Sun God, Lord Suryanarayana, Vyomanatha, Lord of Sky and Water, Savita – The Cosmic Father.
- Life and Death – a Changing World and Unchanging Reality (bhavanajagat.wordpress.com)
HOLY TRINITY-FATHER,SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT-GODS OF MONOTHEISM
THE GODS OF MONOTHEISM
Monotheism is a term that was introduced in an effort to study religions. It is described as a religious belief that only one God exists. This belief in a single, and transcendent God contrasts particularly with Polytheism which is described as a belief in many gods. Such oversimplification may conceal the true identity of the Gods of Monotheism. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the principal Monotheistic religions. The demarcation between these faiths is very easy to determine and it is not so easy to establish their common ground. Dogmatic differences, or differences in articles of faith must be explicitly recognized. The identity of the Divine is not represented merely by the philosophical speculations about God’s essence but by the God whom men worship in all the acts of piety which comprise the rituals of religion. If you consider the dogmas of religion; the articles of religious faith-based solely on divine revelation, you would conclude that the Gods of Monotheism live in different Heavens. There is no chance that the God of children of Israel, The Holy Trinity(Father, Jesus, the Holy Ghost/Spirit), and the God of Ishmael could coexist in the same transcendent or immanent realm. The doctrinal differences are too many. There are very serious differences on matters such as salvation, the nature and mission of the synagogue/church/masjid, the places of their worship, its rituals and sacraments. The Monotheist concept of religious belief has not nurtured the concept of a shared humanity that is united in religious brotherhood. The desire to assert the dominion of the one and only true God has often lead to violence and intolerance. Historically, Monotheists have killed to gain theological as well as political dominance. The Gods of Monotheism have caused far more wars and conflicts than the many gods of Polytheism. The adherence to an ABSOLUTIST thesis that only my God is God has resulted in a strict demand for intolerance of others holding different creeds. The Israelites practiced the worship of one God without denying the existence of other gods and the Torah also instructs them to act decently toward one another. The trinitarian creed of Christianity sets it apart from other religions. The Islamic interpretation of Monotheism is more literal and uncompromising than that of any other religion in the world. ‘TAWHID’ or oneness of God is the foremost article of the Muslim faith. Muslim belief is based upon the unity of Allah and the prophet hood of Muhammad. To bestow Allah’s indivisible reality upon another god is considered by Muslims to be a lie, and stands as the only sin which Allah will not forgive. The Holy Book of Quran mentions that to attribute divinity to a created entity is the only unpardonable sin. The only point of agreement amongst Monotheistic religions is that of their hatred of idols. Polytheism is not an acceptable choice and it is considered as a form of Atheism. Idolatry ranks as perhaps the most common topic in the Bible and Quran. The people of India are ridiculed and are scoffed at because of their conceptions of god as anthropomorphic. Indians are verbally assaulted every day by Christian Evangelists for worshiping inanimate objects and historically, Indians were punished for being patrons of idolatry. In an effort to wipe out idolatry from India, numerous temples were destroyed and about 60 to 80 million people were killed between 1000 and 1525 CE. Psalm 115, from The Old Testament Book of Psalms illustrates the hatred of idols :
“But their idols are silver and gold,
made by the hands of men.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but they cannot see;
they have ears, but cannot hear,
noses but they cannot smell;
they have hands, but cannot feel,
feet, but they cannot walk,
nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them…”
THE INDIAN CONCEPT OF GOD WORSHIP
The Vedic Scripture of Shukla Yajurveda in its final chapter of ‘ISA UPANISHAD’, verses 12-14 recommend the worship of the Divine in its immanent(manifest, visible phenomenal forms) and its transcendent( unmanifest, invisible, Absolute) forms.
“Into deep darkness fall those who follow the immanent. Into deeper darkness fall those who follow the transcendent. By the worship of the Manifested, one end is attained; by the worship of the Unmanifested, another. Thus we have heard from the wise men who taught us this. He who knows at the same time both the Unmanifested and the Manifested, he crosses over death through knowledge of the manifested and attains immortality through the knowledge of the First Cause.”
A HYMN FOR INVOCATION OF PEACE
“OM ! Poornamadah, Poornamidam, Poornaat Poorna mudachyate,
Poornasya Poorna maadaaya, Poorna mevaa vasishyate.”
OM! SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI HI.
THAT( the invisible ABSOLUTE) is WHOLE, WHOLE is THIS(the Immanent); what has come out of WHOLE(the Invisible) is also WHOLE( the Visible).When the WHOLE is taken out of the WHOLE, the WHOLE remains WHOLE(it remains unaltered).
OM! PEACE, PEACE, LET PEACE ALONE PREVAIL.
