which follow the
tenets of Mitzvot. Judaism has an elaborate list of Dos and Don'ts, positive and negative commandments. The Dos of Judaism is
equal to the number of bones in the body (248); the Don'ts, the number of days in a year (365). Hinduism and Judaism share
many of the Dos and Don'ts.
P = Positive = Dos = Niyama of Hinduism.
P206 Love our Fellow Jew.
P207 Love the convert.
P208 Observe the law of weights and measures.
P209 Honor the scholars.
P210 Honor thy parents.
P211 Fear your parents.
P212 Be fruitful and multiply.
N =Negative = Don'ts = Yama of Hinudism.
N195 No eating or drinking to excess.
N196 Not to eat on Yom Kippur.
N197 Not to eat hametz on Pesach.
N318 Do not curse your parents.
N319 Do not smite your parents.
hametz : bread and bakery products; Pesach= Hebrew name for Passover in late march and early April.
The aim of the various kinds of Yogas is to destroy the ego and find one’s true identity, that is Atman; and the result is that he
experiences Kaivalya, bliss and liberation. Kaivalya is the state of absolute freedom and splendid isolation; Purusa (Spirit)
detaches itself from prakrti (matter). Before one experiences Kaivalya, one should make sure that one meets certain qualifications,
known as Angas (which means limb or body parts):
Niyama: Dos. Patanjali lists the following observances. Sauca, Santosha (contentment), tapas, svaadyaaya, isvarapranidhana
(surrender to God).
The observances are ten in all according to Linga Purana. (1) Purity (sauca), (2) sacrifice (ijyaa), (3) penance (tapas), (4) giving
(daana), (5) recitation of Vedas (svaadyaaya), (6) restraint of sexual desires (upasthanigraha), (7) pious observance (vrata),
(8) fasting (upavas), (9) silence (mauna), and (10) snaana (bathing [in sacred waters]). – (Linga Purana, 7.29-31)
A+steya = absence of theft. Staayu = a thief.
A+parigraha = absence of acquisition.
Svaadyaaya = (Sva+adhyaya) = self + inquiry = reading sacred books.
isvara-pranidhana = Isvara+Pranidhaana = God + seeking access = surrender to God.
Āsana: body positions and postures
Prānayama: breath Control
Pratyahara: no contact between senses and objects of senses. This should come natural to him
Dharana: concentration and focus of mind on an object or idea
Samādhi: convergence, one-pointedness, Subject and object (Yogi) unity
Before a yogi can attain samādhi, he should meet the above requirements: As you see, this is demanding. Once somebody has
gone through the angas, and jnāna yoga, he is already a renouncer. In another commentary, read how the Alvars developed their
system of bhakti yoga, Saranāgati and Prapatti (self-surrender to God, resignation to God).
Prophet Nathan and the force of Sattva (virtue and goodness); David's karma, retribution and forgiveness
Nathan was a prophet during the reigns of David and Solomon. From the roof of the palace, David saw a beautiful woman
taking a bath and was soon smitten with love. That was Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, the Hittite General. David sent for, had sex
with and sent her back home. Months passed and Bathsheba notified the king of her pregnancy with his child. David sent her
husband into the thick of battle for him to die. Bathsheba heard the news from the frontlines of her husband's death and mourned.
The king immediately asked her to come to the palace and made her his wife. David, by impregnating a married woman and
sending her husband to die in the battlefield, committed a double crime of extramarital relations and murder. Nathan the prophet
came to King's household and pointed out his crime by an allegory. A rich man, not wanting to part with one of his large flock
would not agree to butcher his own sheep for feeding a guest, butchered the only animal a poor man had. That story elicited anger
from the king who told Nathan that the rich man deserved to die for what he did to the poor man. Nathan replied, "You are the
Though Karma is not spoken of as a chronicler of the merits and demerits of man Judaism recognizes that the good should be
rewarded and the bad should be punished.
Bathsheba gave birth to David's son, who died immediately after birth. That is karma of Hinduism. In Judaism, that was God's
retribution for his adultery and murder of Uriah. Bathsheba gave him a son Solomon later. That indicates God's forgiveness.
The Prophet Isaiah (the son of Amoz of Jersusalem), 8th Century BCE.
Isaiah = Yahweh is salvation
The Book of Isaiah is named after Prophet Isaiah; it is a book of prophecy and history. Chapters 1-39 (First Isaiah) are directly
assigned to him and the second (40-55 or 40-66) and the third (56-66) were added later by his disciples: the Deutero-Isaiah in the years
after the Exile and Trito-Isaiah. Judeo-Christian tradition is of the belief that the Book of Isaiah was composed by one person, Isaiah.
He lived during the reigns of four kings of
: Azariah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, (742-687 BCE). His contemporaries (Amos, Judah
Hosea and Micah) were the prophets of social justice. The themes of his message are the holiness of the Supreme Yahweh, trust and
faith in Yahweh, justice and righteousness, reward to the faithful and punishment to the errant by Yahweh. It is said that the present
form of the Book of Isaiah after editorial redaction around 400 B.C.E. existed at the time of Jesus Christ.
In the temple in
in the year king Uzziah died, Isaiah had visions of Yaweh sitting on a throne with hovering Seraphim in Jerusalem
a celestial temple. (one of the celestial beings hovering above God's throne in Isaiah's vision. Isa. 6. One seraph said to the other seraph,
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of the hosts.
The whole earth is full of his glory."
He said to himself that though "I am a man of unclean lips in the midst of people of unclean lips, my eyes have seen the King, the
Lord of hosts." A seraph takes a burning coal from the altar and touched his mouth, thereby removing his guilt and sin.
This is common among ardent devotees in Hinduism also. Most of the time, when God appears in the vision of a devotee, the
devotee is already pure, living for the glory of God. The vision of the chosen God comes to an ardent devotee in Para-bhakti
(perfect devotion resulting in mental images of the God), Para-jnana (episodic clear vision of the God with joy during blissful union
with god and sorrow at other times with no vision), and Parama-Bhakti (Supreme devotion resulting in direct vision and permanent
union with God. Saint-poets of Vaishnava sect received all three kinds of visions of Lord Vishnu. Their relationship with the God
has many dimensions: Andal becoming the bride of Lord Krishna; Periyalvar becoming the mother of Lord Krishna; Kulasekhara
Alvar becoming the mother of Lord Rama.
The husband (Yahweh) is the Lord of his people; the bride is the nation and people of
. Christian motif is the love of Jesus Christ for his Israel
bride, the church. Both are expressions of the intimate divine love.
In the fourth year of the rule of Jehoiakim, the Lord spoke to Jeremiah and asked him to write down what he said about
and other nations. I (the Lord) want to tell the house of Judah the evil I intend to do unless they change their ways and Judah
thereby receive my forgiveness for their sin and iniquity. Jeremiah dictated what the Lord said to Baruch, which he read out to
the congregation in the temple and anyone who cared to listen in
. They apprehended fully they would reap the anger Judah
and wrath of the Lord unless they change their evil ways. This news reached the ears of the king. The scroll was read to the
king who promptly seized the scroll, tore it to pieces against the advice of his near and dear and threw them in the fire. The
divine message was again written down by Baruch as dictated by Jeremiah and periodically was read out to the people.
Nebuchadnezzar took the city; Egyptians left
to rescue the Jews in Jersusalem; hearing that news the Chaldeans Egypt
abandoned their plans to seize of
and left the city. In the mean time Prophet Jeremiah was confined in a cistern. Jerusalem
He was rescued from the cistern by an Ethiopian Eunuch in the employ of the king. When the Egyptian rescue did not materialize
the Chaldeans came, put the city to torch and allowed Jeremiah to choose his place of residence. Events pushed him and Baruch
to end up in
; nothing much is known bout his death. Judaism attributes destruction of the Egypt in 586 BCE to Jews First Temple
ignoring the pleas of Jeremiah.
Elijah = Whose God is Jehovah; Yahweh is God. Elijah was of a priestly family. He wore animal skin and leather girdle,
wandered on foot, lived in caves and clefts and was fed by ravens bread and flesh. He drank from the torrent (stream). Some
offer an opinion that ravens were the Arabs. He appeared before the king of
, Ahab (874-853 BCE), announced that Israel
Yahweh was not pleased with the apostasy of
and the king and that Yahweh would avenge them by inflicting a long drought Israel
. Elijah disappeared from the scene as soon as he made his prophesy. The brook dried and Elijah under command of Israel
God went to the widow of Zarephath, who was afflicted by the oppressive famine with shortage of food. He stayed with her for
two years during which Elijah restored the life his dead son. King Ahab was looking for Elijah because he blamed him for the
famine. Elijah assigned the blame to the king, his abrogation of the commandments of the Lord, Pagan God Baal and Baal
worshippers. Elijah people, and the Baal worshippers assembled on
Mount Carmel; an altar was built and each group would
invoke and call upon their respective Gods. It was agreed that the God who answered by fire would the winning God. The Altar
of Yahweh was readied with the holocaust, wood, stones and dust; Yahweh appeared as fire and consumed the sacrifice and the
water in the trench. The people, immediately upon cue from Elijah, killed the pagan priests at the Mound of the priests (Tell el
Kassis). and the Baal followers. The rains and came and the drought ended that very evening.
Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, seeing the annihilation of Baal priests threatened to have Elijah killed. He left for
, sat Beersheba
under a juniper tree and went to sleep begging God to take his life. An angel woke him up from sleep and asked him to continue
his journey after eating cake and drinking a cruse of water placed near his head. He walked forty days and nights, arrived at and
took shelter in a cave at Horeb, the mount of God. Yahweh appears before him again and orders him to go to
, to Damascus
anoint Hazael king of
, Jehu king of Syria and Elisha to inhere his mantle. Israel
Six years later, he warned Ahab, his wife Jezebel and four years thereafter their son Ahaziah of impending death. He usually
delivered his prophesy and disappeared and it was presumed he lived in
Mount Carmel. He later went to Gilgal having the
premonition of leaving this earth to heaven to meet Elisha. Both left Gilgal for
, Bethel , borders of Jericho, Jordan Gileadand the
, where they were separated by a chariot and horses of fire. Elijah was on his way to heaven. The mantle fell on Moab
Elisha. Elijah is considered as the servant of God. Jews, Christians, and Muslims hold Elijah in high respect. Some Carmelite
monks consider themselves belonging to the unbroken order of Elijah. In Hinduism esp Saivism and Vaishnavism the devotees
of the respective Gods relate to him as a slave or servant, son, friend.
The Saiva Saints related to Siva (Yahweh of Saivites) as follows.
Sundarar (end of seventh and beginning of eighth century C.E.) (Vanthondar = Van +Thondar = hard + devotee, as slave of God),
(persons who are slaves to worldly pleasures) was bestowed the high privilege of being a friend or companion (Sakha Marga) by
Lord Siva Himself. Sakha Marga is described as immersion in contemplation, controlling of five senses, blocking and stilling the
Ida and Pingala breaths, taking Kundali Sakti from Muladhara to Sahasrara Chakra, enjoying the nectar from the sphere of Moon
within the cranial cavity and saving it in the body. Sakha Marga confers Sarupya Mukti, likeness of Siva. The relationship between
Sundarar and Lord Siva was so informal and friendly that they gave each other a sobriquet; Siva called Sundarar Vanthondar,
rowdy (hard) devotee, and Sundarar called Siva, Pitthan (The Crazy One). Sundarar married first time a Brahmin girl, Paravaiyar
and second time a Vellala girl Sangiliar. The story goes that he was brought up in royal household, when the king took a liking for
Elijah is a great hit with children during Passover. Adults try hard to keep Passover interesting and engaging to the children. In
Seder ritual, Elijah's chair and place setting are reserved for Prophet Elijah. Children inspect the Elijah's 5th cup for any
consumption of the wine affirming his presence. He is a miracle worker; he increases provisions; he brings the dead back to life.
Children often check the front door for Elijah to show up one day at the doorstep at Passover. He is the bringer of good news
that Messiah is on his way. Elijah also shows up without fail at every circumcision.
Ezekiel = God strengthens; Strong is God; God will strengthen. Ezekiel (b627 BCE), the Father of Judaism, a priest by profession
was exiled (597 BCE.) along with Joachem and the exiles settled in Tell-Abib near Chobar in
Babylonia, the . landof Chaldeans
Legend says that he was the secretary to Jeremiah. He extolled the glory of Yahweh to all 12 tribes. His purpose on earth was to
of the sins that brought judgment and exile on them. He augmented their faith and prophesied restoration and glory Israel
He was the priest of the exiled Jews. He seemed to have lived there his entire life. When he was thirty years of age, a vision and
call to become prophet came to him from Yahweh. The theophanic vision consisted of a great storm, strong winds, never-ending
lightning in the dark clouds and an amber (shining metal-like object) in the midst of the storm. God cannot show himself in sharp
focus; that is too powerful a sight for the witness. He wears robes of clouds just to blur his appearance. He appears also like a
flame and fire. Out of this theophanic vision, came four living creatures each one having four faces and four wings. Aren't you
reminded of Brahma with four faces? They had straight feet, sole like that of the calf, an effulgent luster of polished brass, hands
of a man, confluent wings, a face of a man, right-sided lion's face, left-sided face of an ox and the face of an eagle. Two wings
covered their bodies. This reminds me of appearance of Vishnu in his human form, Narasimha (lion-man), his
and mount Eagle
Siva's mount, Bull. Since God's representatives presented themselves in a composite form of animal and man, that must be a
sacred vision. They were the cherubs, the protectors and bearers of God's throne. They are in God's presence the representatives
of the living creatures on earth, man, wild beast, domestic animal and bird. Their four faces represent all living creatures; the wings,
the birds; the feet, the domestic animals; the hands and legs, the man; and the sole, the animals. They cover their face, feet and
body with their wings, a mark of reverence to Yahweh.
