Visitor's Responses

Indus-Saraswati Civilization - 11/04/98 03:07:41

A Celebration of the Legacy of the Sarasvati Civilization. Ancient courses (ca. 3000 B.C.) of the Sarasvati River (1600 km.) have been established thru multi- disciplinary studies. Projects are ongoing to develop the Sarasvati River Basin. The Sarasvati R ver image Library contains Notes on Geology and Natural History, Sarasvati Legacy Images, General Images & Maps and The Legacy of Sound.

Evidence please, this is hand waving.

 Jesus 1AD - Hinduism 13000 BC!!! - 11/04/98 01:15:49

To find truth, all the great sages have told us that one must go beyond all outer divisions of race, creed, caste, nationality or culture. Only those who can step beyond the outer identities that divide human beings can arrive at the one source of all thi gs-- the true Self of all beyond time, space and circumstance. This, however, does not mean that culture has no purpose or value in the spiritual life. Many of the same sages were also great founders, upholders or reformers of culture. Many left not only works on spiritual knowledge but those on the arts and sciences and social and political issues. This in fact was the tradition of the Vedic seers, who first established Hindu culture in ancient times. They were said to be "bhutakrit," world-makers or establishers of culture and custom. If we look at humanity through history we can observe that men and women of spiritual realization have not come equally from all cultures, which would be the case if culture were merely a neutral factor in the spiritual life. Some cultures, particularly I dia, have created an environment that has better allowed for great spiritual personages to arise. There has been an ongoing stream of great spiritual figures in India since the ancient Vedic sages to modern times. Even the modern teacher who has gone furt est to negate cultural and religious identities as relevant to the spiritual life, J. Krishnamurti, not surprisingly came from the Brahmin culture of India. Other cultures, particularly those of the European and the Islamic world, have rarely produced comparable spiritual figures and have not given them much value, when they have arisen within their ranks. They still trumpet their one son of God or one prophe as if only one great religious figure were possible, which becomes the sad epitaph on the spirituality of their culture. Emphasizing only one such figure prevents others from developing or from being recognized should they arise. The concept of a person f spiritual realization - a human being who has realized the Divine or Truth in his or her own consciousness and has thereby transcended all time and space--is not formally recognized by their cultures at all; in fact it is regarded as heresy or delusion. The Indic traditions recognize that Truth can be found through many different sages, and must ultimately be realized by each individual in his or her own right, while these exclusivist approaches recognize only one great being who existed at one time, and require that all other people look to that one person and his authoritative revelation for establishing their relation-ship with God. Such a negative attitude about the human capacity for spiritual knowledge must have an effect in stultifying the spiritua potential of the culture itself. Even the Buddhist cultures of the East, though they have the concept of an enlightened sage, have not produced the great stream of sages that has come out of India, though they have produced a number of such remarkable figures. This is perhaps because the r cultures as a whole are less spiritually oriented and more practically minded than the Hindu. Therefore we must conclude that culture can be important and that the culture of India, even with its many inadequacies, has given the world a better basis for the spiritual life than those of other countries. While the deficiencies in Indian culture today are more visible to the outward eye, like the overpopulation or lack of sanitation, this should not detract us from appreciating India's inner and historicall more enduring qualities. Nor should it prevent us from extracting the higher values of India culture from its lower forms and implementing them in our own lives, using them to fill the growing spiritual deficiencies in cultures throughout the world. If we look at India over the last hundred years we see a stream of great spiritual personages including Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Rama Tirtha, Aurobindo, Ramana Maharshi, Anandamayi Ma, Shivananda, Neem Karoli Baba, and Nityananda--to mention a few--and a l great individuals, not the products of any school or organization, and not clones of one another. If we look at the West or the Islamic world over the last thousand years, it is difficult to find such a number of people of spiritual realization. Without a cultural support such a great assembly could not arise or would not be appreciated. While these sages are the fruit, the