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Hinduism is not Monotheistic
Monotheism is a reasonwhy men kill without reason.
Yahweh Bless __________God Bless _________Allah Bless _________can create a man-made mess.
Sanatana Dharma/Hinduism: the religion of the classic Yogas, has many ism's except the only ism that is(m) the Jewish, Christian and Islamic religions--Monotheism. Monotheism is the belief in One (Mono) male God (Theism) to the exclusion of all other Gods. Interestingly, the word Theism (God) did not originally mean there was only One God. "Theism" comes from the Greek "Theos" meaning a God, in other words, one of many Gods. The Greek (and Roman) religion(s) were polytheistic.
It is worthy to remember that the English word God is a noun and refers to a male (as opposed to Goddess) Supreme Being, Creator and The Almighty. Though the Christians seem to have won out with the standard usage of the English word God, many of those of other religions (and even many Jews and Muslims) may take offense at this usage. To the Jews the Supreme Being is referred to as Yahweh and Adonai. To the Muslims, the Almighty is Allah.
The Jewish, Christian and Islamic religions all claim to be monotheistic, but it is quite obvious (despite conventional platitudes) that each of these religions is referring to a different so-called One Supreme Being. Since these are three distinct religions, it is clear that they do not believe in the same One God. The past and present violence committed by these so-called monotheistic religions one against the other as well as towards other religions is, historically, well documented and evident on the evening news. After 9/11, it was quite striking to hear several Christian ministers shouting for joy over the new-found revival in God as several said, "People are praying to God, and we know which God!"
Basically, the monotheistic religions are each claiming to exclusively represent "The True One God." The problem of course with monotheism is the inevitable creation of all "the others" who do not believe in the One True God and His True Word or Holy Book and His One True Prophet. All these "others" may be perceived as simply lost souls or outright evil. The creation of a Devil is a natural outcome of such an extremist ideology. This spiritual/religious exclusiveness is simply an example of instinctive, reactive and adolescent tribal/clannish/cliquish behavior. The monotheistic mindset is best describe by the monotheistic religions:
From the Jewish Torah (which the Christians [insultingly] renamed the "Old" Testament):
These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land [stolen from the Canannites], which the Lord God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth. Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. - Deuteronomy Chapt. 12: 1-3.
From the Christian New Testament:
As we have said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. - Galatians Chapt. 1:9.
From the Muslim Qur'an: Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.
Monotheism is both the outcome of and a factor in creating a negative dualistic mindset which finds its way to all realms of life. Lacking an mature internal integration, those who seek an illusive one form of what some term "God" generally see all of life in strict terms of white vs. black. You are either with us or against us, God vs. Devil, Heaven vs. Hell, The True Religion vs. the false religion(s), Man vs.Women and Conservative vs. Liberal are just a few of the segregationist views of this one dimensional type of thinking. Monotheism is a competitive game taken to the extreme. Of course there are rights and wrongs but there is also relative perception--wisdom is in knowing when to apply these two principles. When it comes to God, what is perceived as an absolute right is very often simply a relative perception.
Monotheism is also all about a male Deity. Monotheistic/Patriarchal religions basically deny the feminine half of creation. Actually, considering all things come from the Mother, creation is more an outcome of the Mother than the Father. Of course monotheists also assume the world of creation to be associated with the Devil. Though not the exclusive property of monotheism, it is not a coincidence that women have always been second class citizens under Patriarchal religions. In the Greek, pathos is the feeling nature (the right "feminine" brain) and logos is the logical left ("masculine") brain. Patriarchy without Matriarchy is truly a pathological dis-ease. In Hinduism, the Spirit Father and Mother get equally billing, so to speak.
Monotheism can be another word for cultism, or fundamentalism, or sectarianism or even universalism. A cult is defined as intense devotion to particular person, idea or thing. While a cult can be a positive experience, when it comes to a personal religious figure not only is their great potential for unification and the performance of good deeds but also the potential for destructive behavior. Recent cults can be viewed as simply another form of the monotheistic mindset. While religious (or any) fundamentals are essential, a fundamentalist is one who believes their religion, sect or cult is the only valid one. Adhering to a sect is positive as opposed to being sectarian or believing that one's sect is The One. Regarding the universalist, it is also not a coincidence that many Christians and Jews have fallen into various cults such as those of Jim Jones, David Koresh and the Hare Krishnas as well as New-Age "Universal/Modern Yoga," to name a few. In these new movements, it simply a change of name and form (now claimed to be the universal way or practice) while keeping the same elitist mindset.