They are his creation. They appear on
curtains with palm trees and open blossoms separating the holies from the outside Temple
world; only the elect can enter the holies. The whole creation of Yahweh hanging on the curtain represent the fauna, flora and man.
Here is a depiction of a Hindu deity (Mother Goddess) from whose womb the whole creation proceeds.
On the Ark was the Cherubim with a human face, lion body, four legs and two elaborate wings.
Coming back to fire and clouds, consider the appearance of Siva in the form of Fiery Column (Fiery Lingam) in front of Brahma
and Vishnu. They could not find either the top or the bottom of such a column. They were forced to accept the superiority of Siva
over them. Vishnu is always described as having dark-blue color of the clouds. Clouds and column of fire guided the Jews during
their escape from Egypt.
His prophecy lasted for at least 22 years. Yahweh addressed Ezekiel as Son of man. He foretold the destruction of the kingdom
of Juda, the city and the temple for their sins and God's displeasure at idolatry. He denounced people of Israel for their abominations
in Egypt, Wilderness and Canaan. As punishment from God Juda will suffer ravages from fire and Jerusalem cut down by the
sword. People of Jerusalem were smug in their belief that God's Holy City under his protection would never come to a ruin. They
were wrong. He foretold that Yahweh left Jerusalem in ruin and arrived at Babylon to be with the displaced Jews. Yet God made
a promise that a Temple would rise again. The Jews of Babylon were very unhappy to note that they were sent into exile with no
hope of return to Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar wanted it that way.
Ezekiel says that he was lifted up and carried away by the Spirit. This is a common mode of transportation for the accomplished
and perfected Yogis, who travel distances by thought.
His visions and prophesies
Ezekiel’s visions and prophesies have practically written the history of Judah (Southern kingdom) and Israel (Northern kingdom,
Ephraim), the conquests, the exiles, the scattering, the reassembling, repopulation, reforestation and agriculture and establishment
of the state of Israel.
“Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries
where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’
Babylonians destroyed Jersusalem and took many Jews as captives to Babylon, the present day Iraq. Some went to Egypt and
North Africa. The Romans made them scatter again.
34I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered—with a mighty hand and an outstretched
arm and with outpoured wrath. 35I will bring you into the desert of the nations and there, face to face, I will execute judgment upon you. 36As I
judged your fathers in the desert of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign LORD. 37I will take note of you as you pass
under my rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 38I will purge you of those who revolt and rebel against me. Although I will
bring them out of the land where they are living, yet they will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
The Jews were driven out of their land by the Assyrians, Babylonians and Romans.
13"‘I will surely strike my hands together at the unjust gain you have made and at the blood you have shed in your midst. 14Will your courage
endure or your hands be strong in the day I deal with you? I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it. 15I will disperse you among the nations and
scatter you through the countries; and I will put an end to your uncleanness. 16When you have been defiled£ in the eyes of the nations, you will
know that I am the LORD.’"
This prophesy was made by Ezekeil, when he was in Babylon with other Jewish captives. The army of Babylon leveled Jerusalem
to the ground and destroyed the Temple. and Some returned and yet the Romans dispersed them far and wide, so that they won't
claim the ownership of their own land again. The Jews went back in about 70 years and built Jerusalem and the Temple again.
12"This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘Because Edom took revenge on the house of Judah and became very guilty by doing so, 13therefore
this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will stretch out my hand against Edom and kill its men and their animals. I will lay it waste, and from
to Dedan they will fall by the sword. 14I will take vengeance on Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and they will deal with Edom in accordance
with my anger and my wrath; they will know my vengeance, declares the Sovereign LORD.’"
Edomites were punished for warring with Jews. The Vision of Ezekeil took place in Babylon (593-571 BCE). The vision and
prophesy came true around 100 BCE.
13"‘Yet this is what the Sovereign LORD says: At the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians from the nations where they were scattered.
14I will bring them back from captivity and return them to Upper Egypt,£ the land of their ancestry. There they will be a lowly kingdom. 15It will be
the lowliest of kingdoms and will never again exalt itself above the other nations. I will make it so weak that it will never again rule over the nations.
16Egypt will no longer be a source of confidence for the people of Israel but will be a reminder of their sin in turning to her for help. Then they will
know that I am the Sovereign LORD.’"
Egypt was once the dominant power in the region and far beyond and dominated Israel. Egypt became independent from domination by Romans,
Ottomons and Europeans. From 1922 to 1952, it was an independent kingdom under Faud and Farouk; military coup by Gen. Muhammad Naguib
led to fall of royalty in 1952. Nasser displaced Gen. Naguib in 1954. In 1967, the Israeli preventive strike routed the Arab coalition. Anwar al-Sadat
succeeded Nasser in 1970 upon his death. 1973 Yom Kippur surprise war by Egypt on Israel precipitated the Israel-Syrian war. Israel stabilized the
Syrian front and took control of Egyptian land west of Suez Canal. Sadat declared cease-fire and Israel gave back to Egypt all the land seized since
11"‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12As a shepherd looks after his scattered
flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and
darkness. 13I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them
on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of
Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.
15I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. 16I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will
bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
Here the Sovereign Lord compares his people to sheep. This theme is also present in Hinduism. Lord Siva is Pasupati, the chief
of animals (individual souls). God fulfilled his promise through Ezekeil by bringing the scattered Jews back to Israel over many
years and centuries. By 1948, the Jews had a country to call their own.
I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know."
4Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5This is what the Sovereign LORD says
to these bones: I will make breath£ enter you, and you will come to life. 6I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you
with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’"
7So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.
8I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
9Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four
winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’" 10So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to
life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
11Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut
off.’ 12Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you
up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring
you up from them. 14I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have
spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’"
It is said that this is a reference to the holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis, predicted by Yahweh through Ezekeil. The bones were strung with
muscles and tendons and brought back to life in the form of Israel as a nation in 1948.
18"When your countrymen ask you, ‘Won’t you tell us what you mean by this?’ 19say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am
going to take the stick of Joseph—which is in Ephraim’s hand—and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah’s stick, making
them a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.’ 20Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on 21and say to them,
‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and
bring them back into their own land. 22I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them
and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. 23They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images
or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding,£ and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their
Yahweh says through Ezekeil that the two sticks of the southern kingdom of Judah and the northern kingdom of Israel (which were
under foreign domination) would become one unbroken stick of one nation, one country and one people. This uniting of the sticks
were carried out under the blessings of Yahweh since 1800, when Zionist movement brought all the dispersed people in disparate
countries, cultures, and languages to come together and establish to a state of Israel.
Psalms are hymns sung in the temple during worship and consists of Hymns of praise; Laments (individual or national plea for
deliverance and help in distress); Songs of Trust (individual expressing his trust that God will come to his aid); Thanksgiving
Psalms (individual expressing his gratitude for His help); Sacred history (nation narrating God's relationship with it); Royal Psalms
(sung during Royal events); Wisdom Psalms (meditation and God's nature); Liturgies (mixed type). Modern scholars regard
Psalms having many authors. David gets his credit for 73 of them, though they were written down in 6th Century BCE and David
lived in 1000 BCE. The Book of Psalms has five sections. The authors are given credit at the beginning of the Psalm. The Psalms
with no assigned credit are anonymous contributions.
Psalm 145 is Ashrei (happy are they) is recited during daily and Sabbath services. The Psalms are acrostic, each line starting with
the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet except the letter nun. Psalms are universally quoted and used in conversations and writings.
Tehillim (praises-Psalms) is the way Jews communicate with God in times of need. The Western Wall of the Herod's Temple
(destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.) is the sounding board for prayer, praise, lamentation which reach God. It is like the Yantra
of Tantrics. When the Tantric chants Mantras, they bounce off the Yantra, reach the appropriate Ishta Devata (deity of your liking),
gather his or her blessings, come back to the Sadhaka and suffuse him with blessings.
1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern
my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
This psalm confirms Hinduism's of Atman as the Antaryamin (Inner Witness). Nothing escapes him: he sees without eyes; he hears without ears.
· 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths,
£ you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will
hold me fast.
· This psalm confirms Hinduism's view of Omnipresence and pervasiveness (Vibhu) of God.
· 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well
The inmost being is Antaratman (Inner Self) and Antayamin (Inner Witness) in Hinduism. Knitting together of a body in the womb is coming
together of all Tattvas necessary to clothe the soul with Kosas (sheaths) consisting of Food Sheath, Vital Air Sheath, Mind Sheath, Knowledge
Sheath and Bliss Sheath. The origin of these Tattvas (building blocks) is the Maya coming from Siva Sakti or the Prakrti of Sankhya system.
· When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,16 your eyes saw my unformed body.All the days ordained for me were written in your
book before one of them came to be.
· When the body was put together, your eyes saw my unformed body: This is a very important statement in Hinduism. The Tattvas assembled
together on their own accord and tried to make a body around the soul; they did not succeed until God took a glance at them; that resulted in the
formation of a body around the soul. Though scientist are able to produce a clone of an animal, the technique has not reached perfection. Point in
support of the case: The cloned sheep died of premature old age.
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! 20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse
your name. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you? 22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I
count them my enemies.
Evil intent upon God is not something man can inflict on God. He is too powerful for that. This what Bhagavan Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita.
16.18: Dependent on their ego, strength, pride, lust, and anger, these envious and indignant people hate Me residing in their own and others'
16.19: I cast the cruel haters and the vilest of men again and again into the ocean of Samsāra and the inauspicious and the demonic wombs.
16.20: Fallen into the demonic wombs birth after birth, the foolish never attain me, O Kaunteya, and thereafter go to the lowest state.
Here demonic womb is the womb of an animal. The cruel haters are born as animals in their next birth.
Psalm 23 A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my
soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness
and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
For the director of music. According to gittith. A psalm of David.
1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained
praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set
in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with
glory and honor. 6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: 7 all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of
the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. 9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings: This is what Hinduism says. If man is a little lower than lower gods (heavenly beings , lower than
Yahweh), he has a chance to become one with the heavenly beings and even with God. That depends on his Sadhana on earth. The Yogis whose Sadhana (spiritual practice)
has elevated them to the level of god-men (seers) has a chance to become one with God himself. That is absorption. Hinduism also agrees that God put us in charge of lower
animals; that being so, it is the responsibility of the guardian to protect the animals and not use them for sports, slaughter and food. There are Hindus who are non-vegetarians.
In some temples, the practice of slaughter of animals in some temples is still prevalent in India.
Song of Songs
It is erotic, literal, allegorical, sensuous and spiritual and talks about god and goddess creating this universe. Songs depict a bridegroom, bride
and chorus. Is this a romance between the Shulamite and her lover, the shepherd with an unwanted intrusion by Solomon? Is it a love triangle
consisting of Solomon, Shulamite and the shepherd? Solomon, the paramour extraordinaire or supreme Paramour Extreme with his 60 wives and
80 concubines was interested only in physical love, while the girl was looking for conjugal bliss in the shepherd. Is it the divine love and
redemption? Could the black Shulamite be Parvati (Kali) and the shepherd Siva? Siva is after all Pasupati, the Lord of animals.
The husband (Yahweh) is the Lord of his people; the bride is the nation and people of Israel. Christian motif is the love of Jesus Christ for his
bride, the church. Both are expressions of the intimate divine love. The songs were passed on by oral tradition until the third century BCE, when
it was put down in writing. By tradition, the songs are attributed to Solomon. Around 90 CE, a confluence of Jewish Rabbis of all shades came to
a conclusion to close the Jewish Canon. The Palestinian rabbinical school of Shammai (Hebrew rabbi: founder of Beth Shammai, school of
hermeneutics) objected to the inclusion of the Song of Songs in the Canon. The school found the Songs unsuitable for inclusion because of its
sexual nature. Akiba of the Hillel school (Palestinian rabbi, president of the Sanhedrin and interpreter of Biblical law: first to formulate definitive
hermeneutic principles.) said, "The entire universe is not as worthy as the day on which the Song of Songs was given to Israel, for all the Writings
are holy, but the Song of Songs are the Holy of Holies." Thus ended the objection and inclusion of the Song of Songs in the Cannon.
A thread of natural animal passion, pregnancy, parturition, human sexual love and fertility, vineyards, blossoms and grapes running through the
garland of Song of Solomon appear to celebrate God's order, "go and multiply." The Song of Songs include both fauna and flora in its depiction,
thus satisfying the primary compulsion to multiply. The union of two principles can be on a spiritual basis: the individual self merging with the
Greater Self, the indwelling God in all of us.
Your are a garden locked up (with fragrance), my sister, my bride; you are a fountain sealed.
Comparison and contrast can be drawn between Gita Govindam and the Song of Songs of Solomon.
Gitagovindam is erotic religious poetry written in Sanskrit about Radha and Krishna and their love affair, which is an allegory for loving and pining
of the human soul for the Great Soul. It is poetry cum drama sung (and acted) by Krishna, Radha and Radha's maid with interspersing of narrative.
The poem spread far and wide in India and quickly became part of the devotional repertoire in the temples. The Rajputs and others painted the
poem on canvas, which captured dalliance, ambience, and spirit in living color in such ways that interpretation was colored by the devotional or
prurient bent of the mind of the beholder. Many of the paintings are small enough to be held in the hands, which establishes intimacy between the
painter, the painting and the viewer. Gitagovindam by Jayadeva
Song of Songs 1
1Solomon’s Song of Songs. 2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine. 3 Pleasing is the fragrance
of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the maidens love you! 4 Take me away with you—let us hurry! Let the king
bring me into his chambers. We rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love more than wine. How right they are to adore you! 5 Dark am I,
yet lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, dark like the tents of Kedar, like the tent curtains of Solomon. 6 Do not stare at me because I am dark, because
I am darkened by the sun. My mother’s sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I have neglected.
