Dear Hinduism, Your gods are not my God.

Well, the campaign was a success, I am now class president.

But, in more exciting news, I adored my homework tonight. In my world religions:eastern tradition class we were asked to read sections of the Rig Veda, Upanishads, and Gita (Hindu holy books) and to reflect on them. To preface this story, let me just say that when my class went on a field trip to a Hindu temple, the constant theme of their service was discovering points of similarity between Hinduism and other religions in order to prove that we all serve the same God. Not true...but especially not true after i read their texts. I compared the Hindu gods and ideas to the God and ideas of the Bible. So, if you ever doubt that we serve a radically different God than that of the Hindu population, think about this:

[Hindu gods]

Agni- Priest and Minister of Sacrifice
Our God- Hebrews 7:27, "Unlike the other high priests, He does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered Himself."

Agni offers sacrifices again and again, for they are never sufficient. Our god is an eternal and lasting sacrifice, once was enough.

Vayu- Drinks of Soma (a life giving liquid)
Our God- John 4:13-14, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Vayu depends on a drink to give him life. Our God offers a drink that will eternally quench our thirst.

Asvins- Deities of light, bringing the sun, or physical light.
Our God- John 12:46, "I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in Darkness."

The Asvins bring light daily a physical light. Our God brought an eternal light to the world so that we never have to remain in darkness.

Indra- Gains strength from worship, seems to be dependent on lauds
Our God- Psalm 21:13, "Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength; we will sing and praise your might."

Indra's strength is dependent on the praises of her followers. Our God's power is manifest and causes us to worship; we do not worship to give Him this power.

[Hindu Ideas]

Upanishads: "In the beginning there was that which is, one only, without a second..."
The Bible: John 1:1-2 "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God, and all things were made through Him."

Upanishads: Trinity=Fire/Water/Earth. Impersonal elements of the universe.
The Bible: Matthew 28:19, "Therefore, go and make disciples of the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." Personal essence of the universe, manifested in 3 beings.

Upanishads: In the subtle essence, which man does not perceive, exists the Divine Self.
The Bible: Romans 1:19-20, "What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities--His eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

Gita: "Freedom from the bondage of life comes by the doing of one's duty."
The Bible: Ephesians 2:8-9, "For it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast."

Don't try to tell me we worship the same God, because we don't:

I worship the High priest that has eternally interceded for me. You worship a high priest that must sacrifice daily, whose sacrifices are not eternally sufficient.

I worship a God who supplies the living water. You worship a god who must drink the living water.

I worship a God who has has cast out spiritual darkness. You worship a god who brings a physical light.

I worship my God because of His strength. You worship your god to supply his strength.

I believe that in the beginning there was an Order, a Logos, A word, who communed with God and out of proper credit, brought a world into existence out of nothing to glorify Him. You believe that there was something in the beginning, that which is, and somehow, that which is has now become that which is (again?).

I believe that there is a triune God who is personal and endears me to Himself. You believe that there is fire, water, and earth which is the entirety of the universe.

I believe that what can be known about God has been made plain to me through what He has made. You believe that in the subtle essence, which cannot be perceived, exists the divine self. (I would query as to how you can know that, if it can't be perceived.)

I believe that I have been saved by grace, as I cannot save myself. You believe that freedom lies in the doing of your duties.

All I mean to say is this, you may believe what you want, but don't pretend that we believe in the same God, for He is the giver of life, His grace abounds, and His divine nature and eternal power have been clearly seen since the beginning of time.


Chris Williams said...

Good thoughts. Quick comment: the trinity of Christianity is one essence expressed or manifested in three persons.

I think that is what you meant, however it appears that you wrote that God is different essences. In which case I would tell you to read the "Gita" a little less.

Congrats, Ms. President

annie.marie.dimond. said...

You are right Chris. Thanks. I wrote this rather late last night. What i really meant is that God is an eternal essence, manifested in 3 persons. Thanks for catching that. Wouldn't want to misrepresent.

BT said...

Can we still be friends now that you're President? Or will our friendship only continue as a public charade? Just wondering... either way is cool I guess.

annie.marie.dimond. said...

I suppose only time will tell. Maybe you should ski with us on saturday.