Concept of rebirth has both positive and negative sides

Discussion in 'Spiritual Forum' started by Datta Upasaka, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. Datta Upasaka

    Datta Upasaka Member

    The concept of rebirth has both positive and negative sides. If rebirth is accepted for every soul infinitely, the disadvantage is that every soul becomes lazy in the spiritual path postponing the spiritual effort to old age and the old man postpones to the next birth! In view of this negative disadvantage of humanity, the honourable scholars of Christianity (called as Fathers) suppressed this point in view of the welfare of humanity only and not with any other ill intention. Such suppression is good for the spiritual aspirants.

    On the other hand, if you make it as a rule that no soul can have the opportunity for rebirth, it results in the lack of power of omnipotent God to sanction rebirth to even a deserving soul, which is unable to complete the effort in this birth, in spite of utmost sincerity. This results in saying that God is not omnipotent since He cannot change the rule of inevitable absence of rebirth.

    As the middle golden path of Aristotle, the truth is that God is omnipotent to sanction rebirth to a deserving soul as a special case to continue and complete its spiritual effort. By this, you cannot also generalize that every soul gets the opportunity of rebirth infinitely. Both extremities are wrong. In Hinduism, rebirth to every soul infinitely is spoken, which is wrong. In Christianity and Islam, “no rebirth to any soul and even the omnipotent God cannot sanction rebirth to any deserving soul also” is spoken and this is also wrong. Jesus told the truth that exists between these two extremities, which is the ultimate truth and also the real heart of the spiritual knowledge of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.
  2. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member Staff Member

    Since when is it a teaching of Hinduism that souls reincarnate infinitely. Isn't it stopped by moksha? The definition of moksha is release from the cycle. Eternity to the soul is an Abrahamic concept, and for us Hindus, from their POV, its an eternity in hell.

    Since when does the teachings of Christianity matter one iota to Hindus? We are a complete religion, and every single problem under the sun has a solution that can be found in Hinduism. WEe don't need any 'outside' help. Of course, if any individual feels they do, then fine, go for it. if you don't feel capable of driving a car, then hire a driver.
  3. Datta Upasaka

    Datta Upasaka Member

    Every religion has both good and bad teachings. Hinduism today has many misconstrued rituals that make no sense. At the same Christianity has some very simple and striking concepts that can potentially make a huge positive impact in the lives of many. We just need to take the truth and reject that which is false, whether it be Christian or Hindu teachings. Shankara, Krishna or Jesus (God in human forms) preached the truth according to the existing psychology of people from those eras, but of course, these teachings get distorted over time and some of them are applicable only to a certain time period.

    Anyways, the original post was simply to address the false idea of indefinite rebirth that some Hindus have. As for hiring the driver part, well Arjuna, although he was incredibly courageous and intelligent warrior, still couldn't apply his own intelligence in the direction when the odds were against him. That's why Lord Krishna, from one angle, is seen as the charioteer or the Buddhi (intelligence) that drives the chariot (human body) to spiritual victory from a more metaphysical point of view.

    The intelligence is the driver of the car; if the driver's got the wrong information, then it's simply going to take a lot of time to reach the final destination. Peace.
  4. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member Staff Member

    I'm curious. Which rituals are misconstrued and make no sense? (In other words, can you be more specific?) I've encountered people who thought this way, but the problem was nobody had ever explained it to them in any kind of logical sensible way. Once they had an explanation, they're nodding, 'Yes. Yes. that makes sense now."

    Just whom do they make no sense to? For example, the entire premise of Hinduism makes no sense to a Christian.
  5. Datta Upasaka

    Datta Upasaka Member

    One example would be the death ceremony rituals conducted by priests. That the departed souls eat through the priests performing the rituals is kind of a false premise. In Sanskrit, there's something known as 'artha vada', meaning, a lie told for encouraging one in the right direction. A simple example would be that of a mother who promises her child that he'll become tall and string by drinking a glass of milk. It's a simple lie told for a greater good.

    The deeds done by a person during his lifetime decide his fate after death. A serial rapist isn't going to go to heaven just because his kids have decided to feed a hundred hungry priests. The entire purpose of a death ritual is simply to ensure that the children of the departed soul donate some valuables to a deserving person. In this case, a Brahmin or a learned person of the scriptures. When someone says that the dead soul eats through these priests, it's a simple artha vada meant to ensure the donation.