culture is the field that nourishes the trees (teachings) on which they grow. However, Hindu teachers in the West have brought with them very little of Hindu culture. They have not wanted to impose their culture on Westerners, who might not appreciate it. They have been under the impression that some Hindu practices, like the worsh p of images, would be looked at unfavorably by Westerners with their aniconic religious backgrounds, and therefore used as a pretext for rejecting the rest of their teaching. Hence they have stressed yogic and meditational practices and have even encourag d Westerners to maintain their own cultural and religious identities, though these might be opposed to the deeper practices they are teaching. The worship of the Gods and Goddesses, Hindu devotional meditations, pujas and rituals are little known or understood in the West. Many Western followers of Hindu Yoga have never entered a Hindu temple or seen a puja performed, except as a curiosity. Ayur eda, the Vedic medical system, is only now getting some recognition in the West. Vedic astrology is just beginning to surface and looks like it also will become quite popular, at least in astrological circles. Hindu music has made a mark of its own. Sansk it poetry, drama and aesthetics, the most extensive, intricate, profound and spiritual in the world, is little known or appreciated. Even the poets of the Western world who aim at a symbolic or mystical approach do not have an idea as to how extensively t is realm has already been explored in India with such figures as Kalidas. The Vedas and Upanishads, the great source teaching behind these numerous currents, are largely unknown, even by name, by those who practice or teach Yoga! Perhaps this hiding of Hindu cultural forms, which occurred among the educated in India as well, was necessary at the turn of the last century when the West was still dominated by Christianity, but it is no longer true and is becoming counter-productive a Westerners are looking for new religious forms, for example, a religion of the Divine Mother such as Hinduism has much more clearly articulated than the predominant Western religions. Other spiritual traditions have not kept their cultures so much in the background in their coming to the West. Chinese and far Eastern culture, Chinese medicine, Chinese astrology (I Ching), martial arts, Japanese poetry (haiku), and Chinese and Japanese painting are as well known as the meditation tradition (Chan or Zen). M ch of the popularity of Tibetan Buddhism has come from the pujas, visualizations and devotional meditations they teach their followers, along with Tibetan chants. An American Yoga teacher and friend of mine, who also studies Tibetan Buddhism, told me once that he was given a great new secret and powerful meditation teaching from a Lama, unlike anything he had gotten from his Yoga teacher, who stressed Hatha Yoga, t ough he had lived and studied with him four years in India. This practice was meditating on a Tibetan deity and doing a puja to it. When I told him that such puja and devotional meditation was the main practice of Hinduism and was much more developed in t e Hindu tradition than the Buddhist. Which had largely adopted it from the Hindu, he was shocked. Why had he not heard of this from his own teacher ? When he had asked for religious instruction from his Hindu teacher, he was told to stick to Christian app oaches, which was particularly disturbing to him as his own religious background was Jewish ! The point of all this is that culture is not necessarily a detriment to the spread of spiritual knowledge, any more than it is a detriment to its arising. Nor is Indian culture anything to hide or be ashamed of. It is not something contrary to or apart fr m yogic spirituality but the unfoldment of meditative values in the outer life. It is not something inferior to Western culture that one should be ashamed of, but a vastly superior system and a potential means of uplifting Western culture. Though perhaps echnologically deficient compared to that of the West, in the spiritual, philosophical and aesthetic realms Hindu culture goes far beyond it. Modern Hindus in India tend to be apologetic about their culture, and its many temples, rituals, chants, festivals, form and images. If they have a spiritual side they are more likely to connect with Vedantic ideas or with modern teachers like Krishnamurt or Rajneesh, where there appears to be little concern or even a disdain for this plethora of forms. They may prefer Western intellectual culture, which appears more sophisticated. They are also suffering from a misunderstanding of the beauty and importan e of their culture, though it must be admitted that much of Hindu culture today is in decay. This, however, should not be a pretext for abandoning it in favor of a spiritually interior culture, but for reviving it. Once we understand the importance of cul ure in the spiritual life, we begin to appreciate what Hinduism has been all