7 Tell me, you whom I love, where you graze your flock and where you rest your sheep at midday. Why should I be like a veiled woman beside the
flocks of your friends? 8 If you do not know, most beautiful of women, follow the tracks of the sheep and graze your young goats by the tents of
the shepherds. 9 I liken you, my darling, to a mare harnessed to one of the chariots of Pharaoh. 10 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your
neck with strings of jewels. 11 We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver. 12 While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its
fragrance. 13 My lover is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts. 14 My lover is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards
of En Gedi. 15 How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. 16 How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how charming!
And our bed is verdant. 17 The beams of our house are cedars; our rafters are firs.
1. Comment: This could as well be attributed to Bhagavan Krishna, the cowherd King and incarnation of Vishnu, and his dalliance with the cowherd
girls. The real meaning here is divine love. The Gopis or cowherd girls are the bride and Krishna is the bridegroom. The individual soul, being the
bride here, pines for union with the bridegroom; union is not physical but spiritual; the individual soul becoming one with the Lord. The cowherd
girl has her companions, as the bride in Song of songs has her grooming girls. The consort or bride mode of devotion to God is a common theme
among Alvars who sang Divyaprabhandam to glorify Vishnu and his avatars. Krishna tends and protects cows (Govinda); He is an incarnation.
Radha pines for Krishna.
The maiden of Song of Songs, the Shulamite princess pines for her lover, the shepherd. At the invitation of the King Solomon, the maiden arrives
at Solomon's tent for dining and wining. Her mind is set on the shepherd whose osculations are one of a kind and his love is more uplifting than
wine. The cologne that he wears and the name he bears send her into a tizzy. She knows that the village maidens love him. She pleads that he would
come and rescue her from King Solomon's tent and presence and take her somewhere else.
She addresses the daughters of Jerusalem telling them that she was sun-kissed and therefore very dark resembling the color of the tent. Her father
passed away and her brothers forced her to tend to their vineyards rather than her own.
The maiden wonders aloud where the shepherd, the love of her soul, feeds his flock and makes it rest at noon. The companions suggest that she
could leave Solomon's tent any time and follow the trail of the flock of her boyfriend.
King Solomon was enamored of her and said that by the looks of her, he was turned on like a male horse chasing the mare in estrus.
(In Hinduism's context, the male elephant in musth chases the female elephant.) He elaborates on her beauty by saying that her cheeks and neck
looked lovely with the jewels. The Shulamite's maidens offered to enhance her beauty with gold and silver jewelry. As the king was resting on the
couch, the nard and the bag of myrrh are exuding their fragrance drifting to the king. Her lover was like the bag of myrrh she kept between her
breasts and a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of Engedinard : Nardostachys jatamansi
1. an aromatic Himalayan plant, believed to be the spikenard, Nardostachys jatamansi, the source of an ointment used by the ancients.
2. the ointment.
myrrh: an aromatic resinous exudation from certain plants of the genus Myrrhis, esp. M. odorata, a small spiny tree: used for
incense, perfume, etc.
As the Shulamite maiden is musing about her shepherd lover, King Solomon was agog with her beauty and her dove-like eyes
(Hinduism's lotus eyes). He spoke of the soft cushy couch, the cedar beams and the fir rafters of his house, essentials of a
2. Solomon's seduction did not budge her from the thoughts of her lover-shepherd. As a lily adorns a bramble, so did the
Shulamite maiden excel in beauty among her companions. The king noticed the difference. After dining with the king, the
Shulamite maiden prepares to go to bed with help from her companions. She chose to sleep alone.
The Shulamite's thought takes off on its wings. My lover is an apple tree in the forest; so is my lover in a crowd of young men.
(What an apple tree is to the forest is my lover to the crowd of young men.) It is a delight to sit in his shadow and savor the fruits.
The king's banquet hall is replete with banners of many colors and yet I would like to sit under the banner of love of my shepherd
friend. Sustain me with raisins and invigorate me with apples for I am sick with love. I love to have him embrace me when I am
lying in his arms. O daughters of Jerusalem, please do neither stir up nor awaken my love until it is ready. O hear his voice; he
comes leaping over the mountains and jumping over the hills. My lover is like a gazelle, standing behind the wall, peeking through
the windows and the lattice. My lover tells me to rise up and walk with him. The winter is behind us; the rain has come and gone;
the flowers are blooming; the singing birds have come; we hear the turtle doves. The fig trees burst forth with green figs; the vines
in blossom give forth fragrance. Rise up my fair one and walk with me. O my dove, in the clefts of the rock and coverts of cliff,
let me see your comely face and hear your sweet voice. Catch those foxes that spoil the vineyards with blossoms. My lover is
mine, I am his. His flock grazes among the lilies. The evening breeze blows as the shadows flee. O my beloved, be like a gazelle
or a young buck upon a craggy mountain.
Comment: The king has cast his eyes on the Shulamite who tells the maidens of Jerusalem not to awaken and force her love on the
king, because he has wealth and luxury. She wants her love to blossom forth spontaneously at its own pace. She wants to share the fruits of love
with the shepherd, who has won her heart with his youth and vigor. She likes his looks and voice. He is a buck in his prime. Gazelles leaping
over the mountains and peeking through lattice, vineyards, blossoms and fruits, birds, fleeting deep shadows of evening, fleeting comely face
and echoing sweet voice of his among the crags, clefts and rocks, flock grazing among lilies paint a romantic picture for the lovers on mountains
and meadows. Her lover is protective by his nature because he will chase the foxes away from the vineyards and the flock. As the gazelle is
strong and graceful on its feet, she wants her lover to be the same. This is a celebration of youth in its prime.
3. The Shulamite dreams
I sought him on my bed by the night; my soul pines for and loves him. I called him but he did not return the call. I will walk the city
streets and squares and seek him whom my soul loves. I asked the night watchmen whether they saw my lover, whom my soul loves.
No sooner I passed them, I found my lover; I held him tight and would not let him go; I took him to my mother's house and into the
chamber where my mother conceived me. O daughters of Jerusalem, please do neither stir up nor awaken my love until it is ready,
as the gazelles and hinds take their time....
Who is coming there as a column of smoke from wilderness with smell of the myrrh, frankincense and the fragrant powders of the
merchants? Behold it is the Solomon's litter (carriage) surrounded by sixty mightiest men from among the mighty men of Israel, all
accomplished in war and all equipped with swords at their sides because danger lurks the night. King Solomon made a palanquin
from out of the wood of Lebanon. Its posts are silver, its back support is gold, its seat cushion is purple; its interior is covered with
leather by the daughters of Jerusalem. Come out O daughters of Zion, behold King Solomon with the crown, which his mother
bestowed on him at his wedding, the day his heart leaped for joy.
Comment: King's Solomon's mother crowned him with the diadem at his first wedding, which filled his heart with joy.
4. You are so beautiful; your eyes are like doves behind the veil; your hair cascades giving the appearance of goats moving down
the slopes of Mount Gilead. Your teeth are like the newly-shorn ewes that have come from washing. Each one bears a twin; none
is bereaved. Your lips are like scarlet ribbons; your mouth is lovely. Your cheeks behind your veil appear like the halves of a
pomegranate. Your neck is like a tower of David, an arsenal wherein hang a thousand shields of warriors. Your breasts are like
twin fawns of a gazelle that graze among the lilies. Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and
the hill of frankincense. All of you are fair and beautiful with no flaws. Come with me, my bride, from Lebanon. Leave the peaks of
Amana, Senir and Hermon, the dens of lions and the mountain habitats of leopards. You stole my heart, my sister, my bride with
the glance of your eyes and one jewel of your necklace. Your love, my sister, my bride, is sweet. How much better is your love
than wine and the fragrance of your oils than any spice! Your lips are nectar, my bride; under your tongue are honey and milk;
the fragrance of your raiment is like the scent of Lebanon. Your are a garden locked up (with fragrance), my sister, my bride; you
are a fountain sealed. Your sprouts are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, henna with nard, saffron, calamus, cinnamon,
every kind of incense tree, myrrh, aloes and all chief spices. You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming from
Lebanon. Wake up O north wind, come O south wind. Blow on my garden and let its fragrance waft abroad. Let my lover come
to the garden and eat its choicest fruits.
Comment: King Solomon has come back to his palace and desires for the Shulamite for her physical attributes. He is effusive in his
accolades and flattering descriptions of her hair, teeth, breasts, lips, mouth, cheeks, neck and raiment. His objective is physical
rather than true love or divine love. Shulamite muses to choose between a life of luxury in the palace of Solomon or live a hard life
tending cattle, and vineyards with her lover-shepherd. The Syrian goddesses dwell in the mountains; the Shulamite is like the
goddess who has come down from the mountain retreats. She is a locked garden and a locked fountain. The king feels that she is
like fragrance in an airtight garden (fragrance in a bottle), which nobody can enjoy unless it is opened. She is a stream that has been
dammed; unless there is a flow, there is no enjoyment.
5. I have come into the garden and gathered my myrrh with spice; I eat my honey in the honeycomb; I drink my wine with my milk.
Eat, O Friends, and drink; drink deeply, O lovers! My heart is awake though I slept. Listen! My lover is knocking: “Open to me,
my sister, my darling, my dove, my pure one. My head is wet with dew, my hair is damp with the drops of the night. I took off my
clothes and how could I put them back on? I washed my feet and how could I soil them again? My lover put his hand to the latch
and my heart began racing. I rose up to open to my beloved with my hands and fingers dripping myrrh on the handles of the latch.
I opened for my beloved but he was gone. My heart and soul sank; I looked for him and did not find him. The night watchmen
found me as they made their rounds in the city. They beat me and they bruised me; the watchmen, the keepers of the wall took my
shawl. I plead with you, O daughters of Jerusalem, If you find my beloved, tell him I am sick with love. (The companions argue
with her.) What is so special about your beloved that sets him apart from the other beloved, O fairest among women. My beloved
(says the Shulamite) is radiant and ruddy; he is the distinguished among ten thousand. His head is the finest gold with wavy locks
black as a raven. His eyes are like doves by the springs, washed with milk and well set. His cheeks are like a bed of spices,
exuding fragrance; his lips are lilies dripping myrrh. His arms are (robust and) round gold adorned with jewels. His body is a work
of art like ivory encrusted with lapiz lazuli. His legs are alabaster columns standing on gold bases. His physiognomy is like Lebanon,
splendid like cedars. His speech is sweet and disposition desirable. This is my lover, this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
Comment: Shulamite addresses her companions, the daughters of Israel. She raves about her lover.
6. O the most beautiful woman, where did your lover go? Which way your lover turn so that we may look for him with you? My
lover has left for the garden and the bed of spices to browse the flock and gather lilies. I am my lover's and my lover is mine. He
browses among the lilies. You are beautiful as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem and fearsome as an army with banners. Turn your eyes
away from me; they distract me. Your hair cascades giving the appearance of goats moving down the slopes of Mount Gilead.
Your teeth are like the newly-shorn ewes that have come from washing. Each one bears a twin; none is bereaved. Your cheeks
behind your veil appear like the halves of a pomegranate. There are sixty queens, eighty concubines, and untold number of maidens.
My dove, my perfect one, is only one, the perfect daughter of her mother who bore her. Blessed, the maidens called her; the
queens and concubines eulogized her. Who is this lass who looks like dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, and fearsome as
an army with banners? I went to the orchard of nut trees to look at the blossoms in the valley, to see whether the vines had
sprouted buds and pomegranates were in bloom. Before I knew it, my fancy has set me in a chariot beside my prince. Come
back, come back Shulamite so that we can look at you as we would the dance of Mahanaim.
7. O Daughter of the Queen, how beautiful your feet in sandals! your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work in the hands of
master craftsman. Your navel is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine. Your belly is a heap of wheat with circle of lilies.
Your breasts are like twin fawns of a gazelle that graze among the lilies. Your neck is like an ivory tower; your eyes are pools in
Heshbon by the gate of Bath Rabbim. Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon facing Damascus. Your head crowns you like Mount
Carmel, and your cascading locks are like purple. The king is held captive in your tresses. How beautiful, delightful and delectable
you are, O love! Your stature is like a palm tree and your breasts are like its clusters (dates). I say I will climb the palm tree and
hold its branches. May your breasts be like the clusters of the vine and the fragrance of your breath like apples, and your kisses
like the best wine that goes down easily over the lips and teeth. I belong to my lover and his desire is exclusively for me. Come my
beloved, let us go out into the fields and spend the night in villages. Let us go to vineyards at crack of dawn and see whether the
vines have sprouted buds, whether the grape flowers blossomed, and whether the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will bestow
my love on you. The mandrakes exude their fragrance and on our doorstep are all kinds of fruits, new and old, which I have saved
for you, my love
8. If you were my brother, who nursed at my mother's breasts, and if I found you outside, I would kiss you so no one would
despise me. I would take you (by your hand) into my mother's house and chamber where she conceived me. I would entertain
you with a spiced wine and pomegranate juice. His left hand is under my head and his right hand hugs me. I plead with you,
O daughters of Jerusalem, that you do not stir up or awaken my love until it is ready on its accord. Who is she coming up in the
distance leaning on her lover? I woke you under the apple tree where your mother conceived you, went into labor and bore you.
Put me as a seal on your heart and your arm; love is strong as death, its jealousy cruel as grave; its flames are fiery. Waters cannot
slake love; floods cannot drown it. If one were to sacrifice his wealth for love, it would be rejected. What shall we do for our
younger sister still a child without breasts when she is spoken for? If she were a wall, we will install towers of silver on her. If she
were a door, we will panel her with cedar. I am a wall and my breasts are like towers. Then in his eyes I was the bringer of peace.