Please review a related blog post titled ‘Defining Indian Identity – Listen to the Heart’
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S., Class of April,1970.
JACOB’S PILLOW-PILLAR STONE MARKS THE SITE AS ‘BETHEL’, THE HOUSE OF GOD
JACOB’S DREAM AT BETHEL
The story of Jacob is described in the Book of Genesis, the first Book of Old Testament. He was the son of Issac, the grandson of Abraham, and the twin brother of Esau.He was named Jacob as he came out with his hand grasping his older twin brother Esau’s heel(Genesis 25:26). Jacob was the father of the founders of the twelve tribes of Israel. Jacob was given the name of Israel after he withstood a spiritual struggle at Jabbok(Genesis 32:22-30).Jacob had literally wrestled with God who came down in the form of a man. The name Israel is derived from the words ‘SARA’ meaning TO STRUGGLE, WRESTLE, and ‘EL’ meaning God. El is one short form of ‘ELOHIM’, the name used for God. Jacob received his older brother’s blessing from his father and then flees to Laban in Haran to escape from his brother’s anger. His dream at Bethel is narrated in Genesis, chapter 24, verses 10-17 :
Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the LORD, and He said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Issac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying….” When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. He called the place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz. He had further taken a vow stating that the stone he had set up as a pillar would be God’s house.
THE HOUSE OF GOD AT MOUNT MORIAH
In Judaism, Mount Moriah is also known as the ‘TEMPLE MOUNT’, and is the most venerated as the holiest spot on Earth. After liberating Jews from a life of slavery in Egypt, at Mount Sinai, God enters into a ‘New Covenant’ and He had appeared in the form of fire before Moses and other elders. The Book of EXODUS, chapter 25, verses 8-9, God had asked the Jews: “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make the Tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you…” The Ark of the Covenant was where God manifested His presence on earth and the Ark went ahead of the Israelites wherever they traveled. The Ark was only housed in a tent for many long years and King David could only erect an altar for God(Book of 2 Samuel, chapter 24:25). The opportunity to build a House for God in His Name was given to Solomon, the son of King David. Book of 1 KINGS, chapter 8, verse 13, Solomon declares: “I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.” The site selected by God for the establishment of the Holy Temple in His Name also is considered to be the spot where creation of world began, and Adam the first man was created here. Abraham brought his son Issac for sacrifice at this place. The Jewish tradition known as ‘Midrash’ also claimed that Jacob had a dream and had erected a monument and declared it as the House of Holy One. God had pushed that rock with His right foot and the rock had become the ‘Foundation Stone’, the ‘Corner Stone’, and is also known as the ‘Key Stone’ of Solomon’s First Temple. The Temple of God stands over a stone identified by Jacob as the ‘gate of heaven’. When Solomon dedicated this Temple to God in 957 B.C., God had entered His House in the form of a cloud.
GOD OF ISRAEL’S DWELLING PLACE
Psalm 115, song 2 says :
Why do the nations say,
“Where is their God? “
Our God is in heaven;
He does whatever pleases Him.
The God of Israel had promised to dwell among the children of Israel, and today He has no house in His Name upon this earth. A synagogue is only a place to bring people together, it is an assembly of Jews for worship and religious studies and hence cannot be identified as a House of God. When no Masjid or Mosque had existed in Jerusalem, the Holy Book of Quran had identified Temple Mount in Jerusalem as the “the farthest Mosque” in Surah 17, al Isra , verse 1. Similarly, in verse 7, it described the House of God as a Masjid or a place of prostration in worship of God. Around the year 620 CE, the Islamic tradition of Isra and Miraj was established and the Temple Mount site became the site of Prophet Muhammad’s ascent to heaven. Jerusalem was conquered by the Arab Caliphate army in 637 CE. An Islamic Sanctuary known as Haram al-Sharif or Noble Sanctuary was built in 691 CE over the ruins of the Second Temple at the Temple Mount. The Jewish Temple was destroyed during the Roman Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE. The place is very sacred to the Jews and they even avoided walking over the ruins as they were not aware of the exact location of the Holy of Holies in that destroyed monument. Jerusalem was captured by the State of Israel after defeating Jordan in the 1967 War. Temple Mount is a captured territory and the State of Israel has yet to legally occupy it. The Jews dream about building their Third Temple and would like to provide the God of Israel a House in His name. This dream would be realized if the status of Jerusalem is decided and when The Temple Mount is recognized as a Jewish Heritage Site.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, A.P., India.,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.
