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How can Hindus explain the multiplicity of Gods to people of other religions?

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dattaswami
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How can Hindus explain the multiplicity of Gods to people of other religions?

Post by dattaswami »



Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: One of my Christian friends asked me “Why does Hinduism have so many forms of Gods and Goddesses? We have only Jesus Christ. Muslims have only Allah. Buddhism has only Lord Buddha and so on. How can one keep up with so many forms? Are you supposed to just pick whom you like and focus on that form”? How should I answer such questions?


Swami replied: The above question regarding the multiplicity of Gods in Hinduism itself contains the answer because the questioner asked “Are you supposed to just pick whom you like and focus on that form?” Hinduism is a micro-model of the macro-world. What you see in the world, you also see in the Hindu religion at a micro-level. In the world, you have picked up the form of Jesus since you liked it and you are focusing on it. Did you ask other people in the world, “Why are there so many forms of God existing in the world when Jesus alone is God?”

Some other person has picked Allah, who has no form. Some other person picked Buddha. Note that even Allah is a mediated form of God because the unimaginable God entered in a medium of formless light. The external form chosen by the devotee is as per the devotee’s personal taste. The external form does not merely mean the physical features of the body.

The external form includes the internal mental qualities, in the case of the Human Incarnation of God. Both the body and the qualities constitute the external form because the internal form existing in any Human Incarnation of God is the same unimaginable God. Human Incarnations differ in their external forms in terms of the physical features and the colour of the body along with the mental qualities. But the internal unimaginable God in all of them is one and the same. If you take two ordinary human beings, God does not exist in them.

In that case, the body is external and the mental qualities are internal. But in a Human Incarnation, God exists in the human medium. God is internal and both the body and the mental qualities become the external medium. Of course, the noble qualities are commonly present in all Incarnations, but their modes differ. There are three modes, which are sattvam (peaceful), rajas (active) and tamas (dormant).

Human beings differ in their tastes for these modes. The divine qualities present in an Incarnation can be expressed in any of the three modes mentioned above. So, when I said that the internal qualities in Incarnations differ, it means that the modes differ. Rāma was very calm and peaceful, whereas Krishna was very dynamic. But both have the same divine qualities.
d3r31nz1g3
Posts: 87
Joined: November 19th, 2022, 11:39 am

Re: How can Hindus explain the multiplicity of Gods to people of other religions?

Post by d3r31nz1g3 »

dattaswami wrote: November 25th, 2022, 3:58 am

Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: One of my Christian friends asked me “Why does Hinduism have so many forms of Gods and Goddesses? We have only Jesus Christ. Muslims have only Allah. Buddhism has only Lord Buddha and so on. How can one keep up with so many forms? Are you supposed to just pick whom you like and focus on that form”? How should I answer such questions?


Swami replied: The above question regarding the multiplicity of Gods in Hinduism itself contains the answer because the questioner asked “Are you supposed to just pick whom you like and focus on that form?” Hinduism is a micro-model of the macro-world. What you see in the world, you also see in the Hindu religion at a micro-level. In the world, you have picked up the form of Jesus since you liked it and you are focusing on it. Did you ask other people in the world, “Why are there so many forms of God existing in the world when Jesus alone is God?”

Some other person has picked Allah, who has no form. Some other person picked Buddha. Note that even Allah is a mediated form of God because the unimaginable God entered in a medium of formless light. The external form chosen by the devotee is as per the devotee’s personal taste. The external form does not merely mean the physical features of the body.

The external form includes the internal mental qualities, in the case of the Human Incarnation of God. Both the body and the qualities constitute the external form because the internal form existing in any Human Incarnation of God is the same unimaginable God. Human Incarnations differ in their external forms in terms of the physical features and the colour of the body along with the mental qualities. But the internal unimaginable God in all of them is one and the same. If you take two ordinary human beings, God does not exist in them.

In that case, the body is external and the mental qualities are internal. But in a Human Incarnation, God exists in the human medium. God is internal and both the body and the mental qualities become the external medium. Of course, the noble qualities are commonly present in all Incarnations, but their modes differ. There are three modes, which are sattvam (peaceful), rajas (active) and tamas (dormant).

Human beings differ in their tastes for these modes. The divine qualities present in an Incarnation can be expressed in any of the three modes mentioned above. So, when I said that the internal qualities in Incarnations differ, it means that the modes differ. Rāma was very calm and peaceful, whereas Krishna was very dynamic. But both have the same divine qualities.
There's a lot of confusion about Hinduism even within Hinduism itself.