Solomon had a vineyard at Baal Hamon; he leased them to tenants. Each one pays a thousand shekels of silver for its fruits. But
my very own vineyard is mine to give. The thousand shekels are for you O Solomon, and two hundred for the tenant. You live in
the gardens and my companions are listening for your voice, which I want to hear. Hurry up my lover, be like a gazelle or a young
buck upon hills of spices.
Spirituality and sexual desire and fulfillment of both are part of Judaism. Spirit and matter come from God and subside in God. In
Hinduism Purusharthas (the meaning of man) consist of Artha, Kama, Dharma and Moksa (wealth, desire [sexual], righteous duty
or religious duty, and salvation). Judaism is not different when it comes to meaning of man.
Judaism and wealth according to Mitzvos (Dos and Don'ts): N 25: Do not augment your wealth from anything connected with
idolatry; N365 A king should not amass great personal wealth. P197 Lend money to the poor P198 Lend money to a heathen
with interest. N152 Do not spend 2nd tithe redemption; N244 Do not steal money; N245 Do not commit robbery. Judaism
advises people to spend full time making money and accumulating wealth so that during retirement years, he can spend full time
studying Torah. The Talmud (Bava Metzia 58b) declares that injuring a Jew’s feelings is even worse than cheating him of money.
Our money and possessions are not really ours but we are their custodians given by HaShem to use as he commands us to.
Tzedakah: Righteousness and charitable giving. Even a person who receives tzedakah must give tzedakah according to his ability.
Judaism is of the opinion that sex is holy since God ordained it. God gave us eyes to see, ears to hear, tongue to savor food and
genitals to enjoy sex, have children and perpetuate humanity. In Hinduism, sex within marriage is acceptable and desirable but its
frequency is not enforced. Hillel School says that the longest a wife can be deprived of sexual relations is one week. In Tantric
Hinduism, sex outside marriage is permitted if the wife is disabled for any reason. Every profession in Jewish life has a frequency
chart to follow: once a day for the well-off, once a week for the donkey keeper, once a month a camel driver.... Friday night is
the favorite day and time for sexual relations in Judaism: holy Sabbath. Lust after your wife and lust not after your neighbor's wife.
Biblical knowing is holy and ecstatic than just physical sex. Judaism recommends sex both for progeny and recreation. It is the
confluence of body, mind and soul of two persons. Mikvah (ritual bath) for new converts and for the wife before resuming sex
after 7 days of cessation of menstruation. Purification by Mikvah is practiced by the bride before her wedding day and postpartum
woman. Hasidic men use Mikvah before Shabbat and Yom Kippur. Strict Hinduism, which is universally ignored, recommends
sex only when one desires a child. When the family is complete, the sex should stop, the exact opposite of Judaism. Marital rape
is condemned in Judaism, as all religions do. Sex is forbidden during periods and one week thereafter in Judaism. In Hinduism
once the family is complete, sexual continence is recommended but very often ignored. Transmutation of sexual energy is
recommended by religious doctrines: Kundalini Yoga. Sexual bliss is only an infinitesimally weak experience when compared to
spiritual Bliss. The Yogis practicing Yoga are said to transmute their sexual energy. The temples sculptures, carvings, and
paintings depict exuberant sexuality, though premarital sex is not at a level seen in the west. Piety in Judaism has nothing to do
with abstinence. The most pious are the ones who advocated righteous sex as mitzvah.
Tantra says that purification of soul begins by accepting the existence of desires. Once they are accepted and practiced within the
social norms, one by one they must be transmuted or sublimated and eventually eliminated from one's life, if one wants union with
the Supreme. Nada (thrill) enjoyed by sexual union is the earthly counterpart of beatitude or Bliss. One needs to supplant the
earthly pleasure with spiritual Bliss. By sublimating and conserving sexual energy, it is said that the vital fluid rises to Sahasrara,
becomes Soma, the nectar of immortality and spreads through the lymphatic system eventually finding its way to the brain where
it becomes Ojas and Tejas (Vigor and splendor), which are essential for obtaining Superconsciousness. This ascent of conserved
energy is called Urdhvaretas.
The message is orgasm is for the flesh, beatitude is for the spirit; between the two, beatitude is
superior. Physical union is a weak emulation of union of Siva and Sakti.
Sri Ramakrishna Pramahamsa says that sexual bliss is nothing compared to the bliss in the realization of God. In ecstasy, resulting
from love of God, all the pores in the skin and the roots of the hair act like sexual organs and in every pore the sadhaka enjoys
immense happiness of union with Higher Atman.
Another view on Urdhvaretās: Vital fluid, according to Hindu belief, exists in a subtle state throughout the body. Sukra = White,
Silver, Vital fluid, Essence, Semen. When sexual urge finds expression, the subtle substance gathers at the gonads and prostate
and assumes a gross form. To rise to the level of Urdhvaretas is to prevent emission and facilitate reabsorption into the body of
the stored seeds for in the perfected one it remains subtle for ever with disuse atrophy of the gonads and involution of phallus --
signs of Urdhvaretas. Because of the subtle nature of Sukra and its pervasion throughout the chaste body in Urdhvaretas and lack
of it in the gonadal and prostatic fluid, he smells like a lotus. On the other hand, ordinary mortals (men) smell like goats for obvious
reasons. (The blame is squarely on the sex hormones causing the smell.) In perfected ones, the seminal energy rises to become the
nectar (Amrta) of Siva Sakti, according to Tantric Texts.
Kama Sutra and Hinduism: India is a locus for a rainbow of ideas and practices; everything under the sun has an advocate and a
practitioner in India. The other legitimate extreme to abstinence is actively sexual married life rising to perfection of its technique.
It is the Ultimate Manual of sex that is known to mankind.
For our purpose, Kama is defined as the enjoyment of objects with the five senses, hearing, speech, sight, taste and smell
according to the guiding principles of one's mind, soul and conscience. Kama is the specialized pleasure experienced by a sense of
touch in contact with the erogenous object. It condemns extramarital desires and encounters because it invariably results in
self-destruction. Kama Sutra recommends that a maiden becomes an adept in sixty-four arts preferably from her elder sister or
other suitable married females. Some of them are: vocal music; dancing; painting; reading poetry; instrumental music; dressing and
decorating the body; use of perfumes; playing games; culinary arts; knowing dramas and stories; carpentry; knowledge of jewels,
metals, precious stones, gardening; training birds; hair care; word plays; language and dialects skill; knowledge of Sanskrit; making
dolls for children; knowledge of science of victory and warfare....
Bachelor of Bedroom Arts: The maiden takes lessons and become experts in Bedroom Arts: gauging the mood of the lover,
voicing one's sentiments, physical cues like loosening waistband, skin contact, giving and receiving pleasure, feigned anger and
yet continued sporting.... Both men should keep the body clean, mouth pleasant smelling, and chin scraped every few days.
(Solomon ben Isaac)1040–1105, French Hebrew schola
Tantra = (Tan + Tra) = (spread + save) = Spread to save = Spread the knowledge (Jnana) that saves.
The means to knowledge are Pratyaksha, Anumana and Upamana.
Pramâ is knowledge; the means to acquire knowledge is Pramanâ.
Sabda or âpta Vacana
An-upalabdhi or Abhâva-Pratyaksha
Perception by the senses
Verbal authority or revelation (Agamas)
Inference from circumstances.
Pramanâ according to Vedanta.
Halacha: Jewish law. Halacha is derived from Hebrew halach meaning "going" or "the (correct) way." Literally it is not law but
"the way to go." Hindu Dharma includes Halacha. It is application of the Torah in daily corporeal and spiritual life. Halacha is
NOT subject to change from generation to generation but new laws are added as new questions arise. It includes rules, regulations,
prohibitions, and requirements that set guidelines in the daily life of a Jew: observation of Sabbath, allowed and disallowed foods,
business, marriage, agriculture. Women are allowed to input their opinion and special expertise in permitted and prohibited matters
and yet cannot serve as judges.
Shulchan Aruk is the "prepared table" of the Jewish law written by the Sephardic scholar Joseph Karo (1488-1575 CE). The
book was published when he was very old and contains the code of rabbinical Judaism for legal and ritual questions. Rabbis
Isserles (a learned Polish Rabbi) and Solomon Luria were Karo's adversaries; the first two were Askenazim and the Karo was
Sephardic. The Askenazim of German, French and later Polish descent were scrupulous punctilious ritualists. Karo's work was
based mainly on Sephardic authority. Isserless (acronym, Rema) wrote supplements and corrections to Caro's work, which
resulted in its acceptance by the Ashkenazim. Thus Ashkenazic commentaries of Isserless became "the Mappah, the table cloth."
The Jewish and other Calendars
Chinese calendar, Gregorian calendar, Hindu calendar, Jewish calendar, Julian calendar, Muslim calendar. (RDH)
Chineses Calendar: the former calendar of China, in which the year consisted of 12 lunar months with an intercalary month added
seven times every 19 years to reconcile the lunar year of 354 days with the solar year of 365 days, time being reckoned in
60-year cycles with the first cycle dating from 2637 B.C.
Gregorian Calendar: the reformed Julian calendar now in use, according to which the ordinary year consists of 365 days, and a
leap year of 366 days occurs in every year whose number is exactly divisible by 4 except centenary years whose numbers are
not exactly divisible by 400, as 1700, 1800, and 1900.
Hindu Calendar: a lunisolar calendar that governs all Hindu and most Indian festivals, known from about 1000 B.C. and
subsequently modified during the 4th and 6th centuries A.D. Kaliyuga began 3012 BC
Jewish Calendar: the lunisolar calendar used by Jews, as for determining religious holidays, that is reckoned from 3761 B.C. and
was established by Hillel II in the 4th century A.D., the calendar year consisting of 353 days (defective year), 354 days (regular
year), or 355 days (perfect year or abundant year) and containing 12 months: Tishri, Heshvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shevat, Adar, Nisan,
Iyar, Sivan, Tammuz, Av, and Elul, with the 29-day intercalary month of Adar Sheni added after Adar seven times in every
19-year cycle in order to adjust the calendar to the solar cycle. The Jewish ecclesiastical year begins with Nisan and the civil year
Julian Calendar: the calendar established by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C., fixing the length of the year at 365 days and at 366
days every fourth year. There are 12 months of 30 or 31 days, except for February (which has 28 days with the exception of
every fourth year, or leap year, when it has 29 days).
Muslim calendar: Lunar calendar used by Muslims and reckoned from A.D.622: the calendar year consists of 354 days
and contains 12 months: Moharram, Safar, Rabi I, Rabi II, Jumada I, Jumada II, Rajab, Shaban, Ramadan, Shawwal,
Dhu 'l-Qa"da, and Dhu 'l-hijjah. In leap years the month Dhu 'l-hijjah contains one extra day.
The beginning of Hebrew Calendar dates back to 3761 B.C. Each month of Jewish year has a Jewish alphabet, a zodaic
sign, and represents one of the twelve tribes of Israel, a sense, and a limb of the body. It is a lunar calendar. The new moon marks
the arrival of the month. Since lunar cycle does not coincide with the solar, it becomes necessary to add an extra month every few
years. The first month Nisan is not the beginning of the Jewish New Year; Tishrei takes the honor.
*Rosh Hashana (head of the year, New Year) 10-day period of self examination ending in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement;
*Heshvan; Mar Cheshvan = poor or bitter month because of no festivals in this month.
On the 10th of Tevet, Nebuchadnezzar began seizure of Jerusalem, leading to the first exile.
Tu B' Shevat = 15th of Shevat. Celebration of trees. Eat fruits; plant trees.
It occurs 7 times in every 19 years; this is the extra month signifying the Leap year. Purim: is celebrated on 14th of Adar in late Feb
*Passover; Yom ha-Shoah = Holocaust Remembrance Day.
*Israel Independence Day; Jerusalem Day; Remembrance Day. IID celebrated on the 5th of Iyar(1st anniversary: 05/14/1948.)
JD is celebrated on 28th of Iyar. marks the reunification of the City of Jerusalem in 1967 six-day war of Victory, when certain
old parts of the Old City was taken from Jordan. RD is celebrated on the 4th of Iyar, honoring the soldiers who died defending
the State of Israel. Equivalent to Veterans Day.
*Shavuot (weeks) on the 6th of Sivan celebrating the anniversary of Moses' receiving the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai.
and the spring harvest of fruits. It falls 50 days after Passover. Wheat is planted on Passover and harvested 49 days later.
*Shiva Asar be-Tammuz: The Fast of Tammuz on the 17th. On this day, Moses came down with the Ten Commandments and
found people worshipping the Golden Calf; it is a sad day, also noted for the Romans breaching the Wall of Jerusalem.
*Tish be-Av = ninth day of Av. Day of mourning, remembering the destruction of the Temples, the First Temple by Babylonians in
586 BCE, the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 CE. It is an inauspicious day, when bad things happened to Hebrews. Plague
and exile Jews from Spain happened on this day.
*The last month of Jewish Calendar before the High Holy Days. Shofar, hollow ram's horn is blown in Mount Sinai, when Jews
promised to uphold the Ten Commandments. It is blown on Rosh Hashanah and at the end of Yom Kippur. Distinctive sounds
and their meanings are explained before they are blown.
Tishrei and Nissan are celebrated as two New Years: Tishrei to mark the birth of Humanity and Nissan for the birth
of Jewish nation.