    But today, the people who chant these rituals do it as a matter of business; they don't understand anything they say. A deserving Brahmin is someone who really doesn't care about the money. Such a person understands the Vedas and is able to transmit that understanding to the recipient. Clearly, this is not the case in majority of the rituals. Moreover, one does not become a real Brahmin just by birth. For example, Ravana was a Brahim by birth while Kanappa was a hunter of the lowest caste. But no one respects Ravana while even the most conservative so-called Brahmins place the photos of Kanappa in their personal shrines. One becomes a Brahmin by the deeds he or she does.

    If you want to know more about where I'm coming from, please do visit this link.

    True, a conservative Christian would not likely understand the basis of Hinduism. But there are conservative Hindus as well who'd refuse to see the commonalities in both religions. A ritual simply symbolizes a certain spiritual concept, whether it be in Christianity or Hinduism. If one can grasp the inner significance of the ritual, then there's no need to continue performing it blindly. We need to keep an open mind and try to understand each other as much as it's possible from our end.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2016
  6. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member Staff Member

    Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to do the quote things, so I'll just reply to some of it.

    As for funeral rites, I do think some of the priests do know what they're doing. Who are we to judge? I do believe in etheric bodies of both Gods and of souls. The intellectualisation has brought about a loss of the mystic ideas. Yes, some priest are in it for the money it seems, but I don't personally cast a wide blanket. Many priests I've met are really sincere and dedicated individuals. Certainly they know more than their critics generally.

    A lot of the 'superstition' that rationalists are so annoyed by has true meaning if one can see from a more open-mined mystical eye.

    As for your comment about heaven, I'm a Hindu so I don't believe in heaven.

    As far as your habit of suggesting further reading goes, I find it annoying at best, and proseltysing at worst. Maybe you picked this up from the 'mix and match' too. I only know of one other Hindu group that does such self-promotion. We all have access to the internet, and can look around if we're interested.
  7. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member Staff Member

    'Superstition' is very personal. It's like the idea that some people's trash is another's treasure. Some people's beliefs are just another person's superstition. I've been told that my belief in reincarnation is a silly superstition, and I certainly believe that the Christian concepts of heaven and hell are silly (to me, not to them) superstitions.
  8. Datta Upasaka

    Datta Upasaka Member

    Mysticism and rationality generally don't mix. But at the same time, mysticism is used as an excuse by swindlers all around the globe. One needs to have or develop viveka or intense discrimination to distinguish between true mystical experiences and mere superstition. Whether you possess such discrimination or not, I definitely cannot say. But the fact that many make disconcerting and hidden selfish claims based on so-called mystic experiences is definitely a fact.

    And sure, you may find my reference part annoying or self promotional. But to me, it's simply a way to spread some teachings I've deeply connected with. One is much likely to remember something that one shares with others, which subsequently leads to action in that particular direction. While constant recollection of a certain spiritual concept is known as 'manana' in the Vedas, subsequent action based upon such recollection is known as 'niddhidhyasa'. The first step is 'shravana' or hearing such knowledge from a genuine preacher.

    And I really don't think promotional is the word here, but who am I to say. The word promotional would apply to something that's being sold for some kind of profit, but that's hardly the case here. Nevertheless, like I already said, you're entitled to your own opinion.

    Superstition is superstition regardless of cultural affinity; the word has a certain meaning that is universally applicable. Rational thinking should complement mysticism rather than outright deny it. Both (rationalism and mysticism) are like two extremes. I just think that one needs to apply each within those contexts where they're applicable. Peace.
  9. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member Staff Member

    To be honest, I've looked at that site, trying to be open minded. Under the question about whether or not temples are necessary, he states that 'Temples are necessary for LOW MINDED PEOPLE." Now that's quite condescending to every bhakti movement and bhaktar out there. Millions of Hindus attend temples daily, getting a ton of benefit from our wonderful Gods darshan and love. I believe that for me, it's this condescending and insulting attitude put forward that is troublesome.

    As I've said before, I believe there are differing views within Hinduism regarding what is more important, and that our rich diversity is so beneficial to all of us, as there is a path for everyone. I just wish that people didn't feel the need to put down other paths in order to strengthen their own. I think in the true spirit of Hindu Solidarity, that that should just stop.

    Yes, universalism is one way to view it, and it certainly exists as a valuable path within the spectrum of Hinduism. But so is bhakti, so is service, so are all the mystic paths. Universalism isn't for everyone. If it works for you, that's good.

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