The three main Gods Vishnu, Shiva, and Ganesh are representative. Vishnu and Shiva represent dark/light duality and Ganesh represents nature and the reverence of elephant intelligence. Or elephantelligence, if you will.

It's pretty clear that the multiple Gods represent things more so than that they are "multiple co-existent literal God beings". Although they may be taken to literally exist, they would still be "representatives".

Then there's the myth of reincarnation which, despite being all-pervasive, is very distracting from what Hinduism actually is.

But if you get to the root of what Hinduism actually is there is nothing incompatible between Abrahamic religion and Hinduism. Meditation, monasticism, yoga... it's clear what it's really about. What's the difference between Siddhartha and Jesus? Why is Jesus so similar to Krishna and other Hindu saints? If any of it is true, it's clearly all the same thing.
dattaswami
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Re: How can Hindus explain the multiplicity of Gods to people of other religions?

Post by dattaswami »

d3r31nz1g3 wrote: November 25th, 2022, 10:13 pm
There's a lot of confusion about Hinduism even within Hinduism itself.

The three main Gods Vishnu, Shiva, and Ganesh are representative. Vishnu and Shiva represent dark/light duality and Ganesh represents nature and the reverence of elephant intelligence. Or elephantelligence, if you will.

It's pretty clear that the multiple Gods represent things more so than that they are "multiple co-existent literal God beings". Although they may be taken to literally exist, they would still be "representatives".

Then there's the myth of reincarnation which, despite being all-pervasive, is very distracting from what Hinduism actually is.

But if you get to the root of what Hinduism actually is there is nothing incompatible between Abrahamic religion and Hinduism. Meditation, monasticism, yoga... it's clear what it's really about. What's the difference between Siddhartha and Jesus? Why is Jesus so similar to Krishna and other Hindu saints? If any of it is true, it's clearly all the same thing.
Why did God express Himself in different forms in a single Hindu religion in India? In the universe, God expressed Himself in a single form in every religion. In Christianity, there is only one expressed form i.e. Jesus. In Islam, there is only one expressed form i.e. Allah or Mohammad. But in Hindu religion, there are different expressed forms of God like Vishnu, Shiva etc. Diversity in the forms of God is only the first point in Hindu religion. The next point is the unity in all these forms that also exists in Hindu religion.

People are criticizing the Hindu religion showing only the first point. Why don’t they see the second point? The concept is not complete by the first point. Now, the question comes, “Why should there be diversity at all and make the unnecessary effort to bring the unity? Why Hinduism is not having a single form of God as in Christianity or Islam?” All right [Agreed].

Let us assume that there is a single form in Hindu religion and let us assume that Vishnu is that single form. Then, does this solve the problem when you take the entire world? Now, there are three forms of God i.e. Jesus, Allah or Mohammad and Vishnu. Now, if you take the world as your system for studying, is there a single form of God for the entire world? Even if we solve the problem at micro level i.e. Hinduism, but the same problem is appearing at the macro level i.e. the world.

The solution at macro level is very important than at the micro level because in India, wars never took place between the followers of Vishnu and the followers of Shiva. But in the world, wars have taken place and are still taking place between the followers of Islam, Christianity, Hinduism etc. The problem at the micro level never disturbed the peace. But, the problem at macro level always disturbed the peace of the world.

To use a medicine on human beings at macro level, it is first tested in the laboratory on a micro system like a rabbit. When the medicine is proved in the case of the rabbit, it is administered to all the human beings. Similarly, the concept developed in the unity of various forms of God in Hinduism should be taken totally by all religions in the world. As the medicine cured the disease of the rabbit, it cures the same disease in all the human beings. Similarly, the knowledge of unity of various sub-religions in the Hindu religion should be applied as it is to the case of all the universal religions. This knowledge is the medicine.

The fanatic is the disease. This knowledge not only cures various fanatics in the Hindu religion, but also cures the various fanatics of religions in the world. Infact, there is only one God in Hinduism i.e. Lord Datta who appears in various forms like Vishnu, Shiva etc. Actually, God Datta purposely created the diversity in the forms of God in Hinduism to teach the unity in diversity in all the religions in the world. This is just like a mini model prepared to represent the entire world.

The same design in the mini model appears as a huge building when constructed. Similarly, the concept in Hinduism is the message for the entire universe. Lord Datta is the teacher for the world. A teacher praises his student in one subject and praises another student in another subject. He will ask them to help each other. Similarly, India should learn the sacrifice from abroad and the rest of the world should learn about unity in diversity from India.