Rosh Hashanah (head of the year, New Year) 10-day period of introspection, repentance and prayer ending in Yom
Kippur. These are the Days of Awe (Yamin Noraim; Day of Repentance); the twin days are the High Holy Days. Jews
examine their spiritual strength and offer special prayers. Machzor is the book of prayers; synagogue services include
blowing of shofar (ram's horn) and recitation of Selichot, penitent prayers. Yahweh opens the Book of Life (sefer chayim)
and records the names of the Righteous; He keeps others in a hold until Yom Kippur. They can make amends in days,
become righteous and have their names inscribed in the Book of Life. Special foods include pomegranate (rimmon),
the seeds of which represent hopes of a forthcoming fruitful year. Honeyed victuals and bread loaves (challot) are other
favorites of the season. In Hindu religion, pomegranate fruit (Punica granatum)) is compared to Isvara (controller of
the universe). The seeds are the individual souls. The whole fruit is an aggregate (Samasthi) of all individual fleshy
seeds (Vyasthi) (Each seed is enclosed in red fleshy juicy aril.) Rosh Hashana is so popular that tickets are issued for
seating of the worshippers. In Hindu temples, the services are run on a continuous basis every 15 to 20 minutes on
special days; the temple admits worshippers as they come; once the service is over, the old batch leaves as the new
batch comes in. There is no seating; all stand and worship. Coming back to Rosh Hashanah, the Jews on the evening
of the first day or second day if RH coincides with Shabbat, throw bread crumbs from their pockets into a stream of
running water which symbolizes casting away (tashlikh) of sins and transgressions of the past year, so that they can
start life empty of the burden. In Hinduism, the ritual dip in the waters of a sacred river washes the devotee of any
Rosh Hashanah also known as Day of Judgment commemorates God's creation of Adam and Eve. Though Biblical
Rosh Hashanah is one-day holiday, it is celebrated for two days for the simple reason it takes time to confirm the
appearance of the New Moon on the first day of Tishri and intimate that information to the devout, so that everybody
celebrates it. The common greeting on that day is, "may you be inscribed in the Book of Life and Blessing for an
auspicious year." The bad ones find their way into the Book for Death and Misfortune. There is a difference between
Hinduism and Judaism in this respect. In Judaism the numbers count. If good deeds are more than the bad deeds,
he is inscribed in the Book of Life. If his bad deeds have a higher count, he is inscribed in the Book of the Bad. In
Hinduism, every deed carries a Karma, which bears fruits, good and bad, which must be enjoyed and suffered. For
example, the fruits of 500 good deeds must be enjoyed and 300 bad deeds must be suffered. The ten-day grace period
gives time to make for the loss; it is a benevolent idea; but in real world it does not happen that way. A perennial
philanthropist, found guilty on one count of Grand larceny, does face jail time. Justice is blind to the fact that he was
The observants blow the Shofar on the New Moon according to the custom in The Book of Psalms 81:3, blow the
trumpet at the New Moon at the Full Moon on our feast day. In Lev 23:23-24, The Lord said to Moses, "Say to the people
of Israel, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial
proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation."
The Ram's horn came in handy by coincidence because Rosha Hashanah was the day of intended sacrifice of Isaac
by Abraham, which was stopped at nick of time by God. As a substitute, Abraham sacrificed a ram caught in the bush.
A naturally occurring hollow horn is used, though cowhorn is forbidden because of the sin of worship of golden calf by
the Israelites in the wilderness.
Pre-announced by the rabbi or cantor as to the identity of the note before the blowing of the trumpet, there are three
kinds of sound made by the Shofar: tekiah, shevarim and teruah. Tekiah is a long note, calling the attention of the
congregants; Shevarim is a blast of three short notes; teruah (alarm) is a group of three short notes sounded three
times (nine staccato notes). They are sounded in a sequence: tekiah, shevarim, teruah and a terminal tekiah.
Tekiah announces happiness, joy and optimism; sobbing Shevarim reminds us of sobbing moments in life; wailing
teruah is the moment when spirits are broken waiting to be relieved by God; the final tekiah is the long note marking
the end of the staccato limping of the spirit and singing and jumping for joy. This spirit is reflected in the bird-like
Challa, which will carry our prayers to the heaven. It is the honey with Challa and apple, which symbolizes hope and
optimism for a better future. Though bee is not kosher, the honey is one of the healing substances. The occasion is
so joyous that most of the victuals are heavily spiked with honey. Carrots cut into coins dipped in honey is a favorite
food. Head of a fish is served in the hope that the assembled people will lead us by the head and not by the tail. The
favorite seasonal fruits are apples, figs, grapes, and pomegranates. In the afternoon, the Jews throw some bread
crumbs in a river, sea or lake (any flowing body of water) thereby casting away and expunging their sins. At least,
they repent (teshuvah) for their less meritorious actions and are expected tochange their behavior for the better.
Shabbat is rest every Saturday and religious observance and spiritual reflection. Sunday to Friday are days for
sustenance of the physical body and Saturday is for the sustenance of the soul and spirit. Body without Spirit is not
worth anything. This corresponds to six Chakras of Kundalini Yoga in the spiritual development of the individual:
Muladhara, Svadhistana, Manipura, Anahata, Visuddha and Ajna Chakras. Sahasrara Chakra is above the six
stations in life and marks the union of the individual soul with the Great Soul. When Kundalini goddess sleeps,
Spirit sleeps; When Kundalini rises to Sahasrara Chakra, the 7th plane, Spirit ascends.
Tzom Gedalvah: (the Fast of Gedalvah) Immediately after the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem by
Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, most of Jews were exiled out of Judah. The king appointed Gedalvah, as the
Governor, who told people to accept Babylonian authority and resume normal life under the yoke. Ishmael, the son of
Nethaniah and ten assailants killed Gedalvah. This was the final chapter in the destruction of Jewish kingdom; the
reminder of the Jewish people were exiled. It is celebrated as a day of fasting immediately after Rosh Hashana on the
third day of Tishrei.
Yom Kippur is a day of fasting, meditation, introspection, and prayer celebrated on the 10th Tishrie. Fasting lasts
from sunset to sunset and includes abstaining from food and drink. everyday activity comes to a stop; the congregants
engage in talking, reading, and prayer. Before the fast begins, meals are consumed and the dear departed are remembered.
Breaking the fast, they eat fish, lox and bagel. When Moses saw the worship of golden calf by the Israelites, he prayed to God
and asked for forgiveness for 40 days and 40 nights; when he ended it , it was the 10th of Tishrie, which is the day of
atonement and forgiveness.
Many Jews spend their time in synagogue. On the eve of Yom Kippur, Aramaic prayer, Kol Nidrei (all vows) is
chanted with a plea for forgiveness, excuse and release from unkept vows in the past year and the coming year. They
ask each other for forgiveness for any offences.
(Punica granatum) Pomegranate
Arabs call it paradise fruit. It was the forbidden fruit and yet somehow apple inherited the name. For Jews it is a fruit of hope.
Shmini Atzeres. Simchat Trah (Joy of Torah) is celebrated on the 23rd of Tishrei. It completes the recurrent cycle of one year of
reading of the Torah.
Hanukkah: Dedication. It begins on 25th of Hebrew month of Kislev (late November or in December) is a happy holiday
celebrating the victory of Maccabees (the hammers) over Syrians and rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. It is a
Festival of Lights. The Syrian King Antiochus ruled Israel and forbade practice of Judaism, observance of Sabbath and Kosher
Laws and reading of Torah and enforced worshipping of Greek gods. The father and sons team (the Maccabees, father
Mattathias and son Judah Maccabee and his four brothers) led a revolt against the king and his army and drove it out of Israel
with the reclaiming of the Temple. The Maccabees found the temple chock-full of Greek symbols, statues, and Greek gods; they
were removed and the Temple was rededicated on the 25th day of Kislev. They lighted the eternal flame ner tamid but there was
very little oil, which could at the most last for a day. The flame stayed lit for eight days. That is the eight-day miracle. They later
brought in more oil. The two cultures (Greek and Judaism) did not mix just like oil does not mix with water. If oil were to mix with
another liquid, it is absorption, assimilation and integration, which is exactly what Jews did not want. Eventually the Oil of Judaism
won over Hellenistic water and stayed pure as a distinct and separate culture.
Dreidel is a quadrilateral spinning top with letters on the sides saying, "nun, gimmel, hay, and shin or pey, which means, 'a great
miracle happened there/here. Spinning tops made in Israel has pey on them. The phrase is reminiscent of the Maccabees' fight for
freedom. Eating latke (fried potato pancakes) is a reminder of the miracle of the oil. The words on the sides of the top have a value
assigned to them: nun is none; gimmel is all; hey is half; shin means put one in. During King Antiochus reign, the Jews, forbidden to
read Torah, would read Torah in secret with Dreidel by the side; as the soldiers came crashing in, they hide the books and play
the Dreidel, which is made of wood, clay, metals, paper.
The menorah, a candelabrum having nine branches, is lit in the Jewish homes and synagogues to celebrate the joyous holiday.
Shamash, the ninth candle on the menorah, occupying the center and remaining taller than the rest, is lit first and the others receive
its flame on successive days.
Some resemblance between Divali and Hanukkah Dec 9, 2012
Dīvāli (Row of lamps) the Hindu Festival of Lights falls between mid-October and mid-November. These lamps are traditionally baked clay molds having a cavity for oil and a beak for the wick. It is the victory of the Good over the evil. Children burst firecrackers in the belief that they drive away the evil spirits. Divali is also the occasion to invite Goddess Lakshmi (Prosperity) into the household. The financial year begins with Divali. The second day celebrates the victory of Bhagavan Krishna over the evil demon Narakasura (Naraka + Asura = Hell + Demon), who vanquished Gods and men and became the Lord of Heavens and earth. He stole the earrings of Aditi the Mother of Gods, and walked away with 16,000 women from the heavens. Indra the king of gods went to Vishnu the Supreme God of gods, who promised to do the demon in, during His incarnation as Bhagavan Krishna. Satyabhama, the Divine Consort of Bhagavan Krishna was outraged to hear of the misogynous treatment of women and the theft of the earrings of Aditi by Narakasura.
Krishna and Satyabhama mounted their living aerial vehicle Garuda with powerful wings, the mythical bird of transportation. Narakasura set 11 divisions of his army on Krishna, who did them in with no effort. Krishna killed also Mura, the General of Narakasura and thus earned the name 'Murāri', the enemy of Mura. Narakasura launched Sataghni (= a wooden missile studded with iron spikes) on Bhagavan Krishna in vain, who launched the spinning discus and killed Narakasura, his sliced head lying besides his body. Before his death, the demon begged Krishna to confer on him a wish that his day of death should be one of celebration (on the first day of Divali and the 14th day of the month--Naraka Chaturdasi). Krishna (and Satyabhama) released all 16,000 plus women and married them to restore their divine dignity and elevate them as his wives.This story is all about the liberation of souls from the misery of worldly existence, and union with the God in Vaikuntam, the SriVaishnava Heaven.
Purim: Purim = lots, numbers. It is a feast celebrating the legend of deliverance from pogrom. Jewish girl, Esther became the 2nd
wife of King Ahasuerus of Persia. Esther's cousin Mordecai one of the advisors to the king refused to bow down to Haman
another advisor to the king. Haman hatched a plot to draw lots (numbers) to decide on the day he would put the Jews to death.
Mordecai came to know of the plot and asked Esther to exert pressure on the king to prevent the pogrom. The king's men put the
noose and hanged Haman and his sons for his plot to kill the Jews. Since Haman drew lots (as in lotto), the day is called Purim (lots).
Jews including children come dressed as characters in the Purim story. When Haman's name is mentioned, they stamp their feet, make
loud noises and drown his name. Hamanstashen triangular fruit and jam-laden cookies are given in gift baskets. The filling consists of
cherry, apricot, prune and poppy seeds. Ref: Book of Esther. The New Oxford Annotated Bible says on page 603, "it is not history,
but a legend, set back early in the Persian period, intended to explain the origin and significance of Purim. Though embellished with
numerous fictional devices, it may well rest on historical account of some local deliverance of the Jews in Persia, for there is external
evidence of a certain Marduka holding an official post at Susa under Xerxes1." Esther name is derived from goddess Ishtar.
Mordecai's easy proximity to the harem suggests that he might have been an eunuch gatekeeper. Megillah= scroll, a long complicated
story. Because of that, the expression, "Just give me the facts, not a whole megillah" came into usage. A similar expression in Hinduism
is used when somebody is expansive and verbose: "Stop reciting Mahabharata." When somebody's life is complicated, the expression is,
Why tell it, it is a whole big Ramayana."
Magillot = Scrolls--plural. Esther is read on Purim; The Song of Songs on Pesach; Ruth on Shevuot; lamentations on Tish be-Av;
Ecclesiastes on Sukkot. (Tish be-Av = ninth day of Av.) It is a day of mourning the destruction of the First Temple of Jerusalem
in the year 586 BCE by the King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in
70 CE. Megillot are story books. Megillah in particular refers to Esther. Purim is the only time the Jews are given to excessive
drinking under the weight of Mitzvah, so that they cannot distinguish between two phrases: Cursed be Haman and Blessed be
Mordecai." Any way a Jew can insult Haman is proper, which is an expression of disgust and protest against evil. The noisier one
is, the Purim Rabbi is more pleased in the Synagogue; here silence is not golden but its antithesis is a given and silence deserves a
short shrift. If you happen to see shoe label with Haman written on it, It is not made by Haman; he is being walked over.
Taanit Esther. The Fast of Esther before Purim is a reminder of the oppression of Haman and the feast following the fast is the
reminder of the death of Haman, the originator of death by lotto.
Passover: is described elsewhere in this book. It is the anniversary of the exodus of Hebrews from Egypt, lasting for eight days.
Omer: (sefirat ha-Omer = counting the omer, grain.) Grain offerings (2 quarts of barley) were made in the Temple of Jerusalem on
the second day of Pesach (Passover), celebrating the beginning of the harvest season.
