CONTRAST OF HINDU & JUDEO-CHRISTIAN BELIEFS

 

THE UPANISHADS:  BREATH OF THE ETERNAL is considered the most important half of the Hindu VEDAS or scriptures.  An introduction says that this Hindu book reflects a search for the true nature of Reality.  The preface explains that Atman means God within and is translated as the Self.  The syllable OM is the verbal symbol of Brahman or God and means peace.  The conclusion was that ultimately the real study of religion is a first-hand experience of God.  It was compiled around 800 B.C.  Chapters from this book are referenced and named for Hindu beliefs below.

 

SUBJECT

HINDU

JUDEO-CHRISTIAN

 

 

 

GOD:  WHO or WHAT IS    HE or IT

            Brahma, the Self, is embodied in the elements and in them exists.  Brahman is the power that gives breath ("Katha" chapter).

           When a man sleeps, he enters into the Self, into the 72,000 nerves which go out from the lotus of the heart ("Brihadaranyaka" chapter).

JEHOVAH has personality.  He creates (Genesis 1:1), comforts us (John 14:16-18), is faithful to us (I John 1:9), is our Father (Galatians 4:6), is good to us (Psalm 33:5), guides us (Psalm 32:8), is kind to us (Luke 6:35), loves us (I John 4:8), is merciful toward us (I John 1:9), is patient toward us (I Peter 3:9), is perfect (Job 36:4), and is righteous (Psalm 35:24).

CAUSE AND EFFECT

The Self, Brahman, whose symbol is OM, is neither cause nor effect. The First-Born - born of the mind of Brahma - is the immortal Self ("Katha" chapter).  [QUESTION:  If Brahma is not cause or effect, how can he give birth?]

JEHOVAH created the world (Genesis 1:1) and in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).  Then God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, into the world to demonstrate truth to mankind, free us from sin, and grant us immortality. (John 3:16; 12:25-27; 18:37).

NUMBER OF GODS

A multiplicity of gods - the god of fire, the god of wind, etc. - and also of demons which were overcome by the gods through the power of Brahman or the Self ("Kena" chapter). 

            The Lord is one (Deuteronomy 6:4).  There is one Spirit, one Lord, one God and Father (Ephesians 4:1).  

            God said, ‘Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26).  People have a body, a mind, a heart, a soul, a spirit ~ five in one.  God is three in one. 

SCRIPTURES

            The Self [Brahman] gave birth to all creatures, hymns, chants, scriptures, rites, gods, angels.  Brahman is action, knowledge, goodness supreme ("Mundaka" chapter).  OM is in all scriptures, the supreme syllable.  Forget not what I have learned in the scriptures.  Brahman is endowed with wisdom ("Taittiriya" chapter).  Seek to know Brahman by acquiring faith in the word of the scriptures and in your Guru.  Brahman is the one to be known through the scriptures; he is the knower of all scriptures ("Kaivalya" chapter). 

            The Self is not known through study of the scriptures ("Katha" chapter). 

            JEHOVAH'S "brainchild", Jesus, is Thought in Seeable Form (John 1:1;14; 3:16), and His Spirit is Thought in Word Form (John 14:17; 17:17).  Jehovah is known through His thoughts-words.  No one has to guess what/who God is and his love for us. 

            He gave us His word through prophets in the Old Testament (Romans 15:4), through His word embodied in Jesus (John 1:1,14; Hebrews 1:1-3), and later through God's Spirit.  Jesus said the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17) will make us free (8:32), for He will guide into all truth (16:13), that truth being God's word (John 17:17).  Scriptures are God-breathed and can be used to train us how to be righteous and do good works (II Timothy 3:16).  God's word is a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105, 130).

WORSHIP

The requirements of duty are three:  The first is sacrifice, study, almsgiving; the second is austerity; the third is life as a student in the home of a teacher and the practice of continence [celibacy] ("Chandogya" chapter).