One has to take the good aspect from every religion. I do not belong to any religion but belong equally to all the religions. I do not support or condemn any religion blindly. I pick up the pearls from all the oceans. I criticize Hinduism for several points like not doing the sacrifice of money or work for God, caste system etc. As per the point of unity in diversity is concerned, I praise Indians.

I criticize the rest of the world. So, irrespective of the name of the religion, one has to pick up the good points from every religion. Are you rejecting the diamond from a foreign country? Diamond is a diamond anywhere in the world. You cannot differentiate an Indian diamond and a foreign diamond. The logic in the unity of Hinduism is based on the same God appearing in various forms and qualities to satisfy the tastes of different people when He comes in human form.

The nature of Vishnu is ‘Sattvam’ i.e. soft nature. So, soft people are attracted to Vishnu. The nature of Shiva is ‘Tamas’ i.e. emotional nature. People of such nature like Shiva. When there is synchrony in nature of the devotee and the human form of God, the attraction and adaptability is more. Then the message of God to that human form reaches the devotee easily. The message is same but the forms of God are different.

The same milk is given in different types of cups. Somebody likes a ceramic cup and somebody likes a glass cup. The form of God is as per your liking, but the divine message preached by all forms of God is the same. It is just like the same syllabus present in different language mediums. The unity in diversity in Hinduism is actually practiced by almost all the people. In every house, people celebrate the festival of Vishnu and the festival of Shiva. In every house, the photos of almost all the forms of Hindu God are worshipped in India.
d3r31nz1g3
Posts: 87
Joined: November 19th, 2022, 11:39 am

Re: How can Hindus explain the multiplicity of Gods to people of other religions?

Post by d3r31nz1g3 »

dattaswami wrote: November 27th, 2022, 11:24 am
d3r31nz1g3 wrote: November 25th, 2022, 10:13 pm
There's a lot of confusion about Hinduism even within Hinduism itself.

The three main Gods Vishnu, Shiva, and Ganesh are representative. Vishnu and Shiva represent dark/light duality and Ganesh represents nature and the reverence of elephant intelligence. Or elephantelligence, if you will.

It's pretty clear that the multiple Gods represent things more so than that they are "multiple co-existent literal God beings". Although they may be taken to literally exist, they would still be "representatives".

Then there's the myth of reincarnation which, despite being all-pervasive, is very distracting from what Hinduism actually is.

But if you get to the root of what Hinduism actually is there is nothing incompatible between Abrahamic religion and Hinduism. Meditation, monasticism, yoga... it's clear what it's really about. What's the difference between Siddhartha and Jesus? Why is Jesus so similar to Krishna and other Hindu saints? If any of it is true, it's clearly all the same thing.
Why did God express Himself in different forms in a single Hindu religion in India? In the universe, God expressed Himself in a single form in every religion. In Christianity, there is only one expressed form i.e. Jesus. In Islam, there is only one expressed form i.e. Allah or Mohammad. But in Hindu religion, there are different expressed forms of God like Vishnu, Shiva etc. Diversity in the forms of God is only the first point in Hindu religion. The next point is the unity in all these forms that also exists in Hindu religion.

People are criticizing the Hindu religion showing only the first point. Why don’t they see the second point? The concept is not complete by the first point. Now, the question comes, “Why should there be diversity at all and make the unnecessary effort to bring the unity? Why Hinduism is not having a single form of God as in Christianity or Islam?” All right [Agreed].

Let us assume that there is a single form in Hindu religion and let us assume that Vishnu is that single form. Then, does this solve the problem when you take the entire world? Now, there are three forms of God i.e. Jesus, Allah or Mohammad and Vishnu. Now, if you take the world as your system for studying, is there a single form of God for the entire world? Even if we solve the problem at micro level i.e. Hinduism, but the same problem is appearing at the macro level i.e. the world.

The solution at macro level is very important than at the micro level because in India, wars never took place between the followers of Vishnu and the followers of Shiva. But in the world, wars have taken place and are still taking place between the followers of Islam, Christianity, Hinduism etc. The problem at the micro level never disturbed the peace. But, the problem at macro level always disturbed the peace of the world.