CREATING THE ONE GOD
Chronologically, one can basically begin the monotheistic journey with the Jewish religion. Before Moses allegedly talked to G_D through a burning bush and (among other commandments) was told to worship the One God, the Jews worshipped many Gods (Els). Many Jews also look back to Zoroastrianism which set the tone by preaching a One God Ahura Mazda and His Book the Amesh Spentas and His Prophet Zoroaster; then the Jewish religion created the One God Yaweh, His Book the Torah and His Prophet Moses; then the Christians created the One God/Jehovah, His Book the Bible and His Prophet Jesus. What is interesting about the Christian cult is that Christians equate Jesus as the One God. Along with good works, this Christ cultism spawned tremendous violence against all non-Christians and even the Jews. The term Judeo/Christian is simply an attempt by Christians to finally win over the Jews (as many Jews for Jesus have done). Christian monotheistic extremism was further amplified by the next succeeding monotheistic religion. Finally, came the Muslims (who consider the Jews to be lost and the Christians to be polytheistic) who look to Allah as the One God, His Book the Koran and His Prophet Mohammed. A thinking individual will exclaim, "Will the real One God please stand up! Though each of these religions took much from the other, each of these subsequent so-called monotheistic religions denounced the previous religion. Each of these religions feel they are in touch with the true will of the true One God.
It is important to note that prior to Moses and certainly Christianity, ancient people adhered to a more reasonable polytheism. Many of these ancient people like the Hindus still adhere to this wisdom. These religions were of course far more tolerant than the subsequent monotheistic religions. In ancient times, most people lived life on the physical edge and therefore seeing the Divine in all things and praying for health and sustenance was common place. Interestingly, with technological advances, the Gods and God became further and further away and was replaced with rigid ideologies about God. However, living life on the mental and emotional edge, many people still feel the need to connect to some Spiritual Source.
What is most striking is though many use the phrases One God, or Under God, etc., it is a fact that, to date, there is no provable One Supreme Being (n.) or Creator! There is no provable One God. In fact, other than as a classifier, there is no One anything. Life is duality (actually a "triality"). To have creation/life is to simultaneously have a rich diversity. We live in a three dimensional world. It is also recognized that "God" is popularly defined as exclusively a male Deity. Lest anyone think that "Under God" in the public arena is not coercion and the establishment of the Christian ideology, simply substitute the words "Goddess" or "Shiva," for example.From one perspective, monotheism is an understandable mindset. It is very evident that humans seek a sense of oneness in many areas of life. Seeking stability and oneness of purpose is not a bad thing. What is vital is to realize that this oneness of classification is simultaneously made-up of a manyness. For example, prior to splitting the Atom, scientists felt they had discovered that sought for One essence. The very word "atom" means indivisible. Well, we all know that, to the contrary, the atom is dramatically divisible, to say the least. Each one of us is a one person made-up of numerous parts, characteristics and qualities. All of life is a symphony of many integrated parts. If the whole is labeled "God," then no one part would have the "nerve" to stand out and say "I am the whole thing." Megalomania and monotheism seem to go together.
When anyone holds their self out to be "the whole thing;" or when humans create a One God, One Book, One Prophet and hence only One True Religion, a very unstable situation is created. Monotheism is truly the-ism or religious doctrine that (along with bringing people together in some positive ways) causes numerous serious relationship problems. Along with all the good done "Under God" (and numerous other names for a Spiritual Being), slavery was also instituted "Under God." Women, in general, were denied many rights "Under God." Homosexuals continue to be routinely abused by many claiming to be acting on "God's word."Monotheism inevitably creates violence. In American, for example, everyone knows the sad story of the terrorism of the original inhabitants as well as the Christian justification for slavery. However monotheism has an insidious way attacking from within. Every new Christian religious group suffered varying degrees of repression and violence. The first Quakers were ridiculed, whipped and even sentenced to death. Irish Catholics began to migrate to America in the 1820's and similar brutalities were reported. The infamous Orange riots in New York between Catholics and Protestants left many dead. The Protestant association, founded in 1831 in New York, was formed to eradicate "Popery." The Mormons were basically beaten West to the Great Salt Lake. When the first Chinese came to America ...; the first Japanese ...; the first East Indians ... Need one say more?
When one is programmed (especially from a youth) to believe that the One God goes by One Name, has One Book and One Prophet, it should come as a surprise to no one that violence is inevitable. Again even though no one can prove that this One God even exists (hence the need for blind faith), it is quite amazing how millions have fallen sway to the dogmatic belief in their One God, One Book and One Prophet. With intense programming, many simply assume that everyone worships this One God, and if not, they must be evil. Politicians, for example, routinely call on their One God for political gain as well as simply being indoctrinated into a particular belief system. Whole nations have been created (or pilfered) and sustained under Yahweh, under God/Jesus and under Allah. When the state and religion mix, potential violence is on the horizon. One has to wonder how many more innocent people have to die and suffer other subjugations due to such illusions carried out by the monotheistic bullies of the world. The (often denied) roots of terrorism and world violence today are, in large part, the outcome of the monotheistic delusion.
THE DIFFERENT ISMS (from Webster's)
Ism comes from the Greek and Latin roots (ismos and ismus) meaning action or act of, respectively.
Theism: (from the Greek "theos" meaning a god) The belief in the existence of a god or gods.
Deism: The belief in a personal God who exerts no influence on men or on the world he has created. (Note the capital "G" which monotheists use to denote the "One True God.")