about. The spiritual path is Rama but a spiritual culture is Sita. Rama must win and save Sita or he cannot fulfill his destiny. Hindus need to awaken to the importance of their spiritual tradition including not only is great formless teaching like Vedanta, but its beauty of spiritual culture, particularly its culture of devotion (bhakti), which is one of the most sublime and exalt d cultures the world has ever produced. They need to recognize the importance of their spiritual culture for all humanity, which is spiritually starved and generally deprived of any deeper cultural nourishment. Individuals in the West who have true spirit al aspiration often fail to go far because there is nothing in their culture that supports them. Most of the rest of the world is confined in the sterility of a materialistic and intellectual culture, or that of dogmatic and exclusive religions, either of which is a desert for the soul. Without the waters of a true spiritual culture the soul of humanity is likely to remain barren. Hindus need to stop dividing their culture from its higher spiritual traditions. There is no conflict between Vedantic philosophy and Hindu ritualistic and devotional forms. In fact it is the latter that have provided the ground in which the former is abl to grow. Hindus should no longer deny the integrality of yogic spirituality and Hindu culture, but rather show it as a model for the integration of Yoga into other cultures. This does not mean that Hindus should try to impose their cultural forms on others, which is not their tendency anyway, but they should share them and allow others to use them. For this Hindus must uphold the value of Hindu culture in their own lives and n India itself. This is not to encourage a mere superficial Hindu pride or Hindu cultural elitism. It is to stop the process of devaluing this great culture, which alone of the world's cultures appears to really support the complete unfoldment of the spir t or inner Self. While spiritually advanced individuals may have little need for any culture or outward forms, the world as a whole needs a broad creative and spiritual culture to nourish the diversity of human temperaments. It is not enough to teach people the value of m ditation and otherwise educate them along scientific, intellectual or technological lines, or place them back in their own religious and cultural backgrounds which are inimical to the spiritual quest. This is not transcendence of culture. It is an acquies ence to non-spiritual or materialistic cultural values which prevent the spiritual life from truly flowering. The majority of people find an easier access to the spiritual life if they first are exposed to a spiritual culture : for example, a spiritualized philosophy, poetry, art, music, medicine or astrology. We need a broad field (Prakriti) of cultural growth i order to allow the widest and most diverse set of approaches to the spirit (Purusha). Individuals are so different that the example of any one teacher or spiritual path is not enough. Hence the linking of the spiritual life to all aspects of life and cul ure is essential. While a rare individual can go directly to Truth (pure consciousness), cultures need to explore the domains of the mind : art, philosophy, medicine, and science. While the evolution of the individual can follow a vertical ascent, culture moves more slowly, expanding horizontally before being able to rise to a new level vertically. The forms of Hindu culture are among the most spiritually oriented in the world. They can serve as a basis for the forms of a new spiritual world culture. Such domains of culture directed toward the spiritual quest as poetry, philosophy and mythology have had their greatest development in India. It is not just Yoga, meditation and renunciation of the world that India has to offer but the abundant forms of a spiritual culture. Naturally these cultural forms will have to be modified, adapted and purified to ome degree relative to time and place. There are aspects of them that have become rigid or corrupt. Most of the aspects of Hindu culture that are objected to in the West, like the hereditary caste system, are not in harmony with their original meaning any ay. To defend Hindu culture is to return to its purer and more spiritual form. It does not require hiding its present inadequacies. All the world's cultures need such reform and renovation. It is not denying one's culture to do this but affirming its crea ive capacity. Naturally those who have other cultural preferences may object to any apparent glorification of Hindu culture. They would prefer if Hindu culture would stay hidden and lacking in confidence so that they can spread their own cultural forms upon the world w thout competition from India. Western culture, whether atheist, Christian or Islamic, is still trying to impose its cultural forms as superior in India itself. And Hindu culture does not make an adequate effort to defend itself from such assaults. The point