Yom ha-Shoah = Holocaust Remembrance Day. It falls on the 27th day of Nissan. Israeli Knesset has marked this day for the
remembrance of six million Jews killed by the Nazis. Holocaust survivors speak in synagogues and elsewhere on this day. In Israel, a
siren goes off at 11 A.M. lasting for two minutes. There is no movement in Israel at this moment in time; everything comes to a stop;
the traffic is at a standstill; the drivers get out of the vehicle and observe silence where ever they are.
The Ten Commandments are written for children (International Children's Bible.
International Children's Bible
Muslims, Jews and Christians have Sabbath days for rest, reflection, meditation, prayer and worship: Friday, Saturday and
Sunday. No such special day of the week in Hinduism is the day of rest and reflection; it appears every day is such a
day for the Hindus. Sabbath day is a day of withdrawal from the external world and entry inward. This is a weekly centripetal
journey towards God and every week the aspirant is a little closer to God in his journey. It is a holy day for both physical and
spiritual healing. It is a day of delight (Isaih 58:13-14).
13 "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the
LORD’S holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14 then you
will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob." The
mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Jews do not have names for the weekdays, which are a pagan nomenclature. Jews make a centripetal journey to celebrate Sabbath; Sunday is the
first day of Sabbath and Friday is the sixth day; the weekdays go like this.
Sefirah is one of the ten emanations of divine presence.
The noble deeds:
Abraham was recuperating from circumcision. The God Himself was visiting Abraham; then he saw at a distance three strangers,
who turned out to be travel-weary and hungry Arabs. Abraham left God and served the Arabs, because Abraham said to himself
that God did not need a man to take care of him, but man needed man to take care of him.
Jewish Theology (http://www.becomingjewish.org/rlife.html) and Hinduism.
G-d G-d has many names such as El, El Shaddai, Adonai, Elohim, Almighty, L-rd, Hashem, King of the Universe. No matter what
name we use, G-d is One and Indivisible. G-d has no human form and the use of terms such as "the hand of G-d" is a metaphor
since the human mind cannot comprehend G-d on such a profound metaphysical level.
He has no parts. Hinduism has the same concept of God. He is Nirvayavam.(நிர்வயவம்) meaning He is indivisible and has no
parts or limbs.
The Tanach view has nine basic beliefs regarding G-d: monotheism (only One G-d); G-d has a name; nobody knows what
G-d look like; G-d acts in this world; G-d has made a special relationship with Klal Yisrael, Klal Yisrael has a special Covenant
with G-d; G-d requires ethical behavior of humans; G-d is a personal G-d; and, the suffering of the righteous is not understandable.
Hinduism also believes in Monotheism and yet He has many names, forms and functions. Hindus believe in Ishta-devata meaning a
person has the right to choose a god of his liking and pray to Him or Her. This Ishta-devata is one of many names of that nameless
God. He is Superconsciousness. He is formless, nameless, attributeless Nirguna Brahman (without any attributes) in His transcendental
form and Saguna Brahman in His manifest form. The latter is the form found in the temples. There is no covenant between God and
man in Hinduism. Man has the freedom to act any way he wants. Man has to take responsibility for his acts; there are consequences
in what we call karma, which has the long arm to reach a soul over many births. Ethical behavior is recommended for spiritual health.
Personal God (Saguna Brahman or simply Brahman) is the strong point in Vaishnavism. Monistic devotees believe in Nirguna or
impersonal Brahman. The suffering of the righteous is the consequence of Karma from previous birth.
The Rabbinic view of G-d is similar to the Biblical view and includes: G-d's existence; monotheism; angels act as G-d's messengers;
G-d judges this world; G-d and Klal Yisrael (Community of Israel) have a special bond; G-d is a personal G-d; the suffering of the
righteous cannot be explained; and, there is an afterlife and a physical resurrection.
Philo Judaeus' view of G-d includes: monotheism; G-d cannot be described; G-d cannot be named; G-d's existence can be proven;
G-d does not have a physical body but He does control this world; G-d operates in this world through "logos"; this "logos" is not a
person; G-d can be approached; G-d has a special relationship with Klal Yisrael; and, evil does not come from G-d but from the
world of matter.
Hindu view in Blue: God Exists. He is One with many names. Monotheism is the basis of many names and forms; God is one and many are His forms.
God's messengers are the Gurus, saints, Rishis, sages....Sometimes he incarnates in one of many forms on the earth: Rama, Krishna,
Buddha.... God has special bond with all people of all religions in addition to Hindus. Depending on Karma, the soul can assume the
body of a plant, an animal, or a human. Suffering of the righteous is on account of deeds (Karma) performed in previous birth. Physical resurrection
is an exception rather than a rule. God's existence can be proven in everyday happenings to an individual. God does not have a physical
body in His transcendent form. He has total control over all beings and the universe. God is approachable in heaven. Evil is man-made
and evil that escapes punishment is hounded by unseen Karma.
Maimonides' view of G-d includes: G-d exists and has no physical body; the existence of G-d can be proven; the human mind
cannot comprehend the totality of G-d so man uses euphemisms to describe G-d (i.e. the hand of G-d); G-d created the world
out of nothingness; angels are the messenger of G-d; evil results from human actions and an imperfect world; man has free will;
and, man's goal in life is spiritual and intellectual perfection.
According to Saivasiddhanta, the universe and embodied souls proceed from Siva-Sakti via Tattvas.TATTVAS-36. According to
Vaishnavas, the beings and the universe form the body of Vishnu. BG04. The world was unmanifest to begin with (Avyakta)
contained in Singularity (Prakriti). Matter and beings proceed from God and subside back into Him or Her. Within the norms of
Dharma, man can claim his place on earth by following Purusharthas, goals of man. They are Dharma, Artha, KAma and Moksha
(Righteousness, wealth, sensual pleasure and liberation from reincarnation).
The Kabbalah's view of G-d includes: G-d exists but is unknowable; the ten sefirot is how G-d manifests Himself in this world;
the human body is a microcosm of the universe; G-d is Self-limiting; the world is imperfect; and, man is partners with G-d to help
repair the world.
Baruch Spinoza's view of G-d includes: G-d and the universe are synonymous; G-d is not a personal G-d; G-d is beyond good
and evil and is relative to human experience; man has no free will; and, the human mind remains forever (man is immortal).
God is unknowable.
A close approximation and more elaborate descent of Divine Energy in Hinduism is the cascade of Tattvas TATTVAS-36.
The Pure Energy of Siva (Suddha Tattvas) cascades down to Human energy of Suddha-Asuddha Tattvas and the material energy of
matter (Asuddha Tattvas). What is in the body is out there (in the cosmos); thus the body is microcosm of the macrocosm of
the universe. In Saivasiddhanta, Siva undergoes voluntary dumbing-down so that human consciousness, will, knowledge and action are
are not as potent as His. That is self-limitation. Kashmir Saivism states that Sivaness vibrates in man and matter (Spanda power
of Siva). God transcends Sattva, Rajas and Tamas: Virtue, Motion and Darkness. .
Martin Buber's view of G-d includes: G-d cannot be defined and G-d's existence cannot be proven; man enters into a relationship
with G-d when man enters into a genuine dialogue with others in man's daily activities; laws are given by G-d to individuals (there
was no on-time revelation at Mount Sinai); and, evil comes about either through G-d withdrawing from man or man's own lack of
decision or direction.
Nature of G-d
The Torah begins by stating "In the beginning, G-d created..." It does not tell who G-d is or how He was created. The fact of
G-d's existence is accepted almost without question. In general, Judaism views the existence of G-d as a necessary prerequisite
for the existence of the universe. The existence of the universe is sufficient proof of the existence of G-d.
God is the universe and beings; what you see around you is the body of God. Our souls constitute the body of god. The proof is
staring at us all the time. The biblical view that the existence of the universe is sufficient proof of the existence of God is also the
view of Hinduism.
Saiva Siddhanta considers that the universe has three things: The inimitable God, the ubiquitous souls, and the impediments or bonds
in the way of souls to attain liberation. Agamas, Vedas and various spiritual treatises talk about these three entities. Worldly books
talk about only the bonds (தளை).
Pati, Chief, Master or Lord refers to Param Porul (the Supreme Being--பரம் பொருள்). There is only One Pati in the universe.
He is second to none. Pati is eternal, neither having a birth nor a beginning, nor an end. Pati is beyond form, formlessness and
form-formlessness. And yet Pati can sport all the said forms and other forms as He desires. He come into existence in all the said
forms without attributes or marks. The attributes or Gunas proceed from MAyA and are called Sattva, Rajas and Tamas which are
embraced by the souls and all objects without exception. The marks (icons, symbols, emblems) and the attributes are incidental to
God and not His nature or His Supreme Nature.
God is the only one that remains without bonds or impediments. he is thus called Ninmalan--நின்மலன் = One without impurities.
Since He is not bound, he can remove the bonds from the roiling souls. He is the ONE-ஏகம். He has no one to compare with, no
one greater than Him and no one above Him worthy of worship.
From the Formless come into existence Forms. Then come into existence the parts. From the forms come into existence more
forms. All the world expands and contracts. They (objects) are different from one another. All differences subside in non-difference.
All become one with Him. (He is non-different from the objects of the world;) He becomes all.
G-d is One
One of the primary expressions of Jewish faith, recited twice daily in prayer, is the Shema, which begins
שמע ישראל יהוה אלהינו יהוה אחד (Hear, O Israel: The L-rd is our G-d, The L-rd is one.) This single statement contains
three central Jewish beliefs:
There is only one G-d.
G-d is a unity. He cannot be divided into parts or described by attributes.
G-d is the only being to whom we should offer praise. G-d is the Creator of Everything
Everything in the universe was created by G-d and only by G-d. As Isaiah said, "I am the L-rd, and there is none else. I form the
light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil. I am the L-rd, that does all these things." (Isaiah 45:6-7).
Yes, God is One and only One and second to none. Gayatri Mantra is sung at sunrise, noon and sunset.
Ombhur-bhuvah-svah = Om, earth, atmosphere, and heaven.
tatsavitur varenyam = We adore That Light
bhargo devasya dhīmahi = We meditate on the Divine Splendor
dhiyo yonah prachodayāt = may he inspire our intelligence.
In Hinduism (Advaitism or Monism, there is ParaBrahman (Supreme Brahman without attributes) beyond human thought and
imagination. He is without attributes. Brahman becomes Saguna Brahman (Brahman with attributes) for the creation of the universe
and beings. In Vaishnava tradition, there is only one Brahman, who is the personal and has names and forms: Vishnu, Narayana,
Krishna....In Saivism Siva creates the universe and beings through Sakti; the building blocks of the universe are known as Tattvas.
God is the Light of lights, from which all lights are lit. Light is also spiritual wisdom; darkness is Avidya or Spiritual darkness.
God is the spiritual wisdom in a saint, knowledge in a sage, stealth in a thief.... He encompasses all qualities seen in this world.
He transcends all these earthly qualities.
Krishna (God)is the essence in everything and everybody. “He is all things to all beings, the animate, and the inanimate”. He is Brahman,
meaning that he pervades everything, animate or inanimate, virtue and evil, good and bad, like and dislike, charity and stealth,
punyam and papam, heaven and hell, creation and destruction, waking and sleep, Atma and mind, Prana and senses, atoms and
molecules, consciousness and unconsciousness, bondage and liberation, war and peace, prosperity and poverty, reverence and
irreverence, intelligence and stupidity, Vidya and Avidya, pride and shame, and error and rectitude. He possesses all attributes.
He is the stealth in the thief; He is the love between lovers; He is the enmity between foes; He is the sacred knowledge in Yogis;
He is the knowledge in the punditahs; He is the compassion and the forgiveness in Jesus Christ; and He is the holiness in Ramana
Maha Rishi and Ramakrishna Parmahamsa. He is the death and the regeneration in Siva; He is the terror in Mahā Kali (Durga).
He is the dharma (duty and righteousness) in Rama and Yuddhistra; He is the valor in Arjuna. He is the heat in the fire. He is the
dominant quality in anything or anybody in this universe, yet He transcends all these qualities and is never stained or affected by
them. He is like the sun radiating heat and light, yet not affected by its qualities.
Krishnasays in another Bhagavad Gita Verse:
I am the fraud of the gambler; of the splendid, I am the splendor; I am victory; I am the resolve (of the resolute); I am the absolute
virtue of the virtuous. (10.36)
G-d is Incorporeal
Although many places in the Tanach and Talmud speak of various parts of G-d's body or speaks of G-d in anthropomorphic
terms, Judaism firmly maintains that G-d has no body. Any reference to G-d's body is simply a means of making G-d's actions
more comprehensible to beings living in a material world. We are forbidden to represent G-d in a physical form. That is considered
idolatry. The sin of the Golden Calf incident was not that the people chose another deity, but that they tried to represent G-d in a
In Hinduism, manifest Brahman (Saguna Brahman) has the body. In His unmanifest form he is Pure Consciousness and beyond the
beyond. Idolatry is part and parcel of Hinduism.
There is an interesting story about rationalist Vivekananda becoming a spiritualist and his success at converting a foreign-educated
inveterate aniconic (an-iconic) fop to an idolist or idolater. Once Vivikananda went visiting with the neo-phobic of Indian values
and mores. He was led to a hall of frames where forefathers of the fop's ancestors graced the walls. No later than the host showed
his father's portrait with great respect and obeisance, Vivekananda spat on it knowing full well that he was an iconoclast. The
salivary splatter on the revered portrait drew inordinate anger from the host. Keeping his natural cool and composure, Vivekanada
questioned its sanctity and whether his father lived in the portrait. The foreign-educated man, intelligent as he was, immediately
realized that the idols are as sacred to the votaries as his father's portrait was sacred to him.