CYRUS THE GREAT,EMPEROR OF PERSIA, FATHER OF IRAN, 580-590 BC – 529 BC
SHAHANSHAH, CYRUS II EMPEROR OF PERSIA
Cyrus, the founder of Achaemenid Persian empire and ruled it from 549 BC to 529 BC. The conquest of the great and ancient city of Babylon in 539 BC made Cyrus the ruler of a vast domain from the Aegean and the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Indus river of India in the east. Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia had destroyed Jerusalem in 586 BC and had forced the Jews to live in exile. Cyrus is famous in the Books of Old Testament of Holy Bible for freeing the Jews held captive in Babylonia. Cyrus had allowed more than 40,000 Jews to return to their Promised Land in 537 BC. He had asked them to take back the gold and silver utensils that were looted from the House of God in Jerusalem. Prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, captivity of Jews and then release with the coming of Cyrus. He is remembered in the Cyrus Legend first recorded by Xenophon, a Greek soldier and author of Cyropaedia. Greek historian Herodotus has described Cyrus as tolerant, ideal monarch, Father of Persian people and as the Liberator of Jews held captive in Babylonia. Cyrus had conquered Lydia, Syria, Babylon, and Palestine. In the year 1971, Iran celebrated the 2,500th anniversary of the founding of the monarchy by Cyrus. He is glorified in the Books of The Old Testament.
Book of Jeremiah, chapter 29, verse 10 : the LORD says, “when seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place…”
Book of Isaiah, chapter 44, verse 28 : God says of Cyrus, “He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”
Book of Isaiah, chapter 45, verse 13 : “I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness; I will make all his ways straight, he will rebuild my city and set my exiles free, but not for a price or reward,” says the LORD Almighty.
SHAHANSHAH’S EDICT OF RESTORATION
Cyrus’s Edict to rebuild the House of God in Jerusalem is stated in the Book of 2 CHRONICLES, chapter 36, verse 23, and is reproduced in the Book of EZRA, chapter 1, verses 2 and 3.
This is what Cyrus King of Persia says;
“The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for Him at Jerusalem in Judah. Anyone of His people among you- may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem.”
A clay cylinder was discovered in the foundations of the Esagila temple dedicated to chief Babylonian god Marduk. In cuneiform script, the following statement was inscribed on the clay cylinder:
….I am Cyrus, King of the world. When I entered Babylon…. I did not allow anyone to terrorise the land….I kept in view the needs of people and all its sanctuaries to promote their well-being…. I put an end to their misfortunes. The Great God has delivered all the lands into my hand; the lands that I have made to dwell in a peaceful habitation….
THE LEGACY OF EMPEROR CYRUS
He was more than a great conqueror who founded an empire. He is best remembered for his unprecedented tolerance and magnanimous attitude towards those he vanquished. He showed a great forbearance and respect towards the religious beliefs and cultural traditions of other races. His policy of religious toleration and contribution to the rebuilding of several nations’ temples earned him the homage of all the people whom he had ruled. In the Book of Isaiah, chapter 45, verses 1 to 6, Cyrus is praised as the ‘ANOINTED OF THE LORD’. The Greeks whom he conquered regarded him as ‘Law-Giver’. The Babylonians treated him as ‘The Liberator’. The Iranians regard him as ‘The Father’. He is considered to be upright, generous, and benevolent and the Holy Book of Quran in Surah Al-Kahaf, verse 18 referred to a person known as “ZUL-QARNAIN” or “DHUL-QARNAYN”, a person wearing a crown of two horns like a ram. Cyrus, a ZOROASTRIAN by faith, had promised not to force any person to change his religion and faith and guaranteed religious freedom for all.
REBUILD BETH-EL, HOUSE OF GOD AT TEMPLE MOUNT, JERUSALEM :
The House of God, the Temple in Jerusalem acts as the figurative “footstool” of God’s presence in the physical world. The First Temple was built by King Solomon in 957 BC. It stood for about 375 to 410 years. The Babylonians destroyed it in 586 BC. The Second Temple was completed during 516 BC and the Roman Emperor POMPEY desecrated it in 63 BC. King Herod had renovated it in 19 BC. The Roman troops of General TITUS totally destroyed it in 70 CE. Just the Western outer wall of the Temple still stands today. An Islamic shrine, the Dome of Rock was built on the site of the Temple Mount in late 7th century CE, and the al-Aqsa Mosque also stands in the temple courtyard. The Jews envision the construction of the Third Temple in Jerusalem. The building of religious shrines on top of the ruined monuments of other faiths causes problems for rebuilding the Temple Mount. This is a problem that Indians have encountered repeatedly in all of their holy places such as Varanasi, Mathura, and Ayodhya. If Shahanshah Cyrus is asked to decide on the religious dispute between Muslims and Jews, he would direct us to rebuild the original House of God or Beth-El at Temple Mount in Jerusalem and to restore the faith and the worship of God that it represents. Let us rebuild ‘House of God’ and let its foundations be laid where it belongs.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, A.P., India.,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.