To use a medicine on human beings at macro level, it is first tested in the laboratory on a micro system like a rabbit. When the medicine is proved in the case of the rabbit, it is administered to all the human beings. Similarly, the concept developed in the unity of various forms of God in Hinduism should be taken totally by all religions in the world. As the medicine cured the disease of the rabbit, it cures the same disease in all the human beings. Similarly, the knowledge of unity of various sub-religions in the Hindu religion should be applied as it is to the case of all the universal religions. This knowledge is the medicine.

The fanatic is the disease. This knowledge not only cures various fanatics in the Hindu religion, but also cures the various fanatics of religions in the world. Infact, there is only one God in Hinduism i.e. Lord Datta who appears in various forms like Vishnu, Shiva etc. Actually, God Datta purposely created the diversity in the forms of God in Hinduism to teach the unity in diversity in all the religions in the world. This is just like a mini model prepared to represent the entire world.

The same design in the mini model appears as a huge building when constructed. Similarly, the concept in Hinduism is the message for the entire universe. Lord Datta is the teacher for the world. A teacher praises his student in one subject and praises another student in another subject. He will ask them to help each other. Similarly, India should learn the sacrifice from abroad and the rest of the world should learn about unity in diversity from India.

One has to take the good aspect from every religion. I do not belong to any religion but belong equally to all the religions. I do not support or condemn any religion blindly. I pick up the pearls from all the oceans. I criticize Hinduism for several points like not doing the sacrifice of money or work for God, caste system etc. As per the point of unity in diversity is concerned, I praise Indians.

I criticize the rest of the world. So, irrespective of the name of the religion, one has to pick up the good points from every religion. Are you rejecting the diamond from a foreign country? Diamond is a diamond anywhere in the world. You cannot differentiate an Indian diamond and a foreign diamond. The logic in the unity of Hinduism is based on the same God appearing in various forms and qualities to satisfy the tastes of different people when He comes in human form.

The nature of Vishnu is ‘Sattvam’ i.e. soft nature. So, soft people are attracted to Vishnu. The nature of Shiva is ‘Tamas’ i.e. emotional nature. People of such nature like Shiva. When there is synchrony in nature of the devotee and the human form of God, the attraction and adaptability is more. Then the message of God to that human form reaches the devotee easily. The message is same but the forms of God are different.

The same milk is given in different types of cups. Somebody likes a ceramic cup and somebody likes a glass cup. The form of God is as per your liking, but the divine message preached by all forms of God is the same. It is just like the same syllabus present in different language mediums. The unity in diversity in Hinduism is actually practiced by almost all the people. In every house, people celebrate the festival of Vishnu and the festival of Shiva. In every house, the photos of almost all the forms of Hindu God are worshipped in India.
Most monotheistic religions are just differing branches of one same religion. In Abrahamic religions, there is one "God".

But there is Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc.

Think of Hindu gods like that.
dattaswami
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Re: How can Hindus explain the multiplicity of Gods to people of other religions?

Post by dattaswami »

d3r31nz1g3 wrote: November 27th, 2022, 3:04 pm Most monotheistic religions are just differing branches of one same religion. In Abrahamic religions, there is one "God".

But there is Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc.

Think of Hindu gods like that.
There is only one God, He is unimaginable and beyond space. Space came from Him hence He do not possess any spatial coordinates. No body can even imagine Him in His absolute state. Such a God comes to this world in human form to preach and uplift us known as Human incarnation of God like Rama, Krishna, Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Shankara, Sai Baba etc. The divine knowledge is the proof of such God in human form. Since God is impartial He comes to this world in every human generation to preach and uplift us. One shall meet the present human form of God and learn divine knowledge from HIm and practice that knowledge in ones life. To unify all the religions God descends down to this world in human form.

To unify all the religions in the world and to give exceptional spiritual guidance to the entire humanity, God alone, who is capable of possessing such exceptional spiritual knowledge called Prajnanam, takes the human body.

The main aim of God entering into the world is to give excellent guidance to the spiritual aspirants. No soul can give such exceptional guidance equal to God. Such guidance is based on the exceptional unique knowledge of omniscient God. Since He is the author of the spiritual scriptures, He alone can give the correct interpretation and the essence of all the scriptures.

Since the same God came in different forms to different parts of the world and gave the exceptional spiritual guidance to the entire humanity through the scriptures of various religions, He alone can correlate all the scriptures and establish the Universal Spirituality and the subsequent peace and harmony in the world. Such basic exceptional and universal spiritual knowledge is called as Prajnanam. For this purpose, it goes without saying that the suitable medium to fulfill this main aim is only the human body. Hence, God comes in human form only to accomplish this excellent goal.
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