Is there a God? Kabir says: 'that which you see, is not; and for that which is, you have no words. It cannot be told by
the words of the mouth; it cannot be written on a paper. It is like a dumb person who tastes a sweet thing--how shall it be
explained.' Rabindranath Tagore: Kabir's poems pp. 95, 121; extract from The Brahma Sutra Page 243 by Dr. Radhakrishnan.
G-d is Neither Male nor Female
G-d has no body, no genitalia, therefore the very idea that G-d is male or female is completely incorrect. We refer to G-d using
masculine terms simply for convenience's sake, because Hebrew has no neutral gender; G-d is no more male than a book. There
are times when we refer to G-d using feminine terms. The Shechinah (a feminine word), the manifestation of G-d's presence that
fills the universe, is conceived of in feminine terms.
Attributeless Brahman (Para Brahman) is Pure Consciousness, genderless, incorporeal, immutable... entity. In its manifest form
Brahman can be Mother Goddess to Saktas (Mother Goddess worshippers), Male God to worshippers of Ganesa, Vishnu, Siva,
Sun....In Saivism, Siva-Sakti is a combined entity of Father God and Mother Goddess, portrayed as Androgynous Siva. Earth is
regarded as Mother Earth.
G-d is Omnipresent
G-d is in all places at all times. He fills the universe and exceeds its scope. Closely tied in with this idea is the fact that G-d is
universal. He is not just the G-d of the Jews; He is the G-d of all nations.
G-d is Omnipotent
G-d can do anything. The belief in G-d's omnipotence has been tested during the many persecutions of Jews, but Jews have
always maintained that G-d has a reason for allowing these things, even if we cannot see the reason.
G-d is Omniscient
G-d knows all things, past, present and future.
In Hinduism, God is also omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. The Judaic idea that God fills the universe refers to the
all-pervasive Vishnu, who is the Supreme God according to the Vaishnavas. When bad things happen to good and bad people,
the Hindus call it Karma, which has a long arm reaching people over many births. God not only knows the past , present and
future, but He is beyond Time; Time is in Him; we are within and bound by Time.
G-d is Eternal
G-d has no beginning and no end. He will always be there to fulfill his promises. When Moses asked for G-d's name, He replied,
"I am that I am," but the Hebrew word used, ehyeh, can be present or future tense, meaning "I am what I will be" or "I will be
what I will be." The ambiguity of the phrase is often interpreted as a reference to G-d's eternal nature.
G-d is Both Just and Merciful
Judaism has always maintained that G-d's justice is tempered by mercy, the two qualities perfectly balanced.
G-d is Holy and Perfect
One of the most common names applied to G-d in the post-Biblical period is "Ha-Kadosh, Barukh Hu," The Holy One, Blessed
G-d is our Father and our King
Judaism maintains that we are all G-d's children. A well-known piece of Jewish liturgy repeatedly describes G-d as "Avinu
Malkeinu," our Father, our King. It is said that one of G-d's greatest gifts to humanity is the knowledge that we are His children
and created in G-d's image.
The Hindu equivalent Great Saying (MahaVakya) to Judaic 'I am that I am' is 'Aham Brahman Asi' meaning 'I am Brahman.'
God in Hinduism has all the auspicious qualities (Kalyana Gunas) you want to see in god. Judaic The Holy One, Blessed be He'
has the Hindu equivalent in the term Sat-Cit-Ananda meaning God is 'Being, Consciousness, and Bliss.' In Tamil sacred texts,
God and Goddess are called அப்பன் and அம்மன் meaning Father and Mother. We are all His children and God has
anthropomorphic features besides other forms. He is formless, with form and form-formless. His gift to humanity is salvation.
Names of G-d
יהוה Ineffable Name, Unutterable Name (Tetragrammaton) - Holy Name used only by the Kohen Gadol in the Holy of Holies.
This name is never spelled out or pronounced except by the Kohen Gadol. The use of the terms Yahweh or Jehovah are
misnomers. In scripture, this Name is used when discussing God's relation with human beings, and when emphasizing his qualities
of loving-kindness and mercy.
Elohim (The Lawmaker) (Misspelled intentionally--spelled with a k not h in siddur/Tanach). In scripture, this Name is used when
emphasizing God's might, His creative power, and his attributes of justice and rulership.
El Shaddai This Name is the one written on the mezuzah scroll. Shaddai is an acronym of Shomer Daltot Yisrael, Guardian of the
Doors of Israel.
Adonai (My L-rd) This name is commonly used when studying Torah/Talmud or when in prayer.
Hashem (The Name) This name is commonly used in everyday speech as well as in scripture.
Adonai Emet (Truth)
Tzur Yisrael (The Rock of Israel)
Elohei Avraham, Yitzchak v' Yakov (G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob)
Ehiyeh sh'Ehiyeh (I Am That I Am)
Avinu Melkeinu (Our Father, Our King)
Ro'eh Yisrael (Shepherd of Israel)
Ha-Kodesh, Baruch Hu (The Holy One, Praised be He)
Melech ha-M'lachim (The King of Kings)
Makom (The Place, The Omnipresent)
Magen Avraham (Shield of Abraham)
In Judaism, out of due reverence for G-d (God), there is a prohibition on the pronunciation of four-letter name (YHVH =
Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh) except in prayer or study. The common practice is to mispronounce the name (politely and reverentially
called substitution of syllables or letters) so Adonai is mispronounced as Adoshem; Elohaynu and Elohim are mispronounced as
Elokaynu and Elokim. (The Hindu Chanters of hymns of 1000 names of Vishnu have a supreme adherence to the proper
enunciation of names. Any intentional mispronunciation is sacrilegious and prohibited. Tantrics are very particular about exact
and precise pronunciation. When you invoke god or goddess, proper enunciation is important. If the Hindu were to invoke and
call god, JOHN SMITH as JOAN SMYTHE, both deities (John Smith and Joan Smythe) get angry with the invoker;
consequences may be serious or they may simply forgive him because they know his sincere devotion to both of them. In
Hinduism, unintentional mispronunciation does not invite the wrath of God. Here is a quote,
"Even if one were to slip on the proper method of reciting it (with faith and completely surrendered), the Thirumanthra will not
slip from its nature, which is providing full protection to those reciting it. The Thirumanthra will protect everyone who recite it,
no matter how they do it. That is, it never fails in its nature."
Melech ha-M'lachim. Meleccha in Sanskrit and Tamil (மிலேச்சன்) means a foreigner. (No insult is intended; it is
interesting to note that similar sounding words carry different meanings in different languages.)
n. < milēccha. 1. Barbarian, uncivilised foreigner; நாகரிகமற்ற புற நாட்டான். மிலேச்ச ரேறலின்
(சீவக. 2216). 2. Person speaking barbarous language; மற்ற மொழியைப் பேசுவோன்.
(சீவக. 93, உரை.) 3. Non-Aryan; அனாரியன். (சூடா.) 4. Ignoramus; அறிவீனன். (யாழ். அக.)
5. Hunter; வேடன். (யாழ். அக.) 6. Low person; தாழ்ந் தோன். (யாழ். அக.)
7. Son born of the illegitimate union of a Vaišya man and a Brahmin woman; வைசியனுக்கும் பிராமணப்
பெண்ணுக்கும் சோரத்திற் பிறந்த மகன். 8. Aryan; ஆரியன். (அக. நி.)
In Hinduism there is ONE GOD and many are His or Her names. Hindus believe that God is formless [Brahman] and One;
people call Him or Her Brahman, The Lord, Allah, Adonai or any other name if a new Prophet, Messiah or Guru comes along
in the future and establishes a new religion entirely unknown and unimagined by us now. Consider the possibility that a new future
prophet (Nuo) declares establishment of a new religion, NUOISM AND CALLS HIS GOD NUON and declares that all other
Gods are defunct pretenders. Nuon, Nuo, and Nuoism become legitimate because 3 billion people converted to Nuoism. Now
I know we should not be fighting with each other in the name of religion.) In writing the word G-d (God) in Judaism, an observant
Jew drops the letter O. G-d is often referred to as Ha-Shem (The Name), the Ineffable Name, the Unutterable Name or the
Distinctive Name. To the Jew, God is One, both female and male blended in One but He or She comes with many names and
flavors. He invokes and thanks Lord Adonai for Her kindness; he invokes God Elohim for being harsh (justice) on him. Simply,
Feminine Lord Adonai becomes Masculine God Elohim depending upon dispensation. To him Female Lord Adonai and
Male God Elohim are parents--though one-- keeping the children in line first by giving soft love and then some tough love.
Writing G-d's Name
Judaism does not forbid the writing out of the Names of G-d per se. However, Judaism does forbid taking the Names of G-d in
vain and erasing or defacing the Names of G-d. Observant Jews do not write out the Names of G-d in order to protect the Names
from later being erased or defaced. The commandment not to erase or deface the name of God comes from Deuteronomy 12:3-4.
You shall break apart their altars; you shall smash their pillars; and their sacred trees shall you burn in the fire; their carved images
shall you cut down; and you shall obliterate their names from that place. You shall not do this to Hashem, your G-d.
The rabbis taught that we are commanded not to erase or deface a Name of G-d. This ruling is applicable only to a permanent form
of writing a Name of G-d. Observant Jews will be careful when writing out the Names of G-d on a non-permanent medium such
as the computer since the Names may be printed out and erased or defaced. Any permanent writing of the Names of G-d that are
old and/or unusable are to be buried in a Jewish cemetery inside a geniza (a box used to bury holy objects) according to Jewish
THE RAMBAM'S THIRTEEN PRINCIPLES OF JEWISH FAITH
1. I believe with perfect faith that G-d is the Creator and Ruler of all things. He alone has made, does make, and
will make all things. Complete concordance with Hinduism.
2. I believe with perfect faith that G-d is One. There is no unity that is in any way like His. He alone is our G-d He was, He is,
and He will be. Complete concordance with Hinduism.
3. I believe with perfect faith that G-d does not have a body; physical concepts do not apply to Him. There is nothing whatsoever
that resembles Him at all. Supreme Para Brahman of Hinduism without attributes meets these criteria.
4. I believe with perfect faith that G-d is first and last. God is the beginning, middle and the end.
5. I believe with perfect faith that it is only proper to pray to G-d. One may not pray to anyone or anything else. Complete
concordance with Hinduism.
6. I believe with perfect faith that all the words of the prophets are true. There are no prophets in Hinduism.
7. I believe with perfect faith that the prophecy of Moses is absolutely true. He was the chief of all prophets, both before and after
Him. There are no prophets in Hinduism. No one person founded Hinduism.
8. I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah that we now have is that which was given to Moses. Upanishads, Vedas, Vedanta,
Puranas, Agamas, and Itihasas are the sacred texts of Hinduism. These (not all) sacred texts are revealed wisdom.
9. I believe with perfect faith that this Torah will not be changed, and that there will never be another given by G-d. In Hinduism,
future revelations if any, must conform to Vedas and Vedanta.
10. I believe with perfect faith that G-d knows all of man's deeds and thoughts. It is thus written (Psalm 33:15), "He has molded
every heart together, He understands what each one does." Hinduism agrees with the spirit of the message.
11. I believe with perfect faith that G-d rewards those who keep His commandments, and punishes those who transgress Him. In
Hinduism, each person has freedom of action. His thought, word and deed constitute Karma, which apportions rewards
and punishment. God very rarely interferes with Karma and its fruits but has the ability to expunge Karma.
12. I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah. How long it takes, I will await His coming every day. There is no
Messiah in Hinduism. Deliverance of an individual based on the purity of soul is the norm. Deliverance of a particular group by God
is not in the Upanishads. The sacred texts of Hinduism are the ultimate Truth.
13. I believe with perfect faith that the dead will be brought back to life when G-d wills it to happen. Reincarnation and liberation
rather than resurrection are the belief in Hinduism. The tree grows from a seed (Karma) which leaves a seed upon the death of a
tree; thus the cycle repeats itself in the embodiment of the soul. In Saivism, when the seed of Karma is destroyed by Iruvinaiyoppu
and SaktinipAtam (இருவினையொப்பு and சத்திநிபாதம் = two-deed resolution of good and bad deeds and descent of Grace),
the human soul is liberated and attains God.
The Rambam wrote his thirteen foundations in his Commentary on the Mishnah in the tenth chapter of tractate Sanhedrin. The
Thirteen Principles fall into three general categories: (a) the nature of belief in G-d; (b) the authenticity of the Torah, its
validity and immutability; and (c) man's responsibility and ultimate reward.
Angels are beings residing in heaven who carry out G-d's will. Angels serve the purpose of G-d in specific circumstances such as
wrestling with Jacob and are capable of doing only one job at a time (which is why there were three angels visiting Abraham).
Angels do not have free will as humans do - even though G-d may choose to give angels limited free will (such as allowing
haSatan to tempt Job). Angels are generally thought of as protectors - each of the 70 nations of the world - as well as Israel -
have a "guardian angel". Four of the most mentioned angels are Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael. Michael is the
commander-in-chief of the angels and the guardian of Israel. Gabriel is the master of courage. Uriel is the angel of light.
Raphael is the healing angel.
Maimonides: Mishneh Torah
1. Chayot haKodesh
8. Benei Elohim
Zohar: Exodus 43
3. Benei Elohim
9. Benei Elohim
Demons are said to have been created at the twilight of the sixth day of Creation. They are without free will and may only do
the bidding of G-d. There are demons mentioned in the Bible. The se'irim are satyr-like demons to whom the Israelites had
sacrificed (Leviticus 17:7). Azazel (Leviticus 16:10) is a goat-like demon of the wilderness to whom a goat is offered. He is
probably the chief se'irim. Lilith (Isaiah 34:14) is also associated with the se'irim. The shedim are demons to whom the Israelites
had sacrificed (Deuteronomy 32:17). "Rabbinical demonology has, like the Chaldean, three classes of, demons, though they are
scarcely separable one from another. There were the "shedim," the "mazziḳim" (harmers), and the "ruḥin" or "ruḥotra'ot" (evil
spirits). Besides these there were "lilin" (night spirits), "ṭelane" (shade, or evening, spirits), "ṭiharire" (midday spirits), and "ẓafrire"
(morning spirits), as well as the "demons that bring famine" and "such as cause storm and earthquake" (Targ. Yer. to Deut. xxxii.