JEHOVAH said worship is offering our bodies as daily sacrifices to do good (Romans 12:1; Hebrews 10:25-27), and to thank Jesus for being perfect when we could not be and for taking our punishment for us on the cross (Luke 22:19-20; Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 11:23-26).

CELIBACY

Those who worship the world of creation produce children, but those who remain alone attain the world of Brahman ("Prasna" chapter). 

JEHOVAH said that marriage is honorable (Hebrews 13:4).  In I Timothy 4:3 He said that those who forbid people to marry and abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving are hypocrites and liars.

RICHES

            Those who realize the Self renounce the craving for progeny [marriage and family], wealth, and existence in the other world ("Brihadaranyaka" chapter). 

            A disciple offers to a guru thousands upon thousands of cattle to get him to speak his wisdom ("Brihadaranyaka" chapter).  He who attains this wisdom wins glory, grows rich, enjoys health and fame ("Taittiriya" chapter).  Livestock, gold, slaves, wives, etc. are man's glory, though they are poor and finite things ("Chandogya" chapter).  [QUESTION:  If riches are to be renounced, how can they be rewards too?]

JEHOVAH used riches to describe the glories of heaven; He surely did not use that which is evil to describe that which is good (Revelation 21:10-27).

SAVED BY WORKS

When a man is free from desire, he beholds the glory of the Self and is without sorrow and becomes immortal.  When all the senses are still and the mind is at rest and the intellect wavers not, we have reached the highest state ("Katha" chapter). 

JEHOVAH explained that everyone has sinned (Romans 3:23).  His Apostle Paul said the wrong he does not want to do, he does; and the good he wants to do, he doesn't do.  He laments his body which is "waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.  What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?  (Romans 7:14-24).  It is impossible to be free of bodily desires while in the body.  [SEE BELOW UNDER FORGIVENESS]

DEATH

            A dying man separates himself from his limbs and hastens to his new abode and there assumes another body in which to begin a new life.  He departs either through the eye, or through the gate of the skull, or through some other aperture of the body (Brihadaranyaka" chapter).

            At the moment of death, through the nerve in the center of the spine, the god Udana leads the virtuous man upward to higher birth, the sinful man downward to lower birth, and the man who is both virtuous and sinful to rebirth in the world of men.  Whatever his thought at the moment of death, this it is that unites a man with Prana, who in turn, uniting himself with Udana and with the Self, leads the man to be reborn in the world he merits ("Prasna" chapter).

JEHOVAH said through His son, Jesus, that upon death, an angel takes the godly person to where Abraham lives (Luke 16:22).  Hebrews 11:8-10 says Abraham lives in a city with foundations whose builder is God, and this city is heaven (Revelation 21:1-4; 10-14).

LIFE AFTER DEATH

            This vast universe is a wheel.  Upon it are all creatures that are subject to birth, death and rebirth.  Round and round it turns, and never stops ("Svetasvatara" chapter).  The unsteady in heart never reaches the goal but is born again and again ("Katha" chapter).   

            Of those ignorant of the Self [Brahma], some enter into a being possessed of wombs [animals], others enter into plants, according to their deeds and the growth of their intelligence ("Katha" chapter).  [QUESTION:  How can a plant be good enough to come back next time as a person?]

            Worlds there are without suns, covered up with darkness.  To these after death go the ignorant slayers of the Self ("Isha" chapter).  [QUESTION:  How can one slay God?]

            If the sage desires to see his fathers of the spirit world, lo, his fathers come to meet him.  Also he sees his mothers.  Also his brothers and sisters ("Chandogya" chapter).  [QUESTION:  If they've been reincarnated, how can they also be in the spirit world?]

JEHOVAH explained that it is appointed to mankind to die once; then comes the judgement (I Thessalonians 4:17).  Further, He said that on the last day of the earth, the righteous dead will rise, then those who are alive will rise, and everyone will meet Jesus in the clouds where we will be forever with Him. 

FORGIVENESS

Brahma is the origin and support of the gods and lord of all.  He destroys their sins and their sorrows.  He punishes those who break his laws ("Svetasvatara" chapter).

 

Punishment comes in the form of reincarnation.

            JEHOVAH said the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).  The penalty can only be paid by a perfect animal sacrifice made over and over.  Jesus became the perfect Lamb of God (being sinless ~ something impossible for man) and took our punishment for our sins.

            JEHOVAH said all we have to do to receive forgiveness of our sins so that he can consider us perfect is to "repent and be baptized" (Acts 2:38), for in baptism (immersion) we imitate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, thus putting to death our sinful nature (the part of us that sins and doesn't care) so that, just as Jesus came forth from his burial the Savior, we come forth from our burial the saved (Romans 6:3-7).

INDWELLING OF OUR BODY

Prana dwells in eye, ear, mouth and nose.  Apana rules the organs of excretion and generation.  Samana inhabits the navel and governs digestion and assimilation ("Prasna" chapter). 

            JEHOVAH's Spirit, Himself, not little gods, dwells in our bodies (I Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19).  Some day in heaven, our bodies will be like Jesus' glorified body (Philippians 3:21).

HEAVEN

            The sage Vamadeva, having understood Brahman as pure consciousness, departed this life, ascended into heaven, obtained all his desires, and achieved immortality ("Aitareya" chapter).  [QUESTION:  If he eliminated desires to get to heaven, how could his desires be met?]

            As a man acts, so does he become.  As a man's desire is, so is his destiny.  But he in whom desire is stilled suffers no rebirth but becomes Brahman ("Brihadaranyaka" chapter).

            With a greater knowledge of its meaning [OM], upon his death he will ascend to the lunar heaven, and after he has partaken of its pleasures will return again to earth ("Prasna" chapter).  [QUESTION:  How could the thing that keeps us from Brahman be used as a reward?]

            Works lead only to heaven, whence, to their sorrow, their rewards are quickly exhausted and they are flung back to earth ("Mundaka" chapter).

JEHOVAH offers a heaven where we can not only live forever, but reign (Revelation 22:5), perhaps over other worlds (the Bible does not explain further). 

IMMORTALITY

            Desiring that he should become many, that he should make of himself many forms, Brahman meditated and thereby created all things ("Taittiriya" chapter).  Before creation, all that existed was the Self.  Then the Self thought, "Let me send forth the worlds."  Later he decided to send forth guardians.  Later he thought, "Let me enter the guardians."  Whereupon, opening the center of their skulls, he entered ("Aitareya" chapter).  Brahman created out of himself priests, warriors, tradesmen and servants, among both gods and men ("Brihadaranyaka" chapter).  [QUESTION:  If Brahman desires to be one with all mankind, isn't it inconsistent for him/it to want to become many?]

            The pure heart reaches the goal and is born no more.  He reaches the supreme abode of Vishnu, the all-pervading - Brahman ("Kathy" chapter).  The body dies when the Self leaves it ("Chandogya" chapter).  

            Where there is consciousness of the Self, individuality is no more. ("Brihadaranyaka" chapter).

            When death overtakes the body, the vital energy enters the cosmic source and in so doing loses name and form.  He becomes Brahman and is born into his family ("Mundaka" chapter).

            JEHOVAH explained that when we reach immortality we will still have our individual identities.  Abraham was still known as Abraham in heaven.  Moses and Elijah were still known as Moses and Elijah centuries after their death when they appeared from heaven to Jesus (Luke 9:30-31).

            And in heaven, we will have spiritual bodies with abilities far above what we can imagine now; our bodies now are like seeds compared with what they will be in heaven (I Corinthians 15:35-56).

 

PUNISHMENT:  From BHAGAVAD-GITA:  THE SON OF GOD, a collection of divine poems not considered scripture, is a poem called "The Sorrow of Arjuna" which refers to "corruption from which comes mixing of castes, the curse of confusion."  The poem called "Karma Yoga" refers to "caste-mixture and universal destruction."  Therefore, the poor should not be helped because that is their punishment for being bad in a previous life.

 

To Jehovah, there is no such thing as nationality, slave or free, male nor female (Galatians 3:26-28).