Animism: The belief that all objects possess a natural life or vitality or are endowed with indweling souls. The doctrine that the soul is the vital organizing principle of the physical universe.
Monotheism: The belief that there is but one God.Henotheism: The belief in one god, though not to the exclusion of belief in other gods.
Polytheism: The belief in a plurality of gods.
Atheism: Disbelief in or denial of, the existence of a God, or Supreme Being (n.).
Monism: a. The doctrine that there is only one kind of substance or ultimate reality, as mind or matter. b. The doctrine that reality is one unitary, organic whole, with no independent parts.
Pantheism: The doctrine that the universe, taken or conceived as a whole, is God; the doctrine that there is no god but the combined forces and laws which are manifested in the existing universe. In other words, God is immanent.
Panentheism: The belief that God is both immanent and transcendent. (Both Pantheism and Panentheism are closely related to mysticism.)
Mysticism: The doctrine or belief that direct knowledge of God, of spiritual truth, etc., is attainable through immediate intuition or insight and in a way differing from ordinary sense perception.
Transcendentalism: Any philosophy which postulates the transcendent nature of ultimate reality.
INDUISM: Dancing with the EternalHinduism are the religious actions or acts (ism) of the (H)indus.
The Hindu religion is vast in its spiritual/religious philosophy (darsanas), mythology (puranas), doctrines (samhitas & shastras), rituals/practices (sadhanas), ceremonies (samskaras) and Spirit Beings (MahaDevas). From the perspective of Hinduism in discussing the various theological isms, it is important to keep in mind that "Theism" denotes "God," and very literally, there is no "God" in Hinduism. Literally, in Hinduism, there is no "theology." In this sense, Hinduism is atheistic.
If one agrees to use the term theism meaning spirit form(s), then Hinduism contains theism, henotheism, polytheism, pantheism, panentheism and even perhaps another interpretation of atheism when one is immersed in the Absolute beyond any form. Hinduism is an Advaitic/Dvaitic (non-dual and positive dual) religion. Recognizing the Absolute and impersonal spiritual forces and personal spiritual forms, Hinduism is a monistic, animistic, polymorphic, mystical, transcendentalism.
Hindus use numerous Sanskrit names to denote an impersonal spiritual source such as: Satchidananda, Paramasivam and Brahman and its many Divine manifestations such as: Ganesha, Brahma, Siva, Vishnu, Saraswathi, Parvati and Lakshmi, to name a few. Note that the last three names are feminine as Hindus may worship the Divine as equally male and female. With this understanding, it is clear that Hindus are not monotheists either by number or gender. Since those who use the word "God" are generally referring to monotheism, it can be quite disingenuous for the Hindu to use the word "God." A Hindu should ponder how they would be accepted if they said to their monotheistic friend, "Lakshmi or Shiva bless you." In using the word "God," Hindus should be wary of meekly submitting to the will of the monotheist.
In one important aspect of Hinduism, there is the Trinity of Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (Preserver) and Shiva (Destroyer). In this regard, no one of these Deities is Supreme over the other. The three is a recognition of the positive duality ("triality") of life. Basically, Spirituality-Reality/Life is simultaneously creating, preserving and destroying. In the major sects of Hinduism, the Deity assumes all three aspects. To the Saivite, Siva is all three; to the Vaishnava, Vishnu is all three; to the Saktite, the Divine Mother is all three and in Liberal Hinduism (Smarta Sampradaya) the Trimurti is accented.
The importance of understanding the natural and inevitable positive and negative life, or creative and destructive aspects of life cannot be overstated. Destruction is the natural and beneficial "other half" of creation. New life depends on the shedding of the old. A healthy forest must occasionally experience the fires of destruction. A healthy organism sheds old cells and bacterial and creates new cells in a perpetual life dance of creation/preservation/destruction. Sure we all like the creative aspects of life and often try (to no avail) to avoid the destructive. In the natural and inevitable "down-times" of life, we may say "It sucks!" True, but every inhale is followed by an exhale and life goes on. Sadly, monotheistic religions only want to see "God" as the creative and positive aspect of life and must then create an equally illusionary "Devil" to play the role of the destruction and negativity. In reality, they are one/many.
To emphasize the fact that Hinduism is not a monotheistic religion, it is not a coincidence that "The Creator" Brahma was basically kicked out (but still retained) of the Hindu pantheon of Spiritual Beings. In a tale celebrated during the yearly festival of Sivalaya Deepam, Siva (playing the part of the Divine Father) manifests to Brahma and Vishnu as a boundless pillar of Light (deep). Thinking He is The Creator, Brahma fly's off in search of the top. Vishnu assumes the form of a boar and seeks the bottom. Both are unsuccessful and return to the center. Vishnu admits to finding no bottom. Brahma, however, lies (and enlists the aid of an innocent flower to corroborate his fabrication) and says he found the top. At this moment, Siva appears from the middle of the pillar of light stating the pillar has no beginning or end. To this day, there are basically no Hindu temples to Brahma.
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