24 and Num. vi. 24; Targ. to Cant. iii. 8, iv. 6; Eccl. ii. 5; Ps. xci. 5, 6; compare Ps. lxx. and Is. xxxiv. 14). Occasionally they
are called "mal'ake ḥabbalah" (angels of destruction) (Ber. 51a; Ket. 104a; Sanh. 106b)."1
In Hinduism, the Angels and demons are called Suras and Asuras, whose father is Kasyapa and whose mothers are sisters: Aditi
and Diti. Sons of Aditi are the gods, Suras or Adityas and those of Diti are demons, Asuras or Daityas. They have free will and
freedom of action. These fighting half-brothers are at war most of the time. Suras and Asuras churned the milk ocean and obtained
Nectar of Immortality, which was given by trickery of Vishnu to the gods. Vishnu is God of gods according to Vaishnavites, while
Siva is the God of gods for Saivites. Saktas regard Mother Goddess as the supreme Being. Most of the Hindus worship all deities.
Shamayim (Heaven) "was explained as the combination of sham and mayim (the place where there is water), or esh and mayim
(fire and water), and from these two elements, the celestial region was made (Chag. 12a)." There are seven heavens discussed in
Jewish texts. Vilon retires in the morning and comes forth in the evening, renewing the work of Creation daily. Rakia is the heaven
to which the sun, moons, stars, and planets are afixed. Shecakim is where the millstones are located that grind manna for the
righteous. Zebul is a place of habitation. Maon is where the band of angels sings at night but remains silent during the day to allow
for the songs of Israel to reach upward to heaven. Machon contains: the treasuries of snow and hail; the loft of dews and "round
drops"; the chamber of the whirlwind and storm; cavern of noxious smoke; and doors made of fire. Araboth contains:
righteousness, charity, and judgment; the storehouses of life, of peace, of blessing; the souls of the righteous; the spirits and
souls that are still to be created; and the dew that will be used by G-d to revive the dead.1
Here is a list of the ladder pattern of four paths to reach the feet of Siva after liberation.
Saivites call Siva's feet as the heaven.
Saiva Siddhantist believes that souls of other religions should excel and achieve the native blessedness of that particular religion;
thus, no religion can give the ultimate release that Saivism gives. When the soul is ripe in its own religion, it will be born in Saivite
religion. That is not the end of the road; within Savism there are subdivisions or inner religions; once the soul attains excellence in
the inner religions, the soul has to take birth in Saiva Siddhanta. Now the soul has to perform Chariyai, Kriyai, and Yogam. These
are set in a ladder pattern to reach Siva. The soul has to excel in Dasamarga, Kriyamarga, Sakhamarga and Sanmarga.
The above chart illustrates the various Margas, a Sadhaka in Saiva Siddhanta should follow to obtain release. Dasamarga is the
path of servant, Kriya Satputramarga, the way of a child, Sakhamarga, the path of friend, Sanmarga-Sadhanamarga, the path of
One may progress from one stage to the next to the highest and attain salvation in one lifetime; that is rare. More commonly one
lifetime is spent in Dasamarga and the soul is born again and again to pursue other paths and eventually merges with Siva.
Dasamarga. Dasa = servant or slave. Marga = path. Path of the servant. Service to the Lord with one's body. The devotee serves
the Lord as a servant. He keeps the temple clean, spotless, and shiny; he collects flowers and makes garlands for the Lord; he
keeps the flame of the lights alive all the time; he tends the flower gardens; he praises and sings glories of the Lord; he worships
and honors him; he calls himself a loyal dog of the Lord, waiting to do his bid. Dasamarga takes the devotee of Siva to the world
of Siva (Saloka) after death and he will be reborn again to pursue other paths. (loka = world)
Kriyamarga or Satputramarga. Kriya = service. Satputra = blessed child. The path of the child. Service to the Lord with one's
senses. This path is that of the child of the Lord. Does this remind you of Jesus Christ? The devotee takes flowers to the Lord,
lights up lamps with fragrant oils, performs five purifications, sets up a prayer room with alter, picture of Siva and other aspects of
worship, consecrates the picture, makes burnt offerings and praises the Lord. This path of service is akin to that of son to his
father (nearness, Samipya) and takes the soul to Siva.
Sakhamarga. Sakha = friend. Path of friend. The five senses should be kept under control; The Ida and Pingala Nadi should be
controlled; meditation on a single object and channeling Prana and Kundalini goddess to Susumna Nadi, merging of the yogi with
Siva in Sahasrara Chakra, imbibing the ambrosia and going to the sphere of fire, sun and moon are the steps towards Sakhamarga.
This is the path of friend (intelligence) to the Lord. This path assures that the devotee attains likeness to Siva (Sarupya).
Vaishnavas call heaven Paramapadam or Vaikuntam.
Krishna (Vishnu) is the strong, the immaculate and the upright one, ever in service of his Bhaagavataas, devotees. He would rather
leave his consort to help his devotee if He has to make a choice. Krishna is the source of help for men and gods. When gods
exhaust their tenure in heaven they are reborn on earth as men and women. Krishna can erase that fear of rebirth. The realized
men and women of Vaikuntham are eternal residents (Nithyasuris) because they possess Parabhakti, Parajnanam, and
Paramabhakti, qualities essential to be residents in Vaikuntham.
1. Parabhakti is the first stage of devotion in which a devotee perceives the Supreme Being by his spiritual vision.
2. Parajnanam is knowledge of God and the second and intermediate stage of devotion in which a devotee gains intimate knowledge
of the Supreme Being by means of spiritual union.
3.Paramabhakti is the third and highest stage of devotion in which a devotee does not brook the slightest separation from the
Supreme Being. (Obligate union)
These three entities are spiritual vision, spiritual union and obligate spiritual union, one higher than the preceding one. Obligate
union here does not mean that the devotees and Krishna become one entity. Even in merger, Krishna and the Nithyasuris exist
as separate entities. The Nithyasuris live in close proximity and do not have the right of creation, maintenance and destruction
which are the exclusive right of Krishna. The Nithyasuris are like light water particles in a lake, while Krishna is like heavy water.
Obligate Union brooks no tolerance for separation.
Here is a depiction of Paramapadam, Vaikuntam or Vaishnava Heaven.
Traditional Judaism believes in Olam Habah (The World To Come). Death is the end of this physical life but it is also the beginning
of a spiritual life. Judaism stresses this life which leaves little dogma about the afterlife and room for many beliefs. There are varied
beliefs that range from the belief that the dead go to "heaven", they are reincarnated, or simply wait until the Moshiach arrives when
they will be resurrected. The resurrection of the dead when the Moshiach arrives is a principle belief of Judaism. It is included in
Maimonides' 13 Principles of Faith and in the second blessing of the Shemoneh Esrei prayer that is said three times daily. Only the
most righteous go straight to Gan Eden ("heaven") while others are placed in Gehenna for up to twelve months to have their souls
purified before ascending to Gan Eden. Every righteous person of all the nations will have a place in the afterlife. The place one will
take in the afterlife is dependent upon the behavior of the individual in this life.
This is what Bhagavan Krishna says in Bhagavad-Gita about after-life. Go to BG08 for details.
8.23: O Best of Bharatas, I will disclose to you the time when the departing yogis do not return and the time when they do return.
(Return means rebirth.)
8.24: The paths of the departing souls, who attain the Brahman because of Brahman knowledge, are: the fire, the day, the bright half
of the month and the six months of sun’s northern passage.
8.25: Smoke, night, also the dark (half of the month), the six months of sun's southern passage are the paths the departing yogi takes,
attains the lunar light, and returns (to earth after a sojourn).
8.26: Light and darkness are the two eternal paths of this world. By (the former) one, he goes, not to return; by (the latter) the other,
he returns again.
8.27: A yogi, knowing these two paths, O Partha, is not deluded. Therefore O, Arjuna, at all times be engaged in yoga.
8.28: Knowing all this and going beyond the studies of Vedas, performance of sacrifices, tapas (austerities), charities, which result in
fruits of merit, the yogi attains the Supreme eternal abode.
In Hebrew the synagogue is known as the beit k'nesset (house of assembly). The synagogue is also known as a beit tefillah (house
of prayer) and a beit midrash (house of study). In Yiddish the synagogue is known by the term "shul". In traditionally built
synagogues the front wall faces east toward Jerusalem. The Holy Ark (Aron Kodesh) containing the Torah scrolls is located on
this eastern wall. In traditional synagogues the bimah is located in the middle of the sanctuary and the cantor/rabbi/leader faces the
eastern wall like the congregation. There is a mechitza (screen or one-way mirror) that divides the sanctuary into separate male
and female seating and the synagogue is never referred to as a "Temple". In modernist synagogues the bimah is placed in front of
the Ark and is facing the congregation. In addition, men and women are seated together and the synagogues may contain the word
"Temple" in their names.
Hindu Temples are dedicated to a pantheon of gods with the presiding deity in the central shrine. All the images in the temple are
the manifest form of the gods and goddesses. Right in front of the shrines, appropriate mounts (animal vehicles) are seated: A mythical
Bird for Vishnu, Nandi-bull for Siva.... There is usually a walkway around the shrine for circumambulation.
Go to BALAJI_TEMPLE for more details.
Sacrifices and Offerings
Jews today do not offer any kind of animal sacrifice or offerings, nor have Jews offered sacrifices since the Second Century CE.
There are some Orthodox rabbis in Israel who keep the techniques and laws of sacrifice alive by practicing the techniques of ritual
sacrifice and teaching young Orthodox boys and men the techniques and laws. The practice of ritual sacrifice effectively stopped
when the Roman army destroyed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE. There was a brief resumption of sacrifices during the
Jewish War of 132-135 CE. However, after this war was lost, sacrificial offerings ended. Since the Holy Temple has been
destroyed Jews are unable to offer any sacrificial offerings. It is believed that when the Messiah comes the Holy Temple will be
rebuilt and sacrifices will once again be permitted.
Animal sacrifices are only one way of obtaining forgiveness. There are also non-animal offerings and other means of obtaining
forgiveness that do not involve any sacrifices. Many people refer to Leviticus 17:11 to show that blood is required for forgiveness.
In fact, this passage is not about atonement but is about dietary laws. That passage states that the blood from the sacrifice is used
for atonement but it does not say that this is the only means for obtaining atonement. Prayer has now taken the place of the ritual
sacrifices. The prayer services are designed to parallel the sacrificial practices at the Holy Temple.
Hosea 14:3 "Take words with you and return to Hashem; say to Him, 'May you forgive all iniquity and accept good [intentions],
and let our lips substitute for bulls'. "
Vishnu is a pure lacto-vegetarian and does not like animal sacrifices. Siva also does not accept animal sacrifices. Mother Goddess
Kali accepts animal sacrifices.
In Puranic literature certain rules have been laid down with regards to eating of meat. An ascetic eats only roots, leaves and fallen
fruits. Yajnavalkya states in Garuda Purana (1.97.1-10) that the animal products such as wool and silk are purified by sprinkling
them with a mixture of fresh cow’s urine and hot water. Consecrated meat on special occasions is fit for consumption without any
fear of accumulating bad karma. Killing animals and eating their meat at other times guarantee that the eater goes to hell and stays
there for as many days as there are hairs on that animal. Plants, animals, and human beings have souls, the difference being the
to which it is expressed is different, man having the highest and the plants the lowest. All living entities have one pervading Supreme
Soul. Killing a living entity is violating that Soul in that living entity and by extension the Soul of the meat eater, which is Atman or
Brahman. Discreet violence to plants to the extent to sustain life without killing of animals is the object of Ahimsa.
sleeps in stone, feels in flora, senses in fauna and thinks in man. Sentience runs parallel with consciousness.
In Puranas, sacrificial
offerings of seeds older than three years are recommended in the belief that the older seeds lack the ability to germinate and
produce living plants.
Students of Hinduism from both East and West say that there was cow slaughter in ancient times in India. The kings made horse
sacrifices (Asvamedha) for various reasons. Asoka, Buddhism and Jainism succeeded only to a certain extent to lessen the horse
sacrifices, until it fell into disuse in the ninth century C.E.
The Five M's, known as Pancha Makaaras (Pancha Makaras)
The Five M's are the five words beginning with Sanskrit letter "Ma." These notorious five caused a lot of controversy: Madya1
(wine), Mamsa2 (meat), Matsya3 (Fish), Mudra4 (grains) and Mithuna5 (sexual union). These five are also known as Pancha
Tattvas: five principles. Madya, Madhu, or Mead is wine, cognate with Welsh Medhu and Lithuanian Medus. For the modern
man, these five acts within the confines of marriage are normal. Actually, these acts are actively encouraged for one reason or
another: mental health, cardiac health (meat not recommended). On superficial examination, it appears that these five acts are
sins of the flesh for the spiritually enlightened individuals in certain sections of India. But in the west, this is the norm. Most of the
epicures are guilty of these five acts, if you call the acts guilt. In the ordinary sense, there is no law against these five acts and they
are not prosecutable offenses. So what is the problem? Man is drawn to these five in a natural way. In Buddhist icons and sacred
texts, depiction of Mithuna or sexual union carries an illustrative import: Enlightenment or Nirvana cannot be attained by wisdom
or compassion (right action) alone, but by a combination of both. This union of male compassion and female wisdom produces
Nirvana. Saktas believe that proper performance of Mithuna leads an aspirant from the physical to the spiritual awareness. During