is not to simply defend India or Hindu culture but to uphold the higher spiritual values which are more present within it than other cultures, particularly that of the unspiritual West. It is not a national or cultural but ultimately spiritual issue, concerning not just India but all humanity. There are those who do not like the term "Hindu culture" and would prefer the more general term "Indian culture". To them the term Hindu connotes a religious limitation but Indian is more embracing of the diverse culture of the subcontinent. However the culture of India is primarily Hindu and Sanskritic. Even the Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs, and to some extent the Muslims and Christians of India, have followed a Hindu or Sanskritic type culture. The music of India is Hindustani, based upon Hindu and Sanskrit works going back to the Sama Veda. The dance is based upon Hindu temple dance. The native medicine, Ayurveda, is rooted in the Vedas themselves, as is the astrology, Jyotish. The poetry and d ama traditions revolves around Hindu mythology. The exercise tradition of Hatha Yoga is rooted in the religious sadhana tradition. The literature and philosophy all looks back to Sanskrit, which derives from the Vedas. The spirit and forms of the religion permeate all aspects of Indian culture, far more than Christianity permeates the culture of Europe which contains considerable pre-Christian Greco-Roman and post-Christian Western intellectual influences. Unfortunately many modern Hindus are rushing to embrace a superficial Western culture, imitating its more mundane forms of thought and expression. This may be a great loss not only for India but for the whole world. There are enough people in the world exploring mass media culture, writing superficially about political affairs or common human emotions. There are enough students studying Western philosophy and art. How many educated Hindus know Shakespeare and how many know Kalidas and Bhartrihari, Indian poets and men of spiritual realization whose knowledge of consciousness dwarfed not only that of Shakespeare but that of Einstein ? Why aren't there Kalidas festivals in India comparable to the Shakespeare festivals in England and other English speaking countries ? Why should the youth of India focus their studies on Western thinkers while much greater figures in the culture of India are ignored throughout the world ? Why should they emulate such thinkers as Marx, Kant or Freud, when they have those from Shankara to Sri Aurobindo, who could contain the entire minds of all these Western thinkers in one corner of their much vaster awareness ? India's place is to pour forth the glory of the spirit through every cultural form. It should not merely conserve but also renew and expand its great spiritual cultural heritage, and allow the rest of the world to benefit from it. For this Hindus must show their dedication to Hindu culture, not as a form of national cultural but as a form of world culture. To do this they must be willing to express their culture to the world, not as cultural propaganda but as the gift of the heart. This does not mean that Hindus should not use computers or other technological advances but that they should use them to develop their own spiritual cult re, not to adapt a less evolved Western civilization. Today there is little real culture left in the world any-where. Modern pop consumer culture is taking over in every country, except where fundamentalist religion holds on with its rigid and sterile forms. Western intellectual and artistic culture has been in decline for several decades. Yet this cultural vacuum is a great opportunity for a spiritual culture, such as that of India, to move in. However for this to occur Hindus must awaken to their mission and look at their heritage in its universal relevance This is one of the most important endeavors of the coming century. Perhaps as Westerners like myself come to appreciate Hindu culture, which is like the grace of the Divine Mother, Hindus themselves will begin to recognize their heritage and once more us it in a creative and beneficial way for all.

This is the classic example of the New Age thinking which is sweeping the West. Amongst the multitude of words (which add up to nothing) is the clear underlying thought of Pantheism which is based on Monism. The fundamental error of monism has been clearly shown. It is important to note that all cults will be based on monism and the doctrine of the cycle of birth plays a key role in their deception.
Another important aspect of this thinking is syncretism. Of course to mask all of this, historical and archaeological evidences are twisted to portray that these thoughts are very ancient. This fact is evidenced in the fanatical statement at the begining, "Jesus 1AD - Hinduism 13000 BC!!!" which has no basis.

Jesus Christ is the Only Way and the Bible is God's Word, the Only Standard